Gazing out over Cape Town from Table Mountain, the panorama alone is worth the trip to southern Africa. Then again, this epic 19-day adventure to South Africa and Namibia is filled with rewards for travelers. Marvel at the Cape Floral Kingdom on stunning display at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, watch for the Big Five in Kruger National Park, and climb dunes in the sweeping deserts of Namibia. Along the way, the views just may change your outlook.
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.
Visit Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens with an expert guide on a tour specially designed for National Geographic Journeys. National Geographic Traveler magazine named these gardens among the top ten in the world. Continue on to explore vibrant Cape Town and Cape Point, stopping to see the penguins at Boulders Beach. Enjoy free time the next day to hike Table Mountain or embark on a wine tour around Stellenbosch. (2B)
Fly to Johannesburg, and enjoy a traditional South African braai (barbecue). (1B, 1D)
Take a 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. In the morning, take an included game drive inside Kruger National Park in an open safari vehicle. Take in views of the abundant wildlife from your seat. Opt to take an afternoon game drive or bush walk, or relax on the deck with views of the watering hole, a popular spot for game to visit. In the evening, enjoy stunning views and an incredible dinner on the deck at the lodge. (2B, 1D)
Enjoy morning and evening open-vehicle game drives in a private nature reserve, searching for Africa’s “big five”—lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and Cape buffalo. Meet with a researcher from the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Cheetah Metapopulation Project, a project managed by National Geographic grantee Vincent van der Merwe that is part of National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative. A member of Vincent’s team will tell us about their ongoing field research and join us on one of our game drives. (2B, 1L, 2D)
After a morning game drive, head back to the city. This evening, savor a home-cooked meal at our guesthouse. The next day, fly to Windhoek, Namibia’s capital. Transfer to our hotel and enjoy free time this afternoon to explore this charming city. (2B, 1D)
Take in dramatic desert landscapes on our drive to the outpost town of Sesriem. The next day, embark on a 4x4 excursion into the otherworldly landscapes of Namib-Naukluft National Park. Take in the park’s towering red dunes of Sossusvlei, and keep an eye out for springbok, bat-eared foxes, and other desert wildlife. Continue to Sesriem Canyon, carved into the rock by the Tsauchab River over millions of years. (2B, 2D)
Set out on a desert drive with a local and discuss the survival strategies of the San in the surrounding harsh environments before heading to Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast. The next day, take advantage of a free morning to go quad-biking, or take a walk through town. Later, stroll the lively market of Mondesa with a guide, and then drop by Datango, an arts-and-crafts shop that offers employment opportunities to youth. Continue to a family home for dinner, accompanied by entertainment from the local choir. (2B, 1L, 1D)
Travel to Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to view ancient San petroglyphs dating back over 5,000 years. Depart early the next day to visit the 280-million-year-old Petrified Forest before continuing to our lodge in the Etosha National Park area. Over the next two days, set out on open-vehicle game drives, and take time to relax at the lodge. (3B, 1D)
Visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund, a global field research facility founded by Dr. Laurie Marker whose research has been supported by National Geographic. Tour the facility and learn about its ongoing work before enjoying a game drive to view cheetahs up close. Enjoy lunch on the veranda overlooking the magnificent Waterberg Plateau, and then return to Windhoek for our final evening. Depart at any time the following day. (2B, 1L)
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