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The Ultimate Adventure Through Wild Botswana

An epic overland odyssey from Namibia to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, through one of the most wildlife rich countries on Earth

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Trip Ref #10541

The Ultimate Adventure Through Wild Botswana

An epic overland odyssey from Namibia to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, through one of the most wildlife rich countries on Earth

DURATION
9 nights
LOCATION
Botswana, Namibia & Zimbabwe
ANNUAL LEAVE
7 days off work
SEASON
Year round
GROUP SIZE
Up to 12 people
MEETING POINT
Windhoek Airport, Namibia
ACCOMMODATION
Classic

Lodge · Campsite · Wild camping · Hotel

OVERALL RATING

5.0

Based on 2 reviews
DIFFICULTY
Moderate

This is an overland adventure, with safaris by 4x4, boat and canoe, some light guided bush walks and wild camping in the wilderness

Journey deep into the Okavango Delta for breathtaking bush walks, Mokoro safaris and wild camp on an island in the wilderness

Snake your way across 3 countries, from the Kalahari Desert to the thunderous Victoria Falls via the safari-goers dream of Chobe National Park

Eyes peeled for the perpetual parade of quintessential African wildlife: elephants, lions, cheetahs, hippos, rhinos, crocodiles and so much more

Journey through the Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area - the second-largest nature conservation area in the world, home to largest population of African Elephants

Day 1

Welcome to Windhoek

Touchdown in Namibia's capital city, meet your host at the airport and transfer to your hotel. In the evening you’ll get the chance to meet your guides and fellow adventurers to chat through the adventure to come.

Day 2

Kalahari Desert road trip

Driving

8hrs · 550km

Hiking

1.5hrs

Rise early and hop into your overland truck ready for a road trip. After crossing the Botswana border around noon, your journey continues into the Kalahari Desert until you reach Ghanzi. There you'll be greeted by your hosts from the San Bushman tribe who will take you on an educational walk around this part of the desert, teaching you bush skills as you go. Settle in for your first night beneath Botswana's starry night skies.

Day 3

Okavango Delta

Driving

4hrs · 320km

Wildlife Tracking

2hrs

The road trip continues deeper into Botswana, heading for Maun - the gateway to the Okavango Delta. Swap the truck for a 4x4 journey deep into the delta, before hopping into a Mokoro - a traditional type of canoe. Your mokoro poler will expertly guide you through the water to an island in the middle of the delta, and your wild camp for the night. Relax and enjoy the views while you sip a sundowner, listening out for the sound of hippos and birds nearby.

Day 4

Bushwalking in the Okavango Delta

Hiking

3hrs

Wildlife Tracking

6hrs

Wake up in the heart of the African bush, grab a swim in the delta and tuck into a camp breakfast. You’ll then head out for a bush walk with your wildlife guides to track the wildlife - think elephants, rhinos, hippos, lion, cheetahs, giraffes and many more. Enjoy lunch under the thick canopy of trees and some downtime in the afternoon to soak up the sounds of the delta. Later on you’ll take a sunset mokoro ride through the tranquil channels on the river, eyes peeled for game and birdlife in all directions.

Day 5

Goodbye Delta, hello Maun

Wildlife Tracking

2hrs

Driving

1hr

After breakfast you’ll pack down and say goodbye to the sights and sounds of your wild camp spot in the middle of the delta. Hop back in a mokoro for one final meander through the tranquil waters to the 4x4 waiting to whisk you down the road to Maun. In Maun, you’ll settle into your hotel and enjoy some creature comforts back in civilisation. The afternoon is yours to relax after your wilderness exploits the past few days.

Day 6

Baobab bushwalk

Driving

3hrs · 200km

Hiking

2hrs

Back on the road first thing today for a 3hr drive through the plains, heading east towards Nata. You’ll stop to stretch your legs and grab some lunch, before reaching Planet Baobab, a unique campground surrounded by majestic baobab trees. Take time to relax and enjoy a late afternoon wander around the campsite to see the giant baobabs up close. Finish the day with an evening sipping sundowners or swimming in the largest pool in the Kalahari at your lively base for the night.

Day 7

Chobe National Park

Driving

5hrs · 400km

Wildlife Watching

3hrs

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Planet Baobab before heading 5hrs north towards Kasane and the Chobe River, as you enter another of Botswana's wildlife-packed national parks. Head out on a sunset game drive, eyes peeled for elephants, lions, zebra, cheetahs, giraffes, hippos, hyena, leopard…

Day 8

Chobe National Park game drive and river cruise

Wildlife Watching

5hrs

Pre-dawn rises bring the best rewards in Africa, so an early start today with coffee in the dark before jumping on an open game drive vehicle which will take you deep into the Chobe National Park for 3hrs of wildlife spotting to rival anywhere on Earth. Head back to camp for brunch prepared by your guide and enjoy some downtime at the lodge. As the sun gets lower in the sky you'll head out again, this time on the Chobe River aboard a sunset river cruise to spot various animals congregating at the water's edge.

Day 9

On to Victoria Falls

Driving

1.5hrs · 80km

Hiking

3hrs

Say goodbye to Chobe as you pack up and hit the road towards Zimbabwe. You’ll cross the border shortly outside Kasane and then drive on through the Zambezi National Park to reach Victoria Falls. Please see the FAQs section about the local payment for the border crossing. Check into your final hotel of the trip and peruse the many optional activities to consider if staying on longer. In the afternoon you’ll head out to see the magnificent Victoria Falls, exploring the trails and massive viewpoints against the thunderous soundtrack. Why not celebrate with a final dinner at the hotel (or a local restaurant) to toast an epic adventure!

Day 10

All good things must come to an end

Home time. If you are leaving today, your host will transfer you to Victoria Falls Airport in time for your onward flight home. If staying on, your guides and hotel staff will be able to arrange any of the myriad adventure options if you fancy a rush of adrenaline while at the falls.

Included

Guides

Professional, local, English-speaking guide

Accommodation

3 nights in a hotel or lodge, 4 at a campground and 2 nights wild camping

Meals

10 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 dinners

Transfers

Airport transfers and everything in between

Equipment

Tents and sleeping mats for camping

Permits

All national park entry fees in Botswana only (permit fee for Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe is payable on entry)

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

Visas where required

Day 1

Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Campsite · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3 – Day 4

Wild camping · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6 – Day 8

Campsite · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 10

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

While camping in the Okavango Delta your guides will cook for you. These will be hearty meals cooked over an open fire - expect braai (BBQ) food, potjie and stir-fries. Breakfasts at the lodges, hotels and campgrounds will be continental style and usually consist of cereals, coffee, yoghurt, muesli, fresh fruit or the occasional cooked breakfast. Lunches in Maun, at Planet Baobab and in Chobe aren't included, allowing you to explore the local cafes and restaurants. Budget £7-10 for each lunch that isn't provided. All but two of your dinners are included, again, you are free to explore the local options, and should budget £10-15 for each of these dinners.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just let your host know on booking. Note that vegan options are limited in Botswana, so if you're a strict vegan we suggested packing some of your favourite protein bars for extra fuel.

What is the accommodation like?

Windhoek

You'll stay in a twin-room at the Arebbusch Travel Lodge. It's set in large grounds by the dry Arebbusch River with a huge pool outside, making it the perfect spot to relax on arrival.

Okavango Delta wild camping

Experience the delta in the most immersive way imaginable; wild camping out on an island set deep in amongst the waterways, sleeping beneath the stars while listening to the sounds of the African bush. You'll stay in twin-share dome tents with camping mattresses.

Maun

After your Okavango Delta wild camping experience, you'll freshen up with a stay at Sedia Riverside Hotel on the banks of the Thamalakane River in Maun. There is a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, a bar and shared lounge. You'll stay in twin-share rooms with ensuite bathrooms.

Planet Baobab

En route to Chobe National Park, you'll overnight in an incredible spot - Planet Baobab. Set within the lunar landscape of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans - an area the size of Switzerland - also known as the Baobab capital of the world. You'll stay in a lovely shady campground, with the largest, coolest swimming pool in the Kalahari, in twin-share tents with shared bathroom facilities.

Chobe National Park

Thebe River Safaris is your base and launchpad to explore Chobe National Park. You'll stay in twin-share tents in a private setup for the group, with a barbecue area for your guide to cook dinner at. There is an outdoor pool, gardens to relax in whenever you're not on safari, and a restaurant serving a variety of food.

Victoria Falls

Your last night of the trip is at Shearwater Explorers Village on the Zimbabwean side of the falls. It has a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, bar and a shared lounge. You'll stay in twin-share rooms with ensuite bathrooms.

This is a great place to extend your trip with some add-on activities around the falls which the staff at Shearwater can help you organise. You can book post-trip accommodation through your host - see Optional Extras for details.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Windhoek International Airport, Namibia

Anytime on Day 1

Ends

Victoria Falls Airport, Zimbabwe

Anytime on Day 10

Transfers

You are free to arrive at Namibia's Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek at anytime on Day 1. Your host will pre-arrange an airport transfer for you based on the arrival flight information you provide in your booking. On Day 10 your host will transfer you to Victoria Falls Airport, Zimbabwe in time for your return flight.

Arrival and departure transfers are only included in the main price if you arrive on Day 1 and depart on the evening of Day 10. If you would like a private transfer outside of these times, this can be arranged with your host for an extra cost - please see optional extras for the price.

Travel options

Windhoek International Airport in Namibia is accessible by flights which transit in either Frankfurt, Doha, Cape Town or Addis Ababa depending on which airline you choose. All major airports in Europe and North America have direct flights to one of the above transit hubs.

Returning from Victoria Falls Airport in Zimbabwe you can either fly back to Windhoek to pick up the return leg of your outbound route or there are direct flights to Cape Town and Addis Ababa if you are transiting via the South African or Ethiopian capitals.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Twin-share expedition tents
  • Sleeping mat

What's available to hire?

  • Sleeping bag and pillow if you don't bring your own (see Optional Extras)

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
  • Daypack (20-30 litres)
  • Waterproof cover/liner for daypack

SLEEPING

  • Lightweight sleeping bag, 2-season
  • Lightweight packdown/inflatable camping pillow
  • Sleeping bag liner & pillow case (optional)

CLOTHES

  • Light waterproof jacket
  • Light waterproof trousers
  • Fleece jacket or similar for evenings
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • Sunhat
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear and socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Something to sleep in
  • Hiking boots or hiking shoes/trainers (worn-in)
  • Sandals

OTHER

  • Binoculars
  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Reusable water bottle (1 litre)
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Sleeping bag and pillow

Payable Before Departure

Sleeping bag and pillow

Per Person

Post trip accommodation in Vic Falls, Zimbabwe (single room)

Payable Before Departure

Post trip accommodation in Vic Falls, Zimbabwe (single room)

Per Night

Post trip accommodation in Vic Falls, Zimbabwe (twin or double room)

Payable Before Departure

Post trip accommodation in Vic Falls, Zimbabwe (twin or double room)

Per Night

Pre trip accommodation in Windhoek (single room)

Payable Before Departure

Pre trip accommodation in Windhoek (single room)

Per Night

Pre trip accommodation in Windhoek (twin or double room)

Payable Before Departure

Pre trip accommodation in Windhoek (twin or double room)

Per Night

Optional private room & tent upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional private room & tent upgrade

Per Person

Airport Transfer One Way

Payable Before Departure

Airport Transfer One Way

Per Person

- Kelly(June 2023)

My 7th MBA trip and they just get better and better. This was an incredible trip and a truly memorable experience that will be hard to rival. The elephants, lions, giraffes, hippos, kudus, impalas, zebras, buffalo, warthogs, mongoose, baboons, crocodiles, jackal, birds were abundant and you're totally immersed in their world, especially during the bush walk at the Delta. The Delta was a major highlight and you can't beat the experience of camping out in the wild, hearing the hippos and elephants around you, seeing the stars / Milky Way above, eating great food and bonding over the campfire - never enjoyed camping so much in my life. We were well looked after by our guide Angelo from start to finish who went out of his way to ensure we had so much fun, ate very well and got the most of our whole experience in Southern Africa. The camp hosts at the Delta were really welcoming, fed us well and we had fun round the campfire. Recommend the helicopter tour. Chobe was another highlight. Vic falls was the perfect way to end such a trip. Can't rate this trip highly enough!

- Mala(June 2023)

PHENOMENAL - book this now!!!!! Angelo the guide is incredible and took us on an adventure of a lifetime. The 2 nights in the delta are so special, a life changing experience for sure sleeping in tents and hearing hippos and elephants as you sleep! Food was also delicious along route - we were really well fed. One tip: don't overpack, you can do your washing at hotel(s) along way. We really can't recommend this trip enough!!!!!

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 179kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2023 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This is an overland adventure, manageable by anyone with basic fitness levels. The bushwalking and the mokoro canoe trips in the Okavango Delta are the most strenuous activities, lasting several hours at a time but with plenty of stops to observe the wildlife. The camping in the delta is very basic, but the rest of the trip is a classic African overland experience, with facilities, light walks and a few hours hiking around Victoria Falls. In Chobe NP you can kick back, rest your legs and enjoy the game drives and river safaris.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Botswana’s tourism model has been a huge success in managing its vast wild spaces and huge populations of free roaming wildlife. The number of visitors are restricted and the national parks and wildlife reserves - which cover a 5th of Botswana’s landmass - omit any fences or physical borders, so safaris here are a true experience of the wilderness. Government policy is focussed on low-impact, high-value tourism, so while prices are often quite high compared to other parts of Africa, the income is critical to ongoing conservation efforts and local community empowerment. The tourism model is based around a ‘concession’, where safari companies compete for leases to operate in the reserves, and must prove their commitment to environmental management and financial responsibility towards local communities in order to renew their leases. Large percentages of revenue are reinvested in communities and towards conservation programs, with rigorous rules in place, including laws protecting employment of Botswana citizens rather than outsourcing to other countries. Over 10% of the population of Botswana is employed in the tourism sector, ensuring sustainable livelihoods for whole communities and a huge number of people.

In addition to the concession model and the positive benefits tourism brings to local communities, visiting Botswana can also massively help efforts to block hunting in the country. In 2019, Botswana lifted a 5-year hunting ban, to the dismay of conservationists in Botswana and around the world. Simply put, the greater the income from Botswana’s famed and highly regarded tourism industry, the greater the pressure on the government to reinstate the ban in the near future.

Finally, this trip visits some key areas of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA), where the borders of five African countries converge. The sheer scale of this vast international conservation project is difficult to comprehend and it encompasses a bewildering range of experiences, ranging from the mighty Victoria Falls to the lifeforce of the region, the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers.

This is an incredible trip for wildlife lovers! In particular you will be visiting two of the great natural areas of Africa, the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park. The Okavango is one of the largest wetlands on the continent, making it a paradise to hundreds of species of birds such as cranes, storks, jacana, kingfishers and many more. As a vast oasis north of the Kalahari, it is also home to much larger animals such as elephants, rhino, lions, zebra, hippo and crocodiles. In Chobe NP you'll have further opportunity to see Africa's "Big 5", amongst the abundant wildlife present such as buffalo, wildebeest, hyena, cheetah and antelope.

When on safari game drives and boat rides you'll have expert guides to help you spot the wildlife and educate you on the environment they live in. In the Okavango Delta, you'll be piloted in mokoro canoes through the wetlands by local guides called "polers" and wild camping on an island deep in the delta for a fully immersive experience. Remember, as a visitor into a natural environment with wild animals, you must follow your guide's instructions at all times for safety reasons.

'Overland adventures' are incredibly popular and very common in Africa, particularly the southern Africa countries; South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Southern Africa has a few major international arrival and departure points, namely Windhoek, Johannesburg and Cape Town, and Livingstone/Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia. This trip utilises Windhoek and Victoria Falls as your arrival and departure points, with Botswana conveniently sandwiched in the middle to make for an epic road trip in between the incredible locations that you'll be visiting.

Yes, there is a local payment of $50 USD per person to be paid to your guide towards the end of the trip, for the national park entry fee at Victoria Falls.

Your visa for Zimbabwe can be paid for in cash locally at the border crossing from Botswana into Zimbabwe (approx $55USD). Please check your passport's visa and entry requirements for all countries before you travel.

Your border fees between Namibia and Botswana and all your national park fees in Botswana are covered in the main trip price. Please also read the Food & Accommodation section regarding budgeting for lunches and dinners not included in the itinerary.

Most places in Namibia will accept both the Namibian Dollar and the South African Rand. Money can be exchanged on arrival at the airport or withdrawn from ATMs during the trip. Botswana's Pula can be purchased on arrival, or withdrawn from local ATMs. In both Namibia and Botswana, many local purchases can be made by card. The commonly used currency in Zimbabwe is the US Dollar; it is recommended that you bring some USD in cash. Some activities and items can also be paid for on a card.

As a general rule: plan ahead before you travel, to avoid paying unnecessary currency charges and fees.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your local guide will help with advice, however, we would suggest $5-$10 USD per person per day as an initial guideline. Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Typically, people will tip the San Bushman guide, the Mokoro polers in the Okavango Delta, and the safari guides on the game drives and boat rides, as thanks for sharing their local knowledge and experience with the group.

We recommend checking out the country specific information <a href="https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/" target="_blank">here</a> and also talking to a travel nurse.

Your host will provide you with clean, safe drinking water from large containers, while the lodges, hotels and campgrounds will also supply safe drinking water during your stays. Bring a refillable bottle, it will be used well.

Botswana can be visited year round, with some seasonal variations. The dry season runs between May and October during which you'll get warm, sunny days with temperatures ranging from 22-35°C (72-95°F) and chilly nights. The time of year when the water levels in the Okavango Delta are at their highest is typically several months after the rains have finished due to the slow water movement across the delta region, and changes each year depending on the climate.

The green season runs from November to April, with generally slightly lower temperatures and the odd shower, giving the scenery an extra pop of verdant foliage.

No. You'll need to have a larger bag suitable for all your belongings which will be transported for you, and then a small daysack to carry personal items during each day of hiking.

As this trip starts in Windhoek and ends 1500km away at Victoria Falls, you'll need to bring everything along with you. Your overland expedition vehicle has ample storage and your main luggage can be safely stored in there throughout the trip.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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