Namibian Desert Savuti Safari Victoria Falls Odyssey – 1 night Solitaire | 2 nights Sossusvlei | 1 night Windhoek | 3 nights Savuti | 2 nights Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Kerry from Pembury Tours was wonderful in all of her planning and correspondence. We felt like she really listened to what we wanted to do and see and nothing was too much for her. We made a few changes and this was never a problem. We had the most amazing time with our cameras in Namibia especially. Botswana has always been a dream Safari destination for us and we saw everything we had hoped for and more. We had so much fun at Victoria Falls as well. Thank you Kerry for all you did – we will definitely recommend you to all of our friends and family.
Upon arrival at OR Tambo Airport, you will be met in the arrivals hall by our representative, who will hand over your travel documents and assist you through to the area, where you check in for your flight to Windhoek.
Upon arrival at Windhoek Airport (Hosea Kutako Airport) you will be my by our representative, who will assist you to the car hire. From here you depart and make your way to south to the village of Solitaire, where you spend the night.
Solitaire is a small settlement in the Khomas Region of central Namibia near the Namib-Naukluft National Park. It currently features the only gasoline station, bakery, cafe, and the only general dealer between the dunes at Sossusvlei and the coast at Walvis Bay, as well as to the capital Windhoek.
Flight Time: OR Tambo to Windhoek – ± 2 hours
Driving time: Windhoek Airport to Solitaire – ± 4 hours
After a hearty breakfast, you check out and depart. From here you make your way to Sossuslvlei, where you spend two nights. The sand dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert are often referred to as the highest dunes in the world. Various arguments are laid out to support this claim, but all miss the point, which is that Sossusvlei is surely one of the most spectacular sights in Namibia.
The second attraction of the area is Sesriem Canyon. The canyon derives its name from the fact that early Afrikaner trekkers had to use six (‘ses’) leather thongs (a thong is a ‘riem’) so that their buckets could reach the water far below. The canyon begins as an almost imperceptible but nevertheless deep cleft in level, stony ground, and then widens until it finally flattens out onto the plain. Because it is so deep and sheltered, it often holds water well into the dry season – an invigorating sight in such a barren and stark environment. The afternoon is at leisure and you can explore the surrounding area.
Today is at leisure and you can explore the Sossusvlei Park. Situated in the largest conservation area in Africa (the Namib-Naukluft National Park), Sossusvlei is possibly Namibia’s most spectacular and best-known attraction.
Characterised by the large red dunes that surround it, Sossusvlei is a large, white, salt and clay pan and is a great destination all year round. The dunes in this area are some of the highest in the world, reaching almost 400 meters, and provide photographic enthusiasts with wonderful images in the beautiful morning and evening light.
The day is at leisure and you can explore the area around Sossusvlei. You check out your lodge and from here depart back to Windhoek. Here you drop off you hire car and will be collected by your driver for your transfer to your guest house, where you spend the night.
Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, is located in a basin between the Khomas Highland, Auas and Eros Mountains. It is 1,680m above sea level, 650km north of the Orange River and 360km from the Atlantic seaboard. Whether due to pure luck or a brilliant stroke of Germanic planning, the city is situated in almost the countries epicenter. This location has obvious benefits when it comes to governing a country the size of Namibia, and also makes it the ideal place to start and plan any Namibian travel.
With an early morning start, you are collected from your guest house and transferred to Windhoek Airport. From here you check in for your flight to Botswana. On arrival in Kasane, you will be met by our representative, who will assist you to your light aircraft for your flight into the Savute. On arrival at the airstrip, you are met by your ranger and transferred to Ghoha Hills, where you spend three nights.
Transfer time: Guest house to Windhoek Airport – ± 45 minutes
Flight time: Windhoek to Johannesburg – ± 2 hours
Flight time: Johannesburg to Kasane – ± 2 hours
Flight time: Kasane to Savuti – ± 30 – 45 minutes
Transfer time: Savuti Airstrip to your lodge – ± 20 minutes
The Savuti area forms part of the southern section of the Chobe National Park on Botswana’s North West border and links up to the Okavango Delta & Moremi Game Reserve. This pristine wilderness of open plains, baobab trees, ancient woodland, swamps and flood plains, is home to the greatest concentration of game in the entire southern African subcontinent.
The Savuti Channel has a fascinating history of flooding and drying up independently of good rainy seasons and flood levels elsewhere – a mystery that has intrigued geologists and other researchers for many years. It is generally believed that tectonic activity deep below the Kalahari’s sand bed is responsible. Others argue that its flow is primarily dependent upon the rainfall in the Angolan highlands which feeds the Okavango and Chobe River basins and the channel.
In 2008, the Savuti Channel, having been dry for many years, once more became a deep, clear waterway harbouring Hippo and other aquatic life with a large variety of waterbirds. Wildlife, from plains game to predators, has had to adapt to a new source of water and all the opportunities and menaces it has brought with it. How long will it be before the water dries up again? Judging from historical records it could be more than a hundred years or less than ten.
The dead Camelthorn trees on the Savuti Marsh have become one of the most prominent features of the landscape – skeletons of trees drowned in the flood-waters at least 40 years ago. The shallow basin of the Mababe Depression is now the waterless bed of an ancient lake and the marsh itself is grassland that is home to large numbers of animals. The western edge of Savuti is formed by the Magwikhwe sand ridge, which is approximately 100 km long and 20m high. This is the ancient shoreline of a super-lake that once covered most of Northern Botswana. It is hard to imagine that this harsh, dry landscape was once submerged under an enormous inland sea. Another part of the Savuti is characterised by the Gubatsa Hills, which were formed millions of years ago during volcanic movement. These hills rise to a height of about 90 meters out of an otherwise completely flat landscape.
Birdlife is also amazing, with Secretary Birds and Kori Bustards often seen around the Savuti Marsh. Summer migrants and water birds include Abdim’s Storks, Carmine Bee-eaters, Fish Eagles. Red-billed Queleas, which gather in their thousands, are a spectacular sight as they wheel and turn in unison.
After your morning game activity and breakfast you are transferred to the Savuti Airstrip for your light aircraft flight from Savuti to Kasane Airport. On arrival in Kasane, you will be met by your driver, who will transfer you across the border to Zimbabwe and onto your hotel at the Victoria Falls, where you spend two nights. This afternoon you meet in reception for your sunset cruise. You will be transferred to the jetty and here you board the Ra-Ikane. After the cruise you are transferred back to the hotel and the evening is at leisure.
Transfer time: Lodge to Savute Airstrip – ± 20 minutes
Flight time: Savute to Kasane – ± 30 – 45 minutes
Transfer time: Kasane to Victoria Falls – ± 2 hours
Today is at leisure and you can explore the Victoria Falls Rainforest at will. The Victoria Falls is considered to be the largest waterfall in the world. See the mighty Zambezi River as it thunders over the 1700 metre wide Victoria Falls and plunges 100 metres into a narrow gorge below. The great columns of spray rising from the tumultuous falls can be seen from 80 kilometres away on a clear day. If you are lucky enough to be there at full moon, a “moonbow” can be seen in the spray instead of the usual daylight rainbow.
The Falls’ local name, Mosi-Oa-Tunya – “the Smoke that Thunders” – more accurately defines the essence of the place: the rising, shining spray that can be seen 30km away. This vapour has the effect of adding moisture in the form of humidity to the air in the “splash zone”, so that a unique, small rainforest ecosystem clings to the edge of the Falls, providing a toehold for no less than 70 shrub and 150 herbaceous species, as well as trees such as pod and Natal mahogany, ebony, Cape and strangler fig and Transvaal red milkwood. There are two National Parks in the vicinity: the Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe and the Mosi-oa-Tunya Zoological Park in Zambia, which means that herds of big game such as elephant and buffalo, as well as smaller species and even predators such as lion persist in the area.
The morning is at leisure and you can enjoy a hearty breakfast overlooking the bush. Your driver will meet you in reception for your transfer to the Victoria Falls Airport. Here you connect with your flight home.
Transfer time: Hotel to Victoria Falls Airport – ± 30 to 45 minutes