MARVELS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA

15 Night / 16 Day Guided Lodge Safari

safari-Button

On this small group tour, you experience the highlights of Southern Africa. From Windhoek, your journey leads you to the dunes of the Namib Desert. You visit the coastal town of Swakopmund, explore the the impressive rock formations and terraces of Damaraland and experience the exciting wildlife in Etosha National Park. Travel through the lush green Zambezi Region and its remote and wild national parks. Chobe National Park famously rich in wildlife awaits you in Botswana before you end your journey at the impressive Victoria Falls. Take a break from the rest of the world and join us on a journey of discovery to some of the most beautiful places in Southern Africa. Together with our professional local guide, you will see beyond picture-perfect sunsets.

featured-Namib-Desert

Highlights

Day 1-12 | Namibia

  • Windhoek: city tour
  • Namib Naukluft Park: Sesriem Canyon, Sossusvlei, Dead Vlei
  • Namib Desert: Welwitschia Drive, Moon Landscape
  • Swakopmund: city tour, optional activities
  • Brandberg Mountain: hike to the “White Lady”
  • Ugab Valley: Ugab Terraces, Vingerklip
  • Etosha National Park: game drives, night game drive (optional)
  • Grootfontein Area: Lake Otjikoto, Hoba Meteorite, living museum of the Ju/’Hoansi San
  • Caprivi Strip: boat cruise on the Okavango Rive
  • Zambezi Region: Mudumu and Nkasa Lupala National Parks, game drives and boat safari

Day 13-16 | Botswana, Zimbabwe

  • Chobe National Park: game drives, boat safari
  • Victoria Falls: visit to the waterfalls

Facts

Lodge Safari: Marvels of Southern Africa
Tourcode: ET16NAEXFA
From: Windhoek
To: Victoria Falls
Min number to guarantee tour: 2
Max number of participants:
10 (window seat guaranteed)
Departure day: Saturday
Price: from 63,500 NAD
Single Supplement: 9,500 NAD

Itinerary

Day 1 | Windhoek

Distance approx. 50 km; driving time approx. 1 hour

Arrival at Windhoek International Airport no later than midday. You will be picked up by a driver who welcomes you to Namibia and takes you to your guesthouse in Windhoek. You have time to relax and refresh before you meet your guide in the afternoon. On a city tour around Windhoek, your guide will introduce you to the capital of Namibia and show you sights such as the Christ Church, the parliament known as ink palace as well as Independence Avenue. At the extravagant Joe’s Beerhouse, you have dinner with your fellow travellers (own expense). You spend the night at Vondelhof Guesthouse.

Day 2 | Windhoek – Namib Desert

Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours

After breakfast, your journey begins. You make your way south. At the small town of Rehoboth, you leave the tarmac road and continue on dirt road across beautiful landscapes to the Namib Desert. In the afternoon, explore Sesriem Canyon in the Namib Naukluft Park. This roughly one kilometre long and 30-metre deep canyon was formed millions of years ago by the Tsauchab River. During dry season you can take a walk through sections of this canyon, marvelling at its steep walls reflecting the sunlight and making for great photos. Afterwards, you drive to Elegant Desert Lodge, where you will stay the night.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 3 | Namib Desert

Distance approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 4 hours

In the early hours of the morning, you return to the Namib Naukluft Park. Look forward to a morning in the dunes of the Namib! Walk to the top of the famous Dune 45 and enjoy the unforgettable view across the seemingly endless sea of dunes – the somewhat challenging and sandy walk up is certainly worth it. You visit the well-known Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei, where the colour contrast of the white clay pan, rust-red dunes, and dark blue sky is spectacular. You continue north towards Namib’s Valley. Your rustic lodge by the same name is situated on a terrace overlooking the desert valley. You spend the night at Namib‘s Valley Lodge.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 4 – 5 | Namib Desert – Swakopmund

Distance day 4 approx. 330 km; driving time approx. 5-6 hours

You make your way towards the Atlantic Ocean. Together with your guide, you drive through the Tinkas Mountains, passing the Bloedkoppie and along the Welwitschia Drive into the Moon Landscape, south-east of Swakopmund. This alien but at the same time fascinating landscape with its bizarre, rugged rock formations fascinates nature lovers. You now reach the charming coastal town of Swakopmund. On a walk, learn about the town’s history and visit the old train station as well as the Woermannhaus. You can spend the following day at your leisure. Stroll around town and along the promenade or browse the shops. Or join one of the many activities offered: go on a boat cruise or desert safari tracking the Little Five (optional). At night, join your fellow travellers for dinner (own expense), the choice of restaurants is plenty. Your home for these two nights in Swakopmund is Namib Guesthouse.
Breakfast

Day 6 | Swakopmund – Ugab Valley

Distance approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5-6 hours

After an early breakfast, you’ll be on your way. Along the coast, you drive to the Zeila wreck, one of the many stranded shipwrecks, where you stop for a photo and viewing break. You leave the coast behind and continue inland to the great Brandberg Mountain. Accompanied by a local guide, hike to the “White Lady”. See this and other famous rock art, true cultural treasures of Namibia. You now make your way to the Ugab Valley. This picturesque area impresses with its table mountains and high plateaus, the so-called Ugab terraces. If time allows, you stop at the Herero Craft Market along the way. At Vingerklip Lodge, you end your day. Enjoy the brilliant views and a delicious dinner.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 7 | Ugab Valley – Etosha National Park

Distance approx. 220 km; multiple hour game drive within the park

A short morning hike leads you to Vingerklip, an impressive rock formation resembling a finger. Now it’s time to head to the next highlight of your tour: Etosha National Park. The coming days are all about “safari” in one of the most popular national parks in Southern Africa. Together with your guide, you look for elephants, lions, rhinos, zebras and different kinds of antelopes. Stop at waterholes to watch the animals quench their thirst, while your guide shares their in-depth knowledge about the fascinating world of wildlife with you. You reach Okaukuejo Camp, where you will spend the night. At the night-lit waterhole, you can even look out for animals during the night. Tonight, you enjoy a traditional potjie pot dinner prepared by your guide on the campfire. To watch nocturnal animals in the park, we recommend a guided night game drive (optional).
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 8 | Etosha National Park

After sunrise and a hearty breakfast, you go on more game drives. No day on safari is ever the same so you can look forward to an exciting day in nature. Herds of impalas, wildebeest, oryx, and zebras cross the Etosha Pan, stretching for kilometres on end in eastern direction. You stop at waterholes to watch the animals and learn about their habitat and behaviour from your guide. In the late afternoon, you leave Etosha National Park at Von Lindequist Gate and reach Mushara Bush Camp after only a short drive, your home for the night.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 9 | Etosha Area – Grootfontein Area

Distance approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5 hours

Great safari memories on your mind you continue your journey. You visit the inland lake Otjikoto and the Hoba Meteorite before making your way to the home of the San. At an open-air living museum, resembling a traditional village of the Ju/’Hoansi San, learn about the traditional hunter-gatherer culture and traditions. Have a go at making a fire, setting traps or building bow and arrow. Even prepare and try a traditional bush meal. After this exciting and educational experience, you drive to Fiume Lodge where you will spend the night.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 10 | Grootfontein Area – Kavango Region

Distance approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5 hours

You continue North. Thatched clay huts line the road, the vegetation turns thicker and greener. A quick shopping stop is made in Rundu, the economic centre of the Kavango Region. Experience the bustling activity of the market where local fishers and farmers offer their produce. You continue to reach your home for the night, a little oasis at the Okavango River. Enjoy a cold Rock Shandy at the island bar and relax before you go on a sunset cruise on the river. With a little luck watch hippos and crocodiles and let the magical scenery sink in. For dinner expect a traditional braai, a BBQ. Enjoy the evening around the campfire and listen as the nightly bush concert begins. You spend the night at Mobola Island Lodge.
Breakfast | Dinner

Tag 11 – 12 | Kavango Region – Zambezi Region

Distance on day 11: approx. 330 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours

You continue into the Zambezi Region, passing fishing and farming villages. You might even spot big game crossing the road. Your destination is the Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge, your base camp for exciting safari adventures for the next two nights. Together with your guide, explore the remote and wild national parks of the area. The Nkasa Lupala National Park, formerly known as Mamili National Park, is known for its swamps and marshes. Elephants, buffaloes as well as red lechwe and reedbucks roam the area in large herds. Lions, leopards, zebras, and even the rare roan and sable antelopes call this region home. Neighbouring Mudumu National Park awaits you for more unique safari moments. Since both parks are off the beaten track and not fully developed, expect to drive on bumpy 4×4 tracks. Together with a local guide you will also go on a sunset boat cruise. Hippos and crocodiles live in the rivers and channels, and the bird life is especially varied. You spend two nights at Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 13 – 14 | Zambezi Region – Kasane – Chobe National Park

Distance on day 13: approx. 260 km; driving time approx. 4 hours

It’s time to leave Namibia and cross the border into Botswana. At the outskirts of Kasane, you check into a typical safari camp. After a light lunch, you focus once again on wildlife sightings. Accompanied by a local guide, the next two days will be spent on extensive game drives in an open safari vehicle around Chobe National Park and on a boat safari on Chobe River. With more than 40,000 elephants, Chobe National Park is home to one of the largest populations of these gentle giants in Southern Africa. You can even spot all of the Big Five. Look out for large buffalo herds, prides of lions, leopards, and other big game, while exploring the different areas of the park. Change your perspective and look for crocodiles and hippos on your boat safari as well as for animals coming to drink at the river. Spend two nights at Tlouwana Camp.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner | 3 safari activities in Chobe National Park

Day 15 | Kasane – Victoria Falls

Transfer time approx. 2 hours

After breakfast, you will be taken across the border to Zimbabwe. The town of Victoria Falls is your destination. On a leisurely walk, you explore the “Mosi-oa-Tunya”, the smoke that thunders. The Victoria Falls are the second largest waterfalls in the world. The mighty Zambezi thunders across a width of nearly two kilometres, down more than 100 metres – an impressive spectacle. Afterwards, you can explore the souvenir market or stroll around town. For your last dinner of the tour, you visit a restaurant in town (own expense). You spend the night at Cresta Sprayview Lodge.
Breakfast

Day 16 | Victoria Falls

Exciting memories on your mind your trip ends today. Say your goodbyes to your guide and fellow travellers before we take you to the airport. From here you can either return back home or continue your travels. We are happy to assist you in organising your onward travels in the region.
Breakfast

Includes

  • Guided lodge safari as per the itinerary
  • Transport in a 4×4 safari vehicle
  • Professional, English-speaking guide
  • 15 nights’ stay in lodges, rest camps and guesthouses (depending on availability, accommodation of a similar standard will be booked)
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Activities as per itinerary
  • All national park fees

Excludes

  • Flights (international & domestic)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Optional activities
  • Visa fees, tips, personal expenses, travel insurance

Marvels of Southern Africa Map

Frequently Asked Questions

A lodge safari is a journey along a well-planned route, through the wide expanses of Namibia on tar and gravel roads. You will get to see impressive landscapes, experience game viewing and gain an insight into the different cultures. In order to experience Namibia in all its facets, long driving distances are inevitable. On a lodge safari, all accommodations offer rooms with en-suite bathrooms as well as a comfortable atmosphere and personal service.

A guided lodge safari is suitable for individuals who want to feel Africa and experience its splendid nature and wildlife while travelling in comfort and ease. The groups consist of a minimum of two and a maximum of six people. Not only couples and friends, but also solo travellers join our guided lodge safaris. Clocks tick differently in Africa and unexpected hurdles can arise on the way. Flexibility, patience, an open mind as well as a good sense of humour are the key to an enjoyable trip and an unforgettable experience.

Your qualified and registered guide is also your driver. Our guides know the fauna, flora, people and roads of Namibia like the back of their hand and have many years of driving experience on gravel roads. Our guides have a passion for Namibia and love nothing more than sharing interesting facts and stories about the country.

Namibian food is a combination of African and European styles. The latter is often German cuisine – pork dishes, potatoes, breads and pastries. Dishes with game meat, beef and lamb are very popular. Seafood is also regularly on the menu. Biltong (cured, dried meat) and droëwors (dried sausage) are typical Namibian snacks. All lodges serve a full breakfast, most include a 3-course dinner as well. In some towns there is the option to have supper at a restaurant (own account).

When booking with us, please notify us of any dietary requirements and/or allergies you might have.

A normal day will start with breakfast at around 8am and end with supper at around 8pm. It might happen that you have an early morning activity planned, so breakfast might be slightly later or a packed breakfast will be provided. In general, departure times are quite flexible and can be arranged in consultation with the guide and the rest of the group. As your guide knows his or her way around and is familiar with the driving times and distances, he or she will decide what time to leave. You will either travel to your next destination or explore the surroundings on excursions. You arrive at the overnight accommodation in the afternoon, with some time to relax and freshen up before supper. After supper, you might want to chat and enjoy a night cap before you go to bed.

We use specially designed and customised Toyota Land Cruisers with large sliding windows and pop-up roofs for great game viewing and vistas. The passenger compartment comprises six individual and comfortable seats which provide great comfort while travelling. A window seat is guaranteed for each guest.

You will overnight in guesthouses, guestfarms, lodges or permanent tented camps. While guesthouses, guestfarms and lodges consist of permanent buildings, tented camps provide accommodation in large walk-in tents with en-suite bathrooms, including washbasin, shower and toilet. The standard is 3-star to 4-star. Most accommodations are nestled in beautiful scenery and offer spectacular views.

Passport:

You need a passport, which must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Namibia and have at least three blank pages.

Visa:

Most nationalities travelling to Namibia for holiday purposes do not require a visa for up to 90 days. Nevertheless, visa requirements are constantly changing – please contact Namibia’s embassy in your home country. Namibia-Experience cannot be held responsible if you are refused entry and cannot begin your trip. All costs incurred due to a delay in travelling are for the traveller’s account.

If you travel with children via South Africa to Namibia: From 1 June 2015, all passengers under 18 years old, arriving in and departing from South Africa, will be required by law to travel with an unabridged birth certificate.

Other:

You must have a valid return flight ticket or other onward travel documents which allow you to leave the country when your trip ends. Otherwise you must provide proof that you have sufficient funds (i.e. credit card) to purchase a return ticket.

Since you will be staying outside your home country, you are not covered by your personal health insurance. You will be treated as a private patient and must be adequately insured for. Also check whether your personal liability covers damage when travelling outside of your country.

Although the tour price includes most meals, entry fees to national parks and accommodation, you still need to plan for other expenses. Plan for optional activities (game drives, boat trips, cultural visits etc), tipping, souvenirs, extra meals and drinks.

Tipping in Namibia is a reward for good service and is at the guest’s discretion. Normally you can add 10% to a restaurant bill. For lodge staff, there is generally a communal tip box. If you want to tip your Namibia-Experience guide, we recommend 150 – 220 N$ per group per day.

 

The currency in Namibia is the Namibian Dollar (N$) and is traded at 1:1 to the South African Rand. South African Rands can also be used as payment in Namibia.

You can draw cash at a local ATM with your credit card or Maestro card (PIN required). Transaction fees depend on your bank and the establishment which you are using it at.

In many big shops/shopping malls you can pay with credit card. At smaller shops and at some fuel stations you can only pay cash. Furthermore, we recommend having cash for emergencies and small purchases such as curios or at markets as well as for tips. Also have cash for tipping as some accommodations will not add the tips onto your service bill.

Traveller’s cheques are not recommended. They are rarely accepted because of fraud, high fees and long waiting times at the exchange.

 

The travel destination and season will determine what to pack. Bear in mind that Namibia is in the southern hemisphere with opposite seasons to the USA and Europe. Namibia’s summer (with intermittent thunder showers) is from December to February and the dry winter months are from June to September.

Bring warm clothes if you travel between April to September, which you will need especially in the evening, at night and in the early morning. Even in summer include long trousers, closed shoes and a long sleeve shirt – these will help against mosquitos, which are mainly found in the north of Namibia and in the Zambezi Region (Caprivi Strip).

Due to limited space in our safari vehicles, please restrict your luggage to no more than 15 kg and one small hand luggage. The best bags to bring with you on safari are definitely soft shell bags. NO SUITCASES PLEASE! Hard shell bags are often too big and bulky.

 

Here is a rough checklist for clothing:

  • Warm jacket, warm pullover
  • Wind jacket or rain jacket
  • 2 long-sleeved shirts
  • 1 pair of long trousers
  • 1 spare pair of trousers (comfortable and durable)
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 4-6 T-shirts
  • Sufficient underwear and socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sturdy walking shoes
  • Sandals or flip flops
  • Base cap, sun hat

Very colourful textiles are not necessarily an advantage if you want to observe wild animals. Military style clothing is also not advisable, as it can be a problem for government officials.

Other equipment:

  • Sun glasses
  • Torch, preferably headtorch
  • Neck pouch, money belt or hip bag for money, documents, passport, vaccination card
  • Photo equipment
  • Adapter
  • Alarm clock
  • Binoculars
  • Toiletry bag
  • Sunscreen with high sun protection factor
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Malaria prophylaxis (after consultation with your doctor)
  • First-aid kit
  • Water bottle

It is recommended that you have your regular vaccinations updated – tetanus, hepatitis A and B and polio. Malaria is a concern in some areas and we therefore recommend that some precautionary measures are taken. For more detailed information on prophylaxis and the effects as well as possible side effects, please contact your doctor, travel clinic or tropical institute.

Namibian custom officials require proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever.

Namibia’s climate can be extreme. In summer (November to February) it can be scorching in the interior and Namib Desert with temperatures of up to 50°C. This is also the rainy season and afternoon thunder showers can bring relief. In the northeast of the country, the summers are more humid. In winter (from May to September) the central plateau can be very cold at night with pleasant day time temperatures.

No smoking is allowed in the safari vehicle or in the rooms. While on the road, there will be frequent stops for smoking and bathroom breaks.

For most people it goes without saying that one has to comply with the laws and regulations of the country visited. Guests who do not comply, are responsible themselves for any consequences that might result. If any non-compliance has negative effects on the tour itinerary, continuous travel arrangements would be at one’s own account. Please accept that in such cases, refunds are not possible.

Please also comply with unwritten rules such as patience and courtesy towards government representatives and Namibians in general. Please always ask first before taking pictures of local people and respect their privacy.

When travelling anywhere, basic safety measures apply. Do not carry large sums of cash, be careful of your cameras, cell phones and jewellery and never leave valuables lying open in the safari vehicle. Carry cash and travel documents in a pouch on your body or leave in a lodge safe. Do not walk alone at night and be especially cautious when drawing money at an ATM. When in doubt, ask your guide.

Different safety measures apply when on a game drive in the bush. Always stay in the vehicle and only get out at designated picnic stops. Our safari vehicles have pop-up roofs to allow for safe photography – never get out of the vehicle to get closer to animals for a better photo. Wild animals can be dangerous, even if it does not look like it. Please do not feed the animals or remove plants, flowers, seeds or stones.

During a bush walk, do not approach the animals too closely just for the sake of a good photo and do not be loud as animals respond immediately to noise.

Always remember that your tour guide is a trained professional and knows the area well. For your safety (and that of the animals), follow the guide’s instructions at all times.

Voltage is 220 Volt and the South African plug with three round pins in a triangular pattern is used. The common two-pin plugs are not compatible and you will need an adapter. Our safari vehicles are equipped with 220 Volts electric sockets to charge cell phone and batteries while driving.

Should – against expectation – any problems arise while travelling, please speak to your guide right away. Only once your guide knows about problems of any kind, can these be rectified.

Speaking frankly will be to your advantage. If your objections are not met by immediate redress, please contact our office in Windhoek directly. We will do everything we can to rectify the situation immediately.