Botswana - Animal Kingdom's Water Wilderness

Adventure is wrapped in luxury in Botswana, where you wing your way from camp to camp on small planes. No lines, no check-in, just the cheerful hello of the pilot as he tosses your duffle in the back of your ‘taxi in the sky.’ The view over the Okavango is spectacular. You fly low enough to witness elephant, giraffe and red lechwe cross the Delta. A wetland wilderness of looping channels, islands forested with palms and wide grassy floodplains, the Delta is home to a magnificent array of exceptional birds and animals. Explore this natural paradise in open 4x4 vehicles, on foot and in mokoros (dugout canoes) before returning to your exclusive, luxury tented camps. Rinse off that safari dust in Zambia at majestic Victoria Falls – one of the seven wonders of the natural world.

Degree of Difficulty - Two Paws

Slightly Active. May involve some walking and climbing.

Weather Reports - When To Go

Botswana can be visited year-round. June-August is Botswana’s winter and the mornings and evenings can be quite cold, the water levels are at their highest, and it is generally considered high season. However, the off-peak season also offers spectacular wildlife viewing and the pricing is best during that time of year. On our program, Banoka Camp has some of the best wildlife viewing in the Okavango, and depending on water levels, walks, mokoros and game runs are possible. Xigera Camp has permanent waters year round and travelers enjoy water activities no matter what time of year. DumaTau Camp is fantastic at all times of the year with high concentrations of wildlife.

At Victoria Falls, the water levels are high January-July on the Zambian side and diminish after that. For best viewing of the Falls, we recommend that travelers visit the Zimbabwe side between August and the end of the year – this tour can very easily be arranged at an additional cost.

Summer in Cape Town (December through March) can be quite hot during the day, but it’s never uncomfortable as humidity is relatively low. Autumn (April/May) is warm with sunny days and lovely nights – some of the best time to visit Cape Town. It can be rainy in Cape Town during winter (June-August), but it’s always pleasant and there are plenty of activities to be enjoyed no matter what the weather. Spring (September/October) can be warm, but the evenings do cool off. This is another lovely time to visit Cape Town as it is not windy, the weather is lovely and the wild flowers are in profusion. Overall, the winters are mild, spring and autumn fantastic, and the summers comfortable, so Cape Town can be visited during any time of the year.

Day 1 U.S.A./EN ROUTE

Get set for your adventure as you board your overnight flight on South African Airways from New York or Washington, DC. (Meals Aloft)

Day 2 JOHANNESBURG

Arrive in Johannesburg, where you are escorted to your exquisite home for the night offering a convenient location close to the airport coupled with lavish comforts. Located at Emperors Palace, the complex offers shops, restaurants, and the grounds are a relaxing retreat after your long flight. D’OREALE GRANDE. (Meals Aloft)

Days 3/4/5 OKAVANGO DELTA/MOREMI RESERVE

Take to the air and make your way to one of the world’s most distinctive regions and largest inland water systems, the Okavango Delta. Spend the next three days at the 10-roomed Banoka Bush Camp situated in the Khwai Community Concession on the banks of the Khwai River, or the 8-rooomed Santawani located in a private concession. Experience the exhilaration of nature walks and day and night wildlife viewing from an open 4x4 vehicle that may include sightings of elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and cheetah, as well as the endangered African wild dog. Your camp is elevated overlooking a lagoon, offering impressive views of the surrounding landscape. BANOKA BUSH CAMP OR SANTAWANI CAMP. (All Meals Daily)

Days 6/7 OKAVANGO DELTA MOREMI RESERVE

A light aircraft takes you to your water-based camp in the Okavango Delta. Glide through the quiet waterways in mokoros to see the vast array of animal and plant life it supports. Birding in this area is excellent, with Pels Fishing Owl and Wattled Crane regularly sighted. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot the elusive sitatunga antelope. Depending on water levels, drives or boat trips may also be offered. Spend the next two nights at Xigera Camp, situated in the heart of the Okavango on Paradise Island, within the Moremi Game Reserve. The camp consists of ten luxuriously furnished walk-in tented rooms, each with en-suite facilities and outdoor showers. All rooms are raised off the ground and are built within a shady grove offering superb views of the floodplain to the east of camp and its attractive waterhole that is frequently visited by red lechwe. XIGERA CAMP. (All Meals Daily)

Days 8/9 LINYANTI RESERVE

Board your flight today to the 10-roomed DumaTau, located in a private reserve in the Linyanti/Savuti Channel area in northern Botswana, on the western boundary of Chobe National Park. Alternately, you may stay at the 8-roomed Linyanti Camp. The source of the Savuti Channel is within this private reserve. Inland there are enormous acacia and mopane forests which sustain large numbers of elephants in the winter months. You may also see red lechwe, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, baboon, monkey, warthog, crocodile and buffalo, along with the major predators. Your tented camp is built under a shady grove and overlooks a large hippo-filled lagoon within the Linyanti waterway system. In the heat of the day, cool off by taking a plunge into the camp’s pool. DUMATAU CAMP OR LINYANTI CAMP. (All Meals Daily)

Days 10/11 LINYANTI RESERVE/JOHANNESBURG/USA

Bid farewell to this marvelous region of the world as you fly back to Johannesburg and connect with your flight to the USA, arriving home the following day. (B, Meals Aloft).

OPTIONAL PRE EXTENSION TO CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Begin your journey with a delightful retreat in Cape Town, one of the loveliest cities in the world. Enjoy international cuisine and stunning accommodations at the historic TAJ CAPE TOWN. Ascend Table Mountain and take the coastal route to the Cape of Good Hope to discover charming seaside towns, spectacular wildlife, and the comical penguins at Boulders Beach. Tour the brilliant Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and spend a day in the famed Boland Valley wine region. Visit the settlement of Khayelitsha with a township guide and get an eye-opening historical tour of Robben Island. This is the perfect way to start your adventure in Southern Africa.

OPTIONAL POST EXTENSION TO VICTORIA FALLS, ZAMBIA

Continue your adventure to Zambia and experience the power of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. This incredible spectacle — “The Smoke That Thunders,” as it is known to locals — is the world’s largest waterfall, with five thundering cascades plummeting more than 300 feet. Feel the mist on your face during a guided tour of the Falls; enjoy a sundowner cruise on the Zambezi River, watching hippos, crocodiles, and birdlife at the water’s edge while the sky turns a stunning array of red, gold, and purple; and, visit a rural village to experience the age-old traditions of the ancient Leya people. Stay at the marvelous TOKA LEYA, a luxury tented camp built on the banks of the Zambezi River.

YOUR JOURNEY INCLUDES:

  • All flights between the Botswana camps.
  • On the optional pre extension, flight between Cape Town and Johannesburg.
  • On the optional post extension, the flight between Botswana camp and Kasane, as well as between Livingstone and Johannesburg.
  • Superior accommodations throughout as indicated or similar.
  • All meals while on safari. Other meals as specified in itinerary.
  • All wildlife viewing by 4X4 open vehicles, driven by professional rangers.
  • Specialist guide will accompany group with a minimum of 10 travelers on the main program and on either extension.
  • Laundry and all domestic beverages (beers, juices, house wines, sodas and some domestic liquors, excluding Champagne and premium brands) during safari in Botswana.
  • Complimentary bottled water in vehicles throughout.
  • All applicable hotel and lodge taxes and gratuities for baggage handling.
  • All park entry fees and sightseeing as specified.
  • Complimentary baggage tags and passport wallet.

Prices vary by season and package. Please inquire by phone at (800) 627-1244 or email info@classicescapes.com for more information and a pricing estimate.