Great Trek Adventure

Camping in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe
Overview

overview

Traverse beautiful Southern Africa to experience the wildlife, scenery, and cultures of Botswana and Namibia on this "limited participation" camping safari. Observe the dramatic geological detail of the Fish River Canyon and the Namib Desert, and continue on to Etosha National Park, Okavango River Delta, and Victoria Falls. Stalk unusual wildlife, from the flamingos in Walvis Bay to lions and cheetahs in Etosha National Park, and meet the fascinating Himba people. If you are very adventurous, try sandboarding, quadbiking, skydiving, kayaking, hot air ballooning, and scenic flights over the Namib Desert. From the sprawling dunes of the Namib to the peaks of the Spitzkoppe mountains, this Great Trek Adventure is the perfect combination of unforgettable adventurous natural and cultural experiences. This trip includes long driving distances.

This trip is offered in both directions, either Cape Town to Livingstone or vice versa.  Please let us know what direction and dates best fit your schedule, or allow us to help you make a choice.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town
    Welcome to Cape Town.

    South Africa

    Upon arrival in Cape Town, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel for your overnight. Set against the majestic Table Mountain, Cape Town offers scenic, historic, and cultural attractions. Gather at 6:00 pm this evening to meet your guide and travel companions in the hotel lobby for a pre-tour briefing.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Breakwater Lodge (or similar)
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  • Day 2: Cape Town Peninsula

    Depart from the Breakwater Lodge at 8:00 a.m. heading for the iconic Table Mountain where, weather permitting, you can ascend the peak via an aerial cable car (own expense) for the spectacular view.  Drive along the Atlantic seaboard via Hout Bay and Chapman’s Peak to the Table Mountain National park for a visit to the Cape Point at the southernmost tip of Africa.  Returning along the Indian Ocean coastline, we pass through Simon's Town, Fish Hoek and Kalk Bay.  Time permitting, we'll visit Boulder's Beach to see the African penguin colony (own expense).   Lunch will be taken en-route and dinner can be enjoyed at the bustling waterfront (own expense). Return to your Cape Town accommodation for your overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Breakwater Lodge (or similar)
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  • Day 3: Hantam Region

    Departing Cape Town, pass through an area known as "Swart Land." Stop at a viewpoint on the Piekeniernskloof Pass, drive through the picturesque Namaqualand region with incredible views of the Knersvlakte from the Van Ryns Pass.     August - October the wildflowers add a burst of color to the landscape.

    Approximately 6 hours drive (360 km)

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Serviced Camping
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  • Day 4: Augrabies Falls National Bark

    Leaving the Little Karoo, you head north to Augrabies Falls National Park, heading north into the Green Kalahari region -  named for the lush vegetation along the Orange River and the plentiful evergreen Aacia Areoloba Trees - on the way.  The Orange River plummets an impressive 56m into the gorge below.  This is the world's sixth largest waterfall. You will also have an opportunity to see the Rock Hyrax, which is the closest living relative to the African Elephant.   Spend the afternoon enjoying the falls.

    Approximately 7 hours drive (480 km)

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Serviced Camping
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  • Days 5-6: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

    Botswana

    Continue north into the Kalahari and the magnificent Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The park covers over 3.6 million hectares, making it one of the largest reserves in Africa.  Vegetation is very sparse, affording the opportunity of excellent wildlife sightings, including the famous black maned lion.  While here we will enjoy afternoon and evening game drives.

    Approximately 5 hours drive (360 km)

    Meals
    2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
    Lodging
    Serviced Camping
  • Day 7: Fish River Canyon

    Namibia

    Cross the border into Namibia. After lunch, drive to the awe-inspiring Fish River Canyon, one of the most staggering sights in Africa and second only in size to the Grand Canyon. After setting up camp, enjoy a walk along the rim of the canyon and watch the changing colors of sunset over the  canyon. 

    Today, your travel time will be approximately 6 hours (370 km).
     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Serviced Camping
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  • Days 8-9: Sesriem / Sossusvlei
    Wander the expansive Namib Desert.

    Today, journey north through ever-changing scenery to your camp on the edge of the Namib Desert. Enjoy a sunset walk on the dunes surrounding your camp. The following morning, you will have an early departure for Sossusvlei, stopping in the dune belt to witness the changing colors of the world’s highest sand dunes. You will take a 5km walk to Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. In the afternoon, take another short hike through Sesriem Canyon. 

    Your drive time today is approximately 8 hours (516 km).
     

    Meals
    2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
    Lodging
    Serviced Camping
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  • Day 10: Swakopmund
    Stop for a picture at the Tropic of Capricorn.

    Heading north, we travel through Kuiseb Canyon before reaching Walvis Bay for lunch while viewing the many flamingos (seasonal).  This wetland area - including the salt works, mudflats, shoreline and lagoon - is the single most important wetland area in Southern Africa for migratory birds. Arrive in Swakopmund and spend the afternoon exploring this German colonial town or book one of the numerous optional excursions (all activities booked locally) for the following day. Activities available may include sandboarding, quadbiking, skydiving, kayaking, hot air ballooning, or scenic flights over the vast Namib Desert.  Your drive time to reach Swakopmund is approximately five hours (300km).
     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Dunedin Star Guesthouse (or similar)
  • Day 11: Spitzkoppe

    Leaving Swakopmund after lunch, you will continue north and set up camp among the boulders of the Spitzkoppe mountains. The Spitzkoppe (sharp head) is one of the most recognizable of Namibia's landforms and has earned the nickname as "The Matterhorn of Africa." The afternoon is free to walk in the surrounding area, where the spectacular setting of your remote bush camp is sure to leave a lasting impression.  Today's drive time is approximately two hours (150km).
     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Serviced Camping
    Show on a map
  • Days 12-13: Kaokoland / Himbas

    Drive inland through the Damaraland region with its vast and rugged terrain. Its mountain ranges are intercepted by wide gravel plains which run into sandy, vegetated riverbeds and hot, dry valleys.  If very lucky, you might see the desert-adapted elephant or rhino while here.  The second day will start with a morning visit to the Himba people, a semi-nomadic tribe living in scattered settlements throughout the region. They are characterized by their proud, yet friendly stature, and the women are noted for their unusual beauty, which is enhanced by intricate hairstyles and traditional dress. You'll spend a few hours learning more about these fascinating people.  Total travel time Spitzkoppe - Opuwo is approximately nine hours (550 km).

    Meals
    2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
    Lodging
    Serviced Camping
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  • Days 14-15: Etosha National Park
    If you're lucky, you'll spot a cheetah.

    Entering Etosha National Park via the western corridor, we head to the Okakeuho Campsite.  Etosha is one of the most important reserves and game sanctuaries in Africa, with thousands of wild animals such as blue wildebeest, springbok, zebra, kudu, giraffe, cheetah, leopard, lion, and elephant all making it their home. Floodlit watering holes at Okaukuejo and Namutoni campsites attract an abundance of animals throughout the evening, providing many amazing wildlife sightings. Enjoy daily early morning and late afternoon game drives.

    Total travel time is approximately 7 hours (410 km).

    Meals
    2 Breakfast, 2 Lunch, 2 Dinner
    Lodging
    Okakeujo & Namutoni Restcamp (or similar)
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  • Days 16-17: Okavango River
    Wake up to elephants hanging out in your campsite.

    Enter the Caprivi Strip (Itenge), where camp will be set up among the lush vegetation overlooking the Okavango River. Enjoy sunset on the deck or a swim in the famous “river pool."  Many optional activities are available for the following day, including mokoro excursions, bird walks, and boat cruises (own account). Choose your own way to enjoy the prolific bird and animal life of the Okavango. Total drive time from Etosha to this area of the Okavango is approximately 8 hours (600 km).
     

    Meals
    2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
    Lodging
    Serviced Camping
  • Days 18-19: Chobe River

    Botswana

    Continuing through the Caprivi, you'll cross into Botswana, where we'll set up camp on the banks of the Chobe River in Chobe National Park. The park is famous for its beautiful scenery, magnificent sunsets, and abundance of wildlife and birdlife. The following day, you can relax on a game viewing cruise on the Chobe River.  A morning game drive in Chobe National Park is optional (own account).

    Total travel time Okavango River - Chobe River is approximately 6-8 hours (500 km).

    Meals
    2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
    Lodging
    Serviced Camping
    Show on a map
  • Days 20-21: Victoria Falls

    Zimbabwe

    Travel across the Zimbabwe border to Victoria Falls, where you will stay for the next several days.  Victoria Falls (Known at Mosi-oa-Tunya  - The Smoke That Thunders) is an UNESCO World Heritage Site that spans the mighty Zambezi river between Zambia and Zimbabwe.  Without a doubt, the falls are one of the greatest and most spectacular sights in Africa.  These next days are yours to spend at leisure browsing the local markets or experiencing some of the many optional activities on offer in this adrenaline capital of Africa:  white water rafting, bungee jumping, microlighting, airplane or helicopter flights over the falls, rhino walks, elephant-back safaris, and visiting the falls on foot along extensive trails (all activities booked locally). 

    Your travel time to Victoria Falls is approximately 2-3 hours depending on border crossing (80km).  

    Meals
    2 Breakfasts
    Lodging
    Victoria Falls Rainbow Hotel (or similar)
  • Day 22: Onward

    Your adventure ends after breakfast today, when you are transferred to the airport for your flight home.  Flights booked home are typically via Johannesburg.  If your schedule permits, consider a brief extension to explore Johannesburg and Soweto.

    Meals
    Breakfast
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Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Nov 1-22, 2014R
Dec 12, 2014-Jan 2, 2015
Jan 10-31, 2015
Jan 31-Feb 21, 2015R
Mar 7-28, 2015
Mar 28-Apr 18, 2015R
May 2-23, 2015
May 23-Jun 13, 2015R
Jul 4-25, 2015
Jul 18-Aug 8, 2015
Aug 8-29, 2015R
Aug 29-Sep 19, 2015
Sep 12-Oct 3, 2015
Sep 19-Oct 10, 2015R
Oct 3-24, 2015R
Nov 14-Dec 5, 2015
Dec 12, 2015-Jan 2, 2016R
Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$3,850
Sleeping bag, foam matress & pillow included
Single Supplement:
$325
250
Need to Know

Need to Know

This safari is recommended for healthy and active participants looking for an adventurous safari.

New in 2013, this trip is now 22 days/21 nights with the addition of Augrabies Falls and Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Parks, and ending in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.   This no-participation camping trip now closely mirrors the TransKalahari Trip, the accommodated version of the itinerary, and is offered in both directions, either Capetown to Vic Falls or vice versa.  There are monthly departures.  Please let us know what direction and dates best fit your schedule, or allow us to help you make a choice.

Duration:
22 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
1
camping, comfortable hotels and guesthouses
Group Size:
4-16
2015 trips guaranteed with 4
Activity Level:
3
camping, comfortable hotels and guesthouses

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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