Southern Africa's ultimate luxury safari with the Botswana experts!
In 1982, Mountain Travel Sobek was one of the first American outfitters to operate safaris in Botswana. Ever since, we’ve carefully honed our itineraries to work only with the country’s finest concessions, streamlining transportation time and covering more ground through the use of private charter flights. On our Botswana Flying Safari, you’ll take in the country’s most incredible parks and game reserves by mokoro and 4-wheel-drive vehicle: the Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta, the Moremi and Linyanti Game Reserves, and Chobe National Park! And after days tracking classic games, you’ll bask in the comforts of our exclusive, luxury tented camp—complete with your own attached bathroom and private verandas. No one does safaris like MTS.
Game viewing by 4-wheel-drive vehicle, boat travel, night drives, optional bush walks; minimum age 12
- Explore the Kalahari, the Okavango Delta, Moremi and Linyanti Game Reserves, and Chobe National Park
- Travel by charter flights to cover more ground and enjoy fantastic bird’s-eye views of wildlife
- Bask in the comforts and exclusivity of our luxury tented camps in Botswana’s finest private concessions
Duration: 10 days Start Location: Maun, Botswana End Location: Livingstone, ZambiaDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive in Maun – Central Kalahari
Arrive in Maun by midday. (Flights from Johannesburg to Maun are available on Air Botswana and South African Airways.) After claiming your luggage and clearing customs, a Mountain Travel Sobek representative will meet you outside the customs area of the airport and transfer you to your connecting small aircraft flight to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Upon arrival, we’ll do a game drive en route to our deluxe tented camp, where we will enjoy private tents complete with attached bathrooms, hot showers, flush toilets and private decks overlooking the Kalahari Plains—each tent also has a roof platform for those wishing to sleep out under the stars.
Day 2 : Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Today, we might head to Deception Valley, one of the best places to observe the wildlife of the fragile Kalahari ecosystem (it was the site for researchers Mark and Delia Owens’ study on lions and brown hyenas). Deception Valley is one of a number of “fossil” riverbeds that are crucial features of the Kalahari ecosystem. In times past, huge rivers flowed through the Kalahari. Now, only the ancient beds of those streams remain. Though the rivers do not flow, water collects in pans on the river bed, and sweet short grasses attract concentrations of herbivores during the desert’s sparse rainy season. In the harsh Kalahari, game only collects into large groups during the rains, when an abundance of pasturage is available. In the dry months, the animals must disperse to wander widely in search of forage. Wildlife includes herds of golden springbok gazelle, gemsbok—the giant oryx of southern Africa, red hartebeest, eland, greater kudu, and a number of smaller antelopes. This area of the Kalahari is also noted for its fantastic predatory game viewing, which includes cheetahs and wild dogs.
Animals are more shy in the Kalahari than in many of Africa’s more visited game parks, and we must take care not to disturb them. The Kalahari is a harsh environment, in which the expenditure of undue energy can be the margin for an individual animal’s survival.
Days 3 - 4 : Northern Okavango Delta
Fly to Banoka Bush Camp in northern section of the Okavango Delta, a dry waterway connecting the delta to the river systems of Chobe National Park (it flows only in years of high rainfall). Its concentrations of wildlife and more than 300 bird species make for exciting game drives. There are also several species of antelope, hippo, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, cheetah, wild dog, lion, and plenty of elephant. Night drives allow guests to see such nocturnal species as the small cats, porcupine, springhare, hyena, and perhaps even the elusive leopard.
Banoka Bush Camp is built along the tree line overlooking a lagoon; the whole camp is raised off the ground to take in the view. Accommodation is in ten en-suite tented rooms complete with private verandas. The main area consists of a bar, lounge, dining area and plunge pool and deck. There is an open campfire area to relax in and discuss the day's adventures. The camp is 100% solar powered.
Days 5 - 6 : Okavango Delta
Fly by small aircraft into the interior of the Okavango Delta. This great inland marsh, similar to Florida’s Everglades, is one of the most pristine and unique wilderness areas of Africa. Here the Okavango River spreads out through a sea of grass. Reeds and papyrus filter out the sediments of the Angola floods, leaving crystal clear waters to flow through channels covered in water lilies. Bird life is fantastic: the magnificent fish-eagle is a common sight, as are a wide variety of storks, herons, ibises, and other water birds, including pygmy geese, African darter, and malachite kingfishers. Larger wildlife is interesting, too: lechwe stamp through the grassy shallows while sitatunga take shelter in the reeds (both are types of antelopes). Hippo and crocodile are common.
To explore the Delta, we board eco-friendly fiberglass canoes, modeled on the traditional African wooden canoes called mekoro (we don’t have to cut down a huge old tree to make them), and paddle into its maze of meandering waterways. (Mokoro is the singular form, mekoro, the plural.) It’s a unique way to travel—our expert boatmen pole us through narrow channels that cut through mats of floating papyrus, then paddle us across lovely deep-water lagoons. We also enjoy wildlife viewing by vehicle and motor boat as we explore the larger Delta islands—an opportunity to see elephant, lechwe, sitatunga, or the rare and beautiful fishing owl. We explore our special private concession area—far from the normal tourist routes—and overnight at a special wilderness “water activity” camp on a Delta Island. We’ll enjoy the isolation and silence of the Delta night, punctuated only by the calls of the fishing owl and the comic snorting of hippos.
We will stay at Xigera Camp on the extreme western boundary of the Moremi Game Reserve in the heart of the Delta. Xigera is a paradise for avid bird-watchers and also boasts the highest density of the rare and elusive sitatunga found anywhere in the Delta. An interesting feature of Xigera is a wooden footbridge connecting Xigera Island with the one next to it, and you may be treated to close-up views of lion, hyena, or leopard sneaking across the bridge as they move between the islands. Luxuriously furnished tented rooms have en suite facilities and an outdoor shower. Along with the main dining and lounge areas, they are set on raised wooden platforms that allow great views over the floodplains. There is also a small plunge pool.
Days 7 - 8 : Linyanti Private Game Reserve
Fly to Duma Tau Camp in the Linyanti Game Reserve. This area is rich in game—there are excellent hippo pools, plenty of elephant, sable and roan antelope, and it’s great lion country. This is elephant country par excellence; it’s possible to see large congregations coming down to the river to drink and bathe, and it’s great fun to watch their social interactions.
Other wildlife is abundant here, too, either along the Savuti Marsh or in the wooded hills behind: leopard, kudu, giraffe, zebra, and warthog are all resident species. We’ll search for reclusive predators such as the African wildcat, civet, and the beautiful long-legged serval cat. Another specialty is the beautifully marked Chobe bushbuck. Bird life on the Linyanti marsh is always spectacular: storks catch thermal currents, herons, egrets, waterfowl, hornbills, kingfishers, and lilac-breasted rollers are always in abundance; seasonally, we can find colonies of gaily-colored white-fronted and carmine bee-eaters. In addition to superb game viewing aboard our safari vehicle, we may be able to go on game drives at night in search of nocturnal animals. Lions and leopards are most active at night, so we will have a good chance to observe the big cats on the prowl (water levels permitting). Our camp features large walk-in tented rooms with attached bathrooms, a thatched dining area, bar, and plunge pool. The camp is built on raised boardwalks under a shady grove of mangosteen trees, overlooking a large hippo-filled lagoon on the Linyanti waterways.
Day 9 : Livingstone – Victoria Falls
Fly to Kasane for an exciting 2-hour lunch cruise on the Chobe River—an area teeming with wildlife. Then transfer overland to Livingstone, Zambia, and arrive mid-afternoon at beautiful Toka Leya Camp, nestled against the Zambezi River less than 4 miles upstream from Victoria Falls. Accommodations are spacious safari-style tents, on raised wooden decks with sliding glass doors and spectacular views of the Zambezi River. Upon our arrival, we will take a short cruise on the upper Zambezi and enjoy our last sunset with views of the magnificent spray of Victoria Falls. In the evening, we will have a festive farewell dinner under the stars.
Day 10 : Depart
Our last morning is reserved for a 1½-hour walking tour of Victoria Falls. There are many inviting trails to stroll, where we can admire the lush tropical vegetation and take in incredible views of the falls. Transfer to the airport in the late morning for departure on homeward-bound flights. Please reserve your flight after 1 p.m. (If you would like to partake in the many available activities at the falls, you will need to spend an extra day or two in Livingstone. Optional activities include rafting on the Zambezi River, elephant-back safaris, microflights over the falls, bungee jumping, and more!
DATES: Best time to go: May - October Departures: Feb 3 - 12, 2015 Green Season May 6 - 15, 2015 Green Season Jun 2 - 11, 2015 High Season Jul 8 - 17, 2015 High Season Sep 10 - 19, 2015 High Season Oct 3 - 12, 2015 High Season Dec 20 - 29, 2015 Green Season
2015 Prices- Green Season
$7,835 (2-8 members)
2014 Prices- High Season
$7,695 (2-8 members)
2015 Prices- High Season
$8,195 (2-8 members)
Kalahari Plains CampCentral Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana
Located in a remote part of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, this camp offers some of the best summer wildlife viewing opportunities in Africa. Each Meru-style, en-suite tent is raised off the ground to catch the breeze and offers its own viewing deck for sleeping under the stars.
Banoka Bush CampBotswana
Banoka Bush Camp is named in honor of the River San, or Banoka, ancestors of the Khoi and the earliest settlers of the Okavango Delta. It is situated in the Khwai Development Trust Community Concession, on the banks of the Khwai River in the north-eastern corner of the Okavango Delta adjoining the Moremi Game Reserve. The camp is built along the tree line overlooking a lagoon; the whole camp is raised off the ground to take in the view. Accommodation is in ten en-suite tented rooms complete with private verandas. There are two family tents which accommodate two adults and two children each. The main area consists of a bar, lounge, dining area and plunge pool and deck. There is an open campfire area to relax in and discuss the day's adventures. The camp is 100% solar powered.
Xigera CampOkavango Delta, Botswana
Xigera Camp (pronounced Keejera) lies on the aptly named Paradise Island, surrounded by deep channels and lush vegetation. There are ten raised luxury tents with en-suite facilities, an outdoor shower – and superb views of the classic Okavango Delta floodplains that surround the camp. Meals and evening drinks are enjoyed in the lounge, bar and dining area overlooking a permanently flowing channel or under the stars in a traditional African boma. For those hot days there is a small plunge pool in which to cool off.
Duma Tau CampLinyanti Wildlife Reserve, Botswana
Spacious luxury tents lie in the shade of a mangosteen grove and overlook a hippo-filled lagoon. Each tent features an en-suite bathroom and an outdoor shower, and the main area offers a dining room, pub, lounge and pool.
Toka Leya CampLivingston, Zambia
Overlooking the Zambezi River and shaded under the canopy of jackalberry and waterberry trees, Toka Leya offers spacious, Safari-style tents with expansive wooden decks, climate control, and beautiful views.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
This is a first-class safari using a variety of unique luxury camps that boast many comfortable amenities. Our accommodations are at remote but deluxe and intimate private bush camps that are surprisingly well appointed and ensure every comfort. These camps are ideally situated in remote settings which allow you to feel truly in touch with the real Africa. Throughout the trip a safari staff will handle all camp chores, laundry, and do all food preparation (all we do is relax and have fun). (NOTE—Because you can have laundry done nearly every day, you don’t need to bring too much clothing.) Campsites are not fenced and wild animals may wander through camps.
Game viewing will be aboard large four wheel drive open-sided Land Cruisers or Land Rovers. These carry up to eight passengers (plus driver) in great comfort, and allow each passenger excellent, unobstructed game viewing.
During our mokoro safari, our mekoro are poled by local Africans, expert punters who know all the intricacies of the Delta waterways.
Many of the animals we go to Africa to see are large and potentially dangerous. Wild animals are generally quite afraid of humans. They tend to avoid our campsites and to run away if approached on foot. Attacks by wild animals are rare, but no walking or camping safari in the African wilderness can guarantee that such incidents will not occur. Mountain Travel Sobek, or their Botswana outfitters or guides, are not to be held responsible for any injuries caused during any incident involving the behavior of wild animals. Walks are offered where possible at the discretion of the guide. The chances of incidents with wildlife are remote, but members should be aware that they join this trip at their own risk.
We’ll fly aboard light charter aircraft between camps. This cuts down on the wear and tear of the roads, ensures you have more time for game viewing, and distinguishes our safaris from others. Because of air charters, there is a strict baggage weight limit totaling 44 lbs. (this includes duffel, daypack, and photo gear). No suitcases or wheels are allowed, only soft bags. Persons over 220 lbs in body weight must pay for an extra seat per air charter sector for safety reasons. Laundry service is available every day, so you will not need to bring many changes of clothing.
In addition, all camps provide basic toiletries, including shampoo, soap, conditioner, skin cream, and mosquito repellent.
Mountain Travel Sobek trips are designed for flexible, energetic people who like to be active and intellectually involved, and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. A safari into northern Botswana is an expedition into a very remote area where towns are few and many amenities of modern life are lacking (although you will be surprised by how comfortable and deluxe our camps are). Backcountry exploration by Land Cruiser or Land Rover on dirt or non existent roads can be jarring and is not recommended for people with severe back problems. You should be prepared for travel over rough roads in dusty country. Minimum age for participation is 12.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way. One of the potential guides for this trip is:
Andy was born at a remote cattle post in Botswana called Shrobe, some 20 miles from Maun. As a young boy, Andy would go out into the bush with his grandfather, who would teach him about the native flora and fauna as well as aspects of local history. Andy began guiding for us in 1987. As a safari guide he was involved in every aspect of running a mobile expedition, including setting up camp, cooking, collecting water and wood, guarding camp and vehicle repairs. Armed with years of practical experience, Andy qualified as a professional guide in 1996 and has been guiding expeditions between Victoria Falls and Maun ever since.
Victor was born and raised in Maun, Botswana. He spent his weekends and school holidays helping out on a farm in the Kalahari, the beauty of which fascinated him. As a child, he always enjoyed watching the smaller creatures, like bull frogs fighting with each other after the summer rains. These nature experiences sparked his passion and he began searching for a career in the beautiful Botswana wilderness. Victor studied International Business Communication at college and then worked his way up to managing safari camps in the Delta. After a few years of this he began focusing on guiding, and spent five years guiding at Jao Camp, where he progressed to becoming Guide Coordinator. He now holds guiding and walking certifications. Victor is a contributing member of the Botswana Birdlife Association, to whom he reports sightings of rare and threatened species. Tracking, botany and photography are his passions. He has had photos of unbelievable sightings published in Africa Geographic, Africa Birds and Birding and Singapore’s Taste magazine. He has been involved with Children in the Wilderness since 2002, and has traveled to the USA and through most southern African countries.