Enjoy a wild African adventure from South Africa to Zimbabwe

Get set for an adventure packed with majestic wildlife, remote desert landscapes, noble tribespeople and natural wonders. From the stunning beauty of Cape Town, to a burnt orange sunset over Namibia's Fish River Canyon, to a river cruise through Chobe National Park - this ultimate Africa tour will create memories to last a lifetime. Canoe down the Okavango Delta in Botswana, embark on a game drive in Etosha National Park and feel the raw power of Victoria Falls on this journey filled with the very best of southern Africa.

Start
Cape Town, South Africa
Finish
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Countries
Botswana,
Namibia,
South Africa,
Zimbabwe
Themes
Overland, Wildlife
Code
UXOF
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 22
Carbon offset
1 104kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Scramble to the top of one of the world's highest sand dunes in Sesriem
  • Visit the seal colonies of Cape Cross near Spitzkoppe
  • Spot exotic wildlife on a full days game drive through Etosha National Park
  • Learn about the hunter-gatherer traditions of the San Bushmen outside of Grootfontein
  • Glide down Botswana's Okavango Delta on a makoro
  • Hear the roar of the mighty Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe viewpoint

Itinerary

Sawubona! Welcome to South Africa.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 4pm on Day 1.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.
With its stunning coastline, dominating mountain and modern cityscape, Cape Town is one of Africa's most appealing cities. With vineyards on its doorstep, adventure activities around every other corner and plenty of restaurants and cafes to while away the time, Cape Town is a very easy city to spend some extra time in.
Leaving Cape Town behind, travel up the Western Cape and spend the night on a working farm (290 km, approx 6 hrs).
Our camp tonight has shared facilities and upgrades possible (subject to availability).
Pass through Namaqualand, famous for its wildflowers that spring up from the end of July to mid-September. Flowers like daisies, gazanias and cinerarias are the most popular. Arrive at the beautiful Orange River, the natural border between South Africa and Namibia. It takes about an hour to exit South Africa and enter Namibia, and we then head for our camp on the banks of the river (420 km, approx 9 hrs).
Traditionally known as the Gariep River, the Orange River is the longest in South Africa (2200 km). Its source is high up in the Drakensberg mountain range in Lesotho and it flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay in South Africa. The Orange River is responsible for transporting diamonds and creating the deposits that can be found along the Namibian coast.
Our camp has shared facilities and upgrades possible.
This morning there's a chance for an optional canoe adventure on the stunning Orange River - a great way to discover the beauty of this region.
Head further west into the desert lands of Namibia towards Fish River Canyon (200 km, approx 4-5 hrs).
At 500 metres deep and over 160 km long, Fish River Canyon is one of the largest canyons in the world. There are remarkable photographic opportunities here.
Tonight's camp has showers and flush toilets.
This is a long driving day towards the fabled dunes of Namibia (520 km, approx 10 hrs). There is an an opportunity to stop at a market/shop to stock up on supplies before tomorrow's bush camp.
Our camp tonight has shared facilities however no upgrades or Wifi available.
Wake before dawn and scramble to the top of these dunes for a dramatic sunrise view across a vast sea of sand. The colour changes are just incredible and provide a spectacular setting for our brunch.
The most famous part of the Namib Desert is its vast dune fields, the most spectacular of which are found near the Sesriem Canyon. This canyon was formed when the Tsauchab River carved a gorge 30 metres into the gravel deposits about 15 million years ago. It's thought that this river once flowed to the Atlantic Ocean but its course was blocked by the encroaching sand dunes. Now the river flows out to the dune fields that stretch for hundreds of miles up the coast, and dries up in a clay pan at Sossusvlei. The dunes are stunning, with magnificent red/orange tones from the brightly coloured sands. They are the highest in the world and home to a plethora of animal life.
Jump in the back of a pickup truck for a trip to Sossusvlei (approx 30 minutes each way). Here you'll experience the hidden and amazing mysteries this area contains.
In the afternoon we drive to our bush camp in the heart of Namib Desert (230kms, approx. 4hrs away).
Continue on to the town of Swakopmund (190 km, approx 4 hrs drive).
Our accommodation here is in bungalows. These accommodate 6 people each and share bathroom facilities. WiFi is available.
Surrounded by the massive dune fields of the Namib Desert on three sides, and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, Swakopmund is an example of the extraordinary German culture that's found in all major settlements in Namibia. It's worth wandering around the town to admire the beauty of the Germanic architecture and take advantage of some excellent souvenir shopping.
Today is another free day to enjoy this interesting beach side town.
Travel to Spitzkoppe (290 km, approx 6 hrs).
Experience the sight, sound and smell of thousands of olive-coloured seals on the shores of Cape Cross while travelling up the eerie Atlantic Coast.
Visit one of the most stunning areas of Namibia, the wild lands around the mountain of Spitzkoppe - 'the Matterhorn of Namibia'. The mountain, which is 700 million years old, is 1987 metres (5857 ft) high. Although you shouldn't attempt climbing to the top, there are some excellent hikes and guided walks throughout the area, rich in plant life and with some amazing bush paintings. This is a place to get away from it all and to appreciate the stunning harsh beauty of this sparsely populated country.
Bush camp for the night in the midst of this remote region and have the chance to witness the breathtaking sunsets and sunrises as the landscape takes on remarkable oranges and reds.
Travel to Etosha National Park (480 km, approx 9 hrs), stopping at a market/shop and ATM if required.
Etosha National Park is home to a wide range of Southern Africa's wildlife, including all the big carnivores and five rare or endangered species: black rhino, Hartmann's mountain zebra, black-faced impala, roan antelope and the tiny Damara dik-dik. The wildlife is prolific and Etosha has every right to proclaim itself as one of the world's pre-eminent wildlife areas. Game viewing in the park is relatively easy due to the man-made waterholes and the large sparsely vegetated pans. The bushland surrounding the pans is difficult to see through but there are enough clearings, pans and waterholes to usually allow for some sightings. Namibia has protected its game reserves against poaching so there are large herds of elephants, antelope and other herbivores.
Tonight we have an evening game drive before spending the night at the particularly spectacular Okaukuejo Camp. The camp overlooks a floodlit waterhole visited by many different species throughout the day and night. Upgrades are not available.
Enjoy a full day game drive in Etosha National Park.
This evening we spend the night at Namutoni Camp. Upgrades are available.
Drive to our camp outside Grootfontein for the night (220kms, approx. 5hrs).
Our camp has flush toilets, showers, WiFi, ATM and upgrades available.
Today we do a round trip to visit the Bushmen (180kms). We will go out walking with the San Bushmen, spend some time with them and listen to the stories and songs of these fascinating people, presented in their unique "clicking language". The Bushmen are the oldest ethnic group in Namibia having inhabited Southern Africa for an estimated 20,000 years. Around 30,000 San live in Namibia, but only 2,000 of them still follow a traditional way of life. The San have a deep understanding of nature and ecology, living in harmony with their environment.
Head to Bagani where we set up camp for the night.
Bagani is a small, friendly town with some good hiking trails along the river and plenty of places to just relax.
Our camp has flush toilets, showers, Wifi and upgrades available.
Drive across the border into Botswana and head south along the Okavango Panhandle (the narrowest part of the delta) to Seronga, where we leave our vehicle and join our transport for the journey into the delta (140 km, approx 4 hrs).
Formed by the Okavango River as it flows from the highlands of Angola down to a basin on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta is unlike anything else in the world. The river has no outlet from the desert and spreads out into thousands of small streams to form a wilderness that is totally unspoilt. The 16,000 sq km maze of wetlands is a wonderland of clear meandering waterways, green islands, lush plains and prolific wildlife. The delta is filled with a diversity of flora and fauna that includes hippos, crocodiles, elephants and the big cats. However, it's not for the game that we come as it can't always be found. The delta is about exploring one of the world's most fascinating ecosystems.
Boarding boats out into the swamps, travel to Gao Island to meet our mokoro team and to begin exploring the Okavango Delta. Each mokoro (small dugout canoe) takes two people and is poled along through the meandering waterways by a local tribesman. Reeds and lily pads line the streams, and birds startled by the mokoros rise out of the long grasses. Punting along, the peace of the delta may be shattered by the deep grunting of hippos.
Out in the middle of a wilderness area, on the first night you'll camp on an island away from civilisation.
There is no WiFi or upgrades available during these nights.
Continue our trip around the delta and then return to Gao Island before heading to the relative civilisation of Umvuvu Camp with its (usually) hot showers and small bar.
Today there is an option to take a nature walk with your guide.
Return to Bagani for the night where we have time to relax and take part in the various activities that are available in this charming place. Various boat trips, fishing or hikes are possible from Bagani.
Our camp has flush toilets, showers, Wifi and upgrades available.
Bagani to Chobe National Park is quite a long drive, but it's well worth it (430 km, approx 8 hrs). Enter Botswana at Goma border which is also the gateway to the park.
Botswana's first national park, Chobe, is perhaps best known for its high concentration of elephants, which can often be seen swimming in the Chobe River. The river also attracts wallowing hippos, a variety of birdlife, crocodiles sunning themselves by the water's edge, and cheetahs and lions which come down to drink.
Take an optional cruise down the Chobe River - one of the best ways to enjoy the park's animals.
Our camp is outside of Chobe National Park and has flush toilets, showers, WiFi, ATM and upgrades available.
Enjoy an early morning game drive and get up close to the wildlife, hopefully spotting lions, buffaloes, birds and of course elephants.
Travel on to Victoria Falls, crossing the border into Zimbabwe in time to have lunch on the banks of the Zambezi (115 km, approx 3 hrs).
Our camp has flush toilets, showers, WiFi and upgrades avilable
Visit the magnificent Victoria Falls.
The Victoria Falls are an enormous curtain of water, about a mile wide, falling 108 m into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise up an incredible 400 m and the falls are an impressive raging torrent. The spray from the falls can sometimes be seen from kilometres away. It's no wonder that the local name Mosi oa Tunya means the 'smoke that thunders'. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and it's possible to see little islets in the river below.
Your leader will take you to a local activity centre where a range of activities will be on offer. We have not risk assessed all activities and only those listed in our trip notes are recommended. If you are unsure please check with your leader.
Please note that it is against company policy for leaders to facilitate the booking of any activities that have not been risk assessed or do not adhere to our company’s Responsible Travel policy and ethos. This includes organising transport to and from these activities in our vehicles.

Tonight we'll share a final night dinner together.
You are free to depart any timetoday as there are no activities planned. Check out time is 10am.
For those of you who are planning on spending a few extra days in Vic Falls there are various activities and excursions available - either on the water, on land or high above it all. Choose from white water rafting, canoeing, the flying fox, or gorge swinging (please see the 'Optional Activities' below for more details on what you can see and do around Victoria Falls).
If you are interested in the Optional Helicopter flight ( 12 minutes or 25 minutes ) we endorse the following operator only: Zambezi Helicopter co CAA Zimbabwe. Your leader can help you arrange this activity.
Responsible Travel Note:
During your visit to the Victoria Falls area you may notice businesses offering an optional 'Walk with the Lions' experience. We recommend that Intrepid travellers bypass this activity as it is contrary to Intrepid's Responsible Travel guideline stating that we 'actively discourage the participation of Intrepid groups in activities which exploit animals - wild or domestic.' Professional wildlife conservation organisations, including Born Free and the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), advise that habituating lions to humans can shorten their life and may result in lion-human conflict issues. While there is some merit in the argument that the money that you pay for the activity goes towards lion research, we feel that the negative impacts on the lions' rehabilitation far outweigh this.
Safety Note:
While at Victoria Falls you may hear about Devils Pool. Intrepid does not recommend this activity due to the high risk involved. Our leaders cannot assist in organising this activity.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
18 breakfasts, 18 lunches, 17 dinners
Transport
4x4 Safari Vehicle, Mokoro, Overland vehicle
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Camping (with facilities) (14 nights), Cabin (3 nights), Hotel (1 night)
Included activities
  • Fish River Canyon
  • Sossusvlei 4x4 Tour
  • Sesriem - Sand dunes visit
  • Village Visit - Swakopmund ( Township tour)
  • Cape Cross seal colony
  • Evening Game Drive
  • Full Day Game Drive
  • San Bushman cultural experience
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro trips & bushwalks
  • Nature Walk
  • Chobe - Dawn game drive
  • Visit Victoria Falls

Dates

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip.
2. This trip finishes in Vic Falls on Day 22. However, you may also want to try some of the optional activities on offer here before your adventure comes to an end.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Cape Town to Vic Falls trips score an average of 4.84 out of 5 based on 51 reviews in the last year.

Cape Town to Vic Falls , February 2016

Cape Town to Vic Falls , February 2016

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