Back to Africa with Lex Hes: Safari to Namibia, Botswana, Zambia

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Tour Description

Heighten your Africa adventure travel experience with one of the finest bush guides on the continent, Lex Hes. We combine three remarkable countries—Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia—on this Africa expedition, enjoying a staggering array of wildlife, from desert rhino to Thornicroft’s giraffe, via chartered aircraft and 4x4 vehicles. Each Lex Hes tour benefits from his 30 years of experience as a guide at the famous Londolozi Game Reserve and his innate knowledge and instincts about Africa. Personal encounters with the Himba people, driving through rugged Damaraland, and paddling winding river channels--it’s all part of this incredible Africa tour.

Africa with Lex Hes Expedition highlights include:

  • Accommodations at Desert Rhino Camp in Damaraland, set in a million-acre reserve and home to black rhinos, rhinos, elephants, and more.
  • Opportunity for guided quad-biking excursion in the massive sand dunes of Serra Cafema—a must for those seeking authentic Africa adventure travel.
  • Exploration of the Okavango Delta by dug-out canoes, guided by polers from the local BaYei tribe.
  • Mombo, Africa tour with concentration on birding; look out for pelicans, storks, cranes, Dickinson’s kestrels, Meyer’s parrots, and others.
  • Nighttime drives—one of the most sublime parts of adventure travel with Lex Hes—offer superb wildlife viewing of genet, civet, serval, hyena, and bush baby.

What to expect:

Your Africa expedition with Lex Hes will require a moderate level of exertion on most days, including chartered aircraft flights, and long game drives over bumpy terrain. Our accommodations are quite comfortable and most tents are en suite and designed to the highest standards; however, there are no fences surrounding the camps, and animals of all sizes are encountered within the camp boundaries—a memorable aspect of Africa adventure travel, to be sure! Precipitation is likely and daytime temperatures will range from 65°F in Zambia to 85°F in Namibia and Botswana.

Itinerary

Day 1

USA

Depart on your flight to Namibia.

Day 2

Windhoek, Namibia

Arrive Windhoek and transfer to the Hotel Heinitzburg. This evening we gather for cocktails and dinner.

Day 3-5

Windhoek / Desert Rhino Camp, Damaraland

After breakfast we transfer to the airport to board our chartered aircraft to Desert Rhino Camp. Located in a million-acre reserve, the camp boasts an outstanding wilderness experience in comfortable accommodations. The reserve’s harsh countryside is punctuated with a number of fresh water springs that support healthy populations of desert-adapted black rhino and elephant as well as large populations of the rare Hartmann’s mountain zebra, oryx, and kudu. Predators are also numerous, with the largest populations of lion, cheetah, leopard, and brown and spotted hyena found outside Etosha National Park. Many of Namibia’s endemic bird species are found here, as well as succulent plants uniquely adapted for life in this desert. While at Desert Rhino Camp we have the opportunity for walks and drives in one of the best wilderness areas in Namibia.

Day 6-7

Desert Rhino Camp / Serra Cafema

After breakfast, we depart for Serra Cafema Camp. Arguably the most remote camp in all of southern Africa, it overlooks the Kunene River—the only permanent water source in the region, creating a lush oasis along its banks surrounded by rugged mountains and sand dunes.

This region is also home to the Himba tribe, one of the last nomadic people in all of Africa. Our encounters with the Himba are among the most memorable experiences of our days in Namibia. Himba families live in proximity to Serra Cafema, giving us an opportunity to visit and learn more about their lifestyle and traditions.

Other activities include game drives to view herds of oryx and springbok, boating on the Kunene, hiking, and birding. For the more adventurous, one of the highlights of Serra Cafema is guided quad-bike excursions allowing us to visit the massive sand dunes near camp.

Day 8-9

Serra Cafema / Ongava

Our next destination is the ideal location for our activities in Etosha National Park. Ongava Tented Camp is situated along the southern boundary of Etosha in a privately owned reserve.

Etosha, “the place of dry water,” offers one of the great wildlife experiences remaining in Africa. Covering over 8,000 square miles, the park encompasses a vast salt pan 80 miles long and is Namibia’s premier game-viewing destination.

Ongava is one of the few private game reserves in southern Africa where we may see white and black rhino, and the area holds good populations of lion, eland, mountain zebra, black-faced impala, a number of other antelope species, and a host of birdlife. In addition to our daytime activities, we enjoy game walks and nighttime game drives.

Day 10-11

Ongava / Vumbura, Botswana

After breakfast we depart Ongava by charter flight to Vumbura Plains Camp via Grootfontein and Maun. Vumbura lies in the extreme north of the Okavango Delta.

The Okavango Delta’s waters allow us to explore the camp’s flood plains via mekoros (dug-out canoes) guided by polers from the BaYei tribe, who have been using them as their traditional form of transport for hundreds of years. Water levels permitting, boats take us into the larger and deeper areas of water while 4x4 vehicles allow us to get in proximity to animals in the savanna areas. This is possibly the only area in the Okavango where one can see red lechwe from a mokoro in the morning and a sable antelope from a vehicle in the afternoon. Other wildlife sightings may include lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and various species of antelope.

Day 12-14

Vumbura / Mombo

After a morning activity and brunch we depart Vumbura by private charter to the north-western tip of Chief’s Island and Mombo Camp. We spend a total of three days exploring the area surrounding Mombo with its wide, expansive plains filled with unparalleled wildlife and scenery. All the major predators—lion, leopard, cheetah, and wild dog—can be seen close to camp. Elephant, buffalo, and various species of antelope are also abundant in the area. You’ll see profuse birdlife, with large concentrations of pelicans, storks, and cranes, as well as Dickinson’s kestrels, pink-throated longclaws, and Meyer’s parrots.

Day 15-16

Mombo / Dumatau

Following morning activities and brunch we travel to the Linyanti area and spend two full days at DumaTau Camp. Our accommodations overlook a large hippo-filled lagoon, providing a rich backdrop of African wildlife with its resident birds and mammals, which come and go throughout the day.

The Linyanti Reserve, 776 square miles of unspoiled wilderness, is totally uninhabited by humans. It supports a wide variety of species, but is most noted for its very large elephant population, which can reach enormous densities. The area is also home to large numbers of lechwe, kudu, sable, roan, waterbuck, and buffalo. With this multitude of prey, all of the major predators, including lion, leopard, cheetah, and hyena are regularly sighted in the area.

Diverse activities allow us to spend time on the water (water levels permitting), on land, and occasionally on foot. Day and night game drives are conducted in open 4x4 vehicles along the Savuti Channel and the banks of the Linyanti River. There are also hides in the area where we enjoy wildlife viewing up close and away from our vehicles.

Day 17-19

Dumatau / South Luangwa, Zambia

After brunch and one last excursion in Botswana we depart for our final destination and country—Zambia. Our time here is spent exploring the impressive variety of terrain and intense concentrations of wild- life within South Luangwa National Park. Early-morning and afternoon excursions bring us into proximity with the park’s 60 animal species, including two species found nowhere else on the planet: Cookson’s wildebeest and the graceful Thornicroft’s giraffe, and at least 400 species of birds. South Luangwa’s leopard population is the densest in Africa, sustained by antelope species such as the elusive bushbuck, the golden-brown puku, and the majestic spiral-horned kudu. We also set out in search of the endangered African wild dog. Nighttime drives give us a chance to search for nocturnal animals such as genet, civet, serval, hyena, and bush baby.

Day 20

Zambia / Homeward

After brunch, we depart our lodge by private charter to Lusaka to connect with your independent flights homeward.

Day 21

Home

Flights arrive in home cities today.

Departures

Pricing Information

Land-based Accommodations

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Tour Notes

Flights are not included in the cost of expeditions; however, Zegrahm Expeditions has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements. Since many of our expeditions embark and disembark from remote destinations, the airports that serve these areas often have limited carriers and/or daily flights. As such, our air team is well-versed in planning complex routings for our travelers.