Botswana Classic Safari – Okavango Delta
Each year, seasonal rains and surging floodwaters flowing down from the Angolan highlands reach northern Botswana to create a magnificent water-world filled with ethereal beauty. This is the Okavango Delta, one of earth's largest and most pristine inland deltas and home to an abundance of wildlife including over 150 mammal and 400 bird species. A must visit for wildlife enthusiasts, photographers, and adventurers alike, a safari in the Okavango and its surrounding parks and reserves is certain to instill a new appreciation for the natural world and the predator/prey relationships that are so intrinsic to life in one of our planet's greatest remaining wilderness areas.
Our adventure begins in Livingstone, Zambia where we're introduced to the wonders of Southern Africa through a visit to spectacular Victoria Falls. From Livingstone, we cross into Botswana where our exploration focuses on showcasing the variety of different ecosystems present in, and adjacent to, the Okavango including the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, where game concentrations are high and opportunities to see apex predators including lion, leopard, spotted hyena and African wild dog abound; the Moremi Game Reserve, where a mosaic of waterways, floodplains, marshlands and dry woodland supports an abundance of birdlife as well as buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, and numerous antelope species; and the Chobe River where large herds of elephants gather for their daily baths and hippos peer out from the river's cooling waters. To ensure we gain the most from our safari experience, we're escorted throughout by a highly-trained professional guide intimately familiar with Botswana's fauna, flora and regional geology. Our evenings are spent in remote, deluxe safari camps with individual tented rooms containing comfortable beds and bedding, en-suite bathrooms with running water and hot showers, and wonderful views of the surrounding wilderness. We travel between camps in light aircraft allowing for less time on the road and more time to enjoy unforgettable game drives, mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) excursions on the Delta's tranquil waterways and time in the camps themselves to relax and soak in the magical sights and sounds of the African bush.
Looking for more safari options in Botswana’s magical Okavango Delta? Check out our Botswana Adventure Safari – Okavango Delta & Kalahari Desert or our Botswana Adventure Safari – Okavango Delta.
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 Classic Safari – Okavango Delta Itinerary:
Day 1 Welcome to Africa! Meet your guide in Livingstone, Zambia and tour spectacular Victoria Falls. Sunset cruise on the Zambezi tonight.
Day 2 Cross into Botswana and watch for elephant, hippo, and crocodile on a river cruise in Chobe National Park. Fly to Savuti Camp.
Days 3-4 Search for lion, African wild dog, and large elephant herds on exciting game drives in the 300,000-acre Linyanti Wildlife Reserve.
Days 5-6 Fly to remote Little Vumbura and discover the tranquil beauty of the Okavango Delta through mokoro and boat excursions.
Days 7-9 Explore the mosaic of habitats surrounding Chitabe camp, one of the best game-viewing destinations in the Okavango.
Day 10 Say farewell to your guide and traveling companions in Maun, Botswana before 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 at deluxe safari camps 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 10; professional guide accompaniment throughout; all daily actvities (game drives, mokoro/boat excursions);guided tour of Victoria Falls; Chobe River boat cruise; transfer from Livingstone airport to Toka Leya on Day 1; all soft drinks, beer, fruit juice, mineral water and house wine.
Round-trip international airfare to Livingstone/from Maun; 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 Okavango Delta Classic Safari departure dates coincide with the Botswana winter and spring months, an ideal time to be in the Delta. Rainfall is uncommon in the Okavango during these months and vegetation will dry up as the season progresses making wildlife viewing easier. The temperature variances between day and night are more pronounced with average daytime temperatures generally falling between the high 70s and low 90s (warmer in October than in July/August) and nighttime temperatures often dropping into the 40s. Although midday temperatures are always warm, early morning and nighttime game drives can be quite cool and participants should plan on following the recommendations on our Gear List and bringing some warm clothing.
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. 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 Classic Safari – Okavango Delta
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.