Botswana Luxury Safari Escapes |
Top Resorts Edition

Days

10

Journey Type

Botswana Luxury Safari Escapes | Top Resorts Edition

Cities and Landmarks

Johannesburg, Okavango Delta, Kwedi, Moremi

Days

10

Journey Type

Botswana Luxury Safari Escapes | Top Resorts Edition

Cities and Landmarks

Johannesburg, Okavango Delta, Kwedi, Moremi

Overview

The Okavango Delta is a vast inland wetland, birthed by seasonal rains on the highlands of northern Angola, where two rivers begin, gaining volume and momentum, carving their way over 680 miles south.  

As the gradient of the terrain eases the rivers merge before fanning out over the land, inundating channels trod by hippos and islands formed by termites for 4 months – between March and June, before gradually subsiding, leaving a lush marsh paradise.  

Behold Okavango, the River of Dreams.  As the water spreads it brings nutrients that support an astonishing array of fauna and flora.  Then, as if exhausted – its duty done with honor – the water disappears mysteriously into the earth, giving way to the desert.

After a night of luxury in Johannesburg, you will visit three stunning camps in the heart of the delta.  Each with its particular charm and devotion to providing a superior guest experience, you will feast with lions and dine with the stars. 

LittleTubu, Little Vumbura, and Little Mombo – your gateways to the myriad channels and dusty tracks that will lead you to lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo – and an array of other indigenous species too numerous to name.  Professional guides illuminate the experience with their intimate knowledge of this precious ecosystem, while attentive hosts attend to your every comfort and wish.  

Whether in customized safari vehicles, on foot or in traditional mokoro canoes, this itinerary exemplifies the Classic Botswana Safari for everyone from honeymooners to families to adventurous friends.  

Highlights

Johannesburg

On arrival, you will be escorted to your lodgings for a night of relaxation in Johannesburg, in preparation for your family adventure.

You will stay at the elegant Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa, at which location revered African statesman, Nelson Mandela, elected to complete “Long Walk to Freedom”, the inspiring memoir of his life.

The hotel is located on an expansive property, lush with gardens and equipped to revitalize all who visit, and a refined tribute to South Africa’s heritage, as reflected in the décor and styling.

 Your family-friendly accommodation is a supremely comfortable space, fully equipped to ensure both comfort and convenience.  With a spacious lounge and dining area, you may opt to enjoy your dinner in the suite.  Alternatively, visit the on-site Qunu Restaurant and allow qualified child-minders to look after the young ones while you dine in style.

A stylish spa offers bespoke wellness treatments should you wish to have a little additional pampering. 

Saxon Hotel Villas & Spa

Okavango Delta

In the morning you will be driven to OR Tambo International Airport to catch a flight to Maun International Airport, Botswana.  From there, you board a light aircraft charter which will deliver you to Hunda Island, the location of your first camp on safari – Little Tubu, where you will lodge for three nights.  Your guide will take you to the camp, which is the smaller, more intimate sister of Tubu Tree.

Looking out over a seasonal river from the tree canopy, the camp accommodates only six pampered guests.  A central pavilion accommodates a comfortable lounge, the dining area, a bar and an expansive deck with a sparkling cool swimming pool.  Overlooking the surrounding terrain, wildlife is often spotted while enjoying refreshing cocktails.

Radiating out from here, raised wooden walkways lead to one of three elevated decks on which your spacious and fantastically well-appointed safari tent awaits.  The tents ensure guests feel as close to nature as possible, with the twitter of birdlife omnipresent along with the breeze passing through the trees.    For tweets of the other variety, your tent does have wi-fi.

It also has a private viewing deck, incorporating an outdoor shower (with en-suite facilities available if you prefer).  Fans ensure a most peaceful sleep.  That is, once you get used to the honking of hippos, the laughing hyenas and the sonorous deep-bellied roar of lions in the night.

Within the confines of the camp, the bird-hide holds a special secret.  By night it is transformed into a Star Bed – a thrilling way to further immerse yourself in the surroundings. 

Little Tubu Camp

Okavango Delta

Today your safari truly kicks into gear as you join your choice of exciting activities.  A standard offering at safari lodges is the game-drive, typically conducted in an open 4-wheel drive vehicle.  At Little Tubu, the vehicle accommodates just 7 passengers, along with your guide, thus ensuring all have an unencumbered view at sightings.  The excursions set out in the early morning and late afternoon, when the temperatures are cooler and wildlife more active.  The afternoon drives culminate with the use of powerful spotlights, used to scan for nocturnal species such as bushbabies, serval and porcupines.

Your guide will assess the viewing preferences of the group and make every effort to track down the species you’d like to see.  There is a huge variety of game, never mind the birdlife and types of vegetation.  For many, the predators hold a special appeal, and your chances of viewing lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena and painted wolves are exceptional, especially in the dry season when prey species are drawn to the waters’ edge.

Vast herds of buffalo, zebra and wildebeest graze the plains and there are numerous antelope species, from the ubiquitous impala to the regal sable, and – for the very lucky – the secretive sitatunga whose splayed, elongated hooves allow it to navigate the marshy terrain with ease.

Water-based excursions are done in either small motorboats or traditionally styled dugout canoes, known as mokoros.  The mokoros are the ideal way to navigate the narrow channels in near-silence and you never know what is around the next bend.  A crocodile might launch into the water, a hippo might surface to give you the beady eye, or perhaps you’ll encounter an old elephant bull cooling himself in the crisp, clear waters.  For keen fishermen, catch-and-release fishing for the fearsome tiger fish represents an awesome challenge.

For many, the opportunity to leave the relative safety of the camp on foot is a challenge too good to miss.  The emphasis on this activity zooms in to focus on the oft missed smaller creatures of the delta – insects, rodents and reptiles.  You will also learn about the various plants, as well as having numerous bird species pointed out to you.

An optional extra is to take flight in a helicopter to view the delta from above.  This really is a fantastic way to appreciate the vastness of the delta and spot its abundant game dotting the landscape. 

Little Tubu Camp

Kwedi Concession

Today you depart Hunda Island by light aircraft for your next destination – Little Vumbura.  As with Little Tubu, the camp is a satellite of the larger Vumbura Plains.  The camp is situated in a Wildlife Management Area which is leased from five villages through a local trust, in a partnership that ensures that the benefits of ecotourism are shared with neighboring rural stakeholders.  With many of the staff recruited from these communities, their pride in the camp is self-evident as they welcome you into its warm environment.  

Slightly larger than Little Tubu, the camp incorporates five tented suites for couples and a larger family suite.  Remote and peaceful, the camp blends into the surroundings – effectively welcoming the outdoors within to ensure a sense of immersion.  

The central feature incorporates the dining, lounge and bar area in open-sided pavilions, all of which flow out onto a large wooden deck, where you will also find a swimming pool at which to refresh yourself in the midday heat.

Follow elevated walkways to your beautifully designed and decorated tented suite – a secluded haven whose earth tones mirror the outdoors.  Spacious by any standard, your tent is luxuriously furnished with space sufficient for a small lounge and en-suite bathroom.  A private viewing deck invites the option of passing up an excursion in favor of staying in and seeing what wildlife comes by.  

Little Vumbura Camp

Kwedi Concession

The Kwedi Concession on which Little Vumbura is located is said to offer visitors the best opportunity to see one of Africa’s most endangered large carnivores.  In years gone by, uninformed hunters and conservationists viewed them as pests.  So much so that there was a bounty offered to anyone who brought in one (or often more) of their distinctive white tails.  With their preferred hunting strategy being to run down their intended prey over long distances, they required vast territories, which shrank drastically due to human encroachment.  Added to this, diseases introduced by their domestic cousins further reduced their numbers.

Today, the Painted Wolf, otherwise known as the Cape Hunting Dog or African Wild Dog are only found in areas where their existence is protected such as national parks – or environmentally conscious community concessions such as Kwedi, where Little Vumbura is located.  Due to their incredible stamina and intelligence, they have probably the highest success ratio when on the hunt.  They are highly social animals, led by an alpha pair who dominate all aspects of life, from when they sleep to when they hunt.  

Like the other camps you’ll visit, twice daily game-drives are on offer in the cooler morning and afternoon hours.  And like Tubu before, darkness means the opportunity to spot nocturnal wildlife, perhaps even being so lucky as to see lions or a leopard hunt their prey.

Water-based activities in mokoros or speedboats are also on offer while walking safaris are a great way to burn off calories amassed at the decadent meal times.

Taking to the skies (as an optional extra) is also possible.  Skimming over the delta by helicopter is an experience that few will ever get to have.  Even more exclusive is to drift in near silence over the landscapes, with the animals below all but ignorant of your presence in a hot air balloon.  Weather permitting, the balloon experience is only available from mid-April to mid-September.

Little Vumbura Camp

Moremi Game Reserve

Of the three camps you will visit on safari, we’ve saved the best for last.  The recipient of numerous international accolades, Little Mombo offers guests the very best the Delta has to offer.  Nowhere in the delta is there a higher concentration of game than is to be found on the plains and marshes of Chief’s Island, on which the camp is located.

Under a canopy of impressive old-growth trees, the camp is a shady retreat at which to savor levels of luxury one doesn’t expect in such a remote location.  As a flagship camp (along with the larger Mombo), no effort has been spared to ensure that all who visit know that they are among the privileged few.  

Recently rebuilt, and in a more eco-friendly style,, the camp exudes authentic charm.  The service is as welcoming as it is discreet, ensuring guests the privacy and serenity to fall into a near trance-like state of relaxation.  

The central hub of the camp is a place for gathering, whether it is over pre-dinner drinks at the bar, sharing safari experiences in the lounge or dining under the stars, the camp is a place of intimacy and connection.  A plunge pool makes a tempting retreat in the heat of the day.

Situated a short distance away, between Little Mombo and the main camp, you will find a larger lap pool, as well as a beautiful spa where you can choose from a selection of wellness treatments in the capable hands of qualified therapists.  A well-equipped gym is available if you feel the need to compensate for all the guilty pleasures on offer.

Raised wooden walkways lead to your accommodation which all agree is a tent in name only.  One cannot help but feel that you have stepped into a romance novel when you reach your private and extremely spacious suite.  The décor is as luxurious as you might find in the best city hotels, yet never loses touch with the environment, whose tone and hues are complementary in each.  Your suite has a lovely sala (lounge area) and a large en-suite bathroom, with an outdoor shower.  The deck area offers the tempting alternative of sleeping in one morning and letting the wildlife come to you as you take in the activity on the adjacent floodplain. 

Little Mombo Camp

Moremi Game Reserve

Botswana has an estimated population of 130,000 elephants, making it the largest wild population on the planet.  They are rigorously protected and in this largely uninhabited and undeveloped land, find the space to live their lives as nature intended them – roaming free over vast distances.  With its semi-arid climate, water can be hard to come by, making the Okavango delta a natural hotspot for the largest land mammal during the wet season.

Whether in large matriarchal herds, or lone bulls living out their senior years, few animals evoke such awe and fascination.  Aside from their size, their trunks are a most astonishing tool, equally adept at plucking a single berry from a branch as they are at pushing down a tree.  If you love elephants, you will adore Little Mombo. 

A key difference between Little Mombo and the previous camps visited is that it lies within the Moremi Game Reserve, the location of innumerable epic wildlife documentaries.  This means abundant wildlife of all types endemic to the area.  However, regulations preclude the possibility of night drives, so all excursions return to camp at dusk.  

That said, thanks to sensitive viewing practices over many years, the wildlife in this vicinity is as habituated to the presence of game-drive vehicles as you are likely to find.  Morning and afternoon game-drives set off daily with high expectations of excellent sightings.  With high populations of prey species, the resident predator populations are thriving.  

In the course of a single drive, you might be lucky enough to spot all the big cats of the area – lion, leopard and cheetah – while sightings of painted wolves are a special treat.  Large herds of buffalo, zebra and wildebeest roam the lush savannah, interspersed with red lechwe, sable, roan, impala, puku, and the comical warthogs.  As throughout the delta, birdlife is as abundant as it is varied.

As before, you will also have the opportunity to take in the surroundings on foot.  Or take to the skies on an exciting helicopter flight – at an additional cost.

As your holiday draws to an end, be sure to take a moment to soak it all in.  Few people ever leave Africa unchanged.  Its wildlife has a way of reconnecting our souls with Mother Nature, and the imperative to preserve her remaining wilderness for future generations.  No doubt, you too will have undergone this transformation.  Perhaps you will begin to miss her before you have even left.  

Little Mombo Camp

Johannesburg and Homeward Bound

As you are returned to the airport for your connecting flights to Johannesburg and onwards, meditate on the words of Africaphile Brian Jackman, 

“Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same. But how do you begin to describe its magic to someone who has never felt it? How can you explain the fascination of this vast, dusty continent, whose oldest roads are elephant paths? Could it be because Africa is the place of all our beginnings, the cradle of mankind, where our species first stood upright on the savannahs of long ago?” 

With that, we bid you a fond farewell, wishing you a pleasant journey home – with an open invitation to return.  Magical Africa Awaits!

Options & Extensions

A gorilla sitting in the woods, surrounded by tall trees and lush greenery. It looks calm and peaceful in its natural habitat.

Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

Without exception, those who have been privileged to spend time with gorillas report a near-mythical experience, as if glancing into our ancestral past.  Sharing upwards of 98% of DNA, the link between our species is undeniable.  While they are massively powerful creatures – with males weighing over 400 pounds – they are by nature shy and placid.  Primarily herbivores, they spend much of their day alternating between foraging and rest.

A picturesque beach setting under a vibrant blue sky dotted with fluffy clouds.

Zanzibar Beach Retreat

For those wishing to enjoy a little pure downtime, perhaps following an action-packed safari, our Zanzibar itinerary offers the perfect blend of luxury, simplicity and all the idyllic pleasures of beach life. We have chosen from among Zanzibar’s best beach lodges options which are suitable for either families or those seeking an intimate, sophisticated retreat surrounded by the warm, clear waters of the Indian Ocean

With table mountain in the background with blue skies, the vibrant Cape Town bay with different ships docked

In & Around Cape Town

With its spectacular landscape, diverse activities and well-developed infrastructure, Cape Town offers the modern traveler the ideal destination for leisure and adventure.  It is frequently voted among the best cities to visit on vacation by noteworthy publications – and much of the local economy thrives thanks to a robust tourist industry.  Visitors from across the spectrum are sure to find the range of accommodation, cuisine and places of cultural and historical interest highly appealing.

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Feel free to get in touch with us to begin planning your personalized dream safari today. Our team specializes in crafting bespoke safari experiences that cater to your specific preferences. Whether you’ve always dreamed of witnessing the Big Five in their natural habitat, marveling at the mesmerizing Great Migration, or simply savoring the enchanting African sunsets, we’re here to turn your safari dreams into reality.

Address

16531 Misty Hill Dr Chino Hills CA 91709

Phone

+1-855-8-AFRICA
+1-855-823-7422

Email

safaris@magicalafrica.com