Enjoy a unique stay at Elephant Sands Lodge, where you can witness a herd of these magnificent creatures bath and drink in the natural waterhole only metres from your porch.. Glide through the wildlife-filled waterways of the Okavango by mokoro, this traditional dug-out canoe is the best way to experience the delta up-close.. Seek out pods of hippos wallowing in the waters and surround yourself with an abundance of birdlife on a 4WD game drive through Chobe National Park.. Be welcomed into the villages of the Hambukushu and Xwe people in Namibia, and get the opportunity to observe their unique customs and way of life.
Containing in its borders the world’s largest salt pans, inland delta and number of elephants, Botswana has plenty to boast about. Taking in also Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls and Namibia’s Zambezi region, this trip celebrates both the natural and cultural highlights of Botswana. Stay in a lodge overlooking a watering hole frequented by elephants, jump in jeeps and set out on game drives in Chobe National Park, paddle through the Okavango Delta in a traditional dug-out canoe, and be welcomed into the villages of the Hambukushu and Xwe people. If it’s a diversity of landscapes, wildlife and cultures you’re after, then this is ultimate trip.
Breakfast Included: 8 Lunches Included: 2 Dinner Included: 2
Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe. Your adventure begins today with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, if you arrive early, check out some of the optional activities around Victoria Falls. The Zimbabwe side of the falls offers the broadest view of this colossal natural wonder. Scenic helicopter flights are incredible – if you opt for one, choose Zambezi Helicopter Company (CAA Zimbabwe), the only operator Intrepid endorses. After the welcome meeting, why not get to know your fellow travellers over a group dinner.
Travel across the Kazungula border into Botswana and make your way to your accommodation for the evening, Elephant Sands (325 kilometres, approximately 6 hours including the border crossing). Located in a private concession bordering on the Chobe Forest Reserve, the watering hole at Elephant Sands lodge attracts herds of elephant and other wildlife in season. On arrival, settle into your chalet for the evening and perhaps soak up the sounds of the wilderness with a glass of wine as your overlook the waterhole, keeping an eye out for the roaming animals.
After breakfast, drive to Maun, a bustling town on the edge of the Okavango Delta (355 kilometres, approximately 6.5 hours). Arriving here in the afternoon, you'll have the opportunity to take in this World Heritage site from above on a scenic flight in a light aircraft (an optional activity that your trip leader can help you arrange). Tonight's accommodation is in the Sedia Hotel, a comfortable hotel situated on the town's outskirts.
Okavango Delta Pan Handle
Leaving Maun after breakfast, make your way further to the north-western part of the Okavango Delta, admiring the scenery along the way. The drive is approximately 300 kilometres and it will take about 6 hours to reach a secure parking area where you will meet your 4WD transfer for the last 12 kilometres. On arrival, settle into the lodge where you will be spending the next two nights, located on the edge of the Guma Lagoon.
Okavango Delta Pan Handle
Today you’ll hop into mokoros (traditional dugout canoes) for a water-level exploration of the delta. Paddling through papyrus and reed beds to lily-covered lagoons and islands, be sure to keep on the lookout for elephants, antelope, warthogs and other creatures of the plains. Tuck into a picnic lunch on one of the islands and embark on a short bushwalk, returning to the lodge in the late afternoon in time to watch the sunset over the lagoon.
After breakfast, take the 4WD transfer back to the vehicle and make your way to the Namibian border. The drive is approximately 150 kilometres and will take approximately 5hours (including the time it takes to complete the immigration formalities). The drive to tonight's camp, which is on the Caprivi banks of the Kavango River, involves passing through the Mahango Game Reserve – keep your eyes peeled for the surrounding wildlife on the drive. In the afternoon, venture out on a guided excursion to the villages of the Hambukushu and Xwe people, which presents an excellent opportunity to observe village life up close.
Chobe National Park
Continue the journey along the Caprivi Strip, located in the newly formed Kavango-Zambezi Trans frontier park. After crossing the border back into Botswana you’ll arrive at Kasane, a town surrounded by the Chobe National Park (455 kilometres, approximately 7 hours). Taking its name from the river which marks the border between Namibia and Botswana, Chobe boasts the largest population of elephants in Africa, plus an abundance of birdlife, pods of wallowing hippos and more. Check out Kasane town, or perhaps take a dip in the lodge pool, sit by the open outdoor fire, or simply watch the setting sun change the colours of the sky above the Chobe River.
Chobe National Park
Take the opportunity to wake up early and enjoy an optional dawn game drive in Chobe National Park, where you may see elephants drinking at the waters' edge, large herds of cape buffaloes and many impala within the park. Return to the lodge for a late breakfast and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Later in the afternoon enjoy a sunset cruise on the Chobe River. At the right time of year, the river is frequented by large families of elephants crossing the banks, drinking and playing in the water. It's also ideal for spotting bird life such as saddle-billed storks, malachite kingfishers, fish eagles and beautiful bee-eaters as well as hippos, and crocodiles. Why not grab a sundowner from the small bar onboard, then sit back and watch the sunset over the river – a perfect way to end the day.
This morning you have the option to get up before dawn and head out on an optional morning game drive. This time of day is when predators such as leopards and lions are spotted returning from their night's hunting. Return to the lodge for breakfast, then drive across the Zimbabwean border. After completing the border formalities, drive the remaining distance to Victoria Falls (a distance of approximately 100 km). Your adventure ends upon arrival in Vic Falls (approximately 2 pm) and no accommodation is included tonight. Ask your travel specialist about post tour accommodation options if you're considering staying on in Victoria Falls a few extra days. Those staying longer can visit the falls and choose from various activities and excursions, including white water rafting, canoeing and flying fox rides.