Botswana Safari in the Okavango Delta
Experience the world's largest delta, the Okavango Delta
11 Days / 10 NIghts
Activity Level Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
Botswana safaris are renowned for their abundant wildlife and isolated adventure camps. Travelers can expect the full spectrum of safari adventures by tracking game on foot, mokoro or vehicle. One of the largest inland deltas in the world, you’ll safari in the Okavango Delta which is fed annually by flood waters from the far away central highlands of Angola. The slowly seeping water gives life to plants and quiet streams where hippos wallow and crocodiles lie waiting for zebras and antelope to drink along the banks. Keep a watchful eye for hunting lions, hyenas, and leopards in this enormous ecosystem spread over 6,800 square miles. This luxury Botswana tour begins in Victoria Falls, where you witness one of the seven natural wonders of the world, feeling the mist from the mighty Zambezi River as it cascades 355 ft below. Fly to the drier Linyanti region known for its high concentrations of elephant populations and roaming packs of wild dogs. Your Botswana safari continues through the varied land and water landscapes of the Okavango Delta based near private concessions where the number of other travelers is few. Our luxury Botswana safari features small camps hosting no more than 14 guests in seven rooms and expert naturalist guides familiar with the rhythms and movements of this unique wilderness environment.
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
Standing in the spray of the Victoria Falls
Day and night game drives in the Linyanti region
Intimate Camps sleeping no more than 14 guests
Livingstone Airport LVI
Maun, Botswana MUB
Arrival In Livingstone
Arrive into Livingstone Airport where you will be met by a guide after passing through customs. The afternoon is free to recover from the long journey and watch the Zambezi River flow by from the comforts of Toka Leya Camp.
About Toka Leya
In the eastern sector of Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park overlooking the mighty Zambezi River, under a shady canopy of jackalberry and waterberry trees is Toka Leya. The camp has twelve safari-style tents, each en suite, with a view of the Zambezi River and some of its islands. The camp’s dining and bar area as well as the infinity edge pool are all set beneath a shaded canopy of trees overlooking the river. Activities include a tour of the Victoria Falls on the Zambian side, game drives within Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, river cruises, and guided nature walks. Other activities offered in the area at an additional charge include sunset cruises, helicopter flights, micro-lighting, canoeing, jet boating, white water rafting, and fishing. Game drives into the Mosi-oa-Tunya Park are productive with an abundance of general game species like buffalo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, and impala. There is rich birdlife here too, including several sought-after species such as African Finfoot, Half-collared Kingfisher, African Skimmer (seasonal), Schalow’s Turaco, and Rock Pratincole (seasonal). For bird enthusiasts there are leisurely strolls from camp, boat cruises, and island walks. The Zambezi River offers ample fishing opportunities and tiger fishing is an unforgettable challenge for keen fishermen, particularly during the warmer months. There are several varieties of bream (Tilapia) that are also a good catch. For the more sporty adventurers, try catching them on fly!
Choose between several included activities such as a visit to the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls, tour of Livingstone town, museum, and the local school, catch and release fishing, or a game drive in Mosi oa Tunya National Park. For the very adventurous spirits consider rafting on the Class V Zambezi River, jet boating, bungee jumping, or one of the many other adrenaline-inducing activities available in the area (these activities are at your own risk and not included).
Depart Victoria Falls by vehicle this morning, crossing the border into Botswana and board a light aircraft flight in Kasane to the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve. Savuti Camp has seven rooms and is situated in an isolated part of the Linyanti Concession along the Savute Channel in northern Botswana. The site of Savuti Camp is about 17 kilometers ‘downstream’ from the Zibadianja Lagoon – the source of the Savute Channel. The Channel stopped flowing between 1980 and 2008; during this time it was an unusual and productive ribbon of grassland that served as a corridor and feeding ground in the surrounding woodland for a wide variety of herbivores.
In the northern Chobe region of Botswana, Savuti Camp is a private reserve with great opportunities to find elusive species such as bushbabies, spring hare, aardwolf, serval, and genet within the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve. This is also an excellent place to search for African wild dogs. The seven intimate tents are situated along the Savuti Channel. Each tent has a large walk-in tented room raised off the ground on wooden decks with en suite facilities and is connected to the main lodge area by raised wooden walkways. The main camp has a thatched dining area, bar, and plunge pool. Botswana safari adventures include game drives in open 4×4 Land Rovers, night drives, and walks with an armed guard. The former woodpile-hide is underwater during the wet season but is occasionally still accessible in the drier winter months for up close animal viewing. Good concentrations of plains animals in the area complement this spectacular wildlife experience.
About Duma Tao Camps
Duma Tau is a 10-room luxury tented camp in the private Linyanti Wildlife Reserve which borders the western boundary of Chobe National Park in northern Botswana. The camp is built on raised boardwalks under a shady grove of mangosteen trees and overlooks a large hippo-filled lagoon on the Linyanti waterways. The source of the Savuti Channel is close to the camp and game drives along the Savuti are one of the highlights of this Botswana vacation camp. Spacious rooms raised off the ground and under thatch with canvas walls allow guests to enjoy the night sounds of Africa from the comfort of their rooms. In addition to the en-suite bathrooms with hot and cold running water, each room has an outside shower. There is a dining room, pub, lounge, plunge pool, and a special guest bathroom with a fantastic view. The region has all the habitat diversity to make it a haven for African wildlife. Botswana safari game viewing activities are diverse and allow for time on the water, on land, and occasionally on foot.
In 2008, the Savute Channel once more became a deep, clear waterway harboring hippo and aquatic life with myriad varieties of water birds. Wildlife, from plains game to a plethora of predators, has had to adapt to a new source of water and all the opportunities and menaces it has brought with it. It is impossible to say yet whether the waters will persist or begin to recede – but while it lasts, at Savuti Camp there are front-row seats for each drama that is played out.
With two-thirds of the Savute Channel located in the concession, you’ll have private and exclusive access to the abundant game through day and night game drives, nature walks with a guide (upon request), and several well-positioned hides for safe, up-close animal viewing. Savuti Camp’s former ‘wood-pile hide’ in front of camp is now part of the flowing Savute and famous for spectacular elephant viewing in the drier winter months. Tonight, enjoy night game drives in the predator rich Linyanti.
Game concentrations here are high, particularly in the dry winter season. Apart from abundant plains game, species such as roan and sable antelope, southern giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal and packs of wild dogs may also be encountered. In May through September, this area can also be excellent for the sought-after aardvark and aardwolf, which are big ticks on anyone’s mammal list!
A scenic flight over the delta takes you to Chitabe Camp. Chitabe is on a large island in the Delta where prolific wildlife is seen on day and night game drives. Area wildlife includes elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, and cheetah, as well as great opportunities to see wild dog from which Chitabe (Setswana for wild dog) takes its name.
Chitabe Camp is unique even in the Okavango Delta in that it harbors such a variety of habitats within close proximity, ranging from classic Okavango Delta scenery with Illala palms dotting floodplains to open savannah and acacia woodlands. A finger of perennial swamps inundated by water throughout the year extends into the Chitabe Concession and the area is also dominated by seasonally flooded areas which transform 56% of the concession from dry floodplains into a lush oasis, when the annual flood waters meander through. All this gives rise to a surprising diversity of species, which allows one a wide range of luxury African safaris, game viewing and birding experiences.
About Chitabe Camp
Chitabe is a luxurious tented camp built on one of the most beautiful islands in the Okavango Delta, in a private area that is bordered on three sides by the Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana. Surrounded by waterways and lagoons harboring a large variety of wildlife, the eight spacious tents are built on elevated wooden decks, beneath the lush tree canopy. Each tented room has en suite facilities with flush toilets, and a shower and basin with hot and cold running water. Enjoy a delicious meal in the thatched dining area, lounge or pub on raised decks overlooking the surrounding floodplains or cool off from your exciting Botswana safari in the private plunge pool. Activities consist of day and night game drives in open 4×4 vehicles accompanied by an experienced Botswana safari guide. Shorter nature walks are offered on request, please book ahead. Wildlife viewing is spectacular, and includes buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, reedbuck, lechwe, impala, zebra and hippo. Wild dogs are also sometimes sighted. Night drives can be very rewarding with good sightings of the rarer nocturnal animals. Two raised, uncovered, wooden platforms near the camp provide the wonderful experience of sleeping under the stars.
The high numbers of impala in the area means that leopard are often seen near Chitabe Camp. Also encountered are buffalo, elephant, lion and occasional sightings of wild dog, the subject of the Botswana Wild Dog Research Project that takes place in the area.
The birdlife is excellent and varies throughout the year, depending on water levels and season. Raptors are abundant here: including the African Hawk Eagle and the Hooded Vulture often nests on the island. Game drives in the palm-filled landscape of Chitabe Camp often produce families of Ground Hornbill, Greater Honeyguide, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Red-billed Hornbill, Gabar Goshawk and coveys of Red-billed Francolin. Overnight two nights at Chitabe Camp. Alternate camp is Chitabe Lediba.
Fly to Little Vumbura Camp and boat over to the camp ideally situated on a papyrus fringed island with access to the extremely productive Vumbura concessions. Here the vegetation ranges from open floodplains to dense mopane bushveld – offering spectacular game viewing and birding opportunities all year round.
The permanent swamp and island habitat abounds with beautiful treed islands of every size, surrounded by permanent waterways created both by the summer rains and the annual winter floodwaters of the Okavango Delta. Game drives in this
region are incredibly productive, arriving guests often sighting their first game on the trip from airstrip to camp.
The annually flooded grasslands of the Okavango Delta surrounding Little Vumbura Camp are locally referred to as ‘melapo’ and offer seasonal viewing of elephant, giraffe, impala, sable antelope, kudu, zebra, common waterbuck and reedbuck, tsessebe, wildebeest, red lechwe, and Cape buffalo. Encounters with hippo and crocodile are common in the waterways. Predators include the wild dog, several resident prides of lion, leopard, cheetah, and the African wildcat.
The birding around Little Vumbura Camp is as varied as it is exceptional all year round. In the summer many migrant species are present. Pel’s fishing owl is regularly seen, with other species including wattled crane, slaty egret, chirping cisticola, little bee-eater, fan-tailed widowbird and possibly rosy-throated longclaw.
Game drives in open Land Rovers allow you to get close to animals in the savannah areas. Walks (on request) around the islands are an opportunity to enjoy Africa from a different perspective, and mokoro canoeing is the perfect way to drift slightly through this unique wildlife habitat. Game viewing is consistently good all year round at Little Vumbura Camp with lion, leopard, elephant, sable and buffalo along with extensive plains game providing an excellent all-round wildlife experience in this remote corner of the Okavango Delta. Overnight for three nights at Little Vumbura Camp. Overnight for three nights in the six roomed Little Vumbura Camp. Alternate is Tubu Tree Camp.
Depart the Okavango Delta today for your flight to Maun, arriving in time to connect to your onward international flight. Consider extending your safari to see desert adapted wildlife in Namibia, scuba diving from an off shore island in Mozambique, or simply relax in South Africa’s cosmopolitan Cape Town and tour the picturesque winelands.
Arrival & Departure
- Your trip begins with your arrival at Livingstone Airport where you will be met by an Austin Adventures representative. They will transfer you to Toka Leya accommodation for check-in. On Day 11, you will be transferred to Maun Airport for your flight home, approximately three hours prior to your flight departure time.
- Tour of Victoria Falls and the mighty Zambezi River
- Day and night game drives in the predator rich Linyanti
- Game viewing by open safari vehicle, mokoro, and boat
Okavango Delta is unique in the various methods it offers for exploring the wildlife on safari. Guides take tourists through the waterways of the delta in a traditional mokoro, or dug out canoe. Stalking and tracking wildlife with the help of a guide on the walking safaris is another exciting and popular way to experience the delta first-hand. Chief’s Island is a popular landmark for tourists since it is the largest island in the delta and core refuge for wildlife. Historically, this island was used exclusively for hunting grounds by Chief Moremi of the Batawana tribe.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions – except one dinner on your own – are included as indicated by itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in Trip Price
- All guided tours and excursions
- English-speaking naturalist guides
- Twice daily shared activities on safari including game drives, night drives, mokoro, boat, and walking safaris depending on location and conditions. Only 2-6 passengers per outing. Special arrangements can be made for groups of 6+ travelers.
- Airport-hotel transfers, land transportation
- 10 nights hotel accommodation as indicated
- Meals as indicated [B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner]
- Water, soft drinks, beer, wine, and cocktails (premium brands excluded)
- Laundry service
- Wildland Adventures travel consultation and pre-departure services
Not Included in Trip Price
- International airfare
- Tips and gratuities
- Airport departure taxes and any additional Botswana or Zambia taxes
- Personal expenses for extra services, optional activities, or changes in your itinerary for reasons beyond our control
- Travel insurance for trip cancellation, medical services, or evacuation
- Any other items not mentioned above
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Want to know how to fully experience the depth of beauty and culture in a place? Ask Carol Austin. A Montana native who treasures the land and people in her own backyard—be it Yellowstone, the Beartooths, or the family around her dinner table—Carol knows how to embrace any destination she explores, a feat at 40+ countries and counting. And with more than 20 years in the travel industry, she’s really good at helping guests plan—and fully enjoy—their adventure vacation, too. She co-founded Austin Adventures with her husband, Dan Austin.