Desert, Pans, and Delta


Areas of Interest

We strongly recommend reading a bit more about this fantastic place, an ecosystem unique in the World. The Okavango Delta is a vast inland river delta in northern Botswana. It’s known for its sprawling grassy plains, which flood seasonally, becoming a lush animal habitat. The Moremi Game Reserve occupies the east and central areas of the region. Here, dugout canoes (called mokoro) are used to navigate past hippos, elephants, and crocodiles. On dry land, wildlife includes lions, leopards, giraffes, and rhinos.

The Okavango Delta is a unique pulsing wetland. More correctly an alluvial fan, the delta covers between 6 and 15,000 square of the Kalahari Desert in northern Botswana and owes its existence to the Okavango (Kavango) River which flows from the Angolan highlands, across Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, and into the harsh Kalahari Desert.

The 1000th site to be inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2014, the Okavango Delta is an important wildlife area protected by both the Moremi Game Reserve, on its eastern edge, and the numerous wildlife concessions within Ngamiland.

Chobe National Park is in northern Botswana near the vast, inland Okavango Delta. It’s known for its large herds of elephants and Cape buffalo, which converge along the Chobe Riverfront in the dry months. Lions, antelopes, and hippos inhabit the woods and lagoons around Linyanti Marsh. The floodable grasslands of the Savuti Marsh attract numerous bird species, plus migrating zebras.

The main attraction is the Chobe River, and the game viewing from a boat when the wildlife congregates to drink. You are likely to see all the African iconic wildlife species. The Chobe National Park is also famous for bird watching. Variety includes open-billed-storks, kingfishers of all types, and the famous breeding colonies of carmine-bee-eaters (September to October).

It is the most diversified of all the parks in Botswana. Although just fewer than 5,000 square kilometers (1,900 square miles) in extent, Moremi Game Reserve is a surprisingly diverse game reserve, combining mopane woodland and acacia forests, floodplains, and lagoons. Only about 30% of the Reserve is mainland, with the bulk being within the Okavango Delta itself.

Chances of seeing all the Big 5 are high (May to November). By combining drier areas and waterways, the contrasts are astonishing. Imagine views of savannah game as well as birdlife around the rivers, or elephants and hippos splashing in the lagoons. Often referred to as a ‘Garden of Eden’, the Moremi Game Reserve offers excellent game viewing year-round and stunning landscapes of savannah, floodplains, lagoons, dense forests (where leopards and wild dogs hide) and winding rivers.

The Savute (also spelled Savuti) area borders the Delta to the west and Chobe National Park to the east and is one of Africa’s best known big game areas. Savuti is a place of enchantment, of beauty, and boasts one of the greatest concentrations of animals in Southern Africa.

Savuti is famous for its mysterious and fascinating channel. It runs a distance of 100 kilometers from the Chobe River, through a gap in the sand ridge, to the Mababe Depression. Falling only approximately 18 meters, this channel brings water from the Chobe to Mababe, creating a small marsh where it enters the Depression.

Predators are abundant, especially its resident lion and spotted hyena populations. Savuti areas are among the most beautiful in Botswana. The game-viewing can be exceptional, and the wide variety of activities make this an area not be missed. Savute hosts large herds of buffalo, zebra, and elephant. Because this area is a private game reserve, the vehicle concentrations are very low and the wilderness experience is one of the best in Africa.

Linyanti is situated north of Savuti in a corner of the Chobe National Park. Linyanti Swamp is one of the most attractive areas in the park. It boasts a great diversity of game and a restful atmosphere.

The north-western corner of Chobe meets the Linyanti River – this is a fragment of almost 900 square kilometers of the secluded Linyanti Swamp. This area is further expanded by the Selinda Reserve in the west and Namibia’s remote Mamili National Park on the northern bank of the Kwando River. The area’s relative remoteness makes it a favored safari destination.

Wildlife viewing in the Linyanti region is excellent. It boasts large concentrations of elephant, lion, sable, roan, hippos, and wild dog, building to a peak in the dry winter months. The area also offers spectacular bird watching year round and is best known for its enormous herds of Elephant which move down to the Linyanti River at the start of the winter months and only move back inland once the main rains arrive.

Sable and Roan Antelope occur, as well as lion, leopard, and wild dogs. The marshes are home to red lechwe, sitatunga, hippo, crocodiles and wonderful bird life. And moving along the waterways, we can see kudu, zebra, buffalo, waterbuck, and impala.

The Khwai River, the northern-most overflow of the Okavango Delta, pushes water far into the dry lands of Botswana during the dry season, attracting a multitude of wildlife and is known as one of the most dramatic wildlife experiences in the country:

    • Dry season concentration of wildlife along the channel (June to September)
    • Diversity in vegetation from open grass plains to riverine forest
    • Excellent birding during the summer months
    • Very strong predator population including lion, leopard and wild dog


  • Day 1 – Arrive Maun – Thamalakane Lodge

One of our members will be waiting for you at the airport for your transfer to Thamalakane Lodge. Thamalakane is ideally located an easy 20 minute drive from Maun en-route to the famous Moremi Game Reserve. The en-suite stone chalets overlook the Thamalakane river offering spectacular views. There is also a widely acclaimed restaurant serving a la carte and buffet meals. Relaxing at the poolside, bird-spotting and reading are favourite activities around the lodge.

Service: Bed & Breakfast


  • Day 2, 3 & 4 – Mbudi Campsite – Khwai

Your adventure starts with Mbudi Campsite Khwai is located outside the Moremi Game Reserve and features four campsites with hot shower facilities. The camp is ideal for those who wish to use it as a base to explore the surrounding areas. showers and loos.

Service: Rooftop tent and self-catering

Driving time: 4 hours


  • Day 5, 6 & 7 -Khwai Campsite – Moremi Game Reserve

Khwai (formerly known as North Gate) is a group of sites in the Moremi Game reserve. The area is well known for it’s extensive variety of animals and the San Bushmen, who have a growing community nearby. Campsites are grouped together with their own fireplaces but sharing two ablution blocks with solar lights and ensuite showers and toilets. The campsites are not fenced, be alert.

Service: Rooftop tent and self-catering

Driving time: 4 hours


  • Day 8, 9 and 10 – Savuti Campsite – Chobe National Park

Recognised as a prime game viewing area, the Savuti covers almost 1,930 sq. miles (5,000 square km) in the south west of Chobe National Park. Parts of Savuti are almost desert-like with a scorching sun and hot sand, while at the other extreme are vast grassy plains. Savuti is well known for its elephants, lions and hyenas, all of which visit the lodge area, making for an experience not to be forgotten! Listening to the night sounds of Savuti is an unforgettable experience. Apart from being one of Africa’s prime game viewing areas, Savuti is also stunningly beautiful, with rocky outcrops, and rolling grassland interspersed with dead trees. In 2009 the Savuti channel began flowing again – the first time in 30 years. In February 2010 the channel had reached the marsh, transforming the area and bringing new life. The Savuti area is now returning to its former glory – when it was known as one of the key wildlife areas in Botswana. This campsite offers large camping sites with running water (not drinking water) on every campsite. In the centre of the campsite is an elephant proof complex which houses the ablutions, showers and washing basins.

Service: Rooftop tent and self-catering

Driving time: 3 hours


  • Day 11, 12 & 13 – Linyanti Campsite – Chobe National Park

Nestled at the furthest corner of the Chobe National Park, Linyanti Campsite is very secluded and uncrowded. The campsites lie along the breathtaking perennial Linyanti River. There are five campsites overlooking the river. The Linyanti Campsite caters for those seeking tranquility and a more remote camping site. Access to the camp is by 4X4 vehicle, as the road to Linyanti from Savuti is covered in very heavy sand.

Service: Rooftop tent and self-catering

Driving time: 3 hours


  • Day 14 – Muchenje Campsite And Cottages – Chobe River Front

You will have the option to stay at the campsite with 10 spacious wel shaded campsites on the elevated banks of the Chope Floodplain or in self-catering on chalets with a double bed.

Service: Rooftop tent or chalet and self-catering

Driving time: 3 hours


  • Day 15, 16 & 17 – Chobe Safari Lodge – Chobe National Park

Situated in Kasane on the banks of Chobe River and sharing a border with Chobe National Park. Right on our doorstep 4 African countries meet, Chobe Safari Lodge and the newly built Chobe Bush Lodge offer an excellent getaway location to Chobe, Victoria Falls or the Caprivi. Chobe Safari Lodge consists of 80 spacious river view rooms, including family rooms. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms with bath and a shower, air conditioners, satellite TV, telephone, safe and fan. Chobe Bush Lodge offers 42 spacious luxury en-suite rooms with open plan bathrooms furnished in a modern-bush style. Either with a balcony with views of the Chobe River or a veranda with bush views.

Service: Full Board

Driving time: 3 hours


  • Day 18 – Nata Lodge – Nata

An oasis set among the Mokolwane palms on the edge of the pans. It is ideally situated close to the entrance to the Nata Sanctuary and is just off the main road, 10 km from Nata village. This is the junction to the Okavango, Chobe and Francistown areas. The Nata River delta feeds the Sua Pan in the Nata sanctuary and forms the breeding ground for a host of water birds including pelicans and flamingo in their thousands, transforming the shore line into a pink haze blending into the western sky. Nata Lodge offers guided tours in open safari vehicles into the sanctuary, not to be missed.

Service: Bed & Breakfast

Driving time: 3 hours


  • Day 19 & 20 – Planet Baobab – Gweta

Located along the Nata – Maun road in Gweta village, this lodge is a true definition and reflection of Botswana. Set amongst large majestic old baobabs, Planet Baobab offers accommodation in traditional mud huts as was built in the old Bechuanaland. The huts are colourfully handcrafted and have en suite hot and cold water showers. There is a campsite available for the outdoor fanatics. Delicious pan – African meals are enjoyed from the restaurant completed with an ice cold drink from the afro bar. As one of the activities you have the opportunity to experience the African lifestyle by visiting a local cattle post and enjoying a delicious traditional lunch, get up-close with the resident meerkat colony or go quad biking across the pans.

Service: Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

Driving time: 4 hours


  • Day 21 – Thamalakane Lodge – Maun

Thamalakane is ideally located an easy 20 minute drive from Maun en-route to the famous Moremi Game Reserve. The en-suite stone chalets overlook the Thamalakane river offering spectacular views. There is also a widely acclaimed restaurant serving a la carte and buffet meals. Relaxing at the poolside, bird-spotting and reading are favourite activities around the lodge.

Service: Bed & Breakfast

Driving time: 4 hours


  • Day 22 – Depart Maun


Nxai Pan National Park covers more than 810 square miles and is located in Northern Botswana. It is a fossil lake, and the landscape is famous for the baobabs. Wildlife varies from cheetah to gemsbok, eland, lions and the other predators. The highlight of the park is the Baines Baobabs, a group of five baobabs, recently painted by Prince Charles.

Makgadikgadi National Park is part of the Makgadikgadi Pans, a large area that of 4,600 square miles. The landscape is characterized by the salt pans, with a few land islands scattered in the area. The wildlife includes large herds of blue wildebeest, flamingoes, plain game and the famous meerkats. On the western side, thanks to the fact that the Boteti River is now flowing again, and wildlife viewing is very rewarding. Stargazing is also a famous highlight of the Makgadikgadi. The complete darkness produces the brightest stars you could ever imagine.

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve, also known as the CGKR, is one of the largest in the World, with its 20,000 square miles. Depending on the season, you will find the best cheetah population in Botswana, as well as all the other predators (December through May). The most famous part of the CKGR is Deception Valley. The area was home for the American researchers Mark and Delia Owens, who wrote the best seller The Cry of the Kalahari (a must-read).

You will find this park ideal to visit if you are planning to extend your holiday to South Africa. It is the land of the extremes, with summer temperatures exceeding 105 F (40 C). Animals have adapted to these conditions, and the areas around the Auob River and the Nossob River Valley are very rich in wildlife.