If you're ready for excitement, vast open spaces and an insight into Southern Africa's best highlights then this is the tour for you. See the view from the top of the highest sand dunes in the world, traverse the myriad of waterways of the Okavango Delta, bask in the spray of the Victoria Falls, seek out the Big 5 and follow South Africa's famed Garden Route to legendary Cape Town.
This route is also available departing from Johannesburg, see our 46 Day Southern African Explorer for more
Day 2. Cederberg Area to Orange River Highlights. Orange (Gariep) River, Namibia.Heading north today, we travel through South Africa's Karoo and cross the border into Namibia and the Orange River, which divides the two countries. We camp on the banks of the river and enjoy views of the Richtersveld's burnt red mountainsides and lush river plantations.
Day 3. Orange River to Fish River Canyon, Namibia Highlights. Fish River Canyon, Namibia.This morning there is an opportunity to head out onto the water and paddle a section of the Orange River. On return to camp, we grab our gear and hit the road through rocky outcrops dotted with quiver trees.
Day 5. Sesriem to Sossus On Foot camp, Khomas Region Highlights. Dune 45, Namib Naukluft National Park, Namibia. Sesriem Canyon, Namibia. Sossus On Foot Camp, Khomas Region, Namibia. Sossusvlei, Namibia.Heading out early, we make our way to the towering dunes of Sossusvlei. Climbing Dune 45, we see the view over the surrounding dune-sea as the make-shift waves of sand run off in all directions.
Day 6. Sossus On Foot camp, Khomas Region to Swakopmund Highlights. The Tropic of Capricorn.Today, we make our way toward the coast and the seaside town of Swakopmund. Along the way, we'll stop off at the Tropic of Capricorn for a photo of the group at the Earth's southern Tropic.
Day 7. Swakopmund Highlights. Swakopmund, Namibia.Today you have some free time to explore the surrounding dunes, the town and the many adventure activities on offer here.
Day 8. Swakopmund to Spitzkoppe Highlights. Spitzkoppe, Namibia.Leaving the coast behind, we head back inland and arrive to the majestic Spitzkoppe where the granite boulders rise out of the surrounding scenery like sentinels over the landscape.
Day 9. Spitzkoppe to EtoshaRising to the sun turning the rock faces all colours of red, we pack up camp and head out to northern Namibia and the Etosha National Park.
Day 10. Etosha National Park Highlights. Etosha National Park, Namibia.Waking early, we head out at sunrise to catch the predators that may still be lurking after a night on the hunt. Driving the tracks to the waterholes and viewpoints, we spend the day out in the park experiencing the delights of this desert National Park.
Day 11. Etosha to WindhoekHeading south, we make our way to Namibia's capital city Windhoek. Tonight we head out into town to explore.
Day 12. Windhoek to Ghanzi, Botswana Highlights. Kalahari Bushman Walk, Botswana.Bidding farewell to Namibia, we cross over into neighboring Botswana and make our way to the northern Kalahari town of Ghanzi.
Day 13. Ghanzi to MaunWe drive to Maun - the gateway to the Okavango Delta and start our preparations for our trip into the watery wilderness.
Day 14. Maun to Okavango Delta Highlights. Okavango Delta, Botswana.Boarding our 4x4 transfer, we grab our gear and head into the surrounding wilderness passing through the town of Maun, and then the neighboring settlements as we make our way to the wild.
Day 15. Okavango Delta to MaunAnother early morning greets us as we enjoy a campfire coffee and then head out on a walk. The surrounding wilderness is home to many animals and with some luck we'll spot some of these on our way.
Day 16. Maun to Nata Highlights. Elephant Sands, Nata, Botswana.Today we travel through the open wildlife corridor between the Nxai and Makgadikgadi Pans to Nata. Our camp for the evening is Elephant Sands Lodge where wildlife can move freely due to there being no fences here.
Day 17. Nata to Kasane Highlights. Chobe Fish Eagle Cruise, Botswana.Leaving Elelphant Sands we travel to the northern corner of Botswana to the town of Kasane and Chobe National Park. We take an afternoon river cruise along the Chobe River spotting the wildlife on its banks. Many animals use the Chobe River as a major watering spot so look out for elephants, giraffe, buffalo and more.
Day 18. Kasane to Livingstone, Zambia Highlights. Chobe National Park Game Drive, Botswana. Victoria Falls - Mosi oa Tunya National Park, Zambia.This morning we get in an open game vehicle to hopefully spot lion, antelope, elephant, buffalo and other wildlife that live in the park. Leaving Kasane we make the short journey across the border into Zambia and the town of Livingstone. Home to Victoria Falls, one of the worlds biggest waterfalls and Africa's natural wonders. We visit the falls, taking in the size of it whilst feeling the spray from the thundering water.
Day 19. Livingstone Highlights. Livingstone Activities, Zambia.Today is a free day where you have to opportunity to take part in full or half day optional activities such as bungee jumping, abseiling, gorge swing, cane trip, sunset cruise, rafting and many more. You can also explore the town of Livingstone or simply relax by the pool at the campsite.
Day 20. Livingstone to BulawayoWe depart Livingstone this morning and make the border crossing into neighbouring Zimbabwe passing through the town of Victoria Falls onto Bulawayo. Our accommodation is in the Matopos area where we are able to access Matobo National Park.
Day 21. Matobo National Park Highlights. Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe.Today we visit Matobo National Park and enjoy a game drive here with knowledgeable local guides. Matobo has the largest concentration of black and white rhino in Africa and if the conditions are right our guides will lead us on foot to find these animals.
Day 22. Bulawayo to Tshipise, South Africa Highlights. Tshipise, South Africa.Packing up the truck, we leave Bulawayo and make our way south to the Border at Beitbridge crossing the Limpopo River into South Africa. This is South Africa's busiest land border and we have the chance to see the hustle and bustle while crossing over.
Day 23. Tshipse to Hazyview Highlights. Shangaan tribal dancing .Heading further south, we make our way towards southern Africa's premier game park - Kruger. We spend two nights in the Kruger area at Hazyview and tonight enjoy Shangaan tribal dancing and singing to get to know more about the local culture in this region.
Day 24. Kruger National Park Highlights. Kruger National Park, South Africa.We wake at sunrise and make our way into our 4x4 safari vehicles for a full days game drive. Kruger is home to the 'big 5' as well as over 140 mammal and over 500 bird species.
Day 25. Kruger National Park to Mlilwane, SwazilandLeaving Hazyview, we travel past many farming towns and Shangaan settlements, through lush citrus farms before crossing the Crocodile River and into the Kingdom of Swaziland, a landlocked country snuggled between Mozambique and South Africa. Arriving at Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary, our base for the next two nights is Swaziland’s oldest protected area located in the stunning Ezulwini Valley, 'Valley of Heavens’.
Day 26. The Kingdom of Swaziland Highlights. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Swaziland.Waking this morning we take a drive through the sanctuary after breakfast to the Royal Enclosure where we can learn about Swaziland's culture and history. We meet up with our local Swazi guide who walks us through a traditional village explaining the local rituals and customs.
Day 27. Swaziland to St Lucia, South Africa Highlights. St Lucia River Cruise, South Africa.Rising early, we travel through mountainous terrain and quaint villages before we cross the border and re-enter South Africa. We travel to St Lucia to our camp. It's here we explore the idyllic beaches and the tropical estuary on an afternoon river cruise in search of the prolific wildlife of the area.
Day 28. St Lucia to DurbanAfter a relaxing morning, we make our way to Durban and base ourselves north of the busy port city close to the beaches and mall of Umhlanga.
Day 29. Durban to Underberg AreaWith the coast at our backs, we travel inland via Pietermaritzburg and the forested hills of Kwazulu Natal to our camp at the foot of the mighty Drakensberg Mountains and the Sani Pass. The Sani Pass is the only vehicle access road over the Drakensburg escarpment and offers spectacular views out onto the surrounding countryside.
Day 30 . Sani Pass Highlights. Sani Pass Excursion.We meet our local guides today who take us on a guided tour of Lesotho. Boarding our 4x4 vehicles, we wind our way up the steep mountain pass over the Drakensberg. As we make our way further into Lesotho we visit a local Basotho and shepherds village and small household experiencing a local way of life. Before we make our way down we stop off at the highest pub in Africa for some refreshments - truly a bucket list adventure!
Day 31. Underberg Area to Drakensberg Highlights. Battlefields - South Africa.Making our way along the base of the Drakensberg Mountains we pass through the rural towns on our way to the historic KZN battlefields. Learn about the epic battles that took place here on our visit to the historic sites.
Day 32. Drakensberg Highlights. Royal Natal National Park, South Africa. Royal National Park Bushman Painting Walk, South Africa.This morning we make the short trip to the Royal National Park where we can hike and enjoy the scenic views in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park.
Day 33. Drakensberg to Malealea, LesothoWe continue our journey around the Drakensberg and drive around the northern section of Lesotho re-entering at the Mareru Bridge Gate. Making our way through the busier and more densely populated parts of Lesotho, we wind our way up to our camp in the rural hills high on the mountainside.
Day 34. Malealea Highlights. Malealea Activities.Today is a free day to explore this area or take part in the optional activities such as pony trekking, hiking trails and mountain biking.
Day 35. Malealea to Mountain Zebra National Park, South Africa Highlights. Mountain Zebra NP.Descending the Mountain Kingdom, we cross back into South Africa and make our way to the Mountain Zebra National Park, situated on the northern slopes of the Bankberg mountain range, in the Eastern Cape Midlands. Home to over 700 animals including the Lion, Cheetah and the rhino, the highlight of the Mountain Zebra National Park's mammalian fauna is the Cape mountain zebra after which the park is named. We game drive into the park in search for these wild animals en-route to our campsite for the night located 12km from the park gate.
Day 36. Mountain Zebra National Park to Addo Elephant National Park to Willow's Resort, Port Elizabeth Highlights. Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa.Heading off early, we enter Addo Elephant National Park where we spend the day looking out for some of the 600 elephants, lion, rhino buffalo, leopard, hyena, zebra and antelope that can be find in the park.
Day 38. Knysna to Oudtshoorn Highlights. Cango Caves, South Africa.After a morning at leisure we make our way over the Outeniqua Mountains to Oudtshoorn. Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo is known as the ostrich capital of the world. Here we explore the Cango Caves, Africa's largest show cave system where we can see the ancient stalactites and stalagmites and other underground rock formations.
Stylish and comfortable, this recently renovated upmarket budget lodge in Green Point is just across the road from the impressive Cape Town Stadium. It’s an ideal location for easy access to tourist attractions, beaches and shops, within walking distance to the V&A Waterfront, and a short taxi ride to the city centre and the Table Mountain Cableway. Rooms - dorms, twins, doubles and singles. There are a limited number of en suite rooms available. Facilities - plunge pool, kitchen, bar, laundry service, Internet, Breakfast available. Transfers are available from the Airport by pre-arrangement
* Suggested pre and post tour accommodation can be booked together with your tour. Please enquire at the time of booking.
Please note: As from 1st May 2018, we will change our accommodation from Ashanti Lodge in Greenpoint to Ashanti Lodge in Gardens. Please check your tour voucher to confirm that your tour starting and ending point is correct before departing. Situated at the foot of Table Mountain and in walking distances to the city centre, Ashanti Lodge Backpackers in Gardens is your gateway to Cape Town. This gorgeous Victorian Mansion offers backpacker dormitories to single, double and twin rooms with shared bathroom facilities. Chill next to the stunning pool, join the party in the legendary Kumasi Café/Bar with its cool cocktails, tasty food and fabulous mountain views or go explore the city's highlights close by.
* Suggested pre and post tour accommodation can be booked together with your tour. Please enquire at the time of booking.
PRE TOUR ACCOMMODATION
This tour departs Cape Town early on day 1; we strongly recommend therefore that you plan to arrive the day before departure to overcome any jet-lag and to acclimatise to Africa. We would be happy to book pre-tour accommodation for you – please call or email us (or speak to your agent) with your arrival details and accommodation requirements. However please book early to avoid disappointment and the risk of having to find more expensive (or less convenient) lodgings.
If time allows, we also suggest planning a night or two extra (after your tour) to make the most of this part of Africa. Accommodation is usually available locally on arrival but you can also pre book this with Acacia. There is a variety of activities and excursions in the Johannesburg area you can arrange locally or with your Tour Leader.
ACTIVITIES & EXCURSIONS:
These are optional activities that are booked during your holiday and paid directly to the provider while on tour. These options offer a variety of experiences and allow you the freedom to decide what activities you would like to do.
We use 2-person dome tents with fly sheets, sewn-in ground sheets, zip-up insect screens and foam mattresses. We mainly use campsites, which usually have reasonable wash and shower facilities, electricity points and sometimes even a small shop, bar or swimming pool. In the Okavango Delta on day 14 we use twin share pre-erected tents with en-suite facilities.
24-seater, self contained, custom-built safari truck with onboard tables, plug sockets, freezer, water tank, library, i-pod jack, safety features and 70-litre individual lockers, mokoro (dugout canoe), 4x4 safari vehicle, 4x4 transfer and river boat.
GAME PARK VISITS:
In order to maximise the quality of game driving and to comply with local authority rulings, some of our National Park visits and game viewing is carried out using services provided by local African ground handlers. As well as enhancing our experience using local guides and smaller vehicles it also allows us to contribute at a ‘grassroots’ level to local economies from which local people benefit.
This is a participation tour and your help will be needed in assisting with the various day to day duties, such as shopping, cooking and keeping the truck tidy (usually on a rota basis). But don’t worry it’s not all hard work and it’s a great way to meet the local people and get to know your fellow travellers. Your contribution benefits the success of the tour - most people find the greater their involvement, the greater their enjoyment of the whole trip.
38 Breakfasts, 34 Lunches, 31 Dinners
Camping in 2-person dome tents
Every Overland tour has an Adventure Pass which is paid to your tour leader in Africa at the beginning of the tour (or pre-paid by arrangement prior to your tour). This is separate and in addition to the Tour Price, and covers selected park entries, activities and excursions along the way where payment goes directly to the supplier to ensure local suppliers benefit directly from the income.
This pass is an optional add-on for this tour.