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This well-rounded Southern African Safari Adventure is ideal for budget travellers over the age of forty. Start in Cape Town, South Africa, travelling north through Namibia and Botswana, before ending at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Explore remote and rugged regions of South Africa, Botswana and Namibia - Small Karoo, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Kalahari, Namib Desert and Kunene.
Highlights in Namibia include the Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei Dunes, Sesriem and coastal Swakopmund, along with game viewing in Etosha National Park. Stop at the Kavango River, before crossing into Botswana to explore the wild Okavango Delta. Travel via the Caprivi Strip of Namibia back into Botswana to experience the famous Chobe National Park, embarking on a sunset boat cruise on Chobe River.
Most overnight stays on this affordable safari entail fully serviced camping, with a few nights of hotel, guesthouse and tented lodge accommodation in Cape Town, Swakopmund, Okavango Delta and Victoria Falls.
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 21 Day Southern African Safari Adventure starts in the beautiful South African city of Cape Town. On the first day we meet at the centrally located lodge at 18:00 for a pre-safari briefing about the journey ahead.
Known for the landmark Table Mountain, Cape Town, offers visitors a variety of attractions from scenic natural wonders and a vibrant nightlife to historic and cultural sightseeing highlights.
We set off on a Cape Peninsula Day Tour at 08:00 from a selected lodge in Cape Town on the morning of day two. Driving along the scenic Atlantic Coastline we pass the beautiful beaches of Clifton and Camp's Bay as we travel to the seaside village of Hout Bay and on to the dramatic Chapman's Peak drive. Then we explore the rugged Table Mountain National Park at Cape Point, covering open hills and rocky cliffs overlooking the ocean. From Cape Point we return to our hotel via the Indian Ocean coastline, driving through quaint coastal hamlets and leafy suburbs.
In the morning or afternoon we recommend taking an optional cable car ride up Table Mountain (own expense). Going up the majestic Table Mountain is one of the most memorable activities in Cape Town, offering spectacular views over the city and coast.
Enjoy dinner at one of the excellent restaurants of the bustling V&A Waterfront in the evening (own expense). We overnight at a conveniently located Waterfront hotel.
On day three we depart from Cape Town after breakfast, making our way up the West Coast of South Africa and inland into the Karoo.
We drive north and set up camp in the heart of the Namaqualand region, known for its spectacular wildflower blooms in spring. After admiring the views from Van Ryns Pass, we settle in at our campsite based at the foot of the Hantam Mountain range. We spend our first fully serviced camping night in this remote and scenic area of the Northern Cape.
Today we continue north, heading out of the Little Karoo to the Augrabies Falls National Park, near Namibia. Along the way we drive through fertile farming and wine lands with scenic hills and valleys.
Augrabies Falls is located in a barren and rocky part of north western South Africa, where the Gariep (formerly Orange River) falls 56m into a gorge below. We visit Augrabies Falls in the afternoon, enjoying the various views at the waterfall, locally known as ‘Aukoerebis’ meaning ‘place of great noise’. Tonight is another fully serviced camping stopover.
We keep driving north crossing into the Kalahari Desert Region as we make our way to the unique Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is shared between South Africa and neighbouring Botswana. This national park covers over 3.6 million hectares making it one of the largest game reserves in Africa.
We embark on morning and afternoon game drives in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, the South African section of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. This remote wilderness area is known for its outstanding predator sightings, including sightings of the famous black-maned lions. We spend the night camping in this captivating semi-desert region.
On day seven we drive west, crossing into neighbouring Namibia. Once in Namibia we head to our overnight campsite near the Fish River Canyon.
We set up camp and take a walk along the edge of the impressive Fish River Canyon admiring the changing colours of the landscape as the sun sets over this deep canyon. Namibia's Fish River Canyon is arguably the second largest canyon in the world - an awesome sight!
Today we travel through the dramatic landscapes of Namibia as we head north to our safari camp, on the fringes of the ancient Namib Desert. Arriving at the campsite there is time to take a sunset walk in the dunes of the area, before camping under the stars.
An early start on day nine sees us travelling to the Sossusvlei Dunes area of the Namib Desert, one of the oldest deserts in the world. These towering red-orange sand dunes are considered some of the tallest sand dunes in the world. We stop in the dune fields of this desert area to watch the warm colours of the sand dunes changing with the first light of day. Then we embark on a 5 km desert walk to the Sossusvlei and Deadvlei pans, in this barren and striking part of the world. Deadvlei is a stark salt pan where the skeletons of dead trees contrast sharply with the cracked white-clay earth and surrounding ochre dunes.
Later in the afternoon we set off on a short hike into the renowned Sesriem Canyon of Namibia, to see the ancient sedimentary layers in this narrow gorge.
Travelling further north we visit the lagoon in Walvis Bay on the coast of Namibia. Here we enjoy lunch and watch the birdlife, including the flocks of flamingos that fringe the estuary. In the afternoon we arrive in Swakopmund, Namibia's prime beach destination.
The rest of the afternoon and the following morning is free for you to explore this quaint town with its German colonial influence and participate in some of the numerous optional activities (own expense) available here. Optional activities in and around Swakopmund, include sand boarding, skydiving, kayaking, dolphin-watching boat trips, hot air ballooning or scenic flights over the expansive desert dunes.
Enjoy dinner at one of the great local restaurants (own expense). Accommodation is at a guesthouse in Swakopmund.
Saying goodbye to the lively coastal town of Swakopmund, we depart after lunch and drive to the Spitzkoppe Mountains, where we set up camp amongst the giant boulders. The Spitzkoppe formation is one of Namibia's most distinctive landmarks, towering above the remote, open plains of Damaraland.
In the afternoon you can relax at camp or explore the unusual landscapes of the Spitzkoppe area on foot. The evening is spent unwinding at our secluded bush camp and enjoying this magnificent wild setting.
On day 12 of our affordable safari we drive on through the arid Kunene Region of Namibia. Next stop - Etosha National Park, Namibia's top game park and one of Africa's finest wilderness areas.
We make our way into the 'Great White Place', as Etosha Park is known, driving through the western section of the park to our first camp. First we camp at Okakeujo Camp and then Namutoni Restcamp, inside Etosha Park.
Over the next two days we embark on rewarding morning and afternoon game drives, going in search of the diversity of wildlife inhabiting this unique wilderness area. In the evenings we relax at our camps' floodlight watering holes, looking out for the variety of wildlife drawn to the water, especially the nocturnal creatures.
Etosha Park is dominated by a vast salt pan, a terrain that lends itself to spotting wildlife in the dancing mirages of the African heat. The numerous watering holes of Etosha Park provide excellent game viewing opportunities, making this one of the top game reserves in Africa. Etosha National Park is home to thousands of wild animals such as blue wildebeest, springbok, zebra, kudu, giraffe, cheetah, leopard, lion and elephant.
Start the day with a final morning game drive in Etosha, before exiting the park and heading northeast to Rundu. Located in the Kavango-East Region, the town serves as the gateway to the uncharacteristically fertile part of Namibia called the Caprivi Strip.
Tonight we camp in a lush setting with views of the Kavango River, enjoying a lovely sunset from the deck and taking a refreshing swim in the river pool.
On day 15 we travel into the narrow Caprivi Strip region lying between Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Angola. Crossing into northern Botswana, we drive to the fringes of the world-famous Okavango Delta. Reaching the watery delta system we switch to a boat and continue to our tented lodge on Pepere Island.
Waking up in the wild delta habitat on day 16 we spend the day exploring the secluded islands and reed-lined channels. Glide along the pristine waterways in a mokoro, poled by a local guide, looking out for wildlife and birds as you move slowly through the bush. Set off into the wilderness on foot, getting a closer look at the flora and fauna of this unique region and possibly encountering wildlife as you walk on the islands.
Embark on a boat trip to enjoy the scenery and see more of the Okavango Delta - the largest inland delta in the world. We spend two nights staying in walk-in safari tents at a permanent tented lodge with shared ablutions.
This morning we enjoy breakfast in the peaceful delta and take a boat ride back out of the beautiful estuarine environment. Then we drive up into Namibia again, passing through traditional villages and stopping to browse the arts and crafts stalls where famous woven goods are sold. Today we set up camp beside the Kwando River in the fertile Caprivi Strip region of Namibia.
On day 18 we continue driving east through the Caprivi and re-enter Botswana, driving to our camp via Chobe National Park. We set up camp on the banks of the Chobe River, near Botswana's top national park. Chobe Park is famous for its huge elephant populations, as well as its outstanding game viewing boat cruises.
This beautiful Botswana game park hosts one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Africa and is a fantastic place to catch spectacular sunsets over the wild bush. Chobe is also a birding haven, offering excellent bird watching - from raptors to waterbirds.
The following day you have the option of taking a morning game drive in Chobe National Park (own expense). Later we embark on a laid-back sunset boat cruise along the Chobe River, looking out for the numerous animals and birds drawn to the scenic river.
Have breakfast at camp and cross into Zimbabwe heading to our final safari stop - Victoria Falls.
The town of Victoria Falls is located on the Zimbabwean side of the famous Victoria Falls waterfall - one of the most unforgettable sights in Africa. Visit the largest sheet of falling water in the world to see why the impressive Vic Falls waterfall is called the 'Smoke that Thunders". This Victoria Falls tour (own expense) is a must!
Spend time exploring Victoria Falls town and browsing the local markets, as well as experiencing some of the exhilarating adventure activities on offer here. Optional activities (own expense) available at Vic Falls, the adrenalin capital of Africa, include white water rafting on the Zambezi, bungee jumping, micro lighting, airplane or helicopter flights over Victoria Falls, bush walks and trips to Livingstone Island and Devil's Pool.
We spend the last night on this budget safari at a comfortable hotel in Victoria Falls.
This diverse Southern African Safari Adventure ends after breakfast in Victoria Falls town, Zimbabwe.
This Cape Town to Victoria Falls Southern African Safari Adventure is also available in the reverse order, starting at Victoria Falls and ending in Cape Town. See - 21 Day Southern African Safari Adventure due South
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.