overview

For two weeks, you and your family will be in the capable hands of a highly experienced and trained private guide who will introduce you to some of the greatest natural wonders of Southern Africa. Ideal for adventurous travellers who enjoy walking safaris, your guide will also be able to tailor your experiences to your interests, be they Africa’s big cats or its dazzling collection of hundreds of bird species.

After gathering at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, you will fly to Maun in Botswana, the gateway to the immense and irreplaceable Okavango Delta. You spend four days exploring this mesmerising wetland before once again taking to the skies to land at another spectacular water wonder: the tumbling Victoria Falls. Spend three days exploring Africa’s Adventure Capital before winging your way to Zimbabwe, one of the continent’s best-kept safari secrets.

Zimbabwe has a temperate climate and interesting geographical diversity: your first stop is Hwange National Park, a classic grassland teeming with game and arguably the country’s flagship reserve. After three days of exceptional game viewing, you will end your 14-day holiday amid the massive granite boulders of Matabos National Park. Small but perfectly formed, Matabos has incredible ancient rock art in addition to what is thought to be the world’s greatest population of Verreaux’s black vultures.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Discover the Okavango Delta on a mokoro
  • Marvel at the Victoria Falls
  • Game drives & nature walks in Hwange & Matabos
  • Private guide accompanies you all the way
  • Can be tailored to specialist interests
  • Excellent birding

Day to Day Itinerary

Days 1-4

Settle into Little Vumbura in the Delta

There are just six tents at Little Vumbura, which is accessible by boat only. This waterside haven will be your home for three nights after you jet into Botswana from Johannesburg in South Africa. Your first flight will wing you from OR Tambo International Airport to Maun, from where you will catch a light aircraft to Vumbura’s airstrip.

Bordering the Moremi Game Reserve, Little Vumbura seems like a place where time has stood still: tiny marbled reed frogs warble at night, African wild dogs hunt during the day and sable antelope leap gracefully through the crystal-clear water. You and your private guide will explore this amazing environment by mokoro (a traditional dugout canoe that is poled along by a strong staffer, much like a gondolier steers a gondola in Venice), 4x4 game-drive vehicles and good, old-fashioned foot power on nature walks. Children can sign up to the Bush Buddy programme that will teach them all about life in the Delta through fun and educational lessons and expeditions undertaken by a trained member of staff.

In the mornings, enjoy your first cup of coffee on your private deck watching as the waters are tinged pink by the rising sun; in the evenings, revel in the totally private outdoor shower as the stars come out overhead.

Days 4-7

Off to Tongabezi Lodge at Victoria Falls

Bid goodbye to Botswana as you return to Maun for your short flight to Kasane, where you will be collected for the short drive across the border to Zambia. Your home in Zambia will be Tongabezi Lodge, which is set on the mighty Zambezi River upstream from Victoria Falls.

A secluded lodge with an award-winning honeymoon suite, Tongabezi allows you to be as active or relaxed as you like. Thrill-seekers can sign up for white-water rafting, bungee jumping or micro-light flights over the Falls while those preferring something a little more sedate can enjoy game drives in Mosi-au-Tunya National Park, birding expeditions and sunset river cruises. A highlight is a boat trip to Livingstone Island: the tiny isle where explorer Dr David Livingstone first set eyes on Victoria Falls. The island features the well-known Devil’s Pool, a bubbling, churning spot that is popular with brave swimmers!

Days 7-10

Life at The Hide in Hwange

Having got your fill of Victoria Falls, it is time for a change of gear as you return to authentic safari life. A small plane will transport you from Zambia to Zimbabwe, where your final destination is The Hide in Hwange National Park.

Considered the country’s top reserve, Hwange’s huge size allows for region’s second-largest population of elephants after Chobe National Park in Botswana. At least 30 000 pachyderms are thought to live here, as well as massive herds of African buffalo and thriving populations of predators, including smaller species like serval, bat-eared foxes and civet cats.

The Hide is named after the camp’s discreet viewing area that allows you unhindered sight of the game as they come down to drink at the waterhole. Keen photographers will probably want to spend hours here, getting that once-in-a-lifetime shot of a baby elephant splashing its siblings or a wary leopard crouching gracefully to slake her thirst.

Night game drives are always thrilling: your senses are heightened and every crack of a branch underfoot seems to promise the sighting of an elusive nocturnal animal. Your private guide will escort you for evening drives – pointing out everything from hooting owls to the constellations unique to the southern hemisphere.

Days 10-14

Winding down at Big Cave Camp in Matabos

There are thought to be thousands of ancient Khoisan rock art sites in Matabo National Park, a place of huge granite boulders and rocky outcrops that are perfect for little antelope like klipspringers (which pair up for life) and shy predators like leopards. Big Cave Camp sits atop one of these impressive boulders and has commanding views of this World Heritage Site.

After driving from The Hide, you will be able to freshen up before having three days to tackle the myriad activities on offer. There is a guided walk and possibly a visit to a Ndebele village, and a tour to see some of the fascinating rock art of Nswatugi Cave and colonialist Cecil John Rhodes’s grave at World’s View. The highlight will no doubt be an expedition to track rare and endangered rhino: these gentle giants may have very poor eyesight but they have such excellent hearing that they will probably know of your presence before you even see them.

As the name suggests Big Cave Camp is set amid the rocks and the swimming pool has been fashioned from the natural granite, while all the rooms are built from stone and thatch.

At the end of two weeks, it is time to wish Africa well and make your way home. Your last day sees your private guide driving you to Bulawayo for your onward flight back to OR Tambo International Airport in South Africa.

Inclusions

  • 3 Nights at Little Vumbura on a fully inclusive basis
  • 3 Nights at Tongabezi Lodge on a fully inclusive basis
  • 3 Nights at The Hide on a fully inclusive basis
  • 4 Nights at Big Cave Camp on a fully inclusive basis
  • Flight from Johannesburg to Maun
  • Flight from Bulawayo to Johannesburg
  • Private guide throughout the itinerary
  • Inter-camp flights and transfers as specified in the itinerary
  • Rock art and Rhodes grave historical tour at Big Cave Camp
  • Rhino tracking game drive at Big Cave Camp
  • Park fees

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Additional Tour Notes

Please note that Little Vumbura is closed from 16 November until 16 December 2016, as well as for the duration of January and March 2017.

Anja Naude

Anja Naude

Africa Safari Expert

"A fantastic all-round journey into Southern Africa highlights: Botswana with the Okavango Delta, Zambia with the Victoria Falls, Hwange in Zimbabwe for superb game viewing and the very rarely visited Matopos with it’s incredible rock art and rhino walks. What’s more is that this particular trip features a private guide who will make this a truly memorable and unforgettable experience. Ideal for small groups, families, a group of friends who want to enjoy not only theses amazing destinations, but also understand the value and knowledge a private guide will add to your African journey!"

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