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Namibia & the Skeleton Coast: Africa's Last Wilderness 2015

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Trip Extensions

Pre-trip: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Before you travel to Nambia, discover Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls. Nearly twice as high as Niagara Falls, and one and a half times as wide, Victoria Falls rates as one of the world’s true natural wonders and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Experience its sheer power—as well as the rich culture of the Zimbabwean villages around its base, plus much more.

It's Included:
Roundtrip international airfare between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls
Accommodations for 1 night in Johannesburg and 3 nights in Victoria Falls
10 meals—4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 3 dinners
3 small group activities
Services of an expert OAT local guide
All transfers
Porterage for 1 bag per traveler
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    You’ll depart the U.S. and fly overnight to Johannesburg, via a connecting city.

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    This evening you'll arrive in Johannesburg and stay overnight for a refreshing night's sleep.

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    This afternoon we fly to Victoria Falls and transfer to our hotel, which is conveniently located near the falls.

    Straddling the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, these awe-inspiring cataracts are nearly twice as high as Niagara and one and a half times as wide, and generate three times as much water. On a clear day, the mist that is sprayed into the air from these crashing waters can be viewed from more than 30 miles away. At peak flood times, 1.4 billion gallons of water per minute pass over its edge. The sight of this largest curtain of water in the world caused David Livingstone to remark that views of its tumbling cascades are “scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” Today, Victoria Falls is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    After lunch, we'll have the opportunity to admire this striking natural wonder on an afternoon walk around the falls. Along the way, we explore walking trails and lookout points—each with different views. There are five main cataracts, including the most dramatic, the Main Falls and Devil’s Cataract. The flora around the falls is naturally profuse: You’ll see ebony, fig trees, and many flowering species. The rain forest surrounding the falls is particularly lush, fed by Victoria’s perpetual spray. (It’s a good idea to wrap your camera equipment, cash, and other items susceptible to dampness in plastic.) Prepare to get wet! Tonight, dinner is at our hotel.

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    Today we’ll gain insight into daily African life when we’re invited into the homes and fields of the Monde community and a local school. Villagers encourage us to be full participants as we’re introduced to a number of aspects of daily life—from architecture, building methods, and agriculture to culture and traditional medicine.

    Before dinner, board a comfortable boat for a relaxing cruise on the Zambezi River at sunset. On this water-borne sunset excursion, you'll be amazed that this gentle current is responsible for the spectacular plummeting falls we witnessed yesterday. As we drift along the river this evening, we're likely to spot hippo and crocodile, and keep your eyes peeled for a variety of other species that come to the edge to drink. We'll enjoy some refreshments ourselves as we drink in views of one of Zambezi's famous sunsets before returning to our hotel for dinner.

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    After breakfast your day is free. The local staff at the lodge can give you many ideas for activities to pursue on your own, or you can simply enjoy relaxing in the spectacular environment of the falls.

    Or perhaps you'll join a variety of optional tours. Enjoy a full-day excursion to Chobe National Park in Botswana. You’ll see animals you won’t see in east Africa, like the sable antelope, puku, incredible birdlife, and the largest concentration of elephants in Africa. Or you might choose to go for a helicopter ride over Victoria Falls—an impressive way to view the "smoke that thunders." You could also embark upon a safari in search of the rare Black Rhino and the African Elephant, or join an elephantback safari, during which you'll learn how to care for these gentle giants.

    However you spend the day, enjoy lunch and dinner with your fellow travelers at the hotel.

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    • Meals included:

    After a hearty breakfast and morning at leisure, we depart Victoria Falls for Johannesburg to meet the rest of our small group and begin our Namibia & the Skeleton Coast: Africa's Last Wilderness adventure.