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9 Day Botswana Safari

Wildlife

9-Day Botswana Safari: Moremi Game Reserve, Okavango Delta, and Central Kalahari

This comprehensive 9-day Botswana safari offers participants an in-depth exploration of three diverse ecosystems, providing ample opportunities for wildlife viewing and cultural interactions.

Duration: 9 Days

Places to Visit: Maun, Moremi Game Reserve, Okavango Delta, Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival in Maun – Moremi Game Reserve

Upon arrival at Maun International Airport, a skilled guide will welcome participants and provide a brief introduction to Botswana’s geography and culture. Maun, with a population of approximately 55,000, serves as the gateway to the Okavango Delta and surrounding wildlife areas. Before departing for Moremi, visit the Nhabe Museum in Maun. This small museum showcases the history and culture of the Ngamiland region, including exhibits on the indigenous San people and their traditional hunting techniques.

Transfer to Moremi Game Reserve via light aircraft (approximately 30 minutes). Moremi covers almost one-third of the Okavango Delta and is the only officially protected area of this unique ecosystem. Upon arrival at the camp, participate in a late afternoon game drive. Moremi is home to a high concentration of wildlife, including the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino). In the evening, enjoy a traditional Setswana dinner featuring dishes such as seswaa (pounded beef) and morogo (wild spinach).

Accommodation: Xakanaxa Camp or similar

Day 2-3: Moremi Game Reserve

Spend two full days exploring Moremi’s diverse habitats, from mopane woodland to acacia forests, floodplains, and lagoons. Visit Chief’s Island, the largest landmass in the Okavango Delta and a vital wildlife refuge. Learn about the island’s historical significance as the traditional hunting grounds of the Batswana chiefs. Participate in a guided nature walk with a local San guide. The San people have inhabited this region for thousands of years and possess intimate knowledge of the local flora and fauna.

Take a boat cruise on the Xakanaxa Lagoon, one of Moremi’s most scenic water bodies. Learn about the importance of these waterways to the local ecosystem and wildlife. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Botswana barbecue (braai) under the stars, accompanied by local folklore and storytelling.

Accommodation: Xakanaxa Camp or similar (2 nights)

Day 4-6: Moremi Game Reserve – Okavango Delta

Transfer deeper into the Okavango Delta via light aircraft or boat, depending on water levels. The Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage site, covers an area of 15,000 square kilometers and is one of the world’s largest inland deltas. Spend three days exploring the Delta’s unique ecosystem. Activities include mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) excursions, guided walking safaris, and game drives (depending on water levels).

Learn about the Delta’s flood cycle and how it supports the ecosystem. The annual floods arrive in the dry season, creating a haven for wildlife in an otherwise arid region. Visit a nearby village to learn about life in the Delta. Many communities here practice a mix of traditional subsistence farming and modern conservation-based tourism. Participate in a basket weaving workshop. The Bayei people of the Delta are renowned for their intricate basket weaving skills, passed down through generations. Take a scenic flight over the Delta (optional, additional cost) to appreciate its vastness and intricate waterways from above. Enjoy a cultural evening featuring traditional songs and dances of the Okavango region, including the healing dances of the local Bayei people.

Accommodation: Tented camp in the Okavango Delta (3 nights)

Day 7-8: Okavango Delta – Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Fly from the Okavango Delta to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR), the second-largest game reserve in the world, covering 52,800 square kilometers. Spend two days exploring the CKGR, known for its desert-adapted wildlife and San Bushmen heritage. The reserve is home to species such as the Kalahari lion, brown hyena, and the elusive aardwolf. Visit Deception Valley, made famous by Mark and Delia Owens’ book “Cry of the Kalahari.” Learn about the unique adaptations of plants and animals to this semi-arid environment.

Participate in a guided walk with San Bushmen trackers. The San have inhabited this region for thousands of years, developing intricate knowledge of survival in the harsh desert environment. Learn about traditional hunting techniques, bush medicine, and water-finding skills. In the evening, enjoy a traditional San storytelling session under the stars, learning about San mythology and their deep connection to the land.

Accommodation: Kalahari Plains Camp (2 nights)

Day 9: Central Kalahari Game Reserve – Maun

Wake up early for a final morning game drive in the CKGR, focusing on areas like Passarge Valley or Sunday Pan. After the game drive, transfer back to Maun via light aircraft. The flight offers a unique aerial perspective of the changing landscapes from desert to delta. Upon arrival in Maun, time permitting, visit the Botswana Craft shop to purchase locally made souvenirs. The shop supports artisans from across Botswana and offers a wide range of traditional crafts.

Transfer to Maun International Airport for departure, concluding the safari.

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