20 Day / 19 Night Great Trans-African Lodge Safari
Windhoek, Sossusvlei, Walvis Bay Lagoon, Swakopmund, Waterberg Plateau National Park, Visit to the Cheetah Conservation Foundation, Etosha National Park, Bushman Experience, Caprivi, Khwai River, Makgadikgadi Pans, Hwange National Park, Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls.
DAY 1: WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA
On arrival at Windhoek Airport, you will be met and transferred to your accommodation, Terra Africa Guest House. The rest of the afternoon may be spent at leisure.
This evening you will meet your guide and the rest of your group at the lodge at 18h00 for your pre-departure meeting.
Accommodation: Terra Africa Guest House or similar.
DAY 2/3: SOSSUSVLEI, NAMIBIA
Moving south we make our way towards the Namib Naukluft National Park and our accommodation for the next two nights, Agama River Camp.
The park contains what is considered to be the oldest desert in the world. The next morning we need to wake up early to visit the world’s highest sand dunes at Sossusvlei and Deadvlei.
At sunrise and sunset these dunes, which can reach heights of over 300 m, are absolutely spectacular and provide for a fantastic photo opportunity.
With luck, there may even be water in the vlei (lake). We also stop to view the Sesriem Canyon, which was carved millions of years ago by the Tsauchab River.
Accommodation: Agama River Camp or similar. [BLD][BLD]
DAY 4: NAMIB NAUKLUFT NATIONAL PARK TO SWAKOPMUND, NAMIBIA
The day is spent driving through the Namib Naukluft National Park on our way to Swakopmund. The Namib-Naukluft Desert is an ancient land with an ageless spirit. It is home to some of the rarest plant and animal species in the world. Sightings of these unique fauna and flora are a must on a Namibian safari. The animals of this harsh landscape include the oryx, springbok and Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra. We can also spot the Welwitschia Mirabilis, an odd-looking desert shrub of which one is a large, protected specimen estimated at over 1 500 years in age. En-route we make a stop in the small town of Walvis Bay where you may spot a variety of birds including flamingo’s in the lagoon.
We arrive at the charming coastal town of Swakopmund in the late afternoon, where you will have the opportunity soak up the atmosphere of this quaint, little German town and enjoy its beauty and beaches. Accommodation: Alte Brucke Resort or similar. [BL]
DAY 5: WATERBERG PLATEAU, NAMIBIA
Today we leave the coast behind us and drive to the Waterberg Plateau Park close to Otjiwarongo. On arrival we go for a short hike in the reserve to view the wildlife on the mountain. The plateau was first envisaged as a conservation area for eland, Africa’s largest species of antelope. In 1972 it was proclaimed a reserve and has since become a sanctuary for several rare animals.
Accommodation: Waterberg Camp or similar. [BLD]
DAY 6: KAMANJAB, NAMIBIA
We leave Waterberg National Park and travel via Cheetah Conservation Foundation at
Otjiwarongo to Etosha. The CCF is an internationally recognised centre for research and
education on cheetahs and their eco-systems. It boasts an extensive visitor’s centre, which encourages tourists to learn more about these beautiful cats and the efforts being made to save them. We continue our journey towards Namibia’s best-known highlight of the north – Etosha National Park. The first night is spent at our lodge neighbouring the park, situated on an outcrop of dolomite rocks and overlooking a forest of Mopane and white Seringa trees. Spend the afternoon relaxing at the pool, or take a leisurely stroll through the natural bush and gardens. Optional game drives are also available.
Accommodation: Toshari Lodge or similar. [BLD]
DAY 7/8: ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK, NAMIBIA
After breakfast we enter the Etosha National Park via the Andersson gate, named after Karl Johan Andersson, one of the first European explorers to come across the Etosha pan, which means “Great White Place” in the Ndonga dialect of the Ovambo tribe. We fill the next two days with game drives in the hopes of spotting lion, leopard, elephant and rhino as well as cheetah, giraffe, zebra and the numerous types of antelope the park has to offer. Our nights are spent at the flood-lit waterholes or viewpoints encountering the park’s various nocturnal animals that come to drink. Etosha was declared a National Park in 1907 and it is home to approx. 114 mammal species, 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and, surprisingly, one species of fish.
Accommodation: Namutoni Restcamp inside Etosha National Park. [BLD][BLD]
DAY 9: ETOSHA TO OKAVANGO RIVER, NAMIBIA
Departing from Etosha we drive into Bushmanland and take a guided visit to the Living
Museum of the Ju’Hoansi-San, a local Bushmen community who offer us the opportunity to participate in their daily activities. The Living Museum is an authentic open-air museum
where guests can learn about the traditional culture and the original way of living of the
San people. A walk is taken in the vicinity of the village with the hunters to search for bush
food, watch them prepare snares and ropes and start a fire the Ju/’Hoansi way. After
lunch in the shade of the trees, our journey continues to the town of Rundu as we make our way to Kaisosi River Lodge on the banks of the Okavango River. We will arrive in the late afternoon to relax by the pool with a sundowner listening to the sounds of Mother Nature.
Accommodation: Kaisosi River Lodge. [BLD]
DAY 10: MAHANGU, NAMIBIA
This morning we travel eastwards onto our camp in the western Caprivi region, Mahangu
Lodge. Before departure however, there will be time for optional activities such as an early
morning boat cruise at the lodge or a visit to the Mbunza Living Museum, a traditional
cultural school and communal business for the local Kavango people. We then continue to
Mahangu, meaning ‘food of the local people’, which is situated next to the Okavango
River. Enjoy an afternoon game drive in the Greater Bwabwata National Park, which
extends from the Kavango River in the west to the Kwando River in the east and
incorporates the Mahangu Game Reserve. Elephant, roan, kudu and buffalo are amongst
the animals likely to be seen as well as prolific birdlife.
Accommodation: Mahangu Lodge or similar. [BLD]
DAY 11: MAUN, BOTSWANA
We leave the Caprivi and travel south to Maun, the gateway to the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve.
The name Maun is derived from the San word “maung”, which means “the place of short reeds”. The afternoon is yours to spend at leisure, either relaxing next to the pool at the lodge or if you are keen for some excitement, why not book a scenic flight over the Okavango Delta.
Accommodation: Thamalakane River Lodge. [BL]
DAY 12: MAUN TO KHWAI RIVER, BOTSWANA
After breakfast we will be picked up by our local Botswana guides and take a short drive to the mokoro station.
From here, we will float in dug-out canoes through the thick vegetation of the Okavango Delta discovering a variety of birds and wildlife. Unlike other deltas, it flows into the Kalahari Desert without ever reaching the coast. After this spectacular excursion, we make our way to our camp, which is situated in close proximity to the famous Khwai River. Once settled into our camp, we will enjoy dinner and embark on a night game drive – a fantastic opportunity to spot some nocturnal animals that are more difficult to encounter during the day.
Accommodation: Khwai Bedouin Camp or similar. [BLD]
DAY 13: KHWAI RIVER, BOTSWANA
We have the opportunity to spend the day on game drives. In our open 4×4 vehicle we will
explore the Khwai River region area on morning and afternoon game drives hopefully
spotting a variety of game that frequent this region. This large area is renowned for its
concentration of mammals and it is not unusual to see many different types of wildlife
during just one game drive. Game viewing is seasonal; depending on the time of the year
you may see different species in different areas. The best time for game viewing is the end
of the dry season or spring from August to November.
During this season, in order for us to offer the best game viewing possible, extra driving may be required due to the animals migrating closer to the river. In the summer, birdlife can also be viewed in abundance with exceptional sightings of wildfowl and raptors.
Accommodation: Khwai Bedouin Camp or similar. [BLD]
DAY 14: KHWAI RIVER TO NATA, BOTSWANA
We leave the bush behind and travel east towards the Makgadikgadi Pans, once a large river fed lake, however the pans are now saline and empty. In the afternoon we visit the Nata Bird Sanctuary, where we get the opportunity to enjoy the magnificent view over the Sowa pan, which is part of the Greater Makgadikgadi Pans. (Please note a visit to the pans is subject to the road conditions and water levels as well as time constraints).
Accommodation: Nata Lodge or similar. [BLD]
DAY 15/16: NATA TO CHOBE, BOTSWANA
This morning we head north to Kasane, the gateway to the Chobe National Park.
Chobe, which is the second largest national park in Botswana and covers 10,566 square km, has one of the greatest concentrations of elephant found on the African continent.
The afternoon is at leisure to partake in a number of optional activities or to relax by the pool. The next day you will get to see the wildlife of the Chobe National Park on a morning game drive, with the hope of spotting big game up close and also the possibility of an encounter with one of the large predators. In the afternoon we go on a cruise on the Chobe River, a truly unforgettable experience and one of the best ways to view the animals as they come down to drink, as well as the spectacular African sunset.
Accommodation: Chobe Safari Lodge or similar. [BLD][BD]
DAY 17/18: CHOBE TO HWANGE NATIONAL PARK, ZIMBABWE
Today we make our way across the border into Zimbabwe and onto Hwange National Park where we spend the next two nights. Hwange National Park is one of Africa’s finest havens for wildlife and is home to vast herds of elephant, buffalo, and zebra and has a very large concentration of giraffe. It is also home to many predators and endangered species plus varied birdlife. A full day game drive is included on the park on the second day.
Accommodation: Sable Sands or similar. [BLD][BLD]
DAY 19: VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE
Continuing our trip, we turn northwards to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Your guide will take
you on a tour of the mighty Victoria Falls, known by the local Kololo tribe as Mosi oa Tunya – “the smoke that thunders”.
The rest of the day may be spent at leisure or partaking in one of the many optional activities on offer.(own expense). Accommodation: Ilala Lodge or similar. [B]
DAY 20: VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE
Tour ends after breakfast. (B)
GROUP SIZE: 4-12 clients.
FOOD & DRINKS: Where included most breakfasts and dinners will be enjoyed in the restaurants of the various accommodation establishments, however on certain nights the guide will provide an authentic meal for the group, which will be enjoyed together in the evening, often around a camp fire. Please advise us of any special dietary requirements in advance.
ACCOMMODATION: We make use of mid-range typical African standard lodge accommodation. Accommodation is situated either in national parks, on the banks of a river, or in other places of interest. The accommodation will be a mix of lodges, chalets and tented camps with en-suite bathrooms.
VEHICLES: 12-seater 4×4 safari vehicles or other appropriate vehicles with comfortable seating, large windows for game viewing, a music and PA system and air-conditioning. All luggage, besides hand luggage and photo equipment, is carried on the vehicle or trailer roof racks to ensure maximum comfort in the vehicle. For transfers between Kasane and Victoria Falls or Hwange and Victoria Falls (or vice versa), 2×4 vehicles may be utilised.
STAFF: 1 guide