Family Adventure Safari and Victoria Falls

A wonderful family safari exploring the wilds of northern Botswana, ending in a beautiful luxury safari lodge near Victoria Falls. This itinerary combines three great family friendly lodges which offer a host of activities with a child friendly focus to keep youngsters engaged. Each of the lodges are well located on private concessions, in game rich areas of the Okavango Delta and Chobe. A full range of safari activities hosted by specialist guides keeps the days fresh and exciting. Ending on the banks of the Zambezi River in a luxury safari lodge completes the adventure – with rhino tracking on foot and visits to Victoria Falls. A magical family adventure.

This 9 night itinerary combines a 6 night Botswana safari with 3 nights at a luxury safari lodge only 12 kms from Victoria Falls – a chance to end your trip with a full range of activities in a very spoiling setting. Khwai Bush Lodge, Linyanti Ebony and Thorntree River Lodge accept children of all ages and all offer specially designed family rooms to bring that ‘under one roof’ feel at the same time ensuring everyone has enough space to spread out.

Staying in game rich areas ensures your sightings will be varied and exciting. The itinerary begins the eastern Okavango at Khwai Bush Lodge, this area has some of the best year round game viewing in Botswana. It is a scenic area too, so sightings are often set against beautiful backdrops. Moving to Linyanti Ebony, set in the private Chobe enclave area, showcases the huge elephant numbers which Botswana is so famous for. Buffalo numbers are good here too- and the pedators are never far from the buffalo…. these are big game areas, and especially in dry season you can expect from fantastic sightings.

Finally ending the safari at Thorntree River Lodge, in Zambia’s Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, the safari experience continues. This is one of the best places to see rhino, tracking on foot is even possible. Victoria Falls is close by and a wonderful range of activities are on offer here to suit all interests and ages. It is also a truly beautiful lodge and the perfect spot to wind down after all those early starts.

With an understanding that children need more than long game drives to keep them engaged on longer safaris this itinerary has been specially designed with younger families in mind. A fantastic range of activities await, as well as a specially designed children’s program, brought to life by specialist guides who know how to bring the wonders of the natural world to life.

African Bush Camps have created a special program for children on safari, called the Ngwana Club. Meaning the “explorer” in Setswana, the local language, this family friendly program
offers a variety of safari related activities for children of all ages. This offers parents the chance to relax at times while children enjoy exciting, educational and fun games with the guides. The child specialist guides craft the days on safari to each family, taking into consideration the age of the children and any special interests or requests, always embracing the spirit of adventure, as families in the wild.

Activities include nature walks around camp with their guide and accompanied by a parent, where they are presented with fun bush focussed learning opportunities. Spoor identification, discovering the traditional uses of plants, bird watching and hunting for the ‘Little 5’ highlight the intangible experiences that they can’t get in the ‘real’ world. After a bush walk, children will be given a ‘Junior Guide’ certificate, which will encourage them to become future conservationists with a passion for wildlife.

Traditional Story-Telling is another popular activity, as guides enjoy sharing the history and folklore of the area and their people. Some guides will dress in authentic tribal outfits and perform a play, imparting their traditional history and legends, including an interactive drumming session.

Arts and Crafts/Beading are also offered, where a corner is set up for children as a place where they can let their creativity run wild after the stimulation and inspiration of their new surroundings takes hold. Here, children can thread beads to make a bracelet or necklace to take home as a memento of their time in the bush, as well as colouring in and picture painting.

A wonderful family safari for all ages.

Day 1 - Khwai Bush Camp

On arrival in Maun, you will be met and assisted onto your charter flight to Khwai, a flight of approximately 25 minutes followed by an airstrip transfer to the camp, a game drive of about 30 minutes depending on your sightings en-route.

A warm staff welcome awaits you upon your arrival. Set on the banks of the Khwai river and overlooking the world-renowned Moremi Game Reserve, Khwai Bush camp is an intimate bush camp with just 6 rooms, 2 family rooms and 4 standard rooms. Unusually for the Okavango, the camp has a solid structure with stone and brick thatched chalets, with modern interiors in keeping with the bush setting. The camp is relatively simple but very comfortable with a welcoming relaxed atmosphere, making it popular with families.

Having settled into your room you will sit down to enjoy some refreshments with your guide as the introduces you to the area and discusses the activities available. Khwai Bush camp offers day and night game drives, bush walks and mokoro excursions- water levels permitting. For those interested in the local culture a visit to the local village can be arranged.

Lying in the north east of the Moremi, Khwai is a pretty area with wide floodplains fringed with tall evergreen trees and impressive animal densities – plains game are abundant, and so are the predators. Lion, leopard and even wild dog are frequently seen here. Hyena too. Elephant and buffalo numbers are good too.

Around 4 pm you will set out for your first game drive to explore the Khwai area, stopping as the sun begins to set to soak up the beautiful skies and the sounds of the bush. Returning with a spotlight to camp where a roaring fire and dinner awaits. Dinner is served in the communal dining room after pre-dinner drinks around a lively fire.

Day 2 and 3 - Khwai Bush Camp

The next morning you wake early, just before sunrise, and after a light breakfast you set off for your first full day of safari. You will be out on your morning activity for around 4 hours, stopping for a coffee and snack break, returning around 11am for a hearty brunch. You will then have a few hours to relax and explore the camp or enjoy a dip in the swimming pool. Meeting your guide mid-afternoon for high tea you will then set off on your afternoon activity of your choice, returning after sunset. The same schedule follows the next day.

Game drives allow you to explore deeper into the concession, tracking animals and off-roading allows you closer sightings of predators. At night, as you look for animals with a spotlight you may be lucky and catch the predators as they hunt, but equally interesting are the smaller nocturnal animals which we rarely see without the spotlight like genet, porcupines, owls, bush babies and honey badgers.

Mokoro excursions, when water levels permit are very relaxing, meandering along the lagoon in traditional dugout canoes are a highlight for many.

Tailor-made bush walks with child-specialist guides can be arranged for shorter walks closer to camp, as can private bush lunch picnics and bush dinners. Guests over 16 years are welcome to join longer seasonal bush walks accompanied by experienced Walking Guides.

A visit to the local village offers insight to life in the Okavango today, as well as stories of the older more traditional way of life. Khwai is one of the bigger Okavango villages. African Bush Camps have plans to build a community pre-school in the Khwai Concession and a number of community empowerment programmes, building opportunities for local people.

Day 4 - Linyanti Ebony Camp

This morning you rise early as before and set out for your morning activity, one last chance to explore the Okavango before you fly north to the Linyanti. This may be shorter than usual depending on your flight time. Your guide will return you to the airstrip for your 30 minute flight to the Linyanti airstrip, followed by a 45- minute game drive to camp.

Linyanti Ebony Camp is an intimate camp, with just four traditional Meru style tents set on raised wooden decks overlooking the Linyanti marsh. The well-appointed family tent features its own lounge area and private deck ideal for family times between activities. The camp is enhanced by simple yet comfortable and effective furnishings. A swimming pool is a pleasant distraction from the soaring midday heat and a Boma area provides an alternative setting for meals.

Linyanti Ebony Camp lies on a private reserve, the Chobe enclave, and as result benefits from more flexible activities and is not restricted by the rules which apply to Chobe National Park which borders the reserve. The animals roam freely between the park and private reserve meaning the same excellent game viewing is enjoyed with the benefit of more exclusivity and added activities.

Day and night drives are offered, off-roading is permitted and walking safaris are available too. Mokoro rides and boating is available when water levels permit. Scenic helicopter flights are offered to families staying three nights or more between April and November.

Having settled into your room and explored the camp you will have some time to relax before meeting your guide to discuss your interests and the activities you would like to do over tea and refreshments.

Later that afternoon you will set off on your afternoon activity returning for dinner under the African skies.

Day 5 and 6 - Linyanti Ebony Camp

Another early morning wake-up call starts the day and after a light breakfast you are off for your first morning activity in the Linyanti. Returning for brunch around 11am you will have some time to relax during the heat of the day before your afternoon activity around 3.30/4pm. This is a chance to rest and enjoy the peaceful surrounds. The Ngwana kids club offers a number of activities which can be enjoyed during these hours such as arts and crafts and cooking lessons.

For the next two days you will enjoy a range of activities all hosted by professionally qualified guides who will help you to make the most of the Chobe Enclave’s prolific wildlife. Species found here include the illusive Sitatunga, herds of elephant, buffalo, crocodile and hippo as well as a remarkable number of bird species. Predator numbers are good too.

Guided walking safaris explore this incredible riverine ecosystem, while idyllic river cruises and fishing trips by speedboat offer a different perspective to game viewing.

The camp is in close proximity to the Linyanti Marsh - the sole source of water during winter months when herds of elephant come down to the river to drink. A great spot often visited on game drives.

Al Fresco dinners under an African Night sky end off the perfect adventure – filled days.

Day 7 - Thorntree River Lodge

This morning, depending on your flight time, you will enjoy one last activity before flying to Kasane. Having bid farewell to the team you will return to the airstrip for your 35 minute flight to Kasane. There you will be met by your driver and driven to the Kazangula border between Botswana and Zambia, this is a short drive of about 15 minutes. The Zambezi River marks the border between the countries. You will clear Botswana border formalities and then take a short boat ride across the river to Zambia, where you will clear Zambian immigration. You will be assisted throughout by our partners on the ground. Your driver will be waiting for you on the Zambian side and will transfer you to the lodge, a drive of about 45 minutes, the last section of which is a game drive.

Thorntree River Lodge is a beautiful and stylish luxury lodge set on the banks of the Zambezi River within the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. It is only 12 km from Livingstone and Victoria Falls. This contemporary eco-sensitive luxury lodge is one of the finest in Livingstone and makes a stunning spot to end your safari adventure, with a beautiful swimming pool, spa and gym. Wooden decks floating serenely on the waters’ edge bring together river and land while a sunken boma and exquisite infinity pool steal the show.

There are just ten rooms here, including 2 family suites, so this has a boutique lodge feel. The rooms are spacious and beautifully done and each feature a private deck and plunge pool overlooking the river. The family units have interleading walkways between the adult and children’s rooms.

Once you have settled in you will enjoy lunch on the deck and have a chat to your guide about the various activities on offer. After all the travel and early starts you may wish to simply relax and enjoy this beautiful lodge for the rest of the day, or perhaps take a sunset boat cruise later in the day.

Day 8 and 9 - Thorntree River Lodge

The next two days are spent at your leisure, this is the ideal spot to do as much or as little as you wish. Staying in the national park means you are always on safari but at the pace which suits you. The hustle and bustle of activities which surround Victoria Falls is never far.

Days are built around a number of activities. First and foremost of course, a guided tour of Victoria Falls is of course the reason for many people’s visit.

But so much more is available. This is one of the best places in Africa to see Rhino. A herd of protected white rhino in the park provides a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to track rhino on foot on a sustainably operated tracking safari under the rangers’ watchful eyes.

Game drives are available as well as scenic river cruises on the Zambezi with its picturesque views and fire-coloured sunset skyscapes.

Other activities include cultural visits to Livingstone’s Maunga community and tiger fishing expeditions. Other activities can be arranged at additional cost, such as heli flips, horse riding and more.

Day 10 - End of tour

Today is the end of your safari. Today you will be transferred to Livingstone Airport for onward flight, this is a road transfer of around 30 minutes.

Map View

Khwai Bush Camp

Khwai Bush Camp

Linyanti Ebony Camp

Linyanti Ebony Camp

Thorntree River Lodge

Thorntree River Lodge

Thorntree River Lodge

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