This Exploration reveals the exuberant, life-filled summer season of Botswana, in prime areas where few people travel. Beginning at the “petrified” river valley of Deception Valley in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, sporadic summer rains bring plains game into the desert valleys in large numbers, followed by their predators. The always-fertile green islands of the Okavango and its crystal-clear waterways are one of the most fascinating ecosystems on the planet while the diverse and wildlife-rich Linyanti and Chobe River systems is an essential compliment to the Delta. The journey ends appropriately at the famous Victoria Falls on the Zambian side of the Zambezi River.
After arrival in Maun, you are met by your guide or our representative and fly by light aircraft to Kalahari Plains Camp airstrip, where you will transfer by road to our camp site, on a game drive transfer of approximately three hours.
Deception Valley - a prehistoric riverbed, flanked by petrified dune lands - is very appealing after brief rains, when it is covered with nutritious grasses that attract vast animal herds from all over the enormous reserve. These large congregations of desert wildlife with their young are followed by opportunistic predators, including populations of lion, cheetah, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox and African wild cat, all of which make for outstanding viewing. The rare and seldom seen brown hyaena is also sighted from time to time! Birdlife is prolific, with over 400 species in the region.
We have specifically allowed for a three-night stay in Deception Valley; on a journey of this nature and at this time, guests then have time to relax and unwind, while at the same time enjoying longer day trips that afford the opportunity to explore the further reaches of the park not normally accessed - overall, ensuring the best possible wildlife experience.
We enjoy extended wildlife game drives (with picnic lunch), taking in the game-rich Pipers Pans area of the Kalahari, as well as the Letiahau and Deception Valleys.
After a light breakfast we depart overland to Maun (approximately six hours), after which we fly by light aircraft in the afternoon to the water-filled paradise of the private Xigera area in the Moremi Game Reserve. Xigera is the Delta personified, with serene waters flowing through innumerable channels around remote islands and a profusion of plant and animal life.
Xigera Camp (pronounced Keejera) is a luxury tented camp situated in the Moremi Game Reserve in the heart of the Okavango Delta. Xigera has something for everyone, in an area where there are no other Moremi camps and where permanent water all year round allows one to enjoy a variety of activities. Enjoy a true Delta experience while you sit back in a mokoro (dugout canoe) and silently glide through the tranquil Okavango waterways or watch the sunset and birds gliding home to roost from a motorboat on the Xigera Lagoon. When water levels permit, game drives (usually September to May) allow the opportunity to observe wildlife and the unique Delta scenery from the comfort of a Land Rover.
Nestled in a magnificent riverine forest, Xigera consists of 10 luxuriously furnished tented rooms with en-suite facilities and outdoor shower. Each room is raised off the ground on a wooden deck offering superb views of the seasonal floodplain and waterhole. Meals and drinks are enjoyed under the thatch of the raised lounge, pub and dining area overlooking a permanently flowing channel. A traditional boma offers alternative dining under the African stars. Wooden walkways wind through the forest connecting the rooms to the main area. There is a plunge pool for cooling off and relaxation. The wooden footbridge, a unique feature to Xigera, connects Xigera Island to the next one and is often used by lion and leopard moving between the islands allowing guests great viewing opportunities. Birding in the area is excellent, with Pel's fishing-owl, slaty egret, wattled crane, African skimmer and a host of eagles, vultures, raptors and kingfishers to be found. The area has the highest density of the rare sitatunga antelope found anywhere in the Okavango Delta.
After a light breakfast, we fly north-east to the private Linyanti Concession. After a short game drive we arrive at our private Linyanti Discoverer Camp, which is elegantly set up under African ebony and knobthorn trees overlooking panoramic vistas of the Linyanti Swamps, out of which the famous Savute Channel flows.
The landscape of the Linyanti varies from floodplains to open dry land savannah and forest with sweeping views, creating a paradise for a high diversity of wildlife and bird species. Activities include game drives in the private northern sector of the concession, exploring a range of habitats, from riverbanks to scrub and forest, which reveal a myriad wildlife en route to slake their thirst from the river. Full-day excursions with lunch at a scenic setting are a possibility. The seldom-seen sitatunga can also be spotted in the waterways, as well as rare roan and sable antelope, plains game and of course, their predators, the lion and leopard - with the endangered wild dog as an incredible bonus.
After a short morning drive and breakfast, we depart by light aircraft to the northern Chobe region of Chobe National Park. This area is famous for its vast herds of elephants in the dry season and other unique species such as the elusive puku and Chobe bushbuck that move to the river in the hottest hours of the day. Enjoy a light lunch on the boat cruise in a catamaran-style shaded boat.
After clearing customs and immigration formalities through the Kazangula border - the point where the four countries of Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe meet - we road transfer to Toka Leya.
Toka Leya Camp is situated on the banks of the Zambezi River in the eastern sector of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, some 12 km (7.46 miles) up from the Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The camp consists of 12 safari-style tents, each en-suite with a view of the magnificent Zambezi River and some of its islands. The camp's dining and bar area is set beneath a shaded canopy of trees overlooking the River and a swimming pool.
The grand finale is a guided tour of the Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. At 1 708 metres (5 604 ft) wide, it is the largest curtain of water in the world and drops more than 103 metres (338 ft) into the sheer Zambezi Gorge.
Transfer to Livingstone Airport immediately after the tour of the Victoria Falls and bid farewell to the adventure.