Southern Circle

The Details

Type: Camping Camping
Start: Johannesburg South Africa
Length: 14 - 28 Days
End: Johannesburg South Africa
Comfort: Standard
Vehicle: Overland Vehicle
Group Size: Large (>12 People)
Countries: South Africa Botswana Zimbabwe Zambia Malawi Mozambique

Tour Dates

2020
  • 2020
October
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
From Euro 2595 pp
(Excl. local payment )
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Overview

Southern Circle Camping Tour

For those that wish to experience the highlights of southern Africa with the convenience of flying in and out of Johannesburg. Southern Circle Camping Tour will show you the best of several countries, and endeavors to reveal the contrasts that make up this region.From the desert landscapes of Botswana to the lush forests of Zambia, the tea plantations of Malawi to the deserted beaches of Mozambique, you will experience built up cities and rural homesteads, good highways and dirt tracks. This tour also concentrates on some of the finest Game Reserves in Africa, including Chobe, Luangwa and Kruger where you will see a huge variety of animals all in their natural environment. An open and flexible approach is essential for this tour.

ROUTE :Johannesburg – Johannesburg
DEPARTURES :Every Second Sunday
VEHICLE : Custom 17-seater adventure truck
DURATION : 24 Days (14/15 Nights Camping, 4 Nights Cabin, 4/5 Nights Lodge)

INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS:

• Six countries visited
• Chobe River boat cruise
• Victoria Falls
• Zambezi River canoe trip
• South Luangwa National Park
• Lake Malawi
• Mount Mulanje hike
• Dhow trip
• Mozambique beaches
• Maputo
• Kruger National Park

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

• White water rafting
• Bungi jumping
• Scuba diving
• Luangwa night drive
• Sea kayaking

Please note: As of 1 January 2020 Drifters will implement a minimum requirement of 4 passengers to confirm a tour departure. Our reservation office will be able to assist with any request or questions.

Excludes single supplement. However, if you are happy to share – no single supplement will apply.

Prices are subject to changes. Prices are person sharing and excludes single supplement and any activities and meals not set out in the itinerary

Tour Price for 2020: €2595 (no local payment)

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Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1: JOHANNESBURG – FRANCISTOWN

Distance: 710 km

We depart from the GREENFIRE LODGE JOHANNESBURG at 06h30, heading directly to the Botswana border, and enjoying the scenic beauty of South Africa’s northern Limpopo Province, with its many game farms and the Waterberg Mountains on our route. On completion of immigration formalities, we continue to Francistown, and our camp for the night, just outside the city on the banks of the Ntasha River. We will cover some distance today, but before our first night under canvas our guide gives us an extensive briefing on the itinerary and how the tour will be run. After a catered meal we camp the night.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Scenic drive through Limpopo Province , Botswana

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Accommodation: Woodlands Stop Over - Camping (2 person dome tent)

Meals

Meals:

Dinner

DAY 2: CHOBE NATIONAL PARK

Distance: 550 km

Venturing north today, we make our way to the slow, placid Chobe River, an ideal habitat for hippos and crocodiles, and an attraction to some of the biggest herds of elephant and buffalo on earth. This afternoon we enjoy an extensive boat cruise on the river, within Chobe National Park. Gliding close to the banks, we hope to silently approach the animals that come down to the river to drink. Back on land, we cross the border into Zimbabwe and make our way to our accommodation for the next two nights. The lodge is centrally situated in Victoria Falls and within walking distance of the falls and other attractions.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Chobe boat cruise , Zimbabwe

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Accommodation: Accommodation

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: VICTORIA FALLS

Distance: (Free day to explore town or do some activities)

Awaking in the adventure capital of Africa, it is with new excitement that we explore the amazing Victoria Falls, known to the locals as “Mosi-oa-Tunya “, meaning “The smoke that thunders”. This is the place where, according to ancient traditions, the Zambezi River God “Nyami Nyami”, who takes the form of a snake spirit, is in hiding. Your entry fee to the falls is included in the tour price, and you are free to spend as much time as you like viewing the falls and exploring the surrounding rain forest.

Various other attractions can be visited, and activities enjoyed, including the tribal village or curio market. Victoria Falls is also home to a multitude of adventure activities, such as an aircraft flip over the falls, a boat trip on the Zambezi River, white water rafting or bungee jumping, but allowance must be made for the extra expense of these optional activities.

We spend two nights here, thus allowing you some time to explore the town and all it has to offer, with the freedom to choose the sights and activities that interest you. Tonight, we will eat out at a local restaurant (own expense). Relax to the sound of the African night and the distant roar of the falls and drink the farewell toasts to your adventure.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Victoria Falls National Park & Entry fee for viewing the falls

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Accommodation: Accommodation

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast (Lunch and dinner is own expense)

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Optional Activities: Scenic helicopter flight, White water rafting, Bungee jump, Gorge swing & Many more available

DAY 4: KAFUE CAMP

Distance: 570 km

Our journey today takes us through southern Zambia, and then down into the Zambezi Valley to our camp at Gwabi River Lodge, on the banks of the Kafue River just upstream from the confluence of the Kafue and Zambezi Rivers. It is from here that we will embark on a two day canoe trip on the Zambezi River.
The afternoon is spent preparing for the upcoming canoe trip as we pack all the essentials we will need. We enjoy the lodge facilities and camp the night.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Scenic drive through southern Zambia, Zambezi River Valley

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Accommodation: Gwabi River Lodge - Camping (2 person dome tent)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5 – 7: ZAMBEZI CANOE

Distance: Canoe trip

A mighty river, literally boiling with hippos and crocodiles, and luring every imaginable animal to drink from its sandy banks, the Zambezi has drawn explorers, adventurers and naturalists for centuries. Paddling down the river, watching animals from the water, allows us to enjoy the same experience as these intrepid pioneers.

We start our canoeing adventure at Gwabi River Lodge, paddling first down the Kafue River, while the guides instruct those new to canoes. We then join the Zambezi and spend the next two days paddling easily with the current, game viewing and bird watching as we go. We pass Mana Pools, one of Zimbabwe’s famous National Parks, and we camp wild on islands each night. The trip ends where the Chongwe River joins the Zambezi. A motorboat returns us to Gwabi River Lodge, where we camp the night and enjoy a welcome restaurant meal (own expense)

Hightlights

Hightlights:

2 day canoe trip & Wild camping along the river

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Accommodation: Wild camping on day 6 & 7 (2 person dome tent)

Meals

Meals:

DAY 5 & 6: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner DAY 7: Breakfast, Lunch (Dinner own expense)

DAY 8: LUANGWA

Distance: +- 500 km

Reunited with our vehicle, we travel to the capital city of Lusaka, where we stop to stock up on supplies, before continuing along the “Great East Road”. Our goal is South Luangwa National Park, but this is just a bit too far for one day of driving, so we will cover as much distance as possible before we camp at a convenient spot. This will place us well for an early arrival tomorrow.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Lusaka, Scenic drive through Zambia

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Accommodation: Camping (2 person dome tent)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9 – 10: SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK

Distance: 300 km on Day 10

Our next stop is South Luangwa National Park, where we spend two nights camping on the banks of the Luangwa River, well known for its impressive hippo and crocodile populations. During our stay here we will conduct an extensive open-vehicle game drive in the park, which offers one of the best possible chances of finding the elusive leopard. There is plenty of other game too, which makes this park one of Africa’s best. You will also have the opportunity to do an optional night drive (own expense).

Hightlights

Hightlights:

South Luangwa National Park, Game drive in park, Camp overlooking Luangwa river

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Accommodation: Wildlife Camp - Camping (2 person dome tent) Included Highlights/Activity:

Meals

Meals:

DAY 9 & 10: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Optional Activities: Night drive

DAY 11 – 12: LAKE MALAWI

Distance: 400 km

Today we enter Malawi, stopping in the capital, Lilongwe, for a bit of curio shopping and to replenish our stocks of fresh food. We then descend into the Great Rift Valley, arriving on the shores of Lake Malawi, the third largest of Africa’s great lakes and the fourth largest body of fresh water on Earth, in the late afternoon. With over 700 species of fish, more than any other lake in the world, the snorkelling is a highlight, as are the sandy beaches and friendly locals. We spend two nights here, camping literally on the beach. One night we enjoy an own expense meal.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Lake Malawi

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Accommodation: Lake Malawi - Camping (2 person dome tent)

Meals

Meals:

DAY 11: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner DAY 12: Breakfast, Lunch (Dinner own expense)

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Optional Activities: Snorkelling, Boat trips, Village walk, Bike tour

DAY 13 – 14: MULANJE MASSIF

Distance: 350 km on day 14

We follow the Rift Valley south, via Malawi’s second city of Blantyre and the tea plantations at Thyolo, to Mount Mulanje, an impressive mountain of granite rising some 600m above the surrounding forest and lush tea plantations. The Mulanje Cedar, the National Tree of Malawi, reaching up to 50m in height and famous for the pleasantly fragrant furniture and curios it makes, is found here. The tree is endangered by uncontrolled logging, but efforts to save it are being made in this area.

We spend two nights camping on the lower slopes of the mountain, and will enjoy a hike to the plateau, from where the views are exceptional.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Scenic drive through Malawi, Thyolo tea plantations, Mount Mulanje hike

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Accommodation: Mulanje - Camping (2 person dome tent)

Meals

Meals:

DAY 13 & 14: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15: CHIMOIO

Distance: 680 km

Today is a long drive to cover as much distance towards the coast as we can, so we leave early, travelling via Blantyre, Malawi’s second city, to enter Mozambique at Zobue. We across the Zambezi River at Tete, and continue south, travelling alongside the mountains that form the border with Zimbabwe. Tonight, we camp in Chimoio.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Scenic drive through Tete corridor

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Accommodation: Chimoio - Camping (2 person dome tent)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch (Dinner own expense)

DAY 16 – 17: VILANCULOS

Distance: 470 km

We continue to the coast, passing through many vibrant and bustling villages, reaching Vilanculos around lunch time. We will spend two nights here, on the shores of the warm, azure Indian Ocean, overlooking the idyllic Bazaruto Archipelago. We have the day for swimming and snorkelling, walking on the beach or exploring the town. For the more adventurous, a dhow trip to the islands offshore is an option (own expense). Our accommodation is conveniently close to the beach, and both nights we enjoy the cuisine at local restaurants (own expense).

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Vilanculos , Indian Ocean beaches

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Accommodation: Accommodation Vilanculos

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch (Dinner own expense)

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Optional Activities: Snorkelling, Boat ride

DAY 18-20: INHAMBANE

Distance: 300 km

Following the coast, we make our way south to the town of Maxixe, from where we take a local dhow (traditional sailing vessel) across the bay to Inhambane, a small town founded at the site of an ancient trading port. Our guide drives around the bay to meet us. We spend some time exploring the town and visit the bustling and colourful local market, before continuing to our comfortable accommodation, literally on the beach between large sand dunes and the Indian Ocean.

We spend three nights here, during which time we relax, snorkel and soak up the sun. There are opportunities for long walks on coconut-palm-lined deserted beaches, and for the more adventurous, world class tropical scuba diving, fishing for marlin or tuna from a ski boat, or an ocean safari with the chance to see dolphins, manta rays, whale sharks or whales are options (own expense).

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Inhambane, Dhow trip

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Accommodation: Ngumula Lodge

Meals

Meals:

DAY 18 - 20: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Optional Activities: Scuba diving, Ocean safaris, Snorkelling

DAY 21: MAPUTO

Distance: 300 km

Today we continue our journey southward, crossing vast coastal floodplains and passing through forests of cashew trees. This afternoon we arrive in the capital, Maputo, and take a tour of the city, still heavily influenced by its Portuguese colonial past, using local transport and a local guide, for a unique and authentic experience. We overnight at a hotel in the city and enjoy an own expense dinner at a local restaurant. Maputo cuisine is famous for its seafood and spicy peri-peri flavours!

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Maputo

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Accommodation: Villa das Mangas

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch (Dinner own expense)

DAY 22: KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

Distance: 160 km

Leaving Maputo after an easy morning, we cross the border into South Africa and make our way to the Kruger National Park, entering at Malelane Gate. We will spend the afternoon game driving in the southern part of the park, finally arriving at one of the park’s rest camps to camp the night. This evening an optional night drive is possible at own expense.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Kruger Park, Game drives

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Accommodation: Kruger Park rest camp - Camping (2 person dome tent)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Optional Activities: Night drive

DAY 23: KRUGER NATIONAL PARK - HAZYVIEW

Distance: +- 100 km

We leave the camp early to spend the entire day game driving in Kruger Park, giving us a last chance to experience the wildlife that makes Africa unique. We will stop at some of the park’s many picnic spots for breaks and meals. In the late afternoon we exit the park and travel the short distance to the GREENFIRE LODGE HAZYVIEW, where we spend the last night, celebrating our adventure and the new friendships made, over our final dinner.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Full day game drive

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Accommodation: Greenfire Lodge Hazyview

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 24: JOHANNESBURG

Distance: 420 km

After a leisurely start, and perhaps a short walk in the forest along the banks of the Sabie River, we make our way back to Johannesburg, arriving at the GREENFIRE LODGE JOHANNESBURG in the late afternoon.

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast

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