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Day 1: Arrive in Windhoek, Namibia
Met on arrival in Windhoek and transfer to our hotel. This evening, we will meet for dinner and orientation. Overnight in Windhoek.
Day 2: To Sossusvlei
This morning we drive westwards towards Sesriem enjoying a picnic lunch en route. Sesriem is the gateway to the world's highest sand dunes at Sossusvlei.
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 sand dunes which tower as much as 200 meters above the valley floor and over 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.
Day 5: Swakopmud 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. We will arrive at our lodge just in time for lunch. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure or take part in an tour where you may find the desert elephants. Overnight in Damaraland area.
Day 6: Damaraland Bushman 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 for a guided tour by one of the locals. See petrified tree trunks up to 30 meters in length with a circumference of up to 6 meters. Overnight in the Khorixas area.
Day 7: Khorixas 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. Here on the flat river plains, divergent cultures raise livestock and farm their land as they have for 500 years or more. 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 under these conditions 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.
Day 12: Leave Etosha, 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 13 - 14: Bushmen Experience - Caprivi Strip and 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 and on to the Nkwazi Chalets, beside the Kavango River. 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 and have time to watch the sunsets over the wide Kavango River. Overnight in Nkawazi or Rainbow River Lodge.
Days 15 - 16: Caprivi to Okavango Delta, Botswana
We leave our lodge on the Caprivi for Etsha, on the western border of the Okavango Delta. 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.
Day 17: Moremi Game Reserve
We get up early for our scenic flight from the panhandle of the Okavango Delta into Moremi Game Reserve. The park has a distinctly dual personality, with large areas of dry land rising between vast wetlands. The reserve is part of the Okavango Delta officially cordoned off for the preservation of wildlife. Watch for game as we transfer in 4x4 safari vehicles from the airstrip to our camp, which is set up for us deep in the Reserve. This afternoon we will enjoy a game drive. Dinner and overnight camping in Moremi.
Day 18: Moremi Game Reserve
We spend today exploring the Moremi region of the Okavango Delta. We take a morning and afternoon game drive when the animals are most active. Overnight camping in Moremi.
Day 19: Savuti
This morning we have a game drive along the small winding roads surrounded by low bush to the Savuti area. There are several waterholes here to attract both animals and birdlife. Afternoon game drive through this seldom visited area of the Linganti Wildlife Reserve. Overnight Savuti.
Day 20: Chobe National Park
We depart in our safari vehicles for the trip to Botswana's famous Chobe National Park. Most of the trip should have excellent game viewing possibilities as this vast region is a magnificent ecosystem supporting a high concentration of wildlife and bird life. This afternoon 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 at Chobe Safari Lodge or similar.
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.
Day 22: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
We cross into Zimbabwe across the Zambezi River. After completing immigration formalities we continue to our hotel, located within Victoria Falls National Park. This afternoon we can enjoy the stunning architecture of the hotel, reminiscent of the ancient Kingdom of Munhumutapa, with great domes, pillars and bridges over the many water features. Optional activities (additional cost) while we are in Zimbabwe which may be available include bungee jumping, ultralight or helicopter flights, walking with lions or elephant riding. Overnight at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
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". Later, we will visit a traditional Zimbabwe village. In late afternoon we will return to the Zambezi River for a delightful cruise. 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 at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
Day 24: Flight from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to Johannesburg
Our afternoon flight takes us to Johannesburg, South Africa. Upon arrival we are transferred to our hotel where we have some time to unwind before our farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight in Sandton area.
Day 25: Depart Johannesburg, South Africa
Today we say goodbye to Africa and transfer to the airport to connect with our international flights homeward or connect to our Cape Town Extension.
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