Northern Experience • 24 Days

Northern Experience Map

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Our group tours are also offered on a private basis, and can be customized: Our experienced travel consultants will design bespoke, private itineraries according to your needs and budget. 

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

Highlights of the Tour

Cape Town

Resting at the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean, sandwiched between the slopes of the iconic Table Mountain and the glistening sapphire waters of Table Bay, the exceptionally scenic city of Cape Town is in a class of its own. Some cities boast rich culture, vibrant nightlife, a cosmopolitan atmosphere and extraordinary architecture, while others boast breathtaking landscapes and extraordinary natural wonders. Cape Town, is lucky enough to be blessed with all of these attractions and so much more.

Windhoek

Windhoek is Namibia’s capital, home to an international airport and a plethora of restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and accommodation options. The city is clean, safe and well-organised, with a colonial legacy that is reflected in its many German eateries and shops, and the widespread use of the German language. Windhoek has an interesting mix of historical architecture and modern buildings, many of which are worth a look, including the Alte Feste (Old Fort), the 1896 Christuskirche (Christ Church), and the more contemporary Supreme Court.

Naukluft Mountains

Located in Central Namibia, the Naukluft Mountains cut a fine silhouette against the vast open skies of this incredibly beautiful country. Private farms occupy the northern reaches and to the south, the range falls within the spectacular Namib-Naukluft National Park. Rising steeply from the vast plains of Central Namibia, the rugged landscape holds a fascinating history, interesting geology and a boasts a variety of deep gorges, caves, small streams and beautiful waterfalls. These mountains support an array of wildlife including over 50 mammal species such as leopard, mountain zebra; various antelope species and almost 200 species of bird. Popular activities include: game viewing, hiking, bird watching, camping, off-roading in a four-wheel drive and swimming in the spectacular rock pools at the Kudusrus campsite.

Swakopmund

Set along the spectacular Namibian coastline, the seaside town of Swakopmund is known for its wide open avenues, colonial architecture, and is surrounded by otherworldly desert terrain. Founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South West Africa, Swakopmund is often described as being more German than Germany. Now a seaside resort town, Swakopmund is the capital of the Skeleton Coast tourism area and has plenty to keep visitors happy. The quirky mix of German and Namibian influences, adventure options, laid back atmosphere and cool sea breeze make it very popular Namibian destination. Visitors can look forward to a number of exciting activities including: quad biking, horse riding, paragliding, fishing, sightseeing and fascinating desert tours.

Etosha South

Located just south of the boundary of Etosha National Park in northwestern Namibia, Etosha South makes up the southern region of this wild paradise. Ogava Private Game Reserve shares the southern boundary with Etosha National Park and offers an array of luxury lodges overlooking picturesque landscapes dotted with abundant wildlife. The national park can be accessed via the southern entrance at Andersson’s Gate. Visitors can catch a glimpse of a variety of wildlife including: lion, giraffe, elephant, white and black rhino, and a multitude of plains game. Popular activities include: game drives, tracking rhinos on foot, guided nature walks, or watch the sunset over this magnificent landscape.

Etosha East

Located in Northwestern Namibia, Etosha East is a protected sanctuary in the eastern part of the world-renowned Etosha National Park, known as one of the most accessible game reserves in Southern Africa. Etosha East boasts vast open plains scattered with semi-arid savannah grasslands dotted with watering holes and secluded bush camps. An impressive 5000-square-kilometre Etosha salt pan makes up a large area of the eastern side of the park and can even be seen from space. This remote area teems with abundant wildlife such as lions, elephants, black rhinos and giraffes, as well as a variety of birdlife featuring flamingos, ostriches, eagles, hornbills, and owls.

Rundu

Bordering Angola, on the banks of the Okavango River in northern Namibia, the town of Rundu serves as the capital of the eastern Kavango region. Rundu is renowned for its local woodcarvers market as well as the numerous woodcarvers’ huts dotting the side of the road. The town provides a great stopover to refuel for visitors heading to Katima Mulilo as well as an excellent base from which to explore the magnificent surrounding areas. Visitors to Rundu can enjoy the beautiful surrounds including the magnificent Popa Falls and Mahangu Game Reserve. Other popular activities include: great game viewing, excellent bird watching as well as kayaking on the spectacular Kavango river.

Divundu

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. Divundu is also the perfect base for adventures in Botswana and the Okavango Delta.

Maun

Set on the banks of the beautiful Thamalakane River in northern Botswana, Maun is the third largest town in this spectacularly scenic southern African country. Maun is the starting point for most expeditions into the Okavango Delta and as a result, has developed into a bustling metropolis that is considered Botswana’s tourism capital. Area attractions include a renowned riverboat that offers cruises up and down the Thamalakane River; the forest groves of the Maun Game Reserve; and Moremi Game Reserve, home to hippos, lions and rhinos. Maun also serves as the jumping off point for many safaris and air charters as well as offers 4×4 rentals. Don’t miss the Nhabe Museum exhibiting the local history, art and culture of the Ngamiland region.

Moremi Game Reserve

Situated in the east of the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve ranks as one of the most beautiful reserves in Africa. It covers more than 4871 square kilometres of pristine wilderness, and the varied terrain includes savannah, winding waterways, and dense forest. This diverse ecosystem supports an incredibly wide spectrum of wildlife, ranging from large herds of buffalo, wildebeest and zebra, to the rare sitatunga and lechwe antelope, lion, cheetah and packs of wild dog in the open grasslands. The birdlife is prolific and includes most of the 550 bird species recorded on Botswana’s national bird list. A range of luxury lodges in the reserve offers visitors the perfect base to experience this corner of paradise.

Nata

Situated 180 kilometres north of Francistown, the small village of Nata is a popular stopover between Maun and Kasane along a road known as the ‘game drive route’ as there is often a chance to catch a glimpse of wildlife along the way. The unique landscape that surrounds the area around Nata features white sand, tall termite mounds and the Mokolwane palm trees. Nata is a convenient stop for tourists to fill up at numerous filling station. Nata serves as an excellent base from which to explore the eastern section of the spectacular Makgadikgadi Pans. The Nata Bird Sanctuary is a popular stop and a highlight for avid bird watchers, where lucky visitors can be rewarded with large flocks of Flamingos and Pelicans, which breed here each year.

Kasane

Tucked away in the northeastern corner of Botswana, on the banks of the famous Chobe River, the scenic little town of Kasane rests on the doorstep of the spectacular Chobe National Park. There are no boundary fences separating the village from the park and game such as elephant and hippo are often spotted roaming around the town. If on the lookout for elusive game, pay a visit to the Sedudu Valley Road, where large dead trees provide temporary homes for leopards. Within Kasane, an ancient baobab tree stands on display, once serving as a local prison. Visitors can look forward to a multitude of activities including: enjoying a game drive through the park, taking a sunset cruise down the Chobe River, visiting a local village or jumping on a day trip to the breathtaking Victoria Falls.

Hwange National Park

Located in western Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park (formerly Wankie Game Reserve) is the largest natural reserve in the country and is famous for its rich diversity of wildlife. Home to one of the biggest elephant populations in the world, as well as around 100 mammal species, the park is a wonderland for animal lovers. Several protected animals inhabit the awe-inspiring open landscapes, including the endangered wild dog, critically endangered black rhino, and rare roan and sable – along with lion, cheetah, and around 500 bird species. Adventurers can look forward to guided bush hikes, game drives, and horse riding safaris, all of which offer excellent photographic opportunities. Hwange boasts several unique natural features, most notably the natural seeps such as Nehimba and Shakwanki animals dig for water.

Victoria Falls

Resting on the southern banks of the Zambezi river at the western end of the eponymous falls, this popular tourist town is compact enough to walk around and makes an ideal base for travellers exploring the seventh wonder of the world, the unfathomably vast Victoria Falls. About two thirds of the falls can be viewed from the Zimbabwean side and, while the falls are undoubtedly the star attraction, the area provides both adventure seekers and sightseers with plenty of opportunities to warrant a longer stay. Popular activities include scenic flights over the falls in helicopters or micro lights, bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge, white-water rafting (seasonal), and day trips to Chobe National Park. The town itself offers some excellent accommodation and restaurant options as well as an eclectic variety of African curios and authentic art sold by friendly Zimbabwean locals who are wonderfully welcoming and eager to help you enjoy your stay.

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Accommodation

Days 1 to 3

Pullman Cape Town City Centre (or similar)
Cape Town, South Africa

Day 4

AVANI Windhoek Hotel & Casino (or similar)
Windhoek, Namibia

Days 5 & 6

Agama Lodge (or similar)
Naukluft Mountains, Namibia

Days 7 & 8

Swakopmund Sands Hotel (or similar)
Swakopmund. Namibia

Day 9

Toshari Lodge (or similar)
Etosha South, Namibia

Days 10 & 11

Namutoni Resort (or similar)
Etosha East, Namibia

Day 12

Kaisosi River Lodge (or similar)
Rund, Namibia

Days 13 & 14

Nunda River Lodge (or similar)
Divundu, Namibia

Day 15

Thamalakane River Lodge (or similar)
Maun, Botswana

Days 16 & 17

Mankwe Tented Retreat (or similar)
Botswana

Day 18

Nata Lodge (or similar)
Nata, Botswana

Days 19 & 20

Chobe Safari Lodge (or similar)
Kasane, Botswana

Days 21 & 22

Hideaways Nantwich Lodge (or similar)
Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Days 23 & 24

Ilala Lodge Hotel (or similar)
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Included

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

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Pre and post tour accommodation
  • Optional activities
  • All drinks
  • Personal expenses such as telephone calls, curios and tips
  • Travel insurance and visas
  • Park Fees (quoted separately)
  • Park Fees & Activities fee will be payable prior to travel together with the main tour fee.

Pre-Tour Information

Transport

JENMAN African Safaris uses fully equipped Toyota Land Cruisers, Sprinters, 12-seater 4×4 safari vehicles or other appropriate vehicles with comfortable seating, large windows for game viewing, and a music and PA system. We endeavour to ensure that air-conditioning is provided, however, we are unable to guarantee this for vehicles travelling through Namibia. All luggage, besides hand luggage and photo equipment, is carried on the vehicle or trailer roof racks to ensure maximum comfort in the vehicle. For transfers between Kasane and Victoria Falls (or vice versa), 2×4 vehicles may be utilised.

Travelling Times and Distances

All travelling times in Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe are affected by road conditions, border crossings, detours and weather conditions, therefore on certain days travelling times may be longer than anticipated especially where there is a lot of distance to be covered. Please keep in mind that the time it takes to travel 100 km in your home country is not equivalent to the time it takes to travel 100 km on African roads, therefore we encourage you to sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery Africa has to offer. Where possible additional stops will be made to ensure your travelling comfort at all times.

Meals

Most breakfasts and dinners will be enjoyed in the restaurants of the various accommodation establishments, however, on certain nights, the guide will provide an authentic meal for the group, which will be enjoyed together in the evening, often around a campfire. Please advise us of any special dietary requirements in advance.

Travel Insurance

Travel and cancellation insurance is mandatory for every guest travelling with Jenman African Safaris. All insurance is solely the responsibility of our guests. Please ensure you arrange your own insurance with protection for the full duration of your journey to cover personal injury, damage and loss of personal items including but not limited to camera equipment and other electronic items, medical expenses, repatriation expenses and loss of luggage, etc. Please speak to your travel agent if you require assistance.

Visas

The onus is on the client to organize all visas required for clients to visit Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia prior to departure. Please note that travellers entering Botswana will be required to present a valid international health certificate of vaccination for yellow fever should they originate from or have travelled through countries which have been declared yellow fever infected areas within the preceding 6 months.

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