Vic Falls to Kruger
9 days with Intrepid Travel Rating:
Day 1 Victoria Falls
Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe and the mighty Victoria Falls. 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 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 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. At Hwange National Park, you will explore this stunning wildlife arena in an open 4x4 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. At tonight's camp, there is wi-fi as well as optional accommodation upgrades (subject to availability).
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 onto 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 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 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. Your campground tonight has shared facilities, wi-fi access and optional upgrades.
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 plant and trees, wild pear and paperbark among them, while discovering San paintings and intriguing rock formations of the park. After a cold lunch, venture to nearby African 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 km long (approximately 6–8 hours). Your destination today is Makushu – a small village in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Upon arrival to 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 day is the same, but you will be involved in traditional village activities, depending on what tasks are required on that day. Some things you may get up to today include traditional floor making, beading, dancing, beer making 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 eland to cheetahs and rhinos. Your campground, situated within the park itself, has shared facilities, hot and cold water, and optional upgrades.
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. No accommodation is provided for tonight, but this can be arranged when you book this trip. If you're wanting to catch an outgoing international flight, it's important to book it for 10 pm or later, to allow for delays that your group may encounter.
All This Included
This short but exciting trip combines three of southern Africa's most phenomenal sites: Hwange and Kruger national parks and the breathtaking Victoria Falls. Look out for the Big Five plus a host of other astounding wild animals. Spend 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 on this awesome week-long adventure through the south of Africa.
Camping with facilities (6 nights)
Homestay (2 nights)
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.