18 days Zimbabwe & Botswana Camping Adventure
18 Days: Zimbabwe & Botswana Camping Adventure
Price from ZAR 40.000 incl 4x4 vehicle with rooftop tent
Located on the banks of the Thamalakane River, this lodge is a cool and welcoming oasis in the heart of Maun. Shaded under a huge canopy of large trees, the lodge overlooks the river and floodplain beyond.
Today you will be met at the accommodation and transferred to the 4×4 camper vehicle depot, where the operation of the 4×4 vehicle will be thoroughly explained to you. Then your safari adventure can begin!
One of Botswana’s hidden gems, The Boteti River offers breath-taking scenery and awe-inspiring wildlife sightings as it makes its way across the salt pans. Located on the outskirts of Khumaga village, Boteti River Camp is easily accessible whether driving from Maun, Nata, Kasane, or Khama Rhino Sanctuary making it a not-to-be-missed and easy addition to any Botswana safari. It offers fantastic contrasts with the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, Chobe National Park and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. At Boteti River Camp, you will get to explore one of the world’s largest salt pans and observe Botswana’s unique rural culture in a friendly, comfortable and serene setting. Although you could easily decide to spend most of your time observing the surroundings perched on the viewing deck above the restaurant, there is a lot to see and enjoy in the area and we wouldn’t want you to miss out on any opportunities to expand your true Botswana experience. The Boteti River and the salt pans are exceptional locations and give a unique insight into Botswana’s culture and natural environment. Book one of the guided game drives or grab the chance to meet the locals on a guided village walk.
Day 3- 4
You will travel to one of the remotest places in the world, and home to the last remaining San (bushmen) tribes. Many visitors skip this part of Botswana, but it is most definitely worthwhile.
Situated right in the centre of Botswana, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is characterised by vast open plains, saltpans and ancient riverbeds. Varying from sand dunes with many species of trees and shrubs in the north, to flat bushveld in the central area, the reserve is more heavily wooded in the south, with mopane forests to the south and east. Rainfall is sparse and sporadic and can vary from 170 to 700 millimetres per year.
The people commonly known throughout the world as Bushmen, but more properly referred to as the Basarwa or San, have been resident in and around the area for probably thousands of years. Originally nomadic hunters and gathers, the lifestyle of the Basarwa has gradually changed with the times and they now live in settlements, some of which are situated within the southern half of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
Matswere is the access point for campsites in the region of Deception Valley, Sunday Pan, and Passarge Valley, whilst the campsites at Piper Pan can be accessed from either Matswere or Xade.
A long driving day ahead today via mostly tarred roads. Francistown is a city in the north-east region of Botswana, near the border with Zimbabwe. The city is principally an agricultural services hub, however in recent years, as with Gaborone, there has been a retail boom with several shopping malls opening. The campsites are of high quality with modern ablutions, a small shop and WiFi. Be sure to do some shopping to gear up for your Zimbabwe adventure!
Surely a small national park, but the biggest World Heritage Site of Zimbabwe and extremely rich in natural diversity and human history, Matopo Hills. Matobo Hills gained its World Heritage Status principally on the rich cultural diversity of this area. The Matobo Hills boasts one of the highest concentrations of rock art found anywhere in the world. This ancient Khoisan art can be viewed in both the National Park and even within the immediate vicinity of Big Cave Camp. These famous rock art galleries can be visited on foot or by 4×4.
Big Cave borders the Matobo National Park, and game viewing is done both on the private property as well as into the Whovi Game Park. The Whovi wilderness area is a specially protected area for both white and black rhino. Matobo Hills has the last significant population of rhino in Zimbabwe, and the best way to view and photograph these rare creatures is on foot, with a professional guide.
Big Cave offers drives into the Whovi Park, with a professional guide to view not only rhino, but also leopard and a selection of plains game. Guests can enjoy a once in a lifetime opportunity to creep up on these wonderful animals on foot once the correct area has been located by the professional guide. Other activities on the Big Cave 2000 acre private wilderness area include game walks, game drives (approximately 1.5 hours), and the not to be missed sundowner drive to get the Matopos Hills at its very best! Night drives on the Big Cave wilderness area can be enjoyed on the private property (depending on the time of the year) to view the nocturnal creatures of the Matobo Hills.
These sub-tropical thorn and sand flats on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, were once home to the nomadic San who lived off the land and feasted on great herds of migrating game. They were displaced by stronger African tribes, who in turn had their day. Chief Hwange of the Rozi tribe was ousted by the Matabele chief Mzilikazi, and his lands taken over as a royal hunting ground.
Through a twist of fate, the land gained National Park status and Hwange National Park became the largest game reserve in Zimbabwe, noted for its massive population of elephants. Hwange has Africa’s Big Five and plenty of them! There are thousands of elephants and buffalo. Lions are commonly seen, but the elusive leopard and rhino are always a bonus to see. This park has such variety that one hundred different species have been recorded.
A visit to Zimbabwe has no meaning without visiting the famous Victoria Falls, discovered by David Livingstone. One of the greatest attractions in Africa and one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world, Victoria Falls is located on the Zambezi River, the fourth largest river in Africa, which is also defining the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls is the only waterfall in the world with a length of more than a kilometre and a height of more than hundred meters. It is also considered to be the largest falls in the world.
The noise of Victoria Falls can be heard from a distance of 40 kilometres, while the spray and mist from the falling water rise to a height of over 400 meters and can be seen from a distance of 50 kilometres. No wonder that the local tribes used to call the waterfall Mosi-oa-Tunya ‘The smoke that thunders’. There are many activities possible in Victoria Falls. Make sure you make the most out of it before crossing the border with Botswana again.
You can give the driving a rest whilst enjoying wildlife along the banks of Chobe River during a guided game drive into the park or a sunset cruise on the river.
Make sure to do some shopping in Kasane today to fill up your vehicle and top up your groceries and water as a few days of 4×4 adventure await you!
The Savuti (also spelt Savute) area borders the Delta to the west and Chobe National Park to the east and is one of Africa’s best-known big game areas. Savuti is a place of enchantment, of beauty, and boasts one of the greatest concentrations of animals in southern Africa. Savuti is famous for its mysterious and fascinating channel. It runs a distance of 100 kilometres from the Chobe River, through a gap in the sand ridge, to the Mababe Depression. Falling only approximately 18 meters, this channel brings water from the Chobe to Mababe, creating a small marsh where it enters the Depression. Flowing in Livingstone’s time, the channel was dry in 1880, and remained dry for about 70 years. It flooded again in 1957. Savuti Marsh has been dry for the past 18 years.
Savuti is famous for its predators, especially its resident lion and spotted hyena populations. Only 38 kilometres northwest of Savuti and off the main tourist track lies Botswana’s best kept secret: Linyanti and the western reaches of the Savuti Channel. The Linyanti and upper Savuti areas are among the most beautiful in Botswana. The game-viewing can be exceptional, and the wide variety of activities make this an area not to be missed. Linyanti hosts large herds of buffalo, zebra and elephant. Because this area is a private game reserve, the vehicle concentrations are very low and the wilderness experience is one of the best in Africa. The 4×4 2-spoor tracks are not always easy to navigate, so some experience in 4×4 driving is recommended. You can also opt for a guided mobile safari.
Third Bridge camp site is located on the western side of Moremi Game Reserve off-stream from the Moanachira River. Third Bridge camp site can be accessed along a 58 km route in a north-westerly direction through some very diverse scenery across First and Second bridge. Another route from the South Gate (Maqwee) goes through the Mopane Forest 60 km long via Xakanaxa. Third Bridge area that borders on the Delta and Mboma Island enjoy heavy concentrations of wildlife in the dry season. Third Bridge offers much more of the wilderness experience than most of southern African camping grounds, with unspoiled wilderness. A boat station has been developed to provide boat activities and transfers to Gxhobega & Gcudikwa lagoons, where the heronry of migratory birds are located.
Moremi Game Reserve is a protected area in Botswana. It lies on the eastern side of the Okavango Delta and was named after Chief Moremi of the BaTawana tribe. Moremi was designated as a game reserve, rather than a national park, when it was created. This designation meant that the BaSarwaor Bushmen that lived there were allowed to stay in the reserve. Moremi Game Reserve covers much of the eastern side of the Okavango Delta and combines permanent water with drier areas, which create some startling and unexpected contrasts. Some prominent geographical features of the Reserve are Chiefs Island and the Moremi Tongue. In the Moremi Reserve one can experience excellent views of Savannah game as well as birdwatching on the lagoons. There are also thickly wooded areas, which are home to the Cape wild dog and leopard.
Today you will continue further to Maun, where you can spend the rest of the day relaxing and memorising your memories of your own African safari experience.
You will drop off your vehicle at the camper van depot and be transferred to Maun Airport for your flight back home.