Begin your African vacation this afternoon with your arrival into Livingstone, Zambia’s gateway to the Victoria Falls. Livingstone’s historical town was founded by the first European explorers to ‘discover’ the impressive Victoria Falls, and is today the tourism capital of Zambia. Mosi-Oa-Tunya is directly translated as ‘the smoke that thunders’, the local name for the Victoria Falls. Included in your stay at Waterberry Lodge is a guided tour of Falls, African sunset cruise, daytime cruise, fishing, island picnics, guided birding safaris, guided village walk, guided tour of the town and local markets. Livingstone is rated as one of Africa’s, and the world’s, top destinations for adrenaline and river activities. The most popular of these include (at additional cost) seasonal white water rafting, bungee jumping, gorge swing, micro lighting over the Falls, brunch and breakfast canoe safaris on the Zambezi and Falls edge dining. The in-house activities are: Tour of Falls, African sunset cruise, daytime cruise, fishing, island picnics, guided birding safaris, guided village walk, guided tour of the town and local markets. All other activities offered in Livingstone can be pre booked or booked at the lodge.
This morning you will be picked up and transferred to the Botswana border and from there to Chobe Elephant Camp, just west of Chobe National Park. The Chobe River Front is a remarkable wildlife area due to the permanent water source of the Chobe River. However its accessibility from Kasane and neighboring towns of Victoria Falls and Livingstone has created quite a busy tourist area with larger hotels and lodges than you find in the more remote Okavango Delta. The spectacle of all the animals coming to drink and frolic at the water’s edge is one to behold, particularly in the dry season (May – Oct) where water is scarce away from the river. It is an area famous for its abundance of elephants, a variety of predators and, in addition, you are likely to see herds of buffalo and possibly even roan and sable antelope. In the rainy season (Nov – Apr) the game is much less concentrated at the river as the wildlife spread throughout the greater area of Chobe National Park due to availability of surface water from nearby pans. This assists the vegetation on the river banks in recovering from the massive herds that are attracted to the area in the dry months. The summer rains bring beautiful wild flowers, exquisite scenery, impressive bird life and an abundance of young animals usually born around November/December. The spectacular Chobe sunsets alone are worth a visit to the area.
Chobe Forest Reserve
Activities offered at Chobe Elephant Camp are walking safaris in the private reserve adjacent to Chobe National Park thus allowing guests to explore the intricacies of the bush, plants, insects and big game. Game drives, both in the reserve surrounding the camp as well as into the Chobe National Park, are conducted in open 4×4 safari vehicles with qualified professional guides. Alternatively guests experience game viewing by motorboat on the Chobe River past bathing herds of elephant, hippos, crocodiles and amazing bird life.
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.
After an early morning activity and breakfast (time permitting), you will catch your light aircraft flight into the Savute and from there transferred by road to Ghoha Hills. Ghoha Hills Savuti Lodge is perched high on the Ghoha Hills, overlooking the vast expanse of Savute within the Chobe National Park. The lodge is situated 20 km from the Savute Channel (approx 45 mins from airstrip) and with the elevated position, offers breathtaking views, unique in Botswana. 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 channel began flowing again in 2009 for the first time in nearly 30 years, the last active period being from 1950-1981.
The Savute area offers a harsh and desert-like landscape in the dry season when the wildlife is supported by the now flowing Savute channel. 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.
Savute, Chobe National Park
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. The Savute Marsh has been the stage for many of the most dramatic wildlife documentaries in Africa. The wide open country, good ungulate populations and particularly strong prides of lion and hyena clans make for dramatic wildlife interaction and excellent viewing opportunities. The marsh is prime cheetah country and it is not unusual to see wild dog hunting in the Savute in the wet season.
Activities offered at the Ghoha Hills Lodge are birding, stargazing and game drives to the nearby pans. Guests must also enjoy the full Savute experience of the marsh and the Savute Channel with a picnic lunch. There is a private hide a few kilometers from camp which provides guests with a close-up & personal experience of wildlife throughout the day and the most amazing sunsets.
From Savute, board your small flight and head to Kanana Camp, situated on the Xudum River in the Okavango Delta. The Okavango wetland encompasses Moremi Game Reserve and surrounding regions divided into areas known as Private Concessions. These concessions are wildlife management areas, carefully administrated to balance the growing community’s development and conservation, whilst empowering citizens through sustainable tourism. Many of the exclusive lodges in Botswana are situated within these concessions in the delta, providing an unparalleled wildlife experience – exclusive and remote, avoiding mass tourism and exploitation.
Your safari camp is located in the Kanana Concession. The annual floods transform parts of this concession into a true water paradise, offering the best of two drastically different landscapes. At certain times of the year, the breathtaking spectacle of the water visibly rising around the camp’s raised teak decks can be seen.
The focus of activities at Kanana Camp varies with the rising and falling levels of the Okavango Delta. Activities include morning and late afternoon game drives in open safari vehicles, with afternoon game drives often continuing into the evening. Alternatively you may explore the crystal clear waterways by Mokoro or motorboat, and enjoy the magnificent variety of birds, plant and reptile species found in the area. Birding is spectacular, and Kanana hosts a seasonal heronry that teems with activity, a Kanana highlight which converts all visitors to avid ‘twitchers’. Guided bush walks are highly recommended as is fishing for tilapia, African pike and sharptooth catfish.There is also a Sleep Out Deck that offers guests the opportunity to spend the night under the splendid African night sky.
Sadly on day 11 it’s time to depart. After one last breakfast in the African wilderness, are transferred by light aircraft to Maun International airport to meet your departing flights. Breakfast.