14-Day South African Magic

The Southern African Magic offers you a comprehensive adventure holiday taking in some of the best highlights between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls. Following your arrival in the City of Gold, (Johannesburg), your epic journey includes breath-taking views and a variety of terrain from the bustling of wild animals roaming Kruger, Matobo and Chobe National Parks, to feeling the wet Zambezi spray off thundering Victoria Falls and the tranquil waters of the Okavango

Day 1: Johannesburg - Hazyview

Departing from South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg, we drive across the scenic Mpumalanga province and enjoy the spectacular mountain vistas. We stop at the Blyde River Canyon to view the odd looking Three Rondavels rock formations and enjoy the crisp air, fantastic surroundings and picturesque views. The Blyde River Canyon is revered as an unusual one owing to the fact that it is a ‘wet’ canyon, making it different from the wind-carved dry canyons found in desert regions worldwide. After lunch we make our way closer to South Africa’s famed Kruger Park. Our accommodation is located a short 10km drive from the entrance gate to the Kruger National Park with accommodation set facing beautiful gardens. After dinner we relax at our hotel for the night to prepare for the follow day of game driving.

Meals: D x 1.

Day 2: Kruger National Park

This morning we head out on 4x4 game viewing vehicles and eagerly wait for the Park Rangers to open the gates of the park, and let us enter the wilds of Kruger for an intense yet rewarding day. Kruger is home to over 505 species of birds, 148 species of mammals and many reptiles which we enthusiastically search for during the morning and afternoon. The impressive atmosphere of the park enables you to understand why it is held in such high esteem amongst explorers from all over the world who visit this park. We avoid the hot midday sun and enjoy the peacefulness the rest camp has to offer. After our well-deserved break from the heat of the sun we slowly game drive out of the park to our accommodation for the night.

Meals: B x 1, D x 1.

Day 3: Kruger National park - Polokwane

After breakfast we head off from the Kruger area and make our way to Polokwane. we enter the Polokwane Game Reserve and set out to explore the area on foot. There are over 21 species of mammals, including white rhino, and 200 species of birds inhabiting the reserve and this is an exciting way to get up close to some of these species. We spend the night at a nearby lodge where we prepare for our epic journey crossing the Limpopo River into Zimbabwe.

Meals: B x 1, D x 1.

Day 4: Polokwane - Bulawayo

This morning we make our way across the north of South Africa to the border where we cross into Zimbabwe. After border formalities at the bustling and busy Beitbridge (South Africa’s busiest land border), we continue on to Bulawayo, a pleasant city with broad tree lined avenues and wide open spaces. Our hotel is located in the city so (time permitting) you are able to explore the second largest city in Zimbabwe. The area is revered as a historical, geological and natural heritage site and is very close to a few national parks, one of which we will visit tomorrow.

Meals: B x 1, D x 1.

Day 5: Matobo National Park - Bulawayo

We rise early to meet our resident guides and begin our open vehicle game drive into Matobo National Park which is located a short distance outside Bulawayo. The wind-sculptured Matobo Hills are the site of numerous Bushman paintings and the area holds a special cultural and spiritual importance to the indigenous people here. The reserve has the largest concentration of Black and White Rhino in Africa and, provided conditions are right, our guides will lead us on foot to some of the more concealed places in search of these magnificent animals. The park also has the densest population of leopard and black eagle in the world and we keep our eyes peeled high and low for these creatures. The hills are also home to the grave site of Cecil John Rhodes who chose this as his burial place owing to the intense natural beauty and startling views from the hills.

Meals: B x 1, D x 1.

Day 6-7: Bulawayo - Victoria Falls

Arriving at our accommodation in Victoria Falls town, we settle in over lunch where after a briefing you get the opportunity to choose and book some exciting excursions or adventure activities for the following free day. In the afternoon we visit the Victoria Falls to witness the intense exhilaration of energy generated from this spectacular natural wonder (Alternatively, we will do this the following morning depending on the time available.) With tons of water gushing over the rock face and the cool spray of water over us, we explore the many nature paths winding through the dense forest surrounding the face of Victoria Falls. We end our day joining a peaceful sunset cruise on the Zambezi River soaking up the African ambience with herds of elephant and wild buck wandering the muddy banks after which we return to our accommodation for an enjoyable evening with free time to explore the nightlife if desired.

Meals: B x 2.

Day 8: Victoria Falls - Chobe National Park

From Victoria Falls we travel the short distance to the border and cross from Zimbabwe into Botswana. We arrive in the small town of Kasane, and check in to our river side lodge. After a lunch break you have free time to relax around the pool. The Chobe National park is an essential destination while on safari in Botswana. The Chobe floodplains and Chobe River provide a sensitive eco system where much of the wildlife in this region heads to during the dry season. It is not uncommon to see between 500 and 2000 Elephants on these floodplains at one time. The highlight of a visit to Chobe National Park is the combination of wildlife, Birdlife and reptiles along the banks of the Chobe River. This is a photographers dream. Later in the afternoon we join the river boat cruise giving us a unique and in-depth perspective of life on the banks of the Chobe River. Tonight, we relax under the vast African skies.

Meals: B x 1, L x 1.

Day 9: Chobe National Park - Gweta

Following breakfast, we begin our drive towards Gweta, the gateway to the massive Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans. Driving south we might be lucky to encounter some elephant or buffalo alongside the road as there are no fences in this area. This lets the migratory herds roam freely in search of richer pastures and water. We stop in Nata for lunch or snack before arriving in Gweta where you have the option to relax at the lodge or explore the vast Salt Pans by joining an optional 4x4 safari or Baobab Forest tour. The night is spent at our lovely lodge where we enjoy a hearty meal surrounded by the Baobab giants this area is so well known for.

B x 1, D x 1.

Day 10: Gweta - Maun

We start early this morning and after breakfast, we join a guided walk through a Local Tswana village to learn about and experience everyday life, from schools & local doctors to trading and traditions. After our tour, we leave Gweta and drive further west to Maun - the gateway town to the Okavango Delta. In Maun we first stock up on supplies for our adventure excursion into one of the wildest and remotest territories on the continent before heading to our accommodation based at a tranquil bush camp out of town. Shaded with many trees, the rest of the afternoon is at leisure to relax at the pool, pack for the Delta excursion or relax at the bar with a cool beverage.

Meals: B x 1, D x 1.

Day 11: Okavango Delta

Heading out early after breakfast, we begin our excursion into the Okavango Delta by an open 4x4 truck where we travel the sandy paths to the mokoro station. Here we are introduced to the local Tswana Polers that will be guiding us on this expedition and transfer our gear to the mokoros. We travel by mokoro (dugout canoe) amongst the giant lily pads, tall grasses and labyrinthine of channels, in search of resident wildlife and a variety of birds, to our tented camp from which we can explore the area on a walking safari. The Okavango is a natural wetland spreading over some 1,600,000ha of northern Botswana that offers a perfect habitat for the many species of wildlife that roam here freely. We enjoy the afternoon wilderness experience and overnight listening to the sounds of the African night - an unforgettable experience!

Meals: B x 1, L x 1, D x 1.

Day 12: Okavango Delta - Maun

This morning we explore the surrounds on a nature walk where you have the thrilling experience of being out in the natural wilderness. This is a great way to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the wilderness and enjoy nature as it wakes for the day. After the bush we enjoy breakfast and then pack up our gear onto our mokoro’s, leaving nothing behind but footprints. Heading back to the mokoro station we glide over the still waterways returning to our 4x4 truck and bidding our polers a warm farewell. After lunch, the afternoon offers the opportunity to join the guide for a trip into town and explore the shopping area and little market stalls scattered around the CBD. Another popular activity is a flight over the ‘Delta’ to get a bird’s eye view of the vast wilderness you explored by boat and foot.

Meals: B x 1, L x 1, D x 1.

Day 13: Maun - Khama Rhino Sanctuary

Another early rise and shine call followed by breakfast sees us travelling through the greater Kalahari region via Mopipi, where we can see the vast salt pans in the distance. We arrive at the Khama Rhino Sanctuary in the afternoon. In 1989 a group of locals wished to convert the Serowe Pan, previously a hunting area, into a conservation region for the rhino that inhabit the area. The ‘Pan’ was chosen because of its ‘rhino-friendly’ habitat and its proximity to a Botswana Defence Force base which can provide 24 hour protection to these highly endangered mammals. Located on the edge of the vast Kalahari Desert, Khama is a prime habitat for white rhino, zebra, wildebeest and giraffe and with its community based wildlife project, benefits the local community and teaches and educates the importance of conserving wildlife. This afternoon we enjoy an open game drive with local rangers, taking in an abundance of interesting facts from rhino to fauna and flora.

Meals: B x 1, D x 1.

Day 14: Khama Rhino sanctuary - Johannesburg

Our last morning sees us heading out of Serowe before joining the main route south to Martin’s Drift border post. Crossing the mighty Limpopo River into South Africa, we enjoy the scenic views noticing the changes of vegetation, infrastructure and populated civilization. We arrive into Gauteng province, arriving in Johannesburg in the late afternoon where our magical Southern African tour ends.

End of tour

 

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