Southern Africa Explorer

Southern Africa Explorer information and booking

from
$2460
  • Duration
    22 days
    Days
  • Group size
    4-16
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    Adventure touring
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Schedule Details

Summary
  • 16 nights fully serviced camping
  • 4 nights hotel
  • 1 night guesthouse
Equipment Required
Specialist gear required include walking boots or shoes and a day pack (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).

Highlights

  • Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope
  • Augrabies Falls National Park
  • Game drives in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
  • Fish River Canyon
  • Walking in the giant dunes of Sossusvlei and the Namib Desert
  • Visit of a traditional Himba village
  • Game drives in Etosha National Park
  • The Okavango River
  • Sunset cruise on the Chobe River
  • 2 nights in Victoria Falls

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

The countries that lie at the southern end of the African continent evoke a strong spirit of the wild. From the seemingly empty and endless dunes of the Namibian desert, to the teeming animal life of the Okavango River, this itinerary traverses the greatest parks, reserves and landscapes that Africa’s south has to offer. From Cape Town we head north towards the arid wilderness of Namibia. We marvel at the enormity of the Fish River Canyon, explore the boundless Namib Desert and search for desert elephants in Etosha National Park. In Botswana we enjoy some of Africa’s greatest wildlife experiences along the Okavango and Chobe Rivers. The magnificent Victoria Falls provides a backdrop to a multitude of adventurous options and is the end point of this fabulous journey through southern Africa.

What's included

  • 21 breakfasts, 17 lunches, 16 dinners
  • National park and permit fees
  • English speaking local guide and 2 camp assistants/cooks
  • All camping gear (including sleeping bag & pillow) spacious 2 person safari tents, camp bed and comfortable safari folding chair
  • Group camping equipment, reference library and first aid box
  • Game drives and boat cruise per itinerary
  • Private vehicle transport in custom built vehicles designed for african conditions, with fridge, forward-facing high back seats and ample storage

Itinerary

Day 1 Cape Town
The tour starts on Day 1 with a pre departure meeting at 18:00 in the lobby of the hotel. Set against the majestic Table Mountain, recently selected as one of the New 7 Natural Wonders of the world, Cape Town offers scenic, historic and cultural attractions. Dinner can be enjoyed at the bustling Waterfront at your own expense. Overnight Breakwater Lodge (or similar accommodation).
Day 2 Cape Town peninsula tour
After breakfast, you will meet your guide in the reception area of the hotel before departing on a full day peninsula tour. Leaving from the Breakwater Lodge at approximately 08:00 we will drive to Table Mountain (weather permitting) to ascend with the aerial cable cars (own expense). The first tourists travelled to the top of Table Mountain on 4 October 1929 and since then more than 20 million people have travelled up in progressively better cable cars. Enjoy the breathtaking 360° view of Cape Town, the Atlantic Ocean, Robben Island and the neighbouring peaks. Your tour of the peninsula will continue along the Atlantic seaboard via Hout Bay and Chapman's Peak to the Table Mountain National Park. Here you will get the opportunity to explore Cape Point - the southwestern tip of Africa as well as the Cape of Good Hope - first rounded in 1488 by the Portuguese on their quest to establish trade routes with the East. On the way back we pass through the quaint naval village of Simon's Town, originally named Simon's Vlek after Simon van der Stel, the Dutch governor of the Cape Colony. Time permitting you will visit Boulders beach to view the African Penguin colony (own expense) before returning along the Indian Ocean coastline via Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay and Muizenberg. Dinner can be enjoyed at the bustling Waterfront at your own expense. Overnight Breakwater Lodge (or similar accommodation).
Day 3 Hantam Region
After breakfast we depart Cape Town travelling north and pass through the picturesque Namaqualand region with spectacular views from the Van Ryns Pass. We arrive in our campsite 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 numerous wild flowers of the region.
Day 4 Augrabies Falls National Park
Leaving the Little Karoo we head north to the Augrabies Falls National Park. We pass through a lush oasis area with an abundance of wine farms. Here 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 its many viewpoints.
Day 5 to 6 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
We head north into the Kalahari and the magnificent Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Covering over 3.6 million hectares this is one of the largest reserves in Africa. Due to sparse vegetation in the area excellent predator sightings are common including that of the famous black mane Lion. We enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in the Park.
Day 7 Fish River Canyon
Leaving the Kalahari region we head west and enter Namibia. After setting up camp enjoy a walk along the rim of the canyon and watch the changing colours of sunset over the canyon. Second only to the Grand Canyon in size, Fish River Canyon is a truly awe-inspiring work of Nature.
Day 8 to 9 Sesriem and Sossusvlei
Our journey takes us north through ever changing scenery to our camp located on the edge of the Namib Desert. We enjoy a sunset walk in the dunes surrounding our camp. The following morning is an early departure for Sossusvlei, stopping in the dune belt to witness the changing colours of the world’s highest sand dunes. We undertake a 5km walk to Sossusvlei and Deadvlei - starkly beautiful in a harsh environment. In the afternoon we enjoy a short hike through the Sesriem Canyon
Day 10 To Swakopmund
Heading north we reach the coast at Walvis Bay and enjoy lunch while viewing the many flamingos feeding. We arrive in Swakopmund and spend the afternoon and following day exploring this German colonial town with it's tree-lined boulevard and shops and cafes or one of the numerous optional excursions (activities are arranged and paid for locally). Activities available include sandboarding, quad biking, skydiving, kayaking or scenic flights over the vast Namib. Accommodation in Guesthouse.
Day 11 Spitzkoppe
Leaving Swakopmund after lunch we set up camp among the boulders of the Spitzkoppe Mountains. The afternoon is free to explore the stunning surrounding area on foot. The spectacular setting of our remote bushcamp is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Day 12 to 13 Kaokoland & Himba Visit
We drive north 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 enter Kaokoland where we overnight. The following morning we visit the Himba tribe, a semi-nomadic tribe, living in scattered settlements throughout the region. They are characterised by their proud yet friendly stature and the women are noted for their unusual beauty, enhanced by intricate hairstyles and traditional dress. A few hours are spent learning more about these fascinating people. The afternoon is free to wander the town and experience the local people. Visiting a Himba village provides a good opportunity to learn about the inner workings of local village life. However, you need to be aware that the commercial reality of permitting this fascinating glimpse of culture necessitates the sale of handicrafts and other items. Of course you are under no obligation whatsoever to purchase these items, however should be aware they will be offered.
Day 14 to 15 Etosha National Park
We travel via Oshakati and enter the Eastern side of Etosha. Etosha National Park is one of the most important reserves and game sanctuaries in Africa. It is centred around a massive salt pan 50km wide and 130km long. Perennial springs and waterholes occur within the park allowing the predominantly desert environment to support an incredible diversity of wildlife such as blue wildebeest, springbok, zebra, kudu, giraffe, cheetah, leopard, lion and elephant. Floodlit waterholes at Namutoni campsite attracts an abundance of animals throughout the evening, providing us with many amazing wildlife sightings. We also enjoy early morning and late afternoon game drives, relaxing in the middle of the day when wildlife is least active. Overnight Namutoni Restcamp inside Etosha
Day 16 to 17 Okavango River
We enter the Caprivi Strip (Zambezi Region) where camp is set up among lush vegetation overlooking the Okavango River. Enjoy sunset on the deck or a swim in the famous “river pool”. Many optional activities (own expense) are available for the following day including a mokoro canoe trip*, bird walks and boat cruises which can all be booked and paid for locally. *Please note that World Expeditions does not operate the optional mokoro trip on Okavango River 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 with other local contractors, you do so against our advice and entirely at your own risk.
Day 18 to 19 Chobe River
Today we continue through the Caprivi Strip (Zambezi Region) and cross from Namibia into Botswana. We travel through the Chobe National Park and set up camp on the banks of the Chobe River. Chobe National Park is the second largest in Botswana and is famous for its beautiful scenery, magnificent sunsets, abundance of wildlife and myriad of birdlife. The following day we relax on a game viewing cruise on the Chobe River where we have opportunity to get close to riverine creatures such as crocodiles and hippos. A morning game drive in Chobe National Park is optional (own expense).
Day 20 Victoria Falls
Today we travel across the border into Zimbabwe to view Victoria Falls or "Mosi-oa-Tunya" (Smoke that Thunders), one of the most enthralling sights in Africa.This afternoon is at leisure to explore the Falls or take part in some of the many optional activities on offer in the adrenalin capital of Africa. Overnight Victoria Falls Rainbow Hotel (or similar).
Day 21 In Victoria Falls
Today is free to browse the local markets, simply relax, visit the Falls another time or to experience some of the many optional activities including rhino walks, white water rafting, bungi jumping, microlighting/ airplane or helicopter flights over the Falls (all at own expense). Overnight Victoria Falls Rainbow Hotel (or similar).
Day 22 Victoria Falls, trip concludes
Our tour ends today after breakfast.