1 - Savuti Camp - Linyanti Reserve
Savuti Camp lies on the banks of the Savuti channel in a private concession in the Linyanti area of northern Botswana and borders the vast Chobe National Park to the east and the Selinda Spillway to the west, the Linyanti Marsh to the north and vast open reaches of bush to the south where you will eventually come to the Okavango.
This magnificent little camp is beautiful with stunning views out across the channel, with wildlife that is second to none and accommodation that will make your stay just perfect.
This is not the most luxurious lodge (this is relative of course) in the portfolio of Wilderness but has such a fantastic feeling of personal service and superb activities that it beats all their Premier Camps hands down!! Not only this but it is a small camp giving that exclusive and intimate feeling that few lodges can compete with.
Not to be missed.
2 - Machaba Camp - Khwai, Okavango
Machaba Camp is independently owned and lies on the banks of the Khwai River on the far eastern edges of the Okavango Delta. This beautiful area is teeming with game and in particular has large numbers of both Impala and Red Lechwe which are the favourite prey of Leopard. And there are an incredible amount of this stunning Cat in the area with sightings almost every day during April to November. African Wild Dog, Lion and Cheetah are also seen in this area on a regular basis and the river provides those stunning interactions between the Hippo and Elephants as the latter cross to the Moremi Game Reserve.
The camp is stunningly designed with 10 Large tents looking out over the river to the Hippos basking on the beach on the other side. With a swimming pool and large, comfortable guest area, there are few camps that do luxury in such a subtle and elegant way.
Elegant and stylish.
3 - Jack's Camp - Makgadikgadi Pans
Jack's Camp is situated on the edges of Ntwetwe Pan, a large salt pan which forms part of the largest complex of salt pans anywhere on Earth. A desert area, this camp offers something different, not just with the wildlife but also the accommodation and the 1940's traditional East African style will impress upon you the nature of the experience at Jack's, the unusual and luxurious.
The wildlife consists of Desert species that you won't see on your travels through the Okavango and Linyanti which include Oryx, Brown Hyena, Springbok, Bat-Eared Foxes and much, much more. The highlight of any trip to Jack's Camp is to experience the incredible habituated Meerkats, a research project to learn more about the lives of these gregarious animals. This research allows you to get close to these inquisitive animals and they may use you as a vantage point to keep an eye out for airborne Predators.
4 - Zarafa Camp - Linyanti
If luxury is your thing, then this is the place to go. With the some of the most luxurious rooms anywhere in Africa, all designed by some of the best interior designers Africa has to offer you will not want for anything during your stay at Zarafa Camp on the Selinda Reserve in the north of the country.
With the wildlife not to be outdone by the magnificent accommodation you will be treated to some incredible experiences by your superb guides as they show you some of the wildest places in Africa, if not the world.
Whilst the prices are somewhat eye-watering this is genuinely one of the best places for wildlife viewing.
5 - Xigera Camp - Okavango Delta
Whilst Xigera Camp is probably the largest on this list and the accommodation being slightly on a lower par than the others (you will still not be disappointed that's for sure), I have included this camp as since the first time I visited in 2002 i cannot remember a place with such an atmosphere. Being a solely water camp for most of the year you can explore the permanent waterways of the Okavango and see what this World Heritage site is really all about and what makes it so special.
The camp has, of course, been re-built at least twice since my first visit but the incredible island location still holds the same grip that keeps drawing me back with the true remote location and magical feeling.
Wild and wonderful.
6 - Savute Safari Lodge
Savute Safari Lodge should not be confused with the location of camp number 1 as Savute Safari Lodge is located far downstream and right where the famous Savute Marsh fans out like a mini Okavango Delta. Currently the marsh is dry after several years of flooding and seems to have entered another dry period. The wildlife here is sustained all year round by permanent water holes which attract a myriad of animals from Elephants to Jackals and is particularly famous for its Elephant eating Lions.
The Lodge itself, whilst large, is beautifully designed and in a great location looking out over the Savuti Channel. With activities commencing early each day you are the closest lodge to the vast grasslands of the marsh itself and you will be the first to see the action each morning. Apart from the famous Lions and Elephants of Savuti this is also a great place to see Cheetah, Giraffe, Zebra and African Wild Dog.
Vast and incredible grasslands.
Check out five of our favourite itineraries. The wildlife in all these places is spectacular and the accommodation can range from Small serviced camping to Luxury Lodges, but whichever way you like travel this will be a trip of a lifetime.
This 9 night itinerary into the heart of wild Botswana will not disappoint; staying in some top-end luxury lodges with truly superb guiding this itinerary is an iconic Botswana safari.
Stand Out Moment - this safari is well known for its African Wild Dog sighting, particularly from July to October during their breeding season. A great chance of seeing Cheetah too.
This superb nine night Mobile Tented Safari will take you into the heart of the Moremi Game Reserve, Khwai Community Private Concession and the famous Savuti area of Chobe National Park.
Standout Moment - Tracking the Leopards of Khwai, with an estimated 22 individuals in a relatively small area your guide will show these incredible animals and the abundance of prey that allows so many so close to each other.
This timeless safari takes you to the incredible Hwange National Park and Mana Pools National Park with its mighty river, the Zambezi. Staying for 8 nights in a combination of two luxury lodges and a luxury Mobile Camp on the banks of the Zambezi, this will definitely be the trip of a lifetime.
Standout Moment - tracking the African Wild Dogs of the Zambezi floodplains as they fight with the Lions for supremacy of this game rich area, not for the faint-hearted.
Visit the incredible sand dunes of Namibia on this 11 night adventure into the wide open spaces of this desert country. Flying over this vast country you will come realise why it is one of the least populated with seemingly endless deserts until you come to the Atlantic coastline, but don't be fooled there id plenty of wildlife if you look closely enough.
Standout Moment - A scenic flight from Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp to the coastline and you overland return to see this exceptionally remote place and the graveyard of ships wrecked on the coast.
This incredible small-group safari has regular departure dates each month and visits all the iconic areas of this original of Safari destinations. Affordable Luxury abounds on this trip in Nairobi, Amboseli National Park, Mreu National Park and the Masai Mara National Reserve.
Standout Moment - The Masai Mara has been classified among the “Seven Wonders of the World” due to the extraordinary annual migration from July to November when over 1.3 million wildebeest and zebra cross from the Serengeti to the Maasai Mara in search of greener pastures.
A Mobile Safari in Botswana is probably the best way to experience Africa's wild heart as you will be camping right in the middle of the action. Whilst the tents are relatively small at 3mx3m, you will have everything you need with comfortable camping beds with mattresses and ensuite ablutions with a bucket shower.
There is no need to take a long drive before entering a national park as you are already inside and the wildlife has no doubt been through camp during the night, giving you the maximum time to explore these incredible places.
Our superb Chef will keep you fed and watered in her own superb, healthy style, surprising you with the culinary delights all cooked on an open fire. Our fantastic local Guide, Pilot Manga, will show you the wildlife using all his local knowledge and excellent guiding skills to bring the best out of every sighting.
Join us and have the trip of a lifetime.
Whilst most people travel to Africa to see it's incredible wildlife, it is your guide that brings these fantastic encounters to life. In the modern era guides need qualifications, and quite rightly so, but experience and being brought up with these wild animals in your back garden counts for an awful lot and if you can combine the two, then you have the recipe for excellence.
Zimbabwe, in particular, is famous for the rigours of its guide training programme and the successful ones who pass out of their regime are considered some of the best in Africa. There is even a fraternity within the guiding community, and it is nearly 100% male dominated, that are considered specialist guides that command an enormous fee for their services to those that can afford this, and there are many.
Whilst these guides have captured their market we at Kingfisher Safaris support the work of the less championed guide and the local people that are passionate about their wildlife heritage and want to preserve it for generations to come and work tirelessly to aid their clients to experience 'their' Africa.
Our own professional guides in Botswana, Pilot Manga & Tumelo Charles, were both brought up in the Okavango region of Botswana with daily encounters of wildlife that would frighten the life out of you and me. This experience has shaped their lives and moved them to become involved in taking safari goers into the heart of this wild territory to experience for themselves the encounters that framed their childhood.
Your guide can make or break your safari no matter how luxurious your accommodation so it can really make the difference if you have one guide travelling with you throughout your stay.
Let Pilot Guide you in Botswana on a Mobile Tented Safari or join you as your private guide during your luxury safari wherever you stay, it will make all the difference.
Click here to read more about Pilot
Click here to read more about Tumelo
Click here to see our Botswana Mobile Tented Safaris
Click here to see our Luxury Destinations
Mobile Safaris are exactly what the title suggests, they are mobile and move from site to site with the clients, taking in different areas and seeing what the bush has to offer. This is the best way to really immerse yourself in the wild places of Africa and of all the styles here, is our personal favourite.
When most think of 'camping safaris', which you could also describe Mobiles as, often one imagines sleeping in sleeping bags on uncomfortable floors or mattresses but it does not have to be this way on a mobile trip and you can take luxury mobile safaris that cost as much as the luxury lodges. However that does not mean they are all expensive and you can get some great value out of the trips with sightings just as good as any luxury lodge.
Mobile Safaris are on offer in most of the well-known safari destinations including Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia & South Africa.
Click here for our Botswana Mobile Safaris
Click here for our Botswana Small Group Safaris
Click here for our Namibia Small Group Safaris
Click here for our Zimbabwe Mobile Canoe Safaris
There are many lodges in Africa from Budget all the way up to Super Luxury. This way of travelling is, of course, the most popular and can give all the comforts of home and more. Often these lodges are very remote and you need to travel by air to reach them but the rewards are huge as they have specialist guides that know their areas well and will find the wildlife that excites you.
Please click here for our Botswana Luxury Safaris
Please click here for our Zimbabwe Luxury Safaris
Please click here for our Namibia Luxury Safaris
Please click here for our Zambia Luxury Safaris
Please click here for our Tanzania Luxury Safaris
Please click here for our Kenya Luxury Safaris
Please click here for our South Africa Luxury Safaris
One of then most challenging and rewarding adventures in Africa is taking on the mighty Zambezi River in a canoe. Gliding along the waterways and side channels of one of Africa's largest rivers, exploring the ancient landscapes, harks back to the explorers of yesteryear and throws you into a wild experience like no other. Drifting along with the current and some added input from your paddles makes for a relaxing experience in this fast flowing river, with the occasional encounter with a Hippo, Elephant or Buffalo keeping you on your toes and your superb river guides keeping you on the right track and enhancing this remote journey in some unexpected ways with wildlife interactions and the occasional contact with local fisherman outside the National Parks of Mana Pools on the Zimbabwe side and the Lower Zambezi on the Zambia side.
As you head out of the mighty gorge down river from the town of Kariba, notable for its Hydro-Electric Dam creating Africa's largest man-made lake named after the town, the river expands into wide floodplains where the wildlife rules the roost and you are just a guest while you wind your way towards Mana Pools National Park sleeping in small tented camps on the banks of the river. Continuing through Mana Pools National Park you can take a walk with your armed guide and see some of its famous wildlife from outside your boat, particularly the Elephants that roam free through this park. Other encounters can include Lion, Leopard, African Wild Dog and much of the plains game including Zebra, Sable, Kudu, Impala and much more.
Longer trips carry on from Mana Pools all the way down to the Mozambique border where you will have had one of the most remote and exhilarating wild journey's anywhere in the world.
Odyssey Safaris - Experience the Zambezi in Luxury
Mana Pools Shoreline Canoeing
4 days / 3 nights
The Mana Shoreline Canoe Safari is a luxurious mobile camp where you leave camp with the sunrise and leisurely canoe your way to the next camp. US$1,525.00 per person sharing.
Explorer Safaris - Experience the Adventure of the Zambezi
3 Days / 2 Nights
The Marula Safari starts 8km below the Kariba dam wall and ends in Chirundu covering a total of 59km from start to finish. US$825.00 per person sharing.
Fish Eagle Safari
6 days / 5 Nights
The Fisheagle Safari starts from Kariba, 8 km down stream from the Kariba Dam Wall and ends in Mana Pools National Park. US$1,050.00 per person sharing.
4 Days / 3 Nights
Our Mopane Safari begins in Mana Pools and explorers the shoreline of the National Park up to Chewore. US$890.00 per person sharing.
4 Days / 3 Nights
The Tamarind Safari is our most popular expeditionary safari beginning in Chirundu and ending in Mana Pools National Park. US$875.00 per person sharing.
Zambezi Classic Short
8 days / 7 nights
The Zambezi Classic Short will definitely get you into the spirit of an exploring pioneer.US$1,350.00 per person sharing.
Zambezi Classic Long
10 days / 9 nights
The Zambezi Classic Long it the longest safari Natureways has to offer lasting 10 days and 9 nights. US$1,550.00 per person sharing.
Luxury Lodges - Mana Pools, Zimbabwe
Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe is one of the most remote and inaccessible parks and the luxury lodges that exist in and around the park are only open during April and November.
The private concession is set away from the crowds in a remote part of the legendary Mana pools where a private safari experience is the focus, and tracking wildlife on foot is a specialty.
A 12 bedded seasonal camp built around a water hole, which acts as the main attraction for wildlife in the area as it is the only source of permanent water in the location.
Walking and game-drive activities in the area can be complimented with trips to the Zambezi flood plain experience. Water based activities such as fishing and canoeing can be arranged in advance and on special request.
Wildlife & Activities
Click here for an itinerary featuring this stunning camp
Zambezi Lifestyles Camp
An intimate 8 bedded camp, fit for private safaris, set up prior to your arrival, the mobile luxury tented camp is designed to give you access to the Zambezi river affording you canoeing excursions on the river, fishing either from the banks or off an island in the middle of the Zambezi river, tracking game on foot or the shore as well as traditional game drives.
Wildlife & Activities
This experience is enjoyed by people who seek adventure and exercise whilst absorbing the peace and tranquility of the Zambezi river.
Click here for an itinerary featuring this stunning camp
On the middle reaches of the Zambezi River, a hundred kilometres below Lake Kariba is the Mana Pools National Park situated in the heart of the Zambezi Valley. Ruckomechi Camp lies on the banks of the Zambezi, shaded by a large grove of acacia and mahogany trees and with a superb view of the mountains of Africa’s Great Rift Valley across the river in Zambia. Ruckomechi Camp accommodates guests in ten spacious en-suite tented units, including a honeymoon suite, all of which overlook the Zambezi River. Each tent has both indoor and outdoor showers, and the camp boasts a favourite amongst guests: its outdoor ‘bath-with-a-view’ in a secluded, scenic spot. The central dining, bar, library and lounge areas face the escarpment and are connected to the rest of the camp by low-level walkways that minimise our environmental impact. There is a separate deck with infinity pool for swimming and sun bathing, and an inviting, cushion-strewn star gazing deck.
Following on from our Zambian camps, Ruckomechi Camp has aimed to be as environmentally friendly as possible – hot water and lighting for each unit is provided by solar power. The camp vegetation is dominated by broad canopied albida trees, much loved by elephants for their rich nutritious pods; these animals often join visitors in camp for a light meal! The area is renowned for large numbers of elephant, buffalo, hippo and eland, especially in the winter when they concentrate along the river. Predators such as lion, leopard and wild dog are all found in the area. Birdlife is superb, particularly for both mopane woodland and riverine species with numerous local specials like Collared Palm-Thrush, Racket-tailed Roller, Purple-banded Sunbird and Black-throated Wattle-Eyes. Activities at Ruckomechi Camp include wildlife viewing in open 4×4 vehicles, on motorised pontoon boats, on foot and in canoes.
Click here for an itinerary featuring this stunning camp
Botswana is a truly special place and has the 1,000th designated UNESCO World Heritage site of the Okavango Delta. This largest of inland river delta's flows down from the highlands of Angola to be stopped by the Kalahari Desert, forming this incredible place that is a real haven for Africa's famous wildlife. The annual rains from Angola take 6 months to flow into the Delta and the crystal clear waters, filtered by the Kalahari sands, make the ideal place to relax and enjoy the most pristine environment in all of Africa.
The abundant wildlife attracts tourists from all over the world and there are a myriad of Luxury Lodges to combine a trip to the Okavango with the Deserts in the south and the smaller floodplains of Linyanti in the north. It is generally accepted that Botswana is an expensive destination and largely this is true but there are ways to enjoy this wildlife haven on a tighter budget.
With a lot of lodges to choose from they are often categorised as 'Land Camps', 'Land & Water Camps' or 'Water Camps' which refers to the type of activities you can take part in. This will vary throughout the year due to the level of the annual flood waters, which peak in June. Most of the luxury lodges in the Okavango are in private areas known as 'concessions' which give exclusive access to the camp operators making the experience a much more personal and exclusive one and also allowing activities such as walking safaris and off-road driving that are not allowed in the National Parks.
Click here to see our Luxury itinerary examples
A large part of this huge Delta is covered by the 'Moremi Game Reserve', a National Park that allows entry to the general public as well as operators who offer 'Mobile Safaris'. This type of trip is usually a much more affordable option.
Click here to see our Mobile Safari itineraries
Walking Safaris is one of the best ways of seeing the African Bush. It might sound a little dangerous when you have some of the world's largest animals walking around and the possibility of coming across one of the large Predators is a real possibility but the reality is that it is perfectly safe if you follow the instructions of your guide.
Your expert Guide will be carrying a large calibre Rifle, usually a .375 or .458 but the idea is that they don't use it unless it is an absolute last resort. Their training in both the use of the Rifle and how to recognise the behaviour of the wildlife means they will be able to steer you away from any potential danger before it occurs.
What can you see?
The usual activity at most safari camps is the game drive, and understandably so, as you can cover huge distances in search of wildlife encounters and get really close in relative safety. The difference with the walking safaris is that you can enjoy these wild areas without the background sound of the Diesel engine and see things that you never could from a vehicle.
Any ecosystem relies on all parts of it to keep it functioning and for the large animals to survive they either need other animals to prey on or plant life to feed on. In order for the plants to grow you need the insects to pollinate them, all sorts of ways to distribute the seeds, some which need to pass through the gut of animal, bacteria to break down the old flora so that the next generation has nutrients to grow.
This and much, more can be seen on a walking safari and, of course, you can still get close to some of the large wildlife, particularly Elephants which is a great experience.
Where can you walk?
In this wildest of countries you can only walk outside the National Parks in the private concession areas. These lodges are almost exclusively luxury and allow you to enjoy the bush in the knowledge that you have vast tracts of land all to yourself.
The Footsteps across the Delta and Linyanti are two specialist walking adventure camps that focus on this as their main activity, although you can also take part in Game Drives and Mokoro, the dug-out canoe.
In all the National Parks in Zimbabwe you can take part in walking safaris. This is one of the best walking destinations in Africa and, particularly in Mana Pools National Park, there are some trips that solely use this form of activity, in particular walking the Mana Pools shoreline.
Here you can also walk in the National Parks with a government trained National Park Guide accompanied by your lodge guide. Known for its walking you can visit several National Parks including Kafue, South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi.
The best to go walking in South Africa is the Kruger National Park where there are several camps and operators who offer walking adventures, either as an activity in camp or as a specific trip.
Kenya & Tanzania
In both these countries many of the lodges offer this as an activity.
Botswana is one of the best safari destinations in Africa and has many different areas to visit from the deserts in the south to the waterways of the Okavango and the woodland of Chobe National Park and Linyanti. Many years ago the Botswana government decided on a policy to help preserve their natural habitat of high value, low impact tourism, restricting the numbers and encouraging high end establishments in order to reduce impact on the environment.
This policy has led to Botswana being the most expensive safari destination in Africa. This leaves many people priced out of the fixed Lodge market meaning many cannot afford to visit Botswana. However there is another option and that is the Mobile Safari.
What is a Mobile Safari?
Like an overland safari there is no internal flying involved and all your transfers between camps are in the game viewing viewing. They are also camping safaris where you can take part in the camps' chores on participation trips or be looked after by the staff in the non-participation safaris.
Tents are often 3x3m square with a height of about 1.85m in the middle of the dome with a long drop toilet and bucket shower attached to the back of the tent.
This style of safari is much more affordable than the luxury lodges dotted about the private areas and you generally visit the National Parks. The wildlife, however, is just as good as they don't know which camp you're staying in.
Despite the tents being relatively small they are still very comfortable and quite roomy, the up side is that as you will be on safari you will be unlikely to be spending too much time in them anyway.
You can join our mobile safaris, which visit most of the best areas, with our expert guides by checking out our webpage.
There are many things to see whilst on safari and some ecosystems are more diverse than others but, especially for first time visitors, everyone wants to see the famous Lions. Of course on any truly wild safari there are no guarantees that you will see one of these magnificent animals as they are free to move where and when they want but you can certainly increase your chances if you know where and when to go.
As the largest Predator in Africa this animal is always top of the list. Despite recent declines in their numbers across the continent there are some fantastic places to go that can give you every chance of seeing these social cats. The best areas, like any predator, are where there is plenty of prey species and with Lions the more there are and the larger the prey species is, the bigger the prides.
What do Lions prey on? Well pretty much anything they can catch from small birds right up to the Cape Buffalo and even Elephants (notably in the Savute Marsh in Botswana's Chobe National Park). In certain areas Lions are also the top scavenger and can rival the notorious Hyena in this regard which mainly happens in drier areas.
Botswana - This country is probably the most untouched of all African wildlife destinations and has vast tracts of land where Lions can roam freely. This may sound as though it is quite difficult to see them as you need to be in the right area at the right time, and you would be right but you still have every chance as many people encounter them every year. The best time to see Lion is during the winter, July to mid-September (except in the Kalahari Desert when the best time is the rainy season, December to March), due to the cooler daytime temperatures allowing the Lions to be more active.
Best Place to see Lions - Savute in Chobe National Park - June to October
There are many other places equally good in the National Parks and surrounding private reserves and some of the best places are as follows:
Savute Safari Lodge (Classic Camp) - Chobe National Park
Khwai Tented Camp (Classic Camp) - Khwai private reserve, Okavango Delta
Duba Plains Camp (Premier Camp) - private reserve, Okavango Delta
Kings Pool Camp (Premier Camp) - Linyanti private reserve
Tau Pan Camp (Classic Camp) - Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Namibia - This arid country is one of the driest but has surprisingly abundant wildlife, especially in Etosha National Park in the north of the country. It is also famous for its Desert adapted Lions which survive in the vast areas of arid landscape. These are, of course, much more difficult to see as there are not many of them due to the shortages in prey species, which means they tend to be small prides. Again the best time to see them is the coldest months from July to September.
Best Place to see Lions - Etosha National Park - July to September
Ongava Lodge (Classic Camp) - private reserve bordering Etosha National Park
Onguma Tree Top Camp (Classic Camp) - private reserve bordering Etosha National Park
Okakuejo Rest Camp (Government run with camping and luxury) - inside Etosha National Park
Damaraland Camp (Classic Camp) - for Desert Lions
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp - for Desert Lions
Zimbabwe - There are many National Parks in Zimbabwe and the most accessible ones are the best to see Lions. Again the Winter months are the best to see them and here they can form quite large prides.
Best Place to see Lions - Hwange National Park - July to October
Another great place to see them is Mana Pools National Park but they are smaller in number in this region.
Somalisa Camp (Classic Camp) - Hwange National Park
Linkwasha Camp (Premier Camp) - Hwange National Park
Kanga Camp (Classic Camp) - Mana Pools National Park
Ruckomechi Camp (Classic Camp) - private reserve bordering Mana Pools
Kenya - Again there are many National Parks in this vast country where you can see Lions and it is a good all year round destination as it is on the equator.
Best place to see Lions - Masai Mara National Reserve - January to March
Elephant Pepper Camp (Classic Camp) - Mara North Conservancy
Lewa Safari Camp (Classic Camp) - Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
Joy's Camp (Classic Camp) - Shaba National Reserve
Elsa's Kopje (Classic Camp) - Meru National Park
Tanzania - With Many National Park you have a lot of choice.
Best place to see Lions - Serengeti National Park - March to October
Serengeti Under Canvas (Luxury Tented Camp) - Serengeti National Park
Serengeti Pioneer Camp (Classic Camp) - Serengeti National Park
The Manor (Classic Camp) - Ngorongoro Crater
Chem Chem Camp (Classic Camp) - Lake Manyara
Sand River Camp (Classic Camp) - Selous National Park