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The Great Southern Africa Safari
tripDetail_slider_img1 MOBILE

21 days

from $9,349 trip_detail hint icon

Prices are indicative. Based on twin share. The rate of exchange calculated is approximate and the final tour cost will be as on the final date of payment. Taxes are additional.

trip_detail module icon Journeys trip_detail hint icon

Offered in partnership with G Adventures, our National Geographic Journeys line blends fun, hands-on exploration, meaningful encounters with people and cultures, and more free time and choices—with the structure and security of traveling in a small group.

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Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include walking tours, visits to sites, safari drives, and easy hikes; and some days will have more physical activities such as longer hikes, kayaking, snorkeling, or biking.

Casual trip_detail hint icon

Casual trips offer immersive travel experiences at an unbeatable value with free time and plenty of choices built into the itineraries. Accommodations are comfortable, well-located, and modest. Trips are led by dynamic local guides, some meals and activities are included, and transportation is provided for included excursions.

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Expedition Overview

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Trip Details
TRIP OVERVIEW
  • Stay at a remote bush camp in the Okavango Delta, and seek out elephants, lions, zebras, and much more while exploring by dugout canoe.
  • Learn about efforts to conserve African wild dogs during a visit to a rehabilitation center, then seek out these rare creatures on safari in Hwange National Park.
  • Dine in a Zimbabwean family homestead, and enjoy a festive meal with Botswanan storytellers in Maun.
  • Join a researcher from National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative on a game drive in the Karongwe Private Game Reserve.
Itinerary

Southern Africa harbours indescribable natural wonders: here, majestic creatures roam their native lands much as they have for centuries. Embark on an unforgettable safari adventure through South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana, traveling from the wilds of Kruger National Park to awe-inspiring Victoria Falls and the lush green waterways of the Okavango Panhandle. Watch for the African “big five” in the region’s finest wildlife reserves, meet with National Geographic–supported researchers in the field, and experience local life and culture in vibrant cities.

This trip is offered in partnership with G Adventures.

Day 1: Cape Town

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

Day 2: Cape Town

Begin the day with an exploration of vibrant Cape Town, wandering through the multicultural Bo-Kaap neighborhood. Then enjoy an exclusive guided tour of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, named by National Geographic Travel as one of the world’s 10 most magnificent gardens. Later, stop by Boulders Beach to see the resident population of African penguins, and continue to the Cape Point lighthouse and the Cape of Good Hope, the southwesternmost point in Africa.

Day 3: Cape Town

Enjoy a day of leisure in Cape Town, choosing from a variety of optional activities. Hike up iconic Table Mountain or hop on a cable car to the summit, taking in extraordinary views of the city and the Atlantic seaboard. Or explore the Cape Winelands, visiting the historical city of Stellenbosch, touring wine estates with expert guides, and indulging in a variety of tastings and pairings.

Day 4: Cape Town/Johannesburg

Fly to Johannesburg, then take a guided tour of Soweto township. Soweto was an important center of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement and home to its leader, Nelson Mandela. Visit the Mandela House Museum and learn about this painful chapter in the country’s history. In the evening, enjoy a traditional South African braai (barbecue) with your fellow travellers.

Day 5: Johannesburg/Greater Kruger Area

Set out towards Kruger National Park via the magnificent Panorama Route, one of the world’s most picturesque drives. Make stops at the dramatic Blyde River Canyon and Bourke's Luck Potholes, and take in panoramic views of the forest-covered valley from the God's Window viewpoint. Continue to our tented camp near Kruger National Park and savour a delicious South African dinner in a boma.

Day 6: Kruger National Park

Rise early and climb aboard an open jeep for a full-day safari in Kruger National Park—home to an extraordinary array of large mammals. Spot elephants, lions, giraffes, and perhaps elusive leopards as we explore this breathtaking wilderness of savanna and scrubland. Return to our lodge in the evening, where you can take some time to relax on the deck and enjoy the nocturnal sounds of the bush.

Day 7: Greater Kruger Area/Karongwe Private Game Reserve

Travel to the Karongwe Private Game Reserve, a pristine wildlife sanctuary located in the Greater Kruger area. Meet with a researcher from the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Cheetah Metapopulation Project—a program funded in part by National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative—and learn about efforts to protect the region’s cheetahs and other carnivores. The researcher then joins us for a wildlife-viewing excursion through the reserve.

Day 8: Karongwe Private Game Reserve

Spend the day exploring Karongwe on morning and afternoon safaris with our local guides. Search for buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinos—Africa's famed "big five"—as we drive through the shrublands of the bushveld. Back at camp, relax on deck or take a walk around the grounds.

Day 9: Karongwe Private Game Reserve/Johannesburg

Embark on one last safari this morning, keeping a lookout for Karongwe’s iconic inhabitants. Then head back to the city, where you’ll enjoy dinner in our local guest house.

Day 10: Johannesburg/Victoria Falls

Catch a flight to the town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, named after one of the most powerful waterfalls on Earth. Visit a nearby village and go grocery shopping in the bustling market. Then sit down with a local family for dinner, helping your hosts prepare a traditional Zimbabwean meal using the ingredients you picked out, and hear stories about local life and culture.

Day 11: Victoria Falls

Set out for a tour of magnificent Victoria Falls. Scottish explorer David Livingstone named them after Britain’s Queen Victoria, while their older, indigenous name is Mosi-oa-Tunya—“the smoke that thunders.” Opt to embark on a thrilling white-water excursion on the Zambezi River; enjoy an unforgettable sunset cruise; soar above the roaring falls in a helicopter; and much more.

Day 12: Victoria Falls

Continue your exploration of majestic Victoria Falls on a variety of optional excursions. Go whizzing over the Zambezi River on a zip line, glide down the river on a sunset cruise, or feel the spray of the falls on your face as you explore the surrounding paths.

Day 13: Victoria Falls/Hwange National Park

Explore Victoria Falls at leisure this morning, and opt to take a guided tour of this thundering natural wonder and UNESCO World Heritage site. Later, transfer to the headquarters of Painted Dog Conservation. Learn about this non-profit organization’s work to protect and rehabilitate injured painted dogs (also known as African wild dogs), and hear from a conservationist about the threats to these endangered animals. Afterward, venture out on safari in Hwange National Park, one of Zimbabwe’s largest wildlife reserves and an important elephant sanctuary.

Day 14: Hwange National Park

Set out on a full-day safari through the sweeping grasslands of Hwange National Park. Track the park’s resident elephant and buffalo herds, as well as giraffes, lions, zebras, and the rare African wild dog. This evening, relax on the deck of your lodge, keeping an eye out for the wild creatures that visit the lodge’s watering hole.

Day 15: Hwange/Chobe NP

Depart Hwange and head north, crossing the border into Botswana and arriving in Kasane—the gateway to the stunning Chobe National Park. Settle into your lodge and embark on a boat safari on the Chobe River, the lifeline of the park. Look out for submerged hippos, basking crocodiles, bathing elephants, and an abundance of birdlife from the boat’s deck, and witness a spectacular fiery sunset over the river.

Day 16: Chobe NP

This morning, continue your exploration of Chobe National Park, home to one of Africa’s largest elephant populations. On a safari along the banks of the Chobe River, keep an eye out for elephants, buffalo, lions, zebra, and rare semi-aquatic antelope, as well as an incredible variety of birds. In the afternoon, opt to take a photography river safari on a specialized photography boat.

Day 17: Kasane/Okavango Delta

Catch a flight to the Okavango Panhandle in Botswana, the narrow arm of the Okavango River that feeds into the famed Okavango Delta. Check in to our remote lodge, and enjoy a boat cruise on the winding waterways. This evening, hear about National Geographic’s Okavango Wilderness Project, a multi-year collaboration between international and local experts to survey the Okavango watershed’s biodiversity and ensure its future protection. Watch the National Geographic documentary “Into the Okavango,” and learn about delta conservation projects in the area.

Day 18: Okavango Delta

Explore the breathtaking Okavango Panhandle with expert local guides. Navigate the wildlife-rich channels of the Okavango River aboard a mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe, and spot all manner of bird life on bush walks. Settle into your tent in our remote bush camp this evening. Enjoy a three-course meal around a roaring campfire while listening to the night calls of the delta.

Day 19: Okavango Delta

Continue exploring the Okavango Delta’s untamed habitat on foot and by mokoro, spotting herons, storks, egrets, and other wading birds. Return to our camp later this afternoon and opt to relax by an open fire, or take a swim.

Day 20: Okavango Delta/Maun

Fly to the frontier town of Maun for an evening of storytelling and traditional foods with celebrated local author Bonty Botumile. Born in Maun, Bonty’s work is dedicated to preserving Botswana’s literary heritage and providing youth with employment opportunities in the arts. Listen as she shares her in-depth knowledge of the region’s cultural history, and cap off the night with a delicious meal and colourful stories around a warm fire.

Day 21: Maun

Depart at any time.

PRICES & DATES

  • date Aug 5-25, 2020
  • double occupancy $ 9,949 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,728 Per Person

  • date Aug 12-Sep 1, 2020
  • double occupancy $ 9,949 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,728 Per Person

  • date Aug 19-Sep 8, 2020
  • double occupancy $ 9,949 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,728 Per Person

  • date Aug 26-Sep 15, 2020
  • double occupancy $ 9,949 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,728 Per Person

  • date Sep 2-22, 2020
  • double occupancy Sold Out
  • single occupancy Sold Out

  • date Sep 9-29, 2020
  • double occupancy $ 9,949 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,728 Per Person

  • date Sep 16-Oct 6, 2020
  • double occupancy Sold Out
  • single occupancy Sold Out

  • date Sep 23-Oct 13, 2020
  • double occupancy $ 9,949 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,728 Per Person

  • date Sep 30-Oct 20, 2020
  • double occupancy $ 9,949 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,728 Per Person

  • date Oct 7-27, 2020
  • double occupancy Sold Out
  • single occupancy Sold Out

  • date Oct 28-Nov 17, 2020
  • double occupancy Sold Out
  • single occupancy Sold Out

  • date Nov 4-24, 2020
  • double occupancy $ 9,649 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,428 Per Person

  • date Dec 30, 2020 - Jan 19, 2021
  • double occupancy $ 9,949 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,728 Per Person

  • date Feb 3-23, 2021
  • double occupancy $ 9,349 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,128 Per Person

  • date Mar 17-Apr 6, 2021
  • double occupancy $ 9,349 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,128 Per Person

  • date Apr 21-May 11, 2021
  • double occupancy $ 9,349 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,128 Per Person

  • date May 5-25, 2021
  • double occupancy $ 9,349 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,128 Per Person

  • date May 26-Jun 15, 2021
  • double occupancy $ 9,349 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,128 Per Person

  • date Jun 2-22, 2021
  • double occupancy $ 9,649 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,428 Per Person

  • date Jun 23-Jul 13, 2021
  • double occupancy $ 9,649 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,428 Per Person

  • date Jul 14-Aug 3, 2021
  • double occupancy $ 9,949 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,728 Per Person

  • date Aug 4-24, 2021
  • double occupancy $ 9,949 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,728 Per Person

  • date Aug 18-Sep 7, 2021
  • double occupancy $ 9,949 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,728 Per Person

  • date Aug 30-Sep 19, 2021
  • double occupancy $ 9,949 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,728 Per Person

  • date Sep 15-Oct 5, 2021
  • double occupancy $ 9,949 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,728 Per Person

  • date Oct 6-26, 2021
  • double occupancy $ 9,949 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,728 Per Person

  • date Nov 3-23, 2021
  • double occupancy $ 9,649 Per Person
  • single occupancy $12,428 Per Person

All trip prices are per person based on double occupancy or single occupancy unless otherwise noted, are subject to change without notice and do not include airfare. Optional activities are at an additional cost. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars.

  • Accommodation: Hotels (9 nts), safari lodges/camps (6 nts), comfortable safari tent (2 nt), comfortable tent or chalets (2 nts), bush camp (1 nt).
  • Meals: 20 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 15 dinners
  • Transport: Plane, air-conditioned touring vehicle, open safari vehicle, 4x4, boat, mokoro.
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens Guided Tour, Cape Town
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Carnivore Conservation Experience, Karongwe Private Game Reserve
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Zimbabwean Family Dinner, Victoria Falls
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Painted Dog Conservation, Hwange National Park
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Okavango Wilderness Project Experience, Okavango Delta
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Botswana Storytelling and Traditional Dinner, Maun
  • Your Foodie Moment: Traditional South Africa Braai (Barbecue), Johannesburg
  • Your Discover Moment: Victoria Falls
  • Arrival transfer
  • Excursion to Cape Point and Boulders Beach
  • Traditional South African braai (BBQ)
  • Panorama Route scenic drive
  • Private nature reserve wildlife safari drives in open vehicles
  • Open-vehicle wildlife safari drives in Kruger, Hwange and Chobe National Parks
  • Tour of Victoria Falls
  • Chobe boat safari
  • Wildlife excursions by boat and on foot in the Okavango Panhandle
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

    What's Not Included

    • Airfare to and from destination
    • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
    • Visas
    • Any activity not described in What's Included
    • Meals on your own
    • Gratuities

    My Own Room

    During your trip, sometimes it's just more convenient and comfortable to have your own room. That's why we offer the "My Own Room" option - a single room all to yourself.

    My Own Room Option: From $11,578

ABOUT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC JOURNEYS

Offered in partnership with G Adventures, our National Geographic Journeys line blends fun, hands-on exploration, meaningful encounters with people and cultures, and more free time and choices—with the structure and security of traveling in a small group.

Age Requirement: 12+

All travelers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.