Experience Southern Africa
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... to Victoria Falls and the Khama Rhino Sanctuary before returning to South Africa.
Some of the highlights included are:
- Bush camp in the Okavango Delta
- See rare rhinos at the Khama Rhino Sanctuary
- Cycle through the streets of Soweto
- Spot big game on a safari through Kruger National Park
- Feel the force of Victoria Falls
- Look for crocs and hippos on a cruise down the Chobe River
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- Meals: 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners
- Accommodation: Bush camp (no facilities) (2 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Camping (with facilities) (9 nights), Guesthouse (1 night), Hotel (1 night)
- Transport: Boat, Mokoro, Overland vehicle
- Activities: Blyde River Canyon Viewpoint, Chobe - River cruise, Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Game drive, Nata Pan Excursion, Soweto - Cycle tour, Thabaphaswa - Village Visit & Dinner, Visit Victoria Falls
Need to know
- Group size: Min 1, Max 12
- Ages: Min 15
Johannesburg is a sprawling city of remarkable contrasts. In the townships, mansions stand alongside tin shacks and there are as many green parks on the outskirts of the city as there are conglomerations of concrete in the centre. This is a good place to spend a couple of days to get an insight into South Africa's history, and it's a great base for exploring the rest of the country. Please make sure that if you explore Johannesburg on your own that you get local advice as to where it is safe to walk, especially in the evening. The level of crime here is higher than what you are probably used to, and the risk can be minimised by getting local advice.
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park
Leave Johannesburg and travel through the Mpumalanga Province, journeying along the famous Panorama Route through some of the most stunning scenery South Africa has to offer. The sights en route include God's Window, Bourke's Luck Potholes, Three Rondavels (Sisters) and the magnificent Blyde River Canyon. One of the largest game reserves in Southern Africa, Kruger National Park is home to over 500 bird species, 100 species of reptile and 150 mammal species, including the Big Five and the endangered African wild dog. We head straight into prime game viewing areas where we hope to catch a glimpse of some of the amazing animals found here. Arriving at our camp within the park, there's time to freshen up before heading out on an open vehicle night drive, an amazing experience and a chance to witness the nocturnal activities of the many animals within the park. Rise early to set off on a morning game drive.
Enjoy a final game drive while travelling out of Kruger National Park. We make our way towards the bushveld town of Mokopane. Mokopane is a vibrant town within the Limpopo region, with its rich mineral deposits and well established farm land contributing to the local economy. Tonight we set up camp just outside of Mokopane, on a working cattle farm called Thabaphaswa. “Thabaphaswa” means in the local dialect, the black and white mountain and is located in a natural basin and surrounded by hills. Tonight we experience South African farm hospitality on this operating Nguni Stud Farm. The Nguni is the most colourful cattle breed of Africa and is deeply intertwined with the traditions and cultures of the local people. We settle into our campsite before departing on a visit to one of the local villages not far from the farm where we visit a traditional artist and gain some more insight into the local culture, and we feast on a traditional dinner.
Today will be a long travel day as we depart Thabaphaswa early in the morning and drive north via Francistown to our lodge in Nata. Our campsite tonight is situated on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans which makes up one of the largest salt pans in the world covering some 12,000sq km. Facilities include a Restaurant, Swimming pool, Gift Shop and Bar/Lounge area. While here you have the opportunity to explore the pans on 3hr excursion in open vehicles. Surrounded by the Kalahari Desert the pans are naturally dry and salty for a large part of the year. During this time the arid landscape has an eerie feel to it as heat mirages disorientate the senses. However they are seasonally covered with water and grass and as soon as the rains hit become a refuge for migratory birds and animals.
Travel on to Victoria Falls. Cross the border into Zimbabwe in time to have lunch on the banks of the Zambezi. Visit the magnificent Victoria Falls. The Victoria Falls are an enormous curtain of water, about a mile wide, falling 108m into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise up an incredible 400m and the falls are an impressive raging torrent. The spray from the falls can sometimes be seen from kilometres away. It's no wonder that the local name Mosi oa Tunya means the 'smoke that thunders'. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and it's possible to see little islets in the river below. As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park
Travel to Chobe National Park in Botswana. Botswana's first national park, Chobe, is perhaps best known for its high concentration of elephants, which can often be seen swimming in the Chobe River. The river also attracts wallowing hippos, a variety of birdlife, crocodiles sunning themselves by the water's edge, and cheetahs and lions which come down to drink. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the Chobe River, a very relaxing way to spend the afternoon. Our camp is outside of Chobe National Park and has flush toilets and hot/cold showers.
There's time for an additional game drive (optional) for those who would like to further explore this beautiful park. Head to Maun, gateway to one of the world's most renowned and complex ecosystems, the Okavango Delta. Camp on the outskirts of town at a simple campsite with shared facilities.
Travel into the unspoiled wilderness for an adventurous bush camping experience. Formed by the Okavango River as it flows from the highlands of Angola down to a basin on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta is unlike anything else in the world. The river has no outlet from the desert and spreads out into thousands of small streams to form a wilderness that is totally unspoilt. The 16,000 sq km maze of wetlands is a wonderland of clear meandering waterways, green islands, lush plains and prolific wildlife, including hippos, crocodiles, elephants and the big cats. Traverse the waterways by mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe navigated by friendly local 'polers'. Spend time exploring the maze of lagoons, lakes and streams on foot, led by experienced and knowledgeable guides. Camp on a remote island in the heart of the wilderness. Wake up early hoping to catch a glimpse of elephants and Cape buffalo.
Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Travel to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Situated on the edge of the vast Kalahari Desert, the Khama Rhino Sanctuary is a result of local efforts to convert a former hunting area into a conservation project. Built to protect Botswana's only remaining populations of both black and white rhinos, the sanctuary is also home to other wildlife including zebras, giraffes, leopards, ostriches and wildebeest, which have all moved in and can be seen around the many natural waterholes. Visiting this project benefits local communities, as well as contributing to the protection of the highly endangered white rhinoceros. Head out on a dusk game drive to see the rhinos when they are at their most active before returning to camp. Our campsite has shared facilities. Please note: Our dusk game drive will be replaced with a dawn game drive if the tour arrives at the sanctuary late for any reason.
Cross the border into South Africa and travel on to Soweto, a township of Johannesburg. Johannesburg is a sprawling city of remarkable contrasts. In the townships, mansions stand alongside tin shacks and there are as many green parks on the outskirts of the city as there are conglomerations of concrete in the centre. This is a good place to spend a couple of days to get an insight into South Africa's history, and it's a great base for exploring the rest of the country. Take to the streets of Soweto on bicycle and learn about the Soweto uprising and the resistance against apartheid, how the community has changed and developed to what it is today, and visit a former migrant workers' hostel and many other local landmarks. We should finish our cycle adventure at around 3pm. Please don't book any international flights until after 8pm this evening.