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Southern Africa: Desert, Wildlife & Falls

  • 15 Aug
  • -
  • 10 Sep
  • |
  • 27 days

$11949

per person

Availability: 13 places

    Whether it’s the roar of a lion or the roar of Victoria Falls, there are bound to be many memorable moments on this 27-day Southern African journey. Spot wildlife on a thrilling safari in Kruger National Park, marvel at Namibia’s undulating dunes in the world’s oldest desert, and explore Botswana’s Okavango Delta in a traditional dugout canoe. From spectacular South Africa to the wilds of Zimbabwe, an unforgettable adventure awaits.

    Day 1

    Day 1 Johannesburg (1D)

    Arrive at any time. Transfer to hotel. Enjoy a traditional South African braai (barbecue) welcome dinner.

    Day 2

    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 just outside Kruger National Park and this evening enjoy a delicious South African dinner on the deck or in the boma.

    Day 3

    Day 3 Kruger National Park (1B, 1D)

    Enjoy a morning wildlife safari drive through Kruger National Park in an open vehicle. Take in views of the abundant wildlife including elephants, lions and giraffe. Afterwards, opt to take an afternoon safari drive, wildlife bush walk, or relax on the deck with views of the watering hole - a popular spot for animals to visit.

    Day 4

    Day 4 Kruger National Park/Karongwe Private Game Reserve (1B, 1L, 1D)

    Continue on to a private nature reserve in the Greater Kruger area. This afternoon, take in a lecture with a researcher from the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Cheetah Metapopulation Project who will share information about their efforts to protect cheetahs and other carnivores. This National Geographic-sponsored project is part of the Big Cats Initiative. After, the researcher will join us on our evening wildlife safari drive.

    Day 5

    Day 5 Karongwe Private Game Reserve (1B, 1L, 1D)

    Enjoy early morning and afternoon safari drives with our local guides, searching for buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinos – Africa's famed Big Five. In our down time, relax at the camp, take a walk around the grounds or enjoy a cool drink on the deck.

    Day 6

    Day 6 Karongwe Private Game Reserve/Johannesburg (1B, 1D)

    After one last safari wildlife safari drive, head back to the city. In the evening, enjoy dinner at our local guest house.

    Day 7

    Day 7 Johannesburg/Windhoek (1B)

    Fly to Windhoek and transfer to the hotel. Free time to explore Windhoek in the afternoon and then meet your CEO and the rest of the group in the evening.

    Day 8

    Day 8 Windhoek/Sesriem (1B, 1D)

    Enjoy the dramatic Namibian landscapes as we drive to the desert area of Sesriem, gateway to Namib-Naukluft National Park. Settle in to our desert lodge, relax at the pool or enjoy a cool drink watching the stunning sunset over the desertscape.

    Day 9

    Day 9 Sesriem (1B, 1D)

    Embark on a scenic excursion into the national park to explore the Namib Desert. Visit Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, clay pans covered in a crust of salt-rich sand surrounded by burnt orange and red towering dunes; considered one of the most stunning desert landscapes in Africa. After visit Sesriem Canyon, a natural gorge carved out by the Tsauchab River.

    Day 10

    Day 10 Sesriem/Swakopmund (1B, 1L)

    Continue through changing desert landscapes, keeping an eye out for free-roaming zebra, kudu, springbok and oryx. Stop in the quirky town of Solitaire for a break before heading out into the countryside. Here we meet a local to this remote region who takes us on a drive and talks about the survival strategies of ancient and modern Bushmen who live in the area. We also search out the smaller animal life who manage to survive in these harsh conditions such as snakes, geckos, spiders and insects and learn how they have adapted to this arid region. After, continue to Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast.

    Day 11

    Day 11 Swakopmund (1B, 1D)

    Enjoy the morning free and opt to go quad biking or sandboarding or just take a walk in town. This afternoon, explore the township of Mondesa with a local guide, learning about its people and history. Visit the local market for an introduction to traditional food including Wild Spinach, Mopane worms and dried Kapenta Fish. Also visit an art and craft shop, meet with some locals, and then visit a family-run establishment for dinner and local entertainment.

    Day 12

    Day 12 Swakopmund/Twyfelfontein (1B, 1D)

    Continue on to Twyfelfontein where we visit the ancient petroglyphs which were named Namibia's first UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site is thought to hold the largest concentrations of Bushman engravings in Africa, with over 2500 figures, ranging from 2000-5000 years old.

    Day 13

    Day 13 Twyfelfontein/Etosha National Park (1B)

    Depart early to visit the Petrified Forest national monument, a stunning site of fossilized tree trunks dating from approximately 280 million years ago. Continue to our lodge located in the Etosha National Park area, considered the greatest wildlife sanctuary in Namibia. This afternoon, take an open vehicle wildlife safari drive to view the abundant wildlife who congregate around the park's waterholes.

    Day 14

    Day 14 Etosha National Park (1B)

    Early this morning, embark on a sunrise wildlife safari drive in an open vehicle with a local guide through the park. There is abundant wildlife that congregate around the waterholes, so keep your cameras at the ready for elephants, lions, endangered black rhinos, and even leopards. The remainder of the day is free to relax at our lodge, take a swim or join our CEO for a drive. Our lodge is perfectly situated, so sit back with a sundowner, and enjoy the sunset over the park. This afternoon or evening, opt to take another open vehicle safari drive.

    Day 15

    Day 15 Etosha National Park/Windhoek (1B, 1L)

    After breakfast, visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund, a global field research and education facility founded by Dr. Laurie Marker whose research has been supported by National Geographic. Tour the facility to learn about the important research, conservation, and community outreach work they do as one of the world’s leading organizations dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild. Meet with a researcher for a lecture to learn about the various projects in the works, then enjoy a cheetah drive to view some of these amazing creatures up close. After, enjoy lunch on the veranda overlooking the magnificent Waterberg Plateau. Continue on to Windhoek for our final evening.

    Day 16

    Day 16 Windhoek/Victoria Falls (1B, 1D)

    Enjoy a relaxing morning in Windhoek, then fly to Zimbabwe. Gain insight into what life’s like in Africa with a walk through a local market and dinner at a family homestead. Meet the family, learn their history, and share stories as you help prepare a traditional Zimbabwean dinner.

    Day 17

    Day 17 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. Opt to take a day trip to the wildlife haven of Chobe National Park.

    Day 18

    Day 18 Victoria Falls (1B)

    Spend the day exploring your beautiful surroundings. Opt to visit Victoria Falls, go whitewater rafting, or take a helicopter flight over the falls.

    Day 19

    Day 19 Victoria Falls/Hwange National Park (1B, 1D)

    Enjoy free time in the morning and opt to visit the falls. Later, visit the Painted Dog (Wild Dog) conservancy and meet with a conservationist to learn about the work being done to rehabilitate injured animals as a result of poaching. After, travel to Hwange, Zimbabwe's largest national park and enjoy a safari drive on the lodge concession, in search of wildlife. This evening, arrive at the lodge, located just outside the park entrance and enjoy dinner.

    Day 20

    Day 20 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 who visit the lodge's watering hole.

    Day 21

    Day 21 Hwange/Chobe NP (1B)

    The final morning in Hwange allows for an optional safari drive or walk, before crossing the border into Botswana, and arriving in Kasane, gateway to stunning Chobe National Park. This afternoon, enjoy a boat safari on the Chobe River in search of bathing elephants, hippos and crocodiles.

    Day 22

    Day 22 Chobe NP (1B)

    In the morning, continue our wildlife viewing with a safari drive along the banks of the Chobe River. In the afternoon, opt to take a photography river safari on a specialized photography boat.

    Day 23

    Day 23 Kasane/Okavango Delta (1B, 1L, 1D)

    Catch a flight into the “Panhandle” area of the Okavango Delta and check into the 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.

    Day 24

    Day 24 Okavango Delta (1B, 1L, 1D)

    Explore the stunning Delta Panhandle with expert local guides to enjoy wildlife viewing from mokoros, African dugout canoes, and on bush walks; also visit a fish monitoring station and a local village. This evening, we will enjoy a unique stay in a bush camp on one of the remote Islands within the Delta. Here we enjoy a 3 course meal around a roaring camp fire, sitting back and listening to the night calls of the Delta wildlife.

    Day 25

    Day 25 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 have a swim. This evening enjoy the deck overlooking the lagoon with hidden seating areas and a fire pit, perfect for stargazing.

    Day 26

    Day 26 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.

    Day 27

    Day 27 Maun (1B)

    Depart at any time.