Itinerary Highlights
  • Stunning thunderstorm light shows and huge animal migrations are a memorable off-season experience
  • Sleep in a camp lost in the vast, arid expanse of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
  • Safaris and stargazing in the salt pans, photography workshops, and boat and canoe safaris in the Delta are all included in the itinerary
  • You'll have access to our additional services including airport lounge, customs priority clearance, and our local Concierge service

Contact one of our Botswana specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120

The appeal of the green season

There are never any crowds in Botswana: it's a large, sparsely-populated country, one-fifth of which is home to wild animals. The country's responsible and committed government has put in place a set of rules for highly exclusive tourism: no more than one visitor for every 20 square miles of bush, desert, marsh, shoreline forest and flooded plains. Just imagine what it's like exploring Botswana outside the peak tourist season. Explore regions almost without another soul in sight across huge fields where you can explore pristine nature that's home to incredible wildlife. The off-season, which runs from January to April in southern summer, is poetically called the green season.
It takes its name from the high, and mercifully occasional, levels of rainfall that fall on the usually ultra-arid lands of the Kalahari Desert. Having had its annual watering, the country rises again from the ashes. Plant life explodes in emerald bouquets; it's a surreal phenomenon, with a stunning carpet of flowers. Birds flock to the branches of the Delta's trees and waterways. In the bush, mothers give birth to fragile offspring, who curiously watch as you approach in your 4x4. Drawn to the water that is the source of life, millions of zebras and wildebeest cross the vast, arid flatlands of the Makgadikgadi Pan - putting on a spectacle of massive migration not seen anywhere else on Earth. Days are hot, so the swimming pools in the bush camps are ideal for cooling off. In the evening, thunderstorms rumble, and the crimson hue of the setting sun ignites clouds of metallic blue-grey - this is nature at its most photogenic.

Your trip

This is a journey of contrasts, with endless, arid expanses and lush green vegetation and floodplains full of life. On arrival, recover from a long night flight by spending your first night by the river, about 12 miles outside Maun, the gateway to Botswana. The view of the river from the lovely stone and wooden bungalow offers a sign of what your trip has in store for you. The next day, take a taxi plane, and land in the middle of nowhere, in the heart of the vast, arid expanse that was once a lake and is now dry. From the expanse of brilliant whiteness dotted with palm trees and baobab trees standing for over a thousand years, in the green season, the Makgadikgadi Pan serves up a spectacle that very few are lucky enough to see: the great animal migration that passes through here. On foot or in a 4x4, cross the endless vastness of the Pan to meet the Bushmen, the hunter-gatherer tribe that has lived in the Kahalari for centuries; see the survival techniques they use in these arid lands and try to pronounce their wonderful click language.learn about their culture, language and history. Next, head north to the full-on African majesty of the Okavango Delta. In contrast to the Pan, this extremely fertile flooded region is made up of countless islands, islets and inlets. In the green season, you can get some unforgettable shots on your trusty camera. Spend the first two nights in a camp specialising in wildlife photography, in the heart of the Khwai Reserve. In a 4x4 or traditional canoe, accompanied by experienced guides, capture the reflection of an old elephant in the water of a river channel, or a little egret taking flight in the darkening sky of a storm. In the evening, around the camp fire, learn how to edit the photos. Display them on the big screen and receive expert advice. At the end of the trip, arrive in another part of the delta, in a tented camp that harks back to the era of the first explorers. For three nights, soak up the smells, sounds and sensations of the bush before returning to reality.

Route

Everything is 100% tailored to you
DAY 1

FLIGHT TO JOHANNESBURG

International night flight with stopover to Johannesburg. Arrive the next morning.

DAY 2

JOHANNESBURG – MAUN

Receive a warm welcome upon landing and assistance with customs and check-in formalities on the flight to Maun, plus access to the lounge at Johannesburg airport during the stopover. Take your flight to Maun, which takes around 90 minutes. On arrival in Maun, look forward to a personal welcome at the airport from one of our team on the ground and private transfer to your hotel. It's around a 25-minute drive. Enjoy an overnight stay in a lovely lodge on the banks of the Thamalakane River, about 12 miles outside the city. Each small stone bungalow and wooden deck overlooks the river, sometimes extended by a small, private swimming pool. As night falls, the setting sun sets fire to the river and the sky, an even more astonishing spectacle when there is cloud cover. Snug under the mosquito net around the bed, an African adventure feels tantalisingly close. This is a lovely stop for the night before pressing deeper into the wilderness of Botswana.

DAY 3

MAUN - NXAI PAN NATIONAL PARK

In the morning, the driver takes you back to Maun airport, to board a small taxi plane to the huge, flat expanses of the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans. Enjoy a two-night stay in a simple and utterly charming camp, lost in the middle of this vast, arid land, the only one in this region. Small bungalows with whitewashed walls and topped with a thatched roof are dotted under the shade of acacia trees, on either side of a lovely swimming pool that is perfect at the hottest times of day, facing east and so with views of the sunrise over the plains. The decor is simple and fresh; there has been a noticeable effort to minimise the camp's impact on the surrounding environment.

DAY 4

NXAI PAN NATIONAL PARK

Nxai Pan National Park itself is a fossil lakebed. Together with the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, it now forms a complex spanning 1,000 square miles. During the wet and green season (outside the southern hemisphere winter), it's known for welcoming some of the largest herds of wildebeest and zebras. It's also renowned for its thousand-year-old baobab trees, commonly known as Baine's baobabs, named after Thomas Baine, a British artist and adventurer who travelled through southern Africa and Australia in the 19th century.
Things to see and experience – Safaris in the pan in a 4x4, or on foot, stargazing, learning about the baobab trees.

DAY 5

NXAI PAN NATIONAL PARK - KHWAI RESERVE

Today, press on deep into the heart of Botswana, into one of Planet Earth's rarest ecosystems, the fabulous Okavango Delta. Fly by taxi plane to the Khwai Reserve, with a stop en route in Maun. Fly low, skimming the tops of the trees and palms that cover the ground. Upon arrival, two-night stay in a camp located in the land of the Khwai community, at the entrance to the Moremi Game Reserve, around a grassy lagoon that feeds the Khwai River. The site is made up of just a few rustic tents pitched under the trees that line an arm of the river. A feature of this camp is a passion for wildlife photography and guests are welcome to give it a try themselves. During the safaris, there are tips on taking shots, composing and editing pictures, and then later again in the evening, around the campfire.

DAY 6

KHWAI RESERVE

In the northern part of the delta in far-northern Botswana, the small village of Khwai lies at the entrance to the Moremi Reserve, which has been focussing its efforts on ecotourism for several years now. While in Khwai, you'll meet the BaBukakhwe River Bushmen who have lived in the region for thousands of years. It also allows you to see some of Africa's richest wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, leopards, buffaloes, and wildebeest. Between the Okavango Delta and the mouth of the Khwai River and their floodplains, a trip to Khwai in the green season offers exceptional bird-watching opportunities, especially for waterfowl and birds of prey.
Included in the itineraryGuided safaris on the Khwai Reserve. At dawn and dusk, during the cooler times of day when animals are most active, set off on safari on foot or in a kitted out 4x4, in the company of experienced rangers.

DAY 7

KHWAI RESERVE - OKAVANGO DELTA

On the airstrip, a small taxi plane is waiting and flies lower over the meandering water channels of the delta to your camp, sometimes landing on the way to drop off other explorers at different lodges and then taking off again, an experience that is always fun, especially when skimming low over herds of giraffes and elephants. So much more than a simple transfer, flying over the delta is the best way to appreciate the topography of vast area of water. Enjoy a three-night stay in a lovely tented camp, completely camouflaged among nature, pitched along the Gomoti River. During the heat of the day while the animals laze in the shade, cool off in the beautiful swimming pool or relax on your private veranda. The atmosphere here recreates the vibe of explorers' camps during the golden age of safari. In the evening, enjoy a charmingly authentic meal under the stars, dining by the light of storm lanterns and listening to the soundtrack of the wilderness.

DAYS 8 & 9

OKAVANGO DELTA

This area is one of the best preserved in Africa and is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed natural site. The labyrinth of canals and lagoons is a world in itself, with gentle light, carried sounds and brightly coloured flowers blooming. Water sustains the area's abundant and diverse wildlife, with an array of birds, reptiles and different-sized mammals. In the green season, the light is the warmest and loveliest, life abounds, and there are countless birds.
Included in the itinerarySafaris on foot, in a 4x4, by boat or 'mokoro' traditional canoe. These four types of safaris, all complementary, are all possible in this mixed land and wetland environment.

DAY 10

OKAVANGO DELTA – MAUN – JOHANNESBURG – RETURN FLIGHT

Bid a final farewell to this unforgettable part of the world, from the window of the little bush taxi on the way to Maun International Airport, at the gateway to the delta. Leave behind a truly magical place that very few people will ever be lucky enough to visit. In Maun, catch your flight home. Overnight flight, arriving the next day.

DAY 11

ARRIVAL

A la carte

SUNSET CRUISE

Stay by the river on the first night of the trip, just outside Maun. Indulge in a moment of African romanticism and dive right into this journey at the end of the world. Cruising along the water, on a motorboat, sip your first gin and tonic, captivated by the setting sun.
Optional – One hour in a small group.


HELICOPTER FLIGHT OVER THE DELTA

From the camp in the Okavango Delta, take a helicopter flight low over the maze of channels and the bush. It's a dizzying sensation flying low over the terrain in a lightweight helicopter without side doors. The wind rushes into the cabin, while you can lean over and spot families of giraffes, so close you can almost touch them. Depending on the animals you come across, the pilot flies higher or lower, it's a thrilling experience. Halfway through, land on a small deserted island. The cork pops, and you sip champagne, lost in this wilderness.
Optional – 45 minutes

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The estimated cost for this trip is £8,800 to £10,900 per person. The final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost will vary according to several factors, including the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote. The average price for this trip is £9500 per person.
  • International flights with a scheduled airline
  • Airline taxes and fuel surcharge
  • Access to the airport lounge
  • Access to the lounge at Johannesburg airport
  • Welcome, fast-track customs clearance and assistance with connecting flights at Johannesburg airport
  • Welcome and assistance with customs formalities at Maun airport
  • Private transfers included in the itinerary
  • Air taxi connections mentioned in the itinerary
  • Overnight stay in Maun in a double room with breakfast included
  • Two-night stay in Nxai Pan in a double chalet with full board and two activities per day included
  • Two nights in the Khwai Reserve in a double tent with full board and two activities per day included
  • Three-night stay in the Okavango Delta in a double tent with full board and two activities per day included
  • Our local Concierge service
  • A few of the benefits of travelling with us
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    Contact one of our Botswana specialists