This 22 day safari takes you through 4 countries – South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. You will be accompanied by a Danish tour guide, a local tour guide and an experienced driver who will do everything in their power to ensure that you have an unforgettable journey. You will ride in modern and comfortable buses, while game drives, you will drive in open 4-wheel drive vehicles, so you can enjoy the wildlife from the first floor.
Cape Town can, without exaggeration, is considered one of the world’s most beautiful cities. After months at sea, their ships could be filled up with fresh produce grown in the garden – hence the name “The company’s garden”. From there we move on to the lively Green Market Square, which is today Cape Town’s flea market. The square was established in 1696 during the Dutch occupation of the Cape Colony.
In the more than 300 years, the square has served many purposes. In the beginning it was used as a marketplace where the fresh vegetables grown in the Company’s Garden were sold along with slaves. Since then, a guard house was built, which was the headquarters of the Cape Colony’s citizen patrols, which patrolled and kept an eye on any fires. Over time, the square became more and more dilapidated and ended up in the 1950s becoming a car park.
When the protesters arrived at the square, they were met by police water cannons that sprayed purple dye on all of them. Today, as mentioned, the square is a flea market where you can buy everything your heart desires, from clothes to African handicrafts. The day’s sightseeing concludes with a stroll through the colourful Cape Malay district of Bo-Kaap. The district originally dates from the 1760s, when many smaller houses were built and rented out to slaves.
The inhabitants became known as Cape Malay, and came from Malaysia, Indonesia, and the rest of Africa to work in the Cape Colony. When the rule was finally lifted and the slaves were given the opportunity to buy the houses, all the houses were painted in bright colours by their owners as an expression of their freedom. We have dinner at Restaurant Gold, a vibrant pan-African experience in the heart of Cape Town. We sit in a historic old courtyard, where our senses are awakened by a sumptuous feast of African specialties and local African rhythms.
After a nice breakfast buffet, it’s time to get out and experience more of the fantastic city. The morning begins with a visit to the Cecil Rhodes memorial on Devil’s Peak. The memorial was built in 1912 to honour the memory of English-born Cecil Rhodes, who lived in South Africa from 1853 until his death in 1902, and in the period 1890-1896 was Prime Minister of the Cape Colony.
From there it’s time to experience the Klein Constantia Estate, described as one of the world’s most beautiful vineyards, with wines of extremely high quality. Klein Constantia is set in the lushest green surroundings with stunning views over the Constantia Valley and False Bay.
It is possible to take a boat to the prison island of Robben Island, which housed Nelson Mandela for 18 years and today functions as a museum. On the island, the tours are guided by former political prisoners from the island, giving visitors a truly unique insight into the island’s history and personal accounts of prison life.
After a good night’s sleep, it is time for another adventurous day, where we will drive along the 75 km long Cape Peninsula towards the Cape of Good Hope. We drive along Chapman’s Peak Drive, which is one of the world’s most beautiful stretches of road. From there we drive on to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. Here, at the very tip of Africa, where one of the largest sea cliffs in the world plunges into a stormy sea, there is both drama and calm.
Take a walk around the fantastic surroundings and finally remember to take a photo in front of the world-famous Cape Point sign. If time permits, we will then drive to the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Kirstenbosch is located on the slopes of Table Mountain and is considered one of the world’s most beautiful botanical gardens. The botanical garden was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2004.
After an early breakfast, we drive to the foot of the famous Table Mountain. Weather permitting, the cable car will take us up to an altitude of 1100 meters. From up here we have the most impressive view over the city and the sea. There is an opportunity to walk around a bit and enjoy Cape Town from the higher air layers.
After the breath-taking experience, it is time to drive to Stellenbosch. It is an incredibly colourful and beautiful architectural city surrounded by mountains and vineyards.
It is thanks to several French Huguenots who settled in Stellenbosch in 1690 and planted grapes that the town became the centre of South Africa’s wine industry. The town also became a central educational centre from 1859, when the Dutch Reformed Church opened a seminary. When the University of Stellenbosch was established in 1918, it cemented Stellenbosch’s reputation as an educational centre.
We will visit the elegant Neethlingshof winery, built in 1692. Founders of the winery originally called it De Wolwedans , mistaking the roaming jackals in the area for wolves. We will go on a guided tour of the well-stocked wine cellar and end the visit with a wine tasting and lunch in the courtyard.
The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. It is possible to stroll around the town centre and enjoy the beautifully preserved Afrikaans and Victorian architecture, as well as the many attractive art galleries, craft shops and gift shops.
After a good night’s sleep, it’s time to visit Kayamandi Township. Kayamandi means “lovely home” in the local Xhosa language. The township was founded in the 1950s, as part of the increased segregation of blacks and whites during the apartheid regime.We must, among other things, visit Luthando Creche Day-care, where we will be greeted with euphoria by more than 50 children aged 1-5 years. The little ones exude energy and are very curious about their guests. Together with Madiba, who runs the day care centre with Mama, we will experience Kayamandi on a 1½ hour walk. We hear more about the town’s turbulent past in South Africa, we get the opportunity to talk to the local inhabitants and taste the traditional sorghum beer.
After the visit, it’s time to drive towards the Cape West Coast, which winds along the Atlantic Ocean until we reach the West Coast National Park. It is a fascinating sight how the meter-high waves from the roaring sea break on the rough, rocky coast. In the national park, the Langebaan lagoon stands in stark contrast to the raw forces of nature. The lagoon is known for its white sandy beaches, azure water, and numerous species of birds – a true little paradise.
The national park is home to e.g., Eland, the largest African antelope, and the white-tailed wildebeest, which we only find in South Africa. After the visit to the park, we continue the journey along the Atlantic Ocean until we drive inland again. Situated at the base of the Cederberg Mountain range in the Olifants River valley is the small town of Clanwilliam.
The morning begins with an easy hike in the magnificent Cederberg Mountains. The mountains are wild, rugged, dramatic and above all breath-taking. The region’s valleys are lined with citrus groves and surrounded by magnificent mountains that become even more spectacular at sunrise and sunset when bathed in vibrant colours. In the mountains, we will experience the historic petroglyphs or rock carvings of the San people, the oldest people in Africa. The most well-preserved petroglyphs are hidden in various small caves and are truly remarkable.
Here, among these beautiful and dramatic mountains, Rooibos is cultivated. The red bush used to make the tea is found only in this region. The red tea has a very characteristic taste full of sweetness and is a good protection against cardiovascular diseases. The explanation is the high content of flavonoids, which protect your heart and circulation. We get out and see a Rooibos plantation and learn a lot more about the cultivation and the properties of the bush. We see the factory, where we are introduced to all the processes up to the final packaged product. After the tour, there will be plenty of opportunity to drink the tasty tea.
We then leave Cederberg and drive towards Springbok in the heart of Namaqualand, known for its unique flora. A few weeks a year, the area is in full bloom with African daisies and midday flowers.
We go on a city tour where our guide tells us the history of Springbok, which is the largest city in the Northern Cape Province.
We spend the night at the 4-star Blue Diamond Lodge, where it is possible to take a refreshing dip in the lodge’s swimming pool.
Today it is time to leave South Africa and cross the border into Namibia. We cross the Oranje River, which forms the natural border between the two countries. Once the border formalities are over, it’s time to drive towards the next highlight of the trip – Fish River Canyon – the second largest canyon in the world.
Fish River Canyon a spectacular geological phenomenon. Over millions of years, tremendous forces from the earth’s interior and the rippling current of the Fish River have created this great canyon. Up from a number of vantage points on the bare rock, we can enjoy the overwhelming view down into the almost 549 meter deep and 27 km wide gorge. Its total length is 160 km. If the desire and mood are up to it, then it is obvious to enjoy a sundowner while the sun casts its orange-red rays over the impressive gorge.
We spend the night at Canyon Village, located at the foot of a cliff in the private conservation area of Gondwana Canyon Park. The area was originally used for sheep farming, leading to overgrazing, a common problem in arid Namibia. The overgrazing combined with very little rainfall led to extensive destruction of the flora. The area was therefore bought in 1996 by a group of locals who wanted to protect the flora and fauna and therefore transformed the area into a protected nature reserve. A team of rangers was trained, sheep farming was abandoned, and local game was reintroduced. In addition, new watering holes were created for the animals.
Gondwana Canyon Park today covers an area of more than 125,000 hectares. As guests, we may be lucky enough to enjoy the sight of giraffes, ostriches, kudus, oryxes, springboks and mountain zebras.
We start the day by driving to the town of Bethanie, where we can experience Namibia’s oldest stone house – the Schmelenhaus. The house was built in 1814 by the German missionary Henrich Schmelen.
We continue today’s journey through the pastel-coloured desert landscapes to Helmeringhausen. The city is the result of one man’s dream – Hubert Hester – who was born in the German version of Helmeringhausen in 1885. At the age of 22, he arrived in what was then Southwest Africa, where he took part in World War I to fight the invading South African troops. After the end of the war, he bought a farm and named the area after his hometown. Slowly he built more and more buildings to create the small town we are about to experience today. It is said that he single-handedly built all the buildings in the city.
Today we have to get up early, as we have to experience the world-famous sand dunes of Sossusvlei around sunrise. We drive into the heart of the world’s oldest desert – the Namib. The name Namib is of Nama origin and actually means “enormous place”, which must be said to be very appropriate. In a vast sandy desert, the landscape is remarkably varied, with the giant red dunes of Sossusvlei being the most famous part. They are the world’s highest and made it onto UNESCO’s world heritage list in 2013. When the light plays on the sand, some absolutely fantastic colour combinations emerge. The name Sossusvlei is of mixed origin, but very tellingly means “dead end”.
It is possible to climb the fabulous sand dunes on foot and then slide down towards the Dead Vlei . This astonishing site is dominated by dead thorn trees, spared from complete decay due to the dry climate. The Tsauchab River gave life to these trees over 500 years ago, but when it changed its course, the trees have gradually dried up and now characterize this wondrous landscape.
Before leaving the area, we will explore on foot the Sesriem Canyon, which the Tsauchab River has carved into the rock over millions of years. Before we go to bed, there is one last spectacular view to experience – the African night sky with millions upon millions of stars.
The Namib has existed for around 434 million years and is considered the world’s oldest desert. Although the desert is barren and dry, a large number of animal species live here, including springbok, oryx and mountain zebra. The plant and animal life in the desert is sustained by sporadic rain showers and fog from the Atlantic Ocean that is blown over the desert. In this fantastically beautiful landscape, the Naukluft mountains cut a fine silhouette against the open sky.
On today’s journey we make a stop in the town of Solitaire, where it will be possible to buy a cup of coffee and taste their famous apple strudel. We also make a stop at the Tropic of Capricorn before making a total change of scene and driving to the Atlantic coast. We are going out to feel the wind in our hair at Walvis Bay. The lagoon is a true bird’s paradise, where hopefully, among many other birds, we will also experience both Greater and Lesser Flamingos.
In the afternoon we arrive in Swakopmund, Namibia’s largest coastal town. The city was founded in 1892 as the most important port in German Southwest Africa and is often described as more German than Germany. The city clearly bears the stamp of German colonialism, which we will see on the buildings and road signs around the city. We make a stop at an activity centre where we are informed about the different options, we can do the following day. Among other things, dolphin and seal safari in a catamaran is highly recommended.
Today is at your leisure and can be used to explore Swakopmund on your own. You can stroll through the town and see the many cosy shops or walk over the old jetty and put your feet in the Atlantic Ocean.
Alternatively, you can go on a number of optional activities at your own expense:
Living Desert Tour:
To the untrained eye, the dunes are “just” a pile of sand. But the skilled and experienced guides will introduce you to a myriad of desert life. You will, among other things, see Palmetto geckos, Desert lizards, Toktokkie beetles, snakes, spiders, and chameleons.
You will charter a 45-foot catamaran that will take you on an adventure-filled trip to Pelican Point and the beautiful bay area of Walvis Bay. While enjoying oysters and sparkling wine, hopefully you will be lucky enough to see dolphins, seals, and pelicans.
After a wonderful morning meal, it’s time to say goodbye to the Atlantic Ocean. We will experience the fantastic region of Erongo, which is the largest in Namibia. The area is a geological wonder. Its centre is formed by the Erongo Mountains, a 130-million-year-old volcanic ruin with breath-taking rock formations. Over thousands of years, magma has formed this impressive natural scenery.
We will visit Spitzkoppe, which is one of the most photographed mountain motifs in the country. Spitzkoppe is a so-called inselberg (rocky area that stands out prominently in a plain-like landscape) with a height of 1720 meters. Due to its characteristic shape, which can be seen from a long distance, Spitzkoppe is often referred to as Namibia’s Matterhorn. Around Spitzkoppe there are hundreds of cave paintings, which are considered the finest collection of rock art in the country.
In the afternoon we drive to the town of Omaruru, where it is possible to go on a short sightseeing tour and work up an appetite for dinner. We will spend the night at the 3-star hotel Omaruru Guest House.
After a wonderful night’s sleep, it’s time to travel further north towards Etosha South, which lies just south of the border to Etosha National Park. We will visit a traditional village inhabited by the Himba people. It is an indigenous people that today has a population of about 50,000 people in northern Namibia and southern Angola. The Himba are a semi-nomadic people, as they have their small areas where they grow crops, but at the same time are forced to migrate to get access to water for themselves, their cattle, and goats.
The women are famous for, as a mixture of beauty ideal and sun protection, smearing their bodies in an orange-red mixture consisting of ash, fat, and ochre. Their hair is even smeared into the mixture in long tufts. As the only clothing, the women wear a loincloth made of goatskin and brightly coloured jewellery that marks where in the tribal hierarchy they belong. The women typically take care of the children, the milking of the animals and other incidental work, while the men take care of the more political tasks that are in the small tribal villages. During our visit, we get an insight into the traditional way of life of the Himba, and we learn more about their belief system, hear about their relationship with nature and their various rituals.
With our visits, we help to ensure that the children and families have their medical and other basic needs covered. After an unforgettable visit, it’s time to drive to our hotel. We will spend the night at the charming Toshari Lodge, where we will have the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in the swimming pool.
Today we will get up early and visit Etosha National Park, which is one of the largest and most animal-rich national parks in Africa. The park covers an area of more than 22,000 km² and is home to more than 100 different mammals, such as elephants, giraffes, rhinos, Burchell’s zebras, jackals, spotted hyenas, warthogs, cheetahs, lions, leopards, and countless antelopes. In addition, there are more than 300 different bird species.
The Etosha Pan salt flat dominates the park with its 4850 km². Many thousands of years ago, it was a huge lake fed by the river Cunene from Angola. But when the river changed its course, the lake gradually dried up, leaving behind this impressive salt flat. The reflections on the horizon are a fascinating sight and give reminiscences to mirages.
The open vegetation gives the park a very special charm, as it increases the opportunities to spot the animals from a distance. There are approx. 50 waterholes distributed around the park, where the animals most often congregate.
In the park, we drive around in open 4-wheel drive vehicles to better enjoy today’s game drive.
After the day’s animal experiences, it is time to drive to our lodge for the night. We will spend the night at Ohange Safari Lodge, whose name in the local Herero language very tellingly means «peace». We are encouraged to eat dinner under the twinkling stars while enjoying the local nightlife at the watering hole. The hotel’s hosts Karla and Justus will share their vast knowledge with funny and entertaining anecdotes.
Today’s journey will take us to Rundu, situated on the banks of the Kavango River, which is the lifeblood of the area with its supply of water. The river forms a natural border between Namibia and Angola, after which it winds south down towards the Okavango Delta in Botswana.
Before we arrive in the town of Grootfontein, we make a stop at the world’s largest meteorite, Hoba. It was found in 1920 by a farmer who was ploughing his field. The meteorite weighs 66 tons and is the largest single meteorite ever found, and the largest piece of iron ever found at the surface of the earth. It is 9 meters long, 9 meters wide and 3 meters thick. It is believed to have fallen to earth more than 80,000 years ago, but it is surprising that the meteorite is not surrounded by a crater. Because normally, objects of this size would slash through the atmosphere at a very high speed and hit the ground with enough force to blast a sizable crater.
Shortly after Grootfontein, we experience a radical change in the landscape, which now becomes lusher and greener. Along the way, we pass small huts where woodcarvers sell their handicrafts by the roadside. In the afternoon we will go on a boat cruise on the Kavango River, where we will experience the beautiful sunset that transforms the river landscape into a veritable fairy-tale landscape.
After a hopefully nice peaceful night’s sleep, we will get up early and go on a game drive in the Mahango Game Reserve and enjoy the animals when they are most active. The reserve is part of the Greater Bwabwata National Park and has an area of only 245 km². It mainly consists of 2 parts: The denser bush part, which is an important refuge for most of the wildlife in the reserve, and a wetland where, among other things, hippos and crocodiles resides.
Despite its modest size, the park is home to numerous animals. There are i.e., large herds of elephants, buffaloes, and various antelope species such as kudus – the second largest antelope species, the red Lechwe antelopes and the sable antelope with its beautiful horns.
In addition, you will be able to see some of the huge and very distinctive baobab trees. Many call it the tree of life, as it grows so slowly that it takes 1000 years to reach its full size. Over time, the tree is hollowed out and therefore it has been used as both housing, as a prison and to bury important villagers. For that reason, there are many locals who believe that you can get in touch with your ancestors via the tree.
One of the tree’s peculiarities is that it absorbs large amounts of water during the rainy season. It can hold up to 4500 litres of water inside its trunk during the dry season, which is why elephants go in search of water under the bark when lakes and streams dry up.
After the visit to the park, it is time to say goodbye to Namibia and continue the journey in Botswana. 15,500 km². The water that supplies the delta comes from the highlands of Angola and ends deep in the Kalahari Desert in the central part of Botswana. The vegetation is very varied and consists, among other things, of papyrus, the beautiful water lilies on the surface of the water, and extensive areas of savannah. The area is a true paradise for ornithologists and animal lovers, as the area attracts many different kinds of birds, herbivores and also quite a few predators.
In the afternoon we arrive at our lodge for the next 2 nights Guma Lagoon Camp. It is located in the so-called Okavango Panhandle, which is the delta’s most important watercourse. We live in small cabins with a beautiful view over the lagoon.
The best way to experience the fascinating delta is from the surface of the water. So today we will explore the delta’s network of waterways in traditional canoes – the so-called mokoros. Our canoeists will wade through the water while we look for birds and other wildlife. The experienced guides will share their knowledge of the breath-taking flora and fauna in the area, and probably also tell us about some of the folk tales that exist here.
We visit one of the islands in the delta, where we can eat our food basket. Then it’s time to stretch your legs and walk around and see and hear a bit more about the area’s wildlife, and the use of the delta’s plants for natural medicine.
After a wonderful breakfast, it is time to say goodbye to the Okavango Delta and cross the border to Namibia. Once the border formalities are over, we continue to Bwabwata National Park in the north-eastern part of Namibia. The park is 6,100 km² and is a little overlooked gem. The park does great nature conservation work and tries hard to fight poaching. This means that today the park has managed to increase the total number of wild animals in Namibia. On our trip around the park, we will therefore do our best to spot antelopes, hyenas, wild dogs, and lions. We will drive around in an open 4-wheel drive and will probably not encounter other travellers.
We will spend the night at Kwando River Camp, which is beautifully situated on the banks of Kwando River. Here we can enjoy a sundowner while hearing the call of the African Fish Eagle in the distance.
After having breakfast to the sound of lapping waves, it is time to continue the journey.
Before we leave Namibia, we will visit an authentic open-air museum, where we will get an insight into the way of life of the Mafwe people. The Mafwe people are part of the Lozi tribe, which lives in north-eastern Namibia, south-eastern Angola, north-western Botswana, and southwestern Zambia. Most are subsistence farmers and live mainly on Mahangu, which is a type of grain they use for their porridge, and the fish they can catch in the river.
The open-air museum consists of a traditional village situated on a lush hill with baobab trees and a view of the Kwando River. We hear more about their way of life, culture, traditions and are invited to dance.
Then it’s time to say goodbye to Namibia and drive across the border to Botswana. We cross the border at Katima Mulilo and drive towards the town of Kasane, which lies just outside Chobe National Park.
After lunch, it’s once again time to find the camera and get water under the keel when we go out to experience the wildlife on a boat trip on the Chobe River. The open river landscape makes it possible to experience the animals up close when they go down to the river to drink. It is a very special sight when the elephants bathe in the river or even swim to the other bank, where we can just make out its back and trunk sticking out of the water.
There are great chances of seeing the African osprey, majestically perched in the treetops, and guarding; crocodiles on the riverbank waiting for prey to pass by; hippos, barely visible with their eyes above the water, and all the other animals that feed on Chobe’s life-giving drops.
At the end of our boat safari, we experience the very special African sunset, where the sky lit up in the most fantastic burnt orange-red colours.
This morning we have to get up early to go on a game drive in Chobe National Park. We drive around in an open 4-wheel drive, where we can enjoy the animals in their natural habitat. Chobe National Park was the first national park in the country and, with its area of 11,700 km², is the country’s third largest, but the most biologically diverse.
We drive around in the early morning hours, as most animals are grazing at this time, so the chances of spotting them are optimal. Lions and the other big cats that like to lie in the shade of the bushes are also often spotted more easily.
After a hopefully eventful morning, we drive back to the hotel and eat our breakfast.
Before we drive towards the border, we make a short stop at the large baobab tree in Kasane, which was used as a prison in the 1800s. From there we drive towards the border to say goodbye to Botswana and drive into Zimbabwe. The border formalities take a little longer than at the other border crossings, but that just adds a little extra spice to the experience account.
When talk about the Victoria Falls, 2 things often come to mind: Of course, the world-famous waterfall, and then the almost equally legendary hotel Victoria Falls Hotel. Built by the British in 1904, the hotel was originally intended as accommodation for the workers who worked on the railway from Cape Town to Cairo. As part of the railway system, a bridge was to be built over the mighty Zambezi River. Cecil Rhodes, who could see that this railway would strengthen the British Empire, wanted the bridge to be built in a place where the water spray from the waterfall would fall on the passing trains, which is the reason why the bridge is so close to the waterfall.
The Victoria Falls Hotel has been modernized over the years but has retained the distinctive colonial style that makes us almost feel like we are in a time warp when we walk around the hotel. Here we will have their famous High Tea with a view of the Victoria Falls Bridge.
Today we will experience Africa’s largest and the world’s second largest waterfall Victoria Falls on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is one of the natural wonders of the world and with its width of 1.7 km and a drop of 128 meters is very spectacular. It was the English explorer David Livingstone who, as the first white man, on 17 November 1855 “discovered” the waterfall and named it in honour of the then English Queen Victoria.
The indigenous people from the Tonga tribe called the waterfall Mosi-oa-Tunya, which directly translates to “the smoke that thunders”. A very telling name, as especially in the rainy season it sounds like a strong thunder from the gorge, when the water masses hit the bottom and throw up a cloud of water up to 400 meters high. The Tonga tribe believed that the thunder and the huge flood were caused by evil spirits. They believed in the river god Nyaminyami who lived under a large rock further up the Victoria Falls. The mythical creature was a mixture of a fish and a snake and has been hiding since the white man arrived in the area. When it appears, the water turns red. No one dares to get too close to its rock as legend has it that the men who sailed there in their canoes disappeared and have never been seen again. Whether you believe these myths or not, they are still quite fascinating. Today you will discover the magic for yourself.
After we have enjoyed the guided tour around the waterfall, heard a little more about the geological wonder and the legends that surround it, you have the rest of the day free on your own. You have the option of buying trips by helicopter or boat, or if you need an adrenaline rush, there is also the option of bungee jumping from the Victoria Falls Bridge, which connects Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Alternatively, you can visit the local market with woodcarving and African art. We will meet again at 19.00, where we will have our farewell dinner at The Boma restaurant. We sit overlooking the Zimbabwean night sky and enjoy various excellent local dishes. While we eat, we are entertained by traditional dance and music.
Enjoy the last morning atmosphere in southern Africa. Take a dip in the hotel swimming pool or buy the last souvenirs before we get ready to go to Victoria Falls Airport to begin our journey home. Tired, but filled with lots of lovely holiday memories, new friendships and, of course, unique spot shots.
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