This 11-day family adventure is the perfect way to share the wonders and excitement of an African safari with your children. See the best of Botswana’s top reserves - the Okavango Delta, Moremi, Savute, Chobe and the vast Makgadikgadi Pans - whilst staying at small and luxurious lodges that will plan the days' safari activities around you and your family’s interests.
Start your safari at Leroo La Tau, a luxurious lodge overlooking the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. Raised on wooden platforms on the high banks of the Boteti River, the glass-fronted suites at Leroo La Tau offer up unforgettable views – chances are you’ll see elephant, wildebeest and zebra without even leaving your room!
Activities at Leroo La Tau centre around morning and afternoon game drives in the Makgadikgadi Park. Wildlife viewing is best during dry season (July to October) when water is scarce and herds gather around the Boteti River. Sightings at this time include huge stripey herds of zebra – part of the second largest zebra migration in the world – and increased numbers of predators such as lion, jackal and hyena.
If the water levels are still high you can also go on motorboat safaris and the lodge offers night drives in their private concession. Another highlight is a visit to the nearby Khumaga village where your children can see what life is like for kids at the local school.
Choose between Camp Okavango and Xugana Island Lodge, both set at the heart of the Okavango Delta. Tucked away on forested islands, these remote camps are a great base from which to explore the true water wilderness of the Okavango - surrounded as you are by lakes, hippo pools and a maze of reed-lined channels.
Set off in a mokoro (traditional dug-out canoe) your guide poling you silently through the clear water, the peace of the delta occasionally broken by the thrill of seeing the yawning mouth of a hippo or a crocodile half-hidden in the reeds. Other activities offered by these lodges include motorboat safaris as well as guided nature walks on the nearby islands – a chance to see antelope and other large game.
If that doesn't keep your kids entertained, your guide is sure to think up other fun activities such as mokoro races (water levels dependant) or learning to fish for bream and toothy tiger fish.
At the point where the waters of the Okavango Delta meet the vast plains of the Kalahari Desert lies a region of Mopane forests, open grasslands and seasonal floodplains. This is Moremi Game Reserve, one of Botswana’s most beautiful wildlife sanctuaries and a phenomenal big game destination.
Activities in Moremi centre around tracking wildlife on morning and afternoon game drives. Keep your camera at the ready: this area is famous for its predators with frequent sightings of lion, leopard and cheetah as well as African wild dog. Families with children aged between six and 12 years old will have their own private vehicle (extra cost) and a guide who knows how to keep kids both interested and entertained.
Other activities include exploring the Xakanaxa Lagoon and surrounding Okavango channels by motorboat, while your nights are spent sleeping under canvas in Camp Moremi. Peeking out beneath giant ebony trees, Camp Moremi is a classic tented camp with 12 comfortable East-African style safari tents each on its own raised teak platform.
Savute Safari Lodge sits on the banks of Botswana’s fabled “Stolen River”, the Savute Channel. Stretching from the waterways of the Linyanti to the heart of Chobe National Park, this unpredictable channel has a fascinating history of flooding and drying up independently of good rainy seasons and flood levels elsewhere.
Savute is known for phenomenal game viewing: elephant gather at the park waterholes, antelope and buffalo herds graze the open grasslands, leopards are seen around granite kopjes, there’s a good chance of spotting wild dog, and the region's packs of spotted hyena and prides of lion are famously large.
Explore this wildlife-rich area on morning and afternoon drives, and between game viewing activities relax alongside the pool whilst watching elephant come and go at the lodge waterhole. There is also the option of visiting the ancient San rock paintings at Gubatsa Hills, a small rocky outcrop which forms a remarkable landmark in the otherwise flat landscape
The last stop on your Botswana family safari is Chobe Savanna Lodge. Positioned on the Namibian side of the Chobe River, this welcoming lodge has a hard-to-beat location away from the crowds yet right on the river and overlooking the vast floodplains of Chobe National Park’s Puku Flats.
Get close to big game on river cruises in small, easily manoeuvrable boats. The guides at Chobe Savanna Lodge are fantastic, and really do go out of their way to position the boat for the best possible photo opportunities – expect to see plenty of elephant along with hippo, giraffe, buffalo, baboons and an incredible variety of birds.
Other activities offered by Chobe Savanna Lodge include catch-and-release fishing for bream and tiger fish, as well as guided cultural visits to one of the surrounding villages and school – your children could even end up joining in a game of soccer with the local kids.
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