14-Day North Eastern Wilderness Safari
This 14-day safari is a combination of cultural and wildlife experiences and includes a visit to three countries – Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. We will take you to some of the last remaining true wilderness areas in Africa, where humans and wildlife coexist without being surrounded by fences. From a cultural perspective we will experience the Bushmen and their vanishing way of life. We will then explore the secluded Khaudum National Park in the Kalahari desert in Namibia, renowned for its remoteness and unique beauty.
We will also be spending time in four river systems (Okavango, Kwando, Chobe and Zambezi) which will be very rewarding in terms of mammal and bird sightings. We will spend time in some of the smaller national parks in the Caprivi strip of Namibia, before crossing the border into Botswana’s incredibly biodiverse Chobe National Park and finally onto Zimbabwe’s legendary Victoria Falls. A wide range of activities are available on this safari, from boat cruises and game drives to scenic flights around Victoria Falls. Your accommodation will range from remote camping, luxury camping to luxury lodges. The activities and accommodation can be personalised according to your specific preferences.
Full Itinerary – North Eastern Wildernss Safari
Arrival in Windhoek and Grootfontein
Welcome to Namibia! After arriving at Hosea Kutako International Airport outside the country’s capital city of Windhoek, a representative will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall of the airport with your name on a signboard. After loading your luggage into the vehicle, you will depart for Grootfontein. The total journey will take about 5 hours depending on the number of stops for photographs.
We will head northwards and make a stop at the Hoba Meteorite. It is the largest known intact meteorite on earth and weighs approximately 60 tonnes. It is about an hour drive to get to our final destination for day. Depending on time of arrival, we have the option to do a walking trail or relax by the pool.
Our lodge is situated on a game farm and is the perfect base from which to explore and spend time with the Bushmen/San people.
The San are hunter-gatherer people, indigenous to southern Africa, who are extremely successful at surviving in the bush and desert despite their limited technology and weaponry. They are descendants of prehistoric people who had migrated from southern Africa northwards into east and central African before returning to the southern tip of the continent. They belong to the Khoisan group that speak the “click” languages. They are famous for their rock engravings and researchers’ interpretation of the San people is that their beliefs and rituals are very much a part of their art.
We will meet up for dinner just before sunset so we can enjoy the brilliant red and orange hues with a drink in hand. We will follow this with dinner and a good night’s rest.
The San (Bushmen) and Khaudum South
After an early breakfast we will make our way to meet up with the Ju/’hoansi Bushmen, who live in small villages scattered across Bushmanland. After a quick introduction and greeting ceremony, we set off into the bush with the village hunters. We will spend most of the morning with them, looking for prey to shoot with their poisoned arrows, as well as for edible roots, berries, honeycombs and whatever else would be welcomed by the rest of the villagers. It is a fascinating experience walking with these men, whose knowledge of the bush and all its inhabitants is simply astounding.
We will then continue our way towards Khaudum National Park. Often referred to as Namibia’s “forgotten wilderness”, the Park has thick sand and is one of the lesser visited parks in Namibia. Various wildlife occurs in Khaudum include herds of African Elephant, African Wild Dog, rare Sable and Roan Antelope and over 320 bird species. Our first stop will be Southern side of the Park, the Sikereti Campsite, where we will camp for the next 2 nights.
Khaudum National Park borders Botswana and is unfenced to allow animals to follow their natural migration routes from the Okavango Delta and Kavango River. Khaudum is the only park in Namibia which protects the Northern Kalahari Sandveld biome with its forest savannah and woodland. After setting up camp at our campsite and settling in, we will meet up for sundowners and enjoy dinner around the campfire.
After an early coffee and breakfast, we have the full day to explore the southern part of the magnificent park. Khaudum National Park has 12 artificial waterholes and 2 permanent fountains. Due to the sandy terrain that requires 4 x 4 vehicles, only short distances can be covered in one day.
We will travel slow to visit some of the southern waterholes and be on the lookout for various species of wildlife. Close to one of the southern waterholes, Tsoanafontein, you will find the Tsoana Archaeological Site, which is worth a visit. After an exciting day out in the African bush, we will return to our campsite for sundowners and another great dinner.
After a wonderful breakfast at our campsite we will make our way to the Northern part of the Park, taking a slow drive around waterholes, all the way to Khaudum Campsite. We will spend the next 2 nights in this Northern part section. (Sikereti and Khaudum campsites are merely 70 km apart but takes around 6 hours to drive.)
After setting up camp, and settling in, we will meet up for some sundowners around the campfire. We will enjoy dinner under the stars and rest up for another wonderful day in Africa!
We will enjoy breakfast while watching the sun rise at our campsite. We have the full day to explore the waterholes in the Northern part of Khaudum. We will use our own game drive vehicle. We will either take a packed lunch or return to camp for some downtime and meet up late afternoon for sundowners and another wonderful camp dinner under the stars!
Mahango National Park
This morning after breakfast we will pack up camp and slowly make our way further northeast past the George Mukoya Conservancy to the Mahango National Park situated in the Caprivi Area.
The Caprivi with its lush green woodlands and big wide rivers is incredibly rich in wildlife, and has become an ecotourism hotspot, with massive growth potential still to be realised. Within Namibia the Caprivi Strip provides by far the most significant habitat for the critically endangered African Wild Dog. It is also an important corridor for African Elephant herds moving from Botswana and Namibia into Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Apart from wildlife viewing, other Caprivi activities include angling for Tiger Fish, boat cruises and canoe trips on the rivers, while other attractions include Popa Falls and Impalila Island.
It will take us about 3 hours to get to our next accommodation. After checking in and freshening up we will enjoy some downtime before we do a sunset boat cruise with the lodge. We will return to the lodge for dinner and a good night’s rest.
Bwabwata and Mahango National Parks
After breakfast this morning we will do a mixture of game drives in Bwabwata and Mahango National Parks, and we have a dinner boat cruise on the Okavango river to look forward to late this afternoon.
Between game drives we will have lunch back at the lodge while enjoying more stunning views of the Okavango river.
These two parks form the “Mahango Core Area”, as well as being part of the much larger Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) that incorporates 16 parks in 5 countries over its vast 520,000 km2 (201,000 sq mi) area. Bwabwata National Park, or just “Buffalo” to the locals, is named after a village in the reserve and means ‘the sound of bubbling water’ and was established in 2007. The park is 6,100km² (2,350 sq2 miles) in size and extends for about 180km from the Okavango river in the west to the Kwando river in the east, with Angola to the north and Botswana to the south. On the eastern side of the Okavango river is the other smaller part of the core area, namely Mahango Game Reserve. It was established in 1986 and covers an area of 24,462 hectares (95 square miles).
It is a flat region of grassland, swamps, shrubland, floodplains and riverine woodland, with a few sand dunes on the horizon. The deciduous woodlands are dominated by trees such as wild seringa, false mopane, camelthorns and Zambezi teak.
The parks are home to almost 100 large and numerous small mammal species, including African Elephant, big herds of African Buffalo, plenty of Hippopotamus, the rare Roan and Sable Antelopes, Greater Kudu, Red Lechwe, Sitatunga, Lion, Leopard, African Wild Dog, Cheetah, Spotted Hyaena, the vulnerable Spotted-necked Otter and many more.
A favourite and famous spot in Bwabwata is Horseshoe; as the name suggests, a large oxbow lake on the Kwando river with picturesque white-sand beaches, surrounded by beautiful Zambezi teak woodlands.
The Kwando River
We start the morning with breakfast after which we proceed further east along the Caprivi Strip.
After a drive of about 3 hours we will reach our campsite and start setting up camp. Our campsite is situated on the banks of the beautiful Kwando river. The Kwando, also spelled Cuando sometimes, is 731 km (454 mi) long and runs from the central plateau in Angola into the Linyanti swamp in the north of Botswana. Below the swamp, the river is called the Linyanti river and, farther east, the Chobe river, before it flows into the mighty Zambezi river.
In the afternoon we will explore Mudumu National Park in our own vehicle. Besides looking for African Elephant, we will try and find African Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, African Wild Dog, Cheetah, Spotted Hyaena, Hippopotamus, Giraffe, Sable and Roan Antelope, Lechwe, Sitatunga, Tsessebe and many other mammals.
From an avian perspective we will look for all the local specials along with other great birds like Rufous-bellied Heron, Black-faced Babbler, Swamp Boubou, Collared Palm Thrush, Meves’s Starling, Southern Ground Hornbill, Bennett’s Woodpecker, African Wood Owl and many more.
We return to our campsite late afternoon where we will enjoy sundowners while looking for animals across the river. Dinner will be enjoyed under the stars!
Camping Mudumu National Park
We will depart our luxury campsite after breakfast and do a full day game drive around the park. A lunch break in between will allow us to relax before the afternoon drive.
Our campsite will be wild camping and wild animals regularly visit the campsite bringing you closer to nature. The nights tend to be quite peaceful, away from human noises and only the African bush sounds, a wonderful African bush experience.
Nkasa Rupara National Park
After breakfast and packing up we will head towards the Nkasa Rupara National Park. This small 320km park is Namibia’s largest formally protected wetland area. The Park is part of a web of 22 protected areas which cover 280 000 km2 and make up the KAZA TCFA in 5 countries.
It is one of the most unexplored areas in Namibia, hence accessibility and wildlife sightings mainly depend on the season. Winter is the season when African Elephant migrate in great numbers into Namibia from Botswana. The Kwando River flows through the Park. From its source in the Angolan highlands, the Kwando flows for 1 000 km before it changes direction sharply, turning south-west at the border between Namibia and Botswana, to become the Linyanti River. The change in the river’s course results in a dynamic environmental system, hence the whole ecosystem resembles Botswana’s Okavango wetland wilderness but unique in its own style.
Birding is awesome around this area, specials include breeding pairs of rare Wattled Crane, Stanley’s Bustard, Rosy-throated Longclaw, Dickinson’s Kestrel, Allen’s Gallinule, Black-winged and Red-winged Pratincole, Luapula Cisticola, Coppery-tailed Coucal and Black Coucal. Also found here are crocodiles, rock and water monitor lizards.
Chobe National Park Camping
After an early breakfast, we have 2 options as far as morning activities are concerned. We could either do a guided walking safari in the park or a guided game drive. The walking safari is conducted by a local guide and an armed community ranger. This experience requires a certain degree of physical fitness and is subject to safety conditions. After our morning excursion we will then drive further east into Botswana’s Chobe National Park. We will spend the next two nights camping in the Chobe Area.
After setting up camp we will do a short drive and then return to our camp to enjoy sundowners and start the fire for our dinner. Dinner will again be enjoyed under the African stars!
Chobe National Park
After an early campsite breakfast, we have the full day to explore Chobe National Park.
We will do a game drive and a boat cruise and depending on the time of the year, we will decide which to do first.
Chobe is home to some of Africa’s highest concentrations of game, with the region boasting the largest continuous African Elephant population on the continent, about 80,000 individuals at the last count. Seeing these giants crossing, playing in and swimming in the Chobe river is a sight you will never forget.
Apart from the large number of pachyderms, Chobe is also known for its excellent game viewing boat cruises along the Chobe river, which attracts plenty of animals and birds, and offers guests some of the best sunset views anywhere in Africa. In the southwestern area of Chobe lies the Savuti Marsh, hosting some of Africa’s highest year-round concentrations of wildlife, especially predators. Chobe’s Lions are world renowned for having learnt how to prey on African Elephants, occasionally even adults!
We will naturally see lots and lots of ellies, but we will also search for African Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, African Wild Dog, Hippopotamus, Nile Crocodile, Giraffe, Sable Antelope, Puku (at the southernmost limit of its range), Lechwe, Waterbuck, Bushbuck and huge herds of zebra. Some of the special birds you could see include Southern Carmine Bee-eater, African Spoonbill, Racket-tailed Roller, Copper Sunbird, Brown Firefinch, Orange-winged Pytilia, Slaty Egret, Rosy-throated Longclaw, African Skimmer, Rock Pratincole, Half-collared Kingfisher and White-crowned Lapwing.
Chobe is also famous for being the base for many world-renowned wildlife photographers. Many award-winning photos, videos and documentaries have been captured here.We will return to our campsite for dinner and a good night’s rest.
After breakfast and a final activity, we will cross into Zimbabwe, the third and final country on our fantastic safari.
It is a short drive of about 80 km from Kasane to Victoria Falls, and remember to keep an eye out for wildlife as this road is famous for some incredible roadside sightings.
After arriving in the town of Victoria Falls you have the option of going straight to the falls, also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, or “The Smoke that Thunders” (the falls visit is an optional extra). It is the largest waterfall in the world by volume, A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. However, no amount of cold facts can prepare you for the sight of the unfathomably vast and powerful falls. It truly is majestic, and a must-see for adventure and wildlife travellers from all over the globe.
After settling into your lodge or hotel in the town itself, you will have the afternoon open for relaxing, shopping at one of the curio markets, or any of the following additional (optional) activities:
• Helicopter flights over the falls and surrounding area (highly recommended)
• Bungee jumping
• Guided Tour of the Falls
• Sundowner boat cruise on the Zambezi river
• Half-day birding trip around town and the falls
Dinner tonight is for your own account, but we can gladly assist in suggesting one of the many excellent hotel restaurants in town.
Day 14: Depature
After a relaxing final breakfast you will be transferred to the nearby Victoria Falls International Airport for your homeward flight, or for your connecting flight to another southern African safari destination (please arrange you transfer directly with your lodge or hotel – this is for your own account).
We can easily extend this safari to include some of the fantastic parks in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana or South Africa. Please enquire and we will gladly assist.
Do you have a quick question about this Namibia Safari? Speak to a specialist at