Platinum Safari in Southern Africa's Greatest Destinations & Best Lodges

A 13 day trip to Botswana & South Africa 
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Watch elephants from a marble bathtub and admire rhinos from your lavish suite as you are fully immersed in the enchantment of the wild. This 13-day safari is all about Southern Africa's finest lodges and greatest destinations with your journey focused on private concessions and handpicked accommodation. Your itinerary will provide an exclusive angle on nature's world-famous wonders: the Okavango Delta, the savannah and floodplains of northern Botswana, Victoria Falls, and Sabi Sands in the Kruger.

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General Information

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Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Maun, Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, Jao Concession, Linyanti Concession, Linyanti Floodplain, Chobe National Park, Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Londolozi Private Concession, Johannesburg

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Moremi Game Reserve (Jao Concession) – Discovering the Evocative Delta

The water ripples as a hippo raises his head and yawns before slinking back below the waters. Elephants are plodding across the floodplains, the baby of the herd almost fully submerged by the rising water. A cuckoo lands on your balcony as a fishing owl circles slowly overhead. Silence, and then commotion as a troop of monkeys yelps from the trees nearby, indicating that a predator is in the vicinity. Calm returns as a zebra skips past, a few impala are observed looking for grazing pastures and a hippo pod baths contently. You will have not even left the lodge, and you will have already seen so much. It is this immersive beauty that makes private concessions so appealing. With no other visitors interrupting the horizon, you can just sit back and watch the wildlife world unfold.

Today you will land in Maun and then transfer to a light aircraft for your flight to the Jao Concession, a private enclave in the world-renowned Moremi Game Reserve. Situated in the game-rich heart of the Okavango, Jao Camp provides an inclusive delta experience. You will be surrounded by the water and can admire its intricacies and subtleties. Countless narrow channels and open lagoons provide water safari, yet you are also close to land giving you an opportunity for game drives during the day and the night. After reaching the camp, you will relax in your luxurious tented suite before a sunset cruise continues your discovery of the Delta.

What's Included: accommodation at Jao Camp, micro flight, transfer, safari, dinner

Days 2 – 4: Moremi Game Reserve (Jao Concession) – Surrounded by Water: Exclusive Safari in a Private Okavango Concession

Throughout this entire safari, your daily program will be flexible to allow you to choose the activities that suit your mood and interests. Of course, the guides will make recommendations as they tap their years of knowledge to help you make the most of your time. You can head out in a traditional mokoro, a narrow canoe that's paddled along the channels. Dozens of different species must come to drink, and by following the banks, you will enjoy intimate moments with the wildlife. Pass the hippos as they bathe, watch giraffe stretch down to drink, and find a succession of dainty antelope along the banks. Jao Camp also has a glass-bottomed mokoro that provides another Okavango angle.

Motorboats are quicker and can cover larger stretches of the oasis bringing you to Chief's Island and channels further from the concession. Particularly at sunrise and sunset, motorboats can bring you to enchanting corners of the Delta, where the antics of herds will keep you company. Morning and afternoon game drives are tailored towards the most revered of the safari sights, particularly the large number of lions and other cats, and there is usually a good chance to see the fabled hunters on the prowl. Hunda Island is 45 minutes by boat from Jao Camp and is a place for a full-day game drive and a picnic overlooking the water. As darkness descends, you can stay out in the bush to explore a world that is completely different as viewed under the moonlight.

Your time will be filled with little extras, like spending one night at a raised hide, high in a tree above the floodplains. Some find its closeness to wildlife frightening while others call it the highlight of any safari. Meals are served on wooden terraces above wildlife-rich plains, or on your private terrace, or on a table erected in the floodplains, with your feet in the water and impala skipping all around. Even from your bathtub, the Okavango safari will continue with expansive views offered from the outdoor bathroom (there's also an indoor bathroom in your suite). For these three days, you will explore the bounty of the Okavango, and it will be rare that you encounter other people.

What's Included: accommodation at Jao Camp, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5: Linyanti Concession – Converging Worlds: Where the Delta Meets the Savannah

As the Okavango spreads northeast, it meets other ancient rivers and floodplains, some that are still running and others that have lain dry for decades. Grasslands flourish in places, yet other areas reflect a more classic image of the scorched savannah. The riverine forest grows in clumps to attract a suite of birdlife, pachyderms, and unusual antelopes. These habitats collide in the Linyanti Concession as delta meets savannah, woodland blurs with the lagoon and the diversity of landscapes attract an equally diverse collection of animals. From the Okavango, you will fly north by light aircraft to touch down in Linyanti concession for a further three days of big game safari. You will stay at Kings Pool Camp in luxurious tented accommodation that overlooks a permanent lagoon. As in the Okavango, it is rare to go an hour without seeing hippos and elephants from your room.

What's Included: accommodation at Kings Pool Camp, micro flight, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6 – 7: Linyanti Concession – Big-Game Safari in Northern Botswana

An elephant herd is on the march, felled tree trunks scattered around as they leave a trail of destruction. Deep in the forest, they will meet another herd and the large males will face off before everyone wanders on peacefully. Out in the low grass, you will find grazers with the hundreds of kudu, impala and zebra going about their day. Vast and open, these low-grass plains enable the herds to watch and listen for predators. But in the high grass, the hunters wait, perhaps a leopard carefully concealed, or a lion pride lounging around. Next, you will head out to the waterways, and there is a flurry of action, the hippos a little irate at where a large buffalo herd has decided to drink. Nile crocodiles bathe on the nearby banks, and it's only later that anyone notices this hunter.

On a Linyanti safari, you will explore the different habitats as you move from the realm of the grazers to the hiding place of the cats, and then from the river dwellers to the forest eaters. The surrounding ecosystem is home to Africa's largest elephant population, up to 100,000 of them. It feels like giraffe are equally plentiful, a constant on the horizon whether you are on a game drive or at your camp. The giraffe tower brings an astonishing quantity to the exquisite quality of your safari. Just as at the Jao Concession, you will create your safari program and choose from an array of options for both water and land-based activities. Walking safaris are added to the menu, with skilled trackers to lead you on the rugged trails across the open landscapes for you to stop, look around, and realize you are surrounded by over a hundred zebra or impala.

What's Included: accommodation at Kings Pool Camp, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8: Victoria Falls – Relaxing on the Zambezi River

A light aircraft will bring you a little further north to offer stupendous views over both the oasis and the Chobe forest. Touch down in Livingstone and take a boat onto the Zambezi, where the Royal Chundu Zambezi Island Lodge is situated on its own private island. Built around Katombora Island's ancient jackal berry and baobab trees, this exclusive getaway has just four villas. The lodge will immerse you in Zambezi life as tropical birds soar, distant crocodiles snap, the odd hippo grunts, and the sounds of the distant rumble of the Victoria Falls carry across the landscape. A daily sunset cruise will take you along the iconic Zambezi, with cocktails and snacks served as the hippos emerge from their daily wading spaces.

What's Included: accommodation at Royal Chundu Zambezi Island Lodge, micro flight, transfer, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9: Victoria Falls – The Epic Cascades from the Ground and the Air

Sometimes it is hard to see Victoria Falls from the ground. You can hear the deafening thunder, you can smell the water, and you are getting soaked by the mist that drums down, but the haze is so complete that you cannot even see past your own hand. These feelings are all part of the Victoria Falls experience as the walkway alongside the falls submerges you in the raw power of the waters. Trees occasionally provide cover, and the vista opens up as almost a mile of water disappears into the chasm. But from a helicopter, your experience broadens as your view opens and you can admire the Zambezi as it cuts through the green landscape before dropping into the abyss. After exploring Victoria Falls during the day, a sunset cruise will escort you through the calmer side to this famous river.

What's Included: accommodation at Royal Chundu Zambezi Island Lodge, tour, helicopter flight, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 10: Sabi Sands Game Reserve – Introductions to the Kruger Savannah

Southern Africa's famous safari destinations each have their distinctive pleasures. Each landscape could be defined as quintessentially African, yet they have little in common. The Okavango Delta, an oasis of lush green and blue, compared to the Kruger, a savannah of rustic yellow and dusty ground. Such contrasting landscapes means a safari is always surprising; there are always different animals, new sightings, and fresh experiences. Glimpse either the Okavango or the Kruger, and it is easy to exclaim that it was the preconceived idea of an African safari landscape you had held.

Today you will fly from Livingstone to the Sabi Sands via Johannesburg, touching down amidst the sweeping plains of the Kruger. Bordering the main Kruger National Park is the Sabi Sands, a cluster of private game reserves on the Sand and Sabi rivers. These permanent water sources give the reserves their wildlife-rich abundance. Over the past days, it was the elephants and hippos that really abounded, but the Kruger ecosystem is where rhinos and big cats are found in boggling numbers. Londolozi is one of Africa's oldest lodges and private reserves and has offered luxury safari for some 90 years. The contemporary Granite Suites are a seamless blend of their old-world charms and modern styles, making a majestic base for your final three nights.

What's Included: accommodation at Londolozi Private Granite Suites, flights, transfer, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Days 11 – 12: Sabi Sands Game Reserve – Big Five Brilliance in a Private Reserve

Depart on your game drive at dawn as two hours of mystique usher in the day. It is cool enough to hunt, bright enough to harass and early enough to be hungry. A lion pride is on the move, upsetting a buffalo herd, who try and usher their young behind bulky horned males. A couple of buffalo chase the lions, forcing them to retreat briefly. But the pride keeps coming as three lionesses occupy the riled-up males as another two snap into the herd and isolate a young calf. It's over quickly, an hour of cat and mouse followed by a minute of brutal power. Jaws lock on while the buffalo shout their disapproval as one of their numbers lies limp.

Leopard and cheetah also use these morning hours to hunt. Hyenas are active, scampering around in the savannah's most active time. Rhinos usually retreat deeper into the bush in the afternoon, but they're less bashful before lunchtime. Over these two days, the flexible safari program continues, and it is highly recommended to take the early-morning game drives. Bush walks and afternoon drives continue the experience, but you may also prefer to laze the afternoon away in your private pool, overlooking the Kruger savannah and admiring the wildlife procession at the Sand River. As always, expect expert guides and hidden extras, like starlit dinners in the bush or hides that bring exceptional proximity.

What's Included: accommodation at Londolozi Private Granite Suites, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 13: Sabi Sands to Johannesburg – Departure

Depart the Sabi Sands on an early-afternoon flight to O. R Tambo International in Johannesburg, where a direct flight will take you back home.  You will have full use of the lodge's facilities before departure, so that you can enjoy one last leisurely morning in Africa.

What's Included: transfers, domestic flight, breakfast

Price

Starting Price 

$6,495
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.