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This Kruger Park to Victoria Falls & Chobe Safari begins with the South African highlights of the beautiful Panorama Route, wildlife-rich Timbavati Private Game Reserve of Greater Kruger, Kruger Park proper and cultural encounters in the Limpopo Province.
Then we travel into Zimbabwe to visit the dramatic boulder-strewn Matobo National Park, a place of cultural and historical significance, before exploring the famous Hwange National Park, one of Africa's top game viewing destinations. Next, we head to the natural wonder of Victoria Falls to view this huge waterfall and enjoy optional adventure activities in the Adventure Capital of Africa. Lastly, we cross into Botswana for game viewing in Chobe Park and a game viewing boat cruise on Chobe River.
This Accommodated Budget Safari is geared towards budget-conscious travellers over the age of forty, offering an excellent balance of free time, included activities, comfort and adventure.
Our Kruger Park to Vic Falls & Chobe Safari Adventure begins in South Africa, with collection from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, the bustling economic heart of this beautiful country. From the international airport, you are transferred to our first overnight lodge, where the pre-tour briefing is held at 18:00 this evening.
The first day is free for you to relax at the lodge after your long flight, or do some optional activities, depending on your time of arrival.
On day two we have breakfast at the lodge and leave the dynamic city of Johannesburg behind, making our way east into the Mpumalanga Province. Driving towards Kruger National Park, we reach the Eastern Escarpment in one of the most scenic parts of South Africa - the Panorama Route.
Arriving at our lodge overlooking the Sabie River, the remainder of the day is free for you to rest and take it easy. Relax in the rambling gardens, lie back in a hammock by the pool and look out for hippos, crocodiles and other wildlife along the river. Tonight we get a taste of Shangaan culture - enjoying a traditional dance performance and an African-style dinner.
On day three we continue along the incredibly beautiful Panorama Route, viewing the Blyde River Canyon, one of the largest canyons in the world. Our drive takes us via Bourke's Luck Potholes, a striking series of rock pools, located at the start of Blyde River Canyon. We stop at the God's Window look-out point, from where we enjoy sweeping views over the green canyon and Lowveld beyond.
From the Panoramic Route, we travel to the renowned Timbavati Private Game Reserve, located within Greater Kruger National Park. Later this afternoon we embark on a game drive in Timbavati. The reserve shares an unfenced border with Kruger National Park, allowing wildlife to move freely between the national park and private game reserve. Timbavati is best known for its famous white lions, first sighted here in 1975. Today the game reserve is home to more than 40 mammal species, including the Big Five of Africa - lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. In Timbavati, north of Sabi Sand Game Reserve, a diversity of over 360 birds have been recorded, so bird lovers will have plenty to see here.
We start day four with an early morning game drive in this game-rich wilderness, going in search of the Big Five, cheetah, zebra, giraffe, a variety of antelopes and other wild animals. After lunch, we set off on an afternoon game drive in Timbavati Game Reserve.
We stay at an unfenced, authentic tented camp in en-suite canvas, safari tents, set on raised platforms under thatched roofing.
Rising at sunrise, we leave Timbavati Private Game Reserve behind and enter Kruger National Park. We spend day five driving through Kruger Park, game viewing as we head north through the wildlife-rich bush.
Exiting Kruger via the Pafuri Gate we continue to our lodge on the scenic lower slopes of the Venda Mountains in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.
Here we enjoy our first cultural encounters with the local Venda people. Dinner on day five is enjoyed in a cave near camp. On day six we get up early for a walk to view rock art in the area, followed by breakfast at camp. After breakfast, we set off on a cultural day trip, visiting a local village, and stopping in at a school and tavern. Our cultural excursion includes a traditional African dinner in the local village.
Leaving our lodge in Limpopo early this morning, we continue north into neighbouring Zimbabwe, crossing at the Beit Bridge border post, about two hours' drive away.
Our first destination in southern Zimbabwe is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Matobo National Park, covering 424 km² of boulder-strewn hills and valleys. The rugged Matopos Hills are of cultural and spiritual importance to the Ndebele people hosting burial and ceremonial sites. The most marked feature of the captivating landscapes is the giant granite boulders the park is named after, with Matobo meaning 'bald heads'.
We stay at a lodge set amid these impressive rock formations on the outskirts of the Matobo Hills National Park. On day eight we follow a historic trail through this stunning terrain, hiking to the top of Malindidzimu hill where the grave of Cecil John Rhodes is located. The Matobo (Matopos Hills) Park is home to high concentrations of black (Verreaux) eagles and leopards, along with rhinos, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, antelopes and other wild animals. Our walk also takes us to some of the caves scattered in the hills to see the ancient rock art of the San Bushman who once inhabited the area.
From Matobo National Park we make our way to Zimbabwe's top game viewing destination, Hwange National Park. Hwange is famous for its abundance of elephants, as well as being a haven for endangered African wild dogs.
This is the largest national park in Zimbabwe, offering superb game viewing. In the afternoon we venture into a private concession on the border of Hwange Park, taking a game drive in an open 4x4 safari vehicle.
On the morning of day 10, we embark on a game drive in the wildlife-rich concession area at Hwange National Park. Unwind at the lodge in the afternoon or embark on an optional game drive (own expense).
Heading north again, we leave the wildlife haven of Hwange National Park behind, arriving at Victoria Falls at around noon. Victoria Falls town in Zimbabwe is the closest safari hub to one of the world's most awe-inspiring natural spectacles (you guessed it) - Victoria Falls.
This is the largest waterfall in the world, plummeting 108 metres from its 1.7km width, into the Batoka Gorge below. The local name for this UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Zambezi River is Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning 'the Smoke that Thunders'. A visit to Vic Falls (own account) reveals why this magnificent waterfall is one of the most memorable highlights of Southern Africa.
Days 11 and 12 are free for you to enjoy some of the amazing experiences Victoria Falls has to offer - participating in optional adventure activities, exploring the town and visiting the beautiful natural phenomenon itself. There is something for everyone, from cultural encounters and shopping at the local markets, to plunging off Victoria Falls Bridge for a heart-stopping bungee jump. Taking a relaxing sunset cruise along the Zambezi River to spot birds and animals as you sip on sundowners and admire the scenery, or hurtling down the rapids on a white water rafting trip are two of the many activities on offer here.
On day 13 we cross over into Botswana and travel to the town of Kasane, the closest hub to Chobe National Park. Arriving at our lodge on the banks of the Chobe River we have sundowners and enjoy the scenic riverside setting, looking out for birds and animals.
We are up early on day 14 for our game drive in Chobe National Park. Chances of sighting a variety of wild animals and birds on the morning game drive are excellent, especially the big herds of elephants Chobe hosts. After our rewarding game drive in the beautiful wilderness, we return to the lodge and take a break. Later in the afternoon, we set off on a sunset boat cruise along Chobe River. This laid-back cruise is the ideal way to spot wildlife and birds up close, as the river attracts an abundance of creatures.
Watch one more spectacular African sunset from the river, soaking up the incredible scenery along the way.
This Kruger Park to Victoria Falls & Chobe Safari Adventure ends in Botswana on the morning of day 15. After breakfast at the lodge near Chobe Park, you are transferred to the Kasane Airport for your onward travels.
Pre-tour and post-tour accommodation in Johannesburg and Kasane, as well as airport transfers in Kasane, can be pre-booked through African Budget Safaris.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.