What To Expect
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. Undiscovered Okavango Delta 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.
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:
1:45 p.m., Maun Airport, Maun Botswana
Departure Time and Place:
12:30 p.m., Maun Airport, Maun Botswana
The winter season begins in May and ends in August. This is also the dry season when virtually no rainfall occurs. Winter days are generally sunny and cool to warm; however, during cold snaps, evening and night temperatures can drop below freezing in some areas. Please be prepared for chilly weather in theevening/night/morning and bring plenty of warm clothing, including a hat, gloves, long pants, fleece/wool top, and a windbreaker jacket.
Tents and public areas are not heated, though the public areas do have fire pits, and beds are warmed with hot water bottles on cold nights. Ponchos are available for use in the safari vehicles.
When To Go
There are excellent reasons to visit Botswana at any time of year. Our Undiscovered Okavango Delta Safari is scheduled for the peak season to explore all that the magical Okavango Delta has to offer: abundant wildlife, seasonal inundations (allowing for exploration by mokoro and boat in addition to traditional game drives), and ideal weather.
In May, the green season has ended but foliage remains on the trees and dust levels are low; flood waters begin arriving for the season. By August and into September, the dry winter season has begun to have an impact on both the landscape and the wildlife. The landscape is more arid in appearance although the floodwaters remain high, and the animals congregate in large numbers near the remaining watering holes. Predator and prey are often in close proximity in their intense need for water, leading to some memorable encounters.
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 in the month of 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.
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!
In the camps, the food is healthy, varied, and delicious, a feat when considering the logistics involved in servicing these remote areas with fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and meats. To accommodate our morning and late afternoon activity schedule, several small meals and a few large ones are served daily. The pre-game drive early breakfast typically includes porridge, cereals, yogurt, fruit, coffee and tea; brunch includes typical breakfast fare accompanied by more savory items like sausage tarts, spring rolls, light lasagnas, and other eclectic choices; afternoon tea offers cakes, cookies, and savory items; "sundowners" are light appetizers and cocktails often taken at a scenic spot in the bush; and finally, dinner, ordered from a menu with two or three daily choices. Beef, pork, and chicken are the basis of most main dishes, with occasional opportunities to try indigenous meats like farm-raised springbok.
Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice, though choices tend to be more limited.
While in the bush, transportation is provided in open-sided safari vehicles. Around cities, and for airport transfers, a shuttle van is used.
Camps on this safari are reached by small aircraft that may be shared with other travelers. This is typically in a 12-seater Cessna Grand Caravan, although the exact plane size and type can vary based on group size.