Travel from Zimbabwe to Botswana and into South Africa

Get a grip on southern Africa’s big three most exciting destinations – Hwange and Kruger national parks and the jaw-dropping Victoria Falls. From South Africa's big modern capital to a traditional village in Botswana, you'll experience all kinds of communities, cultures and landscapes in just over a week. Oh, and did we mention the animals you’ll see? Rhino-tracking and 4x4 safaris in the day- and night-time in search of the Big Five will blow your mind, so keep your eyes (and ears) peeled.

This trip is for 18 to 29-year-olds

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Finish
Johannesburg, South Africa
Destinations
South Africa, Zimbabwe
Style
Basix
Theme
18 to 29s, Overland
Code
YBYV
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18, Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 22

Travel solo, together

You're never alone when travelling solo with Intrepid

Why you'll love this trip

  • Discover the stunning cascades of Victoria Falls whichever way you please, with so many options to choose from – helicopter, anyone?

  • Visit the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust to learn about the rehabilitation of wildlife from conflict and poaching and have the possibility of meeting some rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care.

  • Pay the famous elephants and lions of Hwange National Park a visit from an open-air 4x4 vehicle on an exciting overland adventure.

  • Take your safari game to the next level by tracking rhinos on foot with an expert local guide in Matabos National Park.

  • What is the sound of a roaring lion if not a sweet soothing lullaby? You'll be camping right in the grounds of Kruger National Park, so you be the judge.

Is this trip right for you?

  • The African wild comes alive at sunrise, so there will be some early starts. Don't worry, the thrill of spotting your first lion or rhino will be well worth any loss of sleep.

  • This is an overland trip. That means you’ll be travelling with a group in a purpose-built vehicle, visiting remote communities, setting up your own tent, occasionally roughing it in the bush with no facilities, and getting the best possible views of the ‘big five’. While the trucks don’t have air conditioning, they do have sliding windows which let in the breeze and make it even easier to take spectacular snaps of the local wildlife. The drive days can be long, but it’s as much about the journey as the destination, and half the fun is the camaraderie. For more info on this style of travel, see our Africa overland page: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/africa/overland

  • Please note that this trip can be partnered with other adventures into a ‘combo’, which means that some of your fellow travellers may have begun their journey before today, and some may carry on to further destinations at the end of this tour. If you’d like to spend more time in Africa, have a look at the combos that include this trip’s itinerary: Epic African Adventure (YGYSC) & Real Southern Africa (UBYSC).

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2018 itinerary
Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early, good for you! Why not check out some of the optional activities around Victoria Falls? The Zimbabwe side of the falls offers the broadest view of this colossal natural wonder. Scenic helicopter flights are incredible and takes you over the thundering cascades.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls Entrance Fee - USD30
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting 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 decide to go on a scenic helicopter flight, choose Zambezi Helicopter Company (CAA Zimbabwe), which is the only operator Intrepid endorses.

You may also 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 capt
Guess what? You’re at the edge of the greatest curtain of falling water in the world. After a leader-led orientation walk of the town, enjoy a day of free time to take up one of many activities on offer in the area including a flying fox, helicopter flight, gorge swing, or even a white-water rafting experience! There are many ways to take in the thundering sight and sound of the falls. These staggering cascades are about a mile wide, falling 108 metres into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray rises high and the falls become a torrent; in the dry season, the lack of spray gives way to a nice view of the little islets in the river below. Meet up in the afternoon for a local brewery tour and tasting in town and get to know your new travel pals. Then perhaps kick on with an optional sunset cruise down the Zambezi River .
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Brewery Tour and Tasting
Optional Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Zambezi Sundowner Cruise - USD42
  • Victoria Falls - Flying fox - USD50
  • Victoria Falls - Canoe trail (half day) - USD100
  • Victoria Falls - Canoe trail (full day) - USD185
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (25 mins) - USD299
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (12 mins) - USD165
  • Victoria Falls - Whitewater rafting (half day) - USD130
  • Victoria Falls - Whitewater rafting (full day) - USD130
  • Victoria Falls - Gorge swing - USD103
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Your leader will take you to a local activity centre where a range of activities will be on offer. We have not completed a risk assessment on all activities and only those listed in the above trip notes are recommended. If you are unsure about a certain activity, please discuss it with your leader. It is against company policy for leaders to facilitate the booking of any activities that have not do not adhere to our company’s Responsible Travel policy and ethos. This includes organising transport to and from these activities in our vehicles.
Leave Victoria Falls behind and head to Hwange National Park (approximately 5 hours, depending on traffic), and en route, stop via the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust – one of the Intrepid Foundation’s projects. Here you can learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, human-wildlife conflict and their role in anti-poaching. There may also be a chance to meet any rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care. Afterwards, explore the stunning wildlife arena of Hwange in an open 4x4 vehicle. This 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 massive selection of wildlife, with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species. But it's the elephants this place is famous for – here you'll find one of the largest elephant populations in Africa.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hwange National Park - Game drive
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
At tonight's camp, there is wi-fi as well as optional accommodation upgrades (subject to availability).
Make tracks for Matobos with a short detour through Bulawayo, checking out its cool 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 Matobos 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. For those interested in the culinary side of southern African food, tonight your cook can provide an in-depth cooking class while you help prepare this evening’s delicious meal.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Matobos National Park - Cook-led Cooking Class - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Your campground has shared facilities, wi-fi access and some optional upgrades.
Good morning from mighty Matobos. You’re free to do as you please, but what is highly recommended is heading to Matobo Hills and spending the day tracking rhinos and other game animals with the help of your guide on an optional tour. The park is home to much wildlife, including to klipspringers, leopards, warthogs and springhares. Along the way, learn about the flora in the area. After your tour lunch, head to another region of the park to find old bushman paintings, see rock formations and learn some history of the area. Then it's off to nearby African villages to meet some of the local community. It’s definitely a day you won’t want to miss.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Matobo National Park - Rhino Tracking, Open Safari Vehicle Park Visit & San Rock Paintings - USD100
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Up early, today will be a long day with a very busy border post – the only direct border crossing between Zimbabwe and South Africa. The drive is approximately 400km long, but it can take us anything between 6 and 8 hours to reach our destination. Today’s destination is the Mapungubwe National Park in South Africa. This park is set hard against the northern border of South Africa, joining Zimbabwe and Botswana. It is an open, expansive savannah landscape at the intersection of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers. Sip sundowners overlooking the rivers or visit Mpungubwe Hill, where a far developed African civilisation prospered in the 13th century. The Interpretation Centre is the ideal place to catch up on all of this.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
On occasion we are unable to secure campsites within the Mapungubwe National Park. In this instance we will camp outside the park.
After breakfast, set off for renowned Kruger National Park. This world-famous park is known for the Big Five game of Africa – lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino. On top of that, it's home to some 336 kinds of trees, 49 fish species and over 500 species of bird. See how many of these you can spot on a game drive, in the group's own vehicle. You cover over 300km, but taking all day, you’ll be sure to spend time staking out the locals. Continue from your safari to your overnight camp, where there's the option of a further game drive – this time at night. You never know what’s going to come out and play on your safari after dark!
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kruger National Park - Overland Vehicle Game drive
Optional Activities
  • Kruger National Park - Night 4x4 Game Drive (from price) - ZAR240
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
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 outside the park.
Wake up early for a light breakfast of coffee and rusks before embarking on a full-day game drive in the truck. Today is another full day in Kruger Park – you'll spend the day in the group vehicle, heading down to the central part of the park, for a last overnight stop. Stop at some of the designated picnic spots for a bite to eat en route to camp. Depending on the season, you might catch a saddle-billed stork with its colourful red beak, or maybe a blue waxbill. In the afternoon when it's warm, take some time out to chill out. This evening again there will be an optional night drive with the park guide to spot nocturnal animals and perhaps even a night-time predator or two.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kruger National Park - Overland Vehicle Game drive
Optional Activities
  • Kruger National Park - Night 4x4 Game Drive (from price) - ZAR240
  • Kruger National Park - Sunset 4x4 Game Drive (from price) - ZAR325
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
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 outside the park.
Venture out for one last safari adventure this morning and soak up all Kruger has to offer. Keep your eyes peeled, ‘cause you’ll never know what will pop out from behind the shrubs! Continue back to Johannesburg (approximately 9–10 hours). This trip finishes on arrival in Johannesburg at a designated hotel drop-off point.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
No accommodation is provided for tonight, however if you’d like to spend more time in Johannesburg, we’ll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're planning on catching an outgoing international flight today, it's important to book it for 10 pm or later, to allow for delays and transfers to the airport.

Meals

8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 6 dinners

Transport

Overland vehicle, Open safari vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (7 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)

Included activities

  • Victoria Falls - Brewery Tour and Tasting
  • Hwange National Park - Game drive
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust Visit
  • Kruger National Park - Overland Vehicle Game drive

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip. Please speak to your booking agent for more information.
2. This trip finishes upon arrival in Johannesburg on Day 9. Please do not book any flights until after 10pm this evening.

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.

View Essential Trip Information

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