Okavango Delta houseboat – Botswana

10 Day River Safari in the Okavango Delta, on a houseboat what does this sound like? Feel the fresh air and hear the fish eagle from the huge trees and papyrus floating islands, lush green. Almost every green place an abundance of water and wildlife.

This is a quick blog but packed with detail and photos.

Here is a quick video on the scenic nature while cruising on the river.

I am a frequent traveller to Botswana for many reasons. Just to name a few are the pure and unspoilt nature with wild roaming game on just about every highway significant rivers and desert adjacent with a rich heritage and great diamonds if you wish.

On one of my most recent trips, I have captured great photos and caught super lovely fish species, and want to put the detail out there for you to enjoy and book the same boat.

I will also list the booking details directly so you can contact the owner and arrange your adventure booking. Before we get into the details. I want to align a primary day to day structure for you to understand below, but also incorporate my own experience and adventure on the houseboat.

Here are also a few specifications of the boat you are going to enjoy.

Built 2010
Mooring Shakawe, Botswana
Class Luxury
Length 19 metres
Width 7 metres
Engines 2 outboard engines
Electricity 220V
Accommodation 5 x luxury ensuite cabins
Passengers Maximum of 10 guests
Crew Licensed Boat Captain, Chef and a Deckhand
Tender Boat 1 for water-based activities

On my trip, I drove from South Africa and the travel distance was 1300km, however this, it was broken down to more days as I wanted to travel and see more of the eastern side, where I have never been. I will post this blog later in time. That was great, while we camp we encountered Lions and great wildlife…

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The road from Maun to Shakawe is about 400km via tar road, with some refreshments and snacks for the road all was set. The road there are in a quite bad condition from place to place and have to stop occasionally, so does the odd donkey or cattle stop on the road and you have to drive slowly around them.

Arrive at the waterside property with lush green gardens and ancient old trees covering the whole property with cool shade, you will go to the airconditioned office to check in with all the details. The friendly staff will also welcome you with a refreshment or high tea, which depends on the time of the day. Everyone will settle in for the afternoon, and maby if there are time to go for a sundowner boat ride to experience the nature and tranquillity of pink and red sunsets. After the great settle in, dinner will be served, if you are going to check right into the houseboat then this is great. This is the usual and no waiting of time.

The next day we prepared for the trip, loaded all our stuff and fishing gear onto the boat. You can also make a quick visit to Tsodilo Hills and Cultural tour in Shakawe if required. And you can opt for something else if you have something in mind, like getting a Namibia stamp in your passport will only take 40 min of your time. Yep, that’s right the border is right up there along with you.

Below are a few photos of the actual houseboat and the facilities available. This is a pure luxury on the water, and one of the best in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Delta Belle departs from Shakawe and travels approximately 180km along the Okavango Delta to the region of Vumbura for a round trip ending in SEPUPA. Luxurious days spent in leisure with a variety of activities to calm, soothe or excite any soul. A 12-seater tender boat accompanies the Delta Belle. Outings to the smaller channels are arranged with the crew to suit any desire guests may have. This includes Bird-Watching, Fishing and Game watching from the tender boat and walks on the islands. The Okavango is home to approx. 450 species or birds and is a dream destination for any experienced or first-time angler. A certified guide accompanies any excursion. At night the boat is securely moored at various spots on the river. (Upon requirest you can BBQ on the sandbank next to the river) The sunsets on the Okavango are some of the most spectacular in the world. Game and avian life can be experienced all around as the day draws to a restful close. A chef prepares a variety of traditional and succulent dishes from a set menu. (arrangements for any dietary requirements or needs are arranged pre-departure) And by the way, if you caught any fish, please ask the chef for his recommendations, they know how to prepare the fish, and you’ll fall in love with the flavours from the fresh fish.

Let’s get to the fishing part of the business… There are an abundant supply of fish here. This time of the year, around October, November and early December the Tigerfish are big on the hook. They are chasing the annual barber run. When these babers are moving from the Nother to the South for spawning. They create a lot of havoc in the reed and flushing out the smaller fishes, and the smaller fishes are exactly what the big tier fishes are after.

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A classic example of the Vundu Barber.

While we cruise around on the smaller boat, we typically look for flocks of white egret birds rushing into the papyrus. They are great indicators of where the fishes are.

We also saw a colony of carmine bee-eaters on a sandbank, they are so beautiful to look at and make a stunning chirping sound in such big colonies.

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While navigating on one of the days, we encountered one of the locals on a handmade and dough out canoe, these are called makoro in the local language. I first encountered these when I was a young boy in Namibia and they are great fun to try an stabilise. The one time my friend tried this…fell over and was then chased by a crocodile…haha we have so much fun.

The locals have started to use newly imported Chinese casting nets. Now the problem is when they use these unlike the old-fashioned means of rod and line. These nets have the capabilities to remove massive amounts of fish, small and large. Thus over a long period of use, there are a decline in the fish population. This is a serious case and i have yet to submit my report to the local newspapers on my finding with these nets and fish population over the years.

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Let’s get going on the fishing!

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Have you ever seen a stunning sunset, then I welcome to the Botswana sunsets? I have seen these turning from pink, purple and blood red. Once there are a lot of dust in the air over the Western side the colours become even better.

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Here is am with Francis, the owner and operator of the Delta Belle Houseboat. I have known Francis for a considerable amount of years and met in The Kalahari of Botswana.

Never the less, there are some contact detail on the top page, I am going to add a few more detail other safaris they offer.

Contact them now for a lifetime experience.

 

Mesmerising Africa… experience Africa from a point of view that will live forever in your heart.

Please note that this Safari requires guests to cross borders between Botswana and Namibia and Zimbabwe. Guests are required to ensure that all relevant Visas are in order.

Reservations and transfers to Lodges will be reserved by Delta Belle Safaris.

Activities during the day and in the evenings, are dependent on the interests and experiences the guests desire and the route followed as formulated by us to satisfy guests wishes.

Summertime in Botswana begins in the month of September and lasts till March. This is a wonderful time to view the diverse birdlife the Okavango wetlands have to offer.

The winter months bring with it the best opportunities for game viewing. From July to August there is an endless variety of wildlife in the bushveld and wetlands of Botswana. Game viewing is however available throughout the year.

Fishing, birdwatching and other aquatic activities on the Okavango Delta are best experienced during the months from April to November.

 

14-day Panhandle River Safari

USD 2700.00 per person Full Board (Minimum 8 Pax, Max 10 pax Sharing)
Cash Bar available

Day 01

Guests arrive at Maun International Airport and is transferred to Delta Belle Houseboat, Shakawe.(400km)

Day 02

A visit to Tsodilo Hills and Cultural tour in Shakawe.

Day 03

Delta Belle departs from Shakawe and travels approximately 180km along the Okavango Delta to the region of Vumbura for a round trip ending in SEPUPA.Luxurious days spent in leisure with a variety of activities to calm, soothe or excite any soul. A 12-seater tender boat accompanies the Delta Belle. Outings to the smaller channels are arranged with the crew to suite any desire guests may have. This includes Bird-Watching, Fishing and  Game watching  from the tenderboat and walks on the islands. The Okavango is home to approx. 450 species or birds and is a dream destination for any experienced or first-time angler. A certified guide accompanies any excursion. At night the boat is securely moored at various spots on the river. The sunsets on the Okavango are some of the most spectacular in the world. Game and avian life can be experienced all around as the day draws to a restful close. A chef prepares a variety of traditional and succulent dishes from a set menu. (arrangements for any dietary requirements or needs are arranged pre-departure)

Day 09

Guests disembark in  Sepupa from where we proceed through the Namibian border (Mahembo border) exploring the Caprivi strip. The night will be spent at a Standard venue in Kasane. (481km)

Day 10/11

Visit Chobe National Park Morning and afternoon game drive.

Day  12

Travel from Kasane to the world-renowned Victoria falls where the day will be spent exploring and enjoying all the activities and scenery on offer. (82km) White water rafting a optional extra.

Day 13

Depart from Vic Falls airport /Livingstone/Kasane

Availible Safari Package Dates: (RATES SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE)

ARRIVAL DEPARTURE
02-Mar-19 16-Mar-19
16-Mar-19 30-Mar-19
04-Apr-19 18-Apr-19
20-Apr-19 03-May-19
08-May-19 22-May-19
25-May-19 07-Jun-19
08-Jun-19 22-Jun-19
07-Jul-19 21-Jul-19
19-Aug-19 01-Sep-19
26-Sep-19 09-Oct-19
19-Oct-19 01-Nov-19

We offer self-drive and customized safaris and tours

Reservations and transfers to Lodges on your designer Safari will be reserved by Delta Belle Safaris in accordance to your needs.

Activities during the day and in the evenings, are dependent on the interests and experiences the guests desire and the route followed on your designer safari as formulated by us to satisfy guests wishes. Different regions in Botswana offer a kaleidoscope of variety that is equal to no other.

Activities are seasonal. We will ensure that guests are able to experience all there is to offer.

Here is an example of one of our most popular Safari, but any desire can be met! Contact us with any requests or guidance needed. We will ensure that all your African dreams become a reality…

Itinerary: 10-day Lodge Safari

Day 01

Pick up at Maun Airport/Vic Falls/Livingstone

Day 02

Transfer by road to Delta Belle Houseboat in Shakawe. Or fly by Charted flight.

Day 03

Luxury, catered houseboat cruise on the Delta Belle Houseboat

Mokoro rides on the Okavango Delta/Visit Tsodilo Hills/Cultural Tour

Birding in the Panhandle of the Okavango Delta (approx 450 Species)

Day 04

Transfer to Makgadigadi. Check in at standard lodge or experience the true spirit of the bushveld by camping

Day 05/06

Visit Makgadigadi National Park / Extra 2 days Central Kalahari Game Reserve (camping)

Day 07/08

Visit Chobe National Park

Day 09

Day trip to Victoria Falls

Day 10

Depart from Kasane/Vic Falls /Livingstone airport

These are just a few to get you started! Please provide us with any other needs or interests, sit back, and let us plan your dream Botswana holiday!

Kalahari-Tour Dates 2019

TOUR CODE START STATUS FINISH RATE
KG01 02 March 2019 open 14 March 2019 ON REQUEST
KG02 16 March 2019 open 28 March 2019 ON REQUEST
KG03 06 April 2019 open 18 April 2019 ON REQUEST
KG04 20 April 2019 open 02 May 2019 ON REQUEST
KG05 08 May 2019 open 20 May 2019 ON REQUEST
KG06 25 May 2019 open 06 June 2019 ON REQUEST
KG07 08 June 2019 open 20 June 2019 ON REQUEST
KG08 22 June 2019 open 04 July 2019 ON REQUEST
KG09 06 July 2019 open 18 July 2019 ON REQUEST
KG10 20 July 2019 open 02 August 2019 ON REQUEST
KG11 04 August 2019 open 16 August 2019 ON REQUEST
KG12 19 August 2019 open 31 August 2019 ON REQUEST
KG13 10 September 2019 open 22 September 2019 ON REQUEST
KG14 08 October 2019 open 20 October 2019 ON REQUEST
KG15 22 October 2019 open 04 November 2019 ON REQUEST
KG16 07 November 2019 open 19 November 2019 ON REQUEST
KG17 23 November 2019 open 04 December 2019 ON REQUEST
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