Botswana Photo Tour Chobe and Okavango Delta

Tour Intro

Victoria Falls Optional Pre-trip Extension

Located in Botswana’s far north, Chobe National Park is world-renowned for its variety and concentration of wildlife. While it is the third largest park in Botswana, everyone agrees it is the most diverse. The park can be divided into four distinct areas, each with a corresponding ecosystem. The Serondela area (or Chobe riverfront) is in the northeast section of the park and includes the Chobe River and its floodplains. Due to the herds that come here for watering during the dry season (and probably also due to this region’s proximity to Victoria Falls), this is one of the most visited regions of the park. The Savuti Marsh area is primarily rolling savannas serving as the homeland for most of the park’s wildlife. But large concentrations of wildlife also reside in the Linyanti Marsh area, including the park’s most well known inhabitants, the huge herds of elephant. Lion, hyena, zebra, cheetah, leopard, wild dog, wildebeest, warthog, kudu, impala, hippo, and antelope are just a few of the large land mammals to be found in this wildlife paradise. 

As the largest inland river delta on earth, Botswana’s Okavango Delta is surely one of the seven wonders of the natural world. The delta is formed as the seasonal flooding of the Okavango River, flowing from the Angola highlands, empties into the Kalahari Desert basin. The flood waters cover an area of over 35,000 square kilometers and rise and fall as the intense heat of the region cause rapid evaporation only to have the delta resupplied by newly arriving flood waters. Landlocked and surrounded by higher altitudes, Botswana is a dry country, so the Okavango Delta truly is an oasis. However, contrary to what the foliage might indicate, this is not a tropical paradise. Rainfall is sparse most of the year and temperatures soar to about 100F during the summer. However, the winter floods (that peak from June to August) are sufficient to make permanent large swathes of lakes, channels, and lagoons. Not surprisingly, this oasis attracts some of the world’s highest concentrations of wildlife, including all the quintessential African mammals from lion to elephant to hippo to giraffe to rhino to zebra. The delta is also the permanent or seasonal home of hundreds of bird species as well. This diversity and concentration of wildlife make the Okavango Delta an absolute must-see for any serious African visitor!

Tour Highlights

Intensive game viewing at Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta.
Only 5 participants per vehicle to ensure the optimum photographic experience.
Time to absorb and photograph the wonder of it all. Most safari operator’s rush from place to place, we take our time, watching and waiting for wildlife or just the right light.
Enjoy two evenings not far from Botswana on a pre-trip extension to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Tour Itinerary

July 14-15: Home

Depending on your home departure city you may need to depart July 14 in order to land in Kasane Airport (BBK) on July 16.
Please note: if you are taking part in the extension your flights will be issued multi-city Home-VFA/MUB-Home. If not on extension multi-city Home-BBK/MUB-Home

July 16-18: Kasane Airport-Chobe National Park

Upon arrival at Kasane Airport (BBK) and after clearing immigration, you will be met for your road transfer to Chobe Game Lodge in Chobe National Park. (approx. 45 minute drive)

Chobe Game Lodge  (B, L, D three days)
Private Activities, Park Fees, House Drinks  (excluding some premium brands), and Laundry

July 19-21: Western Chobe

Today you will transfer to Kasane Airport for your light aircraft flight to Savuti Safari Lodge on the banks of the Savute Channel in western Chobe National Park.

Three camp internal flights: Luggage limited 20kg per person/soft-sided bags. There may be stops en route.

Savute Safari Lodge 
(B, L, D three days)
Included: Private Activities, Park Fees, House Drinks  (excluding some premium brands), and Laundry

July 22-24: Okavango Delta

Today you will transfer for your light aircraft flight to your camp in the heart of the legendary Okavango Delta.

Camp Xakanaxa

(B, L, D three days)
Included: Private Activities, Park Fees, House Drinks  (excluding some premium brands), and Laundry

July 25-26: Maun Airport-Home

After an early breakfast transfer for your light aircraft flight to the Maun (MUB) Airport to connect with your flight home (flights typically 1-2PM).

Depending on flight connections home you may not land until July 26 or 27. (meals on plane)

Tour Extension

July 12-16: Victoria Falls

July 12 & 13 are required travel days to reach Victoria Falls on July 14. Awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, known as mosi-oa-tunya, which means ‘the smoke that thunders’, is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Named in honor of Queen Victoria by the renowned Scottish missionary and explorer, David Livingstone, world-famous Victoria Falls is located on the mighty Zambezi River between the southern African countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Victoria Falls feeds a rainforest ecosystem adjacent to the falls and creates the largest sheet of falling water in the world. Uniquely, cliffs do not border the Zambezi River leading up to the falls nor does it flow through a vast gorge. Instead, the river flows across a level plateau in a broad shallow valley until plunging into the deep Victoria Falls chasms. Commissioned in 1900, the Victoria Falls Bridge provides a spectacular perspective. Tours of the falls are available from either the Zambian or Zimbabwean side. One stunning vantage point is across the Knife-edge Bridge, where visitors can have the finest view of the Eastern Cataract and the Main Falls.

Extension Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 5 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Extension Itinerary

July 12-13: Home

Depending on your home departure city you may need to depart July 12 in order to land in Victoria Falls (VFA) on July 14.
Please note: if you are taking part in the extension your flights will be issued multi-city Home-VFA/MUB-Home. If not on extension multi-city Home-BBK/MUB-Home

July 14-15: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Clear customs immigration, you will be met for your road transfer to your hotel with a view of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, approximately 30 minutes.

The next day enjoy a private guided tour of Victoria Falls this morning, followed by time at the hotel. A sunset cruise has been included (appetizers and drinks included) along the Zambezi River for shoreline, birdlife, elephant, and hippo photography as well as the beautiful sunset. (B)

July 16: Victoria Falls - Chobe

After breakfast you will depart for the main portion of the tour starting in Chobe National Park.

Photo Leader

Kathy Adams Clark
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Kathy Adams Clark

Kathy Adams Clark has made her living as a professional nature photographer since 1995. Her work has been published in a variety of national and regional publications including National Geographic Books, The New York Times, Nature’s Best, and Sierra. Kathy teaches over fifty photography workshops and classes each year. Her work may be viewed weekly in the Houston Chronicle’s “Nature” column, written by her husband, Gary. She is Past-President of the North American Nature Photography Association.

Kathy enjoys traveling with people new to photography as well as with folks with advanced skills. She has an ability to explain complicated photographic terms in an easy-to-understand language. She likes to teach those hungry for new information but also understands that photography can be a solitary task. Each person traveling with Kathy is treated as an individual, but the group always has fun. Kathy is an accomplished naturalist as well as a photographer, skilled in many different digital cameras. She is very passionate about nature, birdlife, and wildlife.

Gary Clark joins Kathy as co-leader on some of her tours. He is an acclaimed naturalist guide in his own right will co-lead some trips each year with her. A lifelong naturalist, Gary Clark has studied birds, mammals, and butterflies in North, Central, and South America and in East Africa. He is an award winning professional writer whose column “Nature” appears weekly in the Houston Chronicle. He has authored feature articles in state and national magazines and has written ten books that include photographs from his wife, Kathy. He frequently conducts birding workshops and leads birding tours. He is founder of the Piney Woods Wildlife Society of Texas, former president of the Houston Audubon Society, and former vice-president of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory. Gary is a full professor at Lone Star College. Because of both Kathy & Gary’s love of nature, and the work they do, Strabo Tours is proud to make a donation to the Houston Audubon Society for each trip they take part in.

This was the trip of a lifetime for me. I was challenging myself to learn all sorts of new things, photography, a new culture, and was immersed in it. It surpassed my expectations and I met so many beautiful souls along the way. Kathy was fantastic, I give her a 10++!!!

D. Whitney

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 7 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Terms and Conditions

Unless otherwise noted, this information applies to all tours.

Airfare

Contact Strabo Tours if you would like rates on International Airfare. Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties. Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.

The land cost includes:
  • Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
  • Accommodations based on two people sharing a room, singles are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • Services of driver, English speaking cultural guide (if applicable) and photographic leader, during the tour.
  • Meals as listed in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner).
  • Park entrance fees, day tours and excursions as shown in the itinerary.
  • Extensive pre-departure information and services.
The land cost does not include:

Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, photographic equipment, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; fuel surcharges; exchange rate surcharges; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.

Fitness and Health

The majority of trips are not strenuous (see exceptions below for particular destinations) and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights and the change in time zones. You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators or air conditioners.

If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).

You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.

Exceptions:

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

Deposits, Cancellations AND Refunds

A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic tours) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.

If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:

  • 91 days or more before departure: $300 cancellation fee ($150 fee on domestic tours), plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
  • 61-90 days before departure: $500 ($250 on domestic tours) minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
  • 60 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.

Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.

Insurance

Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure).

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.

There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.

Subject to Change

Itineraries have been carefully constructed to assure participants the best each destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. The itineraries summarize typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

Photo Release

Strabo International Tour Company, Inc. reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes. We also reserve the right to use clients photographs for promotional and publicity purposes, when submitted to Strabo International Tour Company, Inc.

Accommodations

Chobe Game Lodge

The only permanent game lodge situated within the famous Chobe National Park, Chobe Game Lodge is Botswana’s premier venue for guests looking for a perfect base from which to explore the National Park and the Chobe River. This five-star lodge has full eco-grading by Botswana Tourism Board. Each of the forty-seven rooms at the lodge is river facing and air-conditioned, featuring overhead fans, complimentary mini bar, en- suite bathrooms and a private terrace. Chobe Game Lodge is designed as a haven of peace and privacy— where relaxation is effortless and you can enjoy your own space. With six comfortably furnished viewing decks, a riverside boma, each with a different perspective on the wilderness that surrounds the lodge. A large swimming pool provides welcome relief during hot afternoons.

Savute Safari Lodge

Stretching from the Linyanti River all the way to Savute Marsh, the winding waterways of the Savute Channel have pumped life into the western section of Chobe National Park for many thousands of generations. However, this fickle and unpredictable channel, which has a fascinating history of flooding and drying up, independently of good rainy seasons and flood levels elsewhere, has mystified local inhabitants, geologists and others for many years. To ensure a private and relaxing environment, Savute Safari Lodge has just twelve thatched chalets built of local timber. The chalets, which have been elegantly furnished in calm neutral tones to blend with the natural environment, feature expansive private decks, a combined bedroom and lounge area and en suite facilities. The lodge is situated in a beautiful two-story thatch-and-timber main building. Savute Safari Lodge offers a shaded viewing deck, an al fresco dining area and swimming pool with spectacular pool loungers—ideal for watching the varied wildlife—including the resident elephants—as they make their way to the Channel to drink, bath and play.

Camp Xakanaxa

The prime location of Camp Xakanaxa (pronounced Ka-ka-na-ka) on the banks of the Khwai River on the Xakanaxa Lagoon, in the heart of the Moremi Game Reserve, makes it one of the very few safari camps that offers guests an authentic year-round Okavango Delta land and water safari experience. The twelve spacious, canvas, Meru-style, luxury safari tents have en-suite bathrooms. Situated around the fringe of the lagoon, every tent has a private viewing deck with comfortable loungers. In camp, a relaxed and friendly atmosphere together with personalized and caring service evokes a feeling of coming home. The stylish main buildings extend over the Khwai River and are set on raised platforms to maximize the views over the surrounding lagoons and islands. The elegant lounge and dining rooms, built of local timber, reed, and thatch, feature a small library, expansive sundeck, and plunge pool. The fire-deck extends over the Khwai River and creates an enchanting environment in which to relax after dinner.

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