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8 Days Okavango & Chobe Trail - South - Victoria Falls to Johannesburg [NAVJ]

Route:

Victoria Falls and surrounds - Zimbabwe - Botswana - Kasane - Maun - Okavango Delta - Gweta - South Africa - Johannesburg

Highlights:
Victoria Falls - Chobe National Park - Okavango Delta

Countries Visited:
South Africa - Botswana - Zimbabwe

DETAILS:
Trip Code: NAVJ
Length:
8 Days / 7 Nights
Min / Max People: 4 / 18
Vehicle: Adventure Truck
Departure Point: 8:00 am from Elephant Hills Hotel, Park Way Drive, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Tel: +26 31 344 793/9
www.africansunhotels.com
End Point: Garden Court O.R. Tambo International Airport, 2 Hulley Road, Isando Ext. 3, Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa. Tel: +27 11 392 1062 www.southernsun.com/garden-court/or-tambo-international-airport/pages/overview.aspx



*Note: All information is subject to change without prior notice. Travel times and campsites can change depending on road or weather conditions, etc. These are used as a guideline only. On our longer tours it is possible that your crew, truck and fellow travelers will change due to our unique tour linking system. On this tour, camping and accommodated clients will be travelling together with a maximum number of participants of 18. The group will be separated in the Delta and for this reason, if you have booked a German Translated departure, the translator will accompany the Accommodated clients into the Delta.

 

 

Itinerary:

Day 1/2 Zimbabwe – Victoria Falls – Botswana - Kasane
At the start of the tour, your guide will brief you on the next few days. Today we visit the spectacular Victoria Falls and experience the thundering sound of the mighty Zambezi before crossing the Botswana border to Kasane. In the afternoon we enjoy an included sunset cruise on the Chobe River in order to see the animals (in the Chobe National Park). As we depart Victoria Falls today it is best to arrive 1-2 days beforehand if you wish to partake in any of the adventure activities such as the world-famous White Water Rafting
Optional Activities: Chobe Game Drive
Meals: Breakfast (day 2 only), Lunch x 2, Dinner 2
Accommodation: Two per Room: Thebe River Safaris: www.theberiversafaris.com
Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, swimming pool
Route: Vic Falls to Kasane ±100 km
Travel time: ±3-4 hrs and a border crossing
Activity package: Victoria Falls entrance and Sunset Boat cruise in Chobe NP

Border posts:
Zimbabwe: Kazangula Road, Open: 06h00-20h00.
Botswana: Kazangula Road, Tel: +267 62 50330, Open: 06h00-20h00.

Day 3 Maun
We drive through to Maun. Once we get there we will pack small overnight bags and prepare for our 2-day expedition into the Okavango. The rivers leading to the Okavango Delta have no passage to the ocean and irrigate instead some 15,000 square km’s of Kalahari Desert – forming the world’s largest inland Delta.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Two per room: Sitatunga: www.deltarain.com/index.php?page=sitatunga-camp
Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, laundry, swimming pool
Route: Kasane to Maun ±680 km
Travel time: ±8-12 hrs

Day 4/5 Okavango Delta
In the morning we board our planes and head into the Delta. After a wonderful scenic flight we arrive at our base for the next two days. During your time in the Delta we enjoy the best nature has to offer. We go on nature walks and explore the Delta by mokoro traditional canoe (water level dependant). The Delta is truly spectacular and an unforgettable experience as the wild animals here are not used to people. Simply sitting and relaxing often results in rewarding bird or game viewing.
Please note: if you have not purchased the Activity Package you will stay at the accommodation in Maun for the following 2 days
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Two per Meru tent: Moremi Crossing - www.moremicrossing.com
Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, laundry, shop
Route: Maun to Moremi Crossing
Activity package: Flight from Maun to Moremi Crossing (approx 30 minutes), afternoon nature walk & mokoro ride.
Luggage Restrictions: 10kg per person. No bottled water allowed on flight, can be purchased at Moremi crossing

Day 6 Nata
We leave the Delta behind us and travel east towards the town of Nata, near the Makgadikgadi Pans. The shady tree canopy surrounding the lodge is a hive of activity, with a bird feeding area and active water feature providing the bird watcher with the opportunity of viewing a variety of species from the comfort of the pool deck. The Helmeted Guineafowl, Crested Francolin, Yellow Hornbill, Pied and Arrowmarked Babblers, Glossy Starling, Meyers Parrot and Paradise Whydah are just some of the species you may encounter during your stay at the lodge.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Two per room: Nata Lodge: www.natalodge.com OR Pelican Lodge: http://www.pelicanlodgebotswana.com/
Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, swimming poo
Route: Maun to Nata ±230 km
Travel time: ±3-4 hrs

Day 7 Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Palapye
We leave Nata behind us and drive towards Palapye, located on the banks of the tranquil Lotsane River. We visit the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, a community based wildlife project, where we experience a game drive to view the protected Rhinos.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Two per room: Camp Itumela www.campitumela.com
Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, drinkable water, internet, swimming pool, shop
Route: Nata to Palapye ±645 km
Travel time: ±7-8 hrs
Activity package: Game Drive in Khama Rhino Sanctuary Palapye

Day 8 South Africa - Johannesburg
Today we cross the border into South Africa and after quite a long, yet scenic drive we will arrive in Johannesburg. South Africa’s city of gold has much to offer and should not be underestimated as a travel destination.
Optional Activity: Dinner Out.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Own Arrangements / Post tour accommodation can be booked through Nomad
Route: Palapye to Johannesburg ±565 km
Travel time: ±8-9 hrs and a border crossing

Border posts:
Botswana: Martinsdrift, Tel: +267 494 0254, Open: 08h00-18h00.
South Africa: Groblersburg, Tel: +27 41 767 1164, Open: 08h00-18h00.

Inclusions & Exclusions

What’s included:
Meals as indicated on the itinerary (unless otherwise specified, all meals are prepared and served at the Nomad truck), accommodation, registered guides and transport. We also include some of the highlights. These highlights are listed below in the day-by-day descriptions as “included highlights”.

What’s excluded:
All items of a personal nature, alcohol, snacks, souvenirs, tips and optional activities (see list for an indication of prices).

Activity Package
This is an optional payment that covers what we consider to be ‘essential activities’ on our tours. Ideally we would include all of these, but not everyone can afford this. This payment is 100% transparent and is listed below. The Activity Package can be pre-purchased prior to your arrival or through your guide on day 1 of your tour. However, we recommend to pre book and pre pay this to ensure room availability in the Okavango Delta. This dossier has been written with the inclusion of the Activity Package items.
Vic Falls National Park entry: R350
Chobe National Park boat cruise: R500
3 day Delta fly in: R8150
Khama Rhino Sanctuary game drive: R300
TOTAL COST: R9300

 

Extra information

Malaria:
Malaria prophylactics are required throughout this route

Health:
Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disability that you may have.

Insurance:
All clients require adequate Travel Insurance. Medical Insurance is not sufficient. Activity providers can refuse participation of activities, if the correct valid Travel Insurance is not provided. Travel insurance can be purchased via the Nomad website http://www.nomadtours.co.za/travel_insurance.html
(Nomad World travel insurance is in no way affiliated with Nomad Tours).

Visas:
Please note that these are your responsibility. Some nationalities require visas for Botswana. Most nationalities require visas for Zimbabwe. See Pre Departure Booklet for more information.

Climate:
The African sun is very strong. Please use a factor 30 sunscreen and wear a hat. You should drink at least 3 litres of water per day to avoid dehydration. It can also get very cold during winter months on this route. Please see Pre Departure Booklet for detailed information.

Currency and Banking:
South African Rand and US Dollars are the most widely used currency on this route. Credit Cards cannot always be processed – especially in remote areas. USD Notes printed before 2004 (i.e. the old style notes) will not be accepted and many places will not accept USD100 notes, so make sure to bring small notes. Please see Pre Departure Booklet for detailed information on each country.

Vaccinations:
No vaccinations are prescribed by law for the countries being visited on this tour. Please see the Pre Departure Information booklet for detailed information on vaccinations in Africa.

Onward Travel:
This tour can be linked to the Accommodated South African Explorer, Kruger National Park, Mozambique in Comfort or the East African Adventure (South) tours.

Pre and Post Tour Accommodation:
If you require accommodation before or after your tour we can arrange this for you. We can also arrange airport transfers

Arrival:
It is best to arrive 1 to 2 days beforehand if you wish to partake in any of the adventure activities.

Departure:
Please book your flight to depart the day after the tour officially ends. This is to account for any delays that we may experience due to unpredictable road conditions.

*Note: All information is subject to change without prior notice. Travel times and campsites can change depending on road or weather conditions, etc. These are used as a guideline only. On our longer tours it is possible that your crew, truck and fellow travelers will change due to our unique tour linking system. On this tour, camping and accommodated clients will be travelling together with a maximum number of participants of 18. The group will be separated in the Delta and for this reason, if you have booked a German Translated departure, the translator will accompany the Accommodated clients into the Delta.

Did you receive your Pre Departure Information Booklet?
If not please contact us at nomad@nomadtours.co.za and we will e-mail you the document; alternatively visit us at 1st Floor, Leadership House, 40 Shortmarket St, Greenmarket Square, Cape Town to collect one. You can also download from our website at www.nomadtours.co.za. After hours contact number: +27 (0) 82 578 2199.

Tour Ends:
We will drop you off at Garden Court O.R. Tambo International Airport www.southernsun.com/garden-court/or-tambo-international-airport/pages/overview.aspx . We suggest you book accommodation here for this evening through your travel agent or Nomad. If you choose to stay elsewhere you will need to arrange a transfer. Garden Court O.R. Tambo International is about 10km drive from O.R. Tambo (Johannesburg) International Airport. If you are flying out the following evening we highly recommend the day tour of Johannesburg city and Soweto as an informative and enjoyable way to spend the day.

TIPPING ON TOUR:
Southern Africa:
In general tipping in restaurants is generally expected and is around 10% for good service, more if you have received exceptional service, and, feel free not to tip at all if you received poor service. Tipping taxi drivers etc is really at your own discretion and not always expected. If in doubt please ask your guides. Our guides do work hard, but they are also paid at (and often above) industry levels for this work. Our Crew can be tipped if you feel that they have done a good job and/or gone above and beyond the call of duty.

The best way to arrange tips is to elect one person in the group to collect the money. We recommend USD1 (or about R5) per day per person, per guide as a fair tip. So if you have 3-crew on a tour, we would recommend that 3 envelopes are used and each crew member’s name written on one. Place what you feel is fair in to each envelope and the elected person can give these to the crew at the end of the tour. If you do not feel that the crew deserve a tip, please, do not tip them. You must remember that tipping is only for exceptional service and is not at all compulsory or expected.

THE NOMAD AFRICAN TRUST:
www.nomadafricantrust.co.za
At Nomad we are passionate about the people, places and wildlife of Africa that make our tours so special. In order to give back we have set up the Nomad African Trust. By the end of your tour you may have left-over local currency that you will not be able to change outside of its country of origin. Any assistance you could provide to the trust by donating this left over currency will be appreciated. Thank you for your help and please join our newsletter at the website above to receive regular updates on what we are doing to support our beneficiaries.

GREEN SEATS - TRAVEL RESPONSIBLY IN AFRICA:
Nomad gives you the opportunity to offset your carbon foot print by purchasing a “Green Seat”. If you would like to help Nomad making Africa Greener, simply choose the tick box on your booking form and we will take care of the rest.

The Nomad African Trust will plant trees that are ecologically viable and that have very high carbon absorption. Green Seats can be purchased at departure or on tour with your guide. For more information on our “Green Seats”, please visit www.nomadtours.co.za/nomad_greenseats.html

THANK YOU FOR TRAVELLING WITH NOMAD:
At the end of your tour you will be provided with feedback forms. These forms are confidential and should be given to your crew in a sealed envelope. If you are not sure of the confidentiality of the feedback form please feel free to email us as well on ops@nomadtours.co.za. Please make sure to also complete the feedback form as we use the answers on these forms to improve and maintain our service levels.

Accommodation providers are subject to change without notice, the accommodation listed in this dossier is our preferred supplier, but sometimes due to availability, we are unable to make use of the property listed in this dossier. If we cannot use the accommodation provider as listed we will substitute another property of similar standards, however, en-suite facilities are not always guaranteed.



Victoria Falls:
Victoria Falls, 1 700 m wide and 108 m high – is said to be the largest falls in the world. David Livingstone, the Scottish explorer, is believed to have been the first European to view the Victoria Falls, and wrote: "It has never been seen before by European eyes, but scenes so wonderful must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight". The older, indigenous name of Mosi-oa-Tunya (‘the Smoke that Thunders’) is the name in official use in Zambia. The local Tonga people of the Zambezi believe that a river god, Nyaminyami, resides in the water in the form of an immense snake. When the Kariba Dam was built in the 1950s, the Zambezi River flooded three times, causing many deaths and much destruction. The local people believe Nyaminyami caused the terrible floods in anger at the construction.
The unusual form of Victoria Falls enables virtually the whole width of the falls to be viewed face-on, at the same level as the top, from as close as 60 metres, because the whole Zambezi River drops into a deep, narrow slot like chasm, connected to a long series of gorges. The falls are formed as the full width of the river plummets in a single vertical drop into a chasm 60–120 m wide, carved by its waters along a fracture zone in the basalt plateau. The depth of the chasm, called the First Gorge, varies from 80 m at its western end to 108 m in the centre. The only outlet to the First Gorge is a 110 m-wide gap about two-thirds of the way across the width of the falls from the western end, through which the whole volume of the river pours into the Victoria Falls gorges.
There are two islands on the crest of the falls that are large enough to divide the curtain of water even at full flood: Boaruka Island (or Cataract Island) near the western bank, and Livingstone Island near the middle. At less than full flood, additional islets divide the curtain of water into separate parallel streams. The main streams are named, in order from Zimbabwe (west) to Zambia (east): Leaping Water (called Devil's Cataract by some), Main Falls, Rainbow Falls (the highest) and the Eastern Cataract.



The Okavango Delta:
The Okavango Delta is the world’s largest inland delta, a labyrinth of lagoons, lakes and hidden channels covering 17 000 square km. It originates in Angola - numerous tributaries join to form the Cubango River, which then flows through Namibia, becoming the Kavango River and finally enter Botswana, where it is becomes the Okavango. Millions of years ago the Okavango River used to flow into a large inland lake called Lake Makgadikgadi (now Makgadikgadi Pans). Tectonic activity and faulting interrupted the flow of the river causing it to back up and form what is now the Okavango Delta. This has created a unique system of waterways that supports a vast array of animal and plant life that would have otherwise been a dry Kalahari savannah.
There are an estimated 200 000 large mammals in and around the Okavango Delta. On the mainland and among the islands in the delta, lions, elephants, hyenas, wild dog, buffalo, hippo and crocodiles congregate with a teeming variety of antelope and other smaller animals - warthog, mongoose, spotted genets, monkeys, bush babies and tree squirrels. Notably the endangered African Wild Dog is present within the Okavango Delta, exhibiting one of the richest pack densities in Africa. The delta also includes over 400 species of birds, including the African Fish Eagle.
Many of these animals live in the Delta but the majority pass through, migrating with the summer rains to find renewed fields for grazing. With the onset of winter the countryside dries up they make their way back to the floodplains. This leads to some of the most incredible sightings as large numbers of prey and predators are pushed together. Certain areas of the Delta provide some of the best predator action seen anywhere in the world.


Chobe National Park:
Chobe National Park, the second largest park in Botswana, covers 10 566 square km of northern Botswana. The Park forms part of the mosaic of lakes, islands and floodplains formed from the Kwando, Linyanti and Chobe River systems. The area is renowned for its vast herds of elephant and buffalo. The elephant population is currently about 120 000. The Chobe elephants are migratory, moving up to 200 km from the Chobe and Linyanti rivers, where they concentrate in the dry season, to the pans in the southeast of the park in the rainy season. They are Kalahari elephants, characterized by rather brittle ivory and short tusks, perhaps because of calcium deficiency in the soil. Due to their high concentration, there is a lot of damage to the vegetation in some areas. Culls have been considered, but are too controversial and have thus far been rejected.
The original inhabitants of the area were the San people, otherwise known in Botswana as the Basarwa. They were hunter-gatherers who lived by moving from one area to another in search of water, wild fruits and hunting grounds. The San were pushed out by groups of the Basubiya people and, around 1911, a group of Batawana moved to the area. In 1931 it was decided that a national park would protect the wildlife from extinction, and attract tourists. In 1932, an area of some 24 000 square km in the Chobe district was declared a non-hunting area. Over the years the park’s boundaries have been altered, and the people settled in the area have been relocated gradually, and Chobe National Park was finally empty of human occupation in 1975. In 1980 and again in 1987, the boundaries were altered, increasing the park to its present size.