Elephants, Botswana

Southern Africa's Diversity

Lex Hes|October 21, 2019|Blog Post

Have you been yearning for the ultimate African adventure? Join me this February to discover three amazing countries in one trip on Southern Africa’s Diversity. You'll visit Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia during a time of year when the landscape is lush, green, and beautiful with fluffy cumulonimbus clouds in the sky. This is the rainy season, which means seeing many baby animals including impala, wildebeest, warthog, and tsessebe. There will also be many varieties of colorful flowers all over the place and the migrant bird species have all arrived in southern Africa. For anyone who has traveled to Africa in the dry season, I encourage you to join me on this epic adventure to witness the amazing contrast between summer and winter.

So what will you experience?

This adventure truly lives up to its name as it shows off some of the incredible diversity of life, landscapes, and cultures as we journey from west to east. From the Namib Desert in Namibia, with an average annual rainfall of less than two inches, through Botswana with an average rainfall of 16 inches, and ending in the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia where the average annual rainfall is nearly 28 inches.

You’ll get to see desert-adapted wildlife in Namibia such as oryx, springbok, desert-adapted black rhinoceros, ground squirrel, and Hartmann’s mountain zebra, as well as many species of birds adapted to arid environments such as korhaan, bustard, ostrich, and sociable weaver. You’ll see awe-inspiring desert landscapes including stunningly beautiful sand-dunes, vast sandy plains, and towering mountains. Visit with the nomadic Himba people, who somehow manage to live their pastoralist lifestyle in this incredibly harsh landscape. Then track down and view desert-adapted black rhinoceros and meet the Nama-Damara people with their amazing click language.

In Botswana, spend time in one of the most beautiful places in Africa—the Okavango Delta—with its vast network of crystal-clear waterways, channels, and lagoons dotted with beautiful waterlilies, bulrushes, and papyrus and edged with magnificent forests of ebony and sausage trees. You’ll meet the Bayei people of the waterways who take you out onto the water in their traditional dug-out canoes and walk with San hunter-gatherers who demonstrate how they make a living out of the Kalahari wilderness. And of course, you’ll see and spend quality time with an amazing array of wildlife: prides of lions, leopards, huge herds of elephants, and hippos, with red lechwe antelope splashing through the water and large herds of African buffalo grazing the floodplains.

Because of the higher rainfall, the landscape in the South Luangwa National Park is much more wooded and bushier. The main feature here is the slow-moving, wide, sandy-bottomed Luangwa River which meanders slowly through the wilderness between vast floodplains with highly productive oxbow lakes. This national park has one of the highest densities of leopards in Africa and you’ll explore the floodplains looking for these beautiful predators as well as lions, hippos, crocodiles, and elephants. Night drives here may reveal nocturnal creatures like genets, civets, porcupines, and African wild cats, while walking safaris offer the opportunity to study the smaller creatures, tracks, and plants.

Over the years, this has been one of Zegrahm’s most popular expeditions and one of my favorites due to the great diversity of the three different countries that are visited.

How you can make a difference.

In Namibia, you’ll spend time in the Palmwag concession where the local operator has teamed up with the local community to run the Desert Rhino Camp where we stay. The community gets a portion of the turnover of the business as well as an annual fee from the operator. In addition, the camp has teamed up with Save the Rhino to help with the funding of an important rhino monitoring project which guests become a part of when they go off tracking the rhinos each day that they are there. In Botswana, Vumbura Camp has been built on community land in partnership with the local community trust who share in the benefits of this project through a lease fee that is paid to the trust. In Zambia, the camp that we use has built up a relationship with a local school in the nearby Mfuwe Village and a small portion of the proceeds of tourism go to the school.

I hope you will join me on this epic African adventure!

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