Cape Town to Victoria Falls Overland Camping Safari
Group Size: Maximum 24 passengers
Departs: Scheduled small group departures throughout the year
The Cape Town to Victoria Falls 20 Day tour, highlights Southern Africa’s most incredible sights. Begin your tour at the spectacular Table Mountain in Cape Town and travel all the way up to the majestic Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. On the way you will have the opportunity to paddle down the Orange River in Namibia before you venture deeper into the Namib Desert. The slowly changing landscapes represent the many faces of this desert country, from the grasslands in the east to the red dunes of the west. After a brisk climb up Dune 45 you’ll experience one of the most beautiful sunrises of Africa. Travel to the bustling town of Swakopmund and enjoy a break by the coast. Next on your list is Etosha National Park. Etosha is the venue for some of the most unique game viewing experiences in Africa. From Etosha you will travel to Botswana where you can take a Mokoro ride through the Okavango Delta and then watch the sunset on a boat cruise on the Chobe River before finishing your tour in Victoria Falls. The bustling adventure town of Victoria Falls also offers a range of optional activities for those wanting a dose of adrenaline!
Day 1 - Cederberg Region
Route: Cape Town to Citrusdal – 200km
The Cederberg region not only boasts spectacular mountains and orange farms, but it is also the home of the Rooibos bush. Indigenous to the mountain slopes of the Cedarberg, this herbal beverage has earned an international reputation as a healthy and refreshing alternative to regular tea. The Cedarberg region is known for its mountain fynbos and spectacular views of the rugged Cedarberg Mountains. A dinner at your overnight stop offers an opportunity for everyone to get acquainted while enjoying some South African hospitality. (LD)
Included Highlight: Traditional dinner.
Day 2 - Gariep (Orange) River
Route: Citrusdal to Orange River – 540km
Namaqualand presents you with your first experience of the Desert vistas that will accompany you in the days ahead. Continue your journey north and after a short stop for supplies in Springbok, travel to your 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 days travel. (BLD)
Day 3 - Fish River Canyon
Route: Orange River to Fish River Canyon – 130km
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 you have the opportunity to join an optional canoe trip on the river (at own expense). Around midday (after lunch) you will depart the Orange River and head inland, crossing the border into Namibia. You will have a brief stop at the mineral hot springs for a dip in the pool before arriving at your camp. (BLD)
Inlcuded Highlight: Ais-Ais Hot Springs.
Day 4 - Giants Playground
Route: Fish River Canyon to Keetmanshoop – 260km
You will rise early this morning and drive to the rim of the Fish River Canyon. You will have time to watch the morning sunrays filter through the canyon. After stretching your legs with a gentle walk along the rim of the canyon, you will turn west and head for Keetmanshoop. Your 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. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Scenic walk along the rim of Fish River Canyon and visit to Quiver Tree Forest and Giants Playground.
Day 5 - Namib-Naukluft National Park
Route: Keetmanshoop to Namib Naukluft National Park – 470km
Every overland journey has some long travelling days and today is one of those as you venture deeper into the Namib Desert. Your 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 you will camp on the doorstep of the dune fields and fall asleep to the unique calls of the elusive Barking Gecko. (BLD)
Day 6 - Namib-Naukluft National Park
Today you will rise early for your drive to the Namib-Naukluft National Park. You will enter the park just after sunrise and travel through to the famous Dune 45. A brisk climb up Dune 45 offers you the perfect vantage point to marvel at the changing colours of the desert. Once satisfied, you descend this famous dune and enjoy a hearty breakfast before catching a 4×4 transfer into Sossusvlei, here you will spend time on foot visiting the pans at Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. Tonight you empty the red sand from your shoes and spend the night under the magnificent desert stars, knowing that you have spent a full-day enjoying the wonders of this harsh land. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Sesriem Canyon, Sunrise hike up Dune 45, 4X4 shuttle to Sossusvlei / Deadvlei, Guided desert walk with local expert.
Day 7 - Swakopmund
Route: Naukluft Area to Swakopmund – 300km
Your final day in the desert comes to an end as you join a local expert for an educational desert excursion. Reluctantly you leave the Namib behind and after a stop to mark your crossing of the Tropic of Capricorn, you continue to the Atlantic coastline. You make your way to the coastal town of Swakopmund, where adventure and a dose of civilisation await. You make a brief stop at the Walvis Bay lagoon, where you hope to catch a glimpse of the flamingo’s that feed in the shallows. Arriving in Swakopmund you will have the opportunity to book some of the many adventures on offer (at own expense). (BLD)
Included Activity: Guided desert walk with local expert, Tropic of Capricorn, Walvis Bay Lagoon.
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. (BLD)
Optional Activity: Dolphin cruise, skydiving, sand boarding, quad biking.
Day 9 - Brandberg
Route: Swakopmund to Brandberg – 200km
Leaving early, you will make your 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. You 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 your overnight stop for the evening. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Visit Spitzkoppe and explore with a local guide.
Day 10 - Kamanjab
Route: Brandberg to Kamanjab – 250km
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 ±2-hour return 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. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Brandberg White Lady hike.
Day 11 - Etosha National Park
Your second day in Etosha allows another full day to continue your exploration of the park. No day on safari is ever the same and the suspense before that special sighting is the motivation that keeps your eyes wide open. You will exit the park in the late afternoon and make your way to your accommodation outside the park. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Full day game drive in Nomad truck.
Day 12 - Etosha National Park
Your second day in Etosha allows for a full day to continue your exploration of the park. No day on safari is ever the same and the suspense before that special sighting is the motivation that keeps your eyes wide open. You will explore the edges of the Etosha Pan in search of the abundant wildlife that occurs in the park. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Full day game drive in Nomad truck.
Day 13 – Windhoek
Route: Etosha National Park to Windhoek – 460km
It is an early rise as you take aim for Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia. On arrival in Windhoek, you will take a short walk through the city centre and have the opportunity to view some of its better known landmarks. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Walk through Windhoek with your guide.
Day 14 - Botswana – Ghanzi
Route: Windhoek to Ghanzi – 500km
Today you will travel east and make your way 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 you will enjoy a dance evening that provides an insight into their culture of song, dance and story-telling. (BLD)
Included Highlight: San Tribal dance in the evening,
Optional Activity: San Guided Walk (this activity could take place the next morning).
Day 15 - Maun
Route: Ghanzi to Khwai Conservation Area – 450km
You will be separated from your Nomad truck for the next 2 nights and it is therefore important that you pack/gather your personal belongings which you may need, before you depart for Maun today as there is limited time in Maun for re-packing and storing. Please pack lightly and only take what you need for the following two nights. This morning you rise early and make your way towards Maun, where upon arrival in Maun you will have the opportunity to go on an optional scenic flight over the Delta (time and weather permitting). After your optional flight, you will be collected from Maun and will be transferred to the Khwai Conservation area in smaller safari type vehicles. This evening your guide will prepare you on what to expect for your mokoro excursion into the Okavango Delta and your game drive in Khwai.
Optional Activity: Okavango Delta scenic flight.
Day 16 - Okavango Delta
Heading out early, you transfer by safari vehicle, to the poling station, where you will meet the polers who will be escorting you into the Delta. The polers will steer you through the serene area of narrow, reed lined channels which open out onto beautiful lagoons. Reaching one of the many islands, a nature walk may be taken with your pole and after the walk, you 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. After lunch, you will return to Khwai Conservation area for your afternoon game drive which will be conducted in open 4×4 safari vehicles. The game viewing routes chosen during the afternoon by the professional guide may vary especially when high floods are experienced as certain roads may be closed or impassable. (BLD)
Included Highlights: Okavango Delta Day Excursion, Khwai Conservation afternoon game drive.
Day 17 - Kasane
Route: Khwai Conservation Area to Kasane – 300km
Today’s journey through the Savuti National Park to reach Kasane is expected to take approximately 10 hours. You will pack up camp and depart at first light on the open 4×4 safari vehicles. The road conditions can best be described as dense sand and depending on the season you are travelling in, could be through thick vegetation. During the winter months (May-September) you strongly suggest layering up on clothing, pack a beanie and/or scarf and thick jacket. Animal sightings can never be guaranteed while you transit/traverse these wilderness areas and any stops for viewing of the wildlife will add to the time spent in the 4×4 safari vehicle. It is suggested to stock up on snacks and at least 1 x 5l bottle of water in Maun for the journey as there are no re-supply points until you reach Kasane.
The Savuti Game Reserve is a unique area bordered by the Okavango Delta to west and Chobe National Park to the east. Savuti is renowned as a big game area and known for having the largest concentrations of wildlife in Southern Africa. Today is a long day as you spend most of your day travelling through the Savuti Game Reserve in search of the species that roam the plains. Expect some bumpy roads as you traverse this wilderness area in your 4×4 vehicles. Offering habitats from wetland, open water to the grasslands and Savannah woodland, it is hoped to see as many species of fauna and flora possible. This afternoon you arrive on the banks of the Chobe River and will be re-united with your Nomad truck in the town of Kasane. (BLD)
Included Highlights: Full day game drive through Savuti Game Reserve in 4×4 safari vehicle.
Day 18 - Chobe National Park
Route: Nata to Kasane – 320km
For those that opt to participate in the optional game drive in Chobe National Park, you will be collected early from camp and will venture out in open 4×4 safari type vehicles. You will return to camp in time for lunch and a quick siesta before you head out in the afternoon to explore the Chobe National Park from the river, enjoying a leisurely boat cruise which allows you an up close and personal experience with the many elephants that frequent the river in the afternoons. (BLD)
Included Highlights: Chobe National Park boat cruise.
Optional Activity: Chobe National Park game drive.
Day 19 - Victoria Falls
Route: Kasane to Victoria Falls – 85km
With the memories of your wildlife encounters firmly etched in your minds, 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 (at own expense), 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 (at own expense). For the more relaxed traveller there are craft markets and coffee shops on offer as well. (BLD)
Optional Activity: Victoria Falls National Park Entry.
Day 20 - End of the Cape Town to Victoria Falls Tour
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 suits 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 (at own expense). (B)
Optional Activity: Visit Vic Falls, Zambezi sunset cruise, bungee jump, helicopter flights and white water rafting.
Dates and Pricing
- 25 Mar 23 - 31 Dec 23 $3,820 $4,015
Prices shown are per person based on twin share. Seasonal supplements and minimum night requirement may apply. Solo traveller and extra night prices available on request. Luggage restrictions may apply. International flights not included.
Over 4 weeks 'safari' in Africa
Over 4 weeks 'safari' in Africa, all planned and booked with Bench's help, and not a glitch. Apparently, this is pretty unusual for anything in Africa! Their knowledge and expertise in providing an appropriate itinerary to match our needs (animals and scenery, not civilization) ,and in setting the appropriate expectations for our holiday, made for a very smooth and extremely enjoyable experience. There were 4 of us travelling in a group, which turned out to be optimal for virtually all aspects of the journey through Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya (with a small break to finish in Zanzibar). The accommodation was perfect for our needs, well chosen to optimise our time in each location, with daily excursions focused on what we wanted to see. Thoroughly recommend.G&R Destination: Botswana
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