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Game Parks of Southern Africa

8 days with Intrepid Travel   Rating: Budget

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Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Victoria Falls
Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls, known traditionally as Mosi-oa-Tunya or the Smoke that Thunders. On arrival in Victoria Falls, you will be met by an Intrepid representative and transferred to your hotel. Your adventure begins at 6 pm with a welcome meeting at the hotel but you're free to arrive at any time today. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place.

If you arrive early we recommend checking out this incredible natural wonder from the Zimbabwe. Alternatively, visit the Wild Horizons activity centre to book an optional activity. Please note that we have not risk assessed all activities on offer and can only recommend, and help book, those listed in our itinerary. Another memorable option is to book a scenic helicopter flight over the falls, but if you do opt for one, choose Zambezi Helicopter company (CAA Zimbabwe), the only operator Intrepid endorses.

Day 2 Hwange National Park
Depart Victoria Falls and hit the road to Hwange National Park (approximately 5 hours drive) 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.

In the afternoon enjoy a game drive within the Hwange National Park. Your vehicle of choice here is an open 4x4 vehicle that'll have you feeling like you're part of the action. Hwange, the largest park in Zimbabwe, was designated as a national park in 1929 after acting as the royal hunting grounds of the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19th century. The park is particularly famous for its elephants and is home to one of the largest populations in the world, as well as a huge variety of wildlife including over 100 mammals and nearly 400 bird species.

Day 3 Matobo National Park
Leave Hwange in your dust as you make tracks for Matobo National Park. 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 resturant for lunch. Continue on to Matobo where you'll spend the next two nights. This area has great significance, both culturally and spiritually, to the local people and the rocks balanced in Matobo Hills are thought to be the seats of god and ancestral spirits. The park is home to the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, founder of Rhodesia and the De Beers diamond company, and is especially known for its rhino population.

Day 4 Matobo National Park
Today you'll enjoy an unforgettable day tracking rhinos on foot with your local guides. You'll learn about the local plants and trees and their traditional uses, and there'll also be plenty of chances to spot wildlife other than rhinos. The park is home to leopards, hippos, antelope and more, and you'll also learn about the San people who have called this area home for thousands of years. Visit their rock paintings in the hills and spend some time in the nearby villages to meet some of the local community before returning to your lodge for the evening.

Day 5 Johannesburg
This morning the group will transfer to Bulwayo Airport and fly to Johannesburg. The afternoon Johannesburg walking tour is a great way to get under the skin of this changing city. With the help of a local guide this tour side skips the usual spots and embraces art, architecture, culture and history of Maboneng Cultural Precinct & Main Street. Afterwards your leader will be happy to show the best place to purchase a local dinner and craft beer.

Day 6 Kruger National Park
Wake early and drive to your lodge located in the Greater Kruger National Park. Arrive in time for lunch, setttle in, then head off for a late afternoon game drive through a private reserve. You'll be in open 4WD vehicles once again and searching for the Big Five: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo. Enjoy a couple of sunset drinks by one of the waterholes then the game drive will continue into the night. Dinner will be a traditional meal around a fire at the lodge, and the evening is free for you to enjoy a book, chat with your fellow travellers or take a dip in the lodge's swimming pool.

Day 7 Kruger National Park
Start the day early and head into Kruger National Park itself, one of the largest game reserves in Southern Africa. Here are some stats: over 500 bird species, 100 species of reptile and 150 mammal species including, of course, the Big Five. Your wildlife experience begins as soon as you enter the park as you're taken into prime viewing areas. Enjoy a picnic breakfast before spending the rest of the day in this incredible park, with time spent watching game, birds and stopping at various waterholes as you go. The group will leave the park in the late afternoon and return to the lodge for another relaxed evening.

Day 8 Johannesburg
Another early start will see the group heading out on a bush walk within the property. You'll learn about this region's finer details, including bird, tree and spoor identification from a qualified nature guide. Afterwards, transfer back to Johannesburg. It's a long drive (approx. 9-10 hours) but will be broken up with a visit to the spectacular God's Window viewpoint & Bourke's Luck Potholes. On arrival in Johannesburg your adventure will finish.
Map
All This Included
Explore the epic game parks of Southern Africa, but not before taking in the magnitude of wondrous Victoria Falls. Spend time in Hwange National Park, known for its elephant population, then travel to Matobo to track rhinos and learn about the San people and, finally, visit famous Kruger National Park in search of the Big Five.
  • Meals - 7 breakfasts, 4 dinners
  • Transport - Open Safari Vehicle, Private vehicle, Plane
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer (shared)
  • 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
  • Johannesburg - City Walking Tour
  • Private Game Reserve - Open Safari Vehicle Game Drive
  • Kruger National Park - Open Safari Vehicle Game Drive
  • Kruger Lodge Reserve - Morning Nature Walk
  • Panorama Route - God's Window Viewpoint
  • Panorama Route - Bourke's Luck Potholes
Highlights
  • Visit the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust to learn about the rehabilitation of wildlife from conflict and poaching and have the possibility of meeting some rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care.
  • Check out the large elephant populations of Hwange National Park on a 4WD game drive. Hwange also boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals.
  • Track rhinos on foot with an expert local guide in Matobos National Park – an exhilarating way to experience the wildlife of Zimbabwe - then witness ancient rock paintings and learn about the San people.
  • Experience Kruger with game drives in open-top 4x4 vehicles in both private game reserves and Kruger National Park.
  • Stay in comfortable lodges and hotels for the duration of the journey.
Accommodations
Hotel (2 nights)
Lodge (5 nights)
Notes
  • Ages: Min 15
  • Group size: Min 1, Max 12
  • 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.
  • 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.