Enjoy the perfect combination of a self-drive safari with guided vehicle and boat safaris in Namibia and Botswana, culminating in a stay near the infamous Victoria Falls.
This novel itinerary, which is self-drive as far as Kasane just inside Botswana, combines Namibia’s premier wildlife hotspot, Etosha National Park, with the lush Caprivi Strip which leads along the Kavango River into Botswana, then on to Chobe National Park.
This ensures that you see the best that the Four Corners, as it is known – where Namiba, Angola, Botswana and Zimbabwe come together – has to offer, with the immensely rich birdlife of the Caprivi and its many rivers. You finish on a high with an opportunity to see Chobe’s legendary elephant population , followed by Victoria Falls, Africa’s biggest and most spectacular waterfall.
Day1: Depart the UK
Day2: Arrive Windhoek
On arrival, collect your hire vehicle and drive around an hour to your accommodation in the city. The rest of the day is free to relax or explore the interesting city of Windhoek.
Continue north to Onguma Private Reserve (395 kilometres / 5 hours) at the eastern end of Etosha National Park. In the afternoon you can do a self-drive excursion into Etosha National Park, or select an optional guided walk or game drive in Onguma Private Reserve.
Full day self-drive excursion into Etosha National Park, or you can choose from optional guided excursion in Etosha National Park, or an optional walk of drive in Onguma Private Reserve.
Day6: Drive to Rundu
Set off early this morning for the long drive (mainly on good tarmac roads) to Rundu in the Okavango (575 kilometres / 7-8 hours). Depending on your arrival time, take an optional boat cruise on the Kavango River.
Continue due east along the Caprivi Strip parallel to Angola’s southern border, which follows the Kavango River to Shadi-Kongoro (230 kilometres / 3 hours). On arrival, enjoy an optional sunset cruise on river or mokoro trip.
Day8: Excursion to Mahango Game Reserve & Popa Falls
Self-drive excursion into Mahango Game Reserve for an opportunity to see elephant, buffalo, red lechwe, sable, roan antelope, bushbuck, kudu, reedbuck, impala, wildebeest, tsessebe and sitatunga, plus more than 400 species of birds. Afternoon visit to Popa Falls.
Day9: Drive through Bwabwata National Park to Kwando River
Drive along the Caprivi Strip through Bwabwata National Park to Kongola (215 kilometres / 3 hours), with a short boat trip on the Kwando River to your island accommodation. A guided night drive is included on arrival.
Day10: Boat trip on Kwando River & game drive in Bwabwata National Park
Included during your stay at Susuwe Island are a morning boat trip on the Kwando River and an afternoon guided game drive in the Kalahari grasslands of Bwabwata National Park. During the excursions, there is an opportunity to see lion, leopard, elephant, roan, reedbuck, kudu, duiker, lechwe, bushbuck, tsessebe, warthog, bush pig, hippo, sitatunga and crocodile. The birdlife is prolific, and the Kwando River is home to tiger fish, catfish, plus various species of tilapia.
Day11: Drive to Kasane & transfer to Chobe
Today you will need an early start for the long drive to Kasane Airport (475 kms / 5 hours), where you drop off your hire vehicle and meet transport for the transfer to Chobe Forest Reserve. An included guided night drive on the lodge’s private concession, using a spotlight, will allow you to see the local nocturnal species, from small mammals to buffalo and elephant.
Day12: Game drive & boat trip in Chobe National Park
Morning game drive in Chobe National Park with a knowledgeable guide, followed by an afternoon boat trip on the Chobe River for a chance to see huge herds of elephants, as well as many other mammals and birds that are attracted to the water. You may also have time to fit in an optional guided bush walk to learn about animal spoor, trees, plants and insects that add an interesting dimension to the wildlife experience, or visit the local village for a cultural experience.
Day13: Transfer to Livingstone by road & ferry
This morning you transfer to Kazungula to take the ferry across the Zambezi to enter Zambia and continue by road to your accommodation just outside Livingstone.
As part of your stay at Waterberry Lodge, two activities are included today. Almost inevitably, one of these will be a half-day visit to the famed Victoria Falls, but you can liaise directly with lodge staff regarding your other choice.
Day15: Transfer to Livingstone & depart
Day16: Arrive UK
Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 16 daysfrom £4,795 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 14 daysfrom £3,795 pp
Single supplement: From £1,615
When to go: Jun-Oct
Etosha is considered to be one of the finest sanctuaries in southern Africa. It is famous for its vast, dazzling saltpan with permanent waterholes, which attract a multitude of wildlife particularly during the dry winter. The neighbouring Ongava Private Game Reserve offers the attraction of tracking rhino on foot.
Where: Oshikoto & Oshana Region
Ideal for viewing: black rhino, black-faced impala, damara dik-dik, African elephant, lion
Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Just Conservation
A hidden gem, the Caprivi Strip is a long, narrow strip of land along the Okavango. Here the Zambezi’s tributaries form a complex system of waterways, islands and riverine forests – protected by parks and wilderness areas. It is rich in wildlife and makes an ideal combination with nearby Botswana or Zambia.
The Africat Foundation is set high upon the edge of a rugged escarpment with beautiful panoramic views. The surrounding woodland is a birdwatcher’s paradise sustaining over 200 species and their cheetah project provides a fascinating insight to their welfare work and opportunities to track on foot or in vehicles.
Where: Otjozondjupa Region
Ideal for viewing: cheetah, Hartlaub’s francolin, leopard, Monteiro’s hornbill, rockrunner
Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris
Chobe sits on the confluence of the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers. The mosaic of bush, waterway, floodplain and woodland is home to a vast array of wildlife, most notably Africa’s largest concentration of elephant, but also huge herds of buffalo that congregate along its fertile floodplain during the dry season.
Where: Northern Botswana
Ideal for viewing: Cape buffalo, African elephant, lion, puku, wild dog
Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, River safaris
Combining perfectly with a safari in Botswana, Zimbabwe or Namibia as well as Zambia, the Zambian side was once considered to be the ‘poor cousin’, by comparison with the views of the river and the falls from Zimbabwe. The two countries are linked by a spectacular iron bridge above the raging waters.
Where: Southern Province
Ideal for viewing: Cape buffalo, African elephant, hippo, trumpeter hornbill, common waterbuck
Excellent for: River safaris
The pleasant, relatively modern city of Windhoek is Namibia’s capital, and is the starting point of most wildlife safaris. A small city of contrasts, it combines modern Europe with modern Africa, together with a sprinkling of attractive old buildings of German architecture.
Excellent for: City stopover
Suggested accommodation options are shown below.
for further recommendations.
The 20 comfortable cabins of this attractive lodge perch on the south bank of the Okavango, with views across to Angola on the other side, just west of Rundu at the start of the Caprivi Strip. Hakusembe River Lodge is a great spot to stop overnight on a trip through the Caprivi region.
Situated in a quiet area at the western edge of Chobe National Park, the intimate Muchenje Safari Lodge lies on an escarpment with fine views over the Chobe River floodplain. Wildlife activities include day and night drives, walking safaris and boat cruises, all accompanied by expert guides.
Home to the AfriCat Foundation, one of the world’s largest cheetah and leopard rescue programmes, the design of this camp is a tribute to the history of cattle-farming in Okonjima. The complex offers three levels of accommodation, and there is a traditional thatched area for dining.
A chic guesthouse in a conveniently central, yet quiet, part of the city, the ten-room Olive Grove Guesthouse offers an unexpectedly high standard of accommodation and personal service. There is everything you could possibly need here, so it makes an ideal start or end to a trip around Namibia.
An intriguing combination of style and attention to detail makes Onguma Tented Camp the ultimate in safari accommodation. Every comfort is provided and the bush-chic styling ensures you are cocooned in luxury. Seven tents are ranged around a waterhole that attracts constant procession of wildlife.
Set on the shady riverbank, Riverdance Lodge’s well-appointed rooms look over the Kavango River. No attention to detail has been spared by the personable owners who used all of their own experience of travelling in its design and execution. The food – based on local fresh produce – is excellent.
Susuwe Island Lodge is situated on Birre Island in the Kwando River within Caprivi National Park. Built on elevated decks amidst a grove of beautiful sausage, mangosteen and leadwood trees, activities from the lodge include game drives, guided walks, boat and mokoro trips along the river.
Standing on the Zambian bank of the Zambezi, just 30 minutes from Livingstone, this secluded lodge has wonderful views to Zimbabwe on the opposite bank. Each thatched cottage has a private deck overlooking the river – a perfect spot for that African safari sundowner! This is one of our best value options.