Desert Rivers and Wildlife in Comfort


    enquire now 16 Days From NZD $5,930 pp twinshare
    Small group
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    Travelling in a comfortable, custom-built safari vehicle and staying in well-appointed accommodation with plenty of local charm, this journey offers an abundance of stunning scenery, unique wildlife and cultural encounters. The vastness of both Namibia and Botswana become apparent with wide open spaces far outnumbering people. This overland journey commences from Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city. Walk some of the highest sand dunes in the world at Sossusvlei; and enjoy cosmopolitan Swakopmund with its relaxed cafe culture and wide, tree-lined streets. Search for wildlife in the contrasting environments of Etosha National Park and the Okavango River before being enchanted by a Chobe River sunset and still more wildlife. The trip concludes in Zimbabwe with the unforgettable sight of tons of water hurtling over Victoria Falls into the chasm of the Zambezi Gorge.

    Highlights

    • Be captivated by the magnificent Victoria Falls
    • Watch a magnificent sunrise from the top of the Sossusvlei sand dunes
    • Experience game drives in Etosha National Park
    • Experience the Okavango Delta by traditional canoe (mokoro)
    • Game viewing cruise on the Chobe River
    • Explore the Okavango and Kwando Rivers

    Itinerary

    Day 1 Windhoek
    On arrival this afternoon in Windhoek, you have free time to explore the capital city of Namibia.

    Day 2-3 Sesriem and Sossusvlei
    We will be met in the morning for our 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 through the dune belt to witness the phenomenal colours of the world’s highest sand dunes. The incredible changing colours lend itself to amazing photo opportunities. We undertake a 5km 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. In the afternoon we enjoy a short hike through the Sesriem Canyon, which is a natural canyon carved by the Tsauchab rivier in the local sedimentary rock, about a kilometre long and up to 30 metres deep. A portion of the canyon permanently contains water, which many animals use. Overnight Camp (B, D)

    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 off 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 drive to Swakopmund, a quaint beach town with a strong German influence and with a sizable part of its population still German-speaking today. Founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South-West Africa, Swakopmund is German for “Mouth of the Swakop” as it is at the mouth of the Swakop River. We spend the afternoon and following day exploring this German colonial town. (B)

    Day 6 Damaraland
    We leave the coast behind and drive inland through the Damaraland region. 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 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 1980’s and numbers have diminished significantly. Our lodge is located on top of a mountain with spectacular views of the surrounding area. We spend the afternoon taking in the incredible setting or simply relaxing by the pool. (B, D)

    Day 7 Etosha National Park
    Today we proceed to Etosha National Park where we enjoy our first game drive in open 4×4 vehicles from our lodge located just outside the park entrance. The park’s main characteristic is a salt pan so large it can be seen from space. Yet there is abundant wildlife that congregates around the waterholes. (B, D)

    Day 8 Etosha National Park
    Etosha National 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 make this area their home. The day is spent on game drive in our Overland vehicle through the Park from the Western to the Eastern side of the Park. (B, D)

    Day 9 Kavango River
    We enter the Caprivi Strip (Zambezi region) where we spend the night set amongst the lush vegetation overlooking the Kavango River. Sunset from the deck is sensational. An optional afternoon boat cruise on the river is available (B, D)

    Day 10-11 Okavango Delta
    Continuing into the Caprivi we cross into Botswana and travel by road to our lodge on the edge of the Okavango Delta. The following day we transfer by boat 30 minutes into the Delta. We do mokoro and boat excursions in the back channels of the Nxamasire area of the Delta. Game walks are also done on the smaller islands in the area subject to water levels of the delta. Lunch is included on Day 11 only. (B, D)

    Day 12 Kwando River
    Departing the Delta by boat we return to our vehicle and we cross back into Namibia. We continue through to the eastern side of the Caprivi Strip and arrive at our lodge overlooking the flood plains of the Kwando River. (B, D)

    Day 13-14 Chobe River
    Crossing into Botswana via 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 rivers form the borders between Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. One of the few places in the world that four countries border on each other. The following day we relax on a sunset game-viewing cruise on the Chobe River. (B, D)

    Day 15 Victoria Falls
    We travel across the Zimbabwe border to view Victoria Falls – one of the most revered and spectacular sights in Africa. Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park (otherwise known as Victoria Falls) is a UNESCO world heritage site. The Park covers 66 sq/km from the Songwe Gorge below the falls in a northwest arc along about 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. Days are spent at leisure to browse the local markets, and experience the many optional activities on offer. (B)

    Day 16 In Victoria Falls, trip concludes
    Our tour ends today after breakfast. (B)

    Inclusions

    • 15 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 11 dinners
    • 13 nights in 3-4 star hotels and lodges on a twinshare basis
    • 2 nights in 3-4 star permanent safari camp on a twinshare basis
    • English speaking local guide
    • Private transport in custom built expedition vehicle
    • Chobe River game cruise
    • Game drives and sightseeing as listed in itinerary
    • National park and conservation fees valued at US$55
    • Okavango Delta excursions

    WEX-TKS

    Images courtesy of WorldExpeditions