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Desert Tracker (25 Day) 2018-19 (25 Days, Cape Town to Johannesburg)

Ain't nothing like the scenic route. Hit the dusty trail on this once-in-a-lifetime expedition from Cape Town to Johannesburg a brilliant overland safari, which showcases the best of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. From the burnt orange landscapes of the mighty Namib desert to the lush wetlands of the Okavango Delta and the twinkling lights of bustling 'Joburg', your Instagram feed is guaranteed to resemble the pages of a National Geographic magazine after this adventure. BYO khaki safari suit and sense of adventure.


Mosi Oa Tunya National Park (Victoria Falls)
Visit Chobe National Park
Okavango Delta excursion
Shangaan cultural evening
Spitzkoppe Bushman paintings
Cape Town Township trip
Etosha National Park
Kalahari Bushman walk
Kruger National Park
Matobo National Park
Mokoro/walking safari
Sossusvlei & Dune 45
24 Breakfasts
24 Lunches
24 Dinners
Tour Provider Topdeck
Number of Days
Price From
AUD $3,930
Start Location
Cape Town, South Africa
End Location
Cape Town, South Africa
Age Range
18 to 39
Group Size
1 to 48
Tour Style
Tour Themes
Physical Rating
Tour departure dates
22 Sep 201816 Oct 2018Fully BookedAUD $770 
06 Oct 201830 Oct 2018Fully BookedAUD $770 
20 Oct 201813 Nov 20184AUD $770
03 Nov 201827 Nov 20183AUD $770
17 Nov 201811 Dec 20184AUD $770
01 Dec 201825 Dec 20184AUD $770
15 Dec 201808 Jan 20193AUD $770
29 Dec 201822 Jan 20191AUD $770
12 Jan 201905 Feb 20194AUD $770
26 Jan 201919 Feb 20194AUD $770
09 Feb 201905 Mar 20194AUD $770
23 Feb 201919 Mar 20194AUD $770
09 Mar 201902 Apr 20194AUD $770
23 Mar 201916 Apr 20194AUD $770
06 Apr 201930 Apr 20193AUD $770
20 Apr 201914 May 20194AUD $770
04 May 201928 May 20194AUD $770
18 May 201911 Jun 20194AUD $770
01 Jun 201925 Jun 20194AUD $770
15 Jun 201909 Jul 20194AUD $770
29 Jun 201923 Jul 20194AUD $770
13 Jul 201906 Aug 20194AUD $770
27 Jul 201920 Aug 20194AUD $770
10 Aug 201903 Sep 20194AUD $770
24 Aug 201917 Sep 20194AUD $770
07 Sep 201901 Oct 20194AUD $770
21 Sep 201915 Oct 20194AUD $770
05 Oct 201929 Oct 20194AUD $770
19 Oct 201912 Nov 20194AUD $770
02 Nov 201926 Nov 20194AUD $770
16 Nov 201910 Dec 20194AUD $770
Day 1: Cape Town to Western Cape Citrus Area, South Africa
Bust out the chic safari attire – our overland adventure begins in cosmopolitan Cape Town. Overlooked by Table Mountain and bordered by the Atlantic, Cape Town is one of the world's most picturesque cities. Before we leave, we take a tour of the Cape Flats, one of the city’s intriguing townships, where we visit some of the local people and community projects in the area. Afterwards, head north through South Africa's Western Cape, passing by the fruit-growing regions of Citrusdal to our campsite near the Olifants River. After settling at our campsite, we’ll get properly acquainted with the rest of the group, indulge in the option to sample some of the local wines of the region, and enjoy our first night under the huge African sky. Included today: -Cape Town township tour Meals: -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Wine tasting
Day 2: Western Cape Citrus Area to Gariep (Orange) River
Continuing north, the landscape gradually turns drier and rockier as we head towards the Namibian border. We set up camp tonight on the South African side of the Gariep (Orange) River, which makes for a stunning backdrop. Our site provides you with necessary comforts like hot showers, flush toilets, grassy terrain and even a bar (hello, sundowners!). Take the option to explore the Gariep (Orange) River on a can safari, take a dip in the safe swimming waters, or hike to the lookout above the campsite. The camp by night is illuminated by the stars of the Richtersveld, making for a wonderfully tranquil experience. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 3: Gariep (Orange) River to Fish River Canyon, Namibia
This morning we take an optional can safari on the river (if we didn’t get the chance the previous evening) or simply relax on the water’s edge, before entering Namibia via Vioolsdrift Border post and arriving at the awesome Fish River Canyon by mid-afternoon. One of the natural wonders of Africa, the canyon is some 500 metres deep and over 160 kilometres long, and considered the second largest in the world after the Grand Canyon. Prop your camera lens for amazing photos this afternoon, especially when the sun begins to set over the sharp bend in the river known as ‘Hell’s Corner’. Trust us, it’s nicer than its name implies. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Can safari
Day 4: Fish River Canyon to Namib Naukluft National Park
After a night near the canyon we continue north until we reach Sesriem, the gateway to the Namib Naukluft National Park, containing the world’s oldest and highest desert sand dunes. The Namib-Naukluft National Park contains part of the Namib Desert and the Naukluft mountain range. With an overall area of 49,768 square kilometres, it’s larger than Switzerland, is the second largest game park in Africa and the fourth largest in the world. Here we set up camp for the evening under the starry Namibian sky. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 5: Namib Naukluft National Park to Solitaire
This morning we enter the National Park to trek to the top of famous Dune 45 in time to watch the sun rise over the open desert. It’s a spectacular sight but be warned – it’s an energy sapping climb to the top as some dunes are over 300 metres high! After a well-deserved breakfast, we continue deeper into the park for an optional nature walk in Sossusvlei, amid Namibia’s unspoilt natural environment. Be sure to bring your camera – the shifting colours of the desert as the sun climbs throughout the morning offer some brilliant photo opportunities. Departing from the dunes, we make our way to Solitaire and our accommodation for the night. Included today: -Dune 45, Sossusvlei shuttle & guided walk -Visit Sesriem Canyon Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 6: Solitaire to Swakopmund
Leaving Solitaire, we head for the Atlantic coast for two nights, crossing over the Tropic of Capricorn, and stopping for a photo opportunity en route. Swakopmund makes for a refreshing change with cooler Atlantic sea air, a taste of civilisation and a swathe of exciting adventure options. Meals: -Breakfast Optional activities: -Sandboarding -Quad biking -Skydiving -Deep sea fishing -Scenic flights -Swakopmund township tour
Day 7: Swakopmund
A small town redolent of Namibia's colonial past but with modern adventure oriented attractions for visitors, Swakopmund is Namibia's main seaside resort, sandwiched neatly between the desert and the ocean – a delightful coastal oasis. Try some optional desert-based adventure activities, such as quad biking, sand boarding, skydiving (weather permitting) and more. For those not that way inclined, peruse the town’s many shops, restaurants, museums and art galleries – or simply stroll along the promenade admiring the ocean. Meals: -Breakfast Optional activities: -Sandboarding -Quad biking -Skydiving -Deep sea fishing -Scenic flights -Swakopmund township tour
Day 8: Swakopmund to Spitzkoppe
Leaving the coast we turn inland to the beautiful Damaraland region and stop at Spitzkoppe to admire ancient Bushman paintings still visible on peculiar rock formations. The rock formations peak at approximately 2000 metres above sea level and form a spectacular view, with one of the most impressive being the 'Bushman Paradise'. Take your time to explore the area and enjoy its delightful calmness. Remember to keep an eye on the ever-changing colour of the rocks, especially during sunrise and sunset. Included today: -Spitzkoppe Bushman paintings Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 21: Matobo National Park
Channel your inner explorer today as we head into the impressive Matobo National Park with our knowledgeable guides. The wind-sculptured Matobo Hills are the site of numerous Bushman paintings, so it’s no surprise the area holds a special cultural and spiritual importance to the indigenous people. The reserve has the largest concentration of black and white rhino in Africa and, provided conditions are right, our guides will lead us on foot to some of the more concealed places in search of these magnificent animals. Included today: -Half day Matobo National Park game drive & wilderness walk Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Matobo National Park full day tour upgrade
Day 22: Matobo National Park to Tshipise, South Africa
Leaving Matobo National Park, we continue south to the border at Beitbridge. Completing formalities we cross the Limpopo River – the second largest in South Africa and an important water source for this arid region. We continue to Tshipise, a town situated in the northern Limpopo province. Our campsite is located at Forever Resorts at the foot of one of Limpopo’s rolling koppies set adjacent to the Honnet Nature Reserve. Included today: -Shangaan cultural evening Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 23: Tshipise to Greater Kruger
From Tshipise, we head for southern Africa's premier game reserve, Kruger National Park. Fences between the National Park and surrounding private reserves were removed several years ago to form Greater Kruger, an area of some 24,000 square kilometres. Animals are free to roam the enormous area and it has become incredibly diverse in both fauna and flora. From the dwarf mongoose to the ‘Big Five’, almost every major African mammal (over 145 species) is present. Tonight, be treated to a show of traditional Shangaan tribal dancing and singing, before embarking on a full day’s game drive the next day. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 9: Spitzkoppe to Etosha National Park
We make our way north to Etosha National Park, a vast reserve of over 20,000 square kilometres surrounding a central salt depression or ‘pan’. The pan is seasonally full of water but specially managed waterholes sustain some 114 mammal and 340 bird species. Pitching our tents near a floodlit waterhole, we embark on a short afternoon game drive upon arrival. As dusk falls, keep your eyes peeled for a range of nocturnal visitors including elephants, giraffes, zebras, hyenas and even lions. Included today: -Etosha National Park game drive Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 11: Etosha National Park to Windhoek
Departing epic Etosha, we head south to Windhk, the capital of Namibia, which is located in a basin between the Khomas Highland, Auas and Eros Mountains. Windhk is home to approximately two hundred thousand people – an extremely small capital by global standards. The city centre is characterised by a proliferation of German-style buildings, a lasting reminder of Namibia's early colonial history and atmosphere. Take the opportunity to enjoy a night out at one of the local restaurants or visit J’s Beerhouse. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch
Day 10: Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park is the ultimate definition of the perfect game viewing destination. Picture this: a barren landscape teeming with neon flamingos and pelicans and surrounded by nothing but native bush, grasslands, scrubland and saline lakes. Trust us, you'll be in awe of this magical spot. Today we dive straight into the heart of Etosha National Park and enjoy a full day’s game drive, keeping a keen watch for more of the local residents. Included today: -Etosha National Park game drive Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 20: Livingstone to Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe
Departing Livingstone, we cross the border to Zimbabwe, pass through Victoria Falls town and head to Bulawayo, a pleasant city with broad tree-lined avenues and wide open spaces. Our campsite is located in the Matopos area, which is surrounded by interesting hills and rock formations and is revered as a historical, geological and natural heritage site. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 12: Windhoek to Ghanzi, Botswana
Leaving Windhk we travel west into the Kalahari region and cross into Botswana. Our first stop is at the town of Ghanzi. Here, in the midst of this (seemingly) barren terrain we meet the San Bushmen and embark on a guided bush walk. Discover how the fascinating locals harness nature and manage the resources around them to their maximum, without damaging the fragile balance found in this ecosystem. Your support of this ecotourism venture gives the San Bushmen a sustainable income and helps keep their culture alive. Tonight around the campfire, marvel at the ancient dance rituals of the San Bushmen as they demonstrate a healing or trance dance, which can be an intensely spiritual experience for both participants and visitors alike. Included today: -Kalahari Bushman walk Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Traditional dancing
Day 19: Livingstone
Fancy another game drive? Here, you have the option. Elephants crossing the Zambezi River from Zimbabwe can usually be spotted, as well as giraffes, buffals, white rhinos, warthogs, hippos and a variety of different monkey species. Meals: -Breakfast Optional activities: -Victoria Falls bungy jump -Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park game walk -Chief Mukumi Village tour -Gorge swing -Zambezi jetboating -Half day can safari -Zambezi sunset cruise -Whitewater rafting -Helicopter ride -Fishing -Bridge tour -Full day abseiling
Day 13: Ghanzi to Maun
Gateway to the Okavango Delta, Maun is the fifth largest town in Botswana and is an eclectic mix of modern buildings and native huts. Since Maun's founding in 1915 it has had a reputation as a hard-living, wild-west sort of town, built to supply local cattle ranching and hunting operations. Today, Maun is a thriving tourist hub and is particularly infamous for its influx of donkeys (and to a lesser extent, goats), which are used by local traders and farmers alike to transport their wares to sell on the roadside. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 17: Elephant Sands to Chobe National Park
Today we make our way to Kasane in the northeast corner of Botswana and the gateway to the wonderful Chobe National Park. By size, Chobe is the third largest game park in the country and home to the largest diversity of wildlife, including elephants, lions, buffals, hippos and an abundance of birdlife – the most famous of the latter being the African Fish Eagle. We take our own ‘Fish Eagle’ cruise on the Chobe River, which is a great opportunity to see hippos (and perhaps elephants or buffals) coming to the river to bathe and drink. Cameras at the ready! Included today: -Fish eagle boat cruise Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 16: Maun to Elephant Sands
Next up, we roll onto Elephant Sands – a bush lodge and campsite in the northeast part of Botswana where majestic elephants meander at the natural waterhole right in front of the lodge. As there are no fences, the animals roam freely from one waterhole to the next – so expect to see any number of species during your stay. Observing wild elephants at such close proximity will easily be one of the most amazing experiences you’ll have in Africa. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Morning bush walk -Evening game drive
Day 15: Okavango Delta to Maun
Leaving the Okavango Delta, we begin an easy-paced mokoro ride back to the station, then back to Maun. Spend the rest of the time here on your own watch, taking in the natural scenery from camp, or by setting out on a number of optional activities. Included today: -Okavango Delta excursion with mokoro Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 14: Maun to Okavango Delta
Leaving the campsite in Maun, we begin our excursion into the Okavango Delta by an open 4x4 truck. We travel by mokoro (dugout can) among the giant lily pads, tall grasses and labyrinthine channels in search of hippos, crocodiles and a variety of birds to our island tented camp, before exploring the area on a walking safari. Spending time amid the Okavango’s unspoilt wilderness while listening to sounds of the African night is sure to be an experience you’ll never forget. Included today: -Okavango Delta excursion with mokoro/walking safari Meals: -Breakfast -Dinner
Day 24: Greater Kruger to Kruger National Park
Have your binoculars at the ready! Today we hope to catch a glimpse of as much of Africa’s diverse wildlife as we can. See how many animals you can tick off your list on our full day's game drive (you'll be the toast of the campsite after spotting an elusive honey badger). Included today: -Kruger National Park game drive Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 18: Chobe National Park to Livingstone, Zambia
Moving on from Kasane we take the ferry across the confluence of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers into Zambia. The Zambezi River is the fourth longest in Africa (after the Nile, Congo and Niger) and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean. Home to one of the world's largest waterfalls, we visit Victoria Falls and try to take in the immensity of one of nature's Wonders of the World. At various times of year, the spray from the Falls can be seen from up to 20 or 30 kilometres away, hence the local name ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – the 'smoke that thunders'. Hint: pack a raincoat to protect your precious camera equipment! Included today: -Chobe National Park game drive -Visit Mosi-oa-Tunya (Victoria Falls) Meals: -Breakfast Optional activities: -Victoria Falls bungy jump -Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park game walk -Chief Mukumi Village tour -Gorge swing -Zambezi jetboating -Half day can safari -Zambezi sunset cruise -Whitewater rafting -Helicopter ride -Fishing -Bridge tour -Full day abseiling
Day 25: Kruger National Park to Johannesburg
We leave the Kruger National Park behind today and make our way to South Africa’s biggest city and commercial centre, Johannesburg, where our unforgettable adventure comes to a close. If you’re up for exploring more of ‘Joburg’, chat to your guide about adding a few cheeky nights on to your itinerary. Meals: -Breakfast