Ditch the Instagram filters. They won¡¯t be necessary as you venture through the picture-perfect landscapes of South West Africa on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure! Embrace the magic of this diverse continent as you experience the calm waters of the Okavango Delta, the thundering Victoria Falls, game viewing experiences at Etosha, Matobo, Chobe and Kruger National Parks and the giant sand dunes in Africa¡¯s ancient desert. Even after 25 days, you¡¯ll be wanting more (trust us).
Touch down in Pretoria, meet your new Topdecker BFFs and get excited for the adventure ahead! Starting out early, we’ll hit the road in style (and by style, we mean fully equipped safari truck) to Hazyview, where a cultural Shangaan dance show awaits. Kruger is South Africa’s premier national park – and, in connection with parks in adjoining Mozambique and Botswana, it covers a whopping 24,000 square kilometres of land used for the protection of African wildlife. Wowee.
Get your camera at the ready! Today we’ve got a full day’s game drive in store, so keep your eyes peeled for the Big Five (lions, elephants, buffaloes, rhinos and leopards). Want more? Well, you could be lucky enough to see giraffes, hippos and zebras, too! Nothing will prepare you for the first time you spot these incredible creatures in the wild. Expect goosebumps, and lots of them. If you want, you can even opt in to do a game drive after dark tonight.
After leaving Kruger we’ll shimmy north and spend the night near the Limpopo River in Tshipise.
When we’ve got the formalities over with at the border post, we’ll rock and roll into Zimbabwe and make a beeline for Matobo National Park, near Bulawayo. This place is home to a wide variety of animals, including black and white rhinoceroses, zebras, wildebeest and giraffes.
The wind-sculpted Matobo Hills are the site of numerous Bushman paintings, so it’s no surprise this area holds a special cultural and spiritual importance to the indigenous people. Keep an eye out for beasties, ‘cos today we’ve got a half-day game drive in store – or, if you fancy it, you could opt in to extend the experience with a full-day upgrade.
Next up: adventure-loving Livingstone, where we’ll visit the thundering Victoria Falls. At over a mile wide, the falls form the largest curtain of falling water in the world, with spray visible from 20 kilometres away – hence the local name Mosi-oa-Tunya ('the smoke that thunders').
This is Africa’s adventure capital, so get out there and make the most of it! We’ve got optional whitewater rafting, gorge swinging and even bungy jumping to fulfil all of your adventure needs. If you want to take it easy, you could go fishing or take a sunset cruise on the Zambezi (both optional).
Chobe National Park’s up next. First things first: a fish eagle boat cruise! Try and catch a glimpse of the sneaky bird (and other varmints too). They’re out there. We know they’re out there (eyes emoji).
Today we’ll leave Kasane and make our way south, hugging the fringes of the dry and dusty Kalahari Desert on the way to our campsite near Nata.
Maun is the fifth largest town in Botswana, and is packed with an eclectic mix of modern buildings and native huts. We’ll stay here for the night before pressing on to the Okavango Delta tomorrow.
When we get to the Okavango Delta, we’ll travel by mokoro (dugout canoe) past giant lily pads and tall grasses in search of hippos, crocodiles and a variety of birds. After settling into our island tented camp, we’ll explore the area on a walking safari. Anyone for critter bingo?
Back to Maun! Spend the rest of your time here on your own watch, taking in the awesome natural scenery from camp.
In Ghanzi, we’ll head out on a guided Kalahari Bushman walk and discover how the locals manage the resources around them to the max. Tsamma melon, anyone? FYI: Your support of this ecotourism venture will give the Bushmen a sustainable income (plus, it helps keep their culture alive). It’s a win-win!
Departing Ghanzi, we’ll head south to Windhoek – the capital of Namibia. Quick fact: Windhoek is home to approximately 200,000 people (an extremely small capital by global standards). Pro tip: take the opportunity to check out one of the local restaurants or visit the famous Joe’s Beer House tonight.
Today we’ll make our way north to Etosha National Park. After pitching our tents near a floodlit waterhole (OMG), we’ll embark on a short afternoon game drive. As dusk falls, keep your eyes peeled for a range of nocturnal visitors – including elephants, giraffes, zebras, hyenas... and even lions!
Etosha National Park = the ultimate game viewing destination. Picture this: a barren landscape full of flamingos and pelicans, surrounded by nothing but native bush, scrubland and saline lakes. Trust us, this place is magical! Keep watch for more of the local residents on today’s game drive.
Our next stop is Spitzkoppe, where we’ll take a closer look at the ancient bushman paintings that are still visible on the area’s peculiar rock formations. The rocks peak at approximately 2,000 metres above sea level, making for some ah-mazing views – one of the most impressive being the 'Bushman Paradise' cave (Google it).
Next up: a few days of adventure activities in Swakopmund. Wanna tick off some bucket list items? This is the place to do it!
Swakopmund is Namibia's main seaside resort, sandwiched slap bang between the desert and the ocean. Make the most of your time here with a spot of quad biking, sandboarding or skydiving (weather permitting). Not your thing? Steal a moment to yourself and take a look at the town’s many shops, restaurants, museums and art galleries – or simply stroll along the promenade admiring the ocean. #beaut
Today we’ll cross over the Tropic of Capricorn on our way south, with a stop for a photo opportunity en route to Solitaire (Namibia’s smallest town).
Time to crack on to the desert landscapes of Namib Naukluft Park, home to the highest sand dunes on the planet (we’re looking at you, Dune 45). We’ll also head off on a Sossusvlei shuttle to see the Sesriem Canyon and take a guided walk.
One of the natural wonders of Africa, Fish River Canyon is around 500 metres deep and over 160 kilometres long, and is the second largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon. Prep your camera lens for amazing photos this afternoon, especially when the sun begins to set over the sharp bend in the river known as ‘Hell’s Corner’. Trust us, it’s friendlier than its name implies.
Tonight we’ll set up camp on the South African side of the Gariep (Orange) River. If you’re looking for a few creature comforts, you’re in luck – our site provides hot showers, flush toilets, grassy floors and even a bar. Hello, sundowners!
Today we’ll head to our campsite on the Western Cape, where we’ll spend our final night under the huge African sky. Try not to get too emosh!
After waving goodbye to the scenic Cederberg area, we’ll make tracks to cosmopolitan Cape Town – without a doubt one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Here, out trip will come to a close (sad face). If time allows, why not spend a few days exploring the city and its surrounds?
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