10-Day Zimbabwe-Botswana Safari

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Victoria Falls
(Zimbabwe)

Maun
(Botswana)

Can start any day

Suitable for solo travellers

SUITABLE FOR AGES 6+YRS

Can be customised

Overview
Cost
Activities & Transport
Travel Advice
Map
Images

This 10-day safari offers an itinerary that concentrates on Zimbabwe and Botswana’s must-see destinations and activities. The journey visits the majestic Victoria Falls, and includes private game drives and boat safaris in Chobe National Park, bush walks and game drives in Hwange National Park and a 3 day excursion into the remote Okavango Delta wilderness.

This safari is a private journey and not a group tour.  It can be further customised to suit the number of days you wish to travel, and can also include other destinations.

There are daily flights direct to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwean side of the falls) and/or Livingstone (Zambian side of the falls) from Addis Ababa, Cape Town, Johannesburg-OR Tambo, Kruger-Nelspruit, Nairobi and Windhoek.

From US$7575 per person (LOW season), based on two adults in a double/twin room

Children under 12 receive a discount.
The cost includes the Okavango Delta flights but excludes the other regional flights during this safari. However we can book these for you.

NOTE: There are three pricing seasons in the Okavango Delta. LOW Season = 1 December to 31 March; MID-season = 1 April to 30 June and 1-30 November; HIGH season = 1 July to 31 October.

COST INCLUDES:

  • All accommodation (en-suite)
  • All breakfasts in Victoria Falls
  • All meals in Hwange National Park and Okavango Delta
  • All meals in Chobe
  • All wildlife activities in Hwange, Chobe (private) and Okavango Delta
  • Complimentary visit to the Victoria Falls (Private guide, including entrance fees)
  • All entrances and National Park fees
  • Private road transfers and border assistance
  • Okavango Delta flights
  • All airport and airstrip transfers
  • All local taxes

COST EXCLUDES:

  • International flights to/from Africa
  • Other regional flights
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Victoria Falls activities (except complimentary visit to the falls)
  • Personal travel insurance and visas
  • Items of a personal nature, such as drinks and laundry (unless specified)
  • Tips for all guides, drivers, domestics, porters and wait staff

ACTIVITIES

  • Visit to the Victoria Falls.
  • Game drives and bush walks in Hwange National Park.
  • Game drives and boat safaris in Chobe National Park.
  • Game drives, mokoro safaris and bush walks in the Okavango Delta.

Hwange and Okavango Delta game drives and bush walks may be shared with fellow lodge guests.  The Chobe game drives and boat safaris are private.

Bush walks are subject to guide availability and the age/fitness of the participant, who should be able to comfortably walk at least 5km/3mi over uneven terrain. A game drive will always be provided should a bush walk not be possible.

Mokoro safaris are subject to water levels.

TRANSPORT

  • Airport transfers and other road transfers in air-conditioned mini-vans.
  • Game drives in custom-designed open-sided 4×4 safari vehicles.
  • Boat safaris in a custom-designed boat with an overhead canopy.
  • Mokoro safaris in a fibreglass mokoro (local dugout canoe).
  • Okavango Delta air transfers in a 4-12 seater light aircraft.

WHEN TO VISIT

In Southern Africa the seasons are generally the same as in other southern hemisphere countries, with spring/summer from October to April and winter/autumn from May to September.

In the Zimbabwe and Botswana safari regions, spring/summer is characterised by hot humid days and afternoon thunderstorms. Daytime temperatures can get very high followed by cooler, comfortable nights. Vegetation is at its highest and thickest during these months which can make wildlife-spotting difficult although the region’s birdlife is at its most prolific. Travelling in this same area during the autumn/winter brings clear and warm days with cool to chilly evenings. Known as the “dry season”, this is possibly the best period for wildlife viewing as the permanent waterholes attract many animals, and the thinning vegetation offers unobstructed views. 

Within the dry season, we recommend coming in May or June as there can still be some greenery in the landscape but there is no risk of rain plus fewer visitors compared to the peak visitor months from July to September. It is worth noting that the month of October can be especially hot and humid, as the rains have usually not arrived but the cool winter weather has ended.

For your visit to the Victoria Falls it is worth noting that the dry season is when the Zambezi River is at its lowest and the falls can subsequently be better described as a trickle, especially on the Zambian side. Conversely, the months of February to May can see the river at its highest level and the popular Livingstone Island/Devil’s Pool tour can be closed due to safety reasons.

 

VISAS

Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the end of your time in Southern Africa, and it is a good idea to bring a few photocopies in case you lose the original. In addition to a passport, children under 18 years of age entering Botswana with only one parent or with parents who have a different surname are required to produce additional documentation upon arrival. See here for further information about travelling with children.

For travel in Zimbabwe, travellers of most nationalities are required to pay for a visa which is issued upon arrival. Although most visitors are not required to obtain a visa before entering Botswana, this is not applicable to all nationalities. Compass Odyssey does not issue visas nor can we complete visa applications for our travellers. While we will obviously assist our travellers with the documentation required for any visa applications, it is the responsibility of our travellers to investigate the visa requirements for their journey and to complete any necessary applications.

An immigration form sometimes needs to be completed when entering and departing these Southern African countries. This form requests information such as passport and birth particulars, as well as the address of your accommodation. Prior to your safari, we provide you with a personal Safari Dossier that includes a swathe of information including the booking references, transport timings and contact numbers specific to your journey.

 

TRAVELLER’S HEALTH

Yellow Fever and malaria are the two major health considerations for travellers coming to Southern Africa.

Yellow Fever is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, and approximately 200,000 cases occur each year with the vast majority of these occurring in parts of Africa and Central/South America.  A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is not required for entering Southern Africa unless you are coming from – or you are in airport transit for more than 12 hours within – a country deemed to be infected with Yellow Fever. The World Health Organisation lists the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe as being free from Yellow Fever. For further clarification on Yellow Fever, refer to tables 4-23, 4-24 and 4-27 on this page of the website for the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Malaria is present in most of Southern Africa’s safari regions. See here for further information. A number of other tropical diseases are present in Southern Africa but generally the biggest health risk you will face on your safari is usually an upset tummy (often caused by dehydration) or a cold.  For complete peace of mind we recommend you visit your local GP or Travel Health Clinic.

Itinerary
DAY 1-2: ZIMBABWE & ZAMBIA

Day 1Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe & Zambia

This morning you fly to Victoria Falls where our local guide, Mortimer greets and accompanies you on the short drive into town. Your accommodation is located in a quiet and leafy area, still within earshot of the constant roar coming from Mosi oa Tunya, the “Smoke that Thunders”. Upon checking-in, Mortimer is available to discuss your stay in Victoria Falls and make any arrangements you may require.

The town of Victoria Falls – just minutes from the falls and on the fringes of the Zambezi National Park – is a bustling hive of activity, with the village rightly claiming the title of ‘Adrenaline Capital of Africa’. Although home to a seemingly endless variety of adventure sports, “Vic Falls” – as the town is called – still has a pioneering and colonial atmosphere, and has remained relatively unaffected from Zimbabwe’s economic and political troubles.

Accommodation: Batonka Guest Lodge
Mid-range 4-star lodge located in Victoria Falls

Day 2Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe & Zambia

We are pleased to offer you a complimentary guided visit to the Victoria Falls during your stay (Zimbabwean and Zambian sides; includes entrance fees). We have not included any other activities in your safari, allowing you the freedom to choose what you’d like to do and when you’d like to do it. The plethora of activities on offer includes Zambezi river cruises and white-water rafting or canoeing, rhino and elephant walking safaris, helicopter and microlight scenic flights, African township and village tours, adrenaline activities like bungee jumping and zip sliding, and much more. We especially recommend “Tour the Township” with our local guide, Mortimer who introduces you to his home turf and often invites our travelers to lunch with his wife and family. Dining options include African-style feasts with accompanying tribal entertainment at The Boma or Jungle Junction restaurants, as well as an afternoon High Tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel.

Accommodation: Batonka Guest Lodge
Mid-range 4-star lodge located in Victoria Falls

Meals:
Breakfast

DAY 3-4: ZIMBABWE

Day 3-4Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

You now travel by private vehicle to Hwange National Park, from where you embark on a game drive to The Hide Safari Camp. For two nights you are immersed in the special wilderness surrounding The Hide, which boasts the dual prizes of being located within the Hwange National Park while also surrounded by a private wildlife concession area. Game drives and bush walks are available in the early morning, late afternoon and after dark, as is a visit to the lodge’s famous waterhole hide.

Home to some of Africa’s largest elephant herds and renowned for its wild dog population, Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s largest safari wilderness. This massive national park (14,650km²/5,657mi²) is easily accessed from Victoria Falls and is a year-round option, although perhaps at its very best in the dry season (from August to early November). Home to 108 mammal and more than 400 bird species, the sheer size of wildlife populations gives it an edge over other places.

Accommodation: The Hide
Mid-range 4-star tented camp located in Hwange National Park

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 5-10: BOTSWANA

Day 5Chobe River & Chobe National Park, Botswana

You now travel to Botswana and Garden Lodge, located in the small safari town of Kasane on the banks of the Chobe River. The private road transfer from Hwange passes through bushveld that is home to wildlife such as elephant and giraffe, sightings of which often occur during the drive. You are accompanied by our guide who will assist with the cross-border formalities. After freshening up, you embark on a private boat safari on the Chobe River followed by a congenial dinner back at the lodge. This evening you are usually ‘serenaded’ to sleep by the grunts coming from the local hippos as they venture out of the water to graze on the lodge’s lush lawn.

To make your safari extra special, Compass Odyssey travelers are provided with a private guide and vehicle/boat during your stay in Chobe – other companies typically offer game drives with up to 10 passengers and boat safaris with 10-50+ travelers on board.

Accommodation: The Garden Lodge
Mid-range 3-star lodge located on the Chobe River in Kasane

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 6Chobe River & Chobe National Park, Botswana

Your day revolves around morning and afternoon private game drives within the Chobe National Park, interspersed with some delicious home-style meals, some quality lazing by the pool and perhaps even a midday siesta. Subject to guide and vehicle availability, you can choose to embark on a full-day private game drive with a picnic lunch deep within the National Park. Be on the lookout for predators such as lion and hyena, and iconic herbivores such as buffalo, zebra, giraffe, warthog and wildebeest.

The Chobe National Park covers about 11,600km2 (4,500mi²) of the northern Kalahari, much of it impenetrable thorn bush growing on deep sand. This is an old safari area – Dr. David Livingstone visited it in the 1850s, as have countless big-game hunters since. The most accessible and frequently visited of Botswana’s wilderness areas, the Chobe riverfront is most famous for its large herds of elephants and buffalo and large prides of lion that prey on them.

Accommodation: The Garden Lodge
Mid-range 3-star lodge located on the Chobe River in Kasane

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 7Okavango Delta, Botswana

This morning’s private boat safari on the Chobe River (time permitting; subject to Okavango Delta flight timings) offers the perfect start to another day on safari. Later this morning you are transferred the short distance to Kasane Airport for your flight into the wild expanse of the Okavango Delta. The flight travels in a light aircraft deep into the delta’s floodplains and is part of a daily route that often stops at a number of bush airstrips to deliver/collect other travelers. Upon arrival you are greeted by your camp guide who provides a game drive to the camp. After a pleasant lunch and freshen-up, you embark on an afternoon/evening game drive.

Accommodation: Rra Dinare
Mid-range 4-star tented camp located in the Okavango Delta

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 8-9Okavango Delta, Botswana

You stay here for three nights immersed in the absolute serenity of one of the world’s last true wildernesses. After evenings backed by a chorus of night time sounds in the African bush, your days include morning and afternoon/evening game drives as well as bush walks and cruising the waterways in a mokoro (subject to water levels). You may also be able to try a spot of fishing and visit a local village, or you may prefer to simply relax by the pool and enjoy the expansive views from your luxury en-suite safari tent.

One of the world’s last true wildernesses, the Okavango Delta’s mosaic of channels, islands, lagoons, and forests supports a wealth of wildlife. Each year the waters flood, usually between May and September, before receding again and the wildlife has adapted itself to these seasonal changes. Slipping into ‘Delta time’, your stay here is taken up with excellent wildlife viewing interspersed with fine dining and sunset drinks.

Accommodation: Rra Dinare
Mid-range 4-star tented camp located in the Okavango Delta

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 10Farewell

After an early morning bush walk or game drive (time permitting) and a hearty brunch, we say tsamaya sentle (“goodbye and go well” in the local Setswana language) as you board your light aircraft for the flight to the bustling safari town of Maun and your onward travel arrangements. There are daily flights from Maun to Cape Town and Johannesburg-OR Tambo.

During your stay in Southern Africa you will experience our natural beauty, diverse cultures and renowned African hospitality, as well as the iconic wildlife of Africa. Thank you for choosing to visit us on this Compass Odyssey safari. Sizobonana msinya (“See you soon”).

Meals:
Breakfast