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

  • Kick things off with views of the Blyde River Canyon and the Three Rondavels – an amazing introduction to Southern Africa
  • 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 the roar of a lion, as you drift off to sleep
  • Stay on a working cattle ranch and Nguni stud farm and interact with the villagers – an authentic local experience
  • Experience the rumble and roar of Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side, which gives you the broadest view of its phenomenal torrent

Itinerary

Sawubona! Welcome to South Africa. 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, get out and explore Johannesburg, a city of remarkable contrasts. Perhaps visit the culturally rich areas of Newtown, Braamfontein or Maboneng. The eye-opening Apartheid Museum is well worth your time.

Notes: 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 may be higher than what you are used to.
Travel to Kruger National Park (approximately 11–12 hours). You will leave Johannesburg and travel through the Mpumalanga Province, journeying along the famous Panorama Route through some of the most stunning scenery in the country. Sights along the way include God's Window, Bourke's Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels (Sisters) and the magnificent Blyde River Canyon. Your wildlife-spotting begins as soon as you enter Kruger – you'll head straight into prime game viewing areas. The park is home to some 500 bird species, 100 species of reptile and 150 mammal species, including the Big Five and the endangered African wild dog. Arrive at your campground, which has shared facilities, hot and cold water, and optional upgrades (subject to availability).
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 for 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, birdwatching and stopping at various waterholes and viewpoints. Later on, there may be the option of a night drive with the park guide. This is a great chance to spot nocturnal animals and perhaps even a night-time predator or two – catch a lion or hyena out hunting, or an impala out in search of a late-night feed.
Enjoy a final game drive while travelling out of Kruger National Park. Make your way towards the bushveld town of Mokopane (approximately 6 hours). Mokopane is a vibrant town within the Limpopo region, known for its rich mineral deposits and well established farm land. Tonight you'll stay outside of Mokopane on a working cattle farm called Thabaphaswa (meaning 'black and white mountain' in the local dialect). It's situated in a natural basin surrounded by hills. Tonight you will experience South African farm hospitality on this operational 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. Settle into your camp, then visit a nearby village to meet a local artist. For dinner, feast on a traditional spread prepared by your hosts in the village. Accommodation upgrades are possible tonight.
Hit the road, this time for Palapye (approximately 6 hours). Your cosy campsite tonight is located just a short distance from town. Once you're settled in, perhaps take a stroll to town to stretch your legs. Make the most of the facilities of the campsite, which include a swimming pool, bar/lounge area and restaurant. Upgrades are possible here also.
Journey from Palapye to Nata (approximately 6 hours). Your campsite is situated on the edge of the amazing Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, one of the largest salt flats in the world (covering some 12,000 square kilometres). Perhaps take an optional three-hour excursion in an open vehicle to explore these seemingly endless plains. 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. Then, after the rains hit, it become a grassy refuge for migratory birds and animals. Facilities at your camp include a restaurant, swimming pool, gift shop, ATM and bar/lounge area. Upgrades are also possible.
Travel on to Victoria Falls (approximately 7–8 hours). You will cross the border into Zimbabwe in time to have lunch on the banks of the lovely Zambezi. Experience the roar of the falls, a gigantic curtain of water about a mile wide and dropping 108 metres into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise up an incredible 400 metres, making them an impressive raging torrent. 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 today where a range of activities will be on offer. Your camp tonight has shared facilities, WiFi access and an ATM. Upgrades are possible also.

Notes: Intrepid has not risk-assessed all activities, and only those listed in your trip notes are recommended. If you are unsure about any, 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 Intrepid's Responsible Travel ethos. This includes organising transport to and from these activities in Intrepid vehicles.  You may also hear about the Devil's Pool at Vic Falls. Intrepid does not recommend this activity, due to the high risk involved. Our leaders cannot assist in organising this activity.
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
There are no activities planned for the final day, and you can depart the accommodation at any time.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
7 breakfasts, 6 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 4.8 out of 5 based on 25 reviews in the last year.

Kruger to Vic Falls , August 2016

Kruger to Vic Falls , July 2016