Southern Africa Explorer

Southern Africa Explorer

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20 Days From

$3229

$3084

Southern Africa Explorer

20 Days Starting in Cape Town and ending in Victoria Falls

Visiting: South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe

Tour operator:

World Expeditions

Tour code:

SCA

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 16

Physical rating:

Adventure touring

From:
$3229
$3084 Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$145

NB: Prices correct on 19-May-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

The countries that lie at the southern end of the African continent evoke a strong spirit of the wild. From the seemingly empty and endless dunes of the Namibian desert, to the teeming animal life of the Okavango River, this itinerary traverses the greatest parks, reserves and landscapes that Africa’s south has to offer. From Cape Town we head north towards the arid wilderness of Namibia. We marvel at the enormity of the Fish River Canyon, explore the boundless Namib Desert and search for desert elephants in Etosha National Park. In Botswana we enjoy some of Africa’s greatest wildlife experiences along the Okavango and Chobe Rivers. The magnificent Victoria Falls provides a backdrop to a multitude of adventurous options and is the end point of this fabulous journey through southern Africa.

Highlights

  • Discover Augrabies Falls National Park

  • Journey to the spectacular Fish River Canyon

  • Encounter wildlife on game drives in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

  • Walk among the giant dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert

  • Experience the Okavango Delta by traditional canoe (mokoro)

  • Sunset game viewing cruise on the Chobe River

  • Camp along the lush Okavango River

  • Marvel at the spectacular Victoria Falls

  • Game drives in Etosha National Park and Chobe National Park

  • Explore Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1 : Cape Town

The tour starts on Day 1 with a pre departure meeting at 18:00 in the lobby of the hotel. Set against the majestic Table Mountain, recently selected as one of the New 7 Natural Wonders of the world, Cape Town offers scenic, historic and cultural attractions. Dinner can be enjoyed at the bustling Waterfront at your own expense. Overnight Breakwater Lodge (or similar accommodation).

Day 2 : Cape Town Peninsula Tour

Meals Included: B

This morning we leave our hotel at 08h00, for a full day peninsula tour. Driving along the Atlantic seaboard via Hout Bay and Chapman’s Peak, we visit the Table Mountain National Park – Cape Point, returning along the Indian Ocean coastline back to our well-situated Waterfront hotel. A morning or afternoon cable car ascent up Table Mountain is option as well (at your own expense). Dinner can be enjoyed at the bustling Waterfront at your own expense. Overnight Breakwater Lodge (or similar accommodation).

Day 3 : Namaqualand (Approx 360 Kms/5 Hrs Drive)

Meals Included: B, D

After breakfast we depart Cape Town travelling north and pass through the picturesque Namaqualand region. We overnight at the foot of the Van Ryns Pass. During the months of August – October the landscape is transformed into an explosion of colour due to the numerous wild flowers of the region.

Day 4 : Augrabies Falls National Park (Approx 600 Kms/8 Hrs Drive)

Meals Included: B, D

Leaving the Little Karoo we head north to the Augrabies Falls National Park. We pass through a lush oasis area with an abundance of wine farms. Here the mighty Orange River plummets 56m into the gorge below. The local name for these majestic falls is ‘Aukoerebis’ or ‘place of great noise’. We spend the afternoon enjoying the falls from its many viewpoints.

Day 5 : Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (Approx 360 Kms/5 Hrs Drive)

Meals Included: B, D

We head north into the Kalahari and the magnificent Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Covering over 3.6 million hectares this is one of the largest reserves in Africa. Due to sparse vegetation in the area excellent predator sightings are common including that of the famous black mane Lion. We enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in the Park.

Day 7 : Fish River Canyon (Approx 470 Kms/6 Hrs Drive)

Meals Included: B, D

Leaving the Kalahari region we head west and enter Namibia. After setting up camp enjoy a walk along the rim of the canyon and watch the changing colours of sunset over the canyon. Second only to the Grand Canyon in size, Fish River Canyon is a truly awe-inspiring work of Nature.

Day 8 : Sesriem And Sossusvlei (Approx 520 Kms/8 Hrs Drive)

Meals Included: B, D

Our journey takes us north through ever changing scenery to our camp located on the edge of the Namib Desert. The following morning is an early departure for Sossusvlei, stopping in the dune belt to witness the changing colours of the world’s highest sand dunes. We undertake a 5km walk to Sossusvlei and Deadvlei - starkly beautiful in a harsh environment. In the afternoon we enjoy a short hike through the Sesriem Canyon.

Day 10 : To Swakopmund (Approx 380 Kms/6 Hrs Drive)

Meals Included: B

Heading north we reach the coast at Walvis Bay and enjoy lunch while viewing the many flamingos feeding. We arrive in Swakopmund and spend the afternoon and following morning exploring this German colonial town or booking one of the numerous optional excursions (at own risk and own expense). Accommodation in a Guesthouse.

Day 11 : Spitzkoppe (Approx 150 Kms - 125 Kms Tarmac & 25 Kms Gravel/2 Hrs Drive)

Meals Included: B, D

Leaving Swakopmund after lunch we set up camp among the boulders of the Spitzkoppe Mountains. The afternoon is free to explore the stunning surrounding area on foot. The spectacular setting of our remote bushcamp is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Day 12 : Etosha National Park (Approx 530 Kms/9 Hrs Drive)

Meals Included: B, D

We enter Etosha and travel through the park to Okakeujo Restcamp. 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 making this area their home. Floodlit waterholes at Okakeujo and Namutoni campsite attracts an abundance of animals throughout the evening, providing us with many amazing wildlife sightings. We enjoy early morning and late afternoon game drives, relaxing in the middle of the day when wildlife is least active (approx 150 kms drive/12 hrs including lunch). Overnight: In 2023 - Okakeujo and Namutoni Restcamp inside Etosha. In 2024 - Trading Post Campsite and Namutoni Restcamp inside Etosha

Day 14 : Kavango River - Rundu (Approx 420 Kms/6 Hrs Drive)

Meals Included: B, D

After a morning game drive we exit Etosha and travel to Rundu on the banks of the Kavango River. Our camp is set amongst the lush vegetation overlooking the Kavango River.

Day 15 : Okavango Delta (Approx 300 Kms/5 Hrs Drive)

Meals Included: B, D

Continuing into the Caprivi we cross into Botswana and travel by road to our campsite on the edge of the Okavango Delta. The following day 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.

Day 17 : Chobe River (Approx 300 Kms/5 Hrs Drive)

Meals Included: B, D

Continuing through the Caprivi we cross into Botswana and travel through the Chobe National Park, and set up camp on the banks of the Chobe River. Chobe National Park is famous for its beautiful scenery, magnificent sunsets, abundance of wildlife and myriad of birdlife. The following daystart the day with a morning game drive and in the evening we relax on a game viewing cruise on the Chobe River where we have opportunity to get close to riverine creatures such as crocodiles and hippos. A morning game drive in Chobe National Park is optional (own expense).

Day 19 : Victoria Falls (Approx 90 Kms/3 Hrs Drive)

Meals Included: B

Today we travel across the border into Zimbabwe to view Victoria Falls or "Mosi-oa-Tunya" (Smoke that Thunders), one of the most enthralling sights in Africa. The afternoon and following morning is at leisure to explore the Falls or take part in some of the many optional activities on offer in the adrenalin capital of Africa. Free to browse the local markets, simply relax, visit the Falls another time or to experience some of the many optional activities including white water rafting, bungi jumping, microlighting/ airplane or helicopter flights over the Falls (all at own expense). Overnight Sprayview Lodge (or similar).

Day 20 : Victoria Falls, Trip Concludes

Meals Included: B

Our tour ends today after breakfast.

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    15 nights camping

  • In 2022 - 19 breakfasts, 15 lunches, 15 dinners. In 2023 - 19 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 15 dinners.

  • English speaking local guide and 2 camp assistants/cooks

  • National Park and permit fees

  • All camping gear (including sleeping bag & pillow) spacious 2 person safari tents, camp bed and comfortable safari folding chair

  • Group camping equipment, reference library and first aid box

  • Game drives and boat cruise per itinerary

  • Private vehicle transport in custom built vehicles designed for African conditions, with fridge, forward-facing high back seats and ample storage

  • 19 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 15 dinners

  • Arrival and departure transfers are included in Cape Town and Victoria Falls on Days 1 & 20. (NB - Victoria Falls Airport Zimbabwe (VFA) only; and NOT Livingstone Airport Zambia).

What's Not Included

  • International flights and airport taxes

  • Arrival and departure transfers

  • Optional activities where indicated in the itinerary

  • Lunch and dinner where not indicated on the itinerary

  • Entrance into Victoria Falls National Park

  • Bottled water, aerated and alcoholic drinks

  • Visas

  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls, souvenirs etc

  • Tips

  • Travel Insurance

  • Local payment of 3600 South African Rand payable to tour leader on day 1

  • Arrival and departure transfers to/from Livingstone Airport (LVI) Zambia, or on any other day other than Days 1 & 20, are NOT included

Accommodation

15 nights camping
We enjoy fully serviced camping on this trip, which means all camping gear (including sleeping bag & pillow), spacious 2 person safari tents, camp bed, mattress and comfortable safari folding chairs are all provided. We also enjoy the attention of two camp assistants/cooks who set everything up for us, in addition to our English-speaking guide.
Note that a single supplement is compulsory for this trip if you are travelling alone. If you prefer to share, please advise us at time of booking and we will try to match you with another person of the same gender and also willing to share. This is rarely possible but if a match does happen we will be able to refund the single supplement approx 4 weeks prior to departure.

What You Carry

In your daypack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (it can be very cold on early morning activities), a rainjacket, water bottle, camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip balm etc.

Grading

Although there is no commitment to extended walking on this journey we nonetheless want to keep the ‘accent on the active’. We therefore advise that any physical training you complete before undertaking the trip will be to good effect. Although our day walks are optional there is no shortage of advantages of packing as much into your time in Southern Africa as possible. Whether this includes climbing the sandunes in Namibia or taking part in the adventure activities at Victoria Falls, the fitter you are the more this will enhance your experience. Active participation in camp set up and some chores are encouraged for this trip.

Wildlife

The wilderness areas of Africa are populated by large numbers of wild and potentially dangerous animals. The trip aims to view these animals in their natural habitat, uncontrolled by fences. Your experienced guides will make every effort to ensure the safety of the group at all times. Please be aware that all safari travel, including vehicle safaris in the proximity of wild animals is never entirely without risk. By travelling into wild areas in search of wild animals, all participants accept that they are choosing an adventure that includes an element of risk and this is an inherent aspect of the enjoyment of this style of travel.

Check out our Q&As

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have offices on three continents which means your travelling companions will be just that – international and wonderfully eclectic. Part of small group travel means that although travellers come from various locations and backgrounds, you will be travelling with like-minded companions who, like you, are keen to share the experience and forge lifelong friendships.

  • What about environmental impact?

    We believe that adventure travel revolves around establishing a strong relationship with the people and environments in which we operate. Our responsible travel policies have been carefully developed to ensure that we minimise the impact of our presence and help to protect the regions we visit while contributing positively to the local community.

  • What should I pack?

    Your pre-departure documents include a detailed packing list with items that you need to bring. While most of the equipment for daily activities is included in your tour cost, some items like helmets and hiking boots are best brought from home. The pre-departure documents also include information on layering and recommended brands for various items to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes. World Expeditions does not require single travellers to pay a surcharge for travelling alone on the vast majority of our trips. Our holidays are primarily on a twin share basis, so if you are joining the group as a solo traveller, we will match you with someone of your own gender. The choice is yours however; if you prefer not to share, we do offer single supplements for private occupancy.

  • Are tips included in my trip price?

    Tips are not included in the tour cost. Tipping is a personal thing, do not worry about how much, or when, to tip. Tipping guidelines are provided for certain destinations in our pre departure information upon booking, however the best advice will be provided by your tour leader.

  • Am I suited to small-group travel?

    We recognise that many of our travellers have not been on a ‘group trip’ before. Yet what our departures provide is both structure and flexibility, allowing you plenty of freedom within the framework of the itinerary. You’ll find that with our maximum group size at 16, you’ll travel in a minimal impact style with a great group of like-minded travellers.

  • Can you advise which vaccinations are recommended?

    While our pre-departure kit provides information on vaccinations, we suggest that you consult your doctor, local government inoculation centre or a travel medical specialist in order to get the most current advice regarding vaccination requirements.

Reviews from travellers on this tour

Alison Marsh(Auckland, New Zealand)  

Southern Africa Explorer

Camping under the African skies is an adventure no

Camping under the African skies is an adventure not to be missed. The 3 man crew were knowledgeable, fun, and the food was great. The facilities at the camps were good and I felt safe even when there were no fences. Truly the highlight is getting close to the animals. Driving from Capetown to Victoria Falls, the trip builds. The landscapes, so very different in each of the four countries - awesome is no light comment. Best of all the animals got bigger, better and closer - cameras on overload. We were a bunch of 70 year olds, with one younger, and it was a trip of a lifetime!

L. Alexson(NSW, Australia)  

Southern Africa Explorer

Traveling in southern Africa was a varied and fant

Traveling in southern Africa was a varied and fantastic experience. The many varied locations and natural scenery from Cape Town and The Cape of Good Hope throughout South Africa's beautiful landscapes via Kalahari, The Namib Desert, Okavango Delta, Etosha, Chobe ending in Victoria Falls. Every day an adventure in a great setting, so many animals but also the unexpected adventures. In Victoria Falls after a beautiful helicopter ride we visited the railway station and found the old steam train located further away, (I was there 30 years ago, so I asked if the train was still around) being prepared for a run the next day and instead of being asked to leave the staff invited us to step on board the locomotive and the luxury carriages built 1938. Fantastic extra highlights that added to the itinerary. Absolutely delighted with the whole trip.

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Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    World Expeditions allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform world expeditions, 70 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    World Expeditions requires a minimum deposit of 250 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of world expeditions charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 35 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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