South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe

SKSA 008: 15-Days Adventure in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe

Explore top wildlife sanctuaries in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

The world-renowned Kruger National Park in South Africa offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals.

The wilderness areas of Botswana are so diverse in habitat that it can be difficult selecting the best place to visit. Explore Chobe National Park, home to Africa’s vast Elephant herds; the Kalahari Desert inhabited by legendary San Bushmen; and the Okavango Delta, the biggest inland delta floodplains.

Safari, game viewing, bird watching, as well as overland trips across the country, will open you up to the environmental complexity that is Botswana. Elephant back safaris are very popular in Botswana.

You will wind up your safari with a visit to the magnificent Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe – the world’s largest waterfall. Zimbabwe is one of Africa’s top safari destinations for wildlife and scenic beauty and has many great attractions.

Day 1: Johannesburg and Kruger National Park

Arrive in Johannesburg International Airport and then depart to the famous Kruger National Park.

Days 2-3: Kruger National Park and Mpumalanga Game Reserve

You will explore the wonders of Kruger National Park and Mpumalanga Game Reserve.

Kruger National Park is regarded as one of the world’s finest examples of wildlife management, the park draws over 500,000 visitors each year. With ample accommodation, guided tours and superb facilities, the park is African safari at its finest.

If you have come to South Africa to see the Big 5 (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhinoceros), then Kruger National Park is the perfect choice.

Mpumalanga, which means “land of the rising sun" in the local SiSwati language, offers you from exhilarating wildlife, to secluded mountain retreats, wild water sports and some of South Africa’s most diverse and vibrant African cultures. Mpumalanga offers you forests, mountains, rivers, waterfalls and panoramic passes with magnificent scenic views and the opportunity to view wildlife in abundance.

Day 4: Southern Botswana

Today, we leave South Africa territory and have a long day scenic drive to Southern Botswana. We will make a night stop over in Southern Botswana.

Day 5-6: Okavango Delta in Botswana

After breakfast, we drive through the Kalahari villages and arrive Okavango Delta late afternoon. You will have full day adventure activities while in the delta.

The Okavango is a labyrinth of lagoons, lakes and hidden channels covering an area of over 17,000 square km and the largest inland delta in the world. Trapped in the parched Kalahari sands it is a magnet for the wildlife who depend on the permanent waters of this unique feature.

Sometimes called a ‘swamp’, the Okavango is anything but. Moving, mysterious, placid, gentle and beautiful, from a wide and winding channel it spreads through tiny, almost unnoticeable channels that creep away behind a wall of papyrus reed, into an ever expanding network of increasingly smaller passages.

These link a succession of lagoons, islands and islets of various sizes, open grasslands and flooded plains in a mosaic of land and water. Palms and towering trees abound, throwing their shade over crystal pools, forest glades and grassy knolls.

The Okavango’s water is remarkably clean and pure and this is almost certainly due to the fact that it passes through very sparsely populated areas on its journey from Angola. Despite this, a staggering 660 000 tons of sediment a year are delivered to its great alluvial fan.

In the lush indigenous forests of the delta and its islands, and along the floodplains spawned by this great marriage of water and sand, more than 400 species of birds flourish.

On the mainland and among the islands in the delta, lions, elephants, hyenas, wild dog, buffalo, hippo and crocodiles congregate with a teeming variety of antelope and other smaller animals – warthog, mongoose, spotted genets, monkeys, bush babies and tree squirrels.

Although fishing can take place anywhere in the Delta, if one wants it ‘big, mean and fierce’, the deeper and faster waters of the major fishing camps in the north of the Delta, in the Panhandle, are probably a better area.

Day 7: Visit Antelope Park in Zimbabwe Midlands

After breakfast, we leave for the Antelope Park where you can try some of the following activities; walking with Lions, elephant riding, swimming on the majestic elephant, to trying your hand at fishing the list is endless.

Antelope park is situated 12 kms from Gweru in the Zimbabwe Midlands. This is a perfect stopover for everyone from campers and overlanders to those guests looking for more comfort and anyone else interested in a truly unique experience and we really do mean unique – after all, where else in the world can you go for a walk with the lions?

Strolling with the lions is just one of the many reasons why you should visit Antelope Park. You can also ride an African Elephants on land or while they swim, go game viewing on horseback or in a vehicle (over 20 wildlife species and 150 bird species to be seen!), enjoy boat rides, canoeing, fishing, and much more.

Day 8: Gweru and Chobe National Park, Zimbabwe

After breakfast, we embark on a long day’s drive to Chobe National Park. The Park, which is the second largest national park in Botswana and covers 10,566 square km, has one of the greatest concentrations of game found on the African continent. Its uniqueness in the abundance of wildlife and the true African nature of the region, offers a safari experience of a lifetime.

A major feature of Chobe National Park is its elephant population currently estimated at around 120,000. The Chobe elephant are migratory, making seasonal movements of up to 200 km from the Chobe and Linyanti rivers, where they concentrate in the dry season, to the pans in the southeast of the park, to which they disperse in the rains.

Day 9: Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe

We will visit Matobo National Park today. Bulawayo is inhabited by roughly 1 300 000 people and is the second major city in Zimbabwe. Matobo National Park will appeal to all nature and wildlife lovers especially with its rare species of white rhino and black eagle. It is here where some of the best rock paintings done by hunter-gatherers can be found.

The visually spectacular landscape of granite outcrops at Matobo National Park, 50km from the town of Bulawayo, was named Sindebele, meaning ‘bald heads’, by warrior chief Mzilikazi. This land is sacred ground. Amongst the cracks and crevices of the Matobo hills is the Ndebele’s rain shrine to Mwari, the god of their ancestors.

Some of the peaks, like Shabe and Shumba Sham, are considered so sacred that merely to point at them is considered unlucky. It is a region of remarkable natural beauty as well as historical and cultural significance, believed to have been inhabited for 40 000 years by man and beast.

Day 10-14: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

We set off to Victoria Falls town (in Zimbabwe), which lies on the southern bank of the Zambezi River at the eastern end of the Victoria Falls themselves, to see one of the natural wonders of the world. Victoria Falls has so much to offer you and your family.

The Falls are on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia and the towns of Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and Livingstone (Zambia) offer you easy access and plenty of accommodation.

There are many activities available all year round such as, flights can be taken which gives you a panoramic view of the Falls, Batoka Gorge and the islands above the falls. Back on the ground, the Falls can be seen from the Victoria Falls Park (entrance US$20) with its many viewing points, or from the Zambian side. All offer fantastic photographic opportunities.

White water rafting in the Batoka Gorge is considered to be world class. Besides the excitement of the grade 5 rapids, there are"floats” where there is time to admire the scenic cliffs and occasional wildlife on the riverbanks. Bungee jumping enthusiasts can take the plunge from the Zambezi Bridge, which connects Zambia and Zimbabwe. The leap into the Batoka Gorge is certainly not for the faint-hearted.

Other optional activities around Victoria Falls include day trips into the Zambezi National Park, horse riding safaris, a visit to the Crocodile Ranch, Snake Park, golf at Elephant Hills Hotel, parachuting, the Falls Craft Village and the Sunset Cruise. We suggest you allow yourself a few days after your safari if you wish to partake in some of the many activities. We have an office situated in the heart of Victoria Falls town and our friendly staff will be more than willing to help you arrange any activities you wish to do.

Day 15: Victoria Falls and Depart Home

Today, we transfer you Victoria Falls Airport, which is 18 km South of the Victoria Falls town, to catch your scheduled flight to Johannesburg International Airport for your onward flight home.