Travel from South Africa's capital to Botswana and Zimbabwe

This compact but eventful trip crosses three countries and takes in two of southern Africa's most famous sites - Kruger National Park and breathtaking Victoria Falls. Encounter lions, leopards, zebras and giraffes while travelling on safari through landscapes blessed with breathtaking natural beauty. From bustling Johannesburg in South Africa through beautiful, vast Botswana to colourful Zimbabwe, this African adventure is big on excitement and will be sure to thrill.

Start
Johannesburg, South Africa
Finish
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Countries
Botswana,
South Africa,
Zimbabwe
Themes
Overland, Wildlife
Code
UBSA
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
354kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • A pretty amazing introduction to Southern Africa, the views of Blyde River Canyon and the Three Rondavels is hard to top.
  • Camp under an Africa sky within Kruger National Park. You can’t get much closer to nature than that!
  • Stay on a working cattle ranch and Nguni stud farm. You will have the opportunity to visit and interact with local villagers nearby.
  • Entrance to Victoria Falls is included – an epic way to finish of the trip.

Itinerary

Sawubona! Welcome to South Africa.
Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're 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 these details to provide to your leader.
Johannesburg is a sprawling city of remarkable contrasts. In the townships, mansions stand alongside tin shacks and there are as many green parks on the outskirts of the city as there are conglomerations of concrete in the centre. This is a good place to spend a couple of days to get an insight into South Africa's history, and it's a great base for exploring the rest of the country.
Please make sure that if you explore Johannesburg on your own that you get local advice as to where it is safe to walk, especially in the evening. The level of crime here is higher than what you are probably used to, and the risk can be minimised by getting local advice.
Leave Johannesburg and travel through the Mpumalanga Province, journeying along the famous Panorama Route through some of the most stunning scenery South Africa has to offer. The sights en route include God's Window, Bourke's Luck Potholes, Three Rondavels (Sisters) and the magnificent Blyde River Canyon (675km, approx 11-12 hrs).
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 available (subject to availability).
Rise early and have a light breakfast of coffee and rusks before embarking on a morning game drive in the truck. Most of the day will be spent game viewing, bird watching and stopping at various waterholes and viewpoints.
Enjoy a final game drive while travelling out of Kruger National Park.
Make our way towards the bushveld town of Mokopane ( 335km, approx 6hrs).
Mokopane is a vibrant town within the Limpopo region, with its rich mineral deposits and well established farm land contributing to the local economy.
Upgrades are possible tonight.
Tonight we set up camp just outside of Mokopane on a working cattle farm called Thabaphaswa. “Thabaphaswa” means in the local dialect, the black and white mountain and is located in a natural basin and surrounded by hills.
Tonight we experience South African farm hospitality on this operating Nguni Stud Farm. The Nguni is the most colourful cattle breed of Africa and is deeply intertwined with the traditions and cultures of the local people. We settle into our campsite before departing on a visit to one of the local villages not far from the farm where we visit a traditional artist and gain some more insight into the local culture. Feast on a traditional dinner prepared by our hosts in the village, before returning to our campsite for a night under the African skies.
Back on the road heading for Palapye (320km, approx 6 hours)
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.
Today we drive from Palapye to Nata (380kms, approx 6 hours)
Our campsite tonight is situated on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans which makes up one of the largest salt pans in the world covering some 12,000sq km.

Facilities include a restaurant, swimming pool, gift shop, ATM, bar/lounge area and upgrades possible.
While here you have the opportunity to explore the pans on 3hr excursion in open vehicles.

Surrounded by the Kalahari Desert the pans are naturally dry and salty for a large part of the year. During this time the arid landscape has an eerie feel to it as heat mirages disorientate the senses. However they are seasonally covered with water and grass and as soon as the rains hit become a refuge for migratory birds and animals.
Travel on to Victoria Falls (380 km, approx 7-8 hrs). Cross the border into Zimbabwe in time to have lunch on the banks of the Zambezi.
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.
Your leader will take you to a local activity centre where a range of activities will be on offer. We have not risk assessed all activities and only those listed in our trip notes are recommended. If you are unsure please check with your leader.
Please 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.

Our camp tonight has shared facilities, WiFi access, ATM and upgrades possible.
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.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. For those of you who are planning on spending a few extra days in Vic Falls there are various activities and excursions available.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
7 breakfasts, 7 dinners
Transport
Overland vehicle
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (5 nights), Farmstay (1 night), Hotel (1 night)
Included activities
  • Kruger Park - Game drive
  • Blyde River Canyon Viewpoint
  • Thabaphaswa - Village Visit & Dinner
  • Nata Pan Excursion
  • Victoria Falls Entrance

Dates

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip.

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 Kruger to Vic Falls trips score an average of 4.76 out of 5 based on 21 reviews in the last year.

Kruger to Vic Falls , February 2016

Kruger to Vic Falls , February 2016

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