Sunday 06 Auckland – Perth
An afternoon departure on Air New Zealand to Perth. On arrival transfer to a central hotel for an overnight stay.
Monday 07 Perth B
After breakfast see the highlights of the city including Kings Park, before travelling south to Freemantle. Explore the attractive town centre before making your way to the boat harbour for a lunch of fresh fish and chips (own expense).
Return to Perth via the coastal road with time to freshen up before a transfer to the airport for an evening flight.
Depart late evening for Johannesburg on South African Airways.
Tuesday 08 Johannesburg – Upington D
Arrive in Johannesburg early morning and change terminals for an internal flight to Upington on the banks of the Orange River. On arrival, meet your guide for the next week and transfer to your hotel. Balance of day at leisure to explore this rural town.
Dinner tonight is the first opportunity to relax and meet everyone in the group.
Wednesday 09 Upington – Springbok B D
Travel by coach and visit Augrabies Falls on the Orange River. (The falls drop 56m into an 18km gorge). Continue onto Springbok and check into our country accommodation for a two night stay. This is an adventure into the intriguing West Coast region of the Northern Cape to witness an extraordinary spectacle of nature.
In the South African spring over August and September, a brilliant array of diverse wild flowers transform this evocative, semi-arid landscape into an unforgettable portrait of extraordinary colour and beauty. Millions of flowers burst into bloom and carpet the veldt for hundreds of miles. It is a natural festival of colour that is one of the finest shows on the planet. With almost 4,000 species of flowering plant clamouring for space on stage, it is never the same from year to year. Botanists have divided the entire world into just six floral kingdoms South Africa’s Western Cape has one all to itself – that’s 0.04 percent of the surface of the planet.
Thursday 10 Springbok – Wildflower touring B D
We continue our spectacular drive amongst the colour, Kokerboom (quiver trees that stand in stark silhouette against the huge African sky) and local history.
Friday 11 Springbok – Vredendal B D
Travel south taking side roads to see the best of the flowers before arriving in Vrendendal, on the Olifants River on the southern edge of Little Namaqualand. Check into our Guest House, a working wine farm with a restored farmhouse. Circa 1820.
Saturday 12 Vredendal – Cape Town B
Today the landscape changes as Capetown approaches. On arrival check into your hotel for a three night stay.
Sunday 13 Cape Town B
Our full day Peninsular tour includes Chapman’s Peak, Hout Bay, Cape Peninsular, Simons Town and Boulders Beach. Lunch at a waterfront restaurant. The afternoon includes the renowned Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens nestled at the foot of Table Mountain. The spring display will be unforgettable!
Monday 14 Cape Town B L
Our city tour includes Table Mountain (weather permitting), the museum and Cape Castle and driving out of the city through vineyards and Cape Dutch homesteads. Lunch is at a wine estate and includes a cellar tour and tasting. Time in the afternoon to browse the shops in Stellenbosch.
Tuesday 15 Cape Town - Windhoek (Namibia) B D
After breakfast transfer to the airport for the flight to Windhoek and an overnight stay.
Wednesday 16 Windhoek – Sesriem Region B D
Our adventure really begins as we travel south and descend from the central plateau to the desert plains of Namibia. Arrive at our accommodation at the magnificent red sand Namib dunes for a two night stay.
Thursday 17 Sesriem – Sossusvlei Region B D
Before sunrise, leave the lodge to enter the park with sun rising behind us. Part of the day will be in small 4 x 4 vehicles. The day will provide wonderful photo opportunities at Sossusvlei, return to the lodge with the remainder of the day at leisure.
Many visitors to Namibia say that no part of the desert is visually more stunning than Sossusvlei with its monumentally high dunes. One of the largest of these star-shaped mountains of sand measured form the base is said to be 325m high! The warm tints of the sand, ranging from pale apricot to brick orange and deep red, make the dunes a sought-after topic for artists and photographers. One of the most attractive sites surrounding Sossusvlei is Dead Vlei, a combination of seemingly never-ending blue
skies, deep red dunes above the glare of the white clay pan that is dotted with skeletons of ancient camel-thorn trees and carbon-dated between 500 and 600 years old. The dunes are shaped by strong multi-directional winds, primarily the southwester and have three to five sinuous crests which meet at the highest point to give them their star shape.
Friday 18 Sesriem Region - Swakopmund B D
After breakfast, travel through the Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons, taking a scenic route via the Moon Landscape and see the Welwitschia marabilis, before arriving at the quaint coastal town of Swakopmund.
The Welwitschia is a botanical curiosity and it is restricted to Namib Desert. The Welwitschia has characteristics of both flowering and cone-bearing plants and is classified as Gymnosperm, an ancient plant order that includes cycads and conifers. The tangled leaf-mass creates the impression the plant has numerous leaves, but the only two produced are separate male and female parts. Average sized specimens are between 500 and 600 years old, while the while the giant Welwitschia is estimated to be about 2000 years old. The appropriately names Moon Landscape was formed over millions of years when the river’s thousands of tributaries incised deeply into the soft deposits laid down about 450 million years ago.
Saturday 19 Swakopmund B D
Drive to Walvis Bay for a morning half day cruise to see the abundant sea life including seals, flamingos and dolphins.
The afternoon is free to take an optional scenic flight along the coastline known as the Skeleton Coast or spend time in the resort town of Swakopmund.
Dinner is at a local restaurant – enjoy the occasion as there are no more towns for the next ten days!!
Sunday 20 Swakopmund – Khorixas (Damaraland) B D
After breakfast, travel takes us north to the seal colony and then inland into Damaraland.
Monday 21 Sightseeing B D
First we visit a traditional Damara village - a tribe that together with Bushmen, were the original inhabitants of Namibia.
We will also the rock engravings at Twylfelfontein, Burnt Mountain, the Organ Pipes and a living Damara Museum.
This treasure house of roughly 2400 rock engravings left by Stone Age artists is regarded as one of the richest collections of rock engravings in Africa. South of Twylfelfontein is the Burnt Mountain, a panorama of desolation with coloured rocks contrasting vividly against the grey-black surroundings.
Tuesday 22 Khorixas – Outjo (Etosha Park Entrance) B D
Today visit the Petrified Forest and a Himba Village. Continue to our lodge situated close to the world renowned Etosha National Park.
Wednesday 23 Outjo – Etosha National Park B D
Enter Etosha National Park and commence our game viewing through the south of the vast Etosha Pan. Continue on to our accommodation in comfortable double rooms and / or bush chalets for two nights.
Thursday 24 Etosha National Park B D
A day of game viewing – often a tour highlight.
Etosha National Park was proclaimed as Namibia’s first conservation area in 1907 by the then German government and is now 22,270km2 - one of the largest game reserves in Africa. Consisting of saline desert, savannah and woodlands, its definitive feature is the Etosha Pan, a vast, shallow depression of approximately 5,000km2. For the greater part of the year the pan is a bleak expanse of white cracked mud which, on most days, shimmers with mirages. Seeing vast herds of game against this eerie backdrop makes the Etosha game viewing experience unique. Around 114 mammal species and about 340 bird species are found in the park. For the greater part of the year, Etosha’s animals and birds are dependent on about 30 springs and waterholes. These provide excellent game viewing and photographic opportunities.
Friday 25 Etosha – Windhoek B D
We leave Etosha and return to Windhoek a two night stay and a visit to the Tsumeb Museum.
Saturday 26 Windhoek B D
This afternoon, travel out of Windhoek to visit Bushman Village. Later return to hotel. Note that the shops in Windhoek are only open until midday on Saturdays.
Sunday 27 Windhoek – Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) B
Before transferring to the airport, enjoy a city and environs tour. Later depart on Air Namibia for a flight to Victoria Falls. On arrival transfer to your hotel for a three night stay.
Monday 28 Victoria Falls B
A morning walking tour of the falls where you experience one of the wonders of the world close-up. Lunch (own expense) overlooking the falls with the afternoon free for one of the many optional tours available.
Victoria Falls is 1708m wide and the max drop is 107m – a magnificent sight in an unspoilt environment. The local name is ‘Mosi-oa-Tunga’ – (smoke that thunders).
Be prepared to get wet!
Tuesday 29 Victoria Falls B D
A day to follow your own interests. Late afternoon depart on a ‘Sundowner Cruise’ on the Zambesi River – see the sunset and perhaps game on the river banks. This evening walk to the colonial Victoria Falls Hotel for dinner and a show.
Wednesday 30 Victoria Falls – Hwange National Park B L D
After breakfast drive to ‘The Hide’ in Hwange National Park. At the National Park entrance transfer to 4 x 4 game viewing vehicles and travel to your accommodation deep in the National Park with game viewing en route. Arrive in time for lunch. Settle into your accommodation in tented accommodation with en-suite bathrooms, outdoor baths overlooking the waterhole. Late afternoon game drive including a sundowner cruise.
‘The Hide’ has its own waterhole with excellent viewing day and night. This is a great opportunity to relax and watch a myriad of game arriving for a drink – all taking their turn!
Thursday 31 Hwange National Park B L D
Morning and afternoon Game drives.
Hwange was set aside as a National Park in 1929 and is 14,650km2. The elephant population is one of the largest in the world and there are more than 100 mammal species and nearly 400 bird species within the park.
Friday 01 Hwange National Park B
After breakfast return to the National Park gate by 4 x 4 vehicles and transfer to the coach for our return journey to Victoria Falls. Afternoon and evening free.
Saturday 02 Victoria Falls – Johannesburg B
A leisurely morning before heading back to the airport for the flight to Johannesburg. Change planes and depart for Perth.
OR Transfer from Hwange Game reserve, cross the border at Kasane into Botswana and begin the Chobe plus Okavango Delta extension.
See Extension Tap
Sunday 03 Perth
Change planes and depart on your Air New Zealand flight home.
Monday 04 Auckland
Arrive Auckland early morning
*Itinerary subject to change
Options: It is possible to have a stop-over in Perth, preferably on the way home or extend your stay in South Africa.