RCGS Southern Africa

RCGS: Southern Africa Cape Town to Vic Falls with Michelle Valberg

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20 days
from
$5,699 USD
incl. taxes
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Culture
Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
AZVPAR
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailor Made Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
6–14
Min age:
16

An adventure travel legends are made of…

Embark on an epic grand African journey reminiscent of the golden age of travel from Cape Town to Victoria Falls accompanied by renowned Nikon Ambassador and RCGS Photographer-in-Residence, Michelle Valberg. Known across the globe Michelle has been traveling the world photographing wildlife and landscapes for over 30 years. Using her photo know-how Michelle will be on hand to help you capture the dramatic scenery, rich culture, and diverse wildlife of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

From the vibrant streets of Cape Town and the sprawling dunes of Sossusvlei to elephant-filled Chobe National Park and finally spectacular rainbow crowned Victoria Falls, this African odyssey is action packed from start to finish. Take in the panoramic views from the top of Table Mountain then sip on South African wines at a local wine farm. Watch history come to life as you explore Damaraland in search of ancient rock engravings. Walk amongst larger-than-life sand dunes and lunar landscapes in Deadvlei. Head out on twice daily game drives through Etosha National Park, one of the world’s best wildlife-viewing parks, in search of cheetahs, zebras, lions, giraffes and more. The adventure ends with time to enjoy “the smoke that thunders”, majestic Victoria Falls.

Highlights

  • Discover the sights and sounds of cosmopolitan Cape Town.
  • Enjoy 2 days of game viewing in Etosha National Park.

  • Behold the mighty Victoria Falls.
  • Explore the world’s highest sand dunes in Sossusvlei.
  • Cruise the Okavango River in a mokoro.
  • Experience 4 distinctly different countries with Canadian Geographic Photographer-in-Residence, Michelle Valberg.

Key information

  • Hotel departures: 6 nights hotel/lodge, 3 nights guesthouse, 10 nights chalets
  • Camping and lodge departures available
  • Travel in a purpose-built overland truck
  • Some long drives on rough roads and early starts
  • Countries visited: Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Cape Town.

    We suggest you aim to arrive at the lodge in Cape Town by mid-afternoon. If the weather is good this afternoon there may be the opportunity for an optional excursion up Table Mountain via cable car. Table Mountain is often the first image that springs to mind whenever one thinks of Cape Town – the views across the city on a clear day are incredible. If the weather is not good enough this will be a free afternoon, with the opportunity to explore the famous V & A Waterfront.

    Sweetest Guesthouses or similar

  • Day 2

    Visit Table Mountain; afternoon wine tour.

    If we didn’t have the opportunity to make it up Table Mountain yesterday then we another chance this morning, driving first along the spectacular Chapman's Peak drive (please note, occasionally this drive is closed and we will have to go around it), via Houtbay. Alternatively, there may be time to visit Cape Point. In the afternoon we will visit a local wine farm – the area surrounding Cape Town is renowned for its wine and we will get a chance to sample some of the local produce.

    The order of activities in Cape Town is flexible as we will time going up Table Mountain for when the weather is best. Evening meals can be enjoyed at various restaurants on the beaches along the coast – Cape Town is a food and drink lover's paradise!

    Sweetest Guesthouses or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    To Olifants River.

    We leave Cape Town and travel through farmlands of citrus, maize, cattle and sheep as we start the journey towards Namibia. Our first stop is in the fertile Olifants River Valley, giving us a glimpse into the agricultural lifestyle of the Western Cape. (about 5hrs drive)
    Highlanders Lodge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    To Orange River; afternoon optional canoeing.

    Today we drive to Orange River (5 hours + 1 hour border crossing), where Namibia's southern border meets South Africa. There is free time to relax this afternoon. Our camp for the night will be in a picturesque location on the riverbank. (450km/280mi, 6-7hrs)
    Felix Unite Cabanas or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    To Fish River Canyon; afternoon walk.

    In the morning we enjoy a canoe trip on the Orange River. It is not tough on the water and the trip gives us the chance to see the flora and fauna of the region as we drift by. We then take a short drive (3 hours) to the second largest canyon on earth – Fish River Canyon. The views from the canyon rim are spectacular and there is time for a short walk along it in the afternoon for superb sunset views.
    Canyon Mountain Camp / Canyon Lodge or similar
    * larger groups typically stay in two separate properties on this night due to the lack of accommodation options in the area - standards can vary and early bookers are assigned better rooms.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    To Sesriem.

    A day's travel along the edge of the Namib-Naukluft Park to Sesriem where we stay overnight outside the park. (550km/342mi, 8.5-9hrs)
    Little Sossus Lodge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Full day exploring Sossusvlei.

    We will leave our lodge early to spend the morning at the Sossusvlei dunes, one of the great sights of Africa. Whilst we cannot enter the park till sunrise, the early morning light on the dunes is still a spectacular site and it is worth getting up for. Those feeling energetic will have the opportunity to climb Dune 45. We will enjoy a picnic breakfast at the dunes. We take a 2km/1.25mi walk into the Hiddenvlei area (optional one way shuttle transfer instead). If we're lucky we may see gemsbok, ostrich or even black-backed jackals among the dunes, an irresistibly photogenic scene!  In the afternoon we visit Sesriem Canyon.
    Little Sossus Lodge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    To Swakopmund.

    A long, spectacular drive through Namib-Naukluft Park to Swakopmund via Walvis Bay to see, in season (summer), Flamingoes in their thousands. This national park, one of the largest in the world, is home to one of the driest and oldest deserts on earth. It contains some of the finest desert scenery in Africa, if not in the world, with towering jagged rock formations and incredible lunar landscapes. (300km/186mi, 4-5hrs)
    D'avignon Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Free day to enjoy optional activities

    Swakopmund has invented itself as Namibia's adventure sports capital, and we have a full day in Swakopmund to enjoy some of the optional adventure activities on offer; go on a dolphin cruise or township tour or take a flight over the desert! Alternatively, explore the German-style town and visit some of the excellent cake shops for which Swakopmund is famous.
    D'avignon Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    To Twyfelfontein; visit Bushman paintings.

    We continue inland to Damaraland, one of the most ruggedly beautiful areas of Namibia and a roaming area of the elusive desert-dwelling elephant. We then visit Twyfelfontein where there are ancient and well-preserved rock-engravings. Local Damaras will guide us on a 30 minute rocky walk to see the rock-engravings. In the late afternoon, just before arriving at our destination, we'll visit the 260 million year old petrified forest. (400km/249mi, 6-7hrs)
    iGowati Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 11

    To Etosha N.P.

    In the morning we drive north to Etosha National Park where some of the world’s best wildlife viewing can be found. We should arrive at Etosha, which means the 'Great White Place of Dry Water' in time to do a late afternoon game drive before arriving at our camp where there will be a waterhole for game viewing at night. (300km/186mi, 4-5hrs)
    Etosha Park Chalets or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Days 12-13

    Two days game viewing.

    We have two days to really enjoy this fabulous park with its mixed forest and grassland centred around a large salt pan. Etosha is home to a great variety and number of game, which is easy to find as the animals congregate at different times around the waterholes. There are waterholes next to the excellent campsites, and it is not uncommon for us to spend all night watching a gala performance of animals: wildebeest, zebra, impala, springbok, kudu, elephant, giraffe, lion and even rhino are all common sights here. Take plenty of patience and you will be rewarded by one of the greatest game spectacles in Southern Africa. Etosha is also a good place for birds, with plenty of waterbirds on the lakes and weaverbirds and hornbills in the trees. While in Etosha we move our camps (between Okaukuejo, Halali or Namutoni) but the itinerary is kept flexible depending on where the game is.
    Etosha Park Chalets or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    To Okavango River.

    Long drive through local villages to the Okavango River - the main watercourse supplying the Okavango Delta. (650km/404mi, 8hrs)
    Rainbow River Lodge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Mokoro (dugout canoe) ride on the Okavango.

    We take a mokoro (traditional dug-out canoe) ride from our camp on the Okavango River. Please note that in March/April, the river may be flooded and we may have to substitute our mokoros for a boat ride. The birdlife is prolific and, at certain times of the year, so is the game. Gliding through the waterways by mokoro is the ideal way to absorb the sheer peace and tranquillity of the place. We also have the option of a village tour to meet the local community. 
    Rainbow River Lodge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 16

    To Chobe River.

    Drive through the Caprivi Strip and into Botswana to Chobe National Park area in Kasane, home to huge numbers of elephant and hippo. (400km/249mi, 5.5-6hrs, border crossing 1hr)
    Kwalape Lodge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 17

    Game drive and boat ride in Chobe N.P.

    Today we have an early morning game drive in Chobe National Park and an afternoon boat ride on the Chobe River where it is possible to view huge herds of elephant coming down to drink as well as many other types of game. For bird lovers, the river provides a home for the majestic African Fish Eagle and a number of species of brightly coloured bee-eaters. The area surrounding the Chobe River typically has the highest concentration of wildlife within the park as animals congregate here, particularly in the dry season (April to October).
    Kwalape Lodge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 18

    To Victoria Falls.

    After a leisurely breakfast we drive to Victoria Falls, a small town on the Zimbabwean side of the glorious Victoria Falls (entrance own expense US$ 30). The waterfall itself is majestic, the activities enthralling and the scenery of the Upper Zambezi beautiful. (100km/63mi, 1.5-2hrs plus border crossing 1-2hrs)
    Rainbow Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 19

    Free day.

    Today you have a free day to enjoy the numerous activities on offer such as flights over the falls, white-water rafting, game viewing, or crossing into Zambia to see the falls from a different side (please note you will need a Zambian visa if you wish to go see the falls from the other side).
    Rainbow Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 20

    End Victoria Falls.

    End Victoria Falls. For those on group flights, these depart in the evening and will arrive in the UK the following day.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

 

Botswana

Currently British and Commonwealth and European passport holders do not require visas for Botswana.

If you are transiting through South Africa and are a non UK passport holder you may require a transit visa. Please check before travelling.

Please be aware that children under the age of 18 must provide a full birth certificate (a short one won’t be accepted) as well as a valid passport. If the child is travelling with only one parent or with another adult, the missing parent (or parents) will have to provide an affidavit giving their consent for the child to travel. If flying via S. Africa you may have to pass immigration between flights and the same regulation is needed for entry into S. Africa.

 

Namibia

Visas for Namibia are not required for UK or Commonwealth passport holders. Other nationalities should check before travelling.

Please ensure you have a one full blank page in your passport. If you are transiting through South Africa and are a non UK passport holder you may require a transit visa. Please check before travelling. Please note that if flying via South Africa you will probably have to pass immigration there. New regulations, as of the 1 Oct 2014, mean that children under 18 will have to have an unabridged birth certificate showing the names of both parents. If the child is travelling with only one parent they will need to have an affidavit from the other parent, of no more than 3 months, confirming the child can travel with the other parent; a court order granting full legal guardianship of the child; or a death certificate of the deceased parent.


South Africa
British passport holders and most European and Commonwealth Passport holders do not require a visa to travel to South Africa.

Please note that all travellers to South Africa who do require a visa are required to have a minimum of 2 blank consecutive pages in their passport i.e. a left hand page and a right hand page to enable an entry visa to be issued.
Please note that new regulations from the 1 June 2015 mean that any child under 18 travelling to South Africa needs to be in possession of an unabridged birth certificate with the names of both parents.
If a child under 18 is only travelling with a single parent, they will also have to have an affidavit, no less than 3 months old, from the absent parent confirming the child can travel with the other parent; a court order granting full legal guardianship of the child; or a death certificate of the deceased parent.


Zimbabwe

Most nationalities, including British require a visa to visit Zimbabwe.  This can be obtained from the Zimbabwean Embassy in London but it is a lot easier to get it on arrival in Zimbabwe. 

The current charge for a single entry visit visa issued on arrival in Zimbabwe is £35.00 or US$55.00, although this could change. If you have not obtained a visa before travelling, you should bring enough cash with you to pay for your visa on arrival. You should ensure you have small notes as immigration officers may not be able to provide change.

If you plan on visiting Zambia as well then there is the UNIVISA (a shared visa for Zimbabwe and Zambia) that will allow you multiple entries into Zimbabwe.

Please note that if flying via South Africa you will probably have to pass immigration there. New regulations, as of the 1 Oct 2014, mean that children under 18 will have to have an unabridged birth certificate showing the names of both parents. If the child is travelling with only one parent they will need to have an affidavit from the other parent, of no more than 3 months, confirming the child can travel with the other parent; a court order granting full legal guardianship of the child; or a death certificate of the deceased parent.

Vaccinations

Botswana

Vaccination against Yellow Fever is necessary if you are coming from a country with Yellow Fever, and you must bring a valid certificate of vaccination. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Namibia

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

South Africa

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Malaria prophylaxis is essential if travelling in the greater Kruger area and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. The rest of South Africa, including the Garden Route, has a low risk of Malaria.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zimbabwe

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, four lunches, three dinners

We suggest you allow about 262 CAD/200 USD/158 GBP for meals not included in the itinerary. Please note that most included meals are prepared by the crew. Camp meals should be wholesome and plentiful. Please note sometimes it is not easy to get fresh meat. However, the general standard of food is good, and vegetarians are well catered for. Please notify Exodus of specific dietary requirements.

The water provided on this trip is safe and clean drinking water, normally coming from bore-holes. It is not bottled water, however. If you would rather have bottled water then this will be at your expense, though we would encourage you to make use of the safe drinking water provided as this helps diminish plastic consumption.

Weather

The Southern Hemisphere essentially has the opposite weather to those in the North. The summer months of June, July and August, while clear and warm during the day, can drop down to single digits and even below freezing at night. Between September and May, it is considerably warmer with the time between October and March being the hottest, getting up to the high 30’s/80’s (°C/°F) and sometimes above. However, it is always a dry heat and the temperature does drop at night. The wet season is between November and February, but this is not a bad time to go, as it generally does not rain for very long.

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

Is this trip for you?

You will be staying in a range of Standard and Comfortable Hotels/chalets/lodges ranging from 2 or 3 stars. Breakfasts are eaten either at the lodge restaurant or are prepared by the local team, while lunches and dinners are typically prepared by the leaders and will be enjoyed in a camp-setting to give you the true open-air African experience. Some dinners will be eaten in lodge/hotel restaurants as well. 

Transport is in a specially modified safari vehicle. All vehicles carry a reference library, fridge and/or freezer. 80% of Namibian roads are good gravel roads. However, the road conditions are completely dependent on how they are being maintained at the time and on occasion conditions can be poor. This can have an impact on journey times as well as comfort, and can be punishing on the vehicles. Distances are long on some days as this 21 day trip is 5000km/3107mi long, but it does take in an amazing variety of landscapes from desert to swampland and wildlife with scenic views. Drive times below are only approximations and do vary with road conditions and the number of stops.

Where we travel to in South Africa is safe, and the risk of crime is generally low. However, there are important steps that can be taken to minimise the risk of theft and these include leaving valuables in your hotel's safe, at home, or concealed in the vehicle when not needed. Do not carry more cash than you need, as cards are widely accepted in South Africa. If using an ATM, do not do this alone and be mindful of your surroundings. It is not advisable to walk around after dark, particularly in the city of Cape Town where you can easily and inexpensively take an Uber, or ask your hotel to arrange a taxi.

Legal Note: all group members joining this tour will be asked to sign an indemnity form at the start of the holiday. This indemnity form is a requirement of the South African Tourism Service Association which our local supplier is a member of. As a client of Exodus Travels Ltd, your rights under the Package Travel Regulations (1992) are unaffected, and Exodus remains liable for the actions of our sub-contractors.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Lodges & Guesthouses

16 nights in a hotel or lodge and 3 nights in a guesthouse. We will stay in a range of properties, usually 2/3 star lodges or chalets. All rooms are en-suite throughout the trip and we upgrade to superior rooms in Etosha. The location of the accommodation means there are slight variations in the itinerary between the Lodge and Camping departures. The accommodation we use in Cape Town is either situated in the centre of town or in the surrounding area of the V & A Waterfront. Because accommodation is very oversubscribed we cannot always guarantee a particular lodge or hotel, but in Cape Town we will stay within walking distance of restaurants and it'll be easy to catch a taxi ride to the V & A Waterfront. Wifi is available about half the time but not always very reliable. Single supplement available

Please note that due to the limited amount of accommodation within Etosha National Park, it may be necessary to sleep outside the park on some or all of the nights that we are there. This will not impact on the number of game drives that we have within the park.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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