Our action-packed 9-day Botswana Fly-In Safari begins at Victoria Falls, and takes you to Chobe National Park, the Khwai Community Area near Moremi and the Okavango Delta. Using light aircraft transfers between camps, and some of the best value camps around, this wildlife safari gives you Botswana at a very affordable price.
We will meet you at Victoria Falls International Airport in Zimbabwe, and transfer you to Victoria Falls town, where you will stay for two nights before we start the Botswana portion of this safari.
Over the next two days, we experience the power of the ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’, the ‘Smoke That Thunders’, Victoria Falls. The Falls are one of the Seven Wonders of the World and are a mesmerising spectacle. The sheer mass of water cascading down the 100m drop across nearly 2km makes a thunderous roar and creates a magnificent spray of water that can be seen for miles. There is a lot to do in the area, from white water rafting to bungee jumping, game viewing, and sedate sunset cruises on the Zambezi.
Access to Victoria Falls is a short walk from the lodge. Water flow over the falls varies throughout the year. The river’s annual flood season is February to May when the spray can reach a height of over 400m, making it spectacular from above but very difficult to see at ground level. Water levels start dropping in August and are at their lowest October – December when much of the rocky face becomes dry. At times of low water, the falls are best viewed from the Zimbabwe side or from Livingstone Island. There is a wide variety of optional activities on offer here, which are chosen and paid for on arrival.
Following breakfast and leisurely morning, we will be transferred by shared road transfer to Chobe Elephant Camp in the Chobe National Park, where we will stay for two nights.
The Chobe River is a remarkable wildlife area due to the permanent water source of the Chobe River. The spectacle of the wildlife coming to drink and frolic at the water’s edge is outstanding, particularly in the dry season (May – Oct) where water is scarce away from the river. It is an area famous for its abundance of elephants and buffalo, a variety of predators and possibly even rare roan and sable antelope. The summer rains bring beautiful wild flowers, exquisite scenery, impressive bird life and an abundance of young animals usually born around November/December.
After a morning activity (time permitting) and an early breakfast, we will be transferred by road to Kasane Airport for our seat in plane transfer to Khwai Tented Camp, where we will stay for two nights.
The Khwai Community area lies just north of the Moremi Game Reserve and is easily accessible via the North Gate of the park. Although the Khwai area is not officially part of the Moremi Game Reserve it can be seen as an extension of it as there are no fences and animals are free to roam. The wildlife experience in Khwai is the same as inside the reserve with the key advantage being the freedom to participate in walking safaris, off-road driving and night drives as the area is not governed by National Park rules.
The vegetation is varied, with dry land complemented by permanent and seasonal swamplands, resulting in an excellent diversity of both wildlife and birdlife. Game is more concentrated around the permanent water during the dry season (Apr – Oct) with it becoming very hot in the later months. The rainy season (Nov – Apr) invigorates the lush scenery with wild flowers, dramatic thundershowers, spectacular sunsets and the birthing season brings great predator and prey interaction.
After an early morning activity (time permitting) and breakfast, we will be transferred from Khwai to Pelo Camp, deep in the Okavango Delta, by seat in plane transfer, where we will stay for two nights.
The Okavango wetland encompasses Moremi Game Reserve and surrounding regions divided into areas known as Private Concessions. These concessions are wildlife management areas, carefully administrated to balance the growing community’s development and conservation, whilst empowering citizens through sustainable tourism. Many of the exclusive lodges in Botswana are situated within these concessions in the delta, providing an unparalleled wildlife experience – exclusive and remote, avoiding mass tourism and exploitation. We will enjoy game walks in Moremi, and motorboat and dugout canoe excursions on the Okavango Delta.
After an early morning activity (time permitting) and breakfast, we will be transferred by a seat in plane transfer to Maun Airport, for your onward travel arrangements.
Ilala Lodge is situated on the Zimbabwean side of the Zambezi River, where it is the closest hotel to the Victoria Falls.
At Ilala Lodge the rooms are on two floors; on the upper tier they open out onto a private balcony, while the lower tier rooms have double French doors leading onto the lush, manicured gardens that offer charming proximity to the warthogs, and sometimes hippos, which often graze on the hotel grounds. The Palm Restaurant serves world-class cuisine in elegant surroundings. Ilala Lodge also has a pool with poolside bar.
Ilala Lodge is the perfect base from which to explore the majestic Victoria Falls, one of the World’s Seven Natural Wonders. Other activities that Ilala Lodge can help you arrange while staying here include a Zambezi River cruise, a bungee jump from the Falls, or an elephant-back safari.
Set on the eastern border of the Moremi Game Reserve, this bush camp preserves the romance of a by-gone safari era while providing guests with spacious, comfortable accommodation. Khwai was established by the former inhabitants of the reserve (the River Bushmen) and is now managed by the community through the Khwai Development Trust.
Khwai Tented Camp presents one of the most authentic safari experiences in Botswana. On the banks of a lagoon which flows into the Khwai River, flushing toilets and bucket showers are the order of the day. Be soothed to sleep by the sounds of the African bush in the comfort of your tent. With conservation a priority, the community initiative that owns Khwai Tented Camp has ensured that there are no permanent structures on site. This means the impact on the immediate environment is minimised.
There are several ways to experience this unique section of Botswana: day-time drives can feature Africa’s big attractions – lion, cheetah, leopard, wild dog, elephant, buffalo, hippo and giraffe; night drives to get up close with the more elusive wildlife; explore the banks of the river, woodlands and grasslands on foot.
Deep in the Okavango Delta, in the Jao concession, sits a heart, or ‘pelo’, shaped island; on it stands Pelo Camp in amongst one of the most beautiful ecosystems in the world.
Escape from the stresses of modern life at Pelo Camp. The camp’s main area consists of a dining area, lounge and bar with an extended deck overlooking the floodplains beyond. Small and intimate, the five spacious guest tents have en-suite bathrooms, indoor and outdoor shower and private decks with views out onto the delta.
As the camp is located on a small island surrounded by permanent water, activities focus on mokoro (traditional canoe) excursions, walking (please request in advance to ensure a walking guide is allocated to you) and boating (subject to water levels). There are plenty of opportunities to see hippo, lion, crocodile, the occasional leopard, as well as the elusive sitatunga.
This is also a birdwatcher’s paradise; enthusiasts have the chance to spot Pel’s fishing-owl as well as African and lesser jacanas and a host of other Okavango specials such as slaty egret, African pygmy-goose and the western banded snake-eagle.
Chobe Elephant Camp is perched high on a ridge overlooking the Chobe River floodplains, offering superb views over the surrounding countryside
Built to capture the feel of a traditional farm homestead, and to keep the ecological impact of the lodge build to a minimum, each room has been constructed with sandbags in the walls. This serves the additional purpose of insulating each room, keeping it warm in winter and cool in the summer. All furnishings are made with locally sourced timber, and with the polished floors and exposed beams, the overall result is a very pleasing one. Each room affords its own view of the plains below, so hours at the camp can be spent in privacy or in the public areas.
Morning and afternoon game drives with expert guides are on offer at Chobe Elephant Camp, as are river cruises. Northern Botswana supports Africa’s largest population of wild elephants, and, especially in the dry season, they congregate along and in the river to drink and cool off. This, together with the numerous numbers of other game species that the river attracts makes for an almost overwhelming wildlife experience matched in only very few other places on earth.