Cape Town to Victoria Falls

An overland tour that is definitely best suited to travellers able to cope with the long journeys involved, Cape Town to Victoria Falls takes you from South Africa to Zimbabwe via Botswana and Namibia, with some seriously jaw dropping landscapes to enjoy along the way.

Cape Town to Victoria Falls itinerary & highlights

Cape Town to Victoria Falls is a journey of around 5,000km, usually completed in around three weeks. Itineraries will typically offer a selection of activities, some included in the price, some optional. This overland tour can be done in both directions, and split into sections if required.

It’s a classic route, and one that typically comprises safari game drives, adrenaline activities, historic landmarks and a wealth of cultural encounters. The scenery is without doubt the star, however; whether you’re cruising through the Okavango Delta, or ‘surfing’ down the incredible sand dunes of Namib-Naukluft National Park. Trucks have big windows so you can make the most of the views, and your tour leaders provide a fascinating commentary on what you’re seeing, too.
Tom Harari, from our supplier Exodus, on the highlights of the Cape Town to Victoria Falls route:
“My personal highlight is the amazing changing scenery you get along this route – especially on the Namibia section but also Okavanago area and Vic Falls. More specifically – Cape Town for its urban appeal and amazing setting, Sossusvlei and Deadvlei are just spectacular, the watering holes in Etosha provide some of the best wildlife viewing experiences anywhere (G and T whilst watching rhinos and lions at a watering hole is quite the experience) and finally Vic Falls seen from the air is absolutely stunning.”

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This can be a fast paced tour – most itineraries take only three weeks – so expect early starts, long drives and some late finishes. Some days can involve drives of up to nine hours, while others will be as short as four. Routes vary of course but in most cases the longest you’ll stay in one place is three nights.
Accommodations tend to be a mixture of hotels, campsites and tented lodges, or camping all the way. Some itineraries will offer opportunities to upgrade at points. Note that this trip can be done year round, and in winter you will definitely want warm clothing as temperatures can drop precipitously after dark.
You can choose from participatory tours, where everyone mucks in with camp tasks such as meal prep, and non-participatory where the tour leaders and crew manage the lot while you relax with a sundowner.

Tips from our holiday reviews

“For me the National Parks were always going to be the highlight and they didn't disappoint. Etosha and Chobe are so different from each other but both have lots of interesting animals. We saw a cheetah family with a fresh kill, several black rhino, more giraffe and elephants than you could ever hope for and a good number of hippos at Chobe too. We also had some very dramatic weather in the shape of two major thunderstorms, made all the more exciting/scary by the fact we were camping. Some wonderful sunsets and mostly great campsites. Take the currency they suggest ie SA Rand plus US Dollars. Take malaria tabs from Swakopmund onwards, and use a good anti-mossie spray. Take an elastic camping washing line with hooks on the end, and a head torch.” – Wendy Pountain
“Every day was a different wonder but the two days wild camping at the Okavanga Delta were really special. Be prepared for very early starts and not much relaxing times.” – Christina Monson
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: DAVID HOLT] [Intro: Dan Grinwis] [Tom Harari Quote: Sander Wehkamp] [Practicalities 1: Mario Micklisch] [Practicalities 2: whatleydude] [Practicalities 3: Linda Alexandersson] [Wendy Pountain Quote: Gusjer] [Christina Monson Quote: Mario Micklisch]