A comprehensive Southern African Budget Safari travelling from Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls to Cape Town in South Africa.
Highlights on this affordable Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa Camping Tour include:
A scenic, cultural and wildlife adventure through Southern Africa's diverse landscapes from rugged plains, towering mountains and desert dunes to watery delta, deep canyon, game-rich riverfront and mighty Vic Falls waterfall.
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 Victoria Falls to Cape Town Camping Tour starts at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe where your tour guide will give you a brief overview of what to expect on this safari.
On our first day, we visit the mighty Victoria Falls to experience the thundering sound and impressive spray that gives the Falls its local name, Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means the "Smoke that Thunders". Witnessing the mighty falls is an awe-inspiring experience as the Zambezi River plummets over 100 feet into the gorge below forming the largest curtain of falling water in the world at 1,7km wide. The smoke-like spray rises up to 400 meters high over Victoria Falls making the mist visible from as far as 50 km away!
Other than our leisurely visit to Vic Falls the first day is free for you to relax at the hotel, explore Victoria Falls town and head off on an adventure activity. We spend the first night in en-suite rooms at a stylish hotel next to the Zambezi National Park, relaxing at the pool and enjoying a drink at the bar.
This budget Victoria Falls to Cape Town Camping Tour departs from Vic Falls on day two. We recommend that you arrive a few days before the tour starts, to allow more time for exploring Vic Falls and participating in some of the numerous adventure activities available. Adding a few days before the tour gives you extra time to enjoy optional activities such as White Water Rafting, Flights over the Falls, Bungee Jumping, Zambezi Sunset Cruises, Tram & Bridge Tours and Game Viewing and more at Victoria Falls.
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.
Leaving the natural wonder of Victoria Falls, we cross into Botswana, making our way to Kasane, the gateway to Chobe National Park.
On day two of our budget camping safari, we explore the famous Chobe National Park, after having lunch (served from the truck) at our camp near Kasane. Home to one of the highest concentrations of game in Africa, Chobe is best known for its abundance of elephants.
This afternoon we embark on 4x4 game drive and then a sunset boat cruise in Chobe Park. These game viewing activities provide excellent opportunities for spotting and photographing wild animals up close, including hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, antelope species and elephants. Chobe Park is the second largest national park in Botswana, encompassing diverse habitats from lush plains and wooded grasslands to dense forests and swamps.
Our overnight camp is located a few kilometres from Chobe Park, overlooking the Chobe River and surrounding bush. The camp features a restaurant, bar and swimming pool.
Today we drive south to Nata, located on the outskirts of the Makgadikgadi Pans.
This afternoon you can join an optional trip to the salt pans to experience the wide open space of this arid landscape. Tonight we camp under star-studded skies on the fringes of the Nata Pans.
Day four sees us driving west to Maun. Our route crosses the northern limits of the Makgadikgadi Pans, passing big baobab trees along the way. Early this afternoon we arrive in Maun leaving free time for you to relax at camp or take an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta.
Tonight we get ready for our adventure into the wild Okavango Delta. Please note that if you haven't purchased the Activity Package, you will remain at the camp in Maun for the following two days. Activity Package clients will set off on the Delta Excursion tomorrow.
Please note: You will need to bring a smaller daypack (overnight bag) for the delta excursion as there is limited space for luggage on the transfer flights.
On day five we make our way into the heart of the Okavango Delta. We travel by vehicle and then switch to traditional canoes for the remainder of the transfer. Over the next few days, we explore the waterways and islands of the Okavango, looking out for wild animals and birds that are not accustomed to seeing people.
After settling in at our exclusive camp we set off on a late afternoon mokoro ride in the Okavango Delta, one of the most unique wilderness areas in the world. Local polers take us on a relaxing mokoro ride ending with a spectacular sunset and sundowners in the bush. Mekoros are the traditional dug-out vessels used to navigate the maze of shallow delta channels. Returning to camp we spend the night around the campfire under starry skies in this wild place, listening to the sounds of nature.
On day six we rise early and glide out onto the reed-lined channels, making our way through the pristine bush to one of the untouched delta islands. Here we embark on a thrilling nature walk with a local expert, learning about the plants and looking for signs of wildlife. Returning from our nature walk, we spend time unwinding at camp, enjoying the quiet natural setting. Later in the afternoon, we take a sunset boat cruise in this scenic wilderness area.
This labyrinth of waterways and lagoons flowing between secluded islands and floodplains boasts one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. Our itinerary in the delta is flexible and the program of activities depends on seasonal conditions, but the tranquil delta always offers a truly wild and unforgettable African bush experience.
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 lion's roar amid other sounds at night. 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.
This morning we leave our private delta camp behind, transferring to the poling station by mokoro and then driving back to Maun. After rejoining our crew we depart from Maun, driving southwest to Ghanzi, in the heart of the Kalahari Desert. Here we have the opportunity to meet some of the local San community (known colloquially as Bushmen) and learn about their culture and traditions. The traditional San people are indigenous to Southern Africa, having inhabited the area for over 30 000 years, surviving in harsh conditions as nomadic hunter-gatherers. In the afternoon you can join an optional San walk in the Kalahari to find out more about their survival techniques using local flora and fauna.
This evening we watch traditional San dancing and stay at a camp with hot showers in the shared ablutions and a bar, just north of Ghanzi.
Today we cross over into Namibia on our long drive west to the capital city of Windhoek. When we arrive in Windhoek, located at the epicentre of Namibia, we take a short tour of the city in our safari truck.
On arrival in Windhoek, we explore the city centre, before settling into our lodge accommodation. An optional dinner out to Joe's Beerhouse, one of the city's most famous eateries, offers a glimpse into this cosmopolitan city's nightlife.
Leaving the city bustle behind, we travel up into Namibia’s game-rich northern area. Along the way we stop at an arts and crafts market where you can browse and purchase some authentic African creations.
Entering Etosha National Park we take a game drive en route to our overnight camp inside the park. Etosha National Park offers some of the most unique game viewing experiences in Africa.
We will 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. 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 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.
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.
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. You also have the option of taking a thrilling night game drive on either of the nights in Etosha Park.
This morning we continue our search for wildlife and birds in the dramatic wilderness area of Etosha. We explore the park in the safari truck, or you have the option of embarking on a morning game drive conducted by the national park in safari vehicles.
Then we leave Etosha Park to spend the night in Opuwo, the capital town of the remote Kunene Region. The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to relax and rest at our lodge with a pool, bar and restaurant.
We travel to a Himba community near Kamanjab to meet the modern day Himba and gain insight into their disappearing traditional lifestyles.
The Himba were once a semi-nomadic, pastoral tribe with distinctive traditions and cultural practices. Today few Himba still live off the land as their ancestors did, remaining unchanged by western influences. We visit an educational village, established to portray the Himba way of life, without impacting negatively on the truly traditional communities living in natural environments. The unique culture of the striking Himba is characterized by their style of dress, particularly their hairstyles and elaborate jewellery. The market at the village offers an opportunity to buy gifts to take home while supporting the women of the village in making an income.
Next, we head south to our lodge near the small town of Khorixas.
On day 13 we travel to the Atlantic coast of Namibia stopping to explore Spitzkoppe along the way. Spitzkoppe, also known as the ‘Matterhorn of Namibia’. Spitzkoppe is a stark area of dramatic exposed granite peaks, with the highest outcrop rising to over 1780m above sea level. We take a guided walk with a local in Spitzkoppe to admire the rock formations of this open wilderness and see San rock art.
Then it's on to Swakopmund, Namibia’s adventure capital. You will be briefed on the optional activities available for the following day in Swakopmund. 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 your chance to experience the adrenalin-filled activities on offer in Swakopmund. Most activities include a pickup and drop-off service to and from our accommodation. Take a quad bike over the dunes, try sandboarding, skydiving or take a cruise to see dolphins along the coast of Swakopmund.
You can also take time to wander through the colonial style streets of coastal Swakopmund, sightseeing and doing some shopping. We spend another night at the friendly guesthouse in Swakopmund.
After our exciting activities and sightseeing in Swakopmund, we drive south to Walvis Bay and then east into the ancient Namib Desert.
Later we are joined by an expert local guide for a nature walk in the Namib, exploring this unique desert ecosystem. The local guides share their detailed knowledge of the ancient Namib desert with us as we walk. We also learn how the ancient San (Bushman) people have for decades survived in the harsh desert environments of Southern Africa.
After our nature walk we head to our overnight camp with a pool, restaurant and bar. We camp in a scenic spot near the Sesriem Canyon experiencing the vast star-studded sky and silence of the Namib Desert, occasionally interrupted by jackal calls and the unique barking sound of the gecko!
Today is our earliest start as we wake before dawn for one of the highlights of the trip, hiking up Dune 45 in the Sossusvlei Dunes area to watch the sun rise over the Namib Desert. 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.
Then we take a 4x4 drive to the famous Sossusvlei Dunes area to see the towering, red-orange sand dunes and stark white pans of Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. After the contrasting desert landscapes, we walk into the Sesriem Canyon, which stretches about a kilometre in length and reaches up to 30 meters deep. We walk along the floor of Sesriem Canyon, dotted with shallow pools. The canyon was formed by the Tsauchab River flowing through sedimentary rock deposited about 20 million years ago.
Today we drive south along dusty roads that cross the deserted gravel plains towards the incredible Fish River Canyon.
We overnight at Ais-Ais hot springs resort where we get to soak in the hot pools. Take a dip under the starry desert skies, before getting an early night in preparation for sunrise over the Fish River Canyon tomorrow morning.
We are up early on day 18, making our way to the Fish River Canyon in time to catch the sunrise over the massive chasm. After watching the morning light filter into one of the largest canyons in the world, we walk along the rim of the canyon to admire this awe-inspiring natural wonder.
Leaving the Fish River Canyon, we travel further south to the Gariep River, commonly known by its former name - the Orange River. We spend our final night in Namibia at a camp along the banks of the Orange River. In the afternoon you have the chance to go canoeing on the Orange River, taking a gentle paddle through the rugged bush. Alternatively, you can explore on foot, cool off in the river and laze on the banks.
Today we take a long drive through the Northern Cape and Namaqualand, a region famous for its prolific wildflowers in spring.
We make our way into the beautiful mountains of the Cederberg in South Africa. 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 endemic rooibos plants that only grow here, and are used to produce a hugely popular health tea.
Arriving at our last overnight camp, we enjoy a traditional South African dinner together.
On the last day of this Victoria Falls to Cape Town Camping Tour, we travel to the mother city of South Africa - Cape Town.
Entering the famous Cape Winelands region we visit a well-known wine estate called the Spice Route. Here we have lunch and encounter Cape culture at the artisanal hub, featuring local art, coffee, beer, chocolate and more. We also enjoy wine tasting at one of the acclaimed wine farms of the Cape Wine Route.
Then we travel along the coastal road, pausing at Table View for a stunning view of Table Mountain from the other side of the bay. This is the spot from which photographs of the iconic Table Mountain are often taken.
This Camping Tour is also available in the reverse order as the Cape Town to Victoria Falls Safari.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
Half-Day Canoe Trip
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