Duba Expedition Camp has just six tented suites.

Botswana | Delta Waterways & Lagoons | 6 Nights The Okavango Delta, Selinda Reserve

Visionary government policies and the tireless work of conservationists like Dereck and Beverly Joubert have preserved Botswana’s interlinked network of crucial wildlife habitats, such as the Okavango Delta and Savute. Luxury safari travel ensures not just incredible safari experiences for guests, but a sustainable future for communities and creatures alike.

  • Wonderful mix of lagoon views and wide open spaces and palm-dotted islands, floodplains and woodlands.
  • Opportunities for game drives, walking safaris and mokoro and boat excursions.
  • Two small, intimate luxury safari camps, overlooking water and giving a sense of privacy and seclusion. Private decks at Duba Expedition Camp and verandahs at Zarafa Camp with plunge pools. For more information see Duba Expedition Camp and Zarafa Camp.

Three nights at Duba Expedition Camp

Our journey to Duba Expedition Camp saw us exchange the TV remote for the truly remote. Flying in, we could appreciate that it was the only luxury safari lodge in this private concession in the heart of the Okavango Delta. From the airy main deck of the camp, the view out over lush green grasses and a deep channel made up our minds: we would spend the afternoon messing about in boats. We followed our guide along the wooden jetty to where the aluminium boat bobbed on the slightest of swells – the result of the breeze which carried birdsong and the scent of adventure. Beautiful as our tented suite was, we were destined to spend very little time there. As compensation, we had some scintillating game drives – especially our first one, when our guide noticed that the lechwe and tsessebe that we saw seemed ill at ease. Carefully avoiding sensitive wetland areas, he succeeded in driving the special swamp vehicle to a small island, where a pride of lion lay in the shade of a large termite mound. Quite unlike any lion we’d seen before, they were immensely muscled and powerful (from chasing prey through water) – although we saw them in a peaceful moment. Our guide still had a few more treats in store for us. Our last game drive, on our third day, traversed an area that was new to us, watching a journey of giraffe delicately picking their way across a channel, and finally ticking off a rosy-throated longclaw for my partner. As the shadows lengthened, we were still driving away from the lodge, and sunset found us on an island, G&Ts in hand. As night fell, a short drive took us to the next island, where we found our bush dinner cooking over coals, and a coterie of smiling chefs waving and singing as we pulled up.

Our journey to Duba Expedition Camp saw us exchange the TV remote for the truly remote. Flying in, we could appreciate that it was the only luxury safari lodge in this private concession in the heart of the Okavango Delta. From the airy main deck of the camp, the view out over lush green grasses and a deep channel made up our minds: we would spend the afternoon messing about in boats. We followed our guide along the wooden jetty to where the aluminium boat bobbed on the slightest of swells – the result of the breeze which carried birdsong and the scent of adventure.

Beautiful as our tented suite was, we were destined to spend very little time there. As compensation, we had some scintillating game drives – especially our first one, when our guide noticed that the lechwe and tsessebe that we saw seemed ill at ease. Carefully avoiding sensitive wetland areas, he succeeded in driving the special swamp vehicle to a small island, where a pride of lion lay in the shade of a large termite mound. Quite unlike any lion we’d seen before, they were immensely muscled and powerful (from chasing prey through water) – although we saw them in a peaceful moment.

Our guide still had a few more treats in store for us. Our last game drive, on our third day, traversed an area that was new to us, watching a journey of giraffe delicately picking their way across a channel, and finally ticking off a rosy-throated longclaw for my partner. As the shadows lengthened, we were still driving away from the lodge, and sunset found us on an island, G&Ts in hand. As night fell, a short drive took us to the next island, where we found our bush dinner cooking over coals, and a coterie of smiling chefs waving and singing as we pulled up.

Three nights at Zarafa Camp

Thrillingly, our mode of transportation this morning was a helicopter! Exhilarated, we watched the landscapes unfold and change beneath us, becoming drier and more open as we neared Zarafa Camp.Nestled beneath spreading African ebony trees, Zarafa Camp shared a nostalgic vibe with our previous lodge, but here it was tempered by a measured dose of modern technology. Our tented suite was equipped with professional camera equipment – all the inspiration we needed to become amateur documentary makers. And what a place to begin our careers! Nothing in half measures here: not one elephant, but a herd with tiny calves. Not one or two buffalo, but an estimated 800 cutting a swathe through the floodplain grasses. The contrast between the brooding, black buffalo and the fidgety white cattle egrets made for some wonderful shots. After a day on dry land, we again felt the call of the water for our second morning at Zarafa. Our guide responded magnificently, taking us out on Zibadianja Lagoon in HMS Zib. Finding hippo proved to be an easy enough challenge. Occasional gruff chortles and clouds of exhaled spray marked the spot. Approaching slowly, we imagined ourselves in a Moby Dick moment. Handing each of us a coffee, our guide remarked that it was in fact Starbucks, left behind the previous day by homesick New Yorkers. As we watched the pod jostle and nudge, we smiled at this inadvertent reference to my partner’s favourite novel. The habitat variety at Zarafa Camp was reflected in the many safari activities on offer. We loved our guided bush walk, which focused on some of the smaller African creatures (while naturally keeping a respectful eye out for the larger ones). Towards the end of our walk, our guide followed fresh elephant spoor and then crouched behind a termite mound to watch a large bull drink. On the far side of a channel, he was standing half in, half out of the water, and seemed entirely content. We all agreed that this was a perfect metaphor for our luxury safari.

Thrillingly, our mode of transportation this morning was a helicopter! Exhilarated, we watched the landscapes unfold and change beneath us, becoming drier and more open as we neared Zarafa Camp.

Nestled beneath spreading African ebony trees, Zarafa Camp shared a nostalgic vibe with our previous lodge, but here it was tempered by a measured dose of modern technology. Our tented suite was equipped with professional camera equipment – all the inspiration we needed to become amateur documentary makers. And what a place to begin our careers! Nothing in half measures here: not one elephant, but a herd with tiny calves. Not one or two buffalo, but an estimated 800 cutting a swathe through the floodplain grasses. The contrast between the brooding, black buffalo and the fidgety white cattle egrets made for some wonderful shots.

After a day on dry land, we again felt the call of the water for our second morning at Zarafa. Our guide responded magnificently, taking us out on Zibadianja Lagoon in HMS Zib. Finding hippo proved to be an easy enough challenge. Occasional gruff chortles and clouds of exhaled spray marked the spot. Approaching slowly, we imagined ourselves in a Moby Dick moment. Handing each of us a coffee, our guide remarked that it was in fact Starbucks, left behind the previous day by homesick New Yorkers. As we watched the pod jostle and nudge, we smiled at this inadvertent reference to my partner’s favourite novel.

The habitat variety at Zarafa Camp was reflected in the many safari activities on offer. We loved our guided bush walk, which focused on some of the smaller African creatures (while naturally keeping a respectful eye out for the larger ones). Towards the end of our walk, our guide followed fresh elephant spoor and then crouched behind a termite mound to watch a large bull drink. On the far side of a channel, he was standing half in, half out of the water, and seemed entirely content. We all agreed that this was a perfect metaphor for our luxury safari.

What sets it apart

Senses and sensitivity. We used the former a great deal, and experienced the latter at its best during our luxury Botswana safari. Northern Botswana is a visual feast: intertwined channels, floodplains and islands, and intricate natural details.The true sensory experience began as we engaged with Africa. When we walked the treelines, learning about tracks and signs. When we trailed our fingers in cool lagoon waters or felt the night breezes tug at our mosquito net. Or heard the dawn chorus of excited birds, and the midnight serenade of contented hippo. At each luxury safari lodge, our guides devised plans for each day that took our particular interests (big cats for me; birding for my partner) very much into account, and were flexible enough to respond to changes in the weather, or the agitated call of a tree squirrel that had just spotted a leopard. Whether we were on a game drive, a guided walk, or a mokoro excursion, we were invited to open our hearts to the beauty around us. Savute and the Okavango Delta are quite different areas, but their fortunes are interlinked.That’s where the sensitivity came in. At both Duba Expedition Camp and Zarafa Camp, we were always aware of a deep respect for the environment and a genuine desire to leave as light a footprint as possible. Not in a sanctimonious way, but out of a real love for these wilderness areas and an appreciation that we are duty-bound to preserve them for future generations.

Senses and sensitivity. We used the former a great deal, and experienced the latter at its best during our luxury Botswana safari. Northern Botswana is a visual feast: intertwined channels, floodplains and islands, and intricate natural details.

The true sensory experience began as we engaged with Africa. When we walked the treelines, learning about tracks and signs. When we trailed our fingers in cool lagoon waters or felt the night breezes tug at our mosquito net. Or heard the dawn chorus of excited birds, and the midnight serenade of contented hippo.

At each luxury safari lodge, our guides devised plans for each day that took our particular interests (big cats for me; birding for my partner) very much into account, and were flexible enough to respond to changes in the weather, or the agitated call of a tree squirrel that had just spotted a leopard.

Whether we were on a game drive, a guided walk, or a mokoro excursion, we were invited to open our hearts to the beauty around us. Savute and the Okavango Delta are quite different areas, but their fortunes are interlinked.

That’s where the sensitivity came in. At both Duba Expedition Camp and Zarafa Camp, we were always aware of a deep respect for the environment and a genuine desire to leave as light a footprint as possible. Not in a sanctimonious way, but out of a real love for these wilderness areas and an appreciation that we are duty-bound to preserve them for future generations.

Day 1–3

Soak up the view from your private verandah at Duba Explorers Camp. © Great Plains Conservation

You’ll be met as you disembark from your international flight at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg in South Africa, and assisted through customs and immigration. After a scheduled flight to Maun in Botswana, you’ll take another scheduled flight to the Kwedi Reserve in the Okavango Delta. You’ll then take a transfer to Duba Expedition Camp, where you’ll spend three nights.

Day 4–6

From Duba Expedition Camp, you’ll take a helicopter flight to Zarafa Camp in the Selinda Reserve, Savute.

Day 7

South Africa is famous for its big-cat sightings. © Andrew Schoeman

After a transfer from Zarafa Camp to the airstrip, you’ll take a scheduled flight to Maun. From there, you’ll take a scheduled flight to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg in South Africa, to connect with your international flight.

  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, taking into account when you’d like to travel, how long you’d like to be away for, who you’d be travelling with, what safari lodge style you’d prefer, and more.
  • This luxury safari trip idea is simply to show you what’s possible. To see what this type of safari costs, and what’s generally included, click hereFor a general overview of African safari prices, you can click through to our blog.
  • We also offer a curated selection of Botswana safari packages, wrapped and priced for your convenience, click here to explore them.

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