Botswana - 15 Day - Vic Falls, Caprivi & Moremi Self-Drive Safari

Tour Code:BSD05
Safari Type:Self-Drive Tour or Private Guided Safari
Duration:15 Days / 14 Nights
Departure Days:Any date of your choice & Advanced bookings recommended
Departure Location:Victoria Falls - Zimbabwe
Tour ends:Maun - Botswana
Countries:Zimbabwe - Botswana - Namibia

Routing Highlights:

Victoria Falls – Kasane – Chobe River – Chobe National Park – Katima Mulilo – Caprivi – Mudumu National Park – Kwando River – Shakawe – Okavango Delta Panhandle – Tsodilo Hills – Maun – Moremi Game Reserve – Khwai River - Maun

Victoria Falls, Chobe, Caprivi Strip, Okavango Panhandle, Maun & Khwai

 

 

Tour Summary:

Days Region Optional daily Activities & Highlights
1 / 2 Victoria Falls
  • Road transfer from Victoria Falls Airport to Ilala Lodge
3 / 4 / 5 Kasane
  • Road transfer from Ilala Lodge to Chobe Safari Lodge
  • Pick-up hire car at Chobe Safari Lodge including a detailed briefing
6 / 7 Caprivi Strip, Namibia
  • Self-drive from Chobe Safari Lodge into Namibia via Ngoma Border to Nkasa Lupala
  • boat cruise
8 / 9 Okavango Panhandle
  • Self-drive from Nkasa Lupala into Botswana via Mohembo Border to Shakawe River lodge
10 Okavango Panhandle
  • Self-drive to Guma Lagoon Camp (detour to Tsodillo Hills en-route recommended)
11 Maun
  • Self-drive to Thamalakane River Lodge
12 / 13 Khwai Community Area
  • Self-drive from Thamalakane River Lodge to Sango Safari Camp
14 Maun
  • Self-drive from Sango Safari Camp to Maun
15
  • Guests will self-drive to Maun Airport for vehicle drop off and for their onward travel arrangements.

Itinerary:

Day 1 and 2

Victoria Falls

Upon arrival into Victoria Falls Airport, guests will be met and transferred to their Lodge by road.

Area Description – VICTORIA FALLS

Victoria Falls town lies on the southern bank of the Zambezi River at the eastern end of the Victoria Falls. It is a lovely tourist town which is easy to explore on foot and which offers a wide range of activities from the challenge of white water rafting and bungee jumping, to the awe-inspiring elephant back safaris and sunset cruises. It has something for everyone.

The Victoria Falls are one of the natural Seven Wonders of the World and is the largest sheet of falling water on earth - a spellbinding and mesmerizing spectacle. The sheer mass of water cascading down the 100m drop across nearly 2km makes  a thunderous roar and creates a magnificent spray of water that can be seen for miles - hence the local name 'mosi oa tunya' meaning 'the smoke that thunders'.

Access to Victoria Falls is within easy walking distance from the town centre. Water flow over the Falls varies throughout the year. The river's annual flood season is February to May when the spray can reach a height of over 400m, this is spectacular from above but it makes it very difficult to see the Falls at ground level as it is under a heavy shower/mist. Water levels start dropping in August and are at their lowest October - December when much of the rocky face becomes dry. At times of low water, the falls are best viewed from the Zimbabwe side or from Livingstone Island.

Day 3,4 and 5

Kasane - Chobe River

Guests will be transferred by road to their Lodge in Kasane.

On arrival guests will pick-up their rental vehicle pick up and receive a full vehicle briefing.

Area Description – CHOBE

The Chobe River Front is a remarkable wildlife area due to the permanent water source of the Chobe River. However its accessibility from Kasane and neighbouring towns of Victoria Falls and Livingstone has created quite a busy tourist area with larger hotels and lodges than you find in the more remote Okavango Delta. The spectacle of all the animals coming to drink and frolic at the water's edge is one to behold, particularly in the dry season (May - Oct) where water is scarce away from the river. It is an area famous for its abundance of elephants, a variety of predators and, in addition, you are likely to see herds of buffalo and possibly even roan and sable antelope. In the rainy season (Nov - Apr) the game is much less concentrated at the river as the wildlife spread throughout the greater area of Chobe National Park due to availability of surface water from nearby pans. This assists the vegetation on the river banks in recovering from the massive herds that are attracted to the area in the dry months. The summer rains bring beautiful wild flowers, exquisite scenery, impressive bird life and an abundance of young animals usually born around November/December. The spectacular Chobe sunsets alone are worth a visit to the area. Please note that activities are restricted within the national park in accordance with government rules and regulations: these include no driving off-road, no walking and no driving after dark.

Day 6 and 7

Caprivi - Namibia

Guests will self-drive to Nkasa Lupala in Namibia’s Caprivi Strip via the Ngoma Border Post, (250km)

Optional activities available are: game drives in the Nkasa Lupala National Park (Mamili), Mudumu National Park and Wuparo Conservancy, additional boat cruises, Mokoro trips, walking safaris, Mayeyi cultural festival and Traditional village tour. Sightings during these activities include elephants, buffalo, hippo, lions, leopard, impala, kudu, zebra wildebeest, roan and sable. Boat cruises are conducted in the channels of the Kwando-Linyanti delta, with great opportunity to sight special water adapted antelopes such as waterbuck, reedbuck, sitatunga and lechwe.

Day 8 and 9

Okavango Panhandle

Guests will self-drive to Shakawe (+/- 5hours).  Please note: guests may prefer to detour for a game drive in Mahembo Game Reserve en-route to Shakawe (park fees payable direct).

Area Description: OKAVANGO PAN HANDLE

Before the Okavango River fans out into its familiar delta shape, its waters are channeled between steep banks created by parallel fault lines. This channel is commonly known as the Pan Handle, named as such as the Delta takes on the appearance of a giant frying pan lying in the heat of the Kalahari.

Permanent deep water has encouraged the growth of villages along the river, particularly on the western side which is accessed by a tarred road. The communities up in this area are mainly fishing based or cattle farming and there are opportunities for some colorful encounters with the locals and the area offers a true glimpse of village life, often not seen in Botswana as guests often only visit the uninhabited wildlife areas.

The Panhandle area is not within a protected reserve or park, but there are still huge areas of unspoiled wetlands and a number of well-established lodges on the western side. The wetlands offer exquisite birdlife, a huge population of hippos and some of the largest crocodiles to be found. The general wildlife common in the lower delta is less abundant in this area. The focus of activities in the area are water based - motor boating and fishing, and it is possible to travel by road or boat to the eastern side of the river where there are community based mokoro excursions offered. The Pan Handle area is also in proximity to the world heritage site of Tsodilo Hills. Being the spiritual home of the San and Bantu people, the hills feature many well preserved specimens of 'rock art' and there is a small museum where it is possible to hire a local guide for a personal tour of the area. The annual barbell run of catfish ( September/October)  attract hunting tiger fish in large numbers and is the best time for serous anglers to experience this fascinating phenomenon and catch this awesome predatory game fish.

Day 10

Okavango Panhandle

Guests will self-drive to Guma Lagoon Camp; truly a fisherman's paradise and bird watchers' haven.

It is recommended that guests detour to Tsodillo Hills en-route.  Please allow 6 hours driving time if visiting Tsodilo Hills.

Area description: TSODILO HILLS

Derived from the Hambukushu tribal language "sorile" which means sheer or upright, The Tsodilo Hills are one of the most historical and momentous art sites in the world. These hills consist of four (4) large rocks rising phenomenally from the flatness of the desert. The bigger rock is referred to as the "male", the smaller as the "female" and the smallest one as the "child". Legend has it that the 4th Hill was the "male" hills first wife, whom he left for a younger woman, and who now looks on in the background. The hills are regarded as the Bushmen's sacred and ancestral haven, where the spirits of their forefathers rule the world. Folk tale also has it that these Hills are where God lowered man to earth.

There are rock paintings on all the rock hills, which covers nine square kilometres of rock in a 22 square kilometre area. This artwork is believed to have been done by the first Bushmen, who painted more than three thousand five hundred paintings on the hills, and the oldest paintings are thought to be more than twenty thousand years old. The best sites are seen at the north end of the female hill.

Day 11

Maun

Guests will self-drive to Maun (320 km +/- 5 hours)

Area description: MAUN

Situated along the banks of the Thamalakane River, in the North-West District of Botswana, Maun serves as the administrative town center of Ngamiland. The name Maun originates in the San language, meaning "the place of reeds”. Maun is notoriously known as a "frontier" town, and is referred to as the “gateway” to the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve, as most tourists enter these destinations through this buzzing town.

Although classified as one of the fastest growing towns in Botswana Maun still retains much of its old/traditional (village-like) character. The town is not considered “scenic” and reed and mud hut infrastructures as well as donkey carts and livestock dominate the picture. Despite numerous hotels, lodges and bed & breakfasts, standards in Maun are not comparable to the accommodation in the Delta. Maun serves as the headquarters for the safari industry, tour operators and air charter companies that offer trips into the Okavango Delta and the surrounding wildlife areas. Maun Airport is one of the busiest airports in southern Africa, albeit most guests arriving by airplane spend very little time in town as they are transferred to the camps at the very same day.

Day 12 and 13

Khwai Community Area

Guests will self-drive from Maun to the Khwai River area. (+/- 4 hours if driving through Moremi Game Reserve, entering South Gate & exiting North Gate driving on the cutline)

Area Description: KHWAI COMMUNITY AREA

Moremi Game Reserve is surrounded by wildlife management areas of the Okavango, with no boundaries between the concessions and the reserve allowing wildlife to move between the woodlands in the wet season when water is plentiful and back to permanent rivers and lagoons in the dry season. The prior inhabitants in the area (the River Bushmen) were moved to the periphery of the reserve, establishing Khwai village near the North Gate exit of the park. The Khwai area is managed by the community through the Khwai Development Trust. This area offers the same wildlife experience as the reserve itself. A key advantage of being outside the reserve is the freedom to do walking safaris and night drives as the area is not governed by the same rules.

The vegetation is varied, with dry land complemented by permanent and seasonal swamplands, resulting in an excellent diversity of both wildlife and birdlife. Game is more concentrated around the permanent water during the dry season (Apr - Oct) with it becoming very hot in the later months. The rainy season (Nov - Apr) invigorates the lush scenery with wild flowers, dramatic thundershowers, spectacular sunsets and the birthing season brings great predator and prey interaction.

Day 14

Maun

Guests will self-drive to Maun.

Day 15

SAFARI ENDS IN MAUN

Guests will self-drive to Maun Airport for vehicle drop off and for their onward travel arrangements.

 

 

Please note:

  • This tour can also be done as a Private Guided Safari or Fly-In Safari.
  • As Custom Design Travel Specialists we can tailor-make any      itinerary to suit your individual needs, interests, style and travel      budget.

 

IMPORTANT:

Clients who are choosing to self-drive must please be made aware that travel in Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia involves bad roads, thick sand roads, seasonal flooding, river crossings, vast areas with no communications, livestock and wild animals on the roads particularly at night, limited access to fuel and emergency services.  Clients should always travel in a 4x4 with high clearance, preferably in convoy, and have a satellite phone and GPS.  Travel should definitely not be undertaken after sunset and before sunrise.

Park fees for Botswana to be paid at DWNP office in Kasane/Maun or at the entrance gate of the Parks. All fees must be paid in local currency.

Notes:

Vehicle hire costs include: 11 days rental period, vehicle hire fee Maun – Maun, unlimited kilometres, super excess insurance including collision damage waiver, satellite phone & navigation system, medivac and cleaning fee with detailed vehicle briefing on pick-up

 

Excludes:

  • Visas & Vaccinations –      Please check with your local embassy
  • All drinks with the exception of      Sango Safari Camp where local drinks are included
  • All activities with the      exception of Sango Safari Camp where activities are included
  • Additional meals at Ilala Lodge,      Thamalakane River Lodge & lunches at Chobe Safari Lodge
  • Park fees and vehicle entrance      fees on day 11 and 13 if driving through Moremi Game Reserve en route      to/from Sango (see full details below)
  • Premium imported wines,      champagnes, spirits & liqueurs at Sango
  • Errors and omissions
  • Park fees and vehicle entry fees      (see details below)
  • Increases in park fees,      government taxes and levies, exchange rate fluctuations and fuel      surcharges

Enquire for your Personal Itinerary