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Okavango Delta Botswana Safari: Miracle Rivers Tour - 7 Days

Okavango Delta Botswana Safari: Miracle Rivers Tour
2353.5

The Okavango Delta Botswana Safari

This 7-day safari tour of the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve in northern Botswana features wildlife watching around two of the country’s ‘miracle rivers’, the Okavango and the Khwai.

On this small-group Botswana safari tour, you travel in all-terrain vehicles and stay in well-appointed tented camps, with the same skilled local crew and experienced professional wildlife guides with you for the week.

The adventure begins on a scenic charter flight from Botswana’s touring hub of Maun for a bird’s-eye view of the larger wildlife roaming the Okavango Delta. Elephants, Buffalos, and Lechwe graze the open plains of mopane scrub, and Hippos wallow in the channels that radiate across the Delta.

The first three days are spent exploring the Xakanaxa region of Moremi Game Reserve, departing each morning on game drives across floodplains and savannah, marshes and woodland, seeking out Lions and African wild dogs for which Moremi is famous.

The Xakanaxa area also offers great birding opportunities, with special sightings of a variety of wetland species such as Slaty Egrets and Coppery-tailed Coucals. African Fish Eagles and other birds of prey abound, too, alongside Saddle-billed Storks and Wattled Cranes.

The drive from Moremi Game Reserve takes you through one of the most scenic areas of the Okavango Delta, following the course of the Khwai River and stopping to view the Dombo Hippo Pools.

This part of the Okavango Delta Botswana Safari is not only big cat heaven, with regular sightings of Leopard, Cheetah, Serval, and Lions, but also a good opportunity for Crocodiles, Giraffes, Zebra and many species of antelope. Here you can go for night drives to experience the animals of the African bush after dark.

Birding in the Khwai Community Area yields abundant raptors including Shikra and African Harrier Hawks, as well as breeding Rosy-throated Longclaws, Black Coucals and African Crakes.

Your last day on this magical Okavango Delta Botswana safari includes the opportunity to take a dug-out canoe trip on the Khwai River for close-up views of the animals that depend on its waters. Then you once more enjoy a charter flight over the northern Botswana landscape back to Maun.

Top 5 highlights

  • The chance to see the full beauty and abundant animal life of the famous Okavango Delta from the air.
  • Visiting the Khwai region, Botswana’s birding Mecca, to add an abundance of top wetland species and birds of prey to your life list.
  • Combining the experience of the true wilderness of Africa with the comfort of a cosy tented camp and good food cooked over an open fire.
  • Night drives to catch sightings of the more elusive nocturnal creatures that inhabit the African bush.
  • Travelling along the Khwai River in a traditional dug-out canoe, called a mokoro, for a relaxing nature-filled adventure
Alternative Tour Name: Miracle Rivers Tour
Day 1
Day 1 - Maun to Xakanaxa / Travel Day / 30 minute charter flight

After your arrival at Maun International Airport you will be met by Mack Air for your charter flight at approximately 14h00 to the Xakanaxa airstrip in Moremi Game Reserve where you will be met by your guide.

If you are staying in Maun prior to the safari, please request an airport transfer, Mack Air will liaise with your accommodation the day before to confirm the flight departure time.

Alternatively, if you are coming from one of the many safari lodges, you can organize to fly directly into Xakanaxa Airstrip with the lodges preferred charter company although we do request that these flights land only after 12h00 in order for our guide to be there to meet you.

Spending our first three nights camping in the Xakanaxa region, we explore the surrounding wilderness on game drives during the day.

Wildlife: From the air only the larger animals are seen easily. These include large breeding herds of African elephant that live in the mopane scrub. On the open plains large herds of buffalo and lechwe can be seen and in the waterways rafts of hippopotami are a common sight. Once you land in Xakanaxa the smaller game can be found.

Birding: A good day for raptors with African Hawk-Eagle, Gabar Goshawk, Shikra, Little Sparrowhawk, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Tawny Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle* and Steppe Eagle* all inhabiting the mopane and adjacent woodlands. Other birds common along this route includes most of Botswana’s hornbills including Red-billed, Southern Yellow-billed, African Grey, Bradfield’s and the Southern Ground Hornbills. A large number of brood-parasites may also be seen. Diederick Cuckoo*, Levaillant’s Cuckoo*, Jacobin Cuckoo*, Great-spotted Cuckoo*, African Cuckoo*, Common Cuckoo*, Shaft-tailed Whydah, Pin-tailed Whydah, Eastern Paradise Whydah, Greater Honeyguide, and Lesser Honeyguide.

Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp, Activities: Game Drives, scenic flight

Day 2
Days 2 & 3 - Xakanaxa Exploration Days - Moremi Game Reserve

Habitat: Moremi lies on the eastern extremity of the Okavango Delta. Habitats here range from wide-open floodplains, marshes, lagoons, papyrus fringed channels, vast stands of Miscanthus and Phragmites, woodland and savannah. As a result of the extremely variable habitat the diversity of both wildlife and birdlife is excellent.

Wildlife: Moremi is amongst the best game reserves in Africa for viewing the endangered African wild dog. Xakanaxa is home to a resident herd of several hundred buffalo whose range covers the territories of at least 4 prides of lion which may often be seen flanking the ever moving herd. Breeding herds of elephant move between their browsing areas in the mopane forests and the fresh water of the Okavango. Red lechwe are one of the more unusual antelope species and commonly found here.

Birding: The swampy areas of Xakanaxa are home to African Rail, Coppery-tailed Coucal, Black Coucal*, Red-chested Flufftail, African Crake*, Black Crake, Chirping Cisticola, Luapula Cisticola, Purple Swamphen, Allen’s Gallinule to name but a few. The open waters attract African Skimmer, Saddle-billed Stork, Yellow-billed Stork, Intermediate Egret, Goliath Heron, African Fish Eagle as well as the globally threatened Slaty Egret and Wattled Crane.

Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp, Activities: Game Drives

Day 3
Day 4: Xakanaxa to Khwai / Travel Day / 60km

Following an early morning breakfast you take a slow drive through Moremi Game Reserve north-east towards the Khwai Community Area.

Habitat: The Manuchira Channel is known as the Khwai River at its easternmost extremity. The day’s journey follows this water course, with the track weaving from the riverside and floodplains into the mopane veld and the woodlands that make Khwai one of the most scenic areas of the Okavango. We pass the magnificent Dombo Hippo Pools in the morning stopping to enjoy the scenery and the antics of the resident hippo.

Wildlife: The western mopane veld is home to mostly breeding herds of elephant whilst the eastern reaches of Khwai is home to some impressive old bulls. The mature bulls revel in the cool waters of the Khwai and are far more approachable while drinking and bathing than the breeding herds. The river has an unusually high density of hippo as

well as some huge crocodile. Leopard, cheetah, serval, and lion are common predators along this route and both Xakanaxa, as well as Khwai, are included in the home ranges of 2 different packs of wild dog. General game includes southern giraffe, Burchell’s zebra, tessebe and red lechwe with roan and sable antelope being less common residents.

Birding: In the mopane woodlands African Hawk-Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Gabar Goshawk, Little Sparrowhawk, African Harrier Hawk and Shikra are common raptors. Mixed bird parties move through the canopy and include Red-headed Weaver, Stierling’s Wren-Warbler, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Neddicky, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Chin-spot Batis, Diederik Cuckoo* to name but a few. The verges of the swamp form breeding grounds for the Rosy-Longclaw, Black Coucal*, Long-legged Bustard and the African Crake*

Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp, Activities: Game drive and night drive

Day 4
Days 5 & 6 - Khwai Exploration Days

Habitat: We spend our time between the dry-land habitats of the lead-wood and camel-thorn woodlands and savannahs and the riverside and marshy back-waters of the Khwai.

Wildlife: The Khwai region boasts excellent populations of both bull elephant as well as breeding herds. Lion, leopard, serval and African wildcat are common predators of the region with wild dog and cheetah being less common. Buffalo use this area seasonally with large herds moving in during the summer rains. The swampy areas in the west are home to red lechwe. Other ungulates include tsesebe, blue wildebeest, giraffe, kudu, sable antelope, roan antelope and impala.

Birding: Truly one of Botswana birding Mecca’s. The western reaches are prime habitat for the uncommon Rosy-throated Longclaw. The entire length of the river is hunting domain for the Bat-Hawk. Other interesting raptors here are Cuckoo Hawk (rare), Long-crested Eagle and Black Sparrowhawk. More commonly Tawny Eagle, Steppe Eagle*, Lesser-spotted Eagle*, Martial Eagle, Bateleur and African Hawk-Eagle. The waterways host Africa Rail, African Crake*, Greater Painted Snipe, Allen’s Gallinule*, Lesser Jacana and Lesser Moorhen*.

Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp, Activities: Game Drive, Walking Safaris (conditions permitting) and Night Drives and mokoro excursion

Day 5
Day 7: Khwai to Maun / Travel Day / 30 minute Charter Flight

After breakfast we take a game-drive to the airstrip where you will be met by your charter flight back to Maun.

Should you be flying on to a safari lodge, you can fly directly out from Khwai Airstrip to avoid returning to Maun. Please request that the lodge’s preferred air

Day 6
Please note:

Although we make every effort to adhere to schedules and itineraries, these are subject to change subject to weather, roads, and animal movements and availability. You will be notified of any changes.

African Hawk-Eagle, Gabar Goshawk, Shikra, Little Sparrowhawk, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Tawny Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle* and Steppe Eagle* all inhabiting the mopane and adjacent woodlands. Other birds common along this route includes most of Botswana’s hornbills including Red-billed, Southern Yellow-billed, African Grey, Bradfield’s and the Southern Ground Hornbills. A large number of brood-parasites may also be seen. Diederick Cuckoo*, Levaillant’s Cuckoo*, Jacobin Cuckoo*, Great-spotted Cuckoo*, African Cuckoo*, Common Cuckoo*, Shaft-tailed Whydah, Pin-tailed Whydah, Eastern Paradise Whydah, Greater Honeyguide,Lesser Honeyguide, Red-headed Weaver, Stierling’s Wren-Warbler, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Neddicky, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Chin-spot Batis, Diederik Cuckoo, Cuckoo Hawk (rare), Long-crested Eagle and Black Sparrowhawk. More commonly Tawny Eagle, Steppe Eagle*, Lesser-spotted Eagle*, Martial Eagle, Bateleur and African Hawk-Eagle. The waterways host Africa Rail, African Crake*, Greater Painted Snipe, Allen’s Gallinule*, Lesser Jacana, Lesser Moorhen

What is included?

  • Spacious and comfortable tented accommodation, including beds and bed linen, with a private bathroom en-suite.
  • Services of a professional guide, safari chef and camp assistants, complete with a supply boat
  • Boat cruises and local transfers in customised passenger boats
  • Exclusive camping in private campsites within the national parks and reserves
  • All entrance and camping fees within the national parks and reserves
  • All meals and drinks (mineral water, soft drinks, beer, wine and G&T) whilst in Letaka Tented Camps
  • All activities as specified in the itinerary
  • 12% Value Added Tax

What is not included?

  • Travel Insurance
  • All flights unless otherwise indicated
  • Items of personal nature
  • Staff gratuities
  • Optional safari extensions
  • Any drinks at lodges or accommodation other than Letaka Tented Camps

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Letaka Safaris is one of Botswana’s premier mobile safaris operators with over 40 years of combined guiding experience specialising in photographic, wildlife and birdwatching in Botswana and beyond.

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7 Days

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USD2,615 / per person
Based on twin/double room
This tour is operated by: Letaka Safaris
5 based on 2 reviews

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5 Based on 2 reviews
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Tour Facts

  • Okavango Delta, Botswana
  • Set Departure
  • Set Departure Tour
  • Mammals
  • 7px
  • 7 days
  • Aug to Oct
  • + 15 years
  • Moderate
  • English
  • Sir Seretse Khama International Airport
  • Sir Seretse Khama International Airport