Vic Falls to Kruger

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Vic Falls to Kruger

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Description

This Lonely Planet Experience takes you through three of southern Africa’s most phenomenal game-viewing sites in search of the world’s most spectacular wildlife – Hwange National Park, Kruger National Park and Matobo National Park. Spend nine days in search of the Big Five (that’s lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalo) and more on this journey through South Africa and Zimbabwe. Plus you’ll enjoy time in a traditional village in the Limpopo province and visit South Africa’s modern capital – all the while uncovering Africa’s incredible and diverse natural beauty. Join Intrepid and Lonely Planet on an adventure into the wild.

Trip Name
Vic Falls to Kruger
Last Updated
2020-01-21
Days
9
Capacity
22
Highlights
  • Visit the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust and learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, human-wildlife conflict and anti-poaching efforts.
  • Pay the elephants and lions of Hwange National Park a visit in an open-air safari vehicle, stopping along the way for the perfect wildlife photographs.
  • Track rhinos on foot with an expert local guide in Matobo National Park – an exhilarating way to experience the wildlife of Zimbabwe.
  • Immerse yourself in the ancient culture of the Venda people at a two-night village homestay in South Africa's Limpopo province.
  • Marvel at the unforgettable views of Blyde River Canyon. This spectacular gorge is up there with the world's largest and is probably the greenest of the lot.

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 print and review a final copy 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 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 may be 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 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 - Victoria Falls
Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe and the mighty Victoria Falls. Your Lonely Planet Experience begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important briefing. If you arrive early, why not check out some of the optional activities around Vic Falls. The Zimbabwe side of the falls offers the broadest view of this colossal natural wonder, and the scenic helicopter flights are incredible – if you opt for one, choose Zambezi Helicopter Company (CAA Zimbabwe), the only operator Intrepid endorses.
Day 2 - Hwange National Park
Leave Victoria Falls behind and head to Hwange National Park (approximately 5 hours, depending on traffic) via the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust – one of the projects The Intrepid Foundation supports. Here you can learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, human-wildlife conflict and the Trust’s role in anti-poaching. There may also be a chance to meet any rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care. At Hwange National Park, you will explore this stunning wildlife arena in an open 4WD vehicle. It 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 tremendous selection of wildlife, with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species. The elephants of Hwange are world famous – here you'll find one of the largest elephant populations in Africa.
Day 3 - Matobo National Park
Leave Hwange in your dust as you make tracks for Matobo National Park (approximately 5 hours). Shortly after leaving Hwange, stop at the Painted Dog Conservation Centre. The loss of quality habitat and poaching are driving the painted dog (also known as African wild dog) towards extinction. Learn about how they protect and increase the range and numbers of painted dogs in Zimbabwe and the Hwange ecosystem as a whole. Then it's on to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city. Take a stroll through the streets lined with old colonial buildings and stop in at a local cafe or restaurant for lunch before heading to your camp for the next two nights. Home to a large population of black and white rhinoceroses 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 Matobo 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.
Day 4 - Matobo National Park
This morning, have a unique experience tracking rhinos on foot with the help of your guides. Here there will be the chance to spot other game – the park is home to klipspringers, leopards, warthogs and springhares, among others. You can also learn about the various local plants and trees, including wild pear and paperbark, while discovering San paintings and the intriguing rock formations of the park. After a cold lunch, venture to a nearby village and meet some of the local people.
Day 5 - Makushu Village
Get up nice and early for a day of travel. You'll cross a very busy border post, the only direct border crossing between Zimbabwe and South Africa. The drive is about 400 kilometres (approximately 6–8 hours). Your destination today is Makushu – a small village in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Upon arrival in Makushu, you will be met by a local village guide, who will ensure you are well taken care of. You will be staying with homestay host mothers in their family homes. With your own room within the family home, you will get a true feeling of what it’s like in the village – certainly a unique and memorable experience for travellers.
Day 6 - Makushu Village
Rise and shine to the sounds of local village life – enjoy a day with your hosts in Makushu. As with any small town, no two days are the same, but you will be involved in traditional village activities, depending on what tasks are required on that day. Some things you may get up to today include traditional floor making, beading, dancing, beer making and cooking. Today is a true opportunity to interact with the local villagers and learn of traditional Venda ways.
Day 7 - Kruger National Park
Journey to Kruger National Park (approximately 8–9 hours). There will be an opportunity to stop at a shop or market for any camping supplies you or the group might need. 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. Your wildlife experience begins as soon as you enter the park. You will head straight into prime game viewing areas, spotting anything from antelopes and elands to cheetahs and rhinos.
Day 8 - Kruger National Park
Rise early and have a light breakfast of coffee and rusks before embarking on a full-day game drive in the truck. Most of the day will be spent game viewing, bird watching and stopping at various waterholes and viewpoints. Depending on the season, you might catch sight of a saddle-billed stork with its distinct red beak, or the blue waxbill which is commonly found foraging for seeds in the scrub. In the afternoon when it's warm, take some time out to relax. Later on, there is an optional night drive with the park guide to spot nocturnal animals and perhaps even a night-time predator or two.
Day 9 - Johannesburg
It's time to head to Johannesburg (approximately 9–10 hours). There’s plenty of time to stop and explore along the way. You will take in amazing vistas at the viewpoint over Blyde River Canyon and Bourke's Luck Potholes. This trip finishes on arrival in Johannesburg at the finishing point hotel.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
02-02-202010-02-2020AUD $ 1,800-
09-02-202017-02-2020AUD $ 2,035-
23-02-202002-03-2020AUD $ 2,000-
01-03-202009-03-2020AUD $ 1,500-
08-03-202016-03-2020AUD $ 1,832-
22-03-202030-03-2020AUD $ 2,000-
29-03-202006-04-2020AUD $ 2,000-
05-04-202013-04-2020AUD $ 2,000-
12-04-202020-04-2020AUD $ 2,000-
19-04-202027-04-2020AUD $ 2,100-
26-04-202004-05-2020AUD $ 1,950-
03-05-202011-05-2020AUD $ 1,985-
10-05-202018-05-2020AUD $ 2,075-
12-05-202020-05-2020AUD $ 2,000-
17-05-202025-05-2020AUD $ 2,075-
24-05-202001-06-2020AUD $ 2,075-
31-05-202008-06-2020AUD $ 2,130-
07-06-202015-06-2020AUD $ 2,075-
14-06-202022-06-2020AUD $ 2,075-
23-06-202001-07-2020AUD $ 2,095-
28-06-202006-07-2020AUD $ 2,075-
05-07-202013-07-2020AUD $ 2,160-
12-07-202020-07-2020AUD $ 2,160-
19-07-202027-07-2020AUD $ 2,195-
26-07-202003-08-2020AUD $ 2,215-
28-07-202005-08-2020AUD $ 2,160-
02-08-202010-08-2020AUD $ 2,160-
09-08-202017-08-2020AUD $ 2,160-
16-08-202024-08-2020AUD $ 2,160-
23-08-202031-08-2020AUD $ 2,160-
30-08-202007-09-2020AUD $ 2,160-
06-09-202014-09-2020AUD $ 2,160-
20-09-202028-09-2020AUD $ 2,160-
22-09-202030-09-2020AUD $ 2,195-
27-09-202005-10-2020AUD $ 2,160-
04-10-202012-10-2020AUD $ 2,075-
11-10-202019-10-2020AUD $ 2,075-
18-10-202026-10-2020AUD $ 2,075-
25-10-202002-11-2020AUD $ 2,075-
01-11-202009-11-2020AUD $ 2,075-
08-11-202016-11-2020AUD $ 2,075-
15-11-202023-11-2020AUD $ 2,000-
22-11-202030-11-2020AUD $ 1,950-
29-11-202007-12-2020AUD $ 1,950-
06-12-202014-12-2020AUD $ 1,950-
13-12-202021-12-2020AUD $ 1,950-
20-12-202028-12-2020AUD $ 1,950-
22-12-202030-12-2020AUD $ 2,075-
27-12-202004-01-2021AUD $ 2,130-
03-01-202111-01-2021AUD $ 1,965-
10-01-202118-01-2021AUD $ 1,915-
17-01-202125-01-2021AUD $ 1,915-
24-01-202101-02-2021AUD $ 1,915-
31-01-202108-02-2021AUD $ 1,915-
07-02-202115-02-2021AUD $ 1,830-
14-02-202122-02-2021AUD $ 1,830-
21-02-202101-03-2021AUD $ 1,830-
28-02-202108-03-2021AUD $ 1,830-
07-03-202115-03-2021AUD $ 1,780-
14-03-202122-03-2021AUD $ 1,780-
21-03-202129-03-2021AUD $ 1,780-
28-03-202105-04-2021AUD $ 1,780-
04-04-202112-04-2021AUD $ 1,780-
11-04-202119-04-2021AUD $ 1,780-
18-04-202126-04-2021AUD $ 1,780-
25-04-202103-05-2021AUD $ 1,780-
02-05-202110-05-2021AUD $ 1,780-
09-05-202117-05-2021AUD $ 1,780-
16-05-202124-05-2021AUD $ 1,780-
23-05-202131-05-2021AUD $ 1,780-
30-05-202107-06-2021AUD $ 1,780-
06-06-202114-06-2021AUD $ 1,780-
13-06-202121-06-2021AUD $ 1,780-
20-06-202128-06-2021AUD $ 1,780-
22-06-202130-06-2021AUD $ 1,780-
27-06-202105-07-2021AUD $ 1,780-
04-07-202112-07-2021AUD $ 1,780-
11-07-202119-07-2021AUD $ 1,780-
13-07-202121-07-2021AUD $ 1,780-
18-07-202126-07-2021AUD $ 1,780-
20-07-202128-07-2021AUD $ 1,780-
25-07-202102-08-2021AUD $ 1,780-
27-07-202104-08-2021AUD $ 1,780-
01-08-202109-08-2021AUD $ 1,780-
03-08-202111-08-2021AUD $ 1,780-
08-08-202116-08-2021AUD $ 1,780-
15-08-202123-08-2021AUD $ 1,780-
17-08-202125-08-2021AUD $ 1,780-
22-08-202130-08-2021AUD $ 1,780-
24-08-202101-09-2021AUD $ 1,780-
29-08-202106-09-2021AUD $ 1,780-
05-09-202113-09-2021AUD $ 1,780-
12-09-202120-09-2021AUD $ 1,780-
19-09-202127-09-2021AUD $ 1,780-
21-09-202129-09-2021AUD $ 1,780-
26-09-202104-10-2021AUD $ 1,780-
03-10-202111-10-2021AUD $ 1,780-
10-10-202118-10-2021AUD $ 1,780-
17-10-202125-10-2021AUD $ 1,780-
24-10-202101-11-2021AUD $ 1,780-
31-10-202108-11-2021AUD $ 1,780-
07-11-202115-11-2021AUD $ 1,780-
14-11-202122-11-2021AUD $ 1,780-
21-11-202129-11-2021AUD $ 1,780-
28-11-202106-12-2021AUD $ 1,780-
05-12-202113-12-2021AUD $ 1,780-
12-12-202120-12-2021AUD $ 1,780-
14-12-202122-12-2021AUD $ 1,780-
19-12-202127-12-2021AUD $ 1,780-
26-12-202103-01-2022AUD $ 1,780-

Accommodation

Camping with facilities (6 nights),Homestay (2 nights)

Transport

Overland vehicle,Open safari vehicle

Map