Tour type: Overland
Group size: Min: 4 | Max: 20
Accommodation: 2 to 4-star hotels, lodges & camps
Transport: Overland expedition vehicle, 4x4 safari jeeps
Highlights: Swakopmund, Brandberg rock paintings, Makgadikgadi Pans, Kalahari Desert, Etosha National Park, Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park, Victoria Falls (Activity Package required for some highlights)
On this 12-day Namibia and Botswana Safari holiday, you'll get to explore some of the most varied landscapes in Africa. Travelling from west to east, this tour starts in Swakopmund on the coast of Namibia and travels all the way to Victoria Falls on the border of Zimbabwe.
Your starting point on your Namibia Safari is the coastal city of Swakopmund, between the Namib plains and the high central plateau. Adding extra days here will give you the chance to get stuck in to some thrilling activities, such as skydiving, sandboarding and scenic flights above the stark landscape of the mountainous dunes. Our first highlight after departing Swakopmund is the towering rock formations of Spitzkoppe and then the famous rock paintings in the Brandberg Mountains. Next we take you to one of the best places in the world to see wildlife, Etosha National Park. After meeting local tribes, exploring Namibia's capital, Windhoek, and getting to see wild elephants, zebras, and hippos, we take you over the border for a Botswana safari.
The Okavango Delta is teaming with plant, bird and animal life and is the largest inland delta on the entire planet. Its unique positioning makes it ideal for supporting hundreds of species of wild birds and impressive land mammals such as lions, cheetahs, and giraffes. The Delta splits into thousands of smaller waterways, forming swamps, lagoons and small islands that we give you a chance to explore on and off the water. We spend a full day in the Delta and an optional upgrade package is available to fly in to a water based lodge for a more in depth experience.
Coming to the end of our trip, we take you to Chobe National Park, famous for its thriving elephant population, before venturing to the stunning Victoria Falls just over the border. These overland adventure safari holidays allow you to experience the diversity and uniqueness of the different regional cultures, discover the abundance of wildlife, and get your adrenaline flowing with exciting optional activities. Accommodation is in comfortable hotels, lodges and permanent camps and travel is on a specialist expedition vehicle with large windows, charging points and an experienced tour leader/driver and cook on board.
Note: the itinerary below is written with the optional Activity Package included.
The tour starts by leaving Swakopmund this morning so you will need to add at least one night here beforehand. To allow for delayed inbound flights and to get some time to explore Swakopmund we would recommend adding two nights.
We depart from the Stay@Swakop guesthouse at 07:00am sharp - please ensure you arrive here at least 30 minutes before this. You may book extra nights at as well as arrival airport transfers through us if you wish.
The tour starts as we head inland towards Khorixas, seeing the massive granite formations of Spitzkoppe which tower 700 metres over the desert and plains beneath them. We’ll take a walk with a local guide to see some examples of rock art which demonstrate how significant this area and these formations were to the San people who lived here in the past. Finally we continue to our overnight stop for the evening.
Included highlight: Guided walk in Spitzkoppe
Route: Swakopmund to Brandberg (via Spitzkoppe) (250km)
Brandberg Rest Camp or similar
Single Room Supplement (NAOVNB)
Extra day in Swakopmund - pre-tour
Arrival airport transfer in Swakopmund
Activity Package 2019 - Namibia & Botswana Uncovered
This morning we will take a hike of around 1 hour to the famous 'White Lady' rock painting, one of more than 45,000 rock paintings in the area. The terrain is rough and follows the gorge of the normally dry Tsisab River, with the Brandberg (Burning Mountains) which are regarded as the highest in Namibia, surrounding us.
Following our hike, we continue our journey to the Kamanjab area.
Included Highlight: Brandberg White Lady hike
Route: Brandberg to Kamanjab (220km)
Toko Lodge or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We start early this morning and head to Etosha National Park, one of Africa’s most famous destinations for game viewing with the sparse grasslands allowing great opportunities to see animals normally hidden in dense vegetation. We then have the afternoon to explore the edges of Etosha Pan on a game drive on our expedition vehicle as we head to our accommodation for the night. The raised height of the vehicle helps with visibility and seeing some of the abundant wildlife in the park. We’ll aim to stop at several waterholes during the way, where concentrations of game can often be seen.
Route: Kamanjab to Etosha National Park (200km)
Included Highlight: Afternoon game drive in the truck
Halali or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We have a full day on safari in Etosha today, exploring different parts of the park on the truck and searching for animals and birds we may not have seen yesterday.
Included highlight: Full day game drive in the truck
Okaukuejo or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We leave Etosha this morning and drive towards Windhoek, Namibia's capital city and also the cultural, social and economic centre of the country. On arrival in Windhoek we’ll take a short walk through the city centre to see some of its best known landmarks. We'll then return to our accommodation for the night which is normally situated half way between the city centre and the airport.
Route: Etosha National Park to Windhoek (420km)
Included highlight: Walk through Windhoek with your guide
Heja Game Lodge or similar
After an early start, we say goodbye to Namibia and travel east, crossing the Botswana border into the Kalahari Desert. While very different to the Namib Desert in Namibia, the Kalahari is still dramatic and covers nearly a million square kilometres. The San people have been associated with the harsh desert landscape here for centuries and this evening we experience some traditional tribal dancing from the local San community that also provides an insight into the songs and story telling that form part of their culture.
Route: Windhoek to Ghanzi (500km)
Included highlight: San Tribal dance in the evening
Ghanzi Trail Blazers or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We'll take a walk with local San guides this morning to learn how they use nature and their environment to survive in this harsh desert. We'll then drive to the outback town of Maun, known as the gateway to the Okavango Delta. Here you'll have the opportunity to take an optional scenic flight over the Delta (subject to arrival time and weather conditions). This evening we'll talk to our guide in peparation for our full day excursions into the Delta tomorrow.
An upgrade package is available which will fly into the Delta upon our arrival in Maun and then rejoin the group in the morning of Day 9. Luggage restrictions apply of 10kg luggage per person, no bottled water allowed. The airline requires the individual weight of all guests and their luggage prior to check-in to meet safety regulations for flight into and out of the Okavango Delta. Please take no offense to this as it is done for guests safety only.
Please contact us for more details of this Delta excursion
Route: Ghanzi to Maun (300km)
Included highlight: San guided walk
Optional activity: Okavango Delta scenic flight
Upgrade package: Okavango Delta Upgrade
Sedia Riverside Lodge or similar
Okavango Delta Upgrade
The Okavango has a strange and unique ecosystem with the annual rains in regions upriver on the Okavango River flowing down and into the delta where they fan out and create pools, streams and waterholes that vary hugely through the seasons. As a result, programs here are flexible to take account of the changing water levels.
One of the most rewarding and enjoyable ways to explore the waterways and lagoons is by mokoro. We'll leave Maun early and transfer by safari vehicle to the poling station (approx. 1 hour). Our polers will then steer us through serene reed-lined channels that open out into beautiful lagoons. A nature walk may be taken with your poler on one of the many islands, before we return by mokoro through the channels to the poling station. Mokoro trips like this are not primarily game viewing activities but a variety of animals and birds may be spotted on the way, including elephants, zebra, kudu and impala.
Route: Maun – poling station – Okavango Delta - Maun
Included Highlight: Okavango Delta Day Excursion
Sedia Riverside Lodge or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We leave Maun this morning after re-joining any people in the group who chose the Delta upgrade package. Today’s long drive carries us past the northern section of the Makgadigadi Pans en-route to Nata. Along the way we’ll look out for examples of the iconic Baobab tree and look out over the pans as they extend to the Suth. If we’re lucky, while we bisect the Nxai Pan and Makgadigadi National Park we may encounter some of the wildlife that make this huge protected area home.
If you add the Activity Package then a guided afternoon game drive is arranged to the Nata Sanctuary which is famous as the breeding ground for thousands of water birds, especially pelicans and flamingos.
Route: Maun to Nata (300km)
Activity Package: Makgadikgadi Salt Pans (Nata Sanctuary)
Nata Lodge or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Package 2019 - Namibia & Botswana Uncovered
It's another early start today for the drive north to the banks of the Chobe River. If you choose the Activity Package then we’ll then spend the afternoon exploring the park on a game safari in 4x4 vehicles which allow us to get up close to some of the many elephants that the park is famous for. The elephants like to spend time in the river in the afternoons and we’ll hope to see them enjoying themselves, splashing and washing. The day ends with a boat cruise looking out for hippos, buffalo and more elephants before dinner is served around the campfire.
Route: Nata to Kasane (300km)
Activity Package: Chobe National Park boat cruise, Chobe National Park Game Drive
Thebe River Lodge or similar
Activity Package 2019 - Namibia & Botswana Uncovered
We leave Chobe and its elephants today and cross the border into Zimbabwe for the short drive to Victoria Falls. Plenty of time is allowed for visiting the spectacular falls and watching the mighty Zambezi River crash down into the Batoka Gorge, creating clouds of steam and spray that rise up into the air. However, the town of Victoria Falls is a hub for a wide range of adventurous activities and there is time available this afternoon to take advantage of some of these if you wish (eg. White water rafting, bungee jumps, river cruises or helicopter flights above the falls). If you’d like to take things a bit easier, the town has craft markets and plenty of shops and cafes to browse and relax in.
Route: Kasane to Victoria Falls (100km)
Optional activities: Visit to the falls, Bungee Jump, Gorge Swing, Sunset Cruise, Helicopter Flights, Boma Dinner Experience
Victoria Falls Rainbow Hotel or similar
Although your tour officially ends after breakfast, many people will spend the day doing some safaris, white water rafting, taking a helicopter ride over the falls or relaxing after viewing the waterfall. Vic Falls offers many exciting activities so we recommend you add a post-tour night here.
Note: It is possible to book a 2 day Journey to Johannesburg, either Camping or Accommodated straight after this tour, as this is one of the cheapest ways to get from Victoria Falls to Johannesburg. Please contact us for more information. Our Big 5 Encounters tour from Johannesburg then also fits well after this trip, providing some great safaris in Kruger National Park.
Optional Activity: Visit to the falls, Bungee Jump, Gorge Swing, Sunset Cruise, Helicopter Flights, Boma Dinner Experience
Extra day in Victoria Falls - post-tour
Departure airport transfer in Victoria Falls
This tour forms part of our longer Grand Southern Safari tour which starts in Cape Town and travels through South Africa and Namibia before joining this tour in Swakopmund and continuing together to Victoria Falls.
Please aim to book well in advance to guarantee a place on your preferred date. You should also plan to add at least 1 extra day before & after the main tour dates (see Options tab for details and prices).
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.
Stay@Swakop Guesthouse lies in a quiet street of Swakopmund, yet it is only a three minutes' drive from the centre of town and close to the beautiful dunes of the Namib Desert.
Stay@Swakop Guesthouse lies in a quiet street of Swakopmund, yet it is only a three minutes' drive from the centre of town. The most stunning attraction of our Swakopmund establishment is the fact that it is situated so close to the beautiful dunes of the Namib Desert, which is said to be one of the oldest deserts in the world and further inland it boasts the highest dunes worldwide.
Our accommodation facilities are of the best on offer in Swakopmund. Our 2 family rooms, 8 twin rooms and 2 single rooms all provide television, wifi, safes, as well as a tea & coffee station and are all non-smoking rooms. The chic elegance of our rooms makes you want to sleep in.
Our garden is clean, neat and inviting to linger a little longer, especially in the lazy afternoons when the sun warms your mood. Have a sundowner and watch the dunes change colour and shape as yet another splendid day comes to an end. You might even be lucky enough to spot the odd Springbok or jackal walking the dunes before nightfall.
Rainbow is a stylish hotel within walking distance from the Victoria Falls, the town centre, close to the railway station as well as the commercial district.
Rainbow is a stylish hotel within walking distance from the Victoria Falls, the town centre, close to the railway station as well as the commercial district. This hotel offers incredible attention to detail, personal service and offers the base from which to pursue adrenaline pumping sporting activities.
It is easily reached by tarmac road and falls within the Victoria Falls district's confines. The distance from the lodge to the airport is roughly 25km and the town centre is a mere 4km away.
The lodge is located next to the Zambezi National Park and it's possible to spot some hippos, crocodiles or game coming in for a drink from the rooms. And if you'd like to see even more of these beasts, the nearby crocodile farm and various game parks offer good close-up views
All rooms have air conditioning, colour television, computer hook up, telephone, ensuite bathrooms, and enclosed balconies. Suites have, in addition, a separate lounge, mini bar and another TV lounge. The hotel has 88 rooms in total.
Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination youre visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.
All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.
Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.
The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.
The accommodation on this tour is designed to bridge the gap between a basic camping tour and an expensive lodge holiday. So, we use good quality hotels, lodges and camps rated at the local 2 to 4-star level, the majority of it en-suite. In some places more basic properties or permanent safari tents may be used. We aim always to use accommodation that is in keeping with the local area so there is a good variety. Local star ratings may vary slightly from international standards. Accommodation is based on twin or double en-suite rooms, chalets, bungalows or safari tents. All couples will be given a private double room. Friends booking together will also share a room. Single travellers will need to pay the additional single room supplement. At some of the places we stay basic camping is also available but the price of this tour is based on proper accommodation throughout.
Note - Accommodation providers are subject to change without notice. The properties listed are our preferred options, but sometimes due to availability or other issues with the property, we may substitute another property of similar standards.
Note - Single rooms are not generally available for the Okavagano Delta upgrade due to the size of the property visited. Instead, accommodation here is on a same-sex twin-share basis.
This tour is run in conjunction with our local partners in South Africa. You will travel in one of their specially designed overland trucks throughout this tour, giving you a great vantage point from which to enjoy the scenery and incredible wildlife. Our professional and knowledgeable local guides will help to make your experience unforgettable and fun. The maximum number of people on this tour is 20 (the trucks have 25 seats)
The vehicles we use are amongst some of the finest on the road. However, do not forget the nature of an adventure tour. This is not a bus trip. Nor do we provide up-market tours. These are still tours aimed at the adventurous traveller. Though the vehicles are comfortable with large windows and great visibility, there are no onboard toilets or air-conditioning.
Each expedition vehicle is fitted with the following:
Partaking in an adventure tour in Africa involves covering hundreds if not thousands of kilometres in a truck, and our tours are as much about this journey as they are about the destinations we visit. Use your time in the truck to talk to your fellow travellers, play card games, have a drink, walk around, take note of the world passing by your window and make the most of this unique opportunity to step out of your comfort zone.
Some roads you travel on will be smooth and easy while others could take up to an hour to cover 1 kilometre. There is just no telling what could happen with road, weather, traffic and other conditions that may exist that will either increase or decrease the amount of time you spend on the road so take your watch off, put your iPad away, turn off your phone and just relax. An average driving day could take anything from 5 to 14 hours in the truck, it all depends on the day.
The tour itinerary shows an indication of the distance to be covered on a particular day. Please don’t assume that your travel time will be equal to that which you can travel in your car on the autobahn… no, it will be much, much slower! We will stop for shopping, bathroom breaks, photo stops, activities and a whole lot more. If you are looking to only experience specific destinations and are not interested in the journey, perhaps overland adventures are not for you.
Some game safaris are carried out using 4x4 jeeps/safari vehicles - see your tour itinerary for details. These may be open-roofed or enclosed. You must not leave the vehicle or lean out through windows without express permission from the guide.
Due to the nature of the overland trip, the majority of your meals will be cooked by our cook and eaten beside the vehicle. Meals will not normally be eaten within the accommodation. The reason we run our trips in this way is that we feel it fits in better with this type of trip and it also helps to keep our prices competitive with other companies offering similar tours.
Breakfast: As breakfast is served very early in the morning (if there is driving or activities to be done) it is a simple but filling breakfast: Tea and coffee, breads and spreads, cereals, yoghurts, fruits and on occasion, when there is time for a later breakfast, guides will serve a hot breakfast of scrambled eggs, porridge, bacon or beans.
Lunch: Lunch is generally served at a picnic spot next to the road en route to a destination. As the guides only have approximately 45 minutes to get everyone off the truck, prepare lunch and then get everyone back on the truck again, lunches consist of sandwiches and salads (rice salad, pasta salad, tuna salad and green salad) which are quick and easy to prepare but which are quite filling. They do have meal plans which they should stick to, to ensure that there is variety on a day to day basis.
Dinner: This is when the guides get time to prepare a delicious meal and they focus on a substantial protein, vegetable and carbohydrate dinner. We serve traditional cuisine consisting of braais (BBQ), potjie (stew), bobotie (mince), spaghetti and fish and chicken dishes. All meals (on both accommodated and camping tours) that are included in the itinerary are prepared at the full service adventure truck. This is a unique adventure in itself where you get to dine under the stars with your new found friends and experience the real sights and sounds of Africa!
International Flights: We want to give you as much flexibility as possible when it comes to booking your holiday with us. So, to take account of people living in different places and with varying travel plans, except on some Escorted Tours and package promotions, we don’t include your international flights in the main tour price. We are however very happy to suggest flights to go with the tour. Please contact us with your preferred dates and departure airport and we’ll give you a selection of airlines, times and fares to choose from.
The vast majority of our tours are designed such that you can arrive and depart at any time on the first and last days of the set tour itinerary, with your arrival and departure airport transfers included in the tour price. However, on our Overland tours, you should not arrange your onward international flights or other travel for the day the tour is due to end (unless the final day does not involve any travelling and finishes after breakfast). Similarly, many of our Overland tours depart their first port of call on the first morning, and you will therefore need to plan for any flights to arrive at least one day beforehand.
Airport Transfers: Arrival and departure airport transfers are included on Small Group, Shoestring and Tailor-made tours but available as extra options on all our African Overland tours, as long as you have accommodation booked with us on that day. If you add extra accommodation before and/or after the tour that you do not book with us, then you will also need to arrange your own airport transfers.
Departure Taxes: Various countries may require that you pay an Airport Departure Tax when departing on an international flight. Please note that all departure taxes must be paid in hard cash currency and US Dollars are normally the best currency to use for this. Departure taxes can vary from US$10 - US$60 depending on the departure point.
We are committed to being a small group operator, as we feel this gives everyone in the group the best chance to get to know their fellow travellers and to hear and make the most of their guide. So, the expedition vehicles we use on our South & East Africa overland adventure tours have a maximum of 25 seats and on this tour will carry a maximum of 20 travellers.
In South & East Africa we provide fully trained, local English-speaking tour leaders, drivers and crew for all our tours. This tour will feature 2 crew – a driver, and assistant/cook who will help with washing up, clearing away, cleaning of the truck etc. You may assist with this if you wish, and a limited amount of help is expected and appreciated (eg. Washing your own plates & cutlery) but you are not obliged to do any more than that unless you wish to. During the tour we may also use a variety of local specialist guides for activities and tours included in the itinerary.
In general tipping in restaurants is expected and is around 10% for good service, more if you have received exceptional service, and, feel free not to tip at all if you received poor service. Tipping taxi drivers etc is really at your own discretion and not always expected. If in doubt please ask your guides. It is expected to tip porters and car guards etc. Ask your guides how much is appropriate in local currency. The recommended amount for Serengeti and Masai Mara guides is around USD5-7 per client per day.
Our guides do work hard but they are also paid at (and often above) industry levels for this work. Our Crew can be tipped if you feel that they have done a good job and/or gone above and beyond the call of duty. The best way to arrange tips is to elect one person in the group to collect the money. On Small Group & Shoestring tours we recommend around USD 3-5 per person per day per guide as a fair tip. On longer Overland tours we recommend USD1-2 per day per person, per guide as a fair tip. So if you have 2-crew on a tour, we would recommend that 2 envelopes are used and each crew member’s name written on one. Place what you feel is fair into each envelope and the elected person can give these to the crew at the end of the tour. If you do not feel that the crew deserve a tip, please, do not tip them. You must remember that tipping is only for exceptional service and is not at all compulsory or expected.
You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation.
Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination. You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions. In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for the countries in this region are:
South Africa: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Namibia: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from an infected area.
Botswana: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted or travelled through an infected area.
Zimbabwe: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Zambia: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Malawi: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Tanzania: Additional vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Kenya: Additional vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from an infected area.
Uganda: Additional vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid, Yellow Fever. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from an infected area.
Sudan: Additional vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid, Yellow Fever. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area. A certificate may also be required for those departing Sudan.
Morocco: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria not normally present. Yellow Fever certificate not required.
The above information can change at short notice. For up to date health information & vaccination requirements we recommend that you contact your medical practitioner or a travel clinic.
Malaria: Vaccinations are not available against Malaria, which is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes that can be very serious and sometimes fatal. You should avoid mosquito bites by covering up bare skin with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers and applying insect repellents to exposed skin. When necessary, sleep under a mosquito net. Mosquitoes are most active during and after sunset. You should consult with your GP/medical practitioner/travel clinic about the most appropriate malaria prophylactic medication to take for the regions you are visiting.Yellow Fever: This disease is spread by infected mosquitoes that bite during the day. A Yellow Fever Certificate of vacinnation may be required as a condition of entry depending on which country you are arriving from, or that you have travelled or transitted through recently (including connecting flights with stopovers of over 12 hours). You can view a World Health Organisation map of areas where the virus is present in monkeys and therefore a potential risk to humans. Please ensure you have this certificate with you and to hand if necessary.
Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disabilities that you may have.
If you are travelling on an Overland tour or your trip includes wildlife safaris then please bear in mind that you may be travelling on bumpy roads and/or rough ground for several hours at a time. This can be very uncomfortable or painful if you have a bad back, and make such conditions worse. Please contact us if you have any concerns.
On all our Overland tours we strive to strike a balance between including plenty of meals, tours and activities and being accessible and affordable.
The main tour price covers all your accommodation, transport, most meals and a range of tours and activities. We then offer an additional 'Activity Package' which includes a range of activities and tours which we consider to be strongly recommended to make the most of the destinations you will be visiting. Our itineraries are written with this optional activity package included, with notes on each day of the itinerary where this applies. While you can book these activities while you are on the tour, they are then subject to availability and if you know you would like to do them, we strongly recommend that you book and pay for the package in advance. You can do this any time before arrival.
Note: You may find that sometimes there is a difference between the price of our Activity Package and the price of the same options if you are able to book them locally. This can happen for several reasons; we set an annual rate while many of our suppliers have seasonal pricing; suppliers may charge in various different currencies, and we need to fix long term term exchange rates; and finally sometimes we may need to estimate prices where suppliers have not yet released them when our rates are published.
For those who want to have a more in depth lodge experience of the Okavango Delta in Botswana, we also offer a Delta Upgrade. This leaves the main tour on the day you arrive in Maun, flies into the Delta, and then spends 2 nights in a deluxe lodge with a package of safari activities included. You then fly back to Maun to rejoin the main group. This upgrade requires booking in advance to secure availability on the flights and in the lodge.
In addition, there are further Locally Available Options on this tour. These have been chosen to give you more of a taste of what is available in the region and sometimes to offer an adrenaline rush during a relatively sedate tour. All these local options are offered and operated by professional local activity providers and Encounters Travel is not responsible for your booking or time while taking any of these options. Prices for these options are given on our website, but please bear in mind that are given as a guide only and may very seasonally and can change from time to time. Availability is subject to seasonal daylight hours and our time-keeping that day.Please check the Options section for more information and prices.
Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities. Encounters Travel will not be held responsible if travellers are denied entry because they are not in possession of the relevant visas. We therefore recommend you re-check requirements with the relevant embassy/consulate around 4 weeks before travel.
You should also be in possession of a valid onward or return flight ticket, or proof of other means of transport enabling you to leave the country that your tour passes through or finishes in. In addition you should carry proof of sufficient funds to cover you during your time in the country (eg. credit card).
Should your tour be re-entering a country, please ensure that you have a multiple entry visa that allows this. Some countries have a visa on arrival service which can be more convenient and cheaper. However, for peace of mind and to speed up the border crossing process, Encounters Travel advises that you to get your visas prior to your trip if possible.
LUGGAGE ALLOWANCES: Most international airlines restrict you to between 20kg and 23kg per person of luggage to go in the hold of the plane. Domestic flights often have smaller allowances around 15kg. As airline rules vary we recommend that you take no more than 20kg of luggage if your tour just includes international flights, and no more than 15kg if there are any domestic flights included in your itinerary. Please ask us for details if you are unsure about luggage allowances on your tour. Any excess baggage fees will be your responsibility to cover. Most airlines allow between 5kg and 10kg for hand luggage so we suggest that you take no more than 5kg unless you have confirmed that your airline(s) will allow more than this.
OVERLAND AND SAFARI TOURS: Please keep in mind that these are adventure tours in an adventure vehicle (truck or 4x4) and luggage should not include any solid Samsonite style suitcases. On our accommodated overland tours most of our trucks have lockers for the luggage (locker sizes: 37,5 cm high, 32 cm wide, 80 cm deep). Only a soft bag will fit in these lockers. A suitcase is far more difficult to store and make secure in our vehicle and this is part of the reason we ask for a backpack or tote bag to be used as your luggage. The other reason is that you need to walk from the truck to the accommodation and often over sand or uneven terrain. Your luggage on our Overland tours is limited to ONE backpack and ONE daypack weighing no more than 20kg. As a general rule, if you cannot lift your own luggage - you’ve got too much stuff! Most people make the mistake of bringing too many clothes. A quick reminder - suitcases are not suitable on our overland tours – especially huge Samsonite-style cases! Small wheeled cases are OK for safari tours.
SUGGESTED PACKING LIST: Kit for all weather conditions including: • 2/3 shorts/skirts • 1 jacket/anorak • Tracksuit/pullover • 2 pairs of long pants/jeans • 2 pairs of walking shoes/boots/trainers • 1 pair of sandals • 3 or 4 T-shirts/short sleeve shirts or sundresses • 2/3 Long Sleeve Shirts • Smart casual change of clothes • Swimwear • Underwear & socks • Sun Hat – preferably that covers the back of your neck. • Raincoat • Kikoi/sarong
Your clothing should be easy to wash and dry and should preferably not need ironing. Avoid synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Many people underestimate how cold Africa can be – remember that jersey/jacket! There are also nights that are warm but you must still wear clothes that cover arms and legs from mosquitoes. Take a set of casual but smart clothes for the occasional evening out in a restaurant or club. If you wear glasses (or contacts) it is also advisable to bring a spare pair.
While on wildlife safaris it is important to wear dull coloured clothing - olive, mushroom, brown, khaki, stone are ideal.
You should avoid white (stands out too much), black or blue (attracts tsetse flies), and camouflage (illegal in many countries for civilians)
Additional Items: • Towel & facecloth • Baby wipes/ Wet Wipes • Personal toiletries • Sleeping bag • Torch & enough spare batteries • Camera & spare batteries and memory cards • Water bottle. (A 2-litre Coke bottle works well...) • Penknife • Insect and Mosquito repellent • Suntan lotion, sun block & after sun lotion • Sunglasses • Watch • Biodegradable laundry detergent • Passport (plus a copy of your passport & visas) • Extra passport photos • Vaccination certificate • Money • Travel plug • Neck pillow • Small sewing kit • Plastic bags • Clothes line and pegs • Small scrubbing brush • a small padlock for your luggage locker in the truck • Small basic First Aid kit (painkillers, band aids, after-sun lotion, eye drops, anti-diarrhoea tablets etc.)
DAY PACKS: Please check the itinerary for your specific tour if you will need a little daypack. For example on our Cape Town to Vic Falls overland tour you will need a smaller bag, big enough to bring basic equipment (toiletries and clothes) for 2 nights. The daypack is for your Okavango Delta Excursion, where you cannot bring your entire luggage.
If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You may make a deposit or full payment online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer (full payments are due 8 weeks before departure). We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer, or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.
Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...
You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.
Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.
Note - to comply with insurance sales regulations, our travel insurance policies are only available to customers booking directly with us. If you have booked through a travel agent you will need to arrange your own insurance.
If you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally, or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.
If you are taking expensive camera gear or other electronic equipment with you then please check the coverage and the fine print of your policy to ensure that you have sufficient cover.
IMPORTANT: We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour. If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.
We are a UK registered company and an ABTA Member (Y4447) and you can be confident when booking with us that your money is safe and protected.
Financial failure insurance is also provided through Affirma to protect all customers for the land portion of your tour.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.
It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.
All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).
You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')
It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.
General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.
You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.
Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Travel Aware' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.
Swakopmund - Day 2
Founded in 1892 by German settlers, Swakopmund was intended to be the main harbour of German South-West Africa. Increased traffic between Germany and its colony necessitated the establishment of a port of its own, as Walvis Bay, located 33 kilometres south, was in British possession. The choice fell to a site north of the Swakop River where water was readily available. There is a strong German architectural influence in the town, with its Bavarian-style buildings, including the Altes Gefängnis prison, designed by Heinrich Bause in 1909 and the Wörmannhaus, built in 1906 with a prominent tower, now a public library.
The area is called Swakopmund and is formerly known as ‘Tsoakhaub’. This word originated from the Namaqua culture. Directly translated, it means "excrement opening" which is an offensive but accurate description of the waters of the Swakop River when it flooded, carrying masses of mud, sand, vegetation and animal corpses to the Atlantic Ocean. The name was changed to "Swachaub" by German settlers and with the proclamation of Swakopmund as an independent district of German South-West Africa in 1896, the present way of writing Swakopmund (meaning Estuary of the Swakop in German) came into use.
Surrounded by the Namib Desert on three sides and the cold Atlantic waters to the west, Swakopmund enjoys a temperate climate. Rainfall is rare but the cold Benguela current supplies moisture to the area in the form of fog that can reach as deep as 140 km inland. The fauna and flora of the area has adapted to this phenomenon and now relies upon the fog as a source of water.
Swakopmund is well known for adventure sports including: skydiving, sandboarding and quadbiking. Your guides will be able to assist you in deciding on a suitable activity, alternatively, spend the day exploring the town and enjoying the various coffee shops and souvenir shops.
The Himba People - Day 3
The Himba are descendents of the Herero people and still speak a dialect of the old Herero language. There are about 20,000 – 50,000 Himba people living in the Kunene region, where they have recently built two villages at Kamanjab. The Himba are semi-nomadic pastoralists who breed cattle and goats in this dry, rugged, and mountainous area. They are some of the most photographed people in the world, due to their striking style of dress and their traditional lifestyle. Their appearance is characterised by scanty goat-skin clothing, and they are heavily adorned with jewellery of shells, copper and iron, according to the tribal hierarchy. The distinctive red colour of their skin and hair is a mixture of butter, ash and ochre (otjize) which protects them from the harsh desert climate.
Typically the women take care of the children, do the milking and other work, whilst men take care of the political tasks. The villages are made up of family homesteads – huts built around a central fire and livestock enclosure. Both the livestock and fire are pivotal to the Himba belief in ancestor worship, the fire representing ancestral protection of the living community.
Situated about 20 km outside of town, a guided tour around the village will not only give you an in-depth insight into the life and ways of the last traditional tribe in Namibia, the Ova-Himba, but an amazing photographic opportunity as well. You will find out about the milking ceremony, the smoke bath, be informed on the beliefs around the holy fire, ancestors and herbal medicine. You will also learn about the jewellery and hairstyles to imitate the status of each tribe member and their close relationship with nature, their cattle and children. The income generated from these excursions, helps to sustain the tribe from day to day, buying food and supplies, medicine (if necessary) and taking care of the children. Please take note that the village is not for show or a human zoo, you will be allowed inside these amazing peoples’ home and have a cultural exchange. Please respect their lives and ways as they would respect yours and in this way help preserve their culture and traditions.
Etosha National Park - Days 4-5
Etosha Pan National Park is a large endorheic salt pan which forms part of the Kalahari basin. It is a 120 km long dry lake bed, which is protected by the Etosha National Park home to some of the most phenomenal game viewing in the world. One of the elements that make the Etosha National park tours so memorable is that the camps sites within the park are built on the edge of water holes, so you can spend peaceful evenings with good company as the sun goes down watching the animals come down to the waterhole to drink. On the Nomad Etosha National Park tour we will take you on several game drives that utilise an elevated truck to provide the best possible game viewing. There are optional night drives for you to take part in, and although they are not included in the Etosha National Park tours they are highly recommended. The optional game drives are taken with expert guides who have an abundance of local knowledge. The Etosha Pan is a truly beautiful and unique place with game viewing that you will not see anywhere else in the world, the facilities are world class to make for a comfortable and memorable stay. The natural beauty and abundant wildlife will provide countless photo opportunities to make your friends jealous. Game viewing can never be offered with guarantees, as you are dealing with wild animals you can never be certain of how they will behave. We can guarantee that on our Etosha Pan national park tours you will meet people and have experiences with them that will form the basis of lifelong friendships.
Windhoek - Day 6
Namibia is one of Africa’s most beautiful regions – the desert landscape is a photographer’s dream; known for its sweeping, red-gold dunes, sparse vegetation and abundant wildlife. Windhoek is one of the country’s busiest cities – known for its alluring diversity and cosmopolitan feel, the metropolis attracts myriad visitors each year. Tours to Namibia are a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the area’s vibrant culture and heritage. Wonder through the town and gaze at an array of stately buildings, including the impressive parliament buildings and Hero’s Acre. If you’re historically inclined, then ensure that you pop into the plethora of museums on offer, including the National Desert & Delta – North 2015 14 days | NASV - Accommodated Last Updated: Jul 30, 2015. Downloaded: Aug 9, 2015 7 Library and National Art Gallery. If you’re in need of some rest and rejuvenation, then visit the serene National Botanical Gardens to immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the gorgeous grounds. Botanists will delight in the numerous plant species on offer which attract plenty of exquisite insects and prolific bird life. Windhoek offers a captivating blend of African and European influences – the country gained independence in 1990 and exudes its own unique character and charm. With a reputation for being extremely safe and well-cared for, this is a place where you can wonder around without feeling insecure and anxious. Make sure that your itinerary includes a trip to the smallest functioning cathedral in Southern Africa – St Georges, and look out for Das Reiterdankmal – a towering bronze sculpture of a horse commemorating those lost in colonial wars. Stroll down Robert Mugabe Avenue to admire Alte Feste – one of the city’s oldest buildings that was built in 1890. Once military headquarters, today, it serves as an intriguing state museum, housing an array of memorabilia that commemorates Namibia’s journey to independence. If you have little ones, then make sure that you visit the delightful Zoo Park which is an ideal hot spot for picnics. With a pond and a playground on offer, the beautiful park is sure to be a hit with your kids. Windhoek is an ideal place for families – with a reputation for being a close-knit, friendly community, the city has a host of amenities on offer for young and old alike. If you’re embarking on Windhoek tours, then make sure you see as many of the impressive, historically significant sites as possible.
Botswana - Day 7
As we cross the Botswana border we’ll start to see villagers, cattle, donkeys and sheep along the side of the highway. Sometimes the donkeys and cows sit in the middle of the road and any amount of horn blowing won't get them out of the road. Independent since 1966, Botswana (formally a British protectorate) has three of the world’s richest diamond mines and this has made Botswana quite a wealthy nation. Now 40 years old, it is known as the African success story. Politically stable and with the foresight to invest in education, healthcare, high economic standards and without the racial issues that have plagued other countries, Botswana has the best economy in sub-Saharan Africa. The government has employed a strategy of high income - low impact tourism. This is where they reduce the number of tourists entering any area of the country by charging a lot more than neighbouring countries, thereby making it more restrictive for the budget traveller.
Bushman (San) people - Day 7
The Bushmen of Southern Africa are the oldest indigenous inhabitants of Southern Africa and have lived off the land in symbiosis for hundreds of years. They have much to offer our modern way of living in terms of a sustainable existence with nature. Bushmen tours give you the opportunity to interact with this fascinating culture and get a true understanding of how they have survived in the harsh environment through an understanding of nature. The San people have inhabited large parts of Southern Africa including the regions and deserts of southern Namibia and Botswana. They are known colloquially as bushmen, this however is a broad term used to describe indigenous people of Southern Africa, the people native to the area that our bushmen tours stop in have, however, developed a way of life that is as unique. Our tours into Botswana are renowned as some of the most rewarding you can do, yet they can be so much more rewarding by taking part in one of the bushmen adventures with Nomad tours. Learning about local culture is an important aspect of travelling to any country. Many of our Botswana overland tours offer the opportunity to interact with a traditional village of San people that still live very much the way that they did many generations ago. It is not included in the tours and needs to be decided on before-hand. Some people feel it is unethical to treat the villagers as a spectacle however it provides an education for the visitors and much needed funding for the conservation of the area and their way of life.
Maun - Days 8-10
Maun, the fifth largest town in Botswana, is known as the tourism capital and the gateway to the Okavango Delta. It is an eclectic contrast of modern buildings and traditional huts. Now home to over 30,000 people, the town was founded in 1915 as the tribal capital of the Batawana people. It originally serviced the local cattle ranching and hunting operations of the area, and had a reputation as a hard-living ‘Wild West’ town. With the growth of the tourism industry and the completion of the tar road from Nata in the early 1990s, Maun developed swiftly, losing much of its old town character. However, it is still infamous for its infestation of donkeys and to lesser extent, goats. These animals can be seen wandering around freely as the local farmers arrive in the innumerable taxis to sell their wares on the kerbside. With the influx of tourism dollars, the typical traditional rondavels (round huts) of the past have been replaced by square but modestly sized cinderblock homes roofed with tin, or sometimes tiles. It is not unusual to see mud rondavels with satellite dishes, attesting to the increasing affluence of Botswana, and the increasing reliability of power and communications in the town. This striking contrast of the traditional and the modern is also evident in the multilevel air-conditioned shopping centres incongruously surrounded by potholes, dusty parking lots and lively market places.
Okavango Delta - Days 8-10
The Okavango Delta is Botswana’s most popular tourist destination. Every year, more than 11 cubic kilometres of water flow from the Okavango River into the Delta, irrigating more than 15 000 square kilometres of the Kalahari Desert, making it the largest inland delta in the world. Here, you’ll find yourself exploring a lush paradise home to Africa’s most beautiful wildlife and bird species while submersing yourself in pure tranquility and an African landscape unlike any Desert & Delta – North 2015 14 days | NASV - Accommodated Last Updated: Jul 30, 2015. Downloaded: Aug 9, 2015 9 other. Exploring the Okavango Delta is a must for any tourist visiting Botswana. Here, you’ll have an endless list of activities to participate in, truly making the most of your time in this paradise. Boat trips, canoeing and fly-overs are among the most popular, however you can also go fishing and walking safaris depending on the time of year. As the Okavango is a seasonal delta, you’ll find yourself facing a different environment during the summer and winter months. The rain falls at the beginning of the year. Explore the beautiful region of the Okavango Delta with us and see it’s beautiful wildlife, landscapes and be enchanted by its relaxed atmosphere and people.
Chobe National Park - Day 12
The Chobe National Park is situated in the north west of Botswana and is undoubtedly the country’s most beautiful and popular nature and game reserve. It has one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa, making it an ideal location for African safaris and its the third largest park in Botswana, after the Central Kalahari game Reserve and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The Chobe National Park can be divided up into four sections, making it a true rarity and an explorer’s paradise. It can be divided up into the Serondela area, Savuti Marsh area, the Linyanti Marsh and the dry hinterland. Wherever you go in the park, you’ll be able to observe a variety of wild animals and bird life, and can even explore an area in search of a Desert & Delta – North 2015 14 days | NASV - Accommodated Last Updated: Jul 30, 2015. Downloaded: Aug 9, 2015 11 specific animals or bird. There is an incredibly large elephant population in the Chobe National Park; tours through the park will show you some of the park’s 120 000 elephants. Nomad Tours will take you on the adventure of a lifetime through the Chobe National Park. Travel with us, and prepare to be enchanted and amazed by the abundance of wildlife in the park; embark on a sunset cruise, take the perfect wildlife photographs and watch a family of elephants playing in a waterhole.
Victoria Falls - Days 13-14
Victoria Falls is undoubtedly one of Africa’s most beautiful treasures. They border Zimbabwe and Zambia and are the region’s most visited tourist hotspot. The falls are by no means the world’s biggest waterfall, however their length and the vast volume of water which find its way to the falls via the Zambezi river makes them the world’s largest waterfall. Victoria Falls was named after Queen Victoria by the first European explorer who set their sights on them, David Livingston, however up until then, and still today locally, the falls were known to be The Smoke That Thunders, “Mosi-oaTunya”. The entire volume of water in the Zambezi river travels into Victoria Falls, flowing into its first gorge, creating a spectacle and a true sight to be seen. In fact, you don’t even have to be close by to the falls. Aptly getting its name as The Smoke That Thunders, the falls spray water into the air which can be seen for miles, including in the surrounding game reserves and national parks. Victoria Falls safaris are among the most popular activities to participate in when visiting the falls. Guests can embark on bush safaris – on foot, horseback or in a vehicle – and embark on a Zambezi cruise along the waters before the falls. While on these Victoria Falls safaris guests will have the chance to see crocodiles, hippos and other African wildlife. Travel to Victoria Falls with Nomad Tours for an unforgettable and inspiring vacation in Southern Africa. Not only will you be able to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a truly beautiful world heritage site, but you’ll be able to participate in exciting activities such as white water rafting, canoeing, bungee jumping, and an authentic Victoria Falls safari.
Namibia & Botswana Uncovered & Country Reviews
Posted 26th of Mar 2019
The trip was amazing. Just like I said overpriced
Posted 9th of Jan 2016
This was a holiday I had longed for since I was 5 years old. The Grand Adventure was certainly that! I managed to go inside the large pyramid and King Tuts tomb, visit Abu Simbal, Karnak, Edfu, Aswan, Luxor, Cairo, Petra, the Dead Sea, cruise on the Nile, ride camels, a donkey, horses, quad bikes, spider cars, shuttle boats, an hot air balloon and horse drawn carriges, swam in the Red Sea, got spoiled at spas and generally had a brilliant time. Saw and did so many things that had only been a dream before. Special thanks to tour organisers Ant in London, Khalifa in Cairo, guides Big Mo (our hero), Mohamad at Hurghada and Manseur David in Jordan. Thank you for the holiday of a lifetime ** Carolyn McKay
Posted 17th of Aug 2015
It was an amazing holiday and I thoroughly enjoyed it.