South Africa

MESMERISING WILDERNESS & CULTURE Three Weeks /Skeleton

Coast to the Kalahari

Starting on Namibia's Skeleton Coast, a treacherous coastline with its rusting shipwrecks and desert wilderness, check out the Cape Cross Seal Reserve (p354). Track north along the coast to Torra Bay (p355), where you can camp, or to Terrace Bay (p355) for more luxurious accommodation. Then travel west into the wonders of Damaraland (p347), with its wild, open spaces, and head for Twyfelfontein (p349), one of the most extensive galleries of rock art in Africa. Then journey further east to Outjo (p327), a staging post for visits to Etosha National Park (p332), teeming with animals and one of the continent's great wildlife-viewing sites.

Exit Etosha via Von Linqequist Gate and proceed to Tsumeb (p330), one of the country's prettiest towns with its vivid jacarandas and flame trees. Track northeast along the B8 into Botswana at the border town of Mohembo. Drive down the west side of the Okavango Delta (pl06), perhaps stopping in Sepupa to take a boat to Seronga (pi 16) to do a mokoro trip in the Okavango Panhandle. Detour to the mystical Tsodilo Hills (pi 17), soaked in San legend, culture and spiritual significance: a highlight is the prolific rock art in the area.

The last leg of this ambitious trip is the gigantic Central Kalahari Game Reserve (pi 19) to the southeast, lying at the heart of Botswana. Enter at the Matswere Gate at the northeastern end of the reserve: wildlife includes lions and brown hyenas. You can finish your trip by exiting the same gate and travelling east to Francistown (p95).

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