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Namibia Botswana Tour

Namibia Botswana tour 18 days starts from £4845 per person including international scheduled flights and sharing a double room

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Namibia

With its well-developed infrastructure, some of the best tourist facilities in Africa and an impressive list of breathtaking natural wonders, touring Namibia is truly a pleasure. Visit the capital of Windhoek and the lovely coastal town of Swakopmund to discover remnants of the country’s German influence, reflected in the architecture, culture, cuisine and the annual Oktoberfest celebrations. To properly appreciate this extraordinary country you will have to venture out of the cities to explore the remarkable natural landscapes that Namibia has to offer.

These include – the impressive Fish River Canyon Park, the vast Etosha National Park teeming with local subspecies, such as desert lions, desert elephants and the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra, the hauntingly beautiful Kalahari Desert and of course the Namib Desert stretching for nearly 1000 km along the magnificent Atlantic coastline. Namibia is an ideal destination for travellers seeking an unforgettable African experience in a uniquely beautiful untamed wilderness.

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Windhoek

Windhoek is Namibia’s capital, home to an international airport and a plethora of restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and accommodation options. The city is clean, safe and well-organised with a colonial legacy that is reflected in its many German eateries and shops and the widespread use of the German language. Windhoek has an interesting mix of historical architecture and modern buildings, many of which are worth a visit, including the Alte Feste (Old Fort), the 1896 Christuskirche (Christ Church), and the more contemporary Supreme Court.

Day 1:    Travel to Namibia via South Africa. At Windhoek airport you will be met in the arrivals hall for a briefing on your itinerary before collecting your car. After driving through Windhoek you will arrive at The Elegant Guesthouse.

Day 2:     The Elegant Guesthouse, Windhoek
Bed and Breakfast included.

Situated in the up-market residential area of Klein Windhoek, on the corner of “von Eckenbrecher – Ziegler Street” and 5 minutes walk to Joe’s Beerhouse (Africa’s most famous Pub/Restaurant), this modern, up-market guesthouse consists of 6 luxurious en-suite double rooms. Guests can enjoy the contemporary flair and stylish surroundings of The Elegant Guesthouse.

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Day 3 and 4:     Sossusvlei Lodge, Sossusvlei
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast are included.

In Sossusvlei you will find the iconic red sand dunes of the Namib.  The clear blue skies contrast with the giant red sand dunes to make this one of the natural wonders of Africa and a photographers heaven. Aside from the attractions at Sossusvlei – Dune 45, Hiddenvlei, Big Daddy and Deadvlei – other attractions include the Sesriem Canyon and Namib-Naukluft National Park, where the mountains of the Namib meet the plains.

Further south the routing takes you via Maltahöhe into the low plains of the Namib Desert where you can stop for lunch. Leave the lodge early and go and watch the sun rise over the dunes.

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Situated at the entrance gate to the Namib Naukluft Park, Sossusvlei Lodge offers direct access to the towering red sand dunes, the famous pan of Sossusvlei, the scorched black trees of Dead Vlei and the remarkable depths of the Sesriem Canyon.

The 45 individual luxurious lodgings at Sossusvlei Lodge are carefully laid out to perfectly blend in with the magnificent surroundings. Each is fully air-conditioned with a patio, en-suite bathroom with shower and a spacious bedroom under canvas with adobe-style plaster walls to give the visitor a distinctivesense of being close to nature.
Facilities include a sparkling pool, bar, beer garden and an al fresco terrace where one can enjoy excellent food, award-winning wines and magnificent views of the floodlit waterhole. The Sossusvlei Lodge Adventure Centre provides a range of activities including quad-biking, guided excursions, sun-downer trips, hot air ballooning and scenic flights to explore the area’s natural beauty.

Recommendations – Dune 45, named for its location 45 kilometres past the town of Sesriem, is renowned for its elegant shape and because of its position close to the road, has earned the distinction of being the ‘most photographed dune in the world’. If you are not keen on the strenuous hike to the top of Big Daddy, Dune 45 is a more forgiving alternative, standing at only 80 metres and offering a much gentler gradient.

Elim Dune is just five kilometres from the camp at Sesriem. It is best viewed at sunset when the colours deepen, intensifying the contrast between the red dunes and the purple-blue Naukluft Mountains on the opposite horizon. Elim Dune is roughly 100 metres in height and the climb to its peak takes about an hour.

Your route takes you north via the Kuiseb Canyon to Swakopmund. Highlights along the way include a drive to the “Moon Landscape” and the ancient desert plant, “Welwitschia mirabilis”. Stop for a picnic lunch en-route.

Swakopmund was founded in 1892 and served as the main harbour for German South West Africa. Now a seaside resort, Swakopmund is at the heart of the Skeleton Coast tourism area and has plenty to keep visitors happy. This quaint desert town with its old-world charm and relaxed atmosphere hedged by desert and sea, is enhanced by lush green lawns
and palm trees.  The quirky mix of German and Namibian influences, colonial-era buildings and the cool sea breeze make it a very popular place to visit.

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Day 5:     Strand Hotel, Swakopmund
Bed and Breakfast included.

With its extensive, unique and creatively entertaining Restaurants, Bars, Deli, Lobby-Lounge, Sea Facing Terraces, Beach Kiosk and state of the art Conference & Banqueting Center, all set on the Mole, a historic and iconic site surrounded by Ocean on three sides, the Strand Hotel Swakopmund is a social epicenter and destination in itself for all visitors to and residents of Swakopmund.
Its architectural inspiration finds its roots deep in Namibian German history and reflects this in a tasteful contemporary manner. The interiors are residential in nature, and the brief to all designers involved was to create a non-hotel, hotel. One as charming and welcoming as the town it is located in. Simply very warm and comfortable, and as they say in German: “gemütlich” providing a genuine “sense-of-place” atmosphere adding to any Namibian visit.
Arriving at the Strand is a dramatic experience as one passes through its 13m high and 9m wide Ocean View Atrium which travels right through the Hotel offering sea views at either end. Off this Atrium Lobby is Reception, consisting of three individual desks and an inviting open fireplace which rounds off the residential feel and warm welcome.

Huge, untamed and ruggedly beautiful Damaraland is an exceptionally scenic landscape of open plains and spectacular rock formations. The major attractions are Spitzkoppe, the Brandberg, Twyfelfontein, Vingerklip and the Petrified Forest.

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Day 6 to 8:     Camp Kipwe, Damaraland
Full board and 2 activities included.

Camp Kipwe is an intimate and remote bush lodge located in Namibia’s arid yet starkly beautiful Twyfelfontein region, home to many ancient Bushman etchings. The 9 specially-designed rooms are unique and private, with an outdoor bathroom, thatched roofs and spectacular views over the surrounding area. A luxury thatched suite with a lounge equipped with air-conditioning, a satellite television, a double room with en-suite bathroom, laundry service and a mini-bar. Special offers available for longer stays!
Camp Kipwe offers guided nature walks around the Twyfelfontein Conservancy, as well as trips to see the Bushman etchings, the mysterious Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountain. For a very special experience, an Elephant Nature Drive is a must-do; explore the terrain in search of these elusive desert-dwelling elephants who have adapted to the dry and sandy conditions of northern Namibia.

Ongava Private Game Reserve is one of the largest and most exclusive games reserves in the southern part of Etosha National Park. It offers an authentic and comprehensive safari experience, including nature walks and game drives, as well as luxurious accommodation. The reserve is home to – among others – lion, eland, black-faced impala, Hartmann’s mountain zebra and a variety of other antelope species. It is also one of the few private reserves in South Africa where both black and white rhino can be observed. Birdlife is plentiful at the reserve, with over 340 species recorded in the area.

Continue further inland today and onto Ongava Private Game Reserve. Game drives are included but if you would like to go into Etosha National Park these drives are extra.

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Days 8-10:     Andersson’s Camp, Ongava Private Game Reserve

Fully inclusive

Nestled in mopane scrub on white calcrete soils, Andersson’s Camp is situated 4.5 km from Etosha’s Andersson Gate. The camp was named after Swedish explorer Charles Andersson – one of the first Europeans to “discover” Etosha, Africa’s largest saltpan.

The resurrected former farmstead that stands on the site now forms the centre of a charming camp fronting onto a productive waterhole. The 18 tented en-suite units (including two family suites) are raised on decks. The camp is an exciting example of sustainable construction; this model of eco-sensitive lodging provides an authentic, safe and down-to-earth experience for small groups, families and independent travellers to the Etosha region and is easily accessible by either road or air.

Activities include morning and/or afternoon game drives in Etosha National Park, and morning and afternoon/evening drives (on request) and nature walks on Ongava Reserve. The sunken hide at the waterhole in front of camp is an excellent place from which to watch wildlife coming down to drink.

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Days 10-11:         Okonjima Plains Camp, Okonjima Game Reserve

Dinner, bed and breakfast are included

Halfway between Windhoek and Etosha lies the well-known Okonjima Nature Reserve. The 22,000 ha Nature Reserve is surrounded by 96 km of fencing and was finally completed in 2010. Okonjima is home to AFRICAT, a Carnivore Conservation, which gives the captive carnivores a second chance – they can be released back into the wild but will have time to adapt and to become completely independent hunters – in a protected area right in the middle of commercial farmland! Also in the Reserve is a 2000 ha ‘safe’ zone around Plains Camp, Bush Camp, Bush Suite, the Omboroko Campsite as well as the PAWS Environmental Education Centre.

Depart the Etosha area and head south via Otjiwarongo to the Okonjima Lodge, not only is Okonjima a luxury lodge but it is also home of the Africat Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation and protection of Namibian wild cats, in particular leopard and cheetah. A visit to Okonjima will give you an opportunity to witness some of AfriCat’s work.

The Okonjima activities include tracking rehabilitated carnivores on foot, visiting the AfriCat Carnivore Care and Information Centre and tracking leopards from a game–viewing vehicle. Okonjima also offers a guided Bushman Trail and Birding and Game drives are offered on request if guests stay longer than 2 days.

Day 12:           Return to Windhoek to overnight before your early morning flight

The Elegant Guesthouse

Dinner bed and breakfast are included

Zimbabwe

A nation of spectacular natural beauty, friendly people and rich culture, Zimbabwe’s status as one of Africa’s leading safari destinations was dampened for years by its political instability. But now that the country is transcending its strife and returning to a state of equilibrium, it is once again emerging as a vacation highlight of the continent. Victoria Falls – known to locals as ‘The Smoke That Thunders’ – is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the sheer power of this massive body of water plunging into the Zambezi Gorge is awe-inspiring and unforgettable. Lake Kariba, with its game-rich shores and islands, is an idyllic safari spot featuring mind-blowing sunsets; Hwange National Park is known for its huge herds of elephants; and a kayak trip down the Zambezi through the Mana Pools National Park will appeal to the intrepid traveller, providing close encounters with crocodiles, hippos and a host of other wildlife.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Resting on the southern banks of the Zambezi river at the western end of the eponymous falls, this popular tourist town is compact enough to walk around and makes an ideal base for travellers exploring the seventh wonder of the world, the unfathomably vast Victoria Falls. About two thirds of the falls can be viewed from the Zimbabwean side and, while the falls are undoubtedly the star attraction, the area provides both adventure seekers and sightseers with plenty of opportunities to warrant a longer stay. Popular activities include scenic flights over the falls in helicopters or micro lights, bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge, white-water rafting (seasonal), and day trips to Chobe National Park. The town itself offers some excellent accommodation and restaurant options as well as an eclectic variety of African curios and authentic art sold by friendly Zimbabwean locals who are wonderfully welcoming and eager to help you enjoy your stay.

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Day 13:           fly from Windhoek to Victoria Falls

Take an early morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Victoria Falls.  On arrival arrange your visa and after clearing immigration, you will be met in the arrivals hall for your transfer to Ilala Lodge.

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Overnight – Ilala Lodge

Bed and breakfast are included

The warmest of welcomes awaits you at Ilala Lodge Hotel. A gracefully distinguished ambiance, and attentive yet discrete service that always comes with a smile. The sublime surroundings of this boutique hotel will reawaken your senses while the power of the majestic Victoria Falls renews your spirit.

Relax in luxurious style.  Listen to the meditative rhythm of the great Zambezi as you drift off to sleep. As morning comes, gently awake and lift your head to see the spray of the majestic Victoria Falls across the unspoiled horizon – and let your soul sigh.

Feel at ease in the elegant and spacious rooms with African Teak furniture, soft, crisp linen and views that look across the lawns to the National Parks where elephant, warthog, impala or the occasional buffalo might be passing by or simply grazing on the lawn or in the tree line.

Experience new tastes, indulge in unusual flavours and enjoy delectable dishes at our award winning restaurant “The Palm”; dine in view of the spray of the majestic Victoria Falls!

Cruise down the river of time and follow the route that ancient explorers took, on the luxurious        Ra-Ikane, which is the only one of her kind in Victoria Falls. The Ra-Ikane is a small luxury cruise boat that is outfitted to suggest, in exquisite detail, an ambiance of a bygone era.  Sip chilled white wine, or Gin & Tonics whilst nibbling on canapes, as well as the sumptuous high tea, whilst you glide up to Elephants feeding on the shoreline.

Day 14:                 Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls

Bed and breakfast are included

The Victoria Falls National Park is located on the Zimbabwean side of the border and boasts beautiful hiking trails, a wealth of wildlife and spectacular views of ‘The Smoke That Thunders’, as local people call the falls. Permeated by the fine mist that rises from the falls as they plummet 100 metres into the gorge below, the reserve encompasses 23 square kilometres of verdant rainforest, where delicate ferns, tangled monkey vines, tropical palms and mahogany trees thrive in the moist environment. Resident game species include white rhinos, elephants, buffalos and antelope, as well as hippos and crocodiles that lurk in the rivers and pools.

The sunset cruise on the Zambezi River is a definite must on any trip to Victoria Falls. Relax with a sundowner and snacks as you gaze out onto the banks of the river. Have your camera ready to capture one of the most amazing sunsets in Africa.

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You’ll be sure to spot wildlife animals as they come down to the river for a drink after a hot day in the Zambezi National Park (Zimbabwe) and the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park (Zambia). Sightings of elephant, giraffe and other resident game are common. There’s always an abundance of hippos and crocodiles. Birdlife is superb and the Fisheagles will usually fill the scene with their calls.

The microlight flights offer unique, uninhabited and breathtaking views of the Falls and the spectacular gorge that the Zambezi has carved into the surrounding landscape over many thousands of years. The 12 to 15 minute short microlight flight takes off over the Zambezi River and on towards The Victoria Falls circle over the Falls and the islands then returns to Maramba Aerodrome.
The 25 to 30 minute long microlight flight takes off over the Zambezi River and on towards The Victoria Falls, circles over the Falls and the islands. It flies upstream along the Zambezi River to Kalai Island, low level over the Mosi-oa-Tunya Zoological Park for unique game viewing and then returns to Maramba Aerodrome.

These, along with other prebookable excursions can only add to your experience of the majestic Victoria Falls.

Botswana

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Despite recent and surprisingly rapid modernization, Botswana’s cities provide little in the way of tourist attractions. However, what the cities lack in excitement, the surrounding wilderness areas more than make up for in outstanding natural beauty. The country’s primary tourist draw card is undoubtedly the vast red expanse of the Kalahari desert and its remarkably beautiful Okavango Delta – the largest inland delta in the world provide a haven for an abundance of African wildlife. Other highlights include the impressive Makgadikgadi salt pans where visitors are privy to massive zebra migrations during the flood season; the Savuti plains which host large prides of lions; and the Tsodilo Hills where 4500 rock paintings form a unique record of human settlement over many millennia.

The Chobe River forms the northern boundary of the Chobe National Park, renowned for its reliable and diverse game viewing. Safaris are conducted both by boat and on land.  This section of the park is best known for its elephant and hippo populations but the waters attract all manner of game including large herds of buffalo and the lions that prey on them.

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Day 15-17 Chobe Game Lodge, Chobe River Front

Included: fully inclusive (including locally branded drinks)

Transfer from Ilala Lodge across the border to Botswana and on to Chobe Game Lodge where game activites are also included.

Chobe Game Lodge

Counter-balancing the wilderness are restful, air conditioned, en-suite lodgings. Graceful high arches, quarry tiled floors and barrel vaulted ceilings create an atmosphere of cool tranquillity.
Other facilities include a large swimming pool with terrace, a riverside boma area, a stylish bar with an outside terrace, an expansive deck offering magnificent views over the Chobe River as well as conference facilities for business travellers. All meals are catered for in various locations throughout the lodge including the terrace, boma and riverfront deck.

Each of Chobe Game Lodge’s 4 luxury suites has an individual plunge pool set on a private terrace with breathtaking panoramic views of the endless landscape and open plains. Graceful high arches, quarry tiled floors and barrel vaulted ceilings create an atmosphere of cool tranquillity. All 46 rooms are tastefully furnished, each room with hand crafted Rhodesian teak furniture and walls decorated with original African carvings and paintings.

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Day 17 – Return journey to the UK

Transfer to Kasane Airport to meet your flight to Johannesburg where you will connect on to London

Day 18 – Arrival back to London Heathrow

 

Contact our expert staff for more information about Namibia and Botswana tours or holidays to Namibia and Botswana on 01444 225640 or e-mail us at info@visionsofafrica.co.uk