Vast swathes of northern Botswana are far too wild for roads or even for rugged four-wheel driving. Access to the pristine wilderness is by light aircraft, touching down on dusty airstrips surrounded by elephants. Fly in and then explore to spend two days each in five distinctive safari destinations. From the Chobe woodlands to the Okavango oasis, Savute Channel to Makgadikgadi Pans, this luxury safari showcases the mystique and wonder of both the Delta and the desert.
Day 1 - 2
Chobe National Park - Spectacular Woodland and River Safari
Beneath the canopy, you will go to follow sandy trails as you bump into the woodland. An elephant will block the trail, the large tusks forcing you to stop. Soon the rest of the herd will emerge as nearly 30 of them will slowly amble past, including two babies that swing their trunk with near comical curiosity. Inch a little further, and the scene will repeat itself with a big male hooting as the rest of the herd bulldozes their way through the trees. Giraffe is seen equally regularly with their heads above the high branches. As the sandy trail reaches the river, you will get your first glimpse of hippos, along with a buffalo herd chewing and chomping their way across the high grasses. Within an hour or so, some of the animals become so commonplace that you will not even point them out: elephants, giraffe, buffalo, zebra, lechwe, impala. As you continue, much more will continue to surprise, like tsessebe that skips out from the trees or a troop of baboons creating a riot of noise.
After touching down in Maun, you will transfer to a chartered light aircraft and a flight over the Okavango. Beneath the wingtips, the landscapes will transform from desert to delta, and then to the thick awning of the Chobe woodland. Touch down, and you will already be deep in the wilderness. The game drive will take you further in to bring these inspiring first safari impressions as you travel to your lodge, nestled on the Chobe River. Resident buffalo and lion pride create dramatic scenes close to the lodge, while any number of animals could come down to the river for a drink.
Over these first two days, you will combine game drives with cruises along the Chobe River. The latter will take you past hundreds of hippos, an even more evocative sight when you cruise at sunset, and they are seen emerging from the water. You will be staying in one of Botswana's original luxury lodges, a place of opulence that blends seamlessly with the natural environment. Accommodation later on the safari will be a bit more rustic, particularly in revealing how the wildlife roams freely amongst the camps. As a starting point, this lodge eases you into the wilds of Africa, with the salubrious fittings helping to soothe any aches from travel.
Day 3 - 4
Savute Channel – Mysterious Safari Landscape
Day 5 - 6
Shinde Concession – Classic Okavango Water Safari
Day 7 - 8
Moremi Game Reserve – The Big-Game Heart of the Delta
Day 9 - 10
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park – Desert Safari Along the Boteti River