Okavango Experience

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Okavango Experience

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Description

See southern Africa’s iconic waterfalls, rivers and inland canals on this ten-day Lonely Planet Experience – an overland journey highlighting the magic of Mother Nature. Canoe down the lush waterways of the Okavango Delta, watch hippos wallowing along the shores of the Chobe River, be mesmerised by the mirage of Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and marvel at the crashing white water of Victoria Falls. Pack a camera and an eye for adventure because these lush pockets of wilderness will reward you with incredible animal encounters, awesome photography opportunities and memories to last a lifetime.

Trip Name
Okavango Experience
Last Updated
2020-02-22
Days
10
Capacity
22
Highlights
  • Support local conservation efforts by visiting the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, the only place left in Botswana where both black and white rhinos reside.
  • Go wildlife-spotting with your small group and expert guides along the river at Chobe National Park, home to the world's highest concentration of African elephants.
  • Camping on a remote island in the heart of the Okavango wilderness is an experience you’ll never forget. As the sun sets and night falls, the sounds of Africa come alive.
  • Explore the magnificent Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, some of the largest salt flats in the world. These mind-bending plains make for some magical photography.
  • Your first glimpse of the thundering Victoria Falls is undeniably captivating. With additional time for optional adventures, you’ll get to view the waterfalls from all angles!

Itinerary

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 is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. 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 only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be 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 leader know you are interested 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 leaders 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! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early, get out and explore Johannesburg; the country’s largest city. Perhaps visit the cultural hotspots of Newtown, Braamfontein or Maboneng. Otherwise, the sobering Apartheid Museum is well worth your time. After your important meeting this evening, why not head out for an optional group dinner and get to know your newfound travel crew – your local leader will point you in the right direction with bar and restaurant recommendations.
Day 2 - Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Leaving South Africa behind, cross the border into Botswana and travel towards the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (approximately 8–10 hours). Situated on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, the Khama Rhino Sanctuary has drastically changed from a former hunting area to a conservation project. Built to protect Botswana's only remaining populations of both black and white rhinos, the sanctuary is also home to other wildlife including zebras, giraffes, leopards, ostriches and wildebeest, all of which can be seen grazing the many waterholes. Visiting this project benefits local communities and directly contributes to protecting the endangered white rhinoceros. Later on, head out on a dusk game drive to see the rhinos when they are most active.
Day 3 - Maun
Jump aboard your vehicle and head to Maun (approximately 8–9 hours). Here there will be an opportunity to stock up on any supplies you might need for your adventure ahead. Maun is the gateway to one of the world's most complex ecosystems, the Okavango Delta. This place is unlike anything in the world – a 16,000 square kilometre maze of lush wetlands and waterways teeming with wildlife. You might see hippos, crocodiles, elephants and big cats, but it's the animals aren’t the only drawcard here – the waterscapes and shimmering horizons will have you gazing for days.
Day 4 - Okavango Delta
Get right in the action today, jumping aboard a traditional mokoro – a dugout canoe steered by friendly local 'polers' – for an Okavango waterways experience. With some luck, you could spot some of the delta's unusual wildlife and exotic birdlife. Spend some time today exploring the maze of lagoons, lakes and streams on foot too, led by experienced local guides. Tonight, you’ll camp on a remote island right in the heart of the wilderness, falling asleep to the humming and buzzing of the African heartlands.
Day 5 - Okavango Delta
Wake up early and head out on a sunrise walk. Along the way, keep watch for elephants, and if the timing is right, you might also come across some Cape buffalo! These noble-looking beasts are more dangerous than they look, and their horns double as a kind of bone shield that's fittingly known as a 'boss'. Returning to camp for breakfast, you’ve got the rest of the day to relax. A refreshing swim, or perhaps a nap, could be on the cards – both good ideas in the warmer part of the day. Alternatively, take another mokoro trip to soak up that serene river atmosphere.
Day 6 - Maun
After taking down your camp, return to the ‘poler’ station by mokoro, before continuing your Lonely Planet Experience to Maun by vehicle (approximately 2–3 hours). Today you'll visit a rural village and interact with some of the locals, providing insight into daily life along the Okavango Delta. The waterways are the lifeblood of so many in this area, so learn more from locals about how important these fertile lands are. Tonight, settle in at camp on the outskirts of town.
Day 7 - Nata
Get up early and hit the road for Nata (approximately 6–7 hours). This small town is situated near the stunning Makgadikgadi Salt Pans which are some of the largest on earth, covering around 12,000 square kilometres. This afternoon, take the opportunity to explore the salt pans in an open vehicle. They are naturally dry and salty for a large part of the year, and during this time, the arid landscape has an eerie feel to it as the shimmering mirages disorientate the senses. At other times they take on a layer of grass and, as soon as the rains hit, become a refuge for migratory birds and animals.
Day 8 - Chobe National Park
Hit the road to Chobe National Park (approximately 6–7 hours). 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, a variety of birdlife, crocodiles sunning themselves by the water's edge, and cheetahs and lions coming down to drink. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the Chobe – an ideal way to spend the afternoon and toast to another day in Africa.
Day 9 - Victoria Falls
Why not wake up early and see Chobe National Park from a different perspective, booking yourself in on an optional morning game drive. Afterwards, travel on to Victoria Falls (approximately 2–3 hours), crossing the border into Zimbabwe just in time to have lunch on the banks of the Zambezi River. Then it's free time to experience the sights and sounds of the mighty falls. This thundering curtain of water is about 1.7 kilometres wide, falling 108 metres into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise an incredible 400 metres as the falls become a raging torrent. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and you can see the little islets in the river below.
Day 10 - Victoria Falls
Your Okavango Experience ends after breakfast and there are no further activities planned. If you’re staying longer in Victoria Falls and are feeling adventurous, you might like to try whitewater rafting, canoeing and flying fox rides. For an incredible scenic helicopter flight, choose Zambezi Helicopter Company (CAA Zimbabwe), the only Intrepid-endorsed operator. Your leader can help you arrange this.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
28-02-202008-03-2020AUD $ 1,865-
13-03-202022-03-2020AUD $ 1,880-
20-03-202029-03-2020AUD $ 1,652-
27-03-202005-04-2020AUD $ 1,652-
03-04-202012-04-2020AUD $ 1,835-
05-04-202014-04-2020AUD $ 1,652-
10-04-202019-04-2020AUD $ 1,975-
17-04-202026-04-2020AUD $ 1,880-
24-04-202003-05-2020AUD $ 1,865-
26-04-202005-05-2020AUD $ 1,835-
01-05-202010-05-2020AUD $ 1,960-
03-05-202012-05-2020AUD $ 1,940-
08-05-202017-05-2020AUD $ 1,960-
15-05-202024-05-2020AUD $ 1,940-
17-05-202026-05-2020AUD $ 1,910-
22-05-202031-05-2020AUD $ 1,990-
29-05-202007-06-2020AUD $ 1,940-
05-06-202014-06-2020AUD $ 1,910-
14-06-202023-06-2020AUD $ 1,975-
19-06-202028-06-2020AUD $ 1,960-
26-06-202005-07-2020AUD $ 1,910-
03-07-202012-07-2020AUD $ 2,030-
10-07-202019-07-2020AUD $ 2,065-
17-07-202026-07-2020AUD $ 2,065-
19-07-202028-07-2020AUD $ 2,065-
24-07-202002-08-2020AUD $ 2,065-
31-07-202009-08-2020AUD $ 2,080-
02-08-202011-08-2020AUD $ 1,980-
07-08-202016-08-2020AUD $ 2,045-
14-08-202023-08-2020AUD $ 1,980-
16-08-202025-08-2020AUD $ 2,010-
21-08-202030-08-2020AUD $ 2,045-
28-08-202006-09-2020AUD $ 2,010-
30-08-202008-09-2020AUD $ 1,980-
06-09-202015-09-2020AUD $ 1,980-
11-09-202020-09-2020AUD $ 1,980-
13-09-202022-09-2020AUD $ 1,980-
18-09-202027-09-2020AUD $ 1,980-
25-09-202004-10-2020AUD $ 2,010-
02-10-202011-10-2020AUD $ 1,975-
09-10-202018-10-2020AUD $ 1,910-
16-10-202025-10-2020AUD $ 1,910-
23-10-202001-11-2020AUD $ 1,910-
30-10-202008-11-2020AUD $ 1,910-
01-11-202010-11-2020AUD $ 1,880-
06-11-202015-11-2020AUD $ 1,835-
13-11-202022-11-2020AUD $ 1,835-
20-11-202029-11-2020AUD $ 1,835-
27-11-202006-12-2020AUD $ 1,835-
04-12-202013-12-2020AUD $ 1,835-
11-12-202020-12-2020AUD $ 1,835-
18-12-202027-12-2020AUD $ 1,835-
20-12-202029-12-2020AUD $ 1,910-
25-12-202003-01-2021AUD $ 1,940-
01-01-202110-01-2021AUD $ 2,010-
08-01-202117-01-2021AUD $ 1,960-
15-01-202124-01-2021AUD $ 1,960-
22-01-202131-01-2021AUD $ 1,960-
29-01-202107-02-2021AUD $ 1,960-
05-02-202114-02-2021AUD $ 1,880-
12-02-202121-02-2021AUD $ 1,880-
19-02-202128-02-2021AUD $ 1,880-
26-02-202107-03-2021AUD $ 1,880-
05-03-202114-03-2021AUD $ 1,835-
12-03-202121-03-2021AUD $ 1,835-
19-03-202128-03-2021AUD $ 1,835-
26-03-202104-04-2021AUD $ 1,835-
02-04-202111-04-2021AUD $ 1,835-
09-04-202118-04-2021AUD $ 1,835-
16-04-202125-04-2021AUD $ 1,835-
23-04-202102-05-2021AUD $ 1,835-
30-04-202109-05-2021AUD $ 1,835-
07-05-202116-05-2021AUD $ 1,835-
14-05-202123-05-2021AUD $ 1,835-
21-05-202130-05-2021AUD $ 1,835-
28-05-202106-06-2021AUD $ 1,835-
04-06-202113-06-2021AUD $ 1,835-
11-06-202120-06-2021AUD $ 1,835-
13-06-202122-06-2021AUD $ 1,835-
18-06-202127-06-2021AUD $ 1,835-
25-06-202104-07-2021AUD $ 1,835-
02-07-202111-07-2021AUD $ 1,835-
04-07-202113-07-2021AUD $ 1,835-
09-07-202118-07-2021AUD $ 1,835-
11-07-202120-07-2021AUD $ 1,835-
16-07-202125-07-2021AUD $ 1,835-
18-07-202127-07-2021AUD $ 1,835-
23-07-202101-08-2021AUD $ 1,835-
25-07-202103-08-2021AUD $ 1,835-
30-07-202108-08-2021AUD $ 1,835-
01-08-202110-08-2021AUD $ 1,835-
06-08-202115-08-2021AUD $ 1,835-
08-08-202117-08-2021AUD $ 1,835-
13-08-202122-08-2021AUD $ 1,835-
15-08-202124-08-2021AUD $ 1,835-
20-08-202129-08-2021AUD $ 1,835-
27-08-202105-09-2021AUD $ 1,835-
29-08-202107-09-2021AUD $ 1,835-
03-09-202112-09-2021AUD $ 1,835-
05-09-202114-09-2021AUD $ 1,835-
10-09-202119-09-2021AUD $ 1,835-
12-09-202121-09-2021AUD $ 1,835-
17-09-202126-09-2021AUD $ 1,835-
24-09-202103-10-2021AUD $ 1,835-
01-10-202110-10-2021AUD $ 1,835-
08-10-202117-10-2021AUD $ 1,835-
15-10-202124-10-2021AUD $ 1,835-
22-10-202131-10-2021AUD $ 1,835-
29-10-202107-11-2021AUD $ 1,835-
05-11-202114-11-2021AUD $ 1,835-
12-11-202121-11-2021AUD $ 1,835-
19-11-202128-11-2021AUD $ 1,835-
26-11-202105-12-2021AUD $ 1,835-
03-12-202112-12-2021AUD $ 1,835-
05-12-202114-12-2021AUD $ 1,835-
10-12-202119-12-2021AUD $ 1,835-
17-12-202126-12-2021AUD $ 1,835-
24-12-202102-01-2022AUD $ 1,835-
31-12-202109-01-2022AUD $ 1,835-

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (6 nights),Bush camp (no facilities) (2 nights),Hotel (1 night)

Transport

Overland vehicle,Open safari vehicle

Map