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

South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia’s Victoria Falls

Great Game Parks of Southern Africa Safari route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $8595  
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

  • World-class gameviewing, 4WD safaris by open vehicle, boat safaris, game walks
  • South Africa’s Timbavati Private Reserve adjoining Kruger National Park, Botswana’s Chobe National Park and Okavango Delta
  • Stunning Victoria Falls, elegant accommodations, optional extension to Cape Town


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.

Special Offer!
Currency Discount

The South African Rand has fallen dramatically against the dollar recently, and we’d like to pass the savings along to you. 

Discount: $800 off per person valid on the following departures:  
Jun 16-27, 2014
Jul 12-23, 2014  

Experience the extraordinary wildlife and amazing natural habitats of three of Africa’s most beautiful countries! In South Africa, a fantastic bush flight whisks us to Timbavati, a private game reserve that’s part of famed Greater Kruger National Park. On open-vehicle game drives with expert spotters, we get close encounters with lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, and more. Mid-trip brings us to magnificent Victoria Falls to witness the wonder of its mile-wide curtain of thundering water, then head to Botswana for a safari across the game-filled Okavango Delta and savannas of Chobe National Park. Thrilling gameviewing by day, romantic candlelit dinners amid the sounds of the African night, stylish safari camps and lodges, and an optional extension to Cape Town—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

At Tanda Tula, a luxurious tented camp on Timbavati’s sun-drenched savannas, we experience superlative gameviewing, and because we are on private land, not in a national park, we can drive off-road in our open vehicles for better views of the “Big Five”—lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino, and leopard. After sundown, a new world opens up as we look for nocturnal wildlife including elusive genets and leopards on the hunt. We also enjoy optional bush walks accompanied by an expert ranger and tracker.

Days 4-6
Johannesburg / Victoria Falls, Zambia

After an overnight in Johannesburg, we head to stunning Victoria Falls to experience the astonishing splendor of the world’s largest waterfalls, whose towering columns of spray can be seen 50 miles away.

Days 7-9
Chobe National Park, Botswana

The Savuti region of Chobe is legendary, with resident lions, leopards, and hyenas, and on thrilling game drives we track them as well as their prey, including large herds of giraffe, kudu, and roan and sable antelope. Chobe also offers unparalleled elephant viewing, with numbers in the tens of thousands.

Days 10-12
Okavango Delta

Flying right to Xugana Lodge, set on a private island in the Okavango Delta, we boat in quiet mokoros (canoes) poled through water lily–filled lagoons by our game spotters. The birdlife here is phenomenal, and we may see lechwe and sitatunga splashing through the shallows. Evenings feature open-air dining and crimson sunsets over the lagoon. 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

2014
May 5-16, 2014  Martin Meyer
Jun 16-27, 2014  Martin Meyer
Jul 12-23, 2014  Martin Meyer
2015
May 4-15, 2015
Jun 15-26, 2015
Jul 20-31, 2015

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2014
$8595 (6-8 members)
$8995 (4-5 members)
Single supplement: $350
Internal airfare: $1795 (subject to change)
High season single supplement: $1595
High season surcharge (July): $1650
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Johannesburg: Cradle of Humankind, Soweto & the Apartheid Museum Extension
   from: $1895
Cape Town Extension
   from: $1995
Cape Winelands 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%
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Minimum fee: None per person
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% 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:

Great Game Parks of Southern Africa Safari, May 5-16, 2014
Great Game Parks of Southern Africa Safari, June 16-27, 2014
Great Game Parks of Southern Africa Safari, July 12-23, 2014
Adventuring in South Africa, October 8-20, 2014
Adventuring in South Africa, November 12-24, 2014

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

Optional Extensions

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

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 & 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