3 NIGHTS MUST DO OKAVANGO DELTA, A WATERY WONDERLAND
Arrive at Mapula Lodge in the heart of the Okavango Delta, a landscape of glossy floodplains and stately palm islands encircled by glittering waterways. Your home for the next few days is Mapula Lodge, a laidback yet stylish safari outpost brought to you by the creators of the iconic Jack’s Camp.
NOTE: MOKORO AND BOATING ACTIVITIES ARE DEPENDENT ON THE WATER LEVELS AROUND CAMP AND MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE AT CERTAIN TIMES OF YEAR.
After you’ve settled into your room, head to the main area and take a dip in the large swimming pool, a cool antidote to the hot Delta afternoons. If you’d rather stay dry, pick a perch in the main area and keep an eye on the hippo-filled lagoon below, or retreat to the ‘chill-pit’ and do exactly what it says on the tin.
Later in the afternoon, join your guide for an Afternoon tea fit for a King in the main area. Trained by safari legend Ralph Bousfield, our guides are some of the best in the business and each has an intricate knowledge of the landscape and environment. He (or she) will tell you a little about this beautiful, wetland area that’s a true wildlife stronghold before you depart on your game drive to see it for yourself – and as the only camp in an enormous, 200,000-acre concession, it really is just you and the wildlife here.
End your first day with a G&T overlooking the watery plains of the Delta before returning to camp for a fabulous, lantern-lit dinner.
Once you’ve arrived in camp and had a quick dip in the pool and a cool drink in the bar, you’ll head off with your guide to the unexplored wilderness of the vast and empty salt pans – Ntwetwe Salt Pan to be exact. It’s the bigger of the two Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and provides one with breath-taking views of the sparkling salt extending in all directions.
Then, there’s cold drinks to be had, sunsets to be watched and braais to be cooked before you fall into your bed roll under the Makgadikgadi skies for silence, slumber and dreams.
Rise with the sun and set off with your guide for a morning game drive. The rich and diverse habitat around camp ensures an extraordinary variety of wildlife and you should have your binoculars at the ready for lion, cheetah, leopard and wild dog, as well as the lesser-known predators, caracal and serval.
Stop at the edge of the water for a picnic breakfast and watch crocodile basking in the sun and hippo harrumphing happily in the shallows. On the way back to camp, you’ll notice the myriad of antelope dotted across the plains, as well as zebra, giraffe and stately kudu.
Lunch will be served in camp and you can expect a variety of fresh and innovative dishes created by our wonderful chefs. Spend your siesta time with a pair of binos, watching the comings and goings at the waterhole in front of camp, or fall into a slouchy sofa for a snooze…
A decadent afternoon tea of savoury tarts, mini sandwiches and dreamy sweet treats will be served in the main area after which your second drive of the day departs. Whether you’re an avid birder, or haven’t spent much time with our avian friends, the birding here is exceptional and definitely deserves a flash of your binos! Several of the Okavango specials are present including endangered wattled cranes and slaty egrets, as well as, at times, the Pels fishing owl.
Dinner tonight will be served in the heart of the bush under a galaxy of stars and accompanied by the sounds of the African night.
Once back at Planet Baobab, there’s just enough time for a hearty breakfast in the restaurant before you depart for Meno a Kwena. The drive will take about 2.5 hours and there’s plenty of incredible scenery en-route as you wind your way across the border of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park and down to the Boteti River.
When you’ve had a chance to settle in to your room, it’s time to enjoy the delights of Meno.
Choose from either a boat cruise along the Boteti River or simply kick back and relax with a drink by the pool or in the floating and hide and watch the animals from a different perspective.
During the dry season (roughly April to October) the Boteti River is the only source of water for miles around, and the zebra of Africa’s second largest migration (alongside hundreds of other animals, predators and prey) assemble on the banks, making for remarkable game viewing.
You may also like to walk down to the local village with the Bushmen for a taster of life in Botswana.
Dinner tonight will be served in camp in the outdoor dining area, accompanied by the sounds of the African night.
This morning, it’s time to take to the water and see the wildlife from a different perspective on a mokoro safari (water levels permitting). After exploring the plains by vehicle, it’s a refreshing change to explore the lush, lily-filled channels by boat and your guide will silently pole you across deep flowing rivers and glittering lagoons. You’ll pass elephant splashing in streams and enormous herds of buffalo congregating to drink.
This afternoon brings another game drive or, in fact, you may prefer to spend the afternoon in camp enjoying a spot of R&R. Cool off in the swimming pool and soak up the sun from a lounger, curl up with a good book in the sunken lounger or just extend your siesta-snooze for a while longer.
Enjoy your final dinner in camp and afterwards, retire to the camp fire with a whiskey for a night of safari tales.
Depending on your flight time, breakfast at first light and head out on a final exploration of the Delta, looking for the unusual semi-aquatic sitatunga antelope and the beautiful lechwe that hide in the nooks and crannies. There will be just enough time for a quick shower and freshen up at the lodge.
Otherwise, enjoy a leisurely breakfast overlooking the water before transferring to the airstrip for your onward flight.
3 Nights’ accommodation at Mapula camp
Air Transfers to/from Maun International Airport
All activities as specified on itinerary
All Meals as specified on itinerary
International and Regional Flights
Travel Insurance (Mandatory to have travel Insurance)
All Items of personal nature (Crafts, Gratuity etc.)
All other items not mentioned on this itinerary
SCENIC HELI FLIGHTS OPTIONAL EXTRA AT ADDITIONAL COST
Add a little magic to your Delta safari and encounter a variety of panoramic delights, priceless memories and stunning photographic opportunities during a scenic helicopter flight.
HOT AIR BALLOONING PLEASE NOTE THAT HOT AIR BALLOON FLIGHTS CAN ONLY BE BOOKED WITH A TRANSFER TO AND FROM THE LAUNCH SITE VIA HELICOPTER.
Experience the epitome of a balloon safari, drifting over one of Africa’s great wilderness destinations. A unique landscape flooded with water interspersed with winding channels, dotted with islands and surprisingly large expanses of woodland forests. This age old adventure explores the Okavango Delta in a completely unique way, offering a 360 degree panoramic view from tree top level to a thousand feet in the air.