Start Cape Town.
Those on the group flights will be taken to the hotel in Cape Town upon arrival. If you're not on the group flights we suggest you aim to arrive at the lodge in Cape Town by mid-afternoon. If the weather is good this afternoon there may be the opportunity for an optional excursion up Table Mountain via cable car. Table Mountain is often the first image that springs to mind whenever one thinks of Cape Town – the views across the city on a clear day are incredible. If the weather is not good enough this will be a free afternoon, with the opportunity to explore the famous V & A Waterfront.
City Lodge Hotel Victoria & Alfred Waterfront or similar
Visit Cape Peninsula; afternoon wine tour.
We generally begin today’s tour with a drive along the spectacular Chapman's Peak drive (please note, occasionally this drive is closed and we will have to go around it), via Houtbay. Continuing to the Cape Point Nature reserve, we have time to walk to the lighthouse and then along the boardwalk to the Cape of Good Hope. We then take a short visit to the Boulders Beach penguin colony and enjoy some lunch. In the late afternoon we visit a local wine farm – the area surrounding Cape Town is renowned for its wine and we will get a chance to sample some of the local produce.
The order of activities in Cape Town is flexible as everything hinges around going up Table Mountain when the weather is best. Evening meals can be enjoyed at various restaurants on the beaches along the coast – Cape Town is a food and drink lover's paradise!
City Lodge Hotel Victoria & Alfred Waterfront or similar
To Olifants River.
We leave Cape Town and travel through farmlands of citrus, maize, cattle and sheep as we start the journey towards Namibia. Our first stop is in the fertile Olifants River Valley, giving us a glimpse into the agricultural lifestyle of the Western Cape. (about 5hrs drive)Highlanders Lodge or similar
To Orange River; afternoon optional canoeing.
Today we drive to Orange River (5 hours + 1 hour border crossing), where Namibia's southern border meets South Africa. There is free time to relax this afternoon. Our camp for the night will be in a picturesque location on the riverbank. (450km, 6-7hrs)Felix Unite Cabanas or similar
To Fish River Canyon; afternoon walk.
In the morning we enjoy a canoe trip on the Orange River. It is not tough on the water and the trip gives us the chance to see the flora and fauna of the region as we drift by. We then take a short drive (3 hours) to the second largest canyon on earth – Fish River Canyon. The views from the canyon rim are spectacular and there is time for a short walk along it in the afternoon for superb views.Seeheim Hotel or similar
A day's travel along the edge of the Namib-Naukluft Park to Sesriem where we stay overnight outside the park. (550km, 7-7.5hrs)Taleni Desert Camp or similar
Full day exploring Sossusvlei.
We will leave our lodge early to spend the morning at the Sossusvlei dunes, one of the great sights of Africa. Whilst we cannot enter the park till sunrise, the early morning light on the dunes is still a spectacular site and it is worth getting up for. Those feeling energetic will have the opportunity to climb Dune 45. We will enjoy a picnic breakfast at the dunes. We take a 2km walk into the Hiddenvlei area (optional one way shuttle transfer instead). If we're lucky we may see gemsbok, ostrich or even black-backed jackals among the dunes, an irresistibly photogenic scene! In the afternoon we visit Sesriem Canyon.Taleni Desert Camp or similar
A long, spectacular drive through Namib-Naukluft Park to Swakopmund via Walvis Bay to see, in season (summer), Flamingoes in their thousands. This national park, one of the largest in the world, is home to one of the driest and oldest deserts on earth. It contains some of the finest desert scenery in Africa, if not in the world, with towering jagged rock formations and incredible lunar landscapes. (300km, 4-5hrs)Hotel A La Mer or similar
Free day to enjoy optional activities
Swakopmund has invented itself as Namibia's adventure sports capital, and we have a full day in Swakopmund to enjoy some of the optional adventure activities on offer; go on a dolphin cruise or township tour or take a flight over the desert! Alternatively, explore the German-style town and visit some of the excellent cake shops for which Swakopmund is famous.Hotel A La Mer or similar
To Brandberg; visit White Lady paintings.
We leave the Atlantic coast behind and head inland towards Namibia’s highest mountain, Brandberg. We will enjoy a walk through valley 45 for approximately 2 hours to the famous ‘White Lady’ rock painting which, along with a number of other small paintings and engravings, are thought to have been left by Bushmen at least 2000 years ago. (250km, 4hrs)
Brandberg Whilte Lady Lodge or similar
To Etosha N.P.
In the morning we drive north to Etosha National Park where some of the world’s best wildlife viewing can be found. We should arrive at Etosha, which means the 'Great White Place of Dry Water' in time to do a late afternoon game drive before arriving at our camp where there will be a waterhole for game viewing at night. (400km, 5-6hrs)Etosha Park Chalets or similar
Day 12 - 13:
Two days game viewing.
We have two days to really enjoy this fabulous park with its mixed forest and grassland centred around a large salt pan. Etosha is home to a great variety and number of game, which is easy to find as the animals congregate at different times around the waterholes. There are waterholes next to the excellent campsites, and it is not uncommon for us to spend all night watching a gala performance of animals: wildebeest, zebra, impala, springbok, kudu, elephant, giraffe, lion and even rhino are all common sights here. Take plenty of patience and you will be rewarded by one of the greatest game spectacles in Southern Africa. Etosha is also a good place for birds, with plenty of waterbirds on the lakes and weaverbirds and hornbills in the trees. While in Etosha we move our camps (between Okaukuejo, Halali or Namutoni) but the itinerary is kept flexible depending on where the game is.Etosha Park Chalets or similar
To Okavango River.
Long drive through local villages to the Okavango River - the main watercourse supplying the Okavango Delta. (650km, 8hrs)Rainbow River Lodge or similar
Mokoro (dugout canoe) ride on the Okavango.
We take a mokoro (traditional dug-out canoe) ride from our camp on the Okavango River. Please note that in March/April, the river may be flooded and we may have to substitute our mokoros for a boat ride. The birdlife is prolific and, at certain times of the year, so is the game. Gliding through the waterways by mokoro is the ideal way to absorb the sheer peace and tranquillity of the place. We also have the option of a village tour to meet the local community. Rainbow River Lodge or similar
To Chobe River.
Drive through the Caprivi Strip and into Botswana to Chobe National Park area in Kasane, home to huge numbers of elephant and hippo. (400km, 5.5-6hrs, border crossing 1hr)Kwalape Lodge or similar
Game drive and boat ride in Chobe N.P.
Today we have an early morning game drive in Chobe National Park and an afternoon boat ride on the Chobe River where it is possible to view huge herds of elephant coming down to drink as well as many other types of game. For bird lovers, the river provides a home for the majestic African Fish Eagle and a number of species of brightly coloured bee-eaters. The area surrounding the Chobe River typically has the highest concentration of wildlife within the park as animals congregate here, particularly in the dry season (April to October).Kwalape Lodge or similar
To Victoria Falls.
After a leisurely breakfast we drive to Victoria Falls, a small town on the Zimbabwean side of the glorious Victoria Falls (entrance own expense US$ 30). The waterfall itself is majestic, the activities enthralling and the scenery of the Upper Zambezi beautiful. (100km, 1.5-2hrs plus border crossing 1-2hrs)Rainbow Hotel or similar
Today you have a free day to enjoy the numerous activities on offer such as flights over the falls, white-water rafting, game viewing, or crossing into Zambia to see the falls from a different side (please note you will need a Zambian visa if you wish to go see the falls from the other side).Rainbow Hotel or similar
End Victoria Falls.
End Victoria Falls. For those on group flights, these depart in the evening and will arrive in the UK the following day.