Houseboat and Mobile Safari

Great safari combining a Botswana Mobile with a Houseboat

Duration – 10 nights  |  Price  $3,620 – 3,890
When – March to Dec

Highlights

  • 2 nights - Okavango Houseboat
  • 1 night - Maun
  • 2 nights -Khwai
  • 2 nights - Savuti
  • 2 nights - Chobe
  • 1 night - Livingstone

Eleven-day SERVICED CAMPING safari that takes in all that the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park offers. From the start of the safari on the banks of the Zambezi and crossing the Caprivi Strip, to the first days spent on the enigmatic Okavango River on a Houseboat and a day where guests can experience the resonant atmosphere of spirituality that inhabits Tsodilo Hills.

A fantastic flight into our remote camp in Moremi, to the remarkable Game-viewing that the inscrutable Savuti Channel offers, with the last few days spent alongside Chobe River watching Elephants, to the Safari’s end at the splendid Victoria Falls.

From recollections of first few nights spent out in the unique water wilderness of the Okavango Delta, to the moonlit sands of Savuti… these images all combine to leave indelible memories of spectacular wildlife, of nights passed on Kabbo Houseboat listening to the flow of the Okavango and the tinkling of Bell Frogs… and of evenings spent around a campfire under the constellation of the Southern Cross.

Please note that this is part of our Classic range of Mobile Tented Safaris, however in order to offer a more cost effective product, 3×3 Dome Tents with en-suite facilities are used instead of the normal larger Meru tents.

Whats Included

  • Dome Tents
  • En-suite shower and toilet
  • Safari team
  • Meals and local drinks on safari
  • Professional guide
  • Activities as specified

Whats Not Included

  • International Flights
  • Visas
  • Meals at hotels or restaurants
  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities
  • Optional activities
  • Mobile Style: Classic
  • Participation: Fully Serviced
  • Route: Makgadikgadi - Nxai Pan - Moremi - Khwai - Savute - Chobe - Livingstone
  • Max Group Size: 9
  • Nights: 13
  • Activities: Game Drives, Delta Mokoro Excursions, Boat Cruise, Optional Delta Flight

The Itinerary

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Day 1 & 2: Kabbo Houseboat, Okavango Delta

DEPARTURE POINT IS THE ZAMBEZI WATERFRONT HOTEL (LIVINGSTONE) Guests are required to be at the reception at 07h00 on day 1.

Tonight we board //Kabbo Houseboat, based on the serene waters of the Okavango River.

Guests depart Livingstone by road transfer (07h00) and we cross into Namibia over the Zambezi River at Sesheke Bridge or Kazungula.After customs and immigration formalities, we make our way westwards, before driving into Botswana and the town of Shakawe, which is situated on the banks of the Okavango River.

Kabbo is a San Bushman word which is a loose translation meaning “To dream”. The Houseboat operates in the “Panhandle” area of the Okavango Delta, Northern Botswana. This area is recognized as being amongst the quietest and most peaceful in the Delta, due to its remoteness. Indeed, there are only a handful of permanent camps and boats operating in this wilderness area – which makes it ideal for our discerning guests.

The houseboat has tender boats which assist in the activities offered. The activities available include bird watching, boat safaris and an optional visit to Tsodilo Hills. Tsodilo Hills is a World Heritage Site and are about 50km southwest of Shakawe ,in dry, bush-covered and softly undulating landscape.

The site consists of four hills that rise abruptly, to about 400m, from the dry expanse of Bushveld. Having been inhabited for about 30,000 years, they’re one of the world’s oldest historical sites. The Hills are home to more than 4,000 San Bushman paintings – probably the world’s most important collection of rock art – perhaps even more remarkable is the resonant atmosphere of spirituality that inhabits Tsodilo Hills. Several walking trails provide helpful routes around the painting sites. Among the interesting paintings are paintings of whales and penguins that suggest contact between the San and other peoples.

Accommodation: Houseboat
Activities: Water activities, Tsodilo Hills

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Day 3: Sedia Riverside Hotel. Maun

Today we take quick and early drive out of the Okavango Panhandle and journey and journey south-east into the frontier town of Maun, to our hotel which has a pleasant eating area with a welcome swimming pool. The afternoon is at leisure at the Hotel, which is situated on the banks of the Thamalakane River. Lunch and Dinner are at guests own expense. Guests are also able to replenish their drinks for the next eight days.

Accommodation: Tented Camp
Activities: Game Drives

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Day 4 & 5: Khwai Concession

A safari representative who will assist with your transfer from Sedia Riverside Hotel to Maun Airport and onto a shared light aircraft, for an exciting flight to Moremi. Your guide will meet you at the airstrip we take a leisurely drive to our private Campsite in the Khwai River area of Moremi Game Reserve. This region’s diversity of animals is truly astounding. Moremi was procaliamed a conservation area in 1964-the result of this foresight is that Moremi is quite rightly been rated as one of the best game-viewing areas in the world.

Thye next day is spent on early morning and afternoon game drives. Your guide will generally spend maximum time on game-drives, depending on what is seen, trying to cover as much area as possible. The result of this is guests are given the best chances of seeing a variety of wildlife-although there is of course, that obligatory siesta during the hottest part of the day !

Accommodation: Hotel
Activities: Game Drives

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Day 6 & 7: Savuti, Chobe National Park

We leave Moremi, crossing the Khwai Bridge to the northern bank of Khwai River. There is a quick opportunity to buy more drinks in the small village, before making our way to Chobe National Park. Due to the fact that none of Botswana’s wildlife areas are fenced, game can move freely between these two wilderness areas. Hippo, Elephant and sometimes Lion are often found on this route.

Moving through the Mababe depression, we relocate to Savuti were we camp in the region of the flowing Savuti Channel. Game viewing this afternoon takes place along the fringes of the marsh and surrounding water holes. The area is best known for large populations of Bull Elephants-and Prides of Lion that patrol the banks of this enigmatic channel.

We again we have the opportunity to spend many hours on morning and afternoon game drives, and time dependent, an opportunity to climb one of the hills to see San Bushman paintings, an indication that this area has always drawn those who have an affinity to the wilderness. Savuti is unique and the special opportunity of exploring this area always remains with our guests for a long time afterward

Accommodation: Tented Camp
Activities: Game Drives

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Day 8 & 9: Serondella Area, Chobe National Park

We journey north toward the Chobe River ,the second biggest river in Southern Africa (Zambezi in the largest).Chobe River is home the world’s largest Elephant herds; large numbers of big game such as Buffalo, Hippo and Lion can be seen here. Our private campsite is on a Teak forested dune that overlooks this beautiful river. Gamedrives are taken in the afternoons and mornings to find the remarkable variety of species that are drawn to this permanent water source.

The next day, fter an early start, we take a slow drive along the southern bank of the Chobe River, where we can find Chobe Bushbuck and Puku Antelope. The sheer variety of animals, in abundance, make this region a must-see for any wildlife enthusiast.In the afternoon, guests might choose to go on an optional afternoon boat cruise along the Chobe River-perhaps the last river where one has a fair chance to see Lion and Elephant, Leopard or Wild Dog from the unique viewpoint of a boat.

Accommodation: Tented Camp
Activities: Game Drives. Boat Cruise

Day 10 & 11: Victoria Falls, Livingstone-Zambia

We have a leisurely start this last camping morning and say fond farewells to our efficient back-up and camp crew after breakfast.We head eastwards on a last gamedrive to exit-gate at Sedudu Valley. From there it is a short drive to Kazungula Border Post, where your Safari Guide will ensure that your transfer back to Livingstone is seamless, before leaving to lead another safari.

This afternoon can be spent exploring one of the truly magnificent sights on earth-the wonderfully beautiful Victoria Falls-300 feet high and over a mile wide! Witness the power of nature as an average of 550000 tons of Water thunders into the Zambezi Gorge every minute. Optional activities and Victoria Falls Entrance at guests own expense.

Overnight is usually at the Zambezi Waterfront. Please note that the entrance fee to Victoria Falls is not included within this safari.

On the 11th morning, after breakfast, the safari ends. Before proceeding with onward arrangements, guests might want to partake in the numerous optional activities that are available in this adventure capital.

Accommodation: Lodge/Hotel

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

2020

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

March $3620

25th

April 3620

8th
22nd

May 3620

6th
20th

June 3620

17th

November $3620

11th

December $3620

23rd

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

Houseboat and Mobile Safari 01

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