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Essential African Safari tour
Hwange National Park Johannesburg Essential African Safari Trip

Essential African Safari

Intrepid Travel Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
95%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
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: $ 1,058 $ 118 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Pay the famous elephants and lions of Hwange National Park a visit from an open-air 4x4 vehicle
  • Take your safari game to the next level by tracking rhinos on foot with an expert local guide in Matabos National Park
  • What is the sound of a roaring lion if not a sweet soothing lullaby? You'll be camping right in the grounds of Kruger National Park (OMG), so you be the judge
  • Forget the Grand Canyon – Blyde River Canyon's is gigantic AND lush and green, pure photo-op gold

Short Description

Short and sweet, this trip combines three of southern Africa's most exciting places – Hwange and Kruger national parks and the jaw-dropping Victoria Falls. From South Africa's big modern capital to a traditional village in Botswana, you'll experience all kinds of communities, cultures and landscapes in just over a week. Oh, and did we mention animals? Rhino-tracking and 4x4 safaris in search of the Big Five will blow your mind.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type 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 N/A
Start City Victoria Falls
End City Johannesburg

Destinations

Zimbabwe South Africa

Attractions & Cities Visited

Hwange National Park Johannesburg Rhodes

Activities & Interests

N/A

N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1 Victoria Falls

Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for this, consider arriving a day early so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting. If you arrive early, 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. Scenic helicopter flights are incredible – if you choose to go for one, choose Zambezi Helicopter Company (CAA Zimbabwe), the only operator Intrepid endorses.

Day 2 Victoria Falls

In the evening take an optional sunset cruise down the Zambezi to get to know your new fellow travellers. Before that, enjoy a day of free time to take up one of many optional activities. There are many ways to take in the thundering sight and sound of the falls. This staggering curtain of water is about a mile wide, falling 108 metres into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray rises high and the falls become a torrent; in the dry season, the lack of spray gives way to a nice view of the little islets in the river below.

Day 3 Hwange National Park

Leave Vic Falls behind and head to Hwange National Park (approximately 5 hours, depending on traffic) 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. Then explore the stunning wildlife arena of Hwange in an open 4X4 vehicle. This National Park 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 massive selection of wildlife, with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species. But it's the elephants this place is famous for – here you'll find one of the largest elephant populations in Africa. At tonight's camp there is wi-fi as well as optional accommodation upgrades (subject to availability).

Day 4 Bulawayo / Matobos National Park

Make tracks for Matobos with a short detour through Bulawayo, checking out its cool colonial buildings, before heading to your camp for the next two nights. Home to a large population of black and white rhinoceros 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 Matobos 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. Your campground tonight has shared facilities, wi-fi access and optional upgrades.

Day 5 Matobos National Park

Today's optional activity will be something to write home about. Head to Matobo Hills and spend the morning tracking rhinos and other game animals with the help of your guide. Along the way learn about the flora in the area. After a cold lunch head to another region of the park to find old bushman paintings, see rock formations and learn some history of the area. Then it's off to nearby African villages to meet some of the local community. 

Day 6 Mapungubwe National Park

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 km long (approximately 6–8 hours). Your destination today is the Mapungubwe National Park in South Africa. This park is set hard against the northern border of South Africa, joining Zimbabwe and Bostwana. See the open, expansive savannah landscape where the Limpopo and Shashe rivers meet. Maybe sip a sundowner by the river, or visit Mpungubwe Hill and Interpretation Centre to learn about an interesting 13th-century civilisation that flourished here.

Day 7 Kruger National Park

After breakfast, set off for Kruger National Park, a world-famous national park known for the Big Five game of Africa – lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino. On top of that, it's home to some 336 kinds of trees, 49 fish species and over 500 species of bird. See how many of these you can spot on a game drive (in the group's own vehicle). Continue from your safari to your overnight camp, where there's the option of a further game drive – this time after dark.

Day 8 Kruger National Park

Wake up early for a light breakfast of coffee and rusks before embarking on a full-day game drive in the truck. Today is another full day in Kruger Park – you'll spend the day in the group vehicle, heading down to the central part of the park, for a last overnight stop. Stop at some of the designated picnic spots for a bite to eat en route to camp. Depending on the season, you might catch a saddle-billed stork with its colourful red beak, or maybe a blue waxbill. In the afternoon when it's warm, take some time out to chill out. This evening again there will be an optional night drive with the park guide.

Day 9 Johannesburg

Venture out for one last safari adventure this morning. Continue back to Johannesburg (approximately 9–10 hours). En route you will stop at the stunning Bourke's Luck Potholes and God's Window. This trip finishes on arrival in Johannesburg at the finishing point hotel.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 1,058
Price Per Day: $ 118 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Jun-27-2021Jul-05-2021$ 1,058No22 spots left Reserve
Jul-11-2021Jul-19-2021$ 1,058No22 spots left Reserve
Jul-25-2021Aug-02-2021$ 1,058No22 spots left Reserve
Aug-08-2021Aug-16-2021$ 1,058No22 spots left Reserve
Aug-22-2021Aug-30-2021$ 1,058No22 spots left Reserve
Sep-12-2021Sep-20-2021$ 1,058No22 spots left Reserve
Oct-10-2021Oct-18-2021$ 1,058No22 spots left Reserve
Oct-24-2021Nov-01-2021$ 1,058No22 spots left Reserve
Nov-14-2021Nov-22-2021$ 1,058No22 spots left Reserve
Nov-28-2021Dec-06-2021$ 1,058No22 spots left Reserve
Dec-12-2021Dec-20-2021$ 1,058No22 spots left Reserve
Dec-26-2021Jan-03-2022$ 1,058No22 spots left Reserve
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3,787 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

95%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 2,828
Great 651
Average 126
Disappointing 62
Terrible 120
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

Essential African Safari

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Company Reviews

Highly recommend

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Excellent Tour - spectacular walks and scenery. Well organised and great stay in St Helens - wonderful town! Highly recommend.

This trip allows you to get into the heart of Vietnam

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This trip allows you to get into the heart of Vietnam.. off the beaten track. Life is better by bike

Fantastic trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Fantastic trip. Excellent, guide, support crew and scenery. Itinerary well put together. Pace was well managed by the team to accommodate every ability, and stops frequent for tasty refreshments and rehydration.
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Vietnam is incredibly beautiful with a rich culture

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Vietnam is incredibly beautiful with a rich culture. Exploring it by bike was incredibly fun (and somewhat scary at first) as someone that usually stays away from group tours this was a great experience and I'm really glad I did it! I booked 1.5 weeks out and went with the ebike option as I hadn't properly cycled before and didn't have time to build fitness, by the end of the trip I was doing the 60kms with the normal bike and it was well worth it (so don't rule yourself out if your not a cyclist!)
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The trip was more than we had hoped for

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The trip was more than we had hoped for. The guide was exceptional in his knowledge and engagement of the group. Having the opportunity to see Vietnam on a bicycle was an experience I would recommend to anyone. We were able to experience the local culture and local cuisine whilst soaking up some of the most spectacular views of both the rural areas and villages. The Intrepid team ensured we were well hydrated and cared for at all times with excellent cycling equipment that was well maintained and comfortable and clean accommodation. This allowed us to simply focus on enjoying the experience. The support team were caring, funny and motivating on the long hot rides, this made the experience exceptionally enjoyable. You don't need to be an elite rider to do this trip and the support always ensured we were safe at all times. I would definitely recommend this trip to my friend and will use Intrepid again.
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We really enjoyed cycling in the High Country

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We really enjoyed cycling in the High Country. Our leader Meghan was fun, well informed and a natural organiser. Beechworth to Bright is a safe and stunning trail especially in Autumn when the leaves are spectacular colours. There is NO shortage of culinary delights and wineries and cycling off the calories results in feeling less guilty of the indulgence.
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Details

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 16

Accomodations

Camping (with facilities) (7 nights),Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)

Guides

On this trip you will be accompanied by 2 crew members, a Group Leader and a Driver. (Depending on your group size – from time to time your leader will also be your driver) Your Group Leader’s role involves organizing the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics and will form work groups to take turns cooking, cleaning and shopping. Your Group Leader will work towards making the trip as safe and enjoyable as possible for all travellers. Our 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. 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. Everyone is expected to participate and carry their share of the workload, making camp chores easier. If the whole group participates it will be quicker, easier, and more fun. 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.

Additional Information

Finish point

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

Trip ID#:

intrepid-YBYV

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