• Black maned lion of the Kalahari, Botswana

Itinerary Summary

7 Days
Jan - Mar
Small Group Safari
Duration Price When Destination Type
7 Days £2850 Jan - Mar Botswana Small Group Safari
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Botswana Kalahari Desert Small Group Safari

A luxurious mobile camping safari exploring some incredible areas of Botswana; including the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Passarge Valley and Deception Valley.

This safari focuses on travelling in the Central Kalahari Desert in the best season for wildlife watching (January – March). You’ll travel in a small group staying at fully serviced, exclusive campsites along the way which offer excellent service throughout. Spend time in a floating hide on the Boteti River watching the wildlife come down to the waters edge. Head out with Kalahari Bushmen to learn about their traditional survival and hunting kills. You’ll then head to Passarge Valley, a fossil river bed, which supports a large number of wildlife, especially cheetah, lion, giraffe, oryx and springbok. Continue to Deception Valley which is famous for its ancient rivers and pans where large herds of oryx and springbok come to the waterholes, attracting the big predators! Each evening is spent around the campfire talking tales of the bush and reminiscing the day’s activities.


What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Track the predators who roam the Central Kalahari Desert including black-maned lion, cheetah, leopard, spotted hyena, brown hyena, caracal, African wildcat, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox and Cape fox.
  • Observe large herds of wildlife in Deception Valley.
  • Enjoy bushmen walks to understand traditional life in this area.
  • Exclusive, luxury camping in private camp sites within the national parks and reserves with only 9 people per departure.

Embedded Video Overview

A small group safari in the Central Kalahari Desert in Botswana
from £2,850 per person, excluding international flights

Day by day

Day by day

Day 1

Maun - Boteti River

Upon arrival at Maun airport you will meet your group and your guide and drive the short distance south to Meno A Kwena which is located on the Boteti River. Upon arrival, check in and if there is time you can enjoy a walk with a bushman in the afternoon or head to the hide on the river to watch the wildlife come down to the river. In the evening, enjoy dinner under the stars whilst you listen to stories of the bush!

Overnight: Meno A Kwena Tented Camp (L, D)

Day 2

Boteti River - Kalahari Game Reserve

After an early breakfast, head off to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Passarge Valley. This will be your home for the next 3 nights. The drive takes about 5 hours but you'll pass through beautiful landscapes, depicting the barren and remoteness of this area. Upon arrival you will be met by the camp staff and shown to your tents. Relax in the private campsite enjoying your first bush dinner under the stars!

Overnight: Letaka Tented Camp (B, L, D)

Days 3-4

Passarge Valley

The Passarge Valley is a fossil river bed providing rich nutrients which attract the local and migrant game, especially in the wet season. The wide open spaces of this area are home to oryx, springbok, blue wildebeest and red hartebeest as well as giraffe, eland and other antelope, who can often be seen under the shade of the acacia trees. The wide open plains attract cheetah as well as lion.

Overnight: Letaka Tented Camp (B, L, D)

Day 5

Passarge Valley (Deception Valley)

Today you will set off to the Deception Valley, a region made famous by Mark and Delia Owen who spent 7 years researching the area for their book 'Cry of the Kalahari'. The drive takes about 4 hours but as always, plenty of wildlife and scenery to view and take photos of along the way. Upon arrival set into the camp and relax with a sundowner!

Overnight: Letaka Tented Camp (B, L, D)

Day 6

Deception Valley

Spend a full day in this region visiting the pans (Tau Pan, Sunday Pan, Leopard Pan) searching for the wildlife such as gemsbok and springbok who gather to feed off the sweet grasses, which in turn attracts large numbers of predators. Infamous black-maned lions, leopards, hyena, ostrich, giraffe and wildebeest. This northern region has more rainfall than the southern/central Kalahari which means more woodland areas attracting birds which are not normally associated with the Kalahari.

Overnight: Letaka Tented Camp (B, L, D)

Day 7

Deception Valley - Maun

This morning, rise early to head back to Maun (approx. 6 hour drive) which means you are back in Maun by around midday. You'll pass through the Northern Kalahari, past the shore of the RAMSAR site, Lake Ngami. Time permitting you will have a stop off here. As you head further north to Maun the landscape changes from open plains and sandy vegetated dunes to woodland areas. You have good chances of seeing kudu, steenbok and ostrich.

Trip Details


This is a small group safari departing on set dates. Accommodation is in Letaka Tented Camp which we categorise as semi-luxurious mobile camping. Children cannot join the set departures, however you can arrange the camp on a tailor-made basis for family safaris. There is no charge for a single supplement.

Vumbura Plains, Dana Allen, Botswana

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