Travel to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe and see some of the world’s greatest waterfalls and wildlife

Embark on an action-packed, teen-friendly adventure in south-east Africa. See the thundering spectacle of Victoria Falls, say hello to some new friends at the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, explore the far-out Okavango Delta by traditional canoe, cruise across the seemingly endless sprawl of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and watch elephants drink from the Chobe River. Pack plenty of spare camera batteries, because this snap-happy trip, brimming with exciting animal encounters and landscapes like you’ve never seen, is one for the photo album.

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Start
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Finish
Johannesburg, South Africa
Countries
Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Style
Basix
Theme
Family
Code
UWFB
Physical rating
Ages
Min 13
Group size
Min 2, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Get a load of Victoria Falls, an amazing thundering spectacle. Optional activities for those arriving early include white water rafting, canoeing and flying fox rides

  • Go wildlife-spotting along the river at Chobe National Park, home of the world's highest concentration of African elephants

  • Enjoy some truly unique accommodation in Elephant Sands. Greet elephants as they come to drink from the pool!

  • Get familiar with the fine art of 'poling' as you ride a traditional dugout canoe through the waterways of the Okavango Delta

  • Camping on a remote island in the heart of the Okavango wilderness is an experience you’ll never forget. As night falls, the sounds of the African bush are like nothing else

  • Support local conservation by visiting the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, the only place left in Botswana where both black and white rhinos reside

Is this trip right for you?

  • Camping out in the Okavango wilderness means digging a bush toilet and going without a shower. For most travellers this is a small price to pay for such a gorgeous remote island location. It’s all part of the adventure.

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

  • Purpose-built overland trucks allow for excellent game viewing, equipped with large sliding windows. This means they don't have air-conditioning, however, so they can get dusty and hot.

  • 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. There are some long travelling days.

  • This is a participatory camping trip, so team spirit is key. You'll be helping out with camp setup, food preparation and cleaning.

Itinerary

Welcome to Africa! Your adventure begins in the afternoon with a visit to Victoria Falls. Most flights arrive into Vic Falls around midday so once you have settled into camp the group will head off to visit the mighty Victoria Falls!

This thundering curtain of water is about a mile wide, falling 108 metres into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise up an incredible 400 metres and the falls become an impressive raging torrent. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and you can see little islets in the river below.

If you arrive early, get out and explore Victoria Falls. You can choose from various activities and excursions, including white water rafting, canoeing and flying fox rides. For an incredible scenic helicopter flight, choose Zambezi Helicopter Company (CAA Zimbabwe), the only Intrepid-endorsed operator.
Accommodation
  • Victoria Falls Rest Camp or similar (camping with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls entrance
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After some breakfast and packing up camp we travel to Chobe National Park (approximately 2–3 hours). Botswana's first national park 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, crocodiles sunning themselves by the water's edge, and cheetahs and lions which come down to drink. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the Chobe River, a relaxing way to spend the afternoon with the family.
Accommodation
  • Thebe River Safaris or similar (camping with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chobe National Park - River cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Hit the road early and head to Nata (approximately 6–7 hours). This small town is situated just near the stunning Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, which are some of the largest salt flats on earth. Explore these this afternoon, then set up camp at Elephant Sands. Elephant Sands has a natural waterhole right in front of the lodge where the local elephants come to drink. Watch these awesome creatures whilst they drink at only a couple of meters away from you. There is plenty of other wildlife around as well on this unfenced 16000 ha private conservancy. The lack of fences allows all animals to roam freely. After setting up camp, head off on a bush walk activity which is a wonderful chance to learn about the smaller things in the bush which are often not noticed on game drives.
Accommodation
  • Elephant Sands or similar (camping with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nata - Elephant Sands Bush Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After packing up camp it's another long travelling day to Maun (approximately 6–7 hours). Maun is the gateway to one of the world's most renowned and complex ecosystems, the Okavango Delta. This place 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. You might see hippos, crocodiles, elephants and big cats. But it's not the animals that are the main attraction – it's the extremely diverse ecosystem and atmospheric waterscapes. Tonight you'll stay on the outskirts of Maun at a simple campsite with shared facilities and WiFi before heading into the Delta in the morning.
Accommodation
  • Sedia Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Cruise around the waterways by mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe navigated by friendly local 'polers'. With some luck, you might spot some of the delta's unusual wildlife and exotic birdlife. Spend time exploring the maze of lagoons, lakes and streams on foot, led by experienced and knowledgeable guides. Tonight you will camp on a remote island in the heart of the wilderness. In this far-out spot, facilities are non-existent, so you will dig a bush toilet and go without a shower. It's all part of the Okavango experience. At night, fall asleep to the humming and buzzing of the African wilderness.
Accommodation
  • Okavango Delta Camping (camping with no facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro safari
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Wake up early and head out for a sunrise walk. Along the way, keep watch for some elephants. You might also come across some Cape buffalo, if the timing is right. These rather noble-looking creatures are more dangerous than they look, and their horns make for a kind of bone shield that's fittingly known as a 'boss'. Returning to camp for breakfast, take the rest of the day to relax. A refreshing swim, or perhaps a nap, is a good idea in the warmer part of the day. Alternatively, take another mokoro trip to soak up more of that delightful river atmosphere.
Accommodation
  • Okavango Delta Camping (camping with no facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Sunrise Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast take the mokoro back to the poling station and then travel once again to Maun (approximately 2–3 hours). Today you'll visit a rural village and interact with some of the locals. This will give you an insight into daily life on the Okavango Delta and perhaps some background history on these awesome sprawling waterways that are the lifeblood of many.
Accommodation
  • Sedia Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
It's an early morning start as we hit the road to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (approximately 8–9 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. Later, head out on a dusk game drive to see the rhinos when they are at their most active.
Accommodation
  • Khama Rhino Sanctuary (camping with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Game drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Leaving Botswana behind, cross the border into South Africa. Arrive at your overnight stop of Blouberg at around lunch time. If you arrive in time, head out on a walk to the local river for a small.
The Bosehla River is located near our camp and has a number of rock pools for swimming (when the river is full). The walk is an uphill walk on a rocky path so sturdy shoes are recommended.

In the evening, visit some local community which is a peri urban settlement. The settlement is a representation of how many South Africans live, they have houses with running water and electricity but still live in line with their culture.

We will enjoy an evening at the tavern (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 (for the adults). Note that vegetarians will have limited options – speak to your leader to arrange an alternative.
Accommodation
  • African Ivory Route Camping or similar (camping with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Blouberg- Cultural Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Drive into Johannesburg, arriving at around lunch time. The trip comes to an end on arrival. If you have additional time why not get out and explore Johannesburg – maybe the culturally rich areas of Newtown, Braamfontein or Maboneng. The eye-opening Apartheid Museum is highly recommended for a visit. 
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners

Transport

Truck

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (5 nights), Camping (with no facilities) (2 nights), Hotel (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls entrance
  • Chobe National Park - River cruise
  • Nata - Elephant Sands Bush Walk
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro safari
  • Okavango Delta - Sunrise Walk
  • Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Game drive
  • Blouberg- Cultural Dinner

Dates & availability

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Important notes

Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.
Minimum age for children on this trip is 13 years old.

A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children under 17 years of age at time of travel.

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.