Best of Botswana

At a GlanceItineraryDetail

Best of Botswana: Truck charter Africa 9 days.

Countries visited: Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa
Comfortable lodge accommodation

Getting There
Venture Co can sort out your flights: there’s an airport on the Zimbabwe side of the falls, and another on the Zambia side. Depending on what your overall plans are, there are pros and cons for each option. We suggest you arrive one day early because things in Africa are not always 100% accurate!

Painted Wolves who are doing OK in the Kaza areas.

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Day 1: Victoria Falls
Today is all about the spectacular Victoria Falls, known locally as “Mosi-oa Tunya” (the smoke that thunders). The hotel we suggest, The Rainbow is just 2 Km from the falls, but you can’t see them from here, but you can hear them. The Zambezi River drops into the Batoka Gorge and cuts a zig-zag gorge downstream which is where the adrenaline-pumping white water rafting happens (not included, because it’s not to everyone’s taste, but certainly memorable.) The bustling adventure town of Victoria Falls offers a range of optional activities for those wanting a dose of adrenaline: helicopter and microlight flights, mountain bike hire, riding and a variety of canoe trips upstream from the falls. For the more relaxed traveller the craft markets are great to explore. And remember to round off the day with high tea at the oldest hotel in the area, the legendary Victoria Falls Hotel.

O/night: https://www.rainbowvictoriafalls.com/

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Moon-rise over Victoria Falls

Day 2: Chobe National Park
After breakfast travel upstream to the Kazungula ferry (70 KM) and cross by ferry into Botswana. Just upstream is the Thebes lodge on the banks of the Chobe River. The afternoon is set aside for exploring Chobe National Park and to do so we swap into smaller, more agile 4X4’s which allow a closer approach to the game. Chobe is particularly noted for its elephant population (2018 est is north of 50,000 compared to 4,000 in 1990) one of the first glades we’ll drive through is Serondela, which translates as ‘place of the elephant’. The afternoon ends with a leisurely boat cruise then dinner served around the campfire.

O/night: http://www.theberiversafaris.com

Day 3: travel from Kasane to Nata
Set off from Kasane and travel south towards the desert town of Nata. This area is right in the middle of what will one day be the largest conservation area in the world, the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Park (The ‘Kaza’ park). This is conservation meets politics and is creating a wildlife area covering more than ¼ million Km² crossing five countries (Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Namibia and Botswana) and uniting a staggering 36 game reserves and protected areas.

This ambitious project is well on its way and reverses the trend towards the fragmentation of natural habitats. Kaza will stretch from the Okavango Delta to Mana Pools (Zimbabwe) and incorporate Hwange and Kafue National Parks along with Angola’s fledgling Luiana National Park. It will be home to the largest concentration of elephants in the world and a sanctuary for dozens of endangered species.

O/night http://www.pelicanlodgebotswana.com/

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Serendela, Chobe National Park, Botswana

Day 4: Nata to Maun, gateway to the Okavango Delta
Turn west and travel across the northern reaches of the Makgadikgadi Pans. This is the northern reaches of the Kalahari Desert and is arid scrub-land rather than barren, sandy desert. Specialist trees such as the Baobab mark the way and you’ll catch glimpses of the extensive pans that stretch out to the South. As we approach the town of Maun the road bisects Nxai Pan and Makgadikgadi National Parks and despite the arid environment, there’s a surprising abundance of grazing species.

O/night: http://www.sedia-hotel.com (awful website, but great place to stay!)

Day 5: Exploring the Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is a unique ecosystem which sees the annual flood waters of the Okavango River fan out into the sands of the Kalahari Basin. The ebb and flow of the flood waters lends the Delta its ever changing character. Click here for a more detailed account: https://www.ventureco-worldwide.com/africa/botswana/the-okavango-delta-explained/

While water levels may fluctuate the tranquillity of this wilderness area remains constant. This morning you board a light aircraft and take a flight over the Delta, which is a treat in itself, to reach the overnight accommodation for the next two nights.

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O/night: https://naturalselection.travel/camp/mapula-lodge/
See also: https://www.ventureco-worldwide.com/africa/botswana/ and scroll down to the “More nights” section to see a summary of the best lodges.

Day 6: In the heart of the Okavango Delta
A full day is set aside at leisure in the Delta. You may enjoy activities such as mokoro rides, a guided nature walk and vehicle-based safaris. The Okavango guides are excellent and the ambiance of the Delta is mellow. This is perhaps the best wildlife encounter in Africa.

O/night: https://naturalselection.travel/camp/mapula-lodge/

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Flying in to the Okavango Delta

Day 7: Okavango Delta to Ghanzi
Fly back to Maun to rendez-vous with your truck. Leaving the Delta behind skirt the southern margin to reach Ghanzi in the central Kalahari: an absolutely beautiful area. This is home to the nomadic San Bushmen and this evening you can share their traditions through dancing and storytelling.

O/night: www.dqae.org which is a unique lodge because it’s owned and operated by the San.

Day 8: across the Central Kalahari to Jwaneng
The San will take you on a guided walk in the morning which is a fascinating insight into the culture, heritage, knowledge, skills and contemporary life of the San people. After freshening up make the long drive from Ghanzi to Jwaneng (5 hrs). Along the route, you’ll be able to take in the expansive landscapes and uncluttered vistas of the Botswana. In the late afternoon reach our overnight stop.

O/night: http://crestajwaneng.com-botswana.com

Day 9: and so to Johannesburg
A long travelling day: exit Botswana at the border post called Pioneer Gate, entering South Africa at Skilpadshek and continue to the High Veld and Johannesburg. Arrive at Belvedere Estate in the late afternoon. www.belvedereestate.co.za

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Click here Meals table to see which meals are included in the price:-

Lunch isn’t included because we are generally at places where there’s a restaurant and you can order whatever you like. On other occasions we’ll prepare a lunchtime picnic at breakfast.

Included in the price
Meals as indicated
Accommodation in twin-share room (8 nights)
Transport in a 12-seater 4×4 air-conditioned vehicle
Entrance fees to National Parks (Victoria Falls NP; Chobe NP; Okavango Delta NP)
Chobe River boat cruise
Flight into the Okavango Delta
Safari activities at Mapula Camp, Okavango Delta
Safari into the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans by 4X4
Bush walk with San guides
San evening of dance and storytelling

Not Included
International flights
Visas (if required)

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