Your Budget Lodge Safari begins with a few days in Cape Town, travelling north through the beautiful Cederberg Mountains and Namaqualand. Spend a full day canoeing on the Orange River before gazing over the massive Fish River Canyon.
Head north into the orange-red sand dunes of the ancient Namib Desert, visiting Sossusvlei. Then, discover Swakopmund, enjoy adventure activities and see the large seal colony at Cape Cross. Drive via Erongo to the rock art of Spitzkoppe and sample local flavours at a winery in Omaruru. Visit a Himba village and then explore Etosha Park, famous for its dramatic scenery and outstanding game viewing. Continue to the pristine Okavango Delta and scenic Chobe National Park to experience Botswana's wild places, sighting more wildlife and birds.
Arrive at the thundering Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, where this affordable Cape Town to Victoria Falls Lodge Safari ends!
During this trip, you are likely to come across activities that encourage tourists to participate in lion, elephant or other wildlife interaction. This includes walking with lions, riding elephants and any other tourist operation putting travellers in close contact with animals that would normally live wild and separate from human contact.
We absolutely do not encourage or endorse this type of wildlife interaction operation. For more information on why this is not good for Africa's wild animals, please see our detailed blog post on the subject.
Arrive in Cape Town in the Western Cape of South Africa for the Cape Town to Victoria Falls Lodge Safari.
For the rest of the day, you are free to explore the beautiful city of Cape Town, relax at the hotel or head off on an optional excursion. There are plenty of activities on offer in and around Cape Town, from tours to Cape Point and the Winelands, to tours of the city, townships and up Table Mountain.
In the evening you meet up with your tour guide and fellow travellers for a pre-safari briefing.
After breakfast, you will be collected and taken by cable car to the top of Table Mountain. This famous landmark offers spectacular views of the Mother City and the surrounding peninsula. After viewing the city from above we will visit the famous sites within the city bowl, the Company Gardens, Greenmarket Square, the SA Museum and the colourful and picturesque Malay Quarter known as Bo-Kaap. For those eager for more, we suggest a visit to the V&A Waterfront in the heart of Cape Town's working harbour. The Waterfront offers an abundance of shopping, entertainment and excellent cuisine.
Starting in vibrant Sea Point we explore the Cape Peninsula by travelling along the Atlantic Seaboard via Clifton and Camps Bay. We stop at Maiden Cave look-out point before continuing on to Hout Bay. In Hout Bay, you have the option of taking a boat ride to Seal Island (seasonal and not included in the cost). From Hout Bay, we travel on the famous and precipitous Chapmans Peak, the breathtaking coastal drive and gateway to the southern peninsula's Cape Point and the Good Hope Nature Reserve. In the afternoon we return via False Bay's charming Simons Town, a naval base town with distinctive Victorian architecture and a large penguin colony at the stunning Boulders Beach.
An early start from the hotel in Cape Town takes us to the beach on the Atlantic Ocean to have a last look at Table Mountain across the bay.
After lunch we head for the Cederberg Mountains, staying overnight in Clanwilliam. This pretty mountain village is set in a lush valley where wildflowers bloom in spring. One of South Africa's oldest towns, Clanwilliam enjoys a scenic location in the Oliphants River Valley.
This area is popular with hikers and fishing enthusiasts, as well as being the central rooibos growing region of the country. Arriving in Clanwilliam you have the option of taking a tour to the rooibos farms, to taste some of this local rooibos tea. The rooibos plant is indigenous to the Western Cape and is a hugely popular beverage in South Africa, boasting high nutritional value and great health benefits.
Travelling up the West Coast of South Africa we pass through some magnificent mountain ranges en route to the well-known Orange River.
If you are travelling in spring you will see the spectacular carpets of wildflowers in the famous Namaqualand region. Later in the afternoon we will reach the Orange River, which forms a natural border between South Africa and neighbouring Namibia. This is the longest river in South Africa with its source in the Drakensberg mountains of Lesotho.
The only travelling today is done in a canoe on the Orange River. This is a laid-back paddle, where you can sit back and take it easy as the currents carry you downstream along the river. Along the way there are a few small rapids to navigate, adding some adventure to the trip!
Today we drive to Ai-Ais, where we stop for lunch.
At Ai-Ais the thermal water is rich in sulphates and fluorides, reaching about 60°C. This hot water gushes from the springs and in the Nama language, "Ai-Ais" means "burning water".
We then head onto our overnight accommodation close to the Fish River Canyon, the world's second largest canyon. Later in the evening, we take in another perfect African sunset with the magnificent views and scenery along the edge of the impressive Canyon.
Moving inland we make our way north towards the Namib Naukluft National Park in the ancient Namib Desert.
The next morning we get up early to visit the world’s highest sand dunes at Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. At sunrise and sunset these red-orange sand dunes, which can reach heights of over 300 m, are absolutely spectacular and provide for fantastic photo opportunities. With luck, there may even be water in the vlei (lake).
We also stop to view the renowned Sesriem Canyon, carved out over millions of years by the Tsauchab River.
The day is spent driving through the arid Namib Desert via the Namib Naukluft National Park and the Kuiseb Canyon on our way to Swakopmund.
The Namib-Naukluft Desert is an ancient land with an ageless atmosphere. It is home to some of the rarest plant and animal species in the world; sightings of this flora and fauna on a Namibia safari are a must. The animals of this harsh landscape include the Oryx, springbok and Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra. One can also see the Welwitschia mirabilis which is an odd-looking desert shrub and one of these ‘shrubs’ is a large, protected specimen estimated at over 1500 years old.
This afternoon we arrive in the charming coastal town of Swakopmund, where you will have the opportunity to partake in a few of the many optional activities that are offered here. Alternatively just soak up the atmosphere of this little quaint German town and enjoy its beauty and beaches.
On the morning of day 11, we head to Cape Cross to visit the large seal colony found here. Cape Cross is the breeding place of the Cape fur seals, which are actually a species of sea lion. Along the Namibian and South African coast, there are 24 colonies with a seal population of about 650 000 animals. At Cape Cross, there are about 80 000 to 100 000 seals.
Leaving the dramatic Atlantic coastline behind we the head inland across the desert plains towards Spitzkoppe.
Spitzkoppe is one of the most famous landmarks of Namibia, featuring massive granite boulders. At its highest point, its rocky peaks reach about 1784 metres above sea level. We take a walk around to see some of the ancient rock art done by the San (Bushmen).
After our scenic tour, we proceed to our overnight accommodation in the historic town of Omaruru.
This morning we visit a local distillery and wine cellar, sampling the various products made here.
From the winery, our journey takes us to Kamanjab where we explore a Himba Village in the afternoon. This is a journey of cultural exchange, learning and understanding the ways of the last traditional tribe in Namibia, the Ova-Himba.
After our cultural experience in Kamanjab, we head to the land of the Big Five of Africa - Etosha National Park.
Etosha National Park covers an area of more than 22 750 km² in the game-rich northwest of Namibia. Etosha means 'place of dry water' and is one of Namibia’s top safari game parks, home to a variety of wildlife. The park boasts over 114 mammal species, 340 bird species, 110 reptile species and, surprisingly a single species of fish.
The vast Etosha National Park, dominated by a flat salt pan, is known as a top safari destination for sighting endangered black rhino, the elusive cheetah and a rare black-faced impala species. It also hosts large herds of elephants and numerous plains game, such as zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, springbok, impala and eland among others. Lion, hyena and jackal are also found in Etosha Park.
We fill the next two days with game drives in Etosha National Park and spend our evenings watching wildlife at floodlit watering holes.
In the mornings we have the opportunity to take game drives at sunrise. We take safari game drives on the vast open pan in search of elephants, various antelope species and lions that congregate at the waterholes of Etosha.
At both rest camps, Namutoni and Okaukuejo, you can take a swim in the pool and watch the animals that come to drink at the floodlit waterholes at sunset and far into the star-filled night.
Leaving Etosha Park we head to Rundu along the Caprivi Strip and onto our riverside lodge, on the banks of the Kavango River overlooking Angola.
A sunset cruise, traditional dancing in the evening, Mbunza Living Museum tour and visiting a local village are optional, or you can just put your feet up and relax on the banks of the river as the sunsets.
At the end of the day, you can relax by the pool with a sundowner listening to the sounds of nature.
We leave Namibia for Etsha 13, on the western border of the Okavango Delta in Botswana. We will be transferred to our safari camp in the diverse Delta.
Day 19 is spent exploring the network of water pathways through thick vegetation in mokoros (traditional dugout canoes).
The unspoilt Delta is a well-preserved gem of Botswana with a vast oasis of crystal clear small lakes, lagoons and palm-fringed islands. The largest freshwater wetland in Africa the Okavango Delta is considered one of the last truly unspoiled wilderness areas in Africa. On our last evening in the Delta, we feast with a braai (barbecue).
We stop at a secluded island to take a 1½ hour guided walk hoping to spot elephants, waterbuck or other wildlife and birds living in this watery paradise.
Leaving Botswana, we drive up the Western border of the Okavango Delta before crossing over into Namibia and driving through the Caprivi Strip to our next overnight camp on the banks of the Kwando River. Along the way, we venture into the untamed Mahangu National Park on a game drive.
Mahangu National Park covers some 25 400 hectares of diverse habitats, from floodplains and wetlands to riverside forests and grasslands dotted with baobab trees. This off-the-beaten-track game reserve is home to elephant, hippo, buffalo, crocodile, warthog and a rich variety of predators such as lion, leopard, wild dog and cheetah. All kinds of antelopes are also found in Mahangu, including roan, sable, impala, reedbuck, tsessebe, sitatunga, red lechwe, kudu and wildebeest. This wild game park is a birding paradise, with over 400 bird species to be seen.
The next morning we depart from our safari camp, head along the Caprivi Strip and cross the border back into Botswana to drive through Chobe National Park to our overnight lodge on the Chobe River.
In the afternoon you are free to lie by the pool or head off on optional activities in the area.
Early the following day we embark on a morning game drive in the famous Chobe National Park, Botswana’s second largest national park. Chobe Park is home to high concentrations of wildlife and is famous for its huge herds of elephants and buffalo.
In the late afternoon, we set off for a sunset boat cruise on Chobe River, getting up close to an array of birds and wild animals along the river. Chobe is renowned for offering some of the best boat based game viewing in the world. We soak up the stunning scenery and hopefully catch another beautiful African sunset.
A mid-morning departure takes you from Chobe to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
We end the day with a dramatic and relaxing sunset cruise on the mighty Zambezi River, the perfect opportunity to savour the flavour of Africa.
While here we recommend visiting the mighty Victoria Falls, also known as The Smoke that Thunders on an optional guided tour. Victoria Falls is the largest continuous sheet of falling water in the world, plummeting 108 m (360 ft) into the Zambezi River below.
The Cape Town to Victoria Falls Budget Lodge Safari ends after breakfast this morning.
An airport transfer can be arranged on request (own expense). We hope to welcome you on one of our African safari adventures again soon.
We recommend that you spend an extra day or two at Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, after the safari. Considered the adventure capital of Africa, there are numerous exciting activities to choose from at Victoria Falls, including white water rafting, bungee jumping and helicopter flips.
This is a fully accommodated safari. Stay in mid-range lodge accommodation in National Parks, on riverbanks, or in other places of interest. The tour accommodation will be in a mix of standard lodges, hotels, chalets and tented camps, mostly with private bathrooms (shower and toilet), and some with shared ablutions. Some of the lodges feature swimming pools and bar areas.
For details, please contact African Budget Safaris.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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