This Southern Africa itinerary will take you to
Enjoy the astonishing contrasts from South to East on this 18-day journey which combines the best of Namibia with a safari in Chobe, Botswana and a visit to the spectacular Mosi-oa-Tunya: Victoria Falls.
This iconic safari starts with a visit to Namibia iconic destinations: Sossusvlei, home to some of the highest sand dunes in the world, then to Swakopmund a to picturesque colonial town on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Then proceed to Damaraland at Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO World Heritage Site to explore more than 2000 ancient rock carvings created over a thousand years ago by the hunter-gathers. It is wildlife time to Etosha National Park, home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds and reptiles, including several threatened and endangered species such as the black rhinoceros. Leaving wildlife behind. Head further north to the Caprivi Strip known as the mini-Okavango Delta
because of the high amount of rainfall that it receives which result on the lush and verdant vegetation testimony of the country tangible beauty. Then cross the border to Botswana for unforgettable 4 x 4 game drive in the Chobe National park and a boat cruise on the Chobe river front to view huge herd of elephants as well as the rest of the Big five. Round this trip by crossing the border once again to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to visit the famous Victoria Falls National Park and enjoy a plethora of activities including a guided tour of the Victoria Falls.
Summary of your trip
- 1 Night – Olive Grove Guest House / Olive Exclusive House (Windhoek) | Namibia
- 2 Nights – Kulula Desert Lodge / Little Kulula (Namib-Naukluft National Park) | Namibia
- 2 Nights – Swakopmund Hotel /Strand Hotel (Swakopmund)| Namibia
- 2 Nights – Camp Kiwe / Mowani Mountain (Damaraland) | Namibia
- 1 Night – Etosha Village / Ongava Lodge (Etosha National Park South) | Namibia
- 2 Nights – Mushara Bush Camp / Mushara Outpost (Etosha National Park East) | Namibia
- 2 Nights – Shametu River Lodge / Divava Okavango Lodge & Spa (Caprivi West) | Namibia
- 1 Night – Camp Kwando / Nambwa Tented Lodge (Caprivi East) | Namibia
- 2 Nights – Chobe Safari Lodge / Chobe Game Lodge (Chobe National Park) | Botswana
- 2 Nights – Batonka Guest Lodge / Victoria Falls Hotel | Victoria Falls
Day 1 Arrival in Windhoek
Arrive at OR Tambo International Airport and board on a morning flight to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. On arrival at Hosea Kutako Windhoek International airport, you will be met by our representative who will assist you with your vehicle collection. During a detailed briefing our representative will answer all questions related to the trip. From the airport you make your way to Olive Grove Guest House located in a quiet, peaceful suburb, walking distance from the best city’s eateries and the perfect place to stay for pre or post safari. The rest of the day is at leisure and may be spend exploring the city. Windhoek is a city of many contrasts. Modern skyscrapers blend with historic buildings dating from the turn of the century. Several buildings from the German colonial era have been preserved and restored to fulfil useful functions in the community today.
For dinner tonight, you can head into town for a bite to eat at one of Windhoek’s well-known restaurants.
Included: Bed & Breakfast
Day 2-3 Windhoek to Sossusvlei
Enjoy a scenic drive from Windhoek to Sossusvlei, the drive is around 6 hours. This route will offer plenty of photographic therefore get your camera ready for pictures of a lifetime. Enjoy lunch en route. Arrival at Kulula Lodge is in the middle of the afternoon.
During your stay, climb the dunes; go hiking, quad biking and Stargazing at a sophisticated observatory; indulge in an array of wellness treatments;
- Set off on a guided walk through the desert, stopping to admire the tiny miracles of nature that make up the unique plants and wildlife of this arid yet beautiful region
- Set out on a quad bike adventure trail through the Namib dunes, gliding across the smooth, silk-like texture of the tawny desert sand, in sharp contrast to the bright, cerulean sky above, and the russet, rugged mountain ranges of the Namib escarpment in the distance.
- An incredible half-day adventure will take guests across the awe-inspiring sand dunes of Sossusvlei, largely known as one of the Namib Desert’s most scenic and spine-tingling attractions. A breathless climb to the top of the massive ‘Big Daddy,’ the tallest dune in the Sossusvlei area, at 325 metres, rewards adventurers with a spectacular view over the peaks and troughs of the sand sea, down to Deadvlei. End the spectacular day off with a daring run down the vertical slopes and steep sand dunes, with the wind enlivening your hair and caressing your glee filled face.
- Exceptional stargazing, with a highly sophisticated telescope and professional astronomer
- Specially adapted desert wildlife – oryx, springbok, Burchell’s zebra and the endemic Hartmann’s mountain zebra, bat-eared foxes, as well as a variety of insects and lizards
- Go on a hot air balloon over Sossusvlei Dunes: an early rise is required for this spectacular activity. This is the most unforgettable and beautiful experience in the Namib Desert. The adventure begins before sunrise when you are collected from your accommodation and driven to the take-off area. Once the balloon is airborne you drift silently over the desert for about an hour. The views of the Namib Desert are exceptional. On landing (wherever the wind has taken you) there is a champagne breakfast.
Included: Bed & Breakfast: Full Board & Activities
Day 4 – 5 Sossusvlei to Swakopmund
Leaving behind the deserts and dunes it is time for a change of scenery as Namibia is a land of contrasts. Today you will move from desert to sea; to picturesque colonial town on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean: Swakopmund. On the way, cross the Tropic of Capricorn, through the Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons and via the Namib Gravel Plains to the coast. When you get there settle into your accommodation at Swakopmund Hotel a Beach front property which puts the best of Swakopmund at your fingertips, making your stay both relaxing and enjoyable.
There are loads to do in Swakopmund and the nearby town Walvis Bay therefore for the following 2 days we suggest the following activities:
- Explore the small town on foot and make sure that you visit the Karakul Weavers with plenty of souvenir shops to choose from.
- Drop from the Sky on a Skydiving Adventure
Swakopmund has one of the most unique environments on the planet, meaning you’ll surely get an experience free-falling that is unlike any before — and this will be at a fraction of the cost as other places.
- Spend an Afternoon at the Swakopmund Jetty Soaking Up the Pier
One of the most popular things to do in Swakopmund is to check out the Swakopmund Jetty!
- Spend the Day with the Dolphins and Whale Watching
The Southwestern African coast is known for some of the most plentiful whale and dolphin sightings in the world, making this one of the most popular things to do in Swakopmund Namibia.
From encounters with pelicans and feeding seals to a chance to see leaping dolphins and fluttering whale tails — this is an opportunity you cannot pass up.
- Ride a Camel at the Swakopmund Camel Farm
Quite an experience – be assisted by friendly and helpful guide
- Explore the small town on foot. We also recommend visiting the Karakul Weavers with plenty of souvenir shops to choose from.
Dinner is at a restaurant of your choice in Swakopmund
Overnight at Swakopmund Hotel
Included: Bed & Breakfast
Day 6-7 Swakopmund to Damaraland
Leaving Swakopmund behind this morning you are heading North to Damaraland, a drive of approximately 6 hours depending on the number of stops en route. On your way there you will
you pass mountains, open plains and dry riverbeds frequented by desert-adapted elephants. If you’re taking the coastal route, you could make a stop at the Cape Cross seal colony and visit the shipwreck of MS Winston at Durissa Bay. The alternative inland route is quicker and gives you views of the impressive Brandberg Mountain. On arrival, settle into your accommodation at Camp Kiwe
an eco-friendly camp huddled in the rocks, with sweeping views across the Aba Huab valley, It appears as if rocks have tumbled down the hill to reveal this gem of a camp. On arrival settle in your room, relax in the wilderness scenery and enjoy the camp amenities
Your stay is a 2-nght package which includes All meals and 2 activities and return road transfer to & from Twyfelfontein
The first activity is a guided 4 x 4 nature drive in search of desert adapted wildlife; living in a hostile environment they have a smaller body with Longer legs, bigger feet, allowing them to survive in these harsh conditions. Spend hours tracking desert-adapted animals such as elephant and black rhino.
The other activity is a guided visit to Twyfelfontein which is the site of one of the largest concentrations of rock petroglyphs (engravings) and rock paintings in Africa. It consists of a spring in a valley flanked by the slopes of a sandstone mountain. Over 2,500 engravings and paintings make up the collection, many of which were created up to 6,000 years ago by hunter-gatherers’ communities in the area. It was approved in 2007 by UNESCO as Namibia’s first World Heritage Site.
Besides the 2 activities mentioned above guests are encouraged to go on self-Guided Nature Walks: just follow the short walking trails around the camp and you will find information displaying the names of different plants and trees. You can also ascend the 100 steps to the sundowner viewpoint, where you can watch the sun set over golden grasslands while sipping a cold drink. Not far from the front of camp runs a dry riverbed, which is frequently traversed by desert-adapted elephant.
Dinner and overnight at Camp Kiwe
Day 8 Damaraland to Etosha National Park (South)
This morning after breakfast you will drive East towards Khorixas on your way to the wildlife haven of Etosha National Park. The drive takes around 5 hours depending on how many stops you make en route. On your way stop at the Petrified Forest. Lots of fossils and large tree trunks that have “turned to stone” through a process of diagenesis. From Khorixas head east to the small town of Outjo where you may decide to stop for refreshments. Then proceed to your accommodation at Etosha Village situated only 2km from Andersson gate, the southern entrance of Etosha National Park. Etosha Village uniquely combines affordability with comfort, style and exquisite cuisine.
If time allows and you are ready to go, enjoy an afternoon game drive inside the park. Your first stop is Okaukuejo for entrance formalities and there is a shop to stock up on drinks and snacks. The park itself is well laid out so it will be pretty easy to navigate.
Etosha National Park is home to over 100 mammal species, 340 bird species and 110 reptile species. Larger mammals include lion, elephant, leopard, giraffe, cheetah, hyena, springbok, zebra and eland. Birds include flamingo, pelican, eagle, goshawk, kori bustard, ostrich and lilac-breasted roller. Animals, particularly during the dry season, are dependent on the many waterholes found in the park, and these serve as great places for game viewing. Vegetation in the park is varied but consists mostly of mopane woodland and grassy plains.
Return to the lodge just before sunset and later seat for delicious dinner followed by overnight.
Included: Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
Day 9 – 10 Etosha National Park (East)
After a leisurely breakfast, this morning drive to Etosha East and enjoy 2 full days on safari inside the national Park. Relax at the waterhole and delight in the comings and goings of a variety of game.
Take your time to visit many different waterholes, where animals gather to quench their thirst. Vegetation elsewhere provides habitat for giraffe, zebra and oryx. Make sure to drive down or up dik dik drive waterhole to see not only the Damara dik-dik but herds of elephants as well.
As the evening approaches exit the park via the eastern von Lindequist Gate to Mushara Bush Camp, the perfect location from which to explore Etosha Park wilderness as the camp is situated just 5 mn drive from the gate.
Included: Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
Day 11 – 12 Etosha National Park (East) to Caprivi West
Today required an early start because it is a long drive to the Caprivi Strip in Northern Namibia and stops are required to absorb the drive. Head towards Grootfontein, the roads are all paved. On your way visit amongst other:
- the Otjikoto and Guinas lakes;
- Hoba which is the largest Meteorite in the world; the main mass of the Meteor is estimated at more than 60 tonnes. It is the largest known intact meteorite as a single piece. It is also the most massive naturally occurring piece of iron known on Earth’s surface;
We suggest a convenient stop at Roy’s Camp is situated 55kms north of Grootfontein and later enjoy lunch en route on the Kavango River near Rundu.
Continue your journey to your accommodation at Shametu River Lodge where you will experience the tranquillity of the Kavango River. The lodge is located just 7 kms from Divundu and offers many activities (on own account):
Daily game drives into the Mahango National Park home to 105 mammal species and more than 400 species of birds as well as different kinds of reptiles. You will also find all your regular favourites such as sable and roan antelope, Chombe bushbucks, reedbuck along with elephant, lion, leopard, crocodile, wildebeest and buffalo.
- Sundowner Boat cruise to experience the tranquillity of the Kavango River and all the secrets it holds. Glide gently downstream and watch the hippo frolic in the water while you try to spot the shy crocodile lurking in the reeds. Bird lovers will be entertained by the Fish Eagle and various other bird species current to the season.
The Kavango River is the fourth-longest river system in southern Africa, running south-east ward for 1,600 km. It begins in Angola, where it is known by the Portuguese name Rio Cubango. Further south it forms part of the border between Angola and Namibia, and then flows into Botswana, draining into the Moremi Game Reserve or known as the Okavango Delta. Before it enters Botswana, the river drops four meters, across the full 1.2 km-width of the river, in a series of rapids known as Popa Falls, visible when the river is low, as during the dry season
- Village walks: enjoy a 30min walk to one of the local villages to get an insight on the way of living and the culture of the local tribe: the Habukushu.
- Mokoros trip on the Okavango River (seasonal as they depend on the level of water)
Included: Bed & Breakfast
Day 13 Caprivi West to Caprivi East
Caprivi Strip in northern Namibia provides significant habitat for the critically endangered Wild African Dog, Lycaon pictus. It is a corridor for African elephant moving from Botswana and Namibia into Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
After a hearty breakfast at the lodge drive east along the Caprivi strip, entering East Caprivi at the Kwando River Bridge. On your way there you may visit the Bwabwata National Park for more game viewing.
The rest of the day is at leisure to do as you please
Accommodations is at Camp Kwando, a popular stopover set on the banks of the River Kwando.
Situated 25km south of the village of Kongola, it is approximately 125km west of Katima Mulilo and 400km east of Rundu. Many travellers use it as the perfect base to explore Bwabwata National Park and Victoria Falls.
Day 14 & 15 Caprivi East to Chobe National Park
This morning after a scrumptious breakfast, head north to Katima Mulilo where you will drop your rented vehicle and be transferred to Ngoma Bridge where you will enter Botswana and the Chobe National Park.
Chobe National Park, located in the north of Botswana, is an iconic safari destination. It is one of the most accessible and most visited safari areas in Botswana. Chobe is famous for its high numbers of elephant and Cape buffalo which can be viewed in their droves along the Chobe River. Morning excursions are dedicated game drive in Chobe National Park until lunch time while the afternoon is for boat cruise along the Chobe river.
Your accommodation is at Chobe Safari Lodge is situated in Kasane on the banks of the Chobe River and shares a border with Chobe National Park. It is stones throw away from Victoria Falls and Caprivi
Included: Dinner, Bed, Breakfast & 2 activities per day (one 4 x 4 Game drive & Boat cruise per day)
Day 16 – 17 Chobe National Park to Victoria Falls Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. After your last morning activity followed
Your final stop on this Southern Africa Self-drive takes to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. After your last morning activity followed by breakfast, you will be transferred Batonka Guest Lodge set in lush gardens, a tranquil haven away from the bustle of town but within walking distance of the main attractions. After checking at your guest lodge, settle into your accommodation and relax.
Victoria Falls called “ Mosi-oa-Tunya which” by the African people means “smoke that thunders”-
is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and the major waterfall on the Zambezi River in Africa. It is famous for being the largest waterfall in the world. It offers a plethora of activities from sunset cruise on the Zambezi River to helicopter flight over the falls as well as adrenalines activities such as bungee Jumping, rafting, helicopter flight, devil pool and more.
In the afternoon, you will be picked up at the lodge for your sunset cruise on the Zambezi River.
The Zambezi Sunset cruise is a superb way to relax and enjoy the spectacular beauty of the Zambezi River and offers great photo opportunities against often-spectacular African sunsets.
Flocks of birds skim the waterline as the sun sets behind the African skyline. Expect to see a variety of game including hippo, crocodile, and elephant as well as many different bird species.
Sip on complimentary drinks from a fully stocked bar and toast to the African sunset.
The following morning you will be collected for your guided tour of the falls.
Included: Bed, breakfast, sunset cruise and a guided tour of the Falls
Day 18 Goodbye
Today is the end of this incredible journey. Depending on your flight departure time, you may be able to squeeze one more activity before being transferred to Victoria Falls Airport for your flight back home
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