With its legendary dunes and majestic waterfalls, Southwestern Africa epitomizes the continent at its most exotic. And there’s no better way to see it than on an overlanding expedition:
My journey through Southwestern Africa – from the vast savannahs of South Africa to the flaming red sand dunes in Namibia, then over to the Okavango Delta in Botswana and ending in Zambia’s Victoria Falls – gave me a fascinating glimpse into the region.
Overlanding through four countries in just three weeks, we feasted on dramatic landscapes, climbed up dunes, hiked in valleys and interacted with the welcoming people of Southwestern Africa. Add to that, we encountered an outrageous amount of wildlife: the lions of Etosha National Park, hippos along Chobe River and elephants along the highways of Zambia. Camping out every night in the wilderness, making dinner and gathering by the fire under the stars made the experience all the more special.
The Dunes, Deltas and Falls tour promised to give me the ultimate adventure in Africa and it didn’t disappoint. Here are some of the main highlights of the trip:
Dunes: In Namibia’s Sossusvlei National Park, rose red sand dunes abound. Hundreds of these golden mounds of sand lie scattered throughout the world’s oldest desert. We made it a point to catch sunrise at the peak of Dune 45 – we didn’t care if we had to wake up at 4.30am, the dramatic display of lights and colors made it well worth it.
Deltas: Botswana’s Okavango Delta is both an age and a world’s apart – we hopped on mokoros (dugout canoes) and floated away from civilization and deep into Africa’ backcountry. Navigating through the patchwork of meandering channels and green marshlands, we sailed through the tall reeds, watched wildlife from a close distance and even spent a few nights bushcamping on one of the remote islands. My favorite part? Learning to pole a mokoro myself – it turned out to be harder than it looks!
Falls: The trip ended with a bang at the Victoria Falls located on the Zambezi River. Known as the world’s largest waterfall, the Vic Falls sends water gushing down the rim of the plateau at an average speed of 1088 m³/s. At the edge of the falls, we witnessed the mesmerising thunder and the massive scale of the pounding waters. For the adrenaline junkies out there, you can even feed your thirst by bungee-jumping or whitewater rafting down the Zambezi River.