Exclusive 5* Luxury-Tented Camps and Lodges plus
an African Island Retreat.
An incredible SpaFari adventure that takes us back-in-time to elegant Game Rich Safari days - seeing the Big Five . . . plus many, more! Jeep safaris early morning, afternoon and night when the animals are most active. Our Guided Hikes are in safe bush, lakeside, hilly island wilderness areas, plus a walk around the rim of Victoria Falls. We include Game Viewing Boat Cruises on the Zambezi and exciting Cultural Explorations to villages and local tribes. Stay in Luxury-Tented Camps , a Lodge at Victoria Falls, and a Unique African Island Retreat by two mighty African rivers, Chobe and Zambezi.
Botswana is an African country which is wild, spacious, distinctly different,full of variety and literally marvelous!
Firstly, marvel at the world-class attraction of the Okavango Delta offering some unique wildlife viewing.
The second marvel is the scale of the wildlife reserves around the Chobe, Linyanti and Kwando rivers.
Then marvel at the almost spiritual experience of visiting the vast salt pans of the Kalahari.
Overall, there is the wildlife. Whether a visit to Botswana is your first or 20th safari, an amazing adventure is guaranteed in this very different environment. Whilst all the Big 5 (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino) are evident in various parts of the country, specifically Botswana is well-known for wild dogs, which are rare elsewhere, and other smaller yet delectable species like the entertaining meerkats, and tiny painted reed frogs and barking geckos. The birdlife, especially in the Delta is truly amazing.
Botswana also has its own migration of wildebeeste and zebra, smaller in scale than that of the Serengeti, but still very dramatic. The movement is less easily defined but generally from November animals move south west towards the Kalahari and return north in April/May.
Why do we go to Botswana? Probably, it is because there is the feeling that you are within an endless and pristine wilderness, almost devoid of human imprint. For those of us who are city-dwellers, space can be a premium, and in Botswana there is plenty of space. Animals wander freely across vast reserves which are measured in thousands of kilometres rather than in hectares.
There is also rich history, as revealed in the marvelous Bushmen paintings at Tsodoli, and in the magic that seems to surround those hills. The Bushmen and their culture are widespread and never more evident than on the Makgadikgadi Plains and the area surrounding probably the most authentic of all wildlife camps and lodges, the remarkable Jack's Camp. Relics of the Stone Age mingle with ancient and wonderfully grotesque baobab trees of more than three thousand years old.
It is a land-locked country bordered by South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, and touches Zambia in the Caprivi Strip, just west of the Victoria Falls.
Choice Accommodations. After an inspiring day of game viewing, hiking or cultural viewing, recount your tales over a gourmet feast and glass of wine or beer. Then, slumber in a range of accommodations that match your chosen adventure - from luxury camps and upscale lodges to rustic tents set deep in the wild. Please email us for details: Hike@SpaFari.com
Arrive into Johannesburg. Suggested overnight at the deluxe Westcliff Hotel (not included), with optional site seeing arrangements available in Johannesburg. (www.westcliff.orient-express.com)
Transfer after breakfast back to Johannesburg International Airport heading to Maun airport, Botswana.
Day 1) On arrival at Maun you are met and transferred by air charter to The Lodge of Choice.
02 Overnight at Lodge of Choice:
Nestled on the edge of a leadwood and fig tree forest, overlooking the vast Khwai River floodplains and beyond into the Moremi Wildlife Reserve, sits Khwai River Lodge. Khwai is an area renowned for its large concentrations of big mammals, especially buffalo, hippo and elephant. You can sense the big game heritage from the moment you arrive, and it is not unusual to see many types of wildlife from your own private deck. As a year-round destination for wildlife, predators, particularly leopard and lion, are also very active in the area, rated as one of the most prolific in Botswana for viewing wildlife. This is the perfect location for observing the age-old drama of the African bushveld. For bird lovers, bird life can be viewed in abundance with sightings of wildfowl and raptors near the lodge. Activities at the camp include morning and afternoon game drives in open 4x4 Land Cruisers, as well as after-dark spotlight game drives. Cultural visits to a local village, as well as guided safari walks along the hippo-populated Khwai River.
The lodge includes a gym and a 'Naturally Wild' spa facility where you can enjoy indulgent massages and body wraps in the facility or in the privacy of your own tent. Khwai also has a rustic boma for surprise cocktails and a healthy gourmet dinner venue – or you can choose to enjoy a private dinner on the deck of your tent.
Day 3) Air transfer to Eagle Island
03 Overnights Eagle Island Camp:
Hidden from the world, deep within Botswana's Okavango Delta, is the paradise called Eagle Island Camp. Situated on the island of Xaxaba and surrounded by Illala Palms, the camp overlooks a surrounding lagoon fed by the tranquil waterways of the Delta. Shaded by a canopy of indigenous trees, the camp provides a cool retreat from the African sun. Its striking natural beauty and remote tranquillity truly make it an indulgent paradise.
Eagle Island Camp at Xaxaba is one of the Delta's most pristine natural locations, a region of myriad waterways, palm-lined islands and vast floodplains. From April through October the camp offers a choice of game viewing by mokoro (traditional dugout canoe), or in motorised boats, combined with walks on the surrounding islands. In season, late afternoon romantic Sundowner cruises are offered on the surrounding lagoon.
When water levels are low (December through April), morning, afternoon and evening game drives are offered, giving you the opportunity to further explore the surrounding islands. We also offer safari walks all year round. Helicopter excursions are offered all year round to the more remote parts of the Okavango Delta: these include private excursions to secret islands.
Day 6) Air Transfer to Savuti
02 Overnights Elephant Lodge:
The Savute lies in the heart of the Chobe National Park, sometimes referred to as the elephant capital of the world.
Where our other two camps celebrate water and lush vegetation, Savute is a lesson in aridity: rain is rare and water is precious. Perched on the banks of the now-dry Savute Channel, Savute Elephant Camp offers a spectacular base to explore the area. With a bird's eye view of the adjacent water hole just metres from the camp's main building, the impressions created at Savute will last forever.
The Savute is an ideal area for viewing high concentrations of elephant and lions. Prides up to 40 strong are not uncommon as are sightings of all the other major predators – the endangered wild dog, leopard, cheetah and hyena. Savute is also renowned for its excellent birding during summer (December through March), as well as being home to rare rock paintings by the early San Bushmen who once inhabited the region. As this camp is situated in the Chobe National Park, it is often not necessary to venture from the camp to see the prolific game, but we do... each morning and late afternoons we head out on exciting safaris in our open safari vehicles.
All tents, public areas and the swimming pool overlook the adjacent water hole so it is not uncommon to see a wide variety of birds and animals from the privacy of your own tent. Savute also offers a dining experience in the "Boma" or "place of eating" where guests can enjoy a traditional alfresco dining experience while being entertained by staff members. Alternatively, private dinners can be arranged in a more intimate setting on the deck of your tent.
At Savute, you find yourself in harmony with a unique timeless place, removed from city life. Here you realise that little has changed on these plains since time began. And the realisation dawns that you are privileged to be in one of the last corners of the planet governed by nature.
Day 8) Air Transfer to Kasane. From here you will have a boat transfer to Impalila Island.
02 Overnights Impalila Island Lodge:
Our unique island is situated at the meeting place of two mighty African rivers, the Chobe and Zambezi, and four countries, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. This is the only place in the world where four countries meet. Impalila Island forms the north-eastern tip of Namibia and lies just 70km's west of Victoria Falls. The surrounding area is an amazing mosaic of waterways, floodplains and bushveld:- host to exceptional birdlife, game viewing and assorted vegetation - and in the waters outstanding fishing opportunities.
Impalila Island Lodge is a 16-bedded luxury lodge with much to offer discerning clients. Our island is situated at the confluence of the Chobe and Zambezi rivers at the place where 4 countries meet - from the air an amazing mosaic of waterways, floodplains and bushveld - on the ground exceptional birdlife, game viewing and assorted vegetation - and in the waters outstanding fishing opportunities. Impalila is also the most secluded and remote of the Chobe destinations but close enough to offer you the very best of the Chobe river – that is game viewing by boat. After breakfast and stretching by the pool we head out to tour the picturesque island and local village by foot; all activities are professionally guided, and we have the expertise to cater for special interest visitors (eg birding/fishing). We have enough boats, vehicles and guides at our lodges that guests can choose to structure their own time activity experience.
Day 10) Road Boat / Transfer to Livingstone
02 Overnights The Royal Livingstone Hotel:
The Royal Livingstone Hotel, stretches luxuriously along the banks of the Zambezi River. The Hotel consists of a series of 17 colonial-style buildings, with deep verandas, set amidst indigenous trees and plants. The main hotel is a sequence of thatch-roofed buildings, most African in their influence, and incorporates the lounge, restaurant and bar. A classic swimming pool visually links the waters of the river with the terraces of the hotel, with a sweeping timber deck planted in the swirling water of the Zambezi. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of the mighty Zambezi River while having a luxurious outdoor body massage or sit back and enjoy the healing power of a magnificent foot massage while relaxing next to the swimming pool. The innate heritage of the land offers us adventurous experiences ranging from water-rafting, to explorative day hikes visiting local villages, to daily land and water safaris. Experience the spellbinding combination of the mighty Zambezi River and the extravagance, opulence and gracious hospitality of the African Queen River Cruise. We include a walk around the rim of Victoria Falls, that flows in to the mighty Zambezi. Optional angling and fly-fishing opportunities are available, plus optional Elephant Back Safaris: The park is resident to wild elephant, hippo, buffalo, impala, giraffe, zebra and small cats such as civet and servile. Should you wish to include this experience you will ride with guides through the beautiful riverine scenery, a unique experience to interact with this magnificent animal and understand its intelligence and willingness to act under instruction. The ride itself is approximately one hour, the interaction time spent with the elephants approximately three hours. The Victoria Falls, the mighty Zambezi, the Royal Livingstone Hotel bring you to the most romantic destination on earth. The Falls is the ideal honeymoon destination as the thundering and mystical mists of the Victoria Falls have long been recognized as a powerful aphrodisiac. Couples can enjoy a heavenly honeymoon with every conceivable luxury at the Royal Livingstone Hotel or a experience a more earthy honeymoon at the Zambezi Sun. Honeymooners will receive a surprise gift and sparkling wine and fruit during their stay at the hotel.
Day 12) Road Transfer to Livingstone Airport outbound