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Experience Southern Africa

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Experience Southern Africa

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Description

Explore Southern Africa, embarking from Johannesburg and journeying through the Kruger National Park, and Victoria Falls, before circling back to South Africa via the Okavango Delta, and the Khama Rhino Sanctuary. This adventure promises golden sunsets, remote wilderness camping, thrilling safaris, and serene river cruises teeming with iconic wildlife. Traverse South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe and be amazed by powerful waterfalls, enchanted by encounters with endangered species and inspired by the resilience of local communities. Immerse yourself in Southern Africa and depart with newfound inspiration and cherished memories to last a lifetime.

Trip Name
Experience Southern Africa
Last Updated
2024-02-14
Days
16
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • Head out on a very special bush walk with members of the world's first all-female anti-poaching unit, the Black Mambas. During this exclusive experience, learn how they're deterring poachers and patrolling 20,000 hectares of nature reserve, then spend the evening listening to their stories by the campfire.
  • Go in search of Africa’s Big Five on full-day 4WD game drive in Kruger National Park.
  • Spot wildlife in Chobe National Park during a sunset river cruise. This is when many animals – such as elephants, cheetahs and lions – come to drink, so get your cameras ready!
  • Experience the untouched wilderness of Botswana's Okavango Delta by staying on a remote island bush camp. At night, the sounds of the African bush are the only things you will hear.
  • Visit the only place in Botswana where both the white and black rhinos still remain: the Khama Rhino Sanctuary.
  • Cycle through the colourful streets of Soweto with a local and hear firsthand about the townships’ rough but inspired history.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. KRUGER PARK CAMPSITES: On occasion, especially during the peak months of May to September and December we are not able to secure campsites within the Kruger National Park. In this instance we will camp at a backpackers outside the park. ROAD CONDITIONS AND INFRASTRUCTURE IN AFRICA: Roads in Africa are often in very poor condition, which makes it hard on our vehicles. Our vehicles are serviced regularly and are generally in good condition, but breakdowns can and do happen. Sometimes the going on this trip is quite tough, the distances covered fairly large and some of the roads and tracks are not exactly smooth or free from dust, but the rewards are exceptional. The travelling times indicated in our Essential Trip Information is just a rough guide and is dependent on various factors that may be outside our control, such as road conditions, weather and time spent at borders. DRIVE TIMES: The travel times listed in the day to day itinerary are a guide only. Please be aware that delays may occur and please be patient - it's all part of the experience afterall! Additionally, the travel times do not include time spent on game drives as these can vary with each departure.

Day 1 - Johannesburg
Sawubona – welcome to South Africa! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early, we recommend visiting the eye-opening Apartheid Museum to start your journey with some crucial history before meeting up with your group. After your important meeting this evening, why not head out for an optional group dinner and get to know your newfound travel companions? Your leader can point you in the right direction with bar and restaurant recommendations.
Day 2 - Greater Kruger National Park - Black Mambas HQ
Rise and shine for a long day’s drive to the outskirts of Kruger National Park where you'll be lucky enough to camp for the evening at the Black Mambas headquarters. The Intrepid Foundation is proudly partnered with Helping Rhinos, who directly support the work of the Black Mambas - the world's first all-female anti-poaching unit. Made up of a team of 36 young African women, the Mambas patrol 20,000 hectares of the Balule Nature Reserve, part of Greater Kruger National Park. Turning a traditionally male-dominated industry on its head, they’re putting their female prowess to work protecting the wildlife of Kruger National Park in an unconventional kind of way. You'll join them on a bush walk to learn how they find and destroy snares firsthand. Enjoy a special dinner by lantern light and later, relax by the campfire with the Mambas as they share stories about their path to becoming a Black Mamba and conservation work.
Day 3 - Kruger National Park
Say farewell to The Black Mambas and embark on a full-day 4x4 game drive through Kruger National Park. 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. The day will be spent game viewing, birdwatching and stopping at various waterholes and viewpoints. Later on, take a night drive with the park guide for a chance to spot nocturnal animals and perhaps even a night-time predator or two – catch a lion or hyena out hunting, or an impala out in search of a late-night feed. Your camp tonight will be within Kruger National Park.
Day 4 - Limpopo River
Head out on one last game drive in our overland vehicle as we leave Kruger National Park for a chance to spot any animals you may have missed yesterday. Settle into your overland vehicle for the drive to our bush camp located on the edge of the Limpopo River, the natural border between South Africa and Botswana and take in the abundance of birdlife surrounding the site.
Day 5 - Goo Moremi Gorge
This morning you cross the border and travel towards Goo Moremi Gorge. At Goo Moremi Gorge, enjoy a guided hike through this beautiful national heritage site where perennial streams have carved deep gorges into the hills. Along our hike, we’ll stop at beautiful waterfalls cascading into deep pools surrounded by lush vegetation. The gorges are home to many birds that feed on fish and small crabs in the pools and are breeding grounds for the endangered Cape vulture. Baboons and rock rabbits live on the cliffs above the gorge and, though very elusive, leopards, hyenas and kudu can also be found here.
Day 6 - Nata
Today, you'll journey from Palapye to Nata. Your lodge is situated on the edge of the amazing Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, covering some 12,000 square kilometres, this is one of the largest salt flats in the world. On arrival, take a 3-hour excursion in an open vehicle to explore these seemingly endless plains in the Nata Bird Sanctuary. 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. Then, after the rains hit, it becomes a grassy refuge for migratory birds and animals. Tonight, enjoy a good nights rest in a comfortable lodge.
Day 7 - Victoria Falls
Today you'll travel on to Victoria Falls, crossing the border into Zimbabwe in time to have lunch on the banks of the Zambezi. Continue to your permanent tent, set within a large rest camp. After settling in, you may want to set out on a highly recommended optional trip to visit Victoria Falls. Spanning about a mile wide and falling 108 metres into a narrow gorge below, the spray from the falls can sometimes be seen from kilometres away. 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. Otherwise, a range of other activities are available through the local activity centre. After visiting the falls or enjoying a relaxing afternoon, meet up with your group for an included brewery tour and beer to say cheers to the journey so far.
Day 8 - Victoria Falls
Guess what? You’re at the edge of the greatest curtain of falling water in the world. Enjoy a day of free time to take up one of many activities on offer in the area! There are many ways to take in the sights and sounds of the falls. As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group will likely change at this location. There will be a group meeting this evening to discuss the next stage of your itinerary. We suggest you attend, as this is also a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Day 9 - Chobe National Park
Travel to Chobe National Park in Botswana (approximately 3 hours) via the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, one of The Intrepid Foundation projects. Here you can learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, human-wildlife conflict and their role in anti-poaching. There may also be a chance to meet any rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care. Chobe, the first national park to be established in the country, 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, and crocodiles which like to sun themselves by the water's edge. Cheetahs and lions also come down to drink. In the late afternoon you will embark on a scenic sunset cruise on the Chobe River guided by an expert local guide – a relaxing way to spend the afternoon. Your camp, located outside of the park, has flush toilets, showers, intermittent WiFi and optional accommodation upgrades.
Day 10 - Maun
There's time for a morning game drive for those who would like to further explore this beautiful park (this is optional). As well as elephants, you might see some of Chobe's other noble creatures – from giraffe and zebra to impala and tsessebe. Then it's time to head to Maun (approximately 10–11 hours). This town is the gateway to one of the world's most famous and most complex ecosystems, the Okavango Delta.
Day 11 - Okavango Delta
Travel into the unspoiled wilderness for an adventurous camping experience. The Okavango Delta is unlike anything in the world – a 16,000 square kilometre maze of wetlands made up of meandering waterways, green islands, lush plains and prolific wildlife. The delta is filled with a diversity of flora and fauna that includes hippos, crocodiles, elephants and big cats. But it's not the animals that are the main attraction – it's the incredible ecosystem. You'll explore the waterways by mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe navigated by friendly local 'polers'. You'll also spend some time exploring on foot with your experienced and knowledgeable guides. Camp on a remote island in the heart of the wild. Toilets will be dug and there are no showers. Hear the nocturnal creatures of the African bush come to life as the sun goes down.
Day 12 - Okavango Delta
It's an early start this morning as you venture out for a sunrise walk, hoping to catch a glimpse of some elephants and perhaps the fascinating and rather noble-looking Cape buffalo. Return to camp to enjoy some breakfast and reflect on the morning's viewing with your fellow travellers. As it warms up, you'll have the rest of the day to relax. You might like to take a refreshing swim. There is also the option of an afternoon walk or another mokoro trip. You may notice that the mokoros of today are made with fibreglass but retain their original shape – this strikes a balance between tradition and sustainability.
Day 13 - Maun
After taking down your camp, it's time to return the mokoro to the poling station and board the vehicle once again. Travel back to Maun (approximately 2–3 hours). Today, we will tour a local brewery that uses millet grown by small-scale farmers in their beer production. By doing so, they support these farmers' efforts to coexist with elephants and promote an inclusive economy. This initiative not only promotes sustainable farming practices but also contributes to the region's wildlife economy, adding to the benefits.
Day 14 - Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Travel to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (approximately 9–10 hours). On the edge of the Kalahari Desert, the Khama Rhino Sanctuary is a community-based conservation project staffed by local village residents. Built in a former hunting area 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, all of which can be seen around the many natural waterholes. Visiting this project benefits local communities and contributes to the protection of the highly endangered white rhinoceros. In the evening, head out on a dusk game drive in an open safari vehicle with an expert local ranger to see the rhinos (this will be replaced by a dawn game drive if the group arrives at the sanctuary too late). Your camp tonight has shared facilities and optional upgrades.
Day 15 - Soweto
Cross the border into South Africa and travel on to Soweto, which is located in the Johannesburg area (approximately 10–11 hours). Johannesburg is a sprawling city of remarkable contrasts. As you come into town you'll likely see opulent mansions alongside tin-roof shacks, and verdant city parks alongside the concrete. About half of Jo'burg's 3 million residents live in Soweto and its surrounding areas. Enjoy a relaxing evening upon arrival.
Day 16 - Soweto (Johannesburg)
Take to the streets of Soweto on a bicycle and learn about the Soweto uprising and the resistance against apartheid. It's interesting to see how the community has changed and developed into what it is today. You'll also visit a former migrant workers' hostel and stop at many other local landmarks. Your cycling adventure should finish up at around 3 pm today. With no further activities planned, your trip comes to an end at this point. No accommodation is provided for tonight, but this can be arranged when you book this trip. If you are departing, it's best to book a flight for 8 pm or later.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
17-03-202401-04-2024AUD $ 5,308-
07-04-202422-04-2024AUD $ 5,257-
28-04-202413-05-2024AUD $ 6,370-
19-05-202403-06-2024AUD $ 6,370-
02-06-202417-06-2024AUD $ 6,625-
23-06-202408-07-2024AUD $ 6,560-
07-07-202422-07-2024AUD $ 6,745-
21-07-202405-08-2024AUD $ 6,680-
04-08-202419-08-2024AUD $ 6,745-
18-08-202402-09-2024AUD $ 6,745-
01-09-202416-09-2024AUD $ 7,340-
15-09-202430-09-2024AUD $ 7,010-
22-09-202407-10-2024AUD $ 6,430-
06-10-202421-10-2024AUD $ 6,495-
20-10-202404-11-2024AUD $ 6,495-
17-11-202402-12-2024AUD $ 6,185-
08-12-202423-12-2024AUD $ 6,185-
22-12-202406-01-2025AUD $ 6,185-
12-01-202527-01-2025AUD $ 6,495-
09-02-202524-02-2025AUD $ 6,495-
09-03-202524-03-2025AUD $ 6,495-
06-04-202521-04-2025AUD $ 6,495-
27-04-202512-05-2025AUD $ 6,495-
18-05-202502-06-2025AUD $ 6,495-
01-06-202516-06-2025AUD $ 6,750-
15-06-202530-06-2025AUD $ 6,750-
29-06-202514-07-2025AUD $ 7,010-
06-07-202521-07-2025AUD $ 7,010-
13-07-202528-07-2025AUD $ 7,010-
27-07-202511-08-2025AUD $ 7,010-
10-08-202525-08-2025AUD $ 7,010-
24-08-202508-09-2025AUD $ 7,010-
31-08-202515-09-2025AUD $ 7,010-
07-09-202522-09-2025AUD $ 6,750-
14-09-202529-09-2025AUD $ 6,750-
21-09-202506-10-2025AUD $ 6,750-
28-09-202513-10-2025AUD $ 6,750-
05-10-202520-10-2025AUD $ 6,750-
19-10-202503-11-2025AUD $ 6,495-
02-11-202517-11-2025AUD $ 6,495-
21-12-202505-01-2026AUD $ 6,750-
11-01-202626-01-2026AUD $ 6,750-
08-02-202623-02-2026AUD $ 6,750-
08-03-202623-03-2026AUD $ 6,750-
05-04-202620-04-2026AUD $ 6,750-
26-04-202611-05-2026AUD $ 6,750-
17-05-202601-06-2026AUD $ 6,750-
31-05-202615-06-2026AUD $ 6,750-
14-06-202629-06-2026AUD $ 6,750-
28-06-202613-07-2026AUD $ 6,750-
05-07-202620-07-2026AUD $ 6,750-
12-07-202627-07-2026AUD $ 6,750-
26-07-202610-08-2026AUD $ 6,750-
09-08-202624-08-2026AUD $ 6,750-
23-08-202607-09-2026AUD $ 6,750-
30-08-202614-09-2026AUD $ 6,750-
06-09-202621-09-2026AUD $ 6,750-
13-09-202628-09-2026AUD $ 6,750-
20-09-202605-10-2026AUD $ 6,750-
27-09-202612-10-2026AUD $ 6,750-
04-10-202619-10-2026AUD $ 6,750-
18-10-202602-11-2026AUD $ 6,750-
01-11-202616-11-2026AUD $ 6,750-
20-12-202604-01-2027AUD $ 6,750-

Accommodation

Hotel (2 night),Lodge (1 night),Meru Tent (1 night),Permanent Tented Overland Camp (2 night),Camping with facilities (5 nights),Basic Camping with no facilities (2 nights),Guesthouse (1 night)

Transport

Overland vehicle,Boat,Mokoro,Bicycle,Open Safari Vehicle

Map