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  • Botswana: Okavango Delta & Kalahari Flying Safari
Overview

Explore Botswana's time of abundance, with baby animals and watchful mothers, and air filled with birdsong

The five-million hectare Central Kalahari Game Reserve is one of Africa’s largest protected areas. During Botswana’s green season from December to April, the Kalahari’s wide-open spaces are brimming with diverse wildlife, from the graceful oryx to the legendary black-maned Kalahari lions.

In sharp contrast to the austere beauty of the Kalahari, the Okavango Delta is an intensely vibrant wetland attracting a diversity of wildlife including lion, leopard, cheetah, numerous plains animals, and one of the largest elephant populations in Africa.

Boundless Journeys’ Okavango Delta & Kalahari Flying Safari is timed for the green season, when baby animals frolic next to watchful mothers. Bush flights efficiently whisk us off to the most remote regions of these areas, allowing us a Botswana safari experience shared by few others. In private reserves, you’ll be immersed in these wildlife-rich areas in almost complete solitude.

Along the way, we’ll enjoy traditional safari activities such as game drives, nature walks with San Bushman descendants, and mokoro canoeing (water levels permitting), followed by restful evenings at deluxe permanent safari camps.

For those looking to experience more in this region, optional extensions to your Boundless Journeys adventure are offered to Victoria Falls — one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World — or to Cape Town, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and more.

Why Trust Your Botswana Safari to Boundless Journeys?
To develop a collection of truly unique safaris, Boundless Journeys has partnered with some of the best safari outfitters in Southern and Eastern Africa. In addition to experienced guides, first-class vehicles, and a diverse selection of camp and lodge options, our partners’ conservation efforts and community-mindedness are great matches for Boundless Journeys’ core philosophy.

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Itinerary &
Accommodations

Itinerary & Accommodations

Days 1 - 3

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

  • Activity Overview: Twice daily safari activities--Game driving, optional nature walks, and cultural insights
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Activity Length: 5-6 hours

Upon arrival in Maun, we will gather as a group and be met by our guide to be flown by light aircraft deep into the Kalahari Desert. A vast, virtually untouched landscape reveals itself below, and soon we land at our remote airstrip, where our safari vehicle awaits. This afternoon, we'll enjoy our first unforgettable game drive, followed by dinner at our intimate desert lodge.

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve dominates central Botswana, with 12 million acres of protected wilderness. Surrounding our lodge is an expanse of scrub-covered dunes cradled in ancient river valleys, and with the sporadic seasonal showers from November-April, the desert springs to life. Hordes of plains game, followed by numerous predators such as the impressive black-maned Kalahari lions, cheetah, and brown hyena, produce some of the best summer wildlife viewing in Botswana. The incredible array of animals includes impressive herds of wildebeest, gemsbok, and springbok, along with unique smaller species such as bat-eared fox and the ever comical meerkat colonies. Bird life is also prolific, with over 220 species represented, from the Crimson-breasted Shrike to the Southern Pied Babbler.

During our days here, we'll enjoy game drives with epic wildlife viewing, along with nature walks to explore the less obvious signs of nature, and have the opportunity to spend time with camp staff, who will introduce us to their fascinating San Bushman heritage. Our luxury lodge features just 10 spacious, permanent tents on wooden platforms with rooftop decks, ideal for an optional sleepout under an incredible, star-filled sky. Far from more touristed areas, we have the desert plains virtually to ourselves.

Accommodations
Kalahari Plains Camp

Kalahari Plains Camp

Situated near the famous Deception Valley, Kalahari Plains Camp offers some of the best summer (Dec-April) wildlife viewing opportunities in Africa. The solar powered camp has six ensuite tents and a central area with lounge, dining area and bar, all raised off the ground to catch the breeze and take in the sweeping views across the Kalahari. Guests can enjoy the swimming pool, game drives, stargazing, and cultural interpretive walks with Bushmen.

Days 4 - 5

Okavango Delta

  • Activity Overview: Twice-daily safari activities—mokoro canoe excursions, game viewing by boat, and guided nature walks (depending on animal activity and water levels)
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Activity Length: 5-6 hours

After a final morning game drive and brunch at our camp on Day 4, a morning bush flight returns us to Maun, where we connect to another bush flight to us to our next camp, situated deep in the heart of the Okavango Delta. Our flight provides a remarkable and beautifully scenic introduction to one of the world's most unusual ecosystems. The Delta represents life at its most fertile -- abundant water, sunlight, and rich soil combine to form a paradise bursting with life and a landscape of indescribable beauty.

This area's abundant water allows for the Delta's most sublime experiences, and activities over the next two days will likely include mokoroing (Africa's answer to the Venetian gondola) and motorboat outings, complemented by nature walks.

Wildlife here includes water-loving species, such as elephant, hippo, lechwe, reed buck, sitatunga and crocodiles, not to mention spectacular birding, with some 450 species recorded. All of this in complete solitude with only a few other camp visitors exploring the area; a huge advantage of staying in a private reserve.

Accommodations
Pelo Camp

Pelo Camp
Okavango Delta (Water Camp)

Set on a small heart-shaped island (pelo means ‘heart’) in one of the most remote areas of the Okavango Delta, Pelo Camp is an intimate, unpretentious five-roomed camp. Each spacious tented room offers two full or one king-sized bed with ensuite facilities. A lounge and dining area under canvas are complemented by a traditional African ‘boma’, and there is also a plunge pool. A true "water camp," Pelo offers mokoro (dugout canoe) excursions, guided nature walks, and game-viewing by motorboat.

Days 6 - 8

Moremi Game Reserve

  • Activity Overview: Twice-daily safari activities—game driving and optional nature walks with an armed ranger
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Activity Length: 5-6 hours

On the morning of Day 6, we depart our camp and board our next bush flight over the shimmering waters of the Okavango Delta. Our home for the next three nights is an intimate, five-room luxury tented camp located in the private Chitabe reserve to the southeast of the renowned Moremi Game Reserve.

While here, our guide further immerses us to the wilderness on day and night game drives in open 4 x 4 vehicles, as well as on nature walks. Chitabe's variety of habitats ensures diverse and interesting wildlife viewing, including elephant, lion, zebra, giraffe, tsessebe, and impala, a high density of predators, as well as the very special possible sighting of wild dogs.

Accommodations
Chitabe Lediba

Chitabe Lediba
Chitabe Concession (Land Camp)

Chitabe Lediba Camp is an intimate Okavango Delta camp ideal for small groups or families. Five spacious tents, including two family tents, are built on raised decks and feature ensuite bathrooms with outdoor showers and panoramic views of the Delta. The dining area, lounge and pool have a glorious vantage over the water hole where wildlife comes to drink. The camp’s wide range of habitats makes for amazing wildlife sightings on day and night game drives and nature walks.

Day 9

Departure or Extend to Victoria Falls

On the morning of Day 9, our final scenic bush flight returns us to Maun, where we say goodbye to each other and the shimmering waters of the Okavango Delta, in time for departure on early afternoon flights.

Alternatively, you may wish to extend your trip to visit other regions; from Cape Town to Victoria Falls, Boundless Journeys offers a wide variety of extensions to help you make the most of your African safari experience. Please call 1-800-941-8010 to discuss the possibilities.

Please note that this is a typical itinerary, and actual activities may vary due to weather conditions, local events, and to allow serendipity to play a hand in your experience. Accommodations are as outlined in the itinerary, although we reserve the right to change these or the order visited should the need arise.

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Dates &
Prices

Dates And Prices

2019
Trip Length

9 Days

Trip Dates

Feb 7-15, 2019

Mar 25-Apr 2, 2019

2019 Land Cost

From $7,895 Per Person


Internal Airfare

$1,350 Per Person

Light Air Transfers (Maun-Maun)

Single Supplement

First two reserved:$1,395

Additional:$1,895

See single supplement policy below.

2019 Pricing Protection

2019 pricing will be set by late spring 2018. Until then, Boundless Journeys is offering pricing protection as follows: we will offer the 2018 price on 2019 safaris, up to a price increase of 5%. If the price goes up by more than 5%, you will only be asked to pay the difference between a 5% increase and the actual increase.

What's Included

  • Expert leadership
  • Services of safari camp staff, including laundry service
  • Scheduled bush flights
  • All accommodations
  • All meals
  • Local beer, wine, and cocktails
  • All activities noted in the itinerary, such as daily game drives, night drives, mokoro excursions, and tracking walks
  • Gratuities for porterage, camp staff, mokoro paddlers, rangers, and transfer drivers
  • Mountainsmith duffle bag for each participant; the perfect size to pack for a safari!
Single Supplement Policy

Accommodations (hotels, tents, cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability. If you reserve at least 120 days prior to departure, you may be eligible for a reduced or free single supplement.* This is generally limited to the first one or two solo travelers to reserve, and the reduction is outlined in the pricing for each trip. Please note, free or reduced single supplements are not combinable with other offers or promotions.

If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If you reserve at least 120 days ahead and a roommate is not available, you will only be charged a “forced” single supplement in the amount of 50% of the standard single supplement* (unless otherwise noted in the detailed itinerary). Single accommodations are limited so you are encouraged to reserve early!

* This does not apply to cruises in the Galapagos Islands. Please see these trip pages for more details.

What To
Expect

What To Expect

Physical Activity

Boundless Journeys' trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Okavango Delta & Kalahari Flying Safari is rated 1, easy, on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the most strenuous). Our primary activities require little aerobic fitness, but some agility for getting in and out of vehicles and mokoro canoes, and walking through uneven terrain.

This trip can be enjoyed by anyone who is in reasonably good health. We will walk where possible, but this is often determined by the local area and country regulations. NOTE: These optional walks are at your own risk, and can take you close to potentially dangerous wild animals.

Meeting Point

Maun, Botswana

Departure Point

Maun, Botswana

Traveling To and From

Most Convenient Airport:

  • For international flights into Africa: O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa (airport code JNB)
  • For arrival Botswana on Day 1: Maun Airport, Maun, Botswana (airport code MUB)
  • For departure from Botswana on Day 9: Maun Airport, Maun, Botswana (airport code MUB); if extending your trip, further instructions will be provided for alternate departure airports

Meeting Time and Place:
1:15 p.m., Maun Airport, Maun Botswana

Departure Time and Place:
12:35 p.m., Maun Airport, Maun Botswana

Preparing for This Trip

If you would like to take advantage of the optional nature walks, you may wish to engage in easy aerobic activities for 30-45 minutes a few times a week for several weeks before the trip. Consult your doctor before undertaking any new fitness program.

Weather

The summer season runs from November - March. This is also the green season when sporadic rainfall occurs. However, this should be understood in the context of a desert environment, where rainfall is short lived and may only occur as a shower once every several days. This is also the warmer time of year, when early morning and evening temperatures are most comfortable for game drives. If the midday is hot, plunge pools back at camp provide an ideal spot to cool off.

Botswana

Jan-Feb

High: 89
Low: 66

Mar-Apr

High: 88
Low: 60

May-Jun

High: 80
Low: 45

Jul-Aug

High: 80
Low: 45

Sept-Oct

High: 83
Low: 59

Nov-Dec

High: 89
Low: 66

The Safari Experience

A variety of activities are included on this safari, but the primary activity is game driving. The wildlife is typically most active early in the morning and late in the afternoon (these times also provide the best light for photography), and therefore we plan our activities accordingly. Typically, one of the camp staff will knock at your tent door early in the morning, and the group will gather for a quick, light breakfast and coffee or tea before departing camp as the sun rises. We move slowly, and even when animals are not present, the landscape and sounds of the bush are entrancing. We spend a few hours exploring and observing animals at watering holes or on the move from one region to another. As we come upon groups of animals, we allow plenty of time to simply observe and also take photographs. Our guides are experienced naturalists and will add greatly to your understanding of the animals. We keep a respectful distance -- although the same cannot always be said about the animals, and it is not unusual to come nose-to-car with baboons, zebras, wildebeest, gazelles, and elephants. By mid-late morning, we return to camp where a delicious brunch awaits.

After brunch, we enjoy a few hours of down time, enjoying the amenities of camp, resting, birdwatching, taking photos, or perhaps reading about the region you are visiting.

In the afternoon, we gather for hors d'oeuvres and drinks before heading out for the afternoon activity. Some days this will be another game drive, while other times we may board mokoros for a quiet exploration of the waterways near camp or explore the area on foot in the company of our guide and a ranger. "Sundowners" -- a light snack and cocktails in the bush, are an African safari tradition, and a great way to enjoy unforgettable African sunsets. We then make our way back to camp, sometimes driving with a spotlight to look for nocturnal animals.

In the evenings, dinner is enjoyed as a group, and will vary from seated meals ordered from the daily menu, to dining in the camp boma (a traditional protected outdoor dining area) with a feast of traditional African foods and entertainment by the camp staff. These are joyful performances where it is often difficult to tell who is having more fun -- the staff or the camp guests!

When to Go

There are excellent reasons to visit Botswana at any time of year. Our Okavango Delta & Kalahari Flying Safari takes advantage of best the green season has to offer: from abundant wildlife (including many baby animals born from December - April), to sporadic showers that bring the Kalahari Desert to life and keep dust levels low, and water activities based around permanent rivers of the Okavango Delta.

No matter when you choose to go, you will see more elephants, giraffes, zebras, gazelles, buffalos, hippos, and big cats than you can keep track of!

For those with an interest in an extension trip to Victoria Falls, it is important to note that the amount of water going over the falls during the dry season is highest from February -May, and becomes progressively less as the season advances; by August and September, there is little water passing over the Zambian side of the falls. At this time, a tour of the Zimbabwe side of the falls is recommended. In either case, spending time on the Zambezi River is an ideal way to top off your safari experience.

Guides

Featured Guides

About Our Guides

With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work—the mark of a truly great leader—our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own. Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. You will be informed of the guide for your trip one month prior to your departure.

From $7,895 / person* *airfare not included
9 Days
Reserve This Tour
  • Departure Dates: Feb 7-15, 2019
    Mar 25-Apr 2, 2019


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Activity Level 1 Easiest

Optional easy walks; games drives on bumpy terrain. Some agility required for getting in and out of boats and vehicles.

Read about our Activity Levels
  • Group Size: 2-8 Guests

Make it Your Own!

This trip can be your own adventure by taking over one of our scheduled dates, or we can request a fresh one.

Prefer a Custom Tour?

Questions?

Our dedicated team of travel experts are here to help.

1-800-941-8010

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