22 days

Best of Botswana and Zimbabwe

Best of Botswana and Zimbabwe

Khama Rhino Sanctuary

Khwai River's big game

Moremi Game Reserve's concentration of wildlife

Okavango Delta by 'mokoro'

Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

Chobe National Park's river

‘The smoke that thunders' - Victoria Falls

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Matobo Hills

Wildlife safari in Greater Kruger National Park

Hwange National Park - home to the second largest population of elephants in the world

Trip rating
  • If you're keen to see Africa's Big Five, but want to get off the well-trodden safari track then this new trip is perfect! Along with getting up close to giraffe, elephant and zebra, you'll discover Zimbabwe's colonial charm and rich history.

     

     

    Why we love it

    • Meet the locals, including zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, a variety of antelope, elephant, buffalo and hopefully the Big Five!
    • A two night excursion into the Okavango Delta where you’ll enjoy walking safaris and mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) excursions into the heart of the Delta.
    • A breathtaking sunset cruise on the mighty Chobe River
    • Staying at breathtaking Victoria Falls, where you’ll soon learn why the locals call it “The Smoke That Thunders”
    • Share an incredible feast of exotic local meats and traditional African entertainment at renowned Boma Restaurant in Victoria Falls.
    • Historic monuments and world heritage sites of Zimbabwe and South Africa.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Johannesburg

    • On arrival in Johannesburg you’ll be met at the Arrivals Information Desk (at the international terminal) and transferred to your hotel, where you’ll have the rest of the day to settle in and spend at your leisure.
    • Please note, this is just an arrival day, but your accommodation tonight is covered and has already been booked for you.

    Day 2 - Marakele National Park

    • This morning you’ll meet with your tour leader and fellow travellers for a pre-tour briefing about your journey into Botswana.
    • Our first stop en route to Botswana is Marakele National Park. From majestic mountains to deep valleys, Marakele is a magnificent example of South Africa's changing landscapes. Set in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains, it’s home to large game species including elephant, rhino and the graceful big cats. We'll enjoy a sunset game drive here.
    • Bird lovers take note: Marakele plays host to probably the world's largest colony of endangered Cape vultures, with more than 800 breeding pairs settled here. Close encounters with these enormous birds will leave you breathless.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 3-4 - Khama Rhino Sanctuary – Maun

    • Today we leave South Africa, crossing the Limpopo River to enter Botswana. We'll visit the 4300 hectare Khama Rhino Sanctuary at Serowe, which is run by the local community and provides prime habitat for white rhinos.
    • Trained rangers will take us on the early morning Rhino Trail, where we might also see the elusive leopard, several varieties of smaller cats and a host of bird species. We'll then continue to Maun, the safari capital of northern Botswana
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5-6 - Okavango Delta excursion

    • Today we begin one of the highlights of our trip with an early morning flight to our tented camp, situated deep in the Okavango Delta. For the next two days we'll go on game drives, walking safaris and mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) excursions to explore the tranquil waterways of the Delta.
    • There is a fair amount of animal movement throughout this area, so keep your eyes peeled for elephant, buffalo, the rare Cape hunting dog and the elusive sitatunga antelope. At the end of each adventurous day, we'll return to our comfy tented camp in Moremi Game Reserve, overlooking Chief's Island.
    • Please note that our crew will not accompany us on our 2 night excursion into the Delta, we will meet them again in Maun. Specialist lodge guides will conduct the wildlife activities in the Okavango Delta.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 7-8 - Nata – Makgadikgadi Pans

    • Today is a travelling day. We take a morning flight back to Maun where we’ll re-join our crew. From here, we'll drive to our lodge in Nata, which sits among the Mokolwane palms on the edge of the pans.
    • On day 8, we have no activities planned for the morning so you can use this time to read, write in diaries, chat with fellow travellers or catch up on sleep. Once we've recharged the batteries, we'll head out to the Makgadikgadi Pans for an afternoon excursion. This is one of the largest salt flats in the world, and is all that remains of the formerly enormous Lake Makgadikgadi. Before it dried up several thousand years ago the lake once covered an area larger than Switzerland.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 9-10 - Chobe National Park

    • Animal lovers rejoice. Chobe National Park is the place of your dreams, with everything from elephants, buffaloes, zebras, kudus, rare pukus, hippos, lions and leopards coming out to play. As Botswana's third largest reserve, Chobe is as famous for its wildlife as it is for spectacular sunsets and scenery.
    • Over two days, we enjoy morning and afternoon game drives, giving us another chance to spot some of Africa’s famed inhabitants including, if we’re lucky, the resident pack of African wild dogs. A breathtaking sunset cruise is ideal for spotting bird life such as saddle-billed storks, malachite kingfishers, fish eagles and beautiful bee-eaters as well as hippos, crocodiles and families of elephants drinking at the river’s edge.
    • Chobe is host to some of Africa’s most spectacular sunsets and a fitting end to our time in Botswana.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 11- 12 - Victoria Falls

    • Today we'll head to Victoria Falls, and at night we'll share an incredible dinner at the Boma Restaurant. The mouth-watering main course is a buffet of local meats, which may include warthog, buffalo, crocodile, impala and more. Throughout the meal we'll be entertained with local song and dance, where everyone is given an African drum and encouraged to join the party.
    • This afternoon we'll get the chance to see (and hear!) the spectacular Victoria Falls. Optional activities include canoeing, inflatable kayaking along the upper Zambezi, white-water rafting, morning and afternoon game drives or walks in the Zambezi National Park. Or you might choose to enjoy a jaw-dropping helicopter flight over the Falls and the Zambezi Gorges.
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 13 - 14 - Hwange National Park

    • This morning we make our way to Hwange, Zimbabwe’s premier wildlife sanctuary. Covering a huge 14,650 square kilometres, Hwange is home to large breeding herds of elephant, Cape buffalo and most antelope species, as well as the predators such as lions, cheetahs and the endangered African wild dog. Two days at Hwange gives us the opportunity to fully-explore the park in open safari vehicles. One of the unique features of the park is the waterholes dotted around the landscape where we’ll have the chance to climb the viewing platform and enjoy a drink and watch as families of elephants, giraffes and many species of antelope congregate around the waterhole to quench their thirst.
    • Our base in Hwange is a 22 -room lodge, set in a private conservancy that borders Hwange National Park. Wooden thatched tree houses overlooking the large waterhole. Its here that herds of elephant sometimes over 100 strong, come to drink.
    • Hwange is famous for its huge tuskers - big old bulls with magnificent tusks. You won't require a large tele-photo lens to get some incredible close-ups of the wildlife that frequents the pan! The lodge also features a central bar/lounge and an outdoor restaurant area overlooking the waterhole which is the perfect place for star-gazing and recounting stories of the African bush.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 15 -16 - Matobo National Park

    • The granite domes and castle kopjes of the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Matobo Hills are among the most majestic rock sceneries in the world. Here, amid the impressive boulders, lies an astounding collection of Bushmen art, with thousands of paintings still visible. Matobo is also rich in wildlife, particularly bird life, and is home to the world’s greatest concentration of nesting sites for black eagles. Rainbow lizards and rock daisies are common sights amid the jungle of boulders, whilst zebra and antelope graze at the foot of the hills.
    • The park is also well known for its white rhino and elusive black rhino population and we embark on an unforgettable safari on foot to get a closer look at these prehistoric-looking giants.
    • Whilst here we’ll learn of one of the greatest warriors of southern Africa - King Mzilikazi, chief of the Ndebele people, who split from King Shaka and led his people across the Limpopo and into Zimbabwe where he formed Matabeleland. We’ll also learn about the colonial history of the region, with a short hike along the trail to where Cecil John Rhodes is buried.
    • Set high on a hill in one of the park’s signature rocky outcrops, Rhodes' burial site is known as ''World's View'' - with spectacular sweeping views across the horizon. Our base at Matobo is a unique lodge, nestled amid the boulders of Matobo Hills, with only 9 individually thatched rooms. Meals are served in the open-air dining room, while a cosy library located amongst the tree tops guarantees peace and tranquillity. At the base of the camp is a large swimming pool with comfortable lounge chairs and a sun-downer bar offering panoramic views over a waterhole.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 17 - 18 - Masvingo

    • Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage was established in 1973 by ex game ranger Vivian Wilson and is home to orphaned, abandoned and sick wild animals. Wherever possible, rescued animals and birds are rehabilitated and returned to the wild.
    • The Great Zimbabwe ruins were once the capital of the Kingdom Zimbabwe built in the 11th century and acted like a royal palace. Its most prominent features were the walls which were constructed over five metres high and are mortarless.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 19 - Musina

    • This morning we will cross over the border into South Africa.
    • San rock art by local bushmen dating back as far as 800 to 950 AD. Archaeological evidence suggests that the inhabitants were part of a small chiefdom, with a pottery tradition known as Zhizo.
    • Mapungubwe is a world heritage site and yielded one of the most richest archaeolological discoveries in Africa.
    • Wildlife includes Elephant, giraffe, white rhino, eland, gemsbok and over 400 species of birdlife can be found including tropical boubous and kori bustard. Lion, leopard and hyena are generally spotted in the Mopane woodlands.
    • Accommodation in secluded chalet with its own view of the surrounding bush with a swimming pool and outdoor area.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 20 - 21 - Greater Kruger National Park

    • We arrive at Timbavati Game Reserve, part of Greater Kruger National Park.
    • Once we’ve settled into our accommodation, we’ll go on a late afternoon/early evening game drives and for our first chance to glimpse the local wildlife. We may even get lucky and see a glimpse of the infamous white lion. Enjoy dinners served under the stars around a blazing bon fire and lanterns in the boma.
    • This is a private camp and our overnight accommodation is in 8 comfortable chalets, complete with en suite facilities.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 22 - Johannesburg

    • This morning we will depart Hoedspruit and drive to Johannesburg where our tour ends (Saturday). You can be dropped at the airport on the way back into the city. Please don't book ongoing flights prior to 6pm .
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • An experienced, English-speaking local Peregrine lodge-based leader
    • Entrance fees and game activities including game drives and walking safaris
    • Quality accommodation including: a lodge on the banks of the Upper Zambezi River, Chobe Safari Lodge which borders the national park and one of just 16 spacious tents with en suite facilities set on raised decks in Moremi
    • Most meals including drinks at the Okavango Delta/Moremi lodges
    • Domestic flights - Maun to Moremi Crossing and Moremi Crossing back to Maun
    • Arrival transfer

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Airport departure taxes
    • Departure transfer
    • Visas
    • Meals unless specified in the itinerary
    • Insurance
    • Laundry - but there will be opportunity to do some hand-washing in the camps where we stay for two or more nights.
    • Optional tours or activities during free time
    • Tips - this is something to consider, and it might be worthwhile speaking to your group about making a group contribution at the end of the trip
  • Map Itinerary

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PFBZ
Group size 6 - 10
Start City: Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
End City: Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

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