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Blending the thrills of Victoria Falls with unrivalled game viewing in Botswana's Linyanti and Okavango Delta, this 9-day fly-in safari showcases some of the best and most romantic accommodation in the region.

Begin upstream from Victoria Falls with two nights at Zambia's Toka Leya Camp where a host of activities are on offer, from Zambezi sunset cruises to elephant-back safaris. Fly to Kings Pool Camp in Botswana’s Linyanti wetlands for game drives in a region famous for its resident predators before heading to Vumbura Plains Camp in the Okavango Delta. Here you explore by boat, vehicle and canoe, seeking out the Delta's rich variety of birds and big game.

Emphasising the best of the Green Season, this safari offers two important advantages: low visitor numbers and thrilling summer game viewing. An ideal safari without the high season crowds or a honeymoon on the wild side, this is an adventure that combines comfortably with a sunny stay on one of the spectacular Indian Ocean islands, especially off the coast of Mozambique.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Superb game viewing
  • Private & exclusive settings
  • Day & night game drives
  • Boat & canoe excursions
  • Crowd-free Green Season

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1

A warm welcome to Zambia

A warm welcome awaits you at Toka Leya Camp after a comfortable transfer from Zambia's international Livingstone Airport. Set in a grove of trees on the banks of the Zambezi, this elegant lodge makes the most of its panoramic views over the river. After settling into your beautifully decorated suite, you take a moment to settle into the easy chair on your private verandah to soak up the murmuring river and sounds of busy birds and honking hippo.

A late-afternoon boat cruise is an ideal introduction to the Zambezi. Ice cubes tinkle in tall glasses as the boat chugs gently along, giving you time to admire elephant and buffalo coming to the river side to drink. Soon enough you witness your first African sunset as the sky turns a kaleidoscope of reds and fiery oranges. You return to the lodge as the first stars sparkle on the horizon. Convivial conversation and good, wholesome cooking served in the glow of candlelight: this is your first night in Zambia.

Day 2

The Smoke that Thunders

You wake up early to sip a freshly brewed coffee as mist curls off the river through shafts of sunlight. Ahead of you is a full day to enjoy all that Victoria Falls - the adventure capital of Africa - has to offer. Begin with a complimentary tour of the iconic waterfall that marks the mighty Zambezi's plunge over a mile-wide precipice into a boiling gorge.

The rumbling symphony of sound and spray washes over you in an awesome display of nature’s power. It is little wonder that Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world, is known as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’ to local people: its spray is visible for miles around and the noise of the tumbling water literally thunders in the distance.

Once you have feasted your senses on the spectacle of the falls, a host of activities vie for your attention. Game drives in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park give you a taste of the game viewing to come - you may even see the park's famous white rhinos. Other adventures include elephant-back safaris, walking with lions and helicopter flips over the fall. Keen anglers may want to take to the river to do battle with the legendary tigerfish. Whatever your pace, the falls has something for you.

Day 3

Welcome to Botswana

After a leisurely breakfast, you cross into neighbouring Botswana and drive to Kasane Airport. From here, a charter flight wings you to the Linyanti concession - a private reserve set in the far-flung wetlands of northern Botswana. A 4X4 drive introduces you to this superb area on the way to Kings Pool Camp.

Overlooking a bend in the Linyanti River, this elegant lodge is constructed of wood, stone and thatch with large open spaces boasting sensational views. A raised wooden walkway leads to your elegant suite with its net-draped four-poster bed that recalls the grand romance of Hemingway's era. A plunge pool on your private verandah is the perfect place to unwind with a chilled drink. Refreshed and ready to explore, you set off with your guide for a late afternoon game drive.

Linyanti is an area with richly diverse habitats that support a superb variety of wildlife. Dense, bird-filled riverine forest lines the Linyanti broken by great swathes of grassy floodplains. Here you keep an eye out for red lechwe antelope, hippos wallowing and crocodiles sunning themselves on the banks. Lions often rest in the riverside thickets, lazily watching the floodplains. Further inland, open woodlands dominate the landscape. It is here that leopards stalk their prey while kudu and sable antelope slip like ghosts through the shadows, and elephant families come to feed.

Returning to Kings Pool in the late afternoon, delicious scents waft from the kitchen. You freshen up before joining your fellow guests for sunset drinks and sharing the day's before the lodge's staff beckon you to the sumptuous dinner they serve by lantern light. After a nightcap at the roaring campfire, you slip back to your suite and slide between the Egyptian cotton covers for a restful night's sleep.

Days 4-5

Discover the Linyanti

Over the next two days, you settle into the rhythm of safari life.  Each sunrise brings a gentle knock on your door and steaming, fresh coffee. A light breakfast buffet sets you up for the morning’s game viewing. Always on the lookout for something new, your guide focuses on the big sightings - especially predators.

Linyanti is a stronghold for the highly endangered African wild dog and an encounter with a pack of these animals on a high-speed hunt ranks as one of the most thrilling wildlife experiences Africa offers. Even at rest, the dynamics of wild dog clans are remarkable. Their dedication to each other and almost mystical collaboration during a hunt win the hearts and minds of everyone lucky enough to encounter them. Wild dogs kill quickly and silently, feeding their young first and leaving their kill before wilderness bullies like lions and hyenas are attracted to the scene. 

When wildlife stills in the warm heart of the day, you return to camp for a sumptuous brunch.  African afternoons are made for gentle siestas, curling up with a good book or soaking up the sun around the pool, serenaded by birdsong.  After a fortifying high tea, you set out again in the late afternoon to see what the Linyanti has in store for you after the morning's excitement.

As the afternoon drive draws to a close, your guide selects a safe spot for you to stretch your legs. He produces a hamper packed with drinks and snacks, and you find yourself sipping on a glass of your favourite tipple as the sun goes down in a pyrotechnic display of colour. When the first stars appear, you head back to camp looking out for rare nocturnal species emerging in the twilight, your guide deftly wielding a spotlight. You may catch a glimpse of civets, honey badgers, bush babies and genets, or the thrill of seeing the light reflected in the eyes of a lion pride setting out to hunt - reminding you that this time of night is a good time to be around a blazing campfire.

Days 6-8

An Okavango Delta adventure

After a last morning game drive and delicious brunch, a short flight whisks you south towards a vast, shimmering green expanse in the midst of the Kalahari thirstland. This is the Okavango Delta, a unique wetland wilderness that stretches to the horizon in a mosaic of treed islands, reed-lined waterways, deep lagoons and floodplains.

A game drive transfers you from the airstrip to Vumbura Plains Camp. Set under huge ebony trees and fitting seamlessly into its surroundings, the camp overlooks a floodplain with views that are nothing short of mesmerising. A raised walkway meanders through the trees to your spacious, secluded suite with its sunken lounge and private plunge pool.  

A traditional high tea provides refreshment and gives your guide a chance to introduce you to the many ways you can explore Vumbura. Take to the waterways and lagoons in a motorboat to see hippo and crocodile or slip gently along the shallow, shimmering floodplains in a traditional dugout canoe. Steered by your guide, the canoe glides silently through fields of water lilies, past tiny reed frogs and bejewelled kingfishers. The only sounds you hear are the soft gurgle of water and chattering conversation of birds.

The Green Season is a time of abundance. The summer rains bring abundant grazing and signal the start of the birthing period for antelope, giving predators a temporary glut of young prey. It is a great time of year to observe big cats and wild dogs, and where better than the exclusive setting of Vumbura Plains Camp? With game viewing expeditions morning, afternoon and evening, this leg of your journey offers a superb safari experience. 

Day 9

Farewell to the Okavango

After a last morning expedition, you depart for your charter flight to Maun International Airport. The flight to Maun is a poignant one: below you, the Jewel of the Kalahari sparkles. You reflect on how the delta has touched you: its primeval perfection has spoken to your soul and left an indelible mark, inspiring you to return to this African Eden one day.  

Inclusions

  • All accommodation on a fully inclusive & shared basis
  • Transfers as included in the quote
  • Excursions as included in the quote
  • Services of the camp/lodge guides and staff
  • Relevant park fees and entrance fees as specified
  • Drinks as specified – drink inclusions may differ between camps/lodges
  • Air transfers as specified
  • Accommodation taxes

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
Carlien Parsons

Carlien Parsons

Product Manager

"Excellent value for money, this tour takes you into prime wilderness locations during the green season, when the bush is lush, the baby animals are born and it's not as crowded as in high season."

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