Botswana,

Botswana Off The Beaten Track

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Tailor-Made Tour
11 Days
From £5994
GEOIP Not Available
Big Cat Safari
Birding
Off The Beaten Track

Tour Introduction

11 Days from £5994
GEOIP Not Available
per adult.

We’ve designed this itinerary to enable you to visit some of the lesser known areas and lodges in Botswana to give an alternative to the more mainstream safari routes while keeping everything a little more affordable. There is also less focus on game drives looking for large carnivores and more of an emphasis on walking and boat safaris to see the smaller animals and birds. You will have the opportunity to visit the Gadikwe lagoons to see one of the largest heronries in the Delta plus you will visit the vast Kalahari desert to see meerkats and other desert wildlife. Both these areas are at their wildlife best during the rainy season making this a particularly rewarding itinerary for the wetter months of November to March.

Full Itinerary

Price from £5994
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Arrive Botswana

Arrive Maun. Clear immigration and customs then fly by light aircraft to Tsigaro Airstrip. Transfer to camp.

Staying at Camp Kalahari. Includes Lunch and Dinner.

Day 2
Kalahari Desert

A full day to explore the Kalahari area perhaps get up close and personal with a visit to their resident family of habituated meerkats, walk with the Zu’hoasi, visit Chapman’s Baobab (one of the three largest and oldest trees in Africa) at the old campsite of Livingstone and Selous.

Staying at Camp Kalahari. Includes All Meals.

Day 3
Kalahari Desert

A full day to explore the Kalahari area. In the wet season (November to March) you can experience the spectacular migration of zebra and wildebeest. This is the second biggest migration in Africa and the last remaining one in southern Africa.

Staying at Camp Kalahari. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Okavango Delta

Fly by light aircraft to Pom Pom airstrip. Game drive en route to camp.

Staying at Pom Pom Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 5
Okavango Delta

Full day of safari activities including game drives, night drives, walking safaris and mokoro excursions. Hippo and crocodile are found in the deeper lagoons and big predators such as lion and leopard, as well as buffalo, giraffe, zebra and wildebeest, all move through the area.

Staying at Pom Pom Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 6
Okavango Delta

Full day of safari activities. Perhaps finish the day with an evening game drive. If you are lucky, some of the nocturnal animals such as serval, civet and genet may be seen.

Staying at Pom Pom Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Okavango Delta

Fly to Shinde Airstrip. Transfer to the camp. Walking safari in the afternoon.

Staying at Footsteps Across The Delta. Includes All Meals.

Day 8
Okavango Delta

Full day of safari activities. The camp specialises in walking safaris led by highly specialised armed guides. Other activity options at the camp include game drives, birdwatching and mokoro excursions.

Staying at Footsteps Across The Delta. Includes All Meals.

Day 9
Okavango Delta

Tfr to Shinde Airstrip. Transfer to camp for first game drive or boat safari.

Staying at Shinde Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 10
Okavango Delta

Full day of safari activities. Being close to a deep water channel, Shinde offers a good mix of land- and water-based activities throughout the year. Choose from game drives in open 4x4 safari vehicles, exploring the waterways in a mokoro (traditional dugout canoe), guided nature walks, night drives, motor boating and sunset cruises. It is also possible to enjoy a longer outing by motorboat to the Gadikwe lagoons in the Moremi game reserve to view breeding colonies of herons, egrets, pelicans and storks (most active from August to December).

Staying at Shinde Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 11
Depart Botswana

If time allows, enjoy a game drive before departing by light aircraft to Maun. Board flight home.

Includes Breakfast.

Tour Accommodation

Botswana Okavango Delta

Pom Pom Camp

Overview

One of the Delta’s more affordable camps, yet offering consistent good sightings, Pom Pom is located in the heart of the Okavango Delta in a private concession to the west of the Moremi Game Reserve. Classically designed in the style of safari camps of old, the camp overlooks the lily-strewn Pom Pom Lagoon.

Pom Pom Camp offers nine traditional large Meru-safari-tents with en-suite showers and flush toilets, one of which is a family tent with shared bathroom. The showers are enclosed, but roofless for a true bush experience. The camp offers a beautiful dining room, lounge area and bar looking out to the picturesque lagoon. In the evenings you can relax around the open fireplace right at the edge of the lagoon. Pom Pom Camp also has a nicely sized plunge pool to escape the midday heat.

Activities included in this delta paradise are game drives, night drives, walking safaris and mokoro excursions, all taken with local expert guides. The tranquillity of the delta and the beauty of its winding waterways, open lagoons and tree islands will be a highlight of your safari.

Hippo and crocodile are found in the deeper lagoons and big predators such as lion and leopard, as well as buffalo, giraffe, zebra and wildebeest move frequently through the area. If you are lucky, some of the nocturnal animals such as serval, civet and genet may be seen on night drives. Birding enthusiasts will enjoy the regular sightings of Pel’s fishing owl, African fish eagle, giant eagle owl and white backed vulture.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
9
Facilities

Tented rooms, open showers, open-air fire, swimming pool, dining room, bar and lounge.

Local Wildlife

Hippo, crocodile, lion, leopard, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, serval, civet, genet, Pel’s fishing owl, African fish eagle, giant eagle owl and white backed vulture.

Optional Activities

Game drives, night drives, walking safaris and mokoro excursions included on a shared basis.

Botswana Okavango Delta

Shinde Camp

Overview

Located within the Shinde private concession, the camp offers an enviable mix of both land and water activities. It is nestled under the shade of ancient jackal berry, water fig and knob thorn trees and built in a remote and exclusive setting on the edge of the permanent waters of the northern Okavango Delta. Shinde Camp is surrounded by clear waterways teeming with birdlife and game, and offers a wide variety of activities all year round.

The camp consists of eight large safari tents on timber decking furnished in elegant African style and featuring open gauze windows and en-suite bathrooms with a separate toilet. The main lodge, known as the ‘tree house’, is a multi-tiered structure with the dining room joined by stairs and wheelchair-friendly ramps to several lounging areas, each offering different aspects across the delta.

The boma area at the foot of the lodge provides a meeting point for afternoon tea and a venue for stargazing in the evenings while enjoying a drink around the campfire. Shinde also features a curio shop and a swimming pool. Within the camp is the Shinde Enclave, a perfect choice for a family or small group. The enclave is a camp within a camp, and offers guests their own private deck, dining facilities and an exclusive host/guide.

Activities at Shinde include: game drives in open 4×4 safari vehicles which offer some of the finest dry land game viewing in Botswana with regular sightings of lion and leopard; exploring the water ways in a mokoro (traditional dugout canoe); guided nature walks and night drives; motor boating and sunset cruises. It is also possible to enjoy a longer outing by motorboat to the Gadikwe lagoons in the Moremi Game Reserve to view breeding colonies of herons, egrets, pelicans and storks (August to December). For fishing enthusiasts, Shinde provides basic fishing equipment to try your luck with tiger fish, bream, pike and catfish during the season.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
8
Facilities

Tented rooms, open-air fire, swimming pool, dining room, bar and lounge.

Local Wildlife

Predators, including lion, cheetah, leopard and wild dog. Elephants, giraffe, zebra, sitatunga, lechwe, impala, hippos. The area is also great for birding and you can visit the great heronries of the Godikwe Lagoon from here.

Optional Activities

Game drives, night drives, walking safaris and mokoro excursions included on a shared basis.

Botswana Okavango Delta

Footsteps Across The Delta

Overview

Footsteps Across the Delta is situated in the Shinde Concession, one of the most diverse regions of the Okavango Delta, offering a variety of habitats: riverine forests, palm islands, permanent swamps and dry veld. The semi-permanent camp is true to the original ‘under canvas African safari’ experience. It is essentially an exclusive camp with a maximum of six guests that offers a specialised walking experience.

Simply furnished meru-style tents, each with an open-air bush shower and an adjoining bush toilet. The main dining area is under canvas with evenings spent relaxing around the campfire sharing stories of the day. There is a small viewing platform and for those needing a little pampering with a difference, a bush bath.

The Footsteps experience focuses on walking in the delta led by a highly specialised armed guide, suitable for those looking for a little more than your average safari (thus the minimum age is sixteen years old). The emphasis is on exploration and discovery, each morning tracking fresh spoor to reveal the night’s events. Other activity options at the camp include fishing and mokoro excursions and possibly game drives, depending on water levels and the preference of guests.

Footsteps is also the base camp of the highly successful Young Explorers, where families book exclusive use of the camp and a specialised guide runs a family-oriented safari programme.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
3
Facilities

Dining room, campfire, bush bath

Local Wildlife

Emphasis here is on the smaller mammals, insects, tracks and birds.

Optional Activities

Walking safaris, mokoro excursions and fishing provided on a shared basis.

Botswana Makgadikgadi Pans

Camp Kalahari

Overview

Camp Kalahari is a return to the traditional safari style of the old explorers and is the best way to experience the Makgadikgadi in a fresh and affordable way. It is the ideal camp for those who want fun, comfort, style and adventure. Camp Kalahari accepts children of all ages and makes for a fantastic family safari destination. The camp is nestled among the acacias and Mokolwane palms of Brown Hyena Island, on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, adjacent to the Makgadikgadi – Nxai Pans National Park.

Camp Kalahari has ten meru tents comprising seven twins, two doubles and one family unit comprising two twin tents with an inter-leading bathroom. All tents have en-suite outdoor bathrooms, flush toilets and the hottest, wettest showers in the Kalahari. The tent interiors are classic safari style, replete with comfy beds, crunchy cotton sheets, stripy African blankets and hot water bottles in winter. The main area, decorated in the style of an original explorer’s camp, comprises a large and comfortable thatched library, lounge and dining area; here guests can relax and enjoy the serenity and peace of this enchanting place.

Year round activities at Camp Kalahari are all about getting up close and personal to the wildlife and locals, including a visit to a resident family of habituated meerkats; walking with Zu/’hoasi bushmen trackers to glimpse their ancient culture as they teach you how they have survived in the vast area; game drives to experience unique desert wildlife; and a visit to Chapman’s Baobab, one of the three largest and oldest trees in Africa and the campsite of Livingstone and Selous.

The best adventure of all is to travel across the pans on quad bikes during the dry season (April to October) to experience the vast Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Other great things to do are sleep outs on the pans as the sun sets and guests can watch the planetarium show unfold with zillions of horizon-to-horizon stars. In the wet season (November to March) guests can experience the spectacular migration of zebra and wildebeest. This is the second biggest in Africa and the last remaining in Southern Africa.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
10
Facilities

Tents with en-suite outdoor bathrooms. The central area has library, lounge, dining area and plunge pool.

Local Wildlife

Meerkats are the stars of the show but you can also see other desert wildlife such as oryx, springbok, bat-eared fox and tortoise. The desert comes alive in the rainy season bringing many zebra, wildebeest, antelopes and carnivores including black maned lion and cheetah. Honey badgers are also often seen here and around 220 bird species have been recorded.

Optional Activities

Visits to the meerkat family, game drives, night drives, quad bike riding, horse riding, bushmen visits.

Route Map

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Camp Kalahari: -20.468129, 25.132996
Footsteps Across The Delta: -19.176301, 23.153687
Pom Pom Camp: -19.584427, 22.842667
Shinde Camp: -19.118772, 23.153341

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

Domestic flights within Botswana are included.

Best Visited:

January to December

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

Jonathan Morris

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

On behalf of my wife and myself, I would like to thank all at Reef and Rainforest for arranging so superbly yet another exceptional wildlife experience.  As you are aware our ‘expeditions’ tend to be species led and this year’s brief was to observe and photograph the ‘Three Big Cats of Africa’ in a truly wild setting (i.e. no fences).  Your recommended  destination, Botswana, did not let us down, in fact the whole trip proved an outstanding success in all aspects.

We stayed in three camps (three nights in each) across the Okavango Delta and surrounding area, each provided a different environment which ensured our aims were met. Each camp was run to a very high standard, was extremely comfortable and provided excellent meals. The quality of guiding and tracking in all our camps was of the highest standard. As Botswana manages its natural resources so well all the camps were small (no more than 18 guests) ensuring a very intimate safari experience in pristine wild African habitat.

I am delighted to report our big cat objectives were realised. All observations were lengthy and offered excellent photographic opportunities.  However, unexpectedly, the highlight of our spectacular trip turned out to be sightings of two separate packs of African Painted Dogs. We visited two dens, the first had a very healthy number of adult dogs, approximately fifteen and eighteen pups. The second had seven adult dogs and sixteen pups. At Lebala we had the privilege of spending a prolonged period of time following the pack of dogs as they hunted, an experience we will never forget.

When one also considers the significant mammal and bird species we observed, Botswana is truly a must visit destination for the wildlife enthusiast. Incidentally we also observed three serval and two African wild cats.  We also thoroughly enjoyed our few days at Victoria Falls, possibly the most spectacular waterfall in the world, the hotel in Zimbabwe was excellent. Viewing the falls from the Zambian side and also the helicopter flight are both well worth doing.

This was our third consecutive trip with Reef and Rainforest, and I would be very surprised if there is not a fourth being planned very soon. Thank you all once again.

Mr JW - Ettrickbridge