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.

Start
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Finish
Johannesburg, South Africa
Countries
Botswana,
South Africa,
Zimbabwe
Themes
Overland, Wildlife
Code
YBOP
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 16
Carbon offset
513kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Pay the famous elephants and lions of Hwange National Park a visit from open-air 4X4’s.
  • Track rhinoceros’s on foot with a local expert guide in Matabos National Park - an exhilarating way to experience the wildlife of Zimbabwe.
  • Immerse yourself in the culture and way of life of the Hananwa people. You will enjoy a cultural dinner cooked by the locals while listening to your hosts tell stories of this fascinating community.
  • Camp under an Africa sky within Kruger National Park. You can’t get much closer to nature than that!
  • Marvel at the out-of-this-world views of the awesome Blyde River Canyon.

Itinerary

Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 4:00pm on Day 1.
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 your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip 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 so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.
For those of you who arrive early, there are many activities and sights to do and see around Victoria Falls.
If you are interested in the Optional Helicopter flight ( 12 minutes or 25 minutes ) we endorse the following operator only: Zambezi Helicopter co CAA Zimbabwe. Your leader can help you arrange this activity.
Visit the magnificent Victoria Falls.
The Victoria Falls are an enormous curtain of water, about a mile wide, falling 108 m into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise up an incredible 400 m and the falls are an impressive raging torrent. The spray from the falls can sometimes be seen from kilometres away. It's no wonder that the local name Mosi oa Tunya means the 'smoke that thunders'. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and it's possible to see little islets in the river below.
Responsible Travel Note:
During your visit to the Victoria Falls area 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 stating that we 'actively discourage the participation of Intrepid groups in activities which exploit animals - wild or domestic.' Professional wildlife conservation organisations, including Born Free and the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), advise that habituating lions to humans can shorten their life and may result in lion-human conflict issues. While there is some merit in the argument that the money that you pay for the activity goes towards lion research, we feel that the negative impacts on the lions' rehabilitation far outweigh this.

Safety Note:
While at Victoria Falls you may hear about Devils Pool. Intrepid does not recommend this activity due to the high risk involved. Our leaders cannot assist in organising this activity.
Leave Vic Falls behind and head to Hwange National Park. (Approximately 230kms, 5-6 hours depending on traffic).
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 and the park's elephant population is one of the largest in Africa.
Explore the park in open 4x4 vehicles.
WiFi access and lodge upgrades are possible at the camp (subject to availability.
This morning we make tracks for Matobos. (Approximately 375kms, 7-8 hours drive)
Make a short detour through the town of Bulawayo, before heading to our camp for the next 2 nights.
Known locally as the 'City of Kings', Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's second largest city and has a very interesting historical past.
In Bulawayo, stay in a campground with shared facilities - upgrades and WiFi access are available.
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.
We leave Bulawayo this morning to the Matobo Hills to view the Bushman Paintings, rock formations and scenery in the National Park during the morning. We then leave the National Park and enter the African Villages where we meet some of the local community and visit an African Village.

After a cold lunch we enter the Game park section of the National Park where we track Rhino on foot with our guides. Here there is also the opportunity to spot other game and learn about the different flora.
Up early this morning we hit the road for Palaype. (Approximately 345kms, 6-7 hours drive depending on the border crossing).
Our campsite tonight is at a cosy campsite in Palapye and only a short distance from town.
Facilities include an evening restaurant, swimming pool, bar/lounge area and upgrades possible.
Up bright and early we have a long drive ahead as we make tracks for Blouberg (approx. 280km, 6-7 hrs ).
We should arrive at our camp late this afternoon.

The camp is situated in South Africa’s Limpopo Province and offers a unique cultural experience. Located at the base of the mountain, where no roads exist due to its rugged and inaccessible nature, it is home for a small community of the Hananwa people who still lead a very traditional lifestyle. There is also the opportunity for an upgrade if required.
On arrival stretch your legs for a short walk with a local guide. Following paths along the base of the Blouberg Mountains, hear stories of a fascinating community, some of whom still follow ancient traditions. The first stop is at a deserted Lutheran missionary village (Bochum) where you will get an understanding of the cross-cultural dynamics of the area.

Proceed to local village taverns (called shebeens) where locals will provide an evening meal, giving you an opportunity to discover traditional meals like mazie and watermelon (Thopi), chicken-based stews (Malana) and a green vegetable called marogo. Take the opportunity to try the traditionally brewed beer.

Please note that this experience offers limited options for vegetarians. Ask your leader about organising an alternative.
This morning we make our way towards the Kruger National Park (365 km, approx 8-9hrs). On route you will have the opportunity to stop at a shop/market for any required camping supplies.
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.
Our wildlife experience begins as soon as we enter the park. We head straight into prime game viewing areas where we hope to catch a glimpse of some of the amazing animals found here.
Our campground within the park has shared facilities, hot and cold water, and upgrades possible (subject to availability).
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.
Take an additional optional night drive with the park guide to spot nocturnal animals and perhaps even a night-time predator or two.
Transfer back to Johannesburg (600 km, approx 9-10 hrs). There's plenty of time to stop and explore along the way. Take in amazing views at the viewpoint over the awesome Blyde River Canyon and view the Three Rondavels.
This trip finishes on arrival in Johannesburg at our finish point hotel. No accommodation is provided for tonight, but we are able to book you additional accommodation in Johannesburg. Please ask at time of booking.

Please don't book any international flights until after 10pm this evening.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 7 dinners
Transport
Overland vehicle, 4x4
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (7 nights), Camping (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included activities
  • Hwange National Park - Game drive
  • Matobo National Park - Guided walking safari
  • African Ivory Route - Cultural Dinner
  • Kruger Park - Game drive
  • Transport

Dates

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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

Reviews

Our Vic Falls to Kruger trips score an average of 4.62 out of 5 based on 114 reviews in the last year.

Vic Falls to Kruger , April 2016

Vic Falls to Kruger , April 2016

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