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Northern Experience - 24 Days

Northern Experience – 24 Days

JENMAN

Spend 3 weeks exploring the highlights of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, experiencing the wildlife, culture and scenery only Africa can deliver. From marvelling at the Victoria Falls to the breathtaking magnitude of Namibia’s dunes and big game interaction this tour combines all the comforts of hotel and lodge accommodation with an unforgettable safari experience.

Northern Experience

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FROM

$ 5,155.00

per person

The Northern Experience tour is a small group lodge safari,  from Cape Town to Victoria Falls through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe –  24 days

Highlights of the Northern Experience adventure

Cape Town

One of the major attractions that entice tourists on a South African safaris is Cape Town’s most loved monuments – Table Mountain. Over 1000-metres high, the summit of Table Mountain can be reach by either hiking and climbing the trails or taking the cable car. The landmark mountain extends all the way to Cape Point and includes Lion’s Head, Devil’s Peak and other interesting and beautiful hiking areas.

Fish River Canyon

When you journey into the depths the incredible Fish River Canyon, you’re adventuring into the myths and legends of the San Bushmen who still inhabit Namibia today. The legend goes that a serpent named Kouteign Kooru, fleeing from its pursuers and potential captors, carved the canyons with the turns and twists of its massive body. Spend one night on the rim of the canyon and enjoy a spectacular African sunset followed by a mesmerizing starry sky.

Orange River

Enjoy breathtaking scenery wile canoeing down the Orange River, one of the longest rivers on the African continent and the border between South Africa and Namibia. with its source in the highlands of Lesotho it travels almost 2500km to the Atlantic Ocean.

Sossusvlei

The heart of the Namib Desert and the oldest desert in the world are the dunes at Sossusvlei. The Sossusvlei area is fed by a river called the Tsuachab River – the dunes actually prevent the entire pathway of this river. The Tsuachab River only flows right through Sossusvlei every 5 to 10 years, making it a rare sight to see. The Sossusvlei dunes are about 60km from the Sesriem gate which is about an hours drive.

Namib-Naukluft Desert

On our Northern Experience safari, you’ll be able to journey into the land of bright gold and magical sand dunes, whilst taking in the spectacular sights that the Namib-Naukluft National Park, which is also the largest nature conservation area in Namibia, has to offer! Watch the sun rise amongst the dunes and visit the iconic Deadvlei in the oldest dessert in the world.

Ancient Rock Art

The Spitzkoppe is a group of bald granite mountains that stand out dramatically from its surroundings and Namibia landscapes. So dramatic is this area that it has even featured in movies! The granite is millions of years old and was once used as a canvas by the San people. There are many examples of their ancient rock art still visible amongst the boulders and you will see this when you explore the region around Spitzkoppe.

Meet the Himba

50 000 Himba tribespeople still live in Namibia and they are a fascinating and distinct cultural group. Famous for the women who cover themselves in red ochre. Women also wear a crown called an Erembe which is placed on girls heads when they reach puberty. It is made of cow or goatskin and unique to the Himba people. Explore a traditional Himba village and meet members of the ancient Ova-Himba tribe as part of your Namibia safari.

Etosha National Park

Etosha means ‘huge white area’ or ‘place of dry water’, and Namibia’s second largest national park certainly lives up to this description! It’s a vast shallow pan, which shines brightly in the African sun due to crystallized salt on the surface of the ground. The salt pan is so massive that it can actually be seen from space.

There is abundant game and because of the sparse vegetation they are easy to spot. There are many waterholes throughout the park and game congregates in these regions. Some of them are also floodlight for game viewing throughout the night. Etosha is malaria free!

Botswana’s Okavango Delta

When you take your northern experience safari through the Okavango Delta, you will have the opportunity to explore this incredible wonderland of waterways, channels and wildlife. This African wilderness gem supports large herds of buffalo, elephant, antelope and hippopotamus, giraffe, crocodile, lion, cheetah, leopard, wildebeest, rhinoceros, zebra, baboon and countless others. Its a Southern African safari gem and will be a highlight of your holiday to Botswana.

Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park is world famous for its incredible elephant herds and will be a safari highlight on your Botswana safari. There are big five game drives, cruises on the Chobe River and some exceptional game viewing opportunities as part of your safari to Chobe.

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls has been called “the greatest known curtain of falling water in the world”. Its your final stop on your Southern African safari and a great place to end in style. On both sides of the falls and the Zambezi River shared by both by Zambia and Zimbabwe, the falls can be viewed from afar. Victoria Falls is officially the largest waterfalls in the world and has also been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Availability

Departure guaranteed
Departure not guaranteed
Limited seats
Full/Cancelled

2022 Tour Departure Dates

DateAvailableSpecialLanguageStatusBook Now
08-Oct7ENGLISHBook Now
14-Oct210% DiscountENGLISHBook Now
29-Oct7GERMANBook Now
19-Nov7ENGLISHBook Now
10-Dec7ENGLISHBook Now

2022 Tour Departure Dates (Reverse Tour)

DateAvailableSpecialLanguageStatusBook Now
01-Oct7ENGLISHBook Now
16-Oct7ENGLISHBook Now
22-Oct7ENGLISHBook Now
06-Nov7GERMANBook Now
27-Nov7ENGLISHBook Now
18-Dec7ENGLISHBook Now

Accommodation

The Cape Milner Hotel, Cape Town

AVANI Windhoek Hotel & Casino, Windhoek

Agama Lodge, Naukluft Mountains

Swakopmund Sands Hotel, Swakopmund

Toshari Lodge (Etosha Gateway) Etosha South

Namutoni Resort, Etosha East

Kaisosi River Lodge, Rundu

Nunda River Lodge, Divundu

Thamalakane River Lodge, Maun

Bedouin Bush Camp, Moremi Game Reserve

Nata Lodge, Nata

Chobe Safari Lodge, Kasane

Hideaways Elephant’s Eye, Hwange Hwange National Park

Ilala Lodge Hotel Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)

Included & Excluded

You can also enjoy this guided tour on a private basis with a guide.

For more detail on the Northern Experience tour view the full itinerary.

Included in the Northern Experience tour

  • Accommodation in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe as per the itinerary
  • Breakfast daily with 15 lunches and 10 dinners
  • All transport in fully kitted vehicle
  • Game drives and activities
  • Experienced local guide
  • Airport transfers in Cape Town on the day of arrival and in Victoria Falls, on the day of departure

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Pre and post tour accommodation
  • Optional activities
  • All drinks
  • Personal expenses such as telephone calls, curios and tips
  • Travel insurance and visas
  • Park Fees (quoted separately)

Park Fees & Activities

This fee will be payable prior to travel together with the main tour fee. The fee is used to pay for some of the day-to-day operational costs that are incurred while groups are on the road. Examples include fees at most of the national parks, entrance fees to some attractions, local guides and any food markets we visit to stock up on fresh produce during the tour.

Park Fees & Activities: U$D 225 / €95 Per person

2023 Departure Dates

2023 Departure Dates, Northern Experience

Itinerary

On arrival at Cape Town International Airport you will be met by a representative who will transfer you to your hotel. You have the remainder of the day at leisure to acclimatise and relax at the hotel facilities.
This morning you will be collected and taken on an orientation tour of the city. You will see the Company Gardens, Greenmarket Square, the SA Museum and Bo-Kaap. The afternoon can be spent at leisure. We suggest a visit to the V&A Waterfront, situated in the heart of Cape Town’s working harbour, offering an abundance of indoor shopping and entertainment.
The day is spent exploring the Cape Peninsula and visiting Hout Bay on the Atlantic coast before heading off to Cape Point for lunch. In the afternoon we head back via the Boulders Beach penguin colony.
After a hearty breakfast, you will be transferred to Cape Town  International Airport for your flight to Windhoek. On arrival at Windhoek Airport, you will be met and transferred to your accommodation, Avani Windhoek Hotel. The rest of the afternoon may be spent at leisure.
Moving south we make our way towards the Namib Naukluft National Park and our accommodation for the next two nights, Agama River Camp. The park contains what is considered to be the oldest desert in the world. The next morning we need to wake up early to visit the world’s highest sand dunes at Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. These dunes, which can reach heights of over 300 m, are absolutely spectacular and provide for a fantastic photo opportunity. With luck, there may even be water in the vlei (lake). We also stop to view the Sesriem Canyon, which was carved millions of years ago by the Tsauchab River.
The day is spent driving through the Namib Naukluft National Park on our way to Swakopmund. The Namib-Naukluft Desert is an ancient land with an ageless spirit. It is home to some of the rarest plant and animal species in the world. Sightings of the unique fauna and flora are a must on a Namibian safari. The animals of this harsh landscape include the oryx, springbok and Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra. En-route we make a stop in the small town of Walvis Bay where you may spot a variety of birds including flamingo’s in the lagoon. We arrive at the charming coastal town of Swakopmund in the late afternoon where you will have the rest of the day at leisure. On day 8 you will have the opportunity to visit a local urban sustainability centre and explore the ways in which they preserve energy, water, waste and biodiversity, on a semi guided tour. The rest of the day you will have the opportunity to partake in optional activities or alternatively just soak up the atmosphere of this little quaint German town and enjoy its beauty and beaches.
Leaving the cold Atlantic coastline behind us, we continue our journey towards Namibia’s best-known highlight of the north – Etosha National Park. The first night is spent at our lodge neighbouring the park, situated on an outcrop of dolomite rocks and overlooking a forest of Mopane and white Seringa trees. Spend the afternoon relaxing at the pool, or take a leisurely stroll through the natural bush and gardens. Optional game drives are also available
After breakfast we enter the Etosha National Park via the Andersson gate, named after Karl Johan Andersson, one of the first European explorers to come across the Etosha pan, which means “Great White Place” in the Ndonga dialect of the Ovambo tribe. We fill the next two days with game drives in the hopes of spotting lion, leopard, elephant and rhino as well as cheetah, giraffe, zebra and the numerous types of antelope the park has to offer. Our nights are spent at the flood-lit waterholes or viewpoints encountering the park’s various nocturnal animals that come to drink. Etosha was declared a National Park in 1907 and it is home to approx. 114 mammal species, 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and, surprisingly, one species of fish.
Departing from Etosha we drive further north to the town of Rundu. Here we visit the Mbunza Living Museum, a traditional cultural school and communal business for the local Kavango people who make a living from fishing, tending cattle and cultivating crops. After this cultural interaction, we make our way Kaisosi River Lodge on the banks of the Okavango River. We will arrive in the late afternoon to relax by the pool with a sundowner listening to the sounds of Mother Nature.
This morning we travel eastwards onto our camp in the western Caprivi region, Nunda River Lodge. Before departure however, there will be time for optional activities such as an early morning boat cruise at the lodge. Continue to your lodge situated on the banks of the Okavango River. In the late afternoon you will enjoy a sunset cruise to Popa Falls.
In the morning we drive to Mahangu, meaning ‘food of the local people’, which is situated next to the Okavango River. Enjoy an morning game drive in the Greater Bwabwata National Park, which extends from the Kavango River in the west to the Kwando River in the east and incorporates the Mahangu Game Reserve. Elephant, roan, kudu and buffalo are amongst the animals likely to be seen as well as prolific birdlife. In the afternoon return to your lodge and spent the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
We leave the Caprivi and travel south to Maun, the gateway to the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve. The name Maun is derived from the San word “maung”, which means “the place of short reeds”. The afternoon is yours to spend at leisure, either relaxing next to the pool at the lodge or if you are keen for some excitement, why not book a scenic flight over the Okavango Delta.
After breakfast we will be picked up by our local Botswana guides and take a short drive to the mokoro station. From here, we will float in these traditional dug-out canoes through the thick vegetation of the Okavango Delta discovering a variety of birds and wildlife. Unlike other deltas, it flows into the Kalahari Desert without ever reaching the coast. After this spectacular excursion, we make our way to our camp, which is situated in the Greater Moremi region. Once settled into our camp, we will enjoy dinner and embark on a night game drive in the private concession – a fantastic opportunity to spot some nocturnal animals that are more difficult to encounter during the day.
We have the opportunity to spend the day on game drives. In our open 4×4 vehicle we will explore the Moremi Game Reserve on morning and afternoon game drives hopefully spotting a variety of game that frequent this region. This large area is renowned for its concentration of mammals and it is  not unusual to see many different types of wildlife during just one game drive. Game viewing is seasonal; depending on the time of the year you may see different species in different areas. The best time for game viewing is the end of the dry season or spring from August to November. During this season, in order for us to offer the best game viewing possible, extra driving may be required due to the animals migrating closer to the river. In the summer, birdlife can also be viewed in abundance with exceptional sightings of wildfowl and raptors.
We leave the bush behind and travel east towards the Makgadikgadi Pans, once a large river fed lake, however the pans are now saline and empty. In the afternoon we visit the Nata Bird Sanctuary, where we get the opportunity to enjoy the magnificent view over the Sowa pan, which is part of the Greater Makgadikgadi Pans. (Please note a visit to the pans is subject to the road conditions and water levels as well as time constraints.)
This morning we head north to Kasane, the gateway to the Chobe National Park. Chobe, which is the second largest national park in Botswana and covers 10,566 square km, has one of the greatest concentrations of elephant found on the African continent. The afternoon is at leisure to partake in a number of optional activities or to relax by the pool. The next day you will get to see the wildlife of the Chobe National Park on a morning game drive, with the hope of spotting big game up close and also the possibility of an encounter with one of the large predators. In the afternoon we go on a cruise on the Chobe River, a truly unforgettable experience and one of the best ways to view the animals as they come down to drink, as well as the spectacular African sunset.
Today we make our way across the border into Zimbabwe and onto Hwange National Park where we spend the next two nights. Hwange National Park is one of Africa’s finest havens for wildlife and is home to vast herds of elephant, buffalo, and zebra and has a very large concentration of giraffe. It is also home to many predators and endangered species plus varied birdlife. A full day game drive is included on the park on the second day.
Continuing our trip, we turn northwards to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Your guide will take you on a tour of the mighty Victoria Falls, known by the local Kololo tribe as Mosi oa Tunya- “the Smoke that thunders”. In the afternoon we have a relaxing sunset cruise on the mighty Zambezi River, basking in the afterglow of the day. The rest of the day may be spent at leisure or partaking in one of the many optional activities on offer (at own expense).
Our safari ends after breakfast. You will be transferred to Victoria Falls Airport in time for your departure flight. We hope to welcome you again one day on another of our African adventures.
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