Southern African Magic

The Details

Type: Accommodated Accommodated
Start: Johannesburg South Africa
Length: 14 - 28 Days
End: Johannesburg South Africa
Comfort: Standard
Vehicle: Overland Vehicle
Group Size: Small (<12 People)
Countries: South Africa Botswana Zimbabwe

Tour Dates

2017
  • 2017
  • 2018
December
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
From ZAR 22880 pp
(Excl. local payment USD 1420)
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Overview

The Southern African Magic offers an adventure holiday taking in some of southern Africa’s most popular and memorable highlights. Tried and tested over many years the tour offers very good value for money with new and exciting experiences each day, connecting you to the grass roots of Africa. Following your arrival in the City of Gold, (Johannesburg), the journey includes breath-taking scenery views and wildlife of Kruger, Matobo and Chobe National Parks, to the feeling of Zambezi river spray thundering out of the Batoka Gorge at Victoria Falls, to the quiet tranquility of the Okavango Delta. This two week adventure covers a range of landscapes, a variety of game-parks and a breadth of experiences to introduce you to Africa’s depth and variety, showing you the magic of southern Africa, an area rich in culture, beauty and background. This is one of our most popular open age Small Group tours, with departures all year round. It is an excellent introduction to this wonderful continent. Excludes single supplement. However, if you are happy to share – no single supplement will apply.

This 10% discounted special is applicable to bookings made in December  2017, to depart in December 9th , 28 th  2017 and 29th Jan 2018 .Tour price only – Excludes Local Payment.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1:Johannesburg – Hoedspruit – Kruger National Park

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 and picturesque views. The Blyde River Canyon is revered as an unusual sight owing to the fact that it is a ‘wet’ canyon, making it different from the wind-carved dry canyons found in desert regions elsewhere. After lunch we continue our journey making our way to accommodations, set in attractive gardens situated an hour or so drive from Kruger National Park. After dinner relax and enjoy the first night on tour.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Nsele Lodge or similar (Twin share room with en-suite facilities)

Meals

Meals:

Dinner

Day 2: Hoedspruit – Kruger National Park

Waking early we board 4×4 game viewing vehicles for an intense but rewarding day in Kruger National Park. Your professional guide will point out items or interest as we go and we hope will help the day to be a wonderful opportunity to learn something of the varied and world renowned Kruger. The park is home to over 505 species of birds and 148 species of mammals as well as good numbers of reptiles and abundant flora. The park has a good network of roads allowing relatively easy access – essential given its size – but has clear rules about encroaching on the animals’ space ensuring conservation is given a high priority, which perhaps helps explain why Kruger is held in such high regard amongst travellers worldwide. We game drive morning and afternoon with a break during the middle of the day to enjoy the peace of the rest camp and wait out the hottest part of the day (when wildlife is usually less active). If you have questions about the wildlife you see, or about the park itself, please feel free to ask your resident guide who will be happy to explain the ins and outs of animal behaviour and other interesting sights in Kruger. Eventually we leave the park to return to our accommodation for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Nsele Lodge (Twin share room with en-suite facilities)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Hoedspruit – Polokwane

After breakfast we leave the Kruger area and travel across undulating country-side to the northern town of Polokwane. The journey takes us over some beautiful scenic mountain passes and through flourishing citrus plantations of nestled along the valleys of the Limpopo Province. Previously known as the Northern Province, this is a land of myths and legends and is also highly rated as a southern Africa Eco-tourism destination. Arriving in Polokwane, we enter the nearby Game Reserve and set out on foot to explore (we recommend sensible footwear). There are over 21 species of mammals, in this reserve including white rhino and some 200 species of birds. It is a very different game viewing experience to Kruger equally rewarding. Being on foot may allow us closer views of some of the gentler animals of the reserve. We eventually make our way to our accommodations nearby.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Boma in the bush or similar (Twin share cabins with en-suite facilities)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Polokwane – Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

This morning we make our way north crossing out of South Africa and into Zimbabwe. Immigration formalities at the busy Beitbridge border may be lengthy, as this is South Africa’s busiest land border, but once completed we continue to Bulawayo, a pleasant city with broad tree lined avenues and wide open spaces. The area around the city offers much in the way of historical, geological and natural interest. Several national parks are nearby including the well known Matobo (sometimes written Matopos) which we shall visit. Our accommodation for the evening is in a quiet garden setting on the outskirts of town.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Travellers Guest House or similar (Twin share cabins with en-suite facilities)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Bulawayo – Matobo National Park

We rise early to meet our guides for our visit and game drive into Matobo. Situated a short distance outside of Bulawayo, the wind-sculptured Matobo Hills are the site of numerous Bushman paintings and the area holds a special cultural and spiritual significance to the indigenous people here. The reserve has the largest concentration of Black and White Rhino in Africa and if conditions are suitable, guides will lead us on foot to some of the more concealed places for a close view of these magnificent animals. The park also has dense populations of the elusive leopard and black eagle and we shall hope to glimpse either (or both) at some point during the day. The Matobo hills are also the location of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, the 19th century colonialist. The grave is not visited as part of the half day park visit but can be seen on the full day upgrade (arranged locally).

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Travellers Guest House or similar (Twin share cabins with en-suite facilities)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Upgrade to full day tour including historical tour and village tour for US$40

Day 6: Bulawayo – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Departing Bulawayo, we continue north to Victoria Falls. This can be a frustrating day ‘on the road’ because there is little of interest en route and at time of print (July 2016) the road has multiple police checks. Your patience while your tour leader deals with the formalities each time is much appreciated. We usually arrive to Victoria Falls by early afternoon. This is a relatively small town built along the southern banks of the Zambezi River and is Zimbabwe’s primary tourist centre. The Victoria Falls themselves are only a short walk and the town has a variety of markets, shops, cafes within easy distance. Your tour leader will arrange a briefing to explain the numerous optional excursions typically available here and you will have some free time to wander around. Later we visit the Victoria Falls National Park itself to witness one of Africa’s most enduring sights (NB: depending on time available, we may do this the following morning). Please take care when wandering along the pathways inside the reserve – the Falls are almost 100 metres deep and the drops are sheer! We end our day joining a peaceful sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. Soak up the African ambience with drink in hand as you cruise slowly up and down and look out for elephant, buffalo, buck, hippo and birdlife along the shallow muddy banks of one of Africa’s great rivers. Eventually we return to our accommodation for overnight or to try some of the local nightlife.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Sprayview Hotel or similar (Twin share cabins with en-suite facilities)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Bungy jumping US$160, Full day abseil US$180, gorge swing US$95, Zambezi jet boat and cable car US$120, Full day canoe US$110, Full day white water rafting US$160, Helicopter flights From US$170, half day fishing US$145, Bridge Tour US$65, Bike Tour US$65.

Day 7: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Today is at leisure giving you the opportunity to explore and Victoria Falls. The Zambezi boasts one of the world’s highest rated rivers for white river rafting with its many challenging rapids. Alternative options include canoeing, scenic flights, bungi or (more relaxed) afternoon tea at the colonial styled Victoria Falls Hotel.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Sprayview Hotel or similar (Twin share cabins with en-suite facilities)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Bungy jumping US$160, Full day abseil US$180, gorge swing US$95, Zambezi jet boat and cable car US$120, Full day canoe US$110, Full day white water rafting US$160, Helicopter flights From US$170, half day fishing US$145, Bridge Tour US$65, Bike Tour US$65.

Day 8: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – Chobe National Park, Botswana

From Victoria Falls we travel the short distance to the Botswana border and cross into the small town of Kasane, and on to our lodge. This afternoon we head out onto a game drive and boat cruise in the Chobe National Park. Chobe is widely known for its populations of elephant, but the park also contains lion, leopard, hyena, giraffe and a host of antelope and birdlife. The Chobe floodplains and Chobe River provide a sensitive eco system which attracts much of the wildlife of the region especially in the dry season when it is not uncommon to see between 500 and 2000 elephants on the floodplains at one time. One highlight of Chobe is the combination of wildlife, birdlife and reptiles seen along the banks of the Chobe River. We take the afternoon cruise for a unique perspective of river-side wildlife. This evening we relax and overnight at the lodge.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Thebe Safari Lodge or similar (Twin share cabins with en-suite facilities)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Chobe National Park – Gweta

Following breakfast, we depart for Gweta. Driving south we may be lucky to encounter elephant or buffalo alongside (or on) the road, often strays to the migratory herds which roam freely throughout the area in search of pasture and water. We stop in the small settlement of Nata for lunch or snack before continuing to Gweta where you have the opportunity to explore the Salt Pans in an optional 4×4 safari. Alternatively try the (also optional) Baobab Forest tour. The night is spent at the lodge.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Gweta Lodge or similar (Twin share cabins with en-suite facilities)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Nxai Pans Sundowner 4x4 trip US$60, Baobab Forest Sundowners US$35

Day 10: Gweta - Maun

After an early breakfast we join a guided walk through a local Tswana village to learn something of the life of the community, from schools and doctors to trading and traditions. We then depart and head west to Maun, the gateway to the Okavango Delta. Maun has experienced rapid growth in recent years and is a bustling provincial centre. Options here include scenic flights but our first priority is to prepare for our excursion into the Okavango Delta. Our accommodation in Maun is simple guesthouse/ lodge/hotel. The afternoon is at leisure to relax with a cool beverage and pack for the Delta excursion for the following day.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Delta Rain’s Sitatunga Camp or similar (Twin share rooms with en-suite facilities)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Maun –Okavango Delta

Heading out early after breakfast we begin our excursion into the Okavango Delta. The first part of the journey is by 4×4 over rough sandy paths to the ‘mokoro’ station, where the river level reaches. Here we are introduced to the local Tswana ‘polers’, our guides for the excursion and transfer our luggage and equipment to the mokoros (dug-out canoes). We travel by these shallow canoes amongst giant lily pads, tall grasses and labyrinthine channels to our camp on the edge of the Okavango. From our camp we venture out on guided walk in search of some of the prolific birdlife and larger mammals that inhabit the reserve. The whole area is a natural wetland spreading over some 1,600,000ha of northern Botswana offering a perfect habitat for the wildlife that roams here freely. The Okavango River rises in Angola (far to the north) and flows south dividing repeatedly to form an intricate floodplain of channels and swamps which then spreads out into a broad flat inland delta – the only one of its kind in the world. We enjoy the afternoon wilderness experience and for many people the feeling of being at camp overnight is an unforgettable experience.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Elephant Camp – Twin share pre-erected tents with en-suite facilities (basic-style bucket shower & toilet)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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 again onto our mokoros, leaving nothing behind but footprints. Returning to our 4×4 and bidding our polers farewell, we return to Maun. The afternoon offers the opportunity to join the guide for a trip into town for a little shopping. Another popular activity here is an optional scenic flight over the ‘Delta’ for a bird’s eye view of the wilderness you have just explored by mokoro and on foot. Prices depend on number of people interested but seeing the vastness of the Okavango from the air gives a further appreciation of the beauty of this part of Africa. We return to our lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Delta Rain’s Sitatunga Camp or similar (Twin share rooms with en-suite facilities)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Okavango Delta scenic flight per 5-seater plane – (45 min flight time) US$500

Day 13: Maun – Khama Rhino Sanctuary

Another early rise for our long journey skirting the greater Kalahari, where we may glimpse in the distance the vast salt pans of central Botswana to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary which we normally reach by late afternoon. In 1989 a group of local people wished to convert the Serowe Pan, previously a hunting area, into a conservation region for the rhino that inhabited the area. The ‘Pan’ was chosen because of its rhino-friendly habitat (and for its proximity to the Botswana Defence Force base for 24 hour protection against poachers). Khama is a prime habitat for white rhino, zebra, wildebeest and giraffe and with its community based wildlife project, allows the local people to benefit from tourism. We take a game drive to catch sight of some of the rhino with guides often pointing up interesting facts about the local fauna and flora. Our last night on safari is spent at a nearby hotel for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Kwa nokeng or similar (Twin share room with en-suite facilities)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Martins Drift – Johannesburg, South Africa

Our last morning sees us joining the main route along Martin’s Drift border post. Crossing the mighty Limpopo River into South Africa, we take in the scenic views and notice changes to vegetation, infrastructure and populated areas. We arrive in Johannesburg where our tour ends normally by mid to late afternoon.

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast

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