Great Wilderness Journey
Duration - 11 days
Botswana - Zambia
This classic camp and deluxe camping safari takes the time to experience and explore Botswana's scenic northern areas: from the lushly vegetated wetlands of the Okavango Delta to the game-rich floodplains of Linyanti and Chobe, finally ending with the world-famous Victoria Falls on the Zambian side. Three-night stays in each area ensures detailed insights into habitats and game movements in the area, and there is a wide range of activities: walks, day and night wildlife viewing - both water- and land-based - and the "Flight of Angels" air transfer between Kasane and Livingstone. Private prime areas within Okavango Delta, both the permanently flooded and seasonally game-rich regions, and Linyanti are visited.
NOTE: This Safari can be done in either direction.
This Exploration has the following unique features:
- Exclusive access to the wilderness areas of the Okavango Delta, Linyanti/Chobe and Victoria Falls.
- Deluxe camping in two prime areas ensures holistic guiding and detailed insights to habitats and wildlife in the area.
- Experienced, knowledgeable and passionate guide travels with the guests throughout.
- Exceptionally diverse range of activities: walks, day and night wildlife viewing - both water- and land-based.
- Diverse and exciting transfers between locations (water and land).
- An exciting enhancement is the "Flight of the Angels" air transfer between Kasane and Livingstone that takes in the Victoria Falls.
Days 1, 2 and 3 - Jacana Camp, Okavango Delta
After arrival in Maun, you will be met by your guide or our representative and fly by light aircraft over the shimmering water-world of the Okavango Delta which represents life at its most fertile.
Lush Jacana Camp is situated in a permanently flooded region of the private Jao Concession of the Okavango Delta. A true water camp, it represents the essence of the Delta, with year-round mokoro safaris as well as island bush walks and, water levels permitting, motorboat cruises. In fact, when the flood levels are at their peak we are able to motorboat from the airstrip to the camp, a truly surreal arrival! On one of our full days, we will also enjoy game drives around the productive 'Jao Flats' region to the north of camp.
Jacana Camp is set in one of the wetland areas most densely populated with sitatunga and red lechwe. Wildlife concentrations depend on the water flow and volume, thus changing from season to season, but all the large animals can be found in the area including elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo. Pel's Fishing-Owl, Lesser Jacana, Western Banded Snake-Eagle and Coppery-tailed Coucal are just some of the birding highlights.
Jacana Camp has 5 Meru-style tents. Each is on a wooden deck overlooking the floodplains and has an en-suite bathroom with flush toilet and shower. The bathroom is enclosed but roofless, allowing for showers by starlight. The camp has a plunge pool and the main dining area is on an elevated wooden deck between two magnificent sycamore fig trees and surrounded by dense wild date palms. Downstairs, there is an intimate pub and lounge with an area perfect for campfires under the stars.
Days 4, 5 and 6 - Khwai Camp, Okavango Delta
Depart by light aircraft to Khwai Discoverer Camp, located in a private concession just north of the Khwai River above the Moremi Game Reserve.
The Khwai Concession is one of the most diverse areas in northern Botswana which seldom disappoints when it comes to producing extraordinary wildlife experiences. The life source for this area is the Khwai River - the northernmost "finger" of the Okavango Delta alluvial fan, which provides vital sustenance to numerous animals.
Over time, the Khwai area has metamorphosed into a wide range of exciting wildlife habitats - some of the most varied to be found in the entire Okavango Delta: a blend of forests, floodplain, wetland and grasslands. The narrow Khwai Channel is home to large mammals such as hippo and crocodile with buffalo and red lechwe often seen grazing along the fringe. The beautiful gallery riverine woodland found along the river provides further sanctuary to birds, primates and leopard. Elusive roan antelope often come to the river to drink. Activities focus around day and night game drives, nature walks and seasonal mokoro excursions.
Away from the river there is a wonderful mix of acacia and leadwood trees of varying sizes that abuts into mopane woodland. The latter, together with the permanent presence of water, attracts large numbers of elephant to the area. Larger predators include lion, wild dog and spotted hyaena, while birdlife found here is just as varied thanks to the colourful palette of habitats.
Accommodation is in 6.3m x 3.5m walk-in canvas tents (maximum of two guests per tent). The tents are airy and designed to recreate the accommodation style of the early explorers, with richly coloured teak director chairs and minimalist interiors. Separate bedside tables with 12v reading lamps, canvas and wood wardrobes, bathrobes, comfortable beds and mirrors are provided. Camp amenities (conditioning shampoo, soap, shower gel and body lotion) are elegantly displayed for use and private, en-suite separate toilet and shower areas are part of the main structure. Activities focus around day and night game drives, nature walks and seasonal mokoro excursions.
Days 7, 8 and 9 - Linyanti Discoverer Camp, Linyanti Concession
After a light breakfast, we fly north-east to the private Linyanti Concession. After a short game drive we arrive at our private Discoverer camp, which is elegantly set up under African ebony and knobthorn trees overlooking panoramic vistas of the Linyanti Swamps.
The landscape of the Linyanti varies from floodplains to open dry land savannah and forest with sweeping views, creating a paradise for a high diversity of wildlife and bird species. Activities include game drives in the private northern sector of the concession, exploring a range of habitats, from riverbanks to scrub and forest, which reveal a myriad of wildlife en route to slake their thirst from the river. The seldom-seen sitatunga can also be spotted in the waterways, as well as rare roan and sable antelope, plains game and of course their predators, the lion and leopard - with the endangered wild dog as an incredible bonus.
To complete the experience, it is possible to enjoy a full-day excursion to the Savute Channel, with lunch at a scenic setting. This spectacular day gives guests a real understanding of the geology of Northern Botswana, the relationship with the Great African Rift Valley and the chink in the faultline, where the Savute Channel begins. This channel, now flowing for the first time in three decades has resulted in water reaching into the heart of Chobe National Park through the Linyanti Reserve and game viewing is as a result both diverse and abundant.
Day 10 - Chobe River boat cruise, Chobe National Park and Toka Leya Camp, Zambia
After a short morning drive and breakfast, we depart by light aircraft to the northern Chobe region of Chobe National Park. This area is famous for its vast herds of elephants in the dry season and other unique species such as the elusive puku and Chobe bushbuck that move to the river in the hottest hours of the day. Enjoy a light lunch on the boat cruise in a catamaran-style shaded boat.
We leave Botswana and fly to Livingstone International Airport, arriving at Toka Leya Camp in the late afternoon. On leaving Botswana, we fly over the Kazangula border, a point where the four countries of Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia meet.
Toka Leya Camp is situated on the banks of the Zambezi River in the eastern sector of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, some 12km up from the Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The camp consists of 12 safari-style tents, each en-suite with a view of the magnificent Zambezi River and some of its islands. The camp's dining and bar area is set beneath a shaded canopy of trees overlooking the River and a swimming pool.
Day 11 - Victoria Falls, transfer to Livingstone Airport
The grand finale is a guided tour of the Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. At 1708 metres wide, it is the largest curtain of water in the world and drops more than 100 metres into the sheer Zambezi Gorge.
Transfer to Livingstone Airport immediately after the tour of the Victoria Falls and bid farewell to the adventure.
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