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14 Days Between Zambesi and Okavango Safari in Namibia and Botswana

Windhoek - Otjiwarongo - Grootfontein - Divundu - Kongola - Gobabis, Namibia; Shakawe - Maun - Ghanzi, Botswana

Amazing Botswana and Namibia Safari

This round trip through neighboring regions of northern Namibia and northern Botswana presents you with the unrivaled beauty of both countries' water worlds that are teaming with games and birdlife. Exploring various places, enjoying landscapes, and meeting people from different ethnic groups along the route are integral parts of this tour. You will stay overnight at many accommodations along the route and have your own time for relaxing during the tour. Come and take this chance!

Highlights

  • Game drives
  • Self-drive or guided tours
  • Various attractions with interesting activities
  • Vehicle rental or a professional guide with a vehicle
  • 13 nights accommodation
  • Daily specific meals

Styles


13 activity days
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Accommodation

During this tour, you will stay overnight at accommodations or camps in Windhoek, Otjiwarongo, Grootfontein, Divundu, Kongola, and Gobabis in Namibia and Shakawe, Maun, and Ghanzi in Botswana.

Program

You will take part in a self-drive or guided safari through Namibia's Kavango and Zambesi regions as well as north-western Botswana from Windhoek via north-eastern Namibia's wildlife parks and nature conservation areas along the Zambezi, Kwando, and Okavango Rivers to the Okavango Panhandle, Okavango Delta, and the Kalahari Desert in north-western Botswana.

During the safari, you will explore the Zambesi region, Namibia’s semi-tropical wildlife paradise surrounded by the Zambezi, Chobe, and Kwando Rivers. Then you will follow the road all the way down the panhandle of the famous Okavango Delta into the Kalahari, one of the world's most multi-faceted deserts.

Although it is quite possible to do this safari on a camping-only basis, Unique Tours & Safaris recommend that first-time visitors interested in this routing consider giving preference to the lodge accommodation. A combination of camping and mostly dining in the restaurants of next-door lodges is also a viable option for those unfamiliar with shopping facilities located hundreds of kilometers apart. The driving is easy though, predominantly on tar roads.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Windhoek

Upon arrival at Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH), you will take over your rental vehicle and proceed to your accommodation situated outside Windhoek. The surrounding bushveld provides first impressions of the beauty, sounds, and scents of Namibia’s wild and your hosts will let you have a first impression of Namibia’s so famous hospitality. Your breakfast is included.

Day 2 - Windhoek to Waterberg Plateau

After a sumptuous breakfast, you are hitting the road, traveling north via Okahandja and Otjiwarongo to the Waterberg Plateau. For the sightseeing, a stop at the wood carvers market in Okahandja is recommended where some very nice wooden and stone figures are on offer. Once at your accommodation, you have the opportunity to admire some of Namibia's predatory cat species from close quarters during an optional guided activity. You can allow yourself to be spoiled by your hosts’ exceptional hospitality and enjoy the magnificent vistas from the lodge in Otjiwarongo, Otjozondjupa Region. Your breakfast is included.

Day 3 - Waterberg Plateau to Grootfontein

Today, you are getting even closer to the water-rich realms of north-eastern Namibia. Before your first encounter with one of the world's most unusual rivers, the Kavango that represents the Namibian and Angolan border and further south in Botswana becomes the Okavango. You can join an activity to meet some of Namibia’s Bushmen. Since the activity starts early, the departure must be early too or you extend the trip by a day and take it slow.

On the fringes of the Kalahari Desert and the bushveld lies a small oasis situated on a typical Namibian farm. The owner-manager grew up with the san and, as a guide who speaks their language, facilitates meetings with the “little people of the Kalahari”, members of the oldest human race still alive. You will stay overnight in Grootfontein and your breakfast is included.

Day 4 and 5 - Grootfontein to Divundu

Proceeding the north, you will reach Rundu and the Kavango, the river that originates in the highlands of Angola and never reaches the ocean. Near Rundu, it is still relatively slow flowing and its opposite banks are still close enough to catch a glimpse of Angola. Although not deep enough for larger boats and ships and treacherous for its crocodile populations, the perennial Kavango is busy with fishermen in traditional dug-out canoes with locals doing their washing and motor-boats carrying shopping loads to lodges and villages along this stretch to the east and west of Rundu.

Traveling in a south-easterly direction from here, you will leave the Kavango River behind, only to rejoin it again in the Divundu area where a series of steep rapids named Popa Falls as well as a little further south, towards the border with Botswana, lies the Mahango Game Reserve. It is traded as one of the most beautiful game reserves of Namibia. You will stay overnight in Divundu. Your dinner and breakfast are included.

Day 6 and 7 - Divundu to Kongola

The next leg of your journey takes you through the Bwabwata National Park, formerly named Caprivi Game Park. It covers most of the Zambezi’s panhandle, the area between the Kavango and the Kwando Rivers. Originating from Angola, the Kwando divides the Caprivi Strip from the Caprivi Head and flows all along the border shared by Namibia and Botswana.

Its name later changes from Kwando to Mashi, and Linyanti and eventually it becomes the Chobe River that joins the Zambezi further to the east. On a peninsula in the Kwando River nests your next destination. You will stay in Kongola. Your breakfast is included.

Day 8 - Kongola to Divundu

You are back-tracking via Divundu to the Kavango River for one overnight near the Popa Falls in order to allow for an early departure to Botswana the following morning. You will enjoy an optional excursion by boat for viewing the Popa Falls and some excellent bird watching or simply take in another stunning sunset over the Kavango River from the comfort of your accommodation. Your dinner and breakfast are included.

Day 9 - Divundu to Shakawe in Botswana

With only the Mahango Game Reserve situated between the lodge and the Namibia and Botswana border, an early departure provides the opportunity to enjoy some more game viewing in Mahango. You will proceed the south along the river changing to Okavango River, inside Botswana, which splits into two main channels that are interconnected by smaller side-channels. The main waters pick up speed and the river's floodplains increasingly become wider, before it branches out into the Okavango Delta.

Your next accommodation, near the village of Shakawe, offers an optional afternoon boat excursion, highly recommended, as the Okavango Panhandle provides a very special river experience and wonderful birding with the large Giant Fish Eagle as well as the Carmine Bee-Eaters that breed in huge colonies in the river banks. Your breakfast is included.

Day 10 and 11 - Shakawe to Maun

After traveling around the far south-western reaches of the Okavango Delta on a tar road, you will reach the thriving town of Maun, starting point of many safaris into the Okavango Delta. You can think about taking the advantage of taking in the very special atmosphere of the delta while silently gliding through the glass-clear waters of intertwined channels lined by two-meter tall papyrus and across lagoons covered by water lilies in a Mokoro, a traditional dug-out canoe hewn from a single tree trunk.

Unique Tours & Safaris can make many such fantasies of the unique Okavango Delta become reality. You just have to let them know what is on your mind. You will stay overnight in Maun and your breakfast is included.

Day 12 - Maun to Ghanzi

Heading the west from Maun today on a tar road, you will soon experience the grip of the Kalahari on the landscapes of Botswana. As soon as you leave the Okavango Delta behind, flat and mostly barren expanses dominate the scenery. You will cross the legendary Lake Ngami, first mentioned to the outside world by Doctor Livingstone, before he went on to discover the Victoria Falls on your way to Ghanzi, the only town in western Botswana.

Optional afternoon activities are on offer at your accommodation but perhaps, you might just like to spend the remainder of the day updating your travel diary in quiet and relaxing surroundings. Your breakfast is included.

Day 13 - Ghanzi to Gobabis

You will say your farewells to Botswana and take the road back to Namibia. Via Buitepos border post, you will enter Namibia and travel westwards through the mostly dry landscapes on the edge of the fascinating Omaheke Desert. Close to the town of Gobabis and yet still away from the crowds lies your next destination. You will enjoy the sounds of the bush and Namibia's bright starry skies for another night before you return to Windhoek and the familiar scenery of civilization.

At your accommodation, you will find yet another opportunity to meet the Kalahari San and spend time with them. Your breakfast is included.

Day 14 - Gobabis to Windhoek for the departure

A half-day drive on a good tar road takes you back to Namibia's capital city, Windhoek. Depending on your flight's departure time permitting, there might be opportunities for some last-minute souvenir shopping and linger over a drink at one of the cozy street-side cafes.

Location

The safari will take place in the north of Namibia and Botswana.

Food

You will be served 10 breakfasts and two dinners included in the prices.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Enjoy afternoon activities in Ghanzi
  • Explore some of Namibia's predatory cat species from close quarters
  • Join an excursion by boat for viewing the Popa Falls and bird watching over the Kavango River
  • Take part in an afternoon boat excursion near village of Shakawe

What's included

  • Activities indicated as the itinerary
  • 13 nights accommodation
  • Daily meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Vehicle rental from and to Windhoek for the self-drive option

What's not included

  • Airfares
  • Entrance or park fees
  • Sightseeing program
  • Optional activities
  • Visa and permits of any kind
  • Additional meals
  • All beverages
  • Fuel for rental vehicle unless traveling guided
  • Purchases and expenses of a personal nature

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH).

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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