Heralding a new era of African Safaris
“Namibia & Botswana Overland 4wd Adventure”
Fully guided and escorted 6 vehicle Safari
29 days from Windhoek, Namibia to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – including the Okavango Delta
(12 nights in comfortable lodges and 16 nights camping)
Back Track Adventures is proud to present Overland360 to the Australian international travelling public. Overlands360 is an exciting new venture with Avis Safari Rentals in Southern Africa and Back Track Adventures Australia.
What We Offer:
- Fully guided /escorted 4WD Self Drive Safaris in Southern Africa, specialising in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
- 4WD Self drive Safari vehicle hire for independent or private group and family travellers. Service comes with comprehensive itinerary planning advice and assistance.
- The best outfitted and maintained 4WD safari fleet in Southern Africa.
- The largest service network in Southern Africa assuring peace of mind. Depots in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Windhoek, Kasane and Maun.
We arrange safari adventures for independent travellers or expertly guided safaris in a small 6 vehicle convoy. Your safari accommodation may include luxury or budget lodges and specially selected wilderness and/or public and National Park camp sites. Your final itinerary is only limited by your imagination and the expertise of the Back Track Adventures and 0360 staff.
Our modern, comfortably appointed, self-drive 4WD vehicles will transport you safely and care free through the most iconic National Parks, Wildlife Reserves and scenic destinations in Southern Africa.
Though, NO prior 4WD experience is necessary, drivers must be licensed and be confident and competent. We also offer luxury and budget safari experiences for ‘hard core’ 4WD owners or club enthusiasts!
Costs & dates
|2018 – 2019
Costs & Dates
|Duration: 29 days. Start: Windhoek -Namibia / Finish – Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe
|Trip Leaders||Departure 1 – 2018: Fully escorted from Australia. Jim Drapes & Stephen Becker – Safari Guides
Departure 2 – 2018: To be advised.
Departure 3 – 2019: To be advised
Prices: *Costs are based on a minimum of four vehicles, two people per vehicle, plus guide team vehicle. Maximum number of vehicles five plus guide vehicle. (2) Non confirmed bookings are being held at all lodges and campsites as detailed in this itinerary. Accommodation bookings and Avis hire vehicle cannot be confirmed until deposit paid. Deposit required $4500 per person.
** September is the start of the high tourist season in Botswana. Accommodation and vehicle hire costs are higher at this time. Expect the cost for Departure 2 to be higher then Departure 1. Prices coming soon.
Cost includes: Arrival and departure airport transfers in Windhoek and Victoria Falls, services of a minimum two person Guide Team throughout, all meals as indicated on itinerary – breakfast will be mainly a light breakfast with full breakfasts at lodges and hotels, dinner each night while camping, is provided and cooked by your guide team, twin share accommodation with 12 nights in hotels and lodges and 16 nights camping, all camping fees, National Park and Wildlife Reserve entry fees required to complete the itinerary, services of additional specialist service providers – Chobe cruise, walking tour of Victoria Falls, Boma restaurant, and River Cruise Dinner at Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta Mekoro Safari. Hire Cost of Avis 4WD Safari vehicle, Class ‘L’ for days as indicated on itinerary with Premium Avis insurance cover included.
Avis – Ford Ranger, 3.2L Diesel, Auto – Luxury Safari camper 2 pax (Group L) –contracted by all tour participants include the following: – cab air-conditioning, double bed with twin reading lamps, internal convenience change room, Safari linen-(doonas sheets pillows pillow cases and towels – changed on Day 16), fully fitted kitchen with gas cooker, pantry and bar point, scullery with hot and cold water on demand, 270 degree shade awning, Shower cubicle – hot and cold water-80 litre tank, 90L fridge and freezer twin, 2 x chairs and table,150 watt solar panel-220 volt battery charger and input plug and electrical cord, tool cupboard-recovery kit, barbeque set, bush tools and gas fire starter, electric tyre pump with hose and tyre gauge, pneumatic vehicle jack, firewood cupboard, long range fuel tank -163 litre -1000km range minimum. Exclusively for your safari only, all vehicles fitted with UHF radio for convoy communication and , ‘Tracks for Africa’ sat navigation system.
Cost does not include: International Airfares – South African Airways price ex Brisbane return is quoted as a guide only. Back Track Consultants will provide exact quotes depending on your requirements. Comprehensive Personal Travel insurance (compulsory). Any necessary medical expenses or vaccinations. Optional tours that may be available in Victoria Falls and other locations enroute. Chobe N.P. entry fee or private Tour fee for optional visit into Chobe N.P on Day 25. Lunches as indicated, all drinks except at some lodges and on Mekoro safari as indicated. Visas – currently only one required for Zimbabwe at USD$50 for Australian Passport holders. Diesel fuel for Avis vehicle. Currently diesel cost vary depending on location from approx. AUD.80 cents to AUD$1.20 per litre. Estimated only fuel cost at AUD$600. Cross Botswana border fee Pula170 (approx. AUD$28). Avis will require a fully refundable 20,000-rand security deposit, (Approx AUD$2,250) against your credit card on delivery of your vehicle in Windhoek. A copy of Avis Terms and Conditions and rental agreement is provided on request at any time, or, on their website: -www.avisvanrental.co.za/avis-safari-rental/cars/rent-a-ford-ranger-4×4-safari-vehicle.aspx.
^Though we are not expecting any price increases from our suppliers, airline prices and/or taxes could increase. These increases will be added to our quoted holiday costs.
|1||NAMIBIA: Arrive Windhoek, transfer to hotel. Start: Namibia & Botswana 4WD Overland Adventure.||Windhoek Country Club – Hotel|
|2||Stock vehicles , preparation day||Windhoek Country Club – Hotel||B|
|3||Drive to Eastern Etosha National Park||Mushara Lodge – Lodge||BD|
|4||Central Etosha N.P.||Halali Rest Camp – Camping||BD|
|5||Central Etosha N.P.||Etosha Safari Lodge – Lodge
via Anderson Gate
|6||Western Etosha N.P.||Hobatere Camp – Camping
via Galton Gate
|7||To Epupa Falls||Omarunga Lodge – Camping||BD|
|8||Rest day at Epupa Falls||Omarunga Lodge – Camping||BD|
|9||To Otjihende||Van Zyl’s Base Camp. – Camping||BD|
|10||Today, cross Van Zyl’s Pass.||Marble Camp – Camping||BD|
|11||Puros Conservancy||Okahirongo Elephant luxury Lodge –Lodge||BD|
|12||Puros Conservancy||Okahirongo Elephant Luxury Lodge – Lodge||BLD|
|13||To Desolation Valley||Wilderness Camping||BD|
|14||Khorixas (Follow Huab Riverbed)||Damara Mopane Lodge – Lodge||BD|
|15||Spitzkope||Spitzkoppe Safari Camp – camping||BD|
|16||Drive through Windhoek – camp east of Windhoek. Linen & towels replaced||Location to be advised – camping||BD|
|17||BOTSWANA: Cross into Botswana||Tautona Lodge – Camping||BD|
|18||Maun – restock vehicles||Mochaba Crossing Lodge – Camping||BD|
|19||Delta (Mekoro /canoe trip)||Mopiri Fly Camp – Camping||BD|
|20||Moremi Area – Mankwe Camp||Mankwe Lodge – Camping||BD|
|21||Khwai Area||New lodge – to be advised||BLD|
|22||Savuti or Linyanti||Camping||BD|
|23||Savuti or Linyanti||Camping||BD|
|24||Chobe||Mwandi tented/lodge – Lodge||BD|
|25||Kasane. Optional Chobe Game drive – guided or self drive, Sunset cruise.||Thebe Lodge – Camping||BD|
|26||ZIMBABWE: Transfer to Bayete Lodge in Victoria Falls. Dinner at Boma Restaurant||Bayete Lodge – Lodge||BD|
|27||Leisurely morning. Guided tour of Falls. Day free. Dinner at Lookout Restaurant||Bayete Lodge – Lodge||BD|
|28||Free for options. Zambezi River Cruise Dinner||Bayete Lodge – Lodge||BD|
|29||Finish Namibia & Botswana Overland Adventure. Transfer to Airport.||Finish Namibia & Botswana 4WD Overland Adventure. Transfer to Airport.||B|
NAMIBIA & BOTSWANA OVERLAND 4WD EXPEDITION – 2018
29 DAYS – 3,800KM approximately
WINDHOEK TO VICTORIA FALLS
12 nights Hotels/Lodges: 16 nights Camping
NAMIBIA: WINDHOEK – HOTEL
Arrive late morning at Windhoek International Airport. Met on arrival and transferred to your accommodation at the Windhoek Country Club. After checking in to the Country Club, the rest of the day to relax to assist with acclimatising after your flights from Australia.
WINDHOEK – HOTEL
After breakfast, it’s off to the Avis Depot to collect your Avis 4×4 Safari Vehicle. There will be some Avis handover paperwork to complete, followed by a thorough run down on the operation of your vehicle. The paperwork details will all have been discussed in Australia before departure so you are aware of insurance and all matters relating to the Avis vehicle hire Then, head off in convoy to a nearby Shopping Centre to stock up with all your personal requirements for the Safari.
Dinners and breakfast will be supplied on most days, therefore your personal requirements will need to cater for lunches, refreshments and snack items. You will have many opportunities throughout your journey to restock. Advice and guidance on what to purchase will be provided by your 0360 Guide Team.
Back to the Country Club and an early night for tomorrow you ‘hit the road’ and your adventure commences in earnest. (B)
ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK – MUSHARA LODGE – lODGE
Approx distance today: 530km. Approx drive time: 6h00m
Driving north from Windhoek along the (B1) main road, today will be a leisurely experience in order to adapt to driving your Avis Safari Camper. The main bitumen roads in Namibia are in very good condition. The gravel roads are also well maintained and long distances can be traveled very comfortably. Your journey today will be entirely on these well maintained major roads. Traffic is not expected to be heavy. Most Australians find the Namibian outback scenery bares a remarkable similarity to the Australian desert outback.
The colours of the deserts, the vast horizons and stunted vegetation all add to that feeling of familiarity. Expect to see beautiful displays of colour in the form of the yellow ground cover – Devil Thorn and wild Lillies standing tall. The Maribu and Abdims Stork are often seen. In the early afternoon, you will find a nice spot for a lunch break just outside of Otjiwaronga and then push on through in the afternoon, passing the historic Waterberg Plateau, towards the Von Lindequist Gate, the most eastern gate of the world famous Etosha National Park.
Etosha National Park is one of Southern Africa’s finest and most important Game Reserves. Etosha Game Park was declared a National Park in 1907 and covering an area of 22,270 square km, it is home to 114 mammal species, 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and, surprisingly, one species of fish.
Your accommodation tonight is at the very comfortable Mushara Lodge, located a few kilometres from the Von Lindequist Gate. (BD)
ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK – HALALI CAMP – CAMPING
Approx distance today: 90km. Approx drive time: 3h00m
Today you commence your leisurely 3-day exploration of the wonders of Etosha National Park. After breakfast load up the vehicles and though it is only 90 kms via the most direct tracks to your next camp, your route options are many depending on weather and recent wildlife movements in this area of the park.
Expect to travel much more then 90 kms today. These decisions will be made on a day to day basis. The roads within the park are regularly graded and your 4wd vehicles with their modified suspension and safety features will just add that extra degree of comfort and security to your driving experience.
There are many different waterholes to investigate where wildlife will congregate, as well as interesting salt pans and other features that may be worthy of investigation at the time you are there. You will always stop at a nice location for lunch, such as a waterhole, and your itinerary will be arranged to arrive at your camp site at Halali Camp before the gates close at dusk.
Etosha has three large fenced and secure Lodge Rest Camps within the Park. These camps feature fuel depots, lodges, camp sites, restaurant, camp shop and ranger and admin facilities. Camp grounds provide well maintained showers and rest rooms and a swimming pool. (BD)
THE MAMMALS OF ETOSHA
It is hardly a secret that Etosha’s best game viewing is at the many waterholes throughout the park. Most species rely on these permanent water sources. The larger waterholes see large treks of zebra and springbok mingle with oryx and bathing elephants. The camps within the park, provide floodlit waterholes, where you can spot rhino, elephant and lion drinking from the same waterhole. It is very easy and rewarding to find a good seat near a waterhole during the night and wait to observe the ever changing spectacle of animals coming from over the far horizon to drink.
David Attenborough described the scene at these Etosha waterholes as one of the best opportunities to view African wildlife closely and in safety.
Etosha National Park is home to four of the Big 5. Elephants and lions are common in the park, while the elusive leopard hides in the densely vegetated areas. However, one of the best reasons to visit Etosha is its healthy population of black rhinoceros. This archaic beast is endangered and the waterholes are probably among the best places in the world to see this precious animal.
Other rare and endangered species include the black-faced impala, and the fleet footed cheetah. The plains are covered by large herds of springbok and zebra. The backdrop of the vast Etosha Pan makes game viewing in Etosha a unique experience.
The large mammals in Etosha National Park include lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, giraffe, wildebeest, cheetah, hyena, mountain and plains zebra, springbok, kudu, gemsbok and eland. Among the smaller species you will find jackal, bat-eared fox, warthog, honey badger and ground squirrel. The park is home to 114 species of mammals.
THE BIRDS OF ETOSHA
Etosha is a birder’s delight. As well as the resident bird life, the pans and seasonal lakes attract migratory and wetland species. Etosha is home to 340 bird species, about a third of which are migratory. The avian residents of the park make up an eclectic mix that ranges from flamingos to the colourful lilac-breasted roller and eagles soaring high above.
One of the best birding spots are the Pans. When the rains gather in the pans, you can see flamingos and storks wading through the shallow water. African open bill and great crested and black necked grebe can be seen here as well. After good rains the 5,000 km² Etosha Pan fills with water and attracts a pink cloud of flamingo. The curious bird comes here to breed in thousands. The best time to see them is during January and February when water is present in the pan. Usually, the number of flamingos over this period depends on the amount of rain Etosha National Park is receiving.
Etosha’s 35 raptors feast in dry conditions. Bateleur, tawny eagle and martial eagle float in the up winds. Goshawks sit in the branches and eight species of owl can be spotted after sunset. The vultures that visit Etosha include lapped-faced, white-backed and hooded vultures.
Namibian specials include Bare-cheeked babbler, Violet Wood-Hope, Carp’s tit, Monterio’s hornbill, Rockrunner and Rüppel’s parrot. Record breaking species are the ostrich as the world’s largest bird and the Kori Bustard, which is the heaviest flying bird.
ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK – ETOSHA SAFARI LODGE – LODGE
Approx. distance today: 70ks. Approx. drive time: 3h00m
The same routine today as you set off after a light breakfast and explore this central section of the Park. Once again, you will have many options as to the tracks you will take. Expect to be at your next camp well before dusk to clean up and enjoy a leisurely dinner at the lodge. Accommodation tonight is at the lodge. Though your vehicles are fitted with fridge freezers and are therefore very capable of carrying suitable liquid refreshments, the central lodge facilities at Etosha Safari Lodge are famous for their unique ambience with colourful bars and restaurant designed to look and feel like a local bar or ‘Sheban’. On some nights, talented local musicians meet here to play their instruments and sing. The crystal clear swimming pool is just a short ‘splash’ from the bar. (BD)
ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK – HOBATERE CAMP – CAMPING
Approx distance today: 200ks. Approx drive time: 4h00m
After breakfast at the lodge, hit the trail. Heading for the far western gate of the park today this will be your last chance to experience the unique scenery and wildlife of this iconic African Wildlife Reserve. You camp tonight has excellent hot showers and facilities and is hidden amongst the giant Tors (rocks) just outside the National Park western gate. (BD)
EPUPA FALLS CAMP -CAMPING
Approx distance today: 365ks. Approx drive time: 5h00m
Another interesting day commences after an early breakfast and on the road again. Though as previously stated the major roads and routes within Namibia are well maintained the further you get from Windhoek the roads tend to be slightly less well maintained. As you head today into the far north of Namibia you are entering the homelands of the fascinating Himba People.
The Himba are an ancient indigenous group of tall, slender and statuesque herders. Since the 16th century they have lived in scattered settlements, leading a life that has remained unchanged, surviving war and droughts. The tribal structure helps them live in one of the most extreme environments on earth.
You will stop at the large Himba town of Opowa for fuel and supplies. Your destination is Epupa Falls, an extremely remote campsite on the banks of the Kunene River which marks the border between Namibia and Angola. Expect the falls to be at their best at this time of year. From here on, your journey will only encounter travellers in 4WD vehicles. These areas are well beyond penetration by air-conditioned tourist buses and the masses. (BD)
EPUPA FALLS OMARUNGA CAMP – CAMPING – REST DAY
Approx. distance today: 00ks. Approx. drive time: 00h00m
Today is a well-deserved rest day. Your campsite has all the necessary facilities for a comfortable stopover; hot showers, clean rest rooms and even a laundry service can be arranged. Most importantly the camp site features a crystal clear swimming pool and a well-stocked bar for that necessary gin and tonic at sundown, purely for medicinal purposes of course to prevent malaria.
The safari will now take on a much more relaxed feel as you will be well away from the tourist routes and the feeling of peace and solitude will by now really start to permeate the whole atmosphere of the journey. February 2016 and 2017, this area of Namibia experienced unseasonal rainfall. The Water Falls right at the edge of the camp ground were spectacular. Fingers crossed that on your journey the Falls will once again be pumping. There is a real opportunity today to experience a rarely visited Himba village. (BD)
OTJIHENDE-VAN ZYL’S BASE CAMP – CAMPING
Approx. distance today:155ks. Approx. drive time: 06h30m
For the next two days the area in which you travel is rugged and remote. Your campsite destinations cannot be pre booked and track conditions can change and are unpredictable, as is the weather. The journey over Van Zyl’s pass is one of Namibia’s 4WD fraternities more popular destinations and is considered a challenge. The Overland 360 Team reconnoitred this route in February 2016 and crossed the pass again in 2017 with our first group. On both occassions, it was exciting and well within the capacity for anyone comfortable and relaxed with driving a 4WD vehicle. The combined team effort helps all cross the pass safely.
The itinerary for the next few days may be subject to change, however, any necessary change of accommodation or route will be advised as soon as possible and once the journey begins any changes made will always be after full consultation with the team.
The journey today is only on 4wd tracks. By now everyone will be familiar with the unique handling characteristics of their vehicle and with well-balanced BF Goodrich all terrain tyres and suitable suspension modifications your vehicles are more than capable of providing a safe and stimulating 4WD experience. The scenery is very beautiful throughout your journey today and your campsite, owned and managed by the local Himba, is set in a secluded area, along a sandy dry river bank in a beautiful natural setting. (BD)
OVER THE PASS – MARBLE CAMP – CAMPING
Approx. distance today: 115ks. Approx. drive time: 08h00m
WHAT IS A “4WD OUTING” WITHOUT A CHALLENGE?
The step rocky descent is the major challenge and though not a long section, is undertaken one vehicle at a time with exterior spotter guidance. There is approximately 100 metres of concentrated attention needed driving, followed by a careful mind set and a long exhilarating drive down to the base of the pass. The ascent to the start of the Pass also requires a careful attitude and good sensible driving. In a small convoy situation, the whole experience is fun and rewarding.
Camp tonight at Marble Camp. You are now in the Orupemba Conservancy in Kaokoland. Once again a very remote area and pre booking campsites is nearly impossible. Our favourite camp is a very beautiful site located on the banks of an ancient riverbed under the broad shady cover of old Mopane trees. Nosey Francolins (ground birds) supervise our every move. Flush toilets and hot showers are available. (BD)
PUROS CONSERVANCY-ELEPHANT LODGE – LODGE
Approx. distance today: 120ks. Approx. drive time: 05h00m
The drive today is truly beautiful with breathtaking desert scenery. For much of your journey, in the far east, massive sand hills and weathered mountains form an impenetrable barrier between you and the wild Atlantic Coastline known here as the Skeleton Coast. This long wild coastline of Northern Namibia has witnessed many ship wrecks over the centuries, boats driven onto the coast by the storms and high winds of the Atlantic Ocean. Along the west are the Etendeka Mountains, carved into works of natural art by the relentless desert winds. Exhilarating driving. On our 2017 Expedition, from a high vantage point we spotted Desert Elephant foraging amongst the trees along the river banks of the dry Khumib River. With their location roughly etched in our mind, we headed off and eventually located them upclose. A rare sighting. Your camp for the next two nights is sheer indulgence at the luxury Elephant Lodge set above the plains and the Hoarusib River. Your stay here is fully inclusive so even a moderate bar tab is included. A few hours lazing by the pool with a cold drink will not be too hard to endure. The views from your private bungalows are sensational. (BD)
PUROS – ELEPHANT LODGE – LODGE – REST DAY
Approx. distance today: 00ks. Approx. drive time: 00h00m
A day of leisure. Once again, time to generally relax and enjoy the beauty of this lodge. The lodge staff will attend to your laundry and morning and afternoon game drives are provided by the resident guides as part of your included activities. Do as little or as much as you like. (BLD)
DESOLATION VALLEY WILDERNESS CAMP – CAMPING
Approx. distance today: 320ks. Approx. drive time: 04h30m
Once again, breathtaking scenery all day today as you meander along the 4wd back tracks of West Namibia. A long interesting drive with the occasional sighting of gemsbok, ostrich and of course springbok. Your destination is Desolation Valley with its dark and sinister rock formations, a region very popular once again with Namibia’s 4WD clubs. Desolation Valley is spectacular and camping wild here will be a wonderful experience. No camp grounds, so no flush toilets, however, the vehicles are fitted with very practical working hot showers. If need be, all will get a good wash before bed tonight. The stars at night will provide the finishing touch to a wonderful scenic day. Said before, but for Aussie 4WD enthusiasts, Namibia’s wild desert areas feel very comfortable and familiar. (BD)
KHORIXAS – MOPANE LODGE – LODGE
Approx. distance today: 85ks. Approx. drive time: 3h00m
After any early breakfast, you hit the trail and your morning journey will take you up and out of this wild remote landscape and abruptly you will emerge into the lush green swamp areas of the Huab River. Your route now takes you along this riverbed.
Route finding will always be a challenge on this trip and it is very easy to lose the tracks in many of the areas you have traversed. Sat Navigation, loaded with ‘Tracks 4 Africa’ will always be there to rescue you from any geographical embarrassment. Also, you always have the backup assistance of your two man 0360 guide team.
Following the Huab River back to civilisation with a stop enroute for lunch. Always keep an eye out for Desert Elephant, they have been known to drop in unexpectedly for lunch. Once out of the river beds, graded roads bring you to very comfortable accommodation at the Mopane Lodge. This area of Namibia is known as Damaraland and for many, claimed to be the most scenic and beautiful. Depending on the group feelings, time and weather, there are many sightseeing attractions you could visit in this region in the afternoon. The area is rich in Bushman history and their art work can be viewed on the rocks and caves in this area. The ability of the Bushmen to survive and live in this environment is legendary. (BD)
SPITZKOPPE SAFARI CAMP – CAMPING
Approx. distance today: 240ks. Approx. drive time: 3h30m
As you make your way towards Windhoek, the roads will improve, and the scenery and majesty of this desert landscape will still enchant. Large rock formations punctuate the countryside and these large intriguing rock formations take on different shapes depending on the angles from which they are viewed. Small stalls at road junctions selling semi-precious stones and crystals attest to the interesting geology of this area. The whole of Namibia is a rock and gem hunter’s paradise.
Your camp tonight is in the shadow of Spitzkoppe, “the Matterhorn of Namibia”. It is just one of a group of bald granite peaks the highest of which rises to 1,784 metres over the Namibian desert. Once again a beautiful campsite. (BD)
CAMP SITE – EAST OF WINDHOEK
Approx. distance today: 300ks. Approx. drive time: 4h00m
There are a number of route options to select from to bring you back to Windhoek. As with the entire journey, small decisions on which roads or 4WD tracks to be taken for the best results will be made as you progress. This is all part of the overlanding experience. The preselected route for today does not take the more direct main roads but will follow mostly gravel roads less used by the travelling public. The plan is to travel through Windhoek and make camp on Highway (B6) heading east to Botswana. Arrangements have been made to have a fresh change of bedding and towels for each vehicle waiting for you at the campsite tonight. (B)
BOTSWANA – TAUTONA LODGE -CAMPING
Approx. distance 450k today. Approx. drive time: 7h00m
An early breakfast and hit the road. It’s a long journey today. Being Australian and therefore familiar with long haul drives on straight roads will help. The route takes you across the ‘celebrated’ Trans Kalahari High-Way famous in Southern Africa for its long stretches of bitumen road with barely a turn.
The occasional sighting of gemsbok, kudu, horses, cattle, jackal, yellow hornbills, zebra, baboon, warthog, donkeys and springbok break the monotony. Crossing the border into Botswana is an easy process and then the journey continues relentlessly across the Kalahari Desert to your “oasis’ campsite at Tautona camp on main highway (A3) heading north towards the Okavango Delta. Tautona Camp has modern facilities including hot showers and flush toilets. Another night camped under the stars.
Crossing the border into Botswana is an easy process and once in Botswana the noticeable difference immediately is the number of animals along the roadside. The locals move and graze their herds along the roads and from now on you have to be diligent at all times as animals will tend to wander all over the roads. (BD)
MAUN – MOCHABA CROSSING LODGE – CAMPING
Approx. distance 350k today. Approx. drive time: 5h00m
The scenery will start to change today the further north you head towards Maun, the bustling safari capital and southern step off point into the Okavango Delta Eco system.
The vast Delta eco system is made up of three different systems. Firstly, the river and deep channels and as well the fresh water swamp areas and lastly the dry plains areas that are watered by the river systems. During your journey over the coming days through to Kasane in the north, you will explore all three regions.
On arriving in Maun, it’s time to shop and reprovision for your camping adventures in the coming days. You camp tonight in a very pleasent private camp ground not far from Maun at Mochaba Crossing Lodge with excellent camp facilities. As with all lodge camp grounds, the lodge facilities are made available to all campers. (BD)
OKAVANGO DELTA – MOPIRI FLY CAMP -CAMPING
You will leave your vehicles at Mochaba Lodge and a short road transfer by our local agents brings you to a boat entry point into the Okavango wetlands. Here you will be transported by Mekoro (local canoe) expertly poled by local tribesmen, along the narrow reed lined waterways in this truly amazing eco system. Your polers will set up a fly camp on one of the many small islands.
Most of these islands started as termite mounds and over the centuries slowly developed into small islands. Hopefully you will have the opportunity to encounter a most interesting animal, the hippo. Your polers are very knowledgeable on the moods and current disposition of the hippo pods in this area and will expertly and safely guide you close enough to obtain wonderful sightings. Bird life is rich and varied and good sightings are assured.
Over the remaining part of today, you will explore the area by canoe and on foot and camp here tonight. Your guides will prepare all meals and dinner will be served around a roaring campfire. (BLD)
MOREMI AREA – MANKWE LODGE – CAMPING
Approx. distance 100k today. Approx. drive time: flexible
After an early morning walk, then breakfast, it’s back into the Mekoros for the trip back to the landing and then by vehicle back to Mochaba Lodge to collect your vehicles and continue the adventure into the Okavango ecosystem. As it will be a late start from Mochaba, it is only a short driving day towards Moremi, Khwai and the Savuti area searching for wildlife all the way. Your campsite tonight is very remote. There are frequent sightings of wild dogs, hyena, elephant and lions in this area. Dinner around a blazing camp fire is a nice way to finish the day. To sleep at night, snug and safe in your “rooftop penthouse” listening for the sounds of lions calling in the distance is a memory you will never forget. (BD)
KHWAI AREA – LODGE
Approx. distance 120k today. Approx. drive time: 6h00m
After breakfast this morning it’s usually a slow drive along a maze of different tracks in search of the wildlife. This day is one long game drive often on very challenging 4WD tracks encountering deep sand and maybe even mud depending on the rainfall. Everything makes for an exhilarating day of driving.
After a full day of game viewing with a stop for lunch at a picnic spot, you will arrive at your very comfortable lodge for the night. A few drinks at the Lodge bar followed by a wonderful dinner is a nice way to finish the day. (BD)
SAUVUTI, LINYANTI & CHOBE WILDLIFE
Famous for its large elephant herds, the Savuti, Linyanti and Chobe areas will not disappoint for the quantity and quality of animals and birds you are likely to see during your explorations in these areas. Large herds of Cape Buffalo are common, as are Burchell’s Zebra and family groups of Giraffe. Baboons, Warthog, Vervet monkeys, Jackal, Lions, Honey Badgers, Banded Mongoose and hopefully cheetah on the open flood plains and leopard are often spotted especially by those fortunate to be camping within the park such as your Team. The list is endless, Wild Dog, Hyena, Hippos, 19 species of antelope, from the 700kg Eland to the 7kg Sharpe’s Grysbok, your days and nights will hopefully provide wildlife encounters that will enthral.
The bird life is also spectacular with the ever present lilac breasted roller adding constant splashes of colour to just about every scene and with such varied habitats from grasslands to forest and scrub areas there are over 400 recorded species spotted. Watching the majestic Fish Eagle, with its distinctive call, swooping down into a waterhole or river to collect a fish is a never to be forgotten moment on any safari.
DAY 22 and DAY 23.
SAVUTI AND LINYANTI AREAS – CAMPING
Depending on weather and Track conditions at the time you are there, the next two days will be spent in these areas enjoying the natural beauty and in search of the wildlife. Camps will be within the National Park camp sites which have showers and toilets. From your safe and secure camp sites you can head out in the mornings and afternoons and explore the labarynth of tracks in the area. (BD)
DAY 24 CHOBE AREA – MWANDI TENTED LODGE -LODGE
Approx. distance 110k today. Approx. drive time: 4h00m
Another day negotiating the 4WD tracks in the remote areas of this amazing eco system. You will be slowly moving northwards through the National Park areas. The diversity of the bush and scenery will astound you. Tonight you will stay in a very comfortable tented lodge and enjoy a dinner in the open air dining room overlooking a vast flood plain. A nice spot also to enjoy a few sundowner drinks as the sun sets on annother beautiful African day. (BD)
KASANE – THEBE SAFARI LODGE–CAMPING
Approx. distance 100k today. Approx. drive time: 1h30m
Up early and away for a journey back to civilisation in the small, bustling Safari capital, Kasane and the final campsite on your journey. Thebe Safari Lodge is located on the main road through Kasane and borders the Chobe River. If you arrive early enough, there will be time to book on a guided 4WD tour into Chobe National Park, or, you can take your own vehicle into the park with a small paymet due at the Park Gate. The most popular route takes you along the edge of the vast floodplains where you can expect to see an abundance of herd animals. On recent trips 0360 crew members have been surrounded in their vehicles by herds of up to 100 elephants. All you can do in this situation is relax and enjoy the passing parade.
This is a beautiful part of the park with easy road access to Kasane town. Today you will also encounter many large modified 4WD vehicles transporting guests from the lodges in Kasane into the park on day excursions. There is a Chobe River Dinner cruise planned for late this afternoon –as this is one of Southern Africa’s most popular tourist attractions and a wonderful way to finish a visit to Botswana. The variety of wildlife and birds that can be spotted on this boat cruise is truly amazing.
For many, self-drive 4WD Overlanders, this is when you might first realise what a privilege and special experience it has been over the last few weeks to have been able to be master of your own journey around Botswana and Namibia encountering the animals, the people, enjoying the scenery, the wild places in an up close and such personal way. Nothing can beat a remote camp, good friends, a roaring camp fire, a sky full of stars and a good Avis 4WD Safari Camper.(BD)
ZIMBABWE – VICTORIA FALLS – LODGE
Approx. distance 100k today. Approx. drive time: 2hrs
FINISH YOUR 0360 ARRANGEMENTS THIS MORNING.
After breakfast you will unpack your vehicles, then drop them off at the Kasane Avis depot, and say a farewell to your 0360 Guide Team.
From here you will be meet by Back Track representatives, African Journeys (AJ) Zimbabwe and transferred the short drive across the border to your comfortable home base for the next 3 nights at the Bayete Lodge, peacefully located in the leafy suburbs. Accommodation is on a twin share basis.
Trish, a Director of AJ, will be your Host during your stay in Victoria Falls and after settling in to your rooms, Trish will give you a complete run down on all the activities planned for your stay and organise any of the optional activities you may wish to experience.
Popular options include, helicopter flights over the Falls, white water rafting, zip line adventures over the gorge, the list is extensive. A full list will be provided before you depart Australia so you can plan. It is best to have a peaceful late afternoon at the lodge resting after your long Namibia and Botswanan adventure. This evening you will join Trish for a welcome to Africa Dinner at the Boma Restaurant where you can experience a variety of African Game meats and other local food while enjoying African entertainment. During your stay in Victoria Falls, lunch is not included. As most will be ‘out and about’ during the day. Arranging your own lunch is easy and far more practical. Assistance and advice on best lunch spots is provided. (D)
VICTORIA FALLS – LODGE
There’s so much to see and do at Victoria Falls.
After a leisurely breakfast by the pool, you will be transferred down to the Falls National Park for a specialist private guided tour. It is an easy graded walk which encompasses all the best view points, so you’re assured to get great pics. Depending on individual optional activities selected today, those who cannot join the tour this morning will have an opportunity to do the tour tomorrow morning. Our AJ Team are on duty to help coordinate and arrange all the activities so you can maximise your time to really enjoy your stay in Victoria Falls. At some time during your visit, ‘High Tea’ on the veranda of the iconic Victoria Falls Hotel is a must. Tonight you will have dinner at the Lookout Restaurant spectacularly located overlooking the gorge for pre-dinner Sundowner drinks. (BD)
VICTORIA FALLS – LODGE
Your last full day to enjoy the Falls. Once again, after a leisurely breakfast, there will be an opportunity to tour the Falls with a member of the AJ Team as Guide. Once your optional activities are finished, a visit to the curio markets for shopping is always fun and nearby coffee shops and small restaurants make the experience more relaxing.
The curio markets in Victoria Falls are amazing, so you will have ample chance to purchase any last minute gifts for family and friends. A shuttle can be arranged to ensure you are transported back to the lodge to clean up before you head off for your final dinner which will be on board a cruise boat on the Zambezi River. (BD)
VICTORIA FALLS – LODGE
After breakfast, you are fare-welled by Trish and the African Journeys Team and transferred to the International Terminal to begin your journey home to Australia.
SO ENDS YOUR JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY THROUGH NAMIBIA & BOTSWANA