8-Days Okavango, Chobe and Victoria Falls Explorer
On this safari you will get to experience the highlights of the Okavango region of Botswana, with the advantage of staying on a private concession and being able to take part in the full range of activities available – mokoro excursions in the delta, game drives in the renowned Moremi Game Reserve and on the concession, night drives and cultural village visits. Also, experience the beauty and nature of Chobe River and National Park and visit one of the natural world wonders – Victoria Falls.
Day by Day Itinerary
View the day by day itinerary
Khwai Guest House, Khwai Community Area
On arrival in Maun you will be met and transferred to Khwai Guest House. This is an approximate 3 hour road transfer.
Bordering both the community-run Khwai Concession and the Moremi Game Reserve, Khwai Guest House offers an astounding variety of activities and safari experiences. Jump on a game viewer and get introduced to the stunning wildlife protected areas at hand by one of our immensely experienced local guides. Catch your breath peacefully gliding over water on a traditional dugout canoe (mokoro) while your poler unveils the treasures of his home.
Khwai Guest House activity options:
3hr game drive in the Khwai Concession
3hr game drive in Moremi Game Reserve
Full Day game drive (Khwai Concession and/or Moremi Game Reserve, subject to availability on arrival)
2.5hr traditional dugout canoe (“mokoro”) excursion
Night drive: Cultural experience (±2hrs)
The Khwai area of the Okavango lies along the northern boundary of the Moremi Game Reserve. This is an unfenced boundary allowing wildlife to move freely between the woodlands in the wet season when water is plentiful and back to permanent rivers and lagoons in the dry season. The Khwai area offers the same wildlife experience as the reserve with the added advantage of being a private concession which means the ability to do walking safaris and night drives.
8-Days Okavango, Chobe and Victoria Falls Explorer Activities
|Moremi Game Reserve|
Situated in the northwestern corner of Botswana, the Okavango Delta is a World Heritage Site as it is the largest inland delta in the world. The magnificent Okavango River sprawls out over the dry sands of the Kalahari Desert forming this flourishing waterlogged oasis featuring countless meandering waterways and crystal clear lagoons studded with water lilies, as well as fertile floodplains and reeded islands inhabited with abundant wildlife. The Okavango Delta stretches over 15000 square kilometres. Visitors can enjoy a number of wonderful activities such as game viewing, fishing, bird watching or taking an authentic guided Mokoro excursion through this wetland paradise in a traditional dugout canoe. Commonly spotted animals include: lion, rhino, leopard, giraffe, hippos, elephants, crocodiles and countless species of bird.
Moremi Game Reserve
Situated in the east of the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve ranks as one of the most beautiful reserves in Africa. It covers more than 4871 square kilometres of pristine wilderness, and the varied terrain includes savannah, winding waterways, and dense forest. This diverse ecosystem supports an incredibly wide spectrum of wildlife, ranging from large herds of buffalo, wildebeest and zebra, to the rare sitatunga and lechwe antelope, lion, cheetah and packs of wild dog in the open grasslands. The birdlife is prolific and includes most of the 550 bird species recorded on Botswana’s national bird list. A range of luxury lodges in the reserve offers visitors the perfect base to experience this corner of paradise.
Overnight: Khwai Guest House
Tucked in the heart of the friendly rural village of Khwai, at the doorstep of the Moremi Game Reserve, Khwai Guest House opens the door to a true African experience, offering a pristine immersion into Botswana’s unique nature and culture.
Welcoming guests in 6 en-suite bungalows, Khwai Guest House offers a cozy nest from which to experience the traditional lifestyle of this small community set among one of the most spectacular wilderness locations of Botswana.
Guests have the choice between being completely independent, making use of the communal cooking area and exploring this stunning destination on their own, or enjoying the homely restaurant and joining some of the many activities on offer: game drives for half a day or a full day in Moremi Game Reserve or in the Khwai concession, traditional dugout canoe (Mokoro) excursions on a channel bordering the game reserve, night drives, cultural tour and encounter of the Khwai community.
Basis: Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities
Chobe Bakwena Lodge, Chobe River Front
Today you will transfer to the airstrip for your scenic charter flight to Kasane Airport, here you will be met and transferred to Chobe Bakwena Lodge.
Activities from the lodge include the usual Chobe National Park Game drives and game viewing on a Chobe River boat cruise, however the lodge also offers other unique activities:
– Village walks
– Cycling Tours including to the neighbouring village and the Kazangula border crossing. The world’s only “four nation quadripoint” is a fifteen minute cycle away. Put your bike on a ferry and take the selfie to a new level by standing on the borders of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe simultaneously.
The Chobe River forms the northern boundary of the Chobe National Park, renowned for its diverse and abundant game viewing opportunities. This section of the park is best known for its dense concentration of wildlife including elephant and hippo populations, but the waters attract all manner of game including large herds of buffalo and the lions that prey on them. A visit to this area guarantees close encounters with an array of African wildlife. Visitors can look forward to some exciting activities such as: driving along the game-dotted river banks in a 4WD; cruising along the river in a motorboat, spotting rare birdlife and for a unique, luxury safari experience, hire a houseboat.
8-Days Okavango, Chobe and Victoria Falls Explorer Activities
|Chobe River Cruise|
|Chobe National Park|
|Chobe Game Viewing|
Wild Horizons Chobe River Cruise
Chobe National Park is well known for it’s large herds of elephant that frequent the Chobe River on a daily basis. In the dry season an estimate of up to 85000 elephants can be dispersed within the Chobe National Park, where the majority of them can be found along the river. Apart from the herds of elephants, the park has lion, leopard, buffalo and a whole host of antelope like sable, puku, kudu, eland, roan and many others which guests can also get to see. The river is filled with big pods of hippos and some of the biggest crocodiles in Africa.
The chance of seeing wildlife on the islands and riverbanks is very high, as is the likelihood of seeing large numbers of bird species, crocodiles and other wildlife. Elephant, buffalo, giraffe and hippo are common sightings, with sable, leopard and numerous antelope also being regulars.
Chobe National Park
Renowned for its impressive, shifting migratory population of more than 50,000 elephants, Chobe National Park is situated in the far northeast of Botswana, bordered to the north by the mighty Chobe River. It is the second largest national park in Botswana featuring four distinct ecosystems: the Savuti Channel in the west; the Linyanti Swamps in the northwest; the arid hinterland in between and Serondela in the extreme northeast with fertile plains and thick forests. This diversity of habitats provides a sanctuary to an astonishing array of African wildlife. In addition to spotting Chobe’s great pachyderm herds, you are likely to spot lion, leopard, hyena, wild dog, impala, waterbuck, kudu, zebra, wildebeest giraffe, and warthog. The park is also famous for its wonderful riverboat safaris, making Chobe an essential destination for any avid safari enthusiast.
Chobe Game Viewing
Chobe is renowned for its excellent game viewing, especially for herds of elephants which come down to the river to drink.
Overnight: Chobe Bakwena Lodge
Bakwena Lodge is an intimate, privately owned eco-lodge on the banks of the Chobe River. Bakwena has a total of 15 chalets designed and decorated in a manner befitting our environment which offer a cool and comfortable escape. There are two Room Types at Bakwena Lodge. ‘Ten x ‘River-View Chalets’ which are all facing the magnificent Chobe River and Five x ‘Treetop Chalets’ which are elevated 3m above the ground with views of the Treetop canopy.
They offer an inclusive safari option in an area with some of the finest game viewing to be had. Chobe is well known for its predators and has the home of most of Botswana’s estimated 200,000 elephants. Activities are naturally focused on the land and water based safaris, all based in-house, a host of other activities are also on offer from fishing trips to guided bicycle tours or a sundowner cruise to the meeting place of four countries, (the only one in the world). Bakwenas’ excellent guides will endeavour to make your stay in Chobe a highlight of any safari. The lodges’ eco-credentials include the natural swimming pool filtered entirely by plants, their employment policies, food choices, building methods and a host of otherwise unseen ways in which any negatives to the lodges surroundings or environment are addressed.
Fully Inclusive – Bed, All Meals, Fees and Activities
All Local Brands (Spirits, Wine and Beers) Included
Shongwe Lookout, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Today you will be transferred by road (approximately 1.5 hours drive including border crossing) to Victoria Falls.
Enjoy a guided tour of the falls as well as a Zambezi Sunset cruise. There are also a wide range of other activities to choose from in Victoria Falls. We highly recommend the Flight of Angels – a scenic helicopter flip over the falls giving an wonderful aerial view.
Resting on the southern banks of the Zambezi River at the western end of the eponymous falls, this popular tourist town is compact enough to walk around and makes an ideal base for travellers exploring the seventh wonder of the world, the unfathomably vast Victoria Falls.
About two-thirds of the falls can be viewed from the Zimbabwean side and, while the falls are undoubtedly the star attraction, the area provides both adventure seekers and sightseers with plenty of opportunities to warrant a longer stay. Popular activities include scenic flights over the falls in helicopters or microlights, bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge, white-water rafting (seasonal), and day trips to Chobe National Park.
The town itself offers some excellent accommodation and restaurant options as well as an eclectic variety of African curios and authentic art sold by friendly Zimbabwean locals who are wonderfully welcoming and eager to help you enjoy your stay.
8-Days Okavango, Chobe and Victoria Falls Explorer Activities
|Victoria Falls Activities|
|Shearwater Guided Tour of the Falls|
Victoria Falls Activities
Victoria Falls is an adventure playground and the list of inspiring and adventurous activities on offer at and around the Falls includes: a Tour of the Falls, Elephant Back Safaris, White Water Rafting, Boat Cruises, Canopy Tours, Gorge Swing and Adventure Slides and Zambezi River Canoe Safaris.
Shearwater Guided Tour of the Falls
A knowledgeable guide will take guests on an unforgettable experience through the Victoria Falls rain forest, a journey that not only affords a view of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World but provides a great deal of interesting facts about the geology, wildlife and history of Africa’s most famous landmark.
Visitors will listen to magical tales of local legend while they enjoy the constant spray from the “The Smoke that Thunders”. The Shearwater guide will also help ensure the best photographic opportunities of this breathtaking World Heritage Site. At the end of the tour, guests can enjoy something to eat at Shearwater’s Rainforest Cafe, which provides an ideal place to stop and refuel before their next adventure.
Shearwater Sunset Cruise
The sunset cruise on the Zambezi River is a definite must on any trip to Victoria Falls. Relax with a sundowner and snacks as you gaze out onto the banks of the river. Have your camera ready to capture one of the most amazing sunsets in Africa.
You’ll be sure to spot wildlife animals as they come down to the river for a drink after a hot day in the Zambezi National Park (Zimbabwe) and the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park (Zambia). Sightings of elephant, giraffe and other resident game are common. There’s always an abundance of hippos and crocodiles.
Birdlife is superb and the Fisheagles will usually fill the scene with their calls.
Overnight: Shongwe Lookout
Shongwe Lookout is an exciting new build, 23-bedroom lodge in the suburbs of Victoria Falls. It is located roughly 1 kilometre from Victoria Falls town, and 2 kilometres from the Falls.
Our rooms are targeted at the more discerning guest, with quality fittings, elegant decor, and verdant garden surrounds.
Our unique offering is a 2-platform lookout tower with views of the Zambezi River, and Falls’ spray. This tower is open both for early morning coffees, from 5am, and for evening drinks, until 9pm. The tower includes an intercom system and a pulley to allow guests to order drinks and nibbles without having to miss a moment of the magical view.
Shongwe Lookout also has an onsite bar and restaurant, the latter offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. An onsite pool and boma area complete the experience.
Basis: Bed and Breakfast
End of Itinerary
Transfer to Victoria Falls Airport for departure.
|Date||Flight||Airline||Departure Airport||Time||Arrival Airport||Time||Class||Ref|
|Charter Flight||Khwai Guest House||Kasane Airport [BBK]|
|Date||Company||Pick Up||Drop Off||Time||Vehicle|
|Maun Airport [MUB]||Khwai Guest House||Transfer|
|Kasane Airport [BBK]||Chobe Bakwena Lodge||Transfer|
|Chobe Bakwena Lodge||Shongwe Lookout||Transfer|
|Shongwe Lookout||Victoria Falls International Airport [VFA]||Transfer|
Situated in the southern reaches of Africa, Botswana is renowned for its pristine wilderness areas characterised by deep lagoons, wetlands, lush palms, rugged hills and desert plains scattered with scrubland. The country’s primary tourist drawcard is undoubtedly the vast red expanse of the Kalahari Desert and its remarkably beautiful Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world. These natural wonders provide a tranquil haven for an abundance of African wildlife to thrive. Other highlights include the impressive Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, where visitors are privy to massive zebra migrations during the flood season; the Savuti plains, which host large prides of lions; and the Tsodilo Hills, where 4500 rock paintings form a unique record of human settlement over many millennia.
Banking and Currency
Botswana’s currency is Pula (which means ‘rain’ in Setswana). It is divided into 100 thebe (which means ‘shield’ in Setswana). Travellers’ cheques and foreign currency may be changed at banks, bureaux de change and authorised hotels.
The US dollar, Euros, British Pound and the South African Rand are the most easily convertible currencies (and accepted by some estabishments – but, generally, then an inflated rate of exchange will be applied).
Seven main commercial banks, as well as a number of foregin exchange bureaux, operate in Botswana. Operating hours are Monday to Friday 08h30 to 15h30 and Saturday 08h30 to 10h45.
Full banking services are available in major towns, although ATMs are sprouting up all over the country. Most credit cards are accepted at hotels and restaurants. Cultural sites and community art and craft outlets usually only accept cash.
Travel, Transport and Getting Around
Public transport in Botswana is geared towards the needs of the local populace and is confined to main roads between major population centres. Although cheap and reliable, it is of little use to the traveller as most of Botswana’s tourist attractions lie off the beaten track.
Driving off the main roads in Botswana is only recommended to expects in 4×4 vehicles, that are equipped correctly. Most lodges offer transfers or they can be arranged. If, however, you will be driving in Botswana: your home driving licence will be accepted (with an official English translation if necessary; driving is on the left side of the road; and the national speed limit is on tarred roads is 120km/h and 60km/h in towns and villages.
Be sure to watch out for wild animals on the roads!
There are major airports in Maun, Kasane and Gaborone, while smaller charter flights are used to get to the other top attractions and camps.
Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice
Tap water is considered safe to drink, although outside main cities and towns, visitors are advised to check first and sterilise water if in any doubt. Bottled water is available in most tourist centres. Filtered water is available at most camps and shops offer bottled water – it is advised to be well stocked of bottled water if you are travelling off the beaten track. Milk is pasteurised, and dairy products, local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally safe.
Safari lodges and camps serve international-style cuisine, generally of an extremely high standard, along with local beer and imported wine and spirits. Good restaurants and bars can be found in main towns, often within hotels. Beef and goat are very popular meats. Elsewhere, food is more basic: millet and sorghum porridge are the local staples.
A discretionary 5 to 10% tip is typical for restaurant bills. In many places, a service charge is automatically added. It is customary to tip the game guide and lodge staff while on safari.
Climate and Weather
Botswana’s climatic pattern is typical of southern Africa, although its rainfall is less than countries further east. The rains in Botswana come mostly between December and March, when average minimum temperatures are in the low 20°s. Some days will be bright and sunny, some will have afternoon thunderstorms, and some will just be grey.
As with Namibia, April and May in Botswana are generally lovely, with the sky clear and the landscape green. Night temperatures start to drop during these months, especially in the Kalahari. Note that places in and around the Okavango tend to have less extreme, more moderate temperatures than the drier areas of the Kalahari.
From June to August the night-time temperatures in drier areas can be close to freezing, but it warms up rapidly during the day, when the sky is usually clear and blue. It’s now very much ‘peak season’ for most safari areas: the land is dry in most areas so the animals congregate around the few available water sources.
This continues into September and October, when temperatures climb again, drying the landscapes and concentrating the game even more. This is the best time for big game safaris – although October can feel very hot, with maximum temperatures sometimes approaching 40°C.
November is difficult to predict, as it can sometimes be a continuation of October’s heat, whilst sometimes it’s cooled by the first rains; it’s always an interesting month.
Clothing and Dress Recommendations
In summer, lightweight, lightcoloured cottons are preferable. Avoid synthetic materials and black clothing, as they increase perspiration and discomfort. In winter, wear trousers, longsleeved shirts / blouses and jerseys. From May – August, night temperatures can fall below zero degrees celsius, so warm jerseys and jackets are vital, especially on morning and evening game drives. Garments of neutral colours that blend with the bush and forest are advisable for safaris and game viewing. Bring a lightweight jacket and/or jersey for unexpected temperature changes or rain. Closed, comfortable walking shoesor gym shoes are a must in all seasons. Special attention should be given to protection from the sun. Bring a sunhat, good quality sunscreen, sun lotion and polarised sunglasses. Wide brimmed sun hats are essential.
Electricity and Plug Standards
Electrical sockets (outlets) in Botswana are the “Type M ” South African SABS1661 (“Large” 15 amp BS-546) sockets. This is actually an old British standard. The “Type M ” South African plug and socket is not to be confused with the “Type D ” Indian plug and socket. In pictures, they look very similar, but the South African type is much larger than the Indian type, and they are physically incompatible. If your appliance’s plug doesn’t match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance’s plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into.
Electrical sockets (outlets) in Botswana usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. If you’re plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need.
But travel plug adapters do not change the voltage, so the electricity coming through the adapter will still be the same 220-240 volts the socket is supplying. If you need to use appliances that are not compatible with 220-240 volt electrical input, you will need a voltage converter.
A nation of spectacular natural beauty, friendly people and rich culture, Zimbabwe’s status as one of Africa’s leading safari destinations was dampened for years by its political instability. But now that the country is transcending its strife and returning to a state of equilibrium, it is once again emerging as a vacation highlight of the continent. Victoria Falls – known to locals as ‘The Smoke That Thunders’ – is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the sheer power of this massive body of water plunging into the Zambezi Gorge is awe-inspiring and unforgettable. Lake Kariba, with its game-rich shores and islands, is an idyllic safari spot featuring mind-blowing sunsets; Hwange National Park is known for its huge herds of elephants; and a kayak trip down the Zambezi through the Mana Pools National Park will appeal to the intrepid traveller, providing close encounters with crocodiles, hippos and a host of other wildlife.
Banking and Currency
Zimbabwe uses its own unit of currency, the Zimbabwe Dollar. No other currency is accepted. Do not plan on being able to use cash machines in Zimbabwe to draw money. Before leaving home please exchange all the money that you will need for your trip. Most of this should be in 1, 5, 10 and 20 denominations because change is not always available. In an emergency you can try Barclays Bank, Stanbic Bank or Standard Chartered Bank as they will infrequently accept foreign debit cards for withdrawing cash.
Banks in Zimbabwe are open for business Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 08h00 to 15h00, on Wednesdays from 08h00 to 13h00 and Saturdays from 08h00 to 11h30. They are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.
Only VISA and MasterCard are accepted in Zimbabwe, however it should be noted that very limited facilities will have credit card machines, and the connection is not always reliable so it is advisable to carry cash as back up.
8-Days Okavango, Chobe and Victoria Falls Explorer Travel, Transport and Getting Around
Taxis are safe and reliable, and can be booked through your hotel front desk. Taxis in cities travel within a 40km radius of the city. Always take a taxi at night.
Major airlines fly into Victoria Falls, Harare and Bulawayo. Charter flights are available to most attractions and camps.
Zimbabwe has a good road infrastructure, by African standards, although potholed. Between major towns, there are frequent road blocks. Traffic drives on the left side of the road.
If you are driving yourself around Zimbabwe, be sure to check on fuel availability in advance. If you are covering long distances within the country, ensure you carry extra fuel in 5 or 10lt metal containers in case of emergency. Fuel is generally available, but supply can fluctuate. Fuel is only available for cash.
Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice during 8-Days Okavango, Chobe and Victoria Falls Explorer
Zimbabwe’s native cuisine is based on sadza, a cooked porridge made from ground maize which is normally be accompanied by some tasty relish, perhaps made of meat and tomatoes, or dried fish. Safari camps will often prepare sadza if requested, and it is almost always available in small restaurants in the towns.
Camps, hotels and lodges that cater to overseas typically serve a variety international fare, and the quality of food prepared in the most remote bush camps is usually excellent.
If you are driving yourself around and plan to cook, then get most of your supplies in main towns. There are a number of South African shopping chains operating in Zimbabwe which will generally have all that you will need.
Water in the main towns is usually purified.. The locals drink it, and are used to the relatively innocuous bugs that it may harbour. If you are in the country for a long time, then it may be worth acclimatising yourself to it. However, if you are in Zimbabwe for just a short period of time, then try to drink only bottled, boiled, or treated water available in towns and from all camps, lodges and hotels.
Climate and Weather during 8-Days Okavango, Chobe and Victoria Falls Explorer
In Zimbabwe, the rains come principally in December, January,February and March; the further north you are, the earlier the precipitation arrives and the later it leaves. Zimbabwe’s higher eastern areas usually receive more rainfall than the lower-lying western ones.
By April and May most of the rain is gone, leaving a verdant setting, which is starting to dry out. Especially in more southerly and higher locations, the night-time temperatures start to drop.
The nights in June, July and August become much cooler, so don’t forget to bring some warmer clothes, in case you want to spend an evening outside; the days are still clear and warm. For Zimbabwe, this is the start of the ‘peak season’– days are often cloudless and game sightings continually increase.
Into September and October the temperatures rise once again: Zimbabwe’s lower-lying rift valley – Mana Pools – can get very hot in October. During this time, you’ll see some fantastic game, as the Zimbabwe’s wildlife concentrates around the limited water sources.
November is unpredictable; it can be hot and dry, it can also see the season’s first rainfalls – and in this respect it’s a very interesting month, as on successive days, you can see both weather patterns.
Clothing and Dress Recommendations in 8-Days Okavango, Chobe and Victoria Falls Explorer
When in Zimbabwe the cardinal rule is to wear casual, comfortable clothes during the day as temperatures can get very hot. It is advisable to wear light loose-fitting clothing, such as cotton or linen, as they are cool and easy to wash. Warmer clothes are advised for the evenings and rainwear for the wet season.
A brimmed hat and sunglasses are a good idea year-round. Long-sleeved shirts and long trousers will also guard against the scorching sun rays. It is recommended you wear light shoes, especially if your itinerary entails a lot of walking.
For safaris, please remember to wear appropriate clothing and shoes. Earth colour clothes, such as browns, greens and tans are advisable.
Electricity and Plug Standards
Current is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles per second. Both square and round plugs are used.
END OF SERVICE WITH BIKO ADVENTURES TOURS
- All airport transfers in private car
- All accommodation and meals at the lodges during safari on full board basis
- Marine park fees (to be paid at the gate by credit card only)
- Excursions like diving etc.
- Diving equipment
- International and domestic flights costs
- All items of a personal nature
- Tipping and gratuities
- Travel insurance and Visa fees
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
- Activities mentioned as to be done in Mafia: – These need to be arranged directly with the lodge