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Essential African Safari

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Essential African Safari

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Description

Get to know southern Africa’s big three most exciting destinations – Hwange and Kruger national parks and the jaw-dropping Victoria Falls. From South Africa’s sprawling modern capital to the best wilderness areas in the world, you’ll experience a dizzying diversity of communities, cultures and landscapes in just over a week. Oh, and did we mention the animals you’ll see? You can expect 4×4 safaris in the day, and by night, you’ll head out in search of the Big Five – keep your eyes (and ears) peeled.

Trip Name
Essential African Safari
Last Updated
2024-03-02
Days
9
Capacity
22
Highlights
  • Discover the stunning cascades of Victoria Falls whichever way you please, with so many options to choose from – helicopter, anyone?
  • What is the sound of a roaring lion if not a sweet, soothing lullaby? You'll be camping right in the grounds of Kruger National Park, so you be the judge.
  • Visit the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust to learn about the rehabilitation of wildlife from conflict and poaching and have the possibility of meeting some rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care.
  • Pay the famous elephants and lions of Hwange National Park a visit from an open-air 4x4 vehicle on an exciting overland adventure.
  • Cool off with a cold one made from pure Zambezi water with a taste and a tour of the biggest micro-brewery in Victoria Falls.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll learn about our Intrepid Foundation partner, Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust. Donations help employ a team of Community Guardians who collaborate with locals to find sustainable solutions to human-wildlife conflict and conservation in Southern Africa.Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

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 - Victoria Falls
Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early, why not check out some of the optional activities around Victoria Falls? The Zimbabwe side of the falls offers the broadest view of this colossal natural wonder. Scenic helicopter flights are incredible and takes you over the thundering cascades.
Day 2 - Victoria Falls
Guess what? You’re at the edge of the greatest curtain of falling water in the world. After a leader-led orientation walk of the town, enjoy a day of free time to take up one of many activities on offer in the area including a helicopter flight, gorge swing, or even a white-water rafting experience! There are many ways to take in the thundering sight and sound of the falls. These staggering cascades are about a mile wide, falling 108 metres into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray rises high and the falls become a torrent; in the dry season, the lack of spray gives way to a nice view of the little islets in the river below. Meet up in the afternoon for a local brewery tour and tasting in town and get to know your new travel pals. Then perhaps kick on with an optional sunset cruise down the Zambezi River .
Day 3 - Hwange National Park
Leave Victoria Falls behind and head to Hwange National Park (approximately 5 hours, depending on traffic). En route, stop via the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust – one of the Intrepid Foundation’s projects - where 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. Afterwards, explore the stunning arena of Hwange in an open 4x4 vehicle. This national park became the royal hunting grounds of the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19th century and was set aside as a national park in 1929. Today, Hwange boasts a massive selection of wildlife, with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species. But it's the elephants this place is famous for – here you'll find one of the largest elephant populations in Africa.
Day 4 - Matobo National Park
Make tracks for Matobos with a short detour through Bulawayo, checking out its cool colonial buildings, before heading to your camp for the next two nights. Home to a large population of black and white rhinoceros that can be tracked on foot, Matobo National Park is also the site of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of Rhodesia and the De Beers diamond company. The Matobos area has great spiritual and cultural significance to the local people and there are many sites within the park where important ceremonies still take place. For those interested in the culinary side of southern African food, tonight your cook can provide an in-depth cooking class while you help prepare this evening’s delicious meal.
Day 5 - Matobo National Park
Good morning from mighty Matobos. You’re free to do as you please, but what is highly recommended is heading to Matobo Hills and spending the day tracking rhinos and other game animals with the help of your guide on an optional tour. The park is home to so much wildlife, including klipspringers, leopards, warthogs and springhares. Along the way, learn about the flora in the area. After your tour lunch, head to another region of the park to find old bushman paintings, see rock formations and learn some history of the area. Then it's off to nearby African villages to meet some of the local community. It’s definitely a day you won’t want to miss.
Day 6 - Mapungubwe National Park
Up early, today will be a long day with a very busy border post – the only direct border crossing between Zimbabwe and South Africa. The drive is approximately 400km long, but it can take us anything between 6 and 8 hours to reach our destination. Today’s destination is the Mapungubwe National Park in South Africa. This park is set hard against the northern border of South Africa, joining Zimbabwe and Botswana. It is an open, expansive savannah landscape at the intersection of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers. Sip sundowners overlooking the rivers or visit Mpungubwe Hill, where a far developed African civilisation prospered in the 13th century. The Interpretation Centre is the ideal place to catch up on all of this.
Day 7 - Kruger National Park
After breakfast, set off for renowned Kruger National Park. This world-famous park is known for the Big Five game of Africa – lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino. On top of that, it's home to some 336 kinds of trees, 49 fish species and over 500 species of bird. See how many of these you can spot on a game drive in your overland vehicle. You cover over 300km, but taking all day, you’ll be sure to spend time staking out the locals. Continue from your safari to your overnight camp, where there's the option of a further game drive – this time at night. You never know what’s going to come out and play on your safari after dark!
Day 8 - Kruger National Park
Wake up early for a light breakfast of coffee and rusks before embarking on a full-day game drive in the truck. Today is another full day in Kruger, heading down to the central part of the park towards your last campsite. Stop at some of the designated picnic spots for a bite to eat en route to camp. Depending on the season, you might catch a saddle-billed stork with its colourful red beak, or maybe a blue waxbill. In the afternoon when it's warm, take some time out to chill. This evening there will be another optional night drive to spot nocturnal animals and perhaps even a predator or two.
Day 9 - Johannesburg
Venture out for one last safari adventure this morning and soak up all Kruger has to offer. Keep your eyes peeled, ‘cause you never know what will pop out from behind the shrubs! Continue back to Johannesburg (approximately 9–10 hours). This trip finishes on arrival in Johannesburg at a designated hotel drop-off point.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
07-04-202415-04-2024AUD $ 1,177-
26-05-202403-06-2024AUD $ 1,440-
16-06-202424-06-2024AUD $ 1,485-
28-07-202405-08-2024AUD $ 1,440-
18-08-202426-08-2024AUD $ 1,470-
22-09-202430-09-2024AUD $ 1,500-
27-10-202404-11-2024AUD $ 1,440-
10-11-202418-11-2024AUD $ 1,385-
22-12-202430-12-2024AUD $ 1,385-
16-02-202524-02-2025AUD $ 1,455-
27-04-202505-05-2025AUD $ 1,515-
25-05-202502-06-2025AUD $ 1,455-
22-06-202530-06-2025AUD $ 1,515-
20-07-202528-07-2025AUD $ 1,570-
03-08-202511-08-2025AUD $ 1,570-
24-08-202501-09-2025AUD $ 1,570-
14-09-202522-09-2025AUD $ 1,570-
05-10-202513-10-2025AUD $ 1,515-
26-10-202503-11-2025AUD $ 1,515-
23-11-202501-12-2025AUD $ 1,455-
21-12-202529-12-2025AUD $ 1,455-
15-02-202623-02-2026AUD $ 1,380-
26-04-202604-05-2026AUD $ 1,380-
24-05-202601-06-2026AUD $ 1,380-
21-06-202629-06-2026AUD $ 1,380-
19-07-202627-07-2026AUD $ 1,380-
02-08-202610-08-2026AUD $ 1,380-
23-08-202631-08-2026AUD $ 1,380-
13-09-202621-09-2026AUD $ 1,380-
04-10-202612-10-2026AUD $ 1,380-
25-10-202602-11-2026AUD $ 1,380-
22-11-202630-11-2026AUD $ 1,380-
20-12-202628-12-2026AUD $ 1,380-

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (7 nights),Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)

Transport

Overland vehicle,Open safari vehicle

Map