Travel to four countries in Southern Africa - South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe - experiencing this diverse and beautiful region in all its richness.
Setting off from the picturesque city of Cape Town, drive north through the dramatic west coast region of South Africa; before crossing over to the Namibian banks of the Gariep River. Travelling into Namibia, we explore the massive Fish River Canyon; ancient Namib dunes, coastal Swakopmund and the top wildlife haven of Etosha Park. From vibrant Windhoek city journey into Botswana's remote Kalahari Desert, pristine Okavango Delta and open Nata Pans area, before game viewing in Chobe and visiting Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
Walk with the San Bushmen in the Kalahari; spend time with the local guides who ferry you into the Okavango Delta by mokoro, and encounter diverse cultures on this incredibly scenic road through Southern Africa.
Arrive before the pre-tour meeting at 18:00 on day one. You are free to explore the Mother City of South Africa, Cape Town, and enjoy optional activities before our introductory meeting at the hotel. The hotel is located in the pleasant suburb of Gardens, on the fringes of the city centre - close to cafes, restaurants and shops, as well as attractions.
We highly recommend arriving a few days before the tour begins, in order to enjoy the beautiful city of Cape Town.
On day two we set off north from Cape Town, heading up the rugged West Coast to Lambert's Bay.
Our drive takes us into the Namaqualand area, famous for its spectacular wildflower blooms in spring (August to September). Along the way, we visit the !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre where we learn a bit about San culture. Reaching Clanwilliam in the Cederberg region we head for the coast again, proceeding to Lambert’s Bay. We stop at a local wine farm en route, giving you the opportunity to sample some of the fine locally produced wines the Western Cape.
In Lambert’s Bay, you can visit the Bird Island Nature Reserve and take a walk through the pretty seaside town. We stay in air-conditioned, en-suite rooms at a small guesthouse with internet access and laundry services.
Today we drive up into the arid and sparsely-populated Northern Cape, before crossing into Namibia in the afternoon.
Our first stop in the desert country of Namibia is along the banks of the Gariep River, formerly called the Orange River. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to enjoy being in nature - swimming in the river and simply unwinding. The longest river in South Africa, the Gariep forms the border between South Africa and Namibia and is a popular canoeing destination.
We overnight in en-suite rooms at a lodge with a bar, restaurant, pool and internet access.
This is the largest canyon in Africa, and arguably the second largest in the world - a massive rocky gorge surrounded by lunar landscapes. Take a dip in the hotel pool and soak up the stillness in this stark area.
Accommodation at the Fish River Canyon is a hotel with a pool and bar, where we stay in en-suite rooms.
Due north from the Fish River Canyon into the Namib Desert, one of the oldest in the world. We travel from rocky moonscapes into red-orange desert fields, where horizons stretch out and silence settles around us.
We travel to Sesriem, just outside the Namib-Naukluft National Park, which encompasses large swathes of the ancient Namib Desert. Arriving at our overnight camp in time for sunset we sit back and take in the glowing sunset over ochre hills and take a dip in the pool.
The camp features a swimming pool and shaded area for relaxing at the pool. Shared bathrooms include hot and cold water showers, and the camp features barbecue areas, kitchen facilities and electricity. We sleep in dome tents with fitted insect netting, camping equipment included (except for pillows and sleeping bags) and have access to the internet cafe next to the camping grounds. The crew prepares meals at camp, although everyone is encouraged to help out.
Note: Comfortable camping mattresses are available (approximately 4cm/1.6 inches thick).
Today we explore the vast Namib Desert, walking in the Sossusvlei Dunes and Sesriem Canyon.
Driving through the mesmerising desert landscapes of the Namib we visit Sossusvlei Dunes, reputed to be amongst the tallest in the world. Here you have the option of climbing the best-known dune of the Namib - Dune 45. Then we visit Sossusvlei, a bleached salt-pan encircled by tall, red-orange dunes. We experience the surreal pan on foot - seeing the striking contrasts between cracked, clay ground, gnarled dead trees and high dunes.
After spending time in the famous Sossusvlei area, we visit the deep gorge of Sesriem Canyon. Formed by erosion over the ages, layers of sedimentary rock can be seen in the canyon, where the Tsauchab River still flows sporadically, making its way to Sossusvlei.
This morning we venture into the Namib Desert travelling north towards our next destination - Swakopmund.
Driving through the wide open desert plains we experience the raw starkness and deep silence of the region, stopping for coffee in the tiny hamlet of Solitaire en route. Along the way, we drive through Walvis Bay, a coastal town known for its lagoon which attracts rich birdlife.
Arriving in Swakopmund the remainder of the day is spent at leisure, leaving you free to stroll along the beach and the wide avenues, visiting local sights and attractions. You can also embark on activities, time allowing, including dolphin cruises and skydiving, or relax at a sidewalk cafe. We spend the next two nights at a centrally located lodge in Swakopmund, Namibia's top beach holiday destination. Sleep in en-suite rooms and enjoy the lodge facilities - restaurant and bar area, WiFi and laundry services.
Day eight is free for you to explore on your own and participate in outdoor activities, with numerous options available.
Swakopmund is known for sandboarding, the desert surroundings being ideal for this exhilarating sport. Quad biking in the dunes is also a popular choice and skydiving is the ultimate adventure activity here. Fly up over the city, coast and deserts before diving from the plane with a professional instructor.
On the ground, take the Living Desert Tour, a guided 4x4 adventure with an expert who can tell you about the harsh desert and how animals and humans have survived here.
After sightseeing and adventure activities in the coastal city of Swakopmund, we travel northeast through the secluded and strange landscapes of Damaraland. Along the way, we pass the landmark Spitzkoppe massif surrounded by a flat expanse dotted with rocky outcrops.
By this afternoon we find ourselves inside the leading game park in Namibia- Etosha National Park. We pass through the rugged bush in our tour vehicle, looking out for predators and prey en route to our camp inside the national park. You have the option of exploring Etosha Park in an open 4x4 safari vehicle, immersing yourself in the wild and dramatic habitats of this top safari destination.
After dark you can visit the floodlit watering hole at the camp to spot nocturnal animals or you can set off on a night game drive in an open 4x4 safari vehicle. Night drives are conducted by experienced guides, who take you in search of nocturnal activity. You might come across a lion kill on the game drive and are highly likely to see animals at the watering holes.
We camp in dome tents at a rest camp with a restaurant, swimming pool and shop. This evening you have the option of enjoying a barbecue under starry skies, sharing food costs with the rest of the group.
Today we spend a full day exploring Etosha National Park in our tour vehicle. Etosha is dominated by a vast salt pan, the Etosha Pan - an open expanse of dramatic contrasts and wide horizons - surrounded by rugged wilderness. The park is surprisingly rich in wildlife, as well as birdlife in the rainy seasons. Wildlife sightings in Etosha include lions, giraffes, elephants, rhinos, hyenas and various antelopes, such as the striking oryx.
Today you again have the option of embarking on a 4x4 game drive with a naturalist guide in Etosha.
Lunch is included at Penduka, a community upliftment initiative in Windhoek. Back in civilisation, you can relax at the hotel, lazing beside the pool and catching up with friends and family online. The hotel has a restaurant and we stay in comfortable, air-conditioned rooms with en-suite bathrooms.
You are also free to explore Windhoek, sightseeing in this pleasant city where colonial and contemporary German influences meld with urban African life. Tonight you can head out for dinner at a local restaurant and sample the local nightlife.
Travel east today, from Namibia into neighbouring Botswana. This afternoon we arrive at our next camp, located in the middle of the remote Kalahari Desert, just outside of Ghanzi.
Here you have the option of setting off into the desert on foot, participating in a San Bushmen walk. The local San offer insight into the ancient survival skills and indigenous knowledge of these traditional, semi-nomadic people of Southern Africa. Find out how these hunter-gatherers have adapted to the harsh Kalahari Desert habitat, and opt to watch a traditional San (bushmen) dance performance this evening.
We stay in traditional-style bushmen huts, fitted with lights, mosquito nets and cots with mattresses. The camp features shared ablution facilities, a gift shop and a bar, but there is no internet access out here in the desert.
Travelling through the harsh and remote northern region of the arid Kalahari we head to the bustling town of Maun, on the fringes of the watery Okavango Delta.
This afternoon it's time to enjoy a scenic flight over the delta if you pre-booked this optional activity. Flying over the Okavango Delta is a memorable and exciting way to see the winding channels, fertile plains and secluded islands from above, as well as spotting wildlife.
Stopping at the shops in Maun we top up on supplies for our overnight adventure into the pristine Okavango Delta. This evening we watch a traditional dance performance at the hotel, learning a bit about the songs as they are introduced.
The night before our unforgettable trip into the Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world and a truly wild place. Pack for the overnight stay in the bush, as most of our luggage will be stored at the hotel in Maun. Relax and enjoy the comforts that the hotel has to offer - pool, restaurant/bar, en-suite bathrooms and air-conditioning.
On the morning of day 14 our adventure into the world's largest inland delta, the Okavango Delta, begins. First, we drive into the delta in 4x4 safari vehicles, following rough roads through the bush. Arriving at a mokoro station we then switch to these traditional vessels for the rest of our journey to the bush camp. Gliding into the delta in the dug-out canoes is a great way to take in the scenery and spot birds, even animals, as your poler moves you along the waterways.
We spend our time in this truly wild natural area embarking on game walks and traditional dug-out mokoro rides (depending on the season), watching for animals and birds. Soak up the unspoilt environment of the Okavango Delta, as you gain insight into the diverse flora and fauna, as well as the local culture from the 'polers' with you.
Being in this remote wilderness area is a magical experience, with nights spent around the campfire under the stars, far from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Wake up in the heart of the untamed bush to watch the sunrise as nature comes to life. Back on the winding channels, we make our way out of the Okavango Delta in the mekoros (one to two hours). Transfer to 4x4 vehicles and return to Maun, travelling for about two hours. Once we've collected our luggage and had lunch in Maun we drive east to Nata.
Arriving in Nata you can head off on an optional sunset game drive or a nature walk to spot wildlife and birds in the bush. Tonight we stay in chalets with en-suite bathrooms and get to sit back and watch elephants and other animals visiting the local waterhole. Take a dip in the pool, tuck into dinner at the lodge and unwind in the bar.
Today we drive to Kasane in the northeastern corner of Botswana, near Chobe National Park and the border with Zambia and Zimbabwe.
From Kasane you can take an optional sunset boat cruise along the Chobe River or embark on an open vehicle game drive in Chobe. Both the boat cruise and game drive offer good chances of sighting wildlife, especially the numerous elephants of Chobe Park. The boat cruise brings you up close to animals, including hippos and crocodiles, in the river and along the banks, and also provides excellent birdwatching opportunities. The game drive covers more ground and enables you to take in the lovely scenery along the river and further into the bush.
You also have the option of doing a photographic boat cruise on the Chobe River, learning from professional photographers. This cruise includes transfers, park fees, drinks, the use of a camera (Nikon D7000 with a 150 - 500 mm zoom lens), a photography permit, and your place on the boat.
Tonight we stay in en-suite rooms with air conditioning, dine in the restaurant and relax in the bar area.
Final opportunity to see the Big Five, you have the option of starting your day with a sunrise game drive in Chobe National Park. Then we head to the border and cross into Zimbabwe. Border formalities behind us we continue to the nearby town of Victoria Falls, where our last comfortable lodge is located.
In the afternoon you can enjoy one of the multitudes of optional activities on offer at Vic Falls. Visiting the natural wonder of Victoria Falls is an absolute must - standing before the largest sheet of falling water in the world is an awe-inspiring experience.
Outdoor adventure activities include the thrill of white water rafting on the Zambezi River, considered a world-class whitewater rafting spot. Take a scenic flight in a microlight, helicopter or small plane to see the massive waterfall in all its might and get your heart pumping. Bungee jumping is another popular adrenalin inducing activity at Vic Falls, as well as abseiling and gorge swinging.
Our Cape Town to Victoria Falls Safari comes to a close this morning. You can participate in optional adventure activities and continue your onward travels in your own time.
We highly recommend staying on for a few extra days after the safari to enjoy adventure activities and explore Victoria Falls.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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