Join us on a 4x4 adventure to discover the marvels of this geological intrigue, as we travel from salt pans to super-rivers, retracing Botswana’s natural history along the way. Bring your family and 4wd vehicle, and join us on this wondrous self-drive safari.
Although the accommodation may be rustic, you will at all times be safe, comfortable and most importantly – have a good time!
During the last half a million years, the Zambezi has scoured out no fewer than eight successive trenches in the area of the present day Victoria Falls, and had to find an escape route from each of them. Each trench, in its day, must have provided a wonderful spectacle from its down river edge. The fate of each of these waterfalls was precisely the approaching fate of Victoria Falls.
The present fall occurs where the river is 1, 690 m wide and 108 m high, with 545 megalitres of water tumbling down each minute at the average maximum flow. It is said to be the widest stretch of falling water in the world. This mighty flow has already found the weakest spot along the upper lip of the present trench. This is what is known as the Devil’s Cataract.
Already some 30 m lower than the rest if the falls, the cataract will be deepened by the waters erosion until all the water can shoulder its way through this one gap.
The rest of the waterfall will then disappear and the river will flow through one more leg of an involved series of zigzag gorges.
Nature, however, is far from finished with the Zambezi. At least two more faults are clearly visible across the course of the river and there are likely to be several more, as yet invisible. For another half million years at least, the Zambezi is likely to be busy washing out trenches and creating new waterfalls, each with an ideal observation platform running the full length of the opposite side of the gorge.
When all work is done, the mighty river will have made itself a maze like course through so complex a series of gorges that it will have some difficulty in deciding whether it is flowing east, west or even up or down.
Despite all these subtle shifts of Nature and ferocious overflow of water down the falls ....no words can describe the beauty and absolute splendour when gazing at the Victoria Falls.... so loud is the sound of the falling water, the surrounding air echoes and vibrates with a continuous resounding ‘thunder’!
We meet at the Botswana town of Lethlekane in the early afternoon of the first day. We refuel using cash - ‘Pula’ the local Botswana currency and head out to the wilderness. The word ‘Pula’ - which means ‘rain’ is one of the most important words to the local people and also highly valued because of its scarcity. Our first night’s stop will take us onto the vast, flat expanse of the Makgadikgadi Pans, where you can virtually see forever. We pitch camp when we arrive at Kubu Island, a granite outcrop famous for its huge baobab trees and magical sunsets. This will be the only night on this tour that formal ablution facilities will not be available, but a spade will do the trick, as for showers.... we will pitch a cubicle, and basins will be on hand. Having met your crew – you will immediately feel at home, surrounded by the breathtaking scenery.
After your first experience of the chef’s bush breakfast, we head along the edge of the empty salt pan, keeping to a Serengeti-style two-spoor track.... complete with long grass and Camel-thorn trees. Our destination is a campsite just outside of Maun, which is situated in a tranquil, Sandveld area.
Early on the third day, we drive into Maun to restock on water and refuel our vehicles. Here we can use credit cards or cash for all purchases. While this is taking place you will have time to browse around Maun. There will also be an opportunity to undertake a breathtaking flight over the Okavango Delta – the best way to grasp the sheer vastness of this natural wonder. (The cost of the flight is not included in the tour price and bookings can be made on the first day of the tour). After our morning in Maun, we drive west on the Ghanzi road and then turn north towards Shakawe/Gumare. We refuel along the way (using cash-Pula). The tour group arrives at the campsite in the late afternoon and settle in for the next three nights near the town of Sepupa. The camp is situated next to one of the big channels of the Delta and boasts a magnificent Hawaiian-style pub. After a long day’s drive, we will enjoy some “R&R” at the bar and take in some of the wonderful sounds of the Delta and the ‘big game’ country.
The fourth day of the adventure is fondly referred to as the ‘Water Day’. We spend the day relaxing on the water, heading out by boat into papyrus-lined channels while keeping a lookout for hippos, crocodiles and fish eagles. The Okavango Delta consists of thousands of islands in so many streams, and is host to over a 1000 species of plants – more than any other similar-size region in Africa. There is also opportunity to try a trip in a dugout canoe, or mokoro, as they are known here, with local Botswana fishers poling you across a lily-covered lagoon. For the even more adventurous amongst us, there is also an opportunity to try and hook an illusive tiger fish.
Today we drive out to the mystical rocky outcrop known as Tsodillo Hills on our way to our next camp. Here we will explore the fascinating hills and admire some of the 3 500 Bushman paintings that this small mountain is famous for. After brunch, we drive out of Botswana and into Namibia to our next stopover for the next three days. The camp is located under huge Jackal Berry trees on the banks of the Okavango River, and has an exquisite pub with excellent hosts.
Just after breakfast we take a short drive to Popa Falls, where we will be able to see the mighty Okavango River surging over massive beds of rock. After a picnic lunch, we drive to the town of Bangani to refuel (here we can use SA Rands), and then we drive back to camp for an afternoon sundowner cruise on the Okavango.
We enter the Mahongo Game Reserve and put our game viewing skills to the test. This beautiful part of the Caprivi boasts four of the big five and a large amount of other game species. More astounding is the fact that one can find over 300 species of birds in the park, from palm nut vultures and African fish eagles, to martial eagles and battlers. Visitors are usually surprised by the variety of game in this rather small Reserve. We spend the day at leisure exploring the park, while you may also enjoy the afternoon relaxing at camp, or take the opportunity to try a trip in a dugout canoe on the Okavango with trained locals.
We pack up camp and drive through the Caprivi Strip to Katimo Mulilo. Here we’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the mighty Zambezi River, before driving back into Botswana to our campsite near the town of Kasane, where we will spend the last two nights of our adventure. On our way to camp, we will be driving on the main road through the Chobe National Park, a park well known for its large number of elephants.
After breakfast we drive to the magnificent Victoria Falls. Famous explorer David Livingston wrote about his first sight of the view from anything witnessed in England. “Scenes so lovely, it must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight” Locally known as mosi-oa-tunya or the smoke that thunders, one can only stand in amazement of this natural wonder. After some sightseeing and shopping in the village of Victoria Falls, we return to camp in Botswana. Here we will enjoy a last magical sun downer cruise on the magnificent Chobe River.
Sadly, short after breakfast, we have to say good-bye and leave for home via Nata and Francistown. Kasane is approximately 750km from the South African border post at Martins Drift, and can easily be travelled in a day.
You Will Need
4x4 Vehicle, Camping equipment and your own beverages. If it is a cross border 4x4 tour then you will also need: passports for all in your party, ID documents, drivers license, insurance consent letter, bank consent letter, third party insurance (for most countries), and if needed - malaria tablets. Please also consult with your General Practitioner and advise them of the country you will be visiting, and follow the necessary malaria precautions and take all necessary medications. Please note that each country has different malaria precautions, some require you have the injections and others that you take the tablets etc.View Our Tours
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