tailored safari specialists

Okavango Delta safari

Delta Detox – 5 days


Chief's Island, Okavango Delta, Botswana

from US$ 1,250 per person sharing

Big 5

Bush-walking

Children on safari

Mokoro

Delta Detox – 5 days

E-mail    +27 (0)21 701 1622

Indication Price (from): US$ 1,250 per person sharing *view all prices and dates

Length: 5 days

Group Size: Flexible – you tell us how many in your party

Location: Chief's Island, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Departure Dates: To suit you

INDICATION PRICES

Final prices vary, subject to factors such as exchange rates, time of year and availability. Contact us to fine-tune these prices and to tailor-make your dream safari.

OUR CHARGES

The price you see includes all services rendered by us and we only generate revenue once and if you book one of our safaris. Going directly to any of the lodges and other suppliers in our safari packages will not save you money because we earn discounts from suppliers based on the volume of business that we generate for them.

A back-to-basics mobile tented Okavango Delta safari for those wanting to re-connect with themselves. To travel deep and far into the Okavango and beyond the reach of cellular networks, where hippos, reed frogs and booming Pel’s fishing owls will lull you to sleep, and lion roars and freshly brewed coffee announce the new day. 

Delta Detox has been designed to provide a fully catered, professionally guided, rustic and wholesome Okavango Delta camping experience. It is suitable for those looking beyond turned beds, silver cutlery, fine cuisine or pre-warmed face cloths. By ‘comfortable’ we mean scrumptious food cooked over an open fire, walk-in tents, raised cot beds with mattresses, pillows, fresh clean linen, warm duvets, chairs and tables, showers and a bush toilet.

Delta Detox is an exit from the rat race and monotonous western world lifestyle. It is the ultimate reset button, a back-to-basics pilgrimage to a remote and beautiful private island in the heart of the Okavango Delta.

Whether you would like to track wildlife on foot, complete your Okavango Delta specials birding list, photograph the mind-boggling diversity, or let your worries flow downstream as you slither silently over glassy waters in your mokoro… it’s your call, you tell us.

Delta Detox is ready and waiting for you.

Further information:

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Client trip diary: My ‘Delta Detox’ mobile safari experience

Safari highlights from a client: 5 Highlights of Botswana

Day 1: Into the Delta

An Africa Geographic representative will collect you from your arrival flight or accommodation in Maun. Once your bags are packed, a short transfer will deliver you to your speedboat, moored at one the jetties on the Boro River.

If you are a self-drive and have arranged a place to store your car in Maun, please let us know where you would like to be collected (in Maun!!) and we will arrange to meet up with you, and drop you back at the end of the safari.

You may as well do a last download of news and mails on your phone before you switch it off, as you will soon loose reception once we set off (but fear not, for emergencies we do have a satellite phone with us, and we will never be too far from an airstrip). We’ll keep the time for you, so feel free to remove your watch. Now, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

For the next four hours, be seduced by your journey into the heart of the Delta, as you twist and turn, glide and slice your way along windy reed-fringed channels and glide over glassy waters. Take a birds-eye view of a darting malachite kingfisher racing your bow, while pied kingfishers hover overhead and African fish eagles peer down from lofty perches. Lazy hippos beat a hasty retreat as they hear you approach and your first elephants greet you with flared ears and inquisitive trunks.

Welcome to the Okavango Delta – your home for the next few days.

Your cruise will end at the idyllic Xaxaba campsite, where camp has already been set up and awaits your arrival. Lunch may have been served en-route, or will be ready for you on arrival – cold drinks, salad, cold meats and a variety of cheese.

After lunch your guide will deliver a safety debrief about camp and the surrounding area. You will be introduced to your tents, shower and WC facilities and allowed time to relax and make yourself at home while absorbing the beauty of this unique location before your afternoon walk (time permitting) or sunset cruise.

Return to camp at 18h00 by which time warm bucket showers will await you, and once refreshed you can join your travel companions and your guide around the campfire, while a delicious home cooked dinner makes its way to the table.

Lulled by the quintessential sounds of the Okavango Delta, your first night will be spent in a spacious, walk-in domed tent, complete with cot beds and soft bedrolls.

Overnight at Xaxaba campsite.

Day 2: Exploring Chief’s Island

After an early morning coffee with a bite to eat, you will set off on a cruise along the Okavango’s waterways. Depending on what was heard last night, or what the local bush ‘intel” has gathered, you will depart camp by speedboat, or stealthily approach one of the nearer islands to start your walk. If by mokoro, you will soon notice there is no better seat in the house to see and admire the cutest painted reed frogs, skittish pygmy goose, cryptic flap-necked chameleon, dainty damselflies, fascinating fishing spiders, or even the stealthy sitatunga.

Along the way there will be ample chance to moor your boat and walk wherever you choose. Islands are often fringed with huge mangosteen, jackalberry and nyalaberry trees teeming with parrots, hornbills and starlings. The calls of these birds might mingle with those of quarrelling baboons and excited vervet monkeys, and perhaps the alarm calls of buck, elephants or squirrels will be an indication of a predator blowing its cover.

Reading the tracks on the ground, the bend of grasses, and a plethora of other signs, your guides will track and share the bush news with you. Your walks will always be peppered by a myriad of findings, explanations and often fantastic interpretations, since the Bayei have a wealth of folkloric tales and stories about how everything came to be in the bush.

As the heat sets in, it is time to return to camp where beaming smiles and brunch await you.

A plan will be discussed after brunch, and depending on energy levels and expectations you could go for another bush walk, a leisurely mokoro ride, a visit to a nearby heronry, a swim in the safe and secure stretch of the Delta, a concerted search for a Pel’s fishing owl, or a chilled cruise in search of the most photogenic sunset spots.

As the day comes to an end there will be plenty of time to enjoy a warm shower, drinks by the fire, and some storytelling to recall the highlights of the day.

Overnight at Xaxaba campsite.

Days 3 – 4: More of that and never the same…

Being lucky on a walking safari entails being up early. Wake up to the sound of fish eagles and hippos, have your coffee or tea, light breakfast, and set off with your guide as early as you can in order to make the most off your mornings – the coolest time to walk and most productive hours to watch wildlife.

Wildlife abounds in the area – including lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, hippo, crocodile, giraffe, lechwe, tsessebe and sitatunga, otters, honey badgers, the shy pangolin, and a variety of smaller predators such as the African wildcat, civet, serval and genet also call this area home. There is also a fair amount of reptile species such as snakes, tortoises, terrapins, monitor lizards, skinks, geckos, and last but not least, very impressive Nile crocodiles.

Walks are never disappointing in this area, and always topped with a rewarding hearty breakfast when you get back to camp (approx. 10h00 – 10h30).

After breakfast, there is always plenty of time to relax, enjoy the serenity of this place, under the shade of cathedral-like jackalberry trees, birdwatching from the edge of camp, photographing dragonflies, or taking a crash course on ‘mokoro 101’.

After lunch you will set off again with your guide on a mokoro and walking excursion.

An alternative activity that can also be arranged is a visit to the the small village of Xaxaba. Here, one of the last remaining Delta villages has remained since time immemorial, when the legendary Bayei tribe colonised these swamps in their dugout canoes in the 18th Century. If you are interested in visiting, we will be only too pleased to arrange a visit and perhaps introduce you to the chief, his elder council and his family. The women of the village are proficient basket weavers and carvers, and you may find their handicrafts difficult to resist. Whatever your interest may be, or background in life, it is always humbling to be reminded of how simple life can be – often an eye-opening experience for visitors.

Back at camp, stunning sunset skies, hot showers, dinner and your campfire awaits.

Overnight at Xaxaba Camp.

Day 5: The return

Today, after a lovely breakfast and perhaps fitting in one last activity, you will be transferred back to Maun Airport in order to catch your flight back to Johannesburg, or transfer to the next lodge. Either way we will endeavor to get you back to Maun by 11h30 – 12h00.

As you cruise back to Maun your mind will be in neutral, as you savour your last moments in paradise. Batteries fully recharged, you will be ready for life once again – but probably already planning your next safari with us.

Indication Price (from): US$ 1,250 per person sharing (see below for further pricing where relavant)

Departure Dates: To suit you

Delta Detox 2021
Per person
Single participant $2,072
2 participants $1,603
4 Participants (Up to 8 participants) $1,447
Delta Detox 2021 – SADC rates
Per person
Single participant $1,990
2 participants $1,540
4 Participants (Up to 8 participants) $1,390
Children and young adults 2021
12 years or less $353
18 years or less $822

Please enquire about our FAMILY-FRIENDLY AND GROUP SAFARIS:

Minimum age 2.

Price includes:
All boat transfers to and from Chief’s Island upon landing in Maun, mobile tented accommodation with fully equipped private camp near Xaxaba lagoon. All motorised boat game viewing safaris, unlimited use of mokoros, services of professional walking guides, a camp chef and camp hand, plus mokoro polers, all meals, a bar replete with sodas, mineral water and evening wines, access fees to the concession and park, camping and permit fees. Emergency evacuation with SATIB Evacuation Plan. 24/7 office support.

Price excludes:
International flights, visas, excess baggage charges, telephone calls, laundry, items of personal nature, travel, medical and travel insurance, tips, and any activities not specified in the itinerary.

INDICATION PRICES

Final prices vary, subject to factors such as exchange rates, time of year and availability. Contact us to fine-tune these prices and to tailor-make your dream safari.

OUR CHARGES

The price you see includes all services rendered by us and we only generate revenue once and if you book one of our safaris. Going directly to any of the lodges and other suppliers in our safari packages will not save you money because we earn discounts from suppliers based on the volume of business that we generate for them.

Accommodation

Nestled under stately jackalberry trees, on an island in the heart of the northern Okavango Delta, lies our exclusive, rustic, quaint and hugely practical mobile base camp. Facing a quiet and tranquil waterway, each tent has been strategically positioned to offer splendid views across the snaking waterways, floodplains, lush islands and open grasslands fringing Chief’s Island. Its idyllic setting was carefully chosen to provide the best possible exploratory base camp of the riches and beauty of Chief’s Island.

The Xaxaba camp layout is simple, with a kitchen at one end, showers and bush loos at the other end and a row of twin-bedded 2,5m x 2,5m domed safari tents, each one endowed with comfortable cots, foam mattress, sheets, duvets, pillows, blankets, and towels (please bring your own soap and shampoo). Mosquito repellent will be available in camp and an outside paraffin lamp will light your way, but please bring your own handheld or head torch. Solar powered lamps will be provided for each tent. A solar panel will provide a trickle charge facility to recharge to camera batteries, mobile phone cameras, iPods, iPads, tablets, etc. Hot or cold water for your shower is provided on request, ready for you on your return from a walk, or in the evenings. These are gravity showers with an easy to use shower-head. Bush loos are endowed with comfortable seated thrones, toilet paper and the best view in the house.

All meals are cooked in camp by a resident chef, served and enjoyed together with camp staff. At Xaxaba, drinking water, juice for breakfast and wine during supper is included. A cooler box with ice and an assortment of cool drinks, spirits and beers will come along to cater for other needs. Comfortable camping chairs surrounding the campfire are an enticement to sit and relax, share, ponder and recount the daily experiences.

Additional Information

Climate: June is an excellent month to walk in Chief’s Island, the dry season starts in earnest and game sightings improve markedly as the Okavango Delta waters start to rise and wildlife concentrates on dry land. Temperatures drop to the coldest by the end of June with night temperatures reaching as low as 2ºC, nights can therefore be rather nippy and fresh, however daytime temperatures rise up to a very comfortable 25ºC – ideal for walking in the Okavango Delta. The bush is still green, but leaf drop has started, non-permanent pans dry up and deep in the Delta the flood is well on its way.

By mid-July the waters have reached the height of the flood. The bush is dry and dusty, yet the waterways are full and swollen. What land has not yet been inundated, is now experiencing extreme drought, grasses are drying out and bushes are leafless. Wildlife is concentrated and so are predators – so visibility is excellent. July night time temperatures remain cold, whilst daytime is slightly warmer with sunny days and crisp blue skies. Access to walk starting points is mostly done via boat or mokoro.

By August the bulk of water has filtered through the system, flooded areas throughout the Okavango Delta are draining and Maun is seeing rising water levels. Temperatures remain warm during the daytime with peaks approaching 30ºC and nighttime averages rising to around 10°C.

September sees winter coming to a dramatic end, with nighttime temperatures rising steadily and rapidly, and day temperatures comfortably amidst 30°C. The skies are clearer than ever and brilliant sunshine is experienced. Water levels have slowly and noticeably started to drop.

Other months are suitable too, but the above are deemed the best for game viewing, since the higher water levels concentrate the game on smaller patches of dry land.

Difficulty: This is a walking safari, and you will hike on average 6-8 kilometres each day across country that is generally flat. An average-to-good level of fitness is required. We recommend that you undertake some moderate aerobic activities (hiking, jogging, fast-walking, bicycling) for at least 30 minutes a session, three or four times a week, for at least a month before you come.

Children policy: There is no minimum age required to join these walking safari departures, nor to partake on mokoro activities, so long as parents are willing to carry their kids when required. Local, non-accredited nannies can be arranged form the nearby village.

Booking and payment details: Once you have decided to join this safari, you will need to contact us for a booking form, which will include details relating to deposit and final payments etc. As our groups are small they fill up quickly.

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Destination

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" Make a real difference for African conservation - come on safari with us. We support sustainable, ethical tourism that benefits wildlife and communities. "

Simon Espley, Africa Geographic CEO