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Namibia & Botswana Family Adventure

21 days Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe
Adventure level: 
2. Gentle
5
3
Family Holidays | Min age 7yrs
Trip code: 
UDFA
Trip Highlights: 
Thundering Victoria Falls
Okavango Delta boat safari
Exploring the desert dunes
Game viewing including the Big 5
Flight Inclusive prices from
Child £2,654 Adult £2,949
Price includes flights, transfers, all accommodation and entry fees, as well as a selection of meals. More info »
Prices without flights from
Child £1,638 Adult £1,820
Price includes everything listed above, excluding flights and transfers.
View all dates/prices »

Itinerary

Trip Highlights: 
Thundering Victoria Falls
Okavango Delta boat safari
Exploring the desert dunes
Game viewing including the Big 5
Trip Overview: 

An epic overland journey that travels from the roaring Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, overland through Botswana into Namibia and ending in German inspired Windhoek. You will discover a variety of cultures, vast deserts, a sweeping coastline and view a variety of game reserves on the way. What an adventure!

Day
1-3
Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

Fly overnight to Zimbabwe. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe.

The Victoria Falls are an enormous curtain of water, about a mile wide, falling 108 m into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise up an incredible 400 m and the falls are an impressive raging torrent. The spray from the falls can sometimes be seen from kilometres away. It's no wonder that the local name Mosi oa Tunya means the 'smoke that thunders'. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and it's possible to see little islets in the river below.

Our campground is centrally located in the town of Victoria Falls, the perfect place to use as a base for the vast array of activities on offer in the area. Upgraded accommodation is available, please ask at reception.

Responsible Travel Note:
During your visit to the Victoria Falls area you may notice businesses offering an optional 'Walk with the Lions' experience. We recommend that travellers bypass this activity as it is contrary to Responsible Travel guidelines stating that we 'actively discourage the participation of groups in activities which exploit animals - wild or domestic.' Professional wildlife conservation organisations, including Born Free and the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), advise that habituating lions to humans can shorten their life and may result in lion-human conflict issues. While there is some merit in the argument that the money that you pay for the activity goes towards lion research, we feel that the negative impacts on the lions' rehabilitation far outweigh this.

Camping (with facilities) (2 nts) (B Dx2)

Day
4
Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park

Travel to Chobe National Park in Botswana (100 km, approx 3 hrs).

Botswana's first national park, Chobe, is perhaps best known for its high concentration of elephants, which can often be seen swimming in the Chobe River. The river also attracts wallowing hippos, a variety of birdlife, crocodiles sunning themselves by the water's edge, and cheetahs and lions which come down to drink.

During your visit to the park, you remain in the north near the Chobe River and take a boat trip along the river to see how many animals you can spot. If you would prefer, you can substitute an open-top jeep safari for the boat trip. Both the boat and jeep trips provide ample opportunity to take stunning wildlife photographs and have intimate experiences without disturbing the fauna.

Camping (with facilities) (1 nt) (BLD)

Day
5
Bagani

Bagani

Today you depart Chobe and have a long driving day of approximately 7 hours, crossing the border into Namibia. You reach the campsite late in the afternoon. Camp is at Bagani, which is situated in the unspoiled upper reaches of the Okavango Panhandle on Namibia's Caprivi Strip.

Sitting on the banks of the Okavango River, Bagani is a Namibian border town with plenty of river-based activities to enjoy.

The camp is set on an island under amazing trees with river frontage and surrounded by seasonally flooded swamps. The area is a paradise of flooded plains and swamps, teeming with wildlife and nestled between two national parks. There is the opportunity here to upgrade from a tent - perhaps try out a tree house or a bush hut.

Camping (with facilities) (1 nt) (BLD)

Day
6-7
Okavango Delta

Okavango Delta

You drive south into Botswana to Sepupa, where you leave the vehicle and board boats out into the swamps. Transfer by boat to Mokoba Island where you'll meet the mokoro team.  Board these small dugout-style canoes and be poled out into the reed beds of the delta. Each canoe takes two people and is poled through the meandering waterways by a local tribesman. Reeds and lily pads line the streams, and birds startled by the mokoros rise out of the long grasses. Punting along, the peace may be shattered by the deep grunting of hippos.

You'll be in the middle of a wilderness area but will stay in a permanent camp complete with a bar and facilities. All food will be provided by our local hosts and on the first night out you will camp out on an island away from civilisation. The next day after a morning briefing you step out and explore the island on foot followed by another mokoro trip to a different island for more game walks, lunch and then mokoro back to camp. You stay overnight on the island. The next day, head back up the Panhandle to Namibia and stay overnight in Rundu.

Formed by the Okavango River as it flows from the highlands of Angola down to a basin on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta is unlike anything else in the world. The river has no outlet from the desert and spreads out into thousands of small streams to form a wilderness that is totally unspoilt. The 16,000 sq km maze of wetlands is a wonderland of clear meandering waterways, green islands, lush plains and prolific wildlife. The delta is filled with a diversity of flora and fauna that includes hippos, crocodiles, elephants and the big cats. However, it's not for the game that you come as it can't always be found. The delta is about exploring one of the world's most fascinating ecosystems.

Camping (with facilities) (2 nts) (Bx2 Lx2 Dx2)

Day
8

Rundu

Today you meet your vehicle again and head back up the Panhandle to Namibia where you stay overnight in Rundu.

Located across the river from Angola, Rundu is a medium-sized town that is well-known for its wood carving and lively open market.

You camp overnight at the n'Kwazi Lodge.

Camping (with facilities) (1 nt) (BLD)

Day
9-10
Grootfontein

Grootfontein

Travel to Grootfontein and spend the night near a Bushmen homestead (400 km, approx 6 hrs).

Grootfontein is a pleasant market town with limestone buildings and tree-lined streets.

Visit a local San Bushmen community, which gives you the opportunity to go out tracking and gathering with the Bushmen and listen to the stories and songs of these fascinating people. The Bushmen are the oldest ethnic group in Namibia having inhabited Southern Africa for an estimated 20,000 years. Around 30,000 Bushmen live in Namibia, but only 2,000 of them still follow a traditional way of life. The Bushmen have a deep understanding of nature and the ecology, living in harmony with their environment.

Taking part in their everyday lives, you can help the men track animals and watch the women gather and prepare seeds and plants.

Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts, 1 night camping at the Bushmen village, then the 2nd night camping near Grootfontein) (Bx2Lx2Dx2)

Day
11-12
Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park

Travel to Etosha National Park.

Etosha National Park is home to a wide range of Southern Africa's wildlife, including all the big carnivores and five rare or endangered species: black rhino, Hartmann's mountain zebra, black-faced impala, roan antelope and the tiny Damara dik-dik. The wildlife is prolific and Etosha has every right to proclaim itself as one of the world's pre-eminent wildlife areas. Game viewing 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 usually allow for some sightings. Namibia has protected its game reserves against poaching so there are large herds of elephants, antelope and other herbivores.

You stay in the park at the Namutoni and Okaukejo campsites, both of which have excellent facilities and watering holes for wildlife viewing. You have two days here giving us plenty of time for game drives.

Camping (with facilities) (2 nts) (Bx2Lx2Dx2)

Day
13

Palmwag Desert Oasis

Travel to Palmwag Desert Oasis (370 km, approx 6 hrs).

The Palmwag area is home to the desert elephant. Travelling through this area you will have the opportunity to search for this elusive creature.

Set up camp in the oasis tonight.

Camping (with facilities) (1 nt) (BLD)

 

Day
14-15
Spitzkoppe

Spitzkoppe

Travel to Spitzkoppe (360 km, approx 5-6 hrs).

Visit one of the most stunning areas of Namibia, the wild lands around the mountain of Spitzkoppe - 'the Matterhorn of Namibia'. The mountain, which is 700 million years old, is 1987 metres (5857 ft) high. Although you shouldn't attempt climbing to the top, there are some excellent hikes and guided walks throughout the area, rich in plant life and with some amazing bush paintings. This is a place to get away from it all and to appreciate the stunning harsh beauty of this sparsely populated country.

Bush camp for the night in the midst of this remote region and have the chance to witness the breathtaking sunsets and sunrises as the landscape takes on remarkable oranges and reds.

Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts) (Bx2Lx2Dx2)


 

Day
16-17
Swakopmund

Swakopmund

Continue on to the town of Swakopmund (320 km, approx 5-6 hrs).

Stop en route to visit the amazing Cape Cross seal colony. As the Portuguese explorer Bartholemeu Diaz discovered 500 years before us, the cape is a breeding ground for Cape fur seals - it's now home to about 200,000 of them. Hyena and jackals wait on the edges of the colony for opportunities to steal pups while their mothers are at sea. It's important to bear in mind that while this is incredible and one of the 'must-sees' of the trip, it's quite a raw experience, very smelly and not everyone's cup of tea, so please don't go expecting idyllic scenes of seals basking on the shore!

Surrounded by the massive dune fields of the Namib Desert on three sides, and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, Swakopmund is an example of the extraordinary German culture that's found in all major settlements in Namibia. It's worth wandering around the town to admire the beauty of the Germanic architecture and take advantage of some excellent souvenir shopping.

Swakopmund has become the adventure capital of the region. This is a place for the adrenaline junky as there are some excellent adventure activities that you could try. Some of the most popular include sandboarding, quad biking across the beautiful dunes and tandem skydiving over the desert. Other activities here include deep-sea fishing, horse riding in the dunes, aerobatic flights, bike riding, dolphin cruises, paintball, uranium mine tours, pleasure flights around Namibia or balloon flights along the Skeleton Coast.

Your time here is free for you to explore the area, go to the beach, shop or participate in some of Swakopmund's adrenaline activities. For these nights you stay in permanent A frame dwellings in a bungalow setting.

Chalet (2 nts) (Bx2)

Day
18

Sesriem/Sossusvlei

It's an all-day drive from Swakopmund to Sesriem, your base for exploring the incredible Namib Desert region (350 km, approx 6-7 hrs).

The most famous part of the Namib Desert is its vast dune fields, the most spectacular of which are found near the Sesriem Canyon. This canyon was formed when the Tsauchab River carved a gorge 30 metres into the gravel deposits about 15 million years ago. It's thought that this river once flowed to the Atlantic Ocean but its course was blocked by the encroaching sand dunes. Now the river flows out to the dune fields that stretch for hundreds of miles up the coast, and dries up in a clay pan at Sossusvlei. The dunes are stunning, with magnificent red/orange tones from the brightly coloured sands. They are the highest in the world and home to a plethora of animal life.

Venture into the heart of the Namib where there's an opportunity to explore the dunes on foot, enjoying a fascinating desert walk around the scenic sandy desert surroundings.

Also visit the renowned Dead vlei and Sossusvlei ancient lakebeds in the middle of the desert with scattered skeleton camel thorn trees dating back over 1,000 years.

Camping (with facilities) (1 nt) (BLD)

Day
19
Windhoek

Windhoek

Travel to Windhoek - the capital of Namibia (300 km, approx 5 hrs).

The old German colonial town of Windhoek has been blended into a modern city. The German architecture of the older buildings lends the town a historic atmosphere. Good examples of this German architecture can be seen in a number of buildings but the best are the Tintenpalast (Ink Palace), the Christuskirche (church), the gymnasium and the Genossenschaftshaus.

Hotel (1 nt) (B)

Day
20-21

Tour ends

There are no activities planned for the final day. Those on group flights will be transferred to the airport to catch their overnight flight back to London.

Victoria Falls

Your family overland adventure holiday begins at the incredible Victoria Falls. Here you’ll get soaked by the spray as the Zambezi crashes into the Batoka Gorge, and perhaps take an optional helicopter ride (additional charge) for a spectacular birds-eye view. You will soon discover why this place was called "the smoke that thunders".

Discover Botswana

Chobe National Park provides great elephant viewing as you take a river cruise, watch out for hungry crocodiles on the banks too. Okavango Delta is a unique water based experience, board your mokoro canoe and glide silently along the canals keeping your eyes peeled for wildlife. Camping on a remote island is an unfortgetable experience for all ages.

Explore Namibia

Learn about the culture and traditions for the San Bushmen. Go game viewing in Ethosha National Park where you may spot rhino, springbok, giraffe and zebra. Enjoy adventure activites at coastal Swakopmund and see the smelly seal colony. Explore the desert region with its huge dunes and vast landscape that magically change colour with the sunlight, before ending your trip in Windhoek.

Our  Namibia & Botswana Family Adventure Southbound trip is just one of our many Africa Family tours. To find out more visit our Africa holidays page.

What's included: 

Transport - Overland vehicle, boat, mokoro

Accommodation - Camping (with facilities) (11 nts), Camping (with basic facilities) (4 nts), Chalet (2 nts), Hotel (1 nt)

Meals - 17 breakfasts, 13 lunches & 15 dinners

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