|Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe|
Jo’burg brims with museums – if you don’t feel like visiting them on day 1, you can at the end. Head out rhino-spotting at dusk to see them at their sexiest. Paddle past hippos in the Okavango Delta and peer over the edge of Vic Falls. See why Kruger National Park really is the biz.
Fun animal facts:
· The elephant’s closest living relative is a dassie. It's 70cm long, 3kg heavy and looks somewhat like a hamster.
· A honey badger will attack its opponent’s testicles before any other body part.
· A cheetah's feet don't touch the ground for more than half the time it’s running.
Meals included: 14 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 13 dinners
Things to do in in Johannesburg: relax in a city park, explore a historic township (like Soweto), post up in a bar for some drinks or visit the Apartheid Museum. Or, all of the above. Just make sure you get the order right - turning up drunk to the Apartheid Museum will not win you any friends.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1
Rhinos have been around for 50 million years so they're used to people gawking at them. Then it's off to Maun (pronounced ma-ooon) to stock up on hats, sunscreen and scarves (for both the morning chill and the arvo sun).
Cross the border into Botswana and travel toward the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (600 km, approx 8-10 hrs)
It's kind of like being in a gondola in Venice. Except you probably won't see hippos in Venice. Enjoy a cold beer back at camp tonight. And is it just us, or are the stars actually bigger out here?
Traverse the waterways by mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe navigated by friendly local 'polers'.
Perhaps spot some of the wildlife and prolific birdlife
Spend time exploring the maze of lagoons, lakes and streams on foot, led by experienced and knowledgeable guides
Camp on a remote island in the heart of the wilderness
Dig a bush toilet and go without a shower, it's all part of the Okavango experience
Hear the sounds of the African bush at night
Wake early the following morning and head out on a sunrise walk
Return to camp for breakfast and take the rest of the day to relax, take a swim or test your poling skills before heading out for an afternoon walk or perhaps another mokoro trip
Elephants are the big stars here, and don't they know it. Parading around in big groups, showing off their cute babies and tearing down enormous trees limb by limb, the bloody big show-offs.
Enjoy a relaxing water safari down the Chobe River
This morning there is the possibility to join an optional game drive in Chobe National Park.
Travel on to Victoria Falls (330 km, approx 5-6 hrs)
Cross the border into Zimbabwe and have lunch on the banks of the Zambezi
Visit the magnificent Victoria Falls.
The entrance fee is a bit steep, so make sure you've got some cash on you. Once you're in, it's nice to get away from the touts and enjoy some peace and quiet. Well, except for the sound of 19 million cubic feet of water throwing itself over the edge every minute.
Perhaps enjoy optional activities such as abseiling, canoeing, flying fox, a helicopter flight, jet boating, a horseback safari, bungee jumping and more besides
If you look up 'goosebumps' in the dictionary you'll find a picture of you lying in your tent listening to a pride of lions roaring to one another across the plains in the middle of the night.
Big Cave Camp is surrounded by huge, gravity-defying granite boulders that look like they could topple over at any minute. But don't panic, it's just one of Mother Nature's clever little tricks, and it's what makes Matobo National Park so awesome.
Enjoy an afternoon free to explore the city
Head to Nata, on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. When the rains come, these pans are a bit of a hotspot for migratory birds and animals.Hit the road bound for Nata ( 302km, approx 5hrs )
Elephant, giraffe, zebra, cape buffalo, antelope, white rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, hippo, honey badger, crocodile, kudu, impala, endangered Cape hunting dog...how many can you spot?
The Gods must've been crazy to have come up with the Blyde River Canyon. It's the biggest green canyon in the world, with the second tallest tufa waterfall on earth and home to birds, fish and wildlife. You'll love it. Then you'll head back to Johannesburg.
Transfer back to Johannesburg (600 km, approx 8-9 hrs)
Take in views over the awesome Blyde River Canyon
Chobe National Park - Afternoon sunset cruise, Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Evening game drive, Maun - Local village visit, Okavango Delta - Mokoro trips & bushwalks, Visit Victoria Falls, African Ivory Route - Cultural Dinner, Blyde River Canyon, Kruger Park - Game drive
International flights, airport transfers, departure taxes, visas, insurance (compulsory on all trips), meals not listed, any optional tours or activities during free time, camera fees, excess baggage charges, tips and items of a personal nature.
We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
KRUGER PARK CAMPSITES:
On occasion, especially during the peak months of May, June and July we are unable to secure campsites within the Kruger National Park. In this instance we will camp in a bordering private game park.
This is a combination trip and the composition of your group may change in Victoria Falls.
This trip finishes upon arrival in Johannesburg on Day 10. On arrival in Johannesburg you can be dropped at the airport or at our finishing point hotel. Please do not book any flights until after 10pm this evening.
**This trip is operated by our sister company Intrepid**
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements deriving from past travellers' and local operator feedback. The information given in this itinerary may differ slightly to that in the brochure. It's imperative that you print and review a final copy of your itinerary a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
For the latest updated itinerary please visit our website: www.geckosadventures.com
Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some of the changes that may occur in our itineraries could be due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transportation. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for the chance of possible modifications to the trip en-route.
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, and all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the activities that are included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded to you.
There are a selection of optional activities listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This is not an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices listed are for entrance only and do not include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless otherwise indicated. Please also be aware that it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Geckos nor included in the price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Geckos.
You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form for some of the optional activities you choose to participate in.
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please ensure that you have the most up-to-date information for your trip. We recommend that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
16 July 2014