Vic Falls to Kruger

Intrepid Travel Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
Travel Style: Array Full on
Physical Level: All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level: You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic (2*)
9 days
From: $ 1,249 $ 139 / day
Checking price


Highlights (Bullets)

  • Visit the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust and learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, human-wildlife conflict and anti-poaching efforts.
  • Pay the elephants and lions of Hwange National Park a visit in an open-air safari vehicle, stopping along the way for the perfect wildlife photographs.
  • Track rhinos on foot with an expert local guide in Matobo National Park – an exhilarating way to experience the wildlife of Zimbabwe.
  • Immerse yourself in the ancient culture of the Venda people at a two-night village homestay in South Africa's Limpopo province.
  • Marvel at the unforgettable views of Blyde River Canyon. This spectacular gorge is up there with the world's largest and is probably the greenest of the lot.

Short Description

Experience three of southern Africa’s most phenomenal game-viewing sites in search of the world’s most spectacular wildlife – Hwange National Park, Kruger National Park and Matobo National Park. Spend nine days in search of the Big Five (that’s lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalo) and more on this journey through South Africa and Zimbabwe. Plus you’ll enjoy time in a traditional village in the Limpopo province and visit South Africa's modern capital – all the while uncovering Africa's incredible and diverse natural beauty. Join Intrepid on an adventure into the wild.

Style Small group tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Lodging Level Basic (2*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Victoria Falls
End City Johannesburg

Activities & Interests

Land expedition Wildlife viewing

Age Requirement


No single supplement
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Day 1 Victoria Falls

Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe and the mighty Victoria Falls. Your trip begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important briefing. If you arrive early, why not check out some of the optional activities around Vic Falls. The Zimbabwe side of the falls offers the broadest view of this colossal natural wonder, and the scenic helicopter flights are incredible – if you opt for one, choose Zambezi Helicopter Company (CAA Zimbabwe), the only operator Intrepid endorses.

Day 2 Hwange National Park

Leave Victoria Falls behind and head to Hwange National Park (approximately 5 hours, depending on traffic) via the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust – one of the projects The Intrepid Foundation supports. Here you can learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, human-wildlife conflict and the Trust’s role in anti-poaching. There may also be a chance to meet any rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care. At Hwange National Park, you will explore this stunning wildlife arena in an open 4WD vehicle. It became the royal hunting grounds of the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19th century and was set aside as a national park in 1929. Today, Hwange boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife, with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species. The elephants of Hwange are world famous – here you'll find one of the largest elephant populations in Africa.

Day 3 Matobo National Park

Leave Hwange in your dust as you make tracks for Matobo National Park (approximately 5 hours). Shortly after leaving Hwange, stop at the Painted Dog Conservation Centre. The loss of quality habitat and poaching are driving the painted dog (also known as African wild dog) towards extinction. Learn about how they protect and increase the range and numbers of painted dogs in Zimbabwe and the Hwange ecosystem as a whole. Then it's on to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city. Take a stroll through the streets lined with old colonial buildings and stop in at a local cafe or restaurant for lunch before heading to your camp for the next two nights. Home to a large population of black and white rhinoceroses that can be tracked on foot, Matobo National Park is also the site of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of Rhodesia and the De Beers diamond company. The Matobo area has great spiritual and cultural significance to the local people and there are many sites within the park where important ceremonies still take place.

Day 4 Matobo National Park

This morning, have a unique experience tracking rhinos on foot with the help of your guides. Here there will be the chance to spot other game – the park is home to klipspringers, leopards, warthogs and springhares, among others. You can also learn about the various local plants and trees, including wild pear and paperbark, while discovering San paintings and the intriguing rock formations of the park. After a cold lunch, venture to a nearby village and meet some of the local people.

Day 5 Makushu Village

Get up nice and early for a day of travel. You'll cross a very busy border post, the only direct border crossing between Zimbabwe and South Africa. The drive is about 400 kilometres (approximately 6–8 hours). Your destination today is Makushu – a small village in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Upon arrival in Makushu, you will be met by a local village guide, who will ensure you are well taken care of. You will be staying with homestay host mothers in their family homes. With your own room within the family home, you will get a true feeling of what it’s like in the village – certainly a unique and memorable experience for travellers.

Day 6 Makushu Village

Rise and shine to the sounds of local village life – enjoy a day with your hosts in Makushu. As with any small town, no two days are the same, but you will be involved in traditional village activities, depending on what tasks are required on that day. Start the day with a gentle 2.5 hour hike through the village and it's surrounds. Afterwards some things you may get up to today include traditional floor making, beading, dancing, beer tasting and cooking. Today is a true opportunity to interact with the local villagers and learn of traditional Venda ways.

Day 7 Kruger National Park

Journey to Kruger National Park (approximately 8–9 hours). There will be an opportunity to stop at a shop or market for any camping supplies you or the group might need. One of the largest game reserves in Southern Africa, Kruger National Park is home to over 500 bird species, 100 species of reptile and 150 mammal species, including the Big Five and the endangered African wild dog. Your wildlife experience begins as soon as you enter the park. You will head straight into prime game viewing areas, spotting anything from antelopes and elands to cheetahs and rhinos.

Day 8 Kruger National Park

Rise early and have a light breakfast of coffee and rusks before embarking on a full-day game drive in the truck. Most of the day will be spent game viewing, bird watching and stopping at various waterholes and viewpoints. Depending on the season, you might catch sight of a saddle-billed stork with its distinct red beak, or the blue waxbill which is commonly found foraging for seeds in the scrub. In the afternoon when it's warm, take some time out to relax. Later on, there is an optional night drive with the park guide to spot nocturnal animals and perhaps even a night-time predator or two.

Day 9 Johannesburg

It's time to head to Johannesburg (approximately 9–10 hours). There’s plenty of time to stop and explore along the way. You will take in amazing vistas at the viewpoint over Blyde River Canyon and Bourke's Luck Potholes. This trip finishes on arrival in Johannesburg at the finishing point hotel.


Checking price
Price From $ 1,249
Price Per Day: $ 139 per day
Checking price
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Aug-14-2022Aug-22-2022$ 1,24916 spots left Reserve
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Jun-18-2023Jun-26-2023$ 1,73022 spots left Reserve
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Sep-17-2023Sep-25-2023$ 1,79522 spots left Reserve
Sep-24-2023Oct-02-2023$ 1,79522 spots left Reserve
Oct-01-2023Oct-09-2023$ 1,73022 spots left Reserve
Oct-08-2023Oct-16-2023$ 1,73022 spots left Reserve
Oct-15-2023Oct-23-2023$ 1,66022 spots left Reserve
Oct-22-2023Oct-30-2023$ 1,66022 spots left Reserve
Oct-29-2023Nov-06-2023$ 1,66022 spots left Reserve
Nov-05-2023Nov-13-2023$ 1,66022 spots left Reserve
Nov-12-2023Nov-20-2023$ 1,66022 spots left Reserve
Nov-19-2023Nov-27-2023$ 1,66022 spots left Reserve
Nov-26-2023Dec-04-2023$ 1,66022 spots left Reserve
Dec-03-2023Dec-11-2023$ 1,66022 spots left Reserve
Dec-10-2023Dec-18-2023$ 1,73022 spots left Reserve
Dec-17-2023Dec-25-2023$ 1,73022 spots left Reserve
Dec-24-2023Jan-01-2024$ 1,73022 spots left Reserve
Dec-31-2023Jan-08-2024$ 1,73022 spots left Reserve
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3,899 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 2,919
Great 646
Average 129
Disappointing 64
Terrible 141

Vic Falls to Kruger

There was an issue with the large

There was an issue with the large truck so we were therefore on a smaller truck. This was fine but nothing fitted. Everything felt squashed, including ourselves. Everything was tired, the truck, the tents, the mattress....
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In the second half of the itenerary

In the second half of the itenerary (Vic Falls to Joburg), there are 5 days with 1 only activity included. There are many days just in travel to reach Kruger Park. Also, the fact of the program does not includes any early morning neither night drive put the change of see all big five lower.
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Excellent trip! It was a very active

Excellent trip! It was a very active trip, constantly moving around and seeing new things! It's hard to adjust back to normal life! I highly recommend this to anyone wanting to see the real Africa!
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Reviews from previous and similar itineraries

Fantastic Trip in Southern Africa

We did this trip, Explore Southern Africa, from Aug 9 - 26 this year and we thought it was probably our most memorable trip ever. The variety of wildlife (we saw the big 5 plus giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, hippos, hyenas, wildebeests, impalas, baboons, ...) and our proximity to them that we experienced was unparalleled. The scenery was like nothing we had ever experienced before (our first time anywhere in Africa). Although it was winter time there when we went and many areas were looking very dry it was an experience not to be missed. Additionally we were made to feel welcome everywhere that we went. The highlights of the trip for us would be the two days to the Okavango Delta, the optional game drive through Chobe National Park and day 13 with our guide tracking rhinos in Matabos and going to the African village. Our tour leader, cook and drivers were excellent as were our co-travellers. The meals that were prepared for us tasted great, were well balanced and no one ever left hungry. The 2 person tent accommodations weren't the most luxurious but they allowed one to stay right in the "middle of the action" with the animals in close proximity to our overnight homes. This being the case, we never felt unsafe in our tents at any point. The overlander vehicle didn't have air conditioning, as is standard, however if you made sure to open windows for air circulation during the drive the heat wasn't so bad. If one is prepared to put up with these few inconveniences and willing to help out with camp set up, vehicle clean up, and meal clean up afterwards (this is a participatory type of trip where certain tasks are required of the travellers) it is an experience not to be missed. It all makes one more appreciative of the luxuries that we have at home that many do not have in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
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Tent design is a problem

The overall trip was satisfactory, at times excellent. We had no significant rain. On three nights there was however, some iight drizzle for a short time. The tent walls have inward sloping screens on their four sides. ANY precipitation is first detected when it drips down on occupants and gear. Then one rushes out, in the precip, to roll down exterior covers over the screens. In a sudden tropical downpour gear and occupants would be seriously wet before that could be accomplished. Nor could tents be successsfuly erected nor struck in a rain situation, Plus they are heavy canvas, maybe 30 pounds and awkward to erect. They have no fly to reflect the sun or re-direct rain. If you think this wouldn't be a problem, make your reservation. We couldn't recommend this o anyone except in the middle of the dry season.
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Company Reviews

Logistical nightmare and boring stories

Turkey Encompassed tour, 2022.
I rarely bother with writing bad reviews because I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. But this is one of the worst purchase experiences in my 40 year life, so I hope this information can be helpful to you and keep you from a regretful purchase.

For a little context, we had 5 people on this tour. Two in their late 20s, one in their 30s and two in their 40s. The tour-mates made the tour bearable, but the tour itself was a disaster.

Let me list the ways this tour not only fell below expectations, but ruined an otherwise wonderful stay in a country full of warm people.

1. Hotels are below grade. They booked us in $25 a night (for two) hotels that smell like cigarette smoke, when we paid $250 a night (for two) for this tour. There were 3 nights like this out of 14. We know because we checked prices on some of these hotel rooms. Yes we know that our rate includes the bus, the guide and some of the entrance fees. By the way the tour did not include food. Taking into account the company’s margins it should still leave at least $150 a night to book us a decent room. So instead of enjoying a good night’s sleep I was taking allergy pills and wearing masks to get through the night. This is not ok.

2. We did not have a tour leader. Most tours have a tour leader who manages the logistics and a local guide who walk you through the sites. This tour tries to save money by making one person do both. This means the logistics was a nightmare, and no one took care of the tour people. Let me elaborate.

3. Time estimates are all over the place. We stopped at Troy and he said we will be there for 45 min. He started telling us historical facts in a boring way for 30 min, then we finally took a walk together and we didn’t exit until 1.5 hours later, that’s 2x the predicted time. This happened again at Ephesus, with an estimate of 3 hours without no bathroom access, in the raw 40C heat with no shade, and then it became 4 hours with such conditions. Keep in mind that the guide has been to this site at least 100 times already. To be this far off is appalling. Lunch times are unpredictable, so one day it’s at noon and the next day it’s at 3pm. And there’s no warning, so luckily we did not have diabetics on the tour. We were only 5 in the group, and it’s already chaos. I can’t imagine if it’s 10 or 12 people. I’ve never seen a tour managed so poorly.

4. The guide did not care about the health of the group. I understand the the guide is not the tour doctor, but it’s really basic human decency to check in, especially as a leader. Every person had tummy problems once or more during the trip. And people will say so out loud too, and obviously looked unwell at meals. But he never asked about it, or checked in on anyone afterwards. For all the talk of “hospitality” in the Turkish culture, I am amazed at this lack of care.

5. The stories are boring, we Google’d the info instead. When you get only one local guide for two weeks and you get a great one, awesome. But if you get a bad one, prepared to be bored out of your mind. This guy had credentials. Graduated four years from guiding school in Turkey and 15 years of actual guiding experience. But man, the stories, if you can even call them that, are boring. Lists of dates and facts is not a story. A 2 min story takes 30 minutes to tell. You might as well watch a YouTube video instead and learn more. An interesting aside, when the tour started, we had a kick-off meeting at the hotel. The travel company’s branch manager was there along with the guide to observe the kick-off meeting. The manager told us this tour guide is “one of their best.” Oh my. If this is the best they have then you have no hope of getting a good tour guide with this company my friend. Stay away.

6. You get no information, logistically speaking. This is the kicker. We booked a tour so we didn’t have to research what’s around the corner. The point of a guide is to guide you. To give you heads-up about where we’re visiting, how long it’ll be, where the good picture spot is, on-site conditions so you can be prepared for rough terrain, heat etc. you get the idea. But no. Nothing. In fact, I had to ask every-single-day for even the basic itinerary the next day. There was one day in Cappadokia when the guide took us for a one hour walk near the rock formations. The “walk” turned out to be a real bush-wacking experience, scaling slippery gravel, dropping into dry river beds between small canyon rocks, and exposed to bare sun in 100F heat for the entire “walk”. I would at least call that a hike and tell people to put on hiking shoes. I actually had hiking shoes that stayed useless in my suitcase while I scaled the steep gravel in unsuitable footwear. Luckily nobody got hurt. But this tour is rated for any age, as in a 65 year old can join, and I don’t know what could’ve happened then. It was a one-way walk so there was no turning back either
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Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Overland vehicle,Open safari vehicle

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 22


Camping with facilities (6 nights),Homestay (2 nights)


You will be accompanied by 3 crew members - Group Leader, Cook and Driver. Your Group Leader’s role involves organizing the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics, coordinating the tipping kitty (where applicable) and will form work groups to take turns cooking, cleaning and shopping (from time to time your leader may drive as well). 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. The group leader will show the group how to set up and use the equipment. 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. Regardless of the country of origin, our Group Leaders are chosen for their leadership skills and are wonderful ambassadors for our company and our beautiful continent and its people. Your Cook is responsible for the cooking and will help to coordinate the work groups for preparing the meals and washing up! Cooks are also responsible for organising food shopping (they are always happy to have you on board) and most importantly, they make sure high hygiene standards are kept at all times while camping. 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. Everyone is expected participate and carry their share of the workload/duties, making camp chores easier. The duties rota system is adopted where all members share in general camp duties – cooking, shopping, washing up etc. If the whole group participates it will be quicker, easier, and more fun. We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and crew; 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

  • Holiday Inn Rosebank
  • The Zone Phase 2, 187 Oxford Rd
  • Johannesburg
  • Johannesburg
  • 2196

Trip ID#:


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