overview

This is the way to really get under Africa’s skin: a 17-day itinerary that commences in the continent’s ‘adventure capital’ – Victoria Falls – and ends with a comprehensive road-trip through the most exciting and bewitching areas of Namibia. In between, you savour the peace, tranquillity and majesty of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, one of the world’s greatest wildernesses.

You kick off in Livingstone at the Victoria Falls, a massive sheet of deafening spray on the Zambezi River. The Zambezi is a natural playground with sunset boat cruises, thrilling white-water rafting and microlighting all on offer. From there, you cross the border to Kasane in Botswana to catch a light aircraft flight to the Moremi Game Reserve on the Okavango Delta. Once again, water activities are a highlight: navigating the Delta by mekoro is a ‘must-do’ for any safari goer.

After getting your fill of Botswana, it is time to head to one of Africa’s best destinations for a road trip. Namibia has an excellent highway infrastructure, beautiful scenery and very little other traffic outside the few major towns – ideal for enjoying your time behind the wheel. You will take in Windhoek, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei, Damaraland and the country’s flagship nature reserve: Etosha National Park.

Ideal for a family vacation or even an intrepid honeymoon, this tour gives you the best of three of Africa’s most different and compelling landscapes.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Experience the excitement of Victoria Falls
  • Drift along the Okavango in a mokoro
  • Be awed by Sossusvlei
  • Road trip through the best of Namibia
  • Find the Big 5 in Etosha

Day to Day Itinerary

Days 1-4

Have fun at Victoria Falls

You and your fellow travellers will gather at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, for the short flight to Livingstone in Zambia. This small but busy town is the gateway to Victoria Falls, that massive drop of water on the Zambezi River traditionally known as Mosi-au-Tunya or ‘the smoke that thunders’. 

Your home here will be the Stanley Safari Lodge, whose location on a hilltop gives you a view of the Falls’ white spray – enjoy lunch or afternoon tea with this beautiful vista as a backdrop.

Largely built from stone and sturdy pebbles rubbed smooth from years of being tumbled along Africa’s rivers, Stanley’s has a laidback atmosphere that is ideal for adventurous types who want to be on the go with canoe trails or guided walks, but also provides enough peace and quiet for those who enjoy sunset cruises or following the antics of the local birds with a pair of binoculars. Between activities, stretch out alongside the infinity pool or cool down with a few laps.

Days 4-7

Immerse yourself in the Delta

From the thrills ‘n spills of Victoria Falls to the serenity and bliss of the Okavango Delta. A light aircraft will carry you from Livingstone to Kasane in Botswana, where a driver will be waiting to take you to Xakanaxa Camp on the Khwai River. Xakanaxa is the Moremi Game Reserve and has one of the most unique features of all Botswana’s camps: an in-tent ‘misting system’ that cools you down in the heat of the afternoon. This is a very rare luxury and is ideal if you prefer to stay in your tent with a good book rather than laze at the swimming pool.

Although Moremi is a small reserve by Africa’s standards, it is packed with jaw-dropping natural beauty and plenty of wildlife, especially endangered wild dogs, elephants, hippos, crocodiles and plenty of migratory bird species. As you are poled along the shimmering waterways in a mokoro, look for minute frogs among the reeds and enjoy the sight of delicate pastel waterlilies floating on the surface.

Days 7-8

Off to Namibia

It is time to bid the Delta farewell, which starts with making your way from Moremi to Maun for the short flight to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. Despite abutting each other, the countries could not be more different: Botswana is home to the world’s largest inland delta; Namibia to its oldest desert. Yet the same sense of timeless eternity, peace and serenity is to be found in each.

When you land at Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek, your rental 4x4 will be waiting for you and your next adventure. Namibia has an excellent and well-maintained road network with very little other traffic – great conditions for enjoying a road trip! Your first stop will be Olive Grove guesthouse in a quiet, upscale neighbourhood outside the city centre. With a welcoming, homely atmosphere, this is a very comfortable spot to spend the night before setting out for Sossusvlei.

Days 8-10

The sands of Sossusvlei

Rising hundreds of feet above the surface of Namib-Naukluft National Park, the dunes of Sossusvlei are among the most photogenic in the world. Deep shades of gold, ochre and bronze depending on the time of day, they are a favourite with visitors to this desert country. Dune 45 is popular to climb at sunrise while nearby Dead Vlei – literally an ancient wetland that is now parched dry and studded with desiccated tree stumps – is an otherworldly place that must be seen to be believed.

You will have plenty of time to explore this scenic landscape as you check into Sossusvlei Lodge for two nights, an air-conditioned haven that also has a private beer garden, a swimming pool and family-friendly rooms.

A great way to see the dunes is from the air, either on a dawn hot-air balloon ride or by a light aircraft, the undulating ripples of sand opening out before you all the way to the turbulent Atlantic Ocean. If you would prefer to stay with your feet on solid ground, then your options are no less varied: lace up your hiking boots for a guided nature walk to understand how the smallest of creatures survives this seemingly unforgiving landscape or flick the ignition on a quad bike (ATV) for a thrilling ride over the sand led by an experienced guide.

Days 10-11

Back in history

Swakopmund must be one of the most unique towns in all of Africa. Lying on the Atlantic shore and frequently cocooned by fogs off the ocean, it is a treasure trove of Germanic architecture dating back to the 1800s when Namibia was colonised by Germany. Quaint old houses and shops in retro colours dominate the town’s centre and it is not unusual to see German cuisine on the menus of Swakopmund’s cosy restaurants.

After your drive from Sossusvlei you will be welcomed by the staff at the Swakopmund Guesthouse, where the airy décor takes its inspiration from the close proximity of the beach.

Days 11-13

Discover wild Damaraland

This morning you leave city life behind and head for Damaraland, specifically the magnificent Brandberg Mountains and the Huab River valley. Your home for two days will be Damaraland Camp, which is arguably Namibia’s most successful eco lodge. The rugged landscape may look inhospitable to the untrained eye but your highly experienced guides and trackers will be able to look for desert-adapted elephants, lion and probably the most iconic of the country’s desert animals: the scimitar-horned oryx.

In addition to rewarding wildlife sightings, Damaraland has some of the world’s most interesting and detailed rock art. Get in the saddle on a mountain bike and set out for Twyfelfontein, where there is a massive concentration of petroglyphs – or rock carvings – by the San that could date back at least 6 000 years. Twyfelfontein is considered so unique that it was declared Namibia’s first World Heritage Site in 2007.

Days 13-16

The best for last

You are now in northern Namibia and ready for ‘the big one’: Etosha National Pan. This is a self-driver’s heaven: flat roads, plenty of game and mysterious Etosha Pan. Your accommodation – Ongava Tented Camp - is in a private reserve adjacent to the national park which allows you to have the best of both worlds. By day, you can venture into Etosha for classic game drives and, in the evening, you can do night drives around Ongava. The private reserve allows you do undertake guided walking safaris, which are also not permitted in the national park.

If you would prefer to spend a day out of the vehicle, then settle into a comfortable seat with a cool drink at Ongava’s popular waterhole, which is floodlit at night, for easy ‘armchair game viewing’. Although you will be staying in a tent, you will have running water, a flush toilet and a ceiling fan – necessary comforts in the bush!

The area is known to shelter plenty of predators so be on the lookout for lion and cheetah, which are fairly commonly spotted.

Days 16-17

Return to Windhoek

After a week in Namibia and a further week discovering Victoria Falls and the Okavango Delta, you will have explored some of Southern Africa’s most enticing, evocative and unforgettable landscapes. Today, you commit them to memory and drive back to Windhoek, the friendly staff at Olive Grove waiting to hear all about your journey through their incredible country.

Inclusions

  • Flight from Victoria Falls to Windhoek
  • 11 Days Car Rental in Namibia
  • Transfers as specified in the itinerary
  • 3 Nights at Ilala Lodge on bed and breakfast basis
  • 3 Nights at Camp Xakanaka on fully inclusive basis
  • 1 Night at Olive Grove on bed and breakfast basis
  • 2 Nights at Damaraland Camp on dinner, bed and breakfast basis
  • 3 Nights at Ongava Tented Camp on fully inclusive basis
  • 2 Nights at Sossusvlei Lodge on dinner, bed and breakfast basis
  • 1 Night at Swakopmund Guesthouse on bed and breakfast basis
  • Shared light aircraft flights as specified in the itinerary

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Rates on Request

Add to wishlist
Remove from wishlist

Ratedby Travellers