Wild wonders of Botswana

A good value and classic Botswana safari combining the best of Chobe and the Okavango Delta. Staying in small independent camps with excellent locations and full variety of activities, this is a brilliant itinerary any time of year. Beginning in a quiet corner of Chobe with magnificent views of the floodplains this safari continues to the Okavango, staying in two different camps bordering the Moremi Game Reserve offering a varied and comprehensive Okavango safari experience. The camps are very elegant but retain an authentic sense of the traditional safari.

All three properties are run by Machaba Safaris, a small collection of intimate safari camps offering affordable luxury safaris in prime locations.

Chobe is synonymous with vast elephant herds and prime game viewing and its reputation attracts many visitors. This itinerary keeps you away from the crowds as you stay at the tranquil Ngoma Safari Lodge in Chobe, on the edge of the plateau overlooking the stunning Chobe Floodplains, one of the finest sunset locations in Botswana. Every aspect of this lovely lodge makes the most of these superb views. Ngoma is a small, smart lodge set in the Chobe Forest Reserve to the west of the Chobe National Park – a much quieter and more serene corner of the park.

Chobe is a prime game viewing area, notably in the dry season from July-October, when huge concentrations of animals descend on the river banks. Huge herds of elephant, buffalo and zebra will move from the Kalahari to the Chobe river in the driest months although Chobe offers year round game viewing too. Activities at Ngoma Safari Lodge include game drives in the Chobe National Park as well as the Chobe Forest Reserve, where night drives are permitted. Breakfast and lunch cruises are also hosted, as well as fishing trips at an additional cost for keen fishermen.

Moving south west to the Okavango, where you will explore the eastern Okavango from Machaba Camp and the southern Okavango from Gomoti Plains Camp.

Machaba is set in the game rich and very beautiful Khwai region, a community concession in the eastern Okavango bordering the Moremi Game Reserve allowing game drives in both areas. The Khwai river is not as affected by the seasonal flood and more on local precipitation and as such offers superb game viewing all year round game viewing. Khwai has varied habitats from riverine forest and wetlands to open plains and attracts varied game as a result. Leopard and Wild Dog are regularly seen, and lion too. Machaba Camp is a smart tented camp, extremely comfortable though always retaining an authentic feel- the tents remain on the ground, not deck and this adds to the connection to the wild surroundings. The game overlooks the Moremi Game Reserve and animals roam freely across the river. Day and night drives are offered, as well as seasonal mokoro excursions.

The final stop on this itinerary is the southern reached of the Okavango Delta – an area with some of the most exciting game viewing in Botswana. Gomoti Plains is set on a private concession offering the most exclusive experience of this safari, where very few other vehicles are seen. The habitats and game here are also varied, predators include lion, wild dog, leopard, hyena and even occasionally cheetah. Rhino are also found here as well as an interesting mix of plains game and buffalo. The camp overlooks a tributary of the Gomoti River, and mokoro and boating is offered depending on water levels.

Gomoti is a very smart tented camp, with a simple chic style designed to be sensitive to the environment, as with Machaba these camps have a very good eco design and make use of sophisticated solar energy for power.

Day 1 - Ngoma Safari Lodge

On the day of your arrival at Kasane Airport, you are greeted by a representative guide from Ngoma Safari Lodge who will transfer you to the lodge, a drive of approximately one hour in length. Elephant and other animals roam freely here so keep your eyes peeled!

A classic, intimate safari Lodge on a private concession within the Chobe Forest Reserve, Ngoma Safari Lodge has spectacular views over the Chobe River floodplains lying below it.
Luxurious suites with huge glass windows in an intimate setting have been constructed using natural locally sourced materials and the rooms seem to melt into the naturally occurring volcanic rock that is found here.

Having settled into your new temporary home, your guide will discuss the various activities extended to guests at Ngoma which you can enjoy during your stay. Game drives (day and night) are offered here as well as boat cruises along the Chobe River.

A scrumptious late afternoon tea is followed by a leisurely afternoon game drive where animals that are dependent on the permanent river water source can be marveled at. Vast herds of elephant, buffalo, giraffe, sable and roan are visible from your safari vehicle especially during dry season from May to October and regular sighting of lion, leopard, hyaena are enjoyed by guests. These excursions often extend into the early evening hours, showcasing a world of nocturnal animals not normally seen during the daytime – jackal, bushbabies, porcupine, various owls and nightjars just to name a few.

Dinner is a traditional boma affair under the stars, around a central fire where guests can mingle, stories and adventures are shared and delicious, hearty fresh meals are served.

After your long day of travel you retire to the comfort of your luxury suite in anticipation of a new safari adventure the next day.

Day 2 - Ngoma Safari Lodge

Days begin early on safari, as this is when the animals are most active before the day starts to heat up too much. Magical early mornings and pale twilight hours together with the sounds of the bushveld waking up are signature pleasures on safari in Africa. After breakfast you set off on your first day of safari adventure.

Boating safaris are a highlight in Chobe. Morning, afternoon or even full day Chobe River safaris are offered in the comfort of a cruise boat, exploring the fascinating ecosystems sustained by the river. Big game viewing as well as birding can be enjoyed and depending on the time of year, guests may be able to witness part of the zebra migration that occurs annually where migrating herds pass through on their way from the Angola basin to Chobe and onwards in the direction of the Makgadikgadi Pans..

For those keen to explore on foot, walking safaris are available and present a good opportunity to experience some adrenalin -filled moments viewing big game up close. Knowledgeable guides introduce guests to the finer skills of tracking spoor.

A delicious brunch awaits you on your return to the lodge followed by a few hours of rest, an opportunity to soak up the wonderful views and enjoy your spoiling room, each featuring a small plunge pool on the deck. Later that afternoon you set off on an afternoon drive or boat safari.

Ngoma Safari Lodge has an advantage in that it is located on a private concession where night drives are permitted. Post - dinner night safaris are opportunities to seek out predators that use the cover of darkness to hunt their prey.

New adventures await tomorrow as you head off to the Okavango Delta.

Day 3 - Machaba Camp

This morning, following a final early morning activity and hearty breakfast, you will be transferred to Kasane Airport in time for your 60 minute shared charter flight to Machaba Camp in the Okavango Delta.

On arrival at the Khwai airstrip your guide will be waiting to transfer you to camp, a game drive of approximately 20 minutes. It is here that you are likely to witness some superb wildlife encounters in the grasslands, forests lagoons and floodplains that represent Khwai’s wide diversity of habitats and ecosystems.

Machaba Camp features traditionally styled safari camp tents designed to have minimum impact on the sensitive ecosystem. Each tent is set on the Khwai riverbank offering fantastic views into the adjacent Moremi Game Reserve. Aptly named after the Sycamore Fig Tree (Machaba), the tree of life, this camp is perfectly representative of the diversity of life found here.

Having settled into the camp and enjoyed some refreshments you will set off on your first afternoon game drive to explore the area, taking in the untamed wilderness and myriad of animals that frequent this region. Stopping in a scenic spot to enjoy the sunset with some well deserved sundowners, you will then return to camp for dinner where the roaring camp fire will be ready to welcome you back home.

Dinner is prepared in an open- air tented dining area and is preceded by drinks at the communal bar. This is the time to relax and enjoy exchanging stories and experiences with fellow safari goers and guides alike. An optional night drive is offered once again after dinner.

Day 4 and 5 - Machaba

Dawn and dusk are known to be the best times for game viewing. An early morning game drive takes advantage of the pre-dawn hours to head out into the wilds. A light breakfast spread with freshly brewed coffee is prepared in the main camp area before your departure. During the drive, at a pre-selected scenic spot, you stop for a snack of freshly baked goodies and hot drinks.

Covering various types of terrain, each drive is a new experience and your guide will share his knowledge as you explore off the beaten track. Species to be seen include elephant, buffalo, zebra, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, giraffe, eland, sable, hippo, hyena and various other nocturnal species.

Machaba Safari guides encourage guests to partake in bush walks, bringing you up close and personal with the sights and sounds of the wilderness- a completely different experience from viewing game on a safari vehicle.

A silent water safari by traditional dugout canoe or Mokoro may be possible depending on the surrounding water levels at the time of your travels. Poled along by experienced mokoro guides, guests explore the secret reed-lined water channels that the Delta is renowned for. View elephants on the riverbank as they come to drink and discover the smaller creatures, Painted Reed Frogs hanging off the ends of reeds and Kingfishers hovering above the water surface as they hunt for food. The perfect way to gain a deeper understanding of Mother nature’s natural rhythms.

Hours between drives are filled by relaxing in the cooling pool water or by indulging in a midday siesta. A relaxing massage or body treatment by qualified therapists can be arranged to suit your schedule. Visits to the local community can be arranged based on surrounding water levels.

Day 6 - Gomoti Plains

Another early start with a morning game drive followed by breakfast before your 20 minute flight to Gomoti Plains Camp in the southern Okavango. Your guide will meet you on arrival and transfer you to camp, a game drive of about 40 minutes based on water levels at the time of your trip.

Gomoti is an affordable camp located in the NG32 community-run concession in the South Eastern section of the renowned Okavango Delta. Set on a private concession Gomoti offers an exclusive safari experience. Within the wilderness area encompassing the smaller Gomoti river system, Gomoti Plains Camp treats its guests to a classic safari experience with game drives and water activities, water levels permitting.

Having settled into your room and enjoyed some light refreshments you will have some time to relax before your afternoon drive through the floodplains. Returning to camp at dark, using a spotlight to search for any of the nocturnal animals along the way, you will freshen up and meet for drinks around the camp fire before a delicious dinner is served. Guests then retire to bed to the now familiar and wonderful sounds of the surrounding African bushveld .

Day 7 and 8

By now you will be able to relate to the steady rhythm of an authentic African safari – for the next two days you wake at dawn, enjoy a quick breakfast before setting off on your morning drive which will last around 4 hours and then returning to camp for brunch and a siesta before setting off again in the late afternoon for a second game viewing activity.

The Gomoti Plains region pulses with a diverse range of wildlife including large herds of buffalo, prides of lion and packs of endangered African Wild Dog. Leopard are also seen here and occasionally cheetah too.

The focus at Gomoti Plains is on game drives and walking, with boating and mokoro activities offered when possible. Game drives allow you to cover more ground and approach predators up close while walking is a more peaceful activity, a chance to learn more about this unique eco-system and its smaller inhabitants and secrets not normally visible from the height of a 4x4 safari vehicle. The expert tracking of animals through this vast wilderness showcases your guide’s expert knowledge. and experience. Nothing beats the thrill of seeing these animals on foot.

Day 9 - End of Safari

Today marks the end of your safari. Depending on your flight times you will enjoy a final morning activity before departing for the airstrip. Your return flight to Maun is approximately 20 minutes in length and you then disembark the charter flight in time to connect to your onward travel arrangements.

Map View

Ngoma Safari Lodge

Ngoma Safari Lodge

Machaba Camp

Machaba Camp

Gomoti Plains Camp

Gomoti Plains Camp

Gomoti Plains Camp

Water Level

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