SUV self-drive: Namib desert, Big five safari in Okavango,
San tribe in Kalahari and Victoria Falls

NAMIBIA + BOTSWANA + ZIMBABWE

May 1st to 18th, 2019.
Tour Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia

Tour to South Africa tour to Namibia Botswana visit Victoria Falls Namib desert Kalahari San tribe Big Five expedition Okavango self-drive

Himba Etosha Chobe bungee
Have you ever dreamed of visiting Kalahari Desert? Do you know the primitive secrets of survival in the desert and are you ready to learn them from the legendary San tribe?

After comprehending all the secrets, to get to the big water and soar over Victoria Falls on a hang glider or dive headlong into the gorge of Zambezi river...
A big detour across South Africa is a truly big adventure!

Tour to Namibia Botswana Zimbabwe. Have you ever dreamed of visiting Kalahari Desert? Do you know the primitive secrets of survival in the desert and are you ready to learn them from the legendary San tribe?
After comprehending all the secrets, to get to the big water and soar over Victoria Falls on a hang glider or dive headlong into the gorge of Zambezi river...
A big detour across South Africa is a truly big adventure!

SHEDULE AND COST:

Dates: May 1 to 18, 2019

Duration: 18 days/ 17 nights

Cost per person: 3000 EUR subject to 12 participants, 3200 EUR subject to 10 participants, 3300 EUR subject to 8 participants.

Everything is included except for:
- international flight to Windhoek airport and flight back from Victoria Falls airport
- international medical insurance,
- visa of Zambia (obtain at the border cross for 20 USD), visa of Zimbabwe (obtain at the border cross for 30 USD)
- meals not specified in program
Estimated cost of international flight Moscow – Johannesburg – Moscow: EUR 450 - 550
Estimated cost of flight Johannesburg – Windhoek: EUR 100
Estimated cost of flight Victoria Falls – Johannesburg: EUR 150 - 200

Additional payment for single accommodation in hotels and lodges: 400 EUR (single accommodation is not available in campsites)


TRAVEL PROGRAM: TOUR TO SOUTH AFRICA


Day 1. May 1, 2019. Arrival to Windhoek

In the afternoon we arrive to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. Accommodation at Etambi Guesthouse.
Meeting and greeting the guide.
Free time and time for organizers to rent 4WD SUVs (Toyota Hilux) and purchase foodstuffs for the route.
Dinner in one of Windhoek's restaurants, gastronomic acquaintance with African fauna through tasty steaks of crocodile, ostrich, zebra and a number of antelopes.
Overnight stay at Etambi Guesthouse.
* The following direct flight from Moscow to Johannesburg is recommended: with Swiss Air, departure on April 30 at 17:30 (connection time in Zurich 2h 42m)
The following direct flight from Johannesburg to Windhoek is recommended: with Air Namibia, departure on May 1 at 12:10


Day 2. May 2, 2019. Windhoek – Namib desert.

After breakfast in the hotel, we start our self-drive journey on rented SUVs Toyota Hilux (4 people in a car) across South Africa. It is a pleasure to drive in Namibia, it can happen that for hours you won't see a single car on the road but there are a lot of wild animals around.
We are moving to Sesriem village, located at the southern end of Naukluft Mountains, where Namib desert begins. Namib desert stretches for 2000 kilometers along the Atlantic coast, gives the name to the whole country of Namibia, and in turn, was so named for its huge size. In one of the local languages called Nam, "Namib" means "expanded area".
First acquaintance with red Namibian dunes and then we watch sunset on the Dune 45.
Dinner and overnight stay in Sesriem campsite, in tents, set up right on the roofs of our cars.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Accommodation: in camping Sesriem Campsite.


Day 3. May 3, 2019. Sossusvlei – Swakopmund

After early breakfast, before dawn, we set out for the famous Sossusvlei clay plateau and watch sunrise in Dead Valley - Dead Vlei. "Vlei" means white fossilized plateau with 800-year-old black skeletons of trees, in a place where once there were lakes. Absolutely surreal landscape!
The chain of world's largest red sand dunes is the main attraction of Sossusvlei. The height of some dunes reaches 300 meters!
We walk along the dunes and realize how difficult it is to live in such conditions. Not only our feet but also the wheels of our SUVs get stuck in the sand. Very dynamic selfdrive in the desert.
After lunch we pass through Namib-Naukluft National Park having 100 years' history. Namib-Naukluft is Namibia's largest park and the 4th largest in the world! We encounter elegant Oryx antelopes and ostriches, loving to walk toe-to-toe.
Evening arrival to Swakopmund, resort town located on the Atlantic coast, founded by Germans in 19th century.
Accommodation in Villa Maji Lodge directly on Atlantic coast.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch included
Accommodation: in Villa Maji Lodge.


Day 4. May 4, 2019. Walvis Bay and Sandwich Harbor.

After breakfast at the lodge, we drive to Walvis Bay, in the same-name harbor, from where we go on boat trip to the Atlantic ocean. From our boat we watch pelicans, dolphins, fur seals, and if we are lucky, turtles and even whales!
Today we are doing a jeep tour of the Sandwich harbor. The place is unique because the dunes here meet the ocean, and only experienced drivers can drive here, those who know the local landscape and masterfully drive through the sand among huge dunes that descend directly into the ocean. We are with professional drivers by specially prepared cars.
After a jeep tour in the dunes and lunch, we return to Walvis Bay, driving by a beautiful Pink Lagoon with flamingos where you can take very beautiful pictures.
In the evening, you can walk around Swakopmund and go to the famous seaside restaurant on the pier. Beautiful alleys, palm trees, parks and gardens, souvenir and antique shops, numerous cafes and restaurants, perhaps the most delicious oysters in the world from cold Atlantic stream – all this creates a special atmosphere of this place.
Night in Villa Maji Lodge on the beach.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch included
Accommodation: in Villa Maji Lodge.


Day 5. May 5, 2019. Cape Cross and Skeleton Coast.

Moving to Cape Cross, the home of one of the largest colonies of cape fur seals in Africa. In this sanctuary we find ourselves on the real planet of fur seals.
We continue our journey to the north, and drive along the Skeleton Coast. The name speaks for itself: this part of the coast is known for its numerous shipwrecks. Remains of the ships, and sometimes skeletons of whales, can be actually seen. We pass from Ugab gate to Torra bay with opportunities to stop and take photographs, and then we head to Kamanjab, where we the next day we gonna meet Himba tribe.
A cook will prepare dinner for us. Overnight stay in Kamanjab in Oppi Koppi Campsite.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Accommodation: in campsite Oppi Koppi Campsite.


Day 6. May 6, 2019. Himba tribe – Etosha National Park.

We spend this morning in Himba tribe village, where we get to know their lifestyle and everyday life.
Himba are nomads similar to the Hamer tribe from the Omo valley in Ethiopia. They are believed to have migrated once from East Africa. Elaborative hairstyles made with ocher and animal fat differ depending on woman's age, thereby identifying their social status.
After lunch, transfer to Etosha National Park, to the Okaukuejo area in the southern part of the park. Along the way, an evening safari in Etosha, and first acquaintance with the abundant fauna of the park.
After sunset watching animals near the waterhole, where thirsty animals come to drink. – The best place to see a black rhino.
Dinner at the restaurant Okaukuejo Campsite, where our gastronomic safari continues: buffet with steaks from various antelopes.
Overnight in tents in camping Okaukuejo Campsite.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch included
Accommodation: in tents at Okaukuejo Campsite.


Day 7. May 7, 2019. Safari in Etosha National Park

Whole day game drive in the Etosha National Park, where you can find almost all of Big Five, except for the buffalo. Lions and leopards, elephants and rhinoceros are frequent inhabitants of these places. In general, almost all the diversity of Namibian fauna is represented in Etosha: 114 species of mammals, including such antelopes as the Oryx and wildebeest, springbok and dikdik, impala and zebra, and also black rhino, elephant, giraffe and many predators, such as lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas, 340 species of birds, including ostrich, pink flamingo, pelican, marabou, secretary bird and many birds of prey, and 50 species of snakes.
Etosha NP, located on the northwestern edge of Kalahari desert, in the territory of Etosha saltpans and adjacent savannahs, has poor vegetation, which makes game drive very convenient. All animals are very well visible. Lots of wonderful photos are guaranteed.
Dinner in the restaurant at Halali Campsite, and steaks, which already becomes a bore :)
Overnight in tents in Halali campsite in the eastern part of the park.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch included
Accommodation: in campsite Halali Campsite.


Day 8. May 8, 2019. Etosha NP and cheetah safari.

After breakfast, we make the final morning game drive in Etosha Park in an attempt to find all those who probably were not found yesterday, and then we drive to the south, where in the Otjiwarongo area we visit the Cheetah Conservation center. Here we get to know this world's fastest mammals, and have one more specially organized safari in the park.
Lunch in the park and transfer to Gobabis, which interests us, above all, as a place for overnight on the way to Botswana.
Night in Gobabis in simple rooms in Xain Quaz Camp.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Accommodation: in hotel Xain Quaz Camp.


Day 9. May 9, 2019. San tribe in Botswana

After breakfast, we drive to the East, cross the border with Botswana and undergo a strict veterinary control. Here in Botswana, they have very caring attitude to the wildlife, and you won't find steaks from antelopes in campsites (and quite enough already :)
Arrival to Ghanzi, where we stay in the camping and spend the evening with the San tribe, in the company of the most legendary Bushmen, the "survivors" of the Kalahari desert.
We will watch the traditional healing dances around the fire, in the evening, where local "shamans" bring the patients into state of trance.
We bring the ball with us and suggest that we football match together. So far, no one refused to do this! And we have already won the San in 2012 :)
Dinner and overnight in Thakadu Bush Camp.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Accommodation: in Thakadu Bush Camp.


Day 10. May 10, 2019. San tribe – Makgadigadi National Park

In the morning, together with San we go to Kalahari, and learn their survival skills in the desert; for us, there will be no more secrets. It is believed that San can find water where no one else can. Only San, pushed by other tribes into the harshest conditions of Kalahari desert, have managed to survive in this cruel environment. There is an opinion among anthropologists that Kalahari desert region is one of several recognized cradles of humanity, and San themselves are one of the oldest people on our planet, around 100,000 years old. An incredible impression is produced by San's emotional speech, using, in addition to sounds familiar to our ear, also clicks and clinking sounds. Extraterrestrial! Surprisingly, San, living in the south of the Black Continent, have many Mongoloid traits, including epicanthus. All the secrets of history cannot be revealed even with San...
After lunch, transfer to Maun, where we get ready to immerse ourselves into the wildlife of Botswana. – The next few days we spend eye-to-eye with nature in the national parks' campsites. And the first one is the famous Makgadigadi National park, where we stop for the night in the campsite right after entering the gate.
Dinner and overnight in Camp Khumaga Kalahari or Boteti River Camp.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Accommodation: in Camp Khumaga Kalahari or Boteti River Camp.


Day 11. May 11, 2019. Crossing Makgadikgadi salt pans

Today we explore Makgadikgadi National Park located in the place of a giant salt pan, one of the largest salt pans in the world, which in fact consists of lots of drying salt lakes having the total area of 10 thousand square km. Some lakes are small in size, but there are also huge ones, and you can see wild animals nearby.
Once there was a giant lake here, with the territory larger than Switzerland, fed by the rivers Okavango and Zambezi. But 10 thousand years ago the lake dried up. Today it appears nothing else but the delta of Okavango river whose waters do not reach any natural reservoir.
The San gave that unpronounceable name to the salt pans, which means "a dry and thirsty place".
We repeat the famous rally-raid made by Top Gear program and drive our SUVs through the entire salt pan, with opportunities to stop at Njuca Hills and other interesting places, take photographs of wildlife and branchy baobabs. We finish our today journey in Nata Bird Sanctuary, where we watch the various birds life.
Dinner and overnight in tents in campsite Eselbe Camp.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Accommodation: in camping Eselbe Camp.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner included.


Day 12. May 12, 2019. Flight over Okavango Delta and game drive in Moremi National Park

After breakfast in Makgadigadi, transfer to Maun for a fascinating 45-minute flight by 5-seat Cessna aircraft over the Okavango Delta. Okavango is the largest internal delta of the planet, which does not have access to the world ocean. In fact, it's a river "to nowhere". Originating in Angola, a full-flowing river suddenly mysteriously disappear in the sands of Kalahari. The delta is reminiscent of a huge swampy labyrinth of lagoons, canals and islands. Of course, the Okavango Delta is best viewed from a bird's eye view.
The Okavango Delta is not only included into the UNESCO World Heritage list, but also recognized as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. This is an incredibly rich ecosystem, where the entire African Big Five are represented in large numbers. The further to the north, the more animals.
We start our SUV-safari across Okavango in Moremi National Park, entry through the south gate (Maqwee). Evening Safari in Moremi.
Dinner and overnight in tents in Third Bridge Camp or Xakanaxa campsite.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Accommodation: in camping Third Bridge Camp or Xakanaxa campsite.


Day 13. May 13, 2019. Moremi NP – Chobe NP

Early breakfast and morning game drive in Moremi NP, where there is every chance to see representatives of African Big Five - elephants, lions, rhinos, buffaloes and leopards. Moremi National Park covers one third of Okavango Delta and is known for the densest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. Lunch and transfer to Savuti Chobe NP (entry through the Mababe gate). Chobe National Park is the third largest park in the country.
On the territory of more than 10 thousand square km of the reserve 60 thousand elephants live, which is the largest population of these animals on African continent. In addition to elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, antelopes (Puku antelope is endemic to this region), lions, leopards, hyenas, jackals and cheetahs, there are crocodiles and hippos live in the rivers. Evening game drive in Savuti Chobe.
Dinner and overnight in tents in Savuti campsite.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Accommodation: in tents in Savuti Campsite.


Day 14. May 14, 2019. River Safari in Chobe NP

After breakfast morning dame drive in Savuti Chobe NP. Local roads is an adventure in itself, and self-drive is a great pleasure.
Transfer to Kasane, where at 3 p.m. we set out to river safari on Chobe river. The cruise lasts until sunset. Here, in incredibly beautiful surroundings, you can find a huge number of animals, including buffaloes and swimming elephants. The river safari on Chobe, no doubt, is one of the most spectacular safaris in the world.
Dinner and night in The Big 5 Chobe Lodge on the river bank.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Accommodation: in The Big 5 Chobe Lodge.


Day 15. May 15, 2019. Victoria Falls from Zimbabwean side

After breakfast in the lodge, we set out to Zimbabwe. We cross the border, get visa of Zimbabwe and after a short drive through the territory of Zambezi National Park we get to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Here we drop-off our SUVs and visit the famous Victoria Falls from Zimbabwean side.
Victoria Falls is the only waterfall in the world that has more than 100 meters in height and more than a kilometer in width (120 m and 1800 m, accordingly), and is considered as one of two world's most beautiful waterfalls. The Scottish traveler David Livingstone, the first European who discovered the waterfall in the mid-19th century and named it in honor of Queen Victoria, wrote about the waterfall: "No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight."
Sunset at Victoria Falls.
Dinner and overnight in N1 Hotel & Campsite Victoria Falls, very close to the waterfalls.
Meals: Breakfast included
Accommodation: in N1 Hotel & Campsite Victoria Falls.


Day 16. May 16, 2019. Rafting on Zambezi river

After breakfast we head for rafting on Zambezi river, one of the best in the world. Although there are wild animals on the coast, we won't have time to look at them. We have to work seriously, some rapids are up to 5th level of difficulty. And because of the high water season, for safety reasons, we might have to replace rafting with going down Zambezi on two-persons canoes.
After lunch we have time to walk and visit souvenir shops, which are very authentic here.
Dinner at one of local restaurants, where delicious crocodile meat is cooked. Overnight in N1 Hotel & Campsite Victoria Falls, very close to the waterfalls.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch included
Accommodation: in N1 Hotel & Campsite Victoria Falls.


Day 17. May 17, 2019. Victoria Falls from Zambian side and extreme activities

After breakfast, we cross the border with Zambia and admire the beauty of Victoria Falls from Zambian side, at Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, which in the indigenous Bantu language means "Thundering smoke."
The waterfall opens new facets here. From Zambian side, you can make an impressive flight on motor hang-glider (microlight deltaplan) over the waterfall, and from the bridge (altitude 111 meters) on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia you can do bungee jump. For those who like such jumps especially, you can take a series of two jumps - bungee and swing, and also fly over Zambezi river on zipline.
Dinner and overnight in N1 Hotel & Campsite Victoria Falls, very close to the waterfalls.
Meals: Breakfast included
Accommodation: in N1 Hotel & Campsite Victoria Falls.


Day 18. May 18, 2019. Flight back

After breakfast in the hotel, transfer to Victoria Falls airport and flight home (via Johannesburg or another city)
Meals: Breakfast included
Accommodation: no
* The following direct flight from Johannesburg to Moscow is recommended: with Swiss Air, departure May, 18 at 19:25
The following direct flight from Victoria Falls to Johannesburg it is recommended: with South African, departure May, 18 at 13:30


* Hotels, lodges and campsites can be replaced, according to the program, by similar in level, depending on their availability .
Cost includes:

- double accommodation in hotels, lodges and campsites along the route
- all transfers along the route
- 4WD SUVs self-drive (Toyota Hilux, 4 persons in each car)
- hired cars, fuel
- breakfasts
- lunches and dinners, when specified in the program
- drinking water, 2 liters per day for each participant
- cook services
- camping equipment and cutlery
- all boats according to the program
- flight over Okavango
- jeep tour to Sandwich harbor with professional drivers on prepared cars
- all entrance tickets as per program for all sites and parks, tribe payments and activities according to the program
- English speaking guide along the route and English and Russian speaking team leader


To be addidionally (personally) paid:

- international flight to Windhoek and flight back from Victoria Falls (700-850 EUR)
- international medical insurance
- visa of Zambia (obtain at the border for 20 USD)
- visa of Zimbabwe (obtain at the border for 30 USD)
- additional payment for single accommodation (400 EUR)
- meals not specified in the program (up to 250 EUR for all meals)
- Bungee jump in Victoria Falls (114 USD), optionally
- Zipline in Victoria Falls (69 USD), optionally
- Microlight flight over Victoria Falls (170 USD), optionally
- activities not included to program, optionally
- tips for the guide



To take with:

- sets of clothes suitable for the weather conditions, including lightweight clothes (shorts, T-shorts), and warm clothes (hoodies, fleece, lightweight trousers, windproof jacket), long sleeve clothes
- underwear
- hats for different weather conditions (sun hat/panama and warm hat)
- swimwear
- raincoat
- comfortable trekking footwear, light footwear (sneakers)
- sleeping bag, appropriate for +5/+10 C degrees (it can be +3 to +6 in the night)
- mosquito net
- personal hygiene items
- individual medical kit (analgetic, antiseptic, antibiotic, antiviral, intestinal, multivitamins, rehydron, court plaster), your personal medications
- sunblock set (cream, spray)
- sunglasses
- repellents
- Big backpack for stuff
- small backpack for radial walks (25 – 30 L)
- Headlamp
- the waterproof bag for Victoria falls
- favorite meals (chocolate, nuts)
- category B driving license
- Photo and video camera, extra batteries
KEY FEATURES:
TOUR TO NAMIBIA BOTSWANA ZIMBABWE
Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia


Best season: May - October



Primeval lessons of survival in Kalahari Desert from San Bushmen people, who are considered to be the first modern humans on the planet. Football match with the San tribe and participation in their healing dances

Rafting on Zambezi river, one of the best in the world

Bungee jump from 111 meters near Victoria Falls or flying on a hang glider over the waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls on Earth and the New Wonder of the World

World's highest red sand dunes, more than 380 meters height in Namib desert, and the Dead Valley (Dead Vlei)

SUV drive on dunes and flying over the Okavango Delta

Safaris in National parks and the opportunity to meet the whole African Big Five, camping outdoors on the roofs of the cars
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