Thirstlands of the Kalahari

Thirstlands of the Kalahari, and the waters of the Okavango

The greater parts of Botswana are in the Kalahari Desert region – an area with very little surface water mainly due to extremely low annual rainfall (hence its nickname the “Thirstlands”). Two distinct areas can be found within this dry region – the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and the Central Kalahari – both unique and very distinct. This itinerary allows travellers the chance to visit both areas in comfort, and experience the very unique wildlife and people that inhabit them. By way of contrast, a visit to the unique and pristine Okavango Delta is also included.

Day 1
Your Safari starts at OR Tambo International Airport (formerly Johannesburg International), where you will be met by an representative who will assist you onto your scheduled flight (BP212 departing at 10.00), to Maun.

Upon arrival at Maun Airport you will be met by a representative of Delta Air and assisted onto a scheduled light aircraft charter flight to Makgadikgadi Camp.

The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans is a remnant of a vast and ancient “Super Lake” today… the Makgadikgadi has a lunar-like landscape but in the Summer months (December to March) it is transformed into great sheets of water, which attract a spectacular array of water birds and trigger dramatic migrations of wildebeest and zebra – making this one of Southern Africa’s last true migrations.

Nestled among the palms and acacias on Hyena Island, Makgadikgadi Camp, is located on the edge of the salt pans and adjacent to Makgadikgadi National Park, a perfect base to explore this unique and changing land. The main complex consists of a thatched library, lounge and dining area, allowing one to relax and savour the serenity and peace of this enchanting area.  In the heat of the day simply relax or take a dip in the plunge pool.  Accommodation is in comfortable tents. And as the camp accommodates a maximum of 10 guests, you are ensured personalized service. The tents all have en suite alfresco facilities (flush toilet and shower).

Each season has its own particular beauty, in summer when the rain have arrived the pans come to life, the birds and vegetation blossom, the migration comes to town, thousand upon thousand of zebras, enjoy your days watching the bird life, following the zebra or just relaxing looking at this vast expanse of water.

In winter, the pans dry up the large migrations leave, but the true desert animals remain, take a night drive to spot the elusive nocturnal desert species.  During the day go out into the pans, either by vehicle or by bike to visit archaeological sites of Stone Age tools or just to see infinity and the curve of the earth.

Two overnights at Makgadikgadi Camp in a standard twin bedded tent with private en-suite facilities inclusive of all meals, all local brand drinks and nature activities

Day 3
After your morning activity board your scheduled light aircraft charter flight for a scenic trip to The Central Kalahari and Haina Safari Lodge.

On the northern border of the Central Kalahari National Park is Haina Safari Lodge; classically African, relaxed and informal. This Wildlife conservancy consisting of 20,000 hectares is a real African safari experience in semi arid, pristine bush and open savannah which allows one the opportunity of superb game viewing. The Lodge accommodates up to 20 guests in tented accommodation which are all private with their own decks.

The main area consists of a lounge, dining room, swimming pool, sun deck and well-appointed bar area decorated in wood and thatch. An adjacent waterhole allows guests the luxury of game viewing from the Boma.

The standard tents consist of a bedroom and en-suite bathroom with shower and toilet whilst the luxury tents have thatch roofs, large decks and full bathrooms (shower and bath).

All units are furnished in subtle earth tones and dark woods in a contemporary African theme and reflect the bush area.

Haina is big cat country, with a number of prides of Lion roaming the area. There are several territorial leopards and cheetah that also move through the conservancy. There are the usual antelope species especially herds of Oryx, Blue Wildebeest and Eland, Kudu is also plentiful. There are also good Wild Dog sightings, along with the elusive brown hyena.

Whilst at the lodge you can enjoy guided walks, game drives and night drives.

There are a number of San (Bushman) families in the area, and guests of the Lodge can enjoy excursions in the company of these local people – whose knowledge of the area is unparalled.

Two overnights at Haina Safari Lodge in a luxury twin tent with private en-suite facilities inclusive of all meals, all local brand drinks, teas/coffees, snacks, game-viewing and laundry

Day 5
After a full morning at Haina Safari Lodge depart on your  light aircraft charter to the heart of the Okavango Delta. Upon arrival at Delta Camp’s Airstrip you will be met by your guide and transferred by mokoro (traditional dug-out canoe) to the Camp for check-in.

This intimate and informal safari camp nestles on a small island close to the south-western edge of Chief’s Island, heart of the Okavango Delta – the vast oasis of the Kgalagadi Desert, Botswana. Accommodation is in spacious ‘lethaka’ (reed) chalets with en-suite facilities. The amazing design of the Chalets is such that you enjoy the luxuries of a ‘top rate’ hotel, but without affecting the environment; you will find you share your chalet with the trees around which the chalets have been built rather than having been cut down during their construction.
Delta Camp was voted the best Safari Lodge in Southern Africa by the prestigious South African Getaway Magazine in its 2004 anniversary edition

The Okavango Delta is a shifting web of crystal-clear channels, lagoons, sweeping floodplains and palm-studded islands. Home to over 450 bird and 1,000 plant species, crocodile, hippo, elephant, buffalo – in fact the full spectrum of African big-game and several species of antelope that are amongst the world’s rarest – the Okavango has earned its reputation as one of the world’s premier wilderness areas. Your chalet at Delta Camp directly overlooks the waterways.

Delta Camp is on the banks of the Boro, one of the primary watercourses of the Okavango. Excursions, by foot and mokoro – the traditional dug-out canoe – are conducted in the renowned Moremi Game Reserve, with your own professional game-guide, a man of the swamps, completely at one with his environment.

Dine in the elegant Dining Room overlooking the sweep of the Delta, or take a beautifully prepared picnic onto one of the many nearby islands for a secluded and intimate experience.

This unusual Camp engenders in its staff and guests alike, an acute awareness of the ecological sensitivity of this magnificent area. Bio-degradable products have been sourced and are used, careful separation and treatment of refuse ensures that nothing that is not fully bio-degradable stays on the island – light aircraft remove cans, bottles and the like from the Okavango altogether.

The accent is on peace and tranquillity (stalking game on foot provides all the excitement one could wish for) and guests are actively encouraged to visit a local village, home to our guides, and to interact, should they wish to, with the people there.

Two overnights at Delta Camp in a standard twin chalet with private en-suite facilities inclusive of all meals, all local brand drinks, teas/coffees, snacks, game-viewing in the form of mokoro and walking only as well as laundry.

Day 7
Today you will be transferred by light aircraft to Mapula Lodge, in the northern Okavango Delta, just on the borders of the magnificent Moremi Game Reserve. Accommodation is in 10 well appointed luxury Chalets, each with en-suite facilities (bath and shower) and each overlooking the lagoon in front of the Lodge. The attention to detail and use of local craftsmanship in the construction of the Chalets is particularly impressive and attractive.

Facilities in the Lodge include a small swimming pool and sun deck and a well stocked bar.
Game viewing is particularly good in this area. Hippos live in the lagoon opposite the lodge, and the trees around the Lodge are home to a huge variety of birds.

Being in a permanent water area, Mapula Lodge can offer year round water activities, especially important during January – May when water levels in the Okavango can become too low to allow the use of the traditional mokoro.

Three overnights at Mapula Camp in a standard twin bedded chalet with private en-suite facilities inclusive of all meals, all local brand drinks, teas/coffees, snacks, game-viewing and laundry

Day 10
You will be transferred to the airstrip in time for your scheduled light aircraft charter flight to Maun Airport, where you connect with your Air Botswana flight BP 211 departing at 15.00 to Johannesburg.
** End of service **

Cost: From EUR 3832.00 per person sharing


  • Meet and Greet at Johannesburg International Airport

  • Scheduled flight from Johannesburg to Maun

  • Scheduled light aircraft charter flight from Maun to Makgadikgadi Camp

  • Two nights at Makgadikgadi Camp as per the itinerary

  • Scheduled light aircraft charter flight from Makgadikgadi Camp to Delta Camp

  • Two overnights at Delta Camp as per the itinerary

  • Scheduled light aircraft charter flight from Delta to Mapula

  • Three overnights at Mapula as per the itinerary

  • Scheduled light aircraft charter flight from Mapula to Maun Airport

  • Scheduled Air Botswana flight from Maun to Johannesburg

Not included:

  • Visas

  • Gratuities

  • Items of personal nature

  • Travel and medical insurance