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A comprehensive camping trip to top destinations in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. This scenic, cultural and wildlife trip starts in Cape Town and ends in Johannesburg, South Africa.
First, this camping safari travels to South Africa's Cederberg region, then we camp on the banks of the Orange River before viewing the Fish River Canyon in Namibia. Explore the Namib Desert next, where highlights include Sossusvlei Dunes and Deadvlei in the Namib-Naukluft National Park and continue to coastal Swakopmund. Visit Spitzkoppe and Brandberg, viewing ancient San rock art, before game viewing in the famous Etosha National Park, then heading to Windhoek.
Cross into Botswana, encountering the San people and walking in the Kalahari Desert with them. From there, travel to Maun and venture into the untamed Okavango Delta for the wilderness experience of a lifetime. Continue east via the fringes of Makgadigadi Pans to Nata and then on to Chobe National Park which we explore on a 4x4 game drive and sunset boat cruise. Go see the mighty Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe, and enjoy optional adventure activities, before driving back through Botswana into South Africa.
Lastly, we explore the world-renowned Kruger National Park where we go in search of Africa's Big 5 and the abundance of other wildlife found in this vast game park.
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 Cape Town to Kruger Park Camping Tour departs from the picturesque city of Cape Town, stopping at Table View to photograph or simply admire the panoramic views of the city and Table Mountain from afar.
From Cape Town, we drive northeast to the picturesque Cederberg Region of the Western Cape, passing quaint farmstalls and fertile farmlands along the way. Known for its rugged mountains, verdant valleys and citrus farms, the Cederberg is named after the endangered Clanwilliam Cedar tree, endemic to this part of South Africa. The Cederberg is also famous for the indigenous rooibos plants that only grow here, and are used to make a hugely popular, health tea.
Arriving in the Cederberg we visit a rooibos tea farm to see these indigenous tea plants as well as buchu plants, also used to make herbal tea. After visiting the rooibos farm we head to our first overnight lodge in the scenic Olifants River Valley, where we relax and enjoy dinner. After dinner, your guides will give you a full tour briefing. Our campsite is on a farm near the town of Citrusdal and features shared ablutions and a pool.
This safari comes with an optional Activity Package at an additional cost. The itinerary includes these highly-recommended activities. Contact African Budget Safaris for a detailed breakdown of what is included in the Activity Package and see the Full Pricing Information above for the cost of the Activity Package.
On day two, we travel through the arid Namaqualand region of South Africa. This sparsely-populated region is famous for its abundance of colourful indigenous wildflowers in spring (July to September) and its open landscapes offer a glimpse of the vast vistas ahead.
We stop in the remote town of Springbok for last minute supplies before crossing into Namibia and heading to our campsite set on the banks of the Gariep River, which forms the border between South Africa and Namibia. The night is spent getting to know one another over a hearty meal under the starry African sky beside the former Orange River.
In the morning we have the opportunity to experience South Africa's longest river, the Gariep (Orange) River by canoe, or spend some time relaxing at the riverside camp. Letting the current carry us along, this is a gentle paddle down the river. Canoeing along the Gariep is the ideal way to take in the rugged scenery and spot birds and animals along the river.
At about noon we set off north towards the mighty Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world. We make our way to the Ai-Ais Hot Springs where we pause for a quick dip in the mineral springs before proceeding to our overnight camp close to the Fish River Canyon.
On day four we get up early to visit the geological gem of the Fish River Canyon. We stroll along the rim of this massive canyon admiring the spectacular views in the glowing morning light. After capturing photos of the incredible canyon and soaking up the dramatic scenery we proceed west to Keetmanshoop.
This afternoon we visit the Quiver Tree Forest and Giants Playground near Keetmanshoop. Some 250 quiver trees constitute this forest, declared a national monument in 1995. The quiver tree forest includes specimens between 200 and 300 years old making it an important ecological site. Giants playground is a bizarre landscape strewn with unusual stacks of large dolerite boulders about 160 to 180 million years old.
This morning we set off on our long drive into the sandy Namib Desert area of Namibia. Today takes us through shifting scenes of seemingly-deserted plains, farmlands and desert habitats revealing the sheer scale of Namibia's open landscapes.
Tonight we camp in the desert near the Namib-Naukluft National Park, experiencing the vast star-studded skies and deep silences of the Namib Desert, occasionally interrupted by jackal calls and the barking of geckos. The Namib-Naukluft National Park, one of Namibia’s geographic gems, is said to be amongst Africa's largest game parks. The national park incorporates large parts of the Namib Desert, considered the world's oldest desert.
Facilities at our desert camp include drinkable water, a bar, a swimming pool, hot showers, shared ablutions and a shop.
Today we rise early to hike up Dune 45 in time for a spectacular desert sunrise over the endless dunes. The hike up this well-known dune is relatively easy and well worth it, for the panoramic views and excellent photographic opportunities from the top. Back at the bottom of the dune, we have a hearty breakfast in the desert.
Then we take a 4x4 transfer to the famous Sossusvlei Dunes to see the towering, red-orange sand dunes of its remarkable landscapes. We spend time exploring Sossusvlei and Deadvlei on foot, soaking up the contrasting scenery of the stark pans scattered with dead trees.
From the sea of tall red dunes, we return to our overnight camp with hot showers in the shared ablutions, a pool and a bar.
On day seven of our Cape to Kruger Tour, an expert local guide takes us on a nature walk in the unique desert habitat as part of the Activity Package. Exploring on foot, our local guide will share his detailed knowledge of the ancient Namib Desert area with us. On this guided nature walk, we discover how the San (Bushmen) have long survived in the arid deserts of Southern Africa.
Then it is time to leave the ochre sands of the Namib behind, crossing the Tropic of Capricorn en route to the Atlantic coastline of Namibia. Reaching the coast we stop at Walvis Bay where many waterbirds gather, including flamingos, in season. Then it’s on to Swakopmund, the adventure capital of Namibia, where you will be briefed on the many optional activities available for the next day.
In the evening you can enjoy some excellent seafood at a local restaurant as well as the vibrant local nightlife. Our Swakopmund accommodation is in twin rooms with en-suite bathrooms at a guest lodge, featuring a bar and internet.
Today is free for you to explore the quaint town of Swakopmund, where strong colonial and contemporary German influences can be seen.
Located along the rugged shores of the icy Atlantic with the sandy desert surrounding it, Swakopmund offers an exciting mix of activities. Today you can try one or two of the many adventure activities available in this popular coastal town. Take a quad bike ride over the dunes, try sandboarding, go skydiving or take a cruise to see dolphins along the coast of Swakopmund. We spend another night at the friendly guesthouse in Swakopmund.
Leaving Swakopmund we drive to Brandberg Mountain via Spitzkoppe. Our journey takes us along the rocky Skeleton Coast - a treacherous stretch of coastline littered with shipwrecks, into the former Damaraland region.
Along the way, we stop to explore Spitzkoppe, also called the Matterhorn of Namibia. The dramatic exposed granite peaks of Spitzkoppe form one of the most iconic landmarks of Namibia rising up to 700 metres above the surrounding plains. We join a local guide for a walk in the impressive Spitkoppe massif to view San rock art and find out more about the traditional San. After our guided walk, we proceed to Brandberg Mountain and our overnight camp near Namibia's tallest mountain.
On the morning of day 10, we head out on a short hike to the famous White Lady rock painting of Brandberg. Our walk takes us through rugged terrain, along the typically dry Tsisab River gorge. After walking for about an hour we reach the well-known rock painting created by the San around 2000 years ago. This is one of over 45000 rock paintings scattered across the Brandberg area.
After our short hike, we leave Brandberg which translates as 'burning mountain', so-named for the way its granite face sometimes glows brightly at sunset. Driving north we make our way to the Kamanjab area in the remote and sparsely-populated Kunene Region.
On day 11 we make our way to Etosha National Park for some superb game viewing on the outskirts of Etosha Pan. The 22 000 km² Etosha Park is dominated by the salt pan after which the park is named. The word Etosha means ‘Great White Place of Dry Water’ in the local Ovambo language. Etosha's sparse vegetation improves the chances of sighting wildlife as the animals are less hidden in the bush.
Our game drives are conducted in the safari truck which gives us a raised view out over the plains. We visit waterholes in search of the wild animals that come to drink at these sites, as well as exploring as much as we can of Etosha. Etosha Park is home to a variety of animals, plants and birds and is known as a top safari destination in Africa. Etosha hosts some rare and endangered species, including unusual desert species. We will have plenty to see on our game drives in this vast park inhabited by 144 mammal species such as elephant, giraffe, blue wildebeest, eland, Damara dik-dik, lion, cheetah, leopard, wildcat, hyena, and jackal. As well as being home to 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and even a species of fish.
You also have the option of embarking on night game drives on either of the nights in Etosha Park. We camp inside the game park, at Okaukuejo, Halali or Namutoni camp - all of which boast floodlit waterholes where wild animals can be spotted at night. Each overnight camp features a variety of facilities including a bar, swimming pool and shop.
Enjoy a final early morning game drive as we leave Etosha Park and make our way to Namibia's capital city, Windhoek. Upon arrival in Windhoek, we take a short walking tour of the city centre to see its major landmarks and main attractions. Tonight you have the chance to try game meat at Windhoek’s most famous eatery, Joe’s Beer House, and stop in at a German-style pub. We spend the night in en-suite rooms at a lodge on a small game farm outside of the city.
Departing from Windhoek we travel east through Namibia, crossing into the Kalahari Desert region of Botswana. From the border we drive through the rural countryside of Botswana, dotted with villages and roaming livestock.
Later we arrive at our lodge in Ghanzi, and this evening we experience some traditional tribal dancing by the San community. The traditional San (Bushman) people are the original inhabitants of Southern Africa having lived in the area for over 30 000 years, surviving the harsh conditions as hunter-gatherers.
Tonight our camp offers hot showers in the shared ablutions and a bar, just north of Ghanzi.
This morning we head out on a nature walk with the Kalahari San of the Ghanzi area. The guided walk with the local San is a rare and unusual cultural encounter, revealing the fascinating survival techniques and ancient stories of Southern Africa's oldest tribe.
After exploring the Kalahari on foot we drive north-east to Maun, the gateway to the pristine Okavango Delta of Botswana. The Okavango River has no outlet to the sea, emptying into the sands of the Kalahari Desert and irrigating some 15,000 km² of land, forming the largest inland delta in the world. Arriving in Maun, clients taking the Upgraded Two-night Delta Trip are transferred into the Okavango Delta. The upgrade entails driving to a remote camp which serves as the base for exploring the Okavango Delta (inquire for more details) on walks and boat trips.
Those not taking the Upgraded Two-night Delta Trip have the option of enjoying a scenic flight over the Okavango Delta this afternoon (time and weather permitting) at extra cost. The scenic flights are perfect for getting a sense of the size and wildness of the Delta, offering expansive aerial views of this unique natural wonder. Clients opting out of the upgrade spend the next two nights in Maun, embarking on a mokoro day trip in the Okavango Delta the next day.
On day 16, we are up early for our full day of exploring the Okavango Delta in dug-out canoes (mekoros). We set off for the delta early this morning in our safari vehicle, heading to a polers' station about an hour from the lodge. At the polers' station, we meet our local guides and board the traditional-style mekoros. Gliding along the reed-lined channels and tranquil lagoons dotted with lilypads is the ideal way to experience the tranquil Okavango Delta environment.
Sit back and soak up the wild scenery from your mekoros poled through the waters by local guides. Get a close-up look at the unique flora and fauna of the Okavango Delta as we move along slowly and quietly. Stopping at one of the delta islands, you can take a nature walk with your local guide. The bush walk gives you a chance to learn about the fascinating plants and creatures encountered, looking out for signs of wildlife. The mokoro excursion is not primarily aimed at viewing big game; it is more about experiencing the beauty of the wild delta. However, we may come across some wildlife including elephants, giraffes, zebras and antelopes like kudu and impala.
After the nature walk, your guide poles you back to the polers' station for the return road transfer to the camp in Maun.
This morning those who opted for the Two-night Delta Excursion Upgrade wake up in the Delta again and enjoy breakfast before driving back to Maun. Then we all board our safari truck, leaving Maun for Nata, on the fringes of the famous Makgadikgadi Salt Pans of Botswana. On our way east we see big old baobab trees and snippets of the massive salt pan system, passing through parts of Nxai Pans and Makgadigadi National Park where we may come across roaming wildlife.
This afternoon the Activity Package includes a game drive in Nata Sanctuary to experience the vast spaciousness and silence out on this flat expanse. The Nata Pans are part of the extensive network of Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, once covered by massive inland lakes. This salt pan complex is one of the largest in the world and in winter the pans are dry and stark, whilst in summer short grasses and shallow pools attract an array of animals and birds. Nata is a breeding ground for waterbirds including pelicans and flamingoes so we may see flocks of these in season.
Today we continue north through rural Botswana on our way to Kasane, in the far northeastern corner of Botswana. Reaching Kasane we head to our safari camp, located along the Chobe River a few kilometres from Chobe National Park. Our camp with shared ablutions is set up at the lodge, overlooking the Chobekilometres surrounding bush, and features a restaurant, bar and swimming pool.
Chobe Park is the second largest national park in Botswana, encompassing diverse habitats from lush plains and wooded grasslands to dense forests and swamps. We have lunch at the safari truck and set off into Chobe National Park on a 4x4 game drive, going in search of the elephants and other wildlife drawn to the river.
Later this afternoon we set off on a Chobe River sunset cruise in the Chobe National Park, renowned for its huge population of migratory elephants and large buffalo herds. From the water, we get up close to plenty of wild animals such as hippos, buffalos, antelopes and elephants making for excellent photographic opportunities. The sunset boat cruise also offers outstanding bird watching!
This morning we cross into Zimbabwe and travel to Victoria Falls town. Visiting the much-anticipated Victoria Falls is highly recommended!
Victoria Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Vic Falls is considered the largest sheet of falling water in the world at 1700m wide and over 100m high. The local name for the Falls is Mosi-oa-Tunya meaning 'The Smoke that Thunders', which you will be able to fully appreciate when you witness the impressive spray rising up from the waterfall as it roars into the gorge below.
In the afternoon you can embark on an optional adventure activity or relax at the hotel and explore the historic town of Victoria Falls. Tonight we eat out (optional extra) in Victoria Falls town and your guide tells you more about the activities available here, helping you to choose and book activities for tomorrow. We stay in twin rooms with en-suite bathrooms that have hot showers, at a hotel in Victoria Falls. The hotel has a swimming pool, bar, restaurant and laundry services.
Most people spend the day participating in a few of the thrilling adventure activities available at Victoria Falls. There are also tamer things to do at Vic Falls, including exploring the historic town, watching the activity from a coffee shop, taking a tram ride or visiting a local village.
This part of the Zambezi River is famous for offering some of the best whitewater rafting in the world, an unforgettable experience! Other optional adventures include helicopter and microlight flights over Vic Falls, zip-line rides in Batoka Gorge, trips to Livingstone Island and bungee jumping from Victoria Falls Bridge.
Leaving the magnificent Victoria Falls early in the morning, we drive south through Botswana to Francistown. We overnight at a pretty camp just outside of Francistown in central Botswana, enjoying the pool at this lovely spot.
In the morning, we set off early along the Great North Road to our next stop - the dynamic city of Johannesburg.
We travel south through the changing landscapes of northern South Africa, passing from open bushveld dotted with giant baobabs to fields of citrus and maize and then into the densely populated and industrialised Highveld and Gauteng Province, the economic powerhouse of southern Africa. Along the way, we pass through Pretoria, South Africa’s administrative capital city, known as Jacaranda city because of the lovely Jacaranda trees growing here. Our Cape to Kruger Camping Safari arrives in bustling Johannesburg, the City of Gold, in the late afternoon.
Tonight you are invited to join a traditional South African style barbecue, called a braai, at the lodge. This optional braai can be booked through your guide on the previous day.
This Cape to Kruger Budget Safari adventure departs from Johannesburg early in the morning, heading east to Kruger National Park via the scenic Mpumalanga Province of South Africa.
Our next destination is the world-renowned Kruger National Park, one of Africa's top game parks. We stay at a safari camp located in a private wildlife concession area within the Kruger National Park. After settling in at camp we embark on a sunset game drive (included in the Activity Package) in the concession area, looking out for the Big Five and other wildlife. This evening we enjoy dinner around the glowing campfire under a blanket of stars.
Today we explore Kruger National Park, which covers almost 2 million hectares of South African Lowveld. Our full day of game viewing takes us in search of the abundance of wildlife, including the Big Five of Africa (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo), found in this vast wilderness area. Kruger protects an unrivalled diversity of plant and animal species, including around 336 tree species, 49 fish species, 34 amphibian species, 114 species of reptiles, 507 bird and 147 mammal species.
The Activity Package includes a whole day of 4x4 game drives in open safari vehicles - a great way to take in the sights, sounds and smells of nature. The open 4x4 vehicles are designed to offer excellent visibility and better photographic opportunities than enclosed tour vehicles. Returning to camp in the mid-afternoon we set off on a sunset game drive with sundowners (included in Activity Package). For those that opted not to take the Activity Package a full-day game drive in the safari truck is included in the tour price. Our elevated safari truck offers clear views out over the game park, improving your chances of sighting game and big cats that would otherwise be hidden in the bush.
Our rewarding game drive in this massive wildlife area is followed by a relaxing night at the safari camp inside Kruger.
Day 25 kicks off with an early morning bush walk in Kruger Park. Venturing into the bush on foot provides a closer look at the plants, smaller creatures and signs of animal life. Walking in the bush is also an exhilarating experience as we may come across big wildlife species at any moment.
After our thrilling game walk, we visit the Panorama Route. We journey through the rugged northern Drakensberg mountain range, passing through one of the most beautiful parts of South Africa. Along the way, we stop to admire the sweeping views of the impressive Blyde River Canyon from God's Window viewpoint. We also stop to take in the stunning views of the Three Rondavels and Bourke’s Luck Potholes formations in Blyde River Canyon.
This evening we enjoy a local dance performance and dinner around the flickering campfire.
On the last morning, we head into Kruger Park for one more game drive - a final chance to spot wildlife in the African bush.
After our final game drive in the safari truck, we travel back to the vibrant city of Johannesburg, where this affordable Cape Town to Kruger Park Safari comes to an end. Most tour groups choose to enjoy dinner together, either at a local restaurant or the post-tour lodge which offers a traditional braai (barbecue) that can be booked through your guide on day 25.
On the Upgraded Delta Trip, our intimate delta camp is located inside a 100 000 hectare private concession area, offering a unique delta experience. The secluded camp looks out over peaceful delta waterways, blending in with the wild African bush around it.
What makes this exclusive camp particularly special is that it only caters for one group of travellers at a time, so you will only share your delta adventure with your fellow safari-goers. Exploring this private delta concession with our experienced guides, you won't come across other groups, allowing you to escape the crowds. This laid-back camp is located in the remote northern section of the delta, in a game-rich wilderness area attracting buffalo herds and other wild animals, as well as a wide array of birds.
Stay in pre-erected dome tents fitted with camping beds and mattresses, at this bush camp with a low environmental impact on the wilderness. The camp features ablution facilities with hot showers, a bar and lounge area, a plunge pool and a spacious, open-sided boma with kitchen facilities. The camp is ideal for immersing yourself in nature, listening to the sounds of wildlife and getting close to nature. Activities offered at the Delta camp include game drives, bush walks, mokoro trips, sunset boat cruises and sundowners on one of the islands, and boma dinners.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
A fantastic adrenalin and adventure filled few days in beautiful Cape Town. From the thrill of diving with Great White Sharks to the bliss of exploring the scenic Cape Wine Route, staying in a comfortable guesthouse!
An amazing 4-day city package including an airport transfer, 3 nights B&B accommodation at Sweetest Guesthouses, a half-day city tour and a full-day Cape Peninsula tour - an unforgettable introduction to beautiful Cape Town.
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