Essential Botswana

Essential Botswana

From $ 1,595 AUD


Time to break out your best Attenborough impression – you’re going on a safari. This trip doesn’t skimp on the savannah, but it mainly follows the rivers and watering holes that sustain life (human and wild) throughout Africa. Drive across the sands of the Kalahari Desert in search of rhinos, then spot elephants and warthogs while you cruise down the Okavango Delta in a dugout mokoro canoe. Camp on the floodplains of the Kwando River, and search for wildlife in Chobe National Park.

Trip Name
Essential Botswana
Last Updated
  • Safari through Chobe National Park for a chance to see lions, elephants, zebras, impalas, wildebeest, giraffes, leopards, hyenas, jackals, warthogs, baboons, monkeys and much more
  • Did you know that rhinos come out to play when the sun goes down? Let us prove it to you during a sunset 4WD through the Khama Rhino Sanctuary.
  • Try and tell the difference between your buddy’s snores and the sound of wild hippos while camping in the heart of the Okavango wilderness.
  • There's nothing more relaxing than feeling the African sun on your face as you lie back in a mokoro, eyes closed while your expert poler propels you through the Okavango Delta.
  • Elephants never forget, and you won’t forget them either. Cruise down the river in Chobe National Park, home of the world's highest concentration of African elephants.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust. Donations help employ a team of Community Guardians who collaborate with locals to find sustainable solutions to human-wildlife conflict and conservation in Southern Africa.


ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. ROAD CONDITIONS AND INFRASTRUCTURE IN AFRICA: Roads in Africa are often in very poor condition, which makes it hard on our vehicles. Our vehicles are serviced regularly and are generally in good condition, but breakdowns can and do happen. Sometimes the going on this trip is quite tough, the distances covered fairly large and some of the roads and tracks are not exactly smooth or free from dust, but the rewards are exceptional. The travelling times indicated in our Essential Trip Information is just a rough guide and is dependent on various factors that may be outside our control, such as road conditions, weather and time spent at borders. DRIVE TIMES: The travel times listed in the day to day itinerary are a guide only. Please be aware that delays may occur and please be patient - it's all part of the experience afterall! Additionally, the travel times do not include time spent on game drives as these can vary with each departure.

Day 1 - Johannesburg
Sawubona! Welcome to South Africa. Touch down in Jo’burg (as the locals like to call it). You’ve got a free day before you join up with your crew at a 6 pm welcome meeting tonight. We recommend visiting the eye-opening Apartheid Museum to start your journey with some crucial history before meeting up with your group. After your important meeting this evening, why not head out for an optional group dinner and get to know your newfound travel crew? Your leader can point you in the right direction with bar and restaurant recommendations.
Day 2 - Khama Rhino Sanctuary
See ya South Africa – cross the border into Botswana and travel toward the Khama Rhino Sanctuary. It sits on the Kalahari Desert, and is an old hunting area transformed into a conservation project. It now protects what’s left of Botswana's black and white rhino populations, but there are plenty of other beasties hanging around too – zebras, giraffes, leopards, ostriches and wildebeest, all of which chill out around many natural waterholes. Not only do you get to check out awesome animals here, but you’ll also be benefitting local communities and helping protect the white rhino. When the sun begins to set, hop in a jeep to see the rhinos at their most active. About 35 rhinos roam around this 400 ha community-based reserve. Don't forget your binoculars, or you'll be getting them confused with big rocks.
Day 3 - Maun
Get up real early, jump aboard the truck and head to Maun. Catch up on your beauty sleep or play some roadtrip games to get know your crew better. This journey also includes a free massage service (meaning the road might get a little bumpy). In Maun there’s the chance to stock up on any supplies you might need for the journey ahead – maybe hats, sunscreen and scarves (for the morning chill and the afternoon sun). Maun’s the gateway to one of the world's most renowned and complex ecosystems, the Okavango Delta. This is a one-of-a-kind kinda place – a 16,000 sq km maze of wetlands made up of meandering waterways, green islands, lush plains and loads of wildlife. You might see hippos, crocodiles, elephants and big cats. But honestly it's not really the animals that are the main attraction – it's the incredibly diverse ecosystem and atmospheric waterscapes. Tonight you'll stay on the outskirts of Maun at a simple campsite with shared facilities, wi-fi and optional upgrades.
Day 4 - Okavango Delta Pan Handle
Make your way to the north-western part of the Okavango Delta, close to the Pan Handle. Now’s the time to find out everything about your fellow travellers – you’ll be old mates by the end of it. Leave the truck at some secure parking and take a 4WD transfer for the last 12 km. Your destination for the next two nights sits on the edge of the Guma Lagoon area. Set up camp and relax on the edge of the lagoon for the rest of the afternoon, then fall asleep to the sounds of the African bush at night – is that noise a hippo or your mate snoring?
Day 5 - Okavango Delta Pan Handle
Today, you get to paddle the mighty Okavango Delta. There's nothing more relaxing than feeling the African sun on your face as you lie back in a mokoro (traditional dugout canoe), while your expert poler propels you down calm waters through papyrus and reed beds to lily covered lagoons and islands. Watch out for elephants, lechwe, warthogs, sitatunga and other plains game in the open. Stop at one of the islands for a swim before returning to camp. If you are interested in the culinary side of Southern Africa, feel free to join your cook for an in-depth cooking class while they prepare tonight's meal.
Day 6 - Kwando River (Caprivi Strip)
This morning, transfer in the 4WDs back to the truck and then make your way to the border to cross into Namibia. Your next camp is on the banks of the Kwando River, in the Caprivi Strip. This strip of land is sandwiched between Botswana and Angola and connects with Zambia and Zimbabwe at its end. Take the opportunity to discover your new surroundings on our favorite mode of transportation - a mokoro. On your return, maybe relax at your camp or jump on one of the optional activities, like the late afternoon boat trip, or a game drive in Mudumu Game Park (look out for buffalo, elephants, antelope and zebras). You can also take a village tour, or join in on a fishing trip – the locals will give you the heads up on the best spots.
Day 7 - Chobe National Park
This morning, zip over to the edge of Chobe National Park, further through the Caprivi Strip and back into Botswana. Botswana's first national park is perhaps best known for its high concentration of elephants, which can often be seen swimming in the Chobe River. The river also attracts wallowing hippos, lots of birdlife, crocodiles sunning themselves and cheetahs and lions venturing out for a drink. When you arrive, you can head out on an optional late afternoon boat cruise on the river. A sunset cruise is an ideal way to spend the afternoon and toast to another day in Africa. Or, just kick back at camp with a book and relax.
Day 8 - Chobe National Park
Today, you'll head out on a 4WD game drive in Chobe National Park. There's a huge range of wildlife here, all packed into one tiny area, making it unlike anywhere else in the world! Huge herds of buffalo and elephants are often seen roaming around the savannah, matched by the size of the local lion prides. An estimated 70,000 Kalahari elephants roam the park, too – these majestic beasts are the largest known subspecies of elephant in the world. As well as these fantastic creatures, you might also see zebras, impalas, wildebeest, giraffes, lions, leopards, hyenas, jackals, warthogs, baboons, monkeys and heaps of birds!
Day 9 - Victoria Falls
This morning there will be time to join an optional game drive in the Chobe National Park. Then, it’s on to the town of Victoria Falls this afternoon. Cross the border into Zimbabwe and arrive in the early afternoon. Before your trip officially ends, your leader will provide a quick orientation walk through town. There is so much to discover in Victoria Falls that it's highly recommended you stay a few extra days. If you'd like to extend your stay, just speak to your booking agent.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
20-07-202428-07-2024AUD $ 2,040-
10-08-202418-08-2024AUD $ 1,905-
14-09-202422-09-2024AUD $ 1,905-
19-10-202427-10-2024AUD $ 1,805-
02-11-202410-11-2024AUD $ 1,770-
14-12-202422-12-2024AUD $ 1,595-
08-02-202516-02-2025AUD $ 1,685-
22-03-202530-03-2025AUD $ 1,685-
19-04-202527-04-2025AUD $ 1,750-
17-05-202525-05-2025AUD $ 1,685-
31-05-202508-06-2025AUD $ 1,685-
14-06-202522-06-2025AUD $ 1,750-
12-07-202520-07-2025AUD $ 1,750-
26-07-202503-08-2025AUD $ 1,820-
16-08-202524-08-2025AUD $ 1,820-
06-09-202514-09-2025AUD $ 1,820-
27-09-202505-10-2025AUD $ 1,820-
18-10-202526-10-2025AUD $ 1,750-
01-11-202509-11-2025AUD $ 1,685-
15-11-202523-11-2025AUD $ 1,685-
13-12-202521-12-2025AUD $ 1,685-
07-02-202615-02-2026AUD $ 1,650-
18-04-202626-04-2026AUD $ 1,650-
16-05-202624-05-2026AUD $ 1,650-
13-06-202621-06-2026AUD $ 1,650-
11-07-202619-07-2026AUD $ 1,650-
25-07-202602-08-2026AUD $ 1,650-
15-08-202623-08-2026AUD $ 1,650-
05-09-202613-09-2026AUD $ 1,650-
26-09-202604-10-2026AUD $ 1,650-
17-10-202625-10-2026AUD $ 1,650-
14-11-202622-11-2026AUD $ 1,650-
12-12-202620-12-2026AUD $ 1,650-


Camping (with facilities) (6 nights),Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nights),Hotel (1 night)


Overland vehicle,4WD safari vehicle,Mokoro