- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
The Great Southern Africa Safari is the culmination of our love affair with Africa that started in the 1980s.
At Back Track Adventures we love everything that Africa has to offer, the wildlife, the beauty, the people, the romance, and definitely the fun and adventure.
For the past 19 years, our Great Southern Africa Safari has focused on the wildlife, the beauty, the people, plus the romance, fun and adventure of being on Safari.
For our 2019 Safari, we have kept that focus, but we have revamped just about every aspect of the holiday. What we offer now, is the culmination of an evolutionary process that has taken us from our first youthful, rough and tough overlanding experiences in the ’80s, to the point today where we offer a most unique safari experience, all achieved in comfort and style. We are confident in claiming that there is no other Safari like this available in Africa and frankly, we don’t think there is one any better!
Life is what you make it. There are plenty of safaris available that are simply dull and stuffy. This is definitely not one of them. We believe The Great Southern Africa Safari, simply stated, is one of the best all-round Safaris on offer in Australia today!
Interested? Read on and I am confident we will see you on Safari with Back Track in the future.
Our Back Track Adventures crew
You will be escorted from Brisbane by Jim Drapes, an experienced African traveller. In Victoria Falls we will be joined by our friends: Trish our courier, Henry our drive and Israel (Izzy) our cook. The crew is very knowledgeable about the birds, wildlife and local culture. They are a great source of information on game drives and when interacting with the locals.
Trish was born in Zimbabwe and together with her husband Garth are Directors of African Journeys (AJ), a safari company based in Victoria Falls. Back Track has been working with AJ for over 10 years and during that period we have operated many wonderful and unique safaris together, including the popular Great Southern Africa Safari. Escorting our safaris is a way of life. Trish is a fun travel companion and her knowledge and experience of the African bush adds immensely to the enjoyment of the safari.
Jim has had a love affair with Africa since his first visit to Zimbabwe in the ’80s and has escorted many African safaris over the last 26 years from Kenya to Cape Town. During that time he has continued his guiding duties in regions all over the world, but continues to come back to Africa and in particular Southern Africa. Like many others Jim has fallen in love with the wilds of Africa and will grasp at any opportunity to get back into the African bush. He has a deep knowledge of the Africa eco-systems in which you will be visiting and looks forward to sharing a wonderful experience with you.
How we travel – introducing “The Beast”
THE BEAST is our own classic overlanding vehicle. There would be no safari without him. He is big, tough and reliable and protective of his passengers. No one messes with him. The Beast has taken us all over Africa, from the gorillas in Rwanda to the snows of Kilimanjaro and to the Horn of Africa and back. He’s our mate, we love him, you will to.
The Beast has soft, comfortable seating and is designed for excellent game viewing and sight-seeing. Originally a 28 seater, recently modified, The Beast now seats 18. There is plenty of room to spread out, plus, ample storage space for luggage, safari supplies and equipment. We have two fridge freezers fitted so drinks are always cold and food fresh. A cold water dispenser is available to keep your water bottles full with fresh clean drinking water. A charging desk for portable electrical equipment, as well as a TV monitor, sound system, library and reading tables. The Beast handles the road conditions perfectly and is a safe, reliable, and well maintained. The Beast carries 18 passengers plus your four safari crew, in comfort and unique style.
In Chobe, we use smaller, 4WD safari vehicles specifically designed to handle local conditions. As well, we charter fly into the famous wildlife area -Moremi in the heart of the Okavango Delta, where we utilise specially modified 4WD vehicles on safari and local canoes to explore the waterways of the Okavango Delta.
Where we stay
We stay in a variety of handpicked accommodation rated from 3 to 4 star, encompassing quality hotels, lodges and chalets, and a comfortable mobile safari camp.
Camping has never been so comfortable. In Moremi, we camp, away from the tourist hoards, in an exclusive private campsite for 3 nights. Our camp provides comfy chairs, roomy twin share walk-in style tents, kitted with beds, thick foam mattresses and covers, warm doonas, pillows, pillow slips and led lighting. You have your own ensuite toilet. After a private hot shower, relax around the campfire. We dine at night under the stars or in our dining tent. All camp equipment is supplied, even wine glasses. Just 1 star short of ‘Glam‑Camping’.
Lodges and Hotels
On arrival in Vic Falls, we ‘Home Stay’ in the family-run Bayete Lodge. Private Chalets scattered in a tropical haven of peace and beauty. Everyone soon adjusts to the ‘relaxed pace of life’ that will be our holiday style for the next 25 days.
The term ‘Lodge’ encompasses the variety of hand-picked accommodation used on our Safari. We use only 3 star plus accommodation throughout our safari
Meals and Drinks
Meals are provided either by our accommodation hosts or are prepared by our own chef who cooks delicious, wholesome and healthy campfire breakfasts, lunches and dinners from our onboard kitchen, ‘The Beast Bistro”. If you wish, you can go food shopping with the Chef in local markets and supermarkets. The only meals not supplied are lunches at times you may wish to be out and about in Victoria Falls, Swakopmund and Cape Town doing your ‘own thing’. We set up comfy chairs around the campfire for dinner, drinks and conversation most nights. Campfire dinners, under the stars, add to the relaxed safari lifestyle.
We have arranged some very special dinners including: a beach BBQ and a dinner at the Light House Restaurant in Swakopmund, as well as a candlelight dinner while cruising on the Zambezi River. Plus, our ‘Welcome to Africa’ dinner at the Boma Restaurant when we first arrive at the Falls. A few years back, an elephant joined us during our a candlelight dinner. Luckily he didn’t eat or drink much.
‘The Beast Bar’ is always popular for dispensing gin and tonics (purely to prevent malaria) and our world famous alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails and mojitos. All drinks at “The Beast Bar” at Dinner are included in the safari price. Soft drinks, wine, beers, spirits and mixers are carried. South Africa has wonderful wines and we stock some of their best. Pure drinking water is always available 24-hours.
A dedicated supportive crew attend to all camp duties. Your only involvement is to enjoy your holiday. If you wish to help Chef slice the veggies, go shopping, or, assist our Driver to ‘maintain’ The Beast, you are welcome to get involved, only if it is fun for you to do so.
All activities mentioned in the itinerary are included in the tour price. The only extra costs will be for optional activities you wish to enjoy in Victoria Falls and Swakopmund. An up to date price list for all optional activities will be provided before we depart, to assist your budgeting.
The locations through which our safari travels are safe and politically stable and popular with tourists from all over the world. In our years of traveling in this region, we have never felt threatened or had a security or safety incident. Tourists and travelers are always made welcome by the locals.
The African Wildlife
Our safari will bring us into close proximity to wild animals. The wildlife and birdlife spotting is superb. Our campsites in Moremi are safe and secure. It is a never-to-be-forgotten experience to camp in the wilds of Africa. Even in Victoria Falls, where we stay outside the Wildlife Reserve, we still encounter elephants, baboons and warthogs in town. In Etosha National Park as well as our regular game drives we have the opportunity of viewing the wildlife at the waterholes adjacent to our accommodation.
Specialist Safari Guides
We engage specialist Safari Guides while camping for three nights in Moremi. These guides provide expert local knowledge and wildlife guiding skills essential to our enjoyment and success on what is a highlight of our safari.
The Local People
We take every opportunity to interact with the local communities encountered along the way. We want all to come home with an understanding of the lifestyles of the people in each country we visit. We find that some of our best safari memories are those that involve our interaction with the locals.
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Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Day 1Arriving at Victoria Falls International Terminal you are welcomed by Trish and our Safari Crew and transferred to the small, family owned Bayete Lodge, our ‘African Home away from Home’. Located in the quiet residential area of town, it features beautifully furnished private ensuite accommodation, set in a peaceful haven of tropical gardens which includes a very welcoming pool. Afternoon at leisure to relax and unwind after your International flights. Breakfast daily will be served here in the gardens and as well we use this lush cool area as a meeting and social point. Tonight, poolside at the Bayete Lodge, before your first ‘safari dinner’, a briefing is held to discuss the safari and organise your activities in Vic Falls over the next few days.
Day 2After breakfast, you start the day with a guided walking tour of the spectacular Victoria Falls. The remainder of the day is free to partake in the numerous optional activities the Falls has to offer, including easy canoeing on the mighty Zambezi, scenic flights and for adrenalin junkies, there are the world famous white water rafting activities and for the totally fearless or foolhardy, bungy jumping. There are much more adventure and even ‘sedate’ activities to choose from. Organising activities is a simple process and you will be well looked after. This evening, you’re invited to a ‘Welcome to Africa” dinner at the Boma Restaurant.
Day 3Day at leisure in Victoria Falls. Some Safari members will be involved in optional activities. A good option is to have ‘High Tea’ consisting of cucumber sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, all served from silver platters while seated on the cool veranda of the Victoria Falls Hotel. A walk around town and a visit to the curio markets is a must. A visit to the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust (VFWT) to meet ‘Sylvester’ their Cheetah mascot and hear about their work is a highlight. Tonight we celebrate our last night before departing the Falls with a candlelit dinner while cruising on the Zambezi River.
Chobe National Park, Botswana
Day 4After a leisurely breakfast, we board The Beast and cross into Botswana. A short drive takes us to the small town of Kasane located at the gateway to world famous Chobe National Park. We check into the 4-star Chobe Safari Lodge. Here our safari starts in earnest. We head out on a captivating private lunch cruise on the mighty Chobe River. The quantity, quality and variety of animals and birdlife viewed from our boat is incredible. After our return, we meet to watch the African sunset on our first safari day while enjoying an amazing smorgasbord dinner at the lodge. Chobe National Park is one of the finest game-parks in Africa, encompassing 1000 square kilometres. The Park contains Botswana’s densest and most varied game population, including an estimated 73,000 elephants.
Moremi Wildlife Reserve
Day 5We head off after breakfast for an early 4WD wildlife drive into Chobe Park. On our return, we pack lightly, leaving The Beast to transport most of our travel luggage on to Shakawe. We then charter fly into Moremi in the wilds of the Okavango. On arrival at Khwai, we are met by our specialist Botswanan Safari Guides (who are long term friends of Back Track) and transported by small 4WD vehicles to our private bush camp. After unpacking, we head off on a late afternoon game drive with our highly knowledgeable guides. The stories told around the campfire at night about anything associated with the African bush are amazing to listen to and highly informative.
Moremi Wildlife Reserve
Day 6Up early, we have a quick cup of tea and toast and head off in search of the wildlife and to learn about the African bush. The animals are far more active early, so we need to be out there. Mid-morning we break for a late breakfast, which we might carry with us on the vehicles, or we return to camp for brunch and a rest before we plan another game drive later in the afternoon. In this same area a few years back we had a leopard approach and observe our campsite late one evening. It was an amazing experience for us and probably the leopard as well. Lion and elephant are regularly spotted from our campsite. The cacophony of sounds of an African night while sitting around a campfire deep in the wilds of Moremi will not easily be forgotten.
Moremi Wildlife Reserve
Day 7Another wonderful day in this special area exploring. We will spend a half day on the waterways of the Delta in local canoes (mekoros) being poled by locals who know the area intimately. Birdlife is prolific and canoeing provides an interesting perspective on this incredible eco system. If conditions are right, we will visit and view any nearby hippo pods.
Day 8This morning we enjoy our last game drive in Moremi as we head back to Khwai airstrip, say goodbye to our guides, (now your friends) and enjoy another scenic flight to Shakawe where our crew and the Beast will be waiting to collect us. After lunch, we hit the road for Namibia. After border formalities, we drive on to Rundu where we overnight at the pleasant family run Nkwazi Lodge on the banks of the Kavango river, on the border with Angola.
Etosha National Park, Namutoni Lodge
Day 9 - 10We don’t have to break any land speed records today and take a very leisurely approach to the days’ journey. We find somewhere nice for a lunch break and punctuate the journey with the occasional stop at any place of interest we discover along the route. Our Chalet’s at Namutoni for the next 2 nights are very comfortable and welcoming after a long day on the road. After dinner and a drink or two at The Beast Bar, a stroll to the waterhole will hopefully provide a grand wildlife encounter. On our second day here, we will explore the area using the Beast.
Etosha National Park, Okakeujo Lodge
Day 11 - 12We have two nights at Okakakeujo Camp. Our accommodation is once again very comfortable. We have booked early in order to secure as many bush chalets as possible within a short walk to the waterhole. At night and during the day, from safe viewing areas you can observe the abundant wildlife that visit the waterhole. During the day we can also journey out into the park on wildlife expeditions.
Day 13A beautiful drive today through stunning desert scenery. On the way, we stop for fuel and supplies at Outjo where we might encounter the colourful Herero people and people from the remote nomadic Himba tribes that come from isolated areas on the Angola border. Our home tonight is at the comfortable Igowati Lodge near Khorixas. Igowati Lodge is situated in the ancient Huab Valley in the Kunene region of Namibia (formerly known as Damaraland). The entire area is now known as the Twyfelfontein Uibasen Conservancy and boasts a multitude of rock engravings and paintings. These are a silent testimony to the first hunter-gatherer and subsequent Khoikhoi inhabitants of 6000 years ago, who used the area as a place of worship and shaman rituals. To preserve this unique region, Twyfelfontein was declared Namibia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.
Day 14Today, we visit Twyfelfontein with its rock engravings. We leave the lodge early morning just after breakfast and visit the Burned Mountain, Petrified Forest and the Organ Pipes. Accommodation tonight at the Twyfelfontein Country Lodge.
Day 15We depart early for the Atlantic Ocean Coast. Scenic wise, one of Back Track’s favourite days. Arriving at our accommodation at Cape Cross lodge we can undertake a short walk into the reserve to view the large fur seal colony. The foggy Atlantic ocean ambience of the Lodge is spectacular, especially after our time in the deserts. All rooms look out over the big Atlantic swells of the wild ocean.
Day 16 - 17Up early and head for Swakopmund, further south on the Atlantic Ocean. With its old world charm and relaxed atmosphere, it’s our base for 2 nights. The distinct German colonial character of the town has been well preserved, with the predominant language being German and shops selling traditional cakes and pastries. The stop here has proven popular with our safari members. Options include scenic flights over the Dunes, quad biking, fishing or our recommended option, the Dolphin & Seal Champagne cruise which offers a unique insight into the local ocean ecology. The shopping is fabulous. We also enjoy a beach BBQ and a dinner at the Lighthouse Restaurant. Accommodation for the two nights is at Alte Brucke Lodge, located within easy walking distance of ‘downtown’ Swakopmund. Dinner at a local Swakopmund restaurant.
Day 18 - 19Leaving Swakopmund we head south to the Namib Naukluft National Park. This is the home of the world’s largest red sand dunes, some reaching 300 metres. We have 2 nights here and ample time to explore this breathtaking desert ecosystem. We find time to climb one of the beautiful red dunes for stunning views out over the desert and explore Deadvlei for stunning photographic opportunities. Our home for 2 nights is Little Sossus Lodge. It affords beautiful desert views from all our chalets. A wonderful location for candlelight dinners served from The Beast.
Day 20Another early start sees us heading back Northeast to Windhoek the capital city of Namibia. Our accommodation is the modern Safari Court Hotel. Clean up and head out for our last nights’ dinner (optional) at famous Joe’s Beer House.
Day 21After breakfast, a transfer is provided to connect with the group departure flight. The end to an amazing African Safari experience.
This trip is an “All Inclusive” costed Safari Holiday. Our top inclusions are:
- “The Beast” our primary means of transport. The Beast is an original, classic, Mercedes Benz, Overland Truck. The Beast, now heavily modified to carry us in comfort and unique style is a real rough and tough character. No one messes with The Beast. He is also our Safari Mascot. We love him, you will too. PLUS, when necessary, we’ll use small 4WD vehicles, canoes, and charter flights. Though not an air-conditioned tour bus, The Beast is well ventilated, provides good high viewing and is definitely unique.
- A Safari Crew of four staff. Driver, Chef, Safari Leader and Courier. A crew, dedicated to providing 1st class service while being part of the group and enjoying the camaraderie, fun and adventure. Additional Specialist Guides engaged for our 3-night camping highlight and in areas where local knowledge is helpful;
- A relaxed pace, personally hand-stitched Victoria Falls to Windhoek itinerary. No tour operator offers an experience that can match our unique itinerary and style while travelling through four countries. Our Itinerary spends considerable time in most locations so you are not continuously, on the road;
- Exceptional wildlife encounters and a profound connection with nature in Africa’s famous Wildlife Reserves and National Parks;
- Spectacular scenery every day including travel icons, the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, Moremi Wildlife Reserve, Etosha National Park, and more;
- Unique quality accommodation, all ensuite, in a variety of African Safari Lodges, picked for character and charm;
- All meals. Introducing “The Beast Bistro” serving mouth-watering campfire food, prepared by our own chef. Plus, restaurant and lodge meals, bush dinners and BBQs. Nothing beats dinner under an African star-filled sky;
- “The Beast Bar” your exclusive, members only, safari bar, dispensing non-alcoholic and alcoholic Sundowners, Cocktails and our famous Mojito’s. Beers, soft drinks, mixers and a fine selection of South African wines plus pure drinking water all included;
- All entrance fees, activities detailed in the itinerary and all tips and gratuities.
We also include:
- A complimentary Travel Pack issued on arrival in Vic Falls, containing maps, trip notes, polo style safari shirt and cap and more
- Detailed pre-departure information to ensure you are ready to go
- Pre-departure telephone conference call for Safari members joining up from interstate
- Pre-departure get together for members joining from Brisbane
- Full pre-trip travel services provided via our office, email or our 1300 number
- Expert assistance with post trek tours in Southern Africa.
- Optional tours in Victoria Falls and Swakopmund and other locations
- Single supplement accommodation if required at AU $950