FROM £2,045

Image by Annie Spratt

SOUTH AFRICA

From the thunderous Victoria Falls to cosmopolitan Cape Town, travel down lush waterways in the enigmatic Okavango Delta, cruise past elephants and birds on the Chobe River, climb giant sand dunes in Namibia, camp to the sounds of Africa's wildlife and spot big cats, rhinos, zebras and antelopes on Etosha National Park's arid plains. Visit the people who make their homes here, from mokoro polers on the delta to the San people of Namibia. Get ready for this unforgettable tour through a land of contrasts.

START

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

MEALS

Breakfasts (19)

Lunches (13)

Dinners (16)

END

Cape Town, South Africa

TRANSPORT

Overland vehicle, 4x4 Safari Vehicle, Mokoro

DURATION

22 Days

ACCOMODATION

Cabin (3)

Camping without facilities (1)

Camping with facilities (17)

GROUP

Max. Group Size of 22

ACTIVITES

10 Included Activities

Highlights

  • Glide through the lily pad-filled waterways of the Okovango Delta on a mokoro (a small dugout canoe) and escape civilisation with an overnight stay at your island camp.

  • Be mesmerised by the staggering force and beauty of Victoria Falls, and experience firsthand why it’s known as the ‘smoke that thunders’ – a natural wonder that must be seen to be believed.

  • Choose to take an optional cruise down the Chobe River for the opportunity to get up close (but not too personal!) to cheetahs, crocodiles and the magnificent African elephant.

  • 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.

Victoria Falls (Day 1-2)


Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 4 pm where you'll meet your tour leader and fellow travellers. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Those who arrive early can choose from many optional activities and sights to see around Victoria Falls. Please note only activities listed in the Special Information section of Day 2 on the itinerary 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. Today you have the option of visiting the magnificent Victoria Falls. Spanning about a mile wide across and falling 108 metres into a narrow gorge below, the spray from the falls can sometimes be seen from kilometres away. 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. To fully understand the sheer force of this staggering curtain of water, it needs to be experienced in person. It's no wonder that the local name Mosi oa Tunya means the 'smoke that thunders'. Alternatively, your leader will be able to recommend a range of other activities that are available. Accommodation: - Camping (with facilities) (Day 1) - Camping (with facilities) (Day 2) Optional Activities: - Canoe trail (full day) - USD185 - Flying fox - USD50 - Gorge swing - USD103 - Helicopter flight (12 mins) - USD165 - Helicopter flight (25 mins) - USD299 - Village & township tour - USD61 - Victoria Falls entrance - USD35 Meals Included: - Breakfast (Day 2) Special Information: It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

You may notice businesses offering an optional Walk with the Lions experience. We ask all 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.




Chobe National Park (Day 3-4)


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. 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) (Day 1) Included Activities: - Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust Visit (Day 1) - Chobe National Park - Dawn Open Safari Vehicle Game Drive (Day 2) Meals Included: - Breakfast (Day 1) - Breakfast (Day 2) - Lunch (Day 2) - Dinner (Day 1) - Dinner (Day 2) Special Information: Your camp, located outside of the park, has flush toilets, showers, wi-fi, ATMs and optional upgrades. Speak to an booking agent before your trip or your leader on the day for information about upgrades (subject to availability).




Bagani (Day 5)


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) (Day 1) Meals Included: - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner Special Information: Your camp has flush toilets, showers and wi-fi. Upgrades are also available (subject to availability).




Okavango Delta (Day 6-7)


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. 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 (without facilities) (Day 1) - Camping (without facilities) (Day 2) Included Activities: - Mokoro Safari (Day 1) - Nature Walk (Day 2) Meals Included: - Breakfast (Day 1) - Breakfast (Day 2) - Lunch (Day 1) - Lunch (Day 2) - Dinner (Day 1) - Dinner (Day 2)




Bagani (Day 8)


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: - Boat trip - USD25 Meals Included: - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner




Grootfontein (Day 9)


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) 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.




Grootfontein / San People (Day 10)


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) Included Activities: - San Bushman cultural experience Meals Included: - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner




Etosha National Park (Day 11-12)


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. 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) (Day 1) - Camping (with facilities) (Day 2) Included Activities: - Overland Vehicle Game Drive (Day 2) Optional Activities: - Evening Game Drive - ZAR550 Meals Included: - Breakfast (Day 1) - Breakfast (Day 2) - Lunch (Day 2) - Dinner (Day 1) - Dinner (Day 2)




Spitzkoppe (Day 13)


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) (Day 1) Optional Activities: - San People rock painting guided walk - ZAR50 Meals Included: - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner




Swakopmund (Day 14-16)


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. 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. 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 (Day 1) - Chalet (Day 2) - Chalet (Day 3) Included Activities: - Cape Cross Nature Reserve - Cape Cross seal colony Optional Activities: - Fishing trip - USD120 - Swakopmund Museum - USD2 - Seal and dolphin cruise - USD60 - Horse riding - USD65 Meals Included: - Breakfast (Day 1) - Lunch (Day 1) Special Information: Your accommodation for these nights is a simple, cosy lodge. Wi-fi is not available at this location.




Sesrium (Day 17)


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) Meals Included: - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner




Sossusvlei / Konkiep River (Day 18)


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) Included Activities: - 4x4 Tour - 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 booking agent or your leader during the trip for more information.




Fish River Canyon (Day 19)


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) Included Activities: - Canyon entrance Meals Included: - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner Special Information: Note that upgrades and wi-fi are not available at your camp tonight.




Orange River (Day 20)


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) Optional Activities: - 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.




Western Cape (Day 21)


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) Optional Activities: - Klawer - Winery visit & tasting - ZAR100 Meals Included: - Breakfast - Dinner




Cape Town (Day 22)


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 vineyards within reach, 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: - Harbour cruise - ZAR200 - Table Mountain Hike - ZAR720 - Table Mountain Aerial Cable - ZAR250 - Robben Island tour - ZAR260 - False Bay by train and lunch Urban Adventure - USD59 - Taste of Woodstock Urban Adventure - USD72 - Salt River Street Art Urban Adventure - USD59 Meals Included: - Breakfast Special Information: It's important not to book any outgoing international flights for earlier than 7pm to allow for possible delays.