Elephants at sunset in Botswana. Photo: GettyImages-883340558
4.8
| 9 reviews

The Ultimate Adventure Through Wild Botswana: The 2024 Edition

9 nights
Easy

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

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with a local, English-speaking guide, a mokoro poler, and specialist bushwalking and safari guides

All accommodation

3 nights in a hotel or lodge, 4 nights campgrounds and 2 nights at a private wilderness camp

Meals

10 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 dinners

Transfers & Equipment

All your airport transfers, local transfers, tents and sleeping bags are included

Permits

All Botswana national park fees are included. The fee for Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe is payable on entry

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 12 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

4.8
| 9 reviews
Africa at its wildest
July 2024
Philip W.
Africa at its wildest
July 2024
Philip W.
Africa at its wildest
July 2024
Philip W.
Africa at its wildest
July 2024
Philip W.
Loved every second !
June 2024
Nicholas P.
Loved every second !
June 2024
Nicholas P.
Loved every second !
June 2024
Nicholas P.
Loved every second !
June 2024
Nicholas P.
Loved every second !
June 2024
Nicholas P.
Loved every second !
June 2024
Nicholas P.
Adventure of a lifetime, just book it!
May 2024
Leah P.
Adventure of a lifetime, just book it!
May 2024
Leah P.
Adventure of a lifetime, just book it!
May 2024
Leah P.
Adventure of a lifetime, just book it!
May 2024
Leah P.
Adventure of a lifetime, just book it!
May 2024
Leah P.
Adventure of a lifetime, just book it!
May 2024
Leah P.
Adventure of a lifetime, just book it!
May 2024
Leah P.
Adventure of a lifetime, just book it!
May 2024
Leah P.
Adventure of a lifetime, just book it!
May 2024
Leah P.
Adventure of a lifetime, just book it!
May 2024
Leah P.
My 7th MBA trip and they just get better an...
June 2023
Kelly
My 7th MBA trip and they just get better an...
June 2023
Kelly
My 7th MBA trip and they just get better an...
June 2023
Kelly
My 7th MBA trip and they just get better an...
June 2023
Kelly
My 7th MBA trip and they just get better an...
June 2023
Kelly
PHENOMENAL - book this now!!!!! Angelo the...
June 2023
Mala
PHENOMENAL - book this now!!!!! Angelo the...
June 2023
Mala
PHENOMENAL - book this now!!!!! Angelo the...
June 2023
Mala
PHENOMENAL - book this now!!!!! Angelo the...
June 2023
Mala
Elephants at sunset in Botswana. Photo: GettyImages-883340558

Journey by mokoro deep into the Okavango Delta for a magical stay at a wilderness safari camp set on an island – a total immersion in real, untamed Africa

Head out for bushwalks, game drives and boat trips with a specialist guide to spot elephants, lions, giraffes, cheetahs, hippos, rhinos and so much more

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

Traverse the Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area – home to the world's largest population of African elephants

Key Information

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

STAFF - Mokoro  in the Okavango Delta, Botswana at sunset. Photo: Staff/Chris Kearney

Driving

4hrs · 320km

Mokoro Journey

3hrs

The road trip continues deeper into Botswana, heading for Maun - the gateway to the Okavango Delta. Turn onto a network of off-road sand tracks for a 4x4 journey deep into the delta with giraffe, elephant, zebra and buffalo for company in this part of Botswana. Reaching the water's edge you'll meet your 'poler' - a local specialist guide from a village at the mouth of the delta. The polers are a remarkable group of people with a deep knowledge of the delta and its incredible ecosystem. They'll guide you serenely in the mokoro - a traditional dugout canoe - for a few hours upstream to reach a remote camp on the edge of Cha Cha Island deep in the delta. The mobile safari camp is already setup for you to relax and take in a famous African sunset while watching the hippos in the water and keeping eyes peeled for other wildlife as the light fades. Enjoy dinner and a campfire, hearing stories from your guide and camp crew of their time working in wildest Africa as the stars come out. You'll go to sleep tonight to the sounds of the bush.

Day 4

Bushwalking in the Okavango Delta

STAFF - Bushwalking in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Photo: Staff/Chris Kearney

Bush Walking

3-4hrs

Wildlife Tracking

6hrs

Wild Swimming

1hr

Mokoro Journey

2hrs

Wake up in the heart of the African bush, tuck into coffee and a light breakfast first thing before hopping in the mokoro to cross quickly to the other side of the water to set off on an extended bushwalk safari. Your guide will lead the way, talking you through the myriad intricacies of the African bush, telling stories about the wildlife and plant life as you track various species. You’ll likely see giraffe, zebra, antelope, buffalo, herds of elephant, impala and countless bird species. Your guide will look out for tracks from the early morning activity for signs of big cats in the area - lion and leopards sightings occur regularly in this part of the delta. Being immersed in the bush on foot is a completely unique way to spot African animals, and is so different to the classic game drive safaris. Eventually circling back to the water's edge, enjoy brunch and some downtime back at camp. In the afternoon you can hop in the mokoro with your guide to reach a safe place for an unforgettable swim in the delta - safely away from any hippos or crocs! Later on you’ll take another mokoro ride through the tranquil channels on the river, eyes peeled for wildlife emerging as the light fades. Watch a classic African sunset from the mokoro before another evening round the campfire after a truly magical day in the delta.

Day 5

Goodbye Delta, hello Maun

African Wild Dog, Botswana
Getty: 1281938511

Bush Walking

1.5hrs

Mokoro Journey

2hrs

Another early start - the African bush is at its most alive at dawn and dusk - to set off for another bushwalk, tracking various wildlife and looking for the morning activity. Prides of lions have been spotted at this time of the morning on previous trips, as have African Wild Dogs - a rare and sadly highly threatened species, though efforts to protect and conserve the population have been gaining traction in Botswana in recent years. One last breakfast at the camp before you say goodbye to the wonderful staff who have cooked and looked after you while far from civilisation. Hop back in the mokoro for one final meander through the tranquil waters back to where it all began, the 4x4 waiting to finish the journey back to Maun. 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 - there are craft and artwork shops to visit and we highly recommend heading to an excellent restaurant called Marc's Eatery this evening.

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

POV of a game drive in Chobe National Park, Botswana
Shutterstock_502520005

Driving

5hrs · 400km

Wildlife Watching

3hrs

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Planet Baobab before heading 5hrs north towards the town of Kasane located on the banks of the Chobe River at the convergence of 4 country's borders: Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Kasane is the gateway to Chobe National Park - one of the world's great wildlife amphitheatres particularly famous for huge concentrations of African elephants which gather on the banks of the Chobe River to drink. Head out in the late afternoon to experience a classic game drive safari in a 4x4 with an expert tracker who will know where to look for the best chances to spot lions and herds of elephants. The sunsets on the Chobe River are particularly memorable, so grab a sundowner before dinner at the campground on the banks of the river.

Day 8

Chobe National Park game drive and river cruise

Safari goers on a Chobe River Cruise, Botswana
Shutterstock: 480338395

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 deeper 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. A boat trip on the Chobe River is real once-in-a-lifetime stuff, with Namibia on one side and Botswana in the other while surrounded by wildlife in every direction. The sun setting while on deck as you head back to the lodge in Kasane is yet another pinch-me moment on your journey across Botswana.

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.

Day 1

Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Campsite · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3 – Day 4

Wilderness Safari Camp · 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?

Food in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
Staff image: Chris Kearney

The meals in the Okavango Delta are a real highlight - there is a chef throughout the experience who whips up incredible feats given the remote location. Breakfasts are granola and yoghurt with fruit, South African-style rusks and even a English-style breakfast with sausages, eggs, beans and freshly baked bread over the fire. Lunch and dinner options vary but expect breaded fish or a meat option with stir fried vegetables, salads and potatoes, and you may even be treated to fresh fish caught straight from the delta waters directly by camp. Vegetarians can have options such as a homemade vegetable quiche. 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?

Okavango Delta wilderness camp, Botswana
Staff image: Chris Kearney
Okavango Delta

Experience the Delta in the most immersive way imaginable – at a wilderness safari camp on an island deep amongst the waterways, where you can sleep beneath the stars, listen to the sounds of the African bush and spot wildlife on the banks right from your camp. Akin to a mobile safari camp, your host will set up ahead of your group's arrival, utilising a network of porters who transport the tents, common area, solar lights, camp showers, cooking gear and all food and drink via mokoro canoes, for this 3-day, 2-night experience. The camp is private – you won't be sharing with other groups or travellers, and the sense of being remote and far removed from civilisation is tangible throughout. You'll stay in twin-share safari-style tents with comfortable raised camping beds, a sleeping bag and fresh towels. There are camp showers and hand basins for you to wash in. The group eats breakfast, lunch and dinner together with the mokoro guides under a large common area canvas with tables and chairs to relax in.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

This trip has been rated as Easy

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.

What will I need to carry?

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.

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.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Windhoek International Airport, Namibia (WDH)

10:00 on Day 1

Ends

Victoria Falls Airport, Zimbabwe

Anytime on Day 10

Transfers

On Day 1, there is an included group airport transfer at 10:00am, as there are several overnight flights arriving into WDH in the morning. If required, private transfers to the accommodation in Windhoek can be booked for those arriving at earlier or later times for an additional cost, please see below for more details. Transfers from the airport to the starting hotel take approximately 1hr.

On Day 10 your host will arrange for a transfer to Victoria Falls Airport, Zimbabwe in time for your return flight.

Arrival and departure transfers are only included in the main price if you use the group transfer on Day 1 and depart on 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, 2/3 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 (layers are useful, as it can get quite chilly at night in the desert)
  • Wooly Hat
  • 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

Philip W.(July 2024)
Africa at its wildest
Africa at its wildest
Africa at its wildest
Africa at its wildest
Africa at its wildest

If you want to experience Africa at its wildest then this is the trip for you. I’ve previously camped through Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and SA, and nothing came close to the Okavango.

There’s a lot of travel, early starts and some basic camps but you will be well looked after by brilliant guides and treated with some amazing food along the way.

Be prepared for few ‘moments’. We camped amongst a huge pod of hippos and also encountered lions, crocs and elephant up close and personal (even in the camp). But these are memories I will never forget!

Our group ranged from 30’s to 60’s, 7 ladies and 2 guys, and nobody found the trip too strenuous. The longest walk was a slow bush walk for 4 hours and plenty of stops, albeit with a hot sun towards the end.

The biggest problem with this trip? Sorting through the huge stack of photos you’ll have at the end!

If you want a taste of real Africa and you’re happy to put your trust in brilliant and experienced guides then don’t hesitate - this is the trip you’re looking for!

(Final tip: If you’re travelling in winter, pack warm! We had sub zero nights and were all pretty chilly, so do come prepared.)

Kate D.(June 2024)
A fabulous trip with the

A fabulous trip with the best guides, excellent food and amazing views and wildlife. Thank you so much for a holiday of a lifetime

Justin D.(June 2024)
Fab holiday

Thank you for an amazing trip. Mike and MC were fabulous hosts and the vegetarian cooking did not seem to phase MC at all. Rhino was comfortable and well equipped. Probably the standard out moment was the wild camping in the delta next to the laughing hippos but seeing a leopard was also amazing. Thank you. Would definitely use MBA again.

Nicholas P.(June 2024)