This great value self-drive itinerary takes in the very best of Zimbabwe's and Botswana's game parks with superb opportunities for animal and bird encounters combined with spectacular landscapes. Travelling at your own pace, this is the perfect trip for independently-minded travellers.
An accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country.
In 1981 Toni moved to Namibia with her family and from then on her love of the outdoors and all things nature grew and grew. Her father was an exploration geologist who travelled extensively around Southern Africa, living in small mining towns and managing bush camps where Toni would spend her school holidays camping in the bush, or visiting private farms and reserves. Toni’s father passed on to her his unparalleled knowledge of all things Namibia, and she carried this with her as she became a manager and guide at some of the most remote lodges in the extreme North West of Namibia. Toni has travelled expansively across Namibia and its neighbouring countries, making regular visits to all of the National Game Reserves and developing her photographic skills which she takes great pleasure in passing on to visitors to the region.
Her deep love and knowledge of the Namibia, coupled with her infectious passion and enthusiasm to want to share it, make her one of the country’s top guides and ambassadors for this beautiful country. More than just a guide who simply points from a vehicle, Toni becomes fully involved in the experiences of her fellow travellers and places a great emphasis on finding the best adventures, wildlife encounters and photo opportunities for her tour groups. As a Managing Tour Consultant she plans safaris for a wide range of interest groups but her main focus is on birding and photographic small group tours, where she delights in each visitor gaining an up-close and personal experience of all that the country she loves and knows so well has to offer.
Born in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. She spent 11 years on Sea Lion Island as Manager of the Lodge, Warden of the Nature Reserve and as the principal tour provider, meaning her knowledge of Sea Lion Island in particular is second to none. Having spent so much time here, as expected her wildlife speciality is Elephant Seals, but she is also well versed in the ways of the seabirds, penguins, whales, dolphins and sea lions that call the Falklands their home.
After her time on Sea Lion Island Jenny moved to Stanley to work for the Falkland Islands Government and became manager of a local travel firm assisting with travel arrangements for incoming visitors, before taking semi-retirement to spend more time with her family and enjoy more time further exploring the lands she knows so well. Jenny is extremely passionate about sharing the hidden nature secrets of the Falklands with those who come to visit her homeland and will be looking forward to accompanying you and passing on her unsurpassed knowledge of the areas you will be visiting.
Arrive at Kasane Airport and transfer to Chobe Safari Lodge for two nights on full board basis.
The Chobe Riverfront is an elephant mecca; home to the largest density of African elephants in the world. It will leave you feeling tiny as giant elephant bulls stroll up next to your vehicle or snorkel alongside your boat. It will make you feel lost as hundreds of hippos and buffaloes crowd you out on the floodplains. It will put your heart in your throat as prides of lions stalk antelopes by the water’s edge, and it will leave you alone with your thoughts while the classic red sunsets melt over the river to a soundtrack of whistling fish eagles.
Included here are two game drives, two boat cruises and park fees.
Pick up your rental vehicle and drive across the border into Zimbabwe and on to Victoria Falls where you will stay at the A'Zambezi River Lodge for two nights on a bed and breakfast basis.
There is lots to see and do in Victoria Falls. Viewing the Falls on foot is a must-do activity, but they can also be seen from helicopter rides. There are boat cruises and a host of adrenaline activities such as bungee, zip-wire and white-water rafting. It is also possible to visit the national park.
On day 5, drive to Hwange National Park, where you will stay at the Ivory Lodge for three nights on a full board basis.
If you have dreamt of an Africa with expansive plains and wide horizons, where elephant and buffalo traipse in huge numbers towards waterholes and giraffe browse from flat topped acacias while a blazing sun sets behind them… you can find it in Hwange, Zimbabwe’s largest national park.The sight of hundreds, if not thousands of elephants and buffalos streaming towards you as you sit at a waterhole is indescribable. There is nothing like the sound of elephants' peaceful rumbling or the deep thundering of buffalo hooves on hard ground when they spook, wary of lions that may lie in wait.
Hwange’s diverse habitats mean that it offers large numbers of desert adapted, plains and woodland animals. The famed elephant population is one of the largest in the world and it has plentiful predator populations such as lion, leopard and cheetah. Hwange also boasts one of Africa’s last strongholds of endangered African wild dogs, as well as a variety of rare antelope such as eland, sable, roan and if you are lucky the desert-adapted oryx (gemsbok).
Optional activities include game drives and guided walking safaris.
On the morning of day 8, drive from Hwange to Matobo Hills (3-4 hours), where you will stay at Camp Amalinda for two nights on full board basis.
With balancing boulders, standing stones, massive monoliths and precariously perched pebbles; the granite formations of Matobo (also known as Matopos) hills are among the world’s most spectacular geology. Here one can marvel at ancient Khoi-San rock art and visit Malindidzimu ‘The Hill of spirits’ a sacred site to indigenous peoples and the grave of Cecil Rhodes; an important reminder of the country's colonial past.
Matobo National Park’s main attraction is its natural beauty and historical significance; however, wildlife can also be seen throughout the park. The park is said to have the highest density of leopards in the world, although they are hard to spot. Within the park is an "Intensive Protection Zone" where the best game viewing can be found, including a sizeable population of the highly endangered black and white rhinoceros, which are successfully breeding. The park also hosts numerous small species and magnificent birding, from the many rock dassies (hyrax) and colourful agama lizards that scramble across the rock faces.
Optional activities include rhino tracking, cave paintings and village tours, bush walks around the camp.
On the morning of day 10, drive on into Botswana to the Francistown area, where you will stay at the Tantebane Resort at Tsamaya, some 40 km east of the city.
This is a perfect stopover area, home to an abundance of birdlife and game, including giraffe, antelope and kudu. Here, you can relax and even play golf on the lush 9-hole course.
Drive on to Gweta for two nights at Planet Baobab on a full board basis. Activities on offer at Planet Baobab include guided walks and quad bike trips into the bush and the Pans with knowledgeable guides. Here you can discover the geological origins of what was once the world's largest ever super lake and you can follow the Palm Trail created by elephant droppings as these ancient creatures trekked across the arid waste when the super lake dried up.
On the morning of day 12, wake up early, before the sun rises and head off to the vast grasslands, past lonely baobab sentinels to the edge of Ntwetwe Saltpan. Along the way, your Guide will explain and search for the incredible adaptations of the species that are unique to the Kalahari Desert environment. As the day starts jump off your vehicle, stretch your legs and crunch your picnic breakfast. Get up close and personal with a resident gang of habituated Meerkats; see how these incredibly social, superbly adapted animals interact with each other and their environment. You also get the chance to view the desert through the eyes of a Meerkat - which, despite the fact that it's only a foot off the ground, is a pretty spectacular vantage point, and definitely one of the most special and memorable game experiences you will encounter in Botswana.
Dry season vs wet season and related activities: Please note that the dry season in Botswana typically runs from May through October and the wet season from November through April. Changing weather conditions have resulted in unexpected rainfall throughout the year which makes some activities hazardous and detrimental to the sensitive ecology of the pans. In wet conditions the camp will automatically revert to the wet season itinerary. Activities are subject to change at the discretion of the camp manager.
Drive on to Maun to stay at the Thamalakane River Lodge on bed & breakfast basis.
This is a comfortable lodge with river views from both chalets and public areas. There are spectacular sunsets and some great birdwatching opportunities.
Leave your car at Maun and take a flight to Okavango Delta and transfer by boat to Moremi Crossing for two nights on a fully inclusive basis.
Moremi Crossing is located on an Island called Ntswi near the most southern part of Chief’s Island. As you fly over the Delta you can see the intricate twisting and turning of the waterways and the ever-changing colours where dry land meets Delta. The main area consists of a large open plan deck that has a spectacular view over the River onto the largest island in the Delta – Chief’s Island.
The area hosts a wide variety of animal and bird species. Moremi Crossing offers different activities in the form of mokoro trips, game and bird walks, sunset motorboat cruises and island camping. All these activities give the guests a chance to experience the Okavango Delta and its wildlife from a very different, slower and closer perspective. On Chief’s Island guests have the opportunity to get a closer view of animals, elephants, giraffes, zebras, buffalos, red lechwe and less commonly lions, leopards and wild dogs have been spotted in the area.
After breakfast, transfer by boat to the Airport for your flight back to Maun and onward or return travel.See All Itinerary