Botswana Elephant Trail

Number of days

15

Start Location

Botswana

Group Size

2-12

Operated by

World Expeditions

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Enjoy the diversity of landscapes and wildlife in Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe on this semi-participation safari

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Itinerary

Kasane

We begin the tour in Kasane at 1.00pm. Transfers can be arranged (at additional cost) from Victoria Falls, Livingstone or Kasane airport/hotel to then meet for a full safari briefing. We depart mid-afternoon (15:30hrs in summer; 15:00hrs in winter) for a boat cruise on the Chobe River, enjoying our first Botswana sunset on the way back. We overnight in Kasane at a campsite with permanent toilet and shower facilities.

Kasane to Susuwe / West Caprivi National Park (270km, 3 - 4 hrs)

We will depart Kasane early to cross the Namibian border and then drive to the Susuwe region in the Caprivi Strip. After setting up camp we will explore a section of this largely untouched area on an afternoon game drive. With woodlands and sprawling floodplains the region has a rich diversity of wildlife to whet our appetites for game viewing. Camping is in a designated campsite with permanent facilities.

To Popa Falls (220km, 4 hrs)

We will rise with the sun and head west towards the Okavango River, where we willl camp on the banks overlooking Popa Falls. In the afternoon there is opportunity to visit these falls, which are a broad series of rapids (about 1.2km) dropping a short four metres over a fault line. Camping is in a designated campsite with permanent facilities.

Mahango Game Reserve and Tsodilo Hills (120km, 4 hrs)

By now we are used to the routine of rising with the sun to make the most early mornings, one of the periods when wildlife is most active. We search for animals in Mahango Game Reserve, within the Bwabwata National Park. This area is remote with very little development and has a rich abundance of wildlife across landscapes of floodplain, forest and open grassland. The drive through here is fascinating before we cross the border back into Botswana. We travel to the World Heritage Site of Tsodilo Hills and set up camp. This afternoon we will visit the museum and explore the walking trails around the ancient hills, home to thousands of traditional Bushmen paintings dating back to 800 AD. Camping is in a designated site with permanent facilities.

Okavango Delta (travel time from Tsodilo Hills 120km, 2hrs)

Early this morning we will drive to the edge of the Okavango Delta, the world's largest inland delta and a very special place. We will transfer our equipment to motorboats before puttering along the narrow papyrus-lined channels catching glimpses of brilliant birds as well as admiring the stunning landscape. Deeper in the Delta we will meet local polers with their mokoros (traditional dugout canoes) and enjoy a leisurely transfer to an island. We will base on the island and spend two days exploring this beautiful area by mokoro excursions and guided walks. The floodplains and islands of this unique natural environment provide a myriad of options for exploring and observing wildlife at ground level. We are really immersed in the wilderness, surrounded by the calls of nature and empowered by exquisite sunsets. Camping is basic with bush facilities.

Okavango Delta to Maun (320km, 4hrs)

Inspired by the beauty of the Okavango we will travel on to Maun. There is an option to take a scenic flight over the Delta to Maun at own expense (1hr flight, approx EUR 150 per person, min. 3 guests to guarantee the flight). This magical experience provides another perspective of the Okavango Delta’s unique waterways. If you choose to take the flight, you will enjoy a leisurely morning in the Delta campsite reading a book or relaxing while you wait for your afternoon flight. If you choose not to take the flight, you will retrace the journey back to the vehicle on the edge of the Delta and travel to Maun with the guide. After collecting those on the flight at the airport, we will spend the night at a campsite just outside Maun with permanent ablution facilities.

Moremi Game Reserve (Maun to Moremi is 150km, 2 - 3 hrs)

From Maun we will drive to Moremi Game Reserve, rated as one of the best wilderness areas of Botswana. The next three days will be spent searching for the wide variety of wildlife and birds for which this area is known while absorbing the sounds and beauty of this region. The Reserve was named after a chief from the local Batawana community and includes contrasting habitats ranging from thick mopane woodland, to drier acacia forests, to floodplains and lagoons. The familiar routine of game drives in the early morning as the sun rises and then again in the late afternoon as the sun sets will be the norm. After our morning game drive we will return to camp for lunch and a siesta. Camping will be in private designated campsites with bush facilities.

Chobe National Park

This morning we will drive 120km from Moremi to Savuti, in Chobe National Park. The journey takes 5 - 6 hrs, game driving en route to our first camp. With its diverse and striking landscapes, Chobe is the second largest national park in Botswana and is famous for its huge elephant population. As we search for wildlife, we will cross the drier plains region of Savuti in the south where bull elephants can often be seen. We will head northwards the following day to the Chobe River, game driving along the way (170km, 5hrs). We will explore the banks and wetlands along the river, hoping to glimpse elephants feeding and playing. As well as these giant creatures, birdlife is also prolific. We will start to recognise the call of the majestic African Fish Eagle and the brilliant colours of the Lilac-breasted Roller. Camping will be in private designated areas with bush facilities.

Chobe to Victoria Falls Zimbabwe (100km, 2 - 3 hrs)

After a morning game drive you will then drive to Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe side (Visa required), where you will spend the night at a comfortable lodge. In the afternoon there will be time to visit the thunderous Victoria Falls and shop for curios. Dinner will be at your own expense at the lodge.

In Victoria Falls Zimbabwe, trip concludes

The safari officially ends at 10:00am today. We are happy to arrange post-tour accommodation, activities and transfers to Victoria Falls Airport or lodges, Livingstone airport or lodges or Kasane, Botswana, at an additional cost. Activities in Victoria Falls include white water rafting down the Zambezi Gorge, canoeing on the upper Zambezi and helicopter flights over the Victoria Falls, please ask your guide for further details.

Additional Information

The diverse and beautiful wilderness of southern Africa is showcased entirely on this itinerary across Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. We experience the legendary Okavango Delta with its burgeoning wildlife filled channels and islands. Traveling by traditional dugout canoe or 'mokoro' we float past elephant, zebra, buffalo, wildebeest, hippo and kudu. We visit the semi-arid parks of Namibia that provide an alternative habitat for wildlife including elephants, giraffes and zebras. The big game haunts of Moremi and Chobe are home to lions and cheetahs, but provide us with another opportunity to see large herds of elephants in their natural environment. This itinerary also allows for an opportunity to walk amongst World Heritage rock art sites, created over the eons by the diminutive bushmen of southern Africa. We complete our journey at the Victoria Falls, where we observe the wide Zambezi River fall over one hundred breathtaking metres.

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