Vic Falls to Kruger
9 days with Intrepid Travel Rating:
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 opt for one, choose Zambezi Helicopter Company (CAA Zimbabwe), the only operator Intrepid endorses.
Day 2 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.
At Hwange National Park you will explore this stunning wildlife arena in an open 4X4 vehicle. 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. At tonight's camp there is WiFi as well as optional accommodation upgrades (subject to availability).
Day 3 Bulawayo
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 dogs towards extinction. Learn about how they 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 resturant 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 Matopos 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, WiFi access and optional upgrades.
Day 4 Matobos National Park/Bulawayo
Depart Bulawayo for Matobo Hills. 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 many 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. After a cold lunch venture to nearby African villages and meet some of the local community.
Day 5 Moremi Gorge
Get up early this morning and hit the road for our camp at Moremi Gorge (approximately 6-7 hours, depending on the border crossing). We will need to cross back into Botswana today due to the unreliability of the border crossing direct to South Africa. In the longer days of summer there is the opportunity to take a walk down to the gorge. The camp tonight is basic with limited hot water in winter.
Day 6 Blouberg
Depart early for Blouberg in South Africa's Limpopo province (approximately 6–7 hours). You should arrive in the late afternoon. Here at the base of a mountain, where there are no roads, you'll find the Hanawa people, a small village community, many of whom still lead an age-old way of life. Take a walk with your local guide, following paths along the base of the Blouberg Mountains and listening to stories of the tribe. You'll visit a Lutheran missionary village (Bochum) and be guest to some locals who will provide an evening meal – perhaps mazie and watermelon (Thopi), chicken-based stews (Malana) or a green vegetable called marogo. You can also sample their traditionally brewed beer. Note that vegetarians will have limited options – speak to your leader to arrange an alternative. There are optional upgrades at camp tonight.
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 supplies you 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, glimpsing 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 back 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 catching an outgoing international flight, it's important to book it for 10 pm or later, to allow for delays.
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 Botswana 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) (7 nights)
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
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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.