Cape Town to Vic Falls Trip Notes

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

  • Trip code : IUXOF
  • Trip length : 22 Days
  • Trip starts in : Cape Town, South Africa
  • Trip ends in : Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • Maximum group size : 22
  • Ages : Min 15
  • Meals : 18 breakfasts, 16 lunches, 16 dinners
  • Accommodation : Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nts), Camping (with facilities) (14 nts), Chalet (3 nts), Hotel (1 nt)
  • Transport : 4x4 Safari Vehicle, Mokoro, Overland vehicle

 

daily-itinerary1

Day
1

Cape Town

Sawubona! Welcome to South Africa.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.

You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.

With its stunning coastline, dominating mountain and modern cityscape, Cape Town is one of Africa's most appealing cities. With vineyards on its doorstep, adventure activities around every other corner and plenty of restaurants and cafes to while away the time, Cape Town is a very easy city to spend some extra time in.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)

Days
2-3

Western Cape/Orange River

Leaving Cape Town behind, travel up the Western Cape and spend the night on a working farm (290 km, approx 6 hrs).

Pass through Namaqualand, famous for its wildflowers that spring up from the end of July to mid-September. Flowers like daisies, gazanias and cinerarias are the most popular. Arrive at the beautiful Orange River, the natural border between South Africa and Namibia. It takes about an hour to exit South Africa and enter Namibia, and we then head for our camp on the banks of the river (420 km, approx 9 hrs).

Traditionally known as the Gariep River, the Orange River is the longest in South Africa (2200 km). Its source is high up in the Drakensberg mountain range in Lesotho and it flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay in South Africa. The Orange River is responsible for transporting diamonds and creating the deposits that can be found along the Namibian coast.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)

Day
4

Fish River Canyon

This morning there's a chance for an optional canoe adventure on the stunning Orange River - a great way to discover the beauty of this region.

Head further west into the desert lands of Namibia towards Fish River Canyon (270 km, approx 4-5 hrs).

At 500 metres deep and over 160 km long, Fish River Canyon is one of the largest canyons in the world. There are remarkable photographic opportunities here.

Tonight's camp has showers and flush toilets.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)

Days
5-6

Sesriem/Bush Camp

This is a long driving day towards the fabled dunes of Namibia (520 km, approx 10 hrs).

Wake before dawn and scramble to the top of these dunes for a dramatic sunrise view across a vast sea of sand. The colour changes are just incredible and provide a spectacular setting for our brunch.

The most famous part of the Namib Desert is its vast dune fields, the most spectacular of which are found near the Sesriem Canyon. This canyon was formed when the Tsauchab River carved a gorge 30 metres into the gravel deposits about 15 million years ago. It's thought that this river once flowed to the Atlantic Ocean but its course was blocked by the encroaching sand dunes. Now the river flows out to the dune fields that stretch for hundreds of miles up the coast, and dries up in a clay pan at Sossusvlei. The dunes are stunning, with magnificent red/orange tones from the brightly coloured sands. They are the highest in the world and home to a plethora of animal life.

Jump in the back of a pickup truck for a trip to Sossusvlei (approx 30 minutes each way). Here you'll experience the hidden and amazing mysteries this area contains.

In the afternoon of Day 6, we drive to our bush camp in the heart of Namib Desert (230kms, approx. 4hrs away).

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)

Days
7-9

Swakopmund

Continue on to the town of Swakopmund (190 km, approx 4 hrs drive).

Surrounded by the massive dune fields of the Namib Desert on three sides, and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, Swakopmund is an example of the extraordinary German culture that's found in all major settlements in Namibia. It's worth wandering around the town to admire the beauty of the Germanic architecture and take advantage of some excellent souvenir shopping.

Our accommodation here is in bungalows. These accommodate 6 people each and share bathroom facilities.

Day
10

Spitzkoppe

Travel to Spitzkoppe (290 km, approx 6 hrs).

Experience the sight, sound and smell of thousands of olive-coloured seals on the shores of Cape Cross while travelling up the eerie Atlantic Coast.

Visit one of the most stunning areas of Namibia, the wild lands around the mountain of Spitzkoppe - 'the Matterhorn of Namibia'. The mountain, which is 700 million years old, is 1987 metres (5857 ft) high. Although you shouldn't attempt climbing to the top, there are some excellent hikes and guided walks throughout the area, rich in plant life and with some amazing bush paintings. This is a place to get away from it all and to appreciate the stunning harsh beauty of this sparsely populated country.

Bush camp for the night in the midst of this remote region and have the chance to witness the breathtaking sunsets and sunrises as the landscape takes on remarkable oranges and reds.

Accommodation: Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)

Days
11-12

Etosha National Park

Travel to Etosha National Park (480 km, approx 9 hrs).

Etosha National Park is home to a wide range of Southern Africa's wildlife, including all the big carnivores and five rare or endangered species: black rhino, Hartmann's mountain zebra, black-faced impala, roan antelope and the tiny Damara dik-dik. The wildlife is prolific and Etosha has every right to proclaim itself as one of the world's pre-eminent wildlife areas. Game viewing in the park is relatively easy due to the man-made waterholes and the large sparsely vegetated pans.

The bushland surrounding the pans is difficult to see through but there are enough clearings, pans and waterholes to usually allow for some sightings. Namibia has protected its game reserves against poaching so there are large herds of elephants, antelope and other herbivores.

We stay at two different campsites in the park - Namutoni and Okaukuejo.

Okaukuejo Camp is particularly spectacular as it overlooks a floodlit waterhole visited by many different species throughout the day and night.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)

Days
13-14

Grootfontein

Drive to our camp outside Grootfontein for the night (220kms, approx. 5hrs). On Day 14, we do a round trip to visit the Bushmen (180kms).

Take the opportunity to go out tracking and gathering with the San Bushmen. Spend some time with them and listen to the stories and songs of these fascinating people, presented in their unique "clicking language". The Bushmen are the oldest ethnic group in Namibia having inhabited Southern Africa for an estimated 20,000 years. Around 30,000 San live in Namibia, but only 2,000 of them still follow a traditional way of life. The San have a deep understanding of nature and ecology, living in harmony with their environment.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)

Day
15

Bagani

Head to Bagani where we set up camp for the night.

Bagani is a small, friendly town with some good hiking trails along the river and plenty of places to just relax.

Our camp has flush toilets and cold showers.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)

Days
16-17

Okavango Delta

Drive across the border into Botswana and head south along the Okavango Panhandle (the narrowest part of the delta) to Seronga, where we leave our vehicle and join our transport for the journey into the delta (140 km, approx 4 hrs).

Formed by the Okavango River as it flows from the highlands of Angola down to a basin on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta is unlike anything else in the world. The river has no outlet from the desert and spreads out into thousands of small streams to form a wilderness that is totally unspoilt. The 16,000 sq km maze of wetlands is a wonderland of clear meandering waterways, green islands, lush plains and prolific wildlife. The delta is filled with a diversity of flora and fauna that includes hippos, crocodiles, elephants and the big cats. However, it's not for the game that we come as it can't always be found. The delta is about exploring one of the world's most fascinating ecosystems.

Boarding boats out into the swamps, travel to Gao Island to meet our mokoro team and to begin exploring the Okavango Delta. Each mokoro (small dugout canoe) takes two people and is poled along through the meandering waterways by a local tribesman. Reeds and lily pads line the streams, and birds startled by the mokoros rise out of the long grasses. Punting along, the peace of the delta may be shattered by the deep grunting of hippos.

Out in the middle of a wilderness area, on the first night you'll camp on an island away from civilisation.

Continue our trip around the delta and then return to Gao Island before heading to the relative civilisation of Umvuvu Camp with its (usually) hot showers and small bar.

Accommodation: Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts)

Day
18

Bagani

Return to Bagani for the night where we have time to relax and take part in the various activities that are available in this charming place. Various boat trips, fishing or hikes are possible from Bagani.

Our camp has flush toilets and cold showers.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)

Days
19-20

Chobe National Park

Bagani to Chobe National Park is quite a long drive, but it's well worth it (430 km, approx 8 hrs). Enter Botswana at Goma border which is also the gateway to the park.

Botswana's first national park, Chobe, is perhaps best known for its high concentration of elephants, which can often be seen swimming in the Chobe River. The river also attracts wallowing hippos, a variety of birdlife, crocodiles sunning themselves by the water's edge, and cheetahs and lions which come down to drink.

Take an optional cruise down the Chobe River - one of the best ways to enjoy the park's animals.
Enjoy an early morning game drive and get up close to the wildlife, hopefully spotting lions, buffaloes, birds and of course elephants.

Our camp is outside of Chobe National Park and has flush toilets and hot/cold showers.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)

Days
21-22

Victoria Falls

Travel on to Victoria Falls, crossing the border into Zimbabwe in time to have lunch on the banks of the Zambezi (115 km, approx 3 hrs).

Visit the magnificent Victoria Falls.

The Victoria Falls are an enormous curtain of water, about a mile wide, falling 108 m into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise up an incredible 400 m and the falls are an impressive raging torrent. The spray from the falls can sometimes be seen from kilometres away. It's no wonder that the local name Mosi oa Tunya means the 'smoke that thunders'. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and it's possible to see little islets in the river below.

Tonight we'll share a final night dinner together. You are free to depart any time on Day 22 as there are no activities planned. Check out time is 10am.

For those of you who are planning on spending a few extra days in Vic Falls there are various activities and excursions available - either on the water, on land or high above it all. Choose from white water rafting, canoeing, horse riding, abseiling or gorge swinging (please see the 'Optional Activities' below for more details on what you can see and do around Victoria Falls).

If you are interested in the Optional Helicopter flight ( 12 minutes or 25 minutes ) we endorse the following operator only: Zambezi Helicopter co CAA Zimbabwe. Your leader can help you arrange this activity.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)

 

included1

  • Fish River Canyon
  • Sesriem - Sand dunes visit
  • Sossusvlei - 4x4 Tour
  • Cape Cross - Cape Cross seal colony
  • Etosha - Game drive
  • Grootfontein - San cultural experience
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro trips & bushwalks
  • Chobe - Dawn game drive
  • Victoria Falls - Visit Victoria Falls

 

optional-extras

  • Cape Town - Bo-Kaap Museum - ZAR30
  • Cape Town - District Six Museum - ZAR25
  • Cape Town - Harbour cruise - ZAR200
  • Cape Town - Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens - ZAR45
  • Cape Town - South Africa National Gallery - ZAR35
  • Cape Town - South African Museum - ZAR27
  • Cape Town - Table Mountain - Cycling - ZAR550
  • Cape Town - Table Mountain - Hiking - ZAR720
  • Cape Town - Table Mountain - Aerial cable - ZAR250
  • Cape Town - Robben Island tour - ZAR260
  • Swakopmund - Swakopmund Museum - USD2
  • Swakopmund - Balloon flight (on request only) - USD415
  • Swakopmund - Hansa Breweries visit - USD25
  • Chobe - Boat Cruise - BWP160
  • Victoria Falls - Canoe trail - USD185
  • Victoria Falls - Canoe trail (half day) - USD100
  • Victoria Falls - Flying fox - USD50
  • Victoria Falls - Gorge swing - USD110
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (12 mins) - USD175
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (25 mins) - USD334
  • Victoria Falls - Rafting & river boarding combo (half day) - USD218
  • Victoria Falls - Sunset cruise Zambezi river - USD50
  • Victoria Falls - Village & township tour - USD50

 

not-included1International flights, departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.

 

tripgrade1

Overland

Overland journeys are all about freedom and discovery. By travelling in a purpose-built truck you’ll see all the must-see highlights but also get far off the beaten track. These are real adventures where itineraries are changeable and the number of nights in hotels or camping can vary. The tours are highly inclusive and very much hands on. Led by professional crew, groups consist of up to 22 adventurous passengers, sharing the cooking, food shopping and setting up camp.

This tour is operated by our partners Intrepid.

 

visa1A necessary bugbear of adventure travel, visas can appear complicated, costly and confusing to apply for. Imaginative Traveller recommend applying for visas with a professional visa service who can guide you though the process and take care of lodging and collecting your passport with multiple embassies, so we have teamed up with The Visa Machine.The Visa Machine ‘live and breathe’ visas and have the expertise to provide current and accurate information and arrange the correct visas for your trip, quickly and at a good price.Please click here for more information.

 

medical-preparation1We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations. In some places anti-malaria medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow yourself plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental check up is also highly recommended.

 

Money1Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

You will need to take cash to cover all additional expenses not included in your tour cost. These include food, drinks, optional sightseeing, tips, laundry, souvenirs and possible delays. If in doubt, bring more than you think you will need. It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the time; providing your claim falls within the scope of your policy, your insurance company will make reimbursement later

 

travel-insuranceYou must have extensive travel insurance as a condition of booking with us, and without evidence of a valid policy you won’t be allowed to start your trip. Please click here for more information.

 

responsible-travel1Responsible tourism is at the heart of Imaginative Traveller. For 20 years we have taken customers to places around the world in social and environmentally responsible manner, ensuring everyone involved respects and maintains the natural and often delicate balance of the destination.As travellers ourselves we are well aware of the impact that tourism can have and whilst economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, it should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment. It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit. We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.We believe giving something back is essential. We therefore work with our customers and the people we visit to ensure the benefits go directly to contribute to local cultures and environmental conservation. This is not only good the communities we visit but it also gives our travellers more enriched adventures.For further information about responsible travel please click here.

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