EarthCruiser Adventure Preview: Botswana and Okavango Delta

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There is simply no other place on Earth like the Okavango. It begins as a trickling stream in the highland plains of Angola, growing in volume as it travels south till it becomes the powerful Okavango River. 2.5 trillion gallons of water follow this path every year. Then, something unusual happens. The river begins to spread and dissipate, becoming an alluvial fan. Covering 2,500 square miles, this region is a paradise for wildlife. Its crystal-clear waters form channels and islands home to herds of elephants, buffalo, rhinos, hippos, and the predators that hunt them like lions and wild dogs. One hundred fifty miles downstream, the water simply disappears, lost to thirsty plants and animals, and evaporation.

On this EarthCruiser Adventure, we will explore the length of the Delta, driving from the outpost town of Maun to Chobe via the Moremi, Savuti, and Linyanti areas. Each area of the region is unique, presenting its own ecosystem with distinct wildlife opportunities and driving challenges. The Moremi region is rich with big game, with our days spent fording river channels and watching for hippos, rhinos, and buffalo. There are no fences in the Delta, and we’ll be seeing animals behaving as they have for thousands of years. Traffic jams here are more likely to be of the elephant variety than vehicle, and our team of experts will be on hand to provide coaching on safe driving practices around wildlife and through the challenging terrain.

Traveling north, we’ll enter the Savuti area, where sections of deep sand may provide for the day’s driving skills workshop. In the afternoon, we’ll explore the region around the Savuti channel, home to elephant-hunting lions, wild dogs, and leopards. The Linyanti area is typically crackling dry this time of year and is one of Botswana’s most wild and unexplored corners.

We’ll emerge from the Delta region at Chobe. Here we camp in the grounds of a stunning safari lodge, where we can enjoy a bit of comfort, including a sparkling pool, bar, and restaurant. In the afternoon, we’ll board the lodge’s boat for a sunset tour of the Chobe river, a highlight of everyone’s visit to Botswana. As the sun sets, we’ll glide amongst elephants, hippos, crocodiles, and a rainbow of birdlife.

The Delta isn’t the only thing special about this Adventure. We begin our trip in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, and set off east to drive the northern edge of the Kalahari Desert. We spend our first evening in Botswana in an area managed by the indigenous San. Here we’ll learn about their way of life and support a program designed to support several species of vultures, essential parts of the ecosystem threatened by habitat loss, and the actions of poachers.

We spend the night on the edge of the Makgadikgadi salt pans, one of the largest in the world. Our stunning campground is dotted with towering, majestic baobab trees that may be over a thousand years old. Here we have the opportunity for an up-close visit to a group of wild meerkats, who always provide an entertaining photo opportunity.

Our Adventure ends in Zambia on the shores of the mighty Zambezi River. Here we’ll visit the legendary Victoria Falls, known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning “The Smoke That Thunders.” The town of Livingstone is an adventurer’s paradise, with opportunities for everything from walking safaris, to fishing for tigerfish, to scenic flights over the falls. Though our Adventure ends here, EarthCrusier staff are available to assist our travelers with planning onward travel, vehicle shipping, or storage, whether the plan is to drive to South Africa, Cairo, or beyond.