Our most recent “big” trip was an over-landing trip to Southern Africa, starting (briefly) in Windhoek in Namibia before heading into Botswana for wildlife encounters in a complete range of habitats from swollen river deltas, to savannas to salt pans. We then popped over the border to see the natural wonder that is Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, before heading down to Kruger National Park in South Africa in search of the “Big 5”.
Heather has been to Africa a number of times (including Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania and South Africa), but this was my time to sub-Saharan Africa and my first proper safari trip.
We wanted to see as much as we could in a short space of time and keep to a relatively modest budget so over-landing seemed like a good option. We don’t normally do organised tours, preferring to make our own way around and having control over how long we stayed at each location, but we were not confident of driving in Africa this time around.
There are a good range of companies that offer these trips, but based on our dates and the good reviews we went with Nomad Adventure Tours on their Delta and Kruger 2018 trip. This is actually two tours batched in to one, with a transfer in-between. The past was from Windhoek in Namibia to Victoria Falls (which in itself is the final leg of their epic Cape Town to Victoria Falls tour). The second part was their Kruger Big 5 Tour, which starts and ends in Johannesburg. The two tours are joined together by a 2 day overland drag from Victoria Falls to Johannesburg (more on this later).
Your mode of transport , kitchen and restaurant for the trip is a purpose-built truck, designed to traverse the rugged roads of Africa, whilst carrying up to 24 passengers and all the equipment to cook for and feed them. You can do this trip camping (the tents are also on the truck) or as an accommodated option, sleeping over at basic lodges which are situated at each stop. We took the accommodated option. Almost all your meals on the tour are prepared and eaten next to the truck either camp-side or, sometimes, roadside! It’s a real experience and the food is surprisingly ok, even for us who don’t eat meat. They made a real effort to ensure we ate as well as the carnivores.
This kind of trip is not for everyone and you have to be prepared to rough it a bit, but we really enjoyed it and it’s a great way to see lots of the country that you might not normally see, along with roadside sightings of elephants, giraffe and even, on one occassion, a lion.
We’ve put together some guides on the major wildlife watching centres that we visited on this trip and you can find links to these below.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana
Okavango Delta, Botswana