This is the ultimate 24-day Southern Africa exploration, visiting five diverse countries - an adventure of a lifetime!
Departing from Johannesburg we cross into Botswana where we take a boat cruise in Chobe National Park! Then we visit the spectacular Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and enjoy optional adventure activities.
Next we travel into Zambia for an unforgettable canoe trip on the Zambezi River, before going game viewing in the wild Luangwa National Park. Crossing in Malawi, unwind along the shores of Lake Malawi and explore Mount Mulanje. Head to the idyllic beaches of Inhambane and Vilanculos in Mozambique to relax and enjoy watersports. Stop over in Maputo and then re-enter South Africa, ending off with game viewing in the world-famous Kruger National Park, home to Africa's Big Five.
During this trip you are likely to come across activities that encourage tourists to participate in lion, elephant or other wildlife interaction. This includes walking with lions, riding elephants and any other tourist operation putting travellers in close contact with animals that would normally live wild and separate from human contact.
We absolutely do not encourage or endorse this type of wildlife interaction operation. For more information on why this is not good for Africa's wild animals, please see our detailed blog post on the subject.
This safari departs from Johannesburg travelling north to the Botswana border where we complete immigration formalities and cross into Botswana.
Then we drive through scenic rural landscapes of Botswana, heading to Francistown where we spend our first-night camping. In the evening we enjoy a catered meal while finding out more details about the journey ahead.
In the morning we proceed north through the forest reserves of Chobe and onto the perennial Chobe River bordering the famous Chobe National Park. Along the banks of the Chobe River, we look out for the huge herds of elephants that Chobe is renowned for, as well as hippo, buffalo, crocodile and an array of birds.
We embark on a rewarding afternoon boat cruise in Chobe National Park, boasting one of the highest concentrations of game in Africa. Chobe Park is home to lion, cheetah, giraffe, elephant, zebra, buffalo and warthog, as well as a variety of antelope species. Other wild animals inhabiting this vast wilderness area include wildebeest, hyena, jackal, bat-eared fox and endangered African wild dog.
After our relaxing cruise on Chobe River, we cross the border into Zimbabwe making our way to Victoria Falls. We stay at a comfortable lodge in Victoria Falls for the next three nights.
Witness the mighty Victoria Falls, to understand its local name - Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning the "The Smoke that Thunders". We visit Vic Falls, considered the largest waterfall in the world, at 1.7km wide and with the Zambezi River plummeting more than 100m. The impressive Falls send up a spray of water 400m and higher that can be seen from as far as 50km away. Admiring this UNESCO World Heritage Site is an unforgettable experience!
Over the next two days at Victoria Falls, there is plenty of time to participate in optional adventure activities (own expense) and explore the Vic Falls area. Optional activities at Vic Falls, Africa's Adventure Capital, include scenic helicopter flights over the Falls, Zambezi River boat cruises, white water rafting, and bungee jumping from the bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Or you could visit a local village to encounter traditional tribes, the African curio market or the crocodile farm among other attractions.
Sometimes we cross into Zambia and camp on the banks of the Zambezi River for a night. On one of the nights we have a "braai" (barbecue) at our lodge swimming pool. On our last night in Victoria Falls town, we eat out at one of the local restaurants (own expense).
Today we cross the Victoria Falls Bridge, the original railway bridge into Zambia, stopping to take one last look at the spectacular Victoria Falls.
We then travel through southern Zambia heading north to our next overnight camp located in the Lower Zambezi Valley at Kafue. We spend the afternoon relaxing and preparing for our Zambesi canoe adventure before enjoying a catered meal in the camp and falling asleep next to the mighty Zambezi River.
This morning we set off for our canoe trip on the mighty Zambezi River, that flows down from central Africa through six countries, before emptying into the Indian Ocean in Mozambique. The Zambezi meanders through some of Africa's top wilderness areas providing water for innumerable wild animals, plants and people along its course.
Canoeing on the Zambezi provides excellent opportunities for viewing the big game, as well as smaller animals and an abundance of birds, from up close as you paddle. We get to experience the canoe adventure of a lifetime - truly one of the finest canoeing trips in the world!
For the two nights of this canoeing trip, we camp on the pristine banks of the Zambezi River in the wilderness. On day three of the canoe adventure, we return to Kafue by boat for the welcome comforts of a warm shower and catered meal (own expense) back at the lodge.
Next, we drive to Lusaka, Zambia's capital and largest city, before continuing to our overnight camp. After pausing in Lusaka to stock up on supplies we travel along the Great East Road, the only highway between the Eastern Province and the rest of Zambia. Today we cover as much distance as possible on our journey to Lake Malawi.
For the next two nights, we camp in the magnificent South Luangwa National Park. Our campsite is set on the banks of the Luangwa River, home to plenty of hippos, as well as attracting various other wild animals.
Luangwa is one of Africa's best game reserves being truly wild and extremely rich in game. This remote wildlife haven covering 9050 km² is home to leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo and impressive herds of elephants, zebras and buffalos. The amazing variety of wildlife found in Luangwa includes hippo, giraffe, hyena, primates, predators such as crocodiles and an array of antelope species.
We will explore this untamed wilderness on an extensive game drive going in search of the abundant wildlife found here, including the elusive leopard. You also have the option of taking a thrilling night drive in search of Luangwa's nocturnal wildlife (own expense).
On day 12, we cross into Malawi visiting its capital and largest city, Lilongwe, first. There is time for us to top up on supplies and shop for curios in Lilongwe before heading to the vast Lake Malawi. Also known as Lake Nyasa, this beautiful lake is the third largest and second deepest in Africa, covering a fifth of Malawi.
Relax on the sandy beaches of this African Great Lake, surrounded by mountains in a picturesque setting. Lake Malawi's clear blue, warm waters are home to a massive variety of fish species, making this freshwater lake ideal for snorkelling and swimming. This inland Malawi lake destination is renowned for its fresh fish and friendly locals. We camp right on one of Lake Malawi's beaches for the next two nights.
We head south today for Mount Mulanje, n impressive granite mountain rising some 600m above tea plantations and lush forests. We camp in the area enjoying the local flavour and taking a hike to the plateau for spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
Today we travel via Blantyre into Mozambique. We traverse the scenic Tete corridor, cross the Zambezi and drive along the mountains that form a natural border with Zimbabwe. We spend the night in the Chimoio region and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant (own expense).
We leave the wilderness behind us, passing through vibrant and bustling villages on our way to the warm Indian Ocean coast. Vilanculos overlooks the Bazaruto archipelago and we spend the night at accommodation situated on the beach. We head out in the evening for local dining experience (own expense).
Today we follow the coast south to Maxixe and then enjoy a traditional Dhow (boat) ride across the bay to Inhambane. Your guide will meet you on the other shore and you will have the opportunity to explore the local market. We then move on to the relative comfort of our beach accommodation where we will stay for the next three nights. While here, explore deserted beaches, snorkel or scuba dive (own expense) in the azure waters or just laze about under the African sun (free).
Vast coastal plains and Cashew tree forests await us today as we drive to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique and spend the night here.
This morning we explore the latino flavour of Maputo. The city offers street cafes, markets and other attractions and we spend time driving around and sightseeing in this once grandiose city. In the afternoon we drive through beautiful scenery on our way back into South Africa to the Kruger National Park, where we camp for the night.
Today we spend the whole day game viewing in the Kruger National Park, sighting a variety of wildlife and birds across its diverse habitats. Driving in our tour vehicle gives us an elevated view, making it easier to spot animals in the bush. The Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant) roam freely in this massive wilderness area, along with a spectacular array of other creatures, so keep your eyes peeled. Our experienced guide will be on hand to explain the animals and their behaviours as we explore South Africa's premier National Park.
After game viewing in Kruger, we cover the short distance to our final overnight lodge in Hazyview. Unwind and enjoy the lovely setting at the lodge, which is located in an indigenous forest along the Sabie River.
We make a slow start this morning, before returning to Johannesburg where our Southern Africa Five Country Safari started. In the late afternoon, we arrive in Johannesburg bringing this fantastic African adventure to a close.
For this tour, an open and flexible frame of mind is essential to deal with the detours, delays and other inconveniences encountered in the developing countries visited. Visas are required by some nationalities for Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia; these are the client's responsibility.
Seasonal precautions against malaria are advisable and are locally obtainable. A sleeping bag, towel and pillow are required. The recommended currency for this tour is the US Dollar, in small denominations.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.