Through the Eyes of the Wilderness
Visiting three distinct safari regions, this Botswana adventure brings you face to face with your favourite wildlife. The seasonal flooding of the Okavango Delta creates an incredible variety of conditions, making each visit very special.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Spot elephants in the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve which is home to the highest concentration of elephants in Africa
- Enjoy a traditional mokoro dugout canoe safari on the Okavango Delta waterways
- Look for big cats in the fabulously game rich Chitabe Concession
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Day 1: Arrive in Linyanti
When you have landed in Johannesburg, you will connect onto your onward flight of around two hours to Maun, the gateway to Botswana's northern game reserves and the Okavango Delta. From here you'll take a private light aircraft, landing at a strip a short (around 40 minutes) drive from your first safari camp.
Located within the 309,000 acre Linyati Wildlife Reserve on the banks of the Linyati River, it's a home you'll share with the highest density of elephants anywhere in Africa, along with plenty of other bucket-list species from lions to wild dogs.
It won't take long to spot your first animal neighbours, almost certainly on the drive to camp. If you're feeling up to it after your journey, you can join the evening game drive to get a feel for what's in store, followed by the traditional sundowner drink and a fabulous dinner in the camp's delightful dining tent.
- For an extra special treat, you can book a 'sleep-out' experience (additional cost)
- How about a sundowner by helicopter, flying out to an island on the delta? (additional cost)
- Or a sunset cruise along the Linyanti River and a chance to straddle the border with Namibia?
Day 2: More Safari
Awaking from a dream-filled slumber to the aroma of fresh coffee, head out with your experienced guide on this morning's wildlife mission.
As the sun rises gently, animals flock to the waterways to drink, bathe and perform their morning rituals, unperturbed by your quiet presence. Lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos and sables are all frequently spotted.
Back at camp, a hearty breakfast awaits, followed by time to yourself to relax on your veranda or read up on the animals you've seen already. If you're visiting when the river is in full flood, there are opportunities to go fishing (catch and release) or boating along the waterways.
After your evening game drive, sip your aperitif under the stars out on the candle-lit 'floating deck', as you look forward to a sumptuous supper.
Day 3: Secret Safari
Rising early to catch the best possible game sightings, head out in the camp 4x4 with your binoculars at the ready and your guide on hand, as ever, to lend expert commentary as required. Will you spy leopards today? Perhaps a young elephant learning the ropes with its mother?
After lunch, you may choose to visit one of several excellent hides in the area where you can spend quiet time discreetly observing visiting animals, including rare birds and small mammals as well as the core favourites.
This evening, following your sunset game drive, perhaps choose to dine al fresco on the deck overlooking the lagoon as you reflect on your time in Linyanti.
Day 4: Onward to the Okavango Delta
This morning you'll say goodbye to Linyanti and will be driven back to the airstrip to board an onward flight with stunning bird's eye views over the magnificent Okavango Delta, your next port of call.
After a half-hour road transfer and a five minute boat trip (this can be more boat than road in the wet season) you'll arrive at your camp, unobtrusively nestled in the trees of the beautiful Kwedi Reserve.
After settling into your new home from home, you may head out with your guide by motorboat along the deep channels in search of birdlife including cranes and egrets, as well as pods of hippos and furtive crocodiles. The traditional sundowner is particularly special here, with the vibrant colours of the setting sun reflected in the waterways, followed by a magnificent supper back at camp.
- Scenic helicopter flights (available at additional cost between April and October, weather permitting)
Day 5: Delta Day
Rising early to the uniquely tuneful sounds of the bush, hop into the safari jeep for your morning game drive and a chance to get close to the herds of buffalo, zebras, elephants and big cats that call this place home.
There's such an abundance of wildlife here that just pausing awhile to observe the scene can bring unexpected and unforgettable moments.
Back at camp you can share your morning's encounters over a delicious breakfast before planning the rest of the day with your hosts. You may choose a guided walking safari, a most enlightening experience, introducing novices to the skills of tracking and highlighting many less conspicuous animals as well as unusual plant species.
As darkness falls, perhaps you'll opt for a night drive, the spotlights on the vehicle helping to spot nocturnal animals such as porcupines and aardwolves, genets and bushbabies - maybe even a solitary leopard.
Day 6: Water Safari
After your morning game drive and a leisurely breakfast, relax in the sun by the plunge pool for a while, relishing the absence of 20th century techno-noise and tuning in instead to the sounds of the bush.
Later, glide along the shallower waterways in a mokoro dugout canoe - it's punting, but Okavango-style. This is a delightful way to navigate the delta, serenely exploring the water-based flora and fauna, getting close enough even to pick out tiny reed frogs leaping between the lily pads.
Alternatively, you might prefer to grab a rod and line and head out to deeper waters to try your hand at a spot of catch-and-release fishing. There are dozens of species here, from bream and bass to catfish and pike.
On your last day at camp the evening game drive will be extra special, looking out for your favourite animal residents, or perhaps a species that has so far remained elusive. Afterwards, return to base for another exceptional meal and a peaceful night's rest.
Day 7: To Chitabe
This morning your hosts will transfer you back to the landing strip in time for your flight to the last stop on your African adventure, Chitabe, a private concession adjacent to the famous Moremi Reserve.
The transfer time is around 40 minutes and after a welcome drink you can freshen up before the afternoon's activities.
Set out for your first Chitabe game drive this afternoon - the wide variety of habitats in close proximity here means that no two drives are the same. Look out for cheetahs, leopards and wild dogs in particular.
Return to camp for a delicious gourmet meal and an early night.
Day 8: Last Day
Head back out on the game drive trail this morning to explore another of the surrounding wildlife-rich areas by 4x4.
The birdlife here is particularly good, with over 380 species in the concession, making birders out of even those usually fixated only on big cats. You can, of course, see plenty of cats too, with frequent leopard sightings in this area.
Back at camp, a cooling dip in the pool is pretty irresistible, while a walking safari in the afternoon could be an option if you wish. You'll be able to spot numerous animals from the comfort of your own veranda as they come to drink from the water hole.
A final evening game drive will hopefully be the icing on the cake of your amazing trip, with plenty of animals out and about to bid you farewell as darkness falls.
A wonderful meal under the stars with your fellow camp guests will celebrate your experiences and seal some thrilling memories.
- Birding trips
- Walking safaris
Day 9: Homeward Bound
After breakfast, you'll be transferred to the airstrip for your short flight to Maun where you'll check in for your flight to Johannesburg. From here, you'll connect onto your flight home.
Isabel, Matt and Charlotte C are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.