Great Rivers Safari

Explore two of Botswana’s greatest river systems, the Linyanti and Okavango Delta, on this week long safari. A classic Okavango safari is combined with a visit to the remote and wild northern reaches of Botswana. This lesser known area is a pristine wilderness, home to immense elephant and buffalo herds and impressive predators numbers. Visiting three camps over the week, each set on game rich private concessions, this itinerary offers a superb tour of Botswana’s amazing river systems and the beautiful and game rich habitats surrounding them with land and water activities.

This itinerary begins on the northern frontier of Botswana, on the banks of the Kwando River – which forms the border between Botswana and Namibia. This is one of Botswana’s largest private reserves, the Kwando reserve is an astonishing 2,300km² and shared between just two camps. Vehicles are scarce, animals are not. This area really comes alive in the dry season when staggering numbers of elephants flock to the river. The area has good resident game too and predators are regularly seen here. Notably, this is one of the best places to see African wild dog.

Lagoon camp is a traditional camp with a simple style and a stunning setting on the banks of the river. Day and night drives are offered as well as walking and boating. Because this is a private concession off-roading is permitted and 4x4 game vehicles have both a tracker and guide. Across the two days you will explore the riverfront and deeper into this astonishing reserve.

Moving onto the Okavango, this itinerary explores the east and west of the Delta delivering a fantastic all round safari experience at Pom Pom Camp and Splash Camp. Both are set on private concessions with a full range of land and water activities in beautiful and diverse habitats, keeping the safari experience interesting, fresh and exciting every day.

Like Lagoon camp, both Pom Pom Camp and Splash Camp have a strong focus on tracking big game- all game drives feature both a tracker and guide. With permanent waters and good resident game this is a solid itinerary option for any time of year.

Two nights are spent in the west off the Okavango, at Pom Pom camp, followed by 3 nights in the east of the Okavango, at Splash Camp, the smarter camp ensuring a more luxurious experience at the end of your safari.

Pom Pom is a one of the oldest camps in the Okavango, and one of the most popular. This is a traditional tented camp, rustic but comfortable camp with a very scenic location overlooking the reed-fringed Pom Pom Lagoon. While the water levels of this lily peppered lagoon will vary with the rise and fall of the flood, the Xudum river system which reaches across the concession ensures water is never far away. As a result there is good resident game in this area, meaning Pom Pom ensures a good year round safari experience. Activities include day and night 4x4 game drives, boating, walking and mokoro trips – water levels permitting.

Splash Camp lies in the east of the Okavango, and is a new and more luxurious tented camp. Set on the vast private Kwara Concession of 232,000 hectares, this is an incredibly exclusive safari. The Kwando Reserve is one of the most famous in Botswana, with a fantastic range of habitats permanent water and prime game viewing- This area has great sightings of lion, leopard, wild dog and even cheetah which is rare in the Okavango.

Splash has a great track record for offering water activities year round so you can be confident of enjoying that quintessential Botswana safari experience, a mokoro trip, gliding silently through the waterways and seeing the game at eye level is a very special experience. Boating is also offered on a double decker boat which offers great views across the waters and floodplains.

All camps are operated by Kwando Safaris, one of the oldest Botswana operators who stand out for their focus on delivering superb game viewing experiences. To this end, and uniquely in Botswana, they have both a guide and a tracker on board, doubling the expert eyes on your drives and chances of finding those rare sightings.

Day 1

On arrival in Maun, you will be met by and assisted onto your light aircraft flight to Lagoon Camp, a flight of about 60 minutes. Flying across the Okavango and over to the Kwando reserve you will witness the constantly changing landscapes which reach across this corner of Botswana. On arrival at the airstrip your guide will be waiting to welcome you. A game drive of about 20 minutes takes you to the camp. Keep alert, your safari has begun!

After a warm welcome from the team and an introduction to the camp you will settle down to some light refreshments and a discussion with your guide about the activities on offer and your interests. Lagoon Camp offers day and night game drives as well as walking and boating, water levels permitting.

You will then set off on your first activity- perhaps a scenic boat cruise with a sundowner on the river or a game drive in search of the cats as they begin to stir as the heat of the day subsides. Toasting the setting sun with a drink you then return to camp for dinner and your first night in the African bushveld.

Day 2

The next morning you wake early, just before sunrise, and after a light breakfast you set off for your first full day of safari. Perhaps a game drive to track any interesting movements from the cats overnight or following the hyena which you may have heard calling in the night. Every day is different on safari and your guide will interpret the morning ‘news’ of the bush as you explore! Your game drive will last around 4 hours with a coffee break half way.

Returning for a heart brunch around 10.30am-11am you will then have some time to relax during the heat of the day, when the animals retreat to the shade- and so will you! Rest in your room, enjoy the private deck off your room and watch the animals as they visit the lagoon to drink. Or take a swim and relax on the pool deck which has wonderful river views.

Meeting your guide again at tea time you will set off for your afternoon activity – perhaps a game drive to follow up on sightings earlier in the day or a boating safari – the double deck set up allows for excellent views over the papyrus and into the further wetlands. Enjoying a sundowner you will then return to camp and over dinner your will plan the activities for the next morning based on the time of your flight to Pom Pom Camp.

Day 3

This morning you rise early as before and set out for your morning activity, one last chance to explore the Kwando concession. At a time agreed the day before your guide will return you to the airstrip for your flight to the western Okavango. A flight of about 60 minutes. Arriving at Pom Pom, you guide will be waiting to transfer you to camp, a game drive of about 25 minutes.

Having met the team you will have some time to settled into your new Okavango home before sitting down with your guide to discuss the area and activities on offer. Pom Pom is set in a wonderfully varied and beautiful area, which alters with the seasons and arrival of the annual flood waters. Game drives and walking are available year round and water activities are available when levels permit.

The Pom Pom concession is very scenic with open grasslands dotted with tall palms and acacia woodland. Plains game are plentiful, large breeding herds of elephant are found here and the predators varied. Leopard, lion and wild dog are all found here. Birding is very good too, especially in the summer months when the bushveld is alive with birdsong.

Later that afternoon you will set off on your first activity – perhaps a game drive to explore the pretty Pom Pom area or a water safari. Stopping at a scenic spot as the sun begins to set for a drink and some snacks you will then return to camp for dinner, using a spotlight on the drive back to see any nocturnal animals in action. Over dinner your will plan the activities for the next day with your guide.

Day 4

Another early morning wake-up call starts the day, your first full day on safari in the Okavango.

Setting out on your morning activity as the sun comes up you will be out for around 4 hours, returning for brunch and a rest. During the middle of the day you will have a few hours to yourself, a chance for a siesta or swim in the pool. This is the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful setting at Pom Pom and watch the animals as they visit the lagoon for a drink. Every tent enjoys views of the lagoon.

Around 4pm, after high tea, you set off for your afternoon activity and again stop of watch the sunset with a drink before returning to camp for dinner. Every sunset is special in the Okavango and worth stopping for- though sometimes game sightings are too exciting and you may chose to stay at a sightings instead.

Over dinner this evening your guide will advise you what time your flight to Splash camp will be the following day and you will plan your morning activity accordingly.

Day 5

This morning you rise early as before and set out for your morning activity, one last chance to explore the western Okavango. At a time agreed the day before your guide will return you to the airstrip for your flight to the Splash, a flight of about 35 minutes, depending on stops along the way. Landing on the Kwara concession, in the east of the Okavango, your guide will be waiting to transfer you to the camp, a drive of about 40 minutes. You will notice the change in environments here, crossing vast open plains often with giraffe ambling along.

Having met the team at Splash and settled into your new Okavango home you will have some time explore the camp and freshen up before teatime. Rejuvenated you will set off with your guide on your first afternoon activity.

Splash is a private concession and as such offers a full range of land and water activities just like Pom Pom, although here water activities are guaranteed year round, so you are spoilt for choice. You guide will discuss each of these with you and your particular preferences.

Setting out in the late afternoon for your drive or boat ride you will stop of sundowners as the sun sinks below the horizon and the nocturnal animals begin to stir. Returning to camp with a spotlight you will look for cats as they begin their hunting often followed by the opportunistic hyena. A roaring fire and dinner awaits on return.

Day 6 and 7

For the next two days you follow the now familiar safari schedule, with early morning and late afternoon activities. You will have a choice of activities – game drives, walks, mokoro and boat rides. This will all be discussed and planned with your guide to ensure you make the most of your time at Splash Camp.

Game drives allow you to explore right across this huge private 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, bush babies and caracals.

Walking safaris offer a slower pace of safari, the chance to learn more about this unique eco-system and the flora and fauna around you. Your guide will share his tracking skills on these walks which really showcase the great experience and knowledge of these talented guides.

Mokoro trips glide peacefully through the shallower waters of the Okavango and offer a more traditional experience of the Okavango while boating allows the chance to explore further into the deeper water channels and see elephants, hippos and crocodiles in closer quarters.

Plenty to keep you busy over your two full days on the Kwara concession.

Day 8 - Departure Day

Today you depart the Okavango. 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. 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 Chobe and Victoria Falls flights to Kasane can be arranged at an additional cost. This is a flight of about 60 minutes.

Map View

Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

Pom Pom Camp

Pom Pom Camp

Splash Camp

Splash Camp

Splash Camp

Water Level

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Extensions to this safari

From $835 per person

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