Itinerary Highlights

  • Take a sundowner drive in the rocky desert bordering Namib-Naukluft National Park
  • Visit Deadvlei, a white clay pan dotted with the trunks of millennium-old trees
  • Hop on an ATV to go through the desert
  • Explore Hoanib Valley, doing game drives and tracking rhino
  • Visit Himba and Herero villages
  • Go on an early-morning desert walk at Shipwreck Lodge
  • Cruise along the Chobe to see wildlife
  • Enjoy a sundowner cruise on the Zambezi
  • Take an ultralight flight over Victoria Falls

Follow in Our Footsteps

Editor’s Itinerary

South Africa
Duration: 18 Days

My recent trip to southern Africa felt particularly satisfying because of its stark contrasts. After spending time in one of the driest, oldest deserts on earth, we moved on to Victoria Falls, one of the world’s most massive cascades. Going from one extreme to the other made for an unforgettable itinerary.

Note that on this trip to Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, we didn’t visit Namibia’s Etosha National Park, because no luxury hideaways have opened there in the recent past. But if seeing big cats is a goal, Etosha is the best place in Namibia to do so, and Ongava Lodge (or Little Ongava) remains the best property at which to stay. In spite of not seeing lions, we certainly felt content observing magnificent desert-adapted elephant, towering giraffe, imposing oryx and quirky ostrich, among other animals.

It’s possible to reverse this itinerary, starting at Victoria Falls and finishing in Namibia, but the relaxed pace of the schedule at the falls and the sense of refreshment provided by the water makes it advisable to start in the desert.