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This Southern African Safari Adventure South is for budget travellers over the age of forty. Most nights are spent camping in scenic or wild locations on a fully serviced basis, with a few nights of lodge or guesthouse accommodation for extra comfort in Victoria Falls, Swakopmund and Cape Town. Accommodation in the untamed Okavango Delta of Botswana is at a tented camp set on a secluded island.
Much of this journey passes through strikingly beautiful and dramatic landscapes, including the Namib Desert, Kalahari, Damaraland and Karoo, with a focus on experiencing the vast, rugged and remote wilderness areas of Southern Africa. Visiting Chobe, Etosha, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and other wildlife areas, the trip offers superb game viewing opportunities. Add to the stunning scenery and excellent wildlife sightings, some of Africa's most famous natural wonders - Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta, Fish River Canyon and Table Mountain and you have a unforgettable African safari.
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.
The journey begins in the town of Victoria Falls, named after the famous Victoria Falls waterfall located nearby.
Meet up with your guide and group at the hotel in Zimbabwe, at 15h00 this afternoon. Then get out there and explore. Make sure you visit the mighty Victoria Falls to see the 'Smoke that Thunders' up close.
On day two you have the morning and early afternoon to pack in adventure activities and go see the massive Vic Falls, if you haven't done so yet. Activity options (own account) include - white water rafting, bungee jumping, helicopter and microlight flights, market visits and more in and around Victoria Falls. By mid-afternoon we are on our way into neighbouring Botswana - one of the top-rated safari countries in Africa.
Once in Botswana we soon reach our first overnight camping spot, located near Kasane on the banks of the Chobe River. This river is the major water source in Chobe National Park, supporting a host of wildlife and birds in the area.
Begin day three with an optional morning game drive (own account) in Chobe National Park, home to an abundance of large mammals including healthy predator populations. Early in the evening we set off on a leisurely cruise along the Chobe River - an excellent way to see wildlife and birds up close, while watching a beautiful African sunset. We are sure to see elephants in Chobe, which is famous for its large herds, along with antelopes and hippos.
Today we drive north into Namibia - the most famous desert destination in Southern Africa. We enter the Caprivi Strip region of Namibia, a relatively lush area in comparison to the rest of Namibia.
We pass traditional villages as we drive along the Caprivi Strip, stopping to browse the famous woven goods made by the locals. Tonight we camp beside the Kwando River in a lovely setting.
From the Kwando River we continue west through the Caprivi Strip and then drive south to the Okavango Delta back in Botswana.
Arriving at the fringes of the watery Okavango Delta we switch from vehicle to boat, continuing to Pepere Island on the water. The two to three hour boat ride takes us to a tented camp on a delta island, from where we explore this unspoilt wilderness area.
Day six is set aside for walks, boat rides and mokoro trips in traditional style dug-out canoes. The game walks are conducted on the island where the camp is based and surrounding small islands in the world's largest inland delta. On the mokoro trips we glide across tranquil lagoons and along winding channels, looking out for wildlife and birds as we move slowly through the pristine delta habitat.
On day seven we take the boat back to the tour vehicle, leaving the magical delta behind. Then we drive north, crossing into Namibia again. Entering the Caprivi Strip we head west to Rundu, situated in the far north-east of Namibia where the narrow finger of the Caprivi territory begins.
Tonight we camp in a pleasant spot along the Kavango River, in the lush Okavango Panhandle area.
Time to see more of Africa's wildlife, as we venture into Etosha National Park next. We will explore the large expanse of untamed wilderness on morning and afternoon game drives in search of the abundance of wildlife inhabiting this top African safari destination.
Etosha is dominated by a vast saltpan, the Etosha Pan, surrounded by semi-arid bushveld and open plains, dotted with watering holes that sustain the animal and birdlife of the game park. Four of the big five roam the Etosha bush - leopard, lion, elephant and rhino. Other sightings include gemsbok, blue wildebeest, springbok, zebra, eland, kudu, giraffe, cheetah, hyena and jackal.
In the evenings we watch for nocturnal animals at the floodlit waterholes of Okakeujo and Namutoni restcamps, where a variety of animals are commonly spotted. We camp at these two rest camps inside Etosha National Park, making the most of our time in this famous wildlife haven.
Today we travel south through the rugged Damaraland - a wild and sparsely populated region. Crossing semi-arid plains that stretch out between rocky mountains and hardy grasslands dotted with boulders, we make our way to the Spitzkoppe Massif.
Tonight we camp between the large granite rocks at the base of the dramatic Spitzkoppe Mountains, surrounded by the strange landscapes of Damaraland. In the afternoon you can explore this remote part of the southern Kunene Region on foot, taking in the beautiful and arresting scenery around our bush camp.
After breakfast in the wilderness we drive on across the gravel plains to the town of Swakopmund.
Spend the afternoon getting to know Swakopmund, visiting the sights and walking through the streets to check out the colonial era buildings. Walk along the beach and get a feel for this lively German-influenced adventure hub.
Continuing our journey south we head to our next camp on the outskirts of the ancient Namib Desert. In the late afternoon we set off into the open terrain to watch sunset over the red sands of the sparsely vegetated hills.
Next morning we drive to the Sossusvlei dunes, entering the vast Namib-Naukluft National Park. We pass between the tall dunes as the sun rises, bringing a warm glow to the red-orange sands. Moving through some of the tallest sand dunes in the world we head to the famous pan of Sossusvlei, a place of striking contrasts. We cover the last 5km to Sossusvlei on foot, experiencing the desolate desert landscape up close. Then we view the stark pan, where cracked white earth and skeletal dead trees stand out against the backdrop of ochre dunes and blue skies.
This afternoon we embark on a short hike into Sesriem Canyon to view the sedimentary rock layers exposed by the erosive action of the Tsauchab River dating back some two million years.
On day 14 we leave the red-orange sand dunes of the Namib behind, driving south into the rocky, lunar landscapes surrounding the Fish River Canyon. Arriving at our campsite we set up for the night and set off on a walk along the lip of the massive canyon. Gaze over the geological wonder of the second largest canyon in the world - the Fish River Canyon - enjoying breathtaking views as the sun sets over this stark and dramatic scene.
Continue to the Kalahari Desert today, venturing into the remote Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. We cross into the South African part of the vast Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which also covers a large area of Botswana. We embark on morning and afternoon game drives in the South African section of the park, named the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park.
This wild and arid national park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa, covering over 3.6 million hectares of wilderness. This remote wilderness area is known for its exceptional predator sightings, especially sightings of the famous black-maned lions. We spend the night camping under starry skies in the Kalahari.
Today we pass through a fertile farming region en route to the Augrabies Falls National Park, located along the Gariep (formerly Orange River).
Here we visit the Augrabies Falls - an impressive waterfall some 56 metres tall, stopping at various viewpoints along the river.
From the barren and remote Northern Cape we travel into the gentle hills and open plains of the arid Namaqualand region. In spring (August to October) we may see the multi-coloured wildflowers that Namaqualand is famous for, as we head towards the West Coast.
One more scenic drive before we reach Cape Town - we travel through the open Namaqualand area, marvelling at the flowers in spring. In the afternoon we arrive at the foot of Table Mountain, the famous natural landmark standing over Cape Town city. This vibrant city is rich in history and culture, boasting incredible natural surroundings.
Our last full day on safari is spent exploring the stunning Cape Peninsula, leaving the lodge at 8h00. View the postcard-pretty beaches and towering cliffs of the Atlantic Seaboard en route to the seaside village of Hout Bay, before continuing along the spectacular Chapman's Peak Drive. Then we visit the rugged coastal wilderness of Cape Point Nature Reserve within Table Mountain National Park. Head back to the city and our lodge at the Waterfront, via the scenic Indian Ocean, driving through charming hamlets along the coast and leafy suburbs.
Going up Table Mountain is a must-do in Cape Town with the option of taking a morning or afternoon cable car ride (own expense) to the top and down again. Enjoy the fine cuisine and wines, top-class shopping and vibrant nightlife of cosmopolitan Cape Town during your stay here.
This affordable Southern African Safari Adventure ends in the beautiful city of Cape Town, after breakfast today.
This Victoria Falls to Cape Town Southern African Safari is also available in the reverse order - starting in Cape Town and ending at Victoria Falls. See the 21 Day Southern African Safari Adventure - North
Pre-tour or post-tour accommodation in Cape Town or Vic Falls and return airport transfers can be pre-booked through African Budget Safaris.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.