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Southern Africa Highlights tour
Chobe National Park Hwange National Park Southern Africa Highlights Trip
Johannesburg Kasane Southern Africa Highlights Trip
Kruger National Park Okavango Delta Southern Africa Highlights Trip
Nature & Wildlife Land expedition Southern Africa Highlights package
National Parks Wildlife viewing Southern Africa Highlights package

Southern Africa Highlights

Intrepid Travel Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
94%
Travel Style: Array Mixed
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
17 days
From: Check price
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Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Spend 2 nights on a houseboat as your base for exploring the Okavango Delta
  • Discover the beauty of Chobe River with a morning game drive in open 4WDs before spotting bird life and hippos on a sunset cruise with sundowner in hand.
  • Get drenched by the raw power of mighty Victoria Falls
  • Explore the Makgadikgadi Pans; scenery, sundowners, Baobabs and Meerkats!
  • Check out the large elephant populations of Hwange National Park on a 4WD game drive. Hwange also boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals.
  • Track rhinos on foot with an expert local guide in Matobos National Park – an exhilarating way to experience the wildlife of Zimbabwe - then witness ancient rock paintings and learn about the San people.
  • Experience Kruger with game drives in open-top 4x4 vehicles in both private game reserves and Kruger National Park.
  • Stay in comfortable lodges and hotels for the duration of the journey.

Short Description

Visit Africa and travel through Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa on a tour from Windhoek to Johannesburg. Embark on a journey through bountiful Botswana, rich in natural beauty, thrilling wildlife encounters and fun local interaction. Experience exciting game drives, enjoy life aboard a houseboat, see ancient rock art and feel the power of Victoria Falls. Continue south to Hwange National Park, known for its elephant population, Matobo National Park to track rhinos and, finally, visit famous Kruger National Park in search of the Big Five.

Style Small group tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City N/A
End City N/A

Itinerary

Day 1 Windhoek

On arrival in Windhoek, you will be met by an Intrepid representative and transferred to your hotel. Please arrive in time for the important welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. The old German colonial town of Windhoek has been blended into a modern city. The German architecture of the older buildings lends the town a historic atmosphere. Good examples of this German architecture can be seen in a number of buildings, but the best are the Tintenpalast (Ink Palace), the Christuskirche (church), the gymnasium and the Genossenschaftshaus. This evening you may wish to join the rest of the group for an optional welcome dinner. If you're interested in seeing a little more of Namibia before you head off on your Botswana Adventure, why not consider our Namibia Dunes Shortbreak (UBAS-C). The shortbreak starts and finishes in Windoek and gives you an opportunity to discover one of the most incredible landscapes in Namibia when you pay a visit to the barren dunes of Soussusvlei.

Day 2 Ghanzi/Central Kalahari

Cross the border into Botswana and travel to Ghanzi, known as the "Capital of the Kalahari" (560km approximately 8hrs). Accommodation tonight is at a lodge just outside the small cattle ranching town of Ghanzi and a bit more basic than what you will encounter throughout your journey, however the concept and experience will be well worth it. The lodge is situated in the Kalahari region of Botswana that is inhabited by a large portion of Botswanas’ San community. Unemployment is one of the main social issues that affect the San community, who have become an increasingly marginalized minority is Southern Africa . The lodge helps empower the community through employment. A traditional San/Southern African meal will be served in the communal lounge and dining area. There is also an bar with wine, beer and soft drinks available to buy. Later this evening we will be treated to a real cultural experience and interaction with the locals. Around the campfire, you will experience the ancient dance rituals of the San, with a chance to chat afterwards. On special occasions this could be a healing or trance dance, which can continue all night, and is an intense spiritual experience for both participants and visitors alike.

Day 3 Okavango Delta

Before breakfast this morning there will be a chance to go out on an optional walk with a member of the San community. The San are renowned as the most skillful trackers on Earth and have an extraordinary knowledge of the Kalahari for both plants and animal tracking. Here you will be shown the wide variety of both edible and medicinal plants, while also tracking a variety of animals and learning about their habits. Of course, you will also spend quality time with your guide to understand their very different world view. Head to the Okavango Delta (400km approximately 7hrs), where we board speedboats that will take us to your home for the next two nights, a houseboat in the Okavango Delta Panhandle. Please note you will need to pack a small bag or backpack for this trip as we won't be taking all of our luggage with us. Your floating home for the next 2 nights is the most incredibly peaceful way to experience the delta. The houseboat has twin-share cabins with bedding, towels and mosquito nets provided (no single supplement is available on these nights). Cabins are very small and basic with shared facilities however we don't expect you'll be spending much time in there. There is also a dining area on the deck, tea/coffee making facilities and a small collection of books and board games. This evening head to the deck where your captain will serve dinner, enjoy a sundowner, and listen to the sound of the Hippos along the waters edge.

Day 4 Okavango Delta

After breakfast we take a speedboat and 4WD to a nearby poling station. From here you have the opportunity to experience the myriad waterways in traditional dugout canoes (mokoros) with a local guide. Your guide will take you on a short nature walk around one of the many Islands in the Delta Panhandle. After a picnic lunch, return to the houseboat where you're free to relax, read a book or do some fishing. This evening grab a sundowner, pull up a chair and witness the often breathtaking sunset.

Day 5 Maun

After breakfast, we leave our houseboat behind, and again board the speedboats to take us back to our truck, and then on towards Maun - the gateway of the Okavango Delta (350km approximately 6 hrs). For those wanting more adventure, there's an opportunity to fly over the delta in a small plane for a bird's-eye view - a great way to appreciate the immensity of this watery world. Your leader can give you more information on this activity and how to book. Otherwise the afternoon is free to sit by the pool, catch up on emails and laundry.

Day 6 Makgadikgadi Pans

We depart from our lodge after breakfast and head towards north-east Botswana (210km approximately 4hrs). Our next stop is the Makgadikgadi Pans; a large salt pan situation in the middle of the dry savanna is located. This pan is now all that remains of the former Lake Makgadikgadi. Our accommodation tonight is located on the edge of the pans. Sit by the pool or relax in the lounge area and take in your surroundings after a long day. Head out to the Makgadikgadi Pans for an afternoon excursion in open 4WDs to one of the largest salt flats in the world. Here you’ll sit out in the wild enjoy sundowners and snacks while observing the amazing scenery. With the aid of trackers you may have the opportunity to spend some time in the company of the local meerkat colony, and look out for elephants that meander their way down to the watering hole to quench their thirst. Soak in this incredible place while the sun sets behind the old beautiful baobab.

Day 7 Chobe National Park

This morning we make tracks after breakfast and travel towards Kasane on the edge of Chobe National Park (410km approximately 7hrs). The stretch of road between Nata and Kasane is known as the 'Elephant Highway'. With no fences elephants are free to move between Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and Botswana. So keep your eyes peeled for roadside elephants. Botswana's first national park, Chobe, is perhaps best known for its high concentration of elephants. You will spend the next two nights in a lodge on the banks of the Chobe River.

Day 8 Chobe National Park

This morning we wake early and take a dawn game drive in Chobe National Park, where you may see elephants drinking at the waters' edge, large herds of cape buffaloes and many impala within the park. In the afternoon you’ll take a breathtaking cruise on the Chobe River, ideal for spotting bird life such as saddle-billed storks, malachite kingfishers, fish eagles and beautiful bee-eaters as well as hippos, crocodiles and large families of elephants. The boat trip will be a shared activity with other travellers. There will be an opportunity to have a sundowner drink and watch the sunset over the river.

Day 9 Victoria Falls

Travel on to Victoria Falls, crossing the border into Zimbabwe in time to have lunch on the banks of the Zambezi (100km approximately 2hrs depending on border formalities). These falls are one of the natural wonders of the world and, when in full flow, form the largest sheet of falling water. Your leader will take you to a local activity centre where a range of activities will be on offer. We have not risk assessed all activities and only those listed in our trip notes are recommended. It is against company policy for leaders to facilitate the booking of any activities that have not been risk assessed or do not adhere to our company’s Responsible Travel policy and ethos. This includes organising transport to and from these activities in our vehicles. An included local brewery tour and a tasting paddle is a great way wash down the thrill of witnessing the magnificent falls.

Day 10 Victoria Falls

Today is a free day to enjoy the many activities on offer. There will be another Welcome Meeting at 6pm to meet the new group members joining today. Please let you leader know if you will not take part in this meeting.

Day 11 Hwange National Park

Depart Victoria Falls and hit the road to Hwange National Park (approximately 5 hours drive) via the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, one of The Intrepid Foundation projects. Here you can learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, human-wildlife conflict and their role in anti-poaching. There may also be a chance to meet any rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care. In the afternoon enjoy a game drive within the Hwange National Park. Your vehicle of choice here is an open 4x4 vehicle that'll have you feeling like you're part of the action. Hwange, the largest park in Zimbabwe, was designated as a national park in 1929 after acting as the royal hunting grounds of the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19th century. The park is particularly famous for its elephants and is home to one of the largest populations in the world, as well as a huge variety of wildlife including over 100 mammals and nearly 400 bird species.

Day 12 Matobo National Park

Leave Hwange in your dust as you make tracks for Matobo National Park. Shortly after leaving Hwange stop at the Painted Dog Conservation Centre. The loss of quality habitat and poaching are driving the painted dogs towards extinction. Learn about how they they protect and increase the range and numbers of painted dogs in Zimbabwe and the Hwange ecosystem as a whole. Then it's onto  Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city. Take a stroll through the streets lined with old colonial buildings and stop in at a local resturant for lunch. Continue on to Matobo where you'll spend the next two nights. This area has great significance, both culturally and spiritually, to the local people and the rocks balanced in Matobo Hills are thought to be the seats of god and ancestral spirits. The park is home to the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, founder of Rhodesia and the De Beers diamond company, and is especially known for its rhino population.

Day 13 Matobo National Park

Today you'll enjoy an unforgettable day tracking rhinos on foot with your local guides. You'll learn about the local plants and trees and their traditional uses, and there'll also be plenty of chances to spot wildlife other than rhinos. The park is home to leopards, hippos, antelope and more, and you'll also learn about the San people who have called this area home for thousands of years. Visit their rock paintings in the hills and spend some time in the nearby villages to meet some of the local community before returning to your lodge for the evening.

Day 14 Johannesburg

This morning the group will transfer to Bulwayo Airport and fly to Johannesburg. The afternoon Johannesburg walking tour is a great way to get under the skin of this changing city. With the help of a local guide this tour side skips the usual spots and embraces art, architecture, culture and history of Maboneng Cultural Precinct & Main Street. Afterwards your leader will be happy to show the best place to purchase a local dinner and craft beer.

Day 15 Kruger National Park

Wake early and drive to your lodge located in the Greater Kruger National Park. Arrive in time for lunch, setttle in, then head off for a late afternoon game drive through a private reserve. You'll be in open 4WD vehicles once again and searching for the Big Five: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo. Enjoy a couple of sunset drinks by one of the waterholes then the game drive will continue into the night. Dinner will be a traditional meal around a fire at the lodge, and the evening is free for you to enjoy a book, chat with your fellow travellers or take a dip in the lodge's swimming pool. 

Day 16 Kruger National Park

Start the day early and head into Kruger National Park itself, one of the largest game reserves in Southern Africa. Here are some stats: over 500 bird species, 100 species of reptile and 150 mammal species including, of course, the Big Five. Your wildlife experience begins as soon as you enter the park as you're taken into prime viewing areas. Enjoy a picnic breakfast before spending the rest of the day in this incredible park, with time spent watching game, birds and stopping at various waterholes as you go. The group will leave the park in the late afternoon and return to the lodge for another relaxed evening.

Day 17 Johannesburg

Another early start will see the group heading out on a bush walk within the property. You'll learn about this region's finer details, including bird, tree and spoor identification from a qualified nature guide. Afterwards, transfer back to Johannesburg. It's a long drive (approx. 9-10 hours) but will be broken up with a visit to the spectacular God's Window viewpoint & Bourke's Luck Potholes. On arrival in Johannesburg your adventure will finish.

Availability

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4,078 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

94%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3,053
Great 672
Average 130
Disappointing 66
Terrible 157
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

Southern Africa Highlights

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Company Reviews

On behalf of ‘The Sticky Rice Family’…

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
On behalf of ‘The Sticky Rice Family’ Cambodia Express Tour Group, TKSD221105, we’d like to thank our tour Leader Raus for an incredible experience. Raus, was absolutely excellent. She was friendly, warm, positive, knowledgeable and involved. She went over and above to make sure that we were happy every step of the way. All of the tour inclusions were excellent and we felt that we saw everything there was to see. Big thank you to Raus from us all xx
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Legends Loyalty Promotion

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
In early 2019 I was dealing with Intrepid and booking my 6th and 7th trip which were paid for before June 2019. Upon return from these trips I booked another trip, my 8th and was off again to Turkey within weeks. At NO time was I informed verbally or via email that their Legends Program was ending and that I would need to book my 9th trip by end of June to receive my loyalty reward of $2200 credit, If I had been informed I could easily have done this.
At the beginning of 2022 I began plans for my next set of trips and contacted them to claim my loyalty reward. That's when I was told about the end of the Legends Loyalty Program. The company does not have a complaints department and so I have had emails replied from 7 different 'sales consultants'
Each time their replies have reiterated the same information. They have not taken responsibility for informing their loyal customers of the impending cessation of the Legends Program. I have contacted Consumer Affairs and been advised that I can pursue this under
section 1: Section 29 of consumer law regarding false and misleading representation of goods and services
2: Section 32: offering rebates, gifts and or prizes

As this was going to be a drawn out affair, in my most recent email, I offered to settle for a credit of $1200 rather than the $2200 they had been promoting for YEARS!!!
Dealing with Intrepid was taking its toll on me and I just wanted it over with. But we were dealing with a David and Goliath situation here. They do not care and have not taken responsibility for lack of transparency in informing their loyal customers of the sudden termination of this Program. I see that many other people are in the same situation. I have had many great trips with Intrepid and had wanted to continue my travels with them. But the principle of the matter will not allow me to continue with them.
I understand that a promotion may be discontinued at some point in time but it should be done in a way that takes into consideration those who have remained loyal... maybe paying a proportion of what a client would have been entitled to. AND they should have made an effort to alert customers about their policy change. As another Loyal Customer stated ...'You could have put a banner across your Intrepid homepage stating the program is ending..."

But no, you kept it quiet and duped your loyal customers. Shame on you!

I have not finished with this! Jump on board if you want to join me in this battle.
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Shockingly bad experience.

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Signed up for the Premium Turkey Trip, which is supposed to be higher end hotels and "the best guides". Sadly this was a case of extreme overpromising and underdelivering. Hotels were mixed and some were disgusting. Guide was not familiar with our itinerary, offered little guidance or help, and often gave us incorrect information. I have written and called Intrepid to express my numerous concerns. They have not responded. Very disappointing.
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Not a Premium Turkey trip

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
This was my 3rd Intrepid Tour. Unfortunately, my most recent "Premium" Turkey in Depth tour was a big disappointment. It did not measure up to "original" tours of Rajasthan, India or Nepal. These trips were lead by enthusiastic, organized and knowledgeable leaders. Our Premium leader unfortunately showed little passion for his country or it's history. His knowledge of the historical sites was basic only. The leaders ability to communicate with his guests left us wondering what our day would look like and if we would have to Google information to pass on to other members of our group. Late morning starts made for late arrivals at daily destinations and limited time to explore some interesting cities. On multiple occasions and by different guests, suggestions were made to the leader about communication needed by group. Additionally, the sunrise Balloon ride in Cappadocia was canceled. Our group of 9 and another Intrepid tour were instead sent in up after sunrise. Disappointing!
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Poor guide

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Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Poor guide. No leadershio Provided limited knowkedge of historic sites. Poor time management Missed out on most optiinal tours. 2 safey issues. Left group of 9 stressed and anxious.
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Where's my deposit?

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Hello again
Still waiting for my deposit back from Intrepid! Six weeks and counting. It ceases to amaze me that that I felt I could trust them with organising a holiday for me at all in the first instance.
Intrepid Travel is incapable of responding to emails, updating their customers and maintaining good customer relations. They have been very disappointing and have left me extremely upset.
Each time that I complain about them generates a flurry of emails but not any resolutions.
Very poor and extremely unsatisfactory.
Intrepid Travel get your act together.
PS As predicted I got a response from Intrepid to say that the refund was being processed and apologies for the delay. NOT good enough.
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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Overland vehicle,Mokoro,4x4 Safari Vehicle,Private Vehicle,Plane

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Accommodations

Hotel (5 nights),Houseboat (2 nights),Lodge (9 nights)

Guides

On this trip you will be accompanied by two crew members, a Group Leader and a Driver. Your Intrepid Group Leader’s role involves organizing the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics and providing the group with information. Your Group Leader will work towards making the trip as safe and enjoyable as possible for all travellers. Intrepid trips are built around the co–operation and participation of all the group members under the supervision of the group leader. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting, especially when tracking and identifying game - we think it's the best of both worlds. Our Group Leaders are chosen for their leadership skills and are wonderful ambassadors for our company and our beautiful continent and its people. Your Driver’s main responsibility is to get you to your destination safely; they are also responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles along the way. We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and driver; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 15

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Finish point

  • Rivonia Bed & Breakfast
  • 3 River Rd
  • Edenburg, Sandton.
  • Johannesburg
  • 2128
  • SOUTH AFRICA
  • Phone: +27 11 803 2790

Trip ID#:

intrepid-UBKHC

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