Arrive in Livingstone where you are met and transferred to your luxury safari lodge, Tongabezi, for two nights to relax and recover from your journey. The completion of the Victoria Falls bridge gave birth to the city of Livingstone in 1905. The town prospered as the gateway to trade between the north and south sides of the Zambezi. A number of colonial buildings were erected, which still stand today, creating an atmospheric welcome to travelers using Livingstone as an entry point to explore this beautiful region.
Be sure to experience the Victoria Falls on foot or by air, catch up on the local history at the Livingstone Museum as well as the Railway Museum, shop at the extensive craft markets, get active with white water rafting, sport fishing and kayaking, or relax and enjoy unforgettable African sunsets on a river cruise. The following activities are all included in the price of your African safari holiday in Zambia although please note that some activities have age restrictions: canoeing on the Zambezi, island Lunch, sanpan floating candlelit dinner, sunrise and sunset boating, introduction to Simonga Village, Museum Tour (entry fee payable directly), fishing and a visit to the Maramba Market.
You will be transferred from Tongabezi to the Botswana border and Kasane airport for the light aircraft flight to the remote Savute Region of Chobe National Park and your home for the next two nights, Savute Safari Lodge. Historically the Savute channel has been an enigma that flowed erratically but the area is currently in a period of transition at the start of what appears to be another ‘wet cycle’. The African channel began flowing again in 2009 for the first time in nearly 30 years and as of late 2015, the channel is once again going through a dry period. The Savute area offers a harsh and desert-like landscape in the dry season when the wildlife is supported the small streams and watering holds. This contrasts dramatically with the rainy season where the seasonal pans fill with water and the Savute Marsh and surrounds are covered with lush green vegetation that attracts an annual migration of zebra and wildebeest, as well as an abundance of bird life.
Unlike the vast majority of the country, Savute is not a totally flat landscape: large outcrops of volcanic rock reach up out of the Kalahari sands towering over the endless savannah. These hills provide a habitat for a completely different array of small wildlife, birds and plants. The sand ridge, Goha Hills, and the dead trees on the Savute Marsh, offer some spectacular photographic opportunities.
Savuti Channel, Chobe National Park
The Savute Marsh, some of which lies in the famous Chobe National park, has been the stage for many of the most dramatic wildlife documentaries in Africa. The wide open country, good populations of large mammals like buffalo and elephant and particularly strong prides of lion and hyena clans make for dramatic African wildlife safari interaction and excellent viewing opportunities. The marsh is prime cheetah country and it is not unusual to see wild dog hunting in the Savute during the wet season.
Activities focus on game drives in open 4×4 safari vehicles in the Savute area including the Savute Marsh and the ancient Africa San rock paintings at Gubatsa Hills. The dry winter months offer incredible game viewing as the parched wildlife congregates at the water holes and river to drink – here you may witness the famed elephant hunting lions in action. Please note that activities are restricted within the national park in accordance with government rules and regulations: these include no driving off-road, no walking and no driving after dark.
You will bid your Savute guide farewell at the airstrip and fly south to the famous Okavango Delta, where you will be picked up by your guide and transferred to your camp. The prime location of Camp Xakanaxa (pronounced Ka-ka-na-ka) on the banks of the Khwai River on the Xakanaxa Lagoon, in the heart of the Moremi Game Reserve, makes it one of the very few safari camps that offers guests an authentic, year-round Okavango Delta land and water safari experience. The ancient riverine forests, open savannah, serpentine channels and seasonal floodplains that surround the camp make for a varied habitat of exceptional fauna and flora. The camp is one of few offering a year-round land and water game-viewing experience, in open 4×4 safari vehicles or powerboats. The diverse habitat ensures prolific sightings of Elephant, Buffalo, Hyena, Giraffe, Hippo, Wildebeest, Kudu, Lechwe, Lion and Leopard, among many others. Birding is spectacular, especially in the spring and summer months when the migrants are breeding. Safari activities are conducted by licensed guides eager to share their in-depth knowledge and impart the treasured secrets of this great wilderness.
Leaving the far northern part of Botswana behind you, fly by light aircraft to the heart of the Okavango Delta. Xugana Lagoon is widely acknowledged as being one of the most spectacular permanent water sites in the entire Okavango Delta, which in the midst of the Kalahari sands, is Africa’s largest and most awe-inspiring oasis. The Okavango River rises in the highlands of Angola yet never reaches the sea. Instead its immense waters empty over the sands of the Kalahari where its great desert thirst is quenched in a wilderness of fresh water lagoons, channels and islands. Exploring the Delta by motorboat or canoe (mokoro), combined with walking on surrounding islands in the concession, gives guests the chance to experience a classic Okavango Delta safari. Bird-watching opportunities are outstanding, and fishing for bream and tiger fish is also offered as an activity at the lodge.
Sadly, on day 11 it’s time to depart. Enjoy one lase safari activity before boarding your light aircraft for the flight to Maun, where you meet your departing flights back to Johannesburg and on home or onward to your final African safari destination on Botswana. Breakfast.