Lions in the Okavango Delta to penguins in Cape Town

September 18th 2019  |   Botswana, South Africa  |  by   Jo Ainscough
Lions in the Okavango Delta

This classic combination of pristine wilderness and city sophistication is incredibly easy to put together with South African Airways’ daily, two and a half hour flight between Maun and Cape Town.  You can leave your safari camp after the morning wildlife drive and be in Cape Town in time for afternoon tea.

Kwara Camp ready for sundowners  

Kwara Camp ready for sundowners

Here’s a flavour of what you could enjoy:

Botswana – Okavango Delta, Chobe, Kalahari and the Makgadikgadi pans

Start in Botswana (personal choice, but we’d generally suggest safari first) and you’ll enjoy an exceptional safari destination – a rare combination of desert and delta – coupled with staggering amounts of wildlife.   It’s the place for a classic safari amid Africa’s iconic big species, coupled with wonderful guiding and lovely accommodation.

Okavango Delta wildlife and scenery, Little Vumbura Camp

Okavango Delta wildlife and scenery, Little Vumbura Camp

The Okavango Delta is the famous bit and can be explored by vehicle, by mokoro (a traditional dug-out canoe), on a riding safari or on foot.  It’s an epic, pristine wilderness and should definitely be on the list.  Accommodation choices are plentiful here but among our favourites are Little Vumbura and Kwara Camp.

Leopard on a wildlife drive from Kwara Camp

Leopard on a wildlife drive from Kwara Camp

Linyanti is an Aardvark Safaris’ favourite and sits in a wedge of land between the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park. While it offers all the advantages of both in terms of scenery and wildlife, it’s free from some of the wildlife viewing restrictions placed on them. Night drives – good chance to spot the likes of leopard and porcupine – and walking are great here.  Linyanti Bush Camp is a lovely option in this area.

Then there’s the Makgadikgadi Pans, an extraordinary area that changes dramatically with the seasons.  Summer rains (November to April) transform the desert into a lush green expanse, sparking Africa’s second largest migration as herds of zebra and wildebeest arrive in search of fresh grass and water.  With them come predators and an influx of colourful birdlife.  The landscape changes to the lunar-like during the winter months (May to October) as the pans dry to a white crust, when quad biking is a particularly exhilarating way to explore.  Camp Kalahari, Jack’s Camp or San Camp – all three run by the same company – each offering slightly different accommodation tick all the boxes here.

Meerkats, highlights of a visit to San, Jack’s and Camp Kalahari

Meerkats, highlights of a visit to San Camp, Jack’s Camp and Camp Kalahari

The Central Kalahari is another to transform dramatically according to the season and is spectacular between December and March when springbok, gemsbok and wildebeest come in vast numbers. These in turn attract predators such as the iconic black-maned Kalahari lions, as well as brown hyena, leopard, wild dog and cheetah. There are only a few lodges in this remote park, with Kalahari Plains Camp being among the best.

Desert adapted wildlife in the Central Kalahari, Kalahari Plains Camp

Desert adapted wildlife in the Central Kalahari, Kalahari Plains Camp

Nowhere in Botswana really gets busy. Even the famous Okavango Delta isn’t ever crowded, so we’d always suggest you pick a couple of areas to get a real flavour of this exceptional country.

Leave your safari camp after the morning wildlife drive and you can be in Cape Town by late afternoon.  The wilderness to urban contrast is dramatic, but the excitement to be had in this glorious city is equal to that of the wilds of Botswana.

Boulders Beach in Cape Town, famous for its colony of penguins, Wilderness Safaris

Boulders Beach in Cape Town, famous for its colony of penguins, Wilderness Safaris

South Africa – Cape Town and the Cape Winelands

The colourful blend of world class restaurants, delightful boutique hotels, culture, history and wildlife (penguins and whales particularly) is enough to occupy several days’ worth of exploring.   Once you’ve done the city, a day or so in the nearby wineland towns of Franschhoek or Stellenbosch is highly recommended.

Fabulous views over the city from The Silo hotel

Fabulous views over the city from The Silo hotel

For hotel lovers, The Cape Grace is hard to beat, or perhaps The Silo Hotel if you’re keen to experience an exotic amalgam of the historic and modern.  There are boutique hotels aplenty with Kensington Place and Welgelegen a couple of good ones.  The winelands have so many options it’s truly hard to pick a favourite but Babylonstoren, Delaire Graff and La Petite Ferme are regular top picks among the Aardvark Safaris’ team.

Pretty wineland scenery around Babylonstoren

Pretty wineland scenery around Babylonstoren kitchen gardens – sunrise

Any questions on twin centre safari holidays?

If you’ve got this far and not found an answer to a question you have that we should have included, please ask in the comments section below, or pop us an email. We’ll be sure to reply and may amend the article to include our answer.

What next?

We would be delighted to help you plan a holiday, or answer any questions if you’re at an earlier stage. Our team of experts have travelled widely throughout Africa. They can offer expert advice on every type of safari from family and beach holidays to riding and primate safaris.  If you would like to talk to someone who has been there and done it, please just send us an email or give us a call.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.