For families, thereÂ’s no topping the adventure of an African wildlife safari, and in Africa, itÂ’s hard to top Botswana. Big game is abundant here, and you get amazingly close from private tented camps, situated deep within the bush and far from tourist crowds. In a world of rapidly vanishing natural treasures, the chance for a family to experience the wonders of Africa together is an unsurpassed gift. This Botswana safari takes you to one of the planetÂ’s last great wild places. Watch a cheetah sprint across the savannah, or study the green glow of a hyenaÂ’s eyes at night, and wildlife takes on a whole new meaning. This family-safe African safari is an incredible family adventure vacation.
Day 1: Livingstone, Zambia & Victoria Falls
The marvels of Africa begin on arrival, with a tour of Victoria Falls. Over a mile wide, this is the largest cataract in the world, plunging 320 feet into the Zambezi Gorge. Toka Leya upstream, replete with contemporary elegance, overlooks the Zambezi, where hippos are often seen. This evening, you will enjoy a sunset safari cruise before dinner.
Days 2-4: Chobe National Park / Linyanti
By road and ferry, you reach BotswaÂnaÂ’s Chobe National Park, home to AfricaÂ’s largest elephant herds Â– a population that exceeds 70,000. On your boat cruise down the Chobe River you sometimes see 500 of them in a single day. Chobe is also rich in predators, and you keep watch for all the big cats. Water birds abound as well as hippos and crocodiles. Later you depart by light aircraft for the Linyanti Concession. There are few experiences that compare with flying over the African landscape, watching game on the move below. Entering the private reserve of Linyanti, you are in dramatic big-game country. Its tree-dotted plains are home to lions, leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas and packs of wild dogs, all of which you may see on game drives. Elephants sometimes spray themselves with water from the river. Glide through its channels on a canoe trip (hippo conditions permitting), silently observing wildlife in the marshes. As night falls, youÂ’ve never seen so many stars glittering in the black sky.
Days 5-6: Selinda Concession
Fly to Selinda, the seasonally floodÂed region in the northeast OkavanÂgo Delta. It is an area of exceptional game diversity, and you may see elephant, lions, leopards, cheetahs and packs of wild dogs on the open floodplains. Hammocks beckon for afternoon siestas beneath the shade trees, when the animals are resting, too. A "scat hunting walk" teaches you more about the different species within this complex ecosystem. You stay at Lechwe Trails, a secluded tented camp far from other visitors. Your canvas-domed tented camp provides a secluded base from which to explore this private reserve on day and night game drives and bush walks.
Days 7-8: Moremi Game Reserve, Okavango Delta
Fly to Moremi Game Reserve in the heart of the Okavango Delta, a vast green oasis teeming with life. As the river spreads over the sands of the Kalahari Desert, it creates a labyrinth of channels, lagoons and wetlands, which you explore by mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe. Watch for lechwe and impala browsing in the grass as well as elephant, giraffes, buffalo and crocodiles. You stay on an island at Xigera, a private adventure camp, for the ultimate delta immersion.
Days 9-10: Kalahari Desert
You fly to Maun, then drive to the Makgadikgadi Pans and a new tented camp. These salt pans in the Kalahari are the largest in the world, the bleached remains of an ancient lake. During the dry season their bleached, cracked surface looks like an abstract jigsaw puzzle. Surprisingly in such a stark environment, life abounds. Hyenas, oryx and springboks are some of the desert-adapted species you may see. A host of activities awaits at the private expedition camp, including up-close encounters with meerkats, a possible cultural walk with Bushman (San) residents and a chance to ride quad bikes on the salt flats in an ecologically sensitive manner.
Day 11: Maun / Home
Reluctantly, but with memories for a lifetime, you transfer to Maun Airport for flights home.