Elephants on a riverbank Chobe, N.P., Botswana

Wildlife & Wilderness of Botswana

16 days
from
£3,249
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Traveller ratings
4.5 / 5 from 45 reviews >
Trip code: 
WZT
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Wildlife
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–12

Delta, Falls, salt-pans and bush are the backdrop to the fantastic wildlife and wilderness of Botswana

Take a journey into the wilds of Botswana. Glide along the Okavango Delta in traditional makoros and admire a billion stars from the otherworldly and eerily silent Makgadikgadi Pans. Search for Africa’s emblematic wildlife on the Savuti Marsh and the Moremi reserve and take to the Chobe River, known for having the highest concentration of elephants anywhere. Finally discover why David Livingstone, upon seeing Victoria Falls, declared ‘scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.’

Highlights

  • Gliding along the Okavango Delta waterways in Mokoro canoes and wild camping in the wetlands
  • The other-worldly silent beauty of the Makgadikgadi Pan
  • Good chances of seeing both Africa’s emblematic wildlife as well as some of its lesser species
  • Game viewing by foot, by safari vehicle and by boat
  • The mighty Victoria Falls

Key information

  • 11 nights full-service camping (in two-person tents with camp beds and mattresses provided) 2 nights in hotel, lodge or chalet.
  • Travel by Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Some long and bumpy roads
  • Staying in some remote locations

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 11 lunches, 8 dinners
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Depart London.

    Depart London

  • Day 2

    Arrive Maun.

    Those on the group flight arrive in Maun and transfer (30 mins) to our campsite located on the banks of the Thamalakane River. The campsite has hot showers, bar, swimming pool, and the restaurant is known for its good food and ambience. Those not on the group flight can arrive any time.
    Audi Camp or similar

  • Day 3

    To Okavango Delta.

    We pack minimal gear for 2 nights into a smaller bag, before a 4x4 transfer into the Okavango Delta. At the 'polers' station' we meet a new team of local staff from a nearby village who will look after us during our stay in the delta. With them we travel in mokoros deep into the Okavango Delta. We have lunch at our campsite on the banks of the river, and in the late afternoon we head out on our first game walk. We return to camp before sunset and enjoy our first meal in the African bush.
    Okavango Delta Wild Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Morning game walk; sunset dug-out canoe trip on the Okavango Delta.

    We get up early this morning for a game walk with a guide from the poling team. There are never any guarantees whith wildlife, but there is the chance of seeing elephant, buffalo, and other smaller game. We return to camp for a well deserved brunch and some time to relax. In the afternoon we take a short mokoro trip on the river to view the sunset before returning to camp.
    Okavango Delta Wild Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Return to Maun; free afternoon.

    This morning we board our mokoros for the trip back to the polers' station. We meet our vehicle and transfer back into Maun for the night where we will purchase supplies for the days ahead. The afternoon is free to relax by the pool or take an optional scenic flight over the Delta.
    Audi Camp or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Visit Makgadikgadi Salt Pan.

    After a relaxed breakfast we head east to the vast Makgadikgadi Salt Pan. Depending on the season or if the pans are wet, we will camp wild on the pan or one of the campsites nearby. The Makgadikgadi Salt Pan covers an area over 16,000 square kilometres and forms the bed of an ancient lake - now dried up. The sunsets on the pan are truly spectacular.
    Makgadikgadi Pan wild camp or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    To Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls.

    A long drive north before crossing into Zimbabwe to the town of Victoria Falls situated minutes from the waterfalls of the same name. At the Kasangula border we leave our 4 x 4 vehicle and complete the border formalities, the local staff will transfer all the luggage to a waiting bus, which takes us to our chalets for the next two nights. The falls themselves are over 1,700m wide and 100m tall making them the largest waterfalls in the world and are one of Africa’s most famous highlights. We will have the opportunity to find out more about the various activities on offer available for tomorrow.
    Victoria Falls Rest Camp Chalets or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 8

    Free day for optional activities at Victoria Falls.

    Today is a free day to partake in one of the many optional activities on offer ranging from white water rafting to flights over the falls and various others.
    Victoria Falls Rest Camp Chalets or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Free morning to visit Victoria Falls; afternoon to Chobe; optional boat trip.

    This morning there is an opportunity to view Victoria Falls themselves (park entry fee not included) from the Zimbabwean side. From here we drive back to Botswana. We rejoin our 4WD vehicles at the border and take a short drive from the border to the town of Kasane where we camp on the banks of the Thebe River, a tributary of the mighty Zambezi. The afternoon is free, with an option to view game on the famous Chobe Waterfront by taking an exciting river cruise on the Chobe River. This is widely regarded as one of the best game cruises in Africa with a very good chance of seeing the elephant herds coming down to the river to drink before the sun sets.
    Thebe River Camp or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Discover Chobe N.P; visit Savuti.

    We take an early morning game drive back to the Chobe Waterfront area. Chobe is famous for its large population of elephants, but is also home to plenty of other exciting game including lion and wild dog. After exploring the Northern end of this huge park, we head south into remote and rugged terrain, passing in and out of the national park, before finally reaching the Savuti area at the southern edge of Chobe National Park.

    The Savuti Marsh, often dry, is fed by the Savuti river channel which alternately flows and then dries up for years at a time. Recent flooding has given this area new life. This area is also home to plenty of game, but is especially well known for its lions, and the large numbers of elephant that walk enormous distances to find fodder.
    Zwei-Zwei or Savuti Wild Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Full day game drive on the Savuti Marsh.

    We take morning and afternoon game drives on the Savuti Marsh. There is a good chance to see lion, cheetah and hyena that follow the seasonal zebra migration through this area. Large secretary birds and kori bustards are often seen strutting around the Savuti marsh and small red-billed francolins provide a noisy morning wake up call.
    Zwei-Zwei or Savuti Wild Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Game drive on the way to Moremi.

    After breaking camp we drive all the way to Moremi Game Reserve. We pass through a variety of habitats including the Mbabe depression, Mopani forest and past great Acacia trees before arriving at Khwai village and the North Gate entrance of Moremi Game Reserve. Moremi National Park is the jewel in Botswana's wildlife crown. Protecting much of the northern part of the Okavango Delta, it is made up of waterways, marshes, islands and open grasslands.
    Moremi Wild Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Full day safari in Moremi Game Reserve.

    We'll go on morning and afternoon game drives through this beautiful protected area, trying to find the large variety of animals that live here. Despite its wet reputation, there is plenty of dry land in Moremi, which allows our game drives to cover significant distances while spotting game in the sometimes dense vegetation. As well as elephant and lion, Moremi is a good place to spot leopard and cheetah, and the red lechwe, a water dwelling antelope, often seen grazing amongst the lilies.
    Moremi Wild Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Morning game drive in Moremi; to Maun.

    We go on a final game drive through the park this morning before travelling back to Maun, and back to our riverside campsite. We can enjoy the swimming pool before our last dinner at the campsite restaurant.
    Audi Camp or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 15

    End Maun.

    Those on the group flights will be taken to the airport in time for their flight home. The trip officially ends after breakfast for those not on the group flights.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 16

    Arrive London.

    Arrive London

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Botswana

Currently British and Commonwealth and European passport holders do not require visas for Botswana.
As of the 1 June 2017, however, a tourist levy of US$30 will be collected from everyone other than citizens of SADC states. This is payable either by card or with good condition US$ notes (exact change only). This levy is valid for multiple entries for up to 30 days. More information is available on http://www.botswanatourism.co.bw/tourismlevy

Zimbabwe

Most nationalities, including British require a visa to visit Zimbabwe.  This can be obtained from the Zimbabwean Embassy in London but it is a lot easier to get it on arrival in Zimbabwe.  The current charge for a single entry visit visa issued on arrival in Zimbabwe is £35.00 or US$55.00, although this could change. If you have not obtained a visa before travelling, you should bring enough cash with you to pay for your visa on arrival. You should ensure you have small notes as immigration officers may not be able to provide change.

The KAZA UNIVISA visa is valid for travel between Zambia and Zimbabwe and day trips into Botswana. It costs US $50 and it is valid for 30 days. Please note, however, that at times the KAZA visa is not available either because of disputes or simply because of a lack of visa stickers.

Vaccinations

Botswana

Vaccination against Yellow Fever is necessary if you are coming from a country with Yellow Fever, and you must bring a valid certificate of vaccination. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Zimbabwe

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 11 lunches and 8 dinners included.

Breakfast - cereals, coffee and toast and the occasional fried breakfast / brunch.
Lunch - cheese, cold meats, salads, bread or rolls.
Dinner - potjies (stew), braais (barbecue), stir-fries, etc.
Please be aware that we need at least two weeks notice to deal with special dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian or allergies.) For this reason if you did not indicate these on your booking form please advise the Exodus office as soon as possible.
The trip leaders do all the shopping and meal planning for each group. He/she will always try to obtain fresh produce wherever possible. Each tour has 1 cool box for the meats and the fresh produce only and 1 cool box for cold drinks.
We will supply the following drinks: squash, tea or coffee served with meals. All other beverages will be at your own expense.
We supply drinking water which is perfectly safe to drink. This is not bottled water, however, and whilst we encourage you to drink this water rather than buy plastic bottles, some people do not like the taste of the local water. If you decide that you would rather buy bottles of water rather than drink the water provided, we encourage you to buy large 5L bottles and refill your drinking bottle.
Please note that on some days where early morning game drives are included lunch may be substituted for a large brunch on return from the game drive - this is customary. We will always ensure that the number of meals detailed in the trip notes are provided.

The water provided on this trip is safe and clean drinking water, normally coming from bore-holes. It is not bottled water, however. If you would rather have bottled water then this will be at your expense, though we would encourage you to make use of the safe drinking water provided as this helps diminish plastic consumption.

Weather

There is no best time to go in terms of game viewing or conditions in the Delta, as the Delta flows all year round, despite its flood periods. The wettest season is January and February, when travel on dirt roads becomes difficult. March to September, although dry and bright, can be cold at night (in June and July it really can be chilly on occasions so bring appropriate gear). Water levels in the Delta will be at their highest in July. From December to June water levels in the Zambezi are at their highest, and the spray can be seen several miles away as it soars sometimes as much as 500 feet in the air. October and November are the hottest months, and midday temperatures can be very uncomfortable. The rains normally start slowly in late November. December can be wet, but it does not rain for long periods and should definitely not put anyone off travelling, as there is always plenty of sunshine.

Maun

Maun

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

Is this trip for you?

Expect some long and hot drives as we travel between game parks in this large country. On some days we travel on tarmac roads, but a lot of distance is covered on dirt and sand roads. Depending on water levels, driving in the delta can also be challenging. As a full-service camping safari, we have a separate supply vehicle with a camp crew who set up camp for us. The camp crew will also cook the food, wash the dishes and attend to all camp chores so that you can sit back and enjoy the wilderness experience. We normally use Botswana Tourism (HATAB) sites, which are only available for private groups. There are no facilities so we use bush toilets and a bush shower. These sites are not fenced and have no running water. We carry a water supply on our vehicles and fill up daily from public sites. There is plenty of water to wash with but we must be sparing; this all adds to the remote wilderness experience! Other nights will be spent in developed camp grounds with facilities usually including toilet blocks, a bar and, sometimes, a swimming pool. October and November are the hottest months, but are also good for game viewing, please see the weather section for more information. Legal Note: all group members joining this tour will be asked to sign an indemnity form at the start of the holiday. This indemnity form is a requirement of the South African Tourism Service Association which our local supplier is a member of. As a client of Exodus Travels Ltd, your rights under the Package Travel Regulations (1992) are unaffected, and Exodus remains liable for the actions of our sub-contractors.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Camping

You will spend 11 nights full-service camping and 2 nights normally in chalets or lodges at the Victoria Falls.

This is a full service camping safari. This means that your tents will be erected for you. Most of the nights will be spent wild camping and a few nights will be spent in public campsites. We supply all the camping equipment with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow. The tents are spacious and comfortable (2.4 x 2.4 x 1.8 meter). We supply camp beds with mattresses, which are about 5cm thick, warm and comfortable. The camp chairs have a backrest and we use standard plates, cups and cutlery. Most of the public campsites have swimming pools. Please note that the HATAB campsites in Chobe Game Reserve are located throughout the Savuti area and may include the Zwei Zwei pan. As this trip mostly involves wild camping, wifi is rarely available.

Single supplement available. Please note that on the nights in the Victoria Falls you might share a chalet/cabin with another member of the group. However, you will still have a single room to yourself.

 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed May 2018
    Mo Framptom

    What to do soon

    This was a trip of a life time in so many ways. It was a retirement present and a chance to prove we could still do it. It was a chance to see so many animals and different environments and to see a wonderful country determined to benefit from It's wildlife while protecting this precious resource. We were guided on the adventure by N'gand who was so knowledgeable and happy to share his love of the wild and his country. Melo, the cook, fed us amazing meals, whether in a layby on route or on an open fire in the bush, we were stuffed with fresh bread and tasty food. Timon and Derek just quietly work on our creature comforts putting up and striking tents, digging the "bushy bushy" and making sure that we were safe and left nothing behind except warm memories. We did games walks and drives and mokoro rides. We saw all the animals on our lists and more besides. Even the " its just a bird" traveller began to appreciate the diversity out there. There were changes of plan, 2 punctures, one dead rear axle and so much late rain that the salt pans were lakes but all was dealt with so we hardly noticed with Nata being a good substitute, even if meeting other not so well behaved groups reminded us that bird watching needs quiet. It is a trip in the wild with dangers that we are not used to and we had total trust in our team that they would make it the best they could but keep us safe. The Falls are impressive and Zimbabwe provides time to recharge batteries (ours and cameras) as well as washing clothes.The group pulled together well, loading this arthritic pensioner in and out of the bus. We will keep in touch to share amazing photos and memories of this wonderful trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too difficult to say. Drifting on the mokoro trip through the reeds, The polers singing round the campfire. The welcome of the people. Going to sleep in a tent with lion roaring in the distance.. Walking thro the bush. All of it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N'Gandi was a brilliant leader who was always polite and firm while encouraging us in the right way. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all the animals and birds, an interest in people and respect for the countryside. He explained local customs and sensitivities as well as making sure all park rules were obeyed and that we took away only good memories. He was quietly always checking for our safety.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack less, bags get heavy and getting sleeping bags back into full cases each night is impossible. One wind proof top was all I needed, fleece was unused. Also only used trainers, boots were surplus luggage. Charging packs for cameras essential if like me you take thousands of photos. Our scarves were borrowed by those on windy hot seats!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do It!
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Mike Frampton

    A great safari, definitely to be recommended.

    Botswana is a country the size of France or Texas, but with a population of just over 2 million and some of the most stunning scenery and wildlife. We arrived at the beginning of May, just after the rainy season, so much of the country was still green. It was also the rutting season for some animals. Our safari was in the northern half of the country, starting in Maun and then taking a mokoro (canoe) journey through the waterways of the Okavango Delta to the wild campsite (ie a clearing in the trees with no other people or facilities around). Our arrival was livened by the hippos in the pool by the campsite. Hippos came be my favourite animal, for my wife it was the many colourful birds. Hippos spend the day in water if they can, coming out after dusk. Whilst in the water, they come up for air, grunt, yawn, play and make the occasional belly flops when not sleeping: they just like to enjoy themselves. After our time in the Delta, we took an optional 40 minute plane ride over the Okavango Delta and realised the vastness of it, particularly as we only saw part of it in that time. There were great stretches of waterways, grasslands and scrub with herds of animals scattered across it. No wonder it takes time to find the animals, they are all there but just scattered over this vast area. During our journey in Botswana, first east to the salt flats near Nata, then up to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, before returning via the Chobe, Savuti and Moremi national parks in Botswana, we saw herds of zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, buffalo, baboons and assorted types of deer, as well as ostrich, tortoise, puff adder, elephants, lions and a leopard up a tree with a lioness underneath waiting for her dinner to come down. We saw two Impala challenging each other and two giraffe fighting, using the horns on their heads to hit their opponent's side, as well as the amorous attentions of male impala and kudu for their females, and a lion kissing a lioness behind her head. We had elephants walk past our campsites and saw a den of hyena with the pups playing outside. On another occasion we saw an elephant thoroughly enjoying her bath, rolling in the water and throwing water over herself. At Victoria Falls, we organised our own walk to the bridge, which straddles the gorge between Zimbabwe and Zambia. At the Zimbabwe customs we got a bridge pass which allowed us to visit this 100 year old bridge and see the gorge, as well as bargain with the many pedlars of wood carvings and copper bracelets. Then it was on to visit the falls, with its 17 viewing points. Start at the first viewing point, which looks over the Zambesi river, before it plunges over the falls. From there on the viewing points get progressively wetter and the views more spectacular - so go expecting to get very wet. After that we dried out at a cafe, with magnificent views of the bridge and Zambia across the gorge. Our return was diverted by elephants on the footpath and rewarded by seeing a warthog on route as well as monkeys and a family of mongoose. That evening we joined the dinner cruise on the Zambesi, for some more hippos, a four course meal with plenty of wine and another great sunset. Our team of four led by Ngande and Melo (our cook), set up our tents and kept us well fed and looked after, even providing "pottys" for some of the wild camps where a night time walk might not be advisable. We all got used to the bush toilets, even the occasional collapse when the sand gave way! Bush showers were also provided, with a water bag slung over a branch and suitable enclosure. Mello's ability to provide three great meals a day in the bush was outstanding. He even provided "home" cooked bread with "Welcome to ... " moulded into the bread, something most of us would struggle to do with a fully equipped kitchen, let alone on a camp fire. This is a great safari, with superb staff, scenery and wild life. And one that all ages can enjoy, our oldest member was 80.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Each day provided new inspirations, from punting in and flying over the Delta, to each game walk and game drive, the road side wildlife, the sand and dirt roads through the game reserves, the trees ripped up by the elephant, the many colourful birds, and not least the Victoria Falls and bride. Not forgetting the team that looked after us.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngande was a superb group leader, very knowledgeable of the wildlife, the people and areas through which we travelled. He made sure that each campsite was left spotless when we left, with fire embers buried and all rubbish remove. Even apple cores were collected up to ensure that the local flora was not challenged by a foreign plant.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check the likely weather for the season you are travelling. We were there in May, the days were hot, but the nights were sometimes cold. You needed a sleeping bag and warm top. The vehicle is open sided, with four rows of three seats. On the long journeys, you need a warm top at the start and end of the day, as well as long sleeves and and a scarf or hat to protect you from the wind and sun. Think about tips. You have two people looking after you for the full two weeks and another two for the last 10 days. You also have a group of locals looking after you in the Okavango Delta. Also recommended are the optional flight over the Okavango Delta, the dinner cruise on the Zambezi (for the occasion) and the afternoon cruise on the Chobe river (for the animals).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We spent five days in Cape Town on our way back to London and can thoroughly recommend this if you have opportunity. At the moment you have organise the Cape Town end yourselves, but we were able to extend our group flights to do this. Hopefully, Exodus will provide this as an option in the future.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Susan Wiser

    Best ever❣️

    So many wonderful moments. First the people of Botswana are the nicest I’ve ever met. And I’ve traveled a lot. The guide, Ngande, was so knowledge about plants, animals, birds, reptiles and his country. He was professional, friendly and handle even breakdowns (there was one) with efficiency. The cook, Mello, ensure 3 delicious meals a day cooked on an open fire. And the assistants put up tents and made sure details were taken care of. Now for the wildlife - lions, leopards, warthogs, hyenas, zebras, elephants, hippos, incredible bird life and so much more. My friend and I agree it was truly the best ever trip and worth our 39 hours of flying❣️❣️❣️

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not just one moment. We had an amazing group of 12 and we all continually had a fantastic time. From baby hyenas to elephants 20 feet away. Incredible.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngande was the best. Shared so much, kept us safe and answered a zillion questions. He kept his staff moving and took care of them too. Perfect leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take less then you thought you needed (it gets heavy), winter is chilly, dryer wipes keep the mosquitoes and bugs away, buy a small, powerful camera, Amazon sells a very lightweight sleeping bag, a cotton scarf 🧣 for the dusty car rides, plenty of suntan lotion, and enjoy every moment.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just do it. So worth it.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Martin & Pippa Hodgkinson

    Camping in the game parks and see a variety of wildlife

    This was an excellent opportunity to see African wildlife and experience camping in the National Parks. We had six nights 'wild' camping in the parks and game drives early morning and evening. The other nights were on camp sites with showers, restaurant and a bar (open to 2am so noisy), and 2 nights at Victoria Falls in a comfortable but basic lodge. The wildlife is varied and plentiful and met most of my expectations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Travelling in Mokoros in the Delta was magical although the wildlife was sparse. The activities there were nature walks rather than game drives. The evening cruise down the Chobe River gave us our first real encounter with hippos and other game. Seeing the leopard and lions in Chobe/Moremi close up.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kenny was great at spotting and tracking animals and birds. His knowledge of natural history was extensive. He was a safe driver which is essential given the terrain and the state of some of the tarred roads. He sometimes had difficulty in herding 11 of us to what he wanted and I had to buy a map (Shell tourist map of Botswana is excellent) before he described where we were going. Botswanas are friendly people and the crew were keen to please.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some long, uncomfortable journeys in an open vehicle not designed for long distance travel. Seating 12 it will not provide good seats for all if there is a full uptake of places. Wild camping is without any permanent facilities and animals close by so head torch (with back-up), wet wipes and insect repellant are essential! Take a South African plug adaptor for the camp sites and Victoria Falls as they cater for SA visitors. Quite a few extras for the 'optional' activities eg anything at Victoria Falls, Chobe River cruise and flights over the game reserves as well as camp site meals and the usual tips.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take a good camera and long lens and trust the guide to get you into the best positions.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Phillip Dixon

    4 of the big 5 in Botswana

    Of all the safaris I've done this is the most wildlife I've seen in a small period! 4 of the big 5 in one day. Then at night enjoy the sounds of the animals beneath more stars than you've ever seen. It is tent based but very comfy, food is amazing - fish & chips + baked fresh bread one night! They even do a bush shower so it isn't roughing it. The guides are excellent, wildlife and scenery even more so - this isn't a holiday it is an adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finding a leopard on the final day in Savuti, perched high above us and so well concealed. Our guide Moses found lots for us to see. Also heading out on the walks and being taught to pole a Mokorro canoe by Hendricks in the Delta - they were great guys and loved showing us their culture and wildlife

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Moses was fantastic, he dealt with problems calmly, adjusted plans to fit in with client requests and found us lots to see. Throughout we were sharing jokes as well as details of each area we visited.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The prices listed in the trip notes for optional activities can be quite far out. The Chobe River cruise is 410 pula for instance. If your main focus is Vic Falls then go in wetter months but other areas may be harder to get to, if you want lots of wildlife the drier months bring them to waterholes and the grass isn't so tall.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be aware wild camps mean exactly that, animals will be close to camp and despite being briefed some people felt they could wander about, then seemed shocked when a guide came running after them to make sure they were ok. Facilities in Nata and Audi camp are much like a holiday camp in the uk, with showers and facilities to use, and good restaurants.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Lois Pope

    Lois

    The tour leader Jamie really went out of his way to show us the best of game life. We got really near to the Big Game. He was a very good driver too on difficult terrain. Our cook Mellow produced wonderful food and always greeted us back to camp after a game hike, with a smile and the kettle always boiling! The trip to Salt Pans was a waste of time as there wasn’t much to see and 2 days of long long driving to this area and then all the way up to Victoria Falls. The lodge at VF was a disgrace, showers in appalling state and toilet with no plug to pull only wires sticking up! It wouldn’t stop running. The game life, food and tour leaders direction made this trip worthwhile but all in all, not good value. LP

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Game life, food, tour leaders knowledge.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Nothing to add to above

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Lois for her review, although we are sorry that she was disappointed with aspects of this trip. The salt pan excursion is included in the itinerary as it is on route to Victoria Falls, and feedback in the past has suggested that it is a welcome break from the cross-country drives. Regrettably, late localised rains on this trip made it impossible to fully explore the pans, and it was not possible to make alternative arrangements at such short notice. We regret that Lois found the Victoria Falls accommodation to be disappointing; we would like to genuinely apologise for this and we have discussed the concerns raised with the management team to ensure that improvements are made for the future.

    John Penge - Product Manager for Botswana

  • Reviewed October 2016
    Robert Howson

    Botswana Wildlife and Wilderness

    My partner and I had the most fantastic time on this tour. Of course there were a couple of long drives but then Africa is blinking huge so we expected that. Yes, it was dusty - it was the dry season. The range of environments was great, the pacing excellent and the encounters with nature and people were well managed and yet up close and personal at the same time. So much was done for us that we sometimes felt pampered but it is a tiring tour and we were grateful that the team, led by Sam, did so much for us with such good grace. A great bunch of people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational? Big ask! Alice our poler in the Delta was brilliant, open and it turned out an amazingly talented singer. The vastly knowledgeable Jeremy who led our bush walks in the Delta and never tired of trying to find out what bug was what and was a talented comic turn and singer to boot. Moses our guide who became my nephew or was it my uncle (don't ask) was a genial, funny, kind, caring guy who never failed to spot a track or a bird or an animal at amazing distances at speed on bumpy 'roads'. Sam our tour leader was just great, there for us all in every way, good natured, quietly authoratative, knowledgeable and caring. He judges your wellbeing by the size and honesty of your smile. Meeting all these people and more besides were among the most inspirational moments.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As I said but I'll add here, Sam's a man who can cook up a feast with seemingly little effort. He martialled his team quietly and was a calm, fun and efficient leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a thin scarf or a Buff for your nose and mouth on the dry and dusty drives. Trust your team - they know why you're there and they'll do a better job if you don't try to advise them about things, like where they should park up to get the best photos.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    With 12 of us in the 4 rows of 3 seats there were issues about the daily seating plans! I think that only 9 should be in those vehicles. The front 3 seats have such little leg room and because the sides join the floor at an angle the two outside seats in front don't even have a flat floor to put both your feet down. I'm only 5' 7" and I was uncomfortable quite quickly. We've travelled in similar vehicles that have been configured for 12 but much more comfortably, perhaps they were longer wheel-bases?
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Andrew Oldham

    Best wildlife experience, ever!

    A fantastic way of seeing a brilliant country. You get close to nature and there are plenty of opportunities to take some great photos. Excellent support from the staff.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The last 48 hours of wildlife viewing was the best I have ever experienced. It was almost like a wildlife documentary (sadly David Attenborough was unavailable) as we met a cheetah and her cub at dusk, again in the early morning and then witnessed the cheetah make a kill. Later that afternoon (via wild dogs) we met the cheetah again but tragically there was no sign of the cub. Her calls would make even the strongest man blub, but then 2 lionesses stalked and chased the cheetah and we believe she escaped. Surely that was the big finale to the trip? Errr no.... 2 male lions vs a herd of buffalo the following morning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam was excellent. He knew his country, the wildlife and how to run a brilliant trip allowing the customers to enjoy themselves. He coped with unexpected luggage issues and our constant demand for bigger and better sightings. Vasco the Botswana guide was brilliant getting us closer to the wildlife than we would have hoped for, without worrying the wildlife. He knew where to position the van to get excellent shots. Timon and Dodga (the assistants) were both hard-working, friendly and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As with all Exodus trips study and follow the trip notes carefully. It was cold on some nights (I took a down sleeping bag) and very cold for quite a few hours on the truck, so you do need lots of warm clothing until it heats up. The dinner cruise at Victoria Falls was a highlight for many of us as the service, food, drinks and views were all excellent - a touch of luxury. Take advantage of some of the extra activities. The advice on tipping in the trip notes was contradicted by Sam and this needs clarification, but allow more than is suggested for local staff as well as the crew.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I wish I had remembered that the instant coffee in that part of the world is pretty rubbish and had known that you cant buy gin at Johannesburg airport to take into Botswana, but that's just me. This may help someone though!
  • Reviewed August 2016
    David Jackson

    Wildlife & Wilderness of Botswana (WZT)

    This trip delivered everything it promised,helped by unbroken clear skys. As with all Exodus trips the notes were accurate and should not be left unread, a wildcamping safari is just what it says! So lucky to join a group of mature travelers to whom laughing was second nature, it really does help!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to list, unique animal behavior, glorious bread made fresh in an iron pot over embers, the night sky, the optional activities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam and Vasco were absolutely on top of their job nothing was too much trouble or left to chance. Vasco's skill produced some outstanding wildlife encounters.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do take note of the trip notes, if it says cool nights thats what it means. A real treasure of a trip if you love African wilderness. Do save some extra cash for the optional extras which were so worth doing.
  • Beautiful Botswana!

    This is an excellent trip that I'd highly recommend. The pristine wilderness of Botswana, the plentiful wildlife and the variety of activities on this trip made it a holiday to remember forever.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Pretty much everything we did was amazing on this trip. We were very lucky to see two male leopards in the Khwai reserve next to Moremi, endangered African wild dogs (one pair with 10 pups and a the next day a group of 5 dogs hunting), male lions (three times in Moremi) and a pride of lions in Savuti including about 6 cubs and 3 lionesses feasting on a wildebeest. Of course, there were many elephants too who will visit your camps in Savuti and Moremi and also zebra, impala, kudo, buffalo, wildebeest and beautiful birdlife too. The Okavango delta is really beautiful and I really enjoyed the Mokoro rides and the game walks. Also, it is really worth doing some of the optional extras at Victoria Falls - I did the white water rafting, 15 minute helicopter flight and the sunset dinner cruise. I would recommend all of these without hesitation.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam was great and very friendly. Kenny was a man on a mission when it came to tracking down the animals and as I mentioned we were lucky to find leopards and wild dogs and this was definitely down to his efforts. The guys who cooked for us at camp were also amazing and I don't know how they consistently served up such great food on the camp fire (including freshly baked bread!).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I went in June which is a really great time to visit. It's their winter but this means it's clear blue sunny skies and about 28 degrees every day which was perfect. The sun goes down at 6pm and then it turns cold which makes it more comfortable for sleeping but ensure you have some warmer clothes for the evenings. For the long drives the truck is open sided so take a lightweight scarf to protect your face from sand and wind and a warm jacket like a fleece and maybe some gloves and warm hat. There are some mosquitoes in Victoria Falls so take a mosi net for your tent as these are not provided. I used Incognito products instead of Deet and got no bites all trip. The optional Chobe sunset cruise is a must and as I said before it's definitely worth paying for the optional activities in Victoria Falls. Be aware that there are 4 staff that you will need to tip at the end rather than the normal one leader you have on most trips so factor this into your budget. The tips came to about $160 in the end although it's up to you what you give. Be aware that if there are more than 8 of you booked on a tour then the vehicle will be cramped. We had 7 which was just right as no one had to sit wedged in a middle seat with a worse view.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I've never been on Safari to the more well known destinations such as Tanzania or Kenya but I would definitely recommend Botswana instead particularly as you'll be supporting a country that has banned hunting and is successfully limiting poaching to a minimum. This is a once in a lifetime special trip to a friendly and beautiful country so go now!

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Private Adventures 

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