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Botswana's Timeless Wilderness
Big Game, Splendid Isolation
Botswana is one of the best-kept secrets in Africa-unspoiled and untamed, a wonderland of natural beauty and prodigious wildlife. The astounding variety of species, combined with a sparse population and a government that is committed to protecting its natural treasures, makes this an awe-inspiring safari destination. It is quintessential game-viewing country-where the "Big Five" are stars of the show, and yet only the beginning of the marvels we will see.
12 Days Departs Saturday, Returns Wednesday
Day 1 Depart Home
We begin our adventure as we wing to South Africa.
Day 2 Arrive Johannesburg
We touch down and transfer to the Saxon Boutique Hotel and Spa, situated in the city’s most exclusive suburb. The Saxon is an exquisite oasis of elegance and style, and like Nelson Mandela who took up residence while penning his autobiography, we may never wish to leave. But we’ll pull ourselves away to enjoy a warm welcome to Africa over drinks and dinner at the home of our Micato hosts.
Day 3 Okavango Delta
Today we fly to Eagle Island, our delightful camp in the watery Delta. Nestled on a tranquil island, it’s a luxurious escape in a beguiling wilderness. Under a cooling canopy of ilala palms, we take in the winding waterways and expansive floodplains of this remote paradise under wide African skies. Then we’re off by dugout canoe, speedboat or on foot for a glimpse of the area’s ample wildlife.
Day 4 Okavango Delta
Today we safari from the sky, enjoying helicopter flightseeing on an included adventure. In these postcard-perfect surroundings, breathtaking moments are plentiful: hippos bob underwater, crocodiles sun on rocks, a pride of lions lounge under a baobab. The Delta teems with over 1,100 species including giraffe, leopard, hippo and elephant. Next, we dreamily float in dugout canoes, exploring the reed and flower-filled channels at water-lily level. And come sunset, the Fish Eagle Bar beckons…The New York Times named it one of the most romantic bars in the world!
Day 5 Chobe National Park
We take a quick flight to the semi-arid Savute region of Chobe National Park. Famous for elephants and towering baobabs, Chobe also boasts a swath of other fascinating wildlife including buffalo, lion and a spate of exotic bird species. This is the Kalahari Desert at its best: unique and abiding, a remarkable corner of the planet that is still governed by nature. We stay at Savute Elephant Camp, a lavish escape ideally located for exploration of these alluring wilds. With a waterhole and river only a few feet away, we have an impressive view of wildlife without even leaving camp.
Day 6 Chobe National Park
We are at the centre of classic big-game country and there is thrilling evidence all around us. Set unobtrusively on the banks of the now-dry Savute Channel, Savute Elephant Camp offers a fantastic base from which to explore this famed wilderness. Whether it’s the hulking mass of a bull elephant herd or an elegant tall tower of giraffe, we fully appreciate what makes this region a wildlife-viewing Eden. We also come within close viewing range of impala, giraffe, wildebeest and zebra. One animal, however, is master of the Savute—the elephant. The region is ideal for spotting earth’s largest land creatures in all of their imposing glory.
Day 7 Moremi Wildlife Reserve
We catch another short flight to one of Botswana’s revered safari lodges—Khwai River Lodge. This legendary camp, opened by the first president of independent Botswana, pampers us amidst the wild surroundings. The location is ideal for elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and cheetah sightings—and the camp blends so well with the surrounding bushveld, it’s not uncommon to see some of them from our private deck.
Day 8 Moremi Wildlife Reserve
Game viewing opportunities abound around Khwai and no experience is more diverse and jaw-dropping than at Moremi Wildlife Reserve. Here we are close to the core of timeless Africa; in the centre of a world that is immortally wild. Whether driving alongside a roaming zebra herd or watching baboons play along the riverbank, every turn of the head offers a spectacular menagerie of exotic animals. Returning to camp, we lounge by the heated pool and perhaps glimpse a pod of hippo cavorting in the river. And at night, we lie under a star-speckled sky, basking in the calming cacophony of the African night.
Day 9 Victoria Falls
We are whisked away by flight to Livingstone, Zambia, and the Royal Livingstone Hotel on the edge of the falls. Sunset brings a leisurely cruise along the legendary Zambezi River and upon retiring to our delightful rooms, our thoughts turn to the wonder that awaits in the morning.
Day 10 Victoria Falls
This morning we visit the spectacle of Victoria Falls. Nothing can prepare us for the pure, humbling power of this regal sight. Continuing to the heli-pad for our "Flight of Angels," we'll get a bird's eye view of this colossal cascade in full perspective; an elephant-back trek is another option. The experience will inspire breathless awe and the stunning images will linger in our imaginations for years to come.
Day 11 Depart Johannesburg
We fly to Johannesburg for international flights home, reflecting on a journey of a lifetime.
Day 12 Arrive Home
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