Back to Africa with Lex Hes: Safari to Namibia, Botswana, Zambia

Heighten your Africa adventure travel experience with one of the finest bush guides on the continent, Lex Hes. Combine three remarkable countries—Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia—on this Africa expedition, enjoying a staggering array of wildlife, from desert rhino to Thornicroft’s giraffe, via chartered aircraft and 4x4 vehicles. Each Lex Hes tour benefits from his 30 years of experience as a guide at the famous Londolozi Game Reserve and his innate knowledge and instincts about Africa. Personal encounters with the Himba people, driving through rugged Damaraland, and paddling winding river channels--it’s all part of this incredible Africa tour.


Day 1: USA

Depart on your flight to Namibia.

Day 2: Windhoek, Namibia

Arrive Windhoek and transfer to the Hotel Heinitzburg. This evening gather for cocktails and dinner.

Days 3-5: Windhoek / Desert Rhino Camp, Damaraland

After breakfast transfer to the airport to board your chartered aircraft to Desert Rhino Camp. Located in a million-acre reserve, the camp boasts an outstanding wilderness experience in comfortable accommodations. The reserveÂ’s harsh countryside is punctuated with a number of fresh water springs that support healthy populations of desert-adapted black rhino and elephant as well as large populations of the rare HartmannÂ’s mountain zebra, oryx, and kudu. Predators are also numerous, with the largest populations of lion, cheetah, leopard, and brown and spotted hyena found outside Etosha National Park. Many of NamibiaÂ’s endemic bird species are found here, as well as succulent plants uniquely adapted for life in this desert. While at Desert Rhino Camp you have the opportunity for walks and drives in one of the best wilderness areas in Namibia.

Days 6-7: Desert Rhino Camp / Serra Cafema

After breakfast, depart for Serra Cafema Camp. Arguably the most remote camp in all of southern Africa, it overlooks the Kunene River—the only permanent water source in the region, creating a lush oasis along its banks surrounded by rugged mountains and sand dunes. This region is also home to the Himba tribe, one of the last nomadic people in all of Africa. These encounters with the Himba are among the most memorable experiences of your days in Namibia. Himba families live in proximity to Serra Cafema, giving you an opportunity to visit and learn more about their lifestyle and traditions. Other activities include game drives to view herds of oryx and springbok, boating on the Kunene, hiking, and birding. For the more adventurous, one of the highlights of Serra Cafema is guided quad-bike excursions allowing you to visit the massive sand dunes near camp.

Days 8-9: Serra Cafema / Ongava

The next destination is the ideal location for the activities in Etosha National Park. Ongava Tented Camp is situated along the southern boundary of Etosha in a privately-owned reserve. Etosha, “the place of dry water,” offers one of the great wildlife experiences remaining in Africa. Covering over 8,000 square miles, the park encompasses a vast salt pan 80 miles long and is Namibia’s premier game-viewing destination. Ongava is one of the few private game reserves in southern Africa where you may see white and black rhino, and the area holds good populations of lion, eland, mountain zebra, black-faced impala, a number of other antelope species, and a host of birdlife. In addition to your daytime activities, enjoy game walks and nighttime game drives.

Days 10-11: Ongava / Vumbura, Botswana

After breakfast depart Ongava by charter flight to Vumbura Plains Camp via Grootfontein and Maun. Vumbura lies in the extreme north of the Okavango Delta. The Okavango DeltaÂ’s waters allow you to explore the campÂ’s flood plains via mekoros (dug-out canoes) guided by polers from the BaYei tribe, who have been using them as their traditional form of transport for hundreds of years. Water levels permitting, boats take you into the larger and deeper areas of water while 4x4 vehicles allow you to get in proximity to animals in the savanna areas. This is possibly the only area in the Okavango where one can see red lechwe from a mokoro in the morning and a sable antelope from a vehicle in the afternoon. Other wildlife sightings may include lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and various species of antelope.

Days 12-14: Vumbura / Mombo

After a morning activity and brunch, depart Vumbura by private charter to the north-western tip of Chief’s Island and Mombo Camp. Spend two days exploring the area surrounding Mombo with its wide, expansive plains filled with unparalleled wildlife and scenery. All the major predators—lion, leopard, cheetah, and wild dog—can be seen close to camp. Elephant, buffalo, and various species of antelope are also abundant in the area. You’ll see profuse birdlife, with large concentrations of pelicans, storks, and cranes, as well as Dickinson’s kestrels, pink-throated longclaws, and Meyer’s parrots.

Days 15-16: Mombo / DumaTau

Following morning activities and brunch, travel to the Linyanti area and spend two full days at DumaTau Camp. The accommodations overlook a large hippo-filled lagoon, providing a rich backdrop of African wildlife with its resident birds and mammals, which come and go throughout the day. The Linyanti Reserve, 776 square miles of unspoiled wilderness, is totally uninhabited by humans. It supports a wide variety of species, but is most noted for its very large elephant population, which can reach enormous densities. The area is also home to large numbers of lechwe, kudu, sable, roan, waterbuck, and buffalo. With this multitude of prey, all of the major predators, including lion, leopard, cheetah, and hyena are regularly sighted in the area. Diverse activities allow you to spend time on the water (water levels permitting), on land, and occasionally on foot. Day and night game drives are conducted in open 4x4 vehicles along the Savuti Channel and the banks of the Linyanti River. There are also hides in the area where you enjoy wildlife viewing up close and away from the vehicles.

Days 17-19: DumaTau / South Luangwa, Zambia

After brunch and one last excursion in Botswana, depart for your final destination and country—Zambia. Your time here is spent exploring the impressive variety of terrain and intense concentrations of wildlife within South Luangwa National Park. Early-morning and afternoon excursions bring you into proximity with the park’s 60 animal species, including two species found nowhere else on the planet: Cookson’s wildebeest and the graceful Thornicroft’s giraffe, and at least 400 species of birds. South Luangwa’s leopard population is the densest in Africa, sustained by antelope species such as the elusive bushbuck, the golden-brown puku, and the majestic spiral-horned kudu. Also, set out in search of the endangered African wild dog. Night-time drives give you a chance to search for nocturnal animals such as genet, civet, serval, hyena, and bush baby.

Day 20: Zambia / USA

After brunch, depart the lodge by private charter to Lusaka to connect with your independent flights homeward.

Day 21: USA

Arrive USA.

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