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This diverse three-week African Camping Safari begins in Cape Town, one of the world's most beautiful cities, and ends at the Victoria Falls, one of the seven wonders of the world.
We journey through arresting landscapes and top game parks including the fertile Cederberg Mountains, the impressive Fish River Canyon, towering dunes in the Namib Desert, wildlife-rich Etosha National Park, winding waterways and tranquil lagoons in the Okavango Delta, floodplains of Chobe National Park, and finally the adventure capital of Africa, Victoria Falls.
This Cape to Vic Falls via Namibia Overland Camping Safari has it all!
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.
Meet up in Cape Town on day one of this Overland Camping Safari and set off on a township tour.
Leaving the modern city behind we head into one of the informal settlements, also known as townships or locations. These were formerly segregated areas reserved for non-white people, forced to move into underdeveloped zones on the outskirts of cities. Although this enforced racial segregation fell away when Apartheid ended, the legacy still remains, with masses of poor and previously disadvantaged people still living in these settlements today. Our township tour offers insight into the distinctive culture of these often vibrant areas and the way of life for many communities.
After our township tour we leave the greater Cape Town area, travelling to Table Bay on the Atlantic Ocean. We stop in Table Bay to take some iconic photos of Table Mountain and Cape Town city in the distance before continuing north. We drive into scenic countryside passing through the ‘bread basket’ and farmlands of South Africa. After traversing Piketberg Pass, we descend into the valley of Olifants River, a lush area planted with orchards of fruit trees.
We spend the night camping under starry skies in the beautiful Cederberg Mountain region, at a spot looking out over the vineyards and mountains. This afternoon you can walk in the vineyards and we do some wine tasting to experience the Western Cape's fine vintages.
We keep driving north today, heading into the dry Namaqualand area, where hills make way for open fields of shrubland. Travelling through the heathlands we see the indigenous fynbos vegetation the Western Cape is famous for, encountering succulents and hardy shrubs. The gorgeous Namaqualand wildflowers can be seen here in spring, carpeting the landscape in brightly coloured daisies and other wild flowers. Reaching the tiny town of Springbok, we top up on supplies before driving into the desert mountains of the Richtersveld in the Northern Cape.
The Orange River, now called the Gariep River, is our destination for the day. We camp beside the river in this remote area, spending the night under the stars along this natural border between South Africa and Namibia.
This morning we embark on a canoe trip along the Orange River. Canoeing along the Orange River is an amazing way to take in the rugged scenery, and spot birds and animals along the peaceful river. The half-day paddle flows with the current, making it an easy activity. Alternatively you can relax at the camp until lunch time when the canoe party returns.
In the afternoon we cross the border into Namibia covering the short distance to the mighty Fish River Canyon. This is one of the biggest canyons in the world, some say second only to the Grand Canyon. Skirting the eastern rim of this massive fissure we look out over the spectacular canyon and dramatic arid lands.
Day four starts early, as we set off north into the Namib Desert, Namibia's most famous destination. We make our way to the Namib-Naukluft National Park, which incorporates large swathes of the Namib Desert. Here we venture into the ancient desert to see the towering Sossusvlei Dunes, some of the tallest sand dunes in the world. To see the red-orange sea of dunes stretching out to the horizon, we climb up a dune at Sossusvlei.
Tonight we camp at Sesriem, a small settlement that serves as the main access point for travel into the Namib Desert of Namibia. Watching the colours change as the sun sets over the desert, we sit back and marvel at the incredible blanket of stars that emerge at night.
Today we explore the Namib-Naukluft National Park reaching the classic Dune 45, in time for a captivating sunrise from the top.
Then we take the shuttle to the parking area near Sossusvlei, walking to the salt pan from there. The stark setting of Sossusvlei will stay with you forever - a striking landscape of cracked white earth, dotted with skeletal dead trees and surrounded by vivid ochre dunes. We spend some time in this surreal landscape taking advantage of the stunning photographic opportunities, before walking back to the shuttle and returning to camp.
After breakfast we continue north-west, crossing the Tropic of Capricorn on our way to the chilly Atlantic Ocean. We drive via Walvis Bay, known for its lagoon which attracts an array of birds.
Our destination for the day is Swakopmund, the top beach holiday spot in Namibia thanks to its coastal location and mild climate. When we arrive in the charming town your guide will give you a rundown on the activities available in Swakopmund, dubbed the adventure capital of Namibia.
For the next two nights we sleep in dormitories instead of camping, with the option of upgrading to a private room (if available) for an extra bit of luxury. You can spend your evenings eating out and enjoying the local nightlife.
It's time for some thrilling adventure activities, or if you prefer, some laid-back fun.
Starting with the adrenalin pumping stuff, you can go skydiving for the ultimate rush or race off over the dunes on a quad bike. Sand boarding is another hot favourite in Swakopmund, as well as unforgettable scenic flights over the desert. Back down on the ground you can go horseriding along the coast or play some golf, or if you prefer the water there are dolphin cruises, fishing excurions and more.
Alternatively, you can experience local arts, culture and crafts, get up to speed on some history, walk along the beach and do some sightseeing in Swakopmund town. Swakopmund is an unusual African town, given its German influences which still run strong despite the passing of the colonial era. When you walk around the town you will see German architecture, and come across European-style cafes and restaurants where you can try some German specialties.
Some travellers may wrap-up their safari in Swakopmund, while new companions often join us for the rest of the trip.
On day eight we move on from Swakopmund, travelling up to the Spitzkoppe, one of the most recognizable landmarks of Namibia. Driving inland across the arid plains we reach the dramatic Spitzkoppe, a rocky mountain rising 1728 m above the flats of Damaraland. We walk around Spitzkoppe stopping to see the old San rock paintings and take in the sweeping views.
Then we drive to our camp at the granite mountain of Brandberg, Namibia's highest mountain.
Travelling further north into the Kunene region we head towards Etosha National Park. Our overnight stop is at a private game farm, located near Anderson Gate, the main entrance to Etosha Park. We camp at the farm guest house, looking out for resident wildlife including a variety of antelopes, wildebeest, zebra, ostriches and more birds.
Today we will go game viewing in Etosha National Park, the leading safari destination in Namibia.
Covering 20 000 km² of wilderness dominated by the Etosha Pan, this national park is considered one of Africa's top game viewing spots. And for good reason, Etosha is home to an impressive diversity of wild animals, birds, reptiles and other creatures. We go in search of wildlife in the southern part of the park, taking a game drive after lunch when the heat subsides.
Returning to our camp just outside of the game park we relax at the poolside and have sundowners on the deck, or in the offbeat bar.
On day 11 we head back into the bush for more game viewing in Etosha National Park, visiting watering holes that serve as animal and bird magnets, along the way. Look out for elephants, zebras, rhinos, wildebeest, giraffes, kudus and other antelopes as well as predators, such as jackals, hyenas and lions.
We drive across the park to the Namutoni Camp further north, passing through changing vegetation zones and terrains supporting different types of life. After dinner at camp you can enjoy game viewing at the floodlit waterhole watching the nocturnal creatures emerge.
After breakfast we set off on a game drive that leads us out of Etosha National Park.
Driving south we head to Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia. This afternoon there is time to enjoy some sightseeing in the charming, small city. View the old German architecture from colonial times, visit historical attractions, enjoy top-notch cuisine, do some shopping and sample the nightlife of Windhoek.
Back on the road, we drive east through sparsely populated Namibia and across into the remote Kalahari Desert region of western Botswana.
We spend the night in the small town of Ghanzi, in the middle of semi-arid Kalahari. Here you can meet the local San (Bushmen) people on optional activities - interacting with this ancient ethnic group and finding out more about their disappearing way of life.
Our next stop is the safari town of Maun, primarily serving as a springboard for safaris into the Okavango Delta. We camp near Maun, getting ready for our trip into the Delta. Tomorrow we will be going into the Okavango Delta, one of the wildest and most magificent wilderness areas on earth. Your guide will tell you more about the delta trip and give you some pointers tonight. Bring a day bag or small backpack for this excursion into the bush.
This morning we drive from Maun to the starting point of our mokoro trip into the Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world.
Local guides will pole the traditional-style canoes along the tranquil channels and lagoons of the wetland, taking us to our camp in the wild. We spend one night immersed in nature, exploring the Okavango Delta on foot and by mokoro with the local guides. You can go on nature walks to appreciate the unique flora and fauna of the natural gem, take a dip in one of the cool waterways and unwind in this natural haven.
The remote camp is a great place to relax and soak up the sights and sounds of this peaceful place. You can take a walk with the guides, who will share their in-depth knowledge of local flora and fauna with you, showing you animal tracks and interesting sightings in the bush.
You can also try poling a mokoro yourself, standing up in the dug-out as you try to maintain your balance, and probably end up taking a swim. The evening is spent sitting around the campfire chatting with the guides and your companions, after dinner.
Wake up in the spectacular Okavango Delta, far from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. There is time for one more walk in the pristine delta before we pack up and leave the delta by mokoro. Transferring back into the vehicles we return to the camp near Maun.
This afternoon an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta is highly recommended. The flight, done at extra cost, takes you over the vast delta to admire the richness and vastness of this natural phenomenon.
Today we drive through largely uninhabited rural Botswana to our next camp, located on a private wildlife concession near Nata.
At camp you can sit back with a drink and watch for elephants and other wildlife at the waterhole, or you can embark on an optional game drive or guided walk on the conservancy. Your guide will tell you more about the optional game drive and bush walk on the road.
Today we head for Kasane in north-eastern Botswana. We camp along the Chobe River, watching the sunset and keeping our eyes open for wild animals, including hippos, antelopes, and even elephants, along with birds. Tomorrow we will explore one of Africa's leading game parks, the nearby Chobe National Park!
A leisurely start to the day gives you time to lie-in, see the town of Kasane and relax on the banks of the river.
Then we set off into Chobe National Park taking a game drive to our camp for the night. Camping in the bush tonight is a rare and wonderful experience, sleeping out in nature where wildlife roams freely. The plains, gentle hills and riverbanks of Chobe Park are home to an abundance of animals and birds. Chobe is famous for its huge elephant herds and is also an excellent place for birdwatching.
Tonight we fall asleep in the middle of the African bush, listening to the sounds of wildlife and nocturnal birds.
We wake up early to the sound of birds, surrounded by nature. Then we are off on an exciting game drive in Chobe National Park, looking out for buffalo, sable and roan antelopes, lions and many other animals, and the birds.
After our game drive we pack up and return to the camp at Kasane, where we hop back on the safari truck and drive to our next highlight - Victoria Falls. We get the border formalities done and cross into Zimbabwe, soon arriving at Vic Falls. Our campsite is in the heart of Victoria Falls town, giving us easy access to all the amenities, restaurants and activity booking agents in town. Arriving at this once dusty colonial outpost your guide will fill you in on the best things to do at Victoria Falls. The now bustling town is the base for accessing a host of thrilling activities on offer at Victoria Falls, considered the Adventure Capital of Africa.
This afternoon we visit the magnificent Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world! Seeing this massive waterfall, hearing its crashing waters and feeling the cloud of mist it sends up is a once-in-a-lifetime experience in itself.
Last day on safari, have breakfast at the camp and then it is time to say goodbye to your travel companions and guides, bringing this Cape to Vic Falls via Namibia Overland Camping Safari to a close.
Spending a few extra days in Victoria Falls, is highly recommended, to give you time for more activities and to explore further. Embark on excursions to Livingstone Island, Devil's Pool, Victoria Falls National Park and the Victoria Falls Bridge, which you can bungee jump off for a thrill. Go abseiling, zip-line riding, or white water rafting and take a flight over Victoria Falls (plane, micro-light or helicopter).
If you prefer fixed accommodation to camping there is an accommodation upgrade available for this tour. Please see the Full Pricing information above for details.
The Cape Town to Victoria Falls Safari starts in Cape Town, South Africa and travels north through South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, ending at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. This African Camping Trip departs early on Sunday mornings. We recommend that you arrive a few days early to explore Cape Town and spend some extra time at Vic Falls after the safari - accommodation can be booked through African Budget Safaris.
This itinerary should be used as a guide only and may vary from day to day depending on road & weather conditions, political situations and group decisions. All prices & Local Payments are subject to change. Due to Tourism Laws in some of the countries we visit, there may be a truck and crew change during the trip.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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