Botswana Adventure Safari – Okavango Delta & Kalahari Desert
For those seeking to discover the full range of flora, fauna, and habitat found in Botswana's magnificent array of national parks, game reserves and wilderness areas, our new Kalahari Desert & Okavango Delta Safari provides an extraordinary adventure second to none. From the vast savannahs and grasslands of the Central Kalahari to the crystal waters and wildlife-rich floodplains of the Okavango Delta, this is a journey of extreme contrasts and wonderful surprises, certain to leave us with indelible memories of unrivaled natural beauty and intense wildlife encounters as the ongoing struggle for survival plays out before our eyes.
Starting in Maun, Botswana, we meet our experienced safari guide and board our light aircraft for the hour-long flight to the remote Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the second largest protected area on earth. Here, we explore beautiful Deception Valley and environs, one of the premier game-viewing environments in this immense reserve, and camp under a canopy of brilliant stars. In addition to the Kalahari's famous black-maned lions, we'll set out in search of other local inhabitants include cheetah, brown hyena, oryx, honey badger and a large variety of bird species including many raptors.
As our Kalahari exploration draws to a close, a remarkable transition from desert to delta is just another short flight away. Descending towards our deluxe island camp in the aquatic heart of the Okavango Delta, we'll observe firsthand how the seasonal rains and annual floodwaters flowing down from the Angolan highlands have turned this part of northern Botswana into a verdant oasis bursting with life. Through a combination of relaxing mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) excursions, motorboat trips, exciting game drives and short walks, we explore the pristine backwaters of the Okavango as well as the woodlands, swamps and marshlands of the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve (on the western border of Chobe National Park). The Linyanti plays host to lion, leopard, African wild dog, elephant, hippo, giraffe, buffalo, baboon and an abundance of antelope species. Our epic African adventure concludes in Livingstone, Zambia, with a sunset cruise on the mighty Zambezi River and a visit to the "Smoke that Thunders", majestic Victoria Falls.
Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.
Botswana Adventure Safari – Okavango Delta & Kalahari Desert Itinerary:
Day 1 Arrive Maun, Botswana and fly via light aircraft to our first remote safari camp in the vast Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
Day 2 Drive to Deception Valley, one of the Central Kalahai's premier game-viewing destinations. Camp under the desert stars.
Days 3-4 Explore beautiful Deception Valley and environs in search of wildlife including lion, cheetah, oryx, springbok and honey badger.
Days 5-6 Fly from Desert to Delta. Spend two days at a deluxe safari camp in the heart of the Okavango and discover this amazing water-world.
Days 7-9 Explore the fantastic 300,000-acre Linyanti Wildlife Reserve. Search for leopard, African wild dog, and hundreds of bird species.
Day 10 Watch for elephant, hippo, giraffe and crocodile on a Chobe River cruise in Chobe National Park. Transfer to Livingstone, Zambia.
Day 11 Take a guided tour of spectacular Victoria Falls before saying goodbye to new friends and departing for home.
Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.
All accomodations as specified on the itinerary; all light aircraft transfers as noted on itinerary; all meals beginning with dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 11; professional guide accompaniment throughout; all daily actvities (game drives, mokoro/boat excursions, bush walks);guided tour of Victoria Falls; Chobe River boat cruise; transfer from Toka Leya to Livingstone airport at trip's end; all soft drinks, beer, fruit juice, mineral water and house wine.
Round-trip international airfare to Maun/from Livingstone; international entry/departure taxes; travel insurance; excess baggage charges; alcoholic beverages other than those specified under "Included"; pre and post-trip tours; items of a personal nature; gratuities.
Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.
If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the full single supplement noted on the trip itinerary. If you wish to share accommodations, we will assign you a roommate if one is available. If a roommate cannot be found, you will be asked to pay a reduced single fee, which is half of the full single supplement. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available.
Our Kalahari Desert & Okavango Delta Safari departure dates coincide with the Botswana summer months. During these months, more rainfall can be expected but rain very typically falls in short afternoon thundershowers which produce spectacular skies and vivid rainbows before passing. This is one of the very best times of year to visit the Kalahari as the rainfall produces lush desert landscapes, attracting a plethora of plains game such as springbok and gemsbok which converge in the thousands and are in turn followed by large predators in high numbers. Although vegetation may be fuller, game viewing in the Okavango is generally good year-round with these months being particularly good for spotting migratory birds. Daytime temperatures during summer months generally fall between the high 70s and low 90s depending on specific location. Nighttime temperatures drop into the low-mid 60s. Participants should follow the specific recommendations on the trip Gear List to ensure they are prepared all weather possibilities.
This safari trip is rated Relaxed . This is a safari itinerary with game-viewing being the primary focus. Most days will include multiple game drives and/or mokoro/boat excursions with some opportunities for short bush walks (generally no more than 1-2 hours in length). Safaris are not physically demanding but they are in remote locations and can include some travel over rough terrain. This trip is perfectly suited for active people in good health with a spirit of adventure and an interest in learning more about the natural world.
This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).
We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.
Botswana Adventure Safari – Okavango Delta & Kalahari Desert
The key to staying comfortable on safari is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation. This gear list is provided to help you in choosing your equipment and clothing for this trip. Try to bring only what is necessary.
- Valid passport
- Airline tickets
- International health card with immunizations (recommended, not required)
- Large duffel bag (must be soft-sided with no wheels or rigid frames in order to fit into light aircraft cargo holds)
- Daypack, large enough to hold camera, binoculars, water, sunscreen, etc.
- Luggage tags and luggage locks
- Passport pouch or money belt
- Bring a few lightweight, easily washable casual items for travel and city/lodge wear
- Waterproof, breathable jacket
- Sweater/jacket – synthetic fleece or wool (for cool mornings & evenings)
- Walking shoes (closed-toed)
- Sport sandals
- T-shirts, mix of synthetic and cotton
- Synthetic, long-sleeve shirts
- Synthetic, quick-drying shorts (mid-thigh or longer)
- Lightweight, breathable, quick-drying pants (zip-off legs are recommended)
- Underwear, quick-drying
- Swimsuit (for swimming pools at camps)
- Lightweight gloves (for early morning/evening game drives)
- Lightweight wool hat (for early morning/evening game drives)
- Sun hat with brim
- Sunglasses and retainer strap (good quality, UV protected)
- Insect repellent (DEET recommended)
- Personal first-aid kit
- Hand sanitizer gel
- Sun block and lip balm w/high SPF
- Toiletry kit with bio-degradable soap/shampoo, hand lotion, toothpaste/brush
- Headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries
- Camera, memory cards, spare batteries and lens cleaner
- Electrical converter and adapter
- Binoculars (highly recommended)
- Southern Africa wildlife/birding books
- Travel pillow
- Alarm clock or watch
- Spare contact lenses or prescription glasses
- Motion sickness remedies
- Zip-lock or specialized camera bags, to protect camera, binoculars from dust
- Travel-size laundry detergent packets for hand-washing clothing
Things to Consider
- Always pack essential items such as your passport, REI Adventures trip final bulletin, money, eyewear, medications, camera and a change of clothes in your carry-on baggage in case your luggage is delayed.
- The checked luggage allowance on all light aircraft flights within Botswana is 44 pounds per person. Please pack accordingly. Overweight luggage may incur a substantial additional fee.
- Casual attire is completely acceptable for our camps and Africa in general. Neutral, light-colored clothing is best for the safari, to blend into the landscape and not stand out to wildlife. Khaki is always a good color while on safari. Camouflage and bright colors are not recommended.
- Laundry services are available in camps but it’s good to come prepared to occasionally hand wash your clothes (quick drying materials are best). Travel packets of detergent and a travel laundry line come in handy for this purpose.
- Stuff sacks are great for sorting your gear. Plastic bags are also helpful to separate wet clothing from dry.
- If you normally wear contacts, bring a pair of glasses in case of irritation from dust in your eyes.
- Many of the roads in Africa are deeply rutted and dusty. It is a good idea to pack camera equipment and binoculars in plastic bags to protect them from the dust. This is in addition to their normal cases. Also bring lens cleaning materials.
Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.