Uncover the unique beauty of the Makgadikgadi Pans during a 4×4 excursion through the sprawling landscape, before spending time with a family of meerkats on the edge of the Ntwetwe Salt Pans.. Packed full of animal viewing opportunities, enjoy morning, afternoon, and night game drives, guided nature walks, and a full day boat cruise in a private a conservancy on the Boteti River, Etosha National Park, and the iconic Chobe National Park and river.. Enjoy two magnificent evenings at your feature stay camp. Perfectly positioned on the Namibian banks of the Chobe River, join a full-day boat cruise through lesser-explored channels and islands.. Namibia is a land of spectacular contrasts; climb the iconic Dune 45 to see the sand dunes of the Sossusvlei, explore the picturesque Deadvlei Salt Pans, Sesriem Canyon and Damaraland’s ancient rock paintings and petrified forests.
From ethereal landscapes to rich wildlife, experience the best of Botswana and Namibia on a 17-day Premium adventure. Look out for wildlife in Chobe National Park, cruise down the Chobe River, hang out with a family of meerkats and admire the curious beauty of the Makgadikgadi Pans. Marvel at the desert landscapes of Swakopmund and Sossusvlei, uncover petrified forests in Damaraland and search for animals in the vast Etosha National Park. With the guidance of experienced local leaders along the way, discover two remarkable countries that will leave you in awe.
Chobe National Park
Welcome to Botswana! Your adventure begins at Chobe National Park – one of Africa’s premier wildlife destinations and home to its largest population of Elephants. You will be collected from the airport and transferred to your accommodation on the banks of the Chobe River at the fringe of the national park. Here you will meet your tour leader and small group of fellow travellers for a 6pm welcome meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. After your meeting, join your group and leader for dinner at the lodge. Enjoy a celebration of indigenous food and the rich flavours of Africa as you dine alongside the scenic Chobe River.
Chobe River (Namibian Side)
Rise early for a morning 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. Head back to the lodge for breakfast, then journey to the Ngoma Border Post before continuing to the Namibian side of the Chobe River. Here you will find your feature stay accommodation, the fabulous Chobe River Camp, in a prime position across the river from the world-renowned Chobe Nature Reserve. Tented chalets are gorgeously constructed in line with the camp's green philosophy, using indigenous Mopane timber and canvas. Enjoy home comforts in a wild setting, including solar power, en suite bathrooms and a private deck offering unrivalled views of the vast, wildlife-rich bush. Arrive in time for a hearty lunch at the lodge, then enjoy some downtime to relax by the pool, spot wildlife from the bar or soak up the wild surroundings on the banks of the Chobe River. Speak to your leader about some fabulous optional activities for the afternoon, including a canoe trip, guided walking trail or a birding drive.
Chobe River (Namibian side)
After breakfast, head out for a full-day cruise on the Chobe River. The privileged position of your camp allows you to access a part of the river that most visitors don’t get to see, which means you’ll have the special opportunity to view abundant wildlife without the crowds. This region offers a wildlife spotting experience like no other – with a bit of luck you will see large herds of elephants, buffalo and antelope. Enjoy lunch and refreshments on and island, explore the channels of the river and dock at a small island to appreciate the diverse bird life. After a memorable day, return to your lodge just in time for sunset – perhaps grab a drink at the bar to watch the changing colours of the spectacular landscape.
Heading south, continue your journey to the vast salt flats and grassy plains of the Makgadikgadi Pans. Located in the north-east of Botswana, the Makgadikgadi Pans are situated in the middle of a dry savanna and are all that remain of the former Lake Makgadikgadi. This afternoon, get to know your gold-hued, otherworldly surroundings during a 4x4 excursion. The immense, sprawling salt flat will unfold in front of you as you look out for aardvark, ostriches and mongooses. Surrounded by the Nata sanctuary, a breeding ground for thousands of water birds, the horizon is tinted pink by clouds of flamingos and pelicans. Savour the ethereal landscape as you sit out on the pans and enjoy drinks and snacks as the sun sets. Return to the lodge for dinner and relive the highlights of an exciting day.
Embrace a very early start this morning and head out with a packed breakfast in hand. Today’s experience will surely be one to remember. Travel to the edge of the Ntwetwe salt pan, home to a resident family of entertaining Meerkats. With the aid of trackers, arrive in time to observe their morning rituals as the sun rises. Watch the meerkats bask in the morning sun before heading out for their daily foraging – the fantastic conditions and lighting will help you snap an unforgettable picture of these marvellous creatures. Stop at a neighbouring lodge for lunch, then continue to the Boteti River. Another magnificent spot for viewing wildlife, the river attracts some 25,000 zebras each year who migrate from the neighbouring Makgadigadi Pans Game Reserve. As the only permanent source of water in the area, the river also receives visits from lions, cheetah, oryx, springbok, giraffe, elephants and many more. In the evening, retire to your delightful eco-lodge, featuring tented rooms with en suites and solar power.
Start the day with a 4x4 game drive under the guidance of a skilled game ranger. Your eco-lodge has a private conservancy, home to antelopes, blue wildebeest, zebras and giraffes. Predators like lions, leopards and wild dogs also make regular appearances on the farm. Your ranger will share knowledge about the habits of these animals as you seek them out. After your exhilarating game drive, return to your lodge for lunch and some downtime to relax by the pool. In the evening, embark on nighttime game drive through the private conservancy to search for animals that reveal themselves as the sun goes down – a special opportunity not always possible in the national parks.
Set out on a guided nature walk this morning with a professional guide. View plants, trees and animals from a different perspective and observe close-up details often missed on game drives. Your guide will provide expert knowledge and help you gain a deeper understanding of the environment. Then it's time to head to Maun, the gateway of the Okavango Delta. 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. The rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure.
Today you will depart Maun and catch a flight to Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, known for colonial German architecture and a relaxed African atmosphere. You will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel, where a meeting will take place at 6pm to welcome any new travellers joining you on the next leg of your adventure. After the meeting, head to your boutique hotel’s sky lounge for a tapas dinner made with the freshest local ingredients. From here you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding valley – a perfect spot to watch the sun go down.
This morning, drive south to Sesriem, your gateway to the Sossusvlei Dunes, Deadvlei, and Sesriem Canyon. Arrive at the Desert Hills Lodge in the Naukluft Mountains, your feature stay accommodation for the next two nights. Thatched roofed chalets are inspired by the Namib desert’s nomadic inhabitants, and feature modern amenities and spacious en suite bathrooms. Each chalet faces west, playing to the striking desert sunsets, and you’ll enjoy a private balcony to soak in your spectacular surroundings. Enjoy lunch at the lodge’s restaurant, with the otherworldly landscape stretching far in each direction, then spend the afternoon relaxing by the bar or next to the fantastic pool. Later on, head out on a guided four-wheel drive (4x4) nature drive to discover the unique flora and fauna of the desert. Stop for a drink to take it all in as the sun sets then return to the lodge for dinner.
Make an early-morning visit to Sossusvlei, which lies at the end of an ancient riverbed. This is a great opportunity for unsurpassed views of the surrounding area. Climbing to the top of Dune 45 will reward you with a spectacular perspective of the surreal desert landscape. After breakfast, travel to Deadvlei, a clay pan that lends itself to many iconic images. When you see the skeleton trees against a vibrant orange backdrop of dunes, you’ll soon understand what all the fuss is about. The pan is surrounded by some of the highest dunes in the world, 'Big Daddy' or 'Crazy Dune' average about 350 metres in height. In the afternoon you will visit Sesriem Gorge, a tranquil natural corridor that you can walk through and explore. Return to the lodge for the evening.
Continue your journey to the beachside town of Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast. Stop by the small settlement of Solitaire. Scattered with abandoned trucks, cars, petrol pumps and cacti, it's the only place between Walvis Bay and Sossusvlei to feature a petrol station, post office, general dealer, and bakery. Enjoy a piece of the local apple pie which has earned itself quite a reputation. Continue on past moon valley, named for its eerie lunar-like appearance, and the Tropic of Capricorn. Walvis Bay is the hibernation area for thousands of migratory birds, most notably flamingos. If in season you may take quick detour to see these elegant birds. Upon arrival at Swakopmund take some time for lunch, then join your leader on an orientation walk to get a feel for this interesting township with a German-Namibian atmosphere.
The day is yours to enjoy this gorgeous coastal town. Your accommodation conveniently located within walking distance of the town, where you can enjoy a walk on the beach, open air markets or the local museum. You may wish to take an optional trip north to Cape Cross, a breeding site for Cape fur seals. There can be in excess of 100,000 seals there at any given time, making for quite the spectacle (quite a smell too, if the wind happens to change direction). Wander the coastline and attempt to document these beautiful creatures with a photo or two, and visit the large cross that lies nearby, left by Diego Cao, the first European to arrive on Namibian soil in 1485.