This overland safari in Africa was a fantastic trip and the first on our bucket list. It was full of adrenaline, and adventure but at the same time stress-free and relaxing. It was a life experience that we will never forget and will cherish forever. We recommend everyone wondering to do a safari and to expats living in Africa, it’s almost mandatory.
So, what exactly happened on this trip for it to be so good? Let’s see, we:
- Visited 4 amazing countries: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia (kind of);
- Met people from all over the world, USA, South Africa, UK, Switzerland, Netherlands;
- Traveled by car, truck, speedboat, helicopter, airplane, 4×4;
- Rafted in the Zambezi;
- Flew in a helicopter in Victoria falls;
- Went to the Namib Desert and drove in the sand dunes, did quad-biking and sand boarding;
- Went on a bush walk with the San Bushman;
- Saw Leopards, wild dogs, elephants, eagles, Hippos, buffaloes, and crocodiles;
The trip started with an 8-day overland Safari from Windhoek (Namibia) to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe). Then we stayed in Vic falls for 3 days, returned to Windhoek, and finally visited Swakopmund and Walvis Bay before returning to Luanda. Though you could also do a very similar self-drive trip through Namibia, Botwana and victoria falls.
Why should you do an Overland Safari in Africa?
Our overland Safari was organized by Nomad Africa Adventure tours, and we traveled in an adventure truck, accommodated in tents, huts, and sometimes hotels.
It was the first time we did an overland-organized tour. We usually prefer self-driving tours to have the flexibility to do our own itinerary at our own pace. Yet, this was a good decision, the roads in Africa sometimes aren’t in good shape, and if you have car trouble in the middle of nowhere, it can be a problem. Besides, crossing borders and overall safety could be tricky, making it all very easy. Also, we quickly found out this was an excellent way to meet people and have a stress-free voyage, without worries.
Why did we choose to do this safari…? Basically, their itinerary covered all the places we wanted to go, and the tour dates matched our holidays; it was a good value for money.
We didn’t regret going on the tented version of the safari. Camping was an awesome experience, although our tent didn’t have the right pole sizes, and when it rained, we were always wondering if it was going to rain in the tent. It did rain considerably twice, and the tents resisted well.
The truck was cool and spacious, although the seats were uncomfortable when we had to spend many hours sitting. Besides these small things, we were very pleased with Nomad.
Overland Safari Itinerary
We started our voyage in Windhoek, a super relaxed city with a good vibe. Windhoek is the capital of Namibia, a very clean city where there aren’t many tall buildings, you see a few cars and few people on the roads. You can feel safe and stress-free. Surely, one of the quietest capital cities in Africa.
We visited the Christ Church and the National Museum of Namibia, which is free. Did some shopping (Angolan style). We ate in a very touristy restaurant, after all, we are tourists, Joe’s Beerhouse. This restaurant has fantastic decoration and tasty food, a mixture of African and German Cuisine; just like the rest of the country, you can find a fusion of two so remote countries on different continents that sometimes it is weird.
The next 8 days were spent in the adventure truck 🙂 The tour started in Windhoek, and from there, we traveled to Botswana. A 530 km (329 miles) drive through the Kalahari Desert, the land of the Bushmen. The scenery is dry, sandy, and full of small bushes, acacias, and donkeys (yes, donkeys!) on the roadside. We overnighted in Ghazni Trail Blazers, sleep in a San Bushman hut ( that was so cool), and had an opportunity to do a bush walk and, at night, see a San Bushmen tribal dance.
The next destination was the Okavango Delta, and we stayed there for 3 days. We spend the night camping in Sepupa in Swamp, stopping by the river. And the next day caught a speedboat and went to explore the Okavango.
The Okavango was exceptional, it was the dry season, so there was less water, allowing us to do trails that, in the wet season, would be covered with water. Explored the delta in a Mokoro (small canoe), watching the hippos and crocodiles.
These were 3 fantastic days in the oasis in the middle of the desert with plenty of wildlife. It made us appreciate how incredible nature is and will make us want to watch all the National Geographic/discovery shows about the region.
After the Delta, we headed to Caprivi Region (back in Namibia) and then Chobe National Park (back in Botswana). In the Chobe National Park, we spent an afternoon doing a boat cruise in the Chobe River; when in the middle, it started raining cats and dogs, so we saw wet animals and enjoyed the rainy view.
The next morning was stunning, we visited the Chobe National Park, and we always thought we didn’t what it to end. We were able to see a rare black sable (that made our day, it’s the Angolan symbol), also leopard just sitting by the side of the 4×4 of the safari, saw wild dogs playing in a mud lagoon, vultures eating a dead elephant (this wasn’t so nice), Baboons eating fruit on top of a tree. We would have liked to spend more time in the park, we spend a morning there.
Weirdly, we barely saw elephants in Chobe…
In the afternoon crossed the border to Zimbabwe and went to Vic Falls National park. The Vic Falls are massive and simply breathtaking, with a height of 108 mt and 1,708 mt wide. We stayed in the city for 3 days to enjoy all the adrenaline the city has to offer. Unfortunately, the activities are so expensive that we could only choose two, but these were totally worth it. We spent half a day rafting in the Zambezi river and saw the view of Vic Falls by helicopter.
From Vic Falls in Zimbabwe, we returned to Namibia to visit Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. We rented a car in Windhoek and went from Windhoek to Swakopmund (352 km); it took 4+ hours driving, 2 of them in the savage rain. Well, that was unexpected… We stayed in Swakopmund for 3 nights and 2 full days and had a marvelous time. I did sandboarding, quad biking, desert exploring, seeing the little 5, and meeting fantastic people:) (full Swakopmund travel guide here)
Unfortunately, on Saturday, back to reality, Luanda start working…
Costs of an overland Safari in Africa
How much does a Safari Cost? Africa isn’t cheap, and we didn’t restrain ourselves much on this trip… so this was probably the most expensive holiday we ever did and a terrible example of budget holidays 🙂 Check our expenses during these two weeks in detail:
Total cost per person: 2726.69 USD, in line with the 2750 USD initially budgeted.
Cost per person per day (all in): 181.78 USD
Overall trip value for money: 4 + out of 5, extremely high value but quite expensive.
Were we able to inspire you to do a Safari in Africa? We are already planning one to East Africa to Kenya and Tanzania.