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This comprehensive three-week trip departs from Victoria Falls and ends in Cape Town, combining some of Africa's top destinations.
We travel through diverse landscapes - each beautiful in its own right - including tranquil lagoons, open grasslands, stark deserts and towering dunes, deep canyons and lush farmlands.
Highlights of the tour include a night camping wild in Chobe National Park under the stars, a bush camping trip into the pristine Okavango Delta in Botswana, game watching in Namibia's Etosha National Park and climbing giant sand dunes at Sossusvlei. There are also plenty of optional activities to enjoy, from white water rafting on the Zambezi River to quad-biking in the desert.
This Victoria Falls to Cape Town Overland Camping Safari has it all covered!
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 first day of this Victoria Falls to Cape Town Overland Camping Safari is spent getting into holiday mode and making the most of all the adventure activities available at Victoria Falls.
First we visit the natural wonder of Victoria Falls waterfall, viewing the falls from the Victoria Falls National Park, which has plenty of viewing points. Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) is a World Heritage Site, as the world's largest sheet of falling water at 1700 m wide and about 100 m high. An awesome and memorable sight on any African Safari!
Our campsite is in the centre of Victoria Falls town, within walking distance of the local restaurants, shops and booking agents for adventure activities. You can take scenic flights over Vic Falls in a fixed-wing plane, microlight or helicopter, trips to Livingstone Island, horseback safaris and sunset boat cruises. Adrenalin junkies can bungee jump from the Victoria Falls Bridge, or abseil down the Batoka Gorge! White water rafting on the Zambezi River is world-class, with grade 5 rapids and quiet sections for admiring the towering cliffs and occasional wildlife on the riverbanks.
After breakfast we depart from Victoria Falls crossing into Botswana and making our way to Kasane, on the banks of the Chobe River. Explore the town before lunch, then we prepare for our overnight trip in Chobe National Park. In the afternoon we set off into the wilderness of Botswana for a night of camping out in Chobe National Park, regarded as one of Africa's top safari destinations.
Entering Chobe Park we enjoy a game drive as we head to our bush camp, looking out for the Big Five and other rare and interesting animals. Lion, buffalo, zebra, crocodile and hyena are commonly sighted along with the ubiquitous elephant, hippo and impala. We may also see leopard, cheetah, fox, serval, African wild dog and various antelope species, including puku, red lechwe, sable, roan and bushbuck.
Following our memorable night in the bush, we embark on a early morning game viewing drive in Chobe Park, before packing up the safari camp and driving back north to Kasane. Back at our camp along Chobe River, the natural border between Botswana, Namibia and Zambia, you have time to unwind. Enjoy some bird watching and keep your eyes and ears open for hippos.
You have the option (extra cost) of taking a relaxing boat cruise along Chobe River, the major source of water in Chobe National Park. This laid-back cruise is ideal for wildlife watching, bird spotting and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
On day four we head to the the safari town of Maun, just south of the Okavango Delta. This massive estuarine system is unique to Southern Africa, being the biggest inland delta on the planet.
Tonight we camp near Maun, getting ready for our wild camping trip into the delta. Your guide will brief you on what to expect on the delta adventure and what to take along in your overnight bag.
This morning we drive north to the fringes of the Okavango Delta where we switch to traditional-style canoes. Local guides use long poles to move us through the tranquil channels standing in the mekoros like gondoliers. We glide along the reed-lined waterways for a couple of hours, before arriving at our mobile tented camp deep in the delta.
A local team of staff hosts you at the tented camp, showing you around the camp when you arrive. We stay in dome tents with twin beds and basic en-suite bathrooms (long drop toilet and a bucket shower).
Relax at the rustic camp where you can spot birds and soak up the peace, or head off on a gentle mokoro ride or nature walk to see the unique flora and fauna up close. The Okavango Delta is one of the last truly wild places left on earth, hosting an incredible diversity of life forms.
This evening we sit around the campfire chatting with the local guides and listening to the night sounds of the delta.
In the morning you can venture into the bush on foot, watching for birds and wildlife, before we pack up and leave the delta camp. Gliding through the delta channels we return to the vehicles for our drive back to Maun.
Back in Maun you have time to freshen up and rest, with the option of taking a scenic flight in the afternoon. The optional flight provides beautiful views over the network of waterways flowing across the plains, giving you a chance to sight animals from the sky and see just how big this unique natural wonder is.
On day seven we drive southwest through Botswana, towards the border with Namibia. Our next stop is the small town of Ghanzi, located deep in the Kalahari Desert region of western Botswana.
This semi-arid region is home to descendants of the oldest inhabitants of Southern Africa - the Kalahari San, also known as Bushmen. You have the option of taking a cultural excursion to meet the local San and discover how they have adapted and survived in this inhospitable desert terrain over tens of thousands of years.
Today we set off into the rural hinterland, passing remote towns on our drive into Namibia. In the late afternoon we arrive in Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia, situated in the middle of the country, on the central plateau of the Khomas Highlands.
Windhoek is a small city by international standards, but an interesting and pleasant place to visit, as the cultural, economic and political heart of the country. Walk around the city and do some sightseeing and shopping, before enjoying an optional dinner out at one of the many excellent restaurants here.
Today we head to the northern part of Namibia and our next game viewing destination - the Etosha National Park. Covering more than 22 000 km² Etosha encompasses open plains and barren salt pans, dotted with watering holes where wild animals congregate.
Driving through the vast Etosha Park we are sure to encounter all kinds of African wildlife and birds in this dramatic landscape. Common sightings include elephants, zebra, giraffes and many antelope species, including the distinctive oryx, along with a variety of predators, including lions and hyenas.
Tonight you can visit the floodlit waterhole at camp to watch nocturnal animals coming out to drink.
On day 10 we embark on game drives in Etosha Park, counted as one of Africa's finest wildlife havens. The national park is known for its excellent game sightings at the watering holes and its stark scenery, especially at the Etosha Pan. The arid salt pans cover a large part of Etosha, stretching out in flat expanses where mirages rise up in the heat. We cross the game park, travelling through changing vegetation and seeing different animals and birds as we go.
After our game drives we exit Etosha National Park heading to our camp near the Anderson gate. We overnight just outside of Etosha, on a game farm. After a dip in the pool and settling in, we have dinner and unwind at the bar.
Today we take it easy at the guest house, relax at the pool and enjoy the private game reserve setting.
Alternatively you can take an optional game drive in Etosha Park with experienced guides from the camp. Options include morning, afternoon and full day game drives in open-sided safari vehicles.
Today we travel into the Kunene region of Namibia, best known for its flat desert plains and rocky outcrops and hills, hosting ancient San rock art. We drive to the highest mountain in Namibia, Brandberg, passing through the surreal landscapes of Damaraland.
Arriving at our camp near the base of Brandberg Mountain we take a walk, if time allows, and settle down for a night under starry skies.
This morning our Victoria Falls to Cape Town Overland Camping Safari takes us to one of Namibia's most famous landmarks, Spitzkoppe. This massive geological feature rises up 1728 m above the surrounding plains and hosts sacred sites of the San. Pausing at Spitzkoppe we set off on foot to see some of the famous rock art and look out over the expanse of wild terrain.
Our destination for the day is Swakopmund, the most popular summer holiday spot in Namibia. The guide will give you an overview of the variety of activities available in Swakopmund when we arrive. We sleep in dormitories instead of camping, and you have the option of upgrading to your own room at extra cost, depending on availability. Tonight and tomorrow night you can explore the town, eat out and enjoy the nightlife.
Today you can spend the day doing a selection of activities of your choice.
You can walk around the town and do some sightseeing, taking in the German architecture and feel of this unique African town. There are European-style cafes, an aquarium, museum, art galleries and other highlights to visit, such as arts and curio shops. Walk along the beach, or take a dolphin viewing cruise.
Swakopmund is Namibia's prime holiday resort offering a fine selection of coffee shops, bars and restaurants to keep visitors entertained. Swakopmund has some lovely beaches for taking a pleasant stroll along the icy Atlantic Ocean. There is an interesting museum, an aquarium and various galleries to visit, as well as craft shops selling Namibian curios. Founded in 1892, Swakopmund still has a colonial German flavour, especially visible in its architecture. Alternatively you can do some thrilling activities - go sky diving, quad biking or sand boarding. You can also take an unforgettable scenic flight over the desert or go horse riding, fishing or golfing, and more.
At this stage there might be a change in fellow passengers, some may end their travels here, whilst new travellers may join us.
Departing from Swakopmund, we drive south to Walvis Bay, known for the top-notch birding at its lagoon. We continue south, making our way into the Namib Desert, the heart of Namibia. This is one of the most ancient deserts in the world, featuring some of the tallest dunes on earth. Our next two nights are spent camping near Sesriem, the small town that serves as an access point for explorations of the Namib-Naukluft National Park.
You can explore the arid area around camp and spend time in the Namib Desert, experiencing the remarkable desert scenery Namibia is known for. We climb Dune 45 to look out over the undulating orange-red dunes, at sunset or sunrise - an unforgettable sight! We also visit Sossusvlei to experience the other-worldly atmosphere of this striking salt pan of dry white earth, surrounded by big orange dunes that contrast sharply with the dead, black trees of the pan.
Start the day with a spectacular sunrise over the desert, breathing in the peace and stillness of the open terrain.
Then we're off to the Fish River Canyon, arguably the world's second largest canyon. Reaching the massive canyon we trace the eastern edge, stopping to marvel at the views and take photos. The canyon, formed by tectonic activity and erosion, is as deep as 550 m in places and up to 27 km wide, meandering through the rugged landscape for some 161 km.
We hit the road early today, driving down to the Orange River, now officially called the Gariep River. After a short drive we reach the river, which forms the natural border between Namibia and South Africa. We cross into South Africa and settle in at our lovely campsite on the banks of the Orange River.
This afternoon we go canoeing on the Orange River, known as a top canoeing destination. The canoeing trip is an easy paddle with the currents, which allows you to absorb the wild surrounding and spot birds. Back at camp we have drinks beside the river enjoying the quiet setting in nature.
Another early start this morning as we drive into the arid and remote Richtersveld, via the small settlement of Springbok. Travelling through the Northern Cape we make our way into the semi-arid Namaqualand area. This part of the country is famous for the Namaqualand wildflowers that bloom in spring, covering the gentle hills with brightly coloured flowers.
Then we head up into the mountainous region of the Cederberg, a favourite with hikers. Tonight we camp in the Cederberg Mountains surrounded by vineyards, hills and valleys. Walk through the vineyards and enjoy an included wine tasting, before sitting back under star-filled skies.
Today we drive south towards our final destination - the city of Cape Town.
Enjoy the scenic drive via the fruit-growing area of Citrusdal and over the Piketberg Pass. Making our way through the famous wine route of the Western Cape we stop at Table Bay to view Table Mountain in the distance. We head to our overnight accommodation in Cape Town and have a quick lunch, before going on a township tour on the outskirts of the city. On our township tour we experience a different way of life, an eye-opening experience for many. Visiting one of the informal settlements, zones of forced segregation formed during Apartheid, we encounter the unique township culture of South Africa.
Then we return to the picturesque city of Cape Town, where we overnight in dormitories at a reputable backpackers lodge.
This morning our unforgettable Victoria Falls to Cape Town Overland Camping Safari comes to a close in beautiful Cape Town.
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.
This safari starts in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, and travels south through Botswana and Namibia before ending in Cape Town, South Africa. The Victoria Falls to Cape Town Overland Camping Safari departs on Sunday mornings. We recommend arriving a few days early to experience more of Victoria Falls and the amazing activities on offer, as well as staying a few extra days after the safari to explore Cape Town. Accommodation for before and after the safari 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 safari trip.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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