Southern Sun 21 Day (Northbound)£615 (plus local payment)

Cape Town to Victoria FallsRef: AT015

This comprehensive three week trip begins in Cape Town, one of the world's most picturesque cities, and ends at the Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world.  Some incredibly diverse landscapes - richly fertile winelands, dramatic canyons, arid and hauntingly beautiful deserts and tranquil lagoons are visited and highlights include climbing giant sand dunes in Sossusvlei, game watching in Etosha National Park, camping out in the Okavango Delta and an overnight excursion in the Chobe National Park. There are plenty of optional activities en route including quad-biking through the Namib Desert to white water rafting on the Zambezi.

  • Who can join: 18 years and over
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Pick up Point: Ashanti Lodge & Travel Centre, Cape Town
  • Meals: Most meals included
  • Special Offer: £140 discount on the trip fee for all new bookings made to join departures before 1st January 2014

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Duration & Fees

  • £615 - 21 days

    USD 590 - Local Payment


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Please note: The currency conversion is an estimate based on today's exchange rates and is to be used as a guide only. All payments to Amanzi Travel have to be made in Pounds Sterling (GBP)

Start Dates

2014 Start Dates: 12 Jan | 26 Jan | 9 Feb | 23 Feb | 9 Mar | 23 Mar | 6 Apr | 20 Apr | 4 May | 18 May | 1 Jun | 15 Jun | 29 Jun | 13 Jul | 27 Jul | 10 Aug | 24 Aug | 7 Sep | 21 Sep | 5 Oct | 19 Oct | 2 Nov | 16 Nov | 30 Nov | 14 Dec | 28 Dec |

2015 Start Dates: 11 Jan |

Payment

£180 deposit at time of booking – balance payment of project fee due 12 weeks before departure

What's Included

  • Airport transfer on arrival
  • Pre-trip night dorm room accommodation
  • Township Tour
  • Fully equipped expedition vehicle
  • Cooking and camping equipment (sleeping bags/matts not provided)
  • Meals as indicated
  • Park fees and excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Pre-departure pack and support and advice from Amanzi Travel staff and trip leaders

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Airport Departure Taxes
  • Departure Transfer
  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Optional excursions
  • Restaurant meals and drinks
  • Laundry

Click here to enlargeStart and Finish Points: Cape Town to Victoria Falls
Countries visted: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe
Departure Point:  Cape Town, Ashanti Lodge & Travel Centre, 11 Hof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Check-in time: 8.45am (departure 9.30am)
Pre-departure Meeting: 5.00pm the day before at the departure point (optional)

Passengers are recommended to arrive the day before their trip departs.  Airport pick up on arrival and one night's pre-trip accommodation in a dorm bed is included in the trip fee. 

Itinerary

DAY 1: Cape Town to Cederberg Area (Lunch / Dinner)
Before leaving Cape Town the group will depart on a township tour in and around Cape Town.  This is an included highlight allowing everyone to enjoy the experience.  Thereafter the trip will head around Table Bay and continue north through the wheat growing "bread basket" of South Africa before crossing the Piketberg Pass into the rich fruit growing area along the Oliphants River, named for the vast elephant herds that used to roam in this fertile valley.. The first night is spent in a picturesque campsite surrounded by local wine farms.  This afternoon there will be an opportunity to sample some of the nectar of the gods after taking a short walk in the surrounding vineyards to explore the surrounding beautiful Cederberg Mountains. Tonight will be spent under a canvas of stars - the perfect way to begin the African adventure.

DAY 2: Cederberg Area to Gariep River (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
From the Cederberg area travel is north through the region known as Namaqualand, well known for its prolific display of Namaqua wildflowers that occur each spring. After stopping for supplies in Springbok, the group will continue on through the desert area of the Richtersveld to the Gariep River, the natural land border between South Africa and Namibia, where camp is at a beautiful campsite on the South African bank of the river.

DAY 3: Gariep River to Fish River Canyon (Namibia) (B / L / D)
This morning there is the option of a half-day canoe trip on the beautiful Gariep River, affording the opportunity of some bird watching or just a scenic and relaxing paddle. After lunch the crossing into Namibia is made where, after a short drive, the Fish River Canyon is reached.  At 161 km long, 27 km wide and about 550 m deep, it’s the second largest canyon in the world. The outer canyon was formed by tectonic activity, while the erosion of the Fish River formed the inner canyon. A road follows the eastern rim, giving access to several viewing points from where the spectacular vistas can be enjoyed.

DAY 4: Fish River Canyon to Sesriem  (B / L / D)
An early start ses the group heading north to enter the area of the Namib-Naukluft desert, one of the oldest in the world.  A base will be made at Sesriem, a good place to experience to Namib and its many moods.  A short distance away is Sossusvlei, surrounded by a dramatic sea of sand dunes reputed to the highest in the world.  Magnificent views of the desert can be seen from the tope of the dunes, some over 300 m high.  Be sure to look at the stars tonight as the desert puts on a show like nowhere else in the world.

DAY 5: Sesriem (B/ L/ D)
This morning the group will enter the Namib-Naukluft National Park where the morning will be spent exploring the amazing area. View the sunrise from the top of Dune 45 - a truly memorable experience.  Following this sunrise experience there will be the option to take a desert shuttle a further 5 kms into the desert from where it is possible to take a walk to Sossusvlei to explore the surrounding area.  An optional guided walk is available at an additional cost, after the leisurely morning spent exploring the desert and the dunes.

DAY 6: Sesriem to Swakopmund (B)
This morning after breakfast the group will head off in a north-westerly direction to meet the Atlantic Ocean at Walvis Bay.  The drive will take the group across the Tropic of Capricorn - the 'imaginary line' that shows the southernmost point of direct sun, and signals the southern hermisphere's mid-summer's day.  Following the coast for some 35 km, the group arrives at Namibia’s prime holiday resort – Swakopmund - where 2 nights of rest and relaxation can be enjoyed. Accommodation will be in dormitories. Upgrades are possible, but depend on room availability and should be booked with the trip leader.

DAY 7: Swakopmund (B)
Founded by the Germans in 1892, their colonial influence is still evident today. Swakopmund has a selection of excellent coffee shops, restaurants and bars as well as many arts and crafts shops selling Namibian curios. There are fine beaches to walk along as well as a great museum, aquarium and galleries to visit.  There are many optional excursions to enjoy, including sky diving, quad biking, and sand boarding, desert flights, dolphin cruises, fishing trips, golf, horse riding and more.  Some fellow passengers may leave in Swakopmund to be replaced by new passengers joining for the rest of the trip.  An activity briefing will be held on arrival in Swakopmund.

DAY 8: Swakopmund to Spitzkoppe  (B / L / D)
On departure from Swakopmund tthe trip will head to the ‘Matterhorn of Namibia’ - Spitzkoppe. The 1728 m high rock formation, one of Namibia’s most recognised landmarks, is well known as an ancient San sacred site.  The area in which camp is made is managed by the local community who offer local guides for guided walks to the San Rock art at an additional cost.  There will be an opportunity to explore the surrounding area and its San rock paintings or simply enjoy the. wonderful views.  Tonight there will be a bush camp under the African stars.

DAY 9: Spitzkoppe to Cheetah Park (B / L / D)
Today’s drive is further north tthrough the Namibian countryside to the Cheetah Park - a private farm dedicated to conserving Namibia’s cheetah population.  While cheetah are endangered in Africa, Namibia has a high population of wild, free roaming cheetah who cause immense damage to some of the local farms by hunting their livestock.  As a result there are many local farmers who have offered a sanctuary to those that have been trapped or injured.  Here  the resident cheetahs will be met - a photo opportunity not to be missed!

DAY 10: Cheetah Park to Eldorado (B / L / D)
After stopping briefly in Outjo to get supplies, the trip heads to Etosha. Covering 20 000 square kilometres, Etosha is Namibia’s premier nature reserve. Situated around the Etosha Pan with a large variety of animal and bird life, the extensive network of gravel roads affords the opportunity of accessing even the most remote areas of the park. After lunch, and once it has cooled off a bit, the remainder of the day is spent exploring the park’s southern area, keeping an eye out for the striking Oryx and Springbok as these are endemic to desert National Parks.  Tonight's camp is situated just outside the park's boundaries, only 10 km from Anderson Gate.  There will be time for a quick ip in the pool or a sundowner on the deck before dinner, followed by a relaxing evening in this interesting bar.

DAY 11: Etosha National Park (B / L / D)
Today there will be a 150 km drive across the park, keeping a look out for the many different mammals, reptiles, birds and insects in the various regions. As the vegetation types change, so does the animal and bird life that relies on it, and so different sections of the park offer a variety of different game options.. After a full day of game viewing, the evening will be spent relaxing at the camp in the north of the park, Namutoni.  After dinner perhaps head to the waterhole and sit and observe the wildlife that comes to drink in the evenings.

DAY 12: Etosha National Park to Grootfontein  (B / L / D)
After breakfast the group will head out of the park on a game drive.  To-day is a short driving day to the next destination, where camp is set up for the night - the campsite having a thatched dining area, bar, swimming pool and curio shop.

Day 13:  Grootfontein to Divundu (B / L / D)
From Grootfontein the tour will head in a north-easterly direction towards the lush Kavango region of northern Namibia.  There will be a stop at Rundu for supplies before heading to the spectacular campsite located on the banks of the Kavango River - complete with “open air” facilities and the occasional hippo grazing on the lawn!

DAY 14: Rundu to Maun (Botswana) (B / L / D)
Following the Kavango River, Botswana is entered following the course of the Okavango River to the southern reaches of the Okavango Delta and the destination, Maun, from where the exploration of the Okavango Delta is made. It is from Maun that the group will set off to explore the Okavango Delta.  Tonight preparations will be made to provisions and packs for the two night excursion.  It is suggested that all travellers should take a long a smaller daypack on this trip as this can be used to pack the supplies needed for this short excursion.  The trip leader will give a full briefing on what is needed and what can be expected on the trip to the Delta.

DAY 15: Maun to Okavango Delta (optional) (B / L / D)
The Delta is a huge expanse of water, which has travelled from the Angolan highlands, spreading out to form the largest inland delta in the world. Studded with exotic islands, the Delta is renowned for its incredible variety of bird life and animals and is unique to Southern Africa. Here there is the opportunity to take the optional 3 day/ 2 night drive-in mokoro excursion into the Delta and those choosing this optional excursion will drive north from Maun for a couple of hours to reach the mokoro poler’s station.  The Delta region is studded with many local villages where families live in a traditional way.  Some of the villages are veru remote and can only be reached by the traditional mode of transport - the mokoro.  Mokoros are traditional dug out canoes manoeuvred through the waterways by local guides who “pole” them through the reeds.  At the mokoro station the 'polers' will be et and supplies will be packed before heading out onto the waterways.  After a couple of hours along the waterways the polers will find a place to camp and later in the afternoon there will be an afternoon game walk to experience the Delta wilderness.  The camp is situated in an open wilderness area with no ablution facilities.   

Travellers preferring not to explore he Delta can stay at the lovely campsite relaxing by the swimming pool or challenging each other to a game of volleyball. There is also a crocodile farm nearby that has it’s feeding times open to campsite visitors.  The driver and cook remain behind in Maun during this excursion.

DAY 16: Okavango Delta (B / L / D)
A day of rest, relaxation and Delta experiences awaits.  Today there will be the opportunity to partake in a number of activities including swimming, game walks, mokoro cruises and even a chance to try our hands at poling your own mokoro!  There is plenty of time to relax and rest during the hotter hours of the day, to challenge new friends to a game of cards, or chat with the guides about their culture and lifestyle, or simply lie back and enjoy the sounds of the surrounding wilderness.

DAY 17: Okavango Delta to Maun (B / L / D)
This morning affords a final opportunity for a game walk before packing up and setting off back to Maun, arriving back in the early afternoon for the chance to complete the picture of the Okavango Delta by taking an optional sunset scenic flight over the Delta - dependent on weather conditions and availabilty).

DAY 18: Maun to Chobe National Park (B /L / D)
Travelling east and then north to the town of Kasane camp is set up on the banks of the Chobe River. The Chobe River forms a border between Botswana, Namibia and Zambia and is the main water source to the Chobe National Park.  Elephant, hippo and many bird species can be viewed from the campsite while watching another glorious African sunset.  Listen out for the resident hippos!

DAY 19: Chobe National Park (B / L / D)
This morning there is the chance to sleep in or explore the town of Kasane.  When everyone is packed up and ready the group will leave for the Chobe National Park Overnight Mobile excursion - an overnight experience in the wilds of the Chobe National Park.   Chobe is one of Botswana’s premier game parks, renowned for its large elephant herds. The afternoon will be spent in search of wildlife which game driving to th camp within the park where the evening will be spent surrounded by the night-time noises of the local wildlife. Look out for the rare Sable and Roan Antelope on the game drive, with their majestic backward slanting horns, or try to keep a count of the Lilac Breasted Rollers that swoop by.  After a night in the bush there will be another drive to search for wildlife before packing up the camp and heading back to Kasane and Victoria Falls.

DAY 20: Chobe National Park to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) (Brunch)
On returning to camp, everyone will get back onto the truck and continue to the border of Zimbabwe.  Once border formalities have been completed there will be a short drive to the nearby Victoria Falls. Named after the famous World Heritage Site and Water FAlls, the town of Victoria Falls is situated on the Zambezi River and surrounded by the Victoria Falls National Park.  Here, in Africa’s adventure capital, camp is set up  in the town’s centrally located campsite and within walking distance of the adventure booking agents, restaurants and shops.

A 20 minue walk down the main road takes the traveller to the entry point to view the Falls which lie between Zimbabwe and Zambia.  Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) was named by David Livingstone on his explorations and is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and it’s not difficult to see why. At 1700 m wide and around 100 m high, this is the world's largest sheet of falling water and a memorable sight on any African Safari! The Falls can be viewed from the Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe - a fantastic photo opportunity. The afternoon is spent relaxing at the campsite’s swimming pool or exploring the many sights and delights of this town!

DAY 21: Victoria Falls (B)
After breakfast, addresses are exchanged before parting ways having just experienced a trip of a lifetime!

Please note that the above itinerary should be used as a guide only and may vary from day to day depending on road and weather conditions.  Due to Tourism Laws in some countries there may be a truck and crew change during the trip.  Local payments are subject to change with prior notice.

Optional excursions

South Africa:
Canoeing on Gariep River (minimum 4) - $40 Wine tasting - Cederberg - $50
Wine Tasting - $15

Namibia:
Quad Biking - $100
Sand Boarding  - $55/$70
Township Tour - $80
Tandem Sky Diving - $350 (weather permitting)
Horse Riding - 2 hours - $145
Fishing - $145
Dolphin Cruise - $80
Kayaking - $95
Paragliding - weather permitting - $150
Scenic Flight - various - as per operator
Hot Air Ballooning - weather permitting - $450

Botswana:
3 Day Okavango Delta Mokoro Excursion - $170
Scenic Flight over Delta (max five passengers per plane)  - $100
Chobe National Park Game Drive - $70

Zimbabwe:
Victoria Falls National Park Entry (for viewing the Falls) - $35
White Water Rafting on the Zambezi (full day) - $140
Bungee Jumping (111 m) - $150
Rafting and Boarding Combo - $180
Half Day Adrenaline - Gorge Swing, Zipline and Flying Fox -  $165
Elephant Back Safari - $150
Walk with Lions Victoria Falls -  $140
Micro Light over the Falls - 15 mins - $170
Helicoptor Flight over the Falls - 12 mins - $155

Please note that this is not a full list of available activities.  There are many more to choose from.  Prices are approximate and can change at any time and should be used as a guideline oly.  All accommodation and activities in Victoria Falls must be paid for in US$ cash.

 

Getting There

Flights should be arranged to arrive into Cape Town International Airport. Please make sure to arrive in plenty of time for the trip departure.   Travellers are   recommended to arrive the day before the tour start date and depart the day after the end date to allow for any delays.   An airport pick up on arrival and pre-tour night's accommodation in a dormitory bed are included in the trip cost. 

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence and we can arrange any flight requirements that you have upon request.

Support and Orientation

Support and advice is available from Amanzi Travel office staff and project/trip leaders. Upon booking, you will receive a comprehensive pre-departure pack that provides all the details you will need to prepare for your trip to Africa.  This document includes information on accommodation, staff, visas, optional activities, packing checklist and medical advice and if you have any questions that are not answered in the pack we are always on hand to help and advise. We will do all we can to ensure that you are well prepared and looking forward to your trip to Africa. You will also receive an in country orientation on arrival.

A 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency contact number is provided for everyone who travels with us.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence (9401) and is able to arrange your flights on request giving you financial protection for your flight and trip costs. We also offer advice on personal travel insurance for your trip.

Cape Town to Victoria Falls, Southern Sun 21 Day (Northbound)Cape Town to Victoria Falls, Southern Sun 21 Day (Northbound)The trips are camping trips, and spacious 2-person tents with sewn in ground sheets and a separate fly shee are provided. Most nights are spent in organised campsites which usually have hot water showers and extra facilities such as a bar or swimming pool.  Increasingly these places have simple roomed accommodation, so on occasion there is the choice, at extra cost, to upgrade to a bed if required.. Occasionally, when it is not possible to drive any further or when there is no local campsite available, it may be necessary to bush camp.  The vehicles are completely self-sufficient for this and camping out in the middle of the African bush can be a memorable experience.

The safari cook does all the cooking on the trip, although travellers may have to participate in the preparation of the meals on a rota basis.  Meals and menus vary depending on what is available locally, but three healthy square meals a day on the road are provided.   Fresh fruit and vegetables are purchased along the way from market stalls, which is supported by a bulk buy of goods bought prior to departure.  In the towns and cities there is the optional alternative of sampling the local restaurants.

 

Click here to view the full interactive mapNamibia - Work At a Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

Why visit Namibia?

Namibia is one of those dreamlike places that makes one question whether something so visually fabulous could actually exist. It is characterised by vast open spaces, with breathtaking scenery and great contrasts – ocean, dunes, mountains and deserts. A predominantly arid country, Namibia can be divided into four main regions. The Namib Desert and vast plains of the Skeleton Coast in the west; the eastward-sloping Central Plateau; the Kalahari desert along the borders with South Africa and Botswana; and the densely wooded bushveld of the Kavango and Caprivi regions – a magical undeveloped oasis of waterways and wildlife, providing abundant game and birdlife viewing opportunities.  Despite its harsh climate, Namibia has some of the world’s grandest national parks, ranging from the wildlife-rich Etosha National Park, to the dune fields and desert plains of the Namib-Naukluft Park. The Namib-Naukluft Park is superb for hiking, with a number of spectacular trails. It is also home to the renowned dunes of Sossusvlei - said to be the highest in the world - and the fascinating Sesriem Canyon. Windhoek is the country’s geographical heart and commercial nerve centre, with an ethnic mix of people, while surfers, anglers and beach-lovers won’t want to miss Swakopmund, with its lively entertainment and sporting activities.

Highlights

  • Etosha National Park is one of Africa’s finest parks, both in size and diversity of wildlife.
  • The Namib-Naukluft Park is the largest conservation area in Namibia and one of the largest in the world.
  • Two spectacular deserts - the Kalahari and Namib - each with distinctive wildlife and scenery.
  • The Namib, at 80 million years, is the world's oldest desert. Namib means “open space”.
  • The Namib and Damaraland offer remarkably clear skies for astronomers and keen star gazers.
  • Stunning Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world, after the Grand Canyon – it is 161km long, up to 27km wide and 550m deep.
  • Sossusvlei are said to be the highest sand-dunes in the world.
  • Superb birding and good fishing is available from the banks of the Kavango and Kunene Rivers on the northern border.
  • Popular self-drive destination with excellent infrastructure.
  • Largely malaria-free.
  • More than 300 days of sunshine per year.

Climate

Seasons Max Min
Summer/wet (October - April) 40 °C 20 °C
Winter/dry (May - September) 25 °C 0 °C
Rainfall: October – December “little rains”, January to April more stormy period

The winter months (May - September) range from 25 to 30°C during the day but night temperatures may drop to below freezing. June to August is the dry season with very little rain. This can be a good time for game viewing as wildlife converge at the waterholes.

The summer months (October - April) can reach highs of over 40°C and nights in the 20°C range (in the arid central Namib Desert temperatures can fall to below freezing during the night). This is a summer rainfall area, but overcast and rainy days are few and far between. Welcome thundershowers may occur in the late afternoon, bringing relief to flora and fauna. In October and November, large herds of blue wildebeest, zebra, springbok and oryx migrate from the Namutoni area to Okaukuejo, where they remain until May.

Rainfall is heaviest in the northeast, which enjoys a sub-tropical climate, and reaches over 600mm annually along the Okavango River. The northern and interior regions experience ‘little rains’ between October and December, while the main stormy period occurs from January to April.

Key Facts

Population – 2.1 million
Capital - Windhoek
Currency - Namibian dollar
Language – official language English; most widely spoken is Afrikaans; half of all Namibians speak Oshiwambo as their first language. German is also widely spoken, plus some Portuguese.
Namib – means “open space”
Etosha – means “great white place”
Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 264, international access code 00

Click here to view the full interactive mapBotswana - Book Your Experience of a Lifetime

Why visit Botswana?

Botswana is a land of dramatic contrasts, from the crystal clear waters of the Okavango Delta, to the large elephant herds in the Chobe National Park, the abundant birdlife in Moremi Game Reserve and the vast savannah of the Kalahari desert, which covers over 70% of the country. It is no wonder that Botswana has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Surrounded by the sands of the Kalahari Desert is the magical oasis of the Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland delta, formed by ancient seismic shifting of the earth's surface. Wide grassy floodplains are host to a magnificent array of wild animals. Within this lacework of channels, game viewing and bird watching is frequently guided from mokoro (dugout canoes) or more commonly, environmentally-friendly fibreglass replicas. In these slender flat-bottomed craft, visitors are propelled by expert polers.

Chobe National Park, approximately 62 miles due west of Victoria Falls, is abundant with wildlife all year round, and features the beautiful Chobe River on its northern boundary. Throughout the area numerous clay-bottomed pans hold water during the short rainy season. During the rainy season, from November, one can witness the zebra migration from the north-western area of Linyanti heading south through the Savute plains to the salt pans around Makgadikgadi, where the foals are born. The herds then return to Linyanti between February and April.

The Kalahari Game Reserve is one of the most remote and unspoiled parts of Africa. At certain times of the year, usually during the summer rains, the northern section of the Park is one of the prime game viewing areas of Botswana, not to mention the breathtaking landscapes that await discovery.

Highlights of Botswana

  • Seventeen percent of Botswana is comprised of pristine national reserves, featuring some of Africa's most beautiful subtropical wilderness, generally teeming with wildlife.
  • A land of awesome contrasts - from the vast plains of the Kalahari Desert to the crystal clear waters of the world's largest inland delta, the Okavango Delta.
  • Game viewing by mokoro (dugout canoe) in the Delta is unforgettable.
  • Sunshine totals are high all year round, although winter is still the sunniest period.
  • Chobe National Park is home to the mighty Chobe River and what is arguably the world's largest concentration of elephants.
  • View Botswana’s annual zebra migration in the Linyanti and Savute areas.
  • Moremi Game Reserve is renowned for its superb birdlife.
  • The game-filled Central Kalahari Game Reserve, at 54,600 km2, is Botswana's largest reserve.

Climate

Seasons Max Min
Summer/wet (October -April) 45 °C 25 °C
Winter/dry ( May - September) 26 °C 0 °C
Rainfall: November - March

Botswana is semi-arid, due to the short rain season. It experiences extremes in both temperature and weather.

In the winter (late May through September), days are normally clear, warm and sunny, and nights are cool to cold, with average temperatures of around 14 °C. The whole country is windy and dusty during the dry season. Wildlife never wanders far from water sources, so sightings are more predictable than in the wetter summer season. This is also the time of school holidays, so some areas can be busy, especially between mid-July and mid-September.

In summer (October to April), Botswana has hot summers with average temperatures around 26 °C. Wildlife can be harder to spot and rains can render sandy roads impassable. This is also the time of the highest humidity and the most stifling heat, where daytime temperatures of over 40°C are common, so the magnificent afternoon showers can be a welcome relief.

The main rains fall between December and March, but often just in the form of brief thundershowers that last an hour or two before the sun re-emerges. The sunlight after an African storm is incredibly intense and superb for wildlife photography. The summer rains also bring spectacular migrant birds to Botswana.

Key Facts

Population – 2 million
Capital - Gaborone
Currency –pula (BWP)
Official Language(s) – English and Setswana

Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 267, international access code 00

Click here to view the full interactive mapZimbabwe - From Mana Pools National Park to Victoria Falls

Why visit Zimbabwe?

The beautiful country of Zimbabwe offers something for everyone; from the absolute wilderness of Mana Pools National Park, the ruins of Great Zimbabwe and the mountains overlooking Mozambique, to fine dining in Harare or bunjee jumping over Victoria Falls.  It is rich in culture and colour and the Zimbabweans have not lost their humour and resolve.

Victoria Falls is one of the worlds’ biggest and most spectacular waterfalls, with a network of trails leading through the rain forest surrounding the “smoke that thunders”. Take an umbrella and raincoat and gaze at the incredible vistas of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Victoria Falls village is home to a seemingly endless variety of adventure sports from bungee jumping to canoeing and white-water rafting. Apart from its appeal to adventure enthusiasts the village still has a gracious, pioneering and colonial atmosphere.

Hwange Park is one of the finest conservation areas in Africa and is said to contain the widest variety and greatest density of wildlife in the world. Game viewing is generally restricted to the Hwange Park road network, but it has private concession areas allowing off-road safaris and nature walks. Mana Pools is an unspoiled, remote Park in the Zambezi Valley, a subtropical region, with the terrain and vegetation varied from the river up to the Zambezi Plateau. Walking is allowed (at visitor's own risk) and can be exhilarating and rewarding, if caution is taken.

Lake Kariba is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, with abundant game-sightings and excellent angling for bream and tiger fish. The Lake provides pleasure to locals and visitors alike with fishing, canoeing, sailing or drifting along on a houseboat. The Matopo Hills is an area of incredible beauty with a mythical history and a proud people, the Matebele. The Matobo Hills were so named because they looked like the bald heads of indunas (chiefs). The entire region is a complex of bizarre and exposed granitic formations. Once inhabited by the bushman, today one can find magnificent examples of rock art in and amongst the caves. The Matobo National Park is one of Zimbabwe's prime wildlife sanctuaries with a large population of white rhino, the elusive black rhino, a variety of antelope species, baboon, rock hyraxes and a large population of leopard and black eagle.

Highlights of Zimbabwe

  • The magnificent Victoria Falls are classed as one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World.
  • Zimbabwe is home to four World Heritage Sites - Victoria Falls, Mana Pools National Park, the Great Zimbabwe Ruins and the Khame Ruins.
  • Lake Kariba is one of the world's largest man-made lakes, with abundant game and excellent angling for bream and tiger fish.
  • Magnificent national parks include Hwange, Mana Pools, Matusadona and Chizarira.
  • Adventure activities abound and include canoeing on the lower Zambezi, kayaking and rafting on the upper Zambezi, and bungee jumping at Victoria Falls.
  • For high adventure enthusiasts, white-water rafting is most exciting when the Zambezi waters are low (generally from August to December) and is often referred to as the best one-day white-water rafting in the world.
  • Canoeing down the Lower Zambezi affords an ideal opportunity to get close to Africa's wildlife.
  • Magnificent scenic areas in the Eastern Highlands Highlights of Zimbabwe.

Climate

Seasons Max Min
Summer/wet (November - April) 30 °C 14 °C
Winter/dry ( May - October) 20 °C 5 °C
Rainfall: November – March

Zimbabwe offers excellent game-viewing opportunities throughout the year. Due to Zimbabwe’s high altitudes, it has a beautiful and moderate climate, where temperatures are never very extreme.  It has warm summers, November to April, where days are generally sunny in the morning with possible dramatic afternoon/evening thunderstorms. Temperatures of 35°C in summer are considered boiling.

Winter occurs from May to October and days are sunny and cool to warm while evening temperatures drop sharply. Temperatures of 7°C in winter are considered freezing. The end of the cool, dry season, around September/October, is the top time for wildlife viewing.

The main rains fall between November and March, although the Eastern Highlands are damp for most of the year. The Victoria Falls are spectacular in April and May after the rainy season.

Key Facts

Population – 12.5 million
Capital - Harare
Currency – none. The Zimbabwean dollar was suspended by the government due to hyper-inflation. The US dollar, South African rand, Botswanan pula, pound sterling and Euro are used instead. The US dollar has been adopted as the official currency for all government transactions with the new power-sharing regime.
Language – English is the official language, with Shona and Ndebele being recognised regional languages

Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 263, international access code 00

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Why visit South Africa?

Every country in the world displays some diversity, but South Africa, stretching from the hippos in the Limpopo River to the penguins waddling on the Cape, takes some beating. There’s the deserted Kalahari, Namakwa’s springtime symphony of wildflowers, iconic Table Mountain and Cape Point, Africa’s biggest game reserve - Kruger National Park - boasting the most mammal species of any game reserve, and the magnificent peaks and plunging valleys of the escarpment of Drakensberg.

Cape Town is widely described as one of the world's most beautiful cities. Some of its more famous landmarks include Table Mountain, Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for decades), Cape Point, Chapman’s Peak, Kirstenbosch Gardens and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. A combination of historical coastal charm and urbane sophistication, Cape Town has some of the finest beaches and is also the gateway to the lush Cape Winelands, famous for world-renowned wines. From here, it is an easy journey to the Whale Route, where Southern Right whales can be seen (June - November) and humpback whales, Bryde's whales, Minke whales and bottlenose dolpins can be viewed year round.

The Garden Route is renowned for its beaches, indigenous forests, nature reserves, lakes, mountain ranges, adventure opportunities and hiking trails. Plettenberg Bay is a relaxed beach paradise with spectacular walks and hikes where one can watch dolphins and whales on eco-marine cruises. With some of the world's finest beaches, the Eastern Cape's untouched and pristine coastline also has a rich social, cultural and political history. Port Elizabeth is the gateway to the Eastern Cape, and the perfect complement to the Garden Route. Cape St Francis is situated on the Indian Ocean coastline, in and around Africa's largest man made web of canals and waterways, and is renowned for its long, sandy beaches, surfing, rock fishing and tranquil lifestyle.

Kruger National Park is the flagship of South Africa's game reserves, offering an unrivalled wildlife experience over two million-hectares. Private concessions operating within and alongside Kruger National Park feature luxurious, exclusive game lodges with many exciting safari activities. Some of these lodges are unfenced, allowing for the free movement of wildlife. Madikwe Game Reserve, in the North West province, is one of South Africa's largest private Big Five game reserves and features numerous lodges and camps. The Waterberg area in the northwest is also malaria-free and is aptly named for its strong streams that flow even in dry seasons, making for excellent game viewing. Both reserves are great for those seeking an accessible malaria-free wilderness experience.

Durban is a sub-tropical city and the gateway to KwaZulu-Natal. It offers a unique mix of Zulu, Indian and colonial cultures. Visit the Anglo-Zulu battlefields, take a fascinating glimpse into Zulu culture, hike in the beautiful Drakensberg Mountains, dive the reefs, marine and coastal reserves of Maputaland, as well as experience Big Five game reserves. The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is renowned for saving the white rhino from the brink of extinction, and Phinda Private Game Reserve is well known for its award-winning lodges and conservation initiatives.

Johannesburg meaning "Place of Gold", is South Africa's economic powerhouse. This vibrant and cosmopolitan city is home to many attractions including the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, and also offers shopping from world-class to atmospheric curio markets. Known as the "Jacaranda City", the state capital of Pretoria features beautiful blossoming trees, significant old buildings and fascinating museums, including the Transvaal Museum, home of Mrs Ples, the australopithecine fossil found at the Cradle of Humankind.

Highlights of South Africa

  • Breathtaking scenery, quaint coastal villages, cosmopolitan cities, wine routes and exclusive bush lodges.
  • Exciting Big Five safaris in unspoilt wilderness areas.
  • Malaria-free game viewing and sunshine all year round.
  • See Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held in prison for 27 years.
  • Go up Table Mountain by cable car for stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and beautiful Cape Town.
  • Whale watching and great white shark cage diving.
  • Beautiful, pristine beaches perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
  • The Cradle of Humankind: Sterkfontein is one of the world's most productive and important palaeoanthropological sites.

Climate

For Johannesburg:

Seasons Max Min
Summer (September - April) 25 °C 10 °C
Winter (May - August) 19 °C 4 °C
Rainfall: October to March, with November to January heaviest


South Africa has typical seasons of weather for the southern hemisphere, with the coldest days in July-August. The Benguela Current, a cold motion that moves from the lower South Atlantic Ocean, causes moderate temperatures on the West Coast. On the central plateau, which includes Free State and Gauteng provinces, the altitude keeps the average temperatures below 30 °C.In winter, also due to altitude, temperatures drop to freezing point, and in some places, even lower. Heavy snows have fallen recently for the first time in decades in Johannesburg. During winter, it is warmest in the coastal regions, especially on the Eastern Indian Ocean coast and Garden Route, where it has year round mild weather with occasional rain. As winter is cooler and drier, it is more suitable for hiking and outdoor pursuits, and is also a good time for game viewing as vegetation is less dense and thirsty animals congregate around rivers and other permanent water sources.

In summer, South Africa experiences the hottest temperatures and this is generally when most rain falls, October – March. However, there is one exception -  the Western Cape, which is a winter-rain area that enjoys a Mediterranean climate (average 26°C).

Christmas to mid-January, and Easter are the height of the peak season for visitors.
Autumn (April/May) and Spring (mid-Sept to November) are ideal almost everywhere.

Key Facts

Population – 50 million

Capital – Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), Cape Town (legislative)
Currency – Rand (ZAR)

Official Language(s) – Afrikaans, English (South African English), Southern Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
Time difference – GMT +2 hours

Telephone – country code 27, international access code 00

Southern Sun 21 Day (Northbound)

We enjoyed the journey from Cape Town to Vic Falls, loved the diverse landscapes and all the wildlife around us.

Thanks again for organizing this trip for us, and of course a big thank you goes to the Overland team as well!

Gabor, aged 33, Hungary (Southern Sun 21 Day (Northbound))


Southern Sun 21 Day (Northbound)

Thank you Amanzi Travel for organising the overland trip from Cape Town to Vic Falls for us, I did enjoy it immensely. Was lucky that the group were of varied ages and we had a ball. My daughter is undertaking volunteer work in Africa also with Amanzi Travel and I joined her for this overland trip. I visited her at the Victoria Falls Lion Project in Zimbabwe and was very impressed by the organisation. She is having a wonderful time there and will be staying on for a few more months. I spoke to a few other volunteers whilst I was there and they were all happy with their experiences.

Thank you again Amanzi Travel, I know you are helping alot of people in Africa with your projects and I have certainly told a lot of people who are interested in our experiences about you. 

Suzanne, Australia, aged 62 (Southern Sun 21 Day (Northbound))


Jennie and Stuart, Sweden, 32 and 34

The overland trip was excellent - really well run. The guides were fantastic, the campsites great, and the food excellent. This has got to be the best way to see Africa in a short period of time ...   

Amanzi Travel are excellent - professional, informative but with a real personal service ...     The cheetah volunteer project was an absolutely fantastic experience, and the Overland trip was brilliant.

Jennie and Stuart, Sweden, 32 and 34 (Cheetah Volunteer Project and Overland Trip)


travel overland

I chose to do a Overland Tour (southern Escape 22 days). If you want to see a large part of Africa in a short space of time and don't mind 'roughing it' then Overlanding is a great way of doing it. I was a little apprehensive to start with, being female and a single person traveling on my own, but this is great as you get to meet loads of new people and make great friends. 

The highlights of the trip were many, but I guess the main ones were, Kruger Park, if you go any where in Africa you have to go to Kruger. I also did an extra activity researching Lions, Just me and a guide in a 4x4 out in the bush looking for a pride of lions then sitting and observing them for around 3 hours, I was a little nervous as a couple of the lions wandered off behind the vehicle and I did have to keep checking to see where they were (just in case!)

Victoria Falls is amazing, the television doesn’t do it justice whatso ever, just make sure you have a waterproof camera luckily I did. The Potholes and Blyde River Canyon give you some fantastic views. A few of us also did a boat trip at the Okavengo Delta, our guide was great and really informative, and how he can spot things I will never know? The locals in all the places we visited where very friendly,

I had a great time, Saw some wonderfull things and made some great friends along the way. 

Amanzi Travel in short - Excellent Customer Service, Excellent Communication, Excellent Company, I will use them again in the future for any future Volunteering Projects I choose to do in Africa.

Southern Escape 22 days (Johannesburg to Johannesburg)

Angela Greig, aged 51 (Southern Escape 22 Day)

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