Windhoek to Victoria Falls self drive tour

Description of Windhoek to Victoria Falls self drive tour

Explore the iconic sand dunes of the Namib Desert, discover the lush Caprivi Strip, enjoy a safari in Botswana's Chobe Game Reserve, then see the mighty Victoria Falls, one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world.

On this multi-country self-drive holiday you'll explore Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Your adventure starts in Namibia, where you'll discover the world-famous sand dunes in the Namib Desert, visit seal colonies on the Skeleton Coast and search for desert-dwelling elephants in Damarland, before observing a dramatic change in the landscape as you drive north and enter the Caprivi Strip, bordered by the Okavango, Kwando, Chobe and Zambezi Rivers.

You値l then cross into Botswana for a safari in the Chobe Game Reserve, known as one of the best wildlife parks in the world; before driving into Zimbabwe, where you can enjoy adventure activities and exciting experiences at the mighty Victoria Falls.

Watch the sunrise over Dune 45, track rhino in Damaraland and hear the thunder of Victoria Falls, on this self-drive Africa adventure.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrival in Windhoek - Upon arrival in Namibia'a capital, you'll be met by your driver and transferred to your accommodation in the centre of Windhoek. Your rental vehicle will be delivered to your hotel a SatNav system, mobile phone and information pack, which will include driving directions, accommodation details and contact phone numbers. You can then spend the rest of the day exploring Namibia痴 capital city.
Day 2:Drive to Sossusvlei - After breakfast, you値l leave Windhoek and drive to Sossusvlei, located in the southern part of the Namib Desert in the Namib-Naukluft National Park, in the southwest of the country. Known for its orange sand dunes and white salt pans, Sossusvlei is Namibia痴 most spectacular and best-known attraction. You値l stay in Sossusvlei for the next two nights to explore the iconic towering sand dunes, as well as other incredible geographical formations of the region, such as Sesriem Canyon.
Day 3:Explore Sossusvlei - Today, you have a full day to discover the towering sand dunes and incredible landscape of Sossusvlei. There are a number of attractions in the Sossusvlei area to explore, including Sesriem Canyon, Dune 45, Big Daddy and Deadvlei. We recommend that you wake up early to climb the iconic sand dunes at sunrise, or if you prefer you can soar above this breathtaking landscape in a hot air balloon. Other activities you can enjoy today include a nature drive to spot the desert-adapted wildlife, a dune walk or an eco-sensitive guided quad bike excursion, sand boarding and horse riding. In the evening, you can enjoy a gin and tonic on a sundowner tour, or after dark you can join a star gazing excursion with a knowledgeable guide.
Day 4:Drive to Swakopmund - This morning, you値l leave the Namib Desert and drive north through beautiful canyons and striking scenery, as you head towards to the lovely town of Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast. Walvis Bay is a stunning spot just outside Swakopmund and we highly recommend stopping off on your way into town. Sheltered by the Pelican Point sand spit, Walvis Bay痴 tidal lagoon is home to abundant birdlife, including flamingos and pelicans. Swakopmund itself is a former colonial town famous for its German architecture and culture - many residents speak German and there's even an Oktoberfest beer festival. It is an ideal place to spend a couple of days in between visiting the dunes of Sossusvlei and exploring the attractions of northern Namibia.
Day 5:Explore Swakopmund - Today, you値l have a full day to explore Swakopmund and the surrounding area. You can search for Cape fur seals and dolphins off Pelican Point on a boat cruise or guided kayaking trip, take a scenic flight over the desert, join a bird-watching excursion or a living desert tour, or you may wish to visit the Swakopmund Lighthouse, the Swakopmund Museum and Sandwich Harbour. Just outside Swakopmund, several sand dunes have been set aside for adventure activities, including sand boarding, quad biking, camel riding and off-road driving.
Day 6:Drive to Damaraland - This morning, you値l resume your Namibian road trip and head further north up the Skeleton Coast to Damaraland. En route, we recommend that you stop at Henties Bay to see the Cape Cross seal colony and you may wish to visit the shipwreck of MS Winston at Durissa Bay. On arrival, you値l settle into your accommodation and you can spend the afternoon relaxing at your lodge, or if you wish you can take a walk in the surrounding area, stopping at viewpoints to marvel at the beautiful Damaraland landscape. There are also options for you to take an elephant nature drive in search of Namibia's remaining desert-dwelling elephants, or you may wish to join the Twyfelfontein, Burnt Mountain and Organ Pipes excursion to see the rock engravings at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Twyfelfontein.
Day 7:Drive to Etosha - After breakfast, you値l continue your journey and you値l drive east towards Etosha National Park. We offer a choice of superb lodges, both in the park and on its borders. Etosha offers fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities, particularly around the waterholes. You can expect to see elephant, giraffe, lion, leopard, zebra, springbok and gemsbok and it痴 also one of the best places in southern Africa to see the endangered cheetah, black rhino and rare antelope species such as black-faced impala, Damara dik dik and roan antelope.
Day 8:Safari in Etosha National Park - Today, you値l have a full day to explore Etosha National Park. Despite being one of Africa's largest national parks, Etosha is easy to drive around yourself as all roads lead back to the main road. This means you can take your time visiting the many different waterholes such as Halali, Okondeka and Okaukuejo, where large concentrations of wildlife congregate. Almost a quarter of Etosha consists of salt pans, including the Etosha Pan, which is undoubtedly the park痴 most distinctive and dramatic feature. The Etosha Pan is the only known mass breeding ground for flamingos in Namibia and at times there can be up to a million flamingos here.
Day 9:Drive to Caprivi West - You値l have a long drive today (approximately seven to eight hours) to the town of Rundu, the gateway to the Caprivi Strip. You値l see a dramatic change in the landscape as you leave the dry desert that makes up most of Namibia and enter the Okavango River system. From Rundu, you値l drive 180 kilometres northeast to your stunning lodge, which is situated on the banks of the Okavango River, in the Kavango East region, 40 kilometres from the Popa Falls and Bwabwatha National Park. Depending on your arrival time, you may be able to enjoy a motorised boat trip, a mokoro excursion, a visit to Popa Falls or a cultural tour to a local village.
Day 10:Drive to Caprivi East - Today, you値l cross the Kwando River to the eastern tip of the Caprivi, where Namibia borders Botswana, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Your accommodation tonight is a wonderful lodge on the banks of the Kwando River in the heart of the Mayuni Conservancy, within Bwabwata National Park. You値l stay in a tent suite up in the trees, overlooking the river and floodplains with stunning views of the wildlife below. The lodge offers a range of activities including game drives, guided bush walks and cultural village visits.
Day 11:Drive to Chobe - Today, you'll leave Namibia and drive into Botswana. We have arrangements on the ground at the border town on Katima Mulilo to ensure that you have a smooth border crossing. You will then drive into Chobe Game Reserve, where you値l spend the next two nights.
Day 12:Safari in Chobe National Park - Chobe is renowned for its prolific wildlife and huge concentrations of game, and today you can experience an early morning game drive and an afternoon boat trip on the Chobe River, where you値l have a chance to see to hippos and crocodiles basking in the sun, plus herds of elephants and an abundance of other wildlife and birdlife.
Day 13:Drive to Victoria Falls - Today, you値l leave Botswana and drive into Zimbabwe. Your destination is Victoria Falls, where you値l stay for two nights. The drive should take around four and a half hours, including the border crossing. Your wonderful lodge is located on the banks of the Zambezi River and it is a fantastic base from which to experience the majestic Victoria Falls and the mighty Zambezi River.
Day 14:Explore Victoria Falls - We recommend that you start your day with a walking tour of the breathtaking Victoria Falls. Getting up close to the falls is a truly exhilarating experience! You can walk along the footpaths and stop at the various viewpoints to see the falls from different perspectives. If you would like to have a bird痴 eye view of the falls, we can arrange an exciting helicopter ride or microlight flight during which you値l circle over Victoria Falls, the nearby islands and the Zambezi River. You may wish to experience a game drive in Lower Zambezi National Park, or you can participate in adventurous activities such as gorge swinging, white water rafting, kayaking, or bungee jumping!
Day 15:Depart Zimbabwe - After breakfast, you値l be transferred to Livingstone Airport to connect with your international flight home.

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Vouchers
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Windhoek to Victoria Falls self drive tour

Environment

There are several private reserves and animal sanctuaries across central Namibia which protect, rehabilitate and release big cats, as well as other wildlife. We support the AfriCat Foundation which is dedicated to the protection and conservation of Namibia痴 big cats in their natural habitat and is internationally recognised as one of the top conservation schemes in Africa.

On this holiday you値l also have the option to stay at Ongava Lodge in the Ongava Game Reserve which is home to some rare and endangered species of wildlife. The Ongava Research Centre helps to protect the endangered wildlife and during your stay at the lodge you will be able to visit the research centre.

Typically we use with properties which are Namibian owned and managed and we prefer to use hotels and lodges which have an Eco Awards Desert Flower Certificate as this indicates that it has eco-friendly and responsible values. As with all our destinations we prefer to work with establishments which take measures to reduce their environmental impact and play a positive role in their local community.

You will visit several national parks and reserves on this itinerary, including Etosha National Park, Ongava Game Reserve, Bwabwata National Park and Chobe Game Reserve. In our detailed pre-departure travel pack we have included a note to remind you not leave any litter in the national parks and reserves everything you carry in, you must carry out. Aside from the environmental damage, litter can be harmful to the wildlife.

Community

During your time in Namibia we encourage you to support the local economy by buying authentic handmade products such as cotton fabrics, wood carvings, pottery and silver jewellery at markets, villages and small-scale souvenir shops rather than hotel tourist shops or on organised shopping trips. When you buy products at markets, villages and small-scale souvenir shops you are helping to support a fragile economy and supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive. We recommend that you visit the Cosdef Arts & Crafts Centre in Swakopmund which supports local artisans and unemployed people by providing a shopfront for their work. The quality of the products is high and by purchasing items here you are supporting sustainability in local communities.

We encourage you to support the Pack for a Purpose initiative and use a small amount of space in your luggage to pack supplies for local community projects in Namibia. You can leave your donations with our partner hotels and lodges who will pass them on to the school, medical centre or animal welfare project.

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