Highlights of South Africa, Zambia & Botswana
Day 1 Cape Town
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included. Meet our Cape Town CEO at the hotel (on Day 1 at approx. 6:00PM - please have a look at the information board in the hotel), he/she will go through your trip details and will help you with booking optional activities on Day 3 and will be your contact person for the next days. *Please note: if you have pre-booked the Victoria Falls Helicopter Ride and Rafting, the Okavango Delta Flight, the Chobe Photo River Safari OR the Photo Game Drive your CEO will inform you when you will do the activity throughout your tour, days are subject to change: Helicopter Ride and Rafting (Days 11-13 - Livingstone), Okavango Delta Flight (Day 18 - Okavango Delta), Photo Safari (Day 15 - Chobe National Park). Important to note that you only have enough time for one Chobe Photo safari option. For more information on the Extra see the Optional Activities section.
Day 2-3 Cape Town (2B)
Meet your CEO after breakfast (approx 8:00am) in reception and enjoy a full-day of activities. First explore Cape Town on an orientation of the city, drive past Company Gardens, parliament buildings, city hall, Malay Quarter /Bo Kaap and Green Market Square. Include entrance fee to Castle of Good Hope. In the afternoon tour Cape point. Explore Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and see the penguins at Boulder Beach. View the Company's Garden, City Hall, Malay quarter and Green market square en route. On Day 3, you will have the whole day to enjoy optional activities on your own. Your CEO will meet you in the morning to help you book any activities and to make sure you are well taken care of for the rest of the day. Opt to visit Robben Island, Table Mountain, or embark on a wine tour around Stellenbosch. For the not so faint hearted there is numerous adrenaline activities in the surrounding areas, from skydiving to abseiling to cage diving and having a close encounter with the great white sharks. Or wonder through the city centre with some of the oldest buildings and gardens in South Africa (Botanical Gardens and Parliament Gardens). Do not miss the wonderful Cultural Historical Museum, Planetarium and numerous other small museums and theatres. For shopping, dining and entertainment the V&A Waterfront is a hotspot for foreigners and locals alike. Still a working harbour, the Waterfront is an example of creative architecture and restoration and has become South Africa's most visited tourist attraction. The Waterfront offers over 250 shops from designer boutiques to craft stalls, a host of restaurants and coffee shops and plenty of other activities.
Day 4 Johannesburg (1B,1D)
You will say goodbye to your Cape Town CEO and fly to Johannesburg and transfer to hotel. Meet your local CEO for a briefing and enjoy a traditional South African Braai (barbecue) welcome dinner tonight.
Day 5 Panorama Route/Graskop (1B)
Enjoy a scenic drive along the famed Panorama Route with stops at Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes and God's Window. Explore world famous sites like Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes and God's Window along the Panorama Route. Look out the window to view a wonderful landscape complete with mountains, panoramic passes, valleys and waterfalls. Enroute, we visit Dullstroom, one of the foremost fly fishing areas in South Africa, the Mac Mac Falls and Pilgrims Rest. Pilgrim's Rest is situated on the magnificent Panorama Route on the eastern Escarpment region of the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. The area is richly imbued with a diversity of natural, cultural and historic gems. The uniqueness of this historic village is vividly evident in its museums and historic sites. It offers the visitor a fascinating window into the past and captures the spirit of a bygone era and its people in their quest for gold. The entire town of Pilgrim's Rest was declared a National Monument in 1986 as a living memory of the early gold rush days in South Africa during the late 1800s / early 1900s. En route we stop by to view the 65 m high Mac Mac Falls in the Mac Mac River which is a declared as a National Monument. This waterfall was originally a single stream, but gold miners blasted it with dynamite to divert the river in an attempt to work the rich gold-bearing reef over which it plunges. Approximate Distance: 420 km Estimated Travel Time: 6 hrs (including stops for site-seeing)
Day 6 Kruger National Park area (1B,1D)
Embark on an afternoon game drive inside Kruger National Park in an open safari vehicle. Enjoy the abundance of wildlife then continue to our lodge conveniently located outside the park gates. This evening devour an African-style, dinner under the stars. Enjoy game driving inside Kruger National Park in an open vehicle. Search for more lion, elephant, rhino and many other animals in one of Africa’s most well-known wildlife areas on our transfer through Kruger National Park in our own vehicle, making our way south towards our camp Nkambeni. Enjoy an optional late afternoon game drive in an open vehicle where you will have a chance to search out some more incredible wildlife. The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld, this national park of nearly 2 million hectares is unrivaled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies. Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 types of trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Man's interaction with the Lowveld environment over many centuries - from bushman rock paintings to majestic archaeological sites like Masorini and Thulamela - is very evident in the Kruger National Park. These treasures represent the cultures, persons and events that played a role in the history of the Kruger National Park and are conserved along with the park's natural assets. Approximate Distance: 250 km Estimated Travel Time: 8 hrs (including lunch stop and game viewing in own vehicle)
Days 7-8 Timbavati Private Nature Reserve (2B,1L,2D)
This morning, visit to a Planeterra-supported Children’s Day School located just outside Krugar National Park, then on to our luxury tented camp inside a private nature reserve. Enjoy morning and evening open vehicle safari game drives searching out Africa's famed Big Five who cross back and forth through the unfenced Kruger area. Take high tea at the camp and relax at the pool. For the next two days enjoy morning and evening game drives in an open safari vehicle in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, adjoining the Kruger National Park, searching for elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo - Africa's famed Big 5. Nocturnal animals, including the big cats are regular sightings at night. Keep an eye out for white lions which the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is known for, as it is one of very few places in the world which hosts those species. This is how your next two days will be: Early morning wake up call (around 5am), coffee/tea & rusks on the deck before the morning open vehicle game drive (approx 3 hours) starts. Return to the Lodge for brunch followed by some leisure time. Enjoy the pool or the lodge’s wooden deck overlooking the river, read a book or take an afternoon nap. Around 14:30pm enjoy High Tea (light lunch and cakes) before you hop on your late afternoon/ evening open safari vehicle game drive. Return, freshen up and meet for pre-dinner drinks and enjoy dinner. In 1993 the fences between the Kruger National Park and the Timbavati Reserve were removed to encourage natural species migration. Today the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve (TPNR) comprises 53,392 hectares of private land adjoining the Kruger National Park (KNP). Currently, there are over 40 mammal species in the Timbavati including the Big Five as well as 360 species of bird life. While relaxing and enjoying the breathtaking views from the lodge’s wooden deck overlooking the river, we listen to the sounds of Africa and search for shooting stars piercing through the night sky before we overnight in our luxury accommodation at the Simbavati River Lodge, meaning ‘lions that come down from the stars’. Included visit to a Planeterra-supported Children’s Day School just outside Krugar National Park. Planeterra is currently supporting accessible early childhood education in South Africa through Hope Africa Children’s Day School. This school provides education for over 80 children under the age of 5 who attend the pre-school. The school also provides two meals a day for each student. Planeterra is currently fundraising for renovations that the school is in critical need of – a washrooms facility and kitchen that can accommodate the entire school. A past G Adventures’ traveller who had visited the school also helped raise much needed funds to have a water line, borehole and tank installed for the school and community to have access to water. Day 7 - Approximate Distance: 150 km Estimated Travel Time: 3 hrs (including stops)
Day 9 Johannesburg (1B,1D)
After one last safari drive, head back to the city. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner with a local Afrikaans family. Johannesburg, also known as eGoli, is the most populous city in South Africa. The city is affectionately known as "Jo'burg", "Jozi" and "JHB" by South Africans. Johannesburg is the site of a large-scale gold and diamond trade due to its location on the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills. Johannesburg is also served by Johannesburg International Airport, the largest and busiest airport in Africa and a gateway for international air travel to and from the rest of southern Africa. Approximate Distance: 500 km Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs
Day 10 Johannesburg/Livingstone (1B)
Flight to Livingstone, Zambia to meet the local G representative and take a tour of Victoria Falls. David Livingstone was born on March 19, 1813 in the village of Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, Scotland. He first studied Greek, medicine, and theology at the University of Glasgow and while working in London, joined the London Missionary Society became a minister. He originally planned to gain access to China through his medical knowledge. The Opium Wars, which were raging at this stage with no signs of peace on the horizon, forced Livingstone to consider other options. From 1840 he worked in Bechuanaland (present-day Botswana), and in the period 1852–56, he explored the African interior, and was the first European to see the Mosi-oa-Tunya waterfall, which he renamed Victoria Falls after his monarch, Queen Victoria. The Victoria Falls waterfalls occur in a country that is perfectly flat. From its source on the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Zambezi River meanders for 1300 km across the wooded plateau of Zambia, eroding for itself a shallow valley on its mild descent to the site of the falls. The river eventually found a weak spot on the lower lip of the surface over which it passed, and forced a passage which was steadily deepened into an exit gorge. During the last half million years the river has scoured out eight of these cracks across its bed. The Victoria falls occur where the river is 1688m wide, presents the spectacle of an average maximum of 550 million liters of water a minute tumbling over the lip of the trench in five main falls, the Devil’s Cataract, Main falls, Horseshoe Falls, Rainbow falls and the Eastern Cataract. The highest of these is Rainbow falls, on an average 108 m high. A peak flood sees 750 million liters of water in one minute hurtling over the falls. The name Zambezi comes from the Tonka tribe, also meaning Great River, but the Sotho-speaking Kololo people of the upper reaches of the river gave it the well-known name of Mosi o a Thunya (smoke that rises). The Lozi people call it by the same name but translated it into smoke that sounds. The Ndebele call it aManza Thunqayo (the water that rises like smoke). The Namibian people call it Chinotimba (a noise-making place like the distant sound of digging). Estimate Travel Time: Flight Johannesburg - Livingstone (2hrs)
Day 11-12 Livingstone (2B)
Two full days free to explore and enjoy the adventure capital of Southern African. Options include whitewater rafting, canoeing, safari walks or a flight over the falls.
Day 13 Livingstone (1B)
Enjoy your day at leisure with various optional activities to choose from. This evening, meet the Botswana CEO for a briefing.
Day 14 Kasane/Chobe River (1B,1L,1D)
Cross the border into Botswana and transfer to a private home on the Chobe River for a unique homestay experience. Opt to take a sunset photography river cruise for wildlife viewing with an expert photography/wildlife guide. We have a leisurely start this morning and say fond farewells to our resourceful G Adventure Livingstone Staff. With our CEO, we head westwards for the short drive to Kazungula Border Post, where your CEO will ensure that your transfer to Kasane, on the banks of the Chobe River, is seamless. You will arrive in time for lunch at this beautiful located private home next to the river where we will stay tonight and enjoy the hospitality of the home owner. You shouldn’t miss out on the optional photography sunset boat tour this afternoon. Tonight you stay at a private homestead right on the bank of the Chobe river in a on-suite room, very typical traditional victorian style house with big veranda, peacefull atmosphere and an opportunity to spot wildlife right from the porch. At night enjoy a traditional braai (bbq) around the fire listening to the sound of frogs, hippos and hyena in the back ground. If you opt to do the photo-safari, the experts will show you how the cameras work and advise you on how to frame the subject to capture a truly great image. We set ups the camera for you, to suit the conditions and even beginners will have no problem. The fact that the Chobe is such a game rich environment and that the Nikon D7000 is such a fantastic and user-friendly camera means that in no time you will be taking some images that truly do justice to your safari in the Chobe. Highlights along the river include elephants, hippos, crocodile and ample birdlife. This tour includes: transfers, park fees, drinks, camera usage (Nikon D7000 With 150 - 500 mm Zoom lens), photo permit, exclusive photo seat on Photo boat. This is a world famous wildlife photography area, a "jewel" according to National Geographic, and a backdrop for lots of African wildlife documentaries. This is a amazing opportunity to take great pictures with a very good camera and zoom lens - the memory card in the camera is yours to keep! Approximate Distance: 110 km Estimate Travel Time: 2 Hours
Day 15 Chobe National Park (1B,1L,1D)
Travel deeper into the Chobe wilderness to Ghoha Hills, with spectacular views of the surrounding bush. Enjoy late afternoon and evening game viewing in open vehicles around the hills and waterholes in search of elephants, lions, hippos and giraffes, to name a few. After an early start, we take a slow gamedrive along the southern bank of the Chobe River, where we can find Chobe Bushbuck and Puku Antelope, which are found only in this part of Botswana. Chobe River is home the world’s largest elephant herds; and buffalo, hippo and lion can be seen here. Our private morning game-viewing takes place along routes that that overlook this beautiful river and the remarkable variety of animals that are drawn to this permanent water source. Early afternoon we head south towards the Ghoga Hills and the Savuti Area. Game viewing in the late afternoon takes place along the hills and surrounding water holes. The lodge/camp is situated high up on the Ghoha Hills, with spectacular views of the surrounding bush. The views are unique and awe inspiring, particularly due to the fact that Botswana is such a flat country. The main area in the lodge has a thatched roof with bar and lounge, which helps the lodge blend into the surrounding hillside. Accommodation is in luxury tents with comfortable amenities and en-suite. Approximate Distance: 180 km Estimate Travel Time: 6 Hours
Day 16-17 Khwai River/Moremi area (2B,2L,2D)
Drive to the Khwai River area bordering Moremi Game Reserve via Savuti. With astounding wildlife, this area has been rated one of the best for game viewing in the world. Embark on morning and afternoon open vehicle game drives with time to relax at the comfortable tented camp. We take a leisurely drive to our camp in the Khwai River area via Savuti, an area best known for large populations of Bull Elephants and Prides of Lion that patrol the banks of this enigmatic channel. After a picnic lunch, we head towards our next nightstop, bordering Moremi Game Reserve. Due to the fact that none of Botswana’s wildlife areas are fenced, game can move freely between wilderness areas. This region’s diversity of game is astounding and Moremi has quite rightly been rated as one of the best Game viewing areas in the world. The camp lodge boasts a majestic thatch roofed dining and lounge area leading to an elevated viewing deck over the riverbank. Spectacular sunsets can be admired over sundowners from the quaint bar or from the deck of your comfort en-suite tent. Day 5 is spent on early morning and afternoon game drives. Over the course of the day, guests are given the best chances of seeing a variety of wildlife - although there is of course, that obligatory siesta during the hottest part of the day. Approximate Distance: 190 km Estimate Travel Time: 6 Hours
Day 18 Maun (1B)
After a morning game drive, transfer to the frontier town of Maun. Option to shop and take a scenic flight over the delta. Today we take quick and early gamedrive, drive out of the Moremi Area and journey south into the frontier town of Maun, to our hotel which has a pleasant eating area with a welcome swimming pool. The afternoon is at leisure at the Hotel, which is situated on the banks of the Thamalakane River. Maun is the gateway to the Okavango Delta and has for a long time enjoying the reputation of being Botswana’s own frontier town. Today it is one of the fastest growing towns in Africa. It was originally established in 1915 by the Batawana, a splinter group of the Bangwato. The name Maun means “place of reeds”. Maun, although officially still a village, is the fifth largest town in Botswana. It is an eclectic mix of modern buildings and native huts. Maun is the "tourism capital" of Botswana and the administrative centre of Ngamiland district. Maun has developed rapidly from a rural frontier town and has spread along the Thamalakane River. It now boasts good shopping centres, hotels and lodges as well as car and 4-wheel drive vehicle hire. It still retains a rural atmosphere and local tribesmen continue to bring their cattle to Maun to sell. This community is now distributed along the wide banks of the Thamalakane River where red lechwe can still be seen grazing next to local donkeys, goats and cattle. Approximate Distance: 120 km Estimate Travel Time: 3 Hours
Day 19-20 Okavango Delta (2B,2L,2D)
Transfer to the houseboat, our home for the next 2 nights in the Okavango Delta, the world's largest inland delta. Travelling by houseboat allows us to explore a more secluded area of the delta, taking small boats into the channels and waterways for wildlife viewing and bird watching. Opt to go fishing or on a cultural excursion to Tsoldilo Hills to view ancient San Bushman rock paintings, or relax on deck with a cool drink watching the passing scenery. Today we board our Houseboat, based on the serene waters of the Okavango River. We begin our journey into the “Panhandle” area of the Okavango Delta, in Northern Botswana. This area is recognized as one of the most peaceful areas in the Delta, due to its remoteness. Indeed, there are only a handful of permanent camps and boats operating in this wilderness area - which makes it ideal for our guests. Excursions from the houseboat are done on "tender boats" which allow us to get into smaller channels. The activities available can include fishing, bird-watching, boat safaris and an optional visit to Tsodilo Hills. Tsodilo Hills is a World Heritage Site with the richest concentration of San Rock Paintings in the world. Having been inhabited for about 30,000 years, they're one of the world's oldest, historical sites and are to more than 4,000 San Bushman paintings. Several walking trails provide helpful routes around the painting sites. "Where all this water goes is a mystery", Aurel Schultz, 1897 The area of the delta was once part of Lake Makgadikgadi, an ancient lake that dried up some 10,000 years ago. Today, the Okavango River has no outlet to the sea. Instead, it empties onto the sands of the Kalahari Desert, irrigating 15,000 square km of the desert. Each year some 11 cubic kilometers of water reach the delta. Some of this water reaches further south to create Lake Ngami. The water entering the delta is unusually pure, due to the lack of agriculture and industry along the Okavango River. It passes through the sand aquifers of the numerous delta islands and evaporates/transpirates by leaving enormous quantities of salt behind. This precipitation processes are so strong that the vegetation disappears in the center of the islands and thick salt crusts are formed. The waters of the Okavango Delta are subject to seasonal flooding, which begins about mid-summer in the north and six months later in the south (May/June). The water from the delta is evaporated relatively rapidly by the high temperatures, resulting in a cycle of cresting and dropping water in the south. Islands can disappear completely during the peak flood, then reappear at the end of the season. Approximate Distance: 380 km Estimate Travel Time: 5 Hours
Day 21 Livingstone (1B,1L)
Transfer by van and ferry crossing back into Zambia. Option to visit Victoria Falls. Approximate Distance: 550 km Estimate Travel Time: 8-9 Hours
Day 22 Livingstone (1B)
Depart at any time.