CAMPING SAFARI: See the best of Southern Africa on this 19-day overland camping safari travelling from South Africa to Zambia. From Cape Town, take in the Western Cape and visit Fish River Canyon over the border in Namibia. Climb Dune 45 in the Namib Desert, relax in the colonial resort town of Swakopmund and search for wildlife on safari in Etosha National Park. Paddle mokoro canoes in the Okavango Delta, game drive through Chobe National Park, cruise the Chobe River and end your adventure on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls in Livingstone.
Our adventure begins
Cape Town - Cederberg. Our African adventure begins today with a tour of the Cape Flats, to the east of the city. Visiting a local township, we'll meet local people and discover some of the community projects in the area. Then it's time to climb aboard our overland truck as we head north, through the Western Cape and the fruit-growing region of Citrusdal. Our first night is spent camping by the Olifants River in the Cederberg area, and you will have the opportunity to taste some of the region's famous wines.
Please note: The pre-departure meeting is held at 18:00 on the evening prior to departure. The tour departs at 08:00 on Day 1 so please arrive in Cape Town the day before your tour. Refer to the Joining Instructions in the Trip Notes for more information. We can book accommodation and transfers on request.
Overnight: Cederberg | Lunch, Dinner
The Orange River
Cederberg - Orange River (Namibia). Continuing north, we pass through drier, rockier territory until we reach the Namibian border, crossing at Vioolsdrift. Tonight's campsite is beside the Gariep (AKA Orange) River, which marks the border between South Africa and Namibia for much of its length. The river is safe for swimming, and you can also enjoy an optional canoe trip on this important waterway either today or on day 3. The dark skies in this isolated area are also great for stargazing.
Overnight: Orange River | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Fish River Canyon
Orange River - Fish River Canyon. There is time for the optional canoe safari this morning, if we didn't have time yesterday. Then we drive north to Fish River Canyon, second only in size to the Grand Canyon in the USA. More than 500 metres deep and scarring the land for 160km, it's a jaw-dropping sight to behold. We'll stop at a couple of viewpoints and visit the canyon's famously sharp bend, known as 'Hell's Corner'.
Overnight: Fish River Canyon | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Namib Naukluft National Park
Fish River Canyon - Namib-Naukluft National Park. We have a long drive today as we journey to the edge of Namib-Naukluft National Park, which protects great swathes of the Namib Desert and the Naukluft mountains. We'll camp on the edge of the park, ready to explore tomorrow.
Overnight: Namib Naukluft National Park | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Dune 45, Deadvlei & Sesriem
Namib-Naukluft National Park - Solitaire. It's time to explore the Namib Desert! Our first stop is mighty Dune 45, one of the tallest sand dunes in the region. It's a dazzling sight, and the reward for climbing to the top is incredible views over the surrounding area. Then it's on to Deadvlei, a barren salt pan with petrified trees, completely surrounded by rolling sand dunes.
Our last stop is Sesriem Canyon, which isn't as impressive as Fish River Canyon, but it is worth a visit nonetheless. Tonight's campsite is in the tiny desert settlement of Solitaire.
Overnight: Solitaire | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Solitaire - Swakopmund. On day 6 we drive to Swakopmund, a German colonial town located on Namibia's famous Skeleton Coast. We'll be staying in simple dormitory accommodation in Swakopmund, rather than camping.
The rest of day 6 and the following day are free for you to explore Swakopmund as you see fit. Wander around the town and indulge in the relaxed cafe culture and German colonial architecture. There are also lots of optional activities available including quad-biking, sand boarding, skydiving, and dolphin-watching cruises. See the Trip Notes for further details.
Overnight: Swakopmund | Breakfast x 2
Swakopmund - Spitzkoppe. Leaving coastal Swakopmund, we head into the Damaraland region and our destination - Spitzkoppe. At this mountain peak, you can see incredibly well-preserved bushmen paintings and spectacular rock formations reaching 1800 metres above sea level. As the sun moves across the sky, the rocks change colour, a sight that is particularly beautiful at sunrise and sunset. We'll be staying at a campsite at the base of the mountain, so you can enjoy this sunset with a refreshing drink.
Please note that some travellers may be joining the tour in Swakopmund.
Overnight: Spitzkoppe | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Etosha National Park
Spitzkoppe - Etosha National Park. The next two days will be spent exploring Namibia's iconic Etosha National Park. This 20,000 square kilometre reserve is dominated by a salt pan, which floods seasonally but is also home to a select few watering holes all year round. Wildlife is easy to spot as the animals tend to gather around these scarce water sources.
We spend two nights in the park, and our itinerary is flexible depending on the conditions and the location of wildlife. We'll generally enjoy a short game drive on day 9 before spending our first night at a camp with a floodlit watering hole. Here you may be lucky enough to spot elephants, giraffe, hyenas and even lions.
Day 10 is spent on a full day's game drive across the park, stopping whenever we see anything of interest. We will either return to our first campsite, or perhaps a different one, depending on your tour leader's decision.
Overnight: Etosha National Park | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Etosha National Park - Windhoek. Today we arrive in Namibia's charming capital. Windhoek is a tiny capital by global standards, with a population of just 470,000 people. It has lots of German architecture, a reminder of Namibia's early colonial past. Our camp is located on the edge of the city, and it is easy to head in to grab a bite to eat and have a wander around if you wish. We recommend a drink at Joe's Beerhouse, perhaps the most famous restaurant in Namibia. Please note that some group members may be starting their tour in Windhoek.
Overnight: Windhoek | Breakfast, Lunch
San Bushmen experience
Windhoek - Gobabis. Say goodbye to Windhoek as we travel east to the city of Gobabis, near the Botswanan border. Today we meet some of the local San Bushmen. The San culture is one of the oldest surviving cultures in Southern Africa and we'll enjoy a bush walk and learn more about the way of life which has endured for centuries. The San people work with nature and manage their resources responsibly, something we could all learn from.
Overnight: Gobabis region | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Maun & optional Okavango Delta flight
Gobabis - Maun (Botswana). Today sees us travelling to Maun in Botswana, our base for exploring the famed Okavango Delta. If time allows, there is the opportunity for you to take a scenic flight over the delta - if we haven't got time today then this opportunity will be offered on day 15 instead.
Overnight: Maun | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The Okavango Delta
Maun - Okavango Delta - Maun. On day 14 we enjoy our overnight excursion in specialized safari vehicles into the Okavango Delta. The delta is a natural wetland spread out over more than 1.6 million hectares, home to an incredible diversity of life. Reaching the mokoro polers station, we transfer to these traditional canoes and paddle along the waterways of the delta to our campsite, which is located in the delta itself.
Day 15 sees us enjoying another mokoro ride back out of the delta before returning to Maun, where there is time for the optional scenic flight if we didn't have time for this on day 13. Horse riding is also offered, or you can simply relax by the pool at our campsite.
Overnight: Okavango Delta | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Maun - Nata region. Today's drive takes us through a wildlife corridor between the desolate Nxai and Magkadigkadi pans. We'll stop en route to admire some of the region's towering baobab trees and arrive at our unfenced campsite in the afternoon. If you're lucky, you could see all sorts of wildlife, including elephants and antelope, come right up to camp.
Overnight: Nata Region | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Chobe River cruise
Nata Region - Kasane. We make the journey to Kasane in Botswana's north. Kasane is the gateway to Chobe National Park and we'll enjoy a cruise on the Chobe River today. Chobe is home to huge herds of elephants, which we may be able to see down at the water's edge. Other species to look out for include hippo, crocodiles, buffalo and the rare African fish eagle.
Overnight: Kasane | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Chobe game drive & Victoria Falls
Kasane - Chobe National Park - Livingstone (Zambia). This morning we transfer to specialized safari vehicles for a game drive in Chobe National Park, which is home to all of the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo), although rhinos are very rare here.
It's then time to say goodbye to Botswana as we board a ferry in our overland truck to cross the confluence of the Chobe and Zambezi rivers into Zambia. Our destination is the town of Livingstone, Zambia's base for exploring Victoria Falls.
Known as ‘Mosi oa Tunya’, the ‘Smoke that Thunders’, Victoria Falls is the world's largest falling sheet of water. There's an included visit to the waterfall today, and we set up camp at a campsite on the banks of the Zambezi River.
Overnight: Livingstone | Breakfast
Our tour ends after breakfast, but we highly recommend staying a few more days in the area in order to explore the Victoria Falls area to the full. Apart from the adventure activities already mentioned check out the markets, volunteer a day in some worthwhile
local projects, or simply relax at the beautiful waterfront and watch the Zambezi River flow quickly past on its way to Victoria Falls.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 6 persons. Prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room / tent. Solo travellers will be matched up and share a tent with another solo traveller of the same gender. All accommodation is on a twin share basis.
Local payment - $390 paid in USD
Please note that this is payable locally on day 1 of your trip in the currency specified.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Highlanders Campsite, Cederberg
Nestled among the wine farms at the foot of the Cederberg mountains, this campsite is a perfect stopover in the Namaqualand region. Highlanders is set on 3 levels, giving campers plenty of space between each of the 5 individual camp areas, and a 12-room ensuite lodge has recently been added to the site. Each camp has a 'braai' pit, sink unit & power. There are stunning mountain views from the solar-powered hot showers, and a locally-sourced wine bar by the scenic swimming pool.
Felix Unite campsite, Orange River
Overlooking the Orange River and boasting an outdoor pool, Felix Unite is a scenically located campsite with amenities including an onsite shop, restaurant and ATM. Wi-Fi is available in communal areas and there are barbecue facilities for guests to enjoy alongside the dramatic scenery.
Canyon Roadhouse Campsite, Fish River Canyon
Guests at Canyon Roadhouse Campsite are welcome to make use of the adjacent lodge's facilities, including a restaurant, swimming pool and bar, located in the middle of a museum of old vehicles. The campsite is located near Fish River Canyon and next to a dry riverbed, with shared ablution facilities and a BBQ pit to enjoy.
Sossus Oasis Overland Camp (campsite), Namib Naukluft National Park
Surrounded by desert and found at the edge of Namib-Naukluft National Park, the pitches at this campsite are shaded by camel thorn trees and facilities include power outlets, water, lighting and a BBQ area. There's an onsite pool and shared bathroom facilities including showers with wonderful desert views! The Sossus Oasis shop sells a range of drinks, ice wood and other amenities. The restaurant at nearby Sossusvlei Lodge also comes well recommended.
Sossus on Foot (campsite), Namib Naukluft National Park
On the road to Swakopmund and located just outside the small town of Solitaire, Sossus on Foot (also known as Bushman's Camp) offers three large campsites with shared ablution facilities, including warm solar-heated showers. There is a small swimming pool for escaping the desert heat. A bar serves refreshing beers and there is a private watering hole for guests to watch the local wildlife. There is no Wi-Fi or electric hook-up, making this campsite the perfect place to disconnect from the world!
Amanpuri Travellers Lodge, Swakopmund
Amanpuri Travellers Lodge offers comfortable accommodation in the heart of Swakopmund, close to the resort town's beaches, restaurants and shops. The onsite restaurant serves a buffet breakfast, you can grab a coffee or a beer at the bar, and there's a communal courtyard for relaxation. Free Wi-Fi connection is available throughout the property. If travelling on one of our Accommodated tours then you will enjoy an ensuite room at Amanpuri, whereas travellers on our camping tours will stay in dorm accommodation with shared bathroom facilities.
Spitzkoppe Community Rest Camp (campsite), Spitzkoppe
Staying in the shadow of the dramatic Spitzkoppe rock formations is a memorable experience, and at the Spitzkoppe Community Rest Camp you can enjoy this experience knowing that the proceeds from your stay go straight to supporting the local community. Although there is no electricity or Wi-Fi at this remote camp, guests can enjoy hot showers and there are shared bathroom facilities. There is a small onsite bar and restaurant, and braai BBQ facilities are also provided.
Okaukuejo Camp (campsite), Etosha National Park
The highlight of Okaukuejo Camp is probably the floodlit watering hole, where it is possible to see all manner of animals close up, including elephants, black rhino and antelope. There's also an onsite swimming pool, shop, bar and restaurant serving daily buffet breakfast and other meals. All of these facilities are available for campers to use. Camping pitches are spacious and there are shared bathroom facilities.
Urban Camp (campsite), Windhoek
Centrally located in Windhoek (a short walk from the legendary Joe's Beerhouse restaurant), Urban Camp is a comfortable campground combining city convenience with a quiet getaway. Free Wi-Fi, and a sparkling pool contribute to an oasis of calm in campsites housing up to 18 people with shared bathroom facilities. Nearby is a small shopping centre for amenities, and for sightseers looking to explore the history and architecture of Windhoek, the city centre is less than 2km away.
Zelda's Guest Farm (campsite), Gobabis
Situated 25km from the border with Botswana, Zelda's Guest Farm houses 10 shaded campsites with shared bathrooms. Facilities available to guests include a restaurant, bar and swimming pool. Resident Nharo San families can also introduce guests to their traditional culture. There's a small watering hole onsite and additional game drives and bushman walks can be booked at reception.
Delta Rain's Sitatunga Camp (campsite), Maun
Peaceful camping pitches are located in shaded gardens away from the hustle and bustle of Maun. Delta Rain's Sitatunga Camp offers travellers an a la carte restaurant, shared lounge, bar and sun terrace. There is free Wi-Fi in communal areas and a communal swimming pool for guests to enjoy. Shared bathroom facilities are available for guests at the campsite.
Elephant Camp (campsite), Okavango Delta
Located on the boundary of the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Elephant Bush Camp is a rustic base for exploring the wildlife-rich Delta. There is an onsite dining area and pool, but the real charm here is the location, with elephants and other wildlife known to get very close to camp. Optional activities including game walks and mokoro canoe trips can be booked onsite.
Elephant Sands (campsite), Nata Region
Set on an unfenced 16,000-hectare private conservancy, this campsite brings you face to face with some of Africa’s most iconic wildlife. View elephants as they come to drink from the natural waterhole just meters away. The spacious campsite offers shared ablution facilities with hot showers and several camp fire areas. A restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a bar offering a range of local and international wines, beers and exotic cocktails. You can also enjoy the small outdoor pool, where you can cool off and enjoy the peace and serenity of the African bush.
Thebe River Lodge (campsite), Kasane
Overlooking the Chobe River, Thebe River Lodge offers a spacious shaded campsite with braai BBQ areas, shared facilities, water taps and power outlets. Guests can also enjoy the swimming pool and hearty meals at the Thebe Restaurant. With both covered and al fresco dining areas, this restaurant boasts a wood-fire pizza oven and one of the best breakfasts in town. The bar’s buzzing atmosphere draws both visitors and locals, serving cold beverages alongside a satellite TV for you to catch up on the latest international news and sports.
The Victoria Falls Waterfront (campsite), Livingstone
Just a few kilometres from one of Africa's finest natural wonders and found within Mosi oa Tunya National Park, The Victoria Falls Waterfront is an excellent base for discovering the Zambian side of Victoria Falls. The campsite is located beside the Luangwa River, in the gardens of the Victoria Falls Waterfront. Guests can make use of shared sanitary blocks and braai BBQ facilities. And they are free to enjoy the lodge's free Wi-Fi, outdoor pool, restaurant, bar, and activity centre offering different experiences at the falls.