Botswana Comprehensive

Taking you through the most important regions of Botswana

Duration – 16 nights  |  Price  Euro2,570 – 2,770
When – All Year

Highlights

  • 1 night - Hainaveld Kalahari
  • 4 nights - Central Kalahari
  • 1 night - Maun
  • 3 nights - Okavango
  • 3 nights - Moremi and Khwai
  • 3 nights - Savuti and Chobe
  • 1 night - Lodge in Vic Falls, Zimbabwe

This Safari provides a comprehensive and broad travelling experience throughout Botswana – introducing you to one of the oldest cultures in the world, the San Bushman, before enjoying the magical Okavango Delta and exploring Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park.

Part participation Safari - What is this?

This is a “part participation safari”, you are only required to pitch and fold down your own tent. All cooking, cleaning and any other camp chores will be taken care of by the safari camp-hands, made up of an experienced safari guide and a camp assistant.

This safari does not include your drinks which will need to be purchased before you leave. We will help you with this.

Our tents are 2.1m x 2.1m x 1.75m high, easy-to-erect bow tents, which have treated mosquito mesh covering all the windows and doors.

We provide 5cm high-density foam camping mattresses for each guest. You will need to provide your own sleeping bag. However, you can hire one from Safari Lifestyles (EUR 20 for the duration of the safari).

Our bush ablutions consist of high-slung bucket showers and bush toilets with private canvas screens. These ablutions are on a shared basis.

Whats Included

  • Dome Tents
  • Communal shower and toilet
  • Small safari team
  • Meals on safari
  • Professional guide
  • Activities as specified

Whats Not Included

  • International Flights
  • Visas
  • Meals at hotels or restaurants
  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities
  • Alcoholic or soft beverages
  • Mobile Style: Budget
  • Participation: Part Participation
  • Route: Maun - Hainaveld - Central Kalahari - Maun - Okavango Delta - Maun - Moremi - Savute - Chobe - Vic Falls
  • Max Group Size: 12
  • Nights: 14
  • Activities: Game Drives, Boat Cruise, Bushman Walk

The Itinerary

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Day 1: Hainaveld Bushman Experience, camping

Please note: As the safari starts at 07h30 on Day 1 it is a requirement that you pre-night in Maun and purchase drinks for your safari the day before your safari starts. Safari Lifestyles can assist with pre-safari arrangements

The safari begins in Maun, where your guide will meet you at 07h30 at a pre-arranged meeting point. You will travel 170km to a game farm on the northern border of the Central Kalahari Game reserve, set up camp and have a safari briefing.

In the afternoon you will participate in a nature walk led by local Bushmen trackers. They will share their intricate bush knowledge and give you an insight into their unique and intriguing culture.

Day 1: Maun to Hainaveld: 180km, 4hrs

Accommodation: Lodge Campsite
Activities: Boat Cruise

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Days 2-5: Central Kalahari Game Reserve, camping

You will wake up as the sun rises and enter the pristine wilderness of the largest game reserve in Botswana. The next four days will be exploring the undeveloped wilderness of the northern region of the Kalahari, moving from camp to camp. You will visit Passarge Valley and Deception Valley in your exploration of the Kalahari. Savour the vast open spaces, clear night skies and uninterrupted beauty on game drives and at camp.

This is adventure camping in its purest form, water and communications are limited and we travel as a self-sufficient group. Camping is in a designated campsite with fixed/bush ablutions.

Day 2: Hainaveld to Central Kalahari Game Reserve: 120km, 4-5hrs (including game drive). Days 3-4: Extended game drives

Accommodation: Tented Camp
Activities: Game Drives

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Day 6: Maun, comfortable lodge

After our final morning game drive in the Kalahari we return to Maun. In the afternoon, you will have the option of taking a scenic flight over the Delta (45 min. Maun to Maun scenic flight, rate TBA – to be booked during the safari, payment in cash only). This magical experience provides another perspective of the Okavango Delta’s distinctive water system. During the flight it is even possible to spot large game animals such as Elephant, Giraffe and Hippopotami.

The night will be enjoyed in the comfort of a lodge. Dinner is at your own expense.

Deception Valley, Central Kalahari – Maun: 340km, 5-6h

Accommodation: Lodge room
Activities: Game Drives

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Day 7 – 9: Okavango Delta, camping

Your adventure will take you to the southern tip of the Okavango Delta, a special corner of paradise. Once you have reached the edge of the Delta, you will meet your polers from the local community with their mekoros (traditional dugout canoes).

Quietly cruising along reed lined channels and floodplains, you will enjoy the spectacular landscape of this unique region during the tranquil transfer taking you deeper inside the Delta. You will spend two days exploring this beautiful area with mokoro excursions and guided nature walks on the islands and floodplains of the Okavango, camping wild with bush ablutions on a small island for two nights.

Maun – Okavango Delta: 60km, 1.5-2h

NOTE: You will leave your main luggage in the trailer and will need to pack a smaller bag (small backpack, hand luggage) with what you need for the 2 days on the island. Transfers from the mainland to the island where you will stay are done on traditional dugout canoes (mekoros) which cannot accommodate large bags. Your main luggage will safely remain in the vehicle that will be parked in a secured area while you are on the island.

Accommodation: Tented Camp
Activities: Mokoro trips. Walking

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Days 10 – 12: Moremi Game Reserve, camping

Early morning of Day 10, you will enter Moremi Game Reserve, one of the best wilderness areas of Botswana which covers swamp and dry areas. The next three days will be spent searching for the wide variety of wildlife and birds that this area is renowned for while absorbing the sounds and beauty of this region. Game drives in the early morning as the sun rises and in the late afternoon as the sun sets will be the norm. After your morning game drives, you will return to camp for lunch and a siesta.

On Day 12 you will move campsites to explore a different area of this diverse park. Camping will be in private designated campsites with bush ablutions.

Community campsite outside Moremi – Western Moremi: 80km, 3-4h (transfer and game drive)

Accommodation: Tented Camp
Activities: Game Drives

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Days 13 – 15: Chobe National Park, camping

Chobe National Park, with its diverse and striking landscapes, will be your next destination. As you continue your search for wildlife, you will traverse the drier region of Savuti where bull elephants dot the plains. You will then head northwards to the Chobe River where your game drives will meander along the banks of the river, followed by the call of the majestic African Fish Eagle.

Camping will be in private designated areas with bush ablutions, first in the Savuti area (Day 13), then in the northern part of the park closer to the riverfront (Days 14 & 15).

Day 13: Eastern Moremi – Savuti: 120km, 7-8h (transfer and game drive)
Day 14: Savuti – Chobe River: 170km, 5-6h (transfer and game drive)

Accommodation: Tented Camp
Activities: Optional Scenic Flight

Days 16 – 17: A comfortable lodge in Vic Falls, Zimbabwe

After a short morning game drive you willthen 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.

The safari officially ends after breakfast on Day 17, at the lodge.

Safari Lifestyles is 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.

Accommodation: Lodge/Chalet accommodation
Activities: Game Drives

NOTE:

Although we make every effort to adhere to schedules and itineraries, these are subject to change subject to weather (specifically with current flood conditions, the driving times may differ between the areas quite considerably depending upon the time of year), roads, and animal movements and availability. You will be notified of any changes.

Scheduled Safari Departure Dates

2019

Prices can change, so please contact us for up to date information

January Euro 2570

3rd
24th

February Euro 2570

14th

March Euro 2570

7th

April Euro 2570

4th

May Euro 2570

2nd
23rd

June Euro 2570

16th

July Euro 2770

30th June
14th
28th

August Euro 2770

11th
25th

September Euro 2770

22nd

October Euro 2770

20th

November Euro 2570

14th

December Euro 2570

12th

When are you travelling?

 

Temperature C° 19 – 32
Rainfall average (mm) 110

Delta & North

Peak breeding time for many of the colourful migrant bird species. Excellent wild flowers, brilliant green foliage, constant sounds day and night, from insects and birds. The bush is alive. January is in the middle of the rainy season with spectacular afternoon thunder storms and warm days (average 30˚C plus) and nights (20˚C plus).

Salt Pans & Kalahari

The short grasses on the fossil river valleys begin to grow rapidly in the middle of the rainy season, attracting the herds of gemsbok, springbok and red hartebeest onto the valley floors. The salt pans are inundated with rain water and at Nxai Pan, thousands of zebra inhabit the pan providing a constant source of protein for the resident lion prides.

Temperature C° 19 – 31
Rainfall average (mm) 80

Delta & North

Ripe figs are eaten by many species including the fruit bats who make interesting night sounds while feeding. Water lilies flowering peak – colourful and noisy reed frogs – the Okavango Delta is brilliant, noisy and alive. With the rainy season all plants are growing actively, butterflies, birds, frogs and all the small creatures are at their most active and at their best. The rains continue in afternoon thunder storms with dramatic skies and sounds. Temperatures range up to 40°C but average above 30°C with warm nights (20°C plus)

Salt Pans & Kalahari

The Bat Eared fox young and other canids begin to forage for the first time and as they accompany their parents, they provide entertaining viewing as they attempt to hunt anything that vaguely resembles prey. The Katydid grasshopper populations are at their peak during their mating season and their distinct three phrase call dominates the hours of night. The predominant desert predators, lion and cheetah, are seen often as they inhabit the pans and river valleys, hunting the grazing herds at their leisure.

Temperature C° 18 – 32
Rainfall average (mm) 70

Delta & North

The mighty Zambezi is in full spate and river rafting is often closed now. The Victoria Falls are as powerful as they can be and very dramatic, truly one of the seven natural wonders of the world. In Botswana, the Marula trees fruit attract their attendant bull elephants, who wonder from tree to tree in search of their favourite mealsThe start of the rutting season leads to the sleek and fat impala males snorting and cavorting to attract females. Temperatures are still warm both day and night but the air is drier and the rains less frequent.

Salt Pans & Kalahari

A late summer afternoon, with the last clouds of the rainy season beginning to dissipate, the male barking geckos emerge to woo the females with a short three to four syllable barking sound. At Nxai Pan, the zebra have begun to move again, drifting in smaller herds towards the permanent water sources and winter grazing along the Boteti River, in the Makgadikgadi.

Temperature C° 14 – 31
Rainfall average (mm) 25

Delta & North

The first signs that the times are changing. Night time temperatures drop to below 20°C on average but day temperatures continue to rise up to 40°C on some days. The cooler mornings, with high relative humidity, lead to wonderful early morning mists over the waters. The impala rut is in full swing and the challenges continue right through the night with dramatic clashes between rival males.

Salt Pans & Kalahari

There is a distinct chill in the night air now, together with the distinct chirp of the rain locust. Any surface water left from the rains has already dried up and while there is still good grazing on the open pans, mammals, birds and reptiles are preparing for the long dry season ahead. At Nxai Pan, the numbers of mammals at the water hole continues to grow as the rain fed water holes are mostly dry.

Temperature C° 9 – 28
Rainfall average (mm) 7

Delta & North

Flood waters from Angola start to reach the top of the Okavango Delta and begin their slow and deliberate progress through this vast wetlands system. With rains past and atmosphere much drier, the nights are cooler with temperatures averaging 15°C, while day temperatures – though still warm – have lost their edge and maximum temperatures seldom exceed 35°C.

Salt Pans & Kalahari

The gemsbok females now seperate themselves from the herds as they prepare to give birth to young that look nothing like the adults. During the game drives, the young calves, which more closely resemble a red hartebeest or tsessebe, may be seen for brief periods when they come out of their hiding places to suckle. The atmosphere is increasingly dry, and the nights cooler with temperatures averaging 15°C, while daytime temperatures, though still warm, have lost their edge and maximum temperatures seldom exceed 30°C.

Temperature C° 6 – 25
Rainfall average (mm) 3

Delta & North

June is a time of excitement! The wild dogs begin to search for their annual den and our guides spend time seeking out their sites. Once they have denned, these rare animals will be easy to find for 3-4 months as they hunt from their den. Temperatures have dropped to their coldest by the end of June, with night temperatures reaching as low as 5°C.Some green bushes and trees have scattered their leaves but many are almost bare. Seasonal waterholes are beginning to dry up.

Salt Pans & Kalahari

The traditional yellows and greys of the Kalahari landscape dominate as any sign of the rains have passed. The Silky Bushmen grass on the edges of the pans sparkles in the dawn light after the first frost of the year. This is winter in the Kalahari and has to be experienced to be believed. It is a time of harsh and arid beauty when one can truly understand the incredible adaptations made by a multitude of species of plants, birds, mammals and reptiles in order to survive.

Temperature C° 6 – 25
Rainfall average (mm) 0 

Delta & North

The Delta floods arrive. The paradox is obvious: the flood arrives when dust and dryness pervade and the rains have long gone. The leaves continue to fall from the trees and the grasses are getting drier and shorter every day. This means that visibility for game viewing is excellent. The nights are still cold but the days are warm and pleasant. This is the typical Botswana weather, sunny and clear. More and more animals congregate near the water and flood plains for grazing

Salt Pans & Kalahari

No surface water exists in this ‘thirst land.’ The many species that survive here – including human beings – have adapted to utilise varied sources of drinkable liquid including the early morning dew, succulent plants, natural springs and even the blood of their prey. This is the Kalahari of legend.

Temperature C° 9 – 28
Rainfall average (mm) 0

Delta & North

The herds are getting larger and limited access to the water leads to tension between the breeding herds of elephant and the nights are filled with elephant sounds. The bush is bare and the dust pervades but there is abundant action and amazing sightings. The floods have passed through the Delta and now reach Maun. Thousands of herons, storks and other breeding birds start to congregate at the Gadikwe heronry.

Salt Pans & Kalahari

At this time, the larger herds disperse into smaller groups as they spread out into the desert seeking out grazing or browsing. The predators will follow them and ‘survival of the fittest’ best describes the mentality of desert inhabitants during the dry season. Daytime temperatures eventually rise to a pleasant mid 20°C but the temperatures at night can fall to below 0°C! Gloves, thermals and hats are the standard for early morning and evening drives!

Temperature C° 13 – 33
Rainfall average (mm) 0

Delta & North

The climate has changed and winter is all but gone. Night temperatures rise rapidly within the month and by month end, the averages reach 15°C plus at night and day temperatures soar well in the 30’s°C. The sun shines, the skies are clear and it is really dry and hot. Unbelievably, the elephant concentrate in still greater numbers as do the buffalo herds keeping the predators well fed as the season takes its toll on the prey species.The water levels have slowly started to drop as the waters from Angola have completed their trek.

Salt Pans & Kalahari

The end of August sees a very rapid change in temperature and in the blink of an eye, the winter is a distant memory. At this time the first of the famous black-maned lions begin to call again with a sense of urgency as they gather the pride females. After the last few months of a mostly solitary life for the pride members, foraging for scarce prey over vast areas, it is time to renew bonds and to reclaim the pride’s territory.

Temperature C° 18 – 35
Rainfall average (mm) 30

Delta & North

It is hot, really hot! But never will you experience game viewing like this. It is well worth the sweat. Day temperatures rise regularly above 40°C and nights are warm with averages in the low 20’s°C. ‘Start early and leave late’ is the answer. This aversion to the midday heat is common to both people and animals alike. Animals are only active at first light and late in the day. Many species even begin to feed at night!

Salt Pans & Kalahari

This is the hottest month in the region and no where is this dry heat as brutal as the Kalahari! Temperatures can soar into the mid to high 40°C and night time temperatures are over 20°C. Even the winds are hot and not a drop of moisture is left in the soil or plants as these desert winds scour the landscape. Mammals are generally active in the early morning and early evening in an effort to conserve as much energy as possible. Strangely, the Kalahari at this time is a patchwork of greens, yellows, whites and greys as the newly flowering acacias and yellow grasses create a vivid contrast to the lighter sands and dry bushes

Temperature C° 19 – 34
Rainfall average (mm) 50

Delta & North

The expectation (or rather the desperation) for rain dominates all discussions. People and animals all await an end to the dryness, dust and oppressive heat. Temperatures remain high both day and night. With the arrival of the rains comes an almost tangible relief. The herds begin to disperse to seek new grazing and will now begin to drink from the seasonal pans. The birthing season begins with the tsessebe , followed by the impala and red lechwe. The predators, such as wild dog and cheetah,  seek out these vulnerable young.

Salt Pans & Kalahari

There is a subtle difference from the last few months. The inhabitants of the desert clearly notice this change too. Springbok will not be feeding but instead will jostle with each other and pronk, seemingly excited and reptiles and insects are seen more regularly as they become increasingly active. There is a tension in the air which increases through the month as the first clouds appear on the horizon. The night skies are lit with brilliant displays of lightening and massive cloud formations.

Temperature C° 19 – 32
Rainfall average (mm) 95

Delta & North

The abundant protein rich grass feeds the mothers of the young antelope, while the lambs and calves grow at an astounding rate. The impala complete their lambing as the wildebeest begin and the rains become more regular with thunder storms every few days. The pans remain full and the bush colours are radiant in brilliant greens. The grasses begin to grow high and while the grazers enjoy the green tender mouthfuls, the stalking predators are becoming increasingly visible in their lighter winter camouflage

Salt Pans & Kalahari

The smell of the first raindrops on dry African soil is one that you will never forget. Almost overnight, the landscape changes: colours are bright and vivid as the dust is washed away, hundreds of wild flowers begin to appear and the bush turns a brilliant green. The pans are once again filled with energetic grazing herds and as always, the predators are nearby and thrive in this time of plenty. Late afternoon thunderstorms and heavy showers are the norm. The rains also result in lower relative temperatures with day times reaching mid 30°C while night temperatures are on average 20°C.

Tour Map

MB Botswana Comprehensive 01

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