Tailored from £6,600 per person excl. flights
10 days Chobe National Park, Selinda Reserve, Okavango Delta
10 days Chobe National Park, Selinda Reserve, Okavango Delta
Botswana is famed for it's 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 enjoy seasonal activities on the stunning Selinda Spillway such as walking, fishing and canoeing or simply relaxing in the raw wilderness of nature in this Bedouin inspired camp.
Your final camp is in the iconic Okavango Delta where you will stay on the Shinde Concession. Staying at Footsteps Across the Delta Camp, a rustic semi-permanent camp, you’ll experience the wonders of the African bush on foot with 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 being driven to the airstrip in time for your flight to the private Selinda reserve further west. Upon arrival in this vast concession you will be picked up by your guide and driven into camp, often spotting wildlife on the way.
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 en suite 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 embark on a canoe safari experience. You’ll stay at Selinda Explorers for the next three nights on a full-board basis, with excellent meals served in the dining area or under the stars.
Selinda Explorers is located within the 130,000 hectare Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana and with just a few other camps in the whole conession it is one of the most private and exclusive safari areas in Botswana.
In prime predator habitat the location of this camp, the newest in the reserve was specially chosen after years of exploration to maximise wildlife viewing from the camp. Lion, leopard, cheetah and even wild dog are regularly seen hunting from the camp and there are good densities of herbivores such as buffalo, antelope species and the much rarer roan and sable. Towards the end of the dry season in late September elephant numbers can be staggering with this one reserve alone documented to hold up to 9,000 elephants.
The design of Selinda Explorers aims to echo the philosophy and the practise of the early explorers, hence it's authentic safari style (albeit with a luxurious twist), wild spirit and slower pace of safaris. Rather than the emphasis being on guided driven safaris, as you find in most safari camps, you are welcomed to explore the area in a variety of other fashions. Games drives, both during the day and at night, are possible but they are supplemental to the other activities.
When the seasonal Selinda spillway is flooding, traditionally between May and September then gentle canoe excursions are possible. No experience is necessary as you head out with your armed guide along the watercourse, the song of bird song and reed frogs guiding your journey. A rod and reel is available is anyone who would like to try their hand at some fishing and swimming is even possible in some areas of the spillway. Walking with Selinda's first-rate guides is another way to discover the smaller intricacies of this wild land, that you might normally miss from a safari vehicle. For any birdwatchers they will be entertained, with over 300 recorded bird species in this area.
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 10 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?