Cape Town to the Serengeti
Day 1 Cape Town
Arrive in Cape Town and make your way to the hotel. Attend a pre-departure group meeting with your CEO scheduled for the evening. *Please note: if you have pre-booked the Okavango Delta Flight and the Serengeti Balloon Safari your CEO will inform you when you will do the activity throughout your tour, days are subject to change: Okavango Delta Flight (Day 15 - Okavango Delta) and the Serengeti Balloon Safari (Day 38 - Serengeti) where you will miss the included morning game drive with the group, but you will have a much better view from above! For more information on the Extra see the Optional Activities section. Please make sure you have all of the necessary visas for this tour by the time of the welcome meeting. It is very important to read the Visa section in our trip details to make sure which visas you will need, if any. Please note that not all nationalities are able to obtain a visa on arrival at the border in South Africa.?? Please also note that no visa can be obtained at the border to Namibia. ? Cape Town offers many different activities – something for everyone. Visit Robben Island, Table Mountain, explore Cape Point (Cape of Good Hope), embark on a wine tour in and around Stellenbosch (45min drive). Visit the old French Hugonaut town of Franschoek and surroundings (1h drive). For the not so faint-hearted, there are numerous adrenaline activities in the surrounding areas, from skydiving to abseiling to cage diving and having a close encounter with the great white sharks. Or wander through the city centre with some of the oldest buildings and gardens in South Africa (Botanical Gardens and Parliament Gardens). Do not miss the wonderful Cultural Historical Museum, Planetarium and numerous other small museums and theatres.?? Cape Town is the third most populous city in South Africa, with over 3 million inhabitants and is the provincial capital of the Western Cape. It is also the legislative capital of South Africa, where the National Parliament and many government offices are located.? For shopping, dining and entertainment the V&A Waterfront is a hotspot for foreigners and locals alike. Still a working harbour, the waterfront is an example of creative architecture and restoration and has become South Africa's most visited tourist attraction. The Waterfront offers over 250 shops from designer boutiques to craft stalls, a host of restaurants and coffee shops and plenty of other activities.?
Day 2-3 Cederberg/Gariep River (2B,2L,2D)
Head out of the city to begin your overland journey with a lunch stop by the coast. We arrive to our first campsite in the afternoon. The campsite is in the Cederberg area on a local vineyard farm. Here you will have free time to sample and buy some local wine, kick a footy around with the local kids, or explore the area near the camp in this beautiful part of South Africa. Or just chill at campsite’s swimming pool overlooking the vineyards. ???? The next day, travel north to the South Africa/Namibia border and stop on the South Africa side of the Gariep River. We will leave early to ensure enough time for an optional canoe drive. After setting up camp in the late afternoon, enjoy swimming, relaxing, or possibly even canoeing on the river. ??Enjoy a quiet afternoon on the banks of the Orange River (formerly Gariep River). Otherwise go for a hike, and enjoy a spectacular sunset from a nearby hill. Our campsite is located along the river banks and provides a very tranquil setting for our stay. Cape Town to Cederberg Approximate Distance: 300 km, estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs Cederberg to Gariep River ?Approximate Distance: 350 km, estimated Travel Time: 6.5 hrs
Day 4-6 Fish River Canyon/Namib Desert (3B,3L,3D)
Cross the border from South Africa to Namibia. ??We have encountered some problems with travellers that need visas for Namibia. Namibian visas are not available at the border, so please be very sure of the rules and regulations applying to your passport. See our visa section for further information. ??We will make our way to Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa and arguably the second largest in the world. Watch as a spectacular sunset slips over the canyon's rim in the early evening. Permits are required to descend into the crater; we will have access to the rim only, but the views are spectacular. We camp in the surrounding area.?? The campground offers a small bar and a pool. Approximate Distance: 180 km Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs (with border crossing)??
Day 7-11 Swakopmund/Spitzkoppe/Damaraland/Etosha National Park (5B,5L,4D)
Passing the small and desolate towns of Bethanien and Helmeringhausen, we continue north along long and bumpy roads, en route to the Namib Desert. Arrive in the area in the late afternoon, where the towering red sand dunes of Sossusvlei form the gateway into the Namib Desert. Here you really feel as though you’re in the middle of nowhere. Our first campsite is one of the most beautiful campsites in Namibia including a bar, restaurant, shop and swimming pool. We arrive in the early evening, set up our camp, then continue driving for a short stop at Sesriem Canyon, a small canyon typical of the area. ?The following day is spent exploring the natural wonders of this bizarre desert environment. Wake up and set off for a pre-dawn climb of the mighty Dune 45, aiming to reach the top just before the sunrise. Watching the dunes come to life and display their amazing orange and yellow hues, and views for miles of surrounding desert is an unforgettable sight. After the sunrise from atop Dune 45, enjoy a hot breakfast by the dunes. ?Visit Sossusvlei - a clay pan, enclosed by the world’s largest sand dunes and enclosing ancient dead trees. Here you can take a guided walk at the sand dunes, and enjoy some free time to enjoy them on your own. We arrive back at our campsite around lunch time with time to take down tents, pack up the truck and drive to the next desert campsite. Don’t miss out on the optional famous Boesman dune walk. Boesman is famous for his excellent explanation to the ins and out of the dunes.????? Day 5 Approximate Distance: 560km? Estimated Travel Time: 10 hrs ??Day 6 (excluding the drive to Dune 45 and Sossuvlei) Approximate Distance:95km Estimated Travel Time: 3 hours
Day 12-15 Windhoek/Kalahari/Maun (3B,2L,2D)
Today we will really get a feeling for the Namib Desert, as we cross through this void region and a few dry mountain passes. After arriving to Swakopmund around midday, we will meet our local friends and explore the back streets and local culture on a guided interpretive walk. ???During the walk, we will learn about the history of the town, housing and other various topics to give us a better understanding of local life. We visit a woman from the Herero ethnic group and also a Nama Medicine Woman, who will host a “click” lesson in the local Daman language. We finish our cultural walk at a local pub called a “shebeen” with the opportunity to try the local bush delicacy of Mopani worms and a drink. ???Swakopmund is one of the adventure capitals of Africa. Enjoy a free day to relax or get the adrenaline pumping. Choose from sky diving, dune boarding or a 4x4 safaris, just to name a few. Meals are not included while we are in Swakopmund in order to give our travellers the freedom to try out the many restaurants and bars in town. We will stay in a hostel or small guest house while in Swakopmund to give us a break from camping and be more centrally located than the local campsites. We stay in dormitory-style rooms with up to 6 or 8 people sharing a room. We will strive to divide the group based on gender, but this cannot always be guaranteed. As such, males and females may have to share the same sleeping quarters for these two nights. The bathrooms and showers are private though used by both men and women. Nice shared areas at the hostel round out our accommodation and are great for socializing. Approximate Distance: 300km? Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs
Day 16 Okavango Delta (1B,1L,1D)
Travel north to the granite peaks of Spitzkoppe. Enjoy sweeping views of the beautiful landscape, and camp in the bush to really get close to nature. Explore on your own via foot, and be sure to check out the night sky—it's great for star-gazing! Our basic bush camp will have long-drop toilets and no running water.
Day 17-18 Gweta/Chobe River (2B,2L,2D)
Look out over beautiful desert landscapes as far as the eye can see. There are Himba, Herero and Damara people along the way selling local arts and minerals, and we’ll be sure to make a few stops to find out more about their products and offerings.? Pass into more stony desert landscapes, and arrive to camp near Twyfelfontein by mid-afternoon. Just a short drive away, we can check out some prehistoric rock engravings made during the early Stone Age. Opt to explore the area, which is adorned with rock engravings and petrified fossil forests. You will have free time in the area and can opt for a guided walk along the rock engravings. This area is a famous for the paintings which are found in the region. Their origin is uncertain, but they are probably the work of Bushmen or Nama artists and are estimated to have lived in the area 5,000 years ago. Tonight, experience a truly “out in the bush” night of camping at a rustic campsite with basic facilities.
Day 19-24 Livingstone/Lusaka/Chipata (6B,3L,2D)
As one of Africa’s highlights, the Etosha National Park offers a variety of wildlife and phenomenal natural beauty.??? Upon arrival to the park in the afternoon, we will head out for a game drive in our overland truck to find the elephants, herds of antelope and lions around the watering holes. After sunset you can watch some animals at the watering holes near the camping area, which is safe, being well lit with flood lights. Free time at night allows for the option of a night game drives in an open vehicles. ?We will go for another game drive in our overland vehicle during our second day in the park. Our campsites in Etosha are comfortable with amenities such as a bar, restaurant and swimming pool. Spend at least one evening at a campground overlooking a permanent waterhole, which is illuminated by floodlight at night, allowing for better viewing of wildlife. A brief animal count of Etosha National Park: 30 000 Blue Wildebeest; 25000 Springbok; 23000 Zebra; 5000 Kudu; 3000 Hartebeest; 3000 Gemsbok; 2600 Eland; 450 Giraffe; 2000 Elephant; 260 Lions; 20 Black Rhino; 325 Bird species.? Etosha National Park in Namibia was first established in 1907. At the time, the park’s original 100,000 sq km made it the largest game reserve in the world. Due to political changes since its original establishment, the park is now a bit less than a quarter of its original size but still remains a very large and significant area in which wildlife is protected. ?The Etosha Pan dominates the park. The salt pan desert is roughly 130km long and in places as wide as 50km; it is usually dry but fills with water briefly in the summer months when it attracts pelicans and flamingos in particular. Periannual springs attract a variety of game and birds throughout the year, including the endangered black rhinoceros and the endemic black face Impala.? Approximate Distance: 300km ?Estimated Travel Time: 8 hrs
Day 25-28 Lake Malawi (4B,4L,4D)
Enjoy one last morning game drive in search of the Etosha's incredible wildlife before leaving the park mid-morning, and head south through the Namibian countryside to Windhoek. With a population of 230,000 and an altitude of 1654m, Windhoek is the capital of Namibia. We will arrive around lunchtime, so you will have free time to explore the city, go shopping or just relax at your accommodation.?? Please note that this is a combination tour. Some of group members may be departing the tour in Windhoek and some new group members may be joining. Enjoy an optional group dinner with both old and new travellers. Trade in your sleeping bag for a proper bed in a hotel tonight.
Day 29-30 Iringa/Dar es Salaam (2B,2L,2D)
Leave in the morning and continue through the eastern part of Namibia and cross into Botswana, travelling into the heart of the Kalahari.? ?Botswana visas are not available at the border. See our visa section for further information. We arrive at our campsite that is approximately 10km outside Ghanzi in the early evening, just in time for an optional “Bushman Walk.” ?On this walk, get a glimpse of how the San tribe adapted to the Kalahari Desert, and learn fascinating wilderness survival skills the local people use. The gatherer life of the San/Bushmen has all but disappeared. There are few remaining Bushmen who still retain the survival skills of their ancient way of life.? During the walk, your San/Bushmen guides will share through an interpreter their rich heritage of accumulated knowledge that make the them masters of this harsh environment, helping us to learn about the botany of our surroundings. The walk is a slow hour and a half meander through about 4km of bushveld. Around the campfire at night, you can experience the ancient dance rituals of the San/Bushmen. On special occasions, this is be a healing or trance dance that can continue all night and is an intense spiritual experience for both participants and visitors alike. ?Our accommodation provider for the night offer a number of activities to interact with the San/Bushmen, and to discover how they survived in the Kalahari.? Opt to upgrade your tent and stay in a recreated San/Bushman grass hut for the night, space-permitting. Each hut has stretchers with mattresses, lights and mosquito nets. The campground has a bar and small gift shop. ?Approximate Distance: 580 km ??Estimated Travel Time: 8 hrs???
Day 31-34 Zanzibar/Stone Town/Nungwi (4B)
Drive across Botswana and travel from the Kalahari towards Maun. We leave Ghanzi in the morning and arrive to Maun around lunch time. After arrival, you can pick up any supplies and prepare for the 1 night/2-day excursion into the Okavango Delta. We recommend each person brings a 5 litre bottle of water to take into the Delta; this should be sufficient for both drinking water and cleaning purposes. In the afternoon, opt to get a sneak peak of the delta from above on an hour-long flight over the delta in a very small plane. See various groups of wildlife from above and get a feel for the vastness of the delta. Those not opting for the flight can kick back and relax at the campsite set next to a river and with a pool, bar and restaurant facilities. ?Note: If you pre-booked the Okavango Delta flight, you will be flying today.?? Approximate Distance: 280 km ? Estimated Travel Time: 4 hrs
Day 35-36 Korogwe/Arusha (2B,2L,2D)
After leaving some luggage in Maun, we hop into motor boats and travel along a river for about an hour before pairing off and sitting down in mokoros, traditional dug-out canoes, that take us deep into the delta. Each boat is pushed forward by a poler from a local community who stands at the back with a long bamboo pole that reaches the bottom of the waterways. After a couple hours in the mokoro, we arrive to our basic bush camp in time for lunch. Set up tents and get used to the surroundings. Please note that there is no shower and only a dig-out bush toilet, as our camp is very basic and in the wild – but it is all worth it due to the incredible landscape and wildlife! ???In the afternoon, set off on a game walk to enjoy birdlife and game viewing in the pristine wilderness area of the Okavango Delta, the world's largest inland delta. In the evening, count the shooting stars, sing with the locals or just unwind with a sundowner around the campfire.?? The polers will join us around the campfire tonight and usually love to sing and dance… join in!
Day 37-39 Serengeti National Park/Ngorongoro Crater/Arusha (3B,3L,3D)
Enjoy the sunrise on an early game walk then return to Maun, first by mokoro, then motor boat, and arrive around lunch time. Pack up the truck, then hit the road to ancient baobab trees of Gweta. We will arrive to our campsite mid- to late afternoon. Have a walk around, take pictures of the baobabs, swim in the pool and enjoy a proper shower after the night in the bush. Approximate Distance: 240 km Estimated Travel Time: 4 hrs
Day 40 Nairobi (1B,1L)
Journey to the area of Chobe National Park, home to the largest elephant population in Southern Africa. The best way to appreciate the area’s thousands of resident elephants, crocodiles and hippos, is with an optional sunset boat cruise on the Chobe River. You may instead opt to embark on a game drive in search of lions, antelope, and of course, elephants. We arrive to Kasane around lunchtime and the optional sunset cruise starts in the late afternoon. It’s best to book the optional sunset cruise on the day of our arrival to the area and then save the optional game drive for the morning of the following day.? Kasane is situated on the banks of the Chobe River, near its mouth. This is where the Chobe and Zambezi rivers meet, creating a border area of four countries – Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. ?Chobe National Park was Botswana’s first national park, and it is situated along the Chobe River. It has one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. By size, this is the third largest park (11,000 sq km) in the country, but it is definitely the most diverse and spectacular. ?The park is probably best known for its spectacular elephant population: with over 120,000 elephants, it has the highest concentration of the animal of Africa. ?Our campsite has a pool, bar and restaurant area. Approximate Distance: 420 km Estimated Travel Time: 6 hrs Kasane is situated on the banks of the Chobe River, near its mouth. This is where the Chobe and Zambezi rivers meet, creating a border area of four countries – Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Chobe National Park is Botswana’s first national park, and is situated along the Chobe River. It has one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa and one of the world's last remaining sizeable wilderness areas. By size, this is the third largest park (11,000 sq km) of the country, though it is definitely the most diverse and spectacular. The park is probably best known for its spectacular elephant population: with over 120,000 it has the highest elephant concentration of Africa. Moreover, most of them are probably part of the largest continuous surviving elephant population on Earth. The elephant population seems to have solidly built up since 1990, from the few initial thousands. By chance, they have not been affected by the massive illicit exploitation of the 1970's and 1980's. Elephants living here are Kalahari elephants, the largest in size of all known elephant species. Yet they are characterized by rather brittle ivory and short tusks. Damage caused by the high numbers of elephants is rife in some areas. In fact, concentration is so high throughout Chobe that culls have been considered, but are too controversial and have thus far been rejected. During the dry season, these elephants sojourn in Chobe River and the Linyanti River areas. During the rain season, they make a 200 km migration to the south-east region of the park. Their distribution zone however outreaches the park and spreads to north-western Zimbabwe.