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Iconic Southern Africa

As the sun rises over Kruger National Park – and an elephant and her young calf wander past you – greet another remarkable day in southern Africa. Keep your sense of wonder at the ready on a 21-day adventure that takes in the iconic sights of this exciting region. Fall for Cape Town’s remarkable beauty, feel the power of Victoria Falls reverberate in your core, and watch for the Big Five alongside a researcher from National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative.

  • Duration: 21 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Moderate%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: DSHNG/155200
  • Starts: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Finishes: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
You will Visit
  • Cape Town
  • Victoria Falls

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Cape Town

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.

02

Day 2: Cape Town

Visit Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden with an expert guide on a tour exclusively designed for our groups – the garden has been named one of the top gardens in the world by National Geographic Traveler magazine. Continue on to explore vibrant Cape Town and Cape Point, with a visit to the penguins at Boulders Beach.

03

Day 3: Cape Town

Enjoy a day of leisure and choose from a variety of optional activities, including Table Mountain or a Stellenbosch wine tour.
There is something for everyone in Cape Town. Visit Table Mountain, walk the V&A Waterfront or embark on a wine tour in and around Stellenbosch. For the adventurous, opt to go skydiving, abseiling, or, if you're really brave, cage diving for a close encounter with a great white shark. Wander through the city centre, which has some of the oldest buildings and gardens in South Africa. Check out the Cultural Historical Museum, Planetarium, and many other museums and theatres.

04

Day 4: Cape Town/Johannesburg

Fly to Johannesburg and transfer to the hotel. Meet your CEO and enjoy a traditional South African “braai” (barbecue) welcome dinner in the evening.

05

Day 5: Johannesburg/Kruger National Park

Enjoy a full day scenic drive along the famed Panorama Route with stops at Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes, and God's Window. Continue to our tented camp located just outside Kruger National Park and this evening enjoy a delicious South African dinner on the deck or in the boma.

06

Day 6: Kruger National Park

Enjoy a morning wildlife safari drive through Kruger National Park in an open vehicle. Take in views of the abundant wildlife including elephants, lions and giraffe. Afterwards, opt to take an afternoon safari drive, wildlife bush walk, or relax on the deck with views of the watering hole - a popular spot for animals to visit.
At over 19,000 sq km (7,500 sq mi), South Africa's Kruger National Park is one of the largest and most impressive animal reserves in the world. With 147 species, Kruger has more species of large mammals than any other park on the continent.

07

Day 7: Kruger National Park/Karongwe Private Game Reserve

Continue on to a private nature reserve in the Greater Kruger area. This afternoon, take in a lecture with a researcher from the Endangered Wildlife Trust's Cheetah Metapopulation Project who will share information about their efforts to protect cheetahs and other carnivores. This National Geographic-sponsored project is part of the Big Cats Initiative. After, the researcher will join us on our evening wildlife safari drive.
For the next two days, enjoy ranger-led morning and evening wildlife safari drives in an open safari vehicle in Karongwe Nature Reserve. Search for buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinos – Africa's famed Big Five. With over 9,000 hectares (22,240 acres) of supreme African bushveld, Karongwe Private Game Reserve is home to many creatures, and our safari drives provide several opportunities for wildlife viewing.

We use various accommodations within the reserve (the location is based on availability). During your time here, you will either stay in lodge rooms or very comfortable permanent tents (both of equal quality and with similar amenities).

08

Day 8: Karongwe Private Game Reserve

Enjoy early morning and afternoon safari drives with our local guides, searching for buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinos – Africa's famed Big Five. In our down time, relax at the camp, take a walk around the grounds or enjoy a cool drink on the deck.
Wake up before the sun (around 5am) and sip your morning coffee before heading out on a morning wildlife safari drive. Return to the lodge for brunch and some leisure time. Converse on the deck, walk the grounds and gardens, and enjoy high tea. Following tea, it's time for a late afternoon safari drive. After spotting tons of wildlife, it's time to return to camp and freshen up before dinner.

09

Day 9: Karongwe Private Game Reserve/Johannesburg

After one last safari wildlife safari drive, head back to the city. In the evening, enjoy dinner at our local guest house.

10

Day 10: Johannesburg/Victoria Falls

Fly to Zimbabwe. Gain insight into what life's like in Africa with a walk through a local market and dinner at a family homestead. Meet the family, learn their history, and share stories as you help prepare a traditional Zimbabwean dinner.
The mist off Victoria Falls can rise to a height of more than 400m (1312 ft). Local tribes used to call the falls Mosi-o-Tunya or “the smoke that thunders.” Explorer and missionary David Livingstone renamed the falls after Queen Victoria when he first saw them in 1855.

11

Day 11: Victoria Falls

Enjoy a morning tour of the beautiful Victoria Falls, then the rest of the day is free to explore the area. Take part in a river safari, cultural tours, whitewater rafting, canoeing, or a helicopter ride over the falls. Opt to take a day trip to the wildlife haven of Chobe National Park.

12

Day 12: Victoria Falls

Spend the day exploring your beautiful surroundings. Opt to visit Victoria Falls, go whitewater rafting, or take a helicopter flight over the falls. Opt to take a day trip to the wildlife haven of Chobe National Park.
The town of Victoria Falls is a great base to see both natural wonders and take part in some exciting activities. Get up close (and wet from the spray) while awing at the immense Victoria Falls, raft the whitewater of the mighty Zambezi, and for the more adventurous, bungee jump with Victoria Falls in view.

Today, new travellers may join you for the rest of your adventure. You are welcome to join them at a group meeting this evening, followed by an optional dinner.

13

Day 13: Victoria Falls/Okavango Delta

Cross the border into Botswana, via Namibia, and head to the Okavango Panhandle to our houseboat, your home for the next two nights in the world's largest inland delta. Travelling by houseboat allows you to explore a more secluded area of the delta.
Arrive on the houseboat this evening. On the boat, you'll receive a safety briefing and meet the crew and check into your cabin. Relax this evening with a sundowner.

Enjoy your journey into the “Panhandle” area of the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana. This area is one of the most remote and peaceful areas of the delta with only a handful of permanent boats and camps operating in this area, which makes it an ideal place to stay.

The houseboat consists of two decks. The lower deck has eight simple, comfortable en-suit cabins with sliding glass doors that open to the pristine wilderness of the Okavango Delta. The upper deck is roughly three meters above the waterline. It's where the dining area, bar, and sundecks are located. Power on the houseboat is run by a generator, which means there are only a few hours a day to heat water and change up any devices. There is no A/C on the houseboat and sometimes hot water can run out. We recommend bringing a small lantern or flashlight for use in your cabin.

14

Day 14: Okavango Delta

Enjoy your day on the houseboat with early morning and late afternoon wildlife excursions. Your small boat takes your into channels and waterways for optimal wildlife viewing and birdwatching. Opt to enjoy a cultural excursion to Tsoldilo Hills to view ancient San Bushman rock paintings or choose to relax on deck with a cool drink as you watch the scenery pass by.

15

Day 15: Okavango Delta/Maun

Transfer to the frontier town of Maun and enjoy an evening of culture and traditional foods with celebrated author Bonty Botumile and the Thari-E-Ntsho Storytellers. This local enterprise is dedicated to preserving Botswana's heritage and providing youth with employment opportunities in the arts. Option to take a scenic flight over the delta.
Stay at a hotel that offers a pleasant eating area and a beautiful swimming pool. In the afternoon, relax at the hotel, which is situated on the banks of the Thamalakane River.

16

Day 16: Maun/Moremi Game Reserve

Drive to the Khwai River area bordering Moremi Game Reserve. With astounding wildlife, this area has been rated one of the best for wildlife viewing in the world. Relax this evening on the camp deck, admiring the stunning views with a cool drink.
Take a leisurely drive to our camp in the Khwai River area. enjoying wildlife viewing enroute. Due to the fact that none of Botswana's wildlife reserves are fenced, wildlife can move freely between wilderness areas. This region's diversity of wildlife is astounding and has been rated as one of the best wildlife viewing areas in the world.

Our lodge boasts a majestic dining and lounge area leading onto a viewing deck over the bushveldt. Enjoy spectacular sunsets over sundowners from the quaint bar or from the deck of your comfort en-suite tent.

17

Day 17: Moremi Game Reserve

Embark early on an open vehicle wildlife safari drive in Moremi and surrounding concession areas. Break for lunch before continuing on with the wildlife safari drive. Return to camp in the afternoon with time to relax at the comfortable tented camp.

18

Day 18: Moremi Game Reserve/Chobe National Park

Travel deeper into the Chobe wilderness to Ghoha Hills. Enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding bush. Relax at our camp and learn more about the Savuti and Chobe parks and reserves during a talk with a local wildlife and bush-survival expert. Embark on a late afternoon wildlife viewing in open vehicles around the hills and waterholes. Be on the lookout for elephants, giraffes, hippos, and lions.
In the early afternoon, head south towards the Ghoha Hills and the Savuti area. Enjoy wildlife viewing along the hills and at the surrounding waterholes.

At Ghoha Hills Savuti Camp, meru tents have been placed on platforms on the hills overlooking Chobe National Park. The tents are spacious and include an en-suite. The guest area consists of an intimate lounge, bar, and dining area overlooking the Ghoha Hills.

19

Day 19: Chobe National Park/Kasane

In the morning, take a slow drive along the southern bank of the Chobe River. In the afternoon, opt to take a sunset river cruise or photography river safari for wildlife viewing.
Keep an eye out for Chobe bushbuck and puku antelope, which are found only in this part of Botswana. The Chobe River is home to the world's largest elephant herds; buffalo, hippos, and lions can also be seen here.

Opt into the photo wildlife safari on the Chobe River at sunset; you'll be accompanied by an expert wildlife photographer and guide who will help you get the perfect shot.

20

Day 20: Kasane/Victoria Falls

Cross the border back into Zimbabwe for our final evening. Opt to enjoy a helicopter ride over the falls, or a cruise on the Zambezi at sunset to ring in the day.

21

Day 21: Victoria Falls

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens Guided Tour, Cape Town National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Carnivore Conservation Experience, Karongwe Private Game Reserve National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Zimbabwean Family Dinner, Victoria Falls National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Botswana Storytelling and Traditional Dinner, Maun National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Chobe and Savuti National Parks Talk, Savuti Channel
    • Arrival transfer
    • Orientation drive of Cape Town
    • Excursion to Cape Point and Boulders Beach
    • Panorama Route scenic drive
    • Kruger National Park and private reserve open-vehicle wildlife safari drives
    • Tour of Victoria Falls
    • All national park and reserve entrances in Botswana
    • Okavango Panhandle two-night houseboat stay
    • Open-vehicle wildlife safari drives in Chobe National Park and Moremi area
    • Internal flights
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (8 nts), guest house (2 nts), comfortable safari camps (6 nts), comfortable tent or chalets (2 nts), houseboat (2 nts)
    • 20 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 12 dinners
    Transport
    • Plane, air-conditioned touring vehicle, open safari vehicle, 4x4 vehicle, van, walking, boat
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) for Kruger portion, local CEO in Cape Town and Victoria Falls, CEO/driver in Botswana, local guides/rangers
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Tour Highlights:
  • Visit Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
  • Witness the power of Victoria Falls.