14 Day - Wildlife & 4 Rivers Tour - Self Drive - 14SD1

Etosha National Park

Days 1 - 3

Etosha National Park in the central north is world-famous for its abundance of wildlife and premiere game viewing opportunities. The park is home to 114 species of mammals, including elephants, black rhinos, lions and other big cats and predators, giraffes, various antelopes and zebras, as well as hundreds of species of birds and reptiles. The vegetation ranges from dense bush to open plains with semi-arid savannah grasslands. During the dry season and in times of drought, the animals flock to the perennial springs and artificial waterholes which are maintained all over the park.

Etosha Pan in the heart of the nature reserve is a vast shallow depression of 5000 kilometres2 that can even be seen from space. The huge salt pan is dry for most of the year and lies shimmering in the heat, but after good rains it fills up with water and attracts scores of birds, especially flamingos from as far away as the Walvis Bay Lagoon on the Atlantic coast.

The western reaches of Etosha are quite different from its south-eastern and eastern parts. Even the characteristic white dust of the pan gives way to reddish-brown soil. The hills of western Etosha are the realm of Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra.

Etosha East

Days 3 - 4

In most places in the park, the pans are devoid of vegetation with the exception of halophytic Sporobolus salsus, a protein-rich grass that is eaten by grazers like blue wildebeest and springbok. The areas around the Etosha pan also have other halophytic vegetation including grasses like Sporobolus spicatus and Odyssea paucinervis, as well as shrubs like Suaeda articulata. Most of the park is savanna woodlands except for areas close to the pan. Mopane is the most common tree, estimated to be around 80% of all trees in the park. The sandveld of north-eastern corner of Etosha is dominated by acacia and Terminalia trees. Tamboti trees characterize the woodlands south of the sandveld. Dwarf shrub savanna occurs areas close to the pan and is home to several small shrubs including a halophytic succulent Salsola etoshensis. Thorn bush savanna occurs close to the pan on limestone and alkaline soils and is dominated by acacia species such as Acacia nebrowniiAcacia luederitziiAcacia melliferraAcacia hebeclada and Acacia tortilis. Grasslands in the park are mainly around the Etosha pan where the soil is sandy. Depending on the soil and the effects of the pan, grasslands could be dominated by one of the EragrostisSporobolusMonelytrumOdyssea or Enneapogon species.

Okavango River

Days 4 - 5

The Okavango River is the fourth-largest river system in southern Africa. From its source in Angola it runs south-eastward into Namibia and forms part of the border between Namibia and Angola. Just before it flows into Botswana and empties into the Okavango Delta, the river cascades over the Popa Falls, dropping four metres over a series of rapids.

The city of Rundu on the banks of the Okavango is the capital of Kavango-East, a region known for its lush vegetation, spectacular natural beauty, abundant wildlife and some 400 species of birds. With 150 species of fish the river is a popular fishing destination.

Activities: Take a scenic boat cruise; go birding; visit the nature reserves in this region; see the Popa Falls; explore Rundu.  

Kwando River

Days 5 - 7

Meandering through the spectacular Zambezi Region in north-western Namibia, the Kwando River forms the border between Namibia and Botswana near the end of its course. The area along the Kwando is known for the game reserves, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries which offer excellent game viewing opportunities. The perennial river attracts plenty of wildlife – large herds of elephants, hippos, crocodiles, turtles, spotted-necked otters, zebra, impala and red lechwe, to name but a few, as well as more than 400 bird species. Accommodation is provided by numerous lodges on the banks of the river.

Activities: Game viewing; bird watching; river cruising; fishing; go camping; relax and soak up the spectacular views of wild Africa.

Zambezi Region

Days 7 - 9

The Zambezi Region, previously known as the Caprivi Strip, is Namibia’s “panhandle” that juts out eastwards between Angola and Botswana all the way to Zimbabwe. Its easternmost tip is the only spot on the planet where four countries meet. The Zambezi Region lies in the middle of one of Africa’s largest and best-known game-viewing areas. It is part of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA), which combines 36 game reserves in Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Since there are no fences, animals can move freely between the neighbouring countries. The abundance of water supplied by the Zambezi, Okavango, Kwando and Chobe rivers sustains a large variety of animal and bird species.

Activities: Enjoy manifold game-viewing opportunities; go bird watching; go angling for tigerfish in the Zambezi River; join river cruises; soak up the natural splendour of this scenic region.

Zambezi Region Zambezi Region Zambezi Region

Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)

Days 9 - 11

The iconic waterfalls in the Zambezi River are one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. About two-thirds are visible from the Zimbabwean side. While the spectacle of masses of cascading water is undoubtedly the star attraction, the area also offers adventure and sightseeing opportunities which certainly warrant a longer stay. Victoria Falls, the tourist town at the western side of the falls, is easy to explore on foot. It has some excellent accommodation and restaurants and, of course, an eclectic variety of African curios and authentic art sold by friendly locals who are wonderfully welcoming and eager to help visitors enjoy the experience.

Activities: Scenic flights over the falls by helicopter or microlight; bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge; white-water rafting (seasonal); day trips to Chobe National Park.


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Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)

Chobe River Front

Days 11 - 12

The Chobe River forms the northern boundary of the Chobe National Park which is renowned for its diverse and abundant game viewing opportunities. This section of the park is best known for its dense concentration of wildlife, including elephant and hippo populations, but the waters attract all manner of game including large herds of buffalo and the lions that prey on them - a visit to the Chobe River Front guarantees close encounters with an array of African wildlife. Visitors can look forward to a range of exciting activities such as 4WD along the banks; motorboat cruises; and rare birdlife spotting. For a unique, luxury safari experience, hire a houseboat.

Kwando River

Days 12 - 13

As previously described

Okavango River

Days 13 - 14

As previously described

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