Itinerary Outline, 9 nights:
3 Nights, Tented Camp - Moremi Game Reserve.
Activity guide: Game drives, charter flight
3 Nights, Tented Camp - Khwai Community Area
Activity guide: Game drives, night drives, guided walks (not in low seson), mokoro excursion
3 Nights Letaka Tented Camp - Chobe National Park
Activity guide: Game drives (Central Chobe)
At the end of a day spent exploring the wild beauty of Botswana, relax in Sahara-style tents. The 4m x 3m tents feature high roofs and include a 2m x 3m covered veranda in front. Oil or paraffin lamps are provided outside each tent. Inside, you’ll find solid basecamp beds, complete with mattresses, sheets, duvets and pillows. Tents are also equipped with a second oil or paraffin lamp, a rechargeable LED camp light and side tables.
At the rear of each tent, you’ll find a 2m x 3m en-suite bathroom with long drop toilet facilities and a bucket shower that can be ordered hot, cold or warm. Guests are free to shower at any time on most routes, although on Kalahari safaris, guides may limit showers due to the availability of water. Bathrooms are also equipped with an oil or paraffin lamp and a rechargeable LED camp light. Hand and bath towels are provided for guests, though it is encouraged that people to bring their own personal items and toiletries, as needed.
Families traveling with younger children on private trips can take advantage of family safari tent, which is designed to keep children safe and provide parents with peace of mind. The two-bedroom tent includes an adjoining bathroom and can be locked to ensure the safety of children.
To get the most out of your stay in Africa, it is recommended that each guest pack quality headlamps to supplement the lights provided around camp. Headlamps allow people more flexibility to complete tasks, like reading or safari journaling, while listening to the sounds of nocturnal creatures out in the nearby bush.
Popular safari extension requests include:
The price includes:
The price does not include:
Do not feel obligated to buy a ton of expensive kit just to come on this trip. You will certainly benefit from a reasonable telephoto lens (preferably 300mm or more; a 100-400mm zoom gives you added flexibility) and a shorter wide-angle lens which can be used for landscapes. If you have additional equipment (e.g. a macro lens, a spare body, etc.) then please bring them along, but be aware that the maximum total luggage limit on the light aircraft is 20kg per person. The following is a list of useful but by no means essential items.
Camera Bag – A sturdy, soft backpack is ideal for these types of trips. Pelicases are also good
if they do not take you over the baggage weight limits. Whatever your choice, be prepared for
plenty of dust, so make sure your bag can suitably protect your equipment.
Camera Body, Lenses and extenders/converters
Memory cards/film – You can never have too many memory cards or film. If you are shooting digitally and have a multimedia photo viewer, then this can act as a back-up for your memory cards and a useful editing tool in the field.
Lens cleaning kit (Gitzo blower, cloth and solution) – You will undoubtedly need this at some stage during the trip.
Spare battery and charger – There is an inverter in the safari vehicle, but to be safe we would advise bringing enough batter power to get you through the safari.
Beanbag - (optional – Letaka can supply if requested in advance)
Tripod - (especially if you are keen on landscapes)
Monopod – If you have a heavy super-telephoto lens (500mm or more) then you will find shooting in the back of the vehicle much easier with a monopod as the arm rest tends to be quite low.
Filters – Generally a polariser will be your most useful filter. UV filters are also useful for protecting your lenses. If you are serious about landscapes then a neutral density filter can help to darken skies resulting in a more uniform exposure.
Flash – An external flash can often help “fill-in” shadows during the day as well as allowing you to shoot in more overcast conditions.
Activities: Game drives.
Activities: Game Drives, Photography
After you arrive at Maun International Airport, Mack Air will meet you for your charter flight at 2 p.m. to the Xakanaxa Airstrip in Moremi Game Reserve. You will meet your guide there. If you are staying in Maun before the safari, please ask for an airport transfer. Mack Air officials will communicate with the people who run your accommodations one day prior to the start of your safari to confirm the flight departure time. If you are joining us after leaving from a safari lodge, you can organize a direct flight to the Xakanaxa Airstrip with the lodge’s preferred charter company. We ask that people who organize their own travel arrive no earlier than 12 p.m. to give our guide time to meet you. We will spend the first three nights of the safari exploring the wilds of the scenic Xakanaxa region on morning and afternoon game drives.
Wildlife: From the air, you can easily pick out larger animals on the ground below. It’s common to see large breeding herds of African elephants in the mopane scrub. Pods of hippos are often seen in the waterways, and the vast grasslands house herds of buffalos and lechwe. After you land at the Xakanaxa Airstrip, you will be able to spot smaller game animals.
Activities: Game Drives, Photography
Diverse landscapes can be found in Moremi Game Reserve, which sits on the eastern side of the renowned Okavango Delta. The reserve includes open woodlands, enchanting lagoons, rolling savannahs, extensive floodplains, and more. The varied habitats are excellent for viewing distinct and varied wildlife.
Wildlife: Botswana is home to nearly one-third of the world’s remaining population of wild dogs, and Moremi Game Reserve is among the best places to spot the endangered canines. Several hundred buffalo range across the Xakanaxa region, their ever-moving masses traveling through the territories of at least four lion prides. Breeding herds of elephants lumber between the mopane forests and the fresh water of the delta. Red lechwe, with their characteristic, proud horns and golden brown fur, are among the antelope species
Activities: Game Drive, Night Drive, Photography
Greet the day with an early breakfast before embarking on a leisurely drive to the northeast, through Moremi Game Reserve and toward the Khwai Community Area.
Habitat: See what makes the Khwai Community Area one of the most renowned in Moremi Game Reserve as you follow the river, meandering from the scenic riverside, to the rich floodplains, to the dry mopane veld and woodlands. Along the way, we’ll stop at the Dombo Hippo Pools, where pods of hippopotamuses crowd the shores.
Wildlife: Spot breeding herds of elephants browsing the mopane veld. In the eastern part of the Khwai Community Area, you can find more approachable old bulls drinking and bathing in the river. The waters also house some crocodiles and a uniquely dense population of hippos. Other animals that can be found in the region include giraffes, zebras, tsessebes, red lechwe, and roan and sable antelope. Predators common to the area include leopards, cheetahs, servals, and lions. Two separate packs of wild dogs also roam the area.
Activities: Game Drive, Night Drive, Walking Safari, Mokoro Excursion, Photography
Spend two nights camping at an exclusive site in the Khwai Community Area, just across the river from Moremi Game Reserve. Take advantage of the nearby floodplains with game drives by day and at night. After sunset, you can spot nocturnal animals rarely seen in daylight. Depending on the season, you will get the chance to hike the surrounding wilderness and to explore the river by mokoro for up-close and personal encounters with Botswana’s wild splendour. Please note that night-time game drives and guided walks are not permitted in the country’s national parks and reserves. These activities take place instead in the Khwai Community Area.
Habitat: See the busy riverside, woodlands filled with leadwood and camel thorn, extensive savannahs, and the waterlogged backwaters of the Khwai River. If time permits, we will also stop at the world-renowned lagoons of Xakanaxa, which house the biggest heronry in Southern Africa.
Wildlife: An array of wildlife can be found in this area, including sizable elephant populations, gregarious giraffes, and several kinds of antelope. Some animals can be spotted seasonally, including large herds of buffalos that follow the summer rains. Predators that frequent the area include African wildcats, sleek servals, dignified lions, and elegant leopards. Less common are cheetahs and wild dogs.
Activities: Game Drives, Photography
Begin a three-night stay at an exclusive campsite in the Central Chobe region and explore the desert landscape.
Habitat: See evidence of the once expansive Lake Makgadikgadi, a paleolake that dried up about ten thousand years ago. The Magwikwe Sand Ridge, which formed the shoreline of the vast paleolake, requires a winding track to navigate, presenting a challenge for travellers. The old lake bed, known in modern times as the Mababe Depression, has a dense clay floor that provides a high-protein feed for wildlife after the rains. The feed attracts scores of animals, however, the soil is such that it becomes impassable during the rainy season. During some parts of the year, alternative routes are necessary.
Wildlife: Traversing through so many different landscapes in a single day – which, in fact, include most of the habitats in Northern Botswana – increases the chance that anything can happen on the seventh day of this safari. The trip includes excellent lion and cheetah country. Elephants are typically spotted at the start and the end of the drive, in areas with permanent surface water.
Activities: Game Drives, Bushman Painting Walks, Photography
Habitat: Volcanic rocks break the surface of the Kalahari Desert in Central Chobe, creating towering formations seen in few other parts of Botswana. The mounds provide homes for an assortment of unique small animals and plants. At the heart of the region, the Savuti Marsh stretches in a span of rolling grasslands that have served as the backdrop for some of the most intense wildlife encounters seen in documentaries. The famed Savuti Channel runs through this area, connecting the dry sand-veld to the waterholes, the grasslands, and the hills.
Wildlife: Good populations of antelope and other ungulates and strong numbers of lions and hyenas create opportunities for dramatic encounters. The sprawling landscape, meanwhile, makes for excellent viewing opportunities. Particularly captivating are meetings between elephants – the largest animals living on land – and lions in the area. The local lion pride, which can include as many as 30 members, has developed techniques to target elephants, using their numbers and darkness to take down younger members of the herd. During the wet season, wild dogs often hunt in Central Chobe. In the Savuti Marsh, lanky cheetahs are frequently found.
Activities: Game Drives, Boat Trip, Photography
Start the day early with a trip along the Chobe River, from Central Chobe to Kasane. In the town, enjoy a picnic lunch before embarking on an afternoon boat cruise to mark the end of the safari. The final day of traveling can feel long, so we recommend that you arrange to spend a night at the Chobe Safari Lodge in Kasane, or spend two nights at Taita Falcon Lodge or Victoria Falls at Illala in nearby Livingstone. We also recommend that people who are traveling to Zambia or Zimbabwe organize to have their transfer meet them at Kalahari Tours at 3:30 p.m.
Habitat: The drive covers the mopane-filled brush of the Goha clay basin and follows the sand ridge through the Zambezi teak forest and along the Chobe River itself. The Chobe floodplain sprawls over tens of kilometres, sometimes stretching out for as far as the eye can see.
Wildlife: We pass the settlements of local tribes on this day, though most of our time is spent in wilderness unhindered by gates or fences, where animals are free to roam unimpeded. Few predators threaten the roan and sable antelope that flourish, free from competition, in the teak woodlands. A few solitary leopards make their homes in the forest, though they are not often seen. Natural, long-lasting waterholes found in the Goha region attract herds of elephants, buffalos, greater kudu, and Burchell’s zebras.
We make every effort to adhere to schedules and itineraries but please know that these are subject to change due to weather — including flood conditions that can have significant impacts on driving times, depending on the time of year — road conditions, animal movements and availability. You will be notified of any changes.
Please also note that the guided walking activity is seasonal based on rains and grass height, your guide will determine the safety of walking in Khwai.
This Northern Highlights, Northbound safari can also be done as a Southbound safari starting from Kasane and end in Maun. Learn more here.
We also run this tour as a specialised photographic safari, The Shutter Safari, for those who wish to be with like-minded guests. Learn more here.
The Okavango Delta: The world’s largest inland delta and UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Okavango Delta offers you wildlife sightings and experiences you won’t see anywhere else.
Mobile Safari with Top-Notch Photographic Guide: You'll share the experience with like-minded photographers and have a top-notch wildlife photographer as your guide.
Experience the Okavango Delta from above: On your first day, you'll get the see the Okavango Delta from above when flying from Maun to Xakanaxa.
Watch Elephants at Chobe National Park: Massive herds gather on the Chobe riverfront, which has the highest concentration of elephants in all of Africa.
Enjoy the Khwai Community Area: As a community area, Khwai allow people to experience night game drives, guided walks and mokoro excursions.
Explore on a Mokoro: See the sights and investigate the waterways of the gorgeous Okavango Delta on a traditional canoe.