Limpopo & Okavango adventure 15 days
Day 1 - Johannesburg, Soweto & Apartheidmuseum
After your night flight you arrive at the international airport OR Tambo in Johannesburg. After the 'meet & greet ' the guide immediately immerses you in the local culture of the largest black township in South Africa, Soweto. You go through the different neighborhoods, lunch at a local restaurant and visit the apartheid museum to experience what it was like to live during the Apartheid regime. In the afternoon you arrive at your hotel, in a safe neighborhood, where you can go to one of the many restaurants in Nelson Mandela square in the evening.
Day 2 - Venda , Soutpansberge
After breakfast your rental car will be delivered to the hotel. You drive straight onto the highway towards the north of South Africa, the remote Limpopo province. The hills and acacias stretch in front of you. At the beginning of the afternoon you arrive at your destination at the foot of the Soutpansberge . The lodge is an oasis of peace and a warm welcome makes you feel right at home. Enjoy your spacious room, the swimming pool and the beautiful surroundings. The staff of this luxury Fair Trade stay will spoil you with delicious, honest meals.
Day 3 - Venda , local culture
After breakfast you leave with your guide for a day trip in the Venda . Visit the local market, shops, school, local entrepreneurs or artists. Discover the customs and traditions of the Venda population and taste their daily lives. Nothing made for the tourists, but life as it is. A picnic lunch at a nice spot makes you have every chance to ask your guide questions about his country. At the end of the day you come back to the lodge , where there is nothing to do but enjoy a delicious dinner.
Day 4 - Limpopo Valley, land of 'koppies' and Baobabs
In the morning after breakfast check out and via a short drive of about 2 hours drive, you arrive at your next destination. This region has a history. You stay close to the Mapungubwe National Park where there are not only elephants, antelopes and lions, but also fascinating archaeological sites. The remnants of a 1000-year-old kingdom and rock paintings of the San ( Bushman ) are located on this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lodge itself is pure luxury with culinary treats. Use the afternoon to enjoy or to make one of the offered excuses on the nature reserve itself. Great chance to see elephants here during your first safari.
Day 5 - Limpopo Valley
Use this day to make a trip to the Mapungbwe National Park in your rental car on yourself or with a guide in an open 4x4. The trip to Mapungubwe Hill with a specialized guide is an absolute must for history lovers. A culture of 1000 years old when the local people traded with the Far East and melted a Golden Rhinoceros from the gold found, comes to life before your eyes. In the afternoon you can also do a sunset drive in the national park to see the nightlife after sunset. A very different experience than during the day and a must.
Day 6 - Introduction to Botswana
Today there is a long drive ahead. After breakfast you drive to the border crossing with Botswana. In this eastern part of the country you are one of the few tourists who drive themselves and a good GPS and map are a must in addition to the route description. Follow the instructions of Baobabwe and enjoy this deserted region. The crossing cows and donkeys make sure that it is 7 hours away before you arrive at your overnight stop in Nata . A nice lodge with a relaxed atmosphere and beautiful 'safari tents' as rooms. You can eat here à la carte on the terrace between the palm trees.
Day 7 - Nata Birdsanctuary & Baobabs
Time enough to get some sleep and enjoy the excellent brunch at the lodge. Just dive into the pool and check out. You can visit Nata Birdsanctuary (nature reserve) on yourself or with a guide. Depending on the time of the year this place is visited by the many migratory birds. Sometimes hundreds of flamingos can be seen here. In the afternoon you drive to your next destination in an hour. A stay where they have, in addition to a fantastic swimming pool, rooms in the form of local huts. No great luxury, but very nicely nestled in a forest of Baobabs. And the right place to start your excursion the next day.
Day 8 - Makgadikgadi Pans & sleep under the stars
After a relaxing morning you leave around noon for an excursion with overnight stay. You leave with a maximum of 10 people in an open 4x4 through some small settlements to the Makgadikgadi Pans . Salt plains that remained after commissioning a huge inland lake. The Pans are as big as Switzerland, a vast plain where you sometimes encounter ostriches or meerkats. This excursion is only possible during the dry season, otherwise the Pans are too wet. The other advantage of the dry season is; it's not raining. So sleeping on a comfortable mattress under the open starry sky is perfectly possible here. There is no game in the middle of the plains and your guide and cook spoil you with a delicious meal from the fire. Despite being easily 25 to 30 degrees during the day, it is cold at night. A cap while enjoying the stars is not a luxury. Here you see the Milky Way as you have never seen it before; 360 ° around you nothing but the salt flats while the stars scatter from horizon to horizon. An unforgettable experience.
Day 9 - Makgadikgadi Pans & Maun , port on the Okavango Delta
On the pans , the cook prepares a light breakfast. In the open 4x4 you drive back to the lodge that morning . There is a breakfast ready and it is time to check out. You drive in a small 3 hours to Maun where you can return the rental car. Today you will meet your private guide, Ace, who will take you on safari for the next five days. He brings you to your lodge. In Maun you stay in a lodge along the Thamalakane river. A contrast with the saltpan of last night. Here a lot of crickets, frogs and hippos while you eat dinner on a terrace at of one of the restaurants.
Day 10 - Moremi NP, Okavango Delta, Mobile Safari
In the morning immediately after breakfast you can check out and depart in the open Toyota Land Cruiser with Ace towards Okavango Delta and the famous Moremi National Park. What follows is the absolute highlight of your journey. Going through this wilderness in this way is unrivaled. Depending on how much you encounter on the way, you will be in Moremi around noon . From now on, you do not have to think about anything anymore. Everything is done for you: a mobile safari with Baobabwe means that the staff build the safari camp in advance in an exclusive place in the wilderness without other guests. A chef takes care of the food and so you can enjoy the animals, nature and the explanation of Ace. You spend the night in a two-person tent with stretcher beds and comfortable mattresses. Each tent has its own 'bathroom' with its own toilet, shower and washbasin. Towels and the like are all provided. You only take your clothes, your toilet supplies and a torch. Baobabwe takes care of everything else.
Day 11, 12 - Moremi NP, Okavango Delta, Mobile Safari
Early in the morning it is up at dawn for your first safari of the day. Ace knows Botswana as his pocket, can assess the behavior of the animals, takes into account the sun for your photos and gives an enormous added value to your safari. Why is it so that these young lions appoint themselves so that the herd of elephants glide so quietly through the savannah, calls the African Osprey so loudly; Ace can explain it to you. Traveling this way in this area is like National Geographic live. After a few hours of 'game drive' you will return to the safari camp for an extensive brunch. Then time to relax; a warm shower under your 'bush shower', an afternoon nap, reading a book. Around 3 pm it is time for a nice bite before you leave on the afternoon safari. You will 'spot' the game until the sun goes down. When returning, it's time for a " sundowner " (aperitif) and a dinner around the fire. As the stars rise and the stories about adventures and plans come loose, there is a good chance that you can hear an owl, hyena or lion. Fortunately, Ace can tell you what you hear. Sleeping in this wilderness is an intense experience. Far away from civilization you can smell and hear things that make you realize that Africa is unique.
One of the safaris in the open 4x4 will be replaced by a boat trip. With a small motorboat you penetrate deep into the Delta. You sail between the reeds, along islands where elephants and Red Lechwe graze. The number of birds is enormous and Ace can sail close to you so you can see them well. A fantastic experience and completely different from the country.
Day 13, 14 - Khwai
When you leave your safari camp with your guide on 'game drive' in the morning, the staff breaks down the camp. They ensure that only your footprints remain. While you enjoy the game, they put the safari camp back in the next place. Your lunch is a picnic that day. At the end of the day, just before the sun goes down, you arrive at the new spot. Here, too, the chef cook has already prepared a delicious dinner. This area has a permanently large flowing river and there is always a lot of wildlife here. The land is owned by the local population and the income goes directly to them for housing, education, etc. Here you can also make a hike and a ' night drive' with your guide. You will also discover the smaller animals and plants and you can learn something from the traces that Ace reads as if it were a diary.
Day 15 Maun - back to the civilized world
This is the last morning that when you awaken you can hear a jackal or a zebra. Or maybe that male lion you saw last night. After breakfast, pack up and say goodbye to the staff at the safari camp. They clear everything and break everything while you make a final safari on the way to Maun , where you arrive around noon. You can relax here or take the opportunity to make a scenic flight above the Okavango Delta in a small sport plane. Enjoy your last night in Botswana, unless you have booked an extension to Chobe / Kasane , Victoria Falls or Cape Town.
This will be a journey that leaves lifetime memories to cherish.
Travel time: This trip is ideal in the dry season from May to October. The exclusive places for the 'mobile safari' are very limited, early booking is therefore recommended.
Included in the price:
- Meet & greet at the airport in Johannesburg
- Private tour Soweto (lunch at own expense)
- 1 night in Johannesburg (B & B)
- 2 nights in 4-star lodge in Soutpansberge (D, B & B)
- Daytrip in Venda , Elim with local guide incl. Lunch
- 2 nights in luxury 4 star lodge close to Mapungubwe National Park, Limpopo Valley (full board and 1 activity per day at Mapesu Nature Reserve)
- 1 night lodge in Nata (B & B)
- 1 day and night excursion to Makgadikgadi Pans (D, B & B)
- 1 night local lodge in the land of the Baobabs (D, B & B)
- 1 night lodge in Maun (B & B)
- 5 Nights Mobile Safari with Baobabwe (full board and incl. All safari activities)
- Transfers in Maun after returning the rental car and from lodge to the airport on departure.
- 1 night lodge in Maun
Not included in the price:
- all meals that are not named
- all activities that are not mentioned in 'included' personal purchases and tips
- petrol, tolls during self drive section
- travel and cancellation insurance
Price based on travelling with a group of 6 and in double rooms.
Price based on travelling in 2018 and with exchange rate of December 2018.