13 Days Botswana, Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls Delight from US$5,922.-pp

SUMMARY

Exciting itinerary offering safaris in both Botswana and Zimbabwes Hwange National Park. Areas visited in Botswana are deep in the Okavango Delta and Chobe River Front, which offer exquisite game viewing in the remote African bush. Break your safaris with gazing at the magnificent Victoria Falls just as David Livingstone once did. This trip is a gem offering traditional safaris in the heart of Africa.

HIGHLIGHTS
• Visit unique habitats in three of the best Big-Five game locations
• Private guided Tour of Victoria Falls and Authentic Dinner & Entertainment
• Experience 4×4 open vehicle, walking and night drive safaris, canoe and motorboat safaris
• Very small and intimate camps for a true authentic bush experience

BEST TIME TO GO
July – October high game concentrations around water sources, good visibility of game due to leafless woodlands, flood waters in Okavango make for good boating, cold nights and warm/dry days
June moderate climate
Jan – March and Dec; summer bird migrants are in breeding plumage, lots of babies, great light and green colors

 

ITINERARY MAP
Use the route map below to explore the destinations & accommodation on this custom journey

Accommodation Destination Nights Basis Room Type
City Lodge Hotel OR Tambo Airport Johannesburg 1 B&B Standard Room
Bomani Tented Lodge Hwange National Park 3 FI  Spurwing Tent
Batonka Guest Lodge Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe 2 B&B  Garden Room
Muchenje Safari Lodge Chobe River Front 3 FI  Double Room
Kadizora Camp Okavango Delta 3 FI  Standard Tent

Key
B&B: Bed and breakfast
FI: Fully inclusive

PRICE

Price per person, double occupancy

US$6,290.- Nov 2018

US$5,922- Jan through March 2019;

US$6,210.- April 2019

US$ 6,766.- May and June 2019
US$7,310.- July through Oct 2019
US$6,382.- Nov 2019

Included:

All activities, meals and accommodation as listed in the itinerary, Guided tour of Victoria Falls, Traditional Boma Dinner, safari sunset cruise, bush walking and vehicle safaris, mokoro rides,  village tour, transfers, park fees, intra Africa flights,

Excluded: Airport fees/taxes, visas, travel insurance,   Flight to and from the USA to Johannesburg. Premium drinks, optional tours

COMFORT LEVEL:

From comfort to luxury

FULL DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive in Johannesburg from your overseas flight and walk to the City Lodge OR Tambo Airport Hotel  for rest and relaxation.

South Africa

This vast country is undoubtedly one of the most culturally and geographically diverse places on earth. Fondly known by locals as the ‘Rainbow Nation’, South Africa has 11 official languages and its multicultural inhabitants are influenced by a fascinating mix of cultures. Discover the gourmet restaurants, impressive art scene, vibrant nightlife and beautiful beaches of Cape Town; enjoy a local braai (barbecue) in the Soweto township; browse the bustling Indian markets in Durban; or sample some of the world’s finest wines at the myriad wine estates dotting the Cape Winelands. Some historical attractions to explore include the Zululand battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg and Robben Island, just off the coast of Cape Town. Above all else, its remarkably untamed wilderness with its astonishing range of wildlife roaming freely across massive unfenced game reserves such as the world-famous Kruger National Park. With all of this variety on offer, it is little wonder that South Africa has fast become Africa’s most popular tourist destination.

 

Johannesburg

Johannesburg is one of Africa’s biggest and most vibrant cities. It is the economic capital of Africa and the gateway to Southern Africa. Although not as famous as other South African destinations, there is plenty to do in Johannesburg and nearby Pretoria. The old city is a multi-cultural mixture of traditional medicine shops, Chinese restaurants, taxi ranks and ultra modern skyscrapers. There are excellent museums, art galleries and organised tours of historical and political interest. The shopping is Southern Africa’s best and the many restaurants cater for all tastes. The nearby township of Soweto is Johannesburg’s most popular tourist attraction. Please check your itinerary for inclusions.

 

Overnight: City Lodge OR Tambo Airport

Based at Africas busiest airport, City Lodge Hotel at OR Tambo Airport will provide business and leisure travellers with home away from home accommodation that is ideal for those commuting to and from Johannesburg and perfect for those who require immediate access to the airport.

OR Tambo Airport offers a number of services from banking to a wide range of retailers, so whether its a good book or a scrumptious meal, the airports facilities have everything you need. The hotel boasts boardroom and conference facilities, a fitness room as well as a deck with a pool and a large commercial area with a coffee shop.

Day 2:           Bomani Tented Lodge, Hwange National Park

 

Zimbabwe

A nation of spectacular natural beauty, friendly people and rich culture, Zimbabwe’s status as one of Africa’s leading safari destinations was dampened for years by its political instability. But now that the country is transcending its strife and returning to a state of equilibrium, it is once again emerging as a vacation highlight of the continent. Victoria Falls – known to locals as ‘The Smoke That Thunders’ – is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the sheer power of this massive body of water plunging into the Zambezi Gorge is awe-inspiring and unforgettable. Lake Kariba, with its game-rich shores and islands, is an idyllic safari spot featuring mind-blowing sunsets; Hwange National Park is known for its huge herds of elephants; and a kayak trip down the Zambezi through the Mana Pools National Park will appeal to the intrepid traveller, providing close encounters with crocodiles, hippos and a host of other wildlife.

 

Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s biggest reserve, home to a profusion of wildlife, including giraffe, lion, zebra and approximately 40 000 elephants. It provides sanctuary for all the country’s endangered species, including a population of wild dogs thought to be among the most sizeable surviving groups on the continent. Terrain ranges from savannah lands to rocky outcrops, desert dunes and sparse forests, and visitors have the choice of game drives and guided walks as a means of experiencing the park and its creatures.

Overnight: Bomani Tented Lodge            View iBrochure

This comfortable and well-appointed lodge is nestled in a remote and untouched corner on the edge of Hwange National Park in our 5000 acre private reserve, and is famous for its impressive herds of elephant, not to mention many other spectacular species of wildlife.

Our main lodge is built on a spectacular viewing platform and overlooks Bomani Pan. You can enjoy your breakfast while watching zebra and wildebeest quietly graze or sip a sundowner as giraffe and elephant soak up the day’s final rays.

Of course the main pastime at Bomani is gameviewing, and whether you choose to go on a guided game walk in the lodge’s private concession or a game drive in the national Park, you will not be disappointed – these spectacular landscapes teem with a rich array of unique African wildlife and flora

Day Itinerary: Take a mid morning flight to Victoria Falls from where you will transfer to the Bomani Tented Lodge in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Hwange has always been renowned for its incredible diversity of wildlife, and to this day it boasts more varieties of mammal and bird species than any other Zimbabwean National Park. There are at least 100 species of mammals, including 19 large herbivores such as buffalo, eland, sable and wildebeest, and over 400 bird species. However, the area is particularly famous for its population of elephant, some 40,000 strong – combined with the elephants of northern Botswana this is the world’s largest contiguous elephant population. Your safari tent has a private en-suite bathroom, hot running water and electricity by diesel/solar generator and is raised 3 feet above the ground on a wooden deck and overlooking the Ngamo Plain.


Day 3 and 4: Bomani Tented Lodge, Hwange National Park 

Search for game by vehicle, on foot or on a night drive. Watch birds behind blinds or join the staff on all day “pump-run” when available to drop off fuel for the pumps keeping the waterholes filled. Meet the local villagers and kids during a visit to the school. At night be sure to listen for the roar of lions or the cackle of a hyena.

Activities

Game Drives

  • Traditional open safari vehicles driven by licensed experienced guides
  • Morning drives with tea, coffee and biscuits and afternoon drives with drinks and cooked snacks
  • Land Cruisers seat up to 9 guests and Land Rovers seat up to 7 guests

Game Walks

  • Conducted by a fully licensed and highly experienced professional guide
  • Usually undertaken in the mornings
  • Ideal for photography of big game on foot

Night Drives

  • Night drives within the lodge’s private concession to view the array of wildlife, particularly nocturnal creatures
  • Usually undertaken upon return from the afternoon activity or alternatively after supper, particularly when lion are heard calling nearby.

Game viewing blinds

  • For the hard core photographers we have game viewing blinds at some of our waterholes ideal for wildlife photography.

Pump runs

  • Imvelo Safari Lodges operate 8 waterholes for the wildlife in this region of the National Park, the furthest of which is 55 km away. A popular activity is to take an all day trip into the Park to visit the waterholes to drop off fuel and oil for the motors as well as rations

and supplies for the pump attendants

  • A picnic lunch is then enjoyed near one of the waterholes followed by a leisurely game drive back to lodge in the afternoon.

School tours and village visits

  • Fifteen minutes drive from the lodge our guests have the opportunity to enjoy a real life look at village life in rural Matabeleland. A fascinating experience of a variety of typical daily village activities is followed by a tour of one of the nearby schools conducted by the Headmaster where guests are given the opportunity to hear traditional songs sung by the children and enjoy a ‘class interaction’.

Day 5:           Batonka Guest Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

 

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Resting on the southern banks of the Zambezi river at the western end of the eponymous falls, this popular tourist town is compact enough to walk around and makes an ideal base for travellers exploring the seventh wonder of the world, the unfathomably vast Victoria Falls. About two thirds of the falls can be viewed from the Zimbabwean side and, while the falls are undoubtedly the star attraction, the area provides both adventure seekers and sightseers with plenty of opportunities to warrant a longer stay. Popular activities include scenic flights over the falls in helicopters or micro lights, bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge, white-water rafting (seasonal), and day trips to Chobe National Park. The town itself offers some excellent accommodation and restaurant options as well as an eclectic variety of African curios and authentic art sold by friendly Zimbabwean locals who are wonderfully welcoming and eager to help you enjoy your stay. Please check your itinerary for inclusions.

Overnight: Batonka Guest Lodge

Batonka Guest Lodge is situated in the quiet residential suburb of Victoria Falls within walking distance of the main attractions. Many rooms are available, all overlooking a beautiful garden. All rooms have a bathroom with en-suite and a balcony. Rooms have contemporary style décor encompassing Victoria Falls’ colonial past and African flavour. Communal facilities include indoor and outdoor dining, a bar, a comfortable lounge, and a swimming pool. Amenities include air conditioning, town shuttle, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

 

Day Itinerary: This morning transfer by road to Victoria Falls where the Bantoka Guest Lodge awaits you. Relax by the pool in the afternoon or venture to a local market.

Day 6:           Batonka Guest Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

 

Activities

Victoria Falls Guided Tour

Victoria Falls Guided Tour

A view of the Victoria Falls is something you will never forget and the best way to see them is on a guided tour. Discover how the Falls were formed and what local customs and traditions surround them. These tours are extremely informative and end with a visit to the local art and crafts centre.

The Boma Restaurant

The Boma – Dinner & Drum Show is a “must do” Victoria Falls dining and entertainment experience, specializing in traditional African food, drumming and dancing. The food is cooked and served in the style and quantity of a lavish feast, including irresistible desserts.

On arrival, you are dressed in a chitenge (traditional sarong) and welcomed into a vibrant atmosphere in which the tantalizing aromas of local dishes and game meat on the braai (barbecue) fill the restaurant, which is partially open to the star-filled African sky.

Your meal begins with a mouth-watering platter of starters whilst the buffet includes soup from the campfire, a range of salads, game meat cooked on a braai (barbecue), followed by desserts.  Vegetarian options are also available, as well as local dishes such as peanut butter spinach
.
You can also look forward to outstanding performances by traditional singers and dancers, and enjoy an energizing interactive drumming show. A face painter, storyteller, hair braider and fortune teller also form part of this festive evening.

Day Itinerary : Your day includes a tour of the magic Falls , “Mosi-oa-Tunya”, The Smoke that Thunders,. While Victoria Falls is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, it is classified as the largest, based on its width of 5,604 ft and height of 354 ft resulting in the world’s largest sheet of falling water (depending on season and rainfall). Victoria Falls is roughly twice the height of North America’s Niagara Falls and well over twice the width of its Horseshoe Falls. Then head over for dinner and entertainment at the famous “Boma” Restaurant.

Day 7:           Muchenje Safari Lodge, Chobe River Front

 

Botswana

Botswana is well known for having some of the best wilderness and wildlife areas on the African continent. With almost 40% of its land area devoted to national parks, reserves and wildlife management areas you can travel through many parts of the country has the feeling of moving through an immense Nature wonderland. The first – and most lasting impressions – will be of vast expanses of uninhabited wilderness stretching from horizon to horizon, the sensation of limitless space, astoundingly rich wildlife and bird viewing, night skies littered with stars and heavenly bodies of an unimaginable brilliance, and stunning sunsets of unearthly beauty. Experience here the stunning beauty of the world’s largest intact inland Delta – the Okavango; the unimaginable vastness of the world’s second largest game reserve – the Central Kalahari Game Reserve; the isolation and other-worldliness of the Makgadikgadi – uninhabited pans the size of Portugal; and the astoundingly prolific wildlife of the Chobe National Park. Botswana is the last stronghold for a number of endangered bird and mammal species, making your safari experience even more memorable, and at times you will feel simply surrounded by wild animals.

 

Chobe River Front

The Chobe River forms the northern boundary of the Chobe National Park, renowned for its diverse and abundant game viewing opportunities. This section of the park is best known for its dense concentration of wildlife including elephant and hippo populations, but the waters attract all manner of game including large herds of buffalo and the lions that prey on them. A visit to this area guarantees close encounters with an array of African wildlife. Visitors can look forward to some exciting activities such as: driving along the game-dotted river banks in a 4WD; cruising along the river in a motorboat, spotting rare birdlife and for a unique, luxury safari experience, hire a houseboat.

Overnight: Muchenje Safari Lodge           View iBrochure

Situated on the western edge of Chobe National park, Muchenje offers unique, prolific game experiences within this quieter region of the Chobe National Park. Muchenje Safari Lodge provides some of Botswana’s finest safari accommodation and combined with unparalleled safari experiences it is ideal for both discerning clientele and newcomers alike. Owner run, attention to detail is paramount with nothing being too much trouble at Muchenje Safari Lodge.

 

Day Itinerary: This morning head to Muchenje Safari Lodge which enjoys a unique position to the west of Botswana’s famed Chobe National Park. It sits on an escarpment with wonderful views of the Chobe River, and Namibia’s Caprivi Strip and seasonal flood plains. It is in a more quiet area tourist wise but rich in wild life.

Day 8 and 9:    Muchenje Safari Lodge, Chobe River Front

Day Itinerary:

Game Drives

Muchenje is a 5 minutes drive from the Ngoma Gate of the Chobe National Park.  Game Drives use this gate to enter and explore the Western side of the Chobe River.  The drives explore the river road and woodland areas that are adjacent to the river, which host a myriad of species.   The Chobe flood plains provide an important food source for thousands of animals during the winter (June – November) and witnessing this prolific wildlife is a safari goers dream!

Along with the immense diversity of species of plains game, is an impressive number of predators that also rely on this prolific game activity.  Game Drives along the Chobe are rarely uneventful, and during our winter months is a wildlife extravaganza!

Guided Walks

Even if you have witnessed a thousand elephants, there is nothing like seeing them on foot.  Morning walks within the Forest Reserve is wonderfully rewarding.  in the early mornings, before the African heat arrives, the guides explore the river frontage and open pans within easy reach of the lodge.

An opportunity to be totally aware of what is around you and the great African outdoors.

Night Drive

As we have to leave the Chobe National Park at sunset, we therefore offer fascinating drives after dinner each night.  Leaving the lodge at about 9pm the drives venture onto the river road in front of the lodge. Without fences between the park and forest reserve, there is the full array of species to find. But for the hour or so that the night drive is out, the smaller nocturnal animals are often enjoyed – such as porcupine, genet, civet etc.

Muchenje Village Visit

On a 3 night stay we are able to invite our guests to visit the local village of Muchenje.  Here they are introduced to Esther a local granny, who looks after her grandchildren at her homestead.  A wonderful opportunity to be introduced to the real heart of Botswana, the rural community that support this peaceful and beautiful country.  Esther like many women, look after the children, whilst her children work away from home.  Her humble home is an authentically Motswanan, where you are welcome to see what duties are being seen to on the day you visit.  Maybe the clay bricks for the new room are drying in the sun, or the older girls are doing the laundry.

The drive then stops off at the local Mabele Primary School (at break time) to visit the inaugural Pack for a Purpose project.  Supporting 160 children is a big job, but Muchenje has been proud of its association and important role that it has been dedicated to for the decades that we have been operational.

Full Day Excursion with Boat trip on Chobe and game drive

After breakfast the drive will leave from Muchenje and drive to the Jetty on the Eastern side of the park.  Our small private boat will depart at approximately 11.30 and spend 2,5 hours exploring the river.  The guides know where the elephants prefer to congregate, drink and cross to Sedudu island, so they are making their way to those areas, but on the way they will explore the banks, trees and pools to show the guests the other wonderful wildlife that frequent the Chobe River.  Once the boat finds a suitable crossing or drinking area, the boat rests and the guests enjoy a delicious picnic whilst witnessing the elephants gathering on the banks.  Watching these magnificent animals drinking as the boat gently drifts in the currents is something awe inspiring.

The activity returns to the vehicles later and enjoys a slow drive through the park along the river back to the quieter western banks.

Although the full day out is long and dusty, the guests have an amazing opportunity to break the usual safari cycle and get to enjoy a more holistic experience within this amazing region.

Day 10:        Kadizora Camp, Okavango Delta

Okavango Delta

Lying in the middle of the largest expanse of sand on earth the Okavango Delta is one of Africa’s most amazing, sensitive and complex environments supporting a spectacle of wilderness and wildlife. Unique as one of the world’s few inland deltas, the placid waters and lush indigenous forests offer a safe haven for innumerable bird and wildlife species. The Okavango Delta offers a number of activities for the visitor; game viewing, birding and fishing are all on offer. One can experience this magical world of islands and waterways from land, air and water. Highlights include the elusive Sitatunga antelope which has found refuge in this pristine wetland ecosystem, while birds such as the African fish eagle, Pel’s fishing owl and many others provide a spectacular display.

Overnight: Kadizora Camp            View iBrochure

The northern areas of the delta feature larger expanses of savannahs punctuated by lagoons and tributaries, and it is on the banks of one of these that a magnificent site has been selected for Kadizora Camp. Beneath a majestic stand of trees and along a peninsula, commanding uninterrupted panoramic vistas of the delta, the camp has been set out to afford each luxury tent absolute privacy.

Kadizora presents 9 luxury tents and 4 Standard Tents, each with generous living spaces, and surrounded by sophisticated furnishing, making time between exciting wildlife experiences comfortable and tranquil. In addition to open vehicle and walking safaris, mokoro excursions will provide the ideal position from which to explore the endless flow of rivers and tributaries, this tranquil experience permits close encounters with an abundance of bird and wildlife. The camp is reached after a short 40 minute flight from Maun, and Maun is connected to the major hubs in South Africa and Zimbabwe making access relatively seamless.

Day Itinerary: Return to Kasane where you will board a bush plane to fly into the Okavango Delta. Described as ‘the jewel of the Kalahari’, the Okavango Delta – a tranquil and isolated oasis set in the harsh and arid surroundings of Botswana’s bush and desert – is widely regarded as one of Africa’s best safari destinations, with its rich diversity of fauna and flora. The delta is one of the largest and most important inland wetlands of the world, with 2500 species of plants, 65 fish species, 20 large herbivores and their attendant predators, and more than 450 species of birds.
Settle in at Kadzora Camp beneath a majestic stand of trees and along a peninsula, commanding uninterrupted panoramic vistas of the delta.

Day 11 and 12:                   Kadizora Camp, Okavango Delta 

Day Itinerary: Enjoy early morning and late afternoon safaris whilst scanning the area from the camp over lunchtime. In addition to open vehicle and walking safaris, mokoro excursions will provide the ideal position from which to explore the endless flow of rivers and tributaries, this tranquil experience permits close encounters with an abundance of bird and wildlife. Hot Air Balloon flight is optional (extra charge).

Activities

Game Drives
Walking Safari
Canoe/Mokoro Boating


Day 13: After your last game drive, take a bush plane to Maun to connect to your flight to Johannesburg.

Note: Tour starts and ends at Johannesburg airport. Daily departures pending availability of lodges.  Sample itinerary that can be adjusted to your requirements.

Date Flight Departure Airport Time Arrival Airport Time Class Ref
Scheduled OR Tambo International Airport [JNB] Victoria Falls International Airport [VFA]
Scheduled Northern Botswana Kadizora Camp
Scheduled Kadizora Camp Maun Airport
Scheduled Maun Airport Johannesburg International Airport

E&OE

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