Explore tropical beaches and the untamed African bush, visiting superb scenic, wildlife and cultural highlights of Southern Africa.
Journey from mighty Victoria Falls to the Big Five Hwange National Park for rewarding game viewing. Visit the World Heritage Site of Matobo National Park with its beautiful landscapes and rich wildlife. Embark on a full day game drive in the world-famous Kruger National Park, going in search of the Big Five and abundance of other wildlife and birds inhabiting this vast wilderness area.
Travel to the sunny East Coast of Africa in Mozambique to experience the golden beaches, from Xai-Xai to Vilanculos, where we take a leisurely dhow trip to the Bazaruto Archipelago. Enjoy the idyllic Magaruque Island of Bazaruto - swim, snorkel, hike and relax on the beaches, before travelling south to historic Inhambane and Tofo. Go snorkelling and scuba diving in Tofo, famous for its whale sharks and manta rays, or unwind on the beaches and swim in the clear azure waters of the warm Indian Ocean.
This Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Kruger Camping Safari ends in Johannesburg after two unforgettable weeks of African adventure.
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.
Our two-week Explore Mozambique, Zimbabwe & Kruger Safari starts off with a full day of fun and relaxation in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
In the morning we visit the magnificent Victoria Falls waterfall, one of the top natural wonders of the world. Stand in awe of this natural spectacle, feeling the spray and hearing the roar of the Mosi-oa-Tunya or the 'Smoke that Thunders' as Vic Falls is called. At Victoria Falls the powerful Zambezi River plummets from some 108 metres down into the Bakota Gorge below, spanning 1,7 kilometres; making this the largest sheet of falling water on the planet.
The rest of the day is free for you to participate in some of the plentiful adventure activities Victoria Falls is renowned for, from bungee jumping off Victoria Falls Bridge to kayaking and game walks. Other thrilling options include helicopter flips and scenic microlight flights over the falls, jet boating, and zip line rides in the gorge, among others. This part of the Zambezi River offers the world's best rapids for white water rafting, from the easy to navigate to the hair raising.
For the tamer traveller the historical town of Victoria Falls is compact enough to easily explore on foot, and offers some interesting sights, including the Jafuta Heritage Centre. You can also cross into Zambia and visit Livingstone town, browsing its lively markets and going to the David Livingstone Museum; which explores the history of Vic Falls.
Please Note: To allow for flexibility with activities, all meals in Victoria Falls are for your own account, with some activities including meals. The local cafes and restaurants offer reasonably priced meals and snacks (budget US$15 - $30 per meal).
On day two of our Southern African journey we travel south from Victoria Falls to Zimbabwe's leading national park, Hwange.
Late this afternoon we venture into the wilderness on a game drive in search of the wild and wonderful animals and birds of Hwange National Park.
Hwange National Park is the largest national park in Zimbabwe and one of Africa's biggest, covering 14 651 km² of untamed bush. Hwange is famous for its huge elephant population, numbering around 40000 tuskers - one of the largest elephant populations on earth. Zimbabwe's most renowned game park is also inhabited by about 107 kinds of animals, including the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo). Other animals include cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes and various antelope species. Hwange Park is known for its population of endangered wild dogs and some 400 bird species can be seen here.
In the early evening we make our way back to camp for our first night in the African bush.
Today we continue our camping adventure, heading further south through Zimbabwe to Bulawayo. Along the way we stop to visit the old trading hub of Khami Ruins, an important archaeological site dating back to the 16th century.
Explore Zimbabwe's second largest city, after the capital city of Harare, later this afternoon. Walk along the pleasant tree-lined avenues of Bulawayo, admiring the old colonial buildings and stopping in at its art galleries and leafy parks. Visit the Natural History and National museums, or National Art Gallery for insight into Zimbabwe’s geology, history and culture. Browse through the colourful local arts and handmade crafts at the bustling market, or relax at a cafe.
From Bulawayo we drive to the nearby Matobo National Park and embark on a game viewing drive in this scenic Unesco World Heritage Site.
Our drive takes us through the otherworldly landscape of the majestic Matopos Hills scattered with enormous granite boulders. Our guides share their knowledge about this culturally significant area, considered the spiritual heart of Zimbabwe. One of the best collections of San rock paintings are found in the caves of Matobo Park.
This national park is a good place to spot black and white rhinos, which our guide helps us to track down on an exhilarating walk (conditions allowing). Matobo Park hosts Zimbabwe's highest density of leopards, and if we're lucky we might sight one of these very elusive cats among the rocky hills. Many of the world's eagle species are present in Matobo, so look out for these raptors (especially black eagles), as well as the world's largest birds, ostriches. Other animals that we may sight include zebra, giraffes and an array of antelope species.
After exploring this beautiful highlight of Zimbabwe on our half day trip, we make our way back to the city of Bulawayo and sample the nightlife or rest at the lodge. You also have the option of upgrading to a full day tour of Matobo National Park to view cultural and historical sights too.
This morning we depart from Bulawayo, driving south to the Beitbridge border post, where we cross into South Africa. After crossing the natural boundary of the Limpopo River, South Africa's second largest river, we drive through the northern Limpopo Province to Tshipise.
Tonight we camp next to Honnet Nature Reserve at the base of a small koppie (hill). The area around the town of Tshipise features hot springs and woodlands of mopani, red bushwillow and jakkalsberry trees, as well as the third largest baobab tree in the country.
Please note: The border crossing often requires extra patience as the process can be tedious and time consuming, so bring a book and be prepared to wait it out.
Today we drive further south towards the leading safari destination in South Africa - Kruger National Park.
We overnight in the town of Hazyview, not far from Kruger Park, enjoying a traditional song and dance performance around the campfire this evening. This lively performance offers a glimpse into the culture of the Shangaan people of the region.
On day seven, we are up at sunrise and off to Kruger Park. Our local expert takes us into the wild African bush in open 4x4 safari vehicles, showing us the many marvels of nature and tracking down wildlife. Kruger is one of the finest game parks in Africa, given the diversity and abundance of fauna and flora encompassed in its 19,485 km² area, along with the game-rich surrounding reserves of Greater Kruger.
The whole day is spent game viewing in Kruger Park, home to the Big Five and a plethora of large mammals, reptiles, birds amd insects. During the heat of the day we take a lunch break in the national park followed by our afternoon game drive.
After an unforgettable day of game viewing in world-renowned Kruger National Park we return to our accommodation in Hazyview.
Say goodbye to the South African bushveld and hello to the tropical beaches of Mozambique! After crossing the border (sometimes a long process requiring patience) we continue to the East Coast of Africa, where the warm Indian Ocean beckons.
We drive east and north along the rough roads of less-developed Mozambique, where modern luxuries and comforts become scarcer. Get ready for the adventure of being in a less-westernised place where travel becomes slower and even more rustic. It often takes a few days to adjust to the more basic services and facilities available, but after a few days it all becomes part of the adventure of experiencing a new place and different culture.
We head to the town of Xai Xai, located on the coast along the Limpopo River. Tonight we camp at a resort along the beach with a coral reef.
Today we travel north through rural Mozambique and along the scenic coastline.
We spend a long day on the road, reaching the popular beach stop of Vilanculos late this afternoon. Enjoy the coastal scenery and get ready for our dhow adventure to Bazaruto tomorrow.
An exciting dhow safari to Magaruque Island is the highlight of today. The ideal beach spot - the island boasts powdery white-sand beaches washed by the turquoise blue ocean. The island day trip is all inclusive of basic snorkelling gear, Bazaruto National Park fees and lunch, which means that you can simply sit back and relax in this piece of paradise.
The dhow boat trip takes us to Magaruque Island, formerly called Ilha Santa Isabe, for a day of total leisure and warm sunshine. The closest island to Vilanculos, cool drinks and light snacks make the sailing trip across clear calm waters all the more pleasant. We travel by dhow, which is a traditional sailing boat used in East Africa.
On this postcard perfect island we have enough time here to enjoy some snorkelling, swimming and walking, or lie on the sandy beach. You can hike to the ruins of a 19th century fort on the island, which is the third largest island of the Bazaruto Archipelago. Expect a warm and sunny day in the temperate climate that Magaruque Island experiences throughout the year.
We have lunch on Magaruque Island, tucking into a fresh seafood spread under coconut palm trees.
On day 11 we retrace our steps, making our way south to the historic port city of Inhambane and on to nearby Tofo, one of the top beach destinations in Mozambique.
We spend two nights camping at a resort along the main beach - the palm-fringed Praia (beach) de Tofo, within walking distance of the beachside town and attractions. In Tofo you are free to soak up the sunshine, laze on the sandy beaches and splash in the waves.
There are plenty of optional activities available here, the most famous being scuba diving and snorkelling trips, called ocean safaris. Tofo is considered one of the best places in the world to see whale sharks and manta rays, especially during the summer (November to March). An array of other sea animals and fish are also spotted on diving and snorkelling trips here. In winter humpback whales are seen along the coast here too. Other activities include horse riding and surfing, or visiting the little market of this laid-back town. Sampling the local beer and cuisine is a must, particularly if you enjoy spicy foods and fresh seafood.
You can also go to Inhambane to explore the historical sights of this old city, where African, European and Arabic influences combine. Climb to the top of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Conception for sweeping 360º views and visit the bustling local market where fresh fish, seafood and farm produce are sold.
Day 13 - time to leave the coast of Mozambique behind, returning to South Africa feeling relaxed and sun-kissed.
Our long drive takes us into the Mpumalanga Province where we camp at Komatipoort on our final night.
On the last day of our Vic Falls to Mozambique & Kruger Overland Camping Tour we make our way to Johannesburg, feeling inspired and relaxed after our scenic beach and wildlife exploration. In the early evening we arrive in the vibrant 'City of Gold' or Egoli, as Johannesburg is known, bringing our camping adventure to a close in South Africa.
Note: Due to our evening arrival we recommend spending the night after the safari in Johannesburg, a travel destination in its own right.
Please note that this tour comes with a highly-recommended Adventure Pass at extra cost. We strongly recommend this optional Adventure Pass as it includes major tour highlights and activities. This local payment can be purchased when booking your tour, or at the start of your trip, payable directly to your tour guide. Contact African Budget Safaris for the detailed itinerary listing what is included in the Adventure Pass and see the Full Pricing above for rates.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
Matabos National Park (Zimbabwe)
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