On this Cape Town to Victoria Falls (21 Days) escorted accommodated tour,you will have a rich, memorable experience of South Africa, Botswana and Victoria Falls.
Lodging is 3-4 star lodges have private en-suite facilities and good beds/ bedding.
The tour group size is small with a maximum of 16 people.
The trip highlights of this Cape Town to Victoria Falls (21 Days) escorted accommodated tour are:
- Cape Town, Table Mountain, Cape of Good Hope
- Scenic beauty of the Namaqualand region
- Historic Hantam area of Calvinia
- Augrabies Falls National Park
- Experience the Kalahari Desert at Kgalagadi
- Fish River Canyon
- Walk giant dunes in Sossusvlei & Namib Desert
- Optional activities in Swakopmund
- Visit to a traditional Himba village
- Game drives in Etosha National Park
- The Okavango River
- Sunset game viewing cruise on the Chobe River
- 2 nights in Victoria Falls
Cape Town to Victoria Falls (21 Days) itieanry:
DAY 1: CAPE TOWN (Hantam region)
Recently named one of the 7 New Natural Wonders of the world, Cape Town is dominated by the majestic Table Mountain. It is a beautiful city rich in scenic, historical and cultural attractions.
After breakfast, yourGuide will meet you in the hotel reception area before a full day, peninsula tour.
Leaving from Breakwater Lodge at 08h00 we drive to Table Mountain (weather permitting) and ascend to the summit in cable cars. Tourists first reached the top of Table Mountain in 1929 and since then more than 20 million people have taken the cable cars up. Enjoy breathtaking 360° views of Cape Town, Robben Island and the epic surrounding peaks.
The Peninsula tour continues along the Atlantic seaboard via Hout Bay and Chapman’s Peak to the Table Mountain National Park. Explore Cape Point – the southwestern tip of Africa & the Cape of Good Hope – first rounded by the Portuguese in 1488 establishing spice trade routes.
Heading back, we pass through the picturesque naval port of Simon’s Town, named after Simon van der Stel, Dutch governor of the Cape Colony.
Time permitting we can visit Boulders beach to see an African Penguin colony before returning along the Indian Ocean coastline via Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay and Muizenberg. Dinner at the bustling Waterfront.
Stay overnight at Breakwater Lodge (or similar accommodation). (Accommodated – B)
DAY 2: CALVINIA (Hantam region)
Leaving Cape Town, we pass through the “Swart Land”. Jan van Riebeeck, who “founded” South Africa, called this undulating country, between mountain ranges, “Het Zwarte Land” (Black Land), due to the distinctive Renosterbos (Elytropappus rhinocerotis).
After the rain, the Renosterbos looks pitch black when seen from a distance.
We stop on the Piekenierskloof Pass to view the area.
From there, we pass through unforgettable Namaqualand, with spectacular views of the Knersvlakte from Van Ryns Pass.
Next is the historic town of Calvinia, named after the Swiss religious reformer John Calvin, at the foot of the Hantam Mountain range. The fascinating local museum is located in an old synagogue.
From August through October, the landscape explodes with the colorful bloom of wild flowers. Stay overnight at Hantam Huis. (Accommodated – B)
DAY 3: AUGRABIES FALLS NATIONAL PARK
Leaving the Little Karoo, we head north into the Green Kalahari, named after the lush vegetation along the Orange River.
There are abundant evergreen Acacia Areoloba (Camelthorn) trees found in the Augrabies Falls National Park. Here the mighty Orange River plummets 56m into the gorge below to create the sixth largest waterfall in the world.
Indigenous locals call these majestic falls Aukoerebis – ‘place of great noise’. White settlers later derived the name Augrabies. The gorge at Augrabies is 240m deep and 18km long.
It is a dry region so big game is rare but you will see Rock Hyrax (Dassie), closest living relative to the African elephant. We spend the afternoon at the Falls. Stay overnight at Vergelegen Guest House. (Accommodated – B)
DAY 4/ 5: KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK
We travel through Orange River wine country in the morning. Upington produces 40% of South Africa’s grape exports. Spot Sociable Weavers Nets in the Camel thorn trees.
The Sociable Weaver is master of nest construction and their nests can provide a home for up to 300 birds! We head deeper into the Kalahari and the magnificent Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Stretching 3.6 million hectares, this is one of the largest Reserves in Africa.
Thanks to sparse vegetation, the area is excellent for seeing predators, including black mane Lion. Enjoy a game drive to our lodge where the true wonders of the Kalahari await.
Optional activities (at own expense) include sunset drives and Kalahari Nature walks.
Clients also get to meet Bushman tribes in the area.
Get a view of the stars through the mounted telescope on the lodge viewing deck. Overnight stay at Xaus Lodge. (Accommodated – B)
DAY 6/ 7: FISH RIVER CANYON
Leaving the Kalahari, we go west, crossing the border into Namibia.
It was a German colony until the end of the First World War when the League of Nations made South Africa its administrator – re-naming the country South West Africa. Namibia only re-gained its independence on the 21st March 1990.
This border area is very arid arid with an average annual rainfall below 10ml.
The morning is free so relax and in the afternoon we visit the Fish River Canyon, second largest in the world, and the largest in Africa. It is 160km long and 27km wide at its widest and 550m deep in places.
The Fish River is the longest interior river in Namibia and floods in late summer. The rest of the year it is a series of pools. Overnight stay at Canyon Village. (Accommodated – B)
DAY 8/ 9: SESRIEM
Our journey takes us north through ever-changing scenery right to the edge of the Namib Desert, one of the oldest deserts in the world, where we’ll spend the night.
After an early departure, we enter the dune belt as the sun rises. The magical atmosphere and sensuous colours allow for truly amazing photo opportunities.
We take a bracing 5km walk to Sossusvlei and Deadvlei.
“Sossusvlei” roughly means “dead end marsh”! It is a drainage basin for the ephemeral Tsauchab River. Due to the high clay content of the ground, rainwater is retained for long periods, providing life to the region.
The nearby pan, Deadvlei, used to be an oasis with several acacia trees.
The pan is eerie with dead black acacia trees that stick out against the white salt floor and intense orange of the dunes. This is a fascinating and even surrealistic landscape. It has often been used as a setting for films and adverts.
That afternoon, we hike through the Sesriem Canyon, carved by the Tsauchab rivier. A portion of the canyon holds water, attracting many wild animals. Overnight Desert Camp stay. (Accommodated – B)
DAY 10/ 11: SWAKOPMUND
Today we go through the Kuiseb canyon, site of a book by Henno Martin, “The Sheltering Desert”, before we stop at Walvis Bay to view the flamingos (seasonal).
The Walvis Bay wetlands – lagoon, mudflats and salt works – are the single most important coastal wetland for migratory birds in Southern Africa.
The wetland sustains migrating species like Flamingos, Plover, Grebe and African Black Oystercatchers.
We explore Swakopmund, a historic beach town, with a sizable German-speaking population. Founded in 1892, it was the main harbour for German South-West Africa, Swakopmund means mouth of the Swakop River.
We spend the afternoon and following day exploring this German colonial town. Numerous optional excursions (at own expense) are available. These include hot air ballooning and scenic flights over the vast Namib Desert.
Overnight stay at Swakopmund Boutique Hotel. (Accommodated – B)
DAY 12: DAMARALAND
We leave the coast behind driving inland through Damaraland. This is the north-central Namibian home of the Damara people who make up 8.5% of Namibia’s population.
They have close ties to southwestern Africa’s hunter-gatherers. The region is a vast, with mountain ranges intercepted by wide gravel plains. Sandy, vegetated riverbeds alternate with hot, dry valleys.
Lookout for smaller, desert-adapted elephants found here. The Desert Elephant is a protected species.
Consider yourself lucky to see it, or the desert rhino, as both animals were poached in the 1980’s and their numbers have drastically diminished.
Our lodge is located on top of a mountain with spectacular views.
Spend the afternoon taking in this incredible setting or relaxing by the pool.
Overnight stay at Ugab Terrace Lodge. (Accommodated – B)
DAY 13: HIMBA VISIT / ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
We visit the Himba, who live in the region, in the morning. Himba women are known for their beauty, intricate hairstyles and traditional dress.
There are only 20,000 to 50,000 Himba living in the Kunene region (formerly Kaokoland).
They are a nomadic, pastoral people, closely related to the Herero, and speak Otjihimba, a dialect of the Herero language. See daily life in a Himba village and discover why they rub their skin with red ochre. We encourage respect for their traditions.
Then we proceed to Etosha National Park for our first game drive and to relax by the floodlit waterhole in the evening.
Overnight stay at Halali Restcamp in Etosha National Park. (Accommodated – B)
DAY 14: ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
Etosha was established in 1907 when Namibia was a German colony known as South West Africa. The park’s original 100,000-km² size made it the largest game reserve in the world.
Political issues have reduced the park to less than a quarter of its original area but it remains crucial to wildlife preservation in this region.
The Park is one of the most important game sanctuaries in Africa, with thousands of wild animals, such as blue wildebeest, springbok, zebra, kudu, giraffe, cheetah, leopard, lion and elephant.
We go on an extensive game drive through the Park. Stay overnight at Namutoni Restcamp inside Etosha National Park. (Accommodated – B)
DAY 15/ 16: OKAVANGO RIVER
Leaving Etosha, we enter the Caprivi Strip, between Botswana to the south, Angola and Zambia to the north, and the Okavango Region to the west.
We spend the night overlooking the Okavango River.
Fourth-longest river system in southern Africa, it begins in Angola and runs southeastward for 1,600 km.
Further south it forms part of the border between Angola and Namibia, and then flows into Botswana, draining into the Moremi Game Reserve.
The following day is free for optional excursions such as boat cruises & game drives. Stay overnight at Ndhovu Safari Lodge. (Accommodated – B)
DAY 17/ 18: CHOBE RIVER
Crossing into Botswana via the Chobe National Park we overnight on the banks of the Chobe River. Chobe is famous for its incredible scenery, sunsets and abundant wildlife.
Chobe National park is known for huge herds of Elephants in excess of 50 000. Habitats here include flood plains, Mopani trees, baobab trees, acacia woodlands, verdant grasslands and thickets.
The following afternoon we enjoy a sunset Game viewing boat cruise. Optional morning Game Drives. Overnight stay at Chobe Safari Lodge. (Accommodated – B)
DAY 19/ 20: VICTORIA FALLS
Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park (Victoria Falls) is a UNESCO world heritage site. The Park stretches from the Songwe Gorge below the falls all the way to the Zambian riverbank. Both Zambia and Zimbabwe share the Falls. Nothing compares to seeing the awesome power of ‘The Smoke that thunders” for the first time.
There will be plenty of opportunities to see the Falls up close traversing the many walkways in and around the rain forest. Be sure to wear a raincoat in the wet season as the spray can drench you!
Victoria Falls is also the “adventure capital” of Southern Africa and there are many optional activities on offer: Elephant back safaris, game drives in the nearby national park, scenic micro light or helicopter flights, and for the more adventurous, white water rafting and bungee jumping.
Victoria Falls also has many markets to browse for African curios. Overnight stay at A’Zambezi River Lodge. (Accommodated – B)
DAY 21: VICTORIA FALLS
Tour wraps up after breakfast. (Accommodated – B)