Botswana Vacation | Family Safari

Days

12

Journey Type

Botswana Vacation | Family Safari

Cities and Landmarks

Arusha, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, Zanzibar

Days

12

Journey Type

Botswana Vacation | Family Safari

Cities and Landmarks

Arusha, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, Zanzibar

Overview

Children of all ages are fascinated by wildlife.  The opportunity for you to show them some of Earth’s most iconic species in their natural habitat is therefore one to embrace.  Not only will they grow a deeper appreciation for Nature in all her glory, but it will also serve as a bonding experience for you all, as memories are formed, to be shared for generations.

For you and your loved ones to experience some of Africa’s incredible wildlife together, we have curated the Botswana Family Safari, affording your family the opportunity to travel in style to southern Africa. You begin with an overnight stay in Johannesburg, before winging your way to three of Botswana’s premier wildlife camps.  Each destination is hand-picked for its family-friendly hospitality.

To start, you will stay in the semi-arid Central Kalahari Game Reserve.  This is the home of legendary black-maned Lions – some of the largest in Africa.  This unique desert habitat holds a surprising abundance and diversity of life.  Aside from lion, this is an ideal habitat for cheetah, while sightings of leopard and brown hyena are a special treat.

Next, you travel north to one of the largest inland deltas on Earth – the Okavango Delta is a lush oasis both for wildlife and visitors.  With the largest population of African elephants found in Botswana, the abundant water and the plant life it nourishes is an irresistible drawcard.  Antelope and plains game are prolific, as are the predators.  You will visit two camps within the delta – each presenting a different aspect of its beauty.

And finally, you visit the vast wilderness of the Linyanti and Savuti region.  This area truly lives up to the exotic ring of its name.  Many of the most iconic wildlife documentaries featuring Botswana’s predators were filmed in this region – so you can expect an action-packed time in the company of guides whose passion will inspire you.  Like one big family, all of Nature strives for a common good, where none can thrive without the other.  And we hope that our Botswana Family Safari will inspire you and yours to a similar legacy.  

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

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

This morning you will fly from Johannesburg to Maun International Airport in Botswana.  Then you board a charter flight to your first safari destination, Kalahari Plains Camp in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. 

Kalahari Plains Camp overlooks a vast plain, scarcely contained in 360-degree horizons beneath an impossibly blue dome of the sky.  For many of the visitors, particularly those from busy cities, a striking feature is an almost deafening silence.  The strange absence of familiar sounds seeps into your consciousness, inducing a state of relaxed euphoria.  

The focal point of the camp is a traditional wood and thatch structure consisting of a comfortable lounge, dining area and bar – all of which flow out onto a broad deck, with a sparkling swimming pool.  This is the place to socialize with the other guests, sharing safari tales over drinks or while enjoying delicious meals.  

The camp accommodates guests in eight en-suite canvas units including a larger family unit – each spaced to allow for maximum privacy and appreciation of the surrounding landscape.  Spacious and airy, the suites are comfortably furnished in tones that reflect the warm climate and San culture.  A highlight for many – the kids especially – is to venture onto the elevated Star Deck at night.  Aside from the possible thrill of catching passing wildlife in your flashlights’ beam, you can also count the passing satellites and wish upon the falling stars.  Of course, wishes are meant to be secret, but we are confident most will be wishing for amazing wildlife sightings.

During your stay at Kalahari Plains, your guides will paint a picture over the landscape, explaining both this interdependence and the fascinating life cycles of the resident wildlife.  Once submerged beneath an inland sea, the Kalahari of today is a place where water is the most precious commodity.  The annual Summer rains fall for 1-4 months annually, transforming the sandy desert floor into a carpet of multi-colored flowers and bright green grasses.

With this, the herds arrive – springbok, wildebeest, zebra, and a variety of plains game.  All congregate to feed on the bounty.  In the mixed woodlands, browsing species such as kudu and giraffe nibble at fresh buds, while warthogs gather fallen fruits and pods.  An iconic antelope of the region, the oryx (known locally as gemsbok) are desert specialists, found year-round and able to survive long periods without water.  After the relative famine of the dry season, a feast is unleashed.  And sitting at the top of the food chain are the predators – lion, cheetah, painted wolves, leopard and brown hyena. 

As the camp falls within a national park, offroad driving and night-drives are not permitted, but this will likely not detract from the quantity and quality of sightings you enjoy.  Game drives are undertaken in the cooler hours; early morning and late afternoon.

Among the staff, some are descendants of the indigenous San people, and they proudly lead guests on short interpretative walks near the camp – highlighting their traditions and relationship with the Kalahari environment.  Moving further afield walks in the company of your guide to examine the smaller creatures, along with their tracks, as well as the uses of various plants endemic to the area.  Both resident and migratory birds will also be pointed out in the course of the various activities.

In the evenings, the guides will share some more of their astronomical knowledge as they point out some of the constellations visible in the night sky – unsullied by either light or industrial pollution. 

Kalahari Plains Camp

Okavango Delta

Today you fly by light aircraft, heading northwards to Seba Camp – your home for the next three nights.  As you rise above the landscape, you will marvel at how it transforms.  Leaving the arid Kalahari behind, you will begin to notice more greens in the palette below.  Then fingers of water appear, thickening as you progress, becoming channels and ultimately the rivers that constitute the sprawling fan of the Okavango Delta – the Jewel of the Kalahari.

For several months every year, the delta is inundated by floodwaters from the north, carrying microscopic nutrients which are deposited as the water slows and ultimately disappears into the Earth.  These are absorbed by a proliferation of plants, which in turn are fed on by diverse herbivore species, and these attract the attention of predators – from the diminutive elephant shrew to the mighty lion.  

Seba is perfectly situated to take advantage of both the aquatic and land-based attractions of the delta.  Situated on the banks of Hunda Island, it overlooks a perennial lagoon – a natural attraction for the area’s wildlife.  As with Kalahari Plains, a central structure accommodates an open plan (and open-sided) social area – with lounge seating and an indoor dining area.  These lead out from under the thatched roof to an open-air dining area, as well as a sun deck, where you will also find the swimming pool flanked by shaded loungers.

Accommodation is provided in eight luxurious and spacious tents – including two larger units specifically for families staying together (these even have their own plunge pools).  The tents are furnished with understated luxury – in muted tones echoing the color outside.  Large en-suite bathrooms (two each in the family tents) and fans, complement the creature comforts.  Outdoors you have a viewing deck commanding a view of the surrounding landscape.  We’ll leave it up to you whether to let the kids know there is free wi-fi.

Seba Camp is said to be the most child-friendly of all the camps in the Okavango Delta; with the philosophy that, as future custodians, it is wise to instill a love for nature at a young age.  For the young ones, supervised cooking lessons, scrapbooking and painting are offered, while slightly older kids can go fishing (on a catch-and-release basis) with one of the guides.  With special permission from the VIK’s (Very Important Kids), well-behaved adults can join in the fun too.

Traditional delta safari activities are offered daily, conducted by experienced guides whose mission is to bring the environment to life in a manner that is informative and relatable.  Since the camp is located on a private concession, off-road driving and night drives are allowed.  As before, the game-drives depart in the early morning and late afternoon – continuing into the darkness with the chance of seeing serval, aardvark, aardwolf, porcupine, bushbabies and more.  The game-drive vehicles accommodate only 7 passengers, ensuring an unencumbered view for all.

The concession is blessed with excellent game-viewing of both predator and prey species. The diverse habitats present are home to an equally diverse range of species.  Plains game include giraffe, warthog, tsessebe, lechwe and other antelope.  And of the predators, leopards are commonly sighted, along with spotted hyenas and painted wolves, both of which occasionally make dens in the vicinity.  Of late, lions have also been making their presence known, both visually and audibly.

Water-based activities will depend largely on the water levels.  They include traveling the river in a speedboat to go fishing, or slipping through the narrower channels in a mokoro, hoping to spot a rare Pel’s fishing owl or otter. 

On foot, you can take a more grounded approach to learn about the environment, while an optional extra is to rise above it all in a helicopter to get a birds’ eye view of this wetland paradise.  

Seba Camp

Kwedi Concession

Today, you depart Seba, flying northeast to your next delta destination – Vumbura Plains.  Your new guide awaits at the airstrip, ready to deliver you to your home for the next 3 nights.  As you approach the camp, it appears to float on the water, set as it is, amid the waterways of the delta.

You will be welcomed by the friendly staff, most of whom grew up in the area and are employed in a wonderful partnership between the local community and the camps’ management.  Your first impression of the camp is sure to be one of awe.  The structures would not look out of place in an architectural digest, while the décor and furnishings are both simple and luxurious – reflecting the surrounding environment in the colors and materials used.  

The main building is the focal point of the camp, where guests can congregate for drinks, meals, and game-spotting from the expansive deck and adjacent pool, and from which most activities depart.  Authentic African objet d’arts, including locally produced basket-ware, add character to the spaces.

Meals at the camp are a grand affair, whether indoors if the weather is not favorable, or under the stars outside.  The cuisine is a never-ending array of delight – sure to appeal to the tastes of the whole family.

Accommodation at Vumbura Plains is provided in airy tented suites, each with bespoke fittings and furnishings of a superior standard.  The larger family suites, consist of two en-suite sleeping areas, joined by a common viewing deck (with a plunge pool).  The suites have a comfortable lounge area and there is also an outdoor shower.  Popular with many, the camps’ trained masseuse will visit your suite to pamper with her healing hands.

Vumbura Plains stands out amongst the camps of the delta, in that it is usually possible to participate in both land and water-based activities year-round.

Lush, waterlogged grasslands known as “melapo” attract healthy numbers of giraffe, impala, kudu, zebra, lechwe and more.  Large herds of buffalo and elephant graze and browse to their hearts’ content.  Proud sable and roan antelope prefer drier terrain, while lechwe and puku like to be close to water  There is also no shortage of predators – from the tabby-sized African wildcat to brawny lions, and from solitary cheetah to gregarious painted wolves – all intent on securing their next meal.  You can expect to see these on the twice-daily game-drives, and with a bit of luck, your guide will also find you one or more of the nocturnal ‘specials’ – civet, serval, pangolin or aardvark with the spotlight, after dark.

The semi-aquatic sitatunga is most comfortable in the reeds, and your best chance of spotting one of these elusive antelope is in a dugout mokoro.  Gliding quietly through the narrow channels is a heart-stopping thrill not to be missed.  The other aquatic activity is to zip along the broader channels in a speedboat, for sightings of hippos and crocodiles, sunning themselves on the river banks.

Walks are offered, and best taken in the early morning before the sun reaches its zenith.  The birdlife in this verdant landscape is spectacularly diverse, and you will soon be able to differentiate waterbirds from their terrestrial relatives – perhaps even learning to imitate the distinctive call of the tiny pearl-spotted owlets, whose strident call attracts curious birds from the thickets.

And lastly, Vumbura Plains offers the opportunity to soar with the eagles and vultures.  You can choose between a helicopter flight or a more sedate balloon safari.  Either way, the colorful landscape below will take your breath away. 

Vumbura Plains Camp

Linyanti Concession

All too soon, it is time to leave Vumbura and the delta, flying northwards to your final destination for two nights, on the banks of the Linyanti River  – DumaTau.  The name means ‘the roar of a  lion’ and the camp itself makes a similarly bold statement!  Overlooking the broad river, the camp commands serene views over the floodplains.  Rafts of hippo honk in contentment, and waterfowl proliferate in a variety of color and sounds.

The camp is favored for its extremely spacious accommodation.  Dotted along the riverbank and spaced for your privacy, each of the tented suites has a comfortable lounge and a large en-suite bathroom open to the outdoors.  A large deck with a plunge pool is the ideal place from which to spot wildlife or take a siesta.  The larger family suite is decorated with lovely mosaics and décor that reflects the heritage of the area, incorporating rich colors and intricate patterns.

In a cool open-plan setting, the central hub boasts an inviting lounge, library, dining area and bar.  Here you can catch up with fellow guests and the charming staff, whether to enjoy the cuisine or gather for your next safari activity.  Consistent with the previous destinations, there will be no shortage of magnificent delights coming out of the kitchen.  To pamper your outer body, visit the spa for a range of wellness treatments or do a workout in the gym.

Naturally, the broad Linyanti River running past the camp invites you to explore its secrets.  To find these, join one of the water-based activities on offer.  In speedboats, you could set off on a catch-and-release fishing expedition, or go bird-watching.  Incidentally, the area is regarded as of international importance for birdlife.  

If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, a sunset cruise on the barge, complete with a bar and a range of delicious canapes is a scenic highlight not to be missed.

The Linyanti Reserve and adjacent Savuti Channel are prime habitats for lions – in fact, it was in this vicinity that they were first documented hunting hippos.  Leopard, cheetah, hyena and painted wolves are also frequently spotted.

Some of the largest breeding herds of elephants in the world are to be found in the mopane woodland, making their way to and from the water.  The region is also home to red lechwe, Burchell’s zebra, giraffe, buffalo, and warthog.  Daily, game-drives depart in the early morning and late afternoon, with the latter concluding under the beam of a spotlight – in the hopes of perhaps being witness to a leopard’s stealth as it stalks in near silence towards unsuspecting prey.

Guided walks, often taken after breakfast, are a handy way to burn off calories, while simultaneously learning about this valuable ecosystem and the smaller creatures that populate it.  Helicopter flights give you an aerial perspective of this vast 95,000-hectare wilderness. 

DumaTau Camp

Johannesburg and Homeward Bound

Departing DumaTau, you fly to Maun Airport, and onward to OR Tambo International Airport, for your connecting flight home.  Here, 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