14 day 4×4 Self-Drive tag-along African Safari
Personally hosted by Moon Tours, Trent & Stephanie Moon. Your African Safari specialists.
South Africa, through Botswana & into Zambia
After 25 years frequenting the amazing African continent we have put this itinerary from first hand experience, it is one of our very own personal favourite African Safari adventures and we’re excited to share the opportunity with you. A two week 4×4 photographic wildlife Safari into remote areas of Botswana and Zambia, home to some of the largest conservation areas on earth that seem to roll on one after another. Botswana is a wildlife wonder land, with a population of only three million people the country is vast and relatively uninhabited giving wildlife the freedom to move freely.
Kalahari bush camping, Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, Chobe National Park, Zambezi River, Victoria Falls.
The largest waterfall in the world – The biggest population of Elephants in Africa – The oldest park in Botswana – The predator capital of the world – The largest inland delta & flooded desert in the world – The 52800 square km & second largest wildlife reserve in the world.
After 25 years frequenting the amazing African continent we have put this itinerary from first hand experience, it is one of our very own personal favourite African adventures and we’re excited to give you the opportunity to experience Africa in such a unique way.
From Victoria Falls to Kafue NP in Zambia and across the border into Botswana, all these conservation areas roll into one across the two countries. Victoria Falls, the mighty Zambezi, Chobe NP, famous Moremi Game Reserve, the incredible Okavango Delta and the flooded desert onto the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, you will spend almost every single day on Safari.
Trent Moon has spent his whole life in the bush, racked up 11 countries in Africa and over two years on the ground. His remote travel and off road experience combined makes him highly qualified for the task at hand.
Starting at the Farm Inn, Pretoria, South Africa you will be met by Trent & Steph. After preparing the vehicles you will drive up to Botswana and through Central Kalahari & Makgadikgadi Pans, Chobe NP, the Okavango Delta & Moremi Game Reserve.
Crossing into Zambia you will end camped on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River about 45min from the magnificent Victoria Falls.
After a couple of days settling in and preparing yourselves the first day of driving is the longest but the roads are highways and speed limit 120kph. We will do about 550km. After that it’s a doddle, 1140km over the next 12 days.
13 night / 14 day Self Drive Safari: Experience Wild and remote Botswana, untouched and preserved, the water rich Chobe River turns into the mighty Zambezi, spreads out across the flood plains and crashes over the biggest water fall in the world, Victoria Falls.
The Flood plains of Chobe NP run off to the west and into Namibia, to the east thick bush amid an arid and dry landscape. Moremi Game Reserve, one of the largest in the world borders the incredible Okavango Delta, a desert rich in wildlife and mesmerising landscape, flooded every year by rains thousands of kilometres away and rivers that empty into the Kalahari Desert. Incredible.
Central Kalahari is one of the most remote and the second largest game reserves in Africa. Unique animals live here, Mere-cats, Gemsbok and Springbuck along with the predators and other large mammals.
2 Nights – Farm Inn, Pretoria.
3 Nights – Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Bush camping in roof top tents. Dirt tracks and soft sand. Game viewing on route.
1 Night – Makgadikgadi Pans NP – Bush camping in roof top tents. Dirt roads, 4WD tracks and soft sand. Game viewing on route.
3 Nights – Moremi Game Reserve including Third Bridge Camp. 4WD tracks, soft sand, possible water crossings and mud. Moderately challenging but pretty easy days. Game viewing en route.
2 Nights – Chobe National Park. Bush camping in roof top tents. Mix of dirt roads, 4WD tracks and some tarmac. Ferry crossing at Kazungula into Botswana. Easy drive.
2 Nights – Camp Nkwazi, Zambezi River. Victoria Falls. Zambia
About your Moon Tours host
Vast and untamed, a country with thousands of square miles of exquisite wilderness, Botswana offers exceptional game viewing as well as a varied safari experience across its broad and flat expanses of savannah, desert, salt pan and wetland.
CHOBE NATIONAL PARK
In the country’s northwest, on the border with Namibia, immense teak forests grow and it is here, in Chobe National Park, that the largest population of elephants (estimated at 100,000) in the world live a protected and secure existence. Lions, leopards and rare wild dogs roam the broad plains that shrink and grow with the change of the seasons as the rivers and streams flood. Kasane, at the northern tip of the park, is the gateway to the area as well as its administrative centre. The lush Chobe riverfront is noted for the large concentrations of mega fauna (elephant and buffalo) that gather on its banks in the dry season. In the dry season (April – November) the Chobe is the only major source of water north of the Okavango, hence the number of game attracted from great distances. Like the Okavango, the river originates in the highlands of Angola and flows into the mighty Zambezi. The Chobe boasts Bushbuck and Puku antelope, as well as a variety of birds, in addition to elephant and buffalo. It is also famed for its majestic sunsets.
THE OKAVANGO DELTA
Over 80% of this landlocked country is made up of the Kalahari Desert, the vast sponge into which the swollen Okavango River disappears each year, creating the largest inland delta in the world – the Okavango Delta. The delta forms part of the Kalahari Basin, situated at the southern periphery of the Great Rift Valley and covers an area of 22,000 square kilometres home to an estimated 9,000 species of flora and fauna – as such the delta is widely regarded as one of the premium destinations for game viewing. Although the periphery is semi-arid, the delta itself is a patchwork of cool clear streams, lagoons, floodplains and forested islands. In the dry winter season vast numbers of wildlife flock to where the floodwaters infiltrate the delta – providing one of the natural world’s most spectacular sights.
CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE
Central Kalahari Game Reserve is an extensive national park in the Kalahari desert of Botswana. Established in 1961 it covers an area of 52,800 square kilometres (larger than the Netherlands, and almost 10% of Botswana’s total land area), making it the second largest game reserve in the world.
The park contains unique wildlife such as South African giraffe, bush elephant, white rhino, brown hyena, honey badger, meerkat, yellow mongoose, South African cheetah, caracal, Cape wild dog, cape fox, sable antelope, gemsbok, springbok and chacma baboon. The land is mostly flat, and gently undulating covered with bush and grasses covering the sand dunes, and areas of larger trees. Many of the river valleys are fossilized with salt pans.
The Bushmen, or San, have inhabited the lands for thousands of years since they roamed the area as nomadic hunters.
WHY WE LOVE BOTSWANA
- Botswana has a strong commitment to conservation so expect to see a plethora of endangered species including wild dog and rhino
- Home to the Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world
- Chobe National Park is home to the largest concentration of elephants in Africa
- A diversity of landscapes, from savannah and desert, to salt pan, wetland and flood plain
- Mokoro excursions, a unique adventure trip along the waterways of the Okavango Delta
- Living with the Elephants Immersive experice (see Activities list)
Hear the roar of the thundering Victoria Falls, feel the adrenaline while white water rafting down the mighty Zambezi River, or take a leisurely game drive in the leopard country of South Luangwa. This is Zambia, a country rich in natural beauty and wildlife, yet scant in tourists.
Aside from its variety of game, such as lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and a number of exciting endemic species, Zambia is noted for its rich birdlife and exotic fish. It’s something of a pilgrimage for fishermen, and for birders, they can’t help but be drawn by the marvellous diversity of bird species. Zambia is the perfect African destination to have an authentic safari experience.
THE VICTORIA FALLS & MOSI-OA-TUNYA NATIONAL PARK
David Livingstone was the first European to see the falls and named them in honour of Queen Victoria in 1857. The falls make a constant roar and are accompanied by a cloud of brilliant spray where the 1.7 kilometre wide Upper Zambezi drops between 90 and 107 metres into the Lower Zambezi. An average of 550,000 cubic metres of water plummets over the edge every minute, transforming the Zambezi from a wide placid river to a ferocious torrent cutting through a series of dramatic gorges. The river’s annual flood season is February to May with a peak in April. The spray from the falls typically rises to a height of over 400 metres, sometimes even twice as high, and is visible from up to 50 kilometres away – hence the local name for the falls and the surrounding national park – Mosi-OaTunya, “the Smoke that Thunders”! The park provides a home for numerous antelope species, zebra, giraffe, elephant, warthog and a variety of birds. Since there are no predators, the wildlife is very relaxed, allowing for excellent photo opportunities.
KAFUE NATIONAL PARK, ZAMBIA
Kafue National Park covers a massive area in western Zambia. It’s known for its abundant wildlife and the Kafue River, running north to south through the park. In the north, the fertile Busanga Plains are home to lions, zebras, abundant birdlife and the sycamore fig trees of Busanga Swamps. In the more remote south, elephants and antelopes roam the Nanzhila Plains, and hippos swim in the waters of Lake Itezhi-Tezhi.
REASONS TO GO ON A ZAMBIA SAFARI
- The rising star of the safari circuit offering excellent value for money
- Offers a variety of safari experiences such as walking safaris, canoeing, tiger fishing and night drives
- The game rich South Luangwa National Park is consistently named as one of the top five places in Africa to see leopards
- 30% of the country is dedicated to wildlife conservation areas and boasts 19 national parks
- Livingstone, access town to the Victoria Falls, is the adventure capital of Africa
ACTIVITIES IN BOTSWANA
KALAHARI GAME DRIVES
Game drives in the Kalahari are about taking your time and potentially covering more ground to find animals. Although there are an abundant number of species here they are spread over large areas due to the lack of water. The famous Kalahari Lions, even Elephants can be found along with many antelope species and Zebra.
OKAVANGO / MOREMI GAME DRIVES
These game drives are not typical, water crossings are part of the adventure and watching zebra standing belly-deep in water, grazing, is a sight to see. Even giraffe will cross water up to their hocks. Water levels will determine how far in to the Delta one can go before requiring a boat, how ever exceptional game viewing on the edge of the Delta in Moremi Game Reserve is spectacular.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES IN ZAMBIA
SUNDOWNER CRUISE ON THE ZAMBEZI
The best way to end a day of safari here is sipping on a cocktail while watching an African sunset cruising the waters and rapids of the mighty Zambezi River from the comfort of one of our specially designed riverboats. Sundowner cruises are also a great way of seeing buffalo up close as they come out of the shade to graze in the cooler evenings and elephants as they wade in the river.
Experience the land as it was when Livingstone first made his way across the ridge and beheld the smoke that thunders. The park has elephant, impala, giraffe, buffalo, hippo, crocodile, zebra in large numbers and an exciting array of birds, including some Southern African specials like Peters Finfoot. Guests may also be lucky enough to see a rare sighting of the wild dog that on occasion pass through the park.
LOCAL SCHOOL & VILLAGE TOUR
Nakatindi village is located six kilometres from Livingstone and five kilometres from Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma. Through Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy, we sponsor various projects aimed at improving education, conservation, health and enterprise in the village. We have the opportunity to visit these projects and meet the people supported by them. In particular, guests can visit Nakatindi Community School which is resposible for the education of 442 pupils or Chipego bike shop, where guests can hire bicycles to use to tour the village.
There can be few more thrilling ways to experience and understand African wildlife, the bush and ecosystem as a whole than by being on foot on a walking safari. Offering a completely different perspective to the conventional view one gets from the confines of a safari vehicle. Our two highly trained professional walking guides, Luckson and Elijah, have a combined walking safari experience of more than 20 years. Their reverence and respect for the wild is highly contagious, making this a truly unforgettable and memorable experience as they share their in-depth bush knowledge of the local flora and fauna. Guests will also be accompanied by an armed National Parks ranger. Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma’s walking safaris will last about two hours and are conducted at a leisurely pace. Morning walks will depart at 6:30 am and will include a break with tea, coffee and snacks. The afternoon walk will commence at 4pm and finish at a special sundowner spot where guests will be served drinks and canapés while enjoying the magnificent sunset. Minimum age is 15 years.
TOUR OF THE VICTORIA FALLS
Just a short drive away from the world famous Victoria Falls, the lodge offers guests a walking tour of The Falls. First described to Europe by explorer David Livingstone and known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, or “the Smoke that Thunders”, the falls make a constant roar and are accompanied by a cloud of brilliant spray where the mile wide Upper Zambezi falls 300 feet into the Lower Zambezi. Rainbows constantly form and collapse in the tropical sunlight over the waterfall. The river is bordered by ebony groves and mopane forest. Well-known for its bird life, with many fish eating raptors attracted to the rich pickings in the river. Excluded in the rate is the Heritage Fee which is payable by guests directly at the lodge when doing a Tour of the Falls.
CANOEING ON THE ZAMBEZI
Take the opportunity to enjoy a two hour canoeing excursion on the Zambezi River. The canoeing trip can either be done in the morning or afternoon, the activity will start from the lodge and can be combined with either a game drive or a boat cruise. Canoeing is offered all year but is weather dependent. Dry bags will be provided for valuables. Minimum age is 15 years.
The fishing season generally opens on 1st March each year. It closes annually from the 1st December until March. (This is the local Fisheries’ regulations and it is enforced by the Zambian Wildlife Authority.) All fishing is on a strict “Catch and Release” policy as we are in the national park. So far the biggest fish caught was around 4.5kg.
Sussi and Chuma’s 3 boats are used for fishing as well as other activities. Guests specifically wanting to do fishing should ideally request and pay for a private boat for fishing. That said we will be happy to accommodate fishermen as best as we can. Please note, on a full camp, all boats are used for the evening sunset cruise.
FLIGHT OF ANGELS
The Flight of Angels offers an amazing experience – the opportunity to fly over the Falls in a helicopter for unrivalled views. While we cannot guarantee that you will see any game the following species can often be seen from the air: elephant, buffalo, rhino, hippo, crocodile and giraffe. Guests can choose from a 15 or 30 minute flight, minimum 2/maximum 6 participants, starting from the helipad at Maramba Aerodome. (Additional cost)
WHITE WATER RAFTING
The rapids on the Zambezi are officially defined as “Grade 5” by the British Canoe Union. You will be met in the reception area of the lodge from where you transfer to the Zambezi Waterfront, check-in, sign an indemnity and be given a briefing before departing on a half day white water rafting experience. The white water rafting finishes at rapid #10 where the truck will be waiting with cold drinks and beers for the journey back to Zambezi Waterfront at 12.30 / 1.00pm in time for lunch. Lunch consists of a variety of savoury filled bread rolls, fruits and fruit juice. After lunch, you will be transferred back to the lodge. Water is provided throughout the day. Minimum 4 participants and no children under 15 years are allowed to participate on the rafting activity. Guests have the option of also choosing from a full day, low water or full day high water white river rafting. (Additional cost)
YOUR VEHICLES ARE WELL EQUIPPED FOR SELF CATERING
Most nights we will be camping in remote areas which means you will need to cater for yourselves. Each vehicle is set up with gas stoves, fridges, cooking equipment, cutlery, utensils, camp chairs, roof top tents and bedding.
The big shop will be at the start of the trip while we are at the Farm Inn, there is a large supermarket and shopping complex close by. Along the way there will be opportunities to top up, in particular when we pass through Maun five days or so into the trip.
GETTING TO EAST AFICA
Getting to East Africa is relatively easy with two main hubs on the continent form where you can get to where ever you need to go. Those being Johannesburg and Nairobi.
Flying from Australia QANTAS has regular and direct flights from Sydney – Johannesburg while South African Airways fly directs to Johannesburg ex Perth to meet connections onto Nairobi and Kilimanjaro.
If you prefer to to fly with Emirates or QATAR they have regular flights ex Melbourne and Sydney via Dubai and Doha to Nairobi.
Departing from Europe you will find many direct flights into Nairobi, the main East African hub. Flying from the United States you will find direct flights to Johannesburg from New York and Atlanta while getting to Nairobi will generally take you through Europe.
Departing from Livingstone, Zambia (Victoria Falls) there are two flights per day to Johannesburg and take less than two hours.
MEMORIES TO LAST A LIFE TIME
With the benefit of digital photography don’t hold back taking pics, you can always delete them. We recommend packing your largest lense, all safari vehicles have padded rest for stable long distance shots.
BOTSWANA VISA INFORMATION
For most passports, a visa is required. Please check with local authorities for details. Two blank passport pages are required when travelling to Southern Africa. Check the number of days given on arrival at the immigration desk as there are steep fines for overstaying the number of days given. Departure tax is dependent upon which airline you are travelling with.
Visas Not Required: Foreigners from most Commonwealth and European Union countries, as well as the United States, are not required to obtain visas for entering Botswana, except in cases where the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs has directed otherwise.
Visas Required: Please visit www.botswanaembassy.org for a full list of nationalities requiring visas for entry into Botswana. Please note this information serves as a guide only. Travellers should check for visa requirements pertaining to their citizenship, as entry requirements can vary. Visas are to be obtained in advance and cannot be issued at port of entry.
TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN
Guests travelling to Botswana need to be aware that parents travelling with children would now be requested to provide the following information for all travelling children. Any children under the age of 18 will not be allowed to enter the country without these documents.
Child and both parents:
- An unabridged birth certificate
- A valid passport for the child
Child and one parent, parent must produce:
- An unabridged birth certificate
- A valid passport for the child
- A court order / death certificate / affidavit confirming the absent parent has given permission for the child to travel
Child and guardian, guardian must produce:
- An unabridged birth certificate
- A valid passport for the child
- A court order / death certificate / affidavit confirming the parents have given permission for the child to travel
- Copies of parents / guardian ID documents
- Contact details of parents/guardian
GMT + 2 hours
The official languages are English and Setswana.
Botswana straddles the Tropic of Capricorn and experiences extremes in temperatures. Days are normally clear, warm and sunny while the nights range from cool to cold. Botswana is primarily a dry country, but a summer rainy season lasts from November to March. Average annual rainfall is around 500mm. During the summer, days are generally sunny with short, abrupt rainstorms which usually clear within hours. Average temperatures during this period range between 20°C and 38°C. From late May to August, rain is rare anywhere in the country. During this dry season temperatures can plummet as low as 0°C at night and the average maximum temperature is around 27°C.
There will be little access to ATMs or banks while on safari. We suggest guests travel with cash in small denominations for tipping. Accepted currencies are USD, GBP, Euro and Pula – change will be given in the local currency. All cash should be locked in the safes, or safe bags, provided. Sanctuary Retreats’ lodges and camps in Botswana accepts credit cards, apart from Diners and American Express.
Tipping is not obligatory but general suggestions are as follows:
$15 per guest per day for the guide and $10 per guest per day for the rest of the staff.
NEW BOTSWANA TOURISM LEVY
As of 1 June 2017, visitors travelling to Botswana are liable to pay US$ 30 per person at the port of entry into the country. The levy will be payable at all ports of entry, including airports and border posts, through electronic payment machines, cash and debit and credit cards. A unique receipt, corresponding with the passport, will be generated automatically which then needs to be presented to Immigration Officials. The receipt will be valid for a 30 day period and can be used for multiple entries.
For more information, please visit www.botswanatourism.co.bw/tourismlevy
Each guest must take out their own travel insurance policy.
$6,900AUD per person. Maximum 2 persons per vehicle, per room where accommodated.
Single supplement – Private vehicle, private rooms 50% of sharing rate.
Child rates on application. Pay as you go.
- Hosted by Stephanie and Trent Moon, your personal tour directors with many years Africa and 4WD experience.
- Small group, maximum 4 vehicles only
- 14 days vehicle hire – Toyota Land Cruiser or Hilux set up for remote travel and camping. Includes Roof Top Tents, fridges, inverters, recovery gear, all necessary camping, cooking and bedding.
- All Park and Camping fees (Victoria Falls $20 Heritage fee not included to be paid at the gate)
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