Please note: this page gives details of our 2010 trip.

For details of our 2011 trips please click here




the best of Botswana, Namibia and Zambia



"Just a short note to thank you again for your excellent leadership of the recent Bird Holidays trip to the Okavango which I know was hugely enjoyed by all the participants."......  Dr B, Cambridge, August 2009




Meet & greet!   by customer Nicholas Branson during our 2009 trip.


The Okavango Delta is one of the world’s most famous wildlife destinations and cuts across the borders of Namibia and Botswana. Namibia’s Caprivi Strip is a long narrow extension of land running nearly five hundred kilometres along the Northern border of Botswana and is one of the world’s birding hotspots with around five hundred species recorded in a relatively small area. Victoria Falls is not only one of the great natural wonders of the world, it also has superb wildlife habitat surrounding it.





We arrive at Livingstone Airport and transfer the short distance down to the mighty Zambezi and our first hotel, located on the banks of one of the greatest rivers in Africa. The lodge has an enviable location close to the falls.


The first two days of the trip will be spent exploring Falls National Park, an area of rainforest supported by the endless spray of the falls. We will look for the many rare and beautiful species that this environment supports. Possible sightings include Racket-tailed Roller, African Hobby, Pennant-winged Nightjar, Schalow’s Turaco, Grey-headed Parrot, Broad-tailed Paradise Whydah, Shaft-tailed Whydah, Copper Sunbird, Stierling’s Wren-warbler and Dusky Lark.



On day four we drive out of Zambia via Katima, and on into Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, stopping for birding on the way. We then turn south into the Mudumu National Park. This park covers 850 square kms of riverine and mopane forest, bordered on the west by the Kwando River. We will stay two nights at Namushasha Lodge, situated on the banks of the Kwando River. This rustic lodge overlooks a tranquil hippo pool. We will take a game drive from the lodge and spend a day in the national park. Bird species include Broad-billed Roller and Grey-hooded Kingfisher.


The drier mopane areas will produce a number of new species including Woodland Kingfisher, and perhaps the rare Striped Cuckoo. We will take a boat downstream, returning at sunset. This is an excellent way of getting close to many waterbirds and other wildlife.



We then continue our journey, following the Panhandle of the Okavango Delta, south into Botswana for three nights.


Guma Island Lodge is a superb base from which to venture into the delta. The lodge is situated on the extensive Nguma lagoon, and the main Okavango river and many large lagoons such as those near Etsatsa can be accessed from here. We will take birding walks, dug-out canoe excursions and boat trips.


There is a huge variety of birdlife, including Slaty Egret and Pink-throated Longclaw. Game includes Lechwe and the elusive Sitatunga Antelope. An afternoon out on a mokoro (wooden dugout boat) in the floodplains is a wonderful way to appreciate the peace and tranquillity.



On day nine we will return to Namibia following the course of the Okavango, to the Poppa Falls area. We will spend two nights here, at Ndhovu Lodge, situated in the most northerly corner of the panhandle of the Okavango Delta.


Animals include Elephant, Buffalo and Hippo. This area is a superb birdwatching environment! On the afternoon of our arrival we will take a cruise on the river, looking out for a variety of species in the shallow reed beds. As evening approaches we will listen out for the distinctive call of the Pel’s Fishing Owl.


The following days will be spent in the Mahango Game Park which marks its eastern boundary with the Okavango River. The eastern loop winds between the mature forest and various small channels and papyrus of the flood plain. The diverse habitats of Mahango support more bird species than any other park in Namibia. It also marks the most western limit of the distribution of Racket-tailed Roller, Coppery-tailed Coucal and Lesser Jacana.



We continue our journey east back through the Caprivi’s Bwabwata National Park, taking lunch in the park north of Kongola on the banks of the Kwando River.


The next two nights will be spent at Mazambala Island Lodge, on the banks of the Zambezi as it passes through Namibia close to Katima Mulilo.


We will visit a game reserve where we can see Buffalo, Elephant, Zebra, various antelopes, Hippo, Crocodile, Lion, Giraffe and Puku. We may also see Sitatunga, Red Lechwe, Spot-necked Otters, Waterbuck, Roan Antelope, Oribi and Wild Dog. The lush savannah area of East Caprivi is bordered by the Kwando, Linyanti, Chobe and Zambezi rivers and is a region of swamps and flood plains. Wildlife in the Caprivi has recovered from years of poaching, and its superb conservation areas now rival Etosha.



Our journey takes us back over the border into Botswana and on to Chobe National Park. The next two nights will be spent in the small gateway town of Kasane, overlooking the Chobe River and just minutes from the park’s entrance.


Located on the Chobe River in Kasane, close to the entrance to Chobe National Park, the newly renovated Safari Lodge is in one of Botswana’s prime wildlife areas. Activities will include game drives and boat cruises on the Chobe River. Situated in the northernmost corner of Botswana, the Chobe region fills the squat triangle made by the meeting of the Namibian, Zambian and Zimbabwean borders with those of Botswana. The Chobe National Park is at the heart of the complex. A vast reserve of about 12,000 square kilometres, it is for the most part flat and sparsely wooded.


Chobe is said to contain the highest concentration of elephants in the world, with an estimated winter population of around 46,000. We may see a wide range of antelope including Sable, Roan, Oribi, Reedbuck, and the strikingly colourful Chobe Bushbuck, which has much stronger white markings than those found further south. Small herds of Lechwe can be found on the grassy floodplains, and this is the only area south of the Zambezi River where Puku can be seen. Giraffe and Warthog are common, and Lion occur throughout the area but are most frequently seen around Savute.


Over 350 bird species have been recorded in the area, and in the vicinity of the Chobe and Linyanti Rivers visitors can watch Saddle-billed Storks, Long-toed Plovers, Pink-backed Pelicans, African Skimmers and Bradfield's Hornbills. Heuglin's Robin is a delight to hear in the early morning. We will spend one day entirely inside the park, driving the mopane forest and broad flood plains, or perhaps walking in the Chobe Forest.


On day fifteen we can relax in the morning, before transferring over the border by boat and on to Livingstone Airport for our return flight home.



The cooler morning temperatures and peak in wildlife activity mean that we must rise early to make the most of the opportunities available. The pattern involves early morning and late afternoon excursions, resting and relaxing, or travelling, between these times. Basic fitness is all that is required. Walking will be at a sensible pace and there are no uphills. Temperatures can be high, and we will take things easy during the heat of the day.



Full-board accommodation is provided in excellent hotels, lodges and camps. We shall spend two nights at the Zambezi Sun Hotel, Livingstone, two nights at Namushasha Lodge, Caprivi, three nights at Guma Island Lodge, Okavango, two nights at Ndhovu Lodge, Poppa Falls, two nights at Mazambala Island Lodge, Caprivi and two nights at the Chobe Safari Lodge. Ndovhu and Guma Lodges are tented camps. All accommodation has private facilities en suite.



All birdwatching excursions with expert leader and local guide, full-board accommodation (starting with lunch on 14th, ending with breakfast on 27th), soft drinks at meal times, local transport, all safari activities and boat trips, park entrance fees, international flights and airport taxes.



Travel insurance. Cost of obtaining a Zambian multi-entry visa (approx US$80 and obtainable on arrival in Zambia). Items of a personal nature, alcoholic drinks, laundry, tips.



Return flight from London Heathrow to Livingstone (via Johannesburg) using the scheduled services of South African Airways. Outbound flight departs early evening, return flight arrives back early morning. Shuttle flights are available on this tour for £70 return (due at time of booking), from Manchester and other regional airports.



15 nights including

two overnight flights:


Principal leader:


Local guide:


Maximum group size:


Cost with discount

(if you book before

30th April 2010):


Full Cost:


Single supplement:






13th to 28th August 2010


Phil Palmer


Sean Brain


12 clients with one leader

and a local guide



£4440 per person sharing


£4590 per person sharing






Pel's Fish Owl

Red-chested Cuckoo, Caprivi.

Customers Photographs from our 2009 tour


The photographs below were all taken by Nicholas Branson during our 2009 trip.




























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