Last Minute Deal Intrepid | Explore Southern Africa

Discover Southern Africa's waterways, national parks and the wildlife that calls them home on this 18-day adventure. Canoe down the lush waterways of the Okavango Delta, watch hippos wallowing along the shores of the Chobe River, safari in the vast parks of Hwange, Kruger and Matobo and sleep under the stars in campsites, a bush camp on the Delta, and a village homestay. Join an adventure through southern Africa’s most beautiful landscapes in search of elephants, lions, rhinos, warthogs and leopards.

Themes

Overland

Wildlife

  • Highlights

    • Camping on a remote island in the heart of the Okavango wilderness is an experience you’ll never forget. As the sun sets and night falls, the sounds of Africa come alive.
    • Explore the magnificent Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, some of the largest salt flats in the world. These mind-bending plains make for some magical photography.
    • Immerse yourself in the ancient culture of the Venda people during a 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 probably the greenest.
    • Track rhinos on foot with an expert local guide in Matobo National Park and support local conservation efforts with a visit to Khama Rhino Sanctuary.
  • What's Included

    Meals

    16 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 11 Dinners

    Transport

    Overland vehicle , Open safari vehicle , Mokoro

    Accommodation

    Camping (with facilities) (14 nights), Bush camp (no facilities) (2 nights), Hotel (1 night), Homestay (1 night)

    Included Activities

    • Black Mambas HQ - Campfire Story Time
    • Black Mambas HQ - Dinner by Lantern Light
    • Black Mambas HQ - Snare Walk
    • Chobe National Park - River Cruise
    • Hwange - Painted Dog Conservation visit
    • Hwange National Park - Guided 4x4 Game Drive
    • Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Sunset Game Drive Open Vehicle
    • Kruger National Park - Full Day 4x4 Game Drive
    • Kruger National Park - Night Game Drive
    • Makushu Homestay - Beading, Cooking or Dancing
    • Matobo National Park - Rhino Tracking
    • Matobo National Park - San Rock Paintings
    • Nata - Makgadikgadi Salt Pans 4x4 Excursion
    • Okavango Delta - Brewery Tour
    • Okavango Delta - Mokoro safari
    • Okavango Delta - Mokoro safari
    • Okavango Delta - Sunrise Walk
    • Panorama Route - Bourke's Luck Potholes
    • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust Visit
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  • Itinerary

    Day - 1

    Location: Johannesburg - Sawubona – welcome to South Africa! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early, we recommend visiting the eye-opening Apartheid Museum to start your journey with some crucial history before meeting up with your group. After your important meeting this evening, why not head out for an optional group dinner and get to know your newfound travel companions? Your leader can point you in the right direction with bar and restaurant recommendations.

     

    Day - 2

    Location: Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Leaving South Africa behind, cross the border into Botswana and travel towards the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (approximately 8–10 hours). Situated on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, the Khama Rhino Sanctuary has drastically changed from a former hunting area to a conservation project. Built to protect Botswana's only remaining populations of both black and white rhinos, the sanctuary is also home to other wildlife including zebras, giraffes, leopards, ostriches and wildebeest, all of which can be seen grazing the many waterholes. Visiting this project benefits local communities and directly contributes to protecting the endangered white rhinoceros. Later on, head out on a dusk game drive to see the rhinos when they are most active.

     

    Day - 3

    Location: Maun - Jump aboard your vehicle and head to Maun (approximately 8–9 hours). Here there will be an opportunity to stock up on any supplies you might need for your adventure ahead. Maun is the gateway to one of the world's most complex ecosystems, the Okavango Delta. This place is unlike anything in the world – a 16,000 square kilometre maze of lush wetlands and waterways teeming with wildlife. You might see hippos, crocodiles, elephants and big cats, but it's the animals aren’t the only drawcard here – the waterscapes and shimmering horizons will have you gazing for days.

     

    Day - 4

    Location: Okavango Delta - Get right in the action today, jumping aboard a traditional mokoro – a dugout canoe steered by friendly local 'polers' – for an Okavango waterways experience. With some luck, you could spot some of the delta's unusual wildlife and exotic birdlife. Spend some time today exploring the maze of lagoons, lakes and streams on foot too, led by experienced local guides. Tonight, you’ll camp on a remote island right in the heart of the wilderness, falling asleep to the humming and buzzing of the African heartlands.

     

    Day - 5

    Location: Okavango Delta - Wake up early and head out on a sunrise walk. Along the way, keep watch for elephants, and if the timing is right, you might also come across some Cape buffalo! These noble-looking beasts are more dangerous than they look, and their horns double as a kind of bone shield that's fittingly known as a 'boss'. Returning to camp for breakfast, you’ve got the rest of the day to relax. A refreshing swim, or perhaps a nap, could be on the cards – both good ideas in the warmer part of the day. Alternatively, take another mokoro trip to soak up that serene river atmosphere.

     

    Day - 6

    Location: Maun - After taking down your camp, return to the ‘poler’ station by mokoro, before continuing on to Maun by vehicle (approximately 2–3 hours). Today we will visit a local brewery that produces beer containing millet grown by small-scale farmers, rewarding them for their efforts to coexist with elephants and promoting an inclusive economy. This initiative enhances the benefits of sustainable farming practices and ties them to the region’s wildlife economy. After touring the brewery, we'll stick around for dinner and an included beer tasting. Tonight, settle in at camp on the outskirts of town.

     

    Day - 7

    Location: Nata - Get up early and hit the road for Nata (approximately 6–7 hours). This small town is situated near the stunning Makgadikgadi Salt Pans which are some of the largest on earth, covering around 12,000 square kilometres. This afternoon, take the opportunity to explore the salt pans in an open vehicle. They are naturally dry and salty for a large part of the year, and during this time, the arid landscape has an eerie feel to it as the shimmering mirages disorientate the senses. At other times they take on a layer of grass and, as soon as the rains hit, become a refuge for migratory birds and animals.

     

    Day - 8

    Location: Chobe National Park - Hit the road to Chobe National Park (approximately 6–7 hours). Botswana's first national park is perhaps best known for its high concentration of elephants, which can often be seen swimming in the Chobe River. The river also attracts wallowing hippos, a variety of birdlife, crocodiles sunning themselves by the water's edge, and cheetahs and lions coming down to drink. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the Chobe – an ideal way to spend the afternoon and toast to another day in Africa.

     

    Day - 9

    Location: Victoria Falls - Why not wake up early and see Chobe National Park from a different perspective, booking yourself in on an optional morning game drive. Afterwards, travel on to Victoria Falls (approximately 2–3 hours), crossing the border into Zimbabwe just in time to have lunch on the banks of the Zambezi River. Then it's free time to experience the sights and sounds of the mighty falls. This thundering curtain of water is about 1.7 kilometres wide, falling 108 metres into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise an incredible 400 metres as the falls become a raging torrent. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and you can see the little islets in the river below.

     

    Day - 10

    Location: Victoria Falls - Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe and the mighty Victoria Falls. Your trip begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early, why not check out some of the optional activities around Victoria 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, the Zambezi Helicopter Company (CAA Zimbabwe) is the only operator Intrepid endorses.

     

    Day - 11

    Location: Hwange National Park - After a little time to explore in the morning, you’ll leave Victoria Falls behind and head to Hwange National Park 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. Hwange 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 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. Spend this afternoon exploring Hwange National Park and discover this stunning wildlife arena in an open 4WD vehicle with expert local guides. Keep your eyes out for wildlife and listen closely as your guides explain more about this area and the animals that call this place home.

     

    Day - 12

    Location: Matobo National Park - Leave Hwange in your dust as you make tracks for Matobo National Park this morning. 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 - 13

    Location: Matobo National Park - Matobo National Park has an incredibly diverse range of birdlife and wildlife, and is home to both Black and White rhino. This morning, you have a unique opportunity to track white rhinos on foot with the help of an expert local guide. There will also 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. You’ll gain a better understanding of the lives of these people when they were living in the hills, as well as meet with some of the local communities and personalities – including elderly chief Pondo, a character in his own right.

     

    Day - 14

    Location: Tshipise - This morning we leave Matobo National Park and Zimbabwe behind and cross a very busy border post, the only direct border crossing between Zimbabwe and South Africa. We should arrive at our camping site located on the edge of Honnet Nature Reserve in the late afternoon. Relax and enjoy the extensive facilities available including an indoor and outdoor pool, putt putt, nature trail, and optional Game Drives.

     

    Day - 15

    Location: Makushu Village - Make your way to Makushu – a small village in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Upon arrival in Makushu, you’ll be met by a local village guide, who will ensure you are well taken care of. You’ll 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. With no two days the same for local villagers, some things you may get up to include beading, dancing, beer tasting and cooking. This evening is a true opportunity to interact with the local villagers and learn of traditional Venda ways.

     

    Day - 16

    Location: Greater Kruger National Park - Black Mambas HQ - After breakfast today you’ll make the epic journey towards Greater Kruger National Park. Along the way, there will be an opportunity to stop at a shop or market for any camping supplies you or the group might need. Tonight you'll get the extraordinary opportunity to camp at the Black Mambas headquarters, located just outside of Kruger National Park. Supported by the Intrepid Foundation, the Black Mambas are the world's first all-female anti-poaching unit, made up of 36 young African women.​ Turning a traditionally male-dominated industry on its head, they’re putting their female prowess to work protecting the wildlife of Kruger National Park in an unconventional kind of way. You'll accompany them on a bush walk to discover how they find and destroy snares left by poachers. In the evening, enjoy dinner by lantern light then relax by the campfire and listen to the inspirational personal stories from The Black Mambas.

     

    Day - 17

    Location: Kruger National Park - Rise early and have a light breakfast of coffee before embarking on a full-day 4WD game drive in Kruger National Park. 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. Later on, head out on a night drive with local park guides to spot nocturnal animals and perhaps even a night-time predator or two. Night drives provide the opportunity to spot Kruger National Park’s secretive nocturnal creatures and watch their activities in their natural environment. This drive traditionally lasts between 2 and 3 hours and you can expect to see a vast selection of nocturnal animals such as nightjars, servals, African wild cats, springhares and owls.

     

    Day - 18

    Location: Johannesburg - It's time to head to Johannesburg. There’s plenty of time to stop and explore along the way. A notable stop – you’ll take in amazing vistas at the 3 Rondavals viewpoint over Blyde River Canyon and Bourke's Luck Potholes. This is a magnificent lookout where cloud cover is usually at a minimum. Your African safari adventure comes to an end once we arrive in Johannesburg this evening.

     

    Explore Southern Africa
*Terms and Conditions
Offer subject to availability at time of booking. Prices are per person share twin based on best available tour price, inclusive of all discounts unless otherwise stated. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations and are based on cash or cheque. Tour deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions may apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry.
HLO Ref# 14865
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