- Second biggest canyon in the world – Fish River Canyon
- Oldest desert in the world – Namib Desert
- Spectacular Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei
- World famous Etosha National Park
- The wild Caprivi Strip
- Most magnificent wildlife in the Chobe National Park
- Mosi Oa Tunya – breathtaking Victoria Falls
- The world’s biggest salt pan – Makgadikgadi Pans
- Famous “Big Hole” in Kimberley
- Prehistoric fossils at the heart of the semi-desert
- Stars of the Great Karoo
Day 1: Departure Towards The North
Early in the morning, you will embark on your tour, leaving Cape Town in a northerly direction on the N7. After having passed the beautiful Cederberg mountains on your right you will drive past lots of citrus fields until you reach Vanrhynsdorp, where you can have a quick lunch stop. Overnight you will stay in Springbok, the last big town in Namaqualand before the Namibian border.
Day 2: The Lonely Richtersveld
In the morning, you will make your way through some awesome Richtersveld landscapes, over the Orange River to cross the border at Noordoewer into Namibia. Your destination of the day will be the second biggest canyon of the world, the impressive Fish River Canyon. In a seemingly barren wilderness of vast inhospitable rock and sand terrain, find one of nature’s secret wonders in the solemn magnitude of this desolate, daunting and awesome landscape sculpted by millions of years’ exposure to the elements. Accessible by 4x4 vehicles only, the Richtersveld is definitely not for the timid. Be prepared for some of the most incredible scenery as for the first time your 4x4 will be put to the test. You will reach Ai Ais, in the National Park, boosting a beautifully hot springs pool where you can relax for the afternoon in a most significant setting of rocks and mountains.
244 km / B
Day 3: The Second Biggest Canyon In The World
Today you drive to the entrance of the Gondwana National Park, at a tiny station called Hobas. Take the 10 kilometres drive towards the lip of the canyon. Take along something nice to drink and a snack, park your car here and embark on a beautiful walk along the lip towards a viewpoint (about 1.5 kilometres). Have your picnic here and enjoy this spectacular view over one of the least visited attractions of Southern Africa, the Fish River Canyon. After returning back to the entrance at Hobas, you will be heading out in a northerly direction. Along a dirt road you will drive through some amazing landscapes of the Gondwana National Park, where lots of wild animals have been reintroduced. Through old German settlements like Helmeringhausen you will reach the last town before the Namib desert, Maltahoehe. An old German colonial hotel will be your host tonight, where you can try some good traditional German food.
427 km / B, D
Day 4: The Namib Desert
From Maltahoehe it just gets drier and lonelier as you will be heading further west towards the actual Namib Desert. After the rather impressive Tsarishoogte Pass you have a mere 50 kilometres to go to the entrance gate of the Namib Naukluft Park, the second biggest nature reserve in Africa! Here you will need to pay the conservation fees and will be shown to your camp site, not far from the entrance, in the Namib Desert! The name Namib is of Nama origin and means “vast place”. The Namib stretches for more than 2 000 kilometres along the Atlantic coast, extending southward from the Carunjamba River in Angola, through Namibia and to the Olifants River in Western Cape, South Africa. From the Atlantic coast eastward, the Namib gradually ascends in elevation, reaching up to 200 kilometres inland to the foot of the Great Escarpment.
167 km / B
Day 5: Colourful Dunes Of The Namib
Today your 4x4 will be put to the test again as you will be heading right into the Namib Desert on an awesome morning excursion. You have to be on the road before sunrise to be at the parking lot of Sossusvlei in time for the sun to cast wonderful shadows over the sand dunes. Sossusvlei is a salt and clay pan surrounded by high red dunes, located in the southern part of the Namib Desert, in the Namib-Naukluft National Park. From the parking lot you have to put your car into four-wheel-drive and from here the true adventure starts! Your first stop will be the “Dead Vlei”. Park your car under a camelthorn tree for shade and embark on a hike towards the Dead Vlei over a few dunes along a fairly well marked path in the sand. The Vlei with its dead camelthorn trees, that died many hundreds of years ago, give some breathtaking photo opportunities. After walking back to the car, you have to drive the loop to the actual Sossusvlei, that once every few years brings water into one of the driest parts of the planet, the Namib.
80 km / SC
Day 6: Namibia’s Matterhorn
After wrapping up the tent in the morning, you will be leaving this magic area to be heading northwest towards Twyfelfontein. En route you can stop at Namibia’s most famous mountain, the Spitzkoppe. The Spitzkoppe (from German for “pointed dome”; also referred to as the “Matterhorn of Namibia”), is a group of bald granite peaks or bornhardts located between Usakos and Swakopmund in the Namib desert of Namibia. The peaks stand out dramatically from the flat surrounding plains. Your accommodation for today will be a beautiful lodge, situated on a hilltop with breathtaking views.
782 km / D
Day 7: The Famous Etosha National Park
In the morning after breakfast, you have the time to visit the world famous bushman petroglyphs, a few kilometres away from the lodge. A guide will take you on a 45 minute tour around the truly amazing setting of Twyfelfontein in the middle of nowhere. It is a site of ancient rock engravings in the Kunene Region of north-western Namibia, where you will learn a great deal of the San and their former way of life. After the tour, you set off in a north-westerly direction to the southern entrance of the world famous Etosha National Park which is home to a huge variety of big game species. Through the southern gate of the park, you will drive to your overnight stay in the Halali Rest Camp. Halali is located in the middle of the park, where you will be camping in your own tent for the next two nights. The pool in the middle of the camp offers a welcome refreshment. For dinner the camp boasts a nice restaurant with good game dishes.
258 km / B
Day 8: A Day In The Bush
You will spend the day in the great world of the Etosha National Park. You have the possibility to either explore the Etosha Pan in your own vehicle or to use the guided game drives from the Halali Camp (optional). With a bit of luck you can discover many of the 114 mammals, 340 birds, 110 reptiles and 16 amphibian species. Also, during the night you can still watch animals from within the camp at the flood-lit waterhole.
Day 9: On The Tracks Of The Bushmen
You are leaving the park eastwards through the Namutoni Gate and will drive for two hours through the remote bush to a village called Tsintsabis. With the independence of Namibia, Reinhard Friedrich issued a piece of land here to the bushmen where they could stay and he learned about their way of living. On a short optional hike on the Muramba Bushman’s Trail, accompanied by Mr Friedrich, you will learn a lot about the life of the bushmen and their ability to survive in nature. Afterwards you will drive north to Rundu, the beginning of the Caprivi-Strip. During your three hours drive, you will pass some rural places with their typical thatched rondavels, where the hospitable and friendly Kavangos live. You will stay in a lodge with a relaxed and familiar atmosphere next to the peaceful Okavango River opposite the Angolian border. Late in the afternoon, you can do a short and romantic boat cruise on the Okavango River (optional).
390 km / D
Day 10: The Wild Caprivi Strip
In the morning after breakfast you will depart eastwards along the wild Caprivi Strip. Driving here gives you the “real Africa feeling”, passing lots of traditional round huts, while herds of elephants and other wild animals might cross your way towards your beautiful lodge for tonight on the Caprivi.
402 km / B, D
Day 11: Elephants In The Chobe National Park
In the morning, you drive south towards the world renowned Chobe National Park, where the most magnificent wildlife and one of the densest elephant populations in the world await you. After crossing the border into Botswana at Ngome, you travel through the open park towards your overnight stay at Kasane. As there are no fences around the park, you can expect wild animals all the way, even in the town of Kasane. For the next two nights you are staying in a magnificent lodge. The tropical surroundings will be breathtaking and worth your while.
316 km / B, D
Day 12: On Safari
In the early morning before breakfast, you will climb onto an open safari jeep and take a drive with a ranger to explore the 26 000 km² Chobe National Park. This excursion is included in the tour price, and with a bit of luck you will encounter herds of the estimated 100 000 elephants, large concentrations of lions, leopards, wild dogs, Roan antelopes, Sable antelopes, hippopotamuses, the rarer red lechwe, sitatunga or crocodiles. You can watch a great diversity of bird species and lots of other wildlife on the river banks. You will be back in time for a late breakfast from the impressive buffet and you can spend the early afternoon relaxing in the lodge by the pool. Later in the afternoon, you will embark on an inclusive sunset boat cruise along the Chobe River taking you into the park in a different way. A guide tells you everything about the river and its wild inhabitants from the bream to the very unique tigerfish. Enjoy the impressive landscapes and, once again, the beautiful and breathtaking sunset.
Day 13: The Mighty Victoria Falls
In the morning, you will leave Kasane towards the east to cross the next international border into Zimbabwe. Less than 100 kilometres further, you will reach the town Victoria Falls. For the following two nights, you will stay in the legendary Victoria Falls Hotel, a beautiful old colonial hotel with a stunning view on the famous bridge linking Zimbabwe to Zambia, the 128 meters tall Victoria Falls Bridge. Here, another big highlight of your tour awaits, a visit to the mighty Victoria Falls (optional). You can walk to the Falls from the hotel, it is a mere 2 km away. Mosi Oa Tunya as it is known in the local language, meaning “The Smoke That Thunders”, will leave you with everlasting impressions of the wonders of nature.
95 km / B
Day 14: On Foot To Zambia
In the morning after breakfast, you will embark on a legendary walk from your hotel over the famous Victoria Falls Bridge towering above the roaring Zambezi River, that forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. In Zambia, known as the “Real Africa”, you will experience the mighty Victoria Falls from another point of view. You will have enough time to take photos of the beauty that nature provides. In the late afternoon, you can enjoy a sundowner, celebrate your truly unforgettable tour and review the lasting impressions of the mighty Victoria Falls.
25 km / B
Day 15: The Biggest Salt Pans In The World
In the morning, you will be leaving Victoria Falls and be heading back to Botswana and the Kazungula Border Post. From Kazungula you will be heading south on a long stretch of road not far from the border to Zimbabwe and the famous Hwange National Park, where very often elephants cross over and reach the road you are travelling on in Botswana. In the late afternoon, you arrive in Nata at the world’s biggest salt pan, the Makgadikgadi Pans. You can experience the dimensions of this vast pan on an inclusive evening trip with the park’s open game drive vehicles. Enjoy a sundowner on the pan itself before you get back to the campsite of the lodge.
402 km / B
Day 16: Botswana’s Capital
After an early breakfast, you will be heading south from Nata through the old railway town of Francistown (183 km) and the capital of Botswana, Gaborone (637 km). Botswana’s largest city has a population of only 230 000. Because it had no tribal affiliation and was close to fresh water, it was made capital in the mid-1960s when the Bechuanaland Protectorate became an independent nation. Here you will be checking in for the night in a comfortable guest house in downtown Gaborone.
637 km / SC
Day 17: Diamonds At The “Big Hole”
After leaving Gaborone in the morning, you will have only a short drive to the Lobatse border post where you will be crossing back into South Africa. The road today leads you through the capital of the North West Province, Mafeking (Mahikeng), which served as capital of the Bechuanaland Protectorate from 1894 until 1965, when Gaborone was made the capital of what was to become Botswana. From here you have another 364 km to go to Kimberley, the capital of the Northern Province. The city has considerable historical significance due to its diamond mining past and the siege during the Second Boer War. After checking into your cosy hotel in this old mining town you have enough time to visit the famous “Big Hole”, or Kimberley Mine as it is known, which is an open-pit and underground mine and is claimed to be the world’s largest hole excavated by hand.
511 km / B
Day 18: The Vastness Of The Great Karoo
Early in the morning after breakfast, you will leave in a south-westerly direction towards the semi-arid Karoo. “Karoo” is an old bushman word for “land of big thirst”. Driving along ‘Karoo-typical’ gravel roads, past towns completely lost in time, will give you a first impression of the quiet life in this semiarid region. A stunning variety of more than 9 000 identified succulents, bushes, shrubs await as well as antelope that still roam free. Your destination will be the heart of the Great Karoo: Beaufort West, birthplace of world famous heart surgeon Professor Christiaan Barnard. In the afternoon, you will visit the Karoo National Park, a small section of the infinite vastness and unique landscape of the Great Karoo. From the park it is just a very short way to Beaufort West where you will see beautiful Cape Dutch, Victorian and Karoo style houses. In the evening a romantic sundowner tour on a donkey cart awaits you (weather permitting), including an unforgettable ‘bush braai’ (barbecue). You will stay in a comfortable guest house for the night.
493 km / B, D
Day 19: The Stars Of The Southern Hemisphere
In the morning after breakfast, you may visit the Christiaan Barnard Museum which will provide you with lots of interesting information about the colourful life of Beaufort West’s most famous son. Then you will leave towards the west, still travelling through the wide open spaces of the Karoo over the typical Karoo dirt roads. You will continue to Sutherland, South Africa’s “stargazing capital”. This small village in the desert is known for S.A.L.T. (Southern African Large Telescope), the biggest observatory in the southern hemisphere. Your accommodation for tonight will be a comfortable guest house in Sutherland. Stargazing with an amateur astronomer at night – including a look through his telescope – will provide more exciting insights about the incredible dimensions of the universe!
215 km / B
Day 20: Back To Cape Town
In the morning you are going to visit S.A.L.T., that is funded by the international community. A fascinating tour will introduce you to the exploration of the stars in the southern hemisphere. While the Karoo night skies are already stunning at mere sight, S.A.L.T. is able to show stars, galaxies and quasars a million times too small to detect for the human eye – approximately the size of a candle flame on the moon. At lunch time you will reach the forgotten town of Matjiesfontain. After a stroll through the village, you will continue in south-westerly direction and after crossing some impressive mountain passes, including the Bains Kloof Pass, you will be back in Cape Town by late afternoon, where this unforgettable tour will end.
312 km / B
Prices and Dates
Tour Price: on request
Tour Dates: on request
* Price valid for a booking of min. 2 adults. Prices for single travellers on request.
* Price does not cover general increases in travel cost and currency fluctuations.
* The tour programme may be subject to changes.
- 19 overnight stays at selected accommodations – in guest houses, lodges, sometimes camping in your own tent – according to itinerary.
- Meals as per tour description (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner, SC = self catering)
- All mentioned activities (excluding optional activities)
- Comprehensive personal travel hand book including detailed itinerary, distances, road map, touristic tips and restaurant recommendations
- Local African Kombi Tours emergency hotline number available 24/7
Price does not include:
- Transport, vehicle rental, fuels costs, tolls, administration fees for additional services on site if applicable, accidents or offences, fines, fee for additional driver
- Meals and beverages, except breakfast and dinner as per tour description
- All entrances for optional trips (to be booked directly with African Kombi Tours), park fees, conservation fees, entrances for museums, service tips and personal expenses
- Visa fees for Zimbabwe
- Travel insurance