Combine seven days in South Africa's top wilderness with a nine-day adventure in Namibia and you'll have an unforgettable experience with southern Africa's wildlife and culture. From searching for the Big Five with a National Geographic researcher to exploring desert dunes, to visiting scientists at Namibia's National Geographic-supported Cheetah Conservation Fund, this itinerary will take you into places ruled by the animals and the elements.
Arrive at any time. Transfer to hotel. Enjoy a traditional South African braai (barbecue) welcome dinner.
Enjoy a full day scenic drive along the famed Panorama Route with stops at Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes, and God's Window. Continue to our tented camp located just outside Kruger National Park and this evening enjoy a delicious South African dinner on the deck or in the boma.
Enjoy a morning wildlife safari drive through Kruger National Park in an open vehicle. Take in views of the abundant wildlife including elephants, lions and giraffe. Afterwards, opt to take an afternoon safari drive, wildlife bush walk, or relax on the deck with views of the watering hole - a popular spot for animals to visit.
At over 19,000 sq km (7,500 sq mi), South Africa's Kruger National Park is one of the largest and most impressive animal reserves in the world. With 147 species, Kruger has more species of large mammals than any other park on the continent.
Continue on to a private nature reserve in the Greater Kruger area. This afternoon, take in a lecture with a researcher from the Endangered Wildlife Trust's Cheetah Metapopulation Project who will share information about their efforts to protect cheetahs and other carnivores. This National Geographic-sponsored project is part of the Big Cats Initiative. After, the researcher will join us on our evening game drive.
For the next two days, enjoy ranger-led morning and evening game drives in an open safari vehicle in Karongwe Nature Reserve. Search for buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinos – Africa's famed Big Five. With over 9,000 hectares (22,240 acres) of supreme African bushveld, Karongwe Private Game Reserve is home to many creatures, and our safari drives provide several opportunities for game viewing.
We use various accommodations within the reserve (the location is based on availability). During your time here, you will either stay in lodge rooms or very comfortable permanent tents (both of equal quality and with similar amenities).
Enjoy early morning and afternoon safari drives with our local guides, searching for buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinos – Africa's famed Big Five. In our down time, relax at the camp, take a walk around the grounds or enjoy a cool drink on the deck.
Wake up before the sun (around 5am) and sip your morning coffee before heading out on a morning wildlife safari drive. Return to the lodge for brunch and some leisure time. Converse on the deck, walk the grounds and gardens, and enjoy high tea. Following tea, it's time for a late afternoon safari drive. After spotting tons of wildlife, it's time to return to camp and freshen up before dinner.
After one last safari game drive, head back to the city. In the evening, enjoy dinner at our local guest house.
Fly to Windhoek and transfer to the hotel. Free time to explore Windhoek in the afternoon and then meet your CEO and the rest of the group in the evening.
Enjoy the dramatic Namibian landscapes as we drive to the desert area of Sesriem, gateway to Namib-Naukluft National Park. Settle in to our desert lodge, relax at the pool or enjoy a cool drink watching the stunning sunset over the desertscape.
Enjoy postcard perfect desert scenery around Sesriem and Sossusvlei - vast desertscapes of reds and orange, stark camel thorn trees and towering dunes with dramatic curved ridges. Also keep an eye out for the surprising amount of wildlife that call this area home such as oryx, springbok, jackal, ground squirrel and hyena.
Embark on a scenic excursion into the national park to explore the Namib Desert. Visit Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, clay pans covered in a crust of salt-rich sand surrounded by burnt orange and red towering dunes; considered one of the most stunning desert landscapes in Africa. After visit Sesriem Canyon, a natural gorge carved out by the Tsauchab River.
Continue through changing desert landscapes, keeping an eye out for free-roaming zebra, kudu, springbok and oryx. Stop in the quirky town of Solitaire for a break before heading out into the countryside. Here we meet a local to this remote region who takes us on a drive and talks about the survival strategies of ancient and modern Bushmen who live in the area. We also search out the smaller animal life who manage to survive in these harsh conditions such as snakes, geckos, spiders and insects and learn how they have adapted to this arid region. After, continue to Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast.
Enjoy the morning free and opt to go quad biking or sandboarding or just take a walk in town. This afternoon, visit the township of Mondesa with a local guide. Visit the lively local market for an introduction to traditional food including Wild Spinach, Mopane worms and dried Kapenta Fish. Also visit Datango art and craft shop, a project that helps train local unemployed youth in traditional crafts. After, visit the shebeen (Tavern) for a cool drink, then visit a traditional restaurant for dinner and enjoy entertainment by the local choir.
Explore the town's unique mix of German and African culture and opt to visit curio shops, the museum and restaurants. Optional activities include sandboarding, quad biking, or if you're feeling brave, skydiving.
Continue on to Twyfelfontein where we visit the ancient petroglyphs which were named Namibia's first UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site is thought to hold the largest concentrations of Bushman engravings in Africa, with over 2500 figures, ranging from 2000-5000 years old.
Depart early to visit the Petrified Forest national monument, a stunning site of fossilized tree trunks dating from approximately 280 million years ago. Continue to our lodge located in the Etosha National Park area, considered the greatest wildlife sanctuary in Namibia. This afternoon, take an open vehicle game drive to view the abundant wildlife who congregate around the park's waterholes.
After the vast desert, Etosha National Park, offers a contrast of wide open grasslands, a massive pan that covers 4731km² and tall camel thorn trees intermixed with Mopani trees. Combined with the vast amount of natural waterholes with this diverse vegetation, wildlife flock to the park. Some of the largest elephants in Africa can be found in areas of thicker vegetation, as well as leopard and the critically endangered black rhino. Lions, giraffe, ostrich and heard animals the grasslands, while birders will love the salt pans which attract flamingos in the rainy season. More than 340 bird species have been counted in Etosha National Park including the European bee-eater, the kori bustard and numerous migratory birds.
Early this morning, embark on a sunrise wildlife safari drive in an open vehicle with a local guide through the park. There is abundant wildlife that congregate around the waterholes, so keep your cameras at the ready for elephants, lions, endangered black rhinos, and even leopards. The remainder of the day is free to relax at our lodge, take a swim or join our CEO for a drive. Our lodge is perfectly situated, so sit back with a sundowner, and enjoy the sunset over the park. This afternoon or evening, opt to take another open vehicle safari drive.
After breakfast, visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund, a global field research and education facility founded by Dr. Laurie Marker whose research has been supported by National Geographic. Tour the facility to learn about the important research, conservation, and community outreach work they do as one of the world's leading organizations dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild. Meet with a researcher for a lecture to learn about the various projects in the works, then enjoy a cheetah drive to view some of these amazing creatures up close. After, enjoy lunch on the veranda overlooking the magnificent Waterberg Plateau. Continue on to Windhoek for our final evening.
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Trip Name: Discover Kruger & Namibia
Duration: 16 Days
From Price: $6,339
Supplier Tour ID: DSNNG/166206
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