Crazy Circle of Life

Black and white brawl
Wildlife safari in Greater Kruger National Park
‘The smoke that thunders' - Victoria Falls
Honey badgers are hardcore
Blyde River Canyon - the largest green canyon in the world
The cultural history of South Africa's 'City of Gold' Johannesburg
Board a boat and drift down the Chobe River. How's the serenity?
Chobe National Park's river
Hear the 'smoke that thunders' at Victoria Falls
Hwange National Park - home to the second largest population of elephants in the world
Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Okavango Delta by 'mokoro'
  • 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.

     

    TRIP CHANGE FOR 2015:
    The tour has increased in duration and will now be an 18 day tour instead of 17. As a result, this itinerary will now visit Nata and explore the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans on the first part of the tour through Botswana and will visit Palapye and an Old Palapye village walk will be included in the Zimbabwe section of the tour.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Johannesburg

    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

    You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned
    Perhaps visit the Apartheid Museum, the Museum Africa, the Art Gallery or head off on the Gold Reef City and Heritage mine tour
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 2 - Khama Rhino Sanctuary

    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)

    Head out on a dusk game drive to see the rhinos when they are at their most active

    Day 3 - Maun

    It's seven hours to Maun so catch up on your beauty sleep or kick-off the most epic game of I-spy you've ever played.
    Your destination today is Maun (520 km, approx 7-8 hrs) - the gateway to the Okavango Delta
    Camp on the outskirts of town at a simple campsite with shared facilities

    Day 4-5 - Okavango Delta

    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

    Day 6 - Maun

    Head back to Maun. Perhaps look forward to an optional flight over the area when you get there. That'll make the drive go a bit quicker. Probably.
    Take the mokoro back to the poling station before transferring back to Maun (60 km, approx 2-3 hrs)
    Visit a local rural village for an insight into life in the Okavango Delta
    Perhaps fly over the delta in a small plane for a bird's-eye view 
    Camp on the outskirts of town at a simple campsite with shared facilities

    Day 7 - Chobe National Park

    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

     

     

    Day 8-9 - Victoria Falls

    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

    Day 10 - Hwange National Park

    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.

    Head towards Hwange National Park (190 km, approx 3-4 hrs)
    Stop en route to visit the Painted Dog Conservation Group for an insight into the plight of the African Wild Dog
    Explore the park in open 4x4 vehicles
    Stay within the park at one of its campgrounds with shared facilities

    Day 11-12 - Bulawayo

    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.

    Travel to Bulawayo (360 km, approx 5-6 hrs)

    Enjoy an afternoon free to explore the city

    Get up early and venture out to explore the Matobo National Park
    Stay in a campground with shared facilities
    Perhaps visit the Natural History Museum or the Railway Museum

    Day 13 - Nata

    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 )
    Your campsite tonight is situated on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
    Perhaps explore the pans on a three-hour excursion in open vehicles

     

    Day 14 - Blouberg

    Crack on to Blouberg and camp in the Limpop Province. Here, you'll get to explore the base of the Blouberg Mountains, here stories from the locals, and indulge in some authentic local meals at a village tavern. It'll probably be the best village tavern experience you've ever had.
    Long drive ahead as yopu make tracks for Blouberg ( approx. 600km, 10hrs )
    On arrival stretch your legs on a short walk with a local guide
    Enjoy a local evening meal at a local tavern

    Day 15-16 - Kruger National Park

    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?

    Head towards the Kruger National Park (350 km, approx 8hrs)
    The wildlife experience begins on entry to the park - head straight into prime game viewing areas and catch glimpses of the wildlife
    Rise early and have a light breakfast before embarking on a morning game drive
    Most of the day will be spent game viewing, bird watching and stopping at various waterholes and viewpoints
    Take an additional night drive with the park guide to spot nocturnal animals and perhaps even a night-time predator or two

     

    Day 17 - Johannesburg

    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

    This trip finishes on arrival in Johannesburg at our finish point hotel
     
    No accommodation is provided for tonight, but we are able to book you additional accommodation in Johannesburg. Please ask at time of booking. Please don't book any international flights until after 10pm this evening.
     
    **This trip is run by our sister company Intrepid**
  • What's Included

      • On this trip you will be accompanied by 2 crew members, a Group Leader and a Driver. (Depending on your group size – from time to time your leader will also be your driver)

      • Included activities:

      • 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

    Not Included

    • 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.

    Safety Information

    It is recommended that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information prior to your departure.

    Geckos strongly recommends the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Please leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Most of our hotels will have a safety deposit box, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and Geckos makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING CONDITIONS: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Be aware that traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home.

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    SWIMMING POOLS: You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.

    UNFENCED CAMP SITES: On some trips where you will be staying within a national park, please note that at times you will stay in unfenced camp sites. While this is a fantastic experience, there are a few safety rules that must be adhered to. While staying in national parks it's important that you listen to any advice given by your leader and the park rangers regarding responsible and safe behaviour.

    BALCONIES:
    Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

    SEAT BELTS:
    Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.

     

  • Map Itinerary

  • Trip Dates and Prices

    Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price Kitty Payment Total Price
    27 Sep 2014 - 13 Oct 2014 Fully Booked
    US $1,340 On Sale
    Sale: US $1,206
    ZA R8,090 US $2,200 Contact us
    04 Oct 2014 - 20 Oct 2014 Fully Booked
    US $1,380 On Sale
    Sale: US $1,242
    ZA R8,090 US $2,236 Contact us
    11 Oct 2014 - 27 Oct 2014 Fully Booked
    US $1,345 On Sale
    Sale: US $1,210
    ZA R8,090 US $2,204 Contact us
    18 Oct 2014 - 03 Nov 2014 Fully Booked
    US $1,345 On Sale
    Sale: US $1,210
    ZA R8,090 US $2,204 Contact us
    25 Oct 2014 - 10 Nov 2014 Fully Booked
    US $1,345 On Sale
    Sale: US $1,210
    ZA R8,090 US $2,204 Contact us
    01 Nov 2014 - 17 Nov 2014 3 places left
    US $1,300 On Sale
    Sale: US $1,170
    ZA R8,090 US $2,164 Book Now
    08 Nov 2014 - 24 Nov 2014 1 place left
    US $1,300 On Sale
    Sale: US $1,170
    ZA R8,090 US $2,164 Book Now
    29 Nov 2014 - 15 Dec 2014 Fully Booked
    US $1,300 On Sale
    Sale: US $1,170
    ZA R8,090 US $2,164 Contact us
    13 Dec 2014 - 29 Dec 2014 Available
    US $1,300 On Sale
    Sale: US $1,170
    ZA R8,090 US $2,164 Book Now
    20 Dec 2014 - 05 Jan 2015 Fully Booked
    US $1,300 On Sale
    Sale: US $1,170
    ZA R8,090 US $2,164 Contact us
    27 Dec 2014 - 12 Jan 2015 3 places left
    US $1,300 On Sale
    Sale: US $1,170
    ZA R8,090 US $2,164 Book Now
    03 Jan 2015 - 19 Jan 2015 Available US $1,340 ZA R8,090 US $2,334 Book Now
    10 Jan 2015 - 26 Jan 2015 Available US $1,340 ZA R8,090 US $2,334 Book Now
    17 Jan 2015 - 02 Feb 2015 Available US $1,340 ZA R8,090 US $2,334 Book Now
    24 Jan 2015 - 09 Feb 2015 Available US $1,340 ZA R8,090 US $2,334 Book Now
    07 Feb 2015 - 23 Feb 2015 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
    14 Feb 2015 - 02 Mar 2015 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
    21 Feb 2015 - 09 Mar 2015 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
    07 Mar 2015 - 23 Mar 2015 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
    14 Mar 2015 - 30 Mar 2015 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
    21 Mar 2015 - 06 Apr 2015 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
    28 Mar 2015 - 13 Apr 2015 Available US $1,260 ZA R8,090 US $2,254 Book Now
    04 Apr 2015 - 20 Apr 2015 Available US $1,260 ZA R8,090 US $2,254 Book Now
    11 Apr 2015 - 27 Apr 2015 Available US $1,260 ZA R8,090 US $2,254 Book Now
    18 Apr 2015 - 04 May 2015 Available US $1,260 ZA R8,090 US $2,254 Book Now
    25 Apr 2015 - 11 May 2015 Available US $1,260 ZA R8,090 US $2,254 Book Now
    09 May 2015 - 25 May 2015 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
    16 May 2015 - 01 Jun 2015 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
    23 May 2015 - 08 Jun 2015 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
    30 May 2015 - 15 Jun 2015 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
    06 Jun 2015 - 22 Jun 2015 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
    13 Jun 2015 - 29 Jun 2015 Available US $1,345 ZA R8,090 US $2,339 Book Now
    20 Jun 2015 - 06 Jul 2015 Available US $1,345 ZA R8,090 US $2,339 Book Now
    04 Jul 2015 - 20 Jul 2015 Available US $1,345 ZA R8,090 US $2,339 Book Now
    11 Jul 2015 - 27 Jul 2015 Available US $1,345 ZA R8,090 US $2,339 Book Now
    18 Jul 2015 - 03 Aug 2015 Available US $1,345 ZA R8,090 US $2,339 Book Now
    25 Jul 2015 - 10 Aug 2015 Available US $1,345 ZA R8,090 US $2,339 Book Now
    01 Aug 2015 - 17 Aug 2015 Available US $1,380 ZA R8,090 US $2,374 Book Now
    08 Aug 2015 - 24 Aug 2015 Available US $1,380 ZA R8,090 US $2,374 Book Now
    15 Aug 2015 - 31 Aug 2015 Available US $1,380 ZA R8,090 US $2,374 Book Now
    22 Aug 2015 - 07 Sep 2015 Available US $1,380 ZA R8,090 US $2,374 Book Now
    29 Aug 2015 - 14 Sep 2015 Available US $1,380 ZA R8,090 US $2,374 Book Now
    05 Sep 2015 - 21 Sep 2015 Available US $1,380 ZA R8,090 US $2,374 Book Now
    12 Sep 2015 - 28 Sep 2015 Available US $1,380 ZA R8,090 US $2,374 Book Now
    19 Sep 2015 - 05 Oct 2015 Available US $1,380 ZA R8,090 US $2,374 Book Now
    26 Sep 2015 - 12 Oct 2015 Available US $1,380 ZA R8,090 US $2,374 Book Now
    03 Oct 2015 - 19 Oct 2015 Available US $1,345 ZA R8,090 US $2,339 Book Now
    10 Oct 2015 - 26 Oct 2015 Available US $1,345 ZA R8,090 US $2,339 Book Now
    17 Oct 2015 - 02 Nov 2015 Available US $1,345 ZA R8,090 US $2,339 Book Now
    24 Oct 2015 - 09 Nov 2015 Available US $1,345 ZA R8,090 US $2,339 Book Now
    07 Nov 2015 - 23 Nov 2015 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
    14 Nov 2015 - 30 Nov 2015 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
    21 Nov 2015 - 07 Dec 2015 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
    28 Nov 2015 - 14 Dec 2015 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
    05 Dec 2015 - 21 Dec 2015 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
    12 Dec 2015 - 28 Dec 2015 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
    19 Dec 2015 - 04 Jan 2016 Available US $1,300 ZA R8,090 US $2,294 Book Now
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    Kitty payment is required in cash. It needs to be paid before the end of your trip, in the local currency stated above. It is generally paid on Day 1, and covers most on-ground expenses. Kitty payments calculated using exchange rates valid on 1 Jan 2013.

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Crazy Circle of Life

    Annette - Australia, 11 Apr, 2013
    5
    Overall Rating

    The whole trip was an unbelievable experience. We could have not had a better time. Our guide, Justin, cook, Irvine and driver, collen were the best team we have ever come across. The were compassionate and funny. We have never had so much fun in our life and laughed so much. It is the best trip we have ever done. We are now looking at doing another trip in this wonderful, friendly and amazing country.

    Crazy Circle of Life

    Glenys - Australia, 11 Apr, 2013
    5
    Overall Rating

    I chose to travel with Geckos for the following reasons. I see myself as a 'traveller" not a "tourist". Moving with Geckos you can get to mingle with the locals and experience something of their way of life - and to me the people and their cultures are such an important part of any trip. For me, to mix and to learn something of their way of life is a very valuable and rewarding experience, and of course when you couple this with all the other great things that this style of travel has to offer, I think you really have the best.

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17 days
$1170
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Nuts+Bolts

#GABZ
- 16
4WD vehicle, Boat, Mokoro, Overland vehicle
2 nights Bush camp, 1 night Basic hotel, 13 nights participatory camping
Johannesburg
Johannesburg

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