Susan Worner Tours

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

03 – 18 March 2017

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 – FRIDAY 03 MARCH D

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

DAY TWO – SATURDAY 04 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 – SUNDAY 05 MARCH BLD

Morning walk on the plateau with a knowledgeable 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. Tea and cakes before setting off on a game drive in the bush savannah with a chance to see eland, warthog, giraffe and perhaps rhino. Return for dinner.

DAY FOUR – MONDAY 06 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 – TUESDAY 07 MARCH BD

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. Relaxing afternoon and after dinner we enjoy a night drive in the reserve to discover Onguma’s nocturnal creatures.

DAY SIX – WEDNESDAY 08 MARCH BD

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 reserve returning for dinner together.

DAY SEVEN – THURSDAY 09 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 – FRIDAY 10 MARCH BPND

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 – SATURDAY 11 MARCH BPND

On departing from the lodge we visit the Popa Falls where the river becomes a rapid, dividing and creating different islands. The birdlife and wild vegetation on the river bank is prolific. We head east along the narrow Caprivi strip and follow the Kwando river to Nkasa Lupala Lodge, in pristine wilderness of the Mamili National Park and the Wuparo Conservation Area facing Botswana. Afternoon boat cruise in the Kwando-Linyati delta river with a knowledgeable guide. Sundowner to be enjoyed from a viewing point as the sun sets before dinner together.

DAY TEN – SUNDAY 12 MARCH BLD

Morning 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. In the afternoon we relax before joining a birding and game-viewing boat cruise until sunset. Dinner together.

DAY ELEVEN – MONDAY 13 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 our hotel in Kasane, Chobe Marina Lodge. Our afternoon river cruise in the Chobe National Park, an impressive wilderness, a flood plain renowned for its concentration of breeding herds of Kalahari elephants, hippos, kudu and many species of birds – an unforgettable visit. We return for dinner in the lodge.

DAY TWELVE – TUESDAY 14 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 afternoon tea on the terrace, with views to the famous bridge over the Falls. Return to the border and on to Kasane.

DAY THIRTEEN – WEDNESDAY 15 MARCH BLD

Transfer to Kasane airport after breakfast where we take a small light aircraft, Moremi Air, over the Okavango Delta to Pom Pom Camp. The views of the Delta waterholes with game are impressive. We are welcomed at the Lodge situated in the Matsebe concession area, the Nxabega. Lunch on the deck watching the wildlife and birds. 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 – THURSDAY 16 MARCH BLD

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

DAY FIFTEEN – FRIDAY 17 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 (18 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

£5,950 per person sharing Single supplement £840

Included:

All flights and land transport.
Accommodation in lodges.
Local guided game drives, walks, boat excursions.
All National Park entrance fees, 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, local guide and lodge tips
Items of a personal nature.

Full travel insurance.

Activity Level:

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


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.
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).
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.
B – Breakfast
L – Lunch
PN – Picnic
D – Dinner