Expeditionary Safari In
Botswana’s Okavango

EXPLORE
  • 6 Nights
  • May – September
  • Botswana
  • From £3,200 PP
  • Authentic

Trip Overview

Head to this surreal environment in Botswana to experience wildlife on a different scale. An expedition into the heart of the Okavango offers a magical mosaic of lagoons, waterways and islands.

The Kalahari Desert is not a barren land of rolling sand dunes, as its name might suggest. Instead, it’s made up of extensive grasslands, bushveld, low-scrub and tree islands. This is ideal pasture for many large herbivores such as elephant, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, and giraffe, which in turn attracts lion, leopard, hyena and wild dog — their predators. The one commodity that is in short supply, however, is water, which all large mammals require.

Serendipitously, the Okavango Delta provides water in spades, literally creating a mega-oasis in the middle of a desert. The best way to understand and explore this unique phenomenon is to spend time in both the “wet” and “dry” parts of the Delta. The former is an area of thousands of permanent waterways separated by innumerable islands and the best way to get around here is by boat and on foot.

Counterintuitively perhaps, more water does not necessarily mean more animals. The “wet” area is incredibly scenic, with amazing birdlife and animals like elephants, hippo, buffalo and the marsh-specialist lechwe all present and correct. However, witnessing the best of Okavango’s wildlife requires spending time in the dry country on the edge of the Delta, where the wildlife has access to water, but also substantial grazing plains.

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Highlights of this itinerary

We’ve designed this expeditionary safari to take you straight into the heart of the Delta, camping on islands, and exploring by boat and foot. Then you will go onto Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana’s richest and most diverse national park, where you’ll have a chance to encounter an incredible array of mammals, from aardwolf to zebra.

Trip Itinerary

Expeditionary Safari In Botswana’s Okavango

Arrival in Botswana (1 Night)
1 Night

Arrival in Botswana

The speed at which you will leave civilisation and enter the wilderness is truly outlandish. An hour after passing through the perfectly conventional and modern Maun airport, you’ll be aboard an aluminum boat hurtling towards the heart of the Delta. The boat’s large four-stroke engine is mercifully quiet. So conversation with your pilot guide is possible, and it’s also surprisingly maneuverable and comfortable.

Parks & Areas

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Exploring the Delta (2 Nights)
2 Nights

Exploring the Delta

The Okavango Delta largely defies description and really needs to be seen to be believed. It is categorically not a swamp, in fact the waters are ridiculously clear, caused by a combination of fact that the water is always moving, but not fast enough to carry much sediment, and great stands of papyrus that act as a massive filtration system.

Your base for the next three days will be an island campsite reserved exclusively for your use. While you may encounter a few other boats while you are out and about, see the odd mokoro (a traditional fibreglass dug-out canoe) and hear the occasional light aircraft overhead, the camp has an extraordinarily private feel to it. Large walk-in tents with proper beds and en-suite bathrooms with bucket showers and chemical loos will provide plenty of comfort. When you’re not in camp eating, drinking or resting, you’ll be exploring the vicinity on foot or in the boat.

Walking is forbidden in Botswana’s national parks, and only permitted on private concessions, along with off-road driving and night drives. However, for reasons that nobody seems particularly sure of, there is a brazen disregard for this particular rule on the islands in the middle of the Delta.

Parks & Areas

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Moremi Game Reserve (2 Nights)
2 Nights

Moremi Game Reserve

After the watery wilderness at the heart of the Delta, the sudden dry and relatively parched atmosphere of the Moremi can come as quite a shock. Persevere. however, as the rewards are huge. Quite possibly the greatest showcase for Africa’s large predators on the continent, Moremi has a long and rich history of wildlife documentary making and you’ll soon see why.

One of the real strengths of Botswana has been it’s long-sighted ability to manage its parks so that people are not on top of one another. Among the many effective measures facilitating this is its collection of private campsites, which can only be booked on an exclusive basis by a reputable safari outfitter. This allows for incredibly privileged access to areas deep within the park.

While neither “wet” mobile in the Delta, or the “dry” mobile in Moremi are participatory — all the setting and breaking of camps is done for you, and your tents are serviced. It is also true to say that the focus is firmly on what’s outside the tent, and you won’t find any of the theatrical accoutrements such as bone-china tea cups or Persian rugs that are a feature of some of the more flamboyant, expensive operators. The meals are wholesome and hearty, rather than gourmet, but the ability to get you in amongst the action is second to none.

From Moremi, you will then return to Maun for your flight out. Giving you the chance to reflect on the remarkable diversity you’ve encountered in the space of less than a week.

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