Overview of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari

The 16 Days / 15 Nights Namibia Botswana Safari covers the exciting destinations of Namib – Swakopmund – Twyfelfontein – Etosha National Park – Mahango Game Reserve – Okavango Delta – Chobe River Front and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.  The Safari combines the three African prime destinations of Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

 Safari Highlight of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari

Day 1 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari: Namib Desert Lodge, Gondwana Collection Namibia, Namib

Day 2 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari: Swakopmund Sands Hotel, Swakopmund

Day 3 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari: Another day in Swakopmund – Swakopmund Sands Hotel

Day 4 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari:  Twyfelfontein Country Lodge, Twyfelfontein

Day 5 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari:Okaukuejo Resort, Etosha National Park

Day 6of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari:Another day in Etosha National Park, explore Etosha west – Okaukuejo Resort

Day 7 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari: Mushara Lodge, Etosha National Park – Explore Etosha East

Day 8 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari: Mahangu Safari Lodge, Mahango Game Reserve

Day 9 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari: Another day in Mahango Game Reserve – Mahangu Safari Lodge

Day 10& 11 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari:  Oddballs’ Camp, Explore the great Okavango Delta

Day 12 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari:   Transfer to Chobe Safari Lodge – explore Chobe River Front

Day 13 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari:  Another night at Chobe Safari Lodge – explore the great Chobe National Park

Day 14 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari:Transfer to Zimbabwe A’Zambezi River Lodge, Victoria Falls

Day 15 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari: Another day at A’Zambezi River Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Day 16 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari: Departure

Detailed Safari Itinerary of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari

Day 1 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari: Namib Desert Lodge, Gondwana Collection Namibia, Namib

The Namib is the oldest desert and boasts the highest sand dunes in the world. This region is one of the most spectacular areas of Namibia and always one of the highlights of any safari. The name Sossusvlei refers to the vlei or pan into which the seasonal Tsauchab River flows in years of exceptional rainfall. The neighbouring Dead Vlei with the ancient dead Camel Thorn trees is one of the most photographic sites in good early morning light. The Sesriem canyon is a narrow gorge about 1 km long and is well worth a visit. Several desert adapted wildlife like oryx, springbok, black-backed jackal, ostrich, sociable weavers and plenty of reptiles and small mammals call this place home.

Although it stretches along the entire length of Namibia’s coastline, the Namib commonly refers to the vast sea of sand from Luderitz to Swakopmund. For a big sandy desert, the scenery is remarkably varied, with the giant red dunes of Sossusvlei being the most famous part. Because of how old it is the Namib is home to numerous species that don’t occur elsewhere and although no humans live in the desert an amazing array of flora and fauna manages to survive here. Famous species include the Welwitschia – a living fossil plant, endemic chameleons, fur seals along the coast, brown hyenas, jackals and remarkably one of Africa’s largest antelope the Gemsbok. The name Namib is of Nama origin and means “vast place” and vast it certainly is.

After meeting your guide at either a Hotel in Windhoek or at Hosea Kutako International Airport in the morning we will depart for Sossusvlei. We will drive through the KhomasHochland and down the escarpment via one of the scenic mountain passes into the Namib Desert. This journey will take about 4 hours depending on the number of stops for photographs. After lunch and settling in at the lodge we will depart for a late afternoon scenic nature drive. Dinner and accommodation will be at one of the best lodges in the area perfectly situated to explore the surrounding desert and its attractions.

Accommodation: Namib Desert Lodge, Gondwana Collection Namibia

Day 2 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari: Swakopmund Sands Hotel, Swakopmund

Swakopmund is a very popular holiday destination for many Namibians and will probably be the only place that you will visit on the Namibian safari that has a real town feel to it. Wedged between the Namib Desert and the cold Atlantic Ocean, Swakopmund which is known for its very relaxed atmosphere, has something for everybody. There are plenty of great restaurants and bars, good shopping opportunities and fascinating architecture. For the adventurous there’s quad biking, sand-boarding, skydiving, beach angling and scenic flights over the coastline and Sossusvlei to name a few. The nearby Walvis Bay, Namibia’s major harbour town is well known for the lagoon and its prolific birdlife.

Founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South West Africa, Swakopmund is often described as being more German than Germany. Now a seaside resort, Swakopmund is the capital of the Skeleton Coast tourism area and has plenty to keep visitors happy. The quirky mix of German and Namibian influences, colonial-era buildings and the cool sea breeze make it very popular.

After an early breakfast and coffee, we will depart for a morning excursion to Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei. We will stop at the scenic Dune 45 along the way and spend a couple of hours at both Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei before enjoying a picnic breakfast between the dunes. Some of the dunes in the area are a few hundred meters high but the view from the top for those that dare is one you will never forget. On the way, back to our lodge we will stop at the ancient Sesriem Canyon where the Tsauchab River drops down 30 m before continuing to Sossusvlei. We will return to our lodge for lunch after which we will depart for Swakopmund via the Namib Naukluft National Park.

Dune 45

Named for its location 45 kilometres past the town of Sesriem, Dune 45 is renowned for its elegant shape, which – along with its position close to the road – have earned it the distinction of ‘most photographed dune in the world’. If you’re not keen for the strenuous hike to the top of Big Daddy, Dune 45 is a more forgiving alternative, standing at only 80 metres and featuring a much gentler gradient.

Sossusvlei – The Red Dunes

This magnificent desert wilderness of vast, rust-coloured sand dunes, clay pans and petrified forests lies in the Namib-Naukluft Park. Formed over countless centuries, some of the dunes measure up to 300 metres in height and are among the highest in the world. In the rare event of an especially wet rainy season, the ‘vlei’ – meaning marsh or wetland – of Sossusvlei fills up with water, and its glistening surface forms a strikingly beautiful contrast with the reddish dunes.

Accommodation: Swakopmund Sands Hotel

Day 3 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari:  Another day in Swakopmund – Swakopmund Sands Hotel

After a relaxing breakfast we will depart for a half day living desert adventure where we will learn more about the fascinating desert plant and animal life. We will search for side-winding snakes, scorpions, burrowing lizards, spiders and beetles. We will return to Swakopmund in time for lunch and then you have the afternoon at leisure. We can help organize Quad-biking and sand-boarding in the dunes, scenic flights, curio shopping or just explore the beautiful architecture of this fascinating town with its great coffee shops and restaurants.  We will stay in the same hotel.

Living Desert Tours

The Living Desert Tour is a unique 4×4 adventure which specializes in bringing the desert to life while sharing the awesome beauty of the Namib Desert with travellers from all over the world. The coastal dune belt may seem barren and lifeless to many people, but in fact it is alive with a fascinating variety of little desert adapted animals, which are able to survive on the life-giving fog which consistently rolls in from the cold Atlantic Ocean.

Come see the Dancing White Lady Spider (Carparachneaureoflava) cartwheel 44 turns per second down a dune to escape the enemy. Admire the transparent Namib Dune Gecko (Pachydactylusrangei) with webbed feet that are equivalent to snow shoes. Learn about the different beetles and insects and how they survive in the dune desert. Follow in the tracks of a legless Lizard (Fitsimmon’s Burrowing Skink), observe Sand Diving Lizards (MerolesAnchieta) dancing on the hot sand, Sidewinder Snakes (Perinquey’s Adder), Desert Chameleons and many more fascinating creatures. Learn about the geology, structure and formation of the desert, and admire the vast and beautiful landscapes while enjoying a scenic dune drive combined with fun and adrenalin.

Accommodation: Swakopmund Sands Hotel

Day 4 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari:   Twyfelfontein Country Lodge, Twyfelfontein

Today we continue our safari northwards along the Skeleton Coast. After visiting a shipwreck and the massive Cape Fur Seal colony at Cape Cross Seal Reserve we will turn inland towards Damaraland. We will drive past the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain with the highest peak at 2573 meters. We will be at our lodge in time for lunch and then use the afternoon to explore this unique area that is considered by most to be the most scenic and dramatic landscape in Namibia

Damaraland is famous for its geological rock formations and we will visit the burnt mountain, organ pipes and Petrified Forest where we will also find the Namib’s living fossil plant, the Welwitschia mirabilis. We will visit Twyfelfontein where you find thousands of rock engravings and is Namibia’s only world heritage site. We will be on the lookout for the famous desert adapted elephants that manage to survive in this hostile environment. These majestic giants move up and down the dry riverbeds in search of food and water. It is a real humbling experience for those lucky enough to see them.

Twyfelfontein is a site of ancient rock engravings in the Kunene Region of north-western Namibia.

Twyfelfontein Rock Art

Twyfelfontein is a World Heritage Site boasting one of the richest rock art concentrations in Africa. Thousands of tourists come to this site each year to view some 2, 500 Stone Age rock engravings. The area is home to 17 rock art sites, which collectively encompass 212 engraved stone slabs. There are an additional 13 sites displaying rock paintings.

Accommodation: Twyfelfontein Country Lodge

Day 5 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari: Okaukuejo Resort, Etosha National Park

From here we will depart for Etosha National Park where will spend the next 3 nights. Etosha is one of Africa’s biggest and best National Parks and one of the main tourist attractions in Namibia. It is 22 912km2 in size of which the Etosha Pan, a shallow depression that only holds water after good rainy seasons, is 5000km2 in size. Etosha is known for its spectacular game viewing and the waterholes attract huge numbers of game in the dry season when all the open water has dried up. 114 Species of mammal are found in the park and it is the best place in the world to see Black Rhino. Other game include elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, giraffe, honey-badger, black-faced impala, kudu, eland, damara dik-dik, warthog and big herds of springbok, zebra, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest and oryx. More than 300 species of birds are found here and it is brilliant for finding raptors. One of the highlights of the park is flood-lit waterholes at the 3 main camps where game viewing continues long after the sun has set. We will do morning and afternoon games drives and relax at the pool or camp waterhole between drives.

The Etosha National Park is Namibia’s premiere game viewing experience, situated in the northwest of Namibia and is an area well known for its wildlife.  Vegetation ranges from dense bush to open plains attracting a diversity of wildlife. In the heart of the Park is The Etosha Pan – a shallow depression that covers an area of 5000sq kilometres. Dry and shimmering for most of the year, the pans fill up with water after good rains to a depth which is seldom deeper than 1m.  In the dry season wildlife is attracted to perennial springs and waterholes that makes for excellent game viewing.

Within the park are three large public rest camps catering for the more budget orientated traveller. There are several smaller establishments on the outskirts of the park on private land offering a more intimate and comprehensive experience. All of these establishments offer excellent value for money.

Accommodation: Okaukuejo Resort

Day 6 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari: Another day in Etosha National Park, explore Etosha west – Okaukuejo Resort

We will do morning and afternoon games drives and relax at the pool or camp waterhole between drives

Etosha West

The area and vegetation is very different to the south-eastern and eastern part of the park and the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra can be found here.

In this area and with a more undulating landscape, it makes for a very different wildlife experience. White dust and clay which makes up the Etosha Pan turns to a reddish-brown soil during this time which may lead you to believe you have entered an entirely new park when you visit.

Day 7 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari: Mushara Lodge, Etosha National Park – Explore Etosha East

From here we will make our way across the park in a full morning game drive to Mushara Lodge on the eastern boundary where we will spend the next night. I love this lodge and park of the park with excellent game viewing and am sure you will enjoy this as well.

Etosha East

In the vast arid space of Northern Namibia lies one of Southern Africa’s best loved wildlife
sanctuaries. The Etosha National Park offers excellent game viewing in one of Africa’s most
accessible venues. Zebra and springbok are scattered across the endless horizon, while the many
waterholes attract endangered black rhinoceros, lion, elephant and large numbers of antelope.
Etosha, meaning ‘place of dry water’, is encloses a huge, flat calcrete depression (or pan) of about
5 000km². The ‘Pan’ provides a great, parched, silver-white backdrop of shimmering mirages to anarea of semi-arid savannah grassland and thorn scrub. The pan itself contains water only after verygood rains and sometimes for only a few days each year, but is enough to stimulate the growth of ablue-green algae which lures thousands of flamingos.

Accommodation: Mushara Lodge

Day 8 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari: Mahangu Safari Lodge, Mahango Game Reserve

After breakfast and a morning game drive in Etosha we will depart for the Caprivi, one of Namibia’s hidden secrets. The Caprivi with its lush green woodland and big rivers are completely different to what we experienced in Etosha. We should arrive at our lodge which is situated on the banks of the mighty Okavango River by late afternoon. The lodge is also situated right across from the Buffalo section of Bwabwata National Park and we will hopefully see elephants, buffalo, kudu and other game coming down to drink while enjoying a sun-downer drink. We will enjoy a good night’s rest after the day’s journey while listening to the sound of hippos

Mahango Game Park is a small park, a short drive south of Popa Falls, on the border with Botswana. As Popa Falls is a natural point to break the long journey between Rundu and KatimaMulilo, Mahango Game Park should be considered for inclusion in the itinerary. Driving the route through the park will take approximately half a day. In order to drive the full circular route, an off-road vehicle will be needed. There is a shorter route which can be driven by a sedan in the dry season. The effort of visiting the park will be rewarding in terms of wildlife and bird watching. The Mahango Game Park has a high number of elephants, as well as fair numbers of antelopes which are scarce or not seen in other parts of Namibia. These include the roan and sable antelope, tsessebe and the red lechwe. The park is also home to a number of sitatunga, however these antelopes are very scarce, and sightings will be excellent luck. The best time to see elephants and antelope will be during the dry season. Part of the park borders on the Kavango river, so the possibility of seeing crocodiles exists. In order to see hippos, the traveller should book a nocturnal game viewing trip, as hippos are nocturnal creatures. The best time for game viewing is in the dry months between March and October. The Mahango Game Park is an excellent destination for bird watching. It has three different habitats: the Kavango River, the flood plains, known as omurambas and woodlands, so a wide spread of species can be seen. The best time of year for bird watching is in the rainy months from November to February.

Accommodation: Mahangu Safari Lodge

Day 9 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari:  Another day in Mahango Game Reserve – Mahangu Safari Lodge

After breakfast we will do a mixture of game drives in Mahango and Bwabwata National Parks and a boat cruise on the Okavango River if we didn’t do one the previous afternoon. Both these parks are well known for their big buffalo herds and plenty of hippos. Other game that we might see includes elephant, lion, leopard, wild dog, impala, kudu, lechwe, giraffe, warthog, sable, roan, zebra, reedbuck and bushbuck to name a few. Between game drives we will have lunch and relax at our lodge while enjoying the beautiful view of the mighty Okavango River. Other additional activities that could be arranged include a mokoro trip or trying your hand at catching the legendary tiger fish.

Accommodation: Mahangu Safari Lodge

Day 10 & 11 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari:   Oddballs’ Camp, Explore the great Okavango Delta

After breakfast we will make our way to Maun airport from where you will be transferred (around 2 pm) in a plane over the Okavango Delta to your lodge deep within the Delta where you will spend the next two nights. Since the lodges are situated deep within the Delta and permanent waters you will have the ultimate Delta experience where the activities consist of mokoro trips and game walks in one of the best game viewing areas of the Delta.

Lying in the middle of the largest expanse of sand on earth the Okavango Delta is one of Africa’s most amazing, sensitive and complex environments supporting a spectacle of wilderness and wildlife. Unique as one of the world’s few inland deltas, the placid waters and lush indigenous forests offer a safe haven for innumerable bird and wildlife species. The Okavango Delta offers a number of activities for the visitor; game viewing, birding and fishing are all on offer. One can experience this magical world of islands and waterways from land, air and water.

Highlights include the elusive Sitatunga antelope which has found refuge in this pristine wetland ecosystem, while birds such as the African fish eagle, Pel’s fishing owl and many others provide a spectacular display.

Accommodation: Oddballs’ Camp

Day 12 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari:   Transfer to Chobe Safari Lodge – explore Chobe River Front

After a leisurely breakfast we will make our way towards the airstrip for the connecting flight to Kasane. Our lodge is situated in Kasane which is a small-town bordering Chobe National Park and is the perfect base from which to explore this park. It is not uncommon to have wildlife walking right through the middle of town.

The Chobe River forms the northern boundary of the Chobe National Park, renowned for its reliable and diverse game viewing. Safaris are conducted both by boat and on land.  This section of the park is best known for its elephant and hippo populations but the waters attract all manner of game including large herds of buffalo and the lions that prey on them.

Accommodation: Chobe Safari Lodge

Day 13 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari:  Another night at Chobe Safari Lodge – explore the great Chobe National Park  

This whole day will be dedicated to explore Chobe National Park. We will do a game drive and a boat cruise with a stop for lunch in between. Chobe has the highest concentration of elephants in the world as well as one of the highest wildlife concentrations on earth. Besides all the elephants we will also try and find buffalo, sable, wild dog, puku (southernmost limit of its range), lechwe, lion, leopard, hippo, crocodile, bushbuck, waterbuck, giraffe and huge zebra herds. Elephants crossing, playing or swimming in the Chobe River is a sight you will never forget.

Accommodation: Chobe Safari Lodge

Day 14 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari: Transfer to Zimbabwe A’Zambezi River Lodge, Victoria Falls      

After breakfast you will be transferred across the border into Zimbabwe which will be your third and last country that you will visit on this safari. It is a short drive of about 70 km and continue to keep an eye open for wildlife along the way. After arriving in Victoria Falls you will continue straight to your lodge which is situated close to the falls which is also known as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – The Smoke that Thunders. It is one of the most beautiful and most majestic waterfalls in the world and it is not difficult to see why the Victoria Falls are one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. After lunch and settling into your lodge you will have the afternoon open for any activities which is not included in the price

Resting on the southern banks of the Zambezi river at the western end of the eponymous falls, this popular tourist town is compact enough to walk around and makes an ideal base for travelers exploring the seventh wonder of the world, the unfathomably vast Victoria Falls. About two thirds of the falls can be viewed from the Zimbabwean side and, while the falls are undoubtedly the star attraction, the area provides both adventure seekers and sightseers with plenty of opportunities to warrant a longer stay. Popular activities include scenic flights over the falls in helicopters or micro lights, bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge, white-water rafting (seasonal), and day trips to Chobe National Park. The town itself offers some excellent accommodation and restaurant options as well as an eclectic variety of African curios and authentic art sold by friendly Zimbabwean locals who are wonderfully welcoming and eager to help you enjoy your stay.

Accommodation: A’Zambezi River Lodge

Day 15 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari: Another day at A’Zambezi River Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

A day at leisure enjoying a tranquil African relaxation experience

Accommodation: A’Zambezi River Lodge

Day 16 of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari:  Departure

After a relaxing breakfast and depending on your flight times you will be transferred to Victoria Falls International Airport directly by the lodge in own arrangement.

End of the 16-Day Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls Spectacular Safari

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