Mobile Safari: Discovering Wilderness While Driving
Most travellers opt for a fly-in safari to one of the Okavango’s permanent camps or lodges – it’s quick and easy, allowing you to minimise hours spent travelling and maximise time on safari, not to mention giving you an aerial perspective of the delta’s sinuous waterways and a vulture’s eye view of big game. Mobile safaris, on the other hand, are more reminiscent of the overland expeditions undertaken by early explorers.
Driven by 4WD deep into the African bush, you’ll reach parts of the delta far from permanent lodges and stay in camps that have been located to make the most of seasonal conditions and wildlife movements. At the top end of the scale, the camps are set up for you on arrival and don’t skimp on creature comforts. Real beds, feather duvets, Persian rugs, hot showers, silver cutlery and full English cooked breakfasts are just some of the refinements you’ll find on the five- and seven-day mobile safaris offered by The Uncharted Africa Safari Co. Travelling from Maun into the Moremi Game Reserve, these small-group adventures link two or three tented camps and include a night at a more basic fly-camp, sleeping under mosquito netting on a remote island in the delta.
Budget mobile safaris in the Okavango are more hands-on. You’ll pitch modest-sized dome tents, sleep on bedrolls and help prepare meals – although most operators provide a cook and camp staff as well as a professional guide. The Old Bridge Back Backpackers offers a choice of catered and self-catered mobile safaris tailormade to suit your budget and requirements.
Popular spots for camping in Moremi Game Reserve include the Khwai River and Xakanaxa Lagoon. Mobile safaris also regularly pitch up at the forested area around Moremi’s South Gate, as well as Third Bridge near Mboma Island, where it’s possible to take boat trips into the delta. Indeed, one of the best ways to explore parts of the Okavango on a mobile safari is to travel by mokoro.