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Southern Africa over 3 weeks

go rock the cradle of civilisation! - Trip for singles

Book From   € 1,499,-
GROUP SIZE: 6-20 | 21 DAYS

Southern Africa over 3 weeks

Here you can find the day-to-day description for Southern Africa over 3 weeks

Highlights

There's plenty to do in this beautiful region. Select below or on the map opposite, the highlight you want to read more information about. Read through carefully and then go directly to the tour description.
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Cape Town

Oranjerivier

Fish River Canyon

Sesriem

Swakopmund

Kamanjab

Etosha Nationaal Park

Bagani

Okavango Delta

Kongola

Kasane (Chobe Nationaal Park)

Victoria Falls

Bulawayo

Tshipise

Pretoria

Day to Day description

Transport Route Overnight stay
1 Cape Town Cape Town
2 Cape Town Cape Town
3 Truck Cape Town - Orange River Orange River
4 Truck Orange River - Fish River Canyon Fish River Canyon
5 Truck Fish River Canyon - Sesriem Sesriem
6 Truck Sesriem - Swakopmund Swakopmund
7 Swakopmund Swakopmund
8 Truck Swakopmund - Kamanjab Kamanjab
9 Truck Kamanjab - Etosha Etosha National Park
10 Etosha National Park Etosha National Park
11 Truck Etosha - Bagani Bagani
12 Boat Bagani - Okavango Delta Okavango Delta
13 Okavango Delta Okavango Delta
14 Boat, Truck Okavango Delta - Kongola Kongola
15 Truck Kongola - Kasane (Chobe NP) Kasane
16 Truck Kasane - Victoria Falls Victoria Falls
17 Victoria Falls Victoria Falls
18 Truck Victoria Falls – Bulawayo Bulawayo
19 Truck Bulawayo – Thsipise Thsipise
20 Truck Thsipise – Pretoria Pretoria
21 Pretoria End of tour

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9

Day 1: Cape Town

Welcome to South Africa!

Your tour starts in Cape Town, where you can use your hotel room from check in time (12.00 hrs at noon) on day 1. Your travel companions will also arrive this first day, the exact time will be depending on their flight schedule. You will meet your English speaking tour leader at 8.00 hrs AM on day 2 in the lobby of your dorm-style accommodation in Cape Town.

Cape Town is located at the foot of the world famous Table Mountain whose summit can be reached either by walking up the mountain path or by taking a short cable car ride. From here you will have stunning views over the beautiful city of Cape Town and the bay. Also visit the Botanical Gardens of Kirstenbosch, take a boat trip to Robben Island, visit Cape Point or stop at the large penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach on your way to Simonstown. The cable car to Table Mountain and trips to Robben Island are bookable on arrival and are subject to cancellation due to weather conditions.

Day 2: Cape Town

Take in some of the many museums the city has to offer, stroll around Victoria and Albert Waterfront with its countless restaurants, shops and live entertainment and browse the many antique and art shops around the city.

Highly recommended as well is the Chapman's Peak drive between Noordhoek and Hout Bay. This is one of the finest marine drives anywhere and offers outstanding views over the Atlantic Ocean. There are also hiking routes for those feeling particularly active and if you are going during whale season then you may be fortunate enough to spot southern rights in the ocean below.

Day 3: Cape Town - Orange River

Today we set off to the border with Namibia and spend the night in a cosy campsite at Orange River. In the morning, you can take an optional canoe trip down the river.

Ngwavuma Mpontshini School


Hlengiwe Mthembu from Ngwavuma, Zululand is an inspiration to many. She is the foster mother to a growing number of HIV/AIDS orphans and her garden provides food for more than 400 students from the school. The school has built accommodation for the orphans and Hlengiwe has built a laundry, library, kitchen and dining area for them. 
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Day 4: Orange River - Fish River Canyon

We make the short journey to Fish River Canyon, a spectacular river cleft, where the stones at the bottom of the canyon are estimated to be 2 billion years old. The river has taken centuries to carve the deep canyon over a distance of 160 km and at sunset the cleft is displayed in all its colours. The entrance fee to the Fish River Canyon is included in your holiday price.

Day 5: Fish River Canyon - Sesriem

Today we will drive through the oldest desert in the world, the Namib. It’s name means ‘infinite space’ in the Namaque language and in this vast ‘sea of sand’ live Oryxes, meerkats, jackals and rock hyraxes. We will drive to Sesriem in the heart of Namibia’s biggest national Park where we will camp before continuing on to Sossusvlei the following morning.

Day 6: Sesriem - Swakopmund

Before dawn we will drive into the Namib-Naukluft Park, past a sea of some of the highest sand dunes in the world on to the much photographed ‘Dune 45’. Here we will make the strenuous climb 150 metres up to the top and watch a magnificent sunrise over the incredible wind-shaped red sand dunes. To avoid the heat, immediately after breakfast we travel to Sossusvlei, an oasis between the dunes and see how acacia, ostriches & oryx survive in the blazing sand. If time permits we will include a guided walk in the Sossusvlei.

Around lunchtime, we drive back to Swakopmund and you have time to explore this friendly colonial town.  You may decide to take a trip through amazing moonscapes to see the incredibly resistant welwitschia plant. At night, you can have a delicious meal and dance the night away at the local disco.

Day 7: Swakopmund

Free day in Swakopmund. Today you'll have time to explore Swakopmund town again, with its palm-shaded streets. The old port town is wedged between the desert and the ocean. Although the water is a bit cold, there is a beautiful beach and the dolphins that live here sometimes swim up close!

There are different activities available in Swakopmund (optional) such as 'sandboarding' or 'quad biking' across the dunes. For the real daredevils there is also the possibility to make a dual-parachute jump, with breathtaking views of the desert and the ocean.

How green can you go? TIP

Those who want to become familiar with life in the township can do so under the guidance of a resident of the township where they'll get an impression of the culture in this very friendly environment.

Day 8: Swakopmund - Kamanjab

Today you drive through the foothills of the Skeleton Coast Reserve. Along the way it is possible to see elephants and giraffes and beautifully dressed Herero women with their wares on the side of the road.

Today you visit the Himba, a very fine people, both in appearance and the way they live. They are concentrated mainly in the region in the northwest Kaokoveld and count only about 12,000 members. Each family has several huts made ​​from branches, mud and dung. The cabins are spread over a large area. Himba are semi-nomadic and they go in search of pastures with their herds of sheep, cattle and goats on the largely desert steppe.  

The remarkable Himba, have reddish-brown colour skin, hair and clothing (often only a goatskin skirt). This red colour is a mix of earth, herbs, bark and fat and acts as protection against the desert climate. Men, women and children wear necklaces, arm, hip and ankle straps made ​​of shells and metal beads.

Day 9: Kamanjab - Etosha

How green can you go? TIP

We then drive to the extensive 23,000 sq km Etosha National Park home to a saltpan surrounded by grasses and acacias that attracts a wide variety of wildlife including antelopes, springbucks, zebra’s, gnus, giraffes, elephants, oryxes, lions, cheetahs and leopards. You can observe them hunting and when they relaxing in the shade of the trees. We will spend two nights in the park and have a safari every morning and late afternoon. At night, you can walk to one of the watering holes and sit and enjoy the wonderful sights. The entrance fee for Etosha is included in your holiday price.

Day 10: Etosha National Park

We continue today to explore this vast expanse.

It is possible that you may stay at two different sites. In that case you travel on day 11 to the second camp. In high season it can mean overnighting in a campsite outside the park. All game drives are still conducted according to the program.

Sustainable travel

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Day 11: Etosha - Bagani

We start our last day in Etosha National Park with one last game drive before we continue our journey to Bagani, where we will stay at a lovely, cosy campsite on the banks of the magnificent Okavango River.

Day 12: Bagani - Okavango Delta

How green can you go? TIP

Land Rovers will drive us into the Okavango area to a small village where we will start our adventure in our mokoro, a canoe dug out of a tree trunk. Our guides will escort us into the Delta and we will paddle to one of the many islands where we will spend the next 2 nights. This island is the base for guided game walks and hiking tours where you will have the opportunity to meet elephants, buffaloes, lions, hyenas and antelopes.

You will stay in a 'tented camp' where the tents are equipped with folding beds. Sanitary facilities are shared. Enjoy the nightly animal noises!

Day 13: Okavango Delta

Today we will spend more time discovering the Okavango Delta. Seen from above, the Okavango looks like a giant hand with an arm that stretches into the Kalahari from the northwest. The five ‘fingers’ are smaller rivers, which branch into a water area where you will find a wide variety of bird and wildlife, including fish eagles, kingfishers, bee-eaters and the ‘hadeda ibis’. The year-round supply of water in this dry region at the edge of the Kalahari Desert also attracts an extraordinary diverse range of wildlife.

Day 14: Okavango Delta - Kongola

You leave early this morning because it's a fairly long travel day, towards the Chobe NP where our tents are set up at the local campsite in Kongola.

The campsite is on the banks of the Kwando River, which you reach in about 15 minutes by boat. You can opt to use the facilities of the associated lodge. Enjoy sitting around the campfire in the evening with the sound of grunting hippos in the background. Bird lovers will find this place a paradise and if time permits you may take a bespoke birdwatching tour.

Day 15: Kongola - Kasane (Chobe NP)

We'll take a fun ride through simple villages and rolling savannahs to one of the most wildlife-rich parks of Africa, Chobe. Chobe Park is justly famous. This park is approximately 11,700 square kilometers and is so special that in 1939 it was declared a protected area. The park offers a diverse nature, and thus a rich collection of animals. Thanks to the protection it accommodates large herds of elephants. The number of elephants in the Chobe Park has become so large (about 50,000, with a growth rate of 7% per year), that changes in vegetation have been observed and whether the elephant herds need to be reduced has become a topical debate.

In the afternoon you can take an optional boat trip. On the river you have every opportunity to witness a wide variety of wildlife drinking. Herds of elephants, impala, waterbuck, as well as hippos, crocodiles, otters and buffalo make this trip a wonderful memory. From the boat you'll see eagles swoop. You can include an optional jeep safari in the afternoon or the next morning. You'll stay at a campsite near Kasane.

Day 16: Kasane - Victoria Falls

In the early morning you can take an optional game drive through Chobe park before we cross the border into Zimbabwe. Here we will drive on to the amazing Victoria Waterfalls, also known as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. On average 550,000 cubic metres of water falls down here, plunging to a depth of 1.7 kilometres, creating a thick misty haze and watering the thick vegetation in the nearby rainforest.

There will be enough time to explore the area and you can choose to hire a bicycle and follow the small paths along the Zambezi River or white water rafting down part of the Zambezi with an experienced guide. You can also paddle along in a canoe in the upstream part of the Zambezi on a canoe safari and see some local dances or take the ‘Flight of the Angels’, and soar just above and along the waterfall in a small plane or a light aircraft. For the very brave, you can do one of the highest bungee jumps in the world!

Day 17: Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is also a good place to relax and has a large number of bars and hotels. The most famous hotel is the Victoria Falls Hotel. It was built in 1904 and, with its old colonial style, is still the most romantic of the country. Here you can relax with a drink on the terrace, while in the background the sound of the giant waterfalls is heard. At night there is the possibility of an optional game drive. The land rovers have mounted spotlights, so you can go in search of game that doesn't pop up during the day. Your camp is within walking distance of the thundering water.

Day 18: Victoria Falls – Bulawayo

Today we say goodbye to the waterfalls and travel to the second city of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo. It is located in the southwest of the country, with no fewer than 1 million inhabitants. The city has wide tree-covered streets and is surrounded by beautiful parks, a legacy of Cecil John Rhodes. In the city you will find many examples of old Victorian buildings. Depending on the time of arrival in Bulawayo you can still explore.

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Day 19: Bulawayo – Thsipise

“Tshipise” means “something warm”. Giant baobabs dot the landscape and the campsite is barely visible among the Mopani, red bushwillow and jakkalsbessie trees. The perfect stop on your way to Pretoria.

Day 20: Thsipise – Pretoria

After breakfast we continue our journey to the friendly city of Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa. Former president Paul Kruger is the real hero of this city and is honoured with a statue at Church Square. Other highlights include the impressive Union Buildings designed by the famous architect Sir Herbert Baker. Tonight we will stay in 6-person rooms in a lodge outside of Pretoria where there are several excursions to the surroundings of Pretoria that are bookable through the lodge’s activity centre.

Day 21: Pretoria

The last day of your tour. You can use your hotel room in Pretoria until check out time (most times at 12.00 hrs noon). We wish you a comfortable journey home and are sure you will take with you some wonderful memories of Southern Africa.

Your personal ‘my.shoestring’ page on our website is the perfect way to make contact with other travellers before and after your trip. You can read and create journals from trips and upload your photos onto the photo gallery. Visit my shoestring today.

When booking your tour, please check to see whether you need any post-tour nights, bearing in mind that accommodation for the night of the final day of the tour (day 21) is not included.

Please note: All transport (and game drives in parks visited included in trip) by well maintained overland truck. Hard suitcases can not be taken in the truck. You must pack your luggage in a bag or backpack. In addition, a small backpack/shoulder bag is useful for your day to day hand luggage.

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