Visit Africa and travel through Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe on a tour from Windhoek to Victoria Falls. Embark on a journey through bountiful Botswana, rich in natural beauty, thrilling wildlife encounters and fun local interaction. Experience exciting game drives, enjoy life aboard a houseboat, see ancient rock art and feel the power of Victoria Falls. Botswana is a captivating country full of vibrant energy and welcoming people; with slices of Namibia and Zimbabwe also included, this comfortable trip is a nature-lover's dream.


Start
Windhoek, Namibia
Finish
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Countries
Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe
Style
Comfort
Theme
Overland, Wildlife
Code
UBKF
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13

Why we love this trip

  • Spend 2 nights on a houseboat as your base for exploring the Okavango Delta

  • Drive through the Elephant Highway between Nata & Kasane

  • Relax on a sunset cruise along the Chobe River spotting bird life and hippos and watch the sunset with a sundowner in hand

  • Feel the raw power of mighty Victoria Falls

  • Learn more about the Kalahari from the knowledgeable San people as they sing and dance by the campfire

  • Head out on a morning game drive in open 4x4's in the Chobe National Park

  • Explore the Makgadikgadi Pans; scenery, sundowners, Baobabs and Meerkats!

Is this trip right for you?

  • This itinerary includes 2 nights on a house boat at the Okavango Delta. Cabins are very small and basic with shared facilities.

  • We use our purpose-built overland vehicles for the duration of this trip. It is important to note that while our vehicles are not air-conditioned, all windows do open to allow for fresh air. But please be aware that road travel in Africa comes with its fair share of dust, so while curtains are fitted to minimize the sun shine, it can get hot and windy.

  • This itinerary features some long travel days which can be exacerbated by bumpy African roads.

  • Our overland safaris do not necessitate exceptional fitness levels, but a general level of physical movement is required. For example, you need to judge yourself physically fit enough to handle entering and exiting our vehicles several times a day and must be prepared for some long travel days.

  • Some passengers on this trip will have been travelling together prior to the start of your trip.

  • Botswana temperatures rise in the hot dry period of September and October before the rains hit and temperatures can get as high as 34-38°C. Not all accommodation will have air-conditioning ( especially the Houseboat and San Bushmen Lodge ). This is quite common across Africa, particularly in remote locations where lodges or camps operate on solar power or generators.

  • Botswana is a very seasonal destination. What you see and experience can differ quite dramatically depending on the time of year you visit. Please consider this before you choose your departure date. See the 'Climate and Seasonal' section for more details.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2018 to 31 December 2018. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
On arrival in Windhoek, you will be met by an Intrepid representative and transferred to your hotel. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel (note - we may not be able confirm request made within 15 days of travel). Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel which is located about a 30-45minute drive from the airport.
The old German colonial town of Windhoek has been blended into a modern city. The German architecture of the older buildings lends the town a historic atmosphere. Good examples of this German architecture can be seen in a number of buildings, but the best are the Tintenpalast (Ink Palace), the Christuskirche (church), the gymnasium and the Genossenschaftshaus.
This evening you may wish to join the rest of the group for an optional welcome dinner.

If yo're interested in seeing a little more of Namibia before you head off on your Botswana Adventure, why not consider our new Namibia Dunes Shortbreak ( UBAS-C ). The shortbreak starts and finishes in Windoek and gives you an opportunity to discover one of the most incredible landscapes in Namibia when you pay a visit to the barren dunes of Soussusvlei. Explore the area by 4X4 and then take a walk around on foot. Climb the dunes for panoramic views and spend two nights in comfort at the edge of the desert plains. Spend some time exploring the city streets of Namibia’s capital, Windhoek. See the website for more details.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel (note - we may not be able confirm request made within 15 days of travel). Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Cross the border into Botswana and travel to Ghanzi, known as the "Capital of the Kalahari" (560km approximately 8hrs).

Accommodation tonight is at a lodge just outside the small cattle ranching town of Ghanzi and a bit more basic than what you will encounter throughout your journey, however the concept and experience of will be well worth it. The lodge is situated in the Kalahari region of Botswana that is inhabited by a large portion of Botswanas’ San/Bushman community. Unemployment is one of the main social issues that affect the San community, who have become an increasingly marginalized minority is Southern Africa . The lodge helps empower the community through employment. There is an impressive concentration of bird life here and you may wish to go for an optional walk before dinner to stretch your legs after the long driving day. A traditional San/Southern African meal will be served in the communal lounge and dining area. There is also an bar with wine, beer and soft drinks available to buy.

Later this evening we will be treated to a real cultural experience and interaction with the local Bushmen. Around the campfire, you will 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.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Central Kalahari - San Cultural Experience
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Head to the Okavango Delta (400km approximately 7hrs), where we board speedboats that will take us to your home for the next two nights, a houseboat in the middle of the Okavango Delta. Please note you will need to pack a small bag or backpack for this trip as we won't be taking all of our luggage with us.

Your floating home for the next 2 nights is the most incredibly peaceful way to experience the delta. The houseboat has twin-share cabins with bedding, towels and mosquito nets provided (no single supplement is available on these nights). Cabins are very small and basic but we don't expect you'll be spending much time in there. There is also a dining area on the deck, tea/coffee making facilities and a small collection of books and board games.

This evening head to the deck where your captain will serve dinner, enjoy a sundowner, and listen to the sound of the Hippos along the waters edge.

Please note that on occasions our houseboat won't be available due to regular servicing and maintenance requirements. If this occurs the program will be replaced with alternate land arrangements.
Accommodation
  • Houseboat (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Speedboat Cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast we take a speedboat and 4x4 to a nearby poling station. From here you have the opportunity to experience the myriad waterways in traditional dugout canoes (mokoros) with a local guide. Your guide will take you on a nature walk around one of the many Islands in the Delta.
After a picnic lunch, return to the houseboat where you're free to relax, read a book or do some fishing. This evening grab a sundowner, pull up a chair and witness the often breathtaking sunset.
Accommodation
  • Houseboat (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Speedboat Cruise
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro safari
  • Okavango Delta - Nature Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast, we leave our houseboat behind, and again board the speedboats to take us back to our truck, and then on towards Maun - the gateway of the Okavango Delta (350km approximately 6hrs).
For those wanting more adventure, there's an opportunity to fly over the delta in a small plane for a bird's-eye view - a great way to appreciate the immensity of this watery world. Your leader can give you more information on this activity and how to book.
Otherwise the afternoon is free to sit by the pool, catch up on emails and laundry.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Speedboat Cruise
Optional Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Plane Scenic Flight - From USD75 - USD390
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
We depart from our lodge after breakfast and head towards north-east Botswana (210km approximately 4hrs). Our next stop is the Makgadikgadi Pans; a large salt pan situation in the middle of the dry savanna is located. This pan is now all that remains of the former Lake Makgadikgadi.
Our accommodation tonight is located on the edge of the pans. Sit by the pool or relax in the lounge area and take in your surroundings after a long day.
Head out to the Makgadikgadi Pans for an afternoon excursion in open 4x4's to one of the largest salt flats in the world. Here you’ll sit out in the wild enjoy sundowners and snacks while observing the amazing scenery. With the aid of trackers you may have the opportunity to spend some time in the company of the local meerkat colony, and look out for elephants that meander their way down to the watering hole to quench their thirst. Soak in this incredible place while the sun sets behind the old beautiful baobab.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Makgadikgadi Pans - Meerkat Pan Experience
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Accommodation tonight is simple but comfortable rondavels which are equipped with ceiling fans, tea and coffee facilities, mosquito nets and outdoor enclosed shower & toilet.
This morning we make tracks after breakfast and travel towards Kasane on the edge of Chobe National Park (410km approximately 7hrs).
The stretch of road between Nata and Kasane is known as the 'Elephant Highway'. With no fences elephants are free to move between Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and Botswana. So keep your eyes peeled for roadside elephants.
Botswana's first national park, Chobe, is perhaps best known for its high concentration of elephants. You will spend the next two nights in a lodge near the Chobe River.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning we wake early and take a dawn game drive in Chobe National Park, where you may see elephants drinking at the waters' edge, large herds of cape buffaloes and many impala within the park.

In the afternoon you’ll take a breathtaking cruise on the Chobe River, ideal for spotting bird life such as saddle-billed storks, malachite kingfishers, fish eagles and beautiful bee-eaters as well as hippos, crocodiles and large families of elephants. The boat trip will be a shared activity with other travellers. The boats used are large, usually with an upper and lower deck, bathroom facilities and a small bar so you can purchase a sundowner and watch the sunset over the river.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Travel on to Victoria Falls, crossing the border into Zimbabwe in time to have lunch on the banks of the Zambezi (100km approximately 2hrs depending on border formalities). These falls are one of the natural wonders of the world and, when in full flow, form the largest sheet of falling water.

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. 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.

A unique dinner at Boma restaurant is included, which specialises in Zimbabwean barbecue, is the perfect way to spend your evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Entrance & Visit
  • Victoria Falls - The Boma Dinner & Experience
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
You may notice businesses offering an optional 'Walk with the Lions' experience. We ask all Intrepid travellers to avoid this activity as it is contrary to our Responsible Travel policy. While wildlife viewing is a big part of many of our itineraries, we strive to only view animals in their natural habitats and to do so with the greatest level of respect. The lion walking industry directly contributes to the captive breeding and canned hunting of lions.

Read more about animal welfare and our ‘Born to Live Wild’ pledge here:
http://www.intrepidtravel.com/animal-welfare
Your adventure will come to an end after breakfast this morning.

No accommodation is included for tonight, but can be requested at your own expense.
Optional Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Sunset cruise on the Zambezi river - USD50
  • Victoria Falls - Village & township tour - USD50
  • Chobe National Park - Morning Game Drive in 4X4 vehicle - BWP210
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (12 mins) - USD175
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (25 mins) - USD334
  • Victoria Falls - Whitewater rafting (half day) - USD140
  • Victoria Falls - Whitewater rafting (full day) - USD140
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 8 dinners

Transport

Overland vehicle, Mokoro

Accommodation

Hotel (3 nights), Houseboat (2 nights), Lodge (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Central Kalahari - San Cultural Experience
  • Okavango Delta - Speedboat Cruise
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro safari
  • Okavango Delta - Nature Walk
  • Makgadikgadi Pans - Meerkat Pan Experience
  • Victoria Falls - Entrance & Visit
  • Victoria Falls - The Boma Dinner & Experience

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip. This does not apply to the nights spent on the Houseboat (2 nights) and Ghanzi (1 night). Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.

Reviews

Our Botswana Adventure trips score an average of 4.58 out of 5 based on 40 reviews in the last year.

Botswana Adventure, September 2017

Howard Rees

Botswana Adventure, September 2017

Kate Nevard