Splendors of Southern Africa - Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe

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Day 1: Arrive in Windhoek, Namibia

You are met on arrival in Windhoek and transferred to your hotel. This evening, we will meet for dinner and your orientation. Overnight in Windhoek.

 

Day 2: To Sossusvlei

This morning we drive westward towards Sesriem, enjoying a picnic lunch enroute. Sesriem is the gateway to the world's highest sand dunes at Sossusvlei.

The area around Sossusvlei is the most accessible part of the 300 km long and nearly 150 km wide sand sea that covers 32,000 sq km of western Namibia. Overnight near Sesriem.

 

Day 3: Sesriem and Sossusvlei

Today we visit the world's highest and most picturesque sand dunes at Sossusvlei. Sossusvlei itself is a huge ephemeral pan set amid red/orange sand dunes which tower as much as 300 meters over the underlying strata. It would not be unusual to see gemsbok and ostriches roaming over the sand. The best way to get a feel for this "sea of sand" is to climb one of the dunes. The view will leave you in awe. Overnight near Sesriem.

 

Day 4: Namib-Naukluft National Park & Kuiseb Canyon, Swakopmund

Today we drive through Namib-Naukluft National Park and the Kuiseb Canyon on our way to Swakopmund. Namib-Naukluft is Namibia's largest national park and takes in much of the Namib Desert as well as the surrounding gravel plains and the dramatic Naukluft Massif. This mountainous area with dramatic scenery and superb hiking trails, serves as a refuge for Hertmann's mountain zebra.

We spend the afternoon and evening in the quaint town of Swakopmund. With palm-lined streets, seaside promenades and friendly locals, Swakopmund offers a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. Overnight in Swakopmund.

 

Day 5: To Damaraland

This morning we make our way from Swakopmud to Cape Cross where we have an opportunity to visit the large seal colony of Cape Cross up close. We can also see where the Portugese landed 1486. We will arrive at our lodge just in time for lunch. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure or set out in search for the rare desert elephants. Overnight in Damaraland.

 

Day 6: Damaraland Bushman, petroglyphs and the Petrified Forest

Today we drive to Twyfelfontein to explore the Bushman rock paintings and hope for a sighting of the rare endangered Desert Elepants and other game in this area. We will also see some of the extraordinary rock formations that occur in this area. In the afternoon we make our way to the Petrified Forest. See petrified tree trunks up to 30 meters in length with a circumference of up to 6 meters. Overnight in the Khorixas.

 

Day 7: To Opuwo, Kaokoland

Traveling up through Damaraland, we enter Kaokoland, often described as "Africa's last great wilderness" and home to the Himba, Zemba and Herero people. This faraway corner of the country perhaps represents Namibia at its most primeval. Overnight in Opuwo.

 

Day 8: Himba and Zemba tribes

Travelling with a local Herero speaking guide, we visit local tribal villages. Although their culture and language are similar, each tribe has maintained its own ethnic traditions and attire. Many still have little contact with the modern world. The Herero women wear multi layered long dresses with distinctive cloth headwear, while the Himba women wear very little and are known for their ochre body painting. The Zemba villagers are also distinctive in their body decorations. We will visit with these friendly but shy people for a glimpse into a way of life that has changed little over the centuries. As our guide translates for us, we learn about their lifestyles and culture. To thank the villagers for their hospitality, we provide them with a donation of food. Overnight near Opuwo.

 

Day 9: To Outjo

Returning south through Damaraland, we pass through spectacular scenery and through the flat plains to our hotel on the outskirts of the town of Outjo. It is not uncommon to sight game as we are close to Etosha park boundary. There will be time to stretch our legs on the grounds of the lodge and enjoy sunset from the comfort of the terrace. Overnight near Outjo.

 

Day 10: Etosha National Park

This morning we will have time to visit the town of Outjo before continuing to Etosha National Park. Once we pass the park gates we will be on the watch for wildlife, stopping whenever they are close - we may even have to stop while they cross the road in front of us - wildlife has the right of way! Picnic lunch at a Park rest stop and then continue on to our lodge located within the park. In the late afternoon we will take our vehicle out of the seclusion of the lodge grounds to search for elephants, giraffes and zebra. Overnight in Halali.

 

Day 11: Etosha National Park - Namutoni

Today, we will send our luggage with our tour vehicle ahead to the next lodge and we will travel by open air safari vehicles with park drivers. These vehicles allow us to take the smaller tracks that criss cross the central area of the park. Game viewing should be amazing. Arrive at one of the most popular and best-kept lodges, Namutoni in late afternoon. Namutoni originally served as an outpost for German troops and there is a spectacular view of the floodlit waterhole from the tower of the whitewashed fort. This evening you can walk closer to the waterhole, relax in the ambience of the fort's courtyard or enjoy the solitude of your luxury accommodation. Overnight in Namutoni.

 

Days 12 - 13: Etosha National Park - Onkoshi

This morning we send our luggage with our tour vehicle ahead to Onkoshi Lodge, Etosha's newest and most remote lodge. We will enjoy the next two days in our luxury accommodations while enjoying safaris in our 4x4 vehicles. Search for lions, elephants, giraffes, white rhinos and even the extremely rare black rhinos. Overnight in Onkoshi

 

Day 14: To Guest Farm

This morning we will have one last watch for Etosha's wildlife as we depart on the eastern side and head toward Grootfontein. We will have lunch at our Guest Farm and spend the afternoon at our leisure. Overnight at Guest Farm near Grootfontein.

 

Days 15 - 16: Bushmen Experience, to Rundu, Kavango River

This morning we depart our Guest Farm and make our way to the Bushmen in their natural environment. We witness daily activities in the village, which may include food preparation, beadwork or bow and arrow making. We may have a walk in the vicinity of the village where we can see the many plants used for food and medicine - maybe even the poison for their arrows.

Leaving the Bushmen behind, we head along the Caprivi to Rundu. Over the next two days we will have the opportunity for a visit to the local school where we meet the students and teachers and visit one of the local family compounds that dot the area around the town and river's edge. These mud, stick and thatch buildings with their fenced enclosures contain living quarters for both the family and the animals as well as storage areas, gardens and outdoor cooking facilities. We can see how they dry their produce for storage, gather water for their fields and perhaps even how they set fish traps in the river. One evening at the lodge, we will enjoy a visit from a traditional dance troup . We will also have an opportunity to enjoy a sunset cruise along the Kavango River, which is the natural border between Namibia and Angola. Overnight in Rundu.

 

Days 17 - 19: To Okavango Delta, Botswana

Today we depart for the Okavango Delta. Our lodge is located on the western region of the Delta and serves as our home base for the next 3 days. From here, we transfer to our lodge located deep in the Delta's marshes. Depending on water level, we may transfer by 4X4, motor boat and/or barge.

Our time in the Delta is spent exploring the network of water pathways through thick vegetation in mokoros (traditional dugout canoes), speed boats and barges. The Okavango Delta is often described as the "river which never finds the sea." It is an extraordinary environment of channels and islands that seem cut off from the western world, and it abounds with bird life and other wildlife that covers an area the size of Switzerland. Overnight in the Nguma Lagoon.

 

Day 20: Fly over the Delta to Chobe N.P.

This morning we enjoy a flight over the Okavango Delta to Kasane, where we are then transferred to Chobe National Park. After lunch, we travel into the park in open air safari vehicles to search for the famous Chobe Elephants. The park is reputed to have some of the largest concentrations of game in Africa so expect an exciting afternoon. Overnight near Kasane.

 

Day 21: Chobe National Park

This morning we again travel in our small open air safari vehicles into the Park in search of elephants, giraffe, sable and cape buffalo as well as the many other species found here. We will be able to access the small tracks and quiet areas in the Park allowing us excellent game viewing possibilities.

Return to our lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, we enjoy a sunset cruise on the Chobe River watching for the hippo and crocodiles as well as the elephants, giraffes and impala who come to the waters edge to drink. The sun will set over the river as we make our way back to the dock and return to our lodge for dinner. Overnight near Kasane.

 

Day 22: Chobe National Park to Victoria Falls

After breakfast, we make our way into Zimbabwe as we cross the Zambezi River. After completing immigration formalities, we continue to our hotel, located within Victoria Falls National Park. After lunch, you may arrange various optional activities (additional cost) such as a helicopter flights, walking with lions or a trip to the Zambian side of the falls for a unique Zambian perspective. Overnight in Victoria Falls National Park.

 

Day 23: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

The world-famous Victoria Falls is 1.7 km (1.1 miles) wide and drops between 90 meters (295 feet) and 107 meters (351 feet) into the Zambezi Gorge. This morning we visit the majestic falls and walk through the mists for a close up sight of the "Smoke that Thunders". We return to the hotel in the late afternoon with time to relax before you enjoy a traditional Boma dinner. Overnight in Victoria Falls National Park.

 

Day 24: Victoria Falls Village and Township

After breakfast, we will visit a traditional Zimbabwe village and their township. Here we have an opportunity to meet the locals and learn more about their every day life. In late afternoon we will enjoy a delightful cruise along the Zambezi River. The river's edge offers a lush refuge for wildlife including birds and hippos. We will have the opportunity to feel the tremendous power of the river as it rushes towards the falls and enjoy the sunset on this magical and historical river. Overnight in Victoria Falls National Park.

 

Day 25: Depart Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Today we say goodbye to Africa and transfer to the airport to connect with our international flights homeward.

 
1-800-741-7956 North America  •  0808-234-1714 United Kingdom  •  416-588-5000 Worldwide
 
 

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