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A Botswana Safari Vacation combined with Victoria Falls.

This article outlines what you would expect from a luxury safari in Africa. Botswana safaris combine well with South Africa and are also perfect for family safaris with children of teenage years. African holidays come in all shapes and sizes and there for it is best to talk to a specialist operator before finalising your plans.

Days 1 to 3 - Nxabega Tented Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

On arrival into Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport connect with the scheduled Air Botswana to Maun in order to commence your luxury safari. On arrival you will be met and transferred by light aircraft flight to Nxabega Tented Camp where you stay for three nights.

Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp is set in a private concession of 8 000 hectares (19 800 acres) to thesoutheast of the Moremi Wildlife Reserve in the centre of one of the most unique regions in the world, the Okavango Delta is a perfect location in which to start your luxury safari holiday. Renowned for its lush waterways and abundant wildlife, the Okavango Delta is home to a number of aquatic and land species. From under a canopy of African ebony trees, Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp faces out over expansive lagoons and channels. With superb Okavango Delta views, nine exclusive tented suites are strung out on either side of the handsome thatched guest areas of the camp. Burnished teak floors and a lofty roof frame the sitting and dining areas. Private bush dinners, breakfasts in bed, lamplit cocktails on a river island or a walking safari with al fresco picnic are provided with pleasure by Nxabega’s warm and friendly staff. Raised on wooden platforms, the spacious tented suites let in the sights and sounds of the African bush. Escape the heat of the day with a dip in the pool or take in the sun on the broad viewing deck looking out over reeds and floodplains. Cowhide rugs on the floors and chocolate tones warm and gratify, while large spinning fans keep the heat at bay. A large en-suite shower with burnished teak floorboards refreshes and renews, while private wooden decks invite you to contemplate the water’s edge.

The Okavango Delta is home to a large number of species, including semi-aquatic species, such as the elegant red lechwe and shy sitatunga. Families of hippo hide in the deeper channels and lagoons, while the unique Delta environment supports many minute but beautiful species, including multicoloured frogs and incandescent dragonflies. The area supports the continent’s largest surviving concentration of elephant and buffalo, while roan and sable antelope roam the open woodlands. Nxabega means place of the giraffe and these elegant animals are abundant in the surrounding areas. The Okavango is also a stronghold for the endangered African wild dog, although sightings of this rare animal are relatively uncommon. Exhibiting a fascinating social structure, wild dog live in packs led by a dominant pair, with a strict social hierarchy. Although particularly nocturnal and difficult to spot, leopard live in the dense riverine thickets of the Delta.

Days 4 to 6 - Sandibe Safari Lodge, Okavango Delta

Today your safari vacation will move onwards to the next location and you will be transferred to the airstrip where you board a twenty minute light aircraft flight taking you to Sandibe Safari Lodge where you stay for three nights.

Botswana has some fabulous lodges such as Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge which is set in a private concession of 8 000 hectares (19 800 acres) on the south-eastern border of the Moremi Wildlife Reserve, in one of the most unique regions in the world, the Okavango Delta. Renowned for its lush waterways and abundant wildlife, the Okavango is home to a number of aquatic and land species. Predators from the adjacent Moremi, renowned for its wildlife sightings, often cross into the Sandibe concession.

Botswana safaris don’t get much better than this, the clear waters of the Okavango Delta glimmer through a maze of brilliant green papyrus in front of Sandibe and the game-rich grassy floodplains stretch into the horizon beyond. A private concession, Sandibe has exclusive traversing over 27 000 hectares (66 700 acres) of wilderness adjacent to the Moremi Game Reserve. Gentle breezes drift through window screens and the outdoor shower makes for great stargazing. Take in the sun on raised private decks with great views over the Delta and then cool off in the swimming pool.

Camouflaged under a tumbling canopy of wild palms and gnarled fig leaves, eight thatched cottages emerge in leafy clearings on the edge of the Delta’s waterways. The sounds of Africa lull and soothe guests, as elephants splash in the water, baboons chatter and a myriad birds call and twitter in the trees.

Lazy hammocks slung in the dappled shade beckon and the wooden deck by the sunny poolside offers refreshment. Layered guest areas with comfortable couches invite you to while the afternoon away among cosy cushions. Open sides in sitting and dining areas draw your eyes outward to dazzling plains and reeded river banks. Relax over scrumptious meals in the dining room, while animals wander only metres away or enjoy the cosy shelter of the fire-lit boma as thousands of stars light up the African sky.

Renowned for its abundant wildlife, the Okavango Delta and the areas surrounding Sandibe are home to a large number of species, including many predators, Lion, cheetah, leopard and wild dog are often encountered along with antelope, zebra, elephant, buffalo and giraffe. A range of game viewing activities include twice daily game drives, guided walks and “mokoro” canoeing with a guide on the Okavango Delta.

Days 7 to 9 - The Garden Lodge, Kasane

In the morning you will be transferred to the airstrip where you board a one hour light aircraft flight to Kasane. After clearing customs you will be transferred by road to The Garden Lodge where you stay forthree nights.

The Garden Lodge is a small intimate property located in Kasane on the banks of the Chobe River in an area perfect for combining game drives with exciting river cruises.

The lodge has a total of eight rooms, each with full en-suite and private veranda overlooking the river. The main area of the lodge has a lounge and dining room where guests can either dine inside under the thatched roof or outside under the stars in the “boma”. The lodge is decorated throughout with traditional African arts and crafts with teak and wicker furnishings.

Game viewing activities include drives and boat trips into the Chobe National Park where large numbers of animals are supported due to the permanent water of the river. The region has the largest concentration of elephant in Africa as well as large herds of buffalo, antelope and impala. Chobe is known for its high concentrations of lion throughout the park and regular sightings are common.

Days 10 to 12 - The Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls

Today you will be transferred approximately one hour by road to the Victoria Falls Hotel where you stay for three nights.

The Victoria Falls Hotel, popularly known as “the grand old lady of the Falls”, is situated in the Victoria Falls National Park, a world heritage site, and is a member of the exclusive Leading Hotels of the World group.

The Edwardian-style five-star hotel, built in 1904, was recently redecorated and refurbished and now combines the charm of the old with the convenience of the new. Set in lush tropical gardens with lily ponds, palm trees and semi-tropical shrubs, it provides the tranquillity and seclusion that many guests seek.

The famous Victoria Falls are just a ten-minute walk away using the hotel’s private pathway, and “the smoke that thunders” or “Mosi-O-Tunya” in the local dialect, is clearly audible and visible from the hotel.

All rooms are air conditioned with every modern amenity including digital satellite television and a personal safe. The old fashioned bath tubs of the stable wing turn the bathroom into a haven of relaxation. The standard room services include same day laundry and 24 hour room service.

A large swimming pool, two tennis courts, a library, reading rooms and chapel are part of the luxury hotel complex. Golfers can enjoy 18 holes on the championship course of the nearby sister hotel, Elephant Hills Resort.

The Victoria Falls Hotel offers some of the finest cuisine in the country, with renowned veteran chefs youare guaranteed an exquisitely prepared meal at every sitting. Both the Livingstone Room and Jungle Junctions restaurants offer meticulously prepared menus that are impressive and varied. The hotel is distinguished for its five star service that is intentionally aimed to leave every guest feeling like royalty.

A fine selection of wines and liqueurs are available to accompany each dining experience. For guests who wish to take in some game viewing, a five kilometre drive (or walk) brings them to the national park and, guided by professional rangers, they will seek out Zimbabwe’s “big five” – elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo - and be able to capture their encounters forever, on camera!

After what we are sure has been a superb luxury safari in Africa you would then say farewell to your hosts turn in for your last night on safari.

Day 13 - Johannesburg International Airport In the morning you will be transferred to Victoria Falls Airport where you connect with a scheduled flight departing to Johannesburg Airport.

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