CAMPING SAFARI: Take in the natural wonders, incredible wildlife and rich culture of Southern Africa on this 33 day overland camping safari. Journey from Cape Town to Victoria falls via Namibia and Botswana, before discovering the best of Mozambique. Go in search of the Big Five on game drives in Chobe, Etosha, Hwange & Kruger National Parks. Cruise the Chobe River and explore the Okavango Delta in a mokoro. Climb dunes in Namibia and soak up the sun by the spectacular Indian Ocean coast before ending your adventure in Pretoria.
Cape Town – Cederberg. Departing Cape Town early this morning we head east of the city to Cape Flat, one of the Cape Town's local townships, where we meet local people and learn about the local community projects. Then we head out north in our overland truck into the Cederberg area through the Western Cape and fruit-growing region of Citrusdal. Our first night will be at the Olifants River where we 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
Cederberg - Orange River (Namibia). As we journey north, we pass through dry and rocky territory until we reach the Namibian border, crossing at Vioolsdrift. We stop at a campsite for the night beside Gariep (AKA Orange) River, which marks the border between South Africa and Namibia. Here you can enjoy an optional canoe safari and a swim in the river. At night the dark skies are perfect for stargazing.
Overnight: Orange River | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Orange River – Fish River Canyon. This morning is free to spend at leisure or to enjoy the optional canoe safari, if we didn’t have time yesterday. Then we head north to the incredible Fish River Canyon, second only in size to the Grand Canyon in the USA. Stretching over 160km of land and more than 500 meters deep, it’s a spectacular sight to behold. During our journey we will stop at a couple of viewpoints and pay a visit to Hell’s Corner, known for its sharp bend.
Overnight: Fish River Canyon | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Fish River Canyon – Namib-Naukluft National Park. Today we have a long drive as we journey to the edge of Namib-Naukluft National Park, taking in the massive portion of the Namib Desert and the Naukluft mountains. We’ll stop at the edge of the park at our campsite, ready to explore tomorrow.
Overnight: Namib Naukluft National Park | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Namib-Naukluft National Park – Solitaire. Today we explore the Namib Desert! Starting our journey at the mighty Dune 45, one of the tallest sand dunes in the region. Hike to the apex of the dune to admire the incredible view and dazzling sights over the surrounding area. Our next stop is Deadvlei, a barren salt pan with petrified trees surrounded by rolling sand dunes. The last stop of the day is Sesriem Canyon before travelling to our campsite in the tiny desert settlement of Solitaire.
Overnight: Solitaire | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Solitaire – Swakopmund. Next stop is Swakopmund, a German colonial town located on Namibia’s famous Skeleton Coast. Rather than camping, we’ll be staying in simple dormitory accommodation in Swakopmund. The rest of day 6 and day 7 are free to spend at leisure, exploring the colonial town. Take in the German architecture, indulge in the relaxed café culture as you wander around the town. There are plenty of optional activities available here including quad-biking, sand boarding, skydiving and dolphin-watching cruises. See the Trip Notes for further details.
Overnight: Swakopmund | Breakfast x 2
Swakopmund – Spitzkoppe. We leave coastal Swakopmund today and head into the Damaraland region to Spitzkoppe. Here we see the incredibly well-preserved bushmen paintings and admire the spectacular rock formations reaching 1800 meters above sea level. We witness the rock colour transformation as the sun moves across the sky, a sight worth seeing particularly at sunrise and sunset. Our campsite is at the base of the mountain, where we can enjoy this view with a refreshing drink.
Overnight: Spitzkoppe | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Spitzkoppe – Estosha National Park. We spend the next two days exploring Etosha National Park. Dominated by a salt pan, this incredible 20,000 square kilometre reserve is home to an abundance of animals and the pan has specially managed watering holes where animals gather to relieve their thirst.
Our itinerary for the next two days is flexible depending on the condition and the location of wildlife. We’ll enjoy a short game drive on day 9 before we settle into a campsite by a floodlit watering hole on our first night. Here we may be lucky enough to see elephants, giraffe, hyenas and even lions.
We spend the whole of Day 10 on a game drive across the park, stopping to take in nature and wildlife wherever possible. 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 travel to the charming capital of Namibia. Windhoek is a small capital by global standards, with a population of just 470,000 people. The city's German architecture is a reminder of Namibia’s early colonial past. Our camp for the night is located on the edge of the city, and the city is easily accessible should you wish to explore. We highly recommend relaxing with a drink at Joe’s Beerhouse, one of the most famous restaurants in Namibia.
Overnight: Windhoek | Breakfast, Lunch
San Bushmen experience
Windhoek – Gobabis. We bid farewell to Windhoek as we travel east towards the Botswanan border to the city of Gobabis. Today we meet some of the local San Bushmen. The San culture is one of the oldest surviving cultures in Southern Africa, Here we’ll enjoy a bush walk and learn about their way of life. The people of San work with nature and manage their resources responsibly, something we could all learn from.
Overnight: Gobabis region | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Gobabis – Maun (Botswana). Today we journey to Maun in Botswana, we will use this as a base for exploring the famed Okavango Delta. If we have time, there will be an opportunity for you to take a scenic flight over the Delta – If we haven’t got enough time today then this opportunity will be offered on day 15 instead.
Overnight: Maun | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Maun – Okavango Delta – Maun. Day 14 we enjoy an overnight excursion into the Okavango Delta in our specialised safari vehicles. Spread across more than 1.6 million hectares, the Delta is a natural wetland that is home to an incredible array of wildlife. We soon reach the mokoro polers station where we will board traditional canoes and raw along the waterways of the delta to our campsite.
We start our day 15 with another mokoro ride back out of the delta before returning to Maun, where there will be an optional scenic flight if we didn’t have time for this on day 13. There will also be an optional excursion of horse riding or simply relax by the pool at our campsite.
Overnight: Okavango Delta | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Maun – Nata region. This morning we set off on our drive through a wildlife corridor between the isolated Nxai and Makgadikgadi pans. We’ll make short stops to take in the beauty of some of the region’s towering baobab tree and reach our unfenced campsite in the afternoon. If we are fortunate enough, we’ll see different kinds of wildlife including elephant and antelope.
Overnight: Nata Region | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Nata Region – Kasane. Today we head towards north Botswana to Kasane. Kasane is the gateway to Chobe National Park where we enjoy a cruise on the Chobe River. Chobe is home to an array of wildlife including herds of elephants, which you can spot near the water’s edge. Also be on the lookout for hippos, crocodiles, buffalo and the rare African fish eagle.
Overnight: Kasane | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Kasane – Chobe National Park – Livingstone (Zambia). This morning enjoy an open vehicle 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.
Once our game drive ends, we bid farewell to Botswana and board a ferry to cross the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers into Zambia. Our destination is the town of Livingstone, our base for exploring Victoria Falls.
Victoria Falls known as ‘Mosi oa Tunya’ the ‘Smoke that Thunders’ is the world’s largest falling sheet of water. We visit the mighty waterfall to admire its beauty before we set up camp at a campsite on the banks of the Zambezi River.
Overnight: Livingstone | Breakfast
Free day for optional activities
Today is free for you to spend at leisure and enjoy the optional activities available to book locally. Typically these include rafting, canoeing, bungee, abseiling, gorge swinging, horse riding, scenic flights, and river cruises.
Overnight: Livingstone | Breakfast
Livingstone – Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe). This morning we leave Livingstone and cross enjoy more optional activities or simply relax in our beautiful surroundings. Be sure to visit the Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe side for a different perspective and see the Zambezi River plunging over the enormous Batoka Gorge.
Overnight: Victoria Falls | Breakfast
Victoria Falls - Hwange National Park. Today we head to Zimbabwe’s largest and best-known park, Hwange National Park. In the early 19th century, it was the royal hunting grounds of the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi. Spanning across 14,600 square kilometres, Hwange is known for its population of African wild dogs and over 100 mammal species including Africa’s Big Five and abundant bird species. In the afternoon, we take a guided open vehicle game drive with the hope to spot some of the park's wildlife before returning to camp the night.
Overnight: Hwange National Park | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Bulawayo & Matabo National Park
Hwange National Park – Bulawayo. Our journey continues on day 22 as we head south to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second city. The rest of the afternoon is free to spend at leisure exploring this pleasant city with its broad tree-lined avenues and wide-open spaces.
The next morning we take a short drive to Matabo National Park. Here, we enjoy a half day tour of the park with our local guides. Matabo is a remarkable park and has the largest number of Black and White Rhinos, leopards and black eagles. Our tour guide will take us on a nature drive and a wilderness walk, where we can experience some of the more secluded places in search of these incredible animals.
The afternoon is free for you to spend at leisure. Alternatively, you can book an optional extension to today's tour. Head into the Matobo Hills to see some of the ancient Bushmen paintings in the area, and visit the grave of Cecil Rhodes.
Overnight: Bulawayo (2) | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Bulawayo – Masvingo. Today we journey toward the east of the country to the small town of Masvingo. Nearby is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southern Africa: the Great Zimbabwe National Monument. We camp nearby with ample time to explore the ruins at leisure and with a local guide who will give you basic information of the area. If you have the energy there is the opportunity to trek to the top of the Hill Enclosure to enjoy a wondrous African sunset.
Overnight: Masvingo | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Masvingo – Bandula area (Mozambique). Our day starts very early as we begin our 400 km journey into Mozambique. Our first stop along the way is Mutare and if time permits, we will stop at the spectacular Birchenough Bridge. Crossing the border into Mozambique we make our way to the Bandula area near the Chicamba Dam. We’ll settle in our campsite that is located within a 550-hectare conservancy.
Overnight: Bandula area | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Vilanculos & Magaruque Island
Bandula – Vilanculos area. We leave Bandula and head to the spectacular Indian Ocean coast. We stop in the small town of Vilanculos, gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago. Here we gather our luggage and snorkels for tomorrow’s island trip and board our traditional dhow boat to sail to our ‘rustic ‘bush camp. The beach camp is located on a remote stretch of the coast approximately 90 minutes sail from Vilanculos town itself. Arriving in the late afternoon and settle into our beach camp for the next 2 nights.
On Day 27 we board our dhow boat to Magaruque Island, the third island in the archipelago and the closest to Vilanculos. Magaruque is the perfect place to relax and unwind. You're free to explore this beautiful island at leisure, snorkel and swim in the turquoise water, soak up the sun on the powdery-white beach. A delicious seafood lunch is included and we return to our campsite late afternoon.
Overnight: Vilanculos area (2) | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Vilanculos area – Tofo. The morning of day 28 we head further down the scenic coast through Inhambane to Tofo, our base for the next 2 nights. Tofo is a beautiful little beach town with open beaches, the slow-paced atmosphere is a great place for us to relax. Check out the local bars and restaurants, sample the local seafood as you take in the resident culture. If you wish, you can also take a trip into Inhambane, the second oldest town in Mozambique.
Day 29 is free to spend at leisure, discover the local tropical beaches or the many optional activities on offer. Why not climb the ladder at the Cathedral of our Lady of the Conception in Inhambane or head out to explore the reefs and the colourful marine life found in this warm watery haven.
Overnight: Tofo | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 1
Tofo - Bilene. Today we journey south of Tofo to Bilene, our last coastal stop in Mozambique. Bilene is famous for the Uembje Lagoon (or San Marthino lake) where you can try out one of the best loved activities in Bilene - snorkelling! Our campsite for the evening is located on top of the dunes overlooking the stunning lagoon.
Overnight: Bilene | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Praia do Bilene - Hazyview - Kruger National Park (South Africa). From Bilene we cross the border into South Africa and head for our camp in Hazyview, just outside Kruger National Park, southern Africa’s game reserve. The national park and the surrounding reserves are unfenced allowing abundance of wildlife to roam free. Kruger has every major Africa mammal including all the Big Five and over 500 species of birdlife. In the evening we relax and enjoy Shangaan tribal dancing and singing around an open fire.
On the morning of day 32 we board our specialised 4x4 game drive vehicles for a rewarding day in Kruger National Park. Going in search of the Big Five and other resident wildlife on a morning and afternoon game drive. We will break for lunch and wait for the hottest part of the day to pass allowing the animal to be more active for our afternoon game drive.
Overnight: Hazyview (2) | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Hazyview – Pretoria. We leave Kruger behind and make our way to Pretoria where our incredible African adventure comes to an end late afternoon/ early evening, as we bid farewell to our guide and our fellow travellers.
Please note: We recommend that you spend the night in Pretoria. Pretoria accommodation and a transfer to Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport can be booked locally or in advance.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 6 persons. Prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a tent/room. Solo travellers will be matched up and share a tent/room with another solo traveller of the same gender.
Local payment - $670, 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.
Shearwater Explorers Village, Victoria Falls
Situated in the bohemian town of Victoria Falls, and 400m from the Falls themselves, the affordable accommodation at the Shearwater Explorers Village consists of 5 campsites with modern bathroom facilities, and 16 chalets with en-suite showers and A/C. Shearwater operates a range of activities at the Falls, from bungee jumping to river rafting - and when the day is over, guests can wind down with Wi-Fi in the lounge areas, a drink by the pool, or even a back rub in the massage tent.
Burkes' Paradise (campsite), Bulawayo
Burkes' Paradise is a hostel and campsite set on an attractive 12 acre plot of land, comprised of natural bush and well maintained lawns. There are camping pitches around the garden, with shared facilities and hot showers. WiFi internet access is available in the communal lounge area and there's a swimming pool with sun loungers, so you can enjoy a refreshing swim and relax after a busy day. The property is located ten minute drive from the centre of Bulawayo.