Southern Africa Safari Experience

National Geographic Journeys, Johannesburg to Maun

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Witness nature's greatest spectacles on a 18-day safari to some of Africa’s celebrated national parks, including Kruger and Chobe. Enjoy an unforgettable wildlife walk with a researcher in the panhandle of the Okavango Delta, drive through Hwange National Park in search of large herds of elephants, and sit down to a family dinner at a private home near Victoria Falls. Our small group size ensures maximum exposure to everything this region has to offer.

What’s included

  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Carnivore Conservation Experience, Karongwe Private Game Reserve Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Zimbabwean Family Dinner, Victoria Falls Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Painted Dog Conservation, Hwange National Park Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Okavango Wilderness Project Research Camp, Okavango Delta Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Botswana Storytelling and Traditional Dinner, Maun Your Foodie Moment: Traditional South Africa Braai (Barbecue), Johannesburg Your Discover Moment: Victoria Falls
  • Arrival transfer
  • Traditional South African braai (BBQ)
  • Panorama Route scenic drive
  • Private nature reserve wildlife safari drives in open vehicles
  • Open-vehicle wildlife safari drives in Kruger, Hwange and Chobe National Parks
  • Tour of Victoria Falls
  • Chobe boat safari
  • Wildlife excursions by boat and on foot in the Okavango Panhandle
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Itinerary

Day 1 Johannesburg (1D) Arrive at any time. Transfer to hotel. Enjoy a traditional South African braai (barbecue) welcome dinner. Additional Notes: If you are interested in spending more time in Johannesburg, it is recommended to book pre-accommodation to enjoy the sights of the city at your own leisure. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Traditional South Africa Braai (Barbecue) Transport: Arrival Airport Transfer (0.50-0.75 hours)
Day 2 Johannesburg/Kruger National Park (1B, 1D) Enjoy a full day scenic drive along the famed Panorama Route with stops at Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes, and God's Window. Continue to our tented camp located near the Kruger National Park and this evening enjoy a delicious South African dinner in the boma. Additional Notes: Today is a very long driving day; however, we will make many stops along the way at sites along the Panorama Route. Included Activities: Panorama Route Scenic Drive Transport: Private Vehicle (7.00-8.50 hours, 500km)
Day 3 Kruger National Park (1B, 1D) At over 19,000 sq km (7,500 sq mi), South Africa’s Kruger National Park is one of the largest and most impressive animal reserves in the world. With 147 species, Kruger has more species of large mammals than any other park on the continent. Included Activities: Kruger National Park Open Vehicle Wildlife Safari Drive - Half day Transport: Safari vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 4 Kruger National Park/Karongwe Private Game Reserve (1B, 1L, 1D) For the next two days, enjoy ranger-led morning and evening wildlife safari drives in an open safari vehicle in Karongwe Nature Reserve. Search for buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinos – Africa's famed Big Five. With over 9,000 hectares (22,240 acres) of supreme African bushveld, Karongwe Private Game Reserve is home to many creatures, and our safari drives provide several opportunities for wildlife viewing. We use various accommodations within the reserve (the location is based on availability). During your time here, you will either stay in lodge rooms or very comfortable permanent tents (both of equal quality and with similar amenities). Additional Notes: Wildlife safari drives are conducted with qualified wildlife rangers and Shangaan trackers who will share their vast experience of the African bush. On some occasions, if space is unavailable, we may need to change accommodations or even use a different private reserve. In such a case, be assured we will choose other lodges or comfort camps (of equal quality) within the Greater Kruger area. Included Activities: Carnivore Conservation Experience Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 150km)
Day 5 Karongwe Private Game Reserve (1B, 1L, 1D) Wake up before the sun (around 5am) and sip your morning coffee before heading out on a morning wildlife safari drive. Return to the lodge for brunch and some leisure time. Converse on the deck, walk the grounds and gardens, and enjoy high tea. Following tea, it's time for a late afternoon safari drive. After spotting tons of wildlife, it’s time to return to camp and freshen up before dinner. Included Activities: Karongwe Private Reserve Open Vehicle Wildlife Safari Drive
Day 6 Karongwe Private Game Reserve/Johannesburg (1B, 1D) After one last wildlife safari drive, head back to the city. In the evening, enjoy dinner at our local guest house. Included Activities: Karongwe Private Reserve Open Vehicle Wildlife Safari Drive Transport: Private Vehicle (7.00 hour(s), 500km)
Day 7 Johannesburg/Victoria Falls (1B, 1D) The mist off Victoria Falls can rise to a height of more than 400m (1312 ft). Local tribes used to call the falls Mosi-o-Tunya or “the smoke that thunders.” Explorer and missionary David Livingstone renamed the falls after Queen Victoria when he first saw them in 1855. Included Activities: Zimbabwean Family Dinner Transport: Plane (2.00 hour(s))
Day 8 Victoria Falls (1B) Enjoy a morning tour of the beautiful Victoria Falls, then the rest of the day is free to explore the area. Take part in a river safari, cultural tours, whitewater rafting, canoeing, or a helicopter ride over the falls. Additional Notes: If you have an activity planned for this morning, we will reschedule your Falls tour for this afternoon, or tomorrow morning. Included Activities: Victoria Falls Guided Tour
Day 9 Victoria Falls (1B) The town of Victoria Falls is a great base to see both natural wonders and take part in some exciting activities. Get up close (and wet from the spray) while awing at the immense Victoria Falls, raft the whitewater of the mighty Zambezi, and for the more adventurous, bungee jump with Victoria Falls in view. Today, new travellers may join you for the rest of your adventure. You are welcome to join them at a group meeting this evening, followed by an optional dinner. Additional Notes: Want to do more with your tour? Pre-book any two of the following activities: Zambezi Whitewater Rafting, Victoria Falls Helicopter Ride, or the Zambezi River Sunset Cruise. Any optional activities listed on this day can also be booked upon arrival in Victoria Falls. Included Activities: Optional Welcome Meeting for Travellers on Combos
Day 10 Victoria Falls/Hwange National Park (1B, 1D) Examine the life and struggles faced by the Painted Dog (wild dog) population in and around Hwange national park and the efforts made by the conservancy to prevent poaching and the damage done by snare traps that have endangered the Painted Dog population in Zimbabwe. The ultimate goal of the project is to release rehabilitated animals back into the wild and to work with local children and communities in an effort to educate and shift behaviors away from poaching. Additional Notes: Road conditions in the region can range from good to very poor. As such, we slow our traveling speed in the rough spots and enjoy some sand and bumps – all part of the adventure of traveling in Africa. Please note that hot water shortages, low water pressure and power outages can occur in Southern Africa. We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control. Wifi is available in most places (extra charge may apply), but in remote areas there can be service interruptions. A/C is not generally available in the accommodations we use, really it isn't needed as evenings tend to cool down. Floor or ceiling fans are usually available. Included Activities: Painted Dog Conservation Wildlife Safari in Hwange National Park Transport: Private Vehicle (1.50 hour(s), 104km)
Day 11 Hwange National Park (1B, 1L, 1D) Take a full-day wildlife safari drive in the park which is home to large elephant herds, lions, and the rare African wild dog. This evening, relax on the sun deck with a cool drink, keeping an eye out for local wildlife visiting the lodge's watering hole. Included Activities: Wildlife Safari in Hwange National Park
Day 12 Hwange/Chobe NP (1B) Keep an eye out for Chobe bushbuck and puku antelope, which are found only in this part of Botswana. The Chobe River is home to the world’s largest elephant herds; buffalo, hippos, and lions can also be seen here. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Zimbabwe - Botswana) Chobe River Sunset Boat Cruise Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00-3.50 hours, 255km)
Day 13 Chobe NP (1B) Opt into the photo wildlife safari on the Chobe River at sunset; you’ll be accompanied by an expert wildlife photographer and guide who will help you get the perfect shot. Included Activities: Chobe River Drive
Day 14 Kasane/Okavango Delta (1B, 1L, 1D) Catch a flight into the “Panhandle” area of the Okavango Delta and check into our remote camp in the wilderness. Enjoy lunch before taking a walk to the research camps of the National Geographic-funded Okavango Wilderness Project. Meet with someone from the research team and learn about their work and projects in the area. Additional Notes: Planes used to fly into the Delta are small and weight restrictions are mandatory. For this reason luggage restrictions are 15kg per person for checked in luggage and 5kg for Hand luggage for a maximum of 20kg per person. As well, the airline requires the weight of each passenger, your CEO will collect this information from you privately, at the beginning of the trip. Included Activities: Okavango Wilderness Project Research Camp Transport: Plane (1.50-2.00 hours)
Day 15 Okavango Delta (1B, 1L, 1D) Tonight we enjoy a unique and adventurous stay in a remote bush camp (known locally as a fly camp). Accommodation will be in simple dome tents on cots, and facilities are wash basins and out house/long drop toilette (simple but clean) which are shared amongst our group. There is no electricity and lighting in the evenings is by lantern, so please bring a flashlight. While basic, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to immerse yourself into the wilds of Africa. Our local guides and staff add some comfortable touches, excellent food and spin some fantastic campfire stories. Included Activities: Okavango Delta Excursion
Day 16 Okavango Delta (1B, 1L, 1D) Depart from our island camp and continue wildlife viewing on foot and by mokoro with our expert local guides. Return to the main camp later this afternoon and opt to relax or take a swim. This evening, relax on the deck. With views overlooking the lagoon, hidden seating areas, and a fire pit, it's the perfect place for stargazing. Included Activities: Okavango Islands Excursion
Day 17 Okavango Delta/Maun (1B, 1L, 1D) Transfer to the frontier town of Maun and enjoy an evening of culture and traditional foods with celebrated author Bonty Botumile and the Thari-E-Ntsho Storytellers. This local enterprise is dedicated to preserving Botswana’s heritage and providing youth with employment opportunities in the arts. Option to take a scenic flight over the delta. Included Activities: Botswana Storytelling and Traditional Dinner Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 18 Maun (1B) Depart at any time. Included Activities: Departure Day
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