Trip Overview

Trip Overview

  • Set out on a desert drive amid the red dunes of Sossusvlei and examine ancient San petroglyphs at Twyfelfontein.
  • Go on a game drive with a researcher sponsored by National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative.
  • Stroll the Mondesa market with a local guide, and then enjoy dinner in a family home.
  • Tour the facilities of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, an organization National Geographic has supported, and then seek out cheetahs in the wild.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Delve into the wildernesses of South Africa and Namibia on an unforgettable 16-day adventure. Search for the "big five" with a National Geographic researcher, explore the stunning dunes of the parched Namib Desert, and meet scientists at the National Geographic-supported Cheetah Conservation Fund. As you track animals in the wild, find your element amid the rawness of the African bush.

This trip is offered in partnership with
G Adventures.

Day 1: Johannesburg
Arrive at any time. Transfer to hotel. Enjoy a traditional South African braai (barbecue) welcome dinner.
Meals Included:Dinner
Day 2: Johannesburg/Greater Kruger Area
Enjoy a full day 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 near the Kruger National Park and this evening enjoy a delicious South African dinner in the boma.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations:Muluwa Lodge (or similar)
Day 3: Kruger National Park
Enjoy a morning wildlife safari drive through Kruger National Park in an open vehicle. Take in views of the abundant wildlife including elephants, lions, and giraffe. In the afternoon, opt to extend your safari drive or head back to the lodge where you can take a short nature walk or relax on the deck with views of the surrounding area.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations:Muluwa Lodge (or similar)
Day 4: Greater Kruger Area/Karongwe Private Game Reserve
Continue on to a private nature reserve in the Greater Kruger area. This afternoon, meet with a researcher from the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Cheetah Metapopulation Project who will share information about their efforts to protect cheetahs and other carnivores. This National Geographic-sponsored project is part of the Big Cats Initiative. After, the researcher will join us on our evening wildlife safari drive.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Karongwe Private Game Reserve - Lodges (or similar)
Day 5: Karongwe Private Game Reserve
Enjoy early morning and afternoon safari drives with our local guides, searching for buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinos – Africa's famed Big Five. In our down time, relax at the camp, take a walk around the grounds, or enjoy a cool drink on the deck.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Karongwe Private Game Reserve - Lodges (or similar)
Day 6: Karongwe Private Game Reserve/Johannesburg
After one last wildlife safari drive, head back to the city. In the evening, enjoy dinner at our local guest house.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations:Malikana Guesthouse (or similar)
Day 7: Johannesburg/Windhoek
Fly to Windhoek and transfer to the hotel. Free time to explore Windhoek in the afternoon and then meet your CEO and the rest of the group in the evening.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Accommodations:Windhoek Country Club Resort (or similar)
Day 8: Windhoek/Sesriem
Enjoy the dramatic Namibian landscapes as we drive to the desert area of Sesriem, gateway to Namib-Naukluft National Park. Settle in to our desert lodge, relax at the pool, or enjoy a cool drink watching the stunning sunset over the desertscape.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations:Sossusvlei Lodge (or similar)
Day 9: Sesriem
Embark on a scenic excursion into the national park to explore the Namib Desert. Visit Sossusvlei and Deadvlei — clay pans covered in a crust of salt-rich sand surrounded by burnt orange and red towering dunes. It's considered one of the most stunning desert landscapes in Africa. After, visit Sesriem Canyon, a natural gorge carved out by the Tsauchab River.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations:Sossusvlei Lodge (or similar)
Day 10: Sesriem/Swakopmund
Continue through changing desert landscapes, keeping an eye out for free-roaming zebra, kudu, springbok, and oryx. Stop in the quirky town of Solitaire for a break before heading out into the countryside. Here we meet a local to this remote region who takes us on a drive and talks about the survival strategies of ancient bushmen who lived in the area. We also search out smaller animal life that manages to survive in these harsh conditions such as snakes, geckos, spiders, and insects to learn how they have adapted to this arid region. After, continue to Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations:Hotel Zum Kaiser (or similar)
Day 11: Swakopmund
Enjoy a free morning. Opt to go sandboarding, or just take a walk in town. This afternoon, explore the township of Mondesa with a local guide, learning about its people and history. Visit the local market for an introduction to traditional food including wild spinach, mopane worms, and dried kapenta fish. Also visit an art and craft shop, meet with some locals, then visit a family-run establishment for dinner and local entertainment.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations:Hotel Zum Kaiser (or similar)
Day 12: Swakopmund/Palmwag
Continue on to Twyfelfontein where we visit the ancient petroglyphs which were named Namibia's first UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site is thought to hold the largest concentrations of Bushman engravings in Africa, with over 2500 figures, ranging from 2000-5000 years old. Finish the day on the Palmwag Concession, in northwest Damaraland.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations:Palmwag Lodge (or similar)
Day 13: Palmwag/Etosha National Park
Enjoy a relaxed morning at the lodge, or opt for a guided nature walk in the Palmwag Concession. In the afternoon we continue to our lodge located in the Etosha National Park area, considered the greatest wildlife sanctuary in Namibia. This evening, spend time at the waterhole to view the abundant wildlife who come to drink.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Dinner
Day 14: Etosha National Park
Embark on two open vehicle safari drives today: one in the early morning to see the sunrise and another in the afternoon. Both drives will be led by a local guide from the national park. There is abundant wildlife that congregate around the waterholes, so keep your cameras at the ready for elephants, lions, endangered black rhinos, and even leopards. Over lunch, you have time to relax at the lodge, take a swim, or sit back and watch the animals as the come to the waterhole.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Dinner
Day 15: Etosha National Park/Windhoek
After breakfast, visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund, a global field research and education facility founded by Dr. Laurie Marker whose research has been supported by National Geographic. Tour the facility to learn about the important research, conservation, and community outreach work they do as one of the world’s leading organizations dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild. Meet with a researcher for a lecture to learn about the various projects in the works, then enjoy a cheetah drive to view some of these amazing creatures up close. After, enjoy lunch on the veranda overlooking the magnificent Waterberg Plateau. Continue on to Windhoek for our final evening.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations:Windhoek Country Club Resort (or similar)
Day 16: Windhoek
Depart at any time.
Meals Included:Breakfast