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.

Significant Currency Discount Available for this Trip!

The US Dollar has strengthened dramatically against the Rand, and we want to pass the savings on to you! The amount of the discount will be calculated on the day you sign up, and will be locked in at that rate, no matter how many months away your trip dates are. Call or email us to find out today’s discount, or with any questions you may have. This is the year to visit southern Africa— Call soon! The US Dollar may not maintain this level of strength for long.

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
Jun 15-26, 2015  Martin Meyer
Jul 20-31, 2015  Martin Meyer
2016
May 23-Jun 3, 2016  Martin Meyer
Jun 15-26, 2016  Martin Meyer
Jul 6-17, 2016  Frank Dwyer

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 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!
90-46 days prior to departure: 25% 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 arriving to Johannesburg, South Africa, and departing from Maun, Botswana. For more detailed information, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip and have reviewed your proposed air schedule with our office. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule so we can reserve your airport transfers.

Arrival:
Johannesburg, 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

Tanda Tula Safari Camp

Tanda Tula Safari Camp

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

The name Tanda Tula means “to love the quiet.” This luxurious tented camp set among stately trees has 12 thatched East Africa-style ...
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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 ...
Click here for full description and more photos

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.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Frank Dwyer

Departure Dates: July 6-17, 2016

Frank Dwyer is a professional guide with a specialty in leading walking trips in the nature reserves and mountains of the Western Cape of South Africa. His extensive travels throughout South Africa have garnered him a broad knowledge of the natural environments and game parks of the country. He is ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Martin Meyer

Departure Dates: June 15-26, 2015, July 20-31, 2015, May 23-June 3, 2016, June 15-26, 2016

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 ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

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 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