Tailored from £6,600 per person excl. flights
11 days Chobe National Park, Selinda Adventure Trail, Okavango Delta
11 days Chobe National Park, Selinda Adventure Trail, Okavango Delta
Botswana is famed for its thriving national parks, however there are plenty of pristine, isolated corners to discover. This Botswana Off the Beaten Track itinerary takes you off the well-worn safari circuit, to places where even vehicles don’t go.
Your holiday will begin in Chobe National Park, famous for its large herds of elephant and buffalo, however you’ll escape to the quieter Savute area, staying at Savute Under Canvas, a sustainable mobile camp.
Next, you’ll head to the Selinda Concession to begin one of the country’s greatest journeys - the Selinda Adventure Trail. This four-day, three-night expedition takes you along the stunning Selinda Spillway by canoe and on foot, moving to a different mobile camp each night.
After completing this intrepid trail, you’ll retreat to the Shinde Concession in the Okavango Delta. Staying at Footsteps Across the Delta Camp, a rustic semi-permanent camp, you’ll experience the wonders of the African bush on foot with special guided walking safaris.
From paddling a canoe down peaceful rivers, to soaking in a bathtub under the stars, our Botswana Off the Beaten Track holiday is the ultimate way to get off-grid and down-to-earth in the country’s untamed wilderness.
You’ll fly into Maun Airport (MUB), the international airport near the town of Maun in northern Botswana, and the main gateway to the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park. From Maun Airport, you’ll take a roughly 50-minute light aircraft flight to Chobe National Park. You’ll be met by a representative on arrival at the Savuti airstrip, then make the 30-minute to one-hour vehicle transfer to Savute Under Canvas, your safari camp for the next three nights.
The transfer time is approximate, depending on wildlife sightings on the way, and the camp’s current location. Savute Under Canvas is an authentic mobile-camp, with all the amenities of a permanent tented property. The camp moves to different private campsites in Chobe National Park every five days, in compliance with national park regulations.
This morning you’ll wake up on safari in the Savute area of Chobe National Park, famed for its giant baobab trees and large herds of elephant and buffalo. Head out on morning and evening game drives in open-sided 4WD vehicles, keeping watch for large prides of lion, as well as leopard, giraffe, tsessebe, elephants and buffalo. You may even spot a pack of the endangered African wild dog.
Game viewing is at its best during the dry season from June to October, while April and May offers the zebra and wildebeest migration across the plains. Visitors during the wet ‘green’ season from December to March will see a massive gathering of birdlife around the Savuti Marsh, from spoonbills and storks, to bright pink pelicans.
Escape from hectic modern life at Savute Under Canvas, with just five Meru-style tents furnished with a comfortable bed, hurricane lamps, an ensuite bathroom with a hand basin, washstand, gravity-flush toilet and a bucket shower filled with warm water when your return to camp each evening.
There’s a canvas flysheet at the entrance of the tent, providing a shaded area with a couple of camp chairs to relax and soak up the scenery. Although the camp is basic, it’s known for its signature service, exceptional staff, and added luxuries.
You’ll stay at Savute Under Canvas on a full-board basis, sharing delicious meals in the open-sided mess tent, or around the campfire under the stars.
Enjoy a final morning game drive at Savute Under Canvas before taking a helicopter transfer from the Selinda airstrip to the start of the Selinda Adventure Trail.
This intrepid exploration safari is a 4-day/3-night course along the Selinda Spillway, an ancient waterway flowing through the woodlands of the private 130,000-hectare Selinda Reserve, linking the Okavango Delta with the Linyanti wetlands.
You’ll begin the trail downstream from the airstrip in the northeastern section of the Okavango Delta, before moving east along the Selinda Spillway.
Depending on the season and water levels, the trail will be a mix of canoeing and walking. No prior experience is necessary, however travellers must paddle their own canoes and walk for several hours at a time.
You’ll cover around 45km during the trail, led by an expert guide with an impressive knowledge of the area. Each trip has a maximum of eight guests, with the three nights spent in fly-camps along the Spillway trail. Staff move the camp ahead of time, so you’ll walk or paddle into camp each evening, usually set on palm-fringed islands cloaked in a sea of dazzling stars.
As you trek and paddle along the trail, expect to see an abundance of diverse wildlife, including wildebeest, zebra, antelope, roan, and some of the country’s largest herds of elephant and buffalo. You may even spot a lion, leopard or the rare African wild dog. Birdwatchers will be entertained, with over 300 recorded bird species along the course.
The Selinda Adventure Trail is fully inclusive of meals and drinks, and you’ll end each day with a tasty dinner around a cosy fire. There’s a screened shower with both hot and cold water to freshen up, before sinking into your Kodiak tents, with cots and comfortable bedding for two people.
After four days and three nights of wild adventure and total immersion in pristine nature, you’ll end the Selinda Adventure Trail with a relaxing night at Selinda Explorers.
Set on the banks of the Selinda Spillway in the Selinda Concession, Selinda Explorers is a remote, Bedouin-style camp. There are just four Meru-style tents, styled with lavish Arabian accessories. The tents feature comfortable beds, large soft pillows, antique fans, an open-air ensuite bathroom with a flush toilet and a bucket shower, topped up with hot water each morning and evening.
Enjoy an afternoon siesta in a hammock under the shade, go on a guided walk or continue your canoe safari experience. The area is home to lion, leopard, roan antelope, sable, large herds of elephant and buffalo, and the African wild dog. You’ll stay at Selinda Explorers on a full-board basis, with excellent meals served in the dining area or under the stars.
Enjoy a morning activity at Selinda Explorers before transferring to the airstrip and boarding a light aircraft flight to the Okavango Delta. You’ll be met by a representative on arrival at the Shinde airstrip, then take a 40-minute game drive to Footsteps Across the Delta Camp, your safari camp for the next three nights. When the water levels are high, the journey to the camp may take up to 1.5 hours and include a mokoro transfer.
Located in the private Shinde Concession, Footsteps Across the Delta Camp is a rustic, semi-permanent camp with just four simple, spacious tents. Each tent has comfortable beds, wooden furniture, a semi-covered ensuite with flushing toilet and a wash stand filled with warm water every morning, and a private bucket shower filled with hot water on request. There’s a small covered area at the front of the tent, with canvas chairs to enjoy the view.
Intimate and off grid, the camp is set on a stunning lagoon (filled with hippos) in the shade of a forest, and has an almost exclusive focus on walking safaris. Seasonal game drives and mokoro safaris are possible, but it’s the walking adventures that make Footsteps special.
You’ll venture out early each morning and afternoon, led by an expert guide and an armed national park’s scout. Sometimes you’ll be driven to a starting point away from the camp, and each walk is around three to four hours. You’ll learn about the environment and wildlife, focusing on the smaller, magical details of the bush that are often missed from a vehicle.
Roaming the African wilderness on foot is a truly special safari experience. As you explore the bush during your guided walking safaris, you’ll likely spot big game including elephant, lion, hyena, African wild dog, zebra, giraffe, impala, kudu, red lechwe and tsessebe, however the focus is on the safety of the group, and you’ll never get too close or disturb the animals.
You’ll stay at Footsteps on a full-board basis, with excellent meals served in the open-air tent overlooking the lagoon. Dig your toes into the sand as you tuck into meals prepared by the chef over an open campfire. The camp entertainment also has a rustic charm, with tyre-swings hanging from trees, and a private iron bathtub, perfect for a warm bubbly soak under the stars.
After saying farewell and checking out of Footsteps Camp, you’ll transfer to the airstrip and board your light aircraft flight to Maun International Airport (MUB). From here you’ll board your return flight home.
Although you’re incredible Botswana Off the Beaten Track holiday has come to an end, you’ll leave with many special memories and more than a handful of photos and stories to share.
After 11 remarkable days of thrilling wildlife encounters and off-grid adventure in some of the country’s most remote corners, we’re sure you’ll be hooked on Botswana and the African continent. Where will you explore next?