Botswana

The Classic African Safari.

July – August, 2019. 16 Days.

Overview

Join us in Botswana and see its incredible wildlife, arguably unsurpassed anywhere. Game viewing here is a treat, and with our hand-picked local guides you’re guaranteed to see Africa’s greatest animals. We’ll be visiting the Moremi Game Reserve, and while only the size of Delaware it’s home to an incredible diverse range of wildlife. We’ll also visit the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta, an unusual river delta as the water in it never reaches the sea. All of which offer incredible wildlife viewing, and we’ll see lechwe, impala, jackal, brown hyena, cheetah, leopard, lion, giraffe and cape buffalo. If we’re lucky, we could see the rare African painted dog.

Ready to Safari?

Highlights

The Okavango — An incredible inland delta, with an amazing range of wildlife including over 400 species of birds and the classic “Big Five” animals (lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and black rhino). We purposely visit in August, when the floods attract animals from great distances into the delta.

Kalahari Desert — Almost 1 million square kilometres of arid and sandy savannah, we’ll focus on the Central Kalahari Game Reserve – and timed perfectly to wild camp under the light of the full moon. We’ll see an amazing amount of wildlife as we head for the famous Deception Valley.

Chobe National Park — The most biologically diverse park in Botswana, Chobe is home to four separate ecosystems and much wildlife. We’ll visit little known areas and keep off the tourist trail.

Moremi Game Reserve — The best place in the world to see Cape Wild Dogs – a rare occurrence and a real treat. As well as the wild dogs, there is plenty of other wildlife, and in August the animals are concentrated around the waterholes – making for an amazing game-viewing experience.

Victoria Falls — The “Smoke that Thunders”, and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls is the world’s largest amount of falling water – and twice the height and width of Niagara Falls.

Number of Countries

Off-highway kilometers

Days in Country

Max. number of Vehicles

Your Itinerary

July – August 2019

15 days of easy driving, spectacular scenery and a classic African Safari experience.

Day 1: Arrive Kasane

Kasane – Arrival and transit to Senyati Safari Camp.

After a long transit to beautiful and remote Kasane, Botswana, on the mighty Zambezi River, today is a day to relax and get settled in for the trip ahead. The Safari Camp at Senyanti is the perfect place to get the last minute logistics organized while, at the same time, watching the wildlife come and go from the near-by watering hole. Elephants are particularly active in this area; welcome to Africa!

Day 2: Victoria Falls

Kasane / Victoria Falls – Senyati Safari Camp

Today is a free day to get over jet lag and prepare for the adventures ahead. For those wanting to see one of the seven Natural Wonders of the world, we highly recommend a day trip to see Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya (Smoke that Thunders). Activities include: Victoria Falls sight seeing, Victoria Falls overflight, rafting the gorge, bungee jumping, and local shopping.

Day 3: Transit to Nata

Transit to Nata Botswana

Today we will hit the road for an approximately 300km transit to Nata, Botswana, one of the premier birding destinations in the world especially for pelicans and flamingos. Nata Lodge is situated on the very edge of the massive Makgadikgadi pans and allows incredible bird watching over the pans.

Day 4: Makgadikgadi National Park

Transit to Makgadikgadi Pan National Park.

Just outside Nata Village we will leave the tarmac and drive out into the Makgadikgadi salt pans. This is a vestige of Africa’s largest inland lake and the area is a haven for wildlife and ancient baobab trees. We will cross into Makgadikgadi National Park and find our camp at Njuca, where we will enjoy the solitude of a deep desert camp. There will be game viewing opportunities all day.

Day 5: Makgadikgadi National Park

Makgadikgadi Pan National Park.

We will spend the day in Makgadikgadi Pan National Park as we cross from the pans to the Boteti river. Wildlife is prolific in the area, and with luck we can spot the elusive cheetah. Our camp will be along the banks of the river where animals congregate to slake their thirst and are watched by the massive crocodiles in the river.

Day 6: Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Transit to Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Early start for a short game drive to the ferry at Khumaga where we will leave the park. Crossing the river by pontoon ferry is a delightful experience and one that will provide many photo opportunities. From there we will stop briefly at Rakpos to re-supply and re-fuel for our adventures ahead before turning on to dirt tracks for the long run in to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Our destination is Tau Pan Lodge where we can enjoy sundowners at this idyllic remote desert lodge.

Day 7: Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Game drive to Deception Pan

Breakfast at the lodge with the option for an early morning drive or bushman walk with the lodge guides. After lunch we transit to Deception Pan for camp. Deception Valley was made famous in the book Cry of the Kalahari and we will experience the solitude of being in one of the most remote areas in all of Africa. A wonderful dinner with new friends in camp under the full moon.

Day 8: Deception Valley

Deception Valley

A day of game viewing in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. We will visit several of the remote watering holes hoping to see honey badgers and the elusive Kalahari lion. Camp back at Deception Pan for another wonderful evening surrounded by the sounds of Africa.

Day 9: Maun

Transit to Maun

Early start for a game drive and our last taste of the deep Kalahari. On park egress we will leave Deception Valley behind and drive up the Makalamabedi fence track to tarmac. Once we reach tarmac we will head to Maun, which is the frontier town for the Okavango Delta. We will camp at Kaziikini Camp after re-supplying in the town.

Day 10: Moremi Game Reserve

Game Drive in Moremi Game Reserve

Heading north through Moremi Game Reserve we will get an initial taste of the massive amount of wildlife that the Okavango area as to offer. From elephant to zebra we will see the diversity of African game. We will camp on the north boundary of the park on the banks of the Khwai River.

Day 11: Linyanti, Chobe National Park

Transit through Chobe National Park to Linyanti Swamp

We’ll head north into Chobe National Park where the elephant population is the highest in the world. Game viewing all the way through the park to the banks of the Linyanti Swamp where we will stop at Linyanti Camp tented lodge for a luxury experience far from ‘civilization’.

Day 12: Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park

Morning game drives with lodge guides will start the day. In the afternoon we will make our way to Magotho camp along the Linyanti-Savuti cut line of deep sand and see if we can spot any leopard along the Savuti channel.

Day 13: Moremi Game Reserve

Game viewing in Moremi Game Reserve

We will spend the day along the Khwai river in Moremi Game Reserve watching wildlife. Hippo and buffalo are common in the area, so we expect to get some great pictures. We will camp in the evening along the banks of the Khwai.

Day 14: Moremi Game Reserve

Game viewing in Moremi Game Reserve

The Okavango is  the Jewel of the Kalahari and today we will go to the Western edge of the Reserve along the waterways of the Okavango. Dead Tree Island offers superb game viewing and we will continue to ratchet up our list of game the list of game we’ve spotted.

Day 15: Moremi Game Reserve

Okavango Delta

After a short game drive we will transfer at the airstrip to a lodge camp deep in the Okavango and not accessible by regular roads. From there we can take mokoro (canoe) trips into the delta waterways or hang out at the lodge and relax. A final dinner with the group before departures on the morrow.

Day 16: Okavango Delta & Departure

Okavango Delta

Final breakfast with the group before departures from Maun. One last view of the Okavango from the air will allow a final chance to spot game from the air. Transfers at Maun for onward flights.

Our Botswana trip has an easy to moderate pace, with a combination of luxury lodges and remote camping. We class the driving as “Grade 1”, which means the driving, while mostly off-highway is relatively easy though there may be some moderate technical sections. The weather in June and July is wonderful, with no rain and temperatures from 60F to 80F, depending on where in the country we are. This adventure is a combination of  iconic game viewing and beautiful scenery with luxury lodges also in the mix.

Botswana is a semi-arid country though it’s of quite a high elevation and this gives it a sub-tropical climate, with frequent blue skies and almost 300 days of sunshine a year. In August, the temperature will range from the 60’s to the 80’s Fahrenheit (that’s about 15-27C). August is the driest month and precipitation is highly unlikely.

The road network is well developed, it has a reliable electrical infrastructure and both cellular and wireless internet coverage is good in the cities – though the coverage is poor once we’re out in the country.  Botswana uses 230V at 50Hz, with “Plug Type M”, or the similar “Plug Type D”. The Botswana currency is the Pula, and one US Dollar is worth around 10.5 Pula (Jan 2017). In the cities, there are ATM’s and many places accept credit cards. Tipping isn’t compulsory. 

The trip starts before dinner on Wednesday, August 2nd for the trip briefing at the Senyati Safari Camp in Kasane.  We depart after breakfast for Victoria Falls on the 3rd August. We recommend that you arrive into Kasane airport no later than mid-day on Wednesday, August 2nd. We’ll be there to meet you at the airport and provide transport to the camp. Should you like to arrive earlier, please let us know and we’ll arrange accomodation for you.

You’ll need a full passport with at least 6 months validity. Bearers of U.S. passports who plan to visit Botswana for tourism for less than 90 days can obtain visas at the port of entry and do not need visas prior to entering the country. Short-term visitors do not need an international driving permit. Please ensure you have adequate health and medical insurance.

Equipment Lists

We recommend that you review our standard equipment lists. Clothing and Personal Kit Camping Equipment Vehicle Equipment

If there’s anything we’ve missed, or you would like to arrange a personal consultation, please get hold of us here.

Avg. Temp. C

Avg. Temp. F

%

Avg. Humidity

Hours of Sunlight

Our People

On each and every trip, you’ll have a number of US and UK-based guides with you. With years of experience in the field, they can cope with every eventuality. We also employ hand-picked in-country fixers and guides, drawn from our our past experiences in remote locations around the world. The local employees will form an important part of the team and your experience – their local knowledge will add a uniqueness to your trip, and help us get to locations that no-one else can. You can read more about our staff on the “About the 7P Team” page.

Support

We believe in “no car left behind”, and we won’t leave you behind either. The US and UK based 7P guides will ensure that any driving, mechanical or medical problem is resolved with as little impact to the trip as possible. We’re on-call 24x7 for the duration of the trip so we’re always available to help with problems, or even just the small things that help make the trip more enjoyable for you.

On the Ground

The weather in Botswana in August is pleasant with no rain and temperatures from approx. 60 to 80F. We recommend you review our equipment lists to ensure you are comfortable on your trip. We grade the driving on this trip as “Grade 1”, which means easy driving, with some occasional technical spots. The roads are in good condition condition, and the off-highway driving is easy and scenic. Any obstacles we encounter should be passable, but can we affected by the weather. Botswana is a little different from the US and Europe. Parts of the infrastructure (road network, plumbing, electrical grid, etc,) are often not up to the standard we are used to, but on the whole these services work very well in Botswana.

Food & Drink

We love good food! Most meals (except where noted) are included. When we’re in lodges and hotels we’ll always use their wonderful restaurants. The midday meal is occasionally grabbed quickly, but we prefer to have a more leisurely lunch. We always include a reasonable amount of drinks, – we love a nice scotch, gin, beer, wine, etc. but we are a little picky about what we enjoy so have a great selection in the mobile bar. If you have any particular requirements, please let us know in advance.

Accommodation

As with most of our trips, the accommodation consists of four main types:

Boutique Hotels & Guest Houses

We pick some of the worlds finest hotels as accomodation for our adventures. We stay in smaller hotels and guest houses with highly personalised service, luxury rooms, great bars and restaurants and situated in glorious locations.

Luxury Lodges

One of the highlights of any of our Africa trips is staying in a Safari Lodge. They are as comfortable as any leading hotel, but located out in the wilds of Africa! With only a limited number of rooms, guests mingle together at the bar, and dinner is typically served around one large table – where you can meet new friends and exchange stories of the days game viewing.

Luxury Camping

Very similar to the Luxury lodges we love, in these high-end tents you are a bit closer to nature without sacrificing comfort. When we say tent – they are like no tent you’ve ever seen. Comfortable beds on raised wooden floors, curtains waving in the gentle African breeze and food and drink just a moment away.

Remote Camping

When we’re really remote, camping is our only option. Depending on the area (such as National Parks), we’ll stay in designated camping areas, and use the roof-tents on our vehicles for overnight accomodation. If we’re extremely remote (such as the Namib desert), we’ll camp in a beautiful, secluded and private locations. Just because we’re remote doesn’t mean we’ll miss out on wonderful food and drink – we’ll have a camp fire and a common dining area to share cocktails and stories each evening.

Vehicles

You’ll be spending quite some time in the vehicle on our trips, so it’s important you’re happy and comfortable with the options. For most of our destinations there are three choices:

p

Ship your own

There’s nothing better that having the confidence and comfort that your own tried and tested vehicle brings to your adventure. The photos of your own truck in countless exotic locations are worth a thousand words. It can be difficult to arrange shipping without industry partners (it’s time-consuming, has lots of boring paperwork to be completed and there are many “gotchas” to be aware of). We can take this hassle away from you, so all you have to do is fly-in and drive! While the vehicle is in transit, you’ll be kept informed of it’s exact whereabouts. 7P staff will deal with the paperwork at our destination port so you don’t have to. The costs of shipping your own vehicle can vary widely, a good rule of thumb is that shipping costs will be similar to approximately 4 weeks of rental. Please contact us for more information if you’re considering this approach.
p

Self-drive rentals

We’ve partnered with a few select companies globally to bring you well equipped 4×4 vehicles that are reliable, comfortable and safe. Typically, the vehicles are late model (up to 3 years old) Toyota Land Cruisers, Toyota Hiluxes, Nissan Patrol and Land Rover Defenders. The vehicles come with all camping and expedition equipment you’ll need – all you’ll need is your personal kit to throw in the back!
p

Non-driving rental

Sometimes it’s better to be chauffeured around in style! We offer the option of having one of our US or UK-based guides drive the vehicle for you. This option gets you the same high-quality vehicle from one of our in-country partners, but you just need to sit back and enjoy the journey.

Wish you were here?

I'm Interested!

Drop us a line, let us know a little more about you and we’ll be happy to answer any questions, provide more information, or arrange a call.