The African Odyssey is a combination of three of the most popular safaris, the Northern Namibia Adventure, the Southern Swing and the Delta and Falls Tour. It offers an extremely comprehensive safari tour of Namibia, the Okavango Delta in Botswana and the Victoria Falls in Livingstone in Zambia. Nights 7 and 14 are included in the price of the trip, in a quality Windhoek guest-house. The itinerary is assisted comfortable camping, with participation limited to only helping with the tents.
The first leg, the Southern Swing, is another 7 day camping tour that takes in the southern areas of Namibia including; Sossusvlei, the Namib Desert, Luderitz and the Fish River Canyon. This tour offers an excellent cross-section of southern Namibia.
The second leg, the Northern Adventure is designed to give a short, but comprehensive safari around the main highlights of northern and central Namibia. This tour combines wildlife, cultural visits, San paintings and a trip to the Namibian coast!
The third leg, the Delta & Falls Safari Trip, leaves Namibia and visits the Okavango Delta in Botswana, and the mighty Victoria Falls in Livingstone, Zambia.
Highlights of the African Odyssey include:
- The weird looking plants of the Quiver Tree Forest.
- Fish River Canyon - one of the world's most spectacular natural formations - only Arizona's Grand Canyon is bigger!
- Luderitz - an interesting and surreal German colonial town.
- The red sand sea dunes of Sossusvlei.
- Getting close-up-and personal with the Big Cats at Okonjima.
- Game viewing and photography of the amazing wildlife in Etosha National Park
- Learning of the tribal structures, religions and daily life of the only traditionally functioning Himba community outside the far north Kaokoland region of Namibia.
- Walking in Namibia's highest mountain to view the 'White Lady.'
- Driving through the beautiful desert landscape of Damaraland
- Enjoying Namibia's premier seaside town, Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast.
- Two nights beside a pristine lagoon in the Okavango Delta, and it's incredible sightings of large numbers of prey and predators.
- The flood plains and riverine forests of the Mahango Game Reserve.
- A boat cruise into the Chobe National Park with hippo and crocs for company.
- Livingstone and 'The Smoke That Thunders,' the awesome Victoria Falls!
- It is also possible to remain with your guide for the 2 day return to Windhoek at the end of the trip, making the itinerary 25 days in total.
- The African Odyssey Safari is run as a camping tour however, for a supplement an upgrade can be made to turn this into an accommodated safari. Enquire upon booking as this is subject to availability.
- Itinerary is assisted comfortable camping, with participation limited to only helping with the tents.
Visits everything between the Fish River Canyon (in the south) to the Zambezi Region (in the north) and still has time to head via the Okavango Delta to Victoria Falls. Ideal for the first time visitor wanting to pack as much into their trip as possible.
You will be collected from you accommodation in Windhoek between 07h30 - 08h00 The safari starts heading south on the main highway, traveling through the thin strip of Kalahari Desert that protrudes onto the eastern side of Namibia. Stopping at small towns along the way including Rehoboth, traditional home of the Baster people and on to Kalkrand where we bid the main road farewell and head off into the Kalahari. The Kalahari Desert often surprises people it is very different to the ... Namib Desert. This is primarily because the Kalahari is not a true desert, it receives too much rainfall to be classified as such and is actually a fossil desert. Don’t expect to find tall Sossusvlei-style dunes devoid of greenery here, the dunes are greener and less stark – and with this vegetation comes an ability to support more flora and fauna.
Today starts with an early morning nature drive into Kalahari, before leaving for the town of Mariental and south to Keetmanshoop. Just before reaching Keetmans the tour detours to visit the Mesosaurus Fossil Site and Quiver-tree Forest. Quiver trees are not in fact trees, they are a type of aloe, (Aloe Dichotoma), so called because the branches fork “dichotomously”. These weird looking plants dot the landscape in this part of the world and are locally common, however they are one ... of the world’s rarest flora species. The Ai-Ais Hot Springs Spa & Resort is at the southern end of the Fish River Canyon and offers an excellent place to relax in and around the thermal baths & heated swimming pool, especially after a hot, dusty day's drive, the resort is set at a sulphurous hot spring, which makes perfect sense as the name 'ai-/ais' means 'burning water' in the local Nama language.
Another early start this morning for the short drive to Luderitz, we travel on the main road and keep a sharp look out for the unique Namib wild horses. These horses are the only feral horses in Namibia and have, very unusually, become adapted to an existence with very limited water. Where they originated from is un-clear, some people think they are the descendants of the horses used by the German cavalry during the First World War. Another theory is ... that they originally came from a horse farm that used to be run by a German Barron, (von Wolff), in the very early colonial days. Your arrival in Luderitz allows for 2 day activities (at your own expense). The first is a boat cruise around the bay and passengers will head towards Halifax Island to view resident jackass penguins and Cape fur seals. Expect dolphins to swim alongside the boat on your voyage as well. A short drive (20 kilometers) out of Luderitz follows your boat trip to Namibia's most famous ghost town Kolmanskop. The elegant houses that stood at its peak in the 1920's were abandoned once larger deposits were found south near Oranjemund. Today the wind and encroaching sand have taken their toll but the crumbling ruins and historical tour are still worth a visit. Lunch today is not included in the programme, this is to allow everybody as much flexibility with their time as possible and to give us the opportunity to sample some of the local cafes. During the middle of the day there is time to explore Luderitz Town with its traditional German architecture and later we will take a drive out to Diaz Point to see the bird life, hopefully a few seals and the stone cross replica, originally erected by the Portuguese mariner Bartholomew Diaz. Returning to Klein Aus Vista in the late afternoon, the road takes us through the Sperrgebiet or “forbidden Zone".
Turning north, the safari heads deep into the ancient southern Namib Desert, Travelling on small gravel roads and passing some tiny rural communities along the way. The scenery is harsh, and sometimes forbidding. The process of erosion in these areas is well advanced and we pass time rounded hills & arid terrain with outcrops of tortured rock. Traversing this bleak yet beautiful landscape, the terrain begins to change and we cross some open grass savannah and farmlands before giving way to ... the immense red sand dune desert of the Namib. We aim to arrive at our camp during the late afternoon and watch the colours glow and change on distant mountains to the east.
A pre-dawn start is essential this morning as we want to catch the soft light of the sunrise on the desert. After passing through Sesriem, the gateway to the dunes and driving into the heart of the dune field, we reach Sossusvlei itself by walking the last 5 kilometers through the dunes. The walk is like nothing else, in the cool of the morning, with soft sunlight just beginning to play over the dunes creating a sharp light and shadow contrast ... across the whole desert. Ancient mineral pans, stunted camel thorn trees and the chance of seeing a gemsbok or maybe an ostrich make the photo opportunities perfect. We spend the morning in and around Sossusvlei, also visiting Dune 45, and as the day wears on we return to Sesriem for lunch to escape the heat of the afternoon. As the day cools off in the late afternoon we will take a short excursion to the Sesriem Canyon.
After breakfast we begin our journey, over the mountains and along scenic roads, back to Windhoek. We will travel over the Naukluft Mountains and also the Khomas Hochland Range, through beautiful mountain passes on our way back to civilization. We are due back into the city around 16h00 and you will be dropped off at your accommodation on return. Accommodation at a local guest house is included tonight, but dinner is at your own expense.
After breakfast we begin our journey, over the mountains and along scenic roads, back to Windhoek. We will travel over the Naukluft Mountains and also the Khomas Hochland Range, through beautiful mountain passes on our way back to civilization. We are due back into the city in the late afternoon / early evening and you will be dropped off at your accommodation on our return
Adventurers will be collected from their accommodation in Windhoek between 08h30 - 09h00. The tour first heads north, stopping at small towns along the way, including Okahandja, (The Garden Town of Namibia) with time to visit Namibia's largest woodcarvers market. The market is operated on a local co-operative basis and is one of the best places to shop for truly Namibian souvenirs and curios. Continuing north and driving through mainly farmland, the tour is scheduled to arrive at Okonjima's Omboroko campsite ... mid-afternoon, with time to set up camp and to relax before heading out for the afternoon's activities. The lodge is home to The AfriCat Foundation, a non-profit organization, committed to the long-term conservation of Namibia's large carnivores, notably cheetahs and leopards. Activities commence at 15h00 in the winter, and 16h00 in the summer. The leopard can be viewed frequently here, (but not guaranteed) from a hide or radio-tracked from a game viewing vehicle. The cheetah project offers a valuable insight into the welfare work of the AfriCat foundation.
An early start and continuing north we pass through some small towns, making short stops for fresh supplies and fuel. Continuing on to our East Etosha, Namutoni region camp we again aim to arrive in time for lunch, giving us time to relax before heading into the park during the cool of the late afternoon for our first game drive.
A full day’s game driving. We again leave early to enjoy the cool morning air as we game drive our way through Etosha to Halali camp, situated in the middle of the park. Along the way we visit several waterholes and are afforded splendid views of the massive Etosha Pan. The game viewing is usually excellent and we have the chance to tick off a few new species that are not normally seen on the Namutoni side ... of the park. We stop at Halali for a rest and a leisurely lunch. There is time to visit the Halali waterhole and to make use of the swimming pool and bar facilities before continuing on our way and game driving down to Okaukuejo, Etosha’s main rest camp and resort where we will check in and set up camp. Originally the site of a German fort built in 1901, Okaukuejo now houses the Etosha Ecological Institute, founded in 1974; the round watchtower is a remnant of the fort. After your evening meal there are still more chances to see Etosha’s big game at a floodlit waterhole, situated on the boundary of our camp and easily reachable within a minute or two on foot. The waterhole has been described as one of the “best game viewing opportunities in Southern Africa” and the ideal venue to witness peculiar animal politics. Black rhino, Africa’s tallest elephants, lion and numerous species of antelope are regular visitors during the cool, dry season.
Leaving Etosha the Northern Adventure begins to journey south with a relatively short drive to the small town of Kamanjab. Within this area the safari visits a Himba Village - the only traditionally functioning Himba community outside the far north Kaokoland region of Namibia These tribes-people have migrated here, lifestyle and customs intact, and are following their traditional way-of-life in their village on a farm, the exact location of the site varies as the Himba occasionally roam to a new ... location. We will learn about marriage customs, traditional food and the mysteries of the “Holy Fire” religion. From here it is a short drive on to Hoada Community Campsite which is located among beautiful granite hills and mopane trees. To add an eco-friendly touch, the hot water system works in combination with the barbecue area, therefore whilst your meal is being prepared, your water will be warmed up for your shower!
Today the safari head through one of the most beautiful desert regions in Namibia, Damaraland. We drive west via the Grootberg Pass and then take a detour to visit the ancient Bushman rock engravings at Twyfelfontein. Here a local guide is employed to conduct a short guided tour before camp is set up for the night.
Today the Northern Adventure Safari heads deeper into the desert and passes Namibia’s highest mountain, The Brandberg. Stopping at the small town of Uis, an old mining town, and one of the best places to buy the semi-precious stones for which Namibia is famous. Here, rough Amethyst, Tourmaline etc can be found at bargain prices. From Uis the safari turns directly west and crosses gravel plains en-route to the Atlantic Ocean and the Skeleton Coast. Meeting the ocean at Henties Bay, ... it is a short trip north along the coast to the seal colony at Cape Cross. At certain times of the year as many as 100,000 Cape Fur seals congregate. The next destination, Swakopmund, is south of here following the Skeleton Coast into Namibia's premier seaside town. Arrival is scheduled for the late allowing time to explore the town on foot before sunset. Tonight there is a chance to sample one of the excellent restaurants, the seafood in Swakopmund is superb and your guide will offer to organise a group meal in a local restaurant for this evening. Participation is recommended but by no means required. Dinner this evening is on own account.
Drive time back to Windhoek is around 5 hours, departing after lunch. The morning is available for free leisure time in and around the beaches, shops and town's amenities. There is also a very good museum and the Namibian National Marine Aquarium is located in Swakopmund. There are many activities available in Swakopmund: dune-boarding, scenic flights over the desert and Skeleton Coast, skydiving and a whole lot more, availability on these excursions is limited and if you would like to ... guarantee participation we recommend booking this at the same time as you book the safari. After the morning in Swakopmund, we have lunch and then drive back to Windhoek, arriving about 17h30. You are dropped at your accommodation and can prepare for the final leg of your adventure through Botswana towards Victoria Falls.
You will be collected between 07:30 & 08:00. We drive to our wilderness bush camp, which is based on a local farm in the Kalahari, near Buitepos Border, via the eastern village of Witvlei. On arrival we set up camp, enjoy a relaxing afternoon, wait for the sun to set and enjoy a fire cooked dinner and the tranquillity of an evening in a remote wilderness environment. Evening activity: Bushman dancing.
An early start and a quick stop in Ghanzi to collect any last minute supplies before continuing east and north, traversing the linear dunes of the Kalahari and passing through small towns along the way. A change in vegetation heralds our arrival on the very western edge of one of the natural wonders of the world, the Okavango Delta. Here we turn north for some way before again pointing our wheels west as we enter the Delta proper. We ... see our first glimpse of the crystal waters through the lush vegetation and we make our camp on the banks of a pristine African lagoon.
We are in the territory of the River People, so this morning we leave our vehicle behind and travel in a more appropriate fashion, first by motor-boat and then by traditional Mokoro (dugout canoe), deep into the Delta. Mokoro’s will be our main form of transport. These amazing traditional craft are perfectly designed for the narrow waterways of the Okavango and allow us to travel further into the Delta than if we were using more modern forms of transport. Mokoro’s carry ... three people, two seated passengers and one driver. The driver stands in the rear of the canoe, (a real feat of balance), and uses a long wooden pole to propel and steer the Mokoro through the twisting channels. It really is the only way to travel in this area. Back to camp in the late afternoon for another night by the Okavango waters.
Back on the road today, destination Namibia. Passport formalities completed we go directly into the Mahango Game Reserve, a small but excellent park right on the edge of the Okavango River. We game drive our way through Mahango and have the chance to spot rarely seen Namibian species such as roan antelope the majestic sable antelope. Our camp for tonight is just outside the Game Reserve, and we are again beside the Okavango River, but this time the main river, ... on its journey from the Angolan highlands, through the pan handle to waters end, the delta.
Lizauli Traditional Village is a community tourism product that gives visitors a glimpse of life in a traditional village. Amongst the things they show visitors are how to stamp a millet, how grain used to be stored, the chicken house (stantwe), and transportation that were used. You can also see how blacksmiths forge metal tools and knives while an assistant operates the hand-made bellows. Visitors also have the opportunity to interact with a traditional healer. We transit to Namibia’s easternmost town, ... Katima Mulilo. A short break here before crossing back across the border into Botswana. The road takes you directly into the world famous Chobe National Park. Chobe has the world’s largest population of African Elephants and the chances of seeing some big game are very good as you transit through the park to the small town of Kasane for overnight on the banks for the Chobe River.
An early hot drink before we head off on a leisurely game drive, exploring the wonders of the Chobe National Park by road. Game drives within the park offer the opportunity to view abundant elephant and other big game species up close, and there is also the possibility of an encounter with one of the large predators.Time to relax over lunch at our camp before joining a river boat cruise, back into the park. From the boat we will have ... the chance to see a huge amount of wild game, both on the river banks and in the waters swirling around us. Crocodiles and hippos abound in the forbidding Chobe River and on the land side there is often a kaleidoscope of different antelope and species such as elephant, buffalo and even the Big Cats come to the river banks for their sundowner drink. The Chobe River provides a very broad habitat for bird life and it is possible to see many beautiful species of our feathered friends.
Our journey today takes us to the Kazangula border, this is the near meeting point of four countries (Namibia, Botswana, Zambia & Zimbabwe). Upon completion of border formalities we make the short drive to the town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.< Victoria Falls presents a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ... ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. In more modern terms Victoria Falls is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world. The campsite is only 2 kilometers from the falls making it the closest campsite to the Victoria Falls. This afternoon your guide will help you organise the many optional activities available in Victoria Falls. These include white water rafting, bungie jumping, other excursions on the river and scenic flights to mention but a few. Dinner will be in a local restaurant at your own expense. NB: All extra activities are subject to availability and are done at your own risk and expense.
This is a free day for you to explore the area or to take part in optional activities. It’s a wonderful opportunity to relax a bit after your trip. For some of you, this will be your final night and what a fantastic place to enjoy your last evening with your group. Lunch and dinner today, are not included in the price of the trip.
This morning we say farewell to all the travellers flying out or remaining in Livingstone, those returning to Windhoek have an early start and a long drive, transit transportation only, taking in sights along the way. Traversing the Caprivi Strip, the transfer will spend the night near the small town of Rundu, camping in the grounds of a lodge on the banks for the Okavango River. Another early start and long drive, heading south through Kavango Province, down through the towns ... of Grootfontein, Otjiwarongo and Okahandja before reaching Windhoek. There will be a stops at the local woodcarvers market at Okahandja before arriving in the city. Travellers will be dropped off at their accommodation in Windhoek. Approximate driving time for days 9 and 10 is around 20 hours. Approximate driving time 20 hours.
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