15-Day Waterfalls and Wildlife Safari

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Highlights of this trip include:

  • San Guided Walk
  • San Evening Dance Performance
  • Okavango Delta Day Excursion
  • Visit to the Victoria Falls
  • Visit to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins
  • Swim in the hot springs of Tshipise

Wondrous Wildlife and Thundering Victoria Falls

Our Waterfalls & Wildlife adventure tour starts when we leave Johannesburg and make our way into the Kalahari. Here we will spend time getting to know the fascinating San people.

Then we travel further to Maun, gateway to the Okavango Delta. We embark on our exploration of the Okavango Delta, one of Africa’s great wilderness areas. At the Okavango Delta you will become an expert at “poling” your mokoro through the waterways.

Heading North we visit Chobe National Park for a game viewing boat cruise.

We arrive in Victoria Falls where the available activities are limitless. We leave the rumble and adventure of Victoria Falls behind us as we make the journey south to Hwange National Park.

Hwange National Park, the largest park in Zimbabwe, is one of Africa’s finest havens for wildlife and is home to Africa’s Big 5.

We continue south towards Bulawayo where we will be spending time on exploring the Matopos National Park with a local guide. Our journey also takes us to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was once the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe.

Leaving the sites of Zimbabwe behind we cross the Limpopo River and enter South Africa where our tour ends in Johannesburg.

Day 1 – Johannesburg to Kalahari Gateway

Leaving behind the city of Johannesburg, we travel through the North-West Province to the Botswana border. After completing border formalities we continue on the Trans-Kalahari highway to our overnight stop.

 

Day 2 – Kalahari Gateway to Ghanzi

After breakfast, we venture deeper into the Central Kalahari and our camp in the Ghanzi district, here we will spend time getting to know the fascinating San people. This afternoon we will join our San guides for a guided walk that will introduce us to the many secrets of their survival in the Kalahari Desert. The nomadic San are hunter-gatherers that have passed down a rich knowledge of the plants and animals that play such an important part in their lifestyle. This evening we will get a first-hand experience of the San culture, well known for its rich traditions of song, dance and story-telling.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 3 - Maun

This morning we bid farewell to the San and make our way to Maun, gateway to the Okavango Delta. There will be time this afternoon for those who wish to enjoy an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta. Your guides will brief you this evening on what you will need for the upcoming Delta excursions.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 4 – Okavango Delta

The most rewarding and enjoyable way to explore and experience the beauty and serenity of this intricate system of lily-covered channels and lagoons is by mokoro. Heading out early, we will be transferred by safari vehicle to the polling station (approximately 1-hour transfer) where we will meet the polers who will be escorting us into the Delta. The polers will steer us through the serene area of narrow, reed-lined channels which open out onto beautiful lagoons. Reaching one of the many islands, a nature walk may be taken with your poler. After the walk, we return by mokoro through the channels back to the mooring station. While the mokoro trail is not primarily a game viewing activity, a variety of game may be encountered in this pristine wilderness area including elephant, giraffe, kudu, impala and zebra.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 5 – Maun (Moremi Crossing)

For those guests who have purchased the activity package, you will be collected from the hotel before first light and we will drive to the South gate to enter Moremi Game Reserve. As the lagoons and channels form a vital section of the Okavango Delta eco-system, sightings of bird and animal populations become more frequent as the day progresses. The game viewing routes chosen on the day by the professional guide may vary especially when high floods are experienced as certain roads may be closed or impassable. Those guests who have not purchased the activity package have the day to relax at the accommodation establishment.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

 

Day 6 – Nata

Our journey today takes us across the northern reaches of the Makgadikgadi Pans, lined with majestic examples of the iconic Baobab tree. Our activity package will afford us the opportunity to enjoy an afternoon guided excursion to the Pans and Nata Sanctuary to appreciate the spectacular view and sundowner.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 7 – Chobe National Park

We rise early this morning as we continue north to our camp on the banks of the Chobe River. This afternoon is set aside for exploring the Chobe National Park. We begin our exploration in 4x4 vehicles, which allows us an up close and personal experience with the many elephants that frequent the river in the afternoon. Our day ends with a leisurely boat cruise and a meal served around the campfire.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 8 – Kasane – Victoria Falls

With the memories of our wildlife encounters firmly etched in our minds, we cross the border to Zimbabwe this morning and travel the short distance to Victoria Falls. The bustling adventure town of Victoria Falls offers a range of optional activities for those wanting a dose of adrenaline and upon arrival, you will have the chance to book these various activities. For the more relaxed traveler, there are craft markets to explore and a delicious high tea is on offer at the Victoria Falls Hotel. Tonight we enjoy an optional dinner out, your guide will assist you to decide on the many options available.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

 

Day 9 – Victoria Falls

With the many activities on offer in Victoria Falls, today is the perfect day for the adventure that most suits your style. Whether rafting the mighty Zambezi River or enjoying a scenic flight over the falls below, this is your day to enjoy the many attractions on offer in Victoria Falls.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

 

Day 10 - Victoria Falls to Hwange National Park

This morning we visit the spectacular Victoria Falls, also known by the local name of “Mosi-oa Tunya” (the smoke that thunders). After our visit to the falls, we leave the rumble and adventure of Victoria Falls behind us as we make the journey south to Hwange National Park. Hwange is the largest of Zimbabwe’s national parks and offers excellent opportunities for viewing the diversity of wildlife that calls the park home.

Meals Included

  • Dinner

 

Day 11 – Hwange National Park

Home to the big-5, Hwange National Park also offers a wide variety of plains game and birdlife. Those guests who purchased the activity package will be collected from the accommodation in the morning and will spend the day game driving (in open 4x4 vehicles) through Hwange in search of the animals.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 12 – Matopos National Park

After breakfast, we continue south towards Bulawayo, the second largest city in Zimbabwe. Our afternoon will be spent exploring the Matopos National Park with a local guide. The park received recognition as a UNESCO natural World Heritage Site in 2003 and includes an intensive protection zone that is home to both Black and White Rhinoceros. Named after the Ndebele word “Matobo “, whose meaning “bald heads” refers to the rounded granite hills that surround it. We return to Bulawayo and our overnight stop for the night.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 13 – Great Zimbabwe Ruins

Our journey today takes us to Masvingo and the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. This afternoon we will enjoy a guided walking tour of this historic site. Dating back to the Late Iron Age, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was once the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe. We take time this afternoon to marvel at the intricate stonework and experience the heritage of this monument to early Zimbabwean civilization.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 14 - Tshipise

Leaving the sites of Zimbabwe behind we cross the Limpopo River and enter South Africa this afternoon. Our overnight stop allows us an opportunity to end the day with a swim in the hot springs of Tshipise.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

 

Day 15 - Johannesburg

This morning we take the highway south to Johannesburg, we arrive at Belvedere Estate in the late afternoon and all travelers are invited to join us for a traditional meal tonight. This can be booked with your guide on the day before arrival. Many great tales are shared and tonight is for celebrating the many wonders of African travel.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

 

This itinerary has been written with the Activity Package items included. If you wish to participate in all the activities listed, you will need to purchase the Activity Package.

The tour will start from Belvedere Estate in Johannesburg.

The tour will end at Belvedere Estate in Johannesburg.

Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

ESSENTIALS:

  • Sleeping bag. We recommend a 3–4 season sleeping bag because it can get very cold at night in winter months in desert and mountainous regions. Sleeping bags are also available for hire (if pre-booked). Please speak to your sales consultant if you wish to hire one.
  • Pillow, travel pillow or pillowcase (to put your soft jacket in)
  • Closed in shoes. As this trip includes camping and/or bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.
  • Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended.
  • A waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening game activities when it can be cool.
  • Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening game drives.
  • Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
  • Towel (or travel towel)

RECOMMENDED:

  • A simple plastic bag/waterproof toiletry bag (that can hang on a nail on the back of a door) will be useful to keep your clothes dry inside basic camp shower structures.
  • A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the campsite at night. Some campsites have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a particular time. Although the trucks do carry lamps for meal times it’s a good idea to bring a headlamp to navigate the campsites and in particular, going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  • Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild painkillers, electrolytes, anti-diarrhoeal, antibacterial gel, wet wipes, bandaids/plasters etc.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1-litre capacity. Our vehicle has large tanks of treated water for your refills.
  • Camera with a spare battery or power bank.
  • Overnight bag. To take 2 days' worth of luggage on your Okavango Delta portion of the itinerary
  • Binoculars
  • A small bottle of biodegradable laundry soap for hand washing your clothes
  • Earplugs to guard against a snoring tent-mate
  • A good book, a journal or smartphone with music for the long drives

OPTIONAL:

  • Sleep sheet. If you are traveling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather.
  • Thermarest. While we provide a basic camping mattress for each client, some travelers find they like the extra comfort of a double layer.

LUGGAGE LIMIT:

The weight limit for luggage on all trucks is a strict maximum of 20kg. Your main luggage will be stored in a compartment at the back of the truck. Traditional, framed suitcases are not recommended as they are large and can damage other travelers belongings while on the road. Backpacks or duffel bags are an ideal choice.

VALUABLES:

Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe and the safe on the overland truck to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

POWER:

Our overland vehicles are equipped with multiple power boards which may be used at the crew’s discretion, however, do bear in mind that only a minimal number of items can be charged at a time and will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Some campsites have electricity and charging of devices is advised before checking out the following day. We also recommend power banks and multi-country power converters.

SPECIAL NOTE: CONSERVATIVE DRESS FOR WOMEN:

In many parts of Africa, female travelers should dress modestly as there is a wide range of cultural differences. We recommend wearing skirts or shorts that reach just above the knee and tops that cover shoulders at a minimum.

Meals

13 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 11 dinners

Transport

Overland vehicle

Accommodation

  • Camping option
  • Accommodated option

Included activities

  • San Guided Walk
  • San Evening Dance Performance
  • Okavango Delta Day Excursion
  • Entrance and visit to the Victoria Falls
  • Visit to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins
  • Hot Springs Tshipise
  • All meals not listed on the itinerary 
  • All optional activities as listed in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Pre and post tour transport and activities
  1. Cancellation charges less than 14 Days in advance: No refund
  2. Cancellation charges between 15-30 days in advance: 75% of full value plus R100 admin fee
  3. Cancellation charges between 31 - 60 days in advance: 50% of full value plus R100 admin fee
  4. Cancellation charges between 31 - 60 days in advance: Full refund minus 5% admin fee
  5. Changes in dates/transfer of ownership to be handled on a case to case basis