Start and Finish Points: Johannesburg, South Africa to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Countries visted: South Africa and Zimbabwe
Departure Point: Mufasa Backpackers, 21 Fourth Road, Cloverdene, Benoni
Check-in time: 07.00 am
Departure time: 07.30 am
Pre-Departure Meeting: 5.00 pm the day before at the departure point
The tour departs from Johannesburg early on a Wednesday morning. Anyone wishing to Johannesburg before the tour commences should contact Amanzi Travel who will be able to advise on accommodation and activities, which will be at an additional cost.
Kruger National Park; Blyde River Canyon, Great Zimbabwe Ruins, Matobo National Prk, Hwange National Park and Entrance to Victoria Falls.
With nine different provinces, eleven official languages and three capital cities, South Africa will most definitely make everyone stop in their tracks - WOW!
Day 1: Johannesburg to Nkambeni Camp (Lunch/Dinner)
Leaving Johannesburg early in the morning the group will head towards the Lowveld and the camp situated within the border of the famous Kruger National Park, passing through the southern section of the picturesque Panorama Route on the way - famous for its breathtaking vistas. The camp for the next two nights in a short drive from the Kruger Park Gate and has some interesting local residents including hippo, giraffe, zebra and impala.
Included Activity: Kruger National Park Night Game Drive
Day 2: Nkambeni Camp (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
To-day the amazing Kruger National Park will be explored. Covering 19,485 metres squared - 60 km wide and over 350 km long, this conservation area has more than 146 mammal, 500 bird, 114 reptile, 33 amphibian and 49 fish species. Over 23,000 different types of plants have been recorded. The day will be spent driving around the park keeping an eye out for these. There is the option of doing a night drive looking for a few of the nocturnal inhabitants or upgrading to a small vehicle for the game drive at an additional cost.
Included Activity: Game Drives
Day 3: Nkambeni Camp to Polokwane (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
To-day the tour will leave the Lowveld and head on the long, scenic drive to Pololwane, along the way stopping off at some of the best scenery in South Africa including the striking Blyde River Canyon and God's Window. The many viewpoints of the Canyon give excellent photo opportunities. Polokwane, capital of Limpopo, is the largest metropolitan complex in the north and a major economic centre. Its proximity to the neighbouring countries of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland, as well as its convenient distance from the Kruger National Park and Magoebaskloof make it a perfect getaway and good destination in itself. Tents will be set up on the lush green grass of the campsite which is located outside of the city, before enjoying a dip in the lovely swimming pool.
Included Activity: Blyde River Canyon
Day 4: Polokwane to Musina (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
After a quick replenishing of stocks the journey north toward Zimbabwe will commence. There will be a long, relaxing drive where everyone can sit back and enjoy the ever-changing scenery. Tonight's camp will be near to one of the hottest towns in South Africa, Musina, at the hot water spring resort - Tshipise. Situated between the rolling hills, the resort is well known for its natural hot springs. Once camp has been set up everyone will be free to enjoy the pools, walking trails or various other activities on offer here.
Day 5: Musina to Masvingo (Zimbabwe) (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
To-day the tour will enter Zimbabwe - a beautiful country rich in soul, culture and tradition - and will make its way to the town of Masvingo on the outskirts of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. This was the greatest medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa, built by an ancient and highly skilled civilisation. The name Zimbabwe is derived from this ancient city and means "great stone houses" in Shona. The most notable artefacts found at the ruins were the eight statues of stone birds carved out of soapstone. There will be time to wander around these amazing ruins before setting up camp at the foot of the hills.
Day 6: Masvingo to Bulawayo (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Leaving Masvingo the tour will head to Bulawayo - Zimbabwe's second largest city. This city is noted for its exceptionally wide streets which were originally designed to accommodate a full span ox wagon. The city still retains much of its British Colonial character, evident from the many buildings maintained as heritage sites by the Bulawayo City Council. Interesting places to visit are the National History, the National Arts Gallery and the Mzilikazi Arts and Crafts Centre, which employs more than 70 people.
Day 7: Bulawayo (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
To-day the group will visit Matobo National Park, one of the last strongholds of both the black and the white rhino. This park is also well known for its high concentration of the elusive leopard and majestic black eagle. Rock paintings are to be found too, providing evidence of the ancient San inhabitants of this area. Cecil John Rhodes (after whom Rhodesia was named) asked to be buried at the top of one of the sacred hills (although there is some controversy over whether he will stay!) The day will be spent exploring this unique geological, ecological and historic area.
Included: Visit to Matobo National Park
Day 8: Bulawayo to Hwange National Park (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
The tour continues north-west to Zimbabwe's oldest and largest reserve - the Hwange Nationa Park, well known for its abundance and variety of wildlife species including thousands of elephants and rare antelope species such as the Sable and Roan Antelope. A game drive will be enjoyed (either late afternoon or early morning) to explore the wilderness in search of these and other resident wildlife species.
Day 9: Hwange National Park
To-day there will be a full day in the Hwange area, and partake of a game drive through Hwange National Park in the hope of spotting as many wild animals as possible.
Included: Game Drive through Hwange National Park
Day 10: Hwange to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) (Breakfast/Lunch)
Leaving Hwange the tour will head towards Victoria Falls. Named after the famous World Heritage Site and Water Falls, the town of Victoria Falls is situated on the Zambezi River and surrounded by the Victoria Falls National Park. The campsite is conveniently situated in the centre of the town and within walking distance of the adventure booking agents, restaurants and shops.
A 20 minute walk down the main road leads to the entry point to view the Falls which lie between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) was named by David Livingstone on his exploration and is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. At 1700 m wide and around 100 m high this is the world's largest sheet of falling water and a memorable sight on any African Safari. After the adventure activities briefing (see price guide under "Extra Information") the afternoon can be spent relaxing at the campsite's swimming pool, viewing the Victoria Falls or exploring the many sights and delights of the town.
Day 11: Victoria Falls (Breakfast)
After breakfast addresses will be exchanged and everyone will go on their way having just experienced the trip of a lifetime! Anyone wishing to stay for a few days to take advantage of the optional activities available at Victoria Falls should contact Amanzi Travel who will be able to suggest accommodation options and things to do.
Included Activity: Entrance to Victoria Falls
Optional Activities: Adrenalin junkies can bungee from the Victoria Falls Bridge that connects Zimbabwe and Zambia, or abseil down the Batoka Gorge - neither activity is for the faint hearted. All year round flights in fixed wing, microlight and ulralight aircraft or helicopters provide an aerial perspective over this magnificant World Heritage Site. White water rafting on the Zambezi is world class. Besige the excitement of the Grade 5 rapids, there are the "floats" where there is time to admire the scenic cliffs and the occasional wildlife on the riverbanks.
Please Note: This itinerary should be used as a guide only and may vary from day to day depending on road and weather conditions, political situations and group decisions. All prices and local payments are subject to change. Due to Tourism Laws in some of the countries visited there may be a truck and crew change during the trip.
Botswana - Book Your Experience of a Lifetime
Why visit Botswana?
Botswana is a land of dramatic contrasts, from the crystal clear waters of the Okavango Delta, to the large elephant herds in the Chobe National Park, the abundant birdlife in Moremi Game Reserve and the vast savannah of the Kalahari desert, which covers over 70% of the country. It is no wonder that Botswana has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Surrounded by the sands of the Kalahari Desert is the magical oasis of the Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland delta, formed by ancient seismic shifting of the earth's surface. Wide grassy floodplains are host to a magnificent array of wild animals. Within this lacework of channels, game viewing and bird watching is frequently guided from mokoro (dugout canoes) or more commonly, environmentally-friendly fibreglass replicas. In these slender flat-bottomed craft, visitors are propelled by expert polers.
Chobe National Park, approximately 62 miles due west of Victoria Falls, is abundant with wildlife all year round, and features the beautiful Chobe River on its northern boundary. Throughout the area numerous clay-bottomed pans hold water during the short rainy season. During the rainy season, from November, one can witness the zebra migration from the north-western area of Linyanti heading south through the Savute plains to the salt pans around Makgadikgadi, where the foals are born. The herds then return to Linyanti between February and April.
The Kalahari Game Reserve is one of the most remote and unspoiled parts of Africa. At certain times of the year, usually during the summer rains, the northern section of the Park is one of the prime game viewing areas of Botswana, not to mention the breathtaking landscapes that await discovery.
Highlights of Botswana
- Seventeen percent of Botswana is comprised of pristine national reserves, featuring some of Africa's most beautiful subtropical wilderness, generally teeming with wildlife.
- A land of awesome contrasts - from the vast plains of the Kalahari Desert to the crystal clear waters of the world's largest inland delta, the Okavango Delta.
- Game viewing by mokoro (dugout canoe) in the Delta is unforgettable.
- Sunshine totals are high all year round, although winter is still the sunniest period.
- Chobe National Park is home to the mighty Chobe River and what is arguably the world's largest concentration of elephants.
- View Botswana’s annual zebra migration in the Linyanti and Savute areas.
- Moremi Game Reserve is renowned for its superb birdlife.
- The game-filled Central Kalahari Game Reserve, at 54,600 km2, is Botswana's largest reserve.
|Seasons ||Max ||Min
|Summer/wet (October -April)
|Winter/dry ( May - September)
|Rainfall: November - March
Botswana is semi-arid, due to the short rain season. It experiences extremes in both temperature and weather.
In the winter (late May through September), days are normally clear, warm and sunny, and nights are cool to cold, with average temperatures of around 14 °C. The whole country is windy and dusty during the dry season. Wildlife never wanders far from water sources, so sightings are more predictable than in the wetter summer season. This is also the time of school holidays, so some areas can be busy, especially between mid-July and mid-September.
In summer (October to April), Botswana has hot summers with average temperatures around 26 °C. Wildlife can be harder to spot and rains can render sandy roads impassable. This is also the time of the highest humidity and the most stifling heat, where daytime temperatures of over 40°C are common, so the magnificent afternoon showers can be a welcome relief.
The main rains fall between December and March, but often just in the form of brief thundershowers that last an hour or two before the sun re-emerges. The sunlight after an African storm is incredibly intense and superb for wildlife photography. The summer rains also bring spectacular migrant birds to Botswana.
Population – 2 million
Capital - Gaborone
Currency –pula (BWP)
Official Language(s) – English and Setswana
Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 267, international access code 00
Zimbabwe - From Mana Pools National Park to Victoria Falls
Why visit Zimbabwe?
The beautiful country of Zimbabwe offers something for everyone; from the absolute wilderness of Mana Pools National Park, the ruins of Great Zimbabwe and the mountains overlooking Mozambique, to fine dining in Harare or bunjee jumping over Victoria Falls. It is rich in culture and colour and the Zimbabweans have not lost their humour and resolve.
Victoria Falls is one of the worlds’ biggest and most spectacular waterfalls, with a network of trails leading through the rain forest surrounding the “smoke that thunders”. Take an umbrella and raincoat and gaze at the incredible vistas of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Victoria Falls village is home to a seemingly endless variety of adventure sports from bungee jumping to canoeing and white-water rafting. Apart from its appeal to adventure enthusiasts the village still has a gracious, pioneering and colonial atmosphere.
Hwange Park is one of the finest conservation areas in Africa and is said to contain the widest variety and greatest density of wildlife in the world. Game viewing is generally restricted to the Hwange Park road network, but it has private concession areas allowing off-road safaris and nature walks. Mana Pools is an unspoiled, remote Park in the Zambezi Valley, a subtropical region, with the terrain and vegetation varied from the river up to the Zambezi Plateau. Walking is allowed (at visitor's own risk) and can be exhilarating and rewarding, if caution is taken.
Lake Kariba is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, with abundant game-sightings and excellent angling for bream and tiger fish. The Lake provides pleasure to locals and visitors alike with fishing, canoeing, sailing or drifting along on a houseboat. The Matopo Hills is an area of incredible beauty with a mythical history and a proud people, the Matebele. The Matobo Hills were so named because they looked like the bald heads of indunas (chiefs). The entire region is a complex of bizarre and exposed granitic formations. Once inhabited by the bushman, today one can find magnificent examples of rock art in and amongst the caves. The Matobo National Park is one of Zimbabwe's prime wildlife sanctuaries with a large population of white rhino, the elusive black rhino, a variety of antelope species, baboon, rock hyraxes and a large population of leopard and black eagle.
Highlights of Zimbabwe
- The magnificent Victoria Falls are classed as one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World.
- Zimbabwe is home to four World Heritage Sites - Victoria Falls, Mana Pools National Park, the Great Zimbabwe Ruins and the Khame Ruins.
- Lake Kariba is one of the world's largest man-made lakes, with abundant game and excellent angling for bream and tiger fish.
- Magnificent national parks include Hwange, Mana Pools, Matusadona and Chizarira.
- Adventure activities abound and include canoeing on the lower Zambezi, kayaking and rafting on the upper Zambezi, and bungee jumping at Victoria Falls.
- For high adventure enthusiasts, white-water rafting is most exciting when the Zambezi waters are low (generally from August to December) and is often referred to as the best one-day white-water rafting in the world.
- Canoeing down the Lower Zambezi affords an ideal opportunity to get close to Africa's wildlife.
- Magnificent scenic areas in the Eastern Highlands Highlights of Zimbabwe.
|Seasons ||Max ||Min
|Summer/wet (November - April)
|Winter/dry ( May - October)
|Rainfall: November – March
Zimbabwe offers excellent game-viewing opportunities throughout the year. Due to Zimbabwe’s high altitudes, it has a beautiful and moderate climate, where temperatures are never very extreme. It has warm summers, November to April, where days are generally sunny in the morning with possible dramatic afternoon/evening thunderstorms. Temperatures of 35°C in summer are considered boiling.
Winter occurs from May to October and days are sunny and cool to warm while evening temperatures drop sharply. Temperatures of 7°C in winter are considered freezing. The end of the cool, dry season, around September/October, is the top time for wildlife viewing.
The main rains fall between November and March, although the Eastern Highlands are damp for most of the year. The Victoria Falls are spectacular in April and May after the rainy season.
Population – 12.5 million
Capital - Harare
Currency – none. The Zimbabwean dollar was suspended by the government due to hyper-inflation. The US dollar, South African rand, Botswanan pula, pound sterling and Euro are used instead. The US dollar has been adopted as the official currency for all government transactions with the new power-sharing regime.
Language – English is the official language, with Shona and Ndebele being recognised regional languages
Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 263, international access code 00
South Africa - Help Local Communities Get Started
Why visit South Africa?
Every country in the world displays some diversity, but South Africa, stretching from the hippos in the Limpopo River to the penguins waddling on the Cape, takes some beating. There’s the deserted Kalahari, Namakwa’s springtime symphony of wildflowers, iconic Table Mountain and Cape Point, Africa’s biggest game reserve - Kruger National Park - boasting the most mammal species of any game reserve, and the magnificent peaks and plunging valleys of the escarpment of Drakensberg.
Cape Town is widely described as one of the world's most beautiful cities. Some of its more famous landmarks include Table Mountain, Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for decades), Cape Point, Chapman’s Peak, Kirstenbosch Gardens and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. A combination of historical coastal charm and urbane sophistication, Cape Town has some of the finest beaches and is also the gateway to the lush Cape Winelands, famous for world-renowned wines. From here, it is an easy journey to the Whale Route, where Southern Right whales can be seen (June - November) and humpback whales, Bryde's whales, Minke whales and bottlenose dolpins can be viewed year round.
The Garden Route is renowned for its beaches, indigenous forests, nature reserves, lakes, mountain ranges, adventure opportunities and hiking trails. Plettenberg Bay is a relaxed beach paradise with spectacular walks and hikes where one can watch dolphins and whales on eco-marine cruises. With some of the world's finest beaches, the Eastern Cape's untouched and pristine coastline also has a rich social, cultural and political history. Port Elizabeth is the gateway to the Eastern Cape, and the perfect complement to the Garden Route. Cape St Francis is situated on the Indian Ocean coastline, in and around Africa's largest man made web of canals and waterways, and is renowned for its long, sandy beaches, surfing, rock fishing and tranquil lifestyle.
Kruger National Park is the flagship of South Africa's game reserves, offering an unrivalled wildlife experience over two million-hectares. Private concessions operating within and alongside Kruger National Park feature luxurious, exclusive game lodges with many exciting safari activities. Some of these lodges are unfenced, allowing for the free movement of wildlife. Madikwe Game Reserve, in the North West province, is one of South Africa's largest private Big Five game reserves and features numerous lodges and camps. The Waterberg area in the northwest is also malaria-free and is aptly named for its strong streams that flow even in dry seasons, making for excellent game viewing. Both reserves are great for those seeking an accessible malaria-free wilderness experience.
Durban is a sub-tropical city and the gateway to KwaZulu-Natal. It offers a unique mix of Zulu, Indian and colonial cultures. Visit the Anglo-Zulu battlefields, take a fascinating glimpse into Zulu culture, hike in the beautiful Drakensberg Mountains, dive the reefs, marine and coastal reserves of Maputaland, as well as experience Big Five game reserves. The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is renowned for saving the white rhino from the brink of extinction, and Phinda Private Game Reserve is well known for its award-winning lodges and conservation initiatives.
Johannesburg meaning "Place of Gold", is South Africa's economic powerhouse. This vibrant and cosmopolitan city is home to many attractions including the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, and also offers shopping from world-class to atmospheric curio markets. Known as the "Jacaranda City", the state capital of Pretoria features beautiful blossoming trees, significant old buildings and fascinating museums, including the Transvaal Museum, home of Mrs Ples, the australopithecine fossil found at the Cradle of Humankind.
Highlights of South Africa
- Breathtaking scenery, quaint coastal villages, cosmopolitan cities, wine routes and exclusive bush lodges.
- Exciting Big Five safaris in unspoilt wilderness areas.
- Malaria-free game viewing and sunshine all year round.
- See Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held in prison for 27 years.
- Go up Table Mountain by cable car for stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and beautiful Cape Town.
- Whale watching and great white shark cage diving.
- Beautiful, pristine beaches perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
- The Cradle of Humankind: Sterkfontein is one of the world's most productive and important palaeoanthropological sites.
|Seasons ||Max ||Min
|Summer (September - April)
|Winter (May - August)
|Rainfall: October to March, with November to January heaviest
South Africa has typical seasons of weather for the southern hemisphere, with the coldest days in July-August. The Benguela Current, a cold motion that moves from the lower South Atlantic Ocean, causes moderate temperatures on the West Coast. On the central plateau, which includes Free State and Gauteng provinces, the altitude keeps the average temperatures below 30 °C.In winter, also due to altitude, temperatures drop to freezing point, and in some places, even lower. Heavy snows have fallen recently for the first time in decades in Johannesburg. During winter, it is warmest in the coastal regions, especially on the Eastern Indian Ocean coast and Garden Route, where it has year round mild weather with occasional rain. As winter is cooler and drier, it is more suitable for hiking and outdoor pursuits, and is also a good time for game viewing as vegetation is less dense and thirsty animals congregate around rivers and other permanent water sources.
In summer, South Africa experiences the hottest temperatures and this is generally when most rain falls, October – March. However, there is one exception - the Western Cape, which is a winter-rain area that enjoys a Mediterranean climate (average 26°C).
Christmas to mid-January, and Easter are the height of the peak season for visitors.
Autumn (April/May) and Spring (mid-Sept to November) are ideal almost everywhere.
Population – 50 million
Capital – Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), Cape Town (legislative)
Currency – Rand (ZAR)
Official Language(s) – Afrikaans, English (South African English), Southern Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 27, international access code 00