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Important Please Note

For departures after 31 December 2014 this trip has variations.
Please click here for details.

Where the Wild Things Are

Trip Length

Trip Code

10 days GAWW

Maximum Passengers

16 people
Minimum Age
18

Countries Visited

Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Start City

End City

Victoria Falls Johannesburg
Where the Wild Things Are

See ‘The Smoke that Thunders’ in Vic Falls. Spot elephants galore in Hwange National Park and rhinos en masse in Matobo National Park. Visit the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans in Nata and drop in on the Big 5 in Kruger.

 

Honey badgers are hardcore. Their skin is so thick even a machete won't cut it. And their jaws are strong enough to crush a tortoise shell. The Guiness Book of World Records reckons the honey badger is the most fearless creature on Earth. Google 'crazy, nastyass honey badger' if you don't believe us.

 

TRIP CHANGE FOR 2015:
This itinerary will no longer visit Nata. As a result, this itinerary will now visit Palapye and an included Old Palapye village walk will be included.

Where the Wild Things Are


Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1-2: Victoria Falls

Meals included: 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 7 dinners

Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe.Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 1:00pm on Day 1.You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your kitty, insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.For those of you who arrive early, there are various activities and excursions available - either on the water, on land or high above it all. Choose from whitewater rafting, canoeing, horse riding, abseiling or gorge swinging (please see the 'Optional Activities' section of these notes for more details on what you can see and do around Victoria Falls).If you are interested in the Optional Helicopter flight (12 minutes or 25 minutes ) we endorse the following operator only: Zambezi Helicopter co CAA Zimbabwe. Your leader can help you arrange this activity.Visit the magnificent Victoria Falls.The Victoria Falls are an enormous curtain of water, about a mile wide, falling 108 m into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise up an incredible 400 m and the falls are an impressive raging torrent. The spray from the falls can sometimes be seen from kilometres away. It's no wonder that the local name Mosi oa Tunya means the 'smoke that thunders'. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and it's possible to see little islets in the river below.Responsible Travel Note:

During your visit to the Victoria Falls area you may notice businesses offering an optional 'Walk with the Lions' experience.  We recommend that Geckos travellers bypass this activity as it is contrary to Gecko's Responsible Travel guideline stating that we 'actively discourage the participation of Geckos groups in activities which exploit animals - wild or domestic.'  Professional wildlife conservation organisations, including Born Free and the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), advise that habituating lions to humans can shorten their life and may result in lion-human conflict issues. While there is some merit in the argument that the money that you pay for the activity goes towards lion research, we feel that the negative impacts on the lions' rehabilitation far outweigh this.

Included Activities
Optional Activities

Day 3: Hwange National Park

Head towards Hwange National Park (190 km, approx 3-4 hrs).
Stopping en route to visit the Painted Dog Conservation Group for an insight into the plight of the African Wild Dog.
Hwange National Park became the royal hunting grounds of the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19th century and was set aside as a national park in 1929. Today, Hwange boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species. The elephants of Hwange are world famous and the park's elephant population is one of the largest in Africa.
Explore the park in open 4x4 vehicles.
Stay within the park at one of its campgrounds with shared facilities.
Included Activities

Day 4-5: Bulawayo

Travel to Bulawayo (360 km, approx 5-6 hrs).
Known locally as the 'City of Kings', Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's second largest city and has a very interesting historical past.
We will have the afternoon free to explore the city, giving you plenty of opportunity to explore local markets, chat with a local or perhaps find a game of football or rugby to watch.
Get up early and venture out to explore the Matobo National Park.
Home to a large population of black and white rhinoceros that can be tracked on foot, Matobo National Park is also the site of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of Rhodesia and the De Beers diamond company. The Matopos area has great spiritual and cultural significance to the local people and there are many sites within the park where important ceremonies still take place.
In Bulawayo, stay in a campground with shared facilities - upgrades are available.
Included Activities
Optional Activities

Day 6: Nata

Hit the road bound for Nata ( 302km, approx 5hrs ).
Our campsite tonight is situated on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans which makes up one of the largest salt pans in the world covering some 12,000sq km.Facilities include a Restaurant, Swimming pool, Gift Shop and Bar/lounge area.
While here you have the opportunity to explore the pans on 3hr excursion in open vehicles. Surrounded by the Kalahari Desert the pans are naturally dry and salty for a large part of the year. During this time the arid landscape has an eerie feel to it as heat mirages disorientate the senses. However they are seasonally covered with water and grass and as soon as the rains hit become a refuge for migratory birds and animals.
Optional Activities

Day 7: Blouberg

Up bright and early we have a long drive ahead as we make tracks for Blouberg ( approx. 600km, 10hrs ).
We should arrive at our camp late this afternoon. The camp is situated in South Africa’s Limpopo Province and offers a unique cultural experience. Located at the base of the mountain, where no roads exist due to its rugged and inaccessible nature, it is home for a small community of the Hananwa people who still lead a very traditional lifestyle.
On arrival stretch your legs for a short walk with a local guide. Following paths along the base of the Blouberg Mountains, hear stories of a fascinating community, some of whom still follow ancient traditions. The first stop is at a deserted Lutheran missionary village (Bochum) where you will get an understanding of the cross-cultural dynamics of the area. Proceed to local village taverns (called shebeens) where locals will provide an evening meal, giving you an opportunity to discover traditional meals like mazie and watermelon (Thopi), chicken-based stews (Malana) and a green vegetable called marogo. Take the opportunity to try the traditionally brewed beer.Please note that this experience offers limited options for vegetarians. Ask your leader about organising an alternative.
Included Activities

Day 8-9: Kruger National Park

This morning we make our way towards the Kruger National Park (350 km, approx 8hrs).
One of the largest game reserves in Southern Africa, Kruger National Park is home to over 500 bird species, 100 species of reptile and 150 mammal species, including the Big Five and the endangered African wild dog.
Our wildlife experience begins as soon as we enter the park. We head straight into prime game viewing areas where we hope to catch a glimpse of some of the amazing animals found here.
Rise early and have a light breakfast of coffee and rusks 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.
Our campground within the park has shared facilities and hot and cold water.
Included Activities
Optional Activities

Day 10: Johannesburg

Transfer back to Johannesburg (600 km, approx 8-9 hrs). There's plenty of time to stop and explore along the way. Take in amazing views at the viewpoint 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.
Included Activities

 

**This trip is run by our sister company Intrepid**


Your Trip

Nuts and Bolts

African Ivory Route - Cultural Dinner, Blyde River Canyon, Kruger Park - Game drive, Visit Victoria Falls

 

Summary of accommodation, transport & meals

Transport

Accommodation

Meals

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.


Important Information

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.

FINISH TIME:
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 run by our experienced sister company Intrepid Travel. Your group is therefore likely to be  a mixture of Gecko’s passengers and other like-minded international travellers.

ITINERARY DISCLAIMER:

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:

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.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

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.

 

About this Information

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!

Last Updated

10 October 2014


General Contact Details

Geckos AdventuresPhone: 855-832-4853
E-mail: sales@geckosadventures.com
Web: Visit Geckos