South West Safari (25 Day) 2018-19

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Dates
  • Top Deck

Topdeck's South West Safari Africa 25 Day Tour with included Bushmen paintings visit, Etosha National Park, Township Tour, Kruger National Park & Heaps More!

Forget Valencia, Amaro and Lo-Fi – Instagram filters won’t be necessary as you venture through the picture-perfect landscapes of South West Africa on this memorable jaunt. Embrace the magic of this diverse continent as you experience the calm waters of the Okavango Delta, the thundering Victoria Falls, the contrasting game viewing experiences of 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.

Destinations
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe
  • Zambia
  • Botswana
  • Namibia
  • Africa
Tour Types
  • Youth
  • Safaris
Day 1: Johannesburg, South Africa to Greater Kruger
From South Africa’s commercial capital, Johannesburg, we travel to South Africa’s famed Kruger National Park, passing panoramic scenery and dramatic escarpment views. From the dwarf mongoose to the ‘Big Five’, almost every major African mammal (over 145 species) is free to roam the enormous area of the park, which also boasts prolific birdlife and over 330 varieties of trees. Over two nights within the Kruger area, we have the chance to enjoy the spectacle of Shangaan tribal dancing and singing, as well as a full day’s game drive in the park itself to spot as many animals as possible.

Included today:
-Shangaan cultural evening

Meals:
-Dinner

Day 2: Great Kruger to Kruger National Park
Have your binoculars at the ready! Today we hope to catch a glimpse of as much of Africa’s diverse wildlife as we can. See how many animals you can tick off your list on our full day's game drive (you'll be the toast of the campsite after spotting an elusive honey badger).

Included today:
-Kruger National Park game drive

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Day 3: Kruger National Park to Tshipise
Leaving the Greater Kruger area we travel north through South Africa’s lush countryside to Tshipise, a town situated in the northern Limpopo province. Our campsite is located at Forever Resorts at the foot of one of Limpopo’s rolling koppies set adjacent to the Honnet Nature Reserve.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Day 4: Tshipise to Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe
After a refreshing night’s sleep we make our way across the border to Zimbabwe and on to Bulawayo, a pleasant city with broad tree-lined avenues and wide open spaces. Our campsite is located in the Matopos area, a historical, geological and natural heritage site which is surrounded by interesting hills and rock formations.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Day 5: Matobo National Park
Channel your inner explorer today as we head into the impressive Matobo National Park with our knowledgeable guides. The wind-sculpted Matobo Hills are the site of numerous Bushman paintings, so it’s no surprise the area holds a special cultural and spiritual importance to the indigenous people. The reserve has the largest concentration of black and white rhinos in Africa and, provided conditions are right, our guides will lead us on foot to some of the more concealed places in search of these magnificent animals.

Included today:
-Half day Kruger National Park game drive & wilderness walk

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Day 6: Matobo National Park to Livingstone, Zambia
Moving on from Matobo National Park we continue north, passing through the town of Victoria Falls, before crossing the border into Zambia. Situated on the banks of the Zambezi River, our campsite makes for the perfect base in between heart-racing optional activities including rafting, canoeing, bungy jumping, abseiling, gorge swinging, horse riding, scenic flights and river cruises. Head out for a thrilling adventure, or simply relax and enjoy the mighty Zambezi as it flows past your vantage point.

Included today:
-Visit Mosi-oa-Tunya (Victoria Falls)

Meals:
-Breakfast

Optional activities:
-Victoria Falls bungy jump
-Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park game walk
-Chief Mukumi Village tour
-Gorge swing
-Zambezi jetboating
-Half day canoe safari
-Zambezi sunset cruise
-Whitewater rafting
-Helicopter ride
-Fishing
-Bridge tour
-Full day abseiling

Day 7: Livingstone
Spend the day enjoying our picturesque campsite, perfectly placed on the doorstep of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Fancy another game drive? This is the place to do it. Elephants crossing the Zambezi River from Zimbabwe can usually be spotted, as well as giraffes, buffaloes, white rhinos, warthogs, hippos and a variety of different monkey species.

Meals:
-Breakfast

Optional activities:
-Victoria Falls bungy jump
-Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park game walk
-Chief Mukumi Village tour
-Gorge swing
-Zambezi jetboating
-Half day canoe safari
-Zambezi sunset cruise
-Whitewater rafting
-Helicopter ride
-Fishing
-Bridge tour
-Full day abseiling

Day 8: Livingstone to Chobe National Park, Botswana
Moving on from Livingstone, we travel a short distance to Botswana and the town of Kasane, the gateway to Chobe National Park. The Chobe River, which flows along the northeast border of the park, is a major watering spot for large breeding herds of elephants, giraffes and cape buffaloes. The bird watching here is also excellent, so prop your binoculars and keep watch as spoonbills, ibis, various species of stork, duck and other waterfowl flock to the area. We change it up this afternoon with an exciting game-viewing cruise on the Chobe River – a truly amazing way to see hippos, elephants and sometimes buffaloes come to the river to bathe and drink.

Included today:
-Fish eagle boat cruise

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Day 9: Chobe National Park to Nata
We leave Kasane and make our way south, hugging the fringes of the dry and dusty Kalahari Desert and stopping at our campsite Elephant Sands Lodge, located just north of the small town of Nata. Since the camping area is unfenced, wild animals frequently visit the lodge's waterhole to drink so keep your eyes peeled for elephants, buffaloes, zebras and giraffes (and possibly the odd lion and wild dog!). Like the other beasts of the land, gravitate to the water (in the form of a swimming pool) and relax and absorb nature's bounty at its best: up close!

Included today:
-Chobe National Park game drive

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Day 10: Nata to Maun
Leaving Nata we make our way to Maun, keeping our eyes peeled for the animals that wander freely in these parts. The gateway to the Okavango Delta, Maun is the fifth largest town in Botswana and is an eclectic mix of modern buildings and native huts. Although officially still a village, Maun has developed rapidly from a rural frontier town to a community that has distributed along the wide banks of the Thamalakane River where red lechwe can still be seen grazing next to local donkeys, goats and cattle.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Day 11: Maun to Okavango Delta
From our campsite in Maun, we begin our excursion into the Okavango Delta by an open 4x4 truck to the mokoro station, where we’ll be introduced to the local Tswana Polers who will be guiding us on this expedition. We travel by mokoro (dugout canoe) among the giant lily pads, tall grasses and labyrinthine channels in search of hippos, crocodiles and a variety of birds to our island tented camp, before exploring the area on a walking safari. A completely unspoilt area that teems with wildlife, the Okavango is the perfect spot to get amongst nature and listen to the sounds of the African wilderness at night.

Included today:
-Okavango Delta excursion with mokoro/walking safari

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Day 12: Okavango Delta to Maun
Returning to Maun, you have the day to unwind at your leisure. Since Maun's founding in 1915 it has had a reputation as a hard-living, wild-west sort of town built to supply local cattle ranching and hunting operations. Today however, Maun is a thriving tourist hub, which plays host to a range of interesting cultural activities.

Included today:
-Okavango Delta excursion with mokoro

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Optional activities:
-Okavango Delta flight

Day 13: Maun to Ghanzi
Today we bid farewell to the paradisiacal Okavango Delta and roll onto Ghanzi, which skirts the Kalahari Desert. Here, in this midst of (seemingly) barren terrain we meet the San Bushmen and enjoy a guided bush walk, where we learn about this ancient people’s way of life. Later on this evening, you'll witness the ancient dance rituals of the San Bushmen, which on special occasions, could be a healing or trance dance. Expect a truly intense spiritual experience for both participants and visitors alike.

Included today:
-Kalahari Bushman walk

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch

Day 14: Ghanzi to Windhoek, Namibia
Today we leave Botswana behind and travel to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, which is located in a basin between the Khomas Highland and the Auas and Eros Mountains. Windhoek is home to approximately two hundred thousand people, making it an extremely small capital by global standards. The city centre is characterised by a proliferation of German-style buildings, a lasting reminder of Namibia's early colonial history and atmosphere. Take the opportunity to enjoy a night out at one of the local restaurants or visit the famous Joe's Beerhouse.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Day 15: Windhoek to Etosha National Park
We make our way north to Etosha National Park, a vast reserve of over 20,000 square kilometres surrounding a central salt depression or 'pan'. The pan is seasonally full of water but specially managed waterholes sustain some 114 mammal and 340 bird species. We spend two nights here, usually making camp near a floodlit waterhole, where observers frequently see a range of nocturnal visitors (think: elephants, giraffes, zebras, hyenas and even lions!) making it one of the most memorable wildlife encounters in Namibia. We have a short afternoon game drive upon arrival and a full day game drive the following day.

Included today:
-Etosha National Park game drive

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Day 16: Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park is the ultimate definition of the perfect game viewing destination. Picture this: a barren landscape teeming with neon flamingos and pelicans, surrounded by nothing but native bush, grasslands, scrubland and saline lakes. Trust us, you'll be in awe of this magical spot. Today we dive straight into the heart of Etosha National Park and enjoy a full day’s game drive, keeping our eyes peeled for more of the local residents.

Included today:
-Etosha National Park game drive

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Day 17: Etosha National Park to Spitzkoppe
Today we head south to the beautiful Damaraland region and stop at Spitzkoppe to admire the ancient Bushman paintings still visible on peculiar rock formations. The rock formations peak at approximately 2,000 metres above sea level and form a spectacular view, so take your time to explore the area and enjoy its delightful calmness. Remember to keep an eye on the ever-changing colour of the rocks, especially during sunrise and sunset, when they acquire intense red shades.

Included today:
-See the Spitzkoppe Bushman paintings

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Day 18: Spitzkoppe to Swakopmund
Departing the granite-infused Spitzkoppe, we make our way to Swakopmund – a small town redolent of Namibia's colonial past but with modern adventure oriented attractions for visitors. Sandwiched neatly between the desert and the ocean, Swakopmund is Namibia's main seaside resort and is a delightful coastal oasis.

Meals:
-Breakfast


Optional activities:
-Sandboarding
-Quad biking
-Skydiving
-Deep sea fishing
-Scenic flights
-Swakopmund township tour

Day 19: Swakopmund
Take the day to try some adventurous desert-based activities – quad biking, sand boarding, or for the real thrillseekers, skydiving (weather permitting). For those without an iron stomach, enjoy the town’s shopping, cafés, restaurants and art galleries – or simply stroll along the promenade admiring the ocean.

Meals:
-Breakfast

Optional activities:
-Sandboarding
-Quad biking
-Skydiving
-Deep sea fishing
-Scenic flights
-Swakopmund township tour

Day 20: Swakopmund to Solitaire
Continuing south, we cross over the Tropic of Capricorn, stopping for a photo opportunity en route to Solitaire – Namibia’s smallest town – for the night.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Day 21: Solitaire to Sesriem Area
Continuing on, we reach the Namib Naukluft Park (aka the world's oldest desert, containing some of the highest sand dunes in the globe). Crossing into the park, we make a stop at the base of Dune 45. Clamber to the top of one of the most photographed sand dunes in the world and marvel at the vastness of the empty desert as the sun starts to set (hello, perfect photo op!). Tonight we rest our heads at the Sesriem campsite on the outskirts of the national park entrance under the star-filled African sky.

Included today:
-Dune 45, Sossusvlei shuttle & guided walk
-Visit Sesriem Canyon

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Day 22: Sesriem Area to Fish River Canyon
This morning we prepare ourselves for the beautiful site of Fish River Canyon, the world's second largest canyon (behind the Grand Canyon, of course). Fish River Canyon is one of the natural wonders of Africa, some 500 metres deep and over 160 kilometres long. Again, there are plenty of opportunities for keen photographers as we spend time around this area and visit the canyon's infamous sharp river bend known as 'Hell's Corner’. There is nowhere in the world quite like this remarkable spot. Seriously.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Day 23: Fish River Canyon to Gariep (Orange) River, South Africa
Leaving the mighty Fish River Canyon we travel south to the border of Namibia/South Africa to the Gariep (Orange) river. Our campsite lies on the banks of the river on the South African side. You’ll have the chance to swim, relax and unwind on the water’s edge, or embark on an optional canoeing trip in sight of the abundance of birdlife in the area.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Day 24: Gariep (Orange) River to Western Cape Citrus Area
We continue south passing through Namaqualand, well known for its prolific display of wildflowers that bloom in spring (best seen between August and September). Pitching our tents at a picturesque campsite nestled near the Olifants River, we have the opportunity to sample some of the beautiful wines of the region. Bottoms up!

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Optional activities:
-Wine tasting

Day 25: Western Cape Citrus Area to Cape Town
Wave goodbye to the scenic Cederberg area and travel south, passing the rich fruit growing area of Citrusdal and some spectacular views as we meander down the Piketberg Pass to the Western Cape Province. We continue to cosmopolitan Cape Town, without a doubt one of the world’s most beautiful cities, where our trip ends. If time allows, we recommend you spend a few days exploring the city and surroundings.

Meals:
-Breakfast

Dates Price Single Availability

Touring with Top Deck

If you’re between 18-30 something, don’t miss the opportunity to travel with this awesome travel company. Topdeck was born in 1973 when Skroo Turner and his mates bought a double-decker bus and drove across Europe to Morocco. They now offer over 330 amazing tours in 65 countries,  so they will definitely have a touring adventure to whet your appetite.

A collective of explorers who are devoted to travel, they strive to open minds, shift perspectives, learn new things and make a difference. Their passion is to inspire young people through life-changing travel experiences. Their business is to make travel dreams a reality. They know what works. And they’re not afraid to shout about it. They refuse to sacrifice quality, independence and freedom, and believe solo adventures should go hand in hand with unforgettable moments with like-minded travellers. They offer variety, comfort and value for money, and promise a hassle-free holiday, loaded with authentic local experiences.

They are lively, curious, knowledgeable and dedicated; driven with the desire to laugh and have fun. They build the trips. You build the memories. Go on, jump on board and discover what it means to be a #Topdecker!

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