Botswana Explorers Safari

Picture perfect landscapes, fantastic game viewing and quintessential water safari activities all come together in this excellent itinerary. Staying in intimate, authentic and charming camps and enjoying a host of activities, this itinerary offers a beautifully balanced safari experience. Over 8 nights you explore three different areas, the exclusive Selinda Private Reserve, the famous Duba private concession and the deep waters of the Okavango. The incredible game viewing of the Selinda and Duba reserves has featured in a number of Nat Geo documentaries and these camps were created by their filmmakers. The safari ends at on an idyllic little island deep in the Delta, a chance to slow the safari down and enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of the Okavango.

This 8 night itinerary begins with 3 nights at Selinda Explorers Camp on the private Selinda Reserve followed by 3 nights at Duba Explorers Camp, on a private concession in the Okavango Delta, ending with 2 nights at a classic water camp in the heart of the Okavango. Importantly, Setari offers water activities year round due to the deep water channels surrounding it. The perfect peaceful end to an exciting Botswana safari. All three camps have a great sense of place, a down to earth warm and welcoming atmosphere and plenty of character.

Selinda and Duba are beautiful and game rich areas – famously captured in a series of stunning and award winning Nat Geo documentaries by the founders- Beverly and Derek Joubert. The explorer camps here perfectly capture the sense of adventure which is innate to safari and they are styled to blend in perfectly to their surroundings. Being based on private reserves allows greater flexibility on activities. As well as game drives and boating, walking safaris are possible and off-roading is also permitted, which allows for more effective tracking and close up sightings. Night drives are also permitted.

The Selinda reserve is vast, beautiful and rich in wildlife. And yet one of the least visited areas, a hidden gem known mostly to keen safari goers and those attracted by some of the most famous luxury camps. This is 320k acre reserve is shared by just 3 camps, making it an incredibly exclusive safari experience. The north-eastern corners of the reserve are some of the most beautiful in Botswana, lovely grass plains are dotted with palm tree islands and fringed with tall forests. The reserve is named after the Selinda Spillway, an ephemeral channel which occasionally connects the Linyanti and Okavango delta areas in times of high flood. The game viewing is especially exciting in the dry season, when plains game are plentiful and predator sightings frequent. Lion, leopard and hyena are commonly seen here. Activities include day and night drives, guided walks are also very much part of the experience here.

Moving to the north west Okavango, to the private Duba Concession, an extremely scenic and game lively corner of the Okavango. Picture perfect Okavango scenery with tall palm trees, lush waterways and open grass plains make a stunning backdrop to some of the Okavango’s best game viewing.

This area is famous for the lion and buffalo interactions, beautifully captured in a series of Nat geo films – most notable ‘Relentless Enemies’ . Unusually, the lions here often hunt during the day, taking on the mighty buffalo herds delivering exciting game viewing. Over the years the dynamics of the pride have changed and these sightings are less frequent. This is no bad thing, the less dominating lion numbers have allowed other predators in and now leopard are frequently seen, and wild dog too. As the flood waters arrive and islands form across the concession it is not uncommon to see lions swimming between the higher grounds – a true Okavango safari sighting!

The itinerary ends at Setari camp – a quintessential Okavango water camp which allows for a change of gear. Importantly, Setari is able to offer year round water activities due to its excellent location at the base of the panhandle. This is a slower safari, where the boating, mokoro and walking activities on offer do not need a crack of dawn wake up call. This is a chance to reveal in the peaceful beauty of the Okavango for a final few days before returning home.

A fantastic safari for those safari purists for whom luxury is measured by the game viewing, the location, the lack of crowds and the guiding – in this sense, a classic luxury safari awaits.

Various offers are available throughout the year for this itinerary, please speak to us for the latest information.

Day 1 - Selinda Explorers Camp

On arrival in Maun, Botswana you will be met by a representative and assisted onto your light charter flight to Selinda, a flight of about 45 minutes. Your guide will be waiting on arrival and will transfer your to camp, a game drive of about 45 minutes.

A warm Botswana welcome awaits at this small little camp. With just 4 tents this is one of the smallest camps in Botswana, and one of the friendliest. Although mobile in appearance, this is a permanent camp which captures the spirit of the old safari expeditions. The tents are all set on the ground, and simply but elegantly decorated with antique furnishings from the East adding splashes of colour and comfort. The en-suite bathrooms are canvas walled but open air with proper flush toilets and hot bucket showers with plenty of water.

Having been introduced to the camp and team you will settle into your new Botswana home before sitting down with your guide for some light refreshments and an introduction to the area and activities on offer. You will have the chance to set off on your first activity or you may prefer to relax in camp after your long journey. Selinda Explorers offers game drives and bush walks which your guide will discuss with you and plan into your stay to ensure you make the most of your time here.

You may prefer to relax in camp after your journey, perhaps the game drive into camp delivered plenty for now. So feel free to relax on the sofa, or swing in the hammock. Alternatively, set off on your first activity in the late afternoon, a chance to explore the Selinda reserve and soak up the spectacular sunsets enjoyed in this part of the world. As the sun begins to set your guide will stopping in a scenic spot and with drinks in hand you will toast the setting sun.

As you return the camp is twinkling with lanterns and a welcoming fire. Dinner awaits followed by your first night in the Botswana wilderness

Day 2 and 3 - Selinda Explorers Camp

The day begins with a wakeup call before sunrise followed by a light breakfast before setting out as the sunrises for your first activity. Your drives will usually last around 4 hours with a coffee break and snack half way through. Returning around mid-morning for a hearty brunch you will then have time to relax in camp during the heat of the day before embarking on your afternoon activity.

Every day is different on safari here and you will have planned your activities with your guide the day before, enjoying a mix of the various activities on offer.

Game drives allow you to explore deeper into the vast Selinda Reserve and approach and photograph the more dangerous predators such as the lion, leopard and hyena. Wild dog can also be seen here. Keen an eye out for the various plains game found here, work your way through your checklist. These vary with the habitats – in the more wooded areas look out for the beautiful kudu browsing the lower leaves, on the plains the usual suspects include zebra and wildebeest while the wetlands are home to red lechwe and reedbuck. And so much more!

Guided bush walks offer insight into this wild corner of Botswana, this is a dynamic area of the country, the Selinda Spillway is the main artery of this reserve attracting animals to its banks when it flows. An ever changing environment which your guide will bring to life with fascinating facts and stories on these walks. A chance to share his knowledge of the flora, fauna and wildlife as you track animals and learn about the smaller but important aspects of this area.

Day 4 - Duba Explorers Camp

This morning you will enjoy one last activity at Selinda (or perhaps enjoy a lie-in) before bidding farewell to the team and flying to the Okavango. Your flight to Duba will take approximately 40 minutes. This is a beautiful flight as you fly east to west, over the Selinda spillway and across the western reaches of the Okavango into the northern corner of the Okavango. The Okavango is spectacular from above- keep a look out for the larger animals which you can view from the aircraft, elephant, hippo, giraffe, buffalo and much more can be seen on this flight.

Your guide will be waiting on arrival to transfer you to camp, a game drive of about 40 minutes.

Duba Explorers has a more permanent feel than Selinda Explorers – though it maintains the same expedition style and atmosphere. The tents are larger here and the bathroom more substantial with a normal indoor shower. Due to the nature of the floods here the tents are set on slightly raised decks which afford beautiful views. Again the décor invokes the spirit of the original safaris of the 1920s together with all the modern comforts.

Activities include morning, afternoon and night drives as well as guided bush walks. Boating safaris and mokoro rides are also offered when water levels permit.

Having met the team you will have a chance to settle into your room and relax a little in your new Okavango home. Later that afternoon you will set off on your first afternoon activity, as discussed with your guide, who will chat about your particular interests and plan your activities for the following days.

Setting off for your first activity that afternoon you will begin to explore the concession, enjoying a drink from a scenic spot as the sun sets.

Day 5 and 6 - Duba Explorers Camp

By now you will be familiar with the early morning wake up call, though perhaps it may not be getting any easier! After a light breakfast you set off on your morning activity returning for brunch around mid-morning followed by the siesta time, when you have a chance to relax in camp before departing on your afternoon activity.

The safari schedule continues for the next three days as before, with an early morning and late afternoon activity. The magic of safari is that every day is different, with fresh experiences and sightings no drive is ever the same. As your guide can attest. You will have the next three days to explore the necklace of palm-dotted islands, shimmering flood plains and forest of this 33,000 hectare private reserve.

Game drives – morning, afternoon and evening drives are offered here. Being a private concession means off-roading is permitted and allows for more efficient tracking and closer sightings. 4x4 game drives are certainly the most efficient way to explore this vast area and to see the most animals. Game drives in this area stand out in particular for the regular water crossings which are necessary when the flood waters arrive (May-August). The specially designed vehicles drive through high waters over a metre deep, with water gushing into the footwells and sometimes over the bonnet- always an exciting moment! Animals are often seen swimming between island here too.

Boating through the Okavango, when water levels permit, is a very different and special safari experience. While the sightings are not as dramatic as the game drives the eco-systems here are certainly rich in life and very beautiful and offer a more complete insight into the Okavango wetland wilderness. Sunsets on the water, often reflecting a kaleidoscope of colour, are often a highlight.

Mokoro excursions are one of the most peaceful safari activities – gliding gentle through the shallow waters of the Okavango floodplains, between the pink, white and blue lilies of the which pepper the waters here. This is a chance to focus on the smaller wonders of the Okavango – the flora, the fauna and the culture of the river bushman who have made this wet wilderness their home for centuries. Your mokoro poler will offer interesting insight to all this and more.

Helicopter flights are particularly beautiful in this area of the Okavango and can be arranged at an additional cost.

In between activities you will have some time to yourselves to enjoy this wonderful camp and the stunning setting. Relax on your spacious private deck and watch the animals come and go from camp, enjoying the quiet sounds of the Okavango.

Day 7 - Setari Camp

This morning you will enjoy one last activity at Duba before moving further into the heart of the delta where the deep waters of the Okavango flow. This is a short flight west. On landing you will be met by your guide and take a 1 hour boat safari to camp. During high flood the transfer may be by boat.

Setari Camp is a delightful camp set on a little island surrounded by palm trees and lagoons at the base of the Okavango panhandle. This is where the alluvial fan of the Okavango Delta begins to spread out. The camp itself is structured like a huge treehouse with raised walkways connecting the tents and main areas creating a very special atmosphere. The camp is well equipped with a swimming pool and gym and plenty of inviting areas to relax with a good book.

Having settled into your room and explored the camp you will enjoy lunch and some time to relax before setting off on your first afternoon activity.

Activities include boating safaris, mokoro excursions, catch and release fishing and bush walks. Village visits can also be arranged for those interested in understanding more of local life in the Okavango. Walking safaris are conducted by professional guides, armed with a rifle, on the islands in the south of the concession.

Day 8 - Setari

Your final full day in the Okavango – a chance to explore the lively waterways and small islands which dot the landscape here. A number of half or full day experiences are on offer here depending on your interest – take to the waters by boat or mokoro, and perhaps a guided walk too.

Between activities relax in camp – on your private deck, by the pool or lounge or work up an appetite at the gym!

There could be no finer ending to your Okavango safari than toasting your final African sunset from a boat on the lagoon – the waters reflecting the stunning colours of the skies. You final toast to the sunset, ‘Pula!’ as they say in Botswana.

Day 9 - End of Safari

Today you bid farewell to the Okavango and the team at Duba. 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 Okavango. This morning activity will likely be shorter than usual due to your travel to Maun.

The flight to Maun will take approximately 30 minutes, depending on stops along the way. On arrival a representative will meet you to ensure you connect to your onward travel arrangements.

For those interested in visiting Victoria Falls flight to Kasane can be arranged. Please speak to us for more information.

Map View

Selinda Explorers Camp

Selinda Explorers Camp

Duba Explorers Camp

Duba Explorers Camp

Setari Camp

Setari Camp

Setari Camp

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