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SKAVF 003: 24-Days Southern Africa Safari Expedition

Our safari to Victoria Falls starts from South Africa’s Cape Town, then heads to the Namibia desert, Botswana game parks and ends up in Zambia. Enjoy the Victoria scenery as well as wildlife, culture and natural beauty of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. Victoria Falls is Africa’s natural magic that you can’t afford to miss!

Highlights of the tour: South Africa’s Cape Town, Cedarberg, Orange River, Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei, Namibia, Sesriem, Swakopmund, Himba Experience, Etosha National Park, Okavango Delta, Western Caprivi, Mudumo National Park in Botswana, Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls.

Day 1: Cape Town
Welcome to South Africa! You will be met by our representative at Cape Town International Airport and transferred to your hotel. Give you briefing of the tour. Rest of the day on your own.

Day 2: Cape Town
After breakfast in your Cape Town hotel, we set out on a tour of Cape Town. We head to Table Mountain. Often described as magical and mystical, Table Mountain is Cape Town’s most prominent feature and a world famous landmark. This majestic mountain is visible from almost everywhere in Cape Town and is often used as a beacon by which to find direction. Table Mountain is home to a rich fauna and flora, many species of which are endemic and survive only in the unique ecosystem which is contained on the mountain.

The exhilerating ascent of Table Mountain in the cable car is a definite must for any visitor. Even the locals are awed time and again by the 360º view of Cape Town from the cable car. The cable car was first opened in 1929 and today conveys some 600,000 people to the summit annually. On the summit there is a restaurant and a souvenir shop, from which letters bearing the Table Mountain postmark can be sent. Short walks from the cable station take visitors through the splendour of the flora of Table Mountain, punctuated by occasional sightings of dassies and framed by the surrounding azure of the Atlantic Ocean.

We then tour the Cederberg Mountains and Nature Reserve. The major attractions here are the Cedarberg Mountains and the Citrusdal Hot Springs.

Day 3: West Coast of South Africa to Orange River (South Africa)
Today, we embark on a tour of the West Coast of South Africa, which is in the North of Cape Town. We pass through some magnificent mountain ranges on our way to the Orange River. The Orange River, South Africa’s major river, rises in the Drakensberg in Lesotho from where it flows westward for some 2200km to where it finally flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay.

Day 4: Canoeing on the Orange River, Namibia
The Orange River has a special appeal to tourists as not only is the canoe trip great fun, but you get to search for diamonds, climb rocky peaks and indulge in fabulous river food. You might even find enlightenment in these spectacular surroundings. Carrie Hampton takes to the river.

The only travelling today is done in a canoe. Relax as the currents take you downstream.

Day 5: Ai-Ais Hot Springs and Hobas
Today, we tour the Fish River Canyon in Namibia. Ai-Ais Hot Springs Resort is located at sulphurous, hot springs, and means ‘burning water’ in the local dialect. This resort is situated at the southern end of Namibia’s Fish River Canyon. Camping at the Fish River Canyon is also available at Hobas. There are also a selection of private lodges near the Fish River Canyon – Namibia

The thermal bath next to the hot spring is a popular recreation resort, especially during the winter months. The water is particularly soothing for people suffering from rheumatism. Of course, healthy people enjoy the spouting water fountains as well. There are indoor pools with various water temperatures and an outdoor pool.

Day 6: Sossusvlei, Namibia
As we move inland Namibia, we arrive at Sesriem, the gateway to the world’s highest sand dunes at Sossusvlei. Although a very rare occurrence, during periods of good rains the pan or “vlei" fills up with water from the Tsauchab River. This water wonder in the middle of the desert is a spectacular sight.

One of the most wonderful experiences in the world is drifting in a hot air ballon over the majestic sand dunes of the Namib desert in Namibia.

Day 7: Sesriem and Sossusvlei, Namibia
We visit the world’s highest sand dunes at Sossusvlei. A drive into the dunes is also available. At sunrise these red sand dunes, which can reach heights of over 300 metres, are absolutely spectacular and provide for a fantastic photo opportunity. With luck, there may even be water in the vlei (lake).

Day 8: Namib Naukluft National Park & Kuiseb Canyon to Swakopmund, Namibia
Today, we drive hrough the Namib Naukluft National Park and the Kuiseb Canyon on our way to Swakopmund.

Namib-Naukluft National Park is an ecological preserve in the Namib Desert in South West Africa, thought to be Earth’s oldest desert. The park is the largest game park in Africa, and a surprising collection of creatures manages to survive in the hyper-arid region, including snakes, geckos, unusual insects, hyenas, and jackals. More moisture comes in as a fog off the Atlantic Ocean than falls as rain, with the average 106 millimeters of rainfall per year concentrated in the months of February and April.

The winds that bring in the fog are also responsible for creating the park’s towering sand dunes, whose burnt orange color is a sign of their age. The orange color develops over time as iron in the sand is oxidized (like rusty metal); the older the dune, the brighter the color.

These dunes are the tallest in the world, in places rising above the desert floor more than 300 meters (almost 1000 feet). The dunes taper off near the coast, and lagoons, wetlands, and mudflats located along the shore attract hundreds of thousands of birds.

Day 9: Swakopmund, Namibia
Our next destination is Swakopmund, Namibia. Swakopmund is the premier holiday resort in Namibia. During the summer holidays and long weekends thousands of Namibians flock to the coast. This migration happens for a couple of reasons, Swakopmund has a real holiday feel and everyone wants to be there, and during the December holidays the cool Namibian coast offers relief from the intense heat of the interior.

The architecture and general feeling of Swakopmund is one which may be associated with a small German village, and the town seems to be stuck in time. Although in recent times a new generation have woken up to the tourist potential of the area Swakopmund still manages to create a feeling of timelessness.

There are a number of activities to enjoy here; sand boarding, quad biking, skydiving and even fishing. You may even dare to brave the Atlantic sea.

Day 10: Cape Cross Seal Colony and Brandberg, Namibia
We follow the barren Namibian coastline on our way out of Swakopmund to visit Africa’s largest seal colony. Leaving the cold Atlantic coastline behind we head inland across the desert planes for Brandberg, the highest mountain in Namibia.

Day 11: Twyfelfontein, Petrified Forest and Himba Village, Namibia
We wake up early to start our day’s tour with a visit to Twyfelfontein and Petrified Forest. Our final destination for the day will be Kamanjab. Depending on the time of arrival we go and explore a traditional Himba Village that afternoon or the next morning. This will be a journey of culture exchange and learning and understanding of our last traditional tribe in Namibia, the Ova-Himba.

Day 12: Kamanjab to Etosha National Park, Namibia
We depart Etosha National Park, the land of the big five, after our cultural experience in Kamanjab. We have lunch near the small German town of Outjo. We have time to relax and access internet services. Our final destination for the day is Etosha. As the sunsets and late into the night the group has the opportunity to watch animals drink at floodlit waterholes.

Days 13-14: Etosha National Park, Namibia
Two days of game drives at Etosha National Park, including evening game viewing at floodlit waterholes. Etosha National Park is one of Southern Africa’s finest and most important Game Reserves. Etosha Game park was declared a National Park in 1907 and covering an area of 22 270 square km, it is home to 114 mammal species, 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and, surprisingly, one species of fish.

At the park’s three camps – Namutoni, Okaukuejo and Halali – you can take a swim in the swimming pool or as the sunsets and late into the night the group can watch animals drink at the floodlit waterhole.

Days 15-16: Etosha to Kavango River, Namibia
We depart Etosha early and drive to Rundu and then N’Kwazi River Camp, which is on the banks of the Kavango River over looking Angola. A sunset cruise, horse riding, traditional dancing in the evening as well as visiting a local village are optional or you can just put your feet up and relax on the banks of the river as the sunsets.

Day 17-18: Kavango River to Okavango Delta, Botswana.
Depart Namibia for Etsha, on the Western border of the Okavango Delta in Botswana. The next 2 days are spent exploring the network of water pathways through thick vegetation in mokoros (traditional dugout canoes). The Delta is a well-preserved gem of Africa with a vast oasis of crystal clear lake lets, lagoons and palm-fringed islands. On our last evening in the Delta we feast with barbeque.

Day 19: Western Caprivi, Namibia
We leave Botswana in the morning. We drive up the Western border of the Okavango Delta before crossing over into Namibia and driving through the Caprivi to our camp on the banks of the Kwando River.

In the afternoon you will go on a game drive in the famous The Mudumu National Park, created in 1990 out of 1009.59 square kilometers of savannah, mopane woodlands, and marsh on the eastern shore of the Cuando River. Many animals can be found in the park including sitatunga, red lechwe, as well as elephants, buffalo, kudu, impala, roan antelope, and Burchell’s zebra. Its waterways are inhabited by spotted-necked otter, hippo, tiger fish, and crocodile.

Day 20: Chobe National Park, Botswana
We leave Camp Kwando early and drive along the Caprivi and cross the border back into Botswana to drive through Chobe National Park to our camp on the Chobe River.

Chobe National Park, in northwest Botswana, has one of the largest game concentration in Africa continent. By size, this is the third largest park of the country, after the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Gemsbok National Park, and is the most diverse. This is also the country’s first national park. The park is probably best known for its spectacular elephant population: 120,000 elephants today, it is actually the highest elephant concentration of Africa. Elephants living here are Kalahari elephants, the largest in size of all known elephant populations. Yet they are characterized by rather brittle ivory and short tusks, perhaps due to calcium deficiency in the soils

In the afternoon, we will take you to sunset cruise along the banks on the Chobe National Park. We spend the night camping on the banks of the Chobe River listening to the calls of Africa.

Days 21, 22 and 23: Chobe National Park to Victoria Falls, Zambia.
A mid morning departure takes us from Chobe to Livingstone in Zambia by ferry across the Zambezi. The tour finishes here where you will be dropped off at your lodge of choice. The Victoria Falls can be seen from Livingstone in Zambia.

There will be plenty of exciting activities for you in the next three days at Victoria Falls. Comfortable pontoon boats take guest out onto the Zambezi River where you can enjoy and appreciate the unspoiled beauty of this lovely stretch of river. Feel its peace and serenity while you enjoy a drink, cast a line or raise your binoculars to the passing array of animals and birds.

Adventure lovers will also be able to experience white water rafting, river boarding, tandem kayaking and bungee jumping as well as sightseeing flights over the Falls by helicopter, fixed-wing aircraft or micro light. All activities can either be pre-booked or arranged at the Lodge.

Day 24: Livingstone and Johannesburg
You will be transferred to Livingstone Airport mid morning to catch a flight to Johannesburg