Monthly departures of small groups (maximum 16 persons)
Visit South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, 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 explore the boundless Namib Desert, encounter seal colonies at Cape Cross, experience the desert elephants of Etosha, and marvel at the enormity of the Fish River Canyon. In Botswana we go in search of some of Africa’s greatest wildlife experiences in the Moremi reserve and the Okavango River. The magnificent Victoria Falls is an inspiring backdrop to a multitude of adventurous options before traveling south across the land of the Bushmen to Johannesburg, where we conclude our journey.
Southern African Explorer is a Tented Camping (20 days).
Departure dates 2023:
Sep. 30 - Oct. 19
Oct. 21 - Nov. 9
Nov. 11 - 30
Departure dates 2024:
Feb. 10 - 29
Mar. 2 - 21
Apr. 13 - May2
May 11 - 30
Jul 1 - 20
Jul. 27 - Aug. 15
Aug. 31 - Sep. 19
Sep. 21 - Oct. 10
Oct. 12 - 31
Nov. 2 - 21
Itinerary: Southern African Explorer
Day 1 Arrive Cape Town
Arrive and overnight at Breakwater Lodge or similar. Group meeting 6:00 pm.
Day 2 Cape Town and Peninsula (B)
Set against iconic Table Mountain, Cape Town offers scenic, historic and cultural attractions. We depart from Breakwater Lodge at 08:00hrs for a peninsula tour. Driving along the Atlantic seaboard via Hout Bay and Chapmans 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 Mount oasis area with an abundance of wine farms. Dinner can be enjoyed at the bustling Waterfront with its variety of cafes and restaurants. Overnight Breakwater Lodge Hotel (or similar).
Day 3 Namaqualand (B,D)
We arrive in 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 prolific wild flowers of the region. Outside this period, the normally arid landscape is naturally stunning in any case with a beautiful mountain backdrop. Overnight Highlanders Guesthouse (or similar).We arrive in the historic town of Calvinia, nestled on the foot of the Hantam Mountain range. During the months of August – October the landscape is transformed into an explosion of colour due to the prolific wild flowers of the region. Outside this period, the normally arid landscape is naturally stunning in any case with a beautiful mountain backdrop. Overnight Hantam Huis (or similar)
Day 4 Augrabies Falls National Park (B,L,D)
Leaving the Little Karoo we head north to the Augrabies Falls National Park. We pass through a lush 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 - 6 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (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 & afternoon game drives in the Park.
Day 7 Fish River Canyon (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.
Days 8 - 9 Sesriem and Sossusvlei (B,D)
Our journey takes us north through ever changing scenery to our camp located on the edge of the Namib Desert. We enjoy a sunset walk in the dunes surrounding our camp. 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 (B) (Approx. 380 km)
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 day exploring this German colonial town with it’s tree-lined boulevard and shops and cafes or one of the numerous optional excursions (activities are arranged and paid for locally). Activities available include sandboarding, quad biking, skydiving, kayaking or scenic flights over the vast Namib. Accommodation in Guesthouse.
Day 11 Spitzkoppe (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.
Days 12-13 Etosha National Park (B,D)
We travel via Oshakati and enter the Eastern side of Etosha. Etosha National Park is one of the most important reserves and game sanctuaries in Africa. It is centred around a massive salt pan 50km wide and 130km long. Perennial springs and waterholes occur within the park allowing the predominantly desert environment to support an incredible diversity of wildlife such as blue wildebeest, springbok, zebra, kudu, giraffe, cheetah, leopard, lion and elephant. Floodlit waterholes at Namutoni campsite attracts an abundance of animals throughout the evening, providing us with many amazing wildlife sightings. We also enjoy early morning and late afternoon game drives, relaxing in the middle of the day when wildlife is least active. Overnight Namutoni Restcamp inside Etosha
Days 14-15 Okavango River & Delta (B,D)
We enter the Caprivi Strip where camp is set up among lush vegetation overlooking the Okavango River. Enjoy sunset on the deck or a swim in the famous “river pool”. Many optional activities (own expense) are available for the following day including bird walks and boat cruises which can all be booked and paid for locally. *Please note that the optional mokoro trip on Okavango River is not recommended because of safety concerns, namely the proximity on the river to dangerous wildlife, particularly the hippopotamus. If you choose to undertake this with other local contractors, you do so against our advice and entirely at your own risk. We also enjoy 2 night in the heart of the delta.
Day 16 Kwando River (B,D)
Departing the Delta by boat we return to our vehicle and we cross back into Namibia. Driving through the Caprivi we stop at some traditional Caprivi villages and have a chance to buy their famous weavings before setting up camp on the banks of the Kwando River.
Days 17-18 Chobe River (B,D)
Today we continue through the Caprivi Strip and cross from Namibia into Botswana. We travel through the Chobe National Park and set up camp on the banks of the Chobe River. Chobe National Park is the second largest in Botswana and is famous for its beautiful scenery, magnificent sunsets, abundance of wildlife and myriad of birdlife. The following day 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 (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. This afternoon 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.
Day 20 Victoria Falls departure (B)
Trip concludes in Victoria Falls. Optional extensions are possible. There are many experiences that can be added including visits to local markets, simply relaxing, visiting the Falls another time. Extensions can be added.
Trip may be done in reverse!
Tour cost: 4,250 CAD / $ 3,250 USD per person based on twin share
Single supplement for single tent/room $ 220 CAD / $ 185 USD
Add $ 220 CAD / $ 185 USD for departure from Jul. 2024