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.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017:
From 1st January 2017 this itinerary will not include a visit to Victoria Falls as we have found passengers prefer to go in their own time prior to start of trip. As such this trip will start at 6pm


Start
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Finish
Johannesburg, South Africa
Countries
Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Style
Original
Theme
Overland, Wildlife
Code
YBSB
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • 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

Is this trip right for you?

  • Camping out in the amazing Okavango wilderness means digging a bush toilet and going without a shower. It's all part of the delta experience.

  • You will need a reasonable level of fitness for the cycle tour in Soweto, as the town isn't totally flat.

  • The African wild comes alive at sunrise, so there will be some early starts for game drives. The thrill of spotting your first lion or rhino is well worth any loss of sleep!

  • Our purpose-built overland vehicles allow for excellent game viewing, equipped with large sliding windows. They have no air-conditioning, however, so they can get dusty and hot at times.

  • The going can be slow over the long distances and often bumpy roads. A little bit of patience will go a long way towards your enjoyment of this beautiful land!

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 4pm. 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 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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (12 mins) - USD175
  • Victoria Falls - Flying fox - USD50
  • Victoria Falls - Gorge swing - USD110
  • Victoria Falls - Canoe trail - USD185
  • Village & township tour - USD50
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (25 mins) - USD334
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Notes: You may notice businesses offering an optional 'Walk with the Lions' experience. We ask all Intrepid travellers to avoid this activity as it is contrary to our Responsible Travel policy. While wildlife viewing is a big part of many of our itineraries, we strive to only view animals in their natural habitats and to do so with the greatest level of respect. The lion walking industry directly contributes to the captive breeding and canned hunting of lions. While activities like lion walking may appear fun and educational, or even claim to be working in the name of conservation, they are unnatural and stressful for the animals involved. Professional wildlife conservation organisations, including Born Free and the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), advise that habituating lions to humans often shortens their life and may result in lion-human conflict issues.

Read more about animal welfare and our ‘Born to Live Wild’ pledge here:
http://www.intrepidtravel.com/animal-wel
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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chobe - River cruise
  • Victoria Falls - Entrance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Chobe - Dawn 4x4 game drive - BWP350
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
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.
Accommodation
  • Bush camp (no facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro trip
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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.
Accommodation
  • Bush camp (no facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Scenic Flight - Okavango Delta - USD140
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Game Drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
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.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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.
Included Activities
  • Soweto - Cycle tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

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

  • Chobe - River cruise
  • Victoria Falls - Entrance
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro trip
  • Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Game Drive
  • Soweto - Cycle tour

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

Jump to a departure month

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.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.

Reviews

Our Okavango & Beyond trips score an average of 4.6 out of 5 based on 20 reviews in the last year.

Okavango & Beyond, November 2016

Lauren McKaskill

Okavango & Beyond, November 2016

Sabina Pugh