African Wilderness in Comfort

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A quality overland traverse through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls)

Details

Duration: 22 Days
Starts in: South Africa
Group Size: 4-16

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Itinerary

Arrive in Victoria Falls

The tour starts at 15:00hrs on Day 1 with a group meeting in the foyer of the Sprayview Hotel. The afternoon is free to view Victoria Falls - without doubt one of the greatest and most spectacular sights in Africa. The following morning is spent at leisure to browse the local markets, to experience the many optional activities on offer in the adrenalin capital of Africa including white water rafting, bungi jumping, microlighting/ airplane or helicopter flights over the Falls and to visit the Falls (own expense). Overnight on the banks of the Zambezi river at Sprayview Hotel (or similar accommodation).

Chobe River (approx 90 kms/3 hrs drive)

Crossing into Botswana via the Chobe National Park we overnight on the banks of the Chobe River. Chobe is famous for its beautiful scenery, magnificent sunsets and abundance of wildlife and birdlife. The following day we relax on a sunset game-viewing cruise on the Chobe River. Optional morning game drive (own expense). Overnight Chobe Safari Lodge (or similar).

Kwando River (approx 250 kms/4 hrs drive)

Travelling through the Chobe National Park we enter Namibia and continue to the eastern side of the Caprivi Strip and arrive at our lodge overlooking the flood plains of the Kwando River. Overnight Namushasha River Lodge (or similar).

Okavango Delta (approx 350 kms/5 hrs drive; plus 2-3 hour boat trip)

Continuing into the Caprivi we cross into Botswana we travel by road to the edge of the Okavango Delta. We transfer 2-3 hours by boat to Pepere island in the Delta. The following day we do game walks on the island and a mokoro canoe trip. Lunch is included on Day 6 only.

Okavango River (approx 320 kms/5 hrs drive; plus 2-3 hour boat trip)

Departing the Delta by boat we return to our vehicle and we cross back into Namibia. We continue through the Caprivi Strip where we spend the night set amongst the lush vegetation overlooking the Okavango River. Sunset from the deck is sensational. An optional afternoon boat cruise on the river is available (own account). Overnight Hakusembe River Lodge (or similar). *Please note that World Expeditions does not operate the optional mokoro trip on the Okavango River in Namibia and strongly advises against participation on this because of safety concerns, namely the proximity on the river to dangerous wildlife, particularly the hippopotamus. If you choose to undertake this optional activity with other local contractors, you do so against our advice and entirely at your own risk. NOTE - This differs from the Okavango Delta in Botswana where the mokoro experience is necessary to visit the heart of the Okavango Delta, and the local mokoro guides are extremely experienced and have the utmost respect and intimate knowledge regarding wildlife inhabiting the Delta.

Etosha National Park (approx 430 kms/6 hrs drive)

Etosha National Park is one of the most important reserves and game sanctuaries in Africa with thousands of wild animals such as blue wildebeest, springbok, zebra, kudu, giraffe, cheetah, leopard, lion and elephant make this area their home. We enjoy an afternoon game drive inside the park. Overnight Mokuti Lodge (or similar).

Etosha National Park (150 kms)

Today we enjoy morning and afternoon game drives through Etosha National Park, moving west to our next overnight stop. In the evening, there is opportunity to relax by the floodlight waterhole at the Restcamp. For the hardy game viewer, it is possible to sit up all night and watch animals come to drink undisturbed. Overnight Okakeujo Restcamp (or similar) inside Etosha National Park.

Damaraland (approx 220 kms/3 hrs drive)

Our last game drive takes us out of the Park traveling to Damaraland, one of the most scenic areas of Namibia, dominated by prehistoric water courses with open plains and grassland, massive granite koppies and deep gorges. Our lodge is located on top of a mountain with spectacular views of the surrounding area. Spend the afternoon taking in the incredible setting or simply relaxing by the pool. Overnight Ugab Terrace Lodge (or similar).

Swakopmund (approx 380 kms/7 hrs drive)

We drive inland through the Damaraland region with its vast and rugged terrain. Its mountain ranges are intercepted by wide gravel plains, which run into sandy, vegetated riverbeds and hot, dry valleys. We arrive in Swakopmund and spend the afternoon and following day exploring this German colonial town or participating in one of the numerous optional excursions (at own risk and own expense). Overnight: The Delight (or similar).

Sossusvlei and Sesriem (approx 380 kms/5 hrs drive)

Our journey takes us south through ever-changing scenery to our accommodation located on the edge of the Namib Desert. The following morning is an early departure for Sossusvlei (63kms one-way; 1 hr) stopping in the dune belt to witness the phenomenal colours of the world’s highest sand dunes change with the rising sun. We take on a 5km walk to Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, remarkably beautiful for such a harsh environment. In the afternoon we enjoy a short hike through the Sesriem Canyon, a natural canyon about 1km long and 30 metres deep in places. Overnight Desert Quiver Camp (or similar).

Fish River Canyon (approx 520 kms/7 hrs drive)

Continuing south we arrive at our lodge, located in a scenically beautiful area. In the late afternoon we visit the Fish River Canyon. Second only to the Grand Canyon in size, it is a truly awe-inspiring work of nature. Overnight Canyon Village or Canyon Roadhouse (or similar).

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (approx 495 kms/7 hrs drive)

Today we drive into the Kalahari and the magnificent Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Covering over 3.6 million hectares this is one of the largest reserves in Africa and we continue to marvel at the vastness of this region. Due to sparse vegetation in the area excellent predator sightings are common including that of the famous black maned Lion. We enjoy morning and afternoon game drives inside the park. Overnight Kgalagadi Lodge (or similar).

Augrabies Falls National Park (approx 370 kms/5 hrs drive)

In contrast to the desert landscapes of previous days we pass through a lush oasis area with an abundance of wineries. We visit Augrabies Falls National Park where the mighty Orange River plummets 56m into the gorge below. The local name for these majestic falls is ‘Aukoerebis’ or ‘place of great noise’. We spend the afternoon enjoying the Falls from the many viewpoints. Overnight Vergelegen Guest House (or similar).

Calvinia (Hantam region) (approx 450 kms/6 hrs drive)

We arrive in the historic town of Calvinia, nestled on the foot of the Hantam Mountain range. During the months of August – October the landscape is transformed into an explosion of colour due to the prolific wild flowers of the region. Outside this period, the normally arid landscape is naturally stunning in any case with a beautiful mountain backdrop. Overnight Hantam Huis (or similar).

Travel to Cape Town (approx 425 kms/7 hrs drive)

Travelling through the picturesque Namaqualand region we arrive in Cape Town. Set against distinctive Table Mountain, Cape Town offers scenic, historic and cultural attractions. Dinner can be enjoyed at the bustling Waterfront with its variety of cafes and restaurants at your own expense. 2018 - Overnight City Lodge V&A Waterfront (or similar accommodation). 2019 - Overnight Breakwater Lodge (or similar accommodation).

Cape Town peninsula tour

After breakfast, we depart from the hotel at 08:00am, for a full day peninsula tour. Driving along the Atlantic seaboard via Hout Bay and Chapman’s Peak, we visit the Table Mountain National Park – Cape Point, returning along the Indian Ocean coastline back to our well-situated Waterfront hotel. A morning or afternoon cable car ascent up Table Mountain is included (weather dependent). Dinner at your own expense. 2018 - Overnight City Lodge V&A Waterfront (or similar accommodation). 2019 - Overnight Breakwater Lodge (or similar accommodation).

Cape Town, trip concludes

Tour ends after breakfast in Cape Town.

Additional Information

From the vast dunes of the Namibian desert, to the teeming animal life of Etosha, this itinerary traverses the greatest parks, rivers and landscapes that Africa’s south has to offer. Beginning in Cape Town we head north, passing through the Namaqualand region, and witness the Orange River plummet 56m over Augrabies Falls. We travel into the starkly beautiful Kalahari and spend two nights in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. At the extremities of the vast Namib Desert we marvel at Fish River Canyon, second largest in the world, and observe wildlife in Etosha National Park. Continuing our journey through the Caprivi Strip and via the Okavango River into Botswana, be part of unforgettable wildlife encounters in two of Africa's greatest sanctuaries in the wondrous Okavango Delta and along the Chobe River. The mighty Victoria Falls provide a sensational backdrop to a multitude of adventurous options and a fitting end to this amazing journey through southern Africa. Staying in a combination of small hotels, safari lodges and permanent safari camps full of character (and with ensuite facilities), this journey will appeal to those seeking a comfortable African travel experience.

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