Southern Africa 31-Day Namibia, Botswana and Victoria Falls Travel Blog Part 1
This adventure blog has been compiled from our many 31-day adventures of Southern Africa over the years. Special thanks to Sharon Blyton who joined one of our 2014 adventures and for sharing her adventure story which is the basis for this blog.
To see the full route of this adventure clink here.
Day 1 Windhoek Arrival
As you approach the international airport in Windhoek it becomes clear how sparsely populated Namibia is, one can be forgiven for thinking the pilot is lining up for a remote bush landing strip as there is very little sign of much outside apart from vast landscape dotted with trees.
Entering Namibia is an easy experience with Australians not requiring any visas. It's just a bit of routine arrival paperwork before we are met by our transfer driver and we take the 45 minute drive to Londiningi Guest house in the suburbs of Windhoek where our adventure begins.
On our way to Londiningi we spot of our first bit of wildlife, two baboons wandering along the side of the road, our driver jokes that these two are locals and are famous for putting on a show for tourists arriving.
That evening we meet our local Self Drive Adventures guide, Dave and our other fellow travellers who are all equally as excited to be in Africa and looking forward to starting our adventure.
Dave our guide really knows his “shit”
Dave will be leading the convoy of 7 cars took us through our route and the arrangements for the next couple of days. I feel like we are in safe hands with Dave who was a paramedic in former life before he started exploring Africa and training fellow guides in this area.
After our briefing we head out for a group dinner at Joe’s Beerhouse which is a vibrant beer garden not to far away from Londiningi with a menu as exotic as it décor that included Oryx, Kudu, Zebra, Springbok, Crocodile and Ostrich. After a delicious dinner where we sampled some of these exotic flavors and got to know our fellow travellers we retired to the comfy and quiet surroundings of Londiningi to get a good night’s sleep.
Day 2 Windhoek Car Collection
After an early start and delicious cooked breakfast, we were on the way to collect the rental 4x4’s that we would be calling home for the next 30 days of our adventure.
Collecting the 4x4 took a couple of hours. We went through a demonstration of how all the equipment worked and worked through our checklist to make sure nothing was left behind. After collecting the car, it was off the shops to do a stock up of supplies for our days out in the wilderness.
Enjoying the the demo of our rental 4x4
The Spar Supermarket in Windhoek had a fantastic selection of food that included a range of different meats that are vacuum packed for a long journey, long life bread, delicious cheeses and most of all, the regular supplies you would find in an Australian supermarket. There is a bottle store with a great selection of tasty South African wines and Windhoek larger the local beer which is very refreshing. In the afternoon we all packed our cars to head out early the next morning.
Stocking up in Windhoek and packing the cars
Day 3 Windhoek to Tautona Camp Botswana After a quick group photo, we started on our adventure into the African wilderness. We began to see our first signs of wildlife just into our drive after a quick stop for morning tea. A few more Baboons along with Warthogs and Yellow Hornbills.
Wildlife on our way to Botswana
We had pre-arranged a packed lunch with Londiningi which came beautifully wrapped in a little brown bag and enjoyed this on the road just before we reached the border between Namibia and Botswana. Dave guided us through the border and paperwork and in under 30 minutes we were officially in Botswana.
Although we are travelling in the winter of Southern Africa, it is still quite warm around midday at about 30 degrees. By mid-afternoon, we arrive at Tautona camp just outside the small village of Ghanzi, and as dusk approaches, we gather around the campfire for our first happy hour under the African stars.
African Sunsets are the best
Day 4 Tautona Camp to Audi Camp
Our route today took us from the dry landscape of Ghanzi to Maun the unofficial Safari capital of Botswana as many tourists use the town as a launchpad to explore that surrounding Chobe and Savuti national parks. The town's name is derived from the local Seyei dialect and translates in “The place of river reeds” it is aptly named as Maun sits on the Thamalakane River which flows in the famed Okavango Delta.
When we first booked our adventure, we opted to do one of the extra activities, a scenic flight over the Okavango Delta in a small fixed-wing aircraft. On this flight we got to see the expanse of the Delta and spotted some wildlife from above included our first herd of Elephants.
The Okavango Delta by air (thanks Erwin Wong)
When we returned to Audi camp, we were introduced to Chris our wildlife guide who would be taking us through the national parks over the next few days. It was fascinating to hear about all the game viewing that we could expect to see in the next couple of days.
Days 5 & 6 Audi Camp to Third Bridge Moremi National Park As soon as we entered Moremi National Park, a few of us jumped out of the 4x4’s into Chris’s Safari car for the rest of the drive to Third Bridge Campsite.
The Safari Car
Being in the Safari car was a fantastic experience with no windows it was all open, which allowed 100% visibility. To be able to experience the environment this way, it felt like you were part of it, to feel, smell and see everything in the open air was terrific. It was perfect for photography.
Just some of the incredible game viewing at Third Bridge
Chris has some terrific guiding skills, and over the next 2 days, we got more than our fair share of wildlife including 3 male lions unsuccessfully stalking zebra, a pack of wild dog and a massive herd of elephants. Chris also managed to track down a Cheetah with 2 young cubs just by picking up a footprint on the dusty track.
Cheetah and young cub
At night our campsite was unfenced and Chris has briefed us all on not wandering around away from camp after dark…. Not even to the loo as Hyena and other predators can often wander through camp scavenging for food. One afternoon when we returned from the game drive we were greeted by a few elephants that had dropped into our campsite.
Elephants in Camp (thanks Chris Dandridge)
Camping in Africa is impressive , I mean where else in the world can you got to sleep with the sound of hippos and lions in the background !
Day 7 “The Luck Beans “ Each day there is a morning and afternoon game drive, and between the group, we take turns in the game viewer as it can only make 8 at a time. Those not in the Safari car often follow in the 4x4’s, and we keep in radio contact with them passing on any information that Chris is giving us during a game sighting.
With so much to see out there every day is an early start and we are lucky enough to come across Wild Dog again resting at their den. Their faces are red with blood, and they must have made a kill overnight.
Chris gets a call on his radio from a fellow wildlife guide that there are lions close by and we went to take a closer look. Check out the video below for what happened next – it took us all by surprise.