Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe - Splendors of Southern Africa
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Download Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Windhoek, Namibia
You are met on arrival in Windhoek and transferred to your hotel. This evening, we will meet for dinner and your orientation.
Day 2: To Sesriem
This morning we drive south towards Sesriem, gateway to the world's highest sand dunes at Sossusvlei. Upon arrival at our lodge, we will enjoy some time to relax in the afternoon.
Day 3: Sossusvlei - World's Highest Sand Dunes
Today we visit the world's highest and most picturesque sand dunes at Sossusvlei. Sossusvlei itself is a huge ephemeral pan set amid red/orange sand dunes which tower as much as 300 meters over the underlying strata. It would not be unusual to see gemsbok and ostriches roaming over the sand. The best way to get a feel for this "sea of sand" is to climb one of the dunes. The view will leave you in awe.
Day 4: Namib-Naukluft N.P. & Kuiseb Canyon, to Swakopmund
Today we drive through Namib-Naukluft National Park and the Kuiseb Canyon on our way to Swakopmund. Namib-Naukluft is Namibia's largest national park and takes in much of the Namib Desert as well as the surrounding gravel plains and the dramatic Naukluft Massif. This mountainous area with dramatic scenery and superb hiking trails serves as a refuge for Hertmann's mountain zebra.
Day 5: Scenic Flight Over the Skeleton Coast
This morning we make our way from Swakopmund to Cape Cross where we have an opportunity to visit the large seal colony of Cape Cross up close. We can also see where the Portugese landed 1486. We then return to Swakopmund and enjoy lunch in a seaside restaurant.
Day 6: To Damaraland: Bushman Rock Paintings, Petroglyphs, Petrified Forest
Today is a long day as we drive to Twyfelfontein to explore the Bushman rock paintings. We will also see some of the extraordinary rock formations that occur in this area. In the afternoon we make our way to the Petrified Forest. See petrified tree trunks up to 30 meters in length with a circumference of up to 6 meters.
Day 7: Desert Elephants
Today marvel at the rich vegetation with the possibility to encounter desert adapted Elephants in the dry Aba-Huab River bed. Although the riverbed is dry most months of the year, the Elephants are mostly present during March to October. The Elephants leave the riverbed during the rainy season November to February to forage for greener foliage in the mountains and valleys surrounding the Aba-Huab Riverbed. After searching for the Elephants, return over valleys of savanna, small dunes and magnificent geological formations. We'll stop at Welwitschia Hill for a sundowner before heading back to the lodge to freshen up and enjoy a sumptuous dinner.
Day 8: To Opuwo, Kaokoland
Today we have a long day as we travel up through Damaraland into Kaokoland, often described as "Africa's last great wilderness" and home to the Himba, Zemba and Herero people. This faraway corner of the country perhaps represents Namibia at its most primeval.
Day 9: Himba and Zemba Tribes
Travelling with a local Herero speaking guide, we visit local tribal villages. Although their culture and language are similar, each tribe has maintained its own ethnic traditions and attire. Many still have little contact with the modern world. The Herero women wear multi layered long dresses with distinctive cloth headwear, while the Himba women wear very little and are known for their ochre body painting. The Zemba villagers are also distinctive in their body decorations. We will visit with these friendly but shy people for a glimpse into a way of life that has changed little over the centuries. As our guide translates for us, we learn about their lifestyles and culture. To thank the villagers for their hospitality, we provide them with a donation of food.
Day 10: Towards Etosha
Returning south through Damaraland, we pass through spectacular scenery and through the flat plains to our camp situated at Etosha. We stop in the town of Outjo, near Etosha where you can visit the bakery and many quaint shops. It is not uncommon to sight game as we are close to the Etosha park boundary. There will be time to stretch our legs on the grounds of the lodge.
Day 11: Etosha National Park
This morning we will drive a short distance into Etosha National Park in our open vehicle. Once we pass the park gates we will be on the watch for wildlife, stopping whenever they are close - we may even have to stop while they cross the road in front of us - wildlife has the right of way! We will enjoy a picnic lunch in the park rest stop and continue back to our lodge.
Day 12: Etosha National Park
We will enjoy a morning game drive in an open vehicle before departing the park to our lodge situated just outside the Park. Lunch at the lodge and the afternoon is set aside for some leisure time. Dinner will be enjoyed at the lodge tonight.
Day 13: Etosha National Park
We enjoy a full day open vehicle game drive in Etosha National Park, returning to the lodge for lunch and a chance to rest before heading out again for a late afternoon sundowner drive.
Day 14: Etosha National Park
This morning we will have one last watch for Etosha's wildlife as we depart on the eastern side and head toward our next destination. We will have timer to relaxation our family run resort and enjoy a refreshing dip in the olympic sized swimming pool.
Day 15: Bushmen Experience
This morning we depart our lodge and make our way to the Bushmen in their natural environment. We witness daily activities in the village, which may include food preparation, beadwork or bow and arrow making. We may have a walk in the vicinity of the village where we can see the many plants used for food and medicine - maybe even the poison for their arrows.
Day 16: Bushmen Village, Sunset Cruise
This morning we will have the opportunity for a visit to the local school where we meet the students and teachers and visit one of the local family compounds that dot the area around the town and river’s edge. These mud, stick and thatch buildings with their fenced enclosures contain living quarters for both the family and the animals as well as storage areas, gardens and outdoor cooking facilities. We can see how they dry their produce for storage, gather water for their fields and perhaps even how they set fish traps in the river.
Day 17: Okavango Delta, Botswana
Today we depart for the Okavango Delta. Our lodge is located on the western region of the Delta and serves as our home base for the next 2 days. We transfer to our lodge located deep in the Delta's marshes. Depending on water level, we may transfer by 4X4, motor boat and/or barge. Nguma Lodge offers peace and tranquillity with a spectacular and exclusive view over the Lagoon, one of the largest Lagoons in the North West of the Delta. The lodge is situated on the banks of the beautiful Lagoon bordered by Palm trees, Papyrus and Reed beds.
Day 18: Okavango Delta
Our time in the Delta is spent exploring the network of water pathways through thick vegetation in mokoros (traditional dugout canoes), speed boats and barges. The Okavango Delta is often described as the "river which never finds the sea." It is an extraordinary environment of channels and islands that seem cut off from the western world, and it abounds with bird life and other wildlife that covers an area the size of Switzerland.
Day 19: Fly Over the Delta to Chobe N.P.
This morning we enjoy a flight over the Okavango Delta to Kasane, where we are then transferred to Chobe National Park. After lunch, we travel into the park in open safari vehicles to search for the famous Chobe elephants. The park is reputed to have some of the largest concentrations of game in Africa so expect an exciting afternoon!
Day 20: Chobe National Park Game Drives
This morning we again travel in our small open safari vehicles into the park in search of elephants, giraffe, sable antelope and Cape buffalo, as well as the many other species found here. We will be able to access the small tracks and quiet areas in the park allowing us excellent game viewing possibilities.
Day 21: To Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
After breakfast, we make our way into Zimbabwe as we cross the Zambezi River. After completing immigration formalities, we continue to our hotel, located within Victoria Falls National Park.
Day 22: Victoria Falls - Stanley & Livingstone Historian/Storyteller, Zambezi Sunset Cruise
After breakfast you have a free morning to relax poolside, while overlooking the famous watering hole at our lodge.
Day 23: Depart Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Today we say goodbye to Africa and transfer to the airport to connect with our international flights homeward.
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