Best of Tanzania & Botswana Safaris: Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Okavango Delta

A 14 day trip to Botswana & Tanzania 
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Nature's drama unfolds in theater-like spaces across Africa, delivering raw tales sprinkled with indulgent charms. Destinations offer distinctive productions. The Serengeti's grass plains bring the perennial battle of abundant predators and migrating herds. Botswana's Okavango is a bountiful story of life along the water while Chobe and Linyanti reveal the mystique of the forests. This handcrafted safari to Tanzania and Botswana traverses these great production spaces, unraveling all the iconic stories.

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General Information

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Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Karatu, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, Seronera, Dar es Salaam, Maun, Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, Chief's Island, Linyanti Concession, Chobe National Park, Victoria Falls

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Karatu – Welcome to Africa

The dusty plains, the sense of space and the roads of evocative orange are the journey that leads into the wilderness of Africa. Touch down into Tanzania, and the impressions turn to reverie, introducing you to a land that's mostly untouched by man. After landing at Kilimanjaro International, a micro flight takes you to Karatu, where a luxury camp offers views over a game-filled valley. There's time for a quick game drive into Lake Manyara, where lions climb trees and hippos grunt from the shallows. Exotic birds flutter past and huge troops of baboons scamper around beneath crumbling canyon walls. It's just a start, a chance to glimpse a few characters before the safari officially starts tomorrow.

What's Included: accommodation, domestic flight, safari, dinner

Day 2: Ngorongoro Crater – An Iconic Caldera of Famous Animals

Two black rhino gracefully wander around at sunrise, serene figures contrasting the enthusiastic jumping of the wildebeest. Lionesses are on the prowl, stalking an impala herd from the outskirts of the trees. Elephant bulls will walk past and as you gaze across the landscape, you find even more giant pachyderms. Ngorongoro Crater is East Africa's iconic meeting place, an extinct volcanic caldera that's filled with six distinctive habitats and almost all the famous safari sights. Arrive at sunrise and they're all roaming around, the game drive quickly revealing Africa's eternal mammals. On any safari adventure, there's anticipation and excitement, nobody wanting to miss out on the famous sights. Ngorongoro is the perfect introduction as there's hardly a species that doesn't inhabit the crater floor. A six-hour game drive includes lunch overlooking a lake of hippos, predatory big cat scenes, and everything from pink flamingo to hyenas that have been rolling in the mud. Ascend from the floor and the afternoon offers beautiful views over the crater from your lodge verandah.

What's Included: accommodation, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3: Southern Serengeti – Across the Endless Grass Plains

The road descends from Ngorongoro, landscapes opening out with a sense of the infinite. Grass extends beyond the horizon, rolling onwards, briefly punctuated by random collections of rock. The visibility is exquisite, a flat landscape enabling you to glance thousands of mammals in a single panoramic view. Journey through the southern plains, admiring the herds as they gracefully graze. Thousands of zebra congregate together, a mass of black and white that blurs from a distance. Wildebeest scatter the landscape, males enthusiastically galloping through the morning. The odd elephant and giraffe appear on the horizon, and then you turn to see a hyena beside the truck.

The Serengeti is “predator central” and the visibility enhances your chance of seeing all the famous cats. Lion pride are difficult to miss, from ousted young males marked by scars to long-maned giants roaring instructions. Jackals scurry along while a cheetah hides in a clump of grass, taking a break from the day. Such a vast landscape can only really be explored on game drives, and you spend the day cruising through a park that's larger than the country of Belgium. Lunch is taken at a popular resting place for hippos while the late afternoon takes you to a luxury camp beside a permanent waterhole.

What's Included: accommodation, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4: Central Serengeti – Lions Surveying Their Kingdom

It's the lions that control the Serengeti. Much like a fictitious Disney movie you find them perched on rocks, a dozen individuals surveying their kingdom. A grunt or a roar, and it's time to back away as a male is hiding with his mate. Follow the trail, and find three lionesses are interpreting opportunity, selecting the dinner menu. Drive further and find a huge herd of Thomson's gazelle, thousands of them grazing together, the sentinels' ears pointed upwards to pick out any danger. Next a collection of wildebeest, some ragged and weary, others imbued with a frenzied enthusiasm. As you watch them interact, you're also unaware of the leopard that stealthily found itself on the edge of the herd. The Serengeti offers the great battle between predator and prey, a cycle of life that's intimately experienced with every game drive here.

What's Included: accommodation, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5: Central Serengeti – Following the Great Wildebeest Migration

It's on these fertile, volcanic soils that nature's greatest drama unfolds. Every year, some two million mammals migrate across the Serengeti, wildebeest and zebra joined by other antelope and a string of predators. Three days of safari in the Serengeti ensures the opportunity to admire the phenomenon. From January to March, you'll find them calving and grazing in the southern part of the reserve. From April to August, they're on the move, traveling in gargantuan herds that stretch beyond where the eye can see. Hyenas and vultures track them, while lions and leopards wait patiently in their realms, anticipating the feast before it arrives. Your safari will be tailored to take in the migration and intimately experiencing its complexities. It's easy to focus on scale, but when you're actually in the Serengeti, you'll get an intimate insight into all its individual charms.

What's Included: accommodation, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6: Seronera to Dar es Salaam – Luxury on the Coast

A final Serengeti game drive provides another chance to continue your immersion into huge herds and ravenous predators. It's also another opportunity for relaxing at the luxury camp and watching the wildlife world roam past. Around lunchtime, you'll be transferred to the airstrip at Seronera for a light aircraft flight to Dar es Salaam on the coast of Tanzania. This stopover is necessary for tomorrow's early-morning flight to Botswana. Your luxury hotel hangs above the beach, bringing a soft Indian Ocean breeze to a peaceful evening.

What's Included: accommodation, domestic flight, airport transfer, safari, breakfast, lunch

Day 7: Johannesburg to Okavango Delta – Exploring Vivid Waterways

Your scheduled flight transports you to Maun via Johannesburg, and then the fun begins as you step onto a light aircraft for a cruise above the Kalahari Desert.  The landscape is raw and dusty, dappled with herds on the move. Suddenly the colors change, expansive collections of blue appearing as the Okavango Delta extends beneath the wingtips. Water is precious in the desert, yet it's also abundant in the Kalahari. After falling in the Angolan Highlands, the Okavango River brings luxury into a landscape that is usually defined by harshness and hostility.

The Okavango Delta is a celebration of life, thousands upon thousands of animals feasting on the opportune bounty. Land at the Moremi Game Reserve on an airstrip surrounded by the echoes of the surrounding wild. Elephants call through the trees; hippos boisterously shout in a nearby river, and it feels like you've never been further away from civilization. Explore on a game drive, winding through the woodland and tracing the pathways left by destructive pachyderms. Baboons and vervet monkeys occasionally interrupt the trail, stopping to watch the vehicle and then scampering off as the tail of a cheetah swishes menacingly. A huge herd of antelopes finds their haven here, splashing up water as they skip away from danger. When the game drive ends, rest at a luxury camp that stands over the river, continuing the wildlife impressions through the night, a procession of silhouettes coming to drink beneath the moonlight.

What's Included: accommodation, international flight, airport transfer, safari, breakfast, dinner

Day 8: Okavango Delta – Canoe Safari in the Great Oasis

The Delta spreads like a flowing syrup, cutting across landscapes with its trails of goodness. Islands are created; animals are marooned. To piece it all together, you must travel along its channels, a journey took in a traditional mokoro or dugout canoe. Moving slowly and serenely, the unobtrusive transport helping you get closer to the Okavango's species. A gondolier skillfully keeps you clear of large hippo pods while the elephants squirt water with playful abandon. Head through the floodplains and the tall grass, reducing visibility but enhancing intimacy when you spot a herd having a drink. Everything in this landscape must come to the water, so with a canoe safari,  the wildlife comes to you. This full-day safari experience is punctuated by an elegant lunch at an elevated hideout along the river.

What's Included: accommodation, domestic flight, airport transfer, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9: Linyanti Concession – The Elephants of Chobe National Park

Try and imagine what ten African elephants look like, a collection of youngsters and six-ton males. Now picture 100. What about 1,000? Baffling, isn't it?  Try envisaging 80,000 to 100,000, and that's the estimate of how many elephants live in the Chobe ecosystem. It's beyond belief, even when you're driving around and can't go ten seconds without spotting another pachyderm. Tusked males stand above the safari truck, babies chase warthogs away from the water, herds meet and respect size. There are other towering animals around. Giraffes are plentiful, their necks reaching above the dense woodland of Chobe. In these thick forests, it's hard to spot the predators, but the sheer quantity of giants makes this one of Africa's un-missable experiences. Fly to the Linyanti Concession, a private reserve that shares unfenced boundaries with Chobe National Park. Touch down and a game drive introduces you to the Linyanti landscape before looping around a trail in the neighboring national park. When dusk falls, the elephants just keep coming, giants gathering at the river beside your luxury camp.

What's Included: accommodation, domestic flight, airport transfer, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 10: Linyanti Concession – Exclusive Walking Safari

Linyanti is a private concession, not subject to the same rules as a government-managed national park. It's an exclusive reserve, only accessible to the handful of guests that are staying at its camps and the activities enable you to explore fresh angles. Today is dedicated to a walking safari, guided by skilled bush-men trackers who understand all the clues and prints in the forest. When you're on foot, nothing is scared of you, unlike when you're in the vehicle. Buffalo stand on the trail, and you must wait for them to move on. Zebra comes closer without fear. Elephants roam in the distance, and it's as if you can feel their vibrations through the marshland. It's all much bigger when you share the same ground level. You won't see the predators, but you'll be able to get close to many of Africa's great four-legged mammals.

What's Included: accommodation, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 11: Linyanti Concession – Iconic Big Game Memories in a Private Concession

A final day of safari and it's tailored towards your interests. If there are animals you're yet to see; then the Linyanti habitat offers a chance to search for them. If there's an experience you're keen to repeat,  a full range of activities are available, including canoe and walking safaris. When dusk falls, you continue the safari, a nighttime game drive guided by moonlight and the roaming spotlight of the guide. Nocturnal creatures emerge, big cats are out in hunting mode, and there's an eerie resonance that makes this time so mystical and untouched. Most wildlife rests during the heat of the day. But when the cool of night sets in, animals are on the move. Like always, all meals are included on your safari, and there's always an elegant panoramic when you spend time resting at the camp.

What's Included: accommodation, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 12: Victoria Falls – Confronting Nature's Power

After the Okavango and the Chobe comes another famous river, the mighty Zambezi,  slicing through the heart of Africa. As it rumbles south, it broadens with quickening speed, widening to nearly a mile across. It then disappears, tumbling into the chasm that is Victoria Falls, cascading over 100 meters before rising above the landscape as rebounded spray. A guide takes you along narrow bridges to cataracts that run alongside the falls. Mist descends, nature's power revealed through the abundance of water that engulfs the scene. When you move further away, the sounds continue, resonant of the Falls indigenous name which translates as the “smoke that thunders.” From Linyanti to Livingstone, it's a two-hour road transfer. Relax at your lodge along the river before an afternoon confronting nature's power.

What's Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast, lunch

Day 13: Victoria Falls – Lounging Along the Zambezi

With the soft monotone of Victoria Falls in the distance, spend the day lounging along the Zambezi River. Wave hello at the resident hippo pods; watch the colobus monkeys as they swing around above your head and keep your eyes peeled for stealthy baboons. There may also be elephants, migrants on their journey southwest towards Chobe. This relaxed day is followed by a sunset dinner cruise, a trip along the Zambezi that encapsulates classic African reverie: the wild animals, the burning sun, the serenity that accompanies an untamed realm. Like so many destinations on this itinerary, the Zambezi radiates nature's drama and holds you captive with its charm.

What's Included: accommodation, Zambezi sunset dinner cruise, breakfast, dinner

Day 14: Victoria Falls to Livingstone – Departure

Livingstone offers excellent international connections and a relatively easy journey away from Africa. You'll be transferred to the international airport after breakfast.

What's Included: airport transfer, breakfast

Price

Price 

Zicasso recommends the following guidelines for customized Botswana and Tanzania safari tour packages, excluding international flights: 

  • 5-star: USD $800 - $1,000+ per person per day

The customized package will include hotels, airport transfers and other transportation within both countries, guided tours or activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip.

Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final hotel choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.