Travel from Zimbabwe to South Africa via bewitching Botswana

Soak up the sights and sounds of peaceful waterholes, meandering creeks and mighty rivers on this refreshing African adventure. Some of the continent's most iconic animals call Southern Africa home, including elephants, rhinos, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles and ostriches. Explore the remote waterways of the extraordinary Okavango Delta in Botswana, be awed by the thunder of Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls and travel down the Chobe River at sunset as animals come out to play. The contrast of Africa's wild plains and bustling cities makes for an enriching and thrilling travel experience.

Start
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Finish
Johannesburg, South Africa
Countries
Botswana,
South Africa,
Zimbabwe
Themes
Overland, Wildlife
Code
YBSB
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
456kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Besides being one of the world's most dazzling waterfalls, Victoria Falls offers a range of exciting activities, from nature walks to breathtaking scenic helicopter flights
  • A sunset cruise is the ultimate way to soak up the ambience of the Chobe River. Keep an eye out – and a camera at the ready – for elephants, cheetahs and lions frolicking on the shore
  • Experience the untouched wilderness of Botswana's Okavango Delta, staying on a remote island bush camp. As night falls, the sounds of the African bush are like nothing else
  • Visit the Khama Rhino Sanctuary – an important local conservation project and the last remaining place in Botswana where both black and white rhinos live
  • Cycle through the colourful streets of Soweto and hear first-hand stories of the township’s colourful history

Itinerary

Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for this, consider arriving a day early so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting. Today your leader will take you to a local activity centre where a range of activities will be on offer. Scenic helicopter flights are incredible – if you opt for one, choose Zambezi Helicopter Company (CAA Zimbabwe), the only operator Intrepid endorses.

Notes: We have not risk assessed all optional activities. If you are unsure, please check with your leader. Note that it is against company policy for leaders to facilitate the booking of any activities that have not been risk assessed or do not adhere to our company’s Responsible Travel policy and ethos. This includes organising transport to and from these activities in our vehicles. You may notice businesses offering an optional 'Walk with the Lions' experience. We recommend that Intrepid travellers bypass this activity as it is contrary to Intrepid's Responsible Travel guideline, which opposes the exploitation of animals, wild or domestic. You may also hear about the Devil's Pool. Intrepid does not recommend this activity, due to the high risk involved. Our leaders cannot assist in organising this activity.
Travel to Chobe National Park in Botswana (approximately 2–3 hours). Chobe, the first national park to be established in the country, is perhaps best known for its high concentration of elephants, which can often be seen swimming in the Chobe River. The river also attracts wallowing hippos, a variety of birdlife, and crocodiles which like to sun themselves by the water's edge. Cheetahs and lions also come down to drink. In the late afternoon you will embark on a scenic sunset cruise on the Chobe River – a relaxing way to spend the afternoon. Your camp, located outside of the park, has flush toilets, showers, WiFi and optional accommodation upgrades.
There's time for an additional game drive for those who would like to further explore this beautiful park (this is optional). As well as elephants, you might see some of Chobe's other noble creatures – from giraffe and zebra to impala and tsessebe. Then it's time to head to Maun (approximately 10–11 hours). This town is the gateway to one of the world's most famous and most complex ecosystems, the Okavango Delta. Arrive, stretch your legs and set up camp on the outskirts of town at a simple campsite. Here there are shared facilities, WiFi and optional accommodation upgrades.
Travel into the unspoiled wilderness for an adventurous camping experience. The Okavango Delta is unlike anything in the world – a 16,000 square kilometre maze of wetlands made up of meandering waterways, green islands, lush plains and prolific wildlife. The delta is filled with a diversity of flora and fauna that includes hippos, crocodiles, elephants and big cats. But it's not the animals that are the main attraction – it's the incredible ecosystem. You'll explore the waterways by mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe navigated by friendly local 'polers'. You'll also spend some time exploring on foot with your experienced and knowledgeable guides. Camp on a remote island in the heart of the wild. Toilets will be dug and there are no showers. Hear the nocturnal creatures of the African bush come to life as the sun goes down.
It's an early start this morning as you venture out for a sunrise walk, hoping to catch a glimpse of some elephants and perhaps the fascinating and rather noble-looking Cape buffalo. Return to camp to enjoy some breakfast and reflect on the morning's viewing with your fellow travellers. As it warms up, you'll have the rest of the day to relax. You might like to take a refreshing swim. There is also the option of an afternoon walk or another mokoro trip. You may notice that the mokoros of today are made with fibreglass but retain their original shape – this strikes a balance between tradition and sustainability.
After taking down your camp, it's time to return the mokoro to the poling station and board the vehicle once again. Travel back to Maun (approximately 2–3 hours). Though this town is best known as a stepping stone to the delta, it's worth a stroll around. Perhaps check out the Nhabe Museum if you feel curious and have time. Tonight you will camp on the outskirts of town at a simple site which has shared facilities.
Travel to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (approximately 9–10 hours). Situated on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, the Khama Rhino Sanctuary is a conversion of a former hunting area into a conservation project. Built to protect Botswana's only remaining populations of both black and white rhinos, the sanctuary is also home to other wildlife including zebras, giraffes, leopards, ostriches and wildebeest, all of which can be seen around the many natural waterholes. Visiting this project benefits local communities and contributes to the protection of the highly endangered white rhinoceros. In the evening you'll head out on a dusk game drive to see the rhinos (this will be replaced by a dawn game drive if the group arrives at the sanctuary too late). Your camp tonight has shared facilities and optional upgrades.
Cross the border into South Africa and travel on to Soweto, which is located in the Johannesburg area (approximately 10–11 hours). Johannesburg is a sprawling city of remarkable contrasts. As you come into town you'll likely see opulent mansions alongside tin-roof shacks, and verdant city parks alongside the concrete. About half of Jo'burg's 3 million residents live in Soweto and its surrounding areas. Enjoy a relaxing evening upon arrival.
Take to the streets of Soweto on a bicycle and learn about the Soweto uprising and the resistance against apartheid. It's interesting to see how the community has changed and developed into what it is today. You'll also visit a former migrant workers' hostel and stop at many other local landmarks. Your cycling adventure should finish up at around 3 pm today. With no further activities planned, your trip comes to an end at this point. No accommodation is provided for tonight, but this can be arranged when you book this trip. If you are departing, it's best to book a flight for 8 pm or later.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 dinners
Transport
Boat, Mokoro, Overland vehicle
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (2 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Camping (with facilities) (4 nights), Guesthouse (1 night)
Included activities
  • Victoria Falls Entrance
  • Chobe - River cruise
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro trips & bushwalks
  • Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Game drive
  • Soweto - Cycle tour

Dates

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip.
2. This trip finishes in Soweto on Day 9 after our cycle adventure. Please don't book any international flights until after 8pm this evening.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Okavango & Beyond trips score an average of 4.81 out of 5 based on 16 reviews in the last year.

Okavango & Beyond , May 2016

Okavango & Beyond , February 2016