lion prides southern africa wildlife

Lions of the savanna

Lions are one of the "Big Five" (the others are elephant, rhino, buffalo, and leopard) we can expect to see on our comprehensive wildlife safari in southern Africa.

Photo by Riann Van Den Berg / iStock Photo

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Botswana, South Africa, and Victoria Falls route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $7995  
Length: 11 days
Arrive: Johannesburg, South Africa
Depart: Maun, Botswana
Lodging: 10 nights game lodges and deluxe camps
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Safaris, Wildlife & Natural History
Trip Level: Game viewing by 4WD vehicle, boat, and mokoro (canoe), optional bush walks
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Highlights

  • Our safari guide’s incredible knowledge of and passion for Africa’s wildlife and cultures
  • Diverse landscapes, from savannas and woodlands to riverine glades and Okavango’s jewel-like lagoons
  • Game viewing by open vehicle, by boat, and on foot
  • Delightful accommodations that put you close to the action


This was truly a trip of a lifetime! Martin’s experience and leadership made every moment special and memorable. This was my first trip to Africa and the hospitality of the people and the breathtaking beauty of the environment cannot be overstated.Beth S.—Naperville, IL

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Three countries and all the extraordinary ecosystems and wildlife of southern Africa! In South Africa, enjoy exciting encounters with the “Big Five” in famed Greater Kruger National Park and neighboring Timbavati, a private game reserve. Then it’s on to Zambia for game viewing along the Zambezi River and stunning views of the crashing waters of Victoria Falls. Your grand finale? Tracking the epic wildlife of Botswana’s Okavango Delta and the savannas of Chobe National Park. Thrilling game viewing by day, candlelit dinners amid the sounds of the African night, stylish safari camps and lodges, the expertise of our safari guide extraordinaire—it all adds up to spectacular adventure.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
Timbavati Private Game Reserve, South Africa

On savannas surrounding our wonderfully appointed tented camp, head off-road in open-sided vehicles for close views of the “Big Five”—lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino, and leopard. You’ll also be able to take optional bush walks with an expert tracker and night drives to look for elusive genets and leopards on the hunt.

Days 4-6
Johannesburg / Victoria Falls, Zambia

Enjoy the majesty of Victoria Falls, walking trails right along the river for magnificent views of the thundering waters, and search for wildlife along the lush banks of the Zambezi while on a sunset cruise (with a sundowner in hand, of course!).

Days 7-8
Chobe National Park, Botswana

In the legendary game-rich Savuti region of Chobe, track lions, leopards, hyenas and their prey, including large herds of giraffe, zebra, and antelope, and savor unparalleled elephant viewing, with herds numbering in the thousands.

Days 9-11
Okavango Delta

Flying right to remote Xugana Lodge, set on a private island in the Okavango Delta, game view by mokoro (canoe) in lily–filled lagoons and enjoy open-air dining and crimson sunsets over the Delta. At night, listen to the hippos that come ashore to graze around camp. Depart on Day 11.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

The trip is rated Level 2+, Easy to Moderate. This is a luxury hotel-and-lodge-based adventure tour with several days of walking. Although this is not a particularly rigorous trip, we still recommend that each participant undertake a program of physical conditioning. Daily walking or regular hiking, jogging, and stair-climbing are excellent for preparing for the trip.

During game drives, we can at times get quite close to wild animals. Being very quiet improves everybody’s chances of observation. In the interest of safety, your Trip Leader explains limitations on movement while on game drives, in the safari vehicles, and around camp. Incidents with wild animals are extremely rare on safaris, but no camping safari can guarantee immunity from such incidents. Wilderness Travel is not to be held responsible for incidents involving the behavior of wildlife.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures & Leaders

2016
May 23-Jun 2, 2016  Martin Meyer
Jun 15-25, 2016  Martin Meyer
Jul 6-16, 2016  Martin Meyer

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2016
$7995 (6-8 members)
$8495 (4-5 members)
Single supplement: $470
Internal airfare: $1850 (subject to change)
High season single supplement: $1350
High season surcharge (July): $1400
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Johannesburg Extension
   from: $1095
Cape Town Extension
   from: $1595
Sossusvlei Dunes Extension
   from: $3795
Mozambique Extension
   from: $1495

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Up to 91 days prior to departure: No charge!
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations based on double occupancy
  • All meals included
  • Park fees
  • Land transportation
  • Airport transfers for passengers, baggage handling, and sightseeing as noted

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare to and from Africa, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors, cost of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, and other expenses of a personal nature (laundry, alcoholic beverages, etc.). Optional side trips and excursions are also at your own expense.

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation to the arrival and from the departure cities listed below. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

2015 Departures

Meeting Place:
Motswari Game Lodge
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Johannesburg, South Africa (airport code JNB)
Suggested arrival time: 7:00 am
Departure:
Maun, Botswana
Date: Day 12

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Maun, Botswana (airport code MUB)
Suggested departure time: 2:00 pm or later

2016 Departures

Meeting Place:
Motswari Game Lodge
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Johannesburg, South Africa (airport code JNB)
Suggested arrival time: 7:00 am
Departure:
Maun, Botswana
Date: Day 11

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Maun, Botswana (airport code MUB)
Suggested departure time: 2:00 pm or later

Motswari Game Lodge

Motswari Game Lodge

Days 1 to 3 (3 nights), Timbavati Private Game Preserve, South Africa

If you’re looking for the quintessential “Big Five” (and beyond) experience, you’ll have good chances of it from this ...
Click here for full description and more photos

DaVinci Hotel

DaVinci Hotel

Day 4 (1 night), Johannesburg, South Africa

The stylish Da Vinci Hotel is right on Nelson Mandela Square in the Sandton district, Johannesburg’s financial and business center. The shops ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Stanley's Safari Lodge

Stanley's Safari Lodge

Days 5 to 6 (2 nights), Victoria Falls, Zambia

Set on a hill bordering the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and only a mile or so from Victoria Falls, this hilltop oasis has splendid views of the ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Savute Safari Lodge

Savute Safari Lodge

Days 7 to 8 (2 nights), Chobe National Park, Botswana

With a prime location on the game-rich Savuti Channel, this intimate lodge features 12 private chalets, each with its own private deck, sliding ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Xugana Island Lodge

Xugana Island Lodge

Days 10 to 11 (2 nights), Okavango Delta, Botswana

Set deep in the heart of the Okavango Delta on the edge of a lovely lagoon, Xugana is the perfect base for exploring Okavango’s ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Martin Meyer

Martin Meyer of South Africa is a professional guide with extensive experience in leading 4WD safaris throughout southern Africa as well as in the game parks of Kenya and Tanzania. He has been active in establishing new routes and locations for various safari companies, has led photo safaris in Botswana and Namibia, and has guided scuba trips on the island of Zanzibar. Martin is thoroughly knowledgeable about all aspects of southern Africa’s natural history and fascinating cultures and loves introducing guests to his home country. When not on safari, he resides in Hoedspruit (near Kruger National Park) with his family.

Upcoming Trips:

Great Hikes and Game Parks of South Africa, October 16-28, 2015
Great Hikes and Game Parks of South Africa, November 13-25, 2015
Great Hikes and Game Parks of South Africa, March 5-14, 2016
Great Hikes and Game Parks of South Africa, May 7-16, 2016
Botswana, South Africa, and Victoria Falls, May 23-June 2, 2016
Botswana, South Africa, and Victoria Falls, June 15-25, 2016
Botswana, South Africa, and Victoria Falls, July 6-16, 2016
Great Hikes and Game Parks of South Africa, July 23-August 1, 2016
Great Hikes and Game Parks of South Africa, October 1-10, 2016

Client Testimonials:


Martin was top notch in every way. It was a pleasure to be in his company every day. Julie Farbaniec, Mission Viejo, CA
Adventuring in South Africa
Martin did an outstanding job and added so much to our experience in South Africa. He is a gem. Susan B., New York, NY
Adventuring in South Africa
Martin is really terrific and has just the right demeanor for a trip leader. He made the trip completely enjoyable. Keighley J., Rosston, TX
Zimbabwe Adventure
Martin was incredible! He had the perfect personality and demeanor to lead our group, and his background in guiding, photography, and knowledge of the local flora and fauna was invaluable. Beth S., Naperville, IL
Great Game Parks of Southern Africa
Martin's ability to genuinely relate to all he comes in contact with, African or otherwise, was a gift for all of us. What an ambassador for good will and for the company that expects nothing less! Sherida P., Arvada, CO
Adventuring in South Africa
Martin is South Africa's best spokesman. His care for us, his country, and people was infectious. Sharyn R., Draper, UT
Adventuring in South Africa
Martin gets the credit for this trip "staying in our souls." He is the best guide that we have ever worked with. He is warm, accepting, organized, an advocate of South Africa—with its history and growing pains. He is clear to uphold the WT environmental values and concern for its clients as that is endemic to his true nature and self. Sherida P., Arvada, CO
Adventuring in South Africa
You could not have a better person to lead this trip. He is extremely knowledgeable, proud of his country, has a wonderful sense of humor (and knowledge of wine), and is extremely sensitive and accomodating to the individuals in the group. He is a very impressive young man. Brother J., Portsmouth, RI
Adventuring in South Africa
I can't say enough good things about Martin—he really made the trip. Kenneth B., Chicago, IL
Adventuring in South Africa
Excellent does not come close. More like—unbelievable! So patient, fun, knowledgeable, funny, kind, a great story teller, amazing person. Just superlative in every way. Ginger P., Boulder, CO
Great Game Parks of Southern Africa
Martin was outstanding. We couldn't imagine traveling without his constant planning, oversight, and effort to make our trip completely satisfactory. He combined a passion for personal service with his depth of knowledge about South African history, culture, and nature to create an unforgettable experience for us. Thomas F., Marietta, OH
Adventuring in South Africa
Martin's knowledge of the flora and fauna, culture, language, and the history and politics of the region was remarkable. Doug P., New York, NY
Great Game Parks of Southern Africa
Martin is first class in everything! He is very knowledgeable (there is not a question he cannot answer), professional, sophisticated yet humble, personable, and knows how to give each client a good time. I would love to have him again as a guide! Ally F., San Diego, CA
Adventuring in South Africa
Excellent doesn't begin to capture it. Martin IS this trip. A remarkable human being and a passionate leader with bottomless knowledge. Eric L., Portland, ME
Adventuring in South Africa
Martin's ability to provide cultural insights through his personal history and interactions with locals enhanced our trip immeasurably. Bonnie B., Bakersfield, CA
Adventuring in South Africa
Martin made this trip spectacular. His knowledge and love of his country was palpable. Marcie L., Portland, ME
Adventuring in South Africa
A more considerate man, I've never met. He seemed to know about everything, thought of our every need we could have and his easy going nature and expertise made this a trip I will never forget. His knowlegde of this country was astounding. Fantastic!!!!!!!! Nancy S., Medfield, MA
Adventuring in South Africa
We could not have asked for a better guide. Martin's passion and love for the 'bush' was amazing, and his knowledge was superior. Dorene S., Martinez, CA
Great Game Parks of Southern Africa Safari
We can't say enough good things about Martin. He is a gem. Robert and Madelaine S., San Francisco, CA
Adventuring in South Africa
Martin is by far the most wonderful guide and trip leader I can imagine. He was terrific and made this trip so very special. I loved spending time with him—he was so much fun, smart, competent, interesting—I couldn't imagine anyone being better at this work. I'd travel again with him in a flash. He's the best! Ronnie S., Cambridge, MA
Adventuring in South Africa
Martin was fabulous. He was so knowledgeable about the animals' habits, tracking, geography, culture, stargazing, and even food! He was also fun-loving and enjoyable to be around. Polly S., Beavercreek, OH
Botswana, South Africa, and Victoria Falls
Martin is passionate about his job and brings great joy to all he does and to all who encounter him. His knowledge and ability to share it with his clients was amazing. His respect for all he works with and his appreciation for their roles was just as important as his respect for the ecosystem. He is a jewel! Emelie P., Great Falls, VA
Botswana, South Africa, and Victoria Falls

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

Mozambique

Mozambique Extension

Unwind at Dugong Beach Lodge

Wildlife & Natural History
4 days  -  Level 1

Namibia

namibia sossusvlei sand dunes

Sossusvlei Dunes Extension

Explore a Legendary Landscape from a Beautiful Wilderness Lodge

Safaris, Walking, Wildlife & Natural History
5 days  -  Level 2

South Africa

cape town table mountain south africa

Cape Town Extension

Africa’s Most Romantic City

Cultural Adventures, Walking
4 days  -  Level 2

johannesburg city skyline south africa

Johannesburg Extension

Cradle of Humankind, Soweto & the Apartheid Museum

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 1

Client Comments

This was truly a trip of a lifetime! Martin’s experience and leadership made every moment special and memorable. This was my first trip to Africa and the hospitality of the people and the breathtaking beauty of the environment cannot be overstated. Beth S., Naperville, IL This was the best trip I have ever taken in my life. Martin was a wonderful host who never tired of my constant questions. I learned so much and will start saving my money for a return trip! Peter W., Sacramento, CA This trip was fantastic. I've done a lot of traveling and this trip has easily become my most favorite tour of all time. Rick K., Lemoyne, PA The entire trip was perfect from start to finish. The itinerary, the camps, the amount of time in each place, the activities could not have been any better. This was a trip I had dreamed about for 40 years+ and I worried my expectations were way too high. Happy to report all expectations were met—plus some! Thank you for such a wonderful trip. Pam M., Louisville, KY
This trip was beyond my wildest expectations! Dorene S., Martinez, CA Every single piece of the trip went like clockwork. The food was excellent, the wildlife viewing a once in a lifetime experience, the guides were very professional, courteous, and competent. All in all, a stupendous trip. Suzanne S., Sperryville, VA