Khama rhinos

Experience Southern Africa Exclusive Budget Safari

Tour Length16 days
Priced from pps $3056 R43055 £2367 2706 A$4283 C$4051 NZ$4457 Full pricing info
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Summary of this Exclusive Small Group Camping Safari

  • Max. Group Size 12 Travellers
  • Starts & ends in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Accommodation Guesthouse / B&B / Hotel / Standard Camping
  • Transport Overland Vehicle
  • Wildlife Big 5, Elephant, Leopards, Lions, Rhino & More
  •  See Departure Dates

Quick Itinerary Overview

Get ready to explore the untamed bush of Southern Africa on foot, by boat, in traditional canoes and on game viewing drives!

Wildlife and wilderness highlights in Botswana include game viewing in Khama Rhino Sanctuary, taking a boat cruise on the Chobe River, venturing into the pristine Okavango Delta on bush walks and mokoro rides and discovering the vast Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Also visit the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, and experience both the traditional village life and contemporary township culture in Southern Africa.

In South Africa you soak up the beauty of the Panorama Route, travelling into Blyde River Canyon. Encounter Africa's Big Five and an abundance of other wildlife and birds in world-renowned Kruger National Park.

This Exclusive Budget Safari is an authentic African camping experience, providing more style and comfort than a standard camping tour.

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Itinerary for this Tour

Day 1: Johannesburg – South Africa

At the start of this 16-day Experience Southern Africa Safari we gather for an important tour briefing at 6:00 pm and welcome you to Southern Africa.

You are free to relax at the hotel and explore the bustling city of Johannesburg, before the evening meeting at the hotel on day one. Johannesburg, known as the City of Gold, is a vibrant economic capital of Southern Africa. This cosmopolitan city is home to the largest urban forest in the world and offers a unique window into South African life, its turbulent history and the melting pot of contemporary cultures.

  • Johannesburg Accommodation: One night of hotel accommodation

Please Note:

We strongly recommend attending the tour briefing on day one, as this is when we collect your important contact information and insurance details from you. If your flight is set to arrive too late for the meeting, then we advise booking a flight for the day before the tour, so that you can join the meeting. Pre-tour accommodation can be arranged with us if required.

Days 2 & 3: Kruger National Park – South Africa

On day two we depart from the dynamic city of Johannesburg, driving northeast into the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa.

We travel towards the world-famous Kruger National Park, passing through the scenic Panorama Route, which runs along the Drakensberg Escarpment and down into the Lowveld. The Panorama Route is one of the most picturesque parts of South Africa, a country blessed with a diversity of beautiful scenery. Driving via the Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world, we admire the spectacular views from God's Window, Bourke's Luck Potholes and The Three Rondavels.

As we enter Kruger Park the Big Five game viewing adventure begins! Our game drive takes us to game-rich areas of this world-famous national park, in search of the Big Five of Africa (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino), along with a staggering array of other wild animals and birds.

Day three begins early in the morning, with a refreshing coffee and some rusks (tea biscuits), before setting off into the bush on a game drive in our overland truck. Mornings are an excellent time for game viewing as many animals are at their most active in the early morning hours. The bulk of our day is spent exploring this untamed wilderness area on game drives, stopping at watering holes en route to spot wildlife and birds. In the evening we venture back out into the bush on a thrilling night drive in an open safari vehicle. This exciting sunset drive takes you in search of the unusual and shy nocturnal creatures of Kruger Park.

Covering some 19 485 km² of African bush, Kruger Park is one of Southern Africa's biggest game reserves, inhabited by 150 mammal species, more than 500 bird species and 100 reptile species. In addition to the Big Five of Africa, Kruger is also home to endangered wildlife, including African wild dogs and black rhinos.

On both nights we camp inside Kruger Park at a campsite featuring shared facilities with hot and cold water.

  • Travel: 675km (about 11-12 hrs)
  • Kruger Accommodation: Two nights of camping with facilities (upgrades available - subject to availability)
  • Included Activities: Panorama Route sights, Kruger Park game drives (in overland truck) & Kruger night game drive (day 3)
  • Optional Activities: Kruger Park night game drive (day 2)
  • Included Meals: Breakfast & Dinner (day 2) / Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (day 3)

Day 4: Masebe Nature Reserve – South Africa

Today we make our way out of Kruger National Park, game viewing en route to the exit gate. Next, we drive to Masebe Nature Reserve in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.

Arriving at Masebe we head to our camp inside the nature reserve, looking out for wildlife and birds as we go. This compact game reserve forms part of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve and is home to giraffes, zebras and a variety of antelopes, as well as elusive leopards. Driving through Masebe Nature Reserve we soak up the beautiful scenery, admiring the unusual rock formations. Tonight we sit back and relax in nature, enjoying the peaceful setting.

  • Travel: About 7 hrs
  • Masebe Accommodation: One night of camping with facilities (upgrades available)
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5: Moremi Gorge – Botswana

This morning we discover another highlight of Masebe Nature Reserve - its well-preserved San rock art sites. We visit the caves tucked away in Masebe to see these rock paintings that were created thousands of years ago by the traditional San (Bushmen) people, the original inhabitants of southern Africa.

After viewing the mysterious rock art of the ancient San we drive to a village in the area to see what rural life is like in this area today. Then we hit the road for Moremi Gorge, near the town of Palapye, in southern Botswana. Tonight we camp just outside of Palapye at a basic campsite with limited hot water in winter.

  • Travel: About 6 hrs
  • Palapye Accommodation: One night of camping with basic facilities (upgrades available)
  • Included Activities: San rock art & Thabaphaswa village visit
  • Included Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 6: Nata – Botswana

Day six sees us travelling north through rural Botswana to Nata. Tonight we camp on the fringes of the Makgadikgadi Pans, a stark and eerie dry land. This afternoon we explore the otherworldly salt pans on a three-hour open vehicle drive, to experience the endless horizons of this desolate terrain. Once an enormous inland lake the now dry Makgadikgadi Salt Pans stretch out over 12000km² in deep silence, amid the ancient Kalahari Desert.

In the rainy season, the pans are transformed into grassy plains dotted with shallow lakes, attracting various wild animals and numerous migratory birds, including impressive flocks of flamingos. In the dry season, however, the strange mirages and empty, cracked-clay landscapes return to Makgadikgadi, one of the largest salt pans in the world.

Facilities at our campsite include a swimming pool, gift shop, ATM, restaurant and lounge-bar area.

  • Travel: About 6 hrs
  • Included Activities: Nata Pan Excursion
  • Nata Accommodation: One night of camping with facilities (upgrades available)
  • Included Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Days 7 & 8: Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe

We are off to the mighty Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe on day seven, stopping for lunch on the banks of the Zambezi River along the way.

Arriving at Victoria Falls, we head to our camp and set up. Then we recommend visiting the spectacular waterfall to see why this natural wonder is called Mosi oa Tunya, which means 'The Smoke that Thunders'. Victoria Falls is ranked as the largest waterfall in the world, at 1.7km's wide and 108m's high - an awe-inspiring sight year round. As the Zambezi plummets into the narrow gorge below Vic Falls sends up a magnificent spray reaching over 400m's into the air during the rainy season when it can be spotted from miles away. Although not as thunderous during the dry season, Victoria Falls and the gorge below are clearly visible at this time, because there is less mist rising off the falls.

Day eight is free for you to embark on optional activities and explore Vic Falls. There is plenty to do here with activities ranging from cultural tours and tram rides to bungee jumping, white water rafting and helicopter flights. Whitewater rafting on the Zambezi River is one of the most popular activities here and sunset boat cruises are a more laid-back favourite.

We stay at a conveniently located campsite in Victoria Falls town, close to all the action and adventure activities. You have the option of upgrading your accommodation at the camp's reception (extra cost).

At this stage of our combination trip new travellers may be joining your group while some fellow travellers may be departing, and a new safari guide may also be taking over from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. A group meeting is held to brief you on the next stage of your tour and meet any new travellers joining the group.

Responsible Travel Note:

During your time at Victoria Falls, you may come across an optional 'Walk with the Lions' activity. We do not recommend this activity as professional wildlife conservationists advise that habituating lions to humans can shorten their lifespan and may lead to human-lion conflict.

For the optional Helicopter Flight (12 minutes or 25 minutes ) we recommend using Zambezi Helicopter co CAA Zimbabwe and your guide can help make arrangements for this activity.

  • Travel: About 4 hrs
  • Optional Activities: Visit Victoria Falls waterfall & adventure activities
  • Victoria Falls Accommodation: Two nights of camping with facilities (upgrades available)
  • Included Meals: Breakfast (x2)

Day 9: Chobe National Park – Botswana

On day nine we cross back into neighbouring Botswana and make our way to the famous Chobe National Park, renowned for its huge elephant populations.

Later this afternoon we take a relaxing boat cruise on the Chobe River, an excellent opportunity to get up close to elephants, as well as other wildlife and plenty of birds. As we cruise along we look out for elephants along the banks, or even swimming in the river, along with the abundance of hippos and crocodiles lurking in the shallow waters. Other wild animals that are often sighted on this laid-back boat cruise include lions, zebras, cheetahs, buffalos and a range of antelopes.

Chobe is home to some of the highest concentrations of game in Africa and was the first national park established in Botswana.

Tonight we camp near Chobe National Park at a campsite with flush toilets, showers, and WiFi access.

  • Travel: 90 km (about 2-3 hrs)
  • Included Activities in Chobe Park: Chobe River boat cruise
  • Chobe Accommodation: One night of camping with facilities (upgrades available)
  • Included Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 10: Maun – Botswana

This morning you have the chance to take an optional sunrise game drive in Chobe National Park to explore its diverse habitats in search of the wild animals and birds inhabiting this scenic Botswana game park.

Then we drive to the lively town of Maun, in northern Botswana. Maun is a popular travel hub that serves as the gateway to the pristine Okavango Delta. The Okavango Delta is the world's largest inland delta, formed by the waters of the Okavango River emptying into the arid Kalahari Desert from the Angolan Highlands. This beautiful wetland system is a one-of-a-kind natural phenomenon, creating a 16000 km² natural oasis in this otherwise arid desert region.

Over the next few days, we will experience the beauty and diversity of the remarkable delta, soaking up the peace of its meandering waterways, remote islands and fertile floodplains. If we are lucky we will also encounter some of the wildlife inhabiting the scenic Delta, from hippos and crocodiles to elephants, buffalos and big cats.

We camp just outside of Maun tonight, at a basic campsite with shared facilities.

  • Travel: 615 km (about 10-11 hrs)
  • Optional Activities: Sunrise game drive in Chobe National Park
  • Maun Accommodation: One night of camping with shared facilities (upgrades available)
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Days 11 - 12: Okavango Delta & Maun – Botswana

Our two-day delta adventure begins on day 11, as we head into this watery wonderland to discover its unique magic. We explore the intricate network of clear waterways by mokoro canoes, the traditional dug-out vessels used in the delta. The mokoros are poled along the tranquil channels and lagoons by local 'polers' who stand in the canoe and guide it through the waters with a pole, in a similar way to gondoliers.

We also experience the untamed delta ecosystems on foot, heading into the bush on guided nature walks with knowledgeable guides. Walking in this unspoilt wilderness is a great way to spot the unusual animals and abundance of birds inhabiting this watery maze. On day 12 we venture into the delta on a sunrise walk with experienced guides, going in search of numerous birds and wildlife, including elephants.

After our early morning bush walk, we return to camp for a well-deserved breakfast. The remainder of the day is free for you to swim in the clear streams, walk in the unspoilt bush, try your hand at poling a mokoro and simply kick-back. In the afternoon you can choose to join a guided bush walk or set off on a mokoro ride to admire more of the rich flora and fauna.

Both nights are spent camping on a secluded island in the Okavango Delta. Camping in the bush is an ideal way to immerse yourself in nature and get back to basics, with only a bush toilet and no showers. Our nights are spent under starry skies, taking in the sounds of nature in this truly wild place.

  • Included Activities: Mokoro trip & bush walks in the Okavango Delta
  • Delta Accommodation: Two nights camping at a bush camp (no facilities)
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (x2)

Day 13: Delta to Maun – Botswana

Today we break-up camp and glide out of the Okavango Delta in our mokoros. Arriving back at the poling station we return to Maun and our camp on the fringes of town.

Today you also have the chance to take an optional flight over the delta (at extra cost). The scenic delta flight provides a superb overview of this complex ecosystem from above, giving you a whole new perspective of this vast natural gem.

We overnight at a simple camp with shared facilities, outside of Maun.

  • Travel: 60 km (about 2-3 hrs)
  • Included Activities: Mokoro trip
  • Optional Activities in Maun: Scenic Delta flight
  • Maun Accommodation: One night of camping near Maun (with facilities)
  • Included Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 14: Khama Rhino Sanctuary – Botswana

We drive south through Botswana today heading to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, located on the outskirts of the Kalahari Desert.

The Khama Rhino Sanctuary was established to protect black and white rhino populations and is integral to white rhino conservation efforts in Botswana. The Khama project practises wildlife tourism and sustainable natural resource management to deliver economic benefits to the local Batswana community. Our visit here helps support the local communities and protect the highly endangered white rhinos.

In the early evening, we embark on a game drive, exploring Khama Sanctuary in search of rhinos, zebras, giraffes, leopards, ostriches and wildebeest. Sunset is an excellent time for game viewing as many animals are most active at this time of day.

Returning from our game drive in the evening we unwind beside the campfire and fall asleep under starry African skies.

Please note: If we arrive at Khama Sanctuary too late to embark on the sunset game drive, we will take a sunrise game drive on the following day instead.

  • Travel: 550 km (about 9-10 hrs)
  • Included Activities: Game drive in Khama Rhino Sanctuary
  • Khama Rhino Sanctuary Accommodation: One night of camping with shared facilities (upgrades available)
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Days 15 - 16: Soweto & Johannesburg – South Africa

On day 15 we drive back into South Africa where our exclusive budget safari began.

Our next destination is the historic township of Soweto, a bustling urban area of Johannesburg. On the last day of our tour, we explore the streets by bicycle, meeting the friendly locals and getting a real feel for this vibrant place. Cycling in Soweto is a great way to experience the mix of local cultures and gain an understanding of South Africa's tumultuous past. Here we find out more about the renowned Soweto Uprising of the 1970's and the struggle for freedom from apartheid, visiting local landmarks and a former migrant workers' hostel. On our Soweto tour, we witness the deep economic divide in this nation, encountering grand homes and match-box shacks standing side-by-side.

Our colourful Soweto cycling tour finishes at about 3:00 pm, bringing this adventure-filled Experience Southern Africa Budget Safari to a close.

  • Travel: 633 km ( about 10-11 hrs)
  • Included Activities in Johannesburg: Cycling tour of Soweto (day 16)
  • Johannesburg Accommodation: One night of guesthouse accommodation
  • Included Meals: Breakfast & Lunch (x2)

Please Note:

Avoid booking any international flights departing before 8 pm this evening. Post-tour accommodation can be arranged with us (when booking your safari), should you choose to stay in Johannesburg for an extra night or more.

Tour Details

Optional Activities:

Activities listed as optional in the itinerary are not included in the tour price and are for your own expense. See Optional Activities & Excursions tab.

Tour Accommodation:

This tour includes 8 nights of camping accommodation (with facilities), 2 nights of bush camping (with no facilities) and 2 nights of camping (with basic facilities). The tour also includes 1 night of hotel accommodation, a 1 night of farmstay accommodation and 1 night of guesthouse accommodation.

On this tour, accommodation is primarily in spacious two-man dome tents (larger than standard dome tents), equipped with camping beds. Camping is mostly at basic campsites with facilities.

Meals on Safari:

On this tour 15 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 11 dinners are provided. We recommend a budget of USD 470 for meals not included in the itinerary.

Tour Participation:

This camping safari is an overlanding trip, which means that some group participation is required along the way. This is an exclusive camping safari, however, which means that the tour operates with 3 crew members (guide, driver and assistant). Having extra staff on board means that less participation is required from clients on this tour.

The limited participation is usually in the form of helping with meal preparation and the setting up or dismantling of tents and sometimes helping your guide/cook with shopping for supplies.

Please Note:

The above itinerary serves as a guide and is subject to changes (such as last-minute route changes), due to factors including weather conditions and seasonal variation.

Optional Extras and Excursions

For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.

South Africa Optional Activities

  • Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg
  • Gold Reef City and Heritage mine tour, Johannesburg 
  • Museum Africa, Johannesburg
  • Art Gallery, Johannesburg
  • Extra night game drive in Kruger Park

Botswana Optional Activities

  • Okavango Delta scenic flight
  • Chobe sunrise game drive

Victoria Falls Optional Activities

  • Visit Victoria Falls waterfall
  • Abseiling 
  • Canoe trail
  • Flying fox
  • Gorge swing
  • Helicopter flights
  • Horseback safari
  • Bungee jumping
  • Rafting & river boarding (half day)
  • Whitewater rafting (half / full day)
  • Village & township tour
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+Where does the tour go to?
+Optional Activities & Day Trips
For confirmed pricing on these optional items, please drop us an enquiry

South Africa Optional Activities

  • Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg
  • Gold Reef City and Heritage mine tour, Johannesburg 
  • Museum Africa, Johannesburg
  • Art Gallery, Johannesburg
  • Extra night game drive in Kruger Park

Botswana Optional Activities

  • Okavango Delta scenic flight
  • Chobe sunrise game drive

Victoria Falls Optional Activities

  • Visit Victoria Falls waterfall
  • Abseiling 
  • Canoe trail
  • Flying fox
  • Gorge swing
  • Helicopter flights
  • Horseback safari
  • Bungee jumping
  • Rafting & river boarding (half day)
  • Whitewater rafting (half / full day)
  • Village & township tour
+Included in the Tour Price
  • Panorama Route sights
  • Kruger Park day & night game drives
  • Masebe Nature Reserve & rock art
  • Thabaphaswa village visit 
  • Nata Pan Excursion
  • Chobe River cruise
  • Okavango Delta mokoro trip & bush walks
  • Khama Rhino Sanctuary game drive
  • Soweto cycling tour
  • Accommodation & bedding
  • 15 breakfasts, 8 lunches & 11 dinners
+Not Included in the Tour Price
  • Meals not included on the itinereary
  • Optional activities
  • Flights and airport taxes
  • Personal items
+Departure Dates

Scheduled Tour Departures
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If you do not see departures listed for your dates, or would like information on potential changes, please do contact us for further info.

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