- See ‘the Big 5’ up close at 2 of the best national parks in Africa
- Take in the majesty of Victoria Falls
- Glide through the Okavango Delta in a traditional dugout canoe
- Dance round the campfire with the Kalahari Bushmen
- Climb the towering red dunes of the Namib Desert
- Explore cosmopolitan Cape Town
Wilderness campsites, off-roading in the desert, the world’s highest sand dunes and world class safari parks – sound like a bit of you? Well that’s what you’ll get and more with this incredible 21 day group tour through the best of South West Africa. Travel through four countries in comfort in our overland adventure vehicle with spectacular scenery, unforgettable cultural experiences and unparalleled opportunities to see ‘the big 5’ up close.
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Day 1: Welcome to Zimbabwe!
Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Fly into Victoria Falls International Airport and head to the campground. Explore the local area or kick back and relax before meeting your guide and the rest of your group this evening for a beer and a bite to eat.
Day 2: Victoria Falls
One of the wonders of the world, Victoria Falls is not a sight you’ll forget in a hurry. Opt for a an aerial view with a helicopter ride, or get your adrenaline pumping with some rafting through the white waters of the Zambezi below. With rapids with names like ‘the Boiling Pot’ and ‘Oblivion’ you’d better pack your sense of adventure!
Day 3: Into Botswana - Chobe National Park
Cross over the border to Botswana where we’ll be staying in Kasane, near Chobe National Park – one of the best places to see wildlife in Africa. Options today include taking a trip through the park in an open safari vehicle and a sunset wildlife cruise down the river. Keep your eyes peeled for hippos, crocs and some of the largest elephant herds in the world!
Day 4: Chobe National Park and Gweta
We’ll head to Gweta today, but you can choose to take one last safari drive into Chobe before we go. We’ll camp under ancient baobabs in Gweta tonight, with a sky full of stars overhead.
Day 5: Okavango Delta
Journey to Maun, gateway to the mighty Okavango Delta. This water-logged landscape is an oasis in the harsh landscape of Africa and absolutely teems with life, from hippos and buffalo to exotic frogs and birds. You might want to book the Okavango Delta flight for a truly awe-inspiring view over the wetlands.
Day 6: Okavango Delta Bush Camp
Prepare for a real wilderness experience today as we plunge into the Okavango in our safari vehicle. Once we’re deep in the delta, we’ll board a traditional mokoro (dugout canoe) and drift along the waterways with only the sound of the pole swishing through the water and the wildlife all around. Tonight, stay in a remote bush camp in the heart of the delta.
Day 7: Kalahari Bushmen Lodge
Head to D’kar, where we’ll be spending the night at the Dgare Qare San Lodge and Camp, a unique social enterprise owned by the San (Bushmen). Choose to take a Bushman walk where you’ll learn all about the traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle of the tribe. Later you’ll join in a dance session round the campfire with the locals – an ancient spiritual ritual that can sometimes carry on long into the night.
Day 8: Into Namibia - Windhoek
Passports at the ready – we’re crossing into Namibia today! We’ll be staying in Windhoek, the country’s colonial capital. Dump your bag at the hostel before exploring the city. There’s loads to do, including museums, art galleries and the best nightlife in Namibia!
Day 9: Penduka Village and Waterberg Plateau
This morning we’ll stop at the Penduka Village and Shop where you can pick up a packed lunch and some souvenirs. Continue on to Waterberg Plateau Park. A huge table mountain, rising up from the savannah, Waterberg is one of the most epic sights in the country. Hike the trails around the plateau or just relax by the campground pool.
Day 10: Etosha National Park
Head to Etosha today - one of the best places in Africa to see ‘the big 5’ up close. We’ll start how we mean to go on, with a safari drive through the park. This evening, you can also opt to take an open vehicle safari drive – seeing the animals at night is very atmospheric.
Day 11: Etosha National Park
Spend a whole day exploring Etosha on a safari drive. See elephants bathing in the waterholes, hear the hyenas’ distinctive cackle and marvel at the spectacle of flocks of rosy flamingos, gathered on the salt pans. Later, gather at the campsite with your group and take a moment over a beer, to reflect on the incredible day you’ve just shared.
Day 12: Spitzkoppe
Travel south to Spitzkoppe– huge granite peaks that can be seen from miles around and one of the area’s most distinctive landmarks. Explore the ruggedly beautiful area on foot before heading back to camp for a night of fun round the fire.
Day 13: Travel to Swakopmund
We’re off to Swakopmund today – an attractive colonial city on the sea. Stroll around the relaxed streets, admiring the blend of German and African architecture before freshening up at the hostel and heading out for a night on the town.
Day 14: Swakopmund
Today is yours to spend as you choose. Swakopmund is well known as Namibia’s adventure capital, so channel your inner adrenaline junky and choose to go sandboarding, skydiving or take a scenic flight along the Skeleton Coast. Alternatively, take some more time to get to know this pleasant little city.
Day 15: Travel to the Namib Desert
We’re off to one the most extreme wildernesses on the planet today. Our campsite is right on the edge of the Namib Desert. Drop your stuff and either opt to take a guided walk through the red sands and camel thorn trees of this surreal landscape, or simply mellow out on camp.
Day 16: Namib Desert
Discover some of the most striking landscapes in the world today with a trip to Sesriem Canyon and the Sossuslvei Dunes. The dunes reach heights of up to 300m high! Climb to the top of mighty Dune 45 and look out over the desert – it’s a world apart.
Day 17: Travel to Fish River Canyon
It’s a long way to our destination today so get comfy and enjoy the view. Arrive in Fish River Canyon in time to watch the sun set. The canyon is the largest in Africa – you have to visit to really appreciate the scale of this geological wonder.
Day 18: Orange River (South Africa)
Cross over into South Africa before setting up camp at pretty Orange River. Spend the afternoon as you choose - relaxing and swimming in the river, or opt to canoe down the river. Wave at the locals in South Africa on one riverbank and Namibia on the other!
Day 19: Travel to Cederberg
Travel through the epic scenery of the West Cape before arriving at the Cederberg Mountains. We’ll be staying on a local farm tonight with a stunning rocky backdrop. Kick back on the farm and relax, or explore the local area. You might like to book yourself a wine tasting at one of the local cooperatives.
Day 20: Travel to Cape Town
Visit the !Khwa ttu San Culture Centre to learn more about San culture, before travelling to our final destination - Cape Town! One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town is well known for its spectacular scenery, adventure sports and fabulous food and wine. Once you’ve checked into the hostel, don’t waste any time getting out and exploring it!
Day 21: Goodbye Africa!
Pack your bags and say your goodbyes – your African adventure ends here. We recommend that you extend your trip by a day or two to enjoy everything that Cape Town has to offer. If you do want to extend, our guide can help with onward travel arrangements.
- 20 nights’ accommodation
- 18 breakfasts, 17 lunches and 12 dinners
- All camping equipment apart from sleeping bag, liner and pillow
- Dqae Qare San Lodge & Camp, Dekar
- Penduka Village Restaurant & Shop, Windhoek
- Khwattu San Culture and Education Centre
- Okavango Delta overnight bush camping excursion.
- Etosha National Park entrance with wildlife safari drives.
- Entrance to Sossusvlei Dunes, Fish River Canyon, and Spitzkoppe.
- All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- 24 hour emergency support
- Travel insurance
- Sleeping bag and liner
- Water bottle
- Optional activities
- Airport transfers
All accommodation is included.You’ll be spending 14 nights participation camping (where you erect your own tent and help with simple chores), 1 night in a permanent tented camp, 2 nights in a guesthouse, 2 nights bush camping and 1 night in a hostel. You will need to bring a sleeping bag and liner with you for this tour while camping.
Camping in Africa is a real adventure and allows you to experience the wilderness first-hand. Camping facilities are good in Africa, but can be basic. Most camps have flush toilets and showers. Some of the showers are outdoors with a reed screen for privacy – talk about getting back to nature! Easy assembly, 2-person dome tents are supplied, as are camp mattresses, which are warm and comfy. All tents have built-in insect netting on windows and doors. The ‘bush camping’ in the Okavango Delta is the most basic during this trip as there is no running water, showers or toilet facilities. It’s a truly wild, ‘away from it all’ experience.
Our nights in hostels and guesthouses will be in dorm style multi-share rooms.
Please note: there is an option to book your own room / tent for this tour at an extra cost.
Most meals are included in the package. This comprises of 18 breakfasts, 17 lunches and 12 dinners. Where a meal is not included, this is usually because there are good opportunities for you to sample local cuisine for yourself. South African food is particularly exciting with Dutch, French, Malay and Indian influences. All included meals, are prepared using fresh, local produce. Breakfasts usually consist of breads and cereals, lunches are usually light meals such as salads and sandwiches and evening meals are freshly prepared, hot and consist of a variety of local and European dishes.
Please note: Vegetarian and other special diets will need to be specified prior to arrival.
Fly into Victoria Falls Airport, Zimbabwe.You can either pre-arrange a transfer with us (extra cost), or make your own way to the starting accommodation by taxi. Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned apart from your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive whenever suits you. A welcome note will be left on your bed with info on when and where the welcome meeting will take place.
Leave Cape Town any time you wish on day 21. Your guide will assist you in booking transport back to the airport
Minimum age to participate in this programme is 18.
Please ensure your passport is valid, with at least six months validity remaining from the date of your planned return. It is your responsibility to obtain the necessary visas for your time away. All visa information is subject to change and you should consult the nearest High Commission or Embassy for the most up to date information. It is your responsibility to obtain the necessary visas for your time away.
Zimbabwe - British citizens will need a visa to visit Zimbabwe. This can be obtained from the Zimbabwean Embassy in London or on arrival in Zimbabwe. Visitors are typically given permission to stay up to 30 days.
Botswana & South Africa - No visa required for British nationals staying for 90 days or under.
Namibia - British nationals can enter Namibia for a holiday for up to 90 days. Before leaving the immigration desk in the arrivals hall, make sure you’ve been given permission to stay in Namibia for the duration of your trip and that you’ve been given a properly dated entry stamp.
Please note: If you plan to buy your visas at borders, you will need to bring $USD cash to pay for these visas. You cannot use the local currency or any other currency to buy these visas.
What Should I Pack?
This is a real adventure trip with lots of time spent outdoors, so it’s important that you pack the right kit. The seasons in Southern Africa are quite extreme. Winters can be very cold and summers are extremely hot. If you travel during winter months (May to October), make sure you bring clothing that is suited to the conditions.
Should I Bring Cash, Card Or Travellers’ Cheques?
Please don’t bring travellers’ cheques to Africa as they are difficult to exchange in many places. While there are many ATMs in the major centres, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank. Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best.
How Much Spending Money Should I Take?
Your accommodation and some meals are included in the price but you’ll need to bring cash for drinks, snacks and any additional activities you might want to participate in. Extra activities, range in price, depending on what you want to do. As a rough guide, £700-£900 spending money should be a good amount for the 21 days, depending on personal spending habits.
Do I Need Any Vaccinations?
We’re not qualified to offer you medical advice, so you should visit your GP well ahead of time to find out what vaccinations you might need. Remember to tell them exactly where you’re travelling to as vaccination and medication requirements vary between different African countries. You’ll also need to make sure you have enough of any prescribed medication to see you through the duration of your trip.
Can I Do Laundry During The Trip?
You’ll have the opportunity to do laundry at least once a week on this trip. Swakopmund lodge does laundry for the clients. At some of the campsites later in the trip, washing can be done by hand by some of the local women, and the price can be negotiated.
Due to Covid-19, many of our partners and suppliers across the globe are putting in place new procedures and policies regarding health and safety in response to the outbreak. These new measures will adapt and change as the state of travel evolves, and the policies and procedures will vary depending on each trip. Some changes that you may experience on our trips are:
Updated safety & hygiene procedures
Health and safety measures will be adapted by our partners and suppliers, dependent on local laws and restrictions.
Different transport & accommodation
You may find yourself on transport or in accommodation that would not typically be used, such as hostels that are more secluded, or on more private transport. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Most trips include a meeting on arrival with the guide or local team to discuss the trip, and this is an opportunity for you to ask any questions. You should arrive in time to attend these briefings.
Emergency support 24/7
We have a UK based 24/7 emergency phone line if you have a genuine urgent matter that you need attending.
Knowledgeable & Trained Staff
We can help answer any questions or concerns you may have before you depart. Whilst travelling the guide or local team on our trips are there to help, and to ensure the smooth running of our trips.
Should you require medical assistance whilst travelling, the local team or guide will be able to help you get to a point of care. Medical facilities and standards can vary across the glove, so you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place.
Varying group sizes
To begin with, many trips will run with amended group sizes, so you may find smaller groups than would be typical. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Whilst there may be changes on our trips, it is vital that you make travelling safer for yourself, your travel companions, the local staff and guides, and the people of the country you are visiting. You should follow all local laws and restrictions, and follow the guidance of the local team. In addition, you can help make travel safer by bringing and using your own face coverings/masks and hand sanitiser, social distance where appropriate, wash your hands frequently, and cover your face when coughing or sneezing.