overview

A 14-day adventure that encompasses four of Africa’s greatest wilderness areas, this tour of a lifetime takes you from the Selinda Spillway and Duba Plains in Botswana’s northern Okavango region, to the incredible scenery and wildlife of Zambia’s Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa National Parks.

Begin at Selinda Camp in the far northern reaches of Botswana: a region known for its high density of elephants and other big game. Next, you make the short hop south to Duba Plains, set in the remote northern reaches of the fabled Okavango Delta. This wetland wilderness is home to huge herds of buffalo and several prides of lion that relentlessly stalk them. You break the journey with a night in Johannesburg’s glamorous Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa before travelling north again to the shores of the mighty Zambezi River, where Old Mondoro Camp promises thrilling wildlife experiences to be enjoyed by 4x4, foot, boat and canoe. Your final destination is Tafika Camp, set in the remote upper reaches of the South Luangwa National Park, a region known for its concentration of leopards.

Perfect for any safari enthusiast looking for an authentic experience without compromising on comfort, cuisine or wildlife encounters, this is a journey that takes you to the pulsing heart of Africa at its wildest.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Day & night game drives
  • 2 specialist photographic hides
  • A glamorous city escape
  • Micro light flights can be arranged
  • Cultural visits at Mkasanga
  • Guided walks & canoe safaris
  • Excellent big game & predator viewing
  • Mountain biking at Tafika

Day to Day Itinerary

Days 1-3

Dumela Botswana

Arriving at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport, you will be transferred to your scheduled flight to Maun in Botswana. The flight over the Kalahari Desert passes quickly and soon you touch down, where a light aircraft waits to wing you north over the world-famous Okavango Delta to Selinda Camp. After takeoff, the Delta spreads out below you as you fly north towards the Selinda Spillway, which is the northernmost waterway ‘finger’ of this hand-shaped alluvial fan. You look down at a watery world consisting of sparkling channels, grassy floodplains and forested tree islands. If you look closely enough, you may see hippos in the water, and elephants out on the plains.

Arriving at Selinda Camp is like stepping into another world, back in time to the bygone age of the original safari. Set in a grove of majestic trees and overlooking the Selinda Spillway, this is a place reminiscent of the days when Livingstone and Selous tramped through here on their journeys. The emphasis is firmly on a holistic experience of the wild: exploring the area on foot, by canoe and vehicle to allow the essence of Africa to get under your skin.

Canoe along the Spillway with your guide as he unlocks the secrets of this fascinating ecosystem, the ebb and flow of water in this parched land, and the animals that depend on it for their survival. Pull up to a riverbank for a delightful picnic lunch in the blissful shade of a spreading tree, and then take a walk to stretch your limbs.

You experience the thrill of walking in this untrammelled wilderness where nature reigns supreme; following paths made by thirsty animals that might have never felt a human tread before and breathing in the heady aroma of wild sage. Learn about the smaller facets of nature around you, from the dung beetle’s unerring navigation to the medicinal uses of plants, before taking a game drive back to camp. As darkness falls, your guide uses a spotlight to search for nocturnal animals emerging for the night. Hyenas’ eyes glint in the distance as you hear their distinctive whoops and giggles; genets gaze at you from the trees, while civets wander fatly along their paths on the ground.

Days 4-6

The plains of Duba

After your morning’s game drive and a final brunch on the terrace, bid farewell to Selinda and set off to the airstrip for your flight to Duba Plains, one of the most remote camps in the Okavango Delta.

The camp, which is set on the edge of a watery channel with a vast vista of open grassland leading to a distant tree line beyond, and is raised on split-level decks underneath enormous and shady fig, ebony and wild mangosteen trees.

Before long, you are off, sailing through the open grasslands that spread out around you. The major focus of game drives at Duba involves the lion prides that inhabit this region, and their battles for survival against other prides as well as the large herds of buffalo that frequent these marshy plains. This certainly is an exciting draw card but to limit the Duba experience to just lions and buffalo is to do yourself a disservice. This remote region of the Okavango is populated by a great variety of species of animals and birds, and the landscape is one of extraordinary natural beauty.

As you waken each morning, the dew sparkles on the grass, the air is alive with birdsong, and the lions and other animals are still active in the coolness of dawn. To sit a while and observe these majestic cats is an experience that you will never forget: their beauty, playfulness and grace is tempered by the knowledge of their fearsome strength and power, and a glance into their deep amber eyes takes you to a level of understanding of what it is to be their prey.

Day 7

A night in the city of gold

After your morning at leisure or a last game drive, you enjoy a final brunch before catching your charter flight back to Maun, and then on to Johannesburg. A driver will collect you and deliver you to the grand period mansion of Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa. Set in the quiet and leafy enclave of Sandton, Fairlawns was the former residence of the Oppenheimer family of De Beers diamond fame, and all of the elegance and grace of its glory days remains in an atmosphere of a country house. The impeccable service is discreet yet friendly, the food exquisite, and the treatments at the spa are simply sublime. 

Days 8-10

Into Zambia

After a delicious early breakfast, you return to the airport for your scheduled flight to Lusaka in Zambia and then onto the Lower Zambezi River area. Flying over Zambia’s vast wilderness, soon you will see the great valley carved by the Zambezi open out below you. The glistening ribbon of water is bordered by wide floodplains that stretch to the imposing cliffs of the escarpment gouged by the passage of water over countless millennia.

Located in a grove of ancient winterthorn trees, Old Mondoro is an elegant and intimate camp that is perched on the bank of the Zambezi River on a stretch of water that is almost always filled with animal activity, from basking hippos and crocodiles to wallowing buffalo, while old bull elephants are frequent visitors to the camp itself, attracted by the bounty of the acacia trees.

Activities at Old Mondoro are varied and exciting, with a choice of game drives, guided walks, canoeing and boating to allow you total immersion in the Zambezi Valley experience. Located in the centre of prime wildlife habitat, the animals are never far away and often visit the camp itself! Game drives with extremely knowledgeable and experienced guides offer you an unprecedented insight into this fascinating ecosystem, where the diversity of topography, habitat and vegetation provide a wealth of biodiversity. Elephants and buffalo are usually never far from the water, and the sight of a herd arriving at the river to drink is always exciting: the older generations keeping a close watch on the youngsters, often forming a protective phalanx around them to ward off the ever-present danger of an ambush by crocodiles or lions.

Arriving back at the lodge in the early evening, you are welcomed into an atmosphere of warmth and conviviality within the amber glow of fire and lantern light. After a cocktail and conversation at the fireplace, a scrumptious dinner tempts you to the dining table set out under the stars. The gentle murmur of conversation and tinkle of glassware is beautifully offset by the soft gurgle of the river and the booming calls of hippos echoing across the water.

On safari walks you learn the intimate secrets of the wilds - the information latent in a set of spoor, the life inside a termite mound, and the tribal uses of the plants around you, from medicine to fibre, food to poisons. This gives you a holistic insight to the functioning of the entire ecosystem, and the fragile balance that maintains a complex web of relationships.

Canoe trips afford you the opportunity to drift silently downstream with the current of the river as you observe the life that depends on it. From this unique perspective the sight of an elephant bull becomes all the more impressive as he meditatively slurps up water with his enormous trunk.

Days 11-13

The South Luangwa

After a final morning activity and a delicious brunch, you take the drive back to the airstrip for your flight to the South Luangwa National Park.

Your guide meets you upon landing and takes you on a game drive to Tafika Camp, which is set on the bank of the Luangwa River. Located in the remote northern sector of the Park, Tafika is one of the last owner-run safari camps in Zambia, where its deliberately rustic feel is belied by its excellent facilities, exquisite food sourced from its own vegetable garden and its world-class guiding team. Coupled with its incredible location where you are unlikely to see another vehicle, this must be one of the most intimate and exclusive safari destinations in Africa.

You set out into this untrammelled wilderness as the sun begins to lower, casting a golden light over the landscape. The river is the focal point for thirsty animals as they venture out of the woodlands to drink, offering you fantastic sighting opportunities as the herds warily move out into the open, keeping a watchful eye on the dense thickets where predators may be lurking. This area is known for its population of leopards, and is often considered one of the best regions for spotting these magnificent spotted cats. Their mix of feline grace and beauty is tempered by the knowledge of their fabled strength and ferocity: they are the rulers of the night, and kings and queens of concealment.

Short micro light flights over the park can be arranged, which are usually done whilst the sun is rising and are absolutely breath-taking. It is often possible to pinpoint game to investigate later on the morning's walk or drive. Also on offer at Tafika is a mountain-bike safari along the paths and tracks around the camp.

You may also visit the nearby village of Mkasanga, where you are welcome to visit the school, wander around the village and enjoy the church choir. Although it doesn’t trumpet the issues, Tafika is very much in touch with its local community, supporting its development and providing considerable training and employment.

Day 14

Leave your heart in Africa

The time finally comes when you have to depart this magical corner of Africa’s Eden: a final game drive and a flurry of farewells sees you returning to the airstrip for your flight back to Lusaka, where your journey comes to an end. The memories and photographs you take with you will remain in your heart forever and you, like many others, will be compelled to return to the wilderness again. 

Inclusions

  • 13 nights accommodation
  • Transfers as specified in itinerary
  • Flights as specified in itinerary
  • Game viewing activities

Exclusions

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

Tour Rates

  • dates rates from
  • 01 Sep 2016 - 31 Oct 2016 $18910

Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently.

Please treat all pricing as a guide only:

  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice
  • Single supplements may apply

Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.

From

$18910

Per person sharing

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