DAYS 1 & 2
The Namibia we know from nature films is characterised by deserts and sand dunes and the vast open spaces of Etosha. However, Namibia is enormous and is also home to the broad rivers, mysterious wetlands and dense forests of the Caprivi Strip which has recently been renamed Zambezi Region. This wildlife-rich ecosystem supports a wide range of species including hippo and buffalo that can not survive in the country's most famous but much drier Etosha National Park.
During our stay, we will explore the beauty of the Caprivi on an early morning Game Drive. Nothing beats watching the sunrise in the African bush while expectantly keeping your eyes peeled for animals and birds! We will also savour a relaxing boat cruise on the Kwando River. Scores of elephants, crocodiles, hippos and fish eagles can be seen in this area, and it is a bird watcher’s paradise.
Set unobtrusively on the banks of the Kwando River, Camp Kwando invites you to explore the mysteries of Caprivi's wilderness. Take in the sights, sounds and scents of the African bush while sipping sundowners on the beautiful raised deck and experience the thrilling pull of the tigerfish on your tackle and the hauntingly beautiful cry of the African fish eagle.
Overnight at Camp Kwando, Dinner, Bed and Breakfast – 2 Nights
DAYS 3 & 4
It is time to cross the border into Botswana! The Okavango Panhandle is the stretch of approximately 70km of the Okavango River, from where it enters Botswana from Angola and then Namibia until it branches out in a myriad of channels in the alluvial plain of The Delta.
A boat cruise on the Okavango River is just one of the exciting adventures on our agenda. While you savour the beauty of the water lilies and papyrus beds that grow in the crystal clear water of the River, you may catch a glimpse of a shy Sitatunga antelope. Bird watchers will be excited about the fact that there is a very real chance to spot a Pel’s Fishing Owl or a White-backed Night Heron on our cruise.
Xaro Lodge, our very comfortable and tranquil accommodation, is situated on the banks of the Okavango River, where Africa is still the wilderness we all love. Here, you are woken by the cry of fish eagles, you enjoy your meals in the company of robin chats and babblers, and you can watch skimmers race over the mirror-smooth surface of the water while you marvel at some of the most spectacular sunsets Africa has to offer.
Overnight at Xaro Lodge, Dinner, Bed and Breakfast – 2 Nights
DAYS 5 & 6
After breakfast, we make our way to Maun, the fifth largest town in Botswana. It is called the "tourism capital" of Botswana because all trips into the famous Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve start here.
Although officially still a village, Maun has grown rapidly into a town, spreading out along the banks of the Thamalakane River. In spite of its shopping centres, hotels and lodges it has not lost its rural atmosphere and local tribesmen still herd their cattle to Maun for sale. The buildings are spread out along the wide banks of the Thamalakane River where red lechwe can on occasion be seen grazing next to donkeys, goats and cattle.
Our destination today is Rivernest Cottages. The peaceful location under indigenous trees on the bank of Boronyane River makes this lodge a most relaxing venue for your stay in the Okavango Delta. Known for its warmth, vibrancy and legendary hospitality, Rivernest Cottages is a luxurious safari escape set on the very edge of the Okavango Delta, and it gives us access to all the exciting safari destinations in this part of Botswana.
On our full day at Rivernest Cottages, we will experience a Moremi Day trip. The Moremi Game Reserve is a part of the Okavango Delta and was the first wildlife area in Botswana to be protected by local people rather than by colonial powers.
We will be picked up early in the morning and driven by 4x4 vehicle to Moremi Game Reserve, one of the most fascinating and diverse wildlife reserves in Africa. The game drive takes us into the midst of the large density of game frequently found in this area. This includes lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, white rhino, and even the rare black rhino. After stopping for lunch, we will continue the game drive to the boat station where we will enjoy a beautiful one-hour boat cruise amongst the meandering channels of the Okavango Delta. Finally, we will return to Maun in the afternoon via a slow en-route game drive.
Overnight at Rivernest Cottages, Dinner, Bed and Breakfast – 2 Nights
Days 7 & 8
Our route takes us further North and East within Botswana, to the vicinity of Nata and Elephant Sands, our accommodation for the night. Elephant Sands is a bush lodge & campsite with a wilderness atmosphere about it.
Watching elephants coming to the natural waterhole right in front of the lodge is the favourite pastime here. We can watch these remarkable creatures while they drink only a couple of meters away from us, what an extraordinary experience!
There is plenty of other wildlife around as well, in the vast, unfenced private conservation area. The fact that this large tract of land is not fenced allows all animals to roam freely. Centrally located in between many of Botswana’s highlights such as the Makgadikgadi Pans, the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park, Elephant Sands is the ideal stopover en route to most places in northern Botswana. Even Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park are easily accessible from here.
On a morning Game Drive, we enjoy the opportunity to watch wildlife in its natural surroundings. Vast numbers of elephants are either resident in this area or migrate through following the rains. Beautiful sightings of these highly intelligent and family-oriented giants will hopefully be the highlight of your visit. Other wildlife this lovely area has to offer includes buffalo, lion, giraffe, wild dog, hyena, steenbok, leopard, kudu and plenty more.
Overnight at Elephant Sands, Dinner, Bed and Breakfast – 2 Nights