This is a classic, all-time favourite African safari itinerary, and highly recommended especially for first time visitors for its great breadth of wildlife, culture, scenery and geography.
Starting in Cape Town, South Africa; colourful, beautiful and vibrant, and ending in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, this tour takes in the greatest highlights of Southern Africa, and leaves you free to add time to the start or end of your trip to view these two fabulous destinations at your leisure.
Cape Town to Victoria Falls
20 Days Southern Africa Classic
Duration: 20 Days
Participants: Min 2 - Max 20
Starts: Cape Town, South Africa
Ends: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Accommodated PricingPrice From: R 48,950
Single Supplement From: R 7,350
Day 1: South Africa – Cederberg Region
Leaving Cape Town this morning we make a last stop for a look back at Table Mountain from across Table Bay. The Cederberg region not only boasts spectacular mountains and orange farms, but it is also the home of the Rooibos bush and today we will visit a working Rooibos tea farm and see the plants of Rooibos and Buchu that occur naturally in the wild. Indigenous to the mountain slopes of the Cederberg, this herbal beverage has earned an international reputation as a healthy and refreshing alternative to regular tea. A dinner at our overnight stop offers an opportunity for us to get acquainted while enjoying some South African hospitality.
Day 2: Namaqualand – Gariep (Orange) River
Namaqualand presents us with our first experience of the Desert vistas that will accompany us in the days ahead. We continue our journey north and after a short stop for supplies in Springbok, we travel to our camp on the banks of the Orange River. If you are fortunate enough to be travelling in the spring months (July to September) you may encounter the wild flowers that have made this region famous. No matter the time of year though, the strange desert vistas offer a unique backdrop to this day’s travel.
Day 3: Gariep (Orange) River – Fish River Canyon, Namibia
While the Orange River was named after the Dutch Royal House, in recent times it has been referred to by its original name of Gariep, which simply means “river” in the indigenous KhoeKhoe language. Beginning its journey in the mountains of Lesotho, the Orange River is the longest river in South Africa and offers a unique contrast to the desert landscapes along its banks. The best way to experience the river is by getting out on the water and this morning we have the opportunity to join an optional canoe trip on the river. Around midday (after lunch) we depart the Orange River and head inland to our overnight stop. At Ais Ais, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the mineral and sulphur rich hot springs.
Day 4: Fish River Canyon, Quiver Tree Forest and Giants Playground
We rise early this morning and drive to the rim of the Fish River Canyon. We will have time to watch the morning sunrays filter through the canyon. After stretching our legs with a gentle walk along the rim of the canyon, we turn west and head for Keetmanshoop. Our afternoon will be spent meandering through the Quiver Tree Forest and The Giants Playground – named for the way in which the massive dolerite boulders have been placed on each other – creating rock formations and a series of mazes.
Day 5: Namib-Naukluft National Park
Every overland journey has some long travelling days and today is one of those as we venture deeper into the Namib Desert. Our destination is the dune fields that cover the western reaches of the desert. Long dusty roads and sparsely populated farmlands offer us an insight into the vastness of rural Namibia. From the grasslands in the east to the red dunes of the west the slowly changing landscapes represents the many faces of this desert country. Tonight we camp on the doorstep of the dune fields and fall asleep to the unique calls of the Barking Gecko.
Day 6: Sossusvlei Dunes – Namib-Naukluft National Park
A brisk climb up Dune 45 offers us the perfect vantage point to marvel at the changing colours of the desert. Once satisfied we descend this famous dune and enjoy a hearty breakfast before catching a 4×4 transfer into Sossusvlei, here we will spend time on foot visiting the pans at Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. Tonight we empty the red sand from our shoes and spend the night under the magnificent desert stars, knowing that we have spent a full-day enjoying the wonders of this harsh land.
Day 7: Swakopmund
Our final day in the desert comes to an end as we join a local expert for an educational desert excursion. Reluctantly we leave the Namib behind and after a stop to mark our crossing of the Tropic of Capricorn, we continue to the Atlantic coastline. We make our way to the coastal town of Swakopmund, where adventure and a dose of civilisation await. We make a brief stop at the Walvis Bay lagoon, where we hope to catch a glimpse of the flamingo’s that feed in the shallows. Arriving in Swakopmund we will have the opportunity to book some of the many adventures on offer.
Day 8: Swakopmund
While for many it is the adrenaline fuelled adventures that will grab their attention, Swakopmund offers all that and more. Take the opportunity today to explore the town at your leisure, as there are a number of attractions for every taste. Not to be missed is the selection of famed coffee shops and bakeries that offer a delightful range of German inspired treats. Swakopmund offers all the conveniences of a small city and is the perfect launching pad for the journey through the northern reaches of the land
Day 9: Spitzkoppe to Brandberg
Leaving early, we make our way to the massive granite formations of Spitzkoppe which tower 700 metres above the desert plains below. The presence of rock art indicates their significance to the San people who lived here many years ago. We will enjoy a walk with a local guide and have the opportunity to view some examples of the San’s rock art before setting off for our overnight stop for the evening.
Day 10: Brandberg White Lady
The Brandberg (Burning Mountains) are regarded as the highest in Namibia and home to the famous White Lady, one of more than 45,000 rock paintings in the area. This morning we will make the 1-hour hike to visit the painting that is said to be around 2,000 years old. (Please be advised that the hike does traverse rough terrain along the gorge of the normally dry Tsisab River). After our exploration, our journey continues to the area of Kamanjab. For those who would like to visit an educational centre showcasing the lifestyle of the Himba Tribe, you will have the opportunity to book an optional excursion this afternoon.
Day 11: Etosha National Park
Rising early this morning we drive to the Etosha National Park. Etosha is the venue for some of the most unique game viewing experiences in Africa. This afternoon we reach the park and begin with our first game drive as we make our way to the rest camp.
Day 12: Etosha National Park
Our second day in Etosha allows for a full day to continue our exploration of the park. No day on safari is ever the same and the suspense before that special sighting is the motivation that keeps our eyes wide open. We explore the edges of the Etosha Pan in search of the abundant wildlife that occur in the park.
Day 13: Windhoek
It is an early rise as we take aim for Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia. Upon arrival in Windhoek, we will take a short walk through the city centre and have the opportunity to view some of its better known landmarks. Our accommodation for the night is situated halfway between the city and the airport.
Day 14: Ghanzi, Botswana
Today we travel east to neighbouring Botswana and the Kalahari Desert. Starkly different to the Namib Desert after which Namibia is named, the Kalahari is no less dramatic and covers over 900 000 square kilometres. The San people have long been associated with this harsh environment and tonight we enjoy a dance evening that provides an insight into their culture of song, dance and story-telling.
Day 15: Okavango Delta
This morning we rise early and make our way towards Maun. This evening our guide will prepare us on what to expect on our full day excursion into the Okavango Delta.
Those guests who have pre-purchased the 2-night package – will be transferred into the Delta upon arrival in Maun and will re-join the group on the morning of day 17.
Day 16: Okavango Delta Excursion
The most rewarding and enjoyable way to explore and experience the beauty and serenity of this intricate system of lily covered channels and lagoons is by mokoro, or traditional canoe. Heading out early, we will be transferred by safari vehicle to the poling station (approximately 1 hour transfer) where we will meet the polers who will be escorting us into the Delta.
The polers will steer us through the serene area of narrow, reed lined channels which open out into beautiful lagoons. Reaching one of the many islands, a nature walk may be taken with your poler. After the walk, we return by mokoro through the channels back to the poling station. While the mokoro trail is not primarily a game viewing activity, a variety of game may be spotted in this pristine wilderness area, including elephant, giraffe, kudu, impala and zebra.
Day 17: Nata
Leaving Maun behind us this morning (and re-uniting with those that chose the upgrade package) we make our way towards the town of Nata. We will spend most of the day in our truck as we journey across the northern reaches of the Makgadikgadi Pans. Our kitty activity will afford us the opportunity to enjoy an afternoon guided game drive to the Nata Sanctuary, which forms the breeding ground for a host of water birds including pelicans and flamingo in their thousands.
Day 18: Chobe National Park
We rise early this morning as we continue north to our camp on the banks of the Chobe River. This afternoon is set aside for exploring the Chobe National Park. We begin our exploration with an optional game drive in 4×4 vehicles and our afternoon ends with a leisurely boat cruise which allows us an up close and personal experience with the many elephants that frequent the river in the afternoons.
Day 19: Zimbabwe -Victoria Falls
With the memories of our wildlife encounters firmly etched in our minds, we cross the border into Zimbabwe this morning and travel the short distance to Victoria Falls.Today you have the opportunity to visit the spectacular Victoria Falls at your leisure, also known by the local name of “Mosi-oa Tunya” (the smoke that thunders). While much of today is dedicated to viewing the mighty Zambezi River as it drops into the Batoka Gorge below, the bustling adventure town of Victoria Falls also offers a range of optional activities for those wanting a dose of adrenaline in the afternoon. For the more relaxed traveller there are craft markets and coffee shops on offer.
Day 20: Victoria Falls
Your tour comes to an end after breakfast and with the many activities on offer in Victoria Falls, today is the perfect day for the adventure that most suites your style. Whether rafting the mighty Zambezi River or enjoying a flight over the Falls, this is your day to enjoy the many attractions on offer in Victoria Falls.
19 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 15 dinners
– Fish River Canyon entry and walk on canyon rim
– Quiver Tree Forest and Giants Playground entry
– Okavango Delta day excursion (upgrade option available – see below)
– Sesriem Canyon entry and short walk
– Sossusvlei entry and hike up Dune 45
– 4×4 shuttle to Deadvlei
– Tropic of Capricorn marking point visit
– Walvis Bay Lagoon flamingo colony
– Spitzkoppe entry and exploration with a local guide
– Brandberg White Lady entry and hike
– Etosha National Park entry and game drives
– Walking tour of Windhoek
– San “bushman” evening traditional dance
– San “bushman” guided walk.
– Visit to Victoria Falls
– Zambezi sunset cruise
– Bungee jump
– Helicopter flight
– White water rafting
– International flights
– Airport departure taxes
– Departure transfer
– Meals unless otherwise stated
– Travel insurance: mandatory
– Sleeping bag