16 days – Botswana Camping tour

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16 days
Camping Group Tour
Johannesburg - Johannesburg
South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe
Min Age : 12
Max People : 17
Tour Details

This camping overland adventure tour starts in Johannesburg and finishes in Johannesburg (with the possibility to just travel until Vic Falls). Our tour will take us through the vast Kalahari where we will walk with the local Bushmen people, then to the north – into the magnificent Okavango Delta where we will travel by boat and in dugout canoes (mekoro) with local Bayei tribes people to our private camp in the heart of this unique natural wonderland – home also to a multitude of Africa’s Fauna and Flora. We then explore the renowned National Parks in fully equipped open 4×4 vehicles and more!

Highlights

Kalahari – Bushmen walk; Okavango Delta private camp; Okavango Boat trip and Mekoro; Game Walks: Moremi Game Reserve; Savuti; Open-vehicle Game Drives in National Parks; Serviced Camping in National Parks; Makgadikgadi Salt Pans – Night under the Stars; Chobe River Boat Cruise; Victoria Falls National Park

Accommodation

2 Nights Lodge, 5 Nights Canvas, 8 Nights Camping
MEALS: As indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner).

Restrictions

Minimum age is 12, max 65. Older travellers are welcome if they can send us a medical certificate stating they don’t mind climbing daily in and out of the overland truck and that they are in good health.

Extras/Upgrades

Optional Activities can be booked on arrival. No bookings are made in advance. Rates are subject to change without notice Activities are subject to availability Activities are weather dependent. Contact us for more details

Hotel Pickup

Tour starts at 06:30 hrs on day one of the tour from Greenfire Lodge Johannesburg. Pre- and post tour accommodation bookable via us and airport transfers.

Departure & Return Location

Johannesburg – Johannesburg

Departure Time

Early morning on day of departure

Price Includes

  • Included highlights as per itinerary
  • Transport
  • accommodation
  • Meals as indicated
  • Max. 12 passengers
  • English speaking guide & driver
  • Flexible payment options in multiple currencies
  • No booking or credit card fees
  • Coverage by Guarantee Fund

Price Excludes

  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Flights
  • Departure Taxes
  • Airport transfers
  • Tips
  • Optional activities
  • Items of a personal nature
Itinerary

DAY 1JOHANNESBURG – KALAHARI

Our adventure starts on departure from the GREENFIRE LODGE JOHANNESBURG at 06h30. Making our way through the North West of South Africa with scattered mountains all around, we aim to cross the Botswana border near Lobatse. On completion of customs and immigration formalities, we cross into Botswana and the vast Kalahari Plains that stretch as far as the eye can see.

We will cover quite some distance today before arriving at our accommodation near the village of Kang. Tonight we enjoy a catered meal while our guide explains what to expect in the days to come.

Meals: Lunch and Dinner own expense
Included Highlights/Activity:
– Scenic drive through North West South Africa
– Kalahari Desert

DAY 2 KALAHARI BUSHMEN OR SAN

Waking up to a spectacular Kalahari sunrise, we enjoy our first cup of coffee and a sumptuous breakfast before continuing to the old frontier town of Ghanzi. Ghanzi is home to some of the last traditional Bushmen that make a living in this harsh desert environment, and it is here that we will enjoy learning about the wilderness from these fascinating people.

Our experience will include an educational bush walk led by true Bushmen to give us insight into their daily lives and teach us how they manage to survive in these harsh conditions, their hunting and trapping skills, their peculiar belief systems, and how they find and store their water. Overnight on a vast tract of land owned and managed by the local people.

Meals: B L D
Included Highlights / Activity:
– Guided bush walk led by true bushman/san

DAY 3 – 5OKAVANGO DELTA

The Okavango River, emanating from central Angola, far to the northwest, flows south- and eastwards, before slowing and spreading into one of the world’s only true inland deltas, creating as it does so a unique ecosystem that supports a huge variety of animal and plant life. The sight of a Jacana striding delicately amongst the flowering lilies, the Bee Eater diving to prey on an unsuspecting insect, and of course the familiar cry of the African Fish Eagle – all combine to create the canvas of one of nature’s unique masterpieces. The river, eventually spilling its contents into the vast plains of the Makgadikgadi sands, disappears.

Our comfortable and well appointed camp on the edge of one of the largest lagoons serves as a base from which we explore. We will glide through narrow reed-lined channels by mokoro, walk on uninhabited islands, and picnic in the wilderness, while learning about the animals and plants of the Delta from local guides who have grown up in the area. Through informal interaction with the guides, we will have the opportunity to learn about the local people and their way of life in this isolated wilderness. We will also have time to simply relax and enjoy the views over a glistening lagoon from a beautiful wooden deck, cold drink in hand, go for a walk with our guide, or take a refreshing dip in the pool. One afternoon we enjoy a relaxing sunset cruise on a boat. A helicopter flip, to see the vastness of the Delta from the air, is recommended (own expense).

Meals: B L D; B L D; B L D
Included Highlights/Activity:
– Okavango Delta
– Guided walks in the Delta led by local Motswana guides
– Mokoro trip
– Sunset boat trip

DAY 6OKAVANGO – MAUN

Starting early, we begin our journey back to relative civilisation. This afternoon we arrive in the ‘tourism capital of Botswana’ – Maun. We will spend some time stocking up on basic supplies, before travelling the short distance out of town to the DRIFTERS MAUN TENTED LODGE, our stop for the night.

The lodge is situated on the banks of the Boteti River. This river is known to change its flow direction, depending upon the season and rainfall patterns. The lodge offers comfortable accommodation, swimming pool, bar and restaurant.

Meals: B L D
Included Highlights/Activity:
– Boteti River Sunset

DAY 7 – 10FLEXIBLE GAME RESERVE SCHEDULE (5 days National Parks)

We enjoy a scrumptious breakfast at the Lodge before departing on the game viewing part of the trip, undoubtedly one of the highlights of the tour. We travel in well-equipped, open 4×4 Land Cruisers, with our local Motswana guides. The 4x4s aren’t just for show, as the national parks are truly wild places, the roads just tracks in the sand. We carry only our cameras and day packs, a picnic lunch, and drinks for the road, while a support vehicle goes ahead with our luggage and all the camp equipment. This leaves us free to game drive extensively during the day, to stop at hides and water holes at leisure, and to make the most of our time here. Towards sunset we arrive at our camp in the bush, to find that the support staff have erected our tents, set up bush showers and toilets, and have a friendly campfire going to welcome us. We use exclusive private campsites in the national parks, which are no more than a GPS point in the bush, completely secluded and undeveloped – it is as if we are the first people here, and are alone in the world. We bring everything we will need with us, and leave nothing behind when we depart.

Our route is flexible and depends on the season. An example could be: starting in Moremi Game Reserve, we spend the first night near the well-known Third Bridge. Drift off to sleep to the howl of the distant hyena or the earthy roar of a lion, and even the deep grunt of a half-submerged hippo. We might then head north via Xakanaxa, to camp near North Gate. This area is excellent for game viewing and we will conduct afternoon and morning drives along the wetland areas.

Then we might go on up as far as Savuti, an area that offers a multitude of game drive options and is a very active game area (keep the fruit well hidden from the roving elephant, the meat from the prowling hyenas, and everything from the monkeys). The vegetation is constantly changing, from open plains with palm trees, to marshland, to dense Mopane woodlands or Acacia scrub. This variety of habitats makes for excellent game viewing.

Our backup crew remain with us throughout, moving the camp for us, so we can concentrate on the wilderness.

Depending on the ever changing conditions in the National Parks we might also venture into the vast Central Kalahari Game Reserve or the unique Makgadikgadi Pans National Park.

Meals: B L D; B L D; B L D; B L D
Included Highlights/Activity:
– 4×4 open vehicle game drives
– Private non-fenced campsites
– Extensive first-hand game viewing experience
– Explore the heart of National Geographic’s photography region

DAY 11 MAUN

Our last morning in the parks, we slowly game drive our way back to Maun. We will have some time to explore town and enjoy an “own expense” lunch before heading out to the comfort of the DRIFTERS MAUN TENTED LODGE. This afternoon we will relax at the Lodge before enjoying a catered meal and a comfortable night.

Meals: B D; (Lunch on this day is own expense in town)
Included Highlights/Activity:
– Game Drive on the way out of the park
– Visit to Maun

DAY 12MAKGADIKGADI PANS

We enjoy a relaxed morning at the lodge, spending time along the river bank and enjoying the tranquillity of the area, or lounging at the swimming pool. After an early lunch we continue and venture eastward into the spectacular Makgadikgadi Salt Pans area. Besides the stark scenery, the pans are known for their prolific birdlife and the other desert-adapted animals, and, when the rains come, migrating flamingos are spotted on the pans.

Without disturbing the surface, we make our way to a remote site where we take in the isolation and serenity of this expanse. Tonight we encourage clients to enjoy a night out under the canopy of stars. With no other artificial light in the area, our private overnight spot provides the perfect location for star gazing and our guides will take time to explain the constellations. As the stars dance above us we drift away to sleep.

Should the pans be inaccessible for spending the night we will make use of alternative camps in the area.

Meals: B L D
Included Highlights/Activity:
– Remote campsite on the edge of the pans
– Night under the stars (weather permitting)
– Star gazing

DAY 13CHOBE RIVER – VICTORIA FALLS

Venturing north today, we leave the desolation of the pans behind and make our way up to the mighty Chobe River. The Chobe area is known for the huge herds of elephants and other animals that are attracted to drink from the river. This afternoon we enjoy an extensive boat cruise within Chobe National Park. Gliding close to the banks we hope to approach the animals from the river for close up viewing. Our cruise will explore the Chobe River front and a section of the Namibian side of the Chobe River. Back on land, we cross the border into Zimbabwe and make our way to the GREENFIRE LODGE VICTORIA FALLS. The lodge is centrally situated and within walking distance of the falls and all other attractions.

Meals: B L D
Included Highlights/Activity:
– Chobe National Park, especially elephants
– Extensive Boat Cruise on the Chobe River- hippos and crocodiles, river birds.
– Exquisite environs

DAY 14VICTORIA FALLS

Awaking in the adventure capital of Africa, it is with new excitement that we explore the amazing Victoria Falls. “Mosi o Tunya “, meaning “The smoke that Thunders”. This is the place where, according to ancient traditions, the “Big Snake” or “Nyami Nyami” is in hiding. On this day we include your entry and leave you to admire this wonder of the world. Various other attractions can be visited and activities enjoyed including the tribal village or curio market. An aircraft flip over the falls or a boat trip on the Zambezi River, white water rafting or bungee jumping are all worthwhile, but allowance must be made for the extra expense.

We spend two nights here, thus allowing clients some time to explore the town and all it has to offer by themselves. Tonight we will eat out in a local restaurant (own expense). Relax to the sound of the African night and the distant roar of the falls and drink the farewell toasts to your adventure.

Meals: B (Lunch and dinner is own expense in town)
Included Highlights/Activity:
– Victoria Falls National Park
– Entry Fee for viewing the Falls

DAY 15VICTORIA FALLS – FRANCISTOWN

The guests flying out on the 15-day tour will do so today, the rest will set off to cross back into Botswana and continue south toward Francistown, home of the national football team. Tonight we spend our last night in our tents, enjoying the African night and celebrating our adventure with our last tour meal.

Meals: B L D
Included Highlights/Activity:
– Last opportunity to view game on route to Francistown
– Scenic drive from Zimbabwe to Botswana

DAY 16FRANCISTOWN – JOHANNESBURG

Crossing the Limpopo River, we return to South Africa and make our way to the GREENFIRE LODGE JOHANNESBURG, where we arrive in the early evening. Post-tour accommodation and airport transfers can be booked through African Travels.

Meals: B (Lunch today is own expense)
Included Highlights/Activity:
– Scenic drive from Botswana to South Africa

The day by day descriptions published are intended as a rough guideline only. Adventure travel by nature is unpredictable, weather patterns, game migrations, road conditions and a multitude of other factors may necessitate itinerary changes that ultimately are for the client’s benefit. It is essential that clients are flexible and open minded in this regard.

Map

Photos
FAQ

I'm a solo traveller, is there a single supplement?

On request we can book you a single room. Otherwise, you will be sharing a room with somone else from the same sexe if you are a single traveler.

Which currency is most widely accepted on this tour?

You can use ZAR and your Bank card should be accepted in most supermarkets, lodges and bars

Should I book pre/post tour accommodation?

We recommend you arrive the night before. We can book an extra night in the lodge from where the tour starts.

3 Reviews
Sort By:RatingDate

Lisa

Couple Traveller

I really liked the tour and Steven was a great guide who helped us out on everything. Without him the tour would have been completely different. Big thanks & appreciation to him

November 30, -0001

Jackie

Solo Traveller

Amazing! Thank you! We appreciate accommodation for vegetarians.

November 30, -0001

Dana

Couple Traveller

Both of our guides were prepared excellently for the tour. They are professional and I recommend them to my friends who would like to travel to the destinations offered by Drifters.

November 30, -0001