Great Wildlife of Southern Africa

Greater Kruger, Victoria Falls, and Hwange

Overview

South Africa’s Cape Town, with its legendary landscapes, is brimming with culture, art, and culinary delights. We begin our journey here, taking in the breathtaking Cape Peninsula, exploring the fabulous Kirstenbosch botanical gardens, and watching Africa’s rare penguins waddle along the beach. From Cape Town, we venture into two of Africa’s largest national parks: Greater Kruger and Hwange, with a stop at majestic Victoria Falls along the way. In the undulating savannas of Greater Kruger on Timbavati Private Reserve, we’ll search for elephant, rhino, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, kudu, and wildebeest, and their attendant predators—lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, and African wild dog. Our grand finale is Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe: we enter by vintage rail car and savor three exquisite days of fantastic wildlife viewing along with beautiful, remote lodges. Hwange is one of Africa’s best-kept secrets with some of the highest concentrations of elephants in the world—but far fewer tourists than other parks and some of the most highly-trained guides in Africa. Now is the time to go!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Cape Town, South Africa / Cape Peninsula

Cape Town brims with world-renowned natural beauty, culture, art, and culinary delights. On the Cape Peninsula, we explore the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, watch Africa’s rare penguins waddle along the beach, and visit Cape Point at the tip of the continent.

The Victoria and Alfred Hotel
Cape Town, South Africa
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights)
Days 3-5
Timbavati Private Game Reserve / Big Five Game Viewing

Flying to an exclusive wildlife reserve, Timbavati, part of the Greater Kruger ecosystem, we’ll explore by open-sided 4WD vehicle with our Shangaan game trackers, on the lookout for the Big Five: lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino, and leopard. Because we are on private lands, we can also enjoy a walking safari, exploring on foot with our tracker.

Kambaku River Sands
Timbavati Game Reserve, South Africa
Days 3 to 5 (3 nights)
Days 6-7
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

From breathtaking Gorges Lodge, we’ll hike along the escarpment directly across from mile-wide Victoria Falls, or set out for a cruise on the Zambezi River to look for wildlife.

Gorges Lodge
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Days 6 to 7 (2 nights)
Days 8-11
Hwange National Park

A ride on an open-air railway car brings us into Hwange on the game-rich Ngamo Plains. We’ll enjoy phenomenal wildlife viewing, game walks, night drives, sundowners in spectacular locations, and waterhole-level views from a unique “look up” blind. Authentic cultural encounters include visiting a homestead, walking to school with local kids, and having the chance to learn a bit of their “click” language. Depart on Day 11 via Victoria Falls.

Bomani Tented Lodge
Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Days 8 to 10 (3 nights)

Highlights

Highlights

Expert safari guide with incredible knowledge of Africa’s wildlife
The best game viewing in Southern Africa—the Big Five and more!
Superb accommodations, close to the wildlife!
Track phenomenal wildlife by railway car, on foot, and in open-sided vehicles

Details

Length: 11 days
Cost From: $9195  
Arrive: Cape Town, South Africa
Depart: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Lodging: 10 nights game lodges and boutique hotels
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Safaris, Wildlife & Natural History
Trip Level:

Game viewing by 4WD vehicle, vintage railway car, bush walks

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