Our specialist says
A wonderful adventure combining incredible game viewing, the open road and UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Starting in Johannesburg this trip takes you through some of the most wildlife-rich land in all of Southern Africa, dramatic, ever-changing scenery and also gives you a glimpse at the history of one of Africa’s most mystical ancient civilisations. Your expert guides (2 guides on every trip) will ensure that each is as memorable as the last and with a maximum of 12 guests on each trip you will be assured their undivided attention at all times.
After spending a night in Johannesburg, you will be driven East to the iconic Kruger National Park which offers the best big game viewing that South Africa has to offer. From there cross the border in to Zimbabwe and visit the fascinating ancient stone ruins of Great Zimbabwe which gave the country its post-colonial name. Next up are the mystical hills of the Matobo National Park, beloved of the great colonialist Cecil Rhodes and home to Zimbabwe’s last free-roaming population of rhino.
From there you will travel through the Kavango Zambezi Trans-Frontier Conservation Area (TFCA), where you will visit impressive natural and cultural attractions in the region. In Hwange National Park amazing big game viewing can be enjoyed on the dry and dusty plains. Iconic Victoria Falls is next on your agenda before crossing the border in to Botswana and exploring the Chobe National Park. Head South through Botswana, breaking your journey in Nata before you spend a few nights exploring the game-rich Okavango Delta, which offers arguably the best game viewing in all of Africa. Too vast to describe with any accuracy, the sheer scope of this TFCA bewilders the mind with a range of experiences, from the ‘Smoke-that-Thunders’, Victoria Falls, to Hwange with its prolific birdlife, to the lifeforce of the region, the Chobe River and finally to the Okavango Delta, one of the most exquisitely scenic and prolific game-viewing and birding experiences in the world.
A further chance to see rhino will be offered with a night in the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, which breaks the journey back to Johannesburg where the trip will end.
With an amazing diversity of wildlife areas, this is a truly exhilarating trip, offering the chance to see all creatures great and small in unique, natural environments, all in the company of your expert guides.
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Day 1: Flying to South Africa
Overnight flight from London Heathrow to Johannesburg.
Day 2: A day to relax in Johannesburg
An early arrival in to Johannesburg this morning will mean you can get through immigration, collect your bags and then jump in the transfer to Rivonia Road Lodge all in good time. You will have today at leisure to relax, however, if there is anything that you would like to do in Johannesburg please ask and we can of course make the arrangements for you.
Day 3: Kruger National Park
This morning you will set off early, heading East out of Johannesburg to the famed Kruger National Park, a true icon of South Africa and home to some of the continent’s best game viewing. You will be heading to the Central part of the park today for an overnight stay in the National Park’s Letaba Rest Camp. Enjoy an afternoon game drive to spot the varied wildlife that this part of the park supports.
**Please note, bathroom and shower facilities are shared at tonight's stop**.
Day 4: Through the Kruger
Depart Letaba after an early breakfast and drive through the Kruger National Park, all the way to its Northern boundary in an area known as Pafuri. You will notice the park become increasingly less busy as you drive North, with the Pafuri area a well-kept secret with just a few visitors a day coming up here. The region is characterised by large tracts of mopane forest and is home to varied wildlife including lion, elephant and wild dog. Spent tonight at Awelani Lodge.
Day 5: Great Zimbabwe
Cross the border in to Zimbabwe today and drive through the lowveld of the country until you reach the ancient stone city of Great Zimbabwe. This is a long day driving and you should arrive at Great Zimbabwe Hotel in the latter part of the afternoon for some time at leisure to relax.
Day 6: Great Zimbabwe and the Matobos
This morning you will enjoy a tour of Great Zimbabwe in the company of an expert local guide. Explore these fascinating ruins and get to know some of the theories as to how they were built, by whom and the history of the people who lived there. From Great Zimbabwe you will travel West to the mystical hills of the Matobo National Park. This is a land of large rounded granite hilltops, many with boulders balanced precariously on the summits. Enjoy a sundowner drink on one of these amazing vantage points before continuing on to Hermits Peak where you will be spending the next 2 nights.
Day 7: Exploring the Matobos
This morning you can enjoy watching the sun rise over the park before heading out to walk to the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, who lent his name to the original incarnation of what is now Zimbabwe – Rhodesia. Whilst history may cast him as a controversial figure to say the least, there was no doubting his influence in the early colonial era and his love for the Matobos was so strong that he was buried here in a spot he called “The view of the World”. This afternoon will see you exploring the park further, walking to ancient rock art sites and enjoying a game drive to see Zimbabwe’s last free roaming rhino.
Day 8: On to Hwange
Continue the journey North-West this morning, passing through the open countryside of Zimbabwe until you reach the vast Hwange National Park, the largest park in Zimbabwe and renowned for its amazing game viewing. Arrive at your lodge in the latter part of the afternoon having enjoyed a short game drive through the park. Miombo Safari Lodge is found in a game management area that borders the main park so offers easy access to the best wildlife viewing areas.
Day 9: On safari in Hwange
Today you will enjoy a full day game drive through the park in an open 4x4 vehicle with a local guide. This is a chance to see the diverse and populous wildlife of Hwange, including lion, cheetah, wild dog and leopard, all of whom thrive on the open plains. Equally, Hwange is renowned for excellent elephant sightings, with huge herds found here, along with rarer species such as roan and sable antelope which aren’t often seen in other areas.
Day 10: The "Smoke that Thunders"
Set off from Hwange this morning, making your way in to the North-Western corner of Zimbabwe and the iconic Victoria Falls, an undoubted highlight of any trip to Africa. Arrive in the late morning and enjoy an afternoon at leisure to relax. You will be spending the next 2 nights at the Victoria Falls Rainbow Hotel.
Day 11: Exploring The Falls
There are no specific activities booked today, so you are free to do as you please but we can of course help to arrange anything that you are looking to do. Scenic flights over The Falls, by helicopter or microlight, are a great way to start off the day and if you are looking to be adventurous then we can organise bungee jumping, gorge swings and, when water levels allow, white water rafting and trips to Livingstone Island. Sundowner drinks cruises on the mighty Zambezi are a great way to end any day here. Equally, if you are looking to get a taste of local life, Victoria Falls is a lovely town to explore and immerse yourselves in the local culture.
Day 12: Chobe National Park
This morning sees you enter the third country on your trip, Botswana, where you will be spending the night in the Chobe National Park. A stay at Thebe River Safaris will allow you explore the park by boating gently along the Chobe River – a wonderfully different way to see the park as you watch animals come to drink from the banks of the river. Enjoy sundowner drinks on the river before heading back to the lodge for dinner.
Day 13: On to Nata
Depart the lodge this morning and enjoy a game drive through the park, spotting predators as they come back from a night hunting. From there drive through the beautiful and much under visited Kasane Forest area before reaching Nata where you will be spending the night in Nata Lodge. This afternoon and evening are at leisure to relax.
Day 14: To the Okavango Delta
Change from your overland vehicle to open 4x4 vehicles today and head deep in the Okavango Delta, a wildlife-rich wetland which occupies a huge tract of Northern Botswana. The waters of the Okavango are fed from the highlands of Angola far away, with the seasonal patterns meaning the water is at its peak between June and October, although permanent water can be found throughout the area. Spend your two nights here Camping, in comfortable pre-erected with en-suite “bush bathrooms”.
Day 15: Exploring the Okavango
Spend today exploring the Okavango Delta on foot and in traditional mokoro canoes, spotting the varied wildlife, including abundant avian life for which the delta is world-famous. In between activities relax in the wonderful surroundings of your camp and enjoy the peaceful, tranquil location that it offers. A few days in the delta is truly an incredible experience and one to be savoured as you explore one of the most unspoilt natural environments on earth.
Day 16: On to Maun
After a final morning activity you will head to the small safari town of Maun by mokoro canoe. Spend tonight at Island Safari Lodge with the afternoon at leisure to relax although there is, for an additional cost, the chance to enjoy a scenic flight over the Okavango Delta and witness the landscape you have just explored from a totally different perspective.
Day 17: Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Drive South from Maun today, enjoying the endless expanses of wilderness for which Botswana is renowned until you reach the Khama Rhino Sanctuary in the heart of the stunning Kalahari Desert. One of the few places in Botswana where you can see rhino, Khama is an excellent example of conservation in action and a superb spot to spend the final night of your trip.
Day 18: Johannesburg and home
Depart Khama after breakfast, driving South and crossing the border in to South Africa for the journey on to Johannesburg, arriving there in the late afternoon to be taken on to the airport for your overnight flight back to London.
Duration: 18 Days
Location: South Africa, Africa
The South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana Game Tracker trip costs from £3,345 per person and includes:
- International flights
- Transfer from Johannesburg airport to Rivonia Road Lodge
- 1 night with Breakfast at Rivonia Road Lodge - Standard Room
- Accommodation, meals and activities as indicated throughout the remainder of the trip. Please note - owing to the nature of group trips some of the individual properties used may change at short notice prior to your departure.
To cover local payments there will also be a sum of $300 cash per guest to be paid to the guides on departure.
A few features of this group trip to be aware of:
- A maximum of 12 guests on any departure
- Every guest is guaranteed a window seat in the vehicle
- 2 guides guaranteed on all departures
- 15 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 11 dinners are included
- Some meals are prepared by your guides and they do require a small degree of assistance from the group for serving and washing up