22 Days Overland Absolute Africa

7 min read
Published a year ago by Julie

After spending a couple of days in Victoria Falls, we met the Absolute Africa travellers and crew we were going to spend the next 22 days with and started our overland tour through Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

Day 1 Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to Chobe National Park, Botswana

Distance Travelled – 86km

Highlight – Game drive and cruise in Chobe where we saw a lion eat an elephant and elephants crossing the water

Challenges – First day on the truck, getting used to the lifestyle of setting up tents and tables and how things work

Dinner – Beef and vegetarian tomato stew with rice

For more pictures from Chobe, check out the Botswana gallery.

Day 2 Driving Day in Botswana from Kasane to Maun

Distance Travelled – 666km

Highlight – Getting to know the eight other travelers we’re on the tour with during the long ride

Challenges – First long driving day, about 9 hours on the truck

Dinner – Pasta with pesto and chicken

Day 3 Maun into the Okavango Delta

Distance Travelled – ~15km on the mokoro

Highlight – Mokoro ride (local canoe) into the Okavango Delta

Challenges – First bush camp, very basic, no running water or electricity

Dinner – BBQ chicken and sausages with coleslaw and fries

For more pictures from the Okavango, check out the Botswana gallery.

Day 4 Okavango Delta

Distance Travelled – 0km

Highlight – Elephants coming really close to our camp, a guided walk and mokoro game sunset

Challenges – Really hot during the day and not much to do, played a lot of cards

Dinner – Vegetable Thai curry with rice

For more pictures from the Okavango, check out the Botswana gallery.

Day 5 Okavango Delta back to Maun

Distance Travelled – ~15km on the mokoro

Highlight – Back to civilization with a nice shower, and replenished supplies

Challenges – Not much, all good 🙂

Dinner – Buffet restaurant at the camp lodge

Day 6 Still in Maun

Distance Travelled – 0km

Highlight – Our tour leader didn’t have a work permit for Namibia so we got stuck in Botswana for an extra day.

Challenges – Not knowing when we would leave

Dinner – Pasta carbonara, meat and vegetarian

Day 7 Maun, Botswana to Grootfontein, Namibia

Distance Travelled – 674km

Highlight – Finally entering Namibia

Challenges – We left our tour leader Manache behind, which was very sad, and also left very early (4am) for a 13-hour driving day to catch up from the day before; hoba meteorite stop was a letdown

Dinner – Chicken and vegetarian wraps

Day 8 Grootfontein to Etosha National Park

Distance Travelled – 166km

Highlight – Night game drive in which we saw multiple hyena clans, elephants chasing hyenas, rhinos (black and white) and a lion roaring in the dark

Challenges – It was our turn to cook, but we had a night game drive and did not have time to finish cooking; others kindly took over

Dinner – Fried rice and stir-fry, meat and vegetarian

For more pictures from Etosha, check out the Namibia gallery.

Day 9 Etosha National Park

Distance Travelled – 134km within Etosha

Highlight – Multiple rhino sightings including six at the water hole right by the campground

Challenges – Sooo hot during the day

Dinner – Spaghetti bolognese or vegetarian sauce

For more pictures from Etosha, check out the Namibia gallery.

Day 10 Etosha National Park to Africat

Distance Travelled – 192km

Highlight – Learning about the rehabilitation of leopards and cheetahs; seeing a leopard feeding up close and being really close to cheetahs

Challenges – Got lost going to the pool at the campground and it was really hot

Dinner – Australian burgers (with egg and pineapple) with fries and corn, stewed cinnamon apples for dessert!

For more pictures from Africat, check out the Namibia gallery.

Day 11 Africat to Spitzkoppe

Distance Travelled – 408km

Highlight – Cool rock formations in the desert; sunset by the bridge and huge meteor sighting at night

Challenges – Another bush camp; one of the best places to see stars but it was full moon

Dinner – BBQ meat and sausage with vegetable skewers

For more pictures from Spitzkoppe, check out the Namibia gallery.

Day 12 Spitzkoppe to Swakopmund

Distance Travelled – 274km

Highlight – Cape cross seal colony with thousands of sea lions and a shipwreck by the treacherous skeleton coast

Challenges – Gross smell at the seal colony

Dinner – Pizza restaurant with the group

For more pictures of the skeleton coast, check out the Namibia gallery.

Day 13 Swakopmund

Distance Travelled – 0km

Highlight – First non-handwashed laundry came back, yay for clean clothes; first real bed since the trip started; met up with our new tour leader Martin

Challenge – Restaurants in town are good but pricey, no group cooking in Swakopmund

Dinner – German restaurant with the group, pork schnitzel burger and pork knuckle

Day 14 Swakopmund

Distance Tavelled – 0km

Highlight – Quad biking in the endless sand dunes

Challenges – Fell off the quad bike going down a very large and steep hill, but thankfully no injuries

Dinner – Asian restaurant with the group

For more pictures from quad biking, check out the Namibia gallery.

Day 15 Swakopmund to Sesriem

Distance Travelled – 364km

Highlight – Driving back into the desert; an oryx right next to our camp; seeing the full Milky Way at night

Challenges – Back on the road after a few days break with bumpy roads

Dinner – Chilli con carne and vegetarian chilli with garlic bread

Day 16 Sesriem to Bethanie

Distance Travelled – 536km

Highlight – Deadvlei and Sossusvlei were very cool landscape with dead trees on salt flat and sand dunes in the background

Challenges – Not in shape for the dune climbs; other groups cutting the long line for the limited rides back to the truck

Dinner – Pesto penne with chicken, tomatoes and mozzarella

For more pictures, check out the Namibia gallery.

Day 17 Bethanie to Ai-Ais

Distance Travelled – 179km

Highlight – Fish canyon, the second largest canyon in the world after Grand Canyon; soaking in the natural hot springs at Ai-Ais; yummy game meat for dinner

Challenges – Very hot and sunny during the day, windy at night

Dinner – Kudu steaks with corn, sweet potatoes, and salad

Day 18 Ai-Ais to Orange River

Distance Travelled – 123km

Highlight – Chilling by the pool, looking across the Orange River at South Africa

Challenges – Passed by some townships for the first time and seeing the stark difference between those vs. the fancy vineyards next door; liquor store was closed on the weekend

Dinner – Make-your-own German pancake

Day 19 Orange River on the Namibian side to Highlanders Camp in South Africa

Distance Travelled – 417km

Highlight – Wine tasting and last night of camping!

Challenges – G Adventures truck beside us that was very noisy

Dinner – BBQ chicken wrapped in bacon and sausages with potatoes, garlic bread, and salad, cake and ice cream for dessert for our last night of camping!

Day 20 Highlanders Camp to Stellenbosch

Distance Travelled – 263km

Highlight – No more camping, real beds for the last few nights; cute town in Stellenbosch

Challenges – Truck bearing failed and needed repair; no bookings between two hostels, we got money to arrange our own accommodation

Dinner – Final group dinner with everyone in advance at a restaurant

Day 21 Stellenbosch

Distance Travelled – 0km

Highlight – Wine tour through four excellent vineyards, each with their own charm and delicious wines

Challenges – Fitting in all the wine and cheese and food in our stomachs

Dinner – Ready-made soup and pasta from the grocery store

Day 22 Stellenbosch to Cape Town

Distance Travelled – 53km

Highlight – Made it to the end!

Challenges – We said bye to the truck that needed repair in Stellenbosch; sad to say bye to our crew and fellow travellers that we had gotten to know so well over the past 22 days