The thundering Victoria Falls is one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders, a phenomenon of sight and sound. Then return to the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, a feature stay on this trip, for views over their watering hole.. Glide through the Okavango Delta in a mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) and experience the ambience of this beautiful waterscape.. Head out on an afternoon excursion to the Makgadikgadi Pans, looking out for meerkats and meandering elephants, and enjoy a sundowner in the shadow of an old baobab tree.. Learn more about the Kalahari from the knowledgeable San people as they sing and dance with you by the campfire.
Join Peregrine on the Southern Africa journey – from Victoria Falls all the way down to Port Elizabeth. Discover not only that famous world wonder, the ‘Smoke That Thunders’, but also the great salt pans, sand dunes, grasslands, canyons, rivers, mountains, beaches, vineyards and wildlife that lie beyond. The waterholes of Chobe National Park in Botswana offer outstanding wildlife-viewing, while photographers and nature lovers alike will find a rare treat in the sand dunes and petrified forest of Namibia. However, it’s the verdant winelands and coastal scenery down south that have the final say on this comprehensive journey, adding a touch of class to an itinerary brimming with highlights and hidden surprises. Seasoned travellers in search of an all-encompassing Southern Africa odyssey need look no further.
Breakfast Included: 30 Lunches Included: 17 Dinner Included: 23
Welcome to Victoria Falls! Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you do happen to arrive early, there are some excellent optional activities to embark on, including morning and afternoon game drives, or walks in the Zambezi National Park. You might also choose an unforgettable helicopter flight over the Falls and the Zambezi Gorges.
This morning you will visit the magnificent Victoria Falls, named by Dr David Livingstone in honour of his English queen. One of the world's true natural wonders, Victoria Falls form the largest sheet of falling water in the world when in full flow. Once inside the park, your guide will take you through the falls area, stopping at different vantage points along the way to explain the history of the falls and their surrounds. After your tour, return to your lodge, where you can take a dip or relax on the deck overlooking a waterhole – look out for elephants passing by! Later in the afternoon, it's back to the Zambezi River for a 2-hour river cruise. The specially designed jet-propelled boats allow you to reach the shallow water among the islands directly above the Victoria Falls. Enjoy included drinks and snacks while meandering between the islands and getting a glimpse of the mist after it has rumbled over the edge of the falls. Keep an eye out for crocodiles bathing in sunshine on the banks, or even elephants submerging themselves in the river.
Chobe National Park
This morning, visit 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 trusts role in anti-poaching. There may also be a chance to meet any rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care. Afterwards, follow the Zambezi River to Botswana and make your way to Chobe National Park (100km; approximately 3 hours, not including border formalities). You will arrive at your lodge at around midday. There you can relax by the pool or take an optional afternoon game drive in Chobe National Park. This can be arranged locally with your leader. You will spend the next two nights in a lodge located just outside Chobe National Park.
Chobe National Park
Today, embark on a game drive in Chobe National Park. You might see elephants drinking at the water's edge, large herds of cape buffaloes and many impalas within the park. Then head back to the lodge for breakfast. In the afternoon, take a cruise along the picturesque Chobe River – an ideal location for spotting bird life such as saddle-billed storks, malachite kingfishers, fish eagles and beautiful bee-eaters as well as hippos, crocodiles and large families of elephants. You will be joined by other travellers on the boat cruise and is equipped with bathroom facilities and small bar to purchase drinks. Enjoy a drink as the sun goes down on the river – a truly special moment.
Heading south, you will continue your journey to the Makgadikgadi Pans for an afternoon excursion (410km; approximately 6 hours). Witness the immensity of this sprawling salt flat, one of the largest in the world. Later you will head to Gweta Lodge, located near the edge of the pans. In the afternoon, leave the lodge in an open game vehicle to and travel out to the Nxaisini pan. Here you’ll sit out in the wild enjoy sundowners and snacks while observing the amazing scenery. With the aid of trackers, you’ll spend some time in the company of the local meerkat colony. Be sure to look out for elephants that meander their way down to the watering hole to quench their thirst. Soak in this incredible place while the sun sets behind the old beautiful baobab. Back at the lodge, relax in the lounge area while you take in your surroundings and reflect on the day's adventure.
After breakfast this morning, it's time to head to Maun, the gateway of the Okavango Delta (approximately 4 hours). For those interested, there is the opportunity to fly over the delta in a small plane for a bird's-eye view. This is a great way to appreciate the vast scale of this waterscape. Your leader can give you more information on this activity and how to reserve a place. Otherwise, the afternoon yours to spend as you please.
Venture to the Okavango Delta (350kms; approximately 6 hours) and board your speedboat. This will take you to your home for the next two nights – a houseboat in the Okavango Delta Panhandle. You will need to pack a small bag or backpack for this trip, as there won't be room for everyone's full luggage. The houseboat has twin-share cabins with bedding, towels and mosquito nets provided. There is also a dining area on the deck, tea and coffee-making facilities and a small collection of books and board games. As evening falls, head to the deck, where your captain will serve dinner. Grab a sundowner, pull up a chair and witness the breathtaking sunset. This is a unique and memorable way to experience the Delta – not really for what you do, but more for the absence of anything to do. The sounds of hippos breaching and grunting, cicadas trilling, and a million mosquitoes seduce you blissfully into the night.
This morning after breakfast, take a speedboat and 4WD to a nearby poling station. From here you will experience the myriad waterways in a traditional mokoro (dugout canoe) with a local guide. Your guide will also take you on a short nature walk around one of the many islands in the Delta. After a picnic lunch, return to the houseboat for some relaxation time. You might like to read a book or do some fishing. In the evening, enjoy a drink, pull up a chair and watch the day turn to night before your captain serves up dinner once again on the deck.
Ghanzi – Central Kalahari
Travel on to Ghanzi, the 'Capital of the Kalahari' (400km; approximately 7 hours). Your accommodation tonight is at a community project in Ghanzi and is a much more basic than what you will encounter throughout your journey. However, the concept and experience of the lodge is well worth it. The lodges support the local San and San D'Kar community through employment. The San people are renowned as the most skilful trackers on Earth and have an extraordinary knowledge of the Kalahari for both plants and animal tracking. If time permits you may choose to do the optional walk. Here you will be shown the wide variety of both edible and medicinal plants, while also tracking a variety of animals and learning about their habitats. Of course, you will also spend quality time with your guides to understand their very different world view. Later, a traditional meal will be served in the communal lounge and dining area. You will then experience the ancient dance rituals of the San around the campfire. This is a real cultural experience and a great way to get to know the locals. On special occasions this could be a healing or trance dance, which can continue all night, and is an intense spiritual experience for both participants and visitors alike.
Cross the border into Namibia and head to Windhoek (approximately 6 hours). Take in the German architecture evident in a number of buildings. The finest are the Tintenpalast (Ink Palace), the Christuskirche (church), the gymnasium and the Genossenschaftshaus. As this is a combination trip, some of your fellow travellers may be leaving you this evening. There will be another group meeting at 6pm and it will be a great opportunity to meet any new travellers who will accompany you through Namibia.
Etosha National Park
Travel to our lodge located just outside Etosha National Park (400 km; approximately 7–8 hours including stops). On arrival the afternoon will be free to relax at the Lodge. Maybe cool off in the pool, read a book, or enjoy a sundowner by the bar. Be sure to charge your camera's tonight. Tomorrow we will have a full day in the Park. This is one of the world's premier game-viewing destinations; spotting animals in the park 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 allow for sightings. Namibia has protected its game reserves against poaching, so there are large herds of elephants, antelope and other herbivores.
Etosha National Park
Rise early and enjoy a full day of game viewing in the truck. Keep a close eye on the landscape for black rhino, Hartmann's mountain zebra, black-faced impala, roan antelope and the tiny Damara dik-dik. The park is also home to some 340 bird species. Return to the lodge and reflect on the day's adventures with your fellow travellers over dinner.