Cheetahs, Canyons & Coast - 33 days
FROM USD $1,795
Discover the best of Southern Africa with this epic trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town. Journey through the Kruger and South Africa's canyons and wine regions, encounter the elephants of Botswana's Chobe National Park, get up close and personal with Namibia's cheetahs and explore Zimbabwe's medieval cities.
Tuesday. Welcome to South Africa! Included arrival transfer from Johannesburg Airport to our accommodation. There will be a welcome meeting at 17.00hrs when you will meet your guide and the rest of your group. Overnight - Johannesburg
Johannesburg - Kruger NP. Leaving Johannesburg we pass through the southern section of the picturesque Panorama Route – famous for its breathtaking vistas, en route to our camp which is a short drive from the Kruger’s Numbi Gate and has some interesting local residents that include hippo, giraffe, zebra and impala. We spend a relaxing evening around the camp fire before our game drive tomorrow, when we explore the amazing Kruger National Park in search of the Big Five. Overnight - Kruger N.P.
(B:1, L:2, D:2)
Cheetahs, Canyons & Coast - 33 days Go Guide
: :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
Day 4: Blyde River Canyon
Hazyview - Polokwane. Today we leave the Lowveld and head on the long, scenic drive to Polokwane. Along the way we stop off at some of the best scenery in South Africa, including the ever striking Blyde River Canyon and God’s Window. Polokwane, capital of Limpopo, is the largest metropolitan complex in the north and a major economic centre. Overnight - Polokwane (B, L, D)
Day 5: Musina
Polokwane - Musina. Today we begin our journey north toward Zimbabwe. We have a long, relaxing drive where we get to sit back and enjoy the ever changing scenery. Tonight we’ll camp near to one of the hottest towns in South Africa, Musina, at the hot water spring resort – Tshipise. Situated between the rolling hills, the resort is well known for its natural hot water springs. Once we’ve set up camp, you’re free to enjoy the pools, walking trails or various other activities on offer here. Overnight - Musina (B, L, D)
Day 6: Great Zimbabwe Ruins
Musina - Masvingo (Zimbabwe). Today we enter Zimbabwe - a beautiful country rich in soul, culture and tradition. We make our way to the town of Masvingo - on the outskirts of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. This was the greatest medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa, built by an ancient highly skilled civilization. The name Zimbabwe is derived from this ancient city and means “great stone houses” in Shona. The most notable artefacts found at the ruins were the 8 Statues of stone birds carved out of soapstone. Wander around these amazing ruins, before setting up camp at the foot of the hills. Overnight - Masvingo (B, L, D)
Days 7 - 8: Gweru
Masvingo - Gweru. Leaving Masvingo, we continue our journey north to Gweru, in Zimbabwe’s Midlands. Here we stop over at The Antelope Park where a wide variety of game viewing opportunities are available in this area inhabited by lion, elephant, giraffe and obviously numerous antelope! We have the unique option to walk with lions, ride or swim with elephants, view game from horse back or from the back of a vehicle. We guarantee Antelope Park is a place you’ll never forget! Overnight - Gweru (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Days 9 - 10: Matobo National Park
Gweru - Bulawayo. Leaving Gweru, we head to Bulawayo - Zimbabwe’s second largest city. Interesting places to visit are the Natural History Museum, the National Arts Gallery and the Mzilikazi Arts and Crafts Centre. The following day we visit Matobo National Park, one of the last strongholds of both the black and the white rhino. This park is also well known for its high concentration of the elusive leopard and majestic black eagle. We spend the day exploring this unique geological, ecological and historic area. Overnight - Bulawayo (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Bulawayo - Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe). Leaving Bulawayo, we head to Victoria Falls. Named after the famous World Heritage site and Water Falls, the town of Victoria Falls is situated on the Zambezi River and surrounded by the Victoria Falls National Park. A 20 minute walk from our campsite takes you to the entry point to view the falls, which are situated between Zimbabwe and Zambia. The afternoon is spent relaxing at the campsite’s swimming pool, viewing the Victoria Falls, or exploring the many sights and delights of this town.
The following 2 days are spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of optional excursions which include elephant back safaris, horseback safaris, walking with lions, a visit to the crocodile ranch, boat cruises and golf at The Elephant Hills Resort. Adrenalin junkies can bungee from the Victoria Falls Bridge or abseil down the Batoka Gorge. All year round, flights in fixed wing, micro light and ultra light aircraft or helicopters provide an aerial perspective over this magnificent World Heritage Site and the white water rafting on the Zambezi is world class. Overnight - Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls - Chobe - Kasane (Botswana). After breakfast we cross the border into Botswana and head to Kasane where we have a chance to explore the town before our overnight excursion in the wilds of the Chobe National park. Chobe is one of Botswana’s premier game parks, renowned for its large elephant herds. Spend the afternoon in search of wildlife while we game drive to our camp within the park where we spend the evening surrounded by the night-time noises of the local wildlife.
After our night in the bush, we head out early to continue our search for wildlife, before travelling back to Kasane. After lunch we enjoy a boat cruise along the Chobe River which forms a natural border between Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. Elephant, hippo and many bird species can be viewed from the boat while we watch a glorious African sunset. (Please note, from Jan 2014 onwards, the Chobe River Cruise will be an optional excursion, payable locally). Overnight - Chobe (1), Kasane (1)
(B:2, L:2, D:2)
Kasane - Maun. Heading out early, we cross the western end of the Chobe National Park area along the main route in a south-westerly direction to the southern reaches of the Okavango Delta and our destination, Maun. Maun is the starting point for travel into the Delta. Overnight - Maun
(B, L, D)
Maun - Okavango Delta (optional). From Maun we have the opportunity to take the optional 3 Day / 2 Night Okavango Delta Excursion
. From Maun we drive north for a couple of hours to reach the mokoro poler’s station. The Delta region is studded with many local villages where many families live in a traditional way. Some of the villages are very remote and can only be reached by the traditional mode of transport – the Mokoro (dugout canoes maneuvered through the waterways by local guides who “pole” them through the reeds). At the Mokoro station, we meet our ‘polers’ head out into the waterways. After a couple of hours along the waterways, our guides find us a place to camp, and later in the afternoon we set off on an afternoon game walk, allowing us to experience The Delta wilderness.
Enjoy rest, relaxation and Delta experiences on day 18, when we have the opportunity to partake in a number of activities including swimming, game walks, mokoro cruises and even a chance to try our hands at poling our own mokoro!
For those not opting to explore the Delta, you can stay at the campsite in Maun relaxing by the swimming pool or playing volleyball. Overnight - Maun OR optional Okavango Delta
(B:2, L:2, D:2)
Days 19 - 20: Maun & Rundu
Okavango Delta - Maun - Rundu (Namibia). For those on our Okavango Excursion there is a final opportunity for a game walk before packing up and setting off back to Maun. We arrive back in the afternoon and have the chance to complete our picture of the Okavango Delta by taking an optional scenic flight over The Delta (dependent on weather conditions & availability).
Following the Kavango River, we enter Northern Namibia on day 20. We stop at Rundu for supplies before heading to our spectacular campsite located on the banks of the Kavango River. Overnight - Maun (1), Rundu (1) (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Rundu - Etosha. From Rundu, we head to the Etosha National Park, Namibia’s premier nature and wildlife reserve. Situated around the Etosha Pan with a large variety of animal and bird life, the extensive network of gravel roads affords us the opportunity of accessing even the most remote areas of the park. After lunch, we spend the remainder of the day exploring the park’s northern area. Keep an eye out for the striking Oryx and Springbok as these are endemic to desert National Parks! After dinner why not head to the waterhole where you can sit and observe the animals may come to drink in the evenings.
The next day we make our way 150 km across the park, keeping a look out for the many different mammals, reptiles, birds and insects in the various regions. After a full day of game viewing, we exit the park through Anderson gate and head to our campsite just 10kms away. Overnight - Etosha N.P.
(B:2, L:2, D:2)
Day 23: The Cheetah Park
Etosha - Cheetah Park. Today we drive to the Cheetah Park - a private farm dedicated to conserving Namibia’s cheetah population. Here we get to meet the resident cheetahs, a photo opportunity not to be missed! Overnight - Cheetah Park (B, L, D)
Day 24: Spitzkoppe
Cheetah Park - Spitzkoppe. Our departure from the Cheetah Park takes us south to the ‘Matterhorn of Namibia’ - Spitzkoppe. The 1728 m high rock formation, one of Namibia’s most recognised landmarks, is well known as an ancient San sacred site. The area we camp in is managed by the local community who offer local guides for guided walks to the San Rock Art at an additional cost. Explore the surrounding area and its San rock paintings or simply enjoy the magnificent views. Tonight we bush camp under the African stars. Overnight - Spitzkoppe (B, L, D)
Spitzkoppe - Swakopmund. Our next stop is Swakopmund. Founded by the Germans in 1892, their colonial influence is still evident today. Swakopmund has a selection of excellent coffee shops, restaurants & bars as well as many arts and crafts shops selling Namibian curios. There are fine beaches to walk along as well as a great museum, aquarium and galleries to visit. The following 2 days are spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of optional excursions
which include sky diving, quad biking, sand boarding, scenic desert flights, dolphin cruises, horse riding and more! Overnight - Swakopmund
Swakopmund - Sesriem. Continuing our journey, we enter the Namib-Naukluft Park in one of the oldest deserts in the world. We base ourselves at Sesriem, a great place to experience the Namib and its many moods. A short distance away is Sossusvlei, surrounded by a dramatic sea of sand dunes which are reputed to be the highest in the world. We spend the afternoon exploring this amazing area. Viewing the sunset from the top of Dune 45 is a truly memorable experience! Overnight - Sesriem
(B, L, D)
Sesriem - Fish River Canyon. Heading out early, we see the sunrise over this beautiful area before we leave the serenity of the dunes to head south to the Fish River Canyon. At 161 km long, 27 km wide and about 550 m deep, it’s the second largest canyon in the world. The outer canyon was formed by tectonic activity, while the erosion of the Fish River formed the inner canyon. A road follows the eastern rim, giving us access to several viewing points from where we can take in the spectacular vistas. Overnight - Fish River Canyon
(B, L, D)
Day 30: Gariep River
Fish River Canyon - Gariep River (South Africa). This morning we continue south, where, after a short drive, we reach the Gariep River - the natural land border between Namibia and South Africa. We camp at a beautiful campsite on the South African bank of the river. This afternoon we have the option of a half-day canoe trip on the beautiful Gariep River, affording us the opportunity of some bird watching or just a scenic and relaxing paddle. Overnight - Gariep River (B, L, D)
Gariep River - Cederberg. This morning we travel south through the Richtersveld and the mining town of Springbok, before reaching the region known as Namaqualand, well known for its prolific display of Namaqua wildflowers that occur each spring. We spend tonight in a picturesque campsite surrounded by local wine farms and have the opportunity to sample some of the nectar of the gods or to explore the surrounding beautiful Cederberg Mountains. Tonight is our last night under the stars! Overnight - Cederberg Mountains
(B, L, D)
Cederberg - Cape Town. We leave the scenic Cederberg area and travel south towards Cape Town. We travel through the rich fruit growing area of Citrusdal before crossing the Piketberg Pass to the Cape’s wine growing regions. Our first sighting of the Mother’s City Table Mountain across Table Bay means we’ve reached our final destination. Overnight - Cape Town
Saturday. This morning we exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime!