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12 Nights Botswana Classic Self-Drive Safari

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Tour Details

This Self-drive Mobile Camping Adventure safari has been specifically designed for the adventurous at heart who want to experience something different, authentic, and real – an experience where they can see, smell, taste and feel Africa.
This epic journey will take you through the country’s most spectacular wildlife areas. Moremi, Khwai and Savute provide the perfect combination of wilderness destinations for a truly memorable Botswana safari. You will explore the best wilderness areas in Botswana, where only a 4×4 vehicle can go. Your fully equipped vehicle allows you to drive through the wild areas of Botswana at your own pace. A highlight of this experience is wild camping through the Botswana national parks and private concessions.

Explore the Moremi Game Reserve home to a magical mix of waterways winding between secluded islands, woodlands and lily-covered lagoons. Then head north to the spectacular floodplains of the Khwai River which becomes a lifeline for wildlife as the African heat rises. Both areas are superb wildlife destinations attracting large concentrations of wildlife including the big cats. The next stop on this self-drive camping adventure is Savute Game Reserve where you will first explore the marshes of the famed Savuti Channel to witness lions and hyenas battle for supremacy. Then continue this adventure to the Chobe Riverfront famous for its huge elephant and buffalo herds and large lion pride followed by a relaxing sunset cruise on the Chobe River as you sip on your favorite drink – surrendered by the many animals which make their way down to drink from the river: Hippos, crocodiles, herds of elephant … as well as a plethora of birds. Round off this epic journey in style by crossing to the adrenaline capital – Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

Summary of your Trip
  • 1 Night Thamalakane River Lodge (Maun) Bed & Breakfast | Botswana
  • 2 Nights Moremi Game Reserve | Botswana
  • 2 Nights Khwai Concession | Botswana
  • 2 Nights Savute Game Reserve | Botswana
  • 2 Nights Ihaha (Chobe National Park) | Botswana
  • 1 Night Chobe Safari Lodge (Kasane) Dinner, Bed & Breakfast | Botswana
  • 2 nights Lokuthula (Victoria Falls) Bed & Breakfast | Zimbabwe
Price Includes
  • 4 x 4 Fully Equipped Hilux Vehicle hire (or similar) including all camping equipment, GPS, Satellite phone, unlimited kilometers, standard insurance
  • Pick up Maun Airport and drop off Kasane Airport
  • One way drop off fee (Maun - Kasane)
  • Accommodation as specified: Bed & Breakfast at Thamalakane River Lodge; 8 Nights campsite; Dinner, Bed & Breakfast at Chobe Bush Lodge and Bed & Breakfast basis at Lokuthula
  • Shared road transfers as specified In the itinerary
Price Excludes
  • International and Regional Flights
  • Entry visas
  • Vehicle fuel
  • Vehicle security deposit held on client’s credit card until safe return of the vehicle
  • Additional meals, drinks, optional activities
  • Private Charters/transfers or specialized guides
  • Gratuities and items of a personal nature (curios, gifts, etc)
  • Personal medical or travel insurances
Itinerary

Day 1Arrival Maun

Welcome to Botswana! You will be met on arrival at the Maun international airport by our representative. After a briefing session and all questions related to your Self-Drive camping adventure answered, you will be assisted in collecting your 4 x 4 rental vehicle. From there, you will drive to Thamalakane River Lodge, your accommodation for tonight.

Thamalakane River Lodge is situated on the banks of the Thamalakane River, 19km from Maun, on the road to the Moremi Game Reserve.
The lodge is built in stone and thatch and is nestled under tall trees on the banks of the river. Thamalakane River Lodge offers an escape from Maun in tranquil surroundings, yet with the convenience of proximity to town. All chalets have mosquito nets, tea and coffee-making facilities as well as a veranda overlooking the river. The lodge has a restaurant, a bar and a pool. Enjoy the lodge amenities and relax by the poolside and later enjoy dinner from the in-house restaurant.

Room Type: Chalet
Meal Basis: Bed & Breakfast

Day 2 - 3Moremi Game Reserve

After a good night’s sleep, it is time to step into Moremi Game Reserve, a pristine safari paradise. The reserve offers what is arguably some of the finest game viewings in southern Africa, in one of the continent’s richest and most diverse ecosystems.
Covering around 40 percent of the Okavango Delta, the Moremi Game Reserve is one of the great safari destinations in Botswana. Voted the best game reserve in Africa in the past, Moremi was the first wildlife sanctuary to be created by an African tribe on their own lands. The BaTawana people are concerned about wildlife depletion.
What makes Moremi Game Reserve so special is the terrain – a mix of forests, floodplains, lagoons and waterways dotted with lilies. Dry wetlands allow for stunning contrasts and support an excellent density and diversity of both predator and prey species with leopard sightings consistently good. There are also notably large lion pride, herds of Elephants, Cape wild dogs and buffalos, giraffes, rhinos, hippos, zebras, impalas and antelopes. From an ornithological perspective, an estimated 500 bird species call the Moremi Game Reserve home – among them saddle-billed storks, wattled cranes, kingfishers, bee-eaters and more.
Best of all, game viewing can be done by 4×4, by traditional mokoro canoe, and even on foot, all of them allowing for completely different safari experiences.

Overnight: Xakanaka campsite or similar
Meal basis: at leisure (own account)

Day 4 - 5Khwai Concession

Khwai is a community-run concession on the eastern border of the Moremi Game reserve. This concession links the Okavango Delta to the Linyanti and has a focus on land activities. This is an unfenced boundary allowing wildlife to move freely therefore the game is free to roam in and out as it wishes. Khwai is an area of outstanding beauty and due to the arid conditions to the north towards Savuti, the game will flock to the Khwai River, especially in the drier winter months.

The Khwai area offers the same wildlife experience as the reserve but the added advantage of being a private concession means the ability to do walking safaris and night drives. It is home to some of Botswana’s most beautiful landscapes which feature vast grass plains, a patchwork of lagoons, shallow pans and lush woodland forests.

Species in the conservancy include lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, zebra, cheetah, wild dog, giraffe, eland, sable, hippo, hyena and an array of nocturnal species. The area is also home to the relatively rare Roan and Sable Antelope. In fact, the Khwai River is a hub for excellent wildlife viewing and this area of the Okavango Delta is a go-to location for all your favourite predators, particularly wild dogs and leopards
Birdlife is also strong and concentrates on the main river area where lovely flocks of pygmy geese and white-faced ducks mingle with spur-winged geese, comb ducks and African Jacanas.
Regarding plant life, Khwai Community Concession has a range of flora from mopane forest to acacia, especially rather fine camel thorn and bands of riverine forest in the vicinity of the Khwai River which includes sausage tree, leadwood, sycamore fig, fever-berry and jackal berry. The waterways sport beautiful lilies on the slower-flowing lagoons.

In addition to spectacular wildlife and an amazing ecosystem, visit the Khwai village where you can enjoy authentic cultural experiences. Explore the small, remote village and meet the locals to gain insight into traditional African culture and also to ask how tourism is benefitting them.

Overnight: Mbudi Community Campsite or similar
Meal Basis: at leisure (own account)

Day 6 - 7Savute Game Reserve

This morning, you will drive to Savute, a remote and wild corner of Chobe National Park. It stretches from the park’s northern boundaries to the Linyanti River. The area’s main feature is the mysterious Savute Channel, which flows and dries up seemingly unrelated to the rainfall. Dry and arid for almost 30 years, animals in the area were sustained by artificial waterholes.
Savuti has one of the highest concentrations of wildlife on the African continent, with year-round opportunities to view all kinds of game – from giraffes, elephants, zebras, and buffalos, to big cat predators like lions, cheetahs, and hyenas.

The Savute Channel is an unpredictable water source that flows from Linyati to the heart of Chobe National Park and Savuti Marsh. The water has appeared and dried up again many times over the centuries, leading to a diverse landscape. The scenery is certainly striking, from the desert-like patches covered in sand to the verdant grassy plains, pans holding water for animals long into the dry season, and the Gubatsa Hills, an outcrop of dolomite rocks rising an astonishing 90 meters out of the ground.
The Savute Channel is the famous stage whereby mega-prides of lions compete with large clans of hyenas for food and territory. The Savuti Channel which was dry for decades now flows again with crystal clear waters and the open woodlands where large herds of antelope and buffalo are hunted by big cats and wild dogs. Savuti is a long-favoured destination choice for safari aficionados.

November-March is the best time to visit, but whenever you go you are guaranteed to spot some wildlife. In the dry season, elephants, impala, and kudu congregate at the water holes to quench their thirst. In the wet season, the Savuti Marsh is almost covered in rare types of birds, who flock to the area to raise their young and join the 300 different species already living there. Zebras also migrate during this period, meaning predators come out to hunt the beasts grazing on the marsh, and the game viewing is excellent.

Overnight: Savute Campsite or similar
Meal Basis: at leisure (own account)

Day 8 - 9Chobe River Front

Your next stop on this adventure takes you west of Kasane to the Chobe Riverfront also known as the Serondela area is renowned for high concentrations of wildlife which roam lush floodplains and dense mahogany and teak woodlands. Large breeding herds of elephants converge to drink from the Chobe River during the dry winter months, along with great numbers of giraffes, sable and buffalo. More than 460 bird species have been recorded here, including the Pel’s fishing owl, carmine bee-eaters, fish eagles, storks, herons and all manner of kingfishers.

Overnight: Ihaha Campsite
Meal Basis: at leisure (own account)

Day 10Kasane

This morning you will exchange your camping gear with a lodge room as you will be taking a slow drive from the Campsite to Kasane Airport where you will be dropping your 4 x 4 rented car and connecting with your road transfer to Chobe Bush Lodge or Safari Lodge.
On arrival at the lodge, enjoy welcome drinks while completing the check-in procedure and then settle in your luxury room.
With its intimate, modern and contemporary design, Chobe Bush Lodge is found in Kasane along the Chobe River, within eye distance of Chobe Safari Lodge. Chobe Bush Lodge offers modern, spacious rooms in a tranquil setting. The entrance gate to Chobe National Park is a short 5-minute drive away, and the boat cruises enter the park directly from the lodge.
“We are close to three international airports – Victoria Falls, Livingstone and Kasane – and daily road transfers or charter flights connecting all these airports with Chobe Bush Lodge make us easily accessible”.
Around midday, enjoy a delicious lunch (own account) at the lodge after which it is a relaxing time.
Spend the afternoon enjoying the lodge amenities or if you still need some more wildlife spectacle, then join the afternoon scheduled activity (at an extra cost) and enjoy a relaxing sunset cruise on the ‘Fish Eagle’ or ‘Kingfisher’ – a double-decker boat with bar facilities. The trip offers a unique and exciting African game-viewing experience.
Later enjoy a delicious dinner at the lodge around a cracking African fire – it is time to exchange tales of your spectacular wildlife experiences with fellow travellers.

Room Type: Luxury Room
Meal Basis: Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

Day 11 - 12Victoria Falls

This morning, after breakfast followed by check-out procedures you will be picked up for your road transfer (shared road) to Victoria Falls. Get your passport ready to avoid any delay at the border. On arrival in Victoria Falls, you will be dropped at Lokuthula Lodge where you will be spending the last 2 nights of this epic self-drive camping journey.
The town offers a plethora of activities to meet any preference.
Get up close to the mighty Victoria Falls on a guided walking tour and listen to your experience guide unpack the myth of the “smoke that Thunder” and you will understand why it has been added to the famous list of UNESCO Heritage sites.
Soar above majestic Victoria Falls on an adrenalin-pumping helicopter flight or you may also visit some local craft markets to get some souvenir gifts for the family back home.

Room Type: Standard Room
Meal Basis: Bed & Breakfast

Day 13Going Home

Today your African journey comes to an end. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and depending on your departure flight time, you may squeeze in one more last activity before you are collected by your shared road transfer to the airport where you will connect with your international flight for an onward flight to private arrangements.

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