Southern Africa's Diversity: Namibia, Botswana & Zambia
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.
Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.
Depart USAFebruary 14
Board your independent flight to Namibia.
Windhoek, NamibiaFebruary 15
Arrive in Windhoek and transfer to the Hotel Heinitzburg. This evening gather for welcome drinks and dinner.
Windhoek / Serra CafemaFebruary 16 — February 17
After breakfast, depart for Serra Cafema Camp. Arguably the most remote camp in all of southern Africa, it overlooks the Kunene River—the only permanent water source in the region, creating a lush oasis along its banks, surrounded by rugged mountains and sand dunes. This region is also home to the Himba tribe, one of the last nomadic people in all of Africa. Enjoy the opportunity to visit with Himba families to learn more about their lifestyle and traditions. Other activities include game drives to view herds of oryx and springbok, boating on the Kunene, hiking, birding, and a visit to the massive sand dunes near the camp.
Desert Rhino CampFebruary 18 — February 20
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and board our chartered aircraft to Desert Rhino Camp. Located in a million-acre reserve, the camp boasts an outstanding wilderness experience in comfortable accommodations. The reserve’s harsh countryside is punctuated with a number of fresh water springs that support healthy populations of desert-adapted black rhinos and elephants, as well as large populations of the rare Hartmann’s mountain zebra, oryx, and kudu. Predators can also be found, with the largest populations of lions, cheetahs, leopards, and brown and spotted hyenas found outside Etosha National Park. Many of Namibia’s endemic bird species are found here, as well as succulent plants uniquely adapted for life in this desert. Explore this wilderness on foot and during game drives.
Ongava Tented CampFebruary 21 — February 22
Ongava Tented Camp is situated along the southern boundary of Etosha in a privately owned reserve. Etosha, “the place of dry water,” offers one of the great wildlife experiences remaining in Africa. Covering over 8,000 square miles, the park encompasses a vast salt pan 80 miles long and is Namibia’s premier game-viewing destination. Ongava is one of the few private game reserves in southern Africa where you may see both white and black rhinos, as well as healthy populations of lions, eland, mountain zebras, black-faced impalas, a number of other antelope species, and a host of birdlife.
Vumbura Plains, BotswanaFebruary 23 — February 25
After breakfast depart Ongava by charter flight to Vumbura Plains, which lies in the extreme north of the Okavango Delta. Explore the camp’s flood plains via mokoro (dug-out canoe) guided by polers from the BaYei tribe, who have been using them as their traditional form of transport for hundreds of years. Water levels permitting, boats take you into the larger and deeper areas of water while 4x4 vehicles allow you to get in proximity to animals in the savanna areas. Wildlife sightings may include lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, and various species of antelope.
Mombo CampFebruary 26 — February 27
After a morning activity and brunch, depart Vumbura by private charter to Mombo Camp, located on Chief’s Island, one of the many islands created by the seasonal floodwaters of the Okavango. Spend two days exploring the area’s wide, expansive plains, which are famous for their concentration of wildlife. All the major predators—lions, leopards, cheetahs, and wild dogs—can be seen close to camp. Elephants are abundant here, and large herds of impala, zebra, wildebeest, and buffalo are common. You’ll see profuse birdlife, including pelicans, storks, and cranes, as well as Dickinson’s kestrels, pink-throated longclaws, and Meyer’s parrots.
DumaTau CampFebruary 28 — March 1
Following morning activities and brunch fly to the Linyanti area and spend two full days at DumaTau Camp, which overlooks a large hippo-filled lagoon, providing a rich backdrop of African wildlife with its resident birds and mammals, which come and go throughout the day. The Linyanti Reserve, 776 square miles of unspoiled wilderness, is totally uninhabited by humans. It supports a wide variety of species, but is most noted for its very large elephant population, which can reach enormous densities. The area is also home to large numbers of lechwe, kudu, impala, giraffe, and buffalo. With this multitude of prey, all of the major predators, including lion, leopard, cheetah, and hyena are regularly sighted in the area. Diverse activities allow you to spend time on the water (water levels permitting) and on land, during day and night game drives.
Nkwali Lodge, ZambiaMarch 2 — March 4
After brunch and one last excursion in Botswana, depart for your final destination and country—Zambia. Your home base for exploring the impressive variety of terrain and intense concentrations of wildlife is the beautiful Nkwali Lodge, which offers magnificent views of the Luangwa River. Excursions bring you into proximity with South Luangwa National Park’s 60 mammal species, including the graceful Thornicroft’s giraffe—endemic to this area—and at least 400 species of birds. The leopard population is the densest in Africa, sustained by antelope species such as bushbuck, puku, and kudu. Search for wildlife during game drives, walks, and via pontoon, and on nighttime drives watch for nocturnal animals such as genet, civet, serval, hyena, and bush baby.
Nkwali Lodge / Lusaka / USAMarch 5 — March 6
After brunch, board our charter flight to Lusaka to connect with your independent homeward flights. Arrive in the USA the next day.