Premium Overlanding allows you the flexibility to decide.... if your not sure camping is for you then try Premium Overlanding - if your not enjoying camping then simply upgrade! If you dont feel like helping with the cooking - then dont! It is perfectly ok on premium overlanding, remember you are on a holiday! This safari is designed to give you that extra comfort and maximum flexibility - it is all about YOU on Premium Overlanding.
This safari journeys through diverse landscapes – from eerie and barren desert to pounding Atlantic coastline, from lush and prolific game parks to wild savannah and the Victoria Falls. Experience these with a range of exhilarating adventure options which will leave you wanting more!
Days 1 – 2: Cape Town – Karoo Area. Our overland safari begins in cosmopolitan Cape Town, overlooked by Table Mountain and bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, one of the world’s most picturesque cities. Before we leave the city we take a tour of the Cape Flats – Cape Town’s famous townships, visiting some of the local people and community projects in the area.
The townships illustrate both South Africa’s tumultuous history and its hope for the future and it makes a fascinating visit. From here we head north through South Africa’s Western Cape province, a fertile area of winelands and wild flowers in the south that gradually turns drier and rockier as we head north towards the Namibian border. Upgrade Option: Highlanders Camp.
At the time of preparing this dossier, the accommodation at Highlanders Camp was still under construction - there will be an upgrade option on night one. This dossier will be updated with more information once the accommodation is finished. Cost: TBA. Included Meals: L/D.
Day 2: Karoo to Gariep (Orange River). We set up our camp tonight at Gariep (Orange) River before sunset. There will be time tonight to settle in to life on the road, properly meet the rest of the group and enjoy our first night under the big African sky. Our camp provides you with the necessary comforts like hot showers, flush toilets, grassy campsites & bar facilities.
Your friendly Umkulu guides will brief you on the optional Orange River Canoe trip. There is also the option to hike to a look out above the campsite and the Orange River is safe for swimming! The camp by night is showered with the stars of the Richtersveld - a truly peaceful and tranquil experience.
Upgrade Option: The Growcery. The upgrade option for tonight consists of 6 x 2 bedroom chalets, with en-suite facilities, perched on the edge of the Orange River. The chalets offer a clean and comfortable alternative to camping. Cost: R350 per person (twin share). Included Meals: B/L/D.
Day 3: Gariep (Orange) River - Fish River Canyon. We enter Namibia via Vooilsdrift Border Post and arrive at the awesome Fish River Canyon - one of the natural wonders of Africa, some 500m deep and over 160km long, this is the second largest canyon in the world (after the Grand Canyon, USA). Again, there are plenty of opportunities for keen photographers as we spend time around this area and visit the canyon’s infamous sharp river bend known as ‘Hell’s Corner.’ A great opportunity to find a quiet spot and marvel at the sheer beauty of the Fish River Canyon. Upgrade Option: Camping. only - no upgrade avaliable. Included Meals: B/L/D.
Day 4: Fish River Canyon - Sossusvlei Dunes. After a night near the canyon we continue north until we reach the Namib Naukluft Park, containing the world’s oldest desert and the highest sand dunes. Some of Sossusvlei’s dunes are over 300m high and a popular activity here is to trek to the top of one of them in time to watch the sun rise over the open desert. A spectacular sight but be warned, it’s an energy sapping climb to the top! Another well worthwhile option is to continue deeper into the park for a nature walk across the saltpans and valley floor, amidst the dunes – a real glimpse of Namibia’s unspoilt natural environment. Bring your camera - the shifting colours of the desert as the sun climbs throughout the mid/late morning offer some brilliant photographic opportunities. Upgrade Option: Camping only - no upgrade available. Included Meals: B/L/D.
Day 5 - 7: Sossusvlei Dunes & Swakopmund. Departing from the dunes, we drive out of the desert and hit the Atlantic coast at Swakopmund, a small town redolent of Namibia’s colonial past but with modern adventure oriented attractions for the visitor. Swakopmund is Namibia’s main seaside resort, sandwiched neatly between the desert and the ocean, and is a delightful coastal oasis. Try some adventure desert based activities if you wish –quad biking, sand boarding, skydiving (weather permitting) – or else simply walk along the promenade admiring the ocean and indulge in the town’s café culture.
Upgrade Option: Amanpuri Guest House. Amanpuri Guest house is relatively new Guest House that offers a variety of accommodation options. The rooms are spotlessly clean & comfortable with well equipped common areas and WIFI. Amanpuri is very centrally located and an easy walk to the main shopping area of Swakopmund. Cost: R320 per person (twin share). Included Meals: B.
Day 8: Swakopmund – Spitzkoppe. Leaving the coast we turn inland to the beautiful Damaraland region and stop at Spitzkoppe to admire ancient bushman paintings still visible on the peculiar rock formations. Spitzkoppe is situated 160 km east from Swakopmund, in the Damaraland region. The rock formations peak at 1728m above sea level, and form a spectacular view. Take your time to explore the area and its delightful calmness. Keep an eye on the ever changing colour of the rock, especially during sunrise and sunset, when they acquire intense red shades. The most impressive rock painting is “Bushman Paradise”.
The Spitzkoppe Restcamp lies at the base of the mountain. It is owned and maintained by the local community, and therefore all proceeds from our visit contribute to a better future for the local community. Upgrade Option: Camping only - no upgrade available. Included Meals: B/L/D.
Days 9 & 10: Etosha National Park. We make our way north to Etosha National Park, a vast reserve of over 20,000 sq km surrounding a central salt depression or ‘pan.’ The pan is seasonally full of water but specially managed waterholes sustain some 114 mammal and 340 bird species. We spend two nights here, usually making camp near a floodlit waterhole. Observers frequently see a range of night visitors including elephant, giraffe, zebra, even lion and hyena, making it one of the most memorable wildlife encounters in Namibia - a truly African experience and a highlight of any trip to Namibia. Upgrade Option: Etosha Bungalows.
Namibian Wildlife Resorts offer various different accommodation options in Etosha - 5 x premier waterhole chalets/30 x waterhole chalet double rooms/2 x family chalets (2 rooms, 4 beds)/5 x bush chalets (2 beds)/40 x double rooms. The accommodation is all centrally located, and provides easy access to the floodlight waterholes, other facilities include a swimming pool, shop and bar/restaurant. Cost: from R500 per person (twin share). Included Meals: B/L/D.
Day 11: Etosha National Park - Windhoek. Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, is located in a basin between the Khomas Highland, Auas and Eros Mountains. It is 1,680m above sea level, 650km north of the Orange River, the city is situated in almost the countries epicenter. Windhoek is home to approximately two hundred thousand people, an extremely small capital by global standards. The city centre is characterised by a proliferation of German style buildings, a lasting reminder of Namibia's early colonial history and atmosphere.
Take the opportunity to enjoy a night out at one of the local taverns or visit the very famous 'Joes Beer House'. Upgrade Option: Arebbusch Guest Cottages. Arebbusch Travel Lodge offers quality accommodation at affordable prices in a natural setting within a short distance of down town Windhoek. Regular features in the rooms include fridges, tea and coffee making facilities, TVs with DSTV, telephones, air conditioning, linen and internet access. Facilities at Arrebusch include bar, restaurant, DSTV and swimming pool. Cost: R385 per person (twin share). Included Meals: B/L.
Day 12: Windhoek - Ghanzi. Leaving Windhoek we travel west into the Kalahari region and cross into Botswana. Our first stop is at the town of Ghanzi. Here, in this midst of (seemingly) barren terrain we meet the Bushman and have a guided bush walk for a glimpse of this ancient people’s way of life. Due to enormous economic and social pressures, the San lifestyle and culture has been all but destroyed. Julian Butler, a local businessman, realizing this, set aside a former cattle ranch in Ghanzi in order to recreate an authentic hunter/gatherer community of the San/Bushman.
Ghanzi Trail Blazers caters for visitors wishing to have a genuine glimpse of this fast disappearing unique and ancient culture. he San/Bushman have few educational skills to survive total domination by Western political and social culture. Ghanzi Trail Blazers offers them an opportunity to utilise their own specialised skills in a work environment at which they are totally at home. Your support of this ecotourism venture gives the San/Bushman a sustainable income and helps keep their culture alive.
Around the campfire at night, you can experience the ancient dance rituals of the San/Bushman. On special occasions this could be a healing or trance dance, which can continue all night, and is an intense spiritual experience for both participants and visitors alike. Upgrade Option: Trailblazers Guest Camp. Accommodation is in recreated San/Bushman grass huts, which have been suitably modified for your comfort. The huts have stretchers with mattresses, lights and mosquito nets. There are communal ablutions with flush toilets and hot showers. Cost: USD$20 per person (twin share). Included Meals: B/L/D.
Day 13: Ghanzi - Maun. Maun is the fifth largest town in Botswana - It is an eclectic mix of modern buildings and native huts. Although officially still a village, Maun has developed rapidly from a rural frontier town to a community that has distributed along the wide banks of the Thamalakane River where red lechwe can still be seen grazing next to local donkeys, goats and cattle.
Since Maun's founding in 1915 it has had a reputation as a hard-living 'Wild West' town helping the local cattle ranching and hunting operations.
Maun is today a thriving tourist town, infamous for its infestation of donkeys and to a lesser extent goats. These animals can be seen standing around town as the local farmers arrive in the innumerable taxis to sell their wares on the curbside. Maun is the entrance to the Okavango Delta.
Upgrade Option: Sitatunga Cottages.
The cottages at Sitatunga are located at the end of the camping area and provide a basic, clean and comfortable, alternative to a tent as you prepare for your excursion onto the Okavango Delta. The chalets have twin beds and en-suite facilities with a lively bar and restaurant on the property. There is also a very welcoming swimming pool for the summer months! Cost: USD$35 per person (twin share). Included Meals: B/L/D.
Day 14: Okavango Delta. The Okavango is a natural wetland spreading over some 1,600,000ha of northern Botswana. The Okavango River rises in Angola (farther to the north) and flows south dividing repeatedly after crossing into Botswana to form an intricate floodplain of channels and which spreads out into a broad flat inland delta – the only one of its kind. Here we explore amongst the giant lily pads, tall grasses and labyrinthine channels in search of hippo, crocodile and a variety of birds. We travel on foot and by mokoro (dugout canoe) and camp for a night on one of the river islands. The Okavango is a very unspoilt area and camping out amidst the bush and the rivers listening to sounds of the African night is an unforgettable experience! Upgrade Option: Camping only - no upgrade available. Included Meals: B/L/D.
Day 15: Okavango Delta - Maun. We make our way out of the Okavango Delta and return to Maun and Sitatunga Camp for an afternoon of leisure. There is an opportunity this afternoon to participate in an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta - a Scenic flight is the most efficient option in terms of time, and enables you to experience an aerial view, which puts into perspective the vastness of the wilderness areas. The best times for scenic flights are in the morning and late afternoon when weather conditions are calmer.
Keep a look out for Hippos in the waterways and Elephant and Buffalo in the shade of the trees. Observe how the water channels meander their way through the Delta in ever changing paths as this Dynamic water system evolves. The vastness of this pristine wilderness is breathtaking.
Upgrade Option: Sitatunga Cottage. Cost: USD$35 per person (twin share). Included Meals: B/L/D.
Days 16 - 17: Maun - Kasane (Chobe National Park). Chobe National Park, in northwest Botswana, has one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa. By size, it is the third largest park of the country and is the most diverse. From the Okavango Delta we make our way to the northern corner of Botswana to Chobe National Park, home to elephant, lion, buffalo, hippo and abundant birdlife, including the famous African fish eagle. Rising early we take a game drive, we rest during in the heat of the day and then in the late afternoon, we take a cruise on the Chobe River – a great opportunity to see hippo and perhaps elephant or buffalo coming to the river to bathe and drink.
The Chobe, which flows along the Northeast border of the park, is a major watering spot, especially in the dry season (May through October) for large breeding herds of elephants, as well as families of giraffe, sable and cape buffalo. The flood plains are the only place in Botswana where the puku antelope can be seen. Birding is also excellent here. Large numbers of carmine bee eaters are spotted in season. When in flood spoonbills, ibis, various species of stork, duck and other waterfowl flock to the area.
Upgrade Option: Thebe River Lodge. Thebe River Safaris lodge offers twin rooms. All rooms are en-suite and have a shower with ample near-instant piping hot water. All beds are mosquito netted ensuring a peaceful night sleep & rooms are air-conditioned - a real treat in the summer months! Facilities include a bar and swimming pool and the property is located on the banks of the Chobe River. Cost: USD$40 per person (twin share). Included Meals: B/L/D.
Days 18 - 19. Kasane - Livingstone (Victoria Falls). Moving on from Chobe we take the ferry across the Zambezi River to Zambia and drive the short distance to the small town of Livingstone. We set up camp at the Waterfront campsite on the banks of the Zambezi, just a few kilometres from the Victoria Falls. The campsite reception will give advice and information about the various optional activities available in the area (typically these include rafting, canoeing, bungee, abseiling, gorge swinging, elephant and horse riding, scenic flights, river cruises), allowing you to plan your time accordingly. But whatever you do, don’t forget a visit to the Victoria Falls themselves. At various times of year the spray from the Falls can be seen from up to 20 or 30 kilometres away, hence the local name ‘Mosi au Tunya’ – the ‘smoke that thunders’. The tour ends after breakfast on day 19.
NB: For the sake of practicality, meals in the Livingstone/Victoria Falls area are restricted to breakfasts. This allows you to take on half day or full day activities (some of which include lunch) without having to be back with the group at mealtimes. The Waterfront camp restaurant overlooks the Zambezi River and offers a good selection of reasonably priced meals and snacks throughout the day (allow US$15 -$30 per meal). Relax and enjoy these few days at your own leisure. Alternatively, take a taxi into Livingstone to try local fare.
Upgrade Option: The Waterfront. Is situated on the north bank of the Zambezi 4km upstream from Victoria Falls is a convenient and inexpensive stopover.
The Zambezi Waterfront offers a full range of accommodation options in cool and shady surroundings on the riverbank and includes:
- 16 fully serviced en-suite twin chalets including 3 executive rooms and 4 family rooms.
- A tented "Adventure Village" with accommodation for up to 60 guests in a large and spacious cluster of individual Bow Tents on raised platforms. The Waterfront has a central dining complex with open views up and down river - the spray from Victoria Falls is in constant view.
- A raised wooden deck stretches out over the river with a unique plunge pool.
- An open bar and restaurant area, reception, travel centre, merchandising shop and internet café completes the complex.
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