13 Days Namibia to Zambia Tour
DAY 1 - 2 Swakopmund – Cape Cross – Spitzkoppe
Swakopmund is Namibia’s main seaside resort, sandwiched neatly between barren desert and open ocean – it is a delightful coastal oasis. Modern adventure attractions and good priced accommodations make it an ideal place to begin our tour. If you have time to arrive a day or so early there are a number of desert based activities to try –quad biking, sand boarding, skydiving (weather permitting) – and plenty of side-walk cafes to enjoy at a more leisurely pace.
Leaving the coast we turn inland to the beautiful Damaraland region for Spitzkoppe where we admire ancient bushman paintings still visible on the rock formations and make camp for the evening.
DAY 3 - 5 Etosha National Park - Windhoek
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. After two nights we leave Etosha and turn south to the Windhoek, the capital, a city steeped in German architecture and atmosphere. Take the opportunity to enjoy a night out at one of the local taverns!
DAY 6 - 11 Ghanzi – Okavango Delta – Chobe National Park
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. We stay the night nearby before continuing north to Maun for our next national park - the 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 in the bush open to sounds of Africa at night is an unforgettable experience!
After our return to Maun 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 superb opportunity to see hippo and perhaps elephant or buffalo coming to the river to drink.
DAY 12 - 13 Livingstone – Victoria Falls (Zambia)
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 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 13.
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.