Susan Worner Tours

Northern Namibia – Zimbabwe – Botswana – Okavango Delta – A safari in the green season

05 – 20 March 2018

Diverse verdant green landscapes, dramatic skies, unspoilt wilderness with game, bird-life, insects attracted by the fruiting trees and lush vegetation. We visit Northern Namibia, the Etosha National Park and the Zambesi region (formerly the Caprivi Strip), Kwando/Linyanti delta continuing to Botswana, the Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta. Namibia and Botswana are two of the last adjoining unpopulated wildernesses and are very safe destinations. Both countries aim for low density, high quality tourism. We have included a day to visit the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, now with its infrastructure and economy improving.

The Okavango Delta is fed by the floodwaters of Central Africa. These waters fan out into the Delta, forming a wetland system of beautiful palm-fringed channels, lagoons and islands which support a rich diversity of fauna and flora. The waters eventually disappear in the Kalahari Desert.
Our lodges have been hand-picked after extensive research. They are well-run, comfortable and typical of their surroundings. During the journey we always stay at least two nights at a lodge to enjoy the activities particular to each region. The lodges are small and often cater just for us. Our guide/driver, Siggi Straube, is from Namibia and is a top-rate guide and photographer. The local lodge guides are well trained and their knowledge of the flora and fauna is excellent.

The group is small, maximum ten guests. We travel in a coach well-built for the terrain and comfortable. Flights are with South African Airways and the local private charter, Moremi Air, for the Delta.

 

Itinerary

DAY ONE – MONDAY 05 MARCH D

Evening flight with South African Airways from London Heathrow overnight to Johannesburg.

DAY TWO – TUESDAY 06 March BD

Morning arrival in Johannesburg airport and transfer to flight to Windhoek arriving late morning. We meet our driver/guide, Siggi, and head north to the Waterberg Wilderness Lodge, near Otjiwarongo. Situated on forested, red sandstone cliffs on the edge of the Kalahari, it is surrounded by a private nature reserve. Flat-topped Camelthorn trees (Acacia erioloba) give shade to wildlife and tall termite mounds abound. Sundowner drinks with superb views over the plain before dinner together.

DAY THREE – WEDNESDAY 07 MARCH BLD

Morning walk to the valley with a local guide to discover the plants and animals. Kalahari Christmas trees or the sickle bush and shepherd trees (Boscia albitrunca) and hibiscus can be seen on our path. Butterflies and birds are in profusion. Return to the lodge late morning for lunch. Time to relax. Game drive in the bush savannah with a chance to see eland, warthog, giraffe and perhaps rhino. Return for dinner.

DAY FOUR – THURSDAY 08 MARCH BD

We leave after breakfast, stopping at Tsumeb for lunch, where the eye-catching Flamboyant trees from Madagascar (Delouix regioa) line the streets. We head towards the Etosha National Park near where we are based at the Onguma Bush Camp for three nights. The Onguma Game Reserve covers 34,000 hectares on the eastern edge of the Etosha Fisher’s Pan. We join a sunset game drive on the edge of the pan with our local guide before enjoying dinner together in the lodge restaurant.

DAY FIVE – FRIDAY 09 MARCH BLD

Morning excursion to the Etosha Park to discover many species of antelope, elephant, giraffe, buffalo and black rhino. Up to 300 species of bird can be seen. Late afternoon drive in Etosha reserve to see perhaps a black rhino or a pride of lions before returning for dinner.

DAY SIX – SATURDAY 10 MARCH BLD

Morning guided interpretive safari walk in the bush to discover plants, trees and a diversity of fauna. Afternoon to relax before joining the sundowner game drive in the Onguma reserve before dinner together.

DAY SEVEN – SUNDAY 11 MARCH BD

Departure to northern Namibia, the Zambesi region (former Caprivi Strip). Our journey takes us through farmland and villages where families cultivate crops, herd cattle and make interesting wood carvings. We follow the Kavango River arriving at the welcoming Nunda River Lodge near Divundu. We enjoy dinner overlooking the river, listening to the hippos snorting at dusk.

DAY EIGHT – MONDAY 12 MARCH BLD

After breakfast we join a morning boat cruise to observe river life. Many species of birds, hippo families, crocodiles can be seen and a rich variety of trees, reeds and indigenous flora. Picnic lunch. Afternoon game drive is to the Mahango Game Park, one of Namibia’s most fascinating conservation areas. The baobab, wild seringa and teak trees can be seen; birdlife is prolific, especially on the flowering or fruiting trees. We can spot many antelope, and possibly the red lechwe, and herds of elephants migrating over the river. On our return we enjoy a sundowner on the deck overlooking the river – the sunsets are spectacular.

DAY NINE – TUESDAY 13 MARCH BLD

On departing from the lodge, we head east along the narrow Caprivi strip and follow the Kwando river stopping at a local village to discover their way of life. Continue to the remote Nkasa Lupala Lodge, in pristine wilderness of the Mamili National Park, the Wuparo Conservation Area facing Botswana. Chance to experience a mokoro boat ride (water levels dependent). Sundowner to be enjoyed from a viewing point as the sun sets before dinner together.

DAY TEN – WEDNESDAY 14 MARCH BLD

Early morning start with a knowledgeable guide for a game drive through the Mamili National Park with dense savannah, mopane forest and narrow flowing channels in the lagoons. We may spot lions, zebra, impala. Bird life abounds, and we may see an African Skimmer before joining a birding and game-viewing boat cruise along the river. Return for late lunch and time to relax. Dinner together.

DAY ELEVEN – THURSDAY 15 MARCH BD

We depart from Nkasa Lupala Lodge eastwards to Katima Mulilo on the Zambian border, on to Ngoma Bridge where we cross the border into Botswana. The view over the vast Chobe river plain is memorable, as are the baobab trees nearby. After a short distance we arrive at Kasane from where we take a private river boat to Serondela Lodge on the Chobe river in the National Park. It is an impressive wilderness, a flood plain renowned for its concentration of breeding herds of Kalahari elephants, hippos, kudu and many species of birds can be spotted. We enjoy dinner in the lodge.

DAY TWELVE – FRIDAY 16 MARCH BD

Morning transfer to the Zimbabwe border to take a local minibus for the hour’s journey to the Victoria Falls. A spectacular UNESCO World Heritage site where the Zambesi River pours through a 110 metre wide gorge gushing down 150 metres into a series of lower gorges. Walking through the mist caused by the spray, we encounter rich vegetation, glimpses of rainbows and admire the stupendous power of nature. On our return through the informative visitor centre, we continue to the town of Victoria Falls and to the elegant, colonial-style hotel to enjoy refreshments on the terrace, with views to the famous bridge over the Falls. Return to the border and on to Kasane to return to the Lodge by boat.

DAY THIRTEEN – SATURDAY 17 MARCH BLD

Morning game drive to experience the elephants, giraffes and lions and much more. Transfer to Kasane airport where we take a small light aircraft, Moremi Air, over the Okavango Delta to Rra Dinare Camp. The views of the Delta waterholes with game are impressive. We are welcomed at the Camp situated in the eastern Moremi private Concession. After tea and cakes, the late afternoon game drive commences. Lions and leopards are often seen, hippos grunt and elephant, giraffe, buffalo, jackal and wild dog can be spotted. It is a bird watcher’s paradise with pied kingfishers, Giant Eagle Owls and the African Jacana that hop among the water-lilies. On our return we sit around a camp fire, compare notes and enjoy a sundowner while dinner is being prepared.

DAY FOURTEEN – SUNDAY 18 MARCH BLD

A full day to enjoy a mokoro boat trip with a poler/guide along the water lily-lined channels, or a guided nature walk to discover the wild flowers, grasses and trees on one of the islands, and a game drive. A memorable day.

DAY FIFTEEN – MONDAY 19 MARCH BD

Morning game drive before our departure by light aircraft to Maun airport, transferring to a flight to Johannesburg and onwards overnight to London Heathrow where we arrive early morning (20 March).


“In 1836 William Cornwallis Harris led an expedition purely to observe and record wildlife and landscapes by the expedition’s members. Harris established the safari style of journey, starting with a not too strenuous rising at first light, an energetic day walking, an afternoon rest, concluding with a formal dinner and telling stories in the evening over drinks…”
Map of Namibia & Botswana


Tour Costs

£6,350 per person sharing
Single supplement £1100

Included:

All air flights, land transport, accommodation in lodges, delicious meals, local guided game drives, walks, boat excursions. All National Park entrance fees, tips for the local guides, visas for Botswana and Zimbabwe (acquired on the border). Professional guide/driver throughout except in the Delta, accompanied by Susan Worner. Water supplied on coach.

Not included:

Drinks, lunch when travelling, driver/guide and lodge guide tips, items of a personal nature.
Full cover of comprehensive travel insurance.

Notes:

The climate is very pleasant in March, the days are warm (about 24°C) and the nights cooler. Frequent short-lasting rainfall early in the evening.

Insect repellent is essential though it is low season for mosquitoes. Malaria protection is highly recommended (Malarone has been tried and tested by Susan: no side effects and full protection). The tented lodges have insect screens and ceiling fans.

Meals included are shown as B (breakfast), L (lunch) and D (dinner).

Lunches in the form of brunch are provided on return from a game drive or boat ride on days when we are based in the Lodge. Tea and cakes are often served in the afternoon followed by dinner. When we are travelling between lodges we stop for a light snack en route (not included).

Wifi is available in the lodges though not always reliable; but no connection, nor telephone use, is possible in the Delta at Rra Dinare Camp.

Both Namibia and Botswana are very safe; the indigenous people are most friendly and helpful. English is spoken everywhere. Zimbabwe is returning to a friendly, tourist-orientated country.

Activity Level:

Dry daytime heat, cooler at night. Travel days quite extensive in comfortable, air conditioned vehicle. Some walking.