ULTIMATE NAMIBIAN NORTHEAST ADVENTURE (11 Nights/12 Days)
The northeastern corner of Namibia is time consuming, and even difficult to visit but offers a fascinating wilderness experience for those who are well prepared and make time to reach it. This 12-day tour encompasses wildlife, scenery and culture in one of the less visited part of Namibia. The main aim is to explore the Khaudum National Park, one of the very wild parks in the country. Due to the sandy terrain in this untouched wilderness, we need a minimum of two 4×4 vehicles, hence minimum of 6 people to explore the area. We will visit the San people, who are renowned for being Southern Africa’s earliest ancestors and experience their vanishing way of life. We will have a day of wild camping as there is no accommodation option in northern Khaudum. We will then proceed to the Zambezi region and explore a series of national parks up to Botswana and the end our tour at the mighty Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
Afternoon Game Drive
Scenic Drive to Tsumkwe, Hoba Meteorite
San (Bushman) Cultural Tour, Afternoon Game Drive in Khaudum South
Full Day Game Drive from Khaudum South to Khaudum North, Wild Camping
Day 5 & 6
Game Drive in Mahango and Buffalo Core Areas, Morning Boat Cruise on Okavango River
Kwando Core Area
Afternoon Game Drive
Nkasa Rupara National Park
Game Drive through Mudumu National Park, Afternoon Game Drive in Nkasa Rupara National Park
Day 9 & 10
Chobe National Park (Botswana)
Sunset Boat Cruise on the Chobe River, Full Day Game Drive in the Chobe National Park
Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)
Visit the Victoria Falls, Various Optional Activities
Outbound Flight from Victoria Falls National Park
Day 1- Waterberg Plateau
You will meet your guide either in Windhoek or at the airport and you drive to our first destination, the Waterberg Plateau. Rising as an island of colour some 200 meters above surrounding African bush and savannah, this 405 km2 park was reserved for endangered and protected species in 1972. It is home to some 25 game and over 200 bird species. Rare species such as Roan and Sable Antelope, Cape Buffalo and Tsessebe occur in large numbers. Black and White Rhino are also firmly established on the plateau. This afternoon we will do a game drive and a sundowner as a welcome to our adventure tour.
Day 2- Bushmanland
After breakfast, we will head northwards past a couple of privately owned farms, to Bushmanland main town, Tsumkwe. Before our lunch stop, we will visit the world heaviest metallic meteorite, the Hoba Meteorite. This 60 tonne meteorite is mostly comprised of iron and nickel, with traces of cobalt. After lunch we will make our way more eastwards to Tsumkwe. We have time to feel the tranquility of the lodge area before dinner.
Day 3- Bushmanland
This morning we will visit the San (locally known as the Bushmen) people with a local guide. The San population has been living in the vast Kalahari Desert region for over 20,000 years. We will experience bush walks with San trackers, who will demonstrate hunting, snaring and tracking skills, food gathering and sharing their knowledge of local customs and beliefs. After lunch, we will explore the southern part of Khaudum National Park.
Day 4- Khaudum North
After an early morning breakfast, we will enter the southern gate of Khaudum National Park and drive the whole day through the park to the northern side. This is a 3 842 km2 densely wooded wilderness reserve and the only conservation area in Namibia where the northern Kalahari sandveld biome is protected. Game numbers vary considerably, as the park is unfenced thus enabling the animals to follow their natural migration routes. Khaudum is the
stronghold of Namibia’s Roan Antelope. Other mammals include Greater Kudu, Steenbok, Blue Wildebeest, Oryx, Red Hartebeest, Eland, Reedbuck, Elephant, Giraffe, Lion, Leopard, Spotted Hyeana, Side-stripped and Black-backed Jackals among others. About 320 bird species have been recorded and special ones include Coppery-tailed and Senegal Coucal, Bradfield’s Hornbill, Rufous-bellied Tit, Black-faced Babbler and Sharp-tailed Starling. This is the only day of the trip we will experience wild camping at Khaudum Campsite.
Day 5- Bwabwata National Park (Mahangu Core Area)
After enjoying our breakfast cooked on open fire, we will exit the park and drive more east to the wetlands. The Bwabwata National Park is 6100 km2 and includes the Mahango, Buffalo and Kwando (Golden Triangle) Core Areas. It earns its name from a village in the park and refers the sound of bubbling water. It forms part of the KAZA (Kavango Zambezi) Transfrontier Conservation Area which is the world largest conservation area that incorporates joint management from 5 countries; Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Zimbabwe and Zambia. This is a new generation of Parks in terms of integrated approach towards park management. The part of the park is zoned for community-based tourism including human settlement and development. Mammals
include Elephant, Buffalo, Common Impala, Reedbuck, Red Lechwe, Sitatunga, Hippopotamus, Giraffe, Plains Zebra, Tsessebe, Sable Antelope, Roan Antelope, Chobe Bushbuck, Red Hartebeest, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, African Wild dog among others. We should be in time for an afternoon game drive in the Mahangu Core Area.
Day 6- Bwabwata National Park (Buffalo Core Area)
We have the whole day of game drive, with a lunch/siesta/swimming pool break in between. We will do a morning game drive in the Buffalo Core Area, come back to the lodge and go for the afternoon game drive in the Mahango Core Area. The Buffalo Core Area is 629 km2 and several game species including elephant, buffalo, zebra and wildebeest do seasonal movements. They remain at the Okavango River during the dry season and move inland during the wet season. This seasonal cycle is an important natural mechanism that guarantees that the vegetation structure can be in a resting period during some part of the year. A part of the Buffalo Core Area is situated in the ruins of an old South African army station, so one will be looking at a couple of old deserted buildings, ironically there is lots game around this part of the park. The Mahango Core Area is located on the west side of the Okavango River. The park is very small and has a size of only 245 km². Because of lack of surface water, wildlife is mainly found along the Okavango River (Kavango River as Kavango tribe prefer calling it on the Namibia side), and this is where we will spend more time.
Day 7- Kwando Core Area
This morning before we leave for a 3-hour drive to the Kwando Core Area, we will do a morning Boat Cruise on the Okavango River. Besides mammals, the birding is excellent in this area as it is also recognized internationally as an Important Bird Area to support bird species that are endangered or threatened. Some of the highlight species include Wattled Crane, African Pygmy Goose, Coppery-tailed Coucal, Southern Ground Hornbill, Bennett’s Woodpecker, Wood Owl, White-backed Night Heron, African Skimmer, Brown Fire Finch and rare vagrants like the Northern Carmine Bee-eater have been recorded recently. After breakfast we will drive through the park on the main tarred road, this is a multiple use area with villages as well. After enjoying our lunch packs at a picnic site, we will explore the Kwando Core Area before settling for the night at the lodge. The Kwando River has several names, Kwando in Namibia, Linyati at the parts of Botswana and it becomes Chobe in Kasane area in Botswana. This part of the park is 1280km2 is surface area and serves the main migration corridor of wildlife between countries, hence huge concentration of game. The Kwando river system is different from the Okavango in that comprises a network of oxbows, some of which are several kilometers away from the river’s current course.
Day 8- Nkasa Rupara National Park
After breakfast, we will take a drive through Mudumu National Park to our destination, Nkasa Rupara National Park. We will be in time to explore this 350 km2 park which consists largely of marshland, veined by a network of reed-lined channels. It has vast majority of Namibia’s population of the elusive Sitatunga, Red Lechwe and Puku as well as large herds of Buffalo. About 430 bird species have been recorded here. We will do a game drive before checking in at our lodge and an afternoon game drive later on.
Day 9- Chobe National Park (Botswana)
We will take a leisurely drive towards the Namibian/Botswana border and get to Chobe National Park in Botswana. This is a 3-hour drive hence we should arrive around lunch time. In the afternoon, we will do the renowned Chobe Sunset Boat Cruise on the Chobe River.
Day 10- Chobe National Park (Botswana)
We have the whole day of exploring the Chobe National Park in form of a game drive. Established in 1968, this 11700 km2 area is Botswana’s first national park, and also the most biologically diverse as it encompasses floodplains, swamps and woodland. The park is widely known for its large Elephant population, estimated to be around 50,000 hence they tend to congregate in huge numbers up to 200 at a given time. Other mammals include Red Lechwe, Puku, Giraffe, Greater Kudu, Roan and Sable antelopes, Common Impala, Warthog, Chobe Bushbuck, Vervet Monkey and Chacma Baboon, along with the accompanying predators such as Lion, Leopard, Hyeana and Black-backed Jackal, who are never far away. About 460 bird species have been recorded in the park, which include common species like Sacred Ibis, Egyptian Goose, White-breasted Cormorant, African Darter, Spur-winged Goose, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Southern Carmine Bee-eater, most members of the Kingfisher family, all 5 species of Rollers in southern Africa, the unmistakable Fish Eagle, Martial Eagle, Bearded Scrub-Robin, Collared Palm Thrush and many more.
Day 11- Victoria Falls
After a relaxed morning and breakfast, we will cross the border into Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls. It’s a short distance of an hour drive through Matetsi Safari Area to the small town of Victoria Falls that lies within Victoria Falls National Park. After lunch, we will visit the Victoria Falls which is merely 2 km from the town center. Known as Mosi-oa-Tunya (local Lozi language) translating to “The Smoke That Thunders”; and in Tonga language, Shungu Namutitima, “Boiling Water”, this waterfall is one of the world’s largest waterfalls, with a width of 1,708 m (5,604 ft.). it is a riverine habitat containing plants rare for the area such as Pod Mahogany, Ebony, Ivory Palm, Wild Date Palm, Batoko Plum and creepers and lianas. The rich avifauna, over 400 species in the Victoria Falls region as a whole, includes White-browed Robin Chat, Knysna Turaco and Trumpeter Hornbill in the Falls ‘rainforest’ area. Found above the Falls is the White-backed Night Heron, African Finfoot and Rock Pratincole. The Taita Falcon (rare but widespread in eastern and central Africa) breeds in the gorges, as do the Black Stork, Black Eagle, Peregrine Falcon and Augur Buzzard.
Day 12- Departure
This marks the end of your trip and you may connect your flight from the Victoria Falls International Airport