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Vic Falls to Kruger

9 days with Intrepid Travel   Rating: Budget

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices 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.
Map
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.
  • Meals - 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Transport - Overland vehicle, Open safari vehicle
  • Hwange National Park - Open Safari Vehicle Game Drive
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust Visit
  • Hwange - Painted Dog Conservation visit
  • Matobo National Park - Rhino Tracking, Open Safari Vehicle Park Visit & San Rock Paintings
  • Makushu Homestay - Beading, Cooking or Dancing
  • Kruger National Park - Overland Vehicle Game drive
  • Panorama Route - God's Window Viewpoint
  • Panorama Route - Bourke's Luck Potholes
Highlights
  • Visit the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust and learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, human-wildlife conflict and their role in anti-poaching.
  • Pay the elephants and lions of Hwange National Park a visit from an open-air safari vehicle, stopping along the way for the perfect wildlife photographs.
  • Track rhinos on foot with an expert local guide in Matobo National Park – an exhilarating way to experience the wildlife of Zimbabwe.
  • Immerse yourself in the ancient culture of the Venda people at a two-night village homestay in South Africa's Limpopo province. Listen to stories of this community as you participate in meals, crafts and traditional activities.
  • Marvel at the unforgettable views of Blyde River Canyon. This spectacular gorge is up there with the world's largest, and is probably the greenest of the lot.
Accommodations
Camping with facilities (6 nights)
Homestay (2 nights)
Notes
  • Ages: Min 15
  • Group size: Min 1, Max 22
  • This is an overland trip. That means you’ll be travelling with a group in a purpose-built vehicle, visiting remote communities, setting up your own tent (unless you’re on an Original or Comfort style trip), occasionally roughing it in the bush with no facilities, and getting the best possible views of the ‘big five’. While the trucks don’t have air conditioning, they do have sliding windows which let in the breeze and make it even easier to take spectacular snaps of the local wildlife. The drive days can be long, but it’s as much about the journey as the destination, and half the fun is the camaraderie. 
  • Staying with the Hananwa people (Day 6) is a fantastic opportunity to experience the age-old culture of an African tribe – great for those with an open mind.
  • The African wild comes alive at sunrise, so there will be some early starts. The thrill of spotting your first lion or rhino will be well worth any loss of sleep!
  • As the early bird catches the worm, the early camper sights the animals. There will be many early starts either to make use of the better safari time or to beat the morning traffic on long travel days.
  • Some passengers on this trip will have been travelling together prior to the start of your trip. To see what you're missing out on check out our Explore Southern Africa trip.
  • A single supplement is available on this trip.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Intrepid Travel terms and conditions, please click here.

* 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.