Travel from Zimbabwe to Botswana and into South Africa

This short but exciting trip combines three of southern Africa's most phenomenal sites: Hwange and Kruger national parks and the breathtaking Victoria Falls. Look out for the Big Five plus a host of other astounding wild animals. Spend time in a traditional village in Botswana and visit South Africa's modern capital - all the while uncovering Africa's incredible and diverse natural beauty on this awesome week-long adventure through the south of Africa.

From 1st January 2017 this itinerary will now visit Go-Moremi Gorge instead of Palapye. This is essentially a transit day however this campsite allows an option to walk to the gorge. The trip will also start one day earlier.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Johannesburg, South Africa
South Africa,
Overland, Wildlife
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 16
Carbon offset
513kg pp per trip


  • Pay the famous elephants and lions of Hwange National Park a visit from an open-air 4X4 vehicle
  • Track rhinos on foot with an expert local guide in Matabos National Park – an exhilarating way to experience the wildlife of Zimbabwe
  • Immerse yourself in the ancient culture of the Hananwa people at a small village in South Africa's Limpopo province. Listen to stories of this fascinating community as your hosts prepare you a traditional feast
  • Camp within the grounds of Kruger National Park under the African night sky. You'll be right up close to the sounds of the wild, perhaps even the roar of lions, as you drift off to sleep
  • Take in out-of-this-world views of Blyde River Canyon. This spectacular gorge is up there with the world's largest, and is the greenest of the lot


This itinerary is valid for departures from 12 January 2016 to 10 January 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 11 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

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. If you arrive early, check out some of the optional activities around Vic Falls. The Zimbabwe side of the falls offers the broadest view of this colossal natural wonder. Scenic helicopter flights are incredible – if you opt for one, choose Zambezi Helicopter Company (CAA Zimbabwe), the only operator Intrepid endorses. 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.
Special Information
Responsible Travel Note:
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:
Leave Vic Falls behind and head to Hwange National Park (approximately 6 hours, depending on traffic). You will explore this stunning wildlife arena in an open 4X4 vehicle. Hwange National Park became the royal hunting grounds of the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19th century and was set aside as a national park in 1929. Today Hwange boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species. The elephants of Hwange are world famous – here you'll find one of the largest elephant populations in Africa. At tonight's camp there is WiFi as well as optional accommodation upgrades (subject to availability).
Make tracks for Matobos this morning (approximately 7–8 hours). Take a short detour through the town of Bulawayo, glimpsing its beautiful colonial buildings, before heading to your camp for the next two nights. Home to a large population of black and white rhinoceros that can be tracked on foot, Matobo National Park is also the site of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of Rhodesia and the De Beers diamond company. The Matopos area has great spiritual and cultural significance to the local people and there are many sites within the park where important ceremonies still take place. Your campground tonight has shared facilities, WiFi access and optional upgrades.
Depart Bulawayo for Matobo Hills. Discover bushman paintings, intriguing rock formations and delightful scenery in the national park throughout the morning. Then you will venture to nearby African villages and meet some of the local community. After a cold lunch, pay a visit to a part of the park where rhinos can be tracked on foot with the help of your guides. Here there will be the chance to spot other game (the park is home to klipspringers, leopards, warthogs and springhares among many others). You can also learn about the various local plant and trees, wild pear and paperbark among them.
Get up early this morning and hit the road for Palaype (approximately 6–7 hours, depending on the border crossing). Your cosy campsite tonight is located in Palapye, just a short distance from town. Perhaps stretch your legs and take a walk there once you've set up camp. Facilities at your campsite include an evening restaurant, swimming pool and a bar/lounge area. Why not welcome in the evening by enjoying a refreshing sundowner before dinner. Accommodation upgrades are possible tonight.
Depart early for Blouberg in South Africa's Limpopo province (approximately 6–7 hours). You should arrive in the late afternoon. Here at the base of a mountain, where there are no roads, you'll find the Hanawa people, a small village community, many of whom still lead an age-old way of life. Take a walk with your local guide, following paths along the base of the Blouberg Mountains and listening to stories of the tribe. You'll visit a Lutheran missionary village (Bochum) and then some local village taverns (shebeens) where locals will provide an evening meal – perhaps mazie and watermelon (Thopi), chicken-based stews (Malana) or a green vegetable called marogo. You can also sample their traditionally brewed beer. Note that vegetarians will have limited options – speak to your leader to arrange an alternative. There are optional upgrades at camp tonight.
Journey to Kruger National Park (approximately 8–9 hours). There will be an opportunity to stop at a shop or market for any supplies you might need. One of the largest game reserves in Southern Africa, Kruger National Park is home to over 500 bird species, 100 species of reptile and 150 mammal species, including the Big Five and the endangered African wild dog. Your wildlife experience begins as soon as you enter the park. You will head straight into prime game viewing areas, glimpsing anything from antelopes and eland to cheetahs and rhinos. Your campground, situated within the park itself, has shared facilities, hot and cold water, and optional upgrades.
Special Information
On occasion, especially during the peak months of May, June and July we are unable to secure campsites within the Kruger National Park. In this instance we will camp at a backpackers outside the park.
Rise early and have a light breakfast of coffee and rusks before embarking on a full-day game drive in the truck. Most of the day will be spent game viewing, bird watching and stopping at various waterholes and viewpoints. Depending on the season, you might catch sight of a saddle-billed stork with its distinct red beak, or the blue waxbill which is commonly found foraging for seeds in the scrub. In the afternoon when it's warm, take some time out to relax. Later on there is an optional night drive with the park guide to spot nocturnal animals and perhaps even a night-time predator or two.
Special Information
On occasion, especially during the peak months of May, June and July we are unable to secure campsites within the Kruger National Park. In this instance we will camp in a bordering private game park.
It's time to head back to Johannesburg (approximately 9–10 hours). There's plenty of time to stop and explore along the way. You will take in amazing vistas at the viewpoint over Blyde River Canyon and view the Three Rondavels. This trip finishes on arrival in Johannesburg at the finishing point hotel. No accommodation is provided for tonight, but this can be arranged when you book this trip. If you're catching an outgoing international flight, it's important to book it for 10 pm or later, to allow for delays.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 7 dinners
Overland vehicle, 4x4
Camping (with facilities) (8 nights)
Included activities
  • Hwange National Park - Game drive
  • Matobo National Park - Guided walking safari
  • African Ivory Route - Cultural Dinner
  • Kruger Park - Game drive
  • Transport


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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip.
2. This trip finishes upon arrival in Johannesburg on Day 9. Please do not book any flights until after 10pm 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


Our Vic Falls to Kruger trips score an average of 4.59 out of 5 based on 153 reviews in the last year.

Vic Falls to Kruger , October 2016

Vic Falls to Kruger , September 2016