This action-packed Kruger to Victoria Falls Exclusive Budget Safari covers a lot of ground over just eight days - visiting top travel highlights in three Southern African countries.
Travel from the world-renowned Kruger Park in South Africa to the spectacular natural wonder of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, via Thabaphaswa cultural village and Botswana's Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Encounter Africa's Big Five and the dazzling array of other wild animals and birds in the vast wilderness of Kruger, before visiting the scenic Masebe Nature Reserve and Thabaphaswa village. Explore the open horizons of Africa in the stark Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, an empty land of dancing mirages and resounding silence.
This authentic African camping experience offers budget travellers more style and comfort than a standard camping tour, ending at the incredible Victoria Falls.
At the start of this 8-day Kruger to Victoria Falls Exclusive Budget Safari we gather for an important tour briefing at 18h00 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 the 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.
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.
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. 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.
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. 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 head 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.
On both nights we camp inside Kruger Park at a campsite featuring shared facilities with hot and cold water.
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.
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 part of Botswana 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.
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.
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.
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).
On day eight this Kruger to Victoria Falls Exclusive Budget Safari ends after breakfast. For the rest of the day, you are free to participate in optional adventure activities and catch your onward flight or book a few extra days here.
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.
Post-tour accommodation can be arranged with us (when booking your safari), should you choose to stay in Victoria Falls for an extra night or more. Booking an extra few days also gives you more time to explore Victoria Falls and try out some of the adventure activities available.
Activities listed as optional in the itinerary are not included in the tour price and are at your own expense. See Optional Activities & Excursions tab.
This safari travels with a maximum of 12 clients and single bookings are accepted.
This tour includes 4 nights of camping with facilities, 1 night of camping with basic facilities, 1 night of farmstay and 1 night of hotel accommodation.
On this tour, accommodation is primarily in spacious two-man dome tents (larger than standard dome tents), equipped with camping beds for added comfort. Bedding is provided, including a pillow, sleeping bag and blanket. Camping is mostly at basic campsites with facilities.
On this tour 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 5 dinners are provided. We recommend a budget of USD260 for meals not included in the itinerary.
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.
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.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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