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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Great Game Parks of Southern Africa Safari

Safari Adventures in South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia’s Victoria Falls

Great Game Parks of Southern Africa Safari route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $8695  
Length: 12 days
Arrive: Johannesburg, South Africa
Depart: Maun, Botswana
Lodging: 11 nights game lodges and deluxe camps
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Safaris, Wildlife & Natural History
Trip Level: Gameviewing by 4WD vehicle, boat, and mokoro (canoe), optional bush walks
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Highlights

  • Safari guide Martin Meyer’s incredible knowledge of and passion for Africa’s wildlife and cultures
  • Incredible landscapes, from savannas and woodlands to riverine glades and Okavango’s jewel-like lagoons
  • Gameviewing 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.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Three countries and all the extraordinary ecosystems and wildlife of Southern Africa! In South Africa, a bush flight whisks you to famed Greater Kruger National Park and neighboring Timbavati, a private game reserve known for exciting encounters with lion, elephant, leopard, and rhino. Mid-trip, you’ll head to Zambia for gameviewing along the Zambezi River and stunning views of the thundering waters of Victoria Falls. Your grand finale? Epic wildlife encounters in Botswana’s verdant Okavango Delta and the teeming savannas of Chobe National Park. Thrilling gameviewing 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 luxurious Tanda Tula 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 and search for wildlife along the lush banks of the Zambezi.

Days 7-9
Chobe National Park, Botswana

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

Days 10-12
Okavango Delta

Flying right to remote Xugana Lodge, set on a private Okavango Delta island, gameview by mokoro (canoe) in lily–filled lagoons and enjoy open-air dining and crimson sunsets over the Delta. Depart on Day 12.

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

2015
May 4-15, 2015  Martin Meyer
Jun 15-26, 2015  Martin Meyer
Jul 20-31, 2015  Martin Meyer

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$8695 (6-8 members)
$9195 (4-5 members)
Single supplement: $470
Internal airfare: $1995 (subject to change)
High season surcharge (July): $1680
High season single supplement: $1725
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Johannesburg: Cradle of Humankind, Soweto and the Apartheid Museum Extension
   from: $1295
Cape Town Extension
   from: $1695
Cape Winelands Extension
   from: $895
Mozambique Extension
   from: $1495

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.

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
46-90 days prior to departure: 25.0% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Tanda Tula Camp

Tanda Tula Camp

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

This luxurious tented camp set among stately trees has 12 thatched East Africa-style tents with private Victorian style baths, outdoor showers, and ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Savute Safari Lodge

Savute Safari Lodge

Days 7 to 9 (3 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 wife.

Upcoming Trips:

Adventuring in South Africa, April 17-29, 2015
Great Game Parks of Southern Africa Safari, May 4-15, 2015
Great Game Parks of Southern Africa Safari, June 15-26, 2015
Great Game Parks of Southern Africa Safari, July 20-31, 2015
Adventuring in South Africa, October 16-28, 2015
Adventuring in South Africa, November 13-25, 2015

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

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

South Africa

cape town table mountain south africa

Cape Town Extension

Africa’s Most Romantic City

Cultural Adventures, Walking
4 days  -  Level 2

south africa vineyards winelands

Cape Winelands Extension

Explore South Africa’s Celebrated Wine Country

Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 1

johannesburg city skyline south africa

Johannesburg: Cradle of Humankind, Soweto and the Apartheid Museum 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