Walk the Okavango Delta

This itinerary begins in the delightful deep waters of the Okavango at a pretty palm studded island, Chao Island reached by boat from Maun. After 2 nights you fly by helicopter south east to your next camp on the private NG32 concession – an area rich in game and varied in landscape. For the next 5 nights you will explore this area by foot, 4×4 and canoe- moving camp twice. A truly unique experience, best for the adventurous traveller and those looking for an off-the-beaten-track experience.

Walk Botswana Safaris is a small and independent mobile outfit specialising in private walking safaris in the Okavango Delta. Founded by private guide Gareth Flemix, the focus is on the quality of the guiding, under the ethos ‘a good guide makes a good safari’. This itinerary has been designed to highlight the diversity of the Okavango, with a mix of activities and experiences across three different sites, but can be amended to suit personal preference. This outline aims to offer a flavour of what to expect from a safari with Gareth and his team but is not set in stone, days are flexible, moving with the conditions at the time to make the most of your safari experience.

All camps are privately and set up for your exclusive use in secluded and private sites. The camps come in three levels of luxury depending on your budget and preference, all are fully inclusive of melas and drinks. It is worth noting that permanent camps can also be incorporated into these itineraries if of interest.

Adventure camps – This are the most basic level, using two man dome tents (3m x 3m) with a high density foam mattress on the floor. The bathroom is private but not en-suite, it is separate but not far from, your tent. Bathrooms consist of open air ( but private) shower tents with bucket showers (hot water provided) and a separate bush loo.

Semi Luxury – two man dome tents (3m x 3m) with a high density foam mattress on raised ‘cots’ for extra comfort and warmth. A spacious en-suite bathroom is attached to your tent, provided convenient and extra privacy. These are open air but walled canvas, with a bucket shower and bush loo.

Luxury Camp – Spacious walk in meru-tents with proper beds and luxurious linen, extra pillows and a standing wardrobe. Large net ‘windows’ provide plenty of air and views. A spacious en-suite bathroom is attached to the tent, with a bucket shower, a proper wooden bush loo and a wash basin with running water. The veranda features a relaxing area with table and chairs as well as a vanity table with a basin and running water. Meals and drinks are of an extra high standard.

All the Walk Botswana Safari guides are all highly experienced and rated, and armed. Walking safaris are not permitted in the national parks and therefore all these safaris are planned on private or community concessions which border the reserves and which allow the guides to walk armed.

Day 1 - Chao Island

On arrival in Maun you will be met by your guide and take a short drive through town to the jetty where you will meet the rest of the camp team and depart by boat for the Okavango Delta (water levels permitting, alternatively you will drive into the Okavango). The first 40 minutes of the boat transfer takes you past rural villages offering a fascinating glimpse of local life in and around the Okavango Delta. Once past the buffalo fence the landscape becomes wilder as you head further into the heart of the Okavango, to Chao Island where you will spend the first two nights of your safari. The whole transfer will take approximately 3-4 hours, depending on sightings along the way. Drinks and snacks are provided to keep you going.

Arriving at our camp site we leave the team to set up camp while we take a walk around the islands to explore our surroundings and stretch our legs after the long journey. This is a gentle stroll, an introduction to our surroundings as we learn more about the Okavango landscape and to see what animals have been in the area recently. This also allows the guide to gauge a sense of what kind of walkers you are.

Returning to camp we enjoy a sundowner drink as we watch the African skies begin to turn pink and the nocturnal animals begin to stir. Dinner is served under the stars. Retiring to bed to rest after your long journey and prepare for the adventure ahead.

Day 2 - Chao Island

The day starts early on safari, this is the most productive time of the day before the heat of the sun pushes the animals (and us!) into the shade. We are up just before sunrise and after a quick breakfast we are off to catch up on the evening’s wildlife activity, perhaps following up on sounds heard the night before. We leave early to make the most of this time to track any interesting animals which has passed by in the night.

As the day heats up we return to camp for lunch and some time to rest in camp before heading out again. This time we take to the waterways, exploring by boat. Many animals visit the river in the early evening to drink and this offers lovely game viewing. Fishing is also an option. Sunset on the water is a beautiful thing and we will always toast the setting sun with a drink on the water before returning to camp for dinner below the magnificent African skies.

Retire to bed for your final night on Chao Island, will you hear hippo munching in the night? Perhaps a jackal or porcupine will visit the camp – all will be revealed in the morning.

Day 3 - South East Okavango - Site 1

We rise early, as always, and enjoy breakfast around the camp fire before heading out for a short walk. The team will break down the camp and pack up the boat while we are away, leaving no trace that we were ever here. We explore the area around camp, a good opportunity to explore any movements heard in the night.

We return to camp once everything is loaded in the boats and set off – we retrace our route through the Okavango waters for a few hours reaching the buffalo fence which marks the start of the rural villages. Here we part ways with the rest of the team who continue to Maun, and we depart by helicopter for our next camp. This is a spectacular experience, the Okavango is stunning from above and there is no better way to see it than by helicopter, sure to leave you with memories for life.

Arriving at our new camp we settle into our new home before taking a short drive to explore the area and familiarise ourselves with this new corner of the Okavango. We enjoy sundowners in the bush before returning to camp, where the camp fire will be roaring and waiting for us. Dinner follows and then bed, ready for lots of walking the next day.

Day 4 - South East Okavango - Site 1

By now you will be familiar with the rhythm of safari and naturally wake to the dawn chorus, in eager anticipation of the adventures ahead that day. A quick hot drink around the camp fire and we are off as the sun is rising- making the most of this precious time of day. During the morning walk we will stop for a bush breakfast set up by the team in a scenic spot in the wilderness, a wonderful experience. We return to camp for a siesta – some time to stop moving and simply enjoy the stillness of camping in the Okavango wilderness. Perhaps rest in your tent of just read under the shade of the trees and see what animals pass by.

Later that afternoon as the day cools we depart on an afternoon walk. We will follow up on any sightings from the morning walk. We return to camp for an early dinner before setting off for a night drive. A 4x4 is useful to approach predators more closely than we would ever do on foot. Predators are nocturnal and as the sun sinks they begin to stir, most active as the night falls when the other animals are most vulnerable. We will be on the look out for these cats hoping to catch a glimpse as they set of hunting.

Day 5 - South East Okavango - Site 1

This morning we set off after breakfast in camp on a morning game drive, perhaps following up on any sightings from the night drive the evening before or tracking new movements. We return to camp for lunch and a short siesta before heading out for a walk or game drive – depending on your preference. Tomorrow we move camp and there will be plenty of walking so the chance for an afternoon game drive today is available.

Sunset is enjoyed from camp followed by drinks around the camp fire and dinner.

Day 6 - South East Okavango - Site 2

Today we move camp, to a different area of the concession so make sure you enjoy a hearty breakfast as we have a busy day ahead, we are out walking all day. The staff will break down and move the camp, either by 4x4 or mokoro depending on water levels. All your luggage we will be transported by the team, you will only need a day bag to carry your water and packed lunch which will be shared out between you.

We will be walking all day - a wonderful experience, a chance to full immerse in nature. A chance to enjoy the quiet of a peaceful walk through the wilderness, engaging all senses by now becomes second nature. We will stop for lunch along the way in a shaded spot, and sling up some hammocks to relax in the heat of the day.

We walk into our new camp around mid-afternoon, ready for a hot shower before sitting down and putting our feet up to enjoy the sunset in our final Okavango home.

Day 7 - South East Okavango - Site 2

The final full day in the Okavango wilderness. This morning we give our feet a rest after all the walking the day before, and instead explore the waterways in canoes. These are single man canoes, and the group will be lead by your armed walking guide. This is an optional activity, and walking or game drives can be enjoyed if preferred. Likewise if water levels do not allow for this activity to be conducted safety we will enjoy a walk or drive.

During the course of the morning we will paddle through the network of rivers and lagoons, stopping for lunch on the banks of the river, taking hammocks to relax in after lunch. Return to camp around mid-afternoon for a hot shower and time to rest before an early dinner. After dinner we head out on a night drive in search of predators as well as some of the smaller night time creatures missed in the day, a last chance to spot any animals we have not yet seen.

Day 8 - End of Safari

Your final morning in the Okavango, relish the sounds of the bushveld as it wakes to the sunrise, the animals stirring and birds calling. You will be eager to make the most of this time – either set off for one last game drive or walk after breakfast before returning to camp which will have been packed up during your walk and set off for Maun. This is a drive of about 3-4 hours, depending on sightings along the way.

You will arrive in Maun in time for a mid-day flight.

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Walk Botswana Safaris

Walk Botswana Safaris

Walk Botswana Safaris

Walk Botswana Safaris

Walk Botswana Safaris

Walk Botswana Safaris

Walk Botswana Safaris

Walk Botswana Safaris

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