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Starting at spectacular Victoria Falls it winds its way through some of Africa's best-loved spots to Cape Town. Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa all have different landscapes, people and animals - its a smorgasbord of African treasures.
Highlights of this overland accommodated safari include
Travelling overland, you'll experience true Africa while making friendships that'll last a lifetime. Spot The Big Five, marvel at the enormity of the landscape and enjoy not only the destinations but the trip itself. Each trip may differ slightly according to weather, road conditions and a number of other factors. If an elephant happens to be hanging out on the road in front of you, you have no choice but to wait until it's done! Sit back and enjoy the ride.
We start our trip at the spectacular Victoria Falls, one of Africa's most famous natural wonders. The great Zambezi River tumbles over 350 feet along a width of over 5000 feet, creating the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls. Known by locals as Mosi-oa-Tunya, or 'The Smoke that Thunders', the river sends spray kilometres into the air and creates a natural rainforest.
At the Victoria Falls waterfall, we spend time walking along the footpaths, stopping to take photographs from the various viewpoints.
The rest of the day is free for exploring the town of Victoria Falls and doing adventure activities. The area offers a huge range of activities - from bungee jumping to white river rafting and gorge swinging. Book a couple of days at the Falls before we start on safari if you'd like to do more of these.
Enjoy an optional dinner out in Victoria Falls town tonight. We overnight at a stylish hotel in en-suite rooms, enjoying the pool and bar.
This Safari comes with an optional Activity Package. This is an additional payment that covers what we consider to be ‘essential activities’ on our tours. This itinerary includes these items. Ideally, we would include all of these, but not everyone can afford this, so you can pick and choose. African Budget Safaris will give you a detailed breakdown of what is included in the Activity Package, once we hear from you. See Full Pricing Information on the Pricing Tab for the cost of the Activity Package.
We head over the border into Botswana and spend the night in Kasane, getting to know each other and our guides better. After lunch, which is served from the safari truck at camp, we embark on a 4x4 game drive in Chobe National Park. This is one of Africa's top game parks, famous for its massive elephant population and large buffalo herds.
In the late afternoon, we take a sunset boat cruise in Chobe National Park, looking out for the numerous birds and animals drawn to the river. The park covers 11 700 ² km, and is known for its wide range of fauna and abundance of wildlife. Keep your cameras ready - this is Big Five country.
We overnight in comfortable en-suite rooms and make use of the swimming pool to cool down in the African heat.
Open since 1968, Chobe is one of the world's most well-known game parks, and for good reason! With its wide assortment of fauna - from grassland to woodland and marshes - it provides the habitat for a huge range of wildlife and birds. Beside all its antelope species, giraffe, zebra and big cats, the park boasts an elephant population of over 120 000. This is the experience of safari dreams!
This morning we travel down to Nata, on the outer edges of the Makgadikgadi Pans. This afternoon you can join an optional excursion to the salt pans to experience the vastness of this desolate landscape. The Makgadikgadi Pans complex is one of the largest salt pan systems in the world, covering 30 000 km² of Botswana.
Day four sees us driving west to Maun. Our route crosses the northern limits of the Makgadikgadi Pans, passing big baobab trees along the way. Early this afternoon we arrive in Maun leaving free time for you to relax at the hotel or take an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta.
Tonight we get ready for our adventure into the wild Okavango Delta. Please note that if you haven't purchased the Activity Package, you will remain at this accommodation for the following two days. Activity Package clients will set off on the Delta Excursion tomorrow.
Please note: You will need to bring a smaller daypack (overnight bag) for the delta excursion as there is limited space for luggage on the transfer flights.
This morning we fly from Maun, the closest town to the Okavango Delta, to our remote camp in the wild delta. The flight offers spectacular aerial views of the delta and the bigger wildlife that call it home.
Later this afternoon we set off on a mokoro (traditional dug-out canoe) trip and nature walk. Gliding through the reed-lined channels in mekoros, which are poled through the waters by local guides, is the ideal way to spot birds and animals whilst taking in the unique scenery. We make our way through the pristine bush to one of the secluded delta islands. Here we embark on a thrilling nature walk with a local expert, learning about the plants and looking for signs of wildlife. The wild animals of the delta are unaccustomed to people, but we may see some of these shy inhabitants on our walk.
We spend day six in the unspoilt Okavango Delta, exploring the waterways by mokoro, on foot and on an afternoon boat cruise. Our trained guides are incredibly knowledgeable and will teach us about the wonderful fauna and flora of the Okavango - from the tiniest bug to the fattest hippo, and everything in-between!
This incredible area of waterways and islands covers up to 15 000 km2 during the wet season. None of this water reaches the sea, but instead, evaporates or transpires from the delta itself. It being a largely watery paradise, the Okavango is home to hippos, crocs and many fish. Many other of Africa's favourite animals call the Delta home, too. Zebra, rhino, buffalo, wildebeest and a number of buck species also live there, some seasonally, others permanently. And then, the birds... incredible!
Our time in the Okavango Delta will be spent at a bush camp in a 100 000 hectare private concession area, offering a unique delta experience. The secluded camp looks out over peaceful delta waterways and has a low impact on the environment, blending in with the wild African bush around it.
Stay in spacious, permanent Meru-style tents with en-suite bathrooms. These walk-in canvas tents feature comfortable twin beds, simple furnishings, mosquito netting and small outdoor areas with camping chairs. The tented lounge-dining area and outdoor boma are ideal for sitting back and taking in the sounds and sights of this untamed environment in comfort. Activities offered at the Delta camp include bush walks, mokoro trips, sunset boat cruises and sundowners on one of the islands.
Take to the skies this morning as we fly out of the Okavango Delta. The scenic flight offers beautiful views of the massive delta and roaming wildlife below.
Back in Maun, we board our safari truck and drive southwest to Ghanzi, in the heart of the Kalahari Desert. Here we have the opportunity to meet some of the local San community (known colloquially as Bushmen) and learn about their culture and traditions. The traditional San people are indigenous to Southern Africa, having inhabited the area for over 30 000 years, surviving in harsh conditions as nomadic hunter-gatherers. In the afternoon you can join an optional San walk in the Kalahari to find out more about their survival techniques using local flora and fauna. Their story is fascinating.
This evening we watch San traditional dancing and you can stay in a traditional hut (small extra cost) for a pukka San experience.
Rising early today we travel from Ghanzi over the Botswana-Namibia border and on to Windhoek. This is a long trip which gives us a glimpse of the vastness of Africa as we drive through breathtaking, enormous, plains.
On arrival in Windhoek - Namibia's capital city - we explore the city centre, before settling into our lodge accommodation. An optional dinner out to Joe's Beerhouse, one of the city's most famous eateries, offers a glimpse into this cosmopolitan city's nightlife.
Windhoek is a wonderful mix of African and European (much German) influences. Known for its safety and good upkeep, there's something for everyone. From the beautiful botanical gardens to the state museum at Alte Freste to the plethora of shops and restaurants, it'll be hard to decide which activities to pick!
Leaving Windhoek and the city lights behind, we make our way north to the Etosha National Park. We stop briefly en-route at a well-known craft market to buy gifts and curios for the loved ones at home. We drive through the park spotting game as we head to our first camp in Etosha.
We spend two nights in Etosha. Our days are spent spotting wildlife, from the elevated vantage point of our raised safari truck, and enjoying the vast African landscapes with its unique sights and sounds. Nights are passed watching nocturnal game at the floodlit waterholes and sitting around the campfire listening to the magical night sounds of the African bush.
You have the option of taking a thrilling night game drive on either of the nights in Etosha Park.
With its 120 km long dry lake bed, Etosha offers phenomenal game-viewing, due to its sparse vegetation. Camps are sited on the edge of waterholes providing for incredible game sightings as the animals come down to drink each day.
This morning we continue our search for wildlife and birds in the dramatic wilderness of Etosha, driving in our safari truck. Alternatively, you have the option of embarking on a morning game drive conducted by the national park in safari vehicles.
Then we leave Etosha Park for our overnight stay in the town of Opuwo, the capital of the remote Kunene Region. The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to enjoy the rugged scenery and rest at our lodge with a pool, bar and restaurant.
We travel to a Himba community near Kamanjab to meet the modern-day Himba and gain insight into their disappearing traditional lifestyles.
The Himba were once a semi-nomadic, pastoral tribe with distinctive traditions and cultural practices. Today few Himba still live off the land as their ancestors did, remaining unchanged by western influences. We visit an educational village, established to portray the Himba way of life, without impacting negatively on the truly traditional communities living in natural environments. The unique culture of the striking Himba is characterized by their style of dress, particularly their hairstyles and elaborate jewellery. Those Himba that have not become westernized still speak a dialect of the old Herero language and traditionally breed cattle or goats.
Visiting this representation of a traditional Himba village supports the education of orphaned Himba children who are taught about their own vanishing culture and heritage. The market at the village offers an opportunity to buy gifts to take home while supporting the women of the village in making an income.
Next, we proceed further into Damaraland, to our lodge in the small town of Khorixas.
Leaving Khorixas we cross the arid plains of the remote Kunene Region, making our way to Spitzkoppe. Here we go on a guided walk through the incredible towering rock formations in the middle of the otherwise flat plains. Walking around the foot of the granite massif with a local guide we stop to view San rock paintings at Spitzkoppe.
From Spitzkoppe we drive to the icy Atlantic coast and the quaint town of Swakopmund, where we’ll be told of the many activities on offer in and around the town. An optional dinner at a local restaurant allows us to sample an array of local dishes.
We spend two nights in Swakopmund. The days are yours to enjoy at leisure - sightseeing and doing optional activities. For the adrenaline junkies amongst us, Swakopmund offers a whole range of thrilling adventure activities including sandboarding, skydiving and quad biking. For those less inclined to high adventure, an amble along the sea, walk around the town and its shops and a leisurely lunch are perfect.
Known as the 'Adventure Capital' of Namibia, this small coastal town offers a plethora of activities to keep the adrenaline junkies on their toes, from sandboarding to quad biking and skydiving - the place pumps.
For those less inclined to jump out of planes, Swakopmund offers a rich and fascinating history. The town, which is small enough to be walkable, offers beautiful old architecture, quaint shops and eateries filled with delicious cuisine.
Setting off from Swakopmund, we head into the arid yet beautiful Namib Desert, via Walvis Bay.
After settling in, we are taken on a guided afternoon walk through this amazing ecosystem. Our guide will tell us about the flora and fauna of the Namib and the incredible survival techniques of the San.
Dinner will be enjoyed around the campfire with just the night sounds of the African desert as accompaniment. Spend time tonight gazing in wonder at the star-studded night sky above this remote area - it is breathtaking.
Waking before dawn, we hike up Dune 45 to watch the sun rise over the desert. The changing colours of the dunes as the sun rises will leave you awe-struck!
After admiring the sweeping desert views from Dune 45 we take a 4x4 drive to Sossusvlei. Exploring the strange Sossusvlei and Deadvlei pans on foot is an unusual and visually striking experience. Leaving the tall Sossusvlei Dunes and stark pans behind we go on a short walk through the incredible passages of the Sesriem Canyon, carved into the rock over millions of years by the Tsauchab River.
Today we drive south along dusty roads that cross the deserted gravel plains towards the incredible Fish River Canyon.
We overnight at Ais-Ais hot springs resort where we get to soak in the hot pools. Take a dip under the starry desert skies, before getting an early night in preparation for sunrise over the Fish River Canyon tomorrow morning.
At 160 km long and 27 km wide at some points, the Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world. With its red rock cliffs and the river flowing way below, it's a geological sight to behold.
We are up early on day 18, making our way to the Fish River Canyon in time to catch the sunrise over the massive chasm. After watching the morning light filter into one of the largest canyons in the world, we walk along the rim of the canyon to admire this awe-inspiring natural wonder.
Leaving the Fish River Canyon, we travel further south to the Gariep River, commonly known by its former name - the Orange River. We spend our final night in Namibia at a lodge along the banks of the Orange River. In the afternoon you have the chance to go canoeing on the Orange River, taking a gentle paddle through the rugged bush. Alternatively, you can explore on foot, cool off in the river and laze on the banks.
Heading south through the Namaqualand region of the arid Northern Cape, we take the long drive into the spectacular Cederberg Mountains. The Cederberg mountain range is known for its incredible rock formations and San paintings. On our last night, we tuck into a hearty South African meal together, at the lodge just outside the town of Citrusdal.
Today we set off for Cape Town, the final destination on our tour. Continuing through the Western Cape we stop to taste some of the excellent wines that the Cape Winelands region is famous for producing. We also stop in at a well-known wine estate called the Spice Route, where we have lunch and get a taste of Cape culture at the artisanal hub, featuring local art, coffee, beer, chocolate and more.
Then we drive to Tableview and stop to admire the best view of Table Mountain from across the bay and take some photos. In Cape Town, we sadly say goodbye and part ways.
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