Victoria Falls, Okavango & The Kalahari

This is a terrific itinerary that takes you from Zimbabwe to Botswana, to some of Southern Africa and the world's greatest natural wonders from Victoria Falls to the Okavango Delta to the Kalahari Desert.

Day 1/2/3 ~ Victoria Falls ~ Elephant Camp

Today you will fly from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe where you will be met and transferred by road to Elephant Camp where you will spend three nights.

At more than twice the size of Niagara Falls it’s no surprise that Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Five separate falls plunge more than 328 feet into the chasm which separates Zimbabwe from Zambia. Keep an eye out for elephant, hippo and other wildlife. Enjoy your gin and tonic as the sun dips below the horizon, painting the whole area in unbelievable array of reds, yellows and purples. Let your adventurous side play as you partake in optional activities like a swim in Devil’s Pool on the lip of the Falls, whitewater rafting, elephant interactions, bungee jumping or a helicopter or micro-light flight. Game drives, canoeing or a sunset cruise on the Zambezi are also easily organized.

Take part in all of this with Elephant Camp, an intimate lodge under canvas, as your home base. Set in a private concession, Elephant Camp has spectacular views of the mist rising from the falls. The camp’s nine luxurious tented suites boast panoramic views of the bush and have giant four-poster beds, deep bathtubs with breathtaking views, private viewing decks and personal plunge pools. Savor superb local and internationally-inspired fare in the inviting dining room. Those in search of relaxing spots to unwind can sink into the comfortable chairs in the cozy sitting room, soak up the sun on the spacious decks or enjoy refreshing dips in the sparkling swimming pool, which has sweeping views of Batoka Gorge. A great optional activity offered by the Camp are elephant-back safaris.

Overnights at ELEPHANT CAMP. Includes: all meals, local drinks, complimentary mini bars, meeting the elephants, return Victoria Falls airport transfers, two transfers to Victoria Falls town per day and laundry.

Days 4/5/6 ~ Okavango Delta ~ Little Kwara

This morning you will travel fly to Kasane, Botswana where someone will assist you in transferring to a flight to Kwando Airstrip. Upon arrival someone will pick you up and drive you to Little Kwara where you spend three nights.

The Okavango Delta is the earth’s largest inland water system. Its headwaters start in Angola’s western highlands where numerous tributaries join to form the Cubango River. It then flows through Namibia where it is called the Kavango and finally enters Botswana, where it becomes the Okavango. Millions of years ago the Okavango River flowed into a large inland lake called Lake Makgadikgadi (now Makgadikgadi Pans). Tectonic shifts interrupted the flow of the river forming what is now the Okavango Delta, a unique system of waterways that support a vast array of animal and plant life, in what would have otherwise been dry Kalahari savannah.

Little Kwara is situated on the private Kwara Concession in the remote northern part of Botswana’s Okavango Delta. This intimate camp is hidden amongst the trees on an island, at the edge of the Delta’s permanent waters and shares a common boundary with the Moremi Game Reserve. The social bar and lounge area is a curved wooden deck, elevated and shaped around the trees, with strong canvas roofing and open sides. The wide chairs, low woven coffee tables and earthy toned furnishings enhance the serene atmosphere. Meals are enjoyed under cover or out on the deck overlooking the reeds and the waterways.

The 5 tented rooms are large canvas structures, set on wooden platforms, elevated quite high into the tree canopy. The twin or king beds don crisp white bed-covers and the en-suite bathrooms are spacious, offering deep baths as well as indoor and outdoor showers. The sitting areas comprise stylish Teak wood furnishings and large wooden sliding doors open the tents out to private verandahs.

Game viewing in this region is prolific and you can experience this on exciting game drives, short walks and night drives. Mokoro excursions are the best way to explore the waterways, allowing for excellent birding and photographic opportunities. One of the highlights of your stay is a cruise on the double-deck boat, particularly at sunset.

Overnights at LITTLE KWARA. Includes: All meals daily, three meals daily, soft drinks, house wine, local brand spirits and beers, teas and coffees, twice-daily game drives in open 4x4 safari vehicles, guided nature walks, spotlit night drives, Delta cruises and mokoro excursion, national park entrance fees, refreshments on game drives and laundry.

Days 7/8/9 ~ Kalahari Desert~ Tau Pan

Transfer back to the airstrip this morning for a flight to Tau Pan in the Kalahari Desert. Track game with the Bushman and enjoy distinctive game drives while relaxing in the famed Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

The landscape of the Kalahari will be quite a change after your days in the Delta. Derived from the Tswana Khalagari, meaning "a waterless place" the Kalahari Desert is a semi-arid, sandy savannah extending 350,000square miles and covering much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa. Despite its aridity, the Kalahari supports a wide variety of fauna and flora. As semi-desert, with huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains, the Kalahari supports more animals and plants than a true desert. Animals that live in the region include brown hyenas, lions, meerkats, giraffes, warthogs, jackals, several species of antelope (including the eland, gemsbok, springbok, hartebeest, steenbok, kudu, and duiker), and many species of birds and reptiles.

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the largest and most remotely situated reserve in Southern Africa, and the second largest wildlife reserve in the world, encompassing nearly 33,000 square-miles. The Reserve was originally established (in 1961) with the intention of serving as a place of sanctuary for the San, in the heart of the Kalahari (and Botswana), where they could live their traditional hunter/ gatherer way of life, without intrusion, or influence, from the outside world.

Tau Pan accommodates up to eighteen guests in specially designed thatched units on raised decks. The camp offers truly incredible views from the ridge of an ancient sand dune, an unusual experience in a land as flat as Botswana, and overlooks the famous Tau Pan - recognized for its stark beauty and remoteness. This, the first safari camp to be built in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, is a model of environmental sensitivity. Tau Pan is a model of environmental sensitivity, utilizing only solar power for electricity and heating and pumping water.

There are an abundance of activities offered at Tau Pan other than game drives including day trips to the well-known Deception Valley, Sunday, Piper and Passarge Pans, star gazing, bush brunches on Tau Pan, and nature walks with Bushman trackers.
Overnights at TAU PAN. Includes: all meals, local brand drinks, scheduled game activities, park fees and laundry.

Day 10 ~ Depart

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Lara Ray