African adventures of the safari and coastal kind

Travel from Zanzibar's pristine coastline to the southern hub of Cape Town with Lonely Planet and Intrepid to see an array of amazing African vistas. Sample the exotic flavours of Africa's 'Spice Island', relax on Kande Beach at Lake Malawi, scale the sand dunes in Sossusvlei, glide through the Okavango Delta by local mokoro and keep your eyes peeled for elephants, hippos, crocodiles and lions on your multiple included game drives. With an expert local leader and a small group of eager travellers joining you each step of the way, this incredible adventure will open your eyes to the natural beauty of southern Africa. 

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Book a trip by 30 September and you’ll only pay a £1 deposit to secure your spot.

Terms & Conditions

Start
Stone Town, Tanzania
Finish
Cape Town, South Africa
Destinations
Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Style
Basix
Theme
Lonely Planet Experience, Overland, Wildlife
Code
YXOBC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 22

A powerful partnership

Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel share the same philosophy: we help curious people explore the world.

Why you'll love this trip

  • Chill out on the northern beaches of Zanzibar, enjoying white sand and sparkling blue sea of the Indian Ocean, and stroll the cobbled streets of Stone Town.

  • Listen to the songs and stories of Namibia’s San people, the oldest inhabitants of southern Africa, and gain an insight into their traditional customs and beliefs.

  • Enjoy a full-day game drive in Etosha National Park, home to a wide range of southern Africa's wildlife, including the endangered black rhino.

  • Choose from a range of optional activities at Victoria Falls so you can see the cascades the way you want, and maybe treat yourself to an unforgettable helicopter ride.

  • Discover the magic of South Luangwa National Park on a morning safari game drive. This park is a highly concentrated arena of noble African beasts and exotic wildflowers.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is an overland trip. That means you’ll be travelling with a group in a purpose-built vehicle, visiting remote communities, setting up your own tent, occasionally roughing it in the bush with no facilities, and getting the best possible views of the Big Five. While the trucks don’t have air conditioning, they do have sliding windows which let in the breeze and make it even easier to take spectacular snaps of the local wildlife. The drive days can be long, but it’s as much about the journey as the destination, and half the fun is the camaraderie. For more info on this style of travel, see our Africa overland page: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/africa/overland

  • We use mokoros (small dugout canoes) to pass through the shallow waterways of the Okavango Delta to get to our campsite for the night.

  • The overland vehicle is large enough to seat up to 22 passengers and carries all the camping equipment needed for the duration of this trip. 

  • Some passengers on this trip will have been travelling together prior to the start of your trip. To see what you're missing out on check out our Kenya to Cape Town trip.

  • As the early bird catches the worm, the early camper sights the animals. There will be many early starts either to make use of the better safari time or to beat the morning traffic on long travel days.

Itinerary

Welcome to Zanzibar! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm where you'll meet your group leader and fellow travellers. Aside from this important meeting, there are no planned activities for the day and you are free to explore on your own. Filled with pristine white-sand beaches, winding cobblestone alleyways and fragrant bazaars, Zanzibar has had a colourful history – everything from slave traders to Arabian sultans and fruit exporters. The sight of traditional dhows sailing along the coast evokes what the island must have been like in centuries ago. The old part of Zanzibar's main city is known as Stone Town, and the best way to see this is on foot, exploring the markets, shops, mosques, palaces and courtyards. When the sun is setting, why not grab a drink from a bar overlooking the seafront. A seafood curry at a local restaurant is also a great choice. You'll spend the night in Stone Town at a basic inn.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Stone Town Tour - Dharajani Market, Joseph's Cathederal, Palace Museum, Forodhani Food Market - USD20
  • Zanzibar - Prison Island Tour - USD25
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Please note the Zanzibar portion of your itinerary may have more passengers than the maximum group size of 22 as we have a crossover of trips starting and finishing in Zanzibar.
Once checked out of your Stone Town accommodation, consider booking in to an optional guided tour of the island's spice plantations, learning all about the history of this town's spice trade. You will have the opportunity to smell and taste various spices, such as cinnamon, vanilla and ginger, plus sample some teas made with these spices too. After lunch, head to the Northern Beaches, where white sands and sparkling blue seas await. This is the Indian Ocean at its best.
Accommodation
  • Bungalow (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Zanzibar - Spice tour - USD25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
If you choose not to book in on the optional Zanzibar spice tour this morning, you will be transported directly to the island's Northern Beaches.
Enjoy free time in this beautiful archipelago today. There are many ways you can spend your day – perhaps talk to your leader for any recommendations they might have. Snorkelling in search of exotic fish is an excellent option, or you could take a traditional dhow boat on the water. You might also like to feast on a sumptuous lunch of grilled local seafood, or just relax in a hammock underneath a coconut tree with a good book. It's totally up to you!
Accommodation
  • Bungalow (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Zanzibar - Dhow Trip - USD60
  • Zanzibar - Snorkelling - USD60
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Spend a final morning relaxing on the sandy northern beaches before returning to Stone Town for an afternoon and evening at leisure. Maybe ask you leader where to grab a urojo, a unique and delicious street treat made from potatoes and noodles stewed in a stock of tumeric, mango, flour and more. Or maybe grab a sugarcane juice and have a wander. You've got a long day of driving ahead tomorrow so make the most of your free time while you can! 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, the travellers in your group are likely to change today. There will be a welcome meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and to meet new travellers joining you.
Embrace an early start to catch a 7.30 am ferry to the mainland, then make tracks for Mikumi. It’s approximately an 8-hour drive to your first camp spot, but you’ll get a great look at all that renowned Tanzanian landscape on the way. Gaze out at vast plains dotted with baobab and tamarind trees and maybe catch a glimpse of some of the elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, lions and leopards that call the park home. Once you arrive at your camp spot, your leader will show you the ropes (literally) and help you set up and get comfortable for your night in the tent.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning there is a chance to wake up early to enjoy an optional 4WD game drive into Mikumi National Park. Then drive to Iringa (approximately 5 hours). You will set up camp on the grounds of a farmhouse on the outskirts of this pleasant settlement. The area is filled with natural bush land which can make it a bird watchers paradise. Maybe make the most of this rural setting by doing some stargazing before you retire for the night.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Mikumi National Park - Morning 4x4 Game Drive - From USD80 - USD230
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
For tonight’s camp, wi-fi and accommodation upgrades are available.

The price of the optional game drive will vary depending on the number of passengers.
Enter Malawi and travel to your campsite at Chitimba (approximately 10–12 hours). Malawi, the ‘warm heart of Africa,’ is dominated by its lake, which covers almost a fifth of the country and provides a livelihood for many Malawian people. Fishermen, fish traders and canoe and net makers all ply their trade on Lake Malawi. A common sight is that of a fisherman in a bwato (a dugout canoe made from a hollowed tree trunk) fishing on the still lake at the break of day.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
For tonight, camp facilities, wi-fi and accommodation upgrades are available.
Travel from Chitimba to Kande Beach on the shore of Lake Malawi (approximately 6 hours). There will be a chance to stop at a shop or market for any supplies you might need along the way. Enjoy a relaxing getaway from the commercialism and crowds with a few days on the lake’s more peaceful beaches. Your campsite at Kande Beach is right on the shore of Lake Malawi.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Lake Malawi - Guided village walks - USD10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
For tonight, accommodation upgrades are again possible (subject to availability). However, there is no wi-fi available.
Enjoy free time to soak up your idyllic surrounds. You might like to participate in one of the many water-based activities on offer, like snorkelling or pedal boating. Ask your leader for their recommendations. As well as chilling out on the lake’s sandy shores, make sure you take the opportunity to meet some local Malawians – easily some of the friendliest people in Africa.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Lake Malawi - Snorkelling - USD20
  • Lake Malawi - Pedalos - USD25
  • Lake Malawi - Canoe Hire - USD10
  • Lake Malawi - Bike Hire - USD25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Journey through southern Malawi and enter Zambia, continuing to South Luangwa National Park (approximately 9–10 hours). There will be border crossing formalities on the way, and a chance to stock up on goods at a shop or market and visit an ATM. The concentration of animals around the Luangwa River and its lagoons is some of the highest in Africa. Take in the beautiful scenery and the abundance of wildlife, watching out for colourful birds and herds of elephants.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Your camp tonight has flush toilets, showers and wi-fi. Upgrades are also offered (subject to availability).
Rise early for an exhilarating morning game drive in a 4WD, then head back to the camp for lunch (as this is the hottest part of the day). If the conditions are right, perhaps return to the park for an optional game drive at night. A village walk is another good option, if you'd like a snapshot of daily life in the local community.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • South Luangwa National Park - 4x4 Dawn Game Drive
Optional Activities
  • South Luangwa National Park - Game Walk - USD50
  • South Luangwa National Park - Night Game Drive - USD50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
The game walk listed as an optional activity today is seasonal and cannot be offered all year round.
After breakfast, take a visit to a workshop where local craftswomen make all the jewellery by hand using natural materials from the South Luangwa valley. The project is set primarily to empower women and raise awareness against poaching. Then head further south to Petauke (approximately 6 hours).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Petauke - Jewellery workshop project
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
The camp tonight has facilities, wi-fi and accommodation upgrades (subject to availability).
Head for your camp just south of Lusaka City (approximately 6 hours). Arrive, stretch your legs and take a stroll to discover the town. Though it's fast developing, Lusaka retains a strong African feel, and the locals are usually up for a chat.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Your camp tonight has facilities, a pool and upgrades available. Wi-fi is not available at this location.
Travel to Harare today (approximately 8–9 hours). The first part of your journey takes you to the border with Zimbabwe. After crossing, continue to Harare. There will be a chance to explore the town, stock up on whatever you need at a market or shop and use an ATM.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
At your camp tonight, there is no wi-fi available. Accommodation upgrades are possible (subject to availability).

In winter months it may not be possible to explore Harare due to the limited day light hours.
Drive to Masvingo (approximately 5–6 hours). This colonial settlement – the oldest in Zimbabwe – makes the perfect base for exploring the ruins of Great Zimbabwe. The ancient city, now a World Heritage site, was first constructed in the 11th century and is believed to have been the seat of power for a monarch. Spend a few hours exploring this intriguing site before heading off to camp.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Masvingo - Great Zimbabwe Ruins guided visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Your campground in Masvingo has shared facilities, with upgrades and wi-fi available.
Travel to Bulawayo (approximately 5–6 hours). Known locally as the 'City of Kings', Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's second largest city. There is some impeccable colonial architecture to take in here. Enjoy free time this afternoon to explore town. You might like to browse some local markets or chat with the locals. The Natural History Museum and National Art Gallery are also worth checking out.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Balawayo - Natural History Museum - USD10
  • Bulawayo - Railway Museum - USD5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Tonight you will stay in a campground with shared facilities. Upgrades and wi-fi are available.

Perhaps get up early and take the option to visit Matobo National Park. Home to a significant population of black and white rhinos, this optional activity gives you the unique experience to track these magnificent animals on foot. There will also be the chance to spot other game – klipspringers, leopards, warthogs and springhares, among others – while learning about local plant and tree species. This impressive wildlife park is also the site of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes – the founder of Rhodesia and the De Beers diamond company. The Matopos area has great spiritual and cultural significance to local San communities, and there are many sites within the park where important ceremonies still take place. Take a short hike to see San paintings and learn about local history and culture.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Matobo National Park - Rhino Tracking, Park Visit & San Rock Paintings - USD100
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Depart Bulawayo and make the 6-hour drive towards Victoria Falls. Stretching 1.6 kilometres wide and falling 108 metres into a narrow gorge below, the falls for which the area is named are a sight to behold. Although a visit to the falls themselves is optional, it is highly recommended. The entrance fee to the falls is not included, as groups that book ahead are required to tour the site with a local guide, and we feel that seeing these waterfalls should be an uninterrupted sensory experience. In the wet season, the spray created from this feat of nature can rise 400 metres and can often be seen from kilometres away. It’s no wonder that the local name for Victoria Falls is Mosi oa Tunya, or the 'Smoke that Thunders'. Though dry season travellers should not despair! You’ll get an unobstructed view of the falls and the chance to see the islets in the river below. Your leader will take you to a local activity centre where a range of activities will be on offer.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls entrance - USD35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Tonight's camp is located in the town of Victoria Falls. Upgrades and wi-fi are available.

Intrepid has not risk assessed all activities and only those listed in Optional Activities are recommended. It is against company policy for leaders to facilitate the booking of any activities that have not been assessed or do not adhere to our Responsible Travel policy and ethos. This includes organising transport to and from these activities. If you are interested in the Optional Helicopter flight (12 minutes or 25 minutes) we endorse Zambezi Helicopter co CAA Zimbabwe only.

You may notice businesses offering an '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 with the greatest level of respect. This industry directly contributes to the captive breeding and canned hunting of lions.
Today is a free day to enjoy the many activities on offer. 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 local leader can help you arrange this, so feel free to ask them or find out more information at the activity centre.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, the travellers in your group are likely to change today. There will be a welcome meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and to meet new travellers joining you.
With another free day to enjoy the falls, why not try to check them out from another angle? An optional boat trip could be on the cards today, or otherwise just some time to chill at your accommodation. Check out your Lonely Planet app if you're wanting some more ideas, too!
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Canoe trail (full day) - USD185
  • Victoria Falls - Flying fox - USD50
  • Victoria Falls - Gorge swing - USD103
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (12 mins) - USD165
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (25 mins) - USD299
  • Victoria Falls - Village & township tour - USD61
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls entrance - USD35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning is free for you to continue enjoying all that Victoria Falls has to offer. Afterwards, travel to Chobe National Park in Botswana (approximately 2–3 hours) via the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, one of The Intrepid Foundation’s projects. Here you can learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, human-wildlife conflict and the Trust’s role in anti-poaching. There may also be a chance to meet any rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care. Continue your journey to Botswana's first national park, which is famous for its high concentration of elephants, so keep an eye out! They can often be seen swimming in the Chobe River.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Your camp, located outside of the park, has flush toilets, showers, wi-fi, ATMs and optional upgrades. Speak to an Intrepid booking agent before your trip or your leader on the day for information about upgrades (subject to availability).
Rise and shine for an early-morning game drive. Adventuring through the park, you will get the opportunity to get up close to the wildlife – with luck you will spot a variety of animals and any number of exotic birds. As well as the Chobe icon, the elephant, the river also attracts hippos and crocodiles – the latter like to sun themselves by the water's edge. Cheetahs also come down for a drink. The birdwatching is excellent here too – look out for eagles, kingfishers and marabou storks, among hundreds of other species. In the afternoon perhaps take an optional cruise down the Chobe River – one of the best ways to enjoy the park's animals.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chobe National Park - Dawn Open Safari Vehicle Game Drive
Optional Activities
  • Chobe National Park - Boat Cruise - BWP270
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you will enter Namibia, driving from Kasane to Ngoma Bridge, and on to your camp at Bagani (approximately 7 hours). Bagani is a small, friendly town with some good hiking trails along the river. There are also plenty of nice spots in which you can simply relax and soak up the ambience. This area is the homestead of the local Mbukushu kings. You will have the opportunity to stop at an ATM and a market or shop today. Your camp has flush toilets, showers and Wi-Fi. Upgrades are also available (subject to availability).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Your camp has flush toilets, showers and wi-fi. Upgrades are also available (subject to availability).
Drive across the border into Botswana and head south along the Okavango Panhandle (the narrowest part of the delta) to Seronga. Here you'll leave your vehicle and join your transport for the journey into the delta (approximately 4 hours). Take a boat across the swamps to Gao Island to meet your mokoro team and start exploring the Okavango Delta with them. Each mokoro (small dugout canoe) takes two people and is poled along through the 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, you'll hear hippos occasionally piercing the peaceful atmosphere with their grunts. On the first night here, you'll camp on an island well away from civilisation.
Accommodation
  • Camping (without facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro safari
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Continue your trip around the delta and then return to Gao Island before heading to the relative civilisation of Umvuvu Camp. This camp usually has hot showers, and there's a small bar at which you can relax and perhaps enjoy a refreshing sundowner. Today there is an option to take a nature walk with your guide. This is a great chance to discover the beautiful natural surrounds, gain some insight into the history of the local area and look out for animals such as giraffe, zebra and elephants.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Nature Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Cross the border back into Namibia and return to Bagani to camp for the night. Various boat trips, fishing trips and guided hikes are possible from Bagani, so if you're feeling active, get out and make the most of it. Those who are feeling bold might even be able to challenge the local kids to a soccer match – don't expect to win though! Retire to your camp in the evening and enjoy this welcome break from the road.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bagani - Boat trip - USD25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Drive to your camp situated 50 kilometres outside of Grootfontein (approximately 7 hours). The town of Grootfontein, part of the Otavi Triangle, tends to get very green in the warmer months but dries out markedly in the winter. If it's springtime, you'll likely see jacarandas in bloom.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
There is the possibility of an accommodation upgrade here, but wi-fi will not be available. Speak to an Intrepid booking agent or your leader for more information.
Embark on a 180-kilometre (112-mile) round-trip to visit the San people. The oldest inhabitants of southern Africa, the San, have lived in this region for at least 20,000 years. Listen to their stories and songs and learn how those who still adhere to a traditional way of life emphasise the importance of living in harmony with the environment.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Grootfontein - San Bushman cultural experience
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Travel about 6 hours to Etosha National Park, making a short detour to stop by Hoba Meteorite, the biggest meteor that has been found on earth. While Etosha National Park is home to a wide range of southern Africa's wildlife, including 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. Game viewing in Etosha 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. Embark on an optional evening game drive here in the evening, then spend the night at Namutoni. Accommodation upgrades are on offer here.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Etosha National Park - Evening Game Drive - ZAR550
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Enjoy a full-day game drive in Etosha National Park. Namibia has protected its game reserves against poaching, which means significant numbers of elephants, antelope and other herbivores reside here. The park is also home to some 340 species of birds – keep an eye to the sky where you might spot a soaring eagle. Tonight, you will stay 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 at this location tonight.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Etosha National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
Optional Activities
  • Etosha National Park - Evening Game Drive - ZAR550
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Travel to the mountain of Spitzkoppe, the 'Matterhorn of Namibia' (approximately 9 hours). The wild lands around this superb granite peak are some of Namibia's most stunning. The mountain itself is 700 million years old and 1987 metres (6519 feet) high. Although you shouldn't try to climb to the top, there are some excellent hikes to do in the area, rich in plant life and with some bush paintings to be found. The Spitzkoppe is known for its stunning beauty and the thousands of ancient Bushmen rock art paintings that are still viewable. Be sure to look out for the sunset from your bush camp this evening – the landscape is known to take on dazzling hues of orange and red.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Spitzkoppe - San People rock painting guided walk - ZAR50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Continue to the town of Swakopmund (approximately 5–6 hours). Be dazzled by the sight, sound and smell of thousands of olive-coloured seals on the shores of Cape Cross while you're travelling up the eerie Atlantic Coast. You'll be able to stop along the way to access an ATM and market if you need some supplies.
Accommodation
  • Chalet (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cape Cross Nature Reserve - Cape Cross seal colony
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Your accommodation for these nights is a simple, cosy lodge. Wi-fi is not available at this location.
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 town to admire the beauty of the Germanic architecture and take advantage of some excellent souvenir shopping.
Accommodation
  • Chalet (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Swakopmund - Fishing trip - USD120
  • Swakopmund - Swakopmund Museum - USD2
  • Swakopmund - Seal and dolphin cruise - USD60
  • Swakopmund - Horse riding - USD65
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is another free day to enjoy this fun beachside town. If you're after a dose of history and culture, you can stop in at the lighthouse and visit the Swakopmund Museum. Active types and thrillseekers might like to take advantage of the many outdoor activities on offer – this town is the adventure sports mecca of Namibia.
Accommodation
  • Chalet (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Swakopmund - Seal and dolphin cruise - USD60
  • Swakopmund - Horse riding - USD65
  • Swakopmund - Fishing trip - USD120
  • Swakopmund - Swakopmund Museum - USD2
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Drive to Sesriem, your base for exploring the incredible Namib Desert region (approximately 6–7 hours). 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. 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 – the highest in the world – are stunning, with magnificent flaming tones created by the brightly coloured sands.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Wake up before dawn and scramble to the top of the dunes for a dramatic sunrise view across a vast sea of sand. The colour changes are simply incredible and provide a spectacular setting for your brunch. Afterwards you will jump in the back of a pickup truck for a trip to Sossusvlei, the incredible salt and clay pan just nearby (approximately 30 minutes each way). Enjoy some time to explore this incredible and mysterious desert oddity. Later, continue to your camp past the small town of Bethanie (approximately 6 hours). Your camp has basic facilities, with showers, flush toilets, Wi-Fi and optional upgrades.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sossusvlei - 4x4 Tour
  • Sesriem - Sand dunes visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Your camp has basic facilities, with showers, flush toilets, wi-fi and optional upgrades. Speak to an Intrepid booking agent or your leader during the trip for more information.
Check out the town of Bethanie before heading further south into the vast desert lands of Namibia towards Fish River Canyon (approximately 3–4 hours). At 500 metres deep and over 160 kilometres long, Fish River Canyon is one of the very largest canyons in the world. During the dry season, the riverbed tends to dry out completely, leaving only a few puddles. In the wet season, after the summer rains, the river can turn into a spectacular raging torrent. At any time of year there are remarkable photographic opportunities here as you watch the colour of the granite rocks change as the sun goes down.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Fish River Canyon - Canyon entrance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Note that upgrades and wi-fi are not available at your camp tonight.
Departing Fish River Canyon, travel to Noordoewer in southern Namibia (approximately 5 hours). Pitch your tent on the scenic banks of the Gariep (Orange) River, which stretches 2200 kilometres (1367 miles) – the longest river in Lesotho. The river’s source is high up in the Drakensberg mountain range, 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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Orange River - Canoe trip - NAD495
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Upgrades are possible tonight (subject to availability), though there is no wi-fi available. Speak to an Intrepid booking agent or your leader during the trip for more information.

When five or more travellers participate in the optional canoe trip the price will reduce to approximately USD 90.
Depart your camp first thing in the morning and head to Klawer, a town named after the Afrikaans word for a wild clover blooming after rainfall. The surrounding countryside is beautiful, and if there's time, you’ll have the opportunity to explore some of it. Perhaps take a delightful walk around the nearby mountains and farms before settling in for a relaxing evening.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Klawer - Winery visit & tasting - ZAR100
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Head to Cape Town (approximately 5 hours), where your trip ends upon arrival. With its stunning coastline, modern cityscape, nearby mountains and a plethora of nearby vineyards, this is one of Africa's most exciting cities. There's no accommodation provided for tonight, but this can be arranged – please enquire at the time of booking this trip.
Optional Activities
  • Cape Town - Harbour cruise - ZAR200
  • Cape Town - Table Mountain Hike - ZAR720
  • Cape Town - Table Mountain Aerial Cable - ZAR250
  • Cape Town - Robben Island tour - ZAR260
  • Cape Town - False Bay by train and lunch Urban Adventure - USD59
  • Cape Town - Salt River Street Art Urban Adventure - USD59
  • Cape Town - Taste of Woodstock Urban Adventure - USD72
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
It's important not to book any outgoing international flights for earlier than 7 pm to allow for possible delays.
This trip is a Lonely Planet Experience
Our Lonely Planet Experiences include plenty of free time so you can do the things that suit your budget and interests. Between your Intrepid Travel leader’s local knowledge and Lonely Planet’s trusted travel tips and recommendations, your trip will be more epic than ever.

Meals

37 breakfasts, 24 lunches, 29 dinners

Transport

Overland vehicle, 4x4 Safari Vehicle, Ferry, Minibus, Mokoro

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (30 nights), Camping (without facilities) (1 nights), Bungalow (2 nights), Chalet (3 nights), Hotel (3 nights)

Included activities

  • South Luangwa National Park - 4x4 Dawn Game Drive
  • Petauke - Jewellery workshop project
  • Masvingo - Great Zimbabwe Ruins guided visit
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust Visit
  • Chobe National Park - Dawn Open Safari Vehicle Game Drive
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro safari
  • Okavango Delta - Nature Walk
  • Grootfontein - San Bushman cultural experience
  • Etosha National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
  • Cape Cross Nature Reserve - Cape Cross seal colony
  • Sossusvlei - 4x4 Tour
  • Sesriem - Sand dunes visit
  • Fish River Canyon - Canyon entrance

Lonely Planet extras

  • Free access to the Lonely Planet mobile app for one year
  • 25% discount on all items in the Lonely Planet Shop

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm on Day 1.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip. The single supplement does not apply to night 25 in the Okavango Delta and nights 32-34 in Swakopmund.
3. This is a combination trip and the composition of your group may change in Victoria Falls and Stone Town.
4. The Zanzibar portion of your itinerary may have a few more passengers than the maximum group size of 22 as we have a crossover of trips starting and finishing in Zanzibar.
5. This trip finishes upon arrival at our finish point hotel in Cape Town. Please do not book any flights until after 7 pm this evening.

Essential trip information

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