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 heading to Lake Malawi. Relax on the shores of Lake Malawi and meet the locals, before returning to Zambia for game viewing in the wild Luangwa National Park. Back in Zimbabwe, go to Lake Kariba, the Great Zimbabwe Ruins and Matobo National Park. Then we re-enter South Africa and explore a private reserve, ending off with 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 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 on to 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.
On one of the nights we will get to watch some traditional dancing and 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). Occasionally we cross from Zimbabwe into Zambia and camp on the banks of the Zambezi River.
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. In the afternoon there is time to relax and enjoy the lodge pool, resting before our exciting canoe adventure on the 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 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. 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.
On day 10, 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 camp in the magnificent South Luangwa National Park for the next two nights. 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 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).
This morning we wake up in the wild and beautiful South Luangwa Park and have breakfast before leaving the Zambian wilderness.
We follow the Great East Road, driving as far as possible before camping for the night.
Next, we travel down into the Zambezi Valley, crossing into Zimbabwe where we head to Lake Kariba. Arriving in the late afternoon, we get to enjoy a scenic sunset over the lake.
Spend the morning of day 16 relaxing at Lake Kariba, one of the largest man-made lakes in the world. Then we set off on an overnight boat cruise on Lake Kariba, soaking up the beautiful scenery and looking out for wildlife and birds. We catch another serene sunset over the lake and have dinner on board the boat, before falling asleep on the water.
After a leisurely start, we drive south through Zimbabwe at an easy pace.
Day 17 takes us to a private reserve, where we meet the local people. This afternoon we stop in at a school and spend some time with the children. Tonight we stay at comfortable accommodation in Chegutu.
Today we have breakfast and set off for one of the major travel highlights of Zimbabwe - the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site on foot, marvelling at the remnants of the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe, after which the country is named. The guide tells you more about the history of these impressive stone structures and the Bantu civilisation that built them some 1000 years ago.
Here our guide will take us on a walk through the old ruins and give us some more insight to the fascination civilisation that lived here. We overnight near the town of Masvingo, close to the ruins of the ancient capital.
Waking up bright and early we set off for Bulawayo, after breakfast. After exploring the pleasant city a little, we continue to Matobo National Park. Another of Zimbabwe's top travel destinations, Matobo is also a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site.
This afternoon we embark on a game drive and bush walk in the national park, going in search of rhinos and other wildlife. Matobo Park is an important cultural and historical site, as well as being a significant wildlife sanctuary.
Tonight we camp in the boulder-scattered Matobo (or Matopos) Hills, taking in the striking and unusual scenery.
We get an early start today, driving through beautiful scenery on our way back into South Africa, where our journey began.
Today we head to a private reserve in the Limpopo Province, where we camp overnight. In the afternoon we take a guided walk to view San bushmen paintings in the area.
This morning we travel to a private game reserve next to the world-famous Kruger National Park. Arriving at our lodge in the afternoon we unpack and settle in, before setting off on a game drive in the private reserve.
Our sunset game drive lasts into the night, providing the opportunity to search out shy nocturnal animals too. Back at the lodge we tuck into a cooked dinner, sit back and relax under the stars and fall asleep to the sounds of nature.
Departing from the safari lodge after breakfast we make our way into Kruger National Park, South Africa's leading safari destination.
We spend the rest of the day game viewing in Kruger 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.
We stop for a picnic lunch along the way and sleep at one of the rest camps inside Kruger National Park.
We spend a full day game viewing in Kruger National Park, teeming with wildlife. This vast game park covers around 20,000 km² and boasts some 147 mammal, 114 reptile and 502 bird species.
After game viewing in one of Africa's best game reserves 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.
In the morning you can take a stroll along the Sabie River on the lodge grounds, 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.
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