Classic Botswana & Namibia Safari
13 days, 12 nights
Price Range: $9,079 – $21,555
(all-inclusive price per person, depending on dates & camps selected)
From vast desert to verdant delta, Botswana and Namibia are a study in contrasts. The two countries together offer a montage of safari experiences without parallel. This concise route surveys a surprising variety of wildlife habitats and scenic splendors that range from the watery marshes of the Okavango to the towering sand dunes of Sossusvlei. In between are canyons, woodlands, plains, salt pans and waterholes that are home to a truly remarkable collection of wildlife.
Our Expert Says
To experience the spectacular landscapes and desert-adapted wildlife of Namibia, the famous Okavango Delta in Botswana, and magnificent Victoria Falls all in one trip is a great way to experience the beauty and diversity that southern Africa has to offer.
– Court Whelan
Day 1: Windhoek
Windhoek is Namibia’s capital and largest city. Surrounded by rolling mountains, Windhoek was the former colonial capital of German South-West Africa. While its population today is a diverse and cosmopolitan blend of cultures, Windhoek still retains much of its German heritage evidenced in language, architecture and cuisine. The city center has a European café-culture feel, relaxed and eclectic, with a pedestrian precinct, bustling shops and market stalls.
Days 2-3: Sossusvlei
A vast clay pan surrounded by the world's tallest sand dunes, Sossusvlei is one of the most striking vistas in all Africa. The dunes soar a thousand feet high in the lonely Namib Desert, shape-shifting mountains of golden sand framed by intense blue skies. Sunrise and sunset are magical, when the dunes appear burnt orange and deep carnelian red. Surprisingly, Sossusvlei is home to a variety of desert-adapted wildlife.
Days 4-5: Etosha Nat'l Park
One of Africa’s premier wildlife sanctuaries, the Etosha salt pan is the remnant of an enormous prehistoric lake. Bare and dry today except for seasonal springs, the depression offers Namibia’s best animal viewing. Elephant, black and white rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hartebeest, springbok, oryx, kudu and dik-dik are drawn to its life-sustaining waterholes during the dry season. Birdlife is abundant, with ostrich and raptors frequently observed.
Day 6: Windhoek
Return to Windhoek to spend the night before continuing to Botswana and the Okavango Delta in the morning.
Days 7-8: Okavango Delta
Where the Okavango River meets the Kalahari Desert, a green oasis sprawls amid the sands and parched savanna. The maze of channels sustains a profusion of wildlife in permanently flooded lagoons and on land. Explore the marsh by poled mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe, and wildlife drives on higher ground. Islands and wetlands are home to prolific birdlife, hippo and red lechwe, while elephant, lion, leopard, zebra and more thrive beyond the water’s reach.
Days 9-10: Linyanti / Savuti Reserves
The Linyanti and Savuti region of northern Botswana is noted for its shifting landscapes, from riverine to dry pans, woodlands to plains. Perennial water attracts great herds of animals that come to slake their thirst in the dry season. The once-flowing Savute Channel, which experiences long, unpredictable intervals of drought, cuts through the reserve. Large prides of lion and other predators steal behind, making for exciting wildlife viewing. Elephant, zebra and giraffe are also abundant.
Days 11-12: Victoria Falls (Zambia)
You'll see the spray first, visible for miles, called Mosi-oa-Tunya – the “smoke that thunders” – by the local people. The roar of the cataract follows, as the Zambezi River plunges 350 feet over a basalt cliff into the gorge below. View Victoria Falls on rainforest trails, from the famous bridge, or via an exhilarating helicopter or ultralight flight – activities abound in Livingstone, including whitewater rafting, canoeing and sunset cruises.
Day 13: Livingstone/Home
Your safari adventure ends today in Livingstone, Zambia.