Best Value Northern Botswana and Victoria Falls

This definitive Botswana safari and Victoria Falls itinerary offers superb value, and a fantastic safari experience at any time of year. Starting at a charming boutique hotel in Victoria Falls this itinerary then moves through Botswana’s most famous safari destinations- Chobe National Park, Savute, Moremi, the Okavango and Makgadikgadi National Park. A comprehensive tour of the richest game areas of northern Botswana with excellent game viewing and a range of both water and land activities guaranteed year round. Game drives, boating, mokoro, walking, bushman walks and even a complimentary helicopter flight all come together to deliver a brilliant Botswana experience.

Safari means ‘journey’ and this is a true safari. Every day is different, fresh and exciting on this 12 night itinerary which visits 6 strikingly different areas and lodges. Travel days do not mean a wasted day, camps are connected by light aircraft flights which are an experience in themselves, offering wonderful views the parks. These are short flights between bush airstrips, between 10-50 minutes at a time and drives to the airstrips are game drives. The safari experience is never broken.

This itinerary visits all the highlights of a classical northern Botswana safari circuit, with the addition of 2 nights in Victoria Falls beforehand, the perfect opportunity to recover from a long journey before the traditional early morning starts on safari. The itinerary combines a selection of Desert and Delta lodges, one of the oldest and most respected operators in Botswana, for a unbeatable value safari. Amendments can be made to suit preferences, please speak to us for more information.

The safaris begins on the Chobe riverfront, home to the largest population of African elephants on the continent. Staggering numbers of elephants decent on the river in the dry season, an especially incredible sight from the river. Chobe Game Lodge has an unrivalled position being the only lodge situated within the national park, it is the perfect spot to ease in to the safari. Game drives and boating safaris are offered here.

Moving into the southern reaches of Chobe National Park, to the harsh and truly wild Savute area, the game viewing here is ferocious, especially when water is scarce as it often is. Lions hunt elephant and hippo in these lands. Savute Safari Lodge is home to some of the most explosive game viewing, with a prime location overlooking a busy waterhole. Game drives are the focus here.
Flying into the deep waters of the Delta, to an idyllic little island surrounded by permanent water, Camp Okavango offers a quintessential water safari. Set on a private concession in the east of the Okavango you enjoy boating, mokoro rides and walking. This is where you will also enjoy a complimentary scenic helicopter flight- a truly amazing experience leaving you with memories for life.

Continue into the Okavango with a short 10 minute flight to the beating heart of the Moremi Game reserve, the Xakanaxa region. Here you stay at Camp Moremi offering a superb all-round game viewing experience. This is big game country, predators, plains game, elephants and buffalo abound. Enjoy 4×4 game drives and boating here.

Finally ending this safari in the drier landscapes which dominate Botswana, at Leroo la Tau Lodge on the banks of the Boteti Rover bordering the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. These harsh landscapes attract different species and offer a more complete safari experience. In the summer months the areas is transformed by the arrival of the second biggest zebra migration in Africa while the dry winter months sees amazing numbers around the river. Game drives, boating, and bushman walks are offered here. The salt pans themselves are only visited on stays of three nights or more, so for those keen to see Nxai Pan and Baines Baobabs please speak to us for more information.

Each lodge is unique in style, setting and experience. An exceptional safari option, easily adapted to your preferences. This safari can be run in reverse order.

Day 1 - Batonka Guest lodge

On arrival at Victoria Falls International Airport your driver will be waiting in the arrivals hall, ready to transfer you to your hotel, a drive of about 35 minutes.

Batonka Guest lodge lies in a peaceful suburb, just 5 minutes’ drive from the city centre and Victoria Falls offering the best of both worlds – easy access to the hustle and bustle of town but a peaceful retreat once your activities have been completed. Simple but stylish, and full of charm, it is fast becoming one of the most popular hotels in Vic Falls, and with only 22 rooms it books up fast.

Settle into your rooms and relax at the hotel – mature gardens envelope an inviting swimming pool area. The restaurant is friendly and serves excellent homecooked meals and is highly recommended for a first night after a long journey.

Day 2 - Batonka Guest lodge

Enjoy a leisurely start to the day, breakfast is served on the terrace, a chance to enjoy the wonderful African light and birds which live in the garden. You will then be met by your driver guide for your tour of the falls. Expect to get wet! Quick drying clothes (rather than jeans) are suggested and open shoes rather than thick boots would be sensible. Ponchos will be available.

As the Zambezi River tumbles down 100 metres from a vertical chasm, the Victoria Falls is formed. Stretching across 1,700 metres and falling at heights between 80-110 metres, Victoria falls is one and a half times wider than Niagara Falls and is twice the height making it the biggest curtain of water in the world. At its peak up to 5 million cubic square metres of water plunges over the rim every minute- a staggering sight.

Across the 1,700 rim there are a number of gorges, or ‘falls’, most of which fall within the Zimbabwe side, rather than the Zambian side. The gorges are known locally as Main Falls, Rainbow Falls, The Devil’s Cataract and Horseshoe Falls in Zimbabwe and the Eastern Cataract in Zambia. The new Uni Visa allows visitors to visit both sides very easily.

Having completed your tour you will return to the hotel to dry off and enjoy lunch, or you may prefer to dry off natural under the African sun at the Lookout Café, a popular restaurant and café with stunning views over the gorge.

Later that afternoon you will be collected at your hotel around 3.30pm for your evening sunset cruise along the Zambezi River, a wonderful opportunity to soak up the fantastic sunset views over the river and to celebrate the start of your trip.

Returning to your hotel please check with hotel reception for your pick up time the following day.

Day 3 - Chobe Game Lodge

Today, at a time advised the day before you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to Chobe for the start of your safari. This will involve a road transfer of about 2 hours, depending on conditions on the Zimbabwe/Botswana border. The last section of the drive, about 35 minutes, is through Chobe National Park, so keep your eyes peeled as your safari has begun!

Chobe Game Lodge has an unrivalled position being the only lodge within the famous Chobe National Park- renowned for phenomenal game and record elephant numbers. It’s location makes it a haven of peace and tranquillity away from the crowds.

Arriving to a warm welcome and some refreshments you will have an introduction to the lodge and settle into your room. Chobe Game Lodge is larger than most lodges, meaning it has a superb range of facilities including a swimming pool, gym and spa and a number of eating areas. The boardwalk along the river features a number of places to dine or relax. Keep an eye out for the mongeese who are often seen scurrying about here. This is a perfect spot to ease into your safari.

Your guide will discuss your activity options with you and together you will discuss your preferences. Chobe Game Lodge offers 4x4 game drives (in silent electric vehicles) and boat cruises along the Chobe River, a quintessential Chobe experience.

Later that afternoon you will set off on your first safari activity.

Day 4 - Chobe Game Lodge

This morning you wake early, enjoy a light breakfast and then set off on your first morning game drive. This is generally the best time to see predators before they settle down to rest in the shade for the day. Begin by tracking the movements of the night before, your guide will interpret the ‘news’ from the tracks as you explore the river roads and deeper into the park. The electric vehicles here allow you to approach game in a less intrusive manner and are wonderfully quiet.

Morning game drives usually last around 4 hours, depending on sightings, with a coffee break along the way. Returning around mid-morning for a hearty brunch you will then have a few hours to yourself to relax in your room or in the communal areas of the lodge. Most animals rest in midday heat and so will you! Chobe Game Lodge offers plenty of secluded nooks to relax with lovely views of the river, as well of course as your room. Perhaps spoil yourself to a pampering spa treatment between activities?

Meeting your guide for high tea mid-afternoon you will then set off on your boat safari upstream. This is really a quintessential Chobe safari experience and not to be missed. Animals come to the riverbank to drink before sunset, most notably elephant in huge numbers, and the boats offer a unique perspective. The sunsets on the water are wonderful and you will stop in a scenic spot and toast the setting sun, perhaps watching a herd of elephant drinking from the waters edge.

Return to the lodge for your three course dinner – enjoyed from a number of locations. On the terrace, in various locations along the raised boardwalk and the boma.

Day 5 - Savute Safari Lodge

Depending on the time of your flight you may have the chance to enjoy an early morning game drive before being transferred to Kasane Airport for your flight to Savute, a flight of about 30 minutes. Your guide will be waiting to transfer you to the lodge, a game drive of about 25 minutes, depending on sightings along the way.

Lying deep in the southern reaches of Chobe, Savute Safari Lodge offers excellent game viewing right from the comfort of the lodge. The main areas stretches across a raised deck overlooking a busy waterhole, dining area, firepit, viewing deck and swimming pool with its accompanying sun loungers draw guests at all times of day. Expect to see big herds of elephant in the dry season as well as a variety of other game species wandering over for a drink during the heat of the afternoon.

Having had some time to settle in and enjoy the lodge you will discuss your plans with your guide.
Savute Safari Lodge offers morning and afternoon 4x4 game drives as well as visits to the ancient San Rock paintings at Gubatsa Hills- the only hilly outcrop in an otherwise completely flat landscape and considered to have been formed from volcanic activity aeons ago.
Setting out for your afternoon game drive you will explore the Savute area, stopping to toast the setting sun with a drink and some snacks before returning to camp where a fire will welcome you and more drinks and snacks follow. The backdrop to the dinning area is terrific, with the waterhole lit up so you can enjoy the coming and going of the animals over dinner.

Day 6 - Savute Safari Lodge

Your days on safari will follow a similar routine each day, with early morning and afternoon activities, with siesta hours in between. A chance to relax in camp, recharge from the early mornings or to simple soak up the peace and quiet of the bush and watch the busy waterhole – a real sofa safari. The lodge has an infectious laid -back atmosphere creating a real home from home feeling.

Wildlife in this area is prolific and the herds of elephant truly staggering. Wildebeest and zebra along with lions and wild dogs are regularly seen. Game drives often include a turn at the Savute Marsh with its historic presence (and subsequent disappearance) of the Savute channel. The Savute Marsh Pride, a huge pride of lion has been the focus of may documentaries. Lions have learnt to hunt hippo and even elephant. Leopard have learned to fish. A mesmerising area.
This evening your guide will advise you of your flight time to the Okavango the next day, and you will plan your morning game drive accordingly.

Day 7 - Camp Okavango

This morning you fly west from Chobe to the Okavango, a flight of about 25 minutes. Camp Okavango is located on the remote Nxaragha Island, in the eastern Okavango. On landing, your guide will escort you to the lodge, a short walk.

A warm welcome awaits from the team. You will settle into your new Okavango home, with its open- air design and elevated views over the Okavango, this camp has an almost tree-house feel. A private expansive viewing deck offers lovely views of the Delta and space to relax between activities.

Over refreshments you will discuss your interests with your guide as he describes the activities available and together you plan your next few days. Camp Okavango offers a slower safari experience, a chance to pause and enjoy this beautiful wilderness. Because of the aquatic environment there are no game drives offered here, and less big game viewing. Activities focus on water and walking. Meandering along the water channels of the Okavango Delta the old-fashioned way in a traditional mokoro on a motorised boat into the deeper channels. Fishing expeditions can be arranged with bream and tiger fish being the prolific species here.

You will set off on your first activity later that afternoon after – your first introduction to the watery wonderment of the Okavango. Returning to camp for pre-dinner drinks around the open-air fire pits, a delicious dinner is served on the lower deck level. Your first night in the Okavango will likely feature the wonderful sounds of the Okavango, the honking hippos and the chorus of frogs.

Day 8 - Camp Okavango

The next morning you awake to the sound of the African dawn and after a light breakfast you set out for your first full day in the permanent Delta, with a morning and late afternoon activity.

Look out for the usual suspects which live near the water – hippo and crocodiles. Older elephant prefer to stay around the waters where the softer vegetation is found, more forgiving on their sensitive teeth. Aquatic antelope such as the red lechwe, reedbuck and sitatunga are also found here. On the larger islands plains game such as zebra, wildebeest, kudu and more are seen on walks. Birding is wonderful in these areas too, the bush is alive with birdsong and flashes of colour.

The flight time for your transfer to Camp Moremi will be advised by your guide this evening, and together you will discuss your morning activity plan accordingly. You may take the opportunity to enjoy a lie-in for a change!

Day 9 - Camp Moremi

An early wake- up call brings with it a new adventure. At a time to be confirmed the night before, you return to the airstrip for your flight to the Moremi, a short but beautiful flight of about 15 minutes. On arrival your new guide will be waiting to transfer you to camp with a 25 minute game drive.

One of the original Okavango camps, set along the Khwai River in the Xakanaxa region of the reserve, Camp Moremi has long held an enviable position for game viewing. The camp was completely rebuilt in 2018 and now stands are a perfect blend of traditional lodge with modern comforts. Large comfortable rooms await and inviting common areas built into the trees. A secluded swimming pool and lagoon side viewing deck provide excellent spaces in which to relax when not on safari.

Having met the team and settled into your new home your guide will discuss your particular interests for this section of the safari. Perhaps there are certain elusive species you wish to see which have so far evaded you? Activities here include both morning and afternoon game drives. These explore the many different habitats of the Moremi Game Reserve. Motorboat excursions explore the Xakanaxa Lagoon and surrounding channels.

Rejuvenated with tea and cake you will set off on your first afternoon activity into the Moremi. Having focusses on the water for the last few days you are perhaps ready to return to the vehicles for some big game viewing. You set off on your game drive, stopping as the sun begins to set for sundowners, returning to camp before dark for dinner.

Day 10 - Camp Moremi

This morning you wake early, eager to experience the big game viewing of Moremi. You will enjoy a full day exploring the Moremi with morning and afternoon drives, relaxing in the middle of the day in camp.

The Xakanaka region boasts some of the richest concentrations of wildlife in Moremi Game Reserve.Springing up from the juncture formed where the invigorating waters of the Delta meet the plains of the Kalahari Desert, the Moremi is home to prolific wildlife species and spectacular landscapes. The Moremi Game Reserve is the beating heart of the Okavango, a sanctuary of Mopane forests, open grasslands, seasonal floodplains and riverine habitats. Huge herds of browsing Elephant, magnificent prides of lions and their competitors the hyaena, cheetah, and a vast number of antelope, including Impala, Kudu and Waterbuck that are supported by the reserve’s amazing wetlands. African Wild Dog sightings occur frequently too.

Your guide will once again advise you what time your flight will be the next day, and you will plan your morning activity according.

Day 11 - Leroo La Tau

This morning you bid farewell to the Okavango as you fly south to the drier fringes of the Kalahari to your final stop, Leroo La Tau. This is a flight of about 30 minutes.

Leroo La Tau (meaning “Lion’s Paw”) is set on the cliffs overlooking the Boteti River, on the western boundary of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. This is an interesting area, the Boteti is the main outflow of the Okavango Delta this area marks the frontier between the Okavango and Makgadikgadi. The lodge offers wonderful views across the park and good game viewing can be enjoyed from the comfort of the lodge itself as animals come and go from the river.

Later than afternoon you set off on your first activity. Leroo La Tau offers morning and afternoon game drives into the Park twice daily to find game along the river system and in the bushland just beyond the river’s edge. Boat cruises are offered water levels permitting.

Perhaps you prefer to take it a little easy. A visit to the riverside Hide is a great way to take time to spot animals and birds in the most unobtrusive manner, there photo opportunities are excellent.

Day 12 - Leroo La Tau

Your last full day on safari, make the most of it! Perhaps an early morning game drive to explore this new ecosystem. A final chance to cross off any missing animals from your check list! Though this is so much more than a checklist safari, relish the disconnect from the daily grind and enjoy your last day in true wilderness.

For those interested in experiencing some local culture, guided village tours of nearby Khumaga Village offer a wonderful opportunity to meet local community.

Between activities the sparkling pool and elegant sun-lounging deck offer a lovely location to relax in during the hotter hours of the day. The central area’s lounge and bar are popular for those wanting to catch up on some reading or enjoy some socialising.

Day 13 - End of tour

Today marks the end of your safari. The time for your flight to Maun will be finalised the day before and your guide will advise you what time you will be leaving camp. The flight will always be schedule to connect with any onward travel arrangements. Depending on the time of departure, as discussed with your guide, you will enjoy on final morning activity and brunch before bidding farewell to the team at Leroo.

The flight to Maun will take approximately 20 minutes, depending on stops along the way. On arrival a representative will meet you to ensure you connect to your onward travel arrangements.

Map View

Batonka Guest Lodge

Batonka Guest Lodge

Chobe Game Lodge

Chobe Game Lodge

Savute Safari Lodge

Savute Safari Lodge

Camp Okavango

Camp Okavango

Camp Moremi

Camp Moremi

Leroo La Tau

Leroo La Tau

Leroo La Tau

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