Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe - Splendors of Southern Africa

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Download Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe Detailed Itinerary

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 Sesriem

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 300km long and nearly 150km wide sand sea that covers 32,000 sq km of western Namibia.

Overnight near Sesriem.


Day 3: Sossusvlei - World's Highest Sand Dunes

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 N.P. & Kuiseb Canyon, to 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: Scenic Flight Over the Skeleton Coast

Swakopmund is often fondly referred to as the “playground of Namibia”. It has numerous activities ranging from adventure to exploring the fascinating features of the Namib Desert and the animals and plants that occur and survive here. Embrace the relaxed pace of this idyllic coastal town whilst enjoying coffee and freshly baked pastries in one of the many cafés. Take time to get the feel of this quaint town with its historic buildings, museums, shopping arcades and beach bar that has transformed into its own personality by the vibrant use of color and the bohemian lifestyle.

After lunch we enjoy a scenic flight that takes us from Swakopmund east via the "Moon Landscape" and along the Swakop riverbed to the Swakop and Kahn rivers intersection. Crossing the Oasis Groanikontes, we fly over the sea of shifting sand dunes. Upon reaching the coast at Conception Bay we pass colonies of Cape Fur seals followed by the wreck of passenger liner "Eduard Bohlen" stranded in 1909, lying 250 meters away from the shoreline. We also fly over the "Shawnee" stranded in 1976. We continue on to enjoy aerial views of Sandwich Harbour, a wetland of international importance and protected by the Ramsar Convention. The highest record density of Lesser and Greater flamingos was recored here at low tide with 7791 birds per kilometer. We then return to Swakopmund in time for dinner.

Overnight in Swakopmund.


Day 6: Damaraland, Cape Cross Seal Colony, Bushman Rock Paintings, Petrified Forest

This morning we make our way from Swakopmund to Cape Cross where we have an opportunity to visit the large seal colony of up close. We can also see where the Portuguese landed in 1486. The drive continues to Twyfelfontein to explore the Bushman rock paintings. 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 Damaraland.


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: Ovamboland

This morning we traverse the region of the 4 O's (locally referred together as “Owamboland”), home to 8 Oshiwambo groups that constitute the largest tribe found in Namibia. The area is Namibia’s most populated area by a long stretch, habituating over 50% of the population. It is an eclectic mix between communal, subsistence farming, fishing when necessary, and the energy of formal and informal business sectors. Here we visit a local homestead where highlights include a traditional “Kraal” inhabited by local residents and learn about the Oshiwambo’s local life, culture and customs.

Overnight at Ondangwa.


Day 10: To Etosha National Park

This morning we enter the Etosha National Park through its northern King Nehale Gate. 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! We enjoy a picnic lunch at a park rest stop and then continue on to our lodge located within the park. In the late afternoon we enjoy a safari game drive in search of elephants, giraffes, rhinos, lions, zebra and more.

Overnight in Etosha.


Days 11 - 12: Etosha National Park - Safaris

Today we enjoy game drives in Etosha National Park, Namibia's premier safari experience. The park has over 114 different game species, or for avid birders, in excess of 340 bird species. We search for giraffe, blue wildebeest, plains and mountain zebra, hyena, lion, leopard, antelopes such as kudu, oryx, eland, as well as some of the endangered species such as black rhino, cheetah and the black-faced impala are all found here. An extensive network of roads link the over 30 water holes allowing the visitor an opportunity to do a real game viewing safari over the stretch of the park as each different area will provide different encounters.

Overnight in lodge near Etosha.


Day 13: Bushmanland

This morning we head towards Grootfontein. We enjoy a picnic lunch at the Hoba Meteorite. With a mass estimated at more than 60 tonnes, it is considered the largest known iron meteorite (as a single piece) and the most massive naturally occurring piece of iron known at the earth's surface. From here, we make our way to our guest farm where the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.

Overnight at a guest farm near Grootfontein.


Day 14: Bushmen Experience, Kavango River

Early this morning we depart our guest farm and make our way to the Living Museum of the Ju/'Hoansi Bushmen amidst their natural environment. We witness daily activities in the village, which may include food preparation, bead work 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. In the 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 Kavango region.


Days 15 - 16: To Okavango Delta, Botswana

Today we depart for the Okavango Delta. Our lodge is located on the western region of the Okavango Panhandle and serves as our home base for the next 2 days. We transfer to our lodge located deep in the Delta's marshes. Depending on water level, we may transfer by 4X4, motorboat 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 Okavango Delta.


Day 17: Zambezi Region

Traveling further east we enter the Bwabwata National Park, another of Namibia’s wilderness areas that is bordered only by natural river systems and therefore preserves game species their ageless migration routes. Our lodge is situated along the reed-lined Kwando River. An abundance of wildlife lives here, including lion, roan, sable, elephant and buffalo as well as over 450 different bird species. Explore this water rich area by boat or on a game drive, or alternatively we can visit a traditional village situated close to your lodge.

Overnight near Bwabwata National Park.


Day 18: Chobe River Front

We travel via the town of Katima Mulilo towards the end of the Zambezi strip. The lodge for the following nights is situated along the banks of the Chobe River, shortly before it enters Botswana. Having enjoyed a sundowner drink on a river beach setting, we return to the lodge for dinner.

Overnight on the banks of the Chobe River.


Day 19: Chobe River Front

Today we enjoy a guided canoeing excursion to experience the rich diversity of bird and wildlife of the Chobe River, followed by a short walk to a light lunch spot. We then return to the lodge either by boat (depending on the water level) or guided walk, experiencing the open African plains scattered with wildlife. The remainder of the day is at leisure enjoying the open space.

Overnight on the banks of the Chobe River.


Day 20: Chobe National Park

This morning we are transferred to Chobe National Park. After lunch, we take part in an sunset boat cruise along the banks of the Chobe River, watching for hippos, crocodiles, elephants, giraffes and impala which come to the waters edge to drink. The park is reputed to have some of the largest concentrations of game in Africa so expect an exciting afternoon!

Overnight near the Chobe National Park.


Day 21: Chobe Safari, to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Shortly before sunrise travel by open vehicle into the Chobe National Park for a game drive. On return we enjoy breakfast before we make our way into Zimbabwe, as we cross the Zambezi River. We continue to our hotel, located within Victoria Falls National Park.

After a light lunch, we set off to visit the majestic Victoria Falls and walk through the mists for a close up sight of the "Smoke that Thunders". The world-famous falls are 1.7 km (1.1 miles) wide and drops between 90 meters (295 feet) and 107 meters (351 feet) into the Zambezi Gorge. We return to our lodge with time to relax before we enjoy a traditional boma dinner.

Overnight in Victoria Falls National Park.


Day 22: Victoria Falls - Stanley & Livingston Historian/Storyteller, Zambezi Sunset Cruise

After breakfast, you have a free morning to relax poolside, while overlooking the famous watering hole at our lodge.

After lunch at our hotel we shall enjoy hearing about the life and legacy of 2 of Africa's greatest explorers, personalities and humanitarians - Stanley & Livingston, as well as Livingstone's closest friends, Chuma and Sussi, who Livingstone spared from a life of slavery. Enjoy the fascinating and animated story telling from a well-known local historian and storyteller.

In the 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 before we return to the lodge for our farewell dinner.

Overnight in Victoria Falls National Park.


Day 23: Depart Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

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

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