Botswana & Victoria Falls Adventure
A superbly balanced itinerary offering 6 nights safari in two of Botswana’s premier reserves followed by a 3 nights stay around the mighty Victoria Falls.
Prices: On request
Duration: 9 nights
Availability: Year round
Destinations: Okavango Delta (Kwara Concession), Linyanti (Kwando Reserve), Victoria Falls
i) Experience premium exclusivity at Splash Camp and Lagoon Camp
ii) Unbelievable wildlife diversity and abundance in the Linyanti and Okavango Delta
iii) Superb opportunity to see large herds of elephants
iv) Night drives uncover Africa’s elusive nocturnal species
v) Get up close and personal with hippopotamus and crocodiles on a makoro safari
vi) Approach wildlife on foot on a walking safari
vii) Experience the majesty of the world’s largest waterfall, Victoria Falls
Enjoy luxury and exclusivity in the private Kwando Concession before flying onto the Okavango Delta’s Kwara Concession. Both reserves offer exceptional wildlife interactions, a diverse safari activity programme and a promise of authenticity and exclusivity. Both areas are rich in predators such as lion, leopard and spotted hyena, as well as the elusive and endangered African Wild Dog. Elephants are abundant and you may also be fortunate enough to observe antelope specials such as roan, sable and eland. Spend the last 3 nights on the banks of the Zambezi at the luxurious Thorntree River Lodge close to the mightily impressive Victoria Falls. Here you can choose to relax and watch the world go by or partake in a plethora of adrenaline activities.
Best time to visit?
So what is the best time of year to take this trip to maximise your overall experience? Without knowing you yet this is a difficult question to answer. With so many variables to consider we need to know what is important to you before we advise on the preferable time for you.
There are many variables to consider such as the whereabouts of migratory animals, the effect the density of the vegetation and height of grass has on wildlife viewing, special wildlife moments such as the birth of baby animals, and the effect weather patterns has on wildlife behaviour. Other factors to consider are the variation in prices at different times of the year, visitor traffic, whether you prefer a lush or relatively arid environment and of course the annual climate, including temperature and rainfall values. To add more confusion it isn’t unusual for locations to contrast.
For this reason we present detailed information under each individual location in the locations section to help you understand what may work better for you. We will of course have an in-depth discussion with you prior to making a booking so you are completely happy with the time of year you decide to travel.
- Game drives
- Night drives
- Walking safaris
- Fishing (seasonal)
- Sundowner boat cruises
- Makoro safari
- Victoria Falls visit
- Safari activities in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park
- Zambezi River canoeing and kayaking
- Scenic helicopter flights
- Zambezi River cruises
- Horseback safaris
- Bungee jumping
- Gorge swings
- White water rafting
- All domestic flights as per the daily itinerary
- Airport transfers throughout Botswana
- 9 nights accommodation as stated
- All meals as stated
- Included safari activities as indicated above
- Drinks unless otherwise stated
- All relevant taxes and surcharges
Your Ultimate Wildlife Adventure Begins
Today you will board your overnight international flight to Maun, Botswana.
Lagoon, Kwando Concession, The Linyanti (L, D)
You will arrive in Botswana around lunchtime and will be greeted by one of our representatives. They will look after you and ensure everything runs smoothly ahead of your short onward light aircraft flight to the Linyanti. On arrival you will be met by one of the representatives from Lagoon Camp who will slowly transfer you back to camp. This will be your first opportunity to experience the game rich area of the Linyanti. Your driver will be sure to stop for interesting game sightings on the way.
On arrival in camp you will be extended a warm greeting and introduction to camp. There will be an opportunity to orientate yourselves around camp and freshen up in your room before embarking on your afternoon game activity. Game drives and walking safaris are the main activities at Lagoon. You will arrive back in camp in the early evening in time to enjoy dinner prepared by the highly regarded chefs. There may be an opportunity to partake in a night game drive if you have enough energy remaining after a long 24 hours.
Lagoon, Kwando Concession, The Linyanti (B, L, D)
These two days are dedicated to wildlife watching in the huge Kwando Concession. With an area of 1750 km² and less than 40 tourists in the reserve at any one time it truly is an exclusive and wild destination.
Completely unfenced, it is part of the huge ecosystem in Northern Botswana that stretches west from the Okavango Delta, east to Chobe National Park and south to the Kalahari Desert and Pans.
Wildlife watching is spectacular, especially in the dry season when huge herds of buffalo and elephant up to 1000 strong congregate around the river. Predator sightings are regular and Kwando is one of the most reliable places in the world for wild dog interactions.
Activities available for you to choose from in Kwando include day and night game drives with off-road driving, boating safari and walking safari, as well as seasonal fishing.
Splash, Kwara Concession, Okavango Delta, Botswana (B, L, D)
Today you will wake for a leisurely breakfast before making the short hop on light aircraft over to the Okavango Delta. You will stay in the exclusive and sought after Kwara Concession at the new Splash Camp. With an area of 1750 km² and no more than 40 guests in the reserve at any one time each guest has an average of 45 km² to themselves. This ensures there are never any traffic queues at sightings. To gain perspective this would be the equivalent of 40 people wandering around the United Kingdom county of Hertfordshire or an area almost 1.5 times that of the U.S city of Los Angeles in search of game.
On arrival you will be oriented around camp before being served up a delicious lunch. The afternoon will be spent on a safari activity of your choice before returning for dinner. The evening will offer a choice between relaxing and going out on a night game drive.
Splash, Kwara Concession, Okavango Delta, Botswana (B, L, D)
You will have 2 full days to explore the amazing Kwara Concession. Its location, sandwiched between the prolific wildlife areas of the Moremi Game Reserve and the Linyanti, ensure it is one of the most productive wildlife areas in Botswana. Its enviable location ensures it is both a dry and wet reserve ensuring a diverse offering of wildlife and a variation of safari activities.
Game drives have the added benefit of off-road driving and trackers in all vehicles. This will certainly increase the quality of your sightings and is great for photography opportunities. Night drives are an excellent opportunity to see the bush from a different perspective and allow for sightings of more elusive wildlife. Walking safari is an excellent option to see the smaller creatures the area has to offer whilst getting out on the water promises up close interactions with hippopotamus and large Nile crocodiles. Makoro and boating safaris and seasonal fishing are the water-based activities available at Splash Camp.
The area is rich in grazers such as buffalo, zebra, elephants, red lechwe, steenbok, impala, tsessebe, wildebeest, giraffe, and greater kudu, amongst many others. Naturally, predators are present in the form of lion, leopard, cheetah and spotted hyena who take advantage of this varied menu of herbivores. However, the reserve is renowned as being amongst the best places in Africa to observe the African wild dog.
Thorntree River Lodger, Victoria Falls, Zambia (B, L, D)
Today you say goodbye to the Okavango Delta and the safari part of your trip. You will enjoy a leisurely breakfast, embark on your last game drive en route to the airstrip and then board your short flight over the border to Livingstone in Zambia. This is the gateway to the magnificent Victoria Falls. The transfer to camp will take approximately 20 minutes ensuring you will be at the lodge in time for lunch. Safari can be hectic and tiring so spending time at Victoria Falls is the perfect opportunity to reflect and recuperate in tranquil settings close to nature. Thorntree River Lodge is a wonderful place to relax on your own private decking with your own pool watching the Zambezi meander slowly towards The Smoke that Thunders.
Thorntree River Lodge (B, L, D)
These next two days are dedicated to enjoying life close to the world’s largest waterfall. You may choose to relax and simply enjoy your idyllic surroundings with a gentle trip down to the Falls to enjoy its majesty. However, you may instead wish to see the Falls from a unique vantage point in the sky, either on a microlight or helicopter tour.
For those of you who have more energy to give there is a raft of action-packed adrenaline activities in the area, namely world-leading white-water rafting, bungee jumping or gorge swings to name but a few.
End of Your Ultimate Wildlife Adventure
Today is the final day of this most amazing experience. You will undoubtedly leave with a heavy heart but with the knowledge you have witnessed one of the most authentic wildlife experiences in one of Africa’s true wilderness areas. Breakfast will be followed by one final game drive back to the airstrip where you will embark on your light aircraft flight back to Maun before boarding your international flight to your final destination.
Kwando Concession, The Linyanti, Botswana
Overview: Lagoon is perched on the banks of the wild Kwando River, nestled beneath towering ebony and marula trees. The heavily forested site is home to a wide variety of birds and mammals, while hippopotamus and elephant are frequent camp visitors.
Accommodation: Eight expansive tents accommodate a maximum of 16 guests. Each tent affords picturesque views over the river and is equipped with a private deck, living area, and en suite bathroom. Each en-suite is equipped with an indoor and outdoor shower, as well as a bathtub for an enjoyable afternoon soak. There is also a family tent which has two entrances (one to the twin bedroom and one to the main bedroom and living area).
Facilities & Amenities: Bar and sitting area, outdoor deck with a swing, dining area, curio shop, orientation centre, and a cosy second-level library overlooking the river.
Activities: Game drives by day and night and off-road driving is permitted. Each game drive is accompanied by a guide and tracker team to increase your chances of outstanding wildlife sightings. Walking safaris and seasonal fishing are offered, as well as sundowner cruises on the camp’s double-deck boat.
Children: Youngsters aged 6 years and above are welcome in camp. However, parties including children under 12 years of age are required to hire a private safari vehicle.
Kwara Concession, Okavango Delta
Overview: Splash Camp is situated in the heart of the Okavango Delta, within the Private Kwara Concession. This brand new camp offers a very relaxed, friendly and authentic atmosphere. The area has long been known as Splash due to the huge water crossings that had to be negotiated to access the camp area. The Kwara Concession shares a 30 km water boundary with the famous Moremi Game Reserve and its unique location boasts both permanent water and seasonal flood plains as well as extensive dry bush wilderness. It is considered to be amongst the best in Botswana for game viewing and activities.
Accommodation: 12 en-suite tents, 10 for the use of guests and 2 for accompanying guides. All suites are designed to the same specification and complete with en suite bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers, flush toilets and double sink. Each room has a private veranda with outdoor lounge chairs providing the perfect place to relax in between game activities.
Facilities & Amenities: The main public area boasts a plunge pool, bar and lounge, as well as an orientation centre and a curio shop. There is also a fire pit overlooking the game-productive pan. This is the social hub where breakfast is served and camp stories are told into the evening.
Activities: Game drives are available by day and night and as the camp operates in a private concession off road driving is permitted. The abundant water around camp provides for makoro safari, boat cruises and seasonal fishing. Walking safaris are also offered and encouraged.
Children: Those of ages 6 and above are permitted in camp but those under the age of 12 require their accompanying group to hire a private vehicle.
Thorntree River Lodge
Victoria Falls, Zambia
Overview: Thorntree River Lodge is set in Zambia’s Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, just a short distance from the famous Victoria Falls. It has been completely rebuilt with an environmentally-conscious design. The design is modern contemporary with tented roof structures to maintain the feel of authentic Africa.
Accommodation: The lodge boasts 12 twin rooms with 2 sets of inter-leading units. Each unit has its own indoor and outdoor bathrooms, as well as a luxurious private plunge pool. The room is loaded with facilities and amenities including air-conditioning, complimentary mini bar, safe, and tea and coffee making facilities.
Facilities & Amenities: The main lodge consists of a lounge with an open dining area, where the fine dining experience of African cuisine will come to life. A gym and spa overlook the mighty Zambezi River, and there is a small library with WiFi for your use. The communal deck is set on the edge of the stunning riverside, and is home to a boma area and infinity pool. A spectacular wooden decking, the scene of moonlit dinners, floats on the edge of the water and helps to achieve a seamless feel between river and lodge.
Power & communication: Full mains electrical power. WiFi throughout the property. Available mobile phone network coverage.
Activities: There are so many activities and things to do here you could spend a month and not get bored. Within the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park you can enjoy typical game activities such as walking, boating, game drives, canoeing and rhino tracking on foot. It must be noted this national park is very tame in comparison to the areas we usually recommend. Those guests who are in the area for the adrenaline type activities the Falls and surrounding areas have become famous will be in awe of the variety on offer. Activities include canoeing and kayaking on the Zambezi, helicopter scenic flights, river cruises, horse-back safaris, bungee jumping, gorge swings, and exhilarating white-water rafting, amongst others.
Children: All ages are welcome.
- Special Status: UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Location: Northern Botswana
- Land mass: 15,000-22,000 km²
- Mammal species: 160
- Bird species: 530
- Big 5 reserve: Yes
- Game drives
- Night drives
- Makoro safaris
- Motorboat safaris
- Walking safaris
- Catch and release fishing
- Hot air balloon safari
- Helicopter flights
- Horseback safaris
- Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful destinations in Africa
- A true, unspoilt African wilderness
- The epitome of authenticity and exclusivity
- Huge abundance and diversity of wildlife
- Arguably the most varied safari activity programmes in the whole of Africa
The Okavango Delta is undoubtedly one of the most magical wildlife sanctuaries on earth and is a must visit destination for any person interested in the natural world.
It is the largest inland delta on earth. Its very existence begins as heavy rainfall in the highlands of Angola in the months of January and February. This rainfall is drained by the Okavango River and surges an astonishing 1200 kilometres over the space of a month. The water reaches the Okavango panhandle by April and with no sea or ocean to drain into it subsequently spills into the Okavango Delta flooding an area of 6,000- 15,000 square kilometres over the course of the next 4 months. The peak flood is between the months of June and August and sees the Delta swell to 3 times its permanent size. Water levels recede following the peak through evaporation and transpiration leaving water levels relatively low until the process begins again the following April.
During the peak flood the Okavango Delta swells to an impressive 22,000 km² making it a hefty wildlife sanctuary. To provide perspective this is an inland swamp that is comfortably larger than the country of Israel. The Okavango Delta is not a single reserve or national park in its entirety. The Botswana Government has sliced it up and divided it into several private concessions. Renowned safari operators have been given responsibility to conserve their particular patch and have the authority to conduct safari activities. Therefore, each concession has its own special character. We treat every concession like a separate game reserve and recommend them to you based on your desires and their ability to meet these.
The Delta is like an exclusive playground. With very few other tourists around you may feel like you have your own piece of African wilderness to yourself. The activities on offer are arguably the most diverse on the continent. As the concessions are privately owned they have the authority to conduct safari activities without the stifling regulations exacted on national parks. Guests can enjoy game drives, night drives, makoro and motorboat safaris, walking safaris, catch and release fishing, hot air balloon safari as well as helicopter rides and horseback safari. However, it must be noted whilst the majority of these activities are standard in most concessions and camps some are limited to certain concessions or camps. We will always discuss your requirements so we can provide you with the exact safari you desire.
The Okavango Delta has a phenomenal diversity of wildlife, resident and migratory. With 530 recorded species of birds and a phenomenal 160 species of mammals, without mentioning the reptile and amphibian count, you begin to see why this is such a special place to visit. Diversity is matched by the immense abundance of animals. The area is renowned for large herds of cape buffalo and elephants totalling around 30,000 individuals. It is estimated the area supports 200,000 large mammals.
Other herbivores, to name only a few, include wildebeest, hartebeest, sitatunga, springbok, eland, greater kudu, duiker, steenbok, gemsbok, sable, roan, impala, zebra and red lechwe. Other ungulates include hippopotamus in abundance and reintroduced black and white rhinoceros although these remain elusive at present.
Predators are well represented in the shape of lion, leopard, brown hyena, spotted hyena, nile crocodile, African wild dog and cheetah, as well as smaller carnivores such as serval and caracal. Bird species include the iconic African fish eagle, Pel’s fishing owl, hamerkop and beautiful lilac-breasted roller.
The Okavango Delta has that unusual knack of being able to support almost any traveller from the solo traveller to a family group, experienced safari goer to first timer and wildlife enthusiast to casual holiday maker. Its unique selling point lies in its exclusivity, superb concentrations and variety of game, exceptional camps and natural outstanding beauty. In an ideal world we would recommend it as a destination to almost everybody if it wasn’t for the sticking point of the price. All this luxury, world-class guiding and exclusivity comes at a price, a significant one. Travelling in April, May and November is a way of maximising game viewing opportunities without paying premium prices.
The Delta is well linked by air to Chobe, the Linyanti, Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Nxai Pan and Makgadikgadi Pan via the central hub of Maun ensuring all areas can be combined effortlessly as part of a safari package.
The Okavango is such a diverse place to visit with each concession and indeed each camp offering a slightly different experience. We recommend staying in at least a couple of camps in order to experience the best of the area. Combining a wet camp and dry camp is ideal to gain a rounded experience.
Best Time To Visit
The climate of the Okavango Delta can be divided into the dry season and wet season. However, the Okavango Delta is a very complex area, and does not always follow the same rules as one would expect from a typical dry season/ wet season destination. Therefore, care is needed when recommending and advising the perfect time to visit. Each season, and indeed the months within each season, offers you a different experience. As always there is no time of year that offers you the best of everything. We provide you with a balanced account throughout the year so you are able to make an informed decision on the best time to visit based on your preferences.
The dry season is considered the months from April to October. This time of the year is characterised by almost no rain, with no actual rain in the months of May to September. Temperatures begin to fall and bottom out at average lows of only 6 degrees Celsius in the winter months of June to August. Warm clothing is recommended for early morning activities during these months. Temperatures soon recover under the sun to a comfortable 25 degrees Celsius by late morning. Temperatures rise drastically after August and top out during October at an average high of 35 degrees Celsius.
The wet season begins in November when the first rains break and runs through to March. Rainfall increases month on month with December to February being the wettest months. This is summer in Botswana so is therefore characterised by hot days as well as the rain. Expect daily average highs in excess of 30 degrees Celsius. Do not let this put you off though as it rarely rains all day and occurs in the form of thunderstorms that last for an hour or so.
Wildlife viewing is good year round but is generally considered better in the dry season. The abundance of standing water following the deluge of flood water into the reserve attracts animals back from the parched desert. Wildlife abundance and densities are at their greatest at this time of year. However, as always the wet season is the time of year migratory birds are in greater abundance and baby animals are being born at this time of year. The herds migrate out of the Okavango Delta in the wet season in search of fresh grazing in the now lush Kalahari Desert. Resident game can also be difficult to spot at this time of year due to the thick bush concealing them.
The Okavango Delta has plentiful activities, however the water based activities are seasonal in all areas except those with the deepest channels. If water based activities such as boating or makoro safaris are important to you then it is advisable to travel when water levels are at their highest. Now, conventional thinking would direct you to believing the highest water levels are in the wet season and lowest in the dry season. This would be correct almost anywhere except the Okavango Delta. Water levels are dictated by the annual flood and not the local rains. Therefore, the water is actually at its highest in the months of June to September. Lower water levels occur during the wet season and render the above mentioned water based activities difficult or impossible.
Prices are ultimately highest in the peak dry season months of July to October. The couple of months either side of this, namely April, May, November and December see reductions of around 50% with the wet months of January to March literally offering half price accommodation. If you choose your camp carefully you could be in with a real bargain at this time of year.
The Okavango Delta, and Botswana on a whole, is excellent at delivering high quality low impact safari experiences. With tourist numbers limited in each private concession and densities being as low as 1 tourist per 125 km² it isn’t difficult to imagine the exclusivity you will enjoy here. Therefore, even in peak season tourist traffic is not a concern.
For those interested in the scenery and environment April and May are a beautiful time to visit as the flood water arrives and the bush bursts into life with a myriad of beautiful flowers decorating the plains and water channels.
- Special Status: Private Game Reserves
- Location: Northern Botswana
- Land mass: 8420 km²
- Mammal species: 160
- Bird species: 530
- Big 5 reserve: Yes
- Vehicle safari (including off-road driving)
- Night drives
- Walking safaris
- Fishing (seasonal)
- Sundowner cruises
- Exceptional game viewing
- Premier destination for wild dog denning
- Big 5 private game reserves
- Outstanding biodiversity
- Varied safari activity programme
- Vast wilderness area
- Premium exclusivity destination
The area of Botswana often referred to as the Linyanti isn’t actually a game reserve in its own right but four separate private game reserves. These reserves being, the Chobe Enclave, Kwando Concession, Selinda Concession and the aptly named Linyanti Concession.
Each individual concession is unique in its own right, offering guests a distinctive experience. Collectively they are amongst Africa’s most exclusive private reserves. All the reserves are unfenced and completely open, providing a huge wildlife corridor not only between each reserve but from the Okavango Delta in the west through to Chobe National Park in the east.
The Kwando Concession is one of the largest private wildlife concessions in Botswana covering an impressive 2300 km². It has a varied topography ranging from dense mopane forest in the west to lush riverine forest along the Kwando River. Ebony and marula trees punctuate the scenery. The permanent river acts as a magnet for thirsty animals in the dry season.
The Linyanti Concession, although only half the size of Kwando, remains an impressive sized private game reserve. With an area covering 1250 km² it is almost 3 times the size of Los Angeles. The best tourist spots are in the north along the Linyanti River. Here there are open floodplains and a band of riverine forest adjacent to the river. The south of the reserve is covered in dense mopane forest which can make wildlife viewing a little more difficult.
The Selinda Reserve protects the Selinda Spillway, a channel which links the Okavango and Linyanti river systems. The environment is characterised by wide, dry grasslands dotted with small palm-forest islands. With a land mass of 3200 km² it really is a huge private concession.
The Chobe Enclave is the eastern most reserve located north of the Chobe National Park. It occupies 1690 km² of pristine African wilderness. Its position on the periphery of the Linyanti Marshes ensures it is an attraction to large concentrations of game, especially in the dry season. This marshland had been dry for decades until during the heavy summer rains of 2008, combined with shifting fault lines, the Linyanti River began to flow into the marshes. This provides the life giving water for thousands of migratory wildlife.
Wildlife viewing at all the reserves varies from exceptional to very reasonable year round but the Linyanti would be considered a dry season destination. At this time of year it is simply world-class. As the rains cease and the area begins to dry wildlife moves out of the safety of the forests and congregates around the permanent water holes in each of the concessions. This makes wildlife viewing easy due to the predictability of the wildlife’s whereabouts. The area is renowned for huge herds of elephants and buffalo who migrate into the reserves in search of life-giving water and fresh vegetation. Herbivores are well represented in the form of wildebeest, greater kudu and lesser kudu, impala, tsessebe, giraffe and zebra, as well as rarer ungulates such as roan, eland and sable. The presence of permanent water provides habitat for elusive semi-aquatic antelope species such as lechwe and sitatunga, as well as crocodiles and hippopotamus. Predators are numerous with lions being especially common, leopards can be spotted in the riverine forests, and cheetahs are naturally seen hunting in the open plains. For those wanting to especially see African wild dogs the Linyanti is as reliable as any place in Africa to observe these charismatic but critically endangered canines. Reliable dog denning occurs year on year. Unfortunately both black and white rhinoceros have been hunted to extinction.
The Linyanti benefits from being a private reserve so is not affected by the sometimes limiting regulations that arguably stifle the experience in some national parks. Activities in each reserve are as diverse as they are abundant. Game drives are enhanced as off-road driving is permitted. This allows guests to follow animals hunting or get up close for better photographic opportunities. Night drives are also permitted. A drive in the darkness of the African bush is undoubtedly exhilarating but it also provides an opportunity to observe nocturnal species such as Cape porcupine, aardwolf, pangolin, genet and African civet. The availability of permanent water plays a huge role in safari activities with makoro, canoeing and boating being available at the majority of camps. Excellent walking safari is also conducted as are more elaborate activities such as helicopter rides.
All the Linyanti private reserves are underpinned by exceptional wildlife viewing, superlative guiding, an array of activities offering a varied perspective and tremendous camps with the highest levels of service. The only drawback is the price but if your budget does stretch this far then there are few better places to enjoy a safari of a lifetime.
We often recommend combining one of the Linyanti Reserves with one or two concessions or camps in the Okavango Delta and possibly Nxai Pan, Makgadikgadi Pan or the Central Kalahari Game Reserve to gain a full appreciation of wild Botswana.
Best Time To Visit
The climate of the Linyanti can be simplified by dividing it into the dry season and wet season. Each season, and indeed the months within each season, offers you a different experience. There is no time of year that offers you the best of everything so we provide you with a balanced account throughout the year so you are able to make an informed decision based on your preferences.
The dry season runs from April to October although expect the last of the rains to fall in April. Temperatures remain high in April with average lows of 15 degrees Celsius and highs of 30 degrees Celsius. However, as winter closes in temperatures plummet at night and remain low early in the morning. Expect average lows to fall below 10 degrees Celsius from May through August. It is advisable to bring warm clothing for early morning activities at this time of year. The clear skies and African sun soon warm the plains to a very comfortable 25 degrees Celsius by late morning. As is common in Southern Africa temperatures rise sharply in September and peak in October. This month can be uncomfortable for some as daily highs average 35 degrees Celsius. Rainfall throughout the dry season is almost non-existent so expect uninterrupted blue skies with plenty of sunshine.
The wet season begins as the first rains fall in November and lasts until March. Also expect a few showers to occur into April. January and February are the wettest months followed by December. Rainfall is usually characterised by short showers and afternoon thunderstorms so very rarely will your safari be interrupted for an entire day. Temperatures immediately fall with the first rains but this time of year is summer so expect temperatures to exceed 30 degrees on average throughout the entire season.
The Linyanti is very much recognised as a dry season area, this meaning wildlife viewing in the dry season is significantly better than in the wet season. Wildlife viewing in the Linyanti is dominated by wildlife congregating around the permanent water sources. This works in the dry season as water is sparse elsewhere. However, as the rains fall wildlife retreats from the river frontage and heads into the woodland. This is not to say the area is void of any animals but the densities are much reduced. The wet season is however better for birding as migratory species descend on the area.
Unsurprisingly, prices are highest in the peak season from June through October. The rest of the year sees a significant reduction in rates, as much as half the price at some camps. May and November are good times to travel to take advantage of the reduced rates whilst still enjoying excellent game viewing.
The Linyanti is amongst the most exclusive safari destinations in Africa. Tourists are only permitted to enter the reserve if they have a pre-booked reservation at one of the few camps. This ensures tourist densities are low even in the peak dry season.
The final consideration is the beauty of the bush. This is where the wet season comes into its own. The parched appearance of the bush in the dry season is replaced by lush, verdant vegetation following the rains.
- Special Status: UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Location: Borders South Zambia and West Zimbabwe
- Height: 108 metres
- Width: 1708 metres
- Volume: 500 million litres per minute
- Did you know: Victoria Falls is recognised as the largest waterfall on earth due to having the largest curtain of falling water in the world.
- Bungee jumping
- Helicopter flights
- Microlight flights
- Devil’s pool swimming
- High wire activities (gorge swing, flying fox, zipline)
- Tandem skydiving
- Canoeing on the Zambezi River
- Sunset cruises on the Zambezi River
- Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park game drives & rhino tracking on foot
- Spectacular views of the world’s largest waterfall
- Take to the sky and view the falls from a unique vantage point
- Relax at one of the lodges or camps on the edge of the Zambezi
- Navigate the raging Zambezi on a white-water rafting trip of a lifetime
- Take to the water for a more gentle approach canoeing or sunset cruises
- Test your nerve for heights with a bungee jump
Mosi-oa-Tunya as it is known locally, or more commonly recognised as Victoria Falls, lives up to its Zambian name, it is quite literally The Smoke That Thunders.
It is amongst the most spectacular of earth’s waterfalls. A result of the contents of the Zambezi River, 2 km wide at this point, plunging over the rock face to produce spray that can be seen more than 20 kilometres away.
Victoria Falls is recognised as the largest waterfall in the world. Although it is neither the tallest nor the widest its combination of both these dimensions ensure it is the planet’s greatest sheet of falling water. An astonishing 500 million litres each minute pass over the precipice to continue its journey towards the Indian Ocean.
Visitors flock to this natural wonder of the world for obvious reasons. The sheer magnitude of the Zambezi River, the waterfall itself and the surrounding vegetation make for spectacular viewing. However, this area is also known for being a bit of an adventure playground with a huge variety of adrenaline-fuelled activities to keep you busy. There are of course much more relaxing ways of passing your time for those who want to relax before or after a safari.
The activities are highlighted above and can either be organised by your agent at Ultimate Wildlife Adventures or arranged locally upon arrival at your lodge or camp.
The Falls are easily accessible via the airports close to Livingstone in Zambia or the town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. This ensures it is logistically easy to combine safari in these two countries with times at the Falls. The waterfall’s proximity to Northern Botswana ensures it is often combined with an overland safari. Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls works as an excellent combination.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit the spectacular Victoria Falls is dependent on what it is you personally want to gain from experiencing the world’s largest volume of falling water. In essence, there is no one time of year that offers you the best of everything the Falls has to offer. Each season, and indeed the months within each season, offers you a different experience. Therefore, we provide you with a balanced account throughout the year so you are able to make an informed decision on the best time to visit based on your personal interests.
As with all locations the climate is a huge consideration when deciding the best time to visit. Price of accommodations and the volume of other tourists is also important to most. A huge factor to consider when planning a trip to Victoria Falls is the water levels as this dictates the experience massively and also which activities are available.
The seasons at Victoria Falls are uniform with the surrounding game viewing parks with regards temperatures and rainfall. The wet season runs from November to April and is characterised by daily temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius, daily rainfall and inevitably high humidity. November sees the start of the rains with December to February being the wettest months before a drop off in March and relatively little in April. May is somewhat a shoulder season before the onset of the long, dry winter beginning in June and running through to October. Here temperatures drop considerably to lows of around 7 degrees Celsius so warm clothing is advisable for evenings and early mornings. Temperatures quickly recover to 26 degrees during the day thanks to the reliable presence of the sun above clear skies.
The water level is obviously dictated by the rainfall and the ferocity of the water cascading over the Falls is largely dictated by rainfall ‘collected’ in the Zambezi River in the preceding months. Therefore, water levels are highest after the longest unbroken period of rainfall and lowest after long periods of dry weather.
The water level is at its lowest from October to December following the dry winter period. This really isn’t the greatest time to visit for those expecting to see Victoria Falls in all its might as the falling water is reduced to a relative trickle and may have even stopped cascading on the Zambian side. March to June are the months where water levels are at their highest, producing the spectacular show that one expects to see. Walking amongst the Falls is spectacular but expect a drenching. The Falls are spectacular by air and live up to their local name Mosi-oa-Tunya, The Smoke That Thunders, being visible from miles away. July to September sees a drop in water levels but this may be a good time to visit for those wanting a clearer view of the Falls to take photographs.
Activities are dictated by the water levels. White water rafting is seasonal and is divided into the low water rafting season and high water rafting season. The former runs from July to roughly mid-February and is the best time to visit as all the rapids can be navigated with excitement but safely. Mid-February until July is the high water season. Operations will still run at this time of year but the first 10 rapids are skipped as they are deemed too dangerous to navigate. In years of extreme water levels operations may cease in this period. Devils Pool and Livingstone Islands are also seasonal and only available in the lower water level months. Activities from the sky are arguably best when the Falls are at their most ferocious.
As with all locations the surrounding vegetation is at its most beautiful at the end of the rains and is reduced to an arid, dusty landscape by the end of the long dry season.
Visitor volume is at its greatest in the dry season months of June to October, peaking in July and August and this is reflected in the prices charged by the lodges and camps.