Botswana Teenage Safari
Escape on this family safari adventure to the untouched wilderness of Botswana. Experience some of the most diverse and wildlife-rich habitats on Earth as you explore the varied game reserves of Moremi, Kalahari and Chobe. Ride a mokoro canoe in the Okavango Delta for a very unique gliding experience. Take in the vastness of the Kalahari Desert and the sensational Makgadikgadi salt Pans. What better finale than a visit to the stunning Victoria Falls - "the smoke that thunders!"
Moremi Game Reserve
Take an overnight flight to Johannesburg and then a short connecting flight to Maun.
On arrival into Botswana you will be met at the airport at 14:30 and transferred to the Moremi Game Reserve to begin your Botswana Adventure.
If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability) and will pick you up from the hotel prior to meeting the rest of the group at the airport.
The fifth largest town in Botswana, Maun is known as the Gateway to the Delta. Although officially still a village, it has developed rapidly from a rural frontier town and its eclectic mix of modern buildings and native huts have spread along the Thamalakane River. It now has shopping centres, hotels and lodges, although it retains a rural atmosphere and local tribesmen continue to bring their cattle to Maun to sell.
Moremi Mobile Camping - 2 nights
Moremi Game Reserve /Maun
We awake in the Moremi Game Reserve, one of the finest wilderness areas in Botswana. Proclaimed a wildlife reserve by the Batawana people in 1963, it was the first wildlife sanctuary to be created by an African tribe in their own area, and as such it is unique. The landmark act was described at the time as a shining mark in African tribal history. It is a rich and fascinating area, which is an intricate part of the Okavango Delta.
The area is comprised of permanently swamped areas, lily-covered wetlands, seasonally swamped area and also dry land. After breakfast, we head off on a game drive in search for giraffe, hyena, kudu, elephant, hippo, crocodile, buffalo, lion and leopard.
At sunset there is plenty of time to relax and absorb the sounds and beauty of this region. Later, we dine under the stars and no doubt exchange stories around the blazing camp fire, often called the Bush TV!
The next day our Okavango adventure begins as we 4WD to the Mokoro (canoe) Station. Here we meet the mokoro guides and get assigned to your mokoro. We will travel two to three people per canoe with a local guide.
Our safari begins as our poler skillfully transports us along the Delta. Gliding silently along the water allows great game viewing opportunties that are sure take your breathe away at times! A quick stop for a picnic lunch on one of the islands gives us the chance to stretch our legs.
Formed by the Okavango River as it flows from the highlands of Angola down to a basin on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta is unlike anything else in the world. The river has no outlet from the desert and spreads out into thousands of small streams to form a wilderness that is totally unspoilt. The 16,000 sq km maze of wetlands is a wonderland of clear meandering waterways, green islands, lush plains and prolific wildlife. The delta is filled with a diversity of flora and fauna that includes hippos, crocodiles, elephants and the big cats. However, it's not for the game that we come as it can't always be found. The delta is about exploring one of the world's most fascinating ecosystems.
Moremi mobile camping - 1 night
Sedia Lodge camping - 1 night
Today we make our way to the Kalahari Desert ( approximately 3.5 hours ) a region which makes up two thirds of Botswana.
In the afternoon, enjoy a cultural experience and learn about the San Bushmen people. The Kalahari is the largest remaining territory for the San, who are one of Africa's oldest peoples. The San once roamed over most of Africa, however now there are only small numbers in Botswana and Namibia. Spend the day discovering their fascinating culture and going on bush walks to learn about how they track animals and survive in the wilderness.
Later, we reach our campsite and the camping safari adventure begins. We set up camp on a private concession just outside of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Kids will love the freedom of being outdoors and getting stuck in with the chores of the day. In the evening, take the chance to learn some of the star formations in the Southern Hemisphere's clear skies.
The next day we explore the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, one of the largest protected areas on earth.
Making an early start, we drive to Deception Valley (approximately 3 hours). This is the second largest game reserve in the world. Wildlife such as gemsbok, springbok and wildebeest can be spotted. The chances of seeing the king of the jungle are good, as there are numerous prides plus cheetah and jackal residing in the reserve.
There are also some interesting drought resistant plants that have evolved to survive these harsh conditions. Later, return to camp.
Dinaka Lodge Camping - 2 nights
Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
Pack up camp this morning and head off on a long journey to Gweta (approx 5 hours driving). Today is a long travelling day and a chance to rest a little ready for your next adventures. Gweta is a traditional thatched village with towering palm trees, grey sand, vagrant donkeys and horses, and a petrol station. Gweta in San means "where the big frogs meet". You set up camp for overnight beside some large Baobab trees, this distinctive African tree is very unique and appears rather like it has been planted upside down.
The following day, set off on a drive to Nata (approx 2 hours).
Makgadikgadi Pans is an impressively large area of 12,000 square kilometres. About 2 million years ago the Okavango Delta and the pans were part of an enormous lake that flooded across northern Botswana. The deepest parts of the basin became todays Makgadikgadi Pans. The surfaces of the pans are a smooth, blemish free grey clay.
The feeling of space, together with the silence and isolation is strikingly overwhelming. You will only explore the area during dry season. You visit the Nata sanctuary on the Makgadikgadi Pans in the afternoon. The sanctuary hosts 165 different species of birds, including pelicans, spoonbills, eagles, ostriches and both greater and lesser flamingos seasonally visit at different times of year. In addition plains game and predators wander the sanctuary, including springbok, jackal and wildebeest.
Gweta Planet Baobab Campste - 1 night - Swimming pool
Nata Lodge Campsite - 1 night - Swimming pool
Chobe National Park
Make a drive from Nata to Kasane (approx. 5 hours). Kasane is a small town and a popular Hit the road for Kasane (approx 5 hours). Kasane is a small town and a popular access point to Chobe National Park. Arriving at our campsite, set up camp and enjoy the rest of the afternoon. Take the chance to stock up on any supplies you need from the town.
The next day starts with a game drive (approx 2.5 hours) in Chobe National Park, the park entrance is just a few minutes away from your campsite. Chobe is a raw and compelling wilderness packed with game. The park was created in 1968 and named after the river that passes through it. Watch for herds of elephant and buffalo, rhino, giraffe, kudu, hyena, waterbuck, eland and other game.
This afternoon take a cruise on the river (3 hours) where you can watch out for elephants on the waters edge or crossing the river next to you. Spot hippo lazing in their pods and spot water monitor lizzards and crocodiles basking in the sunshine on the river edge.
Thebe River Safaris - Camping - 2 nights
This morning we leave Botswana behind and enter Zimbabwe (approx 2 hours drive).
This afternoon we get to check out one of the most awesome sights in the world; ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’- the Smoke That Thunders (the name given to the falls by the Makololo people). The waterfalls are without a doubt one of the greatest and most unforgettably scenic spectacles in Africa, guaranteed to make your jaw drop. It’s hot and humid here, and walking through the rainforest that thrives in the spray from the falls, you can feel the immense power generated by the Zambezi River. It plummets over a width of nearly 2km into a deep gorge over 100m below, causing the ground to vibrate under your feet. The wide basalt cliff over which the falls thunder transforms the Zambezi from a wide placid river to a ferocious torrent, cutting through a series of dramatic gorges.
The next day is free - there are so many optional excursions to choose from you might not have time to do all of them! (all at additional charge) Enjoy a helicopter ride over the falls, canoeing (minimum 12 years old) or white water rafting (minimum 18 years old). You can also take some time to relax by the hotel swimming pool as your holiday draws to an end.
Many people choose to fly over the falls for the best aerial view; you can either try a flight by light aircraft, micro-light or helicopter over the falls. The ‘Flight of the Angels’, as it is known, takes its name from a passage in Livingstone’s journal. The overwhelming force and beauty of what he had just seen inspired him to write: “on sights as beautiful as this, angels in their flight must have gazed.”
Responsible Travel Note:
During your visit to the Victoria Falls area you may notice businesses offering an optional 'Walk with the Lions' experience. We recommend that Intrepid travellers bypass this activity as it is contrary to Intrepid's Responsible Travel guideline stating that we 'actively discourage the participation of Intrepid groups in activities which exploit animals - wild or domestic.' Professional wildlife conservation organisations, including Born Free and the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), advise that habituating lions to humans can shorten their life and may result in lion-human conflict issues. While there is some merit in the argument that the money that you pay for the activity goes towards lion research, we feel that the negative impacts on the lions' rehabilitation far outweigh this.
For those of you who are planning on spending a few extra days in Vic Falls there are various activities and excursions available - either on the water, on land or high above it all. Choose from white water rafting, canoeing, horse riding, abseiling or gorge swinging (please see the 'Optional Activities' below for more details on what you can see and do around Victoria Falls).
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Rainbow Victoria Falls Hotel - 2 nights - Swimming Pool
Arrive back into the UK filled with memories and stories to tell of your great African Family Adventure
Being surrounded by the African wilderness is truly unforgettable. You’ll visit a range of different habitats on this family safari holiday and encounter a wide variety of animals. You’ll head deep into Moremi Game Reserve – one of the few untouched parts of Africa – searching for wildlife in Moremi Game reserve. Buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackal, impala, and African Wild dog, they are all there. Home to some 120,000 elephants, Chobe National Park is the place to go in search of these loveable giants. The sight of a large herd spread across the landscape is an awesome spectacle.
Wide open Spaces
Two thirds of Botswana is made up by the Kalahari Desert. Visiting the central section which is a game reserve gives you an indication of the true scale of this desert region. The Makgadikgadi salt pans glisten in the sun, merging at the horizon with the blue sky to form a vastness that is breathtakingly beautiful.
Your family holiday ends at the incredible Victoria Falls. Here you’ll get soaked by the spray as the Zambezi crashes into the Batoka Gorge, and perhaps take an optional helicopter ride (additional charge) for a spectacular birds-eye view. You will soon discover why this place was called "the smoke that thunders".
Our Okavango to Victoria Falls trip is just one of our many Africa Family tours. To find out more visit our Africa holidays page.
Transport - Safari vehicle, boat, mokoro
Accommodation - Hotel (2nts), camping with facilities ( 5 nts ), camping with basic facilities (4nts)
Meals - 11 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 9 dinners