The 23 day African Odyssey is a combination of three of our most popular safaris, the 7 day Northern Adventure, the 7 day Southern Swing and the 9 day Delta & Falls, and offers an extremely comprehensive safari tour of Namibia, the Okavango Delta and the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
The seven day Southern Swing has been designed to give you a short but comprehensive safari around the main highlights of Southern Namibia. First night of the tour is spend in the Kalahari area of Namibia before we continue to the mighty Fish River Canyon. Visit the small town of Aus where you will have the opportunity to visit the Ghost Town of Kolmanskop and Luderitz before ending with 2 nights in the world’s oldest desert, where you will stroll among the world’s highest sand dunes.
The seven day Northern Adventure has been designed to give you a short but comprehensive safari around the main highlights of Northern and central western Namibia. You will visit, close-up-and personal the Big Cats at Okonjima, the amazing wildlife in Etosha National Park and have first hand experience of the Stone Age culture of the Himba Tribes. Namibia’s UNESCO Heritage Site in beautiful desert Damaraland is next and then on to Namibia’s premier seaside town, Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast, before returning to Windhoek
Returning to Windhoek with an additional night in a Windhoek guest-house is also included, from here you will spend one night with the San Bushmen and then on for two nights beside a pristine lagoon in the Delta and then travel back into Namibia to traverse, over one night the little visited Caprivi Region. Back into Botswana to Kasane for a boat cruise into the Chobe National Park and then on to Zimbabwe and “The Smoke That Thunders”, the awesome Victoria Falls.
It is also possible to remain with your guide for the 1 day return to Windhoek at the end of the trip, making the itinerary 23 days in total.
Please note that this safari will be going to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Please read about the visa requirements here.The 23 day African Odyssey is run as a camping tour.
This tour departs on selected Fridays from Windhoek.
With the guided return to Windhoek the trip returns on a Sunday, late afternoon/early evening. For those who aren’t returning, it ends on the Saturday in Victoria Falls town.
1-4 guests: Toyota Quantum with a purpose built trailer.5-14 guests: Toyota Dyna truck (a modified safari vehicle)
Caprivi, Chobe, Damaraland, Deadvlei, Dune 45, Etosha National Park, Fish River Canyon, Kalahari area, Koakoveld, Kolmanskop, Luderitz, Skeleton Coast, Sossusvlei, Sesriem Canyon, Twyfelfontein, Victoria Falls
No combinations are possible, however the trip can be run as a privately guided or self-drive tour.
Daily Tour Overview
Fish River Canyon area
Canon Roadhouse Campsite
B, L, D
Klein Aus Vista Campsite
B, L, D
B, L, D
B, L, D
Etosha National Park
B, L, D
Etosha National Park
B, L, D
B, L, D
B, L, D
Prost Hotel – Room
Dqae Qare San Lodge Campsite
B, L, D
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Guma Lagoon Campsite
B, L, D
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Guma Lagoon Campsite
B, L, D
Camp Kwando Campsite
B, L, D
Chobe Safari Lodge Campsite
B, L, D
Chobe Safari Lodge
B, L, D
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Victoria Fall Restcamp Campsite
B, L, D
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Victoria Fall Restcamp Campsite
B, L, D
Nkwazi Lodge Campsite
B, L, D
Return to Windhoek
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, SC = Self-Categring, RO = Room Only
Daily tour description
Windhoek – Kalahari (280 km) (LD) (camping)
You will be collected at your Windhoek accommodation between 07:30 & 08:00
We start our journey south on the main highway, travelling 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 you bid the main road farewell and head off into the Kalahari.
The Kalahari Desert often surprises people when they first see it. It is very different from the Namib. First of all, remember that the Kalahari is not a desert. It receives more rain than a true desert should. The Kalahari is a fossil desert. Don’t expect to find tall Sossusvlei-style dunes devoid of greenery here. The Kalahari’s dunes are very different. They are often equally beautiful, but usually greener and less stark – and with this vegetation comes its ability to support more flora and fauna than a true desert.
Late this afternoon we hop onto an open vehicle for a late afternoon sunset drive.
Oryx in Kalahari
Blue Wildebeest in Kalahari
Kalahari – Fish River Canyon area (500 km) (BLD) (camping)
An early morning departure to the town of Mariental and south to Keetmanshoop. Just outside the town you have the opportunity of visiting the Mesosaurus Fossil Site. We travel via the town of Keetmanshoop for overnight camping on the Fish River area. Here you have the opportunity of seeing the Quiver tree. Quiver trees are not in fact trees; they are a type of aloe, (Aloe Dichotoma), so called because the branches fork “dictomously”. 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.
Fish River area – Luderitz (430 km) (BL) (Accommodation)
The Fish River Canyon in Namibia is (allegedly) the 2nd largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon. The immensity of this magnificent landscape is truly breath taking. The towering rock faces and deep ravines were formed by water erosion and the collapse of the valley due to movements in the earth’s crust over 500 million years ago. Today the canyon measures 160km long up to 27km wide and almost 550m at its deepest. It is fair to say that when you arrive at the canyon though, its exact location is a bit of a mystery as the 500m vertical drop from the flat dry plateau is completely out of view.
Early morning we head to the main view point where we can see how impressive this canyon actually is. This is an ideal opportunity for photos and to spend some time experiencing this amazing sight. Viewing from the top we can see the river sparkling in the sunlight far below us, and can barely imagine how many millennia it took for the forces of erosion to carve such a magnificent vista.
Time to pack up camp and move on to our next destination, the coastal town of Lüderitz where its colonial-style buildings cling to the rocks overlooking the bay, on some days a deep iridescent blue, on others grey and stormy, the crisp fresh climate, fishing boats bobbing up and down on the Atlantic horizon, penguins and seals diving beneath the waves, give the town a curious other-worldly allure.
We aim to arrive at our guest house during the late afternoon. Dinner will be at client’s own expense tonight.
Luderitz – Aus (125 km) (BD) (camping)
There is time to join an optional extra excursion, a marine trip, take a cruise around Luderitz bay and, weather permitting, to Halifax Island to see the Jackass Penguins. N.B: The boat cruise is subject to availability and, if undertaken, will be for the clients own risk and expense. 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.
Straight after the marine trip we drive out to Kolmanskop, a desert ghost town about 20 km out of Luderitz. It was built in the 1920’s during the diamond rush and was abandoned when bigger and better diamonds were found further along the coast. The area is still abandoned and the desert has encroached over the entire town, giving an eerie feeling and real meaning to the word “ghost”.
We sleep tonight at Klein Aus Vista, a private reserve, beautifully located in the Aus Mountain Range, (Huib-Hoch-Plateau region). The road takes us through the “forbidden Zone” so named because in years gone by, the alluvial diamonds found in Namibia were simply scattered across the desert and we again have time to enjoy sunset over the mountains.
Aus – Sesriem (340 km) (BLD) (camping)
Turning north, we once again head deep into the ancient southern Namib, 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 “koppies” arid terrain and 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 the terrain begins to give 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.
Sesriem – Sossusvlei – Sesriem (120 km) (BLD) (camping)
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 km 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.
Sesriem – Windhoek (350 km) (BL)
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
Windhoek – Okonjima/Africat (300 km) (LD) (camping)
You will be collected between 08:30 & 09:00.
We will travel north, stopping at small towns along the way including Okahandja, where we have time to visit Namibia’s largest wood carving market. The market is operated on a local co-operative basis and is one of the best places to shop for truly Namibian souvenirs. Continuing north, passing through farmland, we aim to arrive at Okonjima during the middle afternoon, giving us time to set up our camp and to relax in the shade for a while before heading out on to the property to take part in the afternoon’s activity. Okonjima is the home of the Africat Foundation, a specialist conservation concern that centres its operations on the African Big Cats, particularly cheetah.
This afternoon you will be taken on a tour during which you will be able to meet, close-up-and-personal, some of the cheetah that are going through the Africat rehabilitation programme. Most of the animals currently living at Okonjima have been rescued from various desperate situations, being orphaned or caught in a trap, and the aim of the rehabilitation process is to attempt to re-introduce them into the wild.
After our educational tour we will return to our camp and prepare for dinner under the African stars.
Okonjima/Africat – Namutoni / East Etosha region (300 km) (BLD) (camping)
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.
East Etosha region – Okaukuejo, Etosha National Park (BLD) (camping)
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.
Okaukuejo – Grootberg area (310km) (BLD) (camping)
Leaving Etosha we begin our journey south with a relatively short drive to the small town of Kamanjab.
Within this area you have the opportunity of visiting 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 The 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!
We overnight – camping under the stars.
Grootberg area – Twyfelfontein (190 km) (BLD) (camping)
Today we head into 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. At this location we will have a local guide to conduct us on a short guided tour before we set up camp for the night.
Twyfelfontein – Swakopmund, Skeleton Coast (420 km) (BL) (accommodation)
From here we head deeper into the desert and pass Namibia’s highest mountain, The Brandberg, (2573 m) and more beautiful Damaraland scenery. We make a stop in the small town of Uis, an old mining town, and one of the best places to buy semi-precious stones, for which Namibia is famous. Here, rough Amethyst, Tourmaline etc can be found at bargain prices.
From here we turn directly west and cross the gravel plains on our way to the Atlantic Ocean and the SkeletonCoast. Meeting the ocean at HentiesBay, we first head north along the coast to visit the seal colony at CapeCross. At certain times of the year as many as 100,000 Cape Fur seals congregate.
The next destination is Swakopmund, following the SkeletonCoast into Namibia’s premier seaside town. We aim to arrive in the late afternoon giving us time to explore the town on foot before sunset.
Tonight we take the chance to sample one of the excellent restaurants. The seafood in Swakopmund is superb. 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 is for the client’s own account.
Swakopmund – Windhoek (BL) (350 km)
The drive back to Windhoek today will take about 4 and a half hour. We will depart around lunch-time, giving us time to spend the morning relaxing in Swakopmund. It has many superb shops, a good stretch of beach (although the Atlantic here is quite cold) and an open-air curio market. There is also a very good museum and the Namibian National Marine Aquarium is located in Swakopmund.
Alternatively, there are various optional activities that can be arranged. These include aeroplane and microlight flights over the desert, scenic drives, fishing trips (both from the beach or in a boat), four-wheel motorcycle (quad bike) trips into the desert and over the sand dunes around Swakopmund, sand boarding trips (also in the dunes), skydiving, surfing, bird-watching and many other activities are available.
Your tour guide will discuss all the possible options with you before you reach Swakopmund and will offer to make bookings in advance of your arrival. (N.B. All extra activities and excursions in Swakopmund are subject to availability and are made at the client’s own risk and expense).
This is the last day of our trip and after lunch we will transfer back to the capital city where you will be dropped off at your accommodation.
Windhoek – Ghanzi, Kalahari, Botswana (500 km) (LD) (camping)
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.
Ghanzi – Guma/Okavango Delta (450 km) (BLD) (camping)
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.
Okavango Delta (BLD) (camping)
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.
Okavango Delta – Caprivi, Namibia (345 km)
Back on the road today, destination Namibia. Passport formalities completed you go directly into the Mahango Game Reserve, a small but excellent park right on the edge of the Okavango River. Game drive your way through Mahango and have the chance to spot rarely seen Namibian species such as roan antelope the majestic sable antelope. Continue your drive along the Caprivi Strip, Namibia. This strip of land is a long narrow stretch of territory running along Botswana’s northern border. It is a landscape of broadleaf forest with many small communities dotted along our route.
Overnight along the banks of the Kwando River.
Kwando – Chobe National Park, Kasane, Botswana (230 km) (420 km) (BLD) (camping)
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.
ChobeNational Park, Kasane, Botswana (BLD) (camping)
An early hot drink before we head off on a leisurely game drive (optional extra), 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 ChobeRiver 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.
Kasane – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe (80 km) (BL) (camping)
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. Our campsite is situated right in the middle of Victoria Falls town making it a perfect place to be based with all amenities within walking distance. The Rest Camp is only 2km’s 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, bungi 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 the clients own risk and expense.
Victoria Falls (B)
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.
Victoria Falls – Rundu, Namibia (700 km) (BLD) (camping)
We say farewell to all the travellers flying out today. For those people returning to Windhoek, Namibia it is an early start and a long drive. We are in transit only and will not be stopping to take in the sights along the way. We will traverse the Caprivi Strip and will spend the night near the small town of Rundu in northern Namibia. We camp in the grounds of a lodge on the banks for the Okavango River, looking into Angola on the far river bank.
Dinner tonight will be in the restaurant at the lodge and is included in the price of your transfer.
Rundu – Windhoek (800 km) (BL)
Another early start and another long drive. We head south through Kavango Province, down through the towns of Grootfontein, Otjiwarongo and Okahandja before reaching our final destination, Windhoek. There will be stops at some of the local woodcarving stalls as well as the market at Okahandja before arriving in the city.
You will be dropped off at your accommodation in the late afternoon / early evening.