Starting and ending on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, this 21-day budget lodge safari combines some of the most alluring destinations in Namibia and Botswana.
Witness the mighty Victoria Falls and enjoy optional adventure activities, before heading into the Caprivi Strip of Namibia. Explore wildlife-rich Etosha Park on game drives, then journey via Damaraland to coastal Swakopmund for exciting optional activities. Continue south into the ancient Namib Desert, walking through towering red dunes to Sossusvlei pan and into Sesriem Canyon.
Stop over in charming Windhoek and cross into Botswana's Kalahari Desert for a nature walk with the San bushmen. Then travel into the pristine Okavango Delta exploring the delta channels and islands by mokoro canoes and on guided walks. Spend a night in the vast Makgadikgadi Pans, then drive to Chobe Park and embark on a sunset game viewing boat cruise.
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.
This Budget Namibia & Botswana Lodge Safari starts in Zambia at the famous Victoria Falls waterfall, the largest sheet of falling water in the world.
We visit the impressive Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world, witnessing the “Smoke that Thunders” or Mosi-o-Tunya as the locals call it. Admiring the spectacle of the Zambezi River plunging over 100 metres into the Gorge below is an awe-inspiring experience.
We spend two days in Livingstone at Victoria Falls giving you plenty of time to explore the area and participate in some of the thrilling adventure activities available at Vic Falls (own expense).
On day three we depart from Livingstone leaving Zambia and crossing into northeastern Namibia. We make our way to the Caprivi Strip, a narrow stretch of Namibia nestled between Angola, Zambia and Botswana.
We spend two days exploring this lush, game-rich area as we travel west. Several major rivers are found in Caprivi, Namibia's wettest region and we will take a boat trip on the Kwando River. The Mahango Game Reserve is home to a large variety of wild animals and birds, including the endangered African Wild Dog, some of which we hope to see on our game drive in the reserve.
In the morning we enjoy some excellent bird watching around our camp, hosting an abundance of birdlife. Then we continue our journey west driving along the Kavango River deeper into Namibia. Along the way, we pass villages made of grass huts where local wooden crafts and carvings are produced.
We spend the night at a riverside lodge in Rundu admiring a spectacular African sunset at the of another exciting day on this affordable lodge safari. Dinner is an own expense meal at the lodge's restaurant.
On day 6 of our Southern African Lodge Safari, we travel to Etosha National Park, one of Africa’s finest game parks. Etosha is dominated by a flat saltpan that it is named after, Etosha, meaning “the great white place of dry water”.
Game-rich Etosha, located in the northwest corner of Namibia, is home to a variety of wildlife including more than 110 mammal species. The vast Etosha Park is known as a top safari destination for sighting endangered black rhino, the elusive cheetah and a rare black-faced impala species. Etosha 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, as well as around 340 bird species and over 100 reptile species.
Our game drives take us in search of Etosha’s diverse wildlife that congregates at waterholes scattered across the huge dry saltpan. We stay at a comfortable guest farm just outside of Etosha Park.
Leaving our lodge beside Etosha Park we travel south towards Brandberg Mountain, Namibia's highest mountain. In the Damaraland area, we experience Namibia's contrasting landscapes of stark plains, petrified forests and ancient valleys scattered with rocky outcrops.
Today we visit the petrified forests to view the ancient fossils, as well as walking to the famous 'White Lady' san rock paintings with a local guide. We spend the night at a lodge in the dry Ugab River, an area that is home to rare desert elephants.
We travel to the stark Atlantic coastline of Namibia crossing the flat plains of Damaraland, dotted with huge granite boulders. Reaching the west coast we make our way south to the Cape Cross seal colony, one of the world’s largest Cape Fur Seal colonies. After visiting the seal colony we head to our next safari stop, the popular coastal town of Swakopmund.
You have a full day to go sightseeing in this charming African town with strong colonial influences or you can partake in some of the numerous adventure activities available in Swakopmund.Activities include dune boarding and skydiving (own expense). There is also an optional half-day sea kayaking excursion to view seals, birds and sea life around the peninsula of Walvis Bay.
Enjoy dinner at one of Swakopmund’s many local restaurants in the evening (own expense).
Driving to the barren Namib Desert we pass through the barren, lunar landscapes surrounding Swakopmund.
The Sossusvlei area of the Namib Desert is known for its towering red-orange sand dunes, considered some of the tallest dunes in the world. Entering the ancient Namib Desert we walk about 3.5km's to the Sossusvlei pan and explore the Sesriem Canyon with its ancient sedimentary layers. If you prefer not to walk, you can take a 4x4 drive to Sossusvlei (own expense).
At the end of the day, we get to enjoy another dramatic African sunset over the tall sand dunes of the Namib.
Today we leave the towering dunes of the Namib making our way north to Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city located in the centre of the country.
There is time to explore the charming city of Windhoek discovering its unique colonial German and African influences and architecture. In the evening we enjoy dinner at one of the local restaurants in this friendly city (own expense).
The shorter 15-day Livingstone to Windhoek Lodge Tour option ends in Windhoek on the morning of day 15 after breakfast. See the full pricing details for the price of this shorter safari option.
We depart from Windhoek driving east towards Botswana.After crossing into Botswana this safari through southern Africa travels into the heart of the Kalahari Desert where we stay in traditional grass huts overnight.
In the afternoon we take a guided nature walk with a local San Bushman, learning about these fascinating people and the ancient bush skills that they have developed to survive in this harsh terrain.
Set off for Maun, the gateway to the Okavango Delta where we prepare for our delta trip and stay in en-suite rooms at a safari camp for the night.
On day 17 we journey deep into the untamed wilderness of the Okavango Delta by mokoro (dugout canoe) poled by locals. We travel into the delta with all the water and equipment needed for our trip. The unforgettable mokoro ride brings us to our tented camp set on a remote island in the pristine delta.
For the next two nights, we stay at a tented camp in the wild delta experiencing the African bush at its best. Accommodation is in large tents fitted with mosquito nets, a bedside table and light, twin camping beds and comfortable mattresses, including linen, blankets and camping pillows. The tents have en-suite toilets and the camp features a tent with a shared bucket shower using water heated over the fire. When camping in the bush we ensure that all rubbish is removed with us, minimizing the impact of our stay.
Our days in the Okavango Delta are spent enjoying bush walks, swimming in the waterways and spotting the abundant birdlife and various wild animals found in the delta. The Okavango Delta is a truly wild African safari destination, considered one of the best wildlife areas in Africa. The Okavango system consists of a vast network of winding channels, secluded estuaries and reed-lined islands making up the largest inland delta in the world.
At the end of our delta trip, we take everything we brought with us, leaving only footprints.
From the watery labyrinth of the wild Okavango Delta, our African Safari takes us to the barren Makgadikgadi Pans, one of the world’s largest salt pans. The vast open expanse of the dry salt flats was once an enormous lake in the Kalahari basin. Makgadikgadi is an ideal place to experience open space with the wide African skies and endless pans. We enjoy a spectacular sunset over the solitary flat pans.
The pans are however not always dry. Annual rains fill the pans with pools of water that attract thousands of water birds and herds of zebra, wildebeest and springbok.
From the vast Makgadikgadi Pans we drive north towards Chobe National Park. Arriving in Kasane we settle into our overnight lodge before venturing into Chobe.
Chobe Park is home to one of the highest concentrations of game in Africa and is famous for its large herds of elephant and buffalo. In the late afternoon, we embark on an exciting game viewing boat cruise in Chobe National Park. This sunset boat cruise along the Chobe River provides excellent close-up game viewing and bird watching opportunities.
On the last morning of this Namibia & Botswana Budget Lodge Safari, we cross the Zambezi on the Kazangula Ferry, which takes us to Livingstone near Victoria Falls, where this budget lodge safari comes to an end.
A free airport transfer is available at 12:00 on the last day of the tour.
Highlights on the shorter trip include Victoria Falls, the Caprivi strip, Etosha National Park, Damaraland, Swakopmund & the Namib Desert. For more information contact African Budget Safaris.
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