Desert, Delta and Victoria Falls – A Journey Across Southern Africa

Desert, Delta & Victoria Falls – A Journey Across Southern Africa – a 15 day small group tour.

A perfect tour for first time and returning visitors to southern Africa, taking in many of the highlights. Staying at comfortable lodges and hotels, we will experience dramatic scenery and varied wildlife as we explore Southern Africa.

Located in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA), where the borders of five African countries converge, the sheer scale of this vast international conservation project is difficult to comprehend. It encompasses a bewildering range of experiences, ranging from the mighty Victoria Falls to the lifeforce of the region, the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers.

This journey takes you to the dunes at Sossusvlei and our coastal area of Swakopmund. We then journey into the Etosha National Park, where wildlife is spoilt for choice. The water holes are notorious for attracting all kinds of spectacular wildlife. The next days take you along some of Namibia’s northern waterways, to the Kavango River and through the BwaBwata National Park (are previously known as the Caprivi Strip) to Botswana and Chobe National Parl. Your journey ends at the world renown Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, or better known locally as “The Smoke that Thunders”.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour Pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


Arrive in Windhoek and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure with no guided activities. Overnight at Hotel Thule or similar. No meals are included today.

(driving time approx. 4 hours)

This morning you will be collected at your Windhoek accommodation.  Leave Windhoek travelling via the gravel roads and the Khomas Hochland mountain range, this area is one of farming communities till you reach the end of the escarpment (crossing the Tropic of Capricorn) where you descend via the Remhoogte Pass to the settlement of Solitaire.  The journey features an unfolding dramatic landscape with many opportunities for photo stops. After arrival the afternoon is free, or there’s time for one of the lodge’s optional activities, such as an afternoon dune drive. Overnight at Desert Quiver Camp or similar (BLD).

A pre-dawn start is essential this morning as we want to catch the soft light of the sunrise on the desert. After passing through Sesriem, the gateway to the dunes, we head into the heart of the dune field, reaching Sossusvlei on foot, trekking the last 5 km through the dunes.  Landscape photo opportunities abound in the cool of the morning, with dawn’s soft light first illuminating the dunes from crest down the back slope, then blazing orange everywhere, creating a powerful contrasting vista across the whole desert.  We spend the morning in and around Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, also visiting dune 45.  Sossusvlei is where you will find the iconic red sand dunes of the Namib.  The clear blue skies contrast with the giant red sand dunes to make this one of the natural wonders of Africa and a photographer’s heaven. As the day wears on we return to Sesriem for lunch, escaping the heat of the afternoon.  As the day cools off in the late afternoon, we will take a short excursion to the Sesriem Canyon.  Sesriem Canyon, a deep chasm carved through the rocks by water, is a striking natural feature of the area that is best explored on foot. Stony walls rise up sharply on both sides of the canyon, while birds roost in its crags and lizards dart along the ledges. The canyon’s name was coined when early settlers used it as a water source, using six lengths of leather (‘ses riem – six thongs) tied together to lower buckets into the water at the base of canyon. Return to the lodge for the overnight. Overnight at Desert Quiver Camp or similar (BLD)

(Approximate driving time today: four hours)

Travelling via Solitaire and the Kuiseb Canyon, passing awe-inspiring landscapes as you cross the Namib gravel flats towards the Atlantic Coast and Walvis Bay. Continuing the short journey to Swakopmund, you’re surrounded by the Namib Desert on three sides, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Culturally and architecturally, Swakopmund is strongly influenced by its German colonial legacy, examples of Germanic architecture characterizing the town. Explore on foot, perhaps visiting the Swakopmund Museum, the National Marine Aquarium or the Crystal Gallery. Overnight at Swakopmund Sands Hotel or similar. (BL)

Swakopmund – Leisure time or optional activities

Today is free to relax or explore the town independently. Alternatively, Swakopmund has myriad adventure activities, including skydiving or dune surfing… Other options include the Living Dunes experience, learning about the flora and fauna of the desert, scenic flights over the Namib and the Skeleton Coast, or a catamaran voyage in search of marine wildlife. Please contact us for further optional excursions. Overnight at Swakopmund Sands or similar. (B)

Note – Your guide will be available today as well to escort you to any optional activities.

(driving time approx. 6 hours)

Today we leave early for Etosha National Park, an immense, saline desert, covering over 32,000 square kilometres that provides a habitat for 114 species of animals and 340 species of birds. Etosha has been described as the best game reserve on the African continent. If we arrive in time we may do a short game drive into the National Park until just on sunset. Spend some time observing animals visiting Okaukuejo waterhole, hoping to see elephant, rhino and hopefully lion. Overnight at Taleni Etosha Village or similar. (BLD)

Today we explore the park’s numerous waterholes and underground springs, each of which attracts large herds of animals, including springbok, zebra, wildebeest and giraffe. The park’s landscape varies from dense bush and wildlife-filed plains. However, at its heart is Etosha Pan, a silent grey-white salt pan almost 130km by 50km. Geologists believe the pan was formed some 12 million years ago from an immense inland lake about the size of Holland. Shrunk to its present size it’s a gigantic depression – flat, saline and silvery, a mysterious place of mirages and dust-laden images. Overnight at Mokuti Etosha Lodge or similar. (BLD)

A full day exploring Etosha National Park at leisure, visiting the many waterholes throughout the park. After experiencing the incredible and renowned wildlife sightings Etosha has to offer, return home to the easy-going warmth and friendliness of your camp for the night. Overnight at Mokuti Ethosha Lodge or similar (BLD)

(driving time approx. 6 hours)

We have an early departure this morning as we travel to the north-east of Namibia. Set roughly 200 kilometres east of Rundu on the southeastern banks of the great Okavango River, the small village of Divundu is a wonderful destination from which to explore the river, game parks and national reserves of the area. Visitors can enjoy fishing or bird watching boat safaris, or visit the Mahango Game Park, which is home to herds of elephant as well as hippo, buffalo, giraffes, antelope, and many other animals. The spectacular Popa Falls, a dramatic series of cascades – are a popular must-see attraction. This is a long day and arrival will be late afternoon. Overnight at Mahangu Safari Lodge (BLD).

The Kavango – Zambezi region (formerly call the Caprivi Strip) is a narrow strip of land in the far north eastern region of Namibia. Approximately 400 km long bordering Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, the region is also incorporated into the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area. It falls within the tropical climate zone and receives the highest rainfall figures in Namibia, mainly between December and March. This morning we take a guided game drives into the BwaBwata Park and during mid to late afternoon go on a boat cruise on the Kavango River.  Overnight Mahangu Safari Lodge (BLD).

(driving time approx. 2 hours)

Morning visit to a traditional village in the area before we head off through the ‘Caprivi Strip’ to our lodge which is situated on the Kwando River for overnight at Nanushasha Lodge or similar (BLD).

(driving time approx. 4 hours)

Morning departure from Camp Kwando as we travel to the town of Katima Mulilo, head south and cross the border into Botswana.  We make our way to the northern town of Kasane for overnight at Kubu Lodge or similar (BLD).

There is a place on the banks of the Chobe River, in the warm heart of Northern Botswana, where tranquillity and beauty mix with raw wilderness. Here the immaculate Chobe bushbuck shares its sanctuary with warthog, mongoose, and abundant birdlife, whilst the hippo and crocodile hold domain over the riverine paradise. This place is Kubu Lodge – a small privately owned and managed safari lodge. No radios, no television, no five-star prices. Just ‘five-star’ hospitality, amidst the splendour of a wild river with its spreading trees and birdsong for company.  Overnight Kubu Lodge or similar (BLD).

The Chobe National Park is famous for its bird and wildlife diversity, and is home to the largest single population of elephant in the world. Visitors explore the park by motorboat and open safari vehicles. Morning game drive into Chobe National Park with afternoon boat cruise on the Chobe River.

(driving time approx. 2 hours)

Mid morning we cross the border to arrive in Victoria Falls, this aftenoon we will go on a guided tour of the Victoria Falls National Park, remiander of day at leisure to explore the town.  Overnight Shearwater Explorers Village or similar (B)

Transfers will be arranged for guests to connect with their outbound flights (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

The single supplement is £645.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All accommodation as per the itinerary
  • Transport throughout the tour
  • Services of English-speaking tour leader/guide (not on self-drive option)
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary (not on self-drive option)
  • Bottled water on board vehicle (not on self-drive option)

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Drinks (except mentioned in inclusions)
  • Tips (discretionary)

PJ was an exceptional guide. We were very impressed by his enthusiasm and energy plus his knowledge of the country, flora and fauna was incredible. We all felt sure that without him we wouldn’t have seen some of the wild life in the Entosha National Park as some of the animals were hard to find with the migration season underway. I have some superb photographs of animal behaviour that I knew nothing about before I came away.

I was very impressed by the standard of the accommodation and food provided. Without exception, the lodges and hotels were clean and modern and the service friendly and efficient. Disappointed not to find oryx/zebra steak, springbok casserole, gnu sausage and other culinary delights waiting for me to consume when I got home. What a come down!


Mrs R. Rennie, U.K.