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Experience Southern Africa

Experience Southern Africa

From $ 3,860 AUD

Description

Visit Southern Africa and travel from Johannesburg, through the Kruger National Park, to Victoria Falls and the Khama Rhino Sanctuary before returning to South Africa. Here’s a chance to witness golden sunsets, camp in remote wilderness, safari through African plains and cruise rivers filled with iconic wildlife. Journey through South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe and be amazed by powerful waterfalls, enchanted by encounters with endangered species and inspired by the resolve of communities emerging from darker times. Experience Southern Africa and walk away with renewed hope, inspiration and a heart full of memories.

Trip Name
Experience Southern Africa
Last Updated
2020-08-11
Days
16
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • Camp under an Africa sky within Kruger National Park. You can’t get much closer to nature than that!
  • Spot wildlife in Chobe National Park during a sunset river cruise. This is the time many animals – such as elephants, cheetahs and lions – come to drink so get your cameras ready!
  • Experience 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 Rhinoceros’ 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.
  • On this trip you will be accompanied by 3 crew members - Group Leader, Driver and a camp assistant. Your Camp Assistant is responsible for setting up camp and preparing your meals so you can take extra time to relax at the end of your day.
  • Camping beds/stretchers, sleeping bags, blankets and pillows are provided for camping nights to provide an extra level of comfort.

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 is 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, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. 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 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 leader know you are interested in the Group 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 leaders 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, June, July & December we are unable 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 where you'll meet your tour leader and fellow travellers. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. If you arrive early, get out and explore this city characterised by remarkable contrasts. Perhaps visit the culturally rich areas of Newtown, Braamfontein or Maboneng. The eye-opening Apartheid Museum is well worth your time.
Day 2 - Greater Kruger National Park
Depart Johannesburg, the 'City of Gold' and head off on an adventure of a lifetime. A truly unique African experience unfolds as you enter the Greater Kruger National Park ecosystem, arriving at your campsite in time for lunch (approximately 10 hours travel time including stops along the way). 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. Base camp for tonight is in the Guernsey Private Game Reserve on the edge of Kruger National park. Once settled perhaps take the optional night game drive into Kruger National Park.
Day 3 - Kruger National Park
Rise early for a light breakfast of coffee and rusks before embarking on a morning game drive through Kruger National Park in the overland vehicle. Most of 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. However, sometimes during peak seasons of June, July and December you’ll camp at a nearby site, just outside the gate.
Day 4 - Masebe Nature Reserve
Head out on one last game drive at Kruger National Park for a chance to spot any animals you may have missed yesterday, then settle into your overland vehicle for the 7-hour drive to Masebe Nature Reserve. Characterised by spectacular rock formations that weave between vegetation and rivers, Masebe's uniquely beautiful scenery separates it from other nature reserves and national parks in South Africa. The 4,500-hectare provincial park is also known for its excellent birding and wildlife viewing. Sables, nyala, giraffes, zebras and leopards are just some of the wildlife you may encounter here. Your camp tonight is located within the reserve, providing an extraordinarily tranquil experience.
Day 5 - Moremi Gorge
Begin the day by touring well-preserved, pre-historic rock art found at three sites across Masebe Nature Reserve. Hidden within caves in sandstone cliffs, these ancient paintings were created by the San people (Bushmen) thousands of years ago. While much about these paintings are shrouded in mystery, images of people and animals provide a unique glimpse into how the San lived. Then its back on the road as you travel towards Moremi Gorge. Located near Palapye, the drive will take approximately 6 hours. Settle into your camp on arrival.
Day 6 - Nata
Journey from Palapye to Nata (approximately 6 hours). Your campsite 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. 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 become a grassy refuge for migratory birds and animals. Tonight, enjoy a good nights rest in a comfortable lodge.
Day 7 - Victoria Falls
Travel on to Victoria Falls (approximately 4 hours), 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
Today is a free day to enjoy the many activities on offer. If you are interested in  an optional helicopter flight (12 minute or 25 minute rides), Zambezi Helicopter co CAA Zimbabwe is the only operator that meets Intrepid's safety requirements and that we endorse. Your leader can help you arrange this activity or recommend other activities to make the most of your free day.
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 – 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). Though this town is best known as a stepping stone to the delta, it's worth a stroll around. Perhaps check out the Nhabe Museum if you feel curious and have time.
Day 14 - Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Travel to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (approximately 9–10 hours). Situated on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, the Khama Rhino Sanctuary is a conversion of 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, 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 you'll head out on a dusk game drive 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
04-10-202019-10-2020AUD $ 5,035-
20-12-202004-01-2021AUD $ 4,850-
28-03-202112-04-2021AUD $ 3,860-
02-05-202117-05-2021AUD $ 3,860-
06-06-202121-06-2021AUD $ 3,860-
04-07-202119-07-2021AUD $ 3,860-
25-07-202109-08-2021AUD $ 3,860-
08-08-202123-08-2021AUD $ 3,860-
29-08-202113-09-2021AUD $ 3,860-
12-09-202127-09-2021AUD $ 3,860-
26-09-202111-10-2021AUD $ 3,860-
24-10-202108-11-2021AUD $ 3,860-
21-11-202106-12-2021AUD $ 3,860-
19-12-202103-01-2022AUD $ 3,860-
26-12-202110-01-2022AUD $ 3,860-
09-01-202224-01-2022AUD $ 3,860-
06-02-202221-02-2022AUD $ 3,860-
20-03-202204-04-2022AUD $ 3,860-
10-04-202225-04-2022AUD $ 3,860-
01-05-202216-05-2022AUD $ 3,860-
05-06-202220-06-2022AUD $ 3,860-
03-07-202218-07-2022AUD $ 3,860-
24-07-202208-08-2022AUD $ 3,860-
07-08-202222-08-2022AUD $ 3,860-
28-08-202212-09-2022AUD $ 3,860-
11-09-202226-09-2022AUD $ 3,860-
25-09-202210-10-2022AUD $ 3,860-
23-10-202207-11-2022AUD $ 3,860-
20-11-202205-12-2022AUD $ 3,860-
18-12-202202-01-2023AUD $ 3,860-
25-12-202209-01-2023AUD $ 3,860-

Accommodation

Hotel (3 night),Chalet (1 night),Lodge (1 night),Permanent Tented Overland Camp (2 nights),Guesthouse (1 night),Camping with facilities (5 nights),Basic Camping with no facilities (2 nights)

Transport

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

Map