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October 8, 2015

Highlights of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe

Written By Admin

Exploring Namibia is bound to be an adventure. Exploring northern Namibia, including parts of Botswana and Zimbabwe, is an adventure filled with beauty, wildlife, cultures, and exploring the romantic realms of one of Africa’s truly great rivers, the Zambezi.

This unique tour lets you experience a small coastal town steeped in history that is wedged between the Namib Desert and the Atlantic Ocean, Swakopmund.

Further north, feast your eyes on wide open plains; the desert adapted elephant as well as the full range of Namibian wildlife in Damaraland and the Etosha National Park.

Breathe Africa in a part of Namibia where there is very seldom too little water but rather at some time of the year a little too much, the Zambesi region.

After crossing the border into Botswana, relax in the tranquil atmosphere of your lodge on the banks of the Chobe River while taking in the miracles of this big game country.

Admire the stunning sight of the mighty Zambezi River plunging some 108 meters into a gorge to become ‘Mosi oa Tunya’, the ‘smoke that thunders’ – famous Dr. Livingstone was the first foreigner to see this natural wonder and named it after his Queen: Victoria Falls.

Day 1   Windhoek

Upon arrival at Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport, take over your rental vehicle and cpntinue to your nearby guest farm accommodation where the remainder of the day is at leisure. After some rest and a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon, join the farmer for a game drive. Enjoy your first meal in this beautiful country with the sound of Africa in your ears under a starry sky that you have most probably never seen before in such splendour.

Dinner, Bed & Breakfast, drive

Day 2 and 3   Windhoek – Swakopmund

After a delicious breakfast you depart to Windhoek for some shopping or sightseeing, before you leave the central highland for the Namibian coast.

You are heading west towards the Namib Desert and the Atlantic Ocean. The small coastal town of Swakopmund is your destination. Explore its historic sites, sandy beaches and lively central business district on foot, and enjoy the offerings of many cosy restaurants and street-side cafés. A self-drive excursion to nearby Walvis Bay introduces you to the Namib Desert’s coastal dune belts and the marine life of the Southern Atlantic Ocean.

During a boat cruise on the Walvis Bay Lagoon, pelicans, seagulls, cormorants as well as dolphins and seals are regularly encountered. A lucky few also occasionally sight a Mola Mola (sun fish), a sea tortoise or a whale.

Bed & Breakfast, incl. boat cruise

Day 4   Swakopmund – Erongo Mountains

The “Spitzkoppe” is a well-known landmark of Namibia and forms part of the Erongo Mountains. On your way into the Erongo Mountains swerve past this rock formation and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings. For rock climbers this is Heaven, while less adventurous visitors are bound to marvel at the pre-historic rock paintings and the abundance of wildlife found in these mountains.

Tonight’s rest is held on the northern slopes of the Erongo Mountains in comfortable tents. While walking to breakfast you may enjoy some bird watching.

Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

Day 5   Erongo Mountains – Twyfelfontein Area

Only a 15-minute drive from your accommodation lies the historic village of Omaruru, which became a centre of the arts and handicrafts in recent years. Travelling further west, you reach the small settlement of Uis, named after a long deserted open-cast tin mine whose crater turned into a huge lake. On your way further north from Uis, you pass the Brandberg Massive with Namibia’s highest mountain peak and home of the famous “White Lady” rock painting. (A visit of the Brandberg’s rock art sites is not for the faint-hearted or unfit and should only be attempted in the early hours of a winter morning, after an overnight in a nearby lodge. A Community Guide has to be hired for this outing on the spot. Optional extension) For the basic tour programme, continue in a north-westerly direction and use the opportunity for a visit to the world heritage site of Twyfelfontein with its countless beautiful rock engravings. Strange geological formations like the Organ Pipes and the Burnt Mountain as well as a Petrified Forest also await your call.

Upon arrival at your accommodation in the late afternoon, enjoy sundowners on the platform of your lodge.

Bed & Breakfast

Day 6 and 7   Twyfelfontein – Palmwag Area

Today’s destination is situated only some 80km further north where you have various activity options, ranging from optional guided excursions on offer by the lodge that concentrate on wildlife and scenery to a self-drive outing to Fort Sesfontein, the gateway to Kaokoland. The fort was built as a police station some 100 years ago, by the ‘Schutztruppe‘, the military wing during imperial Germany’s brief colonial presence in former South West Africa.

Relaxation  is  possible  around  the  beautiful  pool  of  the  lodge  and  its  numerous  outdoor  facilities.

Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

Day 8 and 9   Palmwag Area – Etosha National Park

Today’s journey takes you via the Grootberg Pass, with stunning vistas across the Etendeka Mountains, via the small town of Kamanjab to your next, anxiously expected highlight, the Etosha National Park. Just before the borders of the park, high up on a mountain offering you a stunning sight right to the first waterhole of the National Park, lies your accommodation. When passing through the village of Outjo consider visiting the local bakery for some road snacks, they are divine. If time permitting, take a first game drive to Okondeka on the western edge of the Etosha Pan – lions love to linger here before sunset. On the morning of day 2 you might want to take your breakfast along in a basket to enjoy watching game while raving over the sumptuous treasures included in the basket.

Bed & Breakfast

Day 10   Etosha National Park

Is there really a game and bird species you have not seen yet? Don’t worry, you have another full day’s game viewing ahead of you while rolling towards the eastern Etosha Gate. Keep your binoculars and camera at hand since rare sightings are possible at any time. On the detour of Klein Namutoni you will have to strain your eyes in order to sight the very shy, cute little “Blue Bucks”, so called because of to the bluish coat on their behind. And for a change of scenery, pop in at Namutoni Rest Camp to take a shot of the historic fort that also served as police station in gone-by colonial times.

Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

Day 11   Etosha National Park – Grootfontein Area

On your way to Namibia’s far north-eastern regions!

Lake Oshikoto, close to the mining town of Tsumeb and the Tsumeb Museum, still cherish the secret of its depth and whether it has an underground connection to Lake Guinea or not. It is known for sure that some of the ammunition and weapons, sunk here by the German ‘Schutztruppe‘ while fleeing from South African troops at the end of WW I, must still be lying at the bottom of the lake but not even experienced divers managed to reach it thus far.

The small Tsumeb Museum in town is a must-see for the keen historian or the geologist interested in Namibia’s many unusual minerals. Another unique Namibian feature is the Hoba Meteorite found in a field to the west of Grootfontein. With approx. 20 tons of almost pure iron, it is the largest meteorite identified on the earth’s surface.

Find tonight’s accommodation close to the main road to Rundu, situated in an oasis like surrounding.

If you are interested in learning more about the San people consider to stay an additional night.

Bed & Breakfast

Day 12 and 13  Grootfontein Area – Divundu

Large forests of Namibian teak timber and tiny bush villages of Kavango wood carvers line the almost straight tar road to the north. The region was named after the Kavango River, one of Namibia’s border forming rivers that keeps drawing its countless visitors into its spell. Whether it is the natural surroundings, birding or game viewing that leads you into this region you will not be disappointed. Reaching the Kavango River turn east and take the road to Divundu. On the banks of the Okavango River, leading down into the panhandle in Botswana, lies your accommodation close to Mahango National Park, a hidden jewel.

Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

Day 14 and 15   Kavango River – Kwando River

After crossing the Kavango River at Divundu, you travel eastwards through the Bwabwata National Park, the former Caprivi Game Park, to the next border forming river, the Kwando. Originating in Angola, the Kwando River divides the Zambesi Strip from the head. Along its course its name changes to Mashi River, Linyanti River and, still further east, to Chobe, the river that forms the border shared by Namibia and Botswana. At its very destination the river plunges into a gorge forming the majestic victoria Falls.

Bed & Breakfast

Day 16 and 17   Kwando River – Katima Mulilo – Chobe/Zambezi River

You want to relax while watching the elephants and other game coming to the river right in front of the lodge? Well today’s trip will lead you exactly to this spot. Since crossing the border to Botswana might be a little tiring in your own vehicle, return the rental vehicle in Katima Mulilo and use a transfer across the border (Ngoma Bridge) to the Kasane Immigration point in Botswana. From here a speed boat will take you to your accommodation situated on the Namibian banks of the Chobe River.

Full board including activites, transfer included

Day 18   Chobe/Zambezi River – Victoria Falls

“Mosi oa Tunya”, the “smoke that thunders”, is one of the 7 world wonders and on your menu for today. After breakfast, a speed boat takes you back to the Immigration point in Kasane, and a road transfer will get you across the border from Botswana into Zimbabwe.

Upon reaching your accommodation, check into your room and enjoy the view onto the gorge. At high water level you might even be able to view the cloud of mist hanging over the famous waterfalls. A shuttle service is available to take you to Victoria Falls Park in the afternoon (shuttle bus & entrance fees are optional extras), from where you may experience the marvel of the Victoria Falls and its surrounding rain forest from close quarters. Depending on water levels in the Zambezi River, soakedclothing and a wet camera might be part of the deal but the sight of a rainbow rising out of the chasm against the backdrop of a curtain of water over 100 meters high will be the part never to be forgotten again.

Bed & Breakfast, transfer from Botswana to Zimbabwe included

Day 19   Victoria Falls – Departure

Today you bid farewell to this amazing place that according to legend made Dr. Livingstone of Africa explorer fame utter the words: “A sight so beautiful it must have been gazed upon by angles.” Transfer to VFA Airport, in time for your outbound flight.

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