Northern Expedition

A 9 night tented safari to the classic area of Botswana.

Duration – 9 nights  |  Price  $3,445 to $5,645
When – All Year

Highlights

  • 3 nights - Moremi Game Reserve
  • 3 nights - Khwai Concession
  • 3 nights - Savuti
  • Last day - Chobe Boat Cruise

Moremi Game Reserve is arguably one of the most famous game reserves in Africa with its abundant wildlife and beautiful scenery within and around its borders. Extending further than Moremi Expedition safari, we take you on to the enigmatic and abundant wildlife regions Savute and the Chobe River Front

This classic style mobile safari concentrates on these regions and maximises its potential by offering a diverse range of activities including both day and night drives and mekoro trips, including boat trips on the Chobe River

The safari is on a fully serviced basis providing you great levels of comfort with camp staff who are on hand to do everything for you

Whats Included

  • Large walk-in Meru tents
  • En-suite shower and toilet
  • Dedicated safari team
  • All meals and drinks
  • One Delta charter flight
  • Activities as specified

Whats Not Included

  • International Flights
  • Visas
  • Laundry
  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities
  • Comprehensive Medical Insurance
  • Mobile Style: Classic
  • Participation: Fully Serviced
  • Route: Maun - Maun - Moremi - Khwai - Savuti - Chobe - Kasane
  • Max Group Size: 7
  • Nights: 9
  • Activities: Delta flight on all departures, Game Drives, Mokoro rides, Chobe Boat Cruise

The Itinerary

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Day 1: Maun to Xakanaxa. Travel Day. Charter flight to first camp

After your arrival at Maun International Airport you will be met by Mack Air for your charter flight at approximately 14h00 to the Xakanaxa airstrip in Moremi Game Reserve where you will be met by your guide.

For those travelling on our off-season departure dates you will depart by vehicle from Maun by 08h00, if staying in Maun, your guide will collect you from your accommodation at this time for the drive into Moremi. As you are departing from Maun at 08h00 you will need to overnight in Maun. Safari Lifestyles will be happy arrange for your accommodation.

Wildlife: From the air only the larger animals are easily seen. These include large breeding herds of African elephant that live in the mopane scrub. On the open plains large herds of buffalo and lechwe can be seen and in the waterways, pods of hippopotamus are a common sight. Once you land in Xakanaxa and board your land cruiser, the smaller game animals can be found.

Accommodation: Tented Camp
Activities: Game Drives

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Days 2 & 3: Xakanaxa Exploration Days – Moremi Game Reserve

Habitat: Moremi lies on the eastern extremity of the Okavango Delta. Habitats here range from wide-open floodplains, marshes, lagoons, papyrus fringed channels, vast stands of Miscanthus and Phragmites, woodland and savannah. As a result of the extremely variable habitat the diversity of both wildlife and birdlife is excellent.


Wildlife: Moremi is amongst the best game reserves in Africa for viewing the endangered African wild dog. Xakanaxa is home to a resident herd of several hundred buffalo whose range covers the territories of at least 4 prides of lion which may often be seen flanking the ever moving herd. Breeding herds of elephant move between their browsing areas in the mopane forests and the fresh water of the Okavango. Red lechwe are one of the more unusual antelope species and commonly found here.

Accommodation: Tented Camp
Activities: Game Drives

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Day 4: Xakanaxa to Khwai / Travel Day / 60km (full day of extended game drive and journey time with picnic lunch between camps)

Following and early morning breakfast you take a slow drive through Moremi Game Reserve north-east towards the Khwai Community Area.

Habitat: The Manuchira Channel is known as the Khwai River at its eastern most extremity. The day’s journey follows this water course, with the track weaving from the riverside and floodplains into the mopane veld and the woodlands that make Khwai one of the most scenic areas of the Okavango. We pass the magnificent Dombo Hippo Pools in the morning stopping to enjoy the scenery and the antics of the resident hippo.

Accommodation: Tented Camp
Activities: Game Drives

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Days 5 & 6: Khwai Exploration Days.

The Khwai River forms a boundary between the reserve and the community area. We spend the following two nights camping at an exclusive campsite in the community area, exploring the Khwai floodplains on game drives both during the day and at night. Exploring after dark with spotlights offers you an opportunity to experience some of the nocturnal animals that are rarely encountered during the day.

We will also have the opportunity to explore the surrounding wilderness on foot and mokoro and enjoy an up close and personal encounter with Botswana’s flora and fauna. It is important to note that night drives and guided walks are not permitted within the national parks and reserves. These activities are conducted outside the boundaries of the Moremi Game Reserve in the Khwai community area.

Habitat: We spend our time between the dry-land habitats of the lead-wood and camel-thorn woodlands and savannahs and the riverside and marshy back-waters of the Khwai. Time permitting we may visit the lagoons and waterways of Xakanaxa where the largest heronry in southern Africa exists.

Accommodation: Tented Camp
Activities: Game Drive, Walking Safaris (conditions permitting) Night Drives and mokoro excursion

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Day 7: Khwai to Central Chobe / Travel Day / 100km (full day of extended game drive and journey time with picnic lunch between camps)

We head further north en-route to Central Chobe region, exploring the dessert-like landscape of game drives.

Habitat: A fascinating days drive looking at some of the evidence of the Paleo-Lake Makgadikgadi that dried up some ten thousand years ago. The most challenging part of the trip is crossing the Magwikwe Sand-ridge that formed the shoreline for this massive inland sea. The winding track through this deep sand makes for interesting travel in the early summer! The old lake bed is now the Mababe Depression. The dense clay floor of the depression result in high protein feed for wildlife and the area teams with game after the rains. During the rain season the depression is impassable due to the “cotton soil” and alternative routes must be used.

Accommodation: Tented Camp
Activities: Morning and Afternoon Game Drives

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Days 8 & 9: Central Chobe Exploration Days

Habitat: Unlike the vast majority of the country, Central Chobe is not a totally flat landscape. Large outcrops of volcanic rock reach up out of the Kalahari sands, towering over the endless savannah. These hills provide habitat for a completely different array of small wildlife, birds and plants. The Savuti Marsh has been the stage for many of the most dramatic wildlife documentaries in Africa. The wide open country, good ungulate populations and particularly strong prides of lion and hyaena clans make for dramatic wildlife interaction and excellent viewing opportunities. The now dry Savuti Channel runs through this landscape linking the dry sand-veld, the waterholes, the hills and the grassland that was the Savuti Marsh


Accommodation: Tented Camp
Activities: Game Drives and Bushman Painting Walks

Day 10: Central Chobe to Chobe River /170km (5 hrs)

On our final day on safari we will leave Central Chobe early to travel along the Chobe River arriving in Kasane where we will stop for a picnic lunch before taking an afternoon boat cruise to end the safari. As today is a long day we recommend either spending a night or two in Kasane at Chobe Safari Lodge or two nights in Livingstone at Taita Falcon Lodge or Victoria Falls at Ilala.

For those transferring to lodges in Kasane or across to Zambia/Zimbabwe it is recommended that your transfer be organized to meet you at Kalahari Tours at 15h30.

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

January $3445

4th
12th
26th

February $3445

9th
16th

March $3445

1st
15th
29th $4935

April $4935

5th
12th
19th

May $4935

3rd
10th
17th
24th
31st

June $4935

7th
14th
18th
21st
28th

July $5645

1st
12th
19th
26th
29th

August $5645

2nd
7th
16th
23rd
26th
30th

September $5645

6th
13th
17th
20th
23rd
27th

October $5645

4th
11th
21st
25th

November $4935

1st
8th
18th
22nd
29th

December $3445

6th
9th
14th

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 Northern Expedition 01

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