22 day Southern Escape. Johannesburg to Botswana

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This Africa overland travel tour starts in Johannesburg, travels through South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana, and ends back in South Africa.

  • Pre-departure meeting: 17h00 the day before at the departure point
  • Departure point: Johannesburg, Backpackers Ritz, 1A North Road, Dunkeld West
  • Check-in: 08h45
  • Departure: 09h00
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Group size: Max 30 passengers
  • Safari vehicle: Overland truck

Day 1: Johannesburg to Hazyview, South Africa

On day 1 of your South Africa safari, head towards the Lowveld and the famous Kruger National Park, your base camp for the next 2 nights. Your camp is situated just 8 kilometres from the Numbi Gate of Kruger Park, and offers a refreshing swimming pool and hot showers. Spend the evening warming up around the camp fire, anticipating your morning game drive the following day. Lunch and dinner is included.

Day 2: Kruger National Park, South Africa

Today you explore the many wonders of the Kruger Park on game drives conducted by expert and knowledgeable guides. The Kruger Park is a wildlife sanctuary and home to an incredible 500 bird species, 114 reptiles, 49 fish species, 33 amphibians, 146 mammals and over 23 000 plants species. Tonight you will have the option of an exciting night drive, where you will witness the nocturnal world of the Park come alive. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.

Day 3: Hazyview to Graskop, South Africa

On day 3 of your South Africa safari, you bid farewell to the Kruger Park and leave the Lowveld, climbing the altitude to the beautiful town of Graskop. It is from here that you explore the beauty of Mpumalanga, regarded as having some of the best landscapes in South Africa. Your stops include the spectacular Blyde River Canyon and Gods Window.

You arrive at your camp for the evening and set up camp on the lush, green grass before enjoying the swimming pool with stunning views. For those in the mood to party, the Graskop nightlife is something to be enjoyed. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.

Day 4: Graskop to Messina, South Africa

Today is a long yet lovely drive as you head to Zimbabwe. This is your chance to relax, catch up on some reading, or just enjoy the spectacular scenery. You will spend your night in the charming town of Messina, said to be one of the hottest areas in South Africa. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.

Day 5: Messina to Masivingo, Zimbabwe

Today you leave South Africa and enter Zimbabwe, a country rich in tradition, culture and beauty. You travel to the town of Masivingo, which lies on the outskirts of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. The majestic setting and rich history of the area makes this one of the highlights of your African overland travel. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.

Day 6: Masivingo to Gweru, Zimbabwe

Once you have explored the area, your journey continues to Gweru, situated in the Zimbabwe Midlands. You will stop at the Antelope Park with a chance to partake in a truly memorable experience - Walking with Lions. In addition to the lions, the Park is also home to an abundance of other wildlife species, namely Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, and over 150 bird species. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.

Day 7: Gweru - Antelope Park, Zimbabwe

Your day is spent at leisure, participating in various activities to keep you entertained. Guests can enjoy Walking with Lion, Elephant riding, swimming on the Elephant, or fishing. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.

Day 8: Gweru to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe with a very laid back and relaxing atmosphere. This city is characterised by its exceptionally wide streets which were originally designed to allow space for full span ox wagon. There are quite a few interesting places to visit in Bulawayo, including the Natural History Museum, the National Arts Gallery and the Mzilikazi Arts and Crafts Centre. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.

Day 9: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Today you journey to the Matobo National Park, one of the last strongholds of Black and White Rhino. The region is also home to a large concentration of Leopard and Black Eagle. Here you can also explore the many caves and rock paintings, evidence of the ancient San inhabitants of the area. You spend time on game drives through the Park, gaining insight on the geography, ecology and history of the area. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.

Day 10: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Today you head north to the mighty Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world, and one of the most memorable sights of your Africa overland travel. Breakfast and lunch is included.

Days 11 & 12: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

You can partake in many activities available at the Victoria Falls, including flights taken over the Falls, Batoka Gorge and the islands. White water rafting in the Batoka Gorge is not to be missed, and, for the more adventurous, bungi jumping from the Zambezi Bridge is a thrill of a lifetime.

Other optional activities included day trips into the Zambezi National Park, horse riding safaris, a visit to the Crocodile Ranch, Snake Park, golf at Elephant Hills Hotel, parachuting, the Falls Craft Village, and a sunset cruise. Breakfast is included.

We suggest you allow yourself a few days after your safari if you wish to partake in some of the many activities. There is an office situated in the heart of Victoria Falls town and the friendly staff will be more than willing to help you arrange any activities you wish to do.

Day 13: Victoria Falls to Kasane, Botswana

This morning your Botswana safari departs the Victoria Falls after breakfast and crosses to border into Botswana. You set up camp for the night and prepare for your afternoon game drive in the Chobe National Park. Chobe prides itself on being one of Botswana's premier game parks, renowned for its large herds of Elephant around the Chobe River. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.

Day 14: Kasane to Maun, Botswana

Today you start early and travel in a southwesterly direction to Maun; your base camp before you start your optional excursion into the Okavango Delta. it is a long days drive with lunch along the roadside. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.

Day 15 & 16: Okavango Delta, Botswana

The Delta is a huge expanse of water, spreading out to form the largest inland delta in the world. The Delta is renowned for its magnificent variety of bird life, as well as many animals unique to Southern Africa.

You will have the opportunity to partake in the optional 3 day/2 night excursions into the Delta. For this excursion, you travel for approximately 1-2 hours north to the mokoro polers station. From here you board mokoros, the local dug out canoe which is poled by local guides through the winding waterways. Your guides select a place to set up camp, before your afternoon game walk, learning about the smaller aspects of the Delta. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.

On day 16 of your Botswana safari, you rest, relax, and participate in a number of activities including game walks, mokoro cruises, swimming, and even a chance to pole your own mokoro. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.

Day 17: Okavango Delta to Maun, Botswana

Today there is the final opportunity for a morning game walk before you pack up and head back to Maun. You arrive in the early afternoon where you will get a chance to experience the Delta like never before, o a scenic sunset flight over the Delta region. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.

Day 18: Maun to Francistown, Botswana

Today is a long drive to Francistown, originally a gold mining centre, today it is a retail and wholesale shopping mecca. Your tour stocks up on supplies for the next few days. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.

Day 19: Francistown to Polokwane, South Africa

After an early start, you cross the border to South Africa, driving through the North Province of the country, crossing the Highveld and Lowveld. You overnight at a campsite for the night before your journey to the Kruger National Park the following day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.

Day 20: Polokwane to Kruger National Park, South Africa

Today you head for the world renowned Kruger National Park once again, where you spend 2 nights. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.

Day 21: Kruger National Park, South Africa

You spend your day searching for that elusive animal you may have missed during your first visit to the park at the beginning of your tour. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.

Day 22: Hazyview to Johannesburg, South Africa

After enjoying a delicious breakfast, you journey to Johannesburg. You drive through beautiful scenery before reaching this bustling city, where you Africa overland travel will end.

Optional Excursions:

  • Night game drive in the Kruger National Park
  • Walking with Lions
  • Victoria Falls National Park
  • Scenic flight over the Okavango Delta
  • Okavango Delta with mokoros (3 days)

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