Okavango Delta safari in Botswana

“Two weeks of Botswanan beauty,with game walks, wild camping and even a trip into Zimbabwe to see Victoria Falls. Rude not to really.”

Highlights

Okavango Delta | Mokoro canoe ride | Makgadikgadi Salt Pan | Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls | Chobe River cruise | Chobe National Park | Game drives on Savuti Marsh | Moremi Game Reserve | Maun

Description of Okavango Delta safari in Botswana

This sixteen day Okavango Delta safari holiday in Botswana focuses not only on the world famous wetlands, Africa’s largest at over 15,000km² reaching out in different directions across the Kalahari Desert, but also other natural and cultural wonders of northern Botswana. Such as Chobe National Park, one of the most wildlife filled parks in Africa, particularly famous for its elephants of which there are as many as 100,000. The Savuti Marsh is also part of the park, a wetland fed by the eponymous river and where annual rains attract massive gatherings of wildlife greats such as zebra, lion and wildebeest.

The Moremi Game Reserve is another of Botswana’s beauty spots, differing from national parks because it was founded by local communities to put a stop to hunting and overdevelopment that was threatening the wide array of wildlife that favour these magnificent habitats. These include elephant, lion, leopard and cheetah as well as over 400 bird species which thrive on the wetlands and islands.

The Okavango Delta itself is, of course, the highlight for many travellers, although a trip over the border into Zimbabwe to see Victoria Falls is one spectacular diversion. However, there are few things in the world that beat the experience of travelling through the Okavango in a traditional canoe, or mokoro, with local ‘polers’ telling tales and identifying the creatures that inhabit the landscapes they have been stewards of for generations. From hippos to giraffes, lions to elephants, we have thankfully two days here to explore on land and on water.

This holiday is all about being out there in the wilderness, with eleven nights of fully serviced camping, staying in two person tents. There are also two nights in hotels.

Travel Team

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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Accommodation & Meals:
You will spend most nights full service camping and two nights in a standard hotel. We predominantly use small businesses for accommodation in order to keep investment local and benefit the communities we visit directly. Campsites used are either locally owned, or a percentage of their income goes towards, schooling, or nature conservation & community projects. We strive to always leave a campsite in a better condition than when we arrived and to use gas whilst cooking instead of using limited firewood resources. Almost all meals are provided and your local tour leader will endeavour to source fresh produce wherever possible. Meals might include fresh fruit, cold meats and cheese, potjies (stew) or braais (barbecue) etc.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Community:
We spend three days and two nights the polers from the Poler’s Trust in the Okavango Delta. This is a community based project, which was formed with the aim of creating an eco-tourism business which would benefit all of the people in the area. By using these facilities and going on boat tours with the Poler’s Trust, we ensure that we are helping the local community by providing employment and supporting environmental initiaves. At this camp, you can also explore the many facets of traditional African life, which promotes cultural exchange: participate in BaYei and Hambukushu music and dancing, see how delicious local food is made and buy handmade souvenirs like woven baskets.

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise on the wildlife, environment and culture that they are paid and treated fairly. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from your visit. By supporting and employing these people we are helping to ensure that their wildlife areas, scenic beauty and historical significance generate value for the community and are therefore appreciated and protected from development and exploitation. For example, we employ local site guides in Chobe National Park.

Charity:
Our local partners support the Save Our Sausage Trees initiative in Botswana, which aims to address the issue of depleting forests in the area. The Mekoro is a boat used by the people of the Okavango Delta and it is crafted traditionally out of a single mature Kigelia Africana tree (or sausage tree). Although increased tourism has had some obvious benefits to the area, this has also brought a higher demand for Mekoro boats and therefore more trees are being cut down. As a wooden Mekoro only lasts about 5 years, there are hundreds of these trees being felled per year and not enough to sustain this. We have consulted with the Okovango community, and we have agreed to pay half the price of a fibreglass Mekoro if a poler wants to purchase the other half, in order to save the trees.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Climate

2 Reviews of Okavango Delta safari in Botswana

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 24 Aug 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


All of it really but the Okavango Delta and Vic Falls in particular.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go and have a great time! So many great experiences. Don’t take too much stuff - I did!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes definitely. Having an excellent guide and advice on the trip notes from the operator really helped.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A fantastic, well organised holiday - my fifth safari but first with the operator/ Responsible Travel.
The outstanding guide, fabulous places and opportunities to see wildlife, a great local team and a fun group of fellow travellers, all helped make it a hugely memorable and life changing experience.

Reviewed on 18 May 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Riding in a makorra, a flat bottomed punt like boat. through the reeds of the Delta, was one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the world. Also wild
camping there for 2 nights with our great hosts and guides. It was even better than I imagined. But I also could not help but be moved by the "smoke that
thunders" or Victoria Falls.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


There is a lot of time spent sitting in the van travelling between destinations, but there is also a lot to see on the way, and on many occasions it is also a game
drive. Also be prepared for the fact that it is not always safe to leave your tent at night, as the wild camps are just that and you may have visitors in the night
that it is not safe to meet on your own. We had hyenas in camp in Moremi.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The 4 staff wo tavelled with us and guided and cooked for us were local, 2 were trainees preparing to take their own groups. The guides and polers in the
Okavanga clearly depended on this source of income. The subcontractors were local , food was bought locally, Botswana is encouraged to look after its
wildlife as people come to see it. As one guide said "If I kill an animal I only get the benefit once. If I show it to people, I can get the benefit over and over again"

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was fantastic, our guide, Kenny, could not have been more patient or more concerned to give us what we wanted. The food served in camp was delicious, and much better than anything we ate in restaurants. It included the best fillet steak I have ever eaten, cooked to perfection by John.

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