Inspiration Itinerary | Botswana's Rivers

Desert & Delta

Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Okavango Delta & Selinda Reserve

Desert, Delta and Savanna

Capture the very best that Botswana, one of Africa’s most famous wilderness destinations, has to offer. Variety abounds!

Step right into safari mode from the start with the vast Makgadikgadi Salt Pans in the northern part of the Kalahari Desert for stunning scenery, getting up close and personal with meerkats and walk with the ancient and wizened Bushmen.  When the rains arrive at the beginning of the wet season (November to mid-April), the landscape is transformed. Water gathers on the saltpan, algae bloom, crustaceans breed, and clouds of flamingo descend to feed on them. Then herds of zebra and wildebeest materialise, drawn by the lush grass, and for several months, the desert is teeming with game and predators. In the Dry Season (mid- April to October) when the waters dry up, the birds and animals migrate and the extraordinary ecosystem of the Makgadikgadi becomes the main attraction.  It is during this season that you can experience the vast Makgadikgadi Salt Pans on quad bikes. Fat tyres skim over the surfaces where heavier vehicles would sink. The fact that you can travel across the pans at great speed and still arrive nowhere only underlines the pans immensity.

Situated deep within the Kalahari Basin and often referred to as the ‘jewel’ of the Kalahari, the Okavango Delta is rightly considered one of the most incredible wilderness sanctuaries in Africa. It is the largest inland delta system in the world, an area filled with water channels, lagoons and islands and teeming with rare species and dazzling birdlife. Here you can relax as you’re paddled by mokoro (wooden dug-out canoe) through reeded channels with clear sandy bottoms, frothy papyrus and tiny jewel-coloured frogs, while fish eagles call and hippos splash.  You will stay in two contrasting locations to get the very best of the various wildlife patterns and the waterways and woodland habitats within it.

The Selinda Reserve to the north and adjacent to Chobe National Park offers a great mix of water and wildlife – a huge private concession area of pristine wilderness.  The animals move freely between swamp, grassland and riverine forest, each offering excellent wildlife viewing opportunities including abundant elephant, a high concentration of big cats, plenty of hippos and an excellent opportunity to see endangered painted hunting dogs. This unspoilt wilderness is dotted with excellent small safari camps and offers the chance to get out and explore on foot and undertake night drives.

You will love

  • Remote & exclusive reserves
  • Meerkats, San Bushmen, unique salt pan experience
  • Game rich water oases & floodplains
  • Game walks & night drives
  • Three iconic regions
  • Fabulous destination year round
  • Sophisticated tented luxury



Depart from Maun Airport with your pilot flying south-east to the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. At the airstrip you will be met by your guide and transferred to camp. After checking out your tent and enjoying some refreshments, head out on a relaxing afternoon drive amongst the grassland fringes of the salt pans where you might spot the desert adapted species that inhabit the area. Your first sunset like no other will be accompanied by obligatory drinks & snacks before searching for nocturnal species and heading back to camp for a sumptuous three course dinner.


Your days can be structured with your guide as you wish. Spend time with habituated meerkats as they emerge from the earth in the early morning light, take a bush walk with the San Bushmen who will teach you about how they live in this harsh environment and in the dry season go quad biking out on the salt pans, where you can see the curvature of the Earth from the middle of it. Go in search of the zebra & wildebeest migration if it is in the region at the time, and you could also see lion, cheetah and wild dog here along with the brown hyena.


After a morning activity and breakfast, fly back to Maun and then connect with an onward scenic flight over the water paradise of the Okavango Delta to your first camp. A short transfer to camp will see you arrive in time to refresh before heading out on an afternoon activity. Alternatively, if your flights are in the morning a sumptuous lunch and a relaxing siesta awaits. The afternoon activity could be spent exploring the waterways of the Delta by motorboat or mokoro with sundowner drinks before returning to camp for dinner.


The location of your camp will allow you to enjoy both land and water activities, with the emphasis on being on the Delta’s water channels. This year-round excellent safari destination offers some of the best wildlife viewing in Africa with rare species such as the highly endangered wild dog and the wattled crane frequently seen. Choose between motorboat excursions far up the water channels, or meander slowly in shallow waters on a mokoro and enjoy morning and afternoon game drives on palm-fringed islands that are home to much wildlife.


Fly east over the magnificence of the Delta to the Khwai Private Reserve, situated just north of the Moremi Game Reserve. Note – upgrade to a helicopter transfer and fly low over the islands and waterways to make this flight even more exhilarating. You will be welcomed to your next camp with an orientation & refreshments before heading out for a late afternoon game drive and sundowners. Return to camp for dinner.


Khwai Private Reserve, with over 200,000 hectares of pristine wilderness, seems like a safari fairy tale: floodplains stretching as far as the eye can see that provides remarkable sightings of predators and prey. The elusive leopard is spotted regularly, and birdlife is abundant with saddle-billed storks, wattled cranes and many species of kingfishers and bee-eaters present. Your daily activities will include morning & afternoon game drives, night spotting and guided bush walks. Water levels permitting, excursions by mokoro and motorboat are also available.


Farewell your guide and fly north to the 130,000 hectare private Selinda Reserve. From the airstrip you will be met by your guide for a game drive transfer into camp. A morning flight will have you arriving in time for a delicious lunch followed with time to relax in camp during the heat of the day. Your mid afternoon activity could comprise of an afternoon game drive and night spotting or bush walk. Sundowners followed by dinner under the stars rounds out an unforgettable day.


Your daily activities concentrate on getting back to nature with the emphasis on guided walking and there may be the option of canoeing when water levels permit (currently July – September, subject to change). In addition, day and night game drives are available exploring the Selinda Reserve. It is a wildlife hot spot, with huge herds of elephants and buffalo, lion, wild dog, sable and roan antelope all frequently spotted.


Before bidding farewell to Botswana’s pristine wilderness, you will have time to soak up the morning sights & sounds whilst relaxing in camp, or if time permits head out for one last safari with your guide. Following breakfast you will fly to Maun, or an alternative destination, for onward arrangements.


A selection of the finest safari camps

San Camp – Makgadikgadi Pans

Stylishly eccentric, romantic and remote, and set amid the desert and moonscapes of the Makgadikgadi pans, the elegant white Ottoman style tents of San Camp overlook the ethereal vastness of the Kalahari Desert. Following a classic 1920s set up, its opulence is in striking contrast with the emptiness of the surrounding wilderness. Read More

Little Vumbura – Okavango Delta

Situated on a wooded island in a private concession of the Okavango Delta, Little Vumbura was designed to blend in with its surroundings. Boat safaris and mokoro expeditions are on order for the day as you navigate the teeming waters where wildlife viewing and birding is consistently good year round. Read More

Tuludi Camp – Khwai Concession

Located in the private Khwai Concession, an area that covers 200,000 hectares of pristine wilderness and floodplains, sits stylish Tuludi Camp. The camp is perfectly positioned for exploring this wildlife rich haven and back at camp, your tents provide a welcome retreat where the strikingly beautiful landscape can be enjoyed. Read More

Selinda Explorers – Selinda Reserve

Selinda Explorers is an intimate 8 person camp located on the private Selinda Reserve, a noteworthy gathering point for Botswana's famous wildlife. Its “wow” factor lies in its expeditionary style and experience, walking in the footsteps of Livingstone and Selous. Read More

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