Experience the distinct landscapes of Botswana’s most iconic destinations on this Best of Botswana Safari to Chobe, Okavango Delta & the Kalahari desert.
To those who get off the beaten track in Botswana, a dynamic experience awaits. This Best of Botswana LuxVenture® pushes the boundaries of traditional travel by taking you, quite literally to new heights – showing intrepid travelers new experiences in some of the world’s most off-the-grid areas. Ignite the adventurer in you by taking to the skies for a helicopter flip over the Okavango Delta, game viewing by vehicle, foot, horseback, boat, mokoro, and quad-bike, and engaging meaningfully in cultural and conservation-minded initiatives. From learning survival skills with the San Bushman in the white-washed Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, to understanding how local employment initiatives can change lives, to dining in the bush with semi-habituated elephants, this trip will become a memory to share for a lifetime.
Arrive in Kasane, where a Ker & Downey® Africa representative will be waiting to greet you and assist with the 10-minute private road transfer to Chobe Chilwero, where you will be spending the next three nights. Chobe Chilwero is conveniently set on the fringes of Chobe National Park – one of Botswana’s premier big game destinations and the elephant mecca of Africa. Overlooking the iconic Chobe River and surrounding floodplains, guests enjoy expansive views of the tawny landscape and the myriad of animal species that flock to the water’s edge to drink. The property boasts fine amenities such as elegantly decorated and spacious rooms, gourmet dining, and a pool and spa. Take some time to settle in and relax from your trip before relishing in your first African sunset on a scenic sundowner cruise on the Chobe River. Glide down the gentle river to the tune of hippos grunting, gin & tonic in hand as the sun slips below the horizon line. Enjoy a divine dinner back at the lodge before getting a good night’s rest to prepare for an early rise tomorrow.
Wake up with the sunrise while the grass is still dewy, the sky is a soft pastel hue, and the animals are their most active before the heat of the day. This is when your chances of a great game sighting is the best. After a morning cup of strong coffee, step into a 4×4 vehicle with an expert driver and guide who know Chobe like the back of their hands. Hear the crunching of sand beneath the tires as you navigate the roads and trails of this extensive and historic park. Chobe sprawls across 11,700-square kilometers and since its inception in 1967, has been a mainstay for avid safari-goers. While immense herds of elephants are the main attraction, other big game species and predators like lion, hyena, and gemsbok are also commonplace. As the sun centers itself at midday, return to camp for lunch and some time to relax in the shade, read a book, or jump in the pool. In the afternoon, you will set out once more for a game drive in search of species you may have missed in the morning. Before night falls, return to Chobe Chilwero and enjoy a gourmet dinner.
On your final day at Chobe Chilwero, participate in some of the other singular activities the lodge offers: visit the local community to immerse in Botswanan culture and see the Dipetsana Bike Shop that employs five local women who are keen to explain to guests how this opportunity has impacted their lives. Get a new perspective on a Chobe National Park safari by game viewing by boat. A safari on the Chobe River comes with its perks; from the water, travelers see wildlife from an entirely new vantage point. As thirsty animals congregate by the river ranks, they seem unfussed at the presence of the boat, and views are uninterrupted by vegetations or other vehicles. A boat safari provides extraordinary photographic opportunities memorable game sightings. Return to the lodge in the evening to reflect on a fruitful safari experience in one of Africa’s most touted national parks as you indulge in one final dinner at Chobe Chilwero.
After breakfast at the lodge, pack up and check-out for your road transfer back to Kasane. From here, take a charter flight to Stanley’s Camp where you will spend the next 3 nights. Set in the Okavango Delta, Botswana’s most coveted wildlife zone, Stanley’s Camp offers a dynamic and unforgettable safari experience. The wood and canvas camp is shaded by enormous ebony and sausage trees, blending in seamlessly with the natural environment. In utter seclusion, this small traditional safari lodge sits on a 260,000-acre private concession bordering the Moremi Game Reserve. Once you’ve had a chance to settle in and relax, set off on an afternoon game drive in search of wildlife, including the many active hyena dens nearby. Return to camp in the evening to enjoy dinner under a star-lit sky while listening to the subtle chirp of nighttime frogs and insects, a welcome reminder of your separation of the stress of everyday life.
Today is yours to explore Stanley’s Camp’s diverse offerings. Rise early to feel the early morning coolth on your skin as animals come out of the woodworks, silently picking their way through the tall grasses and floodplains. This morning, embark on a life-changing experience with semi-habituated orphaned elephants. Stanley’s Camp’s Living with the Elephants program allows guests to walk through the bush with these intelligent and emotional creatures, feeling their habitat from their perspective. Conclude the walk with lunch in their company as your guide educates you about elephant conservation in Botswana. In the afternoon, take the opportunity to explore the delta in perhaps the most authentic way possible – a mokoro safari, a traditional dug-out canoe propelled by a long stick. In a mokoro, one can glide effortlessly through the shallow riverine pathways of the delta, flanked by grasses on either side. Watch hippos laze in the cool waters, and spot water-adapted antelope such as red lechwe grazing in the distance.
Another full at Stanley’s Camp will bring even bolder adventures. Rise at dawn to take to the skies on a personal helicopter flip high above the delta. From this bird’s eye view, the delta’s endless floodplains unfurl beneath you, the twisting rivers catching the morning light and reflecting shades of blue and yellow. If you’re lucky, spot herds of elephant or buffalo from above. Awe-struck, return to camp for lunch and some time to relax. In the afternoon, don your hiking boots to navigate the bush by foot, guided by a tenured local guide whose ancestral map was graphed in this very area. Examine the narratives of the bush both large and small to feel and understand the delta’s flora and fauna in new ways.
Check-out of Stanley’s Camp in time to board a 50-minute charter flight to Tsigaro, from where you will drive a short distance to San Camp or Camp Kalahari, depending on the time of year. Both camps are located in the Kalahari Desert, an immense semi-arid region stretching 930,000-square kilometers across Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. The simplistic and clean San Camp echoes the white soda and salt pans in its design. The surrounding landscape is dotted with waving palms, lawns of wild golden grass, and endless blue skies. The more luxurious of the two camps, San brings about old-world elegance in its opulent furnishings where as Camp Kalahari takes a no-fuss approach to recreating the traditional safari. Just 11 Meru-style canvas tents take guests back to a long-gone era of intrepid exploration. As two of just three camps in a one-million-acre private wildlife reserve, staying at San Camp or Camp Kalahari offers unmatched wildlife sightings such as the migration of tens of thousands of zebra and a feeling of seclusion quite like no other. While each camp differs in tone and feel, they both offer an extraordinary host of activities to discover ancient cultures, desert-adapted wildlife, and extraordinary adventure in the Kalahari.
Whether you stay at San Camp or Kalahari Camp, a myriad of activities are available to you. Set off on game drives to investigate unique, desert-adapted wildlife different from that you saw in Chobe or the Delta. Impressive species like gemsbok call the salt pans home, thriving despite the dry conditions. Meerkats also abound, and guests are welcome to visit habituated meerkat families to learn about their sophisticated social dynamics. 2-hour horseback safaris allow you to explore new areas, off the beaten track and into the wilderness – getting closer to large herbivores than possible by vehicle. For those with a taste for adventure, quad-biking is also available. Both San Camp and Camp Kalahari boast gourmet meals and enviable craft cocktails – the perfect lure to return to camp after a full day of exploration. Settle around a fire in the evening for dinner and a night cap as an orchestra of night noises provides a cheerful backdrop to the evening’s conversations.
Wake up to sun peeking over the horizon line, illuminating the endless Makgadikgadi Pans. Before the day gets too hot, go for a morning game drive, meandering through the dusty roads of the Kalahari in search of wildlife. Return to a warm meal, tea and coffee and time to relax and appreciate your unique surroundings before a final afternoon of exploring. For the culturally-inclined, walk with the San Bushman to learn how this ancient tribe has survived in these harsh conditions for ages, or discover archeological gems found in the salt flats. This evening will bring about one of the most phenomenal experiences on this trip. At nightfall, venture back out onto the salt pans, setting up camp in this desolate expanse of salt and sand where there are some of the clearest skies on earth. Spend the night sleeping on the salt pans with fresh air, bright stars, and a feeling of absolute unencumbered freedom.
Today marks the end of your LuxVenture® Trip to Botswana. After breakfast you will be transferred to Tsigaro airstrip for your charter flight to Maun Airport. From Maun, catch your connecting departure flight home.
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