Tailor-Made

Wild Botswana: Okavango Delta & Makgadikgadi Pans

From the rich wetland landscape of the Okavango Delta to the sprawling salt flats of Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, this safari allows for an exploration of two of Botswana’s most remarkable wildernesses, with plenty of wildlife to see along the way.

Duration 6 Days
Price From $3,688
When Year-Round
Destination Botswana

Safari Overview

From their source in the Angolan highlands, the waters of the Okavango Delta travel hundreds of miles to flood an area of between 2,300 and 5,800 square miles, providing vital habitat for an incredible diversity of wildlife. On this safari you’ll be able to go in search of predators and prey among the grasslands and river channels that crisscross the region, before heading south to Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. Below your camp’s clifftop vantage point winds the Boteti River – a congregation point for all animals here – while the sprawling salt flats to the east play host to animal migrations during the rainy season and a spiritually imbued silence during the dry.

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Explore the wildlife-rich waterways of the Okavango Delta by helicopter, hot air balloon, safari vehicle and mokoro canoe.
  • Watch for the region’s abundant birdlife as well as big game like lion, leopard and hippo.
  • On the outskirts of Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, observe zebra, elephant and many more species from the comfort of a floating hide.
  • Venture into one of the world’s largest salt pans and experience this lunar-like landscape for yourself.
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Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Okavango Delta

After arriving into the town of Maun in northwest Botswana, one of the foremost gateways to the Okavango Delta, you will board a plane for the short 45-minute flight to Mapula Airstrip, close to your home for the next three nights, Mapula Lodge. Situated in a private 12,000-hectare concession, this lodge occupies a stunning position set on the edge of seasonal floodplains and overlooks a permanent lagoon complete with resident hippos. Due to its location in the delta, Mapula Lodge not only offers a big game experience but also the chance to take to the waters in traditional mokoro canoes, a unique way of experiencing this remarkable natural habitat.


Days 2-3

Okavango Delta

The next two days will be yours to experience the wonders of the Okavango Delta in whichever way you choose. Game drives through vast tracts of pristine wilderness will allow you to spot Delta wildlife like lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, hippo and the rare sitatunga antelope, while birdwatchers will be well catered for with a profusion of colourful species calling this area home, including wattled crane, carmine bee-eater and African paradise flycatcher. Mokoro safaris through winding lily-filled channels and fly camping under the stars offer the chance to get even closer to nature, while helicopter flights and hot air balloon rides provide a bird’s-eye view of this magnificent verdant wilderness composed of floodplains, grasslands, rivers, lagoons and palm-strewn islands. The guides at Mapula Lodge possess an intimate knowledge of this area and will always be on hand to share information and facilitate the best wildlife sightings possible; the whole team have been trained by safari royalty Ralph Bousfield, whose family have been living and guiding in Botswana for five generations.


Day 4

Okavango Delta – Maun – Makgadikgadi Pans

Today you’ll leave the Okavango Delta behind you and travel to Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, via a flight back to Maun and a two-hour road transfer. Meno a Kwena Camp is situated on the western edge of the park, atop a cliff overlooking the Boteti River. Further east lies one of the largest salt flats in the world – all that is left behind after an ancient lake that covered some 80,000 square kilometres dried up millennia ago – and with the Boteti being the only permanent water source in this arid area, animals come from miles around to quench their thirst. Either from your clifftop vantage point or the camp’s floating hide, Meno a Kwena is a fantastic place for wildlife sightings.


Overnight: Meno A Kwena Tented Camp L, D

Day 5

Makgadikgadi Pans

The Boteti offers a traditional safari experience year-round, with the bountiful river giving way to lush greenery and all the wildlife that depends on it. Beyond the Boteti, east towards the salt pans from which the park takes its name, the current season will decide what greets you. The heavy rains of December and January swell the Boteti until it floods the pans, turning the usually dry and arid area into one of grasses, pools and streams, prime habitat for a number of different species, including flamingos. After the rains come, Africa’s second-largest mammal migration can be seen taking place here, with 30,000 zebra and wildebeest heading for renewed feeding grounds in the early months of the year. Predators like lions, leopards, cheetahs, jackals and wild dogs come hot in pursuit. As the year draws on and the pans dry up, an impossibly flat expanse of packed clay is revealed, and simply setting foot in this otherworldly landscape is an experience in itself. Back at the Boteti, you’ll be able to enjoy boat safaris while watching out for bathing elephants and lurking crocodiles, take a walk with local bushmen to learn about their rich and storied hunter-gatherer culture, or simply relax on your veranda with the sound of the river and the local wildlife below you.


Overnight: Meno A Kwena Tented Camp B, L, D

Day 6

Depart Makgadikgadi Pans

After a road transfer back to Maun, you’ll be able to link up with your onward transport plans and reflect on the memories made here in this magical corner of Botswana.


Trip Details

About Tailor-made Safaris

A tailor-made safari is one designed according to your specific requirements, including budget, dates, personal interests, the number of people travelling, and more. This itinerary is just an example and can be refined and altered to make it perfect for you.

Trip Information

Please note that mokoro safaris and fly camping at Mapula Lodge are subject to water levels in the Delta, and may be limited during the low water season (October - January).

Helicopter flights and hot air balloon rides at Mapula Lodge are at an additional cost. Hot air balloon rides are available from 1 April - 14/15 October.

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