Namibia & Botswana: Dunes & Delta

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Trip code: 
AZB
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailor Made Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
4–16
Min age:
16

Discover Namibia and Botswana’s fantastic wildlife and contrasting landscapes.

Namibia and Botswana are two of Africa’s top wildlife destinations and on this itinerary we safari in their most renowned and distinct wildernesses – Etosha National Park and the Okavango Delta. Etosha is famous for its arid landscape scattered with waterholes, where a variety of animals reluctantly congregate for a drink. By contrast, the Okanvago is a lush habitat of grassy plains and reed-lined channels that have been carved into the landscape by wandering elephants. But there is more to this region than wildlife. From the world’s highest sand dunes at Sossusvlei, to the bushmen of the Kalahari and the adventure sport scene at Swakopmund; there is something for everyone to enjoy on this epic 15 day adventure.

 

DEPARTURE DATES AND PRICES WILL BE CONFIRMED SHORTLY

 

Highlights

Explore the Okavango Delta and Etosha National Park

Walk with bushmen in the Kalahari Desert

The sand dunes and dead trees of Sossusvlei and Deadvlei

Brandberg, Namibia's highest mountain

The spectacular Namib-Naukluft Park Desert

Key information

  • 12 nights lodges/hotels and 2 nights full-service camping
  • Travel by purpose-built overland bus, 4WD vehicle and dug-out canoe
  • Some long drives
  • Countries visited: Namibia, Botswana

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers (from Windhoek)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

All accommodations employs local staff and uses local produce and supplies wherever possible, benefiting the wider community. Energy saving bulbs and water conservation signs utilised in the lodges are a great way to reduce environmental impact but we are still careful about managing waste, litter and noise pollution.

On our wildlife safaris and game drives, twenty-five percent of all park entrance fees paid is reinvested into essential infrastructure and services related to tourism in Namibia’s parks. This is done through the Game Products Trust Fund by the MET (Ministry of Environmental and Tourism). In addition, by running game drives in Etosha National Park, we are also contributing to local community initiatives and helping to fund the protection of the wide range of species which live there.

This trip includes a visit to the Namib Carnivore Conservation Centre which is used to assist the long-term conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores through research, education and rehabilitation. We will meet the resident cheetahs and learn about the conservation efforts to protect the majestic creatures. However, the cheetah enclosure has now been reduced in size as the centre is making improvements to its fencing. It is due to be completed in April/May 2019 but an exact date is yet to be confirmed. Exodus does not wish to stop supporting the project during the transitional period so we decided to continue to include it in our itinerary. However, it does mean seeing the cheetahs in a smaller enclosure than normal.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Depart London

    Depart London

  • Day 2

    Arrive Windhoek

    The tour starts in Windhoek. Those on group flights will be picked up at the airport and we will drive into town for an hour or so. In town everyone will have a chance to change money and pick up any supplies they may need. We will then drive to our lodge. The afternoon can be spent exploring or relaxing.

    Arebbusch Lodge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Drive to Ghanzi; walk with bushmen in the Kalahari Desert

    Leaving Windhoek behind, we drive east towards Botswana. Our destination today is Ghanzi, a small town located in the middle of the Kalahari Desert. Late in the afternoon we join San bushmen on a two hour walk into the bush and learn first-hand how to survive in this arid environment. In the process will learn more about San culture and the wildness that they live in. (driving 530kms/6.5hrs)

    Thakadu Bush Camp or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    To Okavango Delta

    Today we travel into the Okavango Delta. Following lunch and a welcome briefing, we board mokoros and make our way to our camp in the delta (depending on water levels we may drive in a 4x4). You will need to pack light for the next three days as all luggage will go to camp using mokoros. Camp will be set up and ready for us on arrival and we will meet the local staff who will be our hosts for the next few days. The camp is made up of dome tents fitted with camp beds and en suite bathrooms as well as a mess tent. Camping allows us to experience Africa at its fullest, with the sounds of the delta all around us and some of the best views of the Milky Way that you are likely to see. (driving 300kms/3.5hrs)

    Okavango Delta Wild Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Full day exploring the Okavango Delta by foot and dug-out canoe

    The Okavango Delta is one the largest inland deltas in the world and unusual because the water never reaches the sea. Instead the Okavango River empties onto open land, creating a unique and ever-changing wetland wilderness. Year-round the delta is home to a vast array of animals including elephants, lions and hippos though numbers reach their peak during the drier winter months.

    We get up early this morning for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day exploring the waterways and islands by mokoro and on foot. This evening we can enjoy sundowners and following dinner, relax around the camp fire looking back on a day well spent.

    Okavango Delta Wild Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Morning walking safari; return to Maun

    After another early start, we enjoy one final explore of the surrounding delta before returning to our collection point by mokoro. Following lunch, we drive to the town of Maun where we have a free afternoon to relax or enjoy one of the many optional activities that are available here such as scenic flights or helicopter rides.

    Sitatunga Camp or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Transfer to Guma Lagoon; optional boat ride

    Today we have a relaxed morning before heading to the northern part of the Okavango Delta. Leaving our vehicle behind again, we take a 4x4 transfer to our lodge which is located on the banks of the delta. The area is a bird watchers’ haven and there is also the option of a boat ride in the afternoon. (driving 480kms/5hrs)

    Guma Lagoon Lodge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Cross border back into Namibia; to Rundu

    We continue our journey north and cross back into Namibia through the Mohembo border post. From here we travel in Mahango National Park which is home to a variety of wildlife including elephants, which can commonly be seen from the side of the road. Our drive along the Caprivi Strip will then take us to the small town of Rundu, situated on the Okavango River close to the Angolan border. This town will be our home for the evening. (driving 400kms/5hrs)

    Nkwazi Lodge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    To Etosha National Park

    Our destination for today is Etosha National Park. We should arrive at Etosha in time for a late afternoon game drive before heading to our accommodation for the night. While we are here, we typically stay within the park on some or all of the nights (subject to availability) and some of these are located next to waterholes. These camps also offer optional night drives which you can book and pay for on arrival. (driving 450kms/5hrs)

    Namutoni Lodge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Full day in Etosha

    In complete contrast to the Okavango Delta, Etosha National Park is a relatively arid wilderness of mixed forest and grassland centred around a large salt pan. Etosha is scattered with waterholes where the park’s great variety of animals congregate to drink, making them fairly easy to find. Zebra, giraffe, cheetah, elephant and lion are all present and the park is also home to a number of black rhino. Additionally, Etosha is a good place for birds, with plenty of water birds on the lakes and weaverbirds and hornbills in the trees.

    Okaukuejo Lodge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Drive to Brandberg, walk to the ‘White Lady’ rock painting

    Leaving Etosha behind, we stop by the small town of Outjo before continuing our journey towards Namibia’s highest mountain, Brandberg, in Damaraland. The Damaraland area is famous for the desert elephants which roam in the Ugab River. Star gazing is normally spectacular from this remote area. (driving 380kms/5hrs)

    Brandberg White Lady Lodge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 12

    Transfer to Swakopmund

    We begin our day with a short drive to Brandberg, where we will enjoy a walk through valley 45 for approximately 1.5 hours. Along the way we will view beautiful, granite rock formations and a variety of birdlife. The valley takes us to the famous ‘White Lady’ rock painting which, along with a number of other small paintings and engravings, are thought to have been left by Bushmen at least 2000 years ago. Afterwards we head towards the Atlantic Ocean to the coastal town of Swakopmund, a small German colonial resort town with quaint cake shops and coffee houses and a centre for adrenaline activities. (driving 300kms/5.5hrs)

    Hotel Europa Hof or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Free day for optional activities

    Today is a free day to enjoy one of the many optional activities on offer in and around town. At sea you can go deep-sea fishing, in the desert you can go sand-boarding and quad-biking and in the sky you can fly over the skeleton coast. Or if none of these appeal you can spend the day enjoying the fantastic Viennese style cakes, walk along the beach or in the nearby dunes or just enjoy watching the world go-by in this town which seems strangely out of place in Africa.

    Hotel Europa Hof or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Morning stop at Walvis Bay; drive through Namib Desert to Sesriem

    After breakfast we visit nearby Walvis Bay where we should hopefully see flamingos. Our journey then takes us through the Namib-Naukluft National Park – home to one of the driest and oldest deserts on Earth. The park contains some spectacular desert scenery and there will be photo opportunities along the way. (driving 340kms/5hrs)

    Weltevrede Guest Farm or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 15

    Explore Sossusvlei sand dunes; optional excursion to Deadvlei

    We have an early start this morning so we can see the tallest sand dunes in the world in the morning light. We also have the opportunity to climb one of the dunes for fantastic views of the surrounding area. Afterwards, we can either walk to Hiddenvlei or take a transfer (optional extra) to Deadvlei where ancient acacia trees in the desert form an eerie scene. If we’re lucky we may see gemsbok or ostrich among the sand dunes. In the afternoon we take a walk in Sesriem Canyon before returning to our accommodation and in the evening we enjoy our final dinner together. (driving 200kms/3hrs)

    Weltevrede Guest Farm or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 16

    Return to Windhoek; end

    This morning we transfer back to Windhoek where the tour ends. (driving 220kms/4hrs)

    Please note: Clients must not book flights leaving before 3PM.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 17

    Arrive London

    Arrive London.

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Namibia

Visas for Namibia are not required for UK or Commonwealth passport holders. Other nationalities should check before travelling. Please ensure you have a one full blank page in your passport. If you are transiting through South Africa and are a non UK passport holder you may require a transit visa. Please check before travelling. Please note that if flying via South Africa you will probably have to pass immigration there.

Please note that new regulations relating to travel with children means that in addition to valid passports, parents travelling with children (under 18) should at all times carry the original or certified copy of the unabridged birth certificate (listing the child’s and both parents’ details).

Adults travelling with children where they are not the biological or legal guardians of those children, should be in possession of an affidavit statement from the child’s parents giving consent for their travel. If a child is travelling with only one parent, the other parent should give consent for travel in the form of an affidavit.

Botswana

Currently British and Commonwealth and European passport holders do not require visas for Botswana.

If you are transiting through South Africa and are a non UK passport holder you may require a transit visa. Please check before travelling.

Please be aware that children under the age of 18 must provide a full birth certificate (a short one won’t be accepted) as well as a valid passport. If the child is travelling with only one parent or with another adult, the missing parent (or parents) will have to provide an affidavit giving their consent for the child to travel. If flying via S. Africa you may have to pass immigration between flights and the same regulation is needed for entry into S. Africa.

Vaccinations

Namibia

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Botswana

Vaccination against Yellow Fever is necessary if you are coming from a country with Yellow Fever, and you must bring a valid certificate of vaccination (Namibia was not on this list at the time of writing - September 2019).

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 6 dinners included.

In the itinerary we state which meals are included on which day. Please allow approximately £10/US$15 per meal per person for meals not included. Some meals are in restaurants or the lodges whilst others will be prepared by the crew. Camp meals are freshly cooked over the camp fire. They are wholesome and plentiful, but do not expect cordon bleu cuisine and please note it is not always easy to get fresh meat. However, the standard of food is generally good. Breakfast - cereals, coffee, yoghurt, muesli, fresh fruit or the occasional fried breakfast. Lunch - cheese, cold meats, pasta, salads, bread or rolls. Dinner - potjie (stew), braai (BBQ) or stir fries. Vegetarians are well catered for on this trip though sometimes options might be more limited.

Weather

Is this trip for you?

This trip has been graded as grade 2 (leisurely/moderate).

This itinerary covers a lot of ground but connects some of the best places in Namibia and Botswana and there are some beautiful landscapes along the way. Many of the drives take between 4-5 hours, with a maximum drive time of approximately 7 hours on a combination of tarmac and gravel roads. On Namibia’s gravel roads, conditions are completely dependent on how they are being maintained at the time and on occasion conditions can be poor. This can have an impact on journey times as well as comfort and can be punishing on the vehicles. Drive times listed in the itinerary are only approximations and do vary with road conditions and the number of stops.

Transport is in a specially modified safari truck with plenty of legroom and packing space. All vehicles carry a reference library, fridge and/or icebox. Smaller groups may be in a Hilux/Land Cruiser.

Walks on the tour are generally moderate, such as climbing Dune 45 and visiting the White Lady rock painting at Brandberg.

There are some days where we will have to get up before sunrise but this will allow us to get the most from our activities (for example, the game drives in Etosha where we are more likely to see wildlife in the early mornings before it gets too hot).

Accommodation is in lodges and hotels apart from the two nights in the Okavango Delta which are in our campsite in the wild allowing for a different experience of Africa. This is a safari for people who want to see wildlife and get immersed in nature but do it in more comfort. Please note that due to the limited amount of accommodation within Etosha National Park, it may be necessary to sleep outside the park on some or all of the nights that we are there. This will not impact on the number of game drives that we have within the park.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Guesthouses, Lodges & Wild Camping

12 nights lodges/hotels and 2 nights full-service camping.

Throughout this trip we stay in mostly 2 and 3-star en suite hotels or lodges and occasionally in permanent tented camps (which also have beds and en suite facilities). The rooms are simple, comfortable and clean. Most properties have swimming pools. WiFi is available in a number of properties but not everywhere.

In the Okavango Delta we spend two nights full-service wild camping. Our camp is set up for us and all equipment is provided. We sleep in dome tents fitted with camp beds that are topped with a mattress and en suite bathrooms that have a bush-shower and toilet. When visiting the delta we take only what we need for 3 days (sleeping bags and pillows are provided).

Please note that due to the limited amount of accommodation within Etosha National Park, it may be necessary to sleep outside the park on some or all of the nights that we are there. This will not impact on the number of game drives that we have within the park.

Single accommodation (available on request)

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Sunset at the Namib Desert

Tracing a circular route through Namibia, we arrive into the coastal town of Swakopmund.

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Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]o.uk

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