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Experience Southern Africa

Trip type: 
Adventure level: 
3. Moderate
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Awaiting reviews
Africa, Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe | 17 days
Trip code: 
What's included: 

Transport - Minibus/safari truck, mokoro canoe, 4WD, on foot.

Accommodation - Camping (with facilities) (9 nts), Bush camp (no facilities) (2 nts), Hotel (1 nt), Guesthouse (1 nt), Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)

Meals - 7 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 4 Dinners

Trip Highlights: 
Spot the Big 5 in Kruger NP
See the spectacular Victoria Falls
Enjoy the elephants at Chobe NP
Glide by mokoro along the Okavango Delta
see full itinerary >>

Holidays in Botswana
You'll follow an itinerary which has been researched and planned by our experts, saving you all the hassle of organising the trip. The itineraries are designed to minimise the time spent travelling and maximise the variety of experiences.
We often have multiple itineraries so please check to see which itinerary is suitable for you, by selecting the relevant tab.
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Itinerary for Experience Southern Africa

(Departures in 2014-15)
  • Day 1-2 - Johannesburg
  • Day 3-4 - Kruger National Park
  • Day 5 - Mokopane
  • Day 6 - Nata
  • Day 7-8 - Victoria Falls
  • Day 9-10 - Chobe National Park
  • Day 11-13 - Okavango Delta/Maun
  • Day 14 - Khama Rhino Sanctuary
  • Day 15-17 - Soweto/Johannesburg
Extensions and Extras: Extend your holiday and see more of the world. View additional tours for this trip »


Take an overnight flight - on arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Sawubona! Welcome to South Africa.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6:00pm on Day 2.

You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. 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.

Optional Activities

  • Apartheid Museum - ZAR75
  • Art Gallery - ZAR60
  • Gold Reef City and Heritage mine tour - ZAR360
  • Museum Africa - ZAR40

Meals Included

1 Breakfast


Hotel (1 nt)

Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park

Leave Johannesburg and travel through the Mpumalanga Province, driving 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 (600km, approx 8-10 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.

Your wildlife experience begins as soon as you enter the park, heading straight into prime game viewing areas where you may catch a glimpse of some of the amazing animals found here.

Arriving at camp within the park, there's time to freshen up before heading out on an open vehicle night drive, an amazing experience and a chance to witness the nocturnal activities of the many animals within the park.

Rise early and have a light breakfast of coffee and rusks before embarking on a morning game drive. Most of the day will be spent game viewing, bird watching and stopping at various waterholes and viewpoints.

Your campground within the park has shared facilities and hot and cold water.

Included Activities

  • Kruger Park - Game drive
  • Blyde River Canyon Viewpoint


Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)



Enjoy a final game drive while travelling out of Kruger National Park.

Make your way towards the bushveld town of Mokopane ( 315km, 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.

Tonight 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 you 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.  Settle into your campsite before departing on a visit to one of the local villages not far from the farm where you visit a traditional artist and gain some more insight into the local culture. Feast on a traditional dinner prepared by your hosts in the village, before returning to the campsite for a night under the African skies.

Included Activities

  • Thabaphaswa - Village Visit & Dinner


Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)



Depart Thabaphaswa early and drive north via Francistown to your lodge in Nata (675 km, approx 10hrs).

Your 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 and Bar/lounge area. 

While here you have the opportunity to explore the pans on a 3 hr 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.

Included Activities

  • Nata Pan Excursion


Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)


Victoria Falls

Travel on to Victoria Falls (375 km, approx 6-6.5 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.

As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.

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 you bypass this activity as it is contrary to our Responsible Travel guideline stating that we 'actively discourage the participation of 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.

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.

Included Activities

  • Visit Victoria Falls

Optional Activities

  • Jet boat - USD95
  • Horseback safari - USD80
  • Abseiling - USD55
  • Flying fox - USD40
  • Gorge swing - USD90
  • Helicopter flight (12 mins) - USD140
  • Canoe trail (half day) - USD100
  • Canoe trail - USD140
  • Helicopter flight (25 mins) - USD275
  • Bungee jumping - USD130
  • Village & township tour - USD50
  • Rafting & river boarding combo (half day) - USD180


Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)

Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park

Travel to Chobe National Park in Botswana (100 km, approx 3 hrs).

Botswana's first national park, Chobe, 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 cruise on the Chobe River, a very relaxing way to spend the afternoon.

Your camp is outside of Chobe National Park and has flush toilets and hot/cold showers.

Included Activities

  • Chobe - River cruise


Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)


Okavango Delta/Maun

Travel into the unspoiled wilderness for an adventurous bush camping experience.

Formed by the Okavango River as it flows from the highlands of Angola down to a basin on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta is unlike anything else in the world. The river has no outlet from the desert and spreads out into thousands of small streams to form a wilderness that is totally unspoilt. The 16,000 sq km maze of wetlands is a wonderland of clear meandering waterways, green islands, lush plains and prolific wildlife. The delta is filled with a diversity of flora and fauna that includes hippos, crocodiles, elephants and the big cats. However, it's not for the game that you come as it can't always be found. The delta is about exploring one of the world's most fascinating ecosystems.

Traverse the waterways by mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe navigated by friendly local 'polers'. With luck, you might spot some of the delta's unusual wildlife and prolific birdlife. Spend time exploring the maze of lagoons, lakes and streams on foot, led by experienced and knowledgeable guides.

You will camp on a remote island in the heart of the wilderness. Dig a bush toilet and go without a shower, it's all part of the Okavango experience. At night, the sounds of the African bush are the only things you will hear - a true wilderness experience!

Wake up early the following morning and venture out on a sunrise walk hoping to catch a glimpse of some elephants and Cape buffalo. Returning to camp for breakfast, take the rest of the day to relax, take a swim or test your poling skills before heading out for an afternoon walk or perhaps another mokoro trip - the choice is yours.

After taking down camp, take the mokoro back to the poling station before transferring back to Maun (60 km, approx 2-3 hrs).

Camp on the outskirts of town at a simple campsite with shared facilities.

Included Activities

  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro trips & bushwalks

Optional Activities

  • Chobe - Dawn game drive - BWP240


Bush camp (no facilities) (2 nts), Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)


Khama Rhino Sanctuary

Travel to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (520 km, approx 7-9 hrs).

Situated on the edge of the vast Kalahari Desert, the Khama Rhino Sanctuary is a result of local efforts to convert 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, which have all moved in and can be seen around the many natural waterholes. Visiting this project benefits local communities, as well as contributing to the protection of the highly endangered white rhinoceros.

Head out on a dusk game drive to see the rhinos when they are at their most active before returning to camp.

Your campsite has shared facilities.

Included Activities

  • Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Evening game drive


Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)



Cross the border into South Africa and travel on to Soweto, a township of Johannesburg (600 km, approx 9-10 hrs).

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.

Take to the streets of Soweto on bicycle and learn about the Soweto uprising and the resistance against apartheid, how the community has changed and developed to what it is today, and visit a former migrant workers' hostel and many other local landmarks.

You should finish your cycle adventure at around 3pm.

Your adventure ends on Day 16 and you will be transferred to the airport for your overnight flight home to London.

Included Activities

  • Soweto - Cycle tour

Meals Included

1 Lunch


Guesthouse (1 nt)