Our 12 Day Affordable Botswana Safari is designed to allow for experiencing the diversity of a Botswana Safari, but not breaking the bank in the process. In this itinerary you will visit the famous salt pans of the Kalahari, and witness the prolific wildlife and contrasting scenery that only a safari adventure through this part of Africa can deliver. The itinerary involves a self drive section, guided excursions as well as a fully guided section and begins in Johannesburg and ends in Kasane. From the end point we can easily add a visit to the nearby Victoria Falls or just fly you back to Johannesburg.
Day 01 Johannesburg to Marakele National Park
On arrival in South Africa at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport, make your way to the Avis Desk to collect your pre-arranged rental vehicle. Enjoy the scenery as you head north through the Waterberg Mountain Range in the Limpopo Province. A highlight of the Waterberg District is picturesque Marakele National Park, 3.5 hours from Johannesburg.
Tlopi Tented Camp situated in Marakele’s bushveld savanna, is your accommodation for (2) nights on a room only/self-catering basis. Each safari tent has two beds (stretchers also available for children), a private bathroom, fully equipped kitchen and barbeque facilities, and a private veranda. Each tent in this unfenced camp overlooks the Tlopi River offering first-row seats of wildlife that wanders through the camp or comes down to drink. Accommodation: Tlopi Tented Camp. Meal plan: Self-catering.
Day 02 Marakele
The day is yours to spend at leisure enjoying Marakele’s breathtaking scenery. The park is a sanctuary for a diversity of wildlife including elephant, rhino, lion and leopard as well as some of the less frequently seen antelope such as reedbuck, eland and tsessebe. Also a wonderful birding destination, Marakele hosts one of the world’s largest breeding colonies of endangered Cape vultures so keep an eye out for them in flight or perched on the mountain cliffs where they nest. For a closer look, drive up the mountain pass which takes you to an incredible viewpoint near the Cape vulture colony. Morning and sunset guided drives and walks are also available in the park. Accommodation: Tlopi Tented Camp. Meal plan: Self-catering.
Day 03 Marakele to Gweta
An early start for a full day of travel as you continue driving north via Lephalale to Martin’s Drift Border Post where you will clear customs and enter Botswana. Continue through Francistown and Nata before reaching the small village of Gweta which skirts the vast Makgadikgadi Pans and is home to some of the most impressive baobab trees in the world. Make your way to Planet Baobab Lodge in time to stretch the legs on a guided Baobab Bush Walk and sundowner drink followed by a 3 course dinner.
Planet Baobab, situated on the edge of Ntwetwe Pan, is your base for the next (3) nights on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis. Planet Baobab has a unique ambiance, reminiscent of a traditional Botswana village, is fun and interesting. This evening, enjoy a restful slumber in a comfortable and stylish Bakalanga mud hut, lovingly decorated with local artwork and complete with ensuite and private veranda. Along with the fabulous pool and equally refreshing ‘shebeen’ style bar, Planet Baobab offers an array of activities including guided bush walks, quad bike rides and sleepouts on the salt pans (dry season), traditional cattle post and village visits, meerkat encounters and expeditions to Nxai Pan. During the rainy season, the region bursts into life with birds and new vegetation and the zebra and wildebeest migration returning to the salt pans is closely followed by predators such as lion and cheetah. Accommodation: Planet Baobab Lodge. Meal plan: Dinner.
Day 04 Gweta
Tuck into a hearty cooked breakfast before setting out on a Traditional Village and Cattle Post visit followed by a traditional lunch.
During June - Oct: Enjoy an afternoon Quad Bike activity exploring the salt pans before settling into one of the most amazing experiences you may ever have – overnighting on Ntwetwe Pan! Marvel at the sheer sense of space and solitude, a rarity in today’s busy world, as the sunset transitions to a star-studded night sky. A barbeque dinner will be provided. Accommodation: Planet Baobab Lodge.
During Mar - May & Nov - Dec: Enjoy a guided excursion by safari vehicle (no quads) to the Ntwetwe Pan with a picnic lunch and visit to the Meerkat colony. We return to Planet Baobab for dinner and overnight.
Meal plan: Breakfast, Dinner.
Day 05 Gweta to Maun
A relaxing morning spent with a local gang of friendly meerkats while enjoying tea and coffee. Head back to camp for a cooked breakfast before heading on to Maun where you will check into Royal Tree Lodge for (1) night on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis. Maun, the main gateway to the Okavango Delta and Botswana’s thriving tourism hub, offers a host of activities and attractions including boat cruises on the Thamalakane River, horseback safaris and helicopter scenic flights. Enjoy exploring the sights and sounds of Maun before your rental vehicle is collected at approximately 16h00 from Royal Tree Lodge.
Located twenty minutes from central Maun, Royal Tree Lodge is situated on a private reserve on the banks of the Thamalakane. The reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife including giraffe, zebra, springbok, ostrich, eland, gemsbok and kudu as well as an extensive variety of bird species. The Lodge offers a range of activities including well-marked walking trails, horseback safaris, scenic flights over the Delta and mokoro excursions on the river. Indulge in style and comfort as you relax in your tented chalet with claw foot bath and outdoor shower. Accommodation: Royal Tree Lodge. Meal plan: Breakfast, Dinner.
Day 06 Maun to Moremi Game Reserve
Today marks the start of the fully guided portion of your safari. At 07h30, your English speaking safari guide will meet you at a pre-arranged location in Maun where you will board your overland vehicle and commence a Fully Serviced North Bound Safari from Maun to Kasane. With a maximum number of 9 guests per vehicle, everyone has a window seat. On this Fully Serviced safari, your safari hosts will take care of all the necessary camp duties to keep the safari running smoothly so all you need to do is relax and enjoy the adventure.
Days will be spent searching for the wide variety of wildlife and birds for which this area is renowned. Game drives will take place early morning around sun rise and late afternoon as the sun sets, and after morning game drive you will return to camp for lunch and a siesta. Each evening you will slumber in a large (3mx3m) canvas dome tent. Camp beds and bedding are provided and each tent has an ensuite bush toilet and shower. Bush Ways Moremi Camp is your accommodation for the next (2) nights on a full board basis. Accommodation: Bush Ways Moremi Camp. Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 07 Moremi
Today will be spent on safari discovering the beautiful Moremi Game Reserve and includes a tranquil 2.5 hour mokoro excursion along a tributary of the Khwai River, an opportunity to view game and birdlife from a different perspective. Moremi Game Reserve, comprising almost one third of the Okavango Delta, consists of a combination of permanently and seasonally swamped areas and dryland. More than 4871sqkm/1880sqmi of pristine wilderness including savannah, waterways and dense forest supports a diversity of bird species and wildlife ranging from buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, red lechwe and the rare sitatunga antelope, to lion, cheetah and wild dog in the open grasslands. Accommodation: Bush Ways Moremi Camp. Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 08 Moremi to Savuti, Chobe National Park
After breakfast the overland safari continues heading north east to the remarkable Savuti area of the world-renowned Chobe National Park. Settle into Bush Ways Savuti Camp where you will spend the next (2) nights on a full board basis. The Savuti region, the remnants of an ancient inland lake, is very well known for its predators including lion, leopard, cheetah and African wild dog as well as its enormous population of elephants. After a 30 year dry spell, the infamous Savuti Channel resumed flowing and has been feeding the marsh since early 2010 enabling hippo and large herds of water-dependant species such as elephant and buffalo to frequent the area. Savuti’s summer rains attract masses of zebra and wildebeest which migrate into the region to the rivers and lush grasslands. The rains also bring migrant birds that add to Savuti’s already impressive list of resident bird species including the secretary bird and the kori bustard. Accommodation: Bush Ways Savuti Camp. Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 09 Savuti
A fascinating day on safari in Savuti returning to camp for lunch and an afternoon siesta. Unlike the Delta, the Savuti area is quite arid supporting mainly camelthorn and silver terminalia sandveld, scrub savanna and mopane veld. Geologically the five main features of Savuti are the Magwikhwe Sand Ridge, the Mababe Depression, the Savuti Marsh with its interesting landscape of dead Camelthorn trees, the Rocky Outcrops and the Savuti Channel, all providing a variety of habitats for the multitude of birds and wildlife that call Savuti home. The Gubatsa Hills provide a haven for leopard and klipspringer and fascinating rock paintings display age-old wildlife sightings of the nomadic San people, the original inhabitants of the area. Accommodation: Bush Ways Savuti Camp. Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 10 Savuti to Chobe Riverfront
Enjoy a relaxing breakfast listening to the sounds of the bush before continuing north east on your overland journey to the Chobe Riverfront where you will spend the next (2) nights on a full board basis at Bush Ways Chobe Camp. Game drives will meander along the banks of the river with plenty of opportunity to bolster your collection of holiday snapshots. The Chobe River and floodplain is one of Africa’s best known and reliable safari destinations with the river forming the northern boundary of Chobe National Park.
The riverfront or Serondela area is renowned for its spectacular elephant population which relies on the permanent waters of the river for sustenance during the dry season. There is nothing quite as awe-inspiring as watching a huge herd of elephants amble down to the river to bathe and play. The Chobe river is also home to hippo, Nile crocodiles and a myriad of other game such as giraffe, sable, buffalo and lion that venture down to the water’s edge to drink. Accommodation: Bush Ways Chobe Camp. Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 11 Chobe Riverfront
After breakfast, look forward to a day of game spotting on safari on the Chobe riverfront and surrounding area. Keep an eye out for the distinctive African fish eagle, quite similar in appearance to the North American bald eagle. This magnificent bird of prey has an easily recognizable call – ask your guide to mimic it for you – and its snow white head, breast and tail stand out as it perches on the branches of tall riverine trees. The other special residents of the Chobe riverfront area are the puku antelope which you might see grazing on the floodplains, and the rare Chobe bushbuck, a very shy and mostly nocturnal antelope. Accommodation: Bush Ways Chobe Camp. Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 12 Chobe Riverfront to Kasane
After breakfast, your incredible safari through Botswana rounds off with a cruise on the Chobe river affording a closer look at the aquatic animals and birds not easily approached during a game drive. After the cruise, your guide will transfer you to a designated drop-off point in Kasane arriving at 12h00. The small town of Kasane, spread out along the south bank of the Chobe river, is the main town servicing the Chobe region. Kasane is essentially almost part of the Chobe National Park as there are no boundary fences separating the village from the park and residents are used to occasionally sharing the streets with game such as elephant and hippo. Kasane is also a great jump-off point for a visit or tour to the spectacular Victoria Falls, only 87km/54mi away. Meal plan: Breakfast.
Safari Price (quoted in USD)
Jan - Mar 2021
USD 3835 per person sharing
Apr - Jun 2021
USD 3895 per person sharing
Jul - Oct 2021
USD 4125 per person sharing
Nov - Dec 2021
USD 3980 per person sharing
*** Day 6 needs to co-incide with the following Dates for 2021 (the fully guided portion of the itinerary)
02 Mar, 23 Mar, 06 Apr, 27 Apr, 18 May, 01 Jun, 15 Jun, 06 Jul, 20 Jul, 03 Aug, 17 Aug, 31 Aug , 14 Sep, 28 Sep,12 Oct, 26 Oct
Above Costs Include
02 night’s accommodation on a room only/self-catering basis - Marakele National Park only.
01 night’s accommodation on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis - Royal Tree Lodge Maun only.
03 night’s accommodation on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis - Planet Baobab:
Also included in your stay at Planet Baobab is a Baobab Bush walk & Sundowner drink / Village & Cattlepost Visit / Quad Bike Activity and time with Habituated Meerkats
The services of a professional ranger and camp staff
06 night’s accommodation on a fully inclusive basis - Bushways Fully Serviced Safari - Northbound:
All meals as per itinerary
Teas, coffees, soft drinks, local alcohols, mineral water
All transfers as per itinerary
Activities as per itinerary
The services of a professional ranger and camp staff
All park fees
All road transfers as per itinerary
Scheduled guided overland Botswana Safari from Maun to Kasane as per itinerary
Tourism levy of 1 %
Car Hire Includes:
05 days use of a Group I car (Toyota Fortuner 4x2 or similar with automatic gears & air con)
Premium Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
Third Party Liability Insurance
Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)
Premium Theft Loss Waiver (TLW)
Claim Admin Fee – only in the event of an accident/theft
Tyre and Windscreen Damage Repair
General Public Liability Insurance
Value Added Tax 14%
Water and Undercarriage Damage
1 x Additional Driver (Per rental and driver)
1 x GPS Unit rental (non-optional)
Above Costs Exclude
Visas if required
Personal items and gratuities
Bar accounts not specified and premium imports
Meals not specified
Additional activities/sightseeing/entry/park fees
Pre and post services
Car hire excludes:
Refundable rental deposit
Delivery & collection fees
One way fees
Special equipment one way fee for GPS
One-way cross border fees
Traffic fine administration fee
Child safety seat
Rental contract fee
** Please note that the deposits and any other extras the rate excludes may not be included in the voucher value. The customer should settle direct with Avis Rent a Car. The deposits will be collected at time of rental and can only be done by the customer tendering a recognised bank credit card or AVIS charge card. Debit cards are not accepted. Authorisation for the applicable amount will be obtained on the credit card at time of pick-up. When the customer returns the car and no charges are applicable, Avis Rent a Car will cancel the applicable authorisation. Any other charges will be levied on return of the vehicle.