Cape Town, considered the most beautiful city in the world, enchants visitors with its charming harbor and awe-inspiring Table Mountain. This flat-topped peak that presides over the city can be summited either by foot or by the far less taxing cableway, which offers revolving views on your ride to the top. A trip to Cape Peninsula offers splendid swimming and wildlife viewing, and a tour of the lush Cape Winelands allows you to sample some of the world's finest wines, rivaling French and Italian vintages.
In stark contrast, Namibia might seem like one of Earth's most desolate places. With its ancient deserts, parched salt pans and a windblown shoreline littered with weathered hulls of foundered ships, there would seem little potential for life and color - and little to interest the average traveler. But there is a startling beauty in its vistas from the multi-hued dunes of the Namib Desert. And surprisingly, Namibia is home to an incredible variety of plants and animals that have adapted to the extreme climate. Its national parks and wildlife refuges are among the finest in Africa.
Namibia is not usually listed among the top destinations in Africa, but it has a lot to offer those looking for an unusual destination off the beaten track. Although its terrain is harsh and demanding, it is actually one of the safer and more stable countries in Africa.
- Walking in the giant dunes of Sossusvlei and the Namib Desert
- Optional activities in Swakopmund
- Visit to a traditional Himba village
- Game drives in Etosha National Park
- The Okavango River
- Sunset game viewing cruise on the Chobe River
- 2 nights in Victoria Falls
Day 1: WINDHOEK
Upon arrival the afternoon in Windhoek is free to explore the capital city of Namibia. Dinner on your own account.
Overnight at Hotel Safari (or similar).
Day 2-3: SESRIEM
Meet at 10 am in the reception area of your hotel for the transfer to Sesriem. Our journey takes us south through ever changing scenery to our accommodation located on the edge of the Namib Desert, considered by many geologists to be one of the world’s oldest deserts. The following morning is an early departure driving 55 km through the dune belt while the sun rises around us. The incredible changing colors lend itself to amazing photo opportunities. We undertake a 5 km walk to Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. The name "Sossusvlei" is of mixed origin, and roughly means "dead end marsh." Sossusvlei owes this name to the fact that it is a drainage basin without outflows for the ephemeral Tsauchab River. The pan holds rainwater to form a lake and due to the high clay content of the ground, water is retained for long periods of time. Deadvlei is another clay pan, about 2 km from Sossusvlei. A notable feature is that it used to be an oasis with several acacia trees. The pan is thus punctuated by blackened, dead acacia trees in vivid contrast to the shiny white of the salty floor of the pan and the intense orange of the dunes. This creates a particularly fascinating and surrealistic landscape that appears in uncountable pictures and that has been used as a setting for many films and videos. In the afternoon we enjoy a short hike through the Sesriem Canyon which is a natural landscape carved by the Tsauchab rivier into local sedimentary rock about a kilometer long and up to 30 meters deep. A portion of the canyon permanently contains water, which many animals use for drinking.
Overnight Desert Camp (or similar)- B.
Day 4-5: SWAKOPMUND
Today we travel through the Kuiseb canyon, site of the famous book by Henno Martin, The Sheltering Desert before we stop at Walvis Bay to view the flamingos (seasonal). The Walvis Bay wetlands – the lagoon, mudflats, shoreline and salt works – constitute the single most important coastal wetland in southern Africa for migratory birds. The wetland therefore serves mainly as a dry-season and drought refuge for migrating species like the Greater and Lesser Flamingos, Plover, Grebe, and African Black Oystercatcher. We arrive in Swakopmund, a quaint beach town with a strong German influence with a sizable part of its population still German-speaking today. Founded in 1892 as the main harbor for German South-West Africa, Swakopmund translates to "Mouth of the Swakop" as it is at the mouth of the Swakop River. We spend the afternoon and following day exploring this colonial town or booking one of the numerous optional excursions (additional expense). Activities available include hot air ballooning or scenic flights over the vast Namib Desert.
Overnight at the Swakopmund Boutique Hotel (or similar)- B
Day 6: DAMARALAND
We leave the coast behind and drive inland through the Damaraland region. Damaraland was a name given to the north-central part of Namibia and inhabited by the Damara people, an ethnic group who make up 8.5% of the population. Thought to be a remnant of southwestern Africa’s hunter-gatherers, they have no known cultural relationship with any of the other tribes elsewhere in Africa. The region is a vast and rugged terrain with mountain ranges intercepted by wide gravel plains, which run into sandy, vegetated riverbeds and hot, dry valleys. Be on the lookout for the slightly smaller, desert-adapted elephants found predominantly in the Kaokaland and Damaraland regions. The Desert Elephant belongs to the same family as the savanna elephant and are a protected species. Consider yourself lucky if you see the elusive desert elephant or desert rhino, as these animals were subjected to poaching in the 1980s and numbers have diminished significantly. Our lodge is located on top of a mountain with spectacular views of the surrounding area. Spend the afternoon taking in the incredible scenery or simply relaxing by the pool.
Overnight Ugab Terrace Lodge (or similar)- B
Days 7: HIMBA VISIT / ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
In the morning we visit the Himba people, a semi-nomadic tribe living in scattered settlements throughout the region. They are characterized by their proud yet friendly stature and the women are noted for their unusual beauty enhanced by intricate hairstyles and traditional dress. The Himba are an ethnic group of about 20,000 to 50,000 people living in northern Namibia in the Kunene region (formerly Kaokoland). They are mostly nomadic, pastoral people, closely related to the Herero, and speak Otjihimba, a dialect of the Herero language. Learn about the daily life in a Himba village and why they rub their skins with red ochre, but this should be undertaken with sensitivity and respect for their traditions and lifestyle. After our visit we proceed to Etosha National Park where we enjoy our first game drive and relax by the floodlight waterhole in the evening.
Overnight Halali Restcamp inside Etosha National Park (or similar)- B
Day 8: ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
Etosha was first established in 1907, when Namibia was a German colony known as South West Africa. At the time, the park’s original 100,000 km² made it the largest game reserve in the world. Due to political changes since its original establishment, the park is now slightly less than a quarter of its original area, but still remains a very large and significant size in which wildlife is protected. This Park is one of the most important reserves and game sanctuaries in Africa with thousands of wild animals such as blue wildebeest, springbok, zebra, kudu, giraffe, cheetah, leopard, lion, and elephant calling the area their home. The day is spent on a game drive through the Park from the Western to the Eastern side.
Overnight Namutoni Restcamp inside Etosha National Park (or similar)- B
Day 9-10: OKAVANGO RIVER
Leaving Etosha we enter the Caprivi, sometimes called the Caprivi Strip, Caprivi Panhandle or the Okavango Strip and formally known as "Itenge." It is a narrow protrusion of Namibia eastwards about 450 km between Botswana to the south, Angola and Zambia to the north and the Okavango Region to the west. We spend the night amongst the lush vegetation overlooking the Okavango River. It is the fourth-longest river system in southern Africa, running southeastward for 1,600 km. It begins in Angola, where it is known as the Cubango River. Further south it forms part of the border between Angola and Namibia and then flows into Botswana, draining into the Moremi Game Reserve. The following day is free for optional excursions (not included) such as boat cruises & game drives.
Overnight Ndhovu Safari Lodge (or similar)- B
Day 11-12: CHOBE RIVER
Crossing into Botswana via the Chobe National Park we overnight on the banks of the Chobe River. Chobe is famous for its beautiful scenery, magnificent sunsets and abundance of wildlife and birdlife. The National Park has one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa. Where the Chobe river flows into the Zambezi River the two form the borders between Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, one of the few places in the world that four countries border each other. We relax on a sunset game-viewing cruise on the Chobe River. An optional morning game drive is possible (not included).
Overnight Chobe Safari Lodge (or similar)-B
Day 13-14: VICTORIA FALLS
Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park (otherwise known as Victoria Falls) is a UNESCO world heritage site. The Park covers 66 km2 from the Songwe Gorge below the falls in a northwest arc along 20 km of the Zambian riverbank. Two countries - Zambia and Zimbabwe, share the magnificent falls. Nothing can compare to viewing the awesome power of "The Smoke that thunders” for the first time. There will be plenty of opportunity to view the Falls up close and personal by traversing the many walkways in and around the rain forest that surrounds the many view points (entrance fee not included). In the wet season, be sure to wear a raincoat as the spray can give you a thorough drenching! Victoria Falls is also the “adventure capital” of Southern Africa and there are many optional activities on offer to wet your appetite. These range from Elephant back safaris to game drives in the nearby national park, scenic micro light or helicopter flights or for the more adventurous, white water rafting or bungi jumping. Victoria Falls also has many markets where you can browse African curios.
Overnight A’Zambezi River Lodge (or similar)- B
Day 15:VICTORIA FALLS
The tour ends after breakfast.
The itinerary will depend on local conditions.
|2013 From Cape Town to Victoria Falls|
|June 30- July 20|
|2013 From Victoria Falls to Cape Town|
|July 28- Aug 17|
|Sept 22- Oct 12|
|Sept 29-Oct 19|
|Nov 24-Dec 14|
June and November: $4850 per Person (USD)
July- October: $4990 per Person (USD)
Group Size: 4-10 passengers. Departure guaranteed with a minimum of 4
Transport: Fully equipped safari vehicle.
Accommodations: Lodges, chalets & permanent tented camps.
Meals: 20 breakfasts, 20 lunches & 16 dinners
Inclusions: English-speaking guide, accommodations and meals as per itinerary, all transportation, excursions and activities as per itinerary, all park fees, game drives as per the itinerary, airport transfers.
Exclusions: International airfare, visas, gratuities, items of a personal nature, all beverages, travel insurance and optional activities.
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.