Zimbabwe, Vic Falls, Namibia, Botswana
June 25 – July 5, 2019

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“I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy” – Ernest Hemingway

Experience thrills in wild kingdoms in three African countries – each with distinct ecosystems that are packed with animals. We really raised the bar here. It’s the ultimate wilderness safari that will give you goosebumps! And we’re doing two small groups back to back to provide a more intimate experiences.

In Zimbabwe from our luxury lodge, we tour incomprehensible Victoria Falls, visit a village market and taste a real Boma bush dinner. You can raft the powerful Zambezi, do a lion encounter and ride the amazing Gorge swing. I thought everyone had visited Vic Falls, the 5th Natural Wonder of the World, but AFSer are still begging. So, we present our 10th trip to “Mosi-oa-Tunya” – “The Smoke that Thunders. You can paraglide right over them and get your best selfie at falls edge in the iconic “Devil’s Pool.”

OMG Caprivi!! Never heard of Namibia’s Caprivi Strip? Only the wisest travelers know of this best kept secret. This gem is part of the Okavango Delta with the same wildlife at half the cost. It’s called the “Kalahari Panhandle” with ancient baobab trees and endangered wild dogs – the smartest creatures on earth. Here’s an extraordinary convergence of 5 mighty rivers from 4 countries. In the floodplains of in Namibia’s Mudamu National Park, we see unique fish, birdlife, countless hippos, crocs and ellies on our game drive. You will love “glamping” in our fabulous tents where zebras roam. (Yes, they have hairdryers!)

Our grand finale is legendary Chobe Botswana, “Land of the Giants” with the world’s highest concentration of elephants – around 75,000 in Chobe alone (260,000 in Botswana.) Its Africa’s only country that prohibits trophy hunting. Imagine sipping wine on tranquil boating safaris in waters holding Southern Africa’s greatest number of animals as flocks of fish eagles soar overhead. You can’t count the hippos and Kalahari ellies here. Then, get your cameras ready for a game drive into Big Cat Territory into Chobe National Park as we track leopards, lions, hyena and their prey on the run at Sunset!

June is the best month to go here for weather and the dry season that draws abundant animals out of the bush to waterholes. It’s priced ridiculously low and will sell out fast. Africa is like potato chips – you just can’t stop after one visit. Whether you’re a first-timer or an AFS Afriholic, each day on this vacation will be exhilarating with your best photos and memories of a lifetime.

 

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Lonely Planet Says…

CAPRIVI –

Namibia’s spindly northeastern appendage, the Caprivi Strip (now officially known as Namibia’s Zambezi region, although the name is taking time to catch on…) is typified by expanses of mopane and terminalia broadleaf forest, and punctuated by shonas (fossilised parallel dunes that are the remnants of a drier climate). For most travellers, the Caprivi serves as the easiest access route connecting the main body of Namibia with Victoria Falls and Botswana’s Chobe National Park.  But Caprivi is also one of Southern Africa’s wildlife destinations to watch. After decades of poaching, the region’s wildlife is returning and visitors with time and patience can get off the beaten path here, exploring such emerging wildlife gems as Nkasa Rupara and Bwabwata National Parks.

 

CHOBE NAT PARK –

Famed for some of the world’s largest herds of massive elephants, Chobe National Park in Botswana’s far northeastern corner is one of the great wildlife destinations of Africa. In addition to the mighty pachyderms, a full suite of predators and more than 440 recorded bird species.  It encompasses three iconic wildlife areas that all carry a whiff of safari legend: Chobe Riverfront, which supports the park’s largest wildlife concentration; the newly accessible and Okavango-like Linyanti Marshes; and the remote and soulful Savuti, with wildlife to rival anywhere.

 

 

Our Glorious AFS Itinerary

Download Printable PDF Itinerary

June 25 –  Fly USA into VFA  (Vic Falls, Zimbabwe)   Group air details or doing own air to follow in emailed AFS Trip Tips.

 June 26 – Welcome to  Victoria Falls, Boma Dinner

 Land portion begins.  We would like everyone to be at the Victoria Falls airport by 1PM so we can arrange transfers. We’ll go immediately to the amazing Elephant Hills Resort located on the edge of the mighty Zambezi River. You can see the mist from Victoria Falls from the resort while you enjoy the wildlife that wander the grounds. The Zambezi flows between Zimbabwe and Zambia, but Zimbabwe has always been the most popular access point. The force of the water sends a spray up into the air that can be seen from as far as a 19 miles away.

Once you are settled in, we will prepare for our special welcome feast at the must-experience Boma Dinner and Drum Show! We’ll receive a traditional greeting in the local languages, Shona and Ndebele and then wear ‘chitenges’ – the traditional robes. As we dine on local cuisine beneath the magnificent African sky, we will be immersed in the local culture of song and dance by local Amakwezi traditional dancers, a story teller and a witchdoctor.

Explore our resort with 18 hole golf course, 3 restaurants, spa, 2 swimming pools, Adventure Booking Center, shops and more.

Elephant Hills Hotel   (3 Nights) B, D

June 27 – GUIDED TOUR OF SPECTACULAR VICTORIA FALLS            

Vic Falls – Now in their 150 millionth Fantastic Year and today you experience it first-hand. The thunder of the falls from the Zambezi spilling over into Bakota Gorge will leave you awestruck – the sight, the sound, the smell, the humbling feeling that here indeed is Nature’s Supreme Masterpiece. Nothing prepares you for your first sight and your photos can only attempt to capture a sight that comes equipped with feelings that will last a lifetime.

You will be accompanied through the Rainforest by a trained guide who will give a history of the Falls as well as detailing the flora, fauna, bird & wildlife and other points of interest. Raincoats are provided when needed to protect against the spray from the falls. Rainbows are almost guaranteed!

In the afternoon, we’ll visit a traditional Zimbabwean village for a journey back in time. These colorful people will share with us their lifestyle and customs as we witness their primitive living conditions.  We’ll also have a chance to browse at the local handicraft market with so much to bargain for.

Elephant Hills Hotel. B

June 28 – Free at Last!     

After breakfast buffet, the day is at leisure for many choices of optional activities. The choices available are unbelievable. Everything from gorge swing, bungee jumping, paragliding “Flight of Angles”, whitewater rafting, zip lining, visit to an elephant sanctuary, Lion Encounter and more.

Elephant Hills Hotel. B

June 29 – OVERLAND TO CAPRIVI STRIP, NAMIBIA         

Today, we travel around 5 hours through game areas to the Kasane border and the area known as the Caprivi Strip or “Kalahari Panhandle” extending 400 miles in northern Namibia.  Caprivi is a part of Namibia and is located just the east of Okavango Region, bordered by Zambia, Angola, Botswana. It is bordered by 4 rivers – the Zambezi, Chobe, Kwando and Okavango, so it’s only appropriate that we take to the waters when we arrive at Camp Kwando. Enjoy a two-hour safari cruise on a relaxing journey while exploring this unique region.  It’s the perfect way to see hippos, elephants, buffaloes, impalas, wild dogs, prolific birdlife and so much more.

Our home for the next two nights is a true oasis in the untamed land. Nestled on the banks of the Kwando river (Zambezi Region), Camp Kwando invites you to come and explore the hidden treasures of the region. Capture the spirit of the African bush while sipping sundowners from the beautiful overhead deck and experience the thrill of the hauntingly beautiful call of the African fish eagle. Our elevated Thatch Roof Tents await on the bank of the river. To call these tents is almost a mistake. These glorious solar powered accommodations have all of the comforts of home with en suite bathrooms and a deck off the back for views.

CAMP Kwando  (2 nights) B D

June 30  – MORNING GAME DRIVE MUDUMU GAME PARK                    

We start our day in the incomparable Mudumu National Park location for TV series, ‘Naked & Afraid’. This park is rich with wildlife that comes to enjoy its abundant waters. With the Kwando River to the west, Mudumu is known for its tranquil lagoons, narrow flowing channels and stupendous riverine forests. Be on the lookout for spotted neck otter, hippo and Nile crocodile which inhabit the waterways. And there is a staggering over 430 species of birds who call this place home – including cranes, storks, ibis and jacana, a fascinating sight to behold, as they race across lily beds on broad webbed feet!

Mudumu also has an impressive expanse of dense savannah and mopane woodland, teaming with wildlife. We will encounter elephant, buffalo, roan, sable, kudu, impala, oribi and zebra as you drive through thick forest and over wide floodplains. But keep an eye out for the predators. Lion roam, leopard and hyena hunt at night and packs of African wild dog are now raising litters in the park.

When we return to our camp, enjoy our own waters – the river. Look for with the ripples of turtles and the swirl of the fanged tiger fish. Local fisherman ply their trade from their mokoro’s (dug-out canoes) casting their nets for tilapia. Fall asleep tonight to the unmistakable sounds of frogs croaking and Modumu’s hippos responding with a throaty chuckle.

Overnight: CAMP Kwando. B D

My friend Louise, Namibian tour operator  about Caprivi

If you are looking for somewhere “off the beaten track” with a true wilderness feel, the Mahango area of the Bwabwata National Park is well worth considering. Located in the northeast of Namibia on the Botswana border, the contrasting vegetation Mahango Game Reserve is widely considered one of Namibia’ s most varied and fascinating conservation areas.

There are three distinct habitats that can be identified, the river, which offers a blend of trees, reeds and grasses along its banks and on the wetlands. One tree that you will quickly recognize is the baobab. The Omurambas, which are fossil rivers, are covered with open grassland with tall acacia and bushwillow around the borders. Between the Mahango Omuramba in the north and the Thinderevu Omuramba in the south, the vegetation is open dry woodland with some thick patches of Zambezi teak, wild seringa and wild teak.

Year round water ensures an abundance of game, however, during the dry winter months, April-November, your chances of seeing game is higher as the animals seek out the river and waterholes. Mahango is home to many antelope, if you are fortunate you may spot; roan, sable, reedbuck, tsessebe, sitatunga, red lechwe, kudu, Chobe bushbuck, Duiker and Steenbok.

Apart from antelope, you can expect to see Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Wildog, Hippo, Crocodile, Warthog Baboon and Vervet Monkey.. The large herds of elephant are migrants, moving between Angola and the Okavango Delta, outside the dry season sightings will be fewer. During the wet summer months, November-March, birdlife is prolific. After it rains various trees flower and bear fruit attracting an abundance of insects and creating a birding paradise. Over 400 bird species have been recorded in the Mahango Reserve.  Unguided walking is permitted, but there are dangers, for the ultimate experience you may decide to employ the services of a knowledgeable local guide who is familiar with the region.

July 1 – DEPART NAMIBIA TO CHOBE  BOTSWANA

Before we head out in the morning, we have the opportunity for an optional visit to a Namibian village. Just next door to Camp Kwando where the villagers have created a home where they can present you with various fishing and hunting techniques, as well as their traditions on their everyday life. Most of it has been protected for centuries. The Medicine Man of the village will show you how different dances were used against various illnesses.

We’ll then travel about 4 hours to our next home, Botswana!  You’ll love Mowana Safari Lodge and Spa on the Chobe River. Completely refurbished, the resort has gorgeous grounds overlooking the river and includes two restaurants and an Olympic sized pool.

Mowana Safari Lodge (3 nights).  B D

July 2  – BOAT SAFARI CRUISE    AND GAME DRIVE CHOBE                                                  

Start the day with a boat cruise on the Chobe and witness the abundance of animals which come to its shores. Along with many species of big game, Chobe National Park is affectionately known as “The land of the Giants” boasting countless elephant. It’s the largest concentration in Africa and no doubt we will see scores of these gentle giants as they come down to the river to play, mate, drink and bathe. Also, many hippo pods, crocs and even giraffe on shore.

We take to the land in the afternoon for a Game Drive through Chobe National Park in our 4×4 vehicles on the hunt for the King of the Jungle -the lion. This game drive is especially famed for its lion sightings. But also keep your eyes peeled for monkeys, the rare red lechwe, puku and sitatunga antelopes as well as to most big game species associated with a classic African safari. All cats and predators chase prey at dusk.

Mowana Safari Lodge BLD

July 3 – MORNING GAME DRIVE, SUNSET RIVER CRUISE                                                                    

Early morning safaris are thrilling with abundant animals.  We’ll start the day with another Game Drive through this amazing park to rack up seeing more numbers of the abundant species of wildlife you will see here. If you didn’t get that perfect picture before – here is another opportunity.

You’ll have some free time in the afternoon to enjoy the resort or venture into the town of Kasane. Our evening includes another Chobe River Sunset Cruise. We’ll have the unforgettable experience of witnessing the more wildlife on the banks of the Chobe National Park. Relax with a cocktail as the Sun sinks into the Chobe River.

Mowana Safari Lodge. BLD

July 4  – TRANSFER TO AIRPORT                                                   

Today, it’s time to bid farewell. Transfer from resort to Kasane airport 0r Johanseburg Airport for your connecting flights home.  Arrive home July 5!   B

This small groups of only 26 each may sell out in a day, so Book Now!  It’s our only Africa trip for 2019.

BOOK NOW  if trip full, then WAITLIST

Land Price $2985

Deposit $500

Includes:  All services, tours and meals stated above.  Expert rangers, guides and AFS GTL, upscale accommodations, national park fees.

Not Included:  Gratuities (added to invoice), new easy Univisa paid upon arrival $50

Air – See Trip Tips for all details!  Those not flying out of Kasane, will need transfer back to VF $55.

Limited to 26 participants

 

All prices are per person twin share.  Single rooms limited per group and a single supplement applies.  Cost set by hotel/cruiseline and vary considerably.  AFS will find you a roommate match.  Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS.
Land – Price based on a minimum number of trip participants, as well as local currency exchange rates which can fluctuate. We write our Itineraries a year in advance. Though unlikely, we reserve the right to modify schedules, tours and hotels if necessary. All hotel rooms are “run of house.”
Group air – Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and the group is ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until the group air is set or we advise – though unlikely, airlines, times and dates can change!

Elephant Hills Resort

Camp Kwando

 

Mowana Safari Lodge

Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS.
Land – Price based on a minimum number of trip participants, as well as local currency exchange rates which can fluctuate. We write our Itineraries a year in advance. Though unlikely, we reserve the right to modify schedules, tours and hotels if necessary. All hotel rooms are “run of house.”
Group air – Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and the group is ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until the group air is set or we advise – though unlikely, airlines, times and dates can change!