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 a local village for a traditional dinner on a cultural adventure in South Africa. 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 with a visit to 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.
Travel: 675km (about 11-12 hrs)
Arriving in Mokopane we head to our campsite and set up camp in a natural basin surrounded by rolling hills, on the outskirts of town. The bush retreat is named after the Nguni cattle of the area, with Thabaphaswa meaning 'mountain of the black and white bull' in the local language. The Nguni is a colourful breed of cattle that are culturally significant and deeply rooted in local traditions.
This evening we are treated to warm South African hospitality and a traditional dinner prepared by local villagers. We visit a village near the farm to experience the local way of life and meet a traditional artist. After our cultural encounter, we return to our peaceful camp to admire the starry African skies.
Set in the scenic African bushveld dotted with aloes and thorn trees, Mokopane was established in the 1800's by the Voortrekkers (colonial Dutch pioneers). The Mokopane area is rich in minerals, such as platinum and diamonds, as well as being one of the country's most important farming regions, with produce including citrus fruits, tobacco, cotton and maize.
Travel: 335km (about 6 hrs)
On day five we leave the cattle ranch and travel into Botswana, making our way up to the town of Palapye. Tonight we camp near the town at an intimate campsite with a swimming pool, restaurant and bar-lounge area.
After setting up camp you can explore the scenic Moremi Gorge area on foot.
Travel: 320km (about 6 hrs)
Day six sees us travelling north through game-rich Botswana to Nata. Tonight we camp on the fringes of the Makgadikgadi Pans, a stark and eerie dry landscape.
Here you can explore the other-worldly 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: 380km (about 6 hrs)
Nata Pan Excursion
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 visit the spectacular waterfall to discover for ourselves why this natural wonder is called Mosi oa Tunya, which means 'The Smoke that Thunders'. Victoria Falls is considered the largest sheet of falling water in the world, at 1.7km's wide and 108m's high - a truly 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.
Travel: 380km (7-8 hrs)
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 6 nights of camping (with facilities) 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 and 6 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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