This trip was an itinerary that I regularly lead during the dry season in Botswana. My fiancé Helena was my co-leader. With a group of five guests, we began the safari in Livingstone, Zambia. The River Club served as our base, and from there we visited Victoria Falls. We also paid a visit to nearby Simonga village, boat cruised on the river, and dined under the stars. The River Club is a great place to begin such a trip, tucked away as it is amongst the forested banks of the Zambezi River.

On the way to Linyanti Discover camp in Botswana, we stopped off for a midday boat cruise on the Chobe River. Crocodiles, hippo, elephants and buffalo were all out and about on the Chobe. During our three nights at Linyanti we enjoyed excellent elephant viewing, every day. We even had elephants in camp. We also were lucky enough to see three different leopards, one of which was a shy male. The other two were females and we had good sightings of them.

Savuti was our next camp for two nights. Highlights were many: A pack of three wild dogs on our first afternoon, a young male leopard, a lioness with her two subadult male offspring, another lioness with two little cubs, elephants in the Savuti channel itself, and good views of zebra, kudu and other general game species.

Jacana camp followed. A two night stay here allowed us a chance to relax on the water of the Okavango, enjoying good bird-watching opportunities. We saw more elephants again, both on the island where camp is, and in the water.

We boated to our next camp, Tubu Tree, where we spent the last three nights of our safari. Game viewing was strong, and zebra, wildebeest, red lechwe and impala were abundant. We saw the local lion pride, which consists of two lionesses, a very good-looking male lion, and three young male cubs. We were treated to a spectacular display when one of the females, and the three cubs took to playing in the open. To read more about these lions, and just how they survived the biggest Delta flood in many years.

Falling water levels in Tubu’s game drive area also meant that in some places waterbirds were gathering in groups to feed on trapped fish. On our last morning we came across a young leopard, which was a great way to end the trip.