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Botswana & Zimbabwe Adventure

Prices From: $2010 AUD
Local Payment: 
Tour Code: GABZ
Tour Duration: 21
Countries Visited: Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Local Payment will not apply to tours (other than African tours) after December 31st 2012.


Overview

Over three incredible weeks we explore parts of South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe, combining the ‘Backroads of Botswana’ and ‘Waterfalls and Wildlife’ safaris. Contrasting the fantastic wildlife at Chobe National Park with the stunning scenery of the Okavango Delta and Victoria Falls makes this one of the best trips on offer. We travel from Pretoria to Khama Rhino Sanctuary, where we experience our first sightings of African wildlife. There is a chance to learn more about this community-based conservation effort through our local site guides, as well as enjoying an optional night drive. Travelling along the back roads of Botswana we arrive at the Okavango Delta. Here we explore the most spectacular floodplain in the world, both in traditional mokoros (dug-out canoes) and on foot. The birdlife is prolific and the sunsets are simply spectacular. Travelling past the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans we continue to Chobe National Park, spending our day game viewing in open four-wheel drive vehicles and by boat. We watch large herds of elephants rolling in the mud, hippos relaxing at the water's edge, antelopes frolicking through the grasslands and, hopefully, lions keeping a watch on their territory. We then travel to Victoria Falls, where a smorgasbord of adrenaline-fuelled activities are on offer (such as whitewater rafting or bungy jumping). Take time to experience the magnificence of the actual falls themselves, as the Upper Zambezi River spills over the 1.7km wide chasm. Wildlife viewing opportunities continue at Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s premier game reserve. From there we travel to the Antelope Park, where we get to walk with lions in this great private reserve. Our safari then takes on an architectural and cultural focus as we visit the Great Zimbabwe Ruins - the largest sub-Saharan, man-made structure and once the focal point of a powerful kingdom. We leave Zimbabwe as South African beckons us with its rejuvenating hot springs and scenic canyon. The wonderful Kruger National Park provides a fitting climax to this brilliant and highlight-packed safari.


Tour Map


Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Pretoria/Johannesburg (South Africa)

Our trip starts today at our lodge in a remote area between Pretoria and Johannesburg. No activities are planned, so you may arrive at any time.

Day 2-3: Khama Rhino Sanctuary (Botswana)

Khama Rhino Sanctuary is dedicated to preserving and breeding Botswana's last remaining rhino population. Our stopover here helps to support the Community Trust in paying for the maintenance of this unique project.

Day 4-6: Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Maun (Botswana)

We venture into the Kalahari sands and then the spectacular delta region. We enjoy game walks and mokoro (dug-out canoe) cruises before returning to Maun, where we have the chance to take an optional scenic flight over the delta.

Day 7-8: Okavango Delta Excursion - Maun (Botswana)

Chobe and Hwange National Parks form an interconnected stomping ground for large numbers of wildlife, including, most prominently, several thousand elephants. We have the option for an early morning game drive before ending the day with a relaxing afternoon cruise on the Chobe River.

Day 9-10: Chobe National Park (Botswana)

Victoria Falls is known by the local Kololo tribe as 'Mosi-oa-Tunya' (the smoke that thunders). Enthusiasts of adrenalin rush activities may choose to do some of the optional adventure activities including bungee jumping, Grade 5 whitewater rafting and much more.

Day 11-12: Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)

From Victoria Falls we then continue on to Hwange National Park for two days of wonderful wildlife-viewing.

Day 13-14: Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe)

This is one of the most amazing places on the African continent. After all, where else can you walk in the African bush accompanied by lion cubs (and survive to tell the tale!)?

Day 15: Antelope Park - Gweru (Zimbabwe)

We spend a night camping just outside these colossal structures and then explore them with our local site guide, who will regale us with tales of their fascinating past.

Day 16: Great Zimbabwe Ruins (Zimbabwe)

Returning to South Africa we stop at Tshipise Hot Springs, near Messina. The natural sulphur hot springs have been channelled into two large outdoor pools, designed for complete relaxation.

Day 17-18: Tshipise Hot Springs (South Africa)

You cannot visit South Africa without setting foot in Kruger National Park. We ensure you get your Kruger fix with two days exploring this immense game reserve in search of some of its many species of wildlife.

Day 19-21: Kruger National Park (South Africa)

We travel through the Panorama region and stay overnight at a stunning campsite near Graskop. We explore the viewpoints in beautiful Blyde River Canyon and visit the historic town of Pilgrim's Rest, before continuing to our final camp near Pretoria.

Tour Grade: Wildlife

Take your pick: hunt for tigers in northern India, listen to monkey chatter and birdsong in the jungles of Costa Rica and Peru or gawp at the Galapagos’ diversity. And of course, there's the big one: Africa. The names alone evoke images of wildlife: the Serengeti, Masai Mara, Kruger. And the reality’s even better. Africa’s got the lot, so go beyond the Big Five by hiking to close encounters with gorillas in Uganda’s forests, walking with lions at Zimbabwe’s Antelope Park, or canoeing past crocs on the Okavango Delta. From the Cape’s loveable penguins to Egypt’s loping camels, Africa’s animals await.


 Tour Fact Finder

Included

- Gecko’s experienced English-speaking local safari leader, professional driver, and camp cook who will prepare all included meals. - Gecko’s specialist English-speaking local site guides in Hwange National Park and Chobe National Park. - Transport in a custom-built safari vehicle with large opening windows for unrestricted game viewing (maximum of just 24 clients). - 18 nights camping in large dome tents, with mosquito netting and a foam mattress provided. Camp sites include: inside Khama Rhino Sanctuary; in Victoria Falls Township; at Tshipse Hot Springs; in Kruger National Park; and at Graskop, on the edge of the highveld escarpment. - 1 night in tented bush camp inside Chobe National Park. - 1 day in Khama Rhino Sanctuary, 3 days in the Okavango Delta, 1 day in Chobe National Park, 2 days in Hwange National Park, 2 days in a private wildlife reserve and 2 days in Kruger National Park (including all park entrance fees, where applicable). - Game drives in open 4WD vehicles in Hwange National Park and Chobe National Park. - 3 day excursion on the Okavango Delta by mokoro (dugout canoe) and on foot, guided by an expert poler from the Okavango Polers Trust. - Rhino Trail lead by rangers based at the sanctuary, and walk with the lions at Antelope Park. - Sightseeing of Great Zimbabwe Ruins, Blyde River Canyon and Pilgrim’s Rest.

Meals

20 breakfasts, 16 lunches, 18 dinners

Not Included

International flights, local payment, arrival and departure transfers, airport/departure taxes, visas, pre-tour or post-tour accommodation, all other meals, drinks, sleeping bag, pillow, all optional additional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature, laundry and flights (unless specified).


Tour Dates

Start DateEnd DatePrice
20 Dec 201209 Jan 2013$1936
03 Jan 201323 Jan 2013$1871
24 Jan 201313 Feb 2013$1422
14 Feb 201306 Mar 2013$1649
07 Mar 201327 Mar 2013$1422
11 Apr 201301 May 2013$1871
02 May 201322 May 2013$1871
06 Jun 201326 Jun 2013$1871
18 Jul 201307 Aug 2013$1871
08 Aug 201328 Aug 2013$1871
29 Aug 201318 Sep 2013$1871
19 Sep 201309 Oct 2013$1871
31 Oct 201320 Nov 2013$2150
21 Nov 201311 Dec 2013$2150
12 Dec 201301 Jan 2014$2150
09 Jan 201429 Jan 2014$2150
20 Feb 201412 Mar 2014$1895
13 Mar 201402 Apr 2014$1895
03 Apr 201423 Apr 2014$2150
15 May 201404 Jun 2014$2150
05 Jun 201425 Jun 2014$2150
26 Jun 201416 Jul 2014$2150

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