Southern African Dream Safari (18 days)

Southern African Dream Safari

(18 days)

Description

This Southern African Safari is any travelers dream taking you from the Okavango Delta, one of the world's largest inland deltas to the mighty Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and lastly the wild and untamed Kafue National Park.

Included:

Not Included:

Some Meals Provided

Breakfast included every day, as well as 17 dinners and 17 lunches. Ask your travel specialist for more details.

Virtuoso

All tours depart daily and are private, highly personalized and luxurious. Virtuoso travelers receive amenities and VIP treatment on all Artisans of Leisure tours.

Professional Guide

All tours include a guide to show you all there is to see on the tour.

Hotel Pickup & Drop-off

Private airport transfer for every Virtuoso member

Trip Itinerary

DAY #1 - Johannesburg, South Africa - The Peech Hotel
Upon arrival at O.R. Tambo International Airport you will be met in the terminal by a BidAir representative carrying a name board and assisted with immigration, baggage collection and accompanied through customs. Guests will be further assisted to the Choice Tours representative for their onward private transfer to The Peech Hotel.
DAY #2 - Mashatu Game Reserve , Botswana - Mashatu Lodge
You will be met by a Choice Tours representative at The Peech Hotel for their private road transfer to O.R. Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) for their flight to Polokwane Airport where they will be met by a Copper Sun Tours and Transfers representative for their onward transfer to Mashatu Lodge. Situated in the southern reaches of Africa, Botswana is renowned for its pristine wilderness areas characterized by deep lagoons, wetlands, lush palms, rugged hills and desert plains scattered with scrubland. The country’s primary tourist drawcard is undoubtedly the vast red expanse of the Kalahari Desert and its remarkably beautiful Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world. These natural wonders provide a tranquil haven for an abundance of African wildlife to thrive. Other highlights include the impressive Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, where visitors are privy to massive zebra migrations during the flood season; the Savuti plains, which host large prides of lions; and the Tsodilo Hills, where 4500 rock paintings form a unique record of human settlement over many millennia.
DAY #3 - Mashatu Game Reserve , Botswana - Mashatu Lodge
Mashatu Game Reserve in the south eastern extreme of Botswana offers a unique portfolio of adventure safari experiences on a reserve known as the Land of Giants, named after the largest herds of elephant on private land in Africa. In addition to the camps (luxury villas, luxury all-suite and tented) and excellent daily sightings of all the African predators (lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackal and African wildcat), Mashatu is unquestionably the adventure safari destination for energetic travelers and multi-generational families. Mashatu; activities including the world-class photographic experience including an underground elephant hide, videography safaris, mountain biking safaris, horse safaris and walking safaris. The single fastest growth is in the photographic experience where excellent ‘Tuli’ light has engendered interest in Mashatu from all over the world. All our adventure experiences cater for the safari-goer who yearns for a more active and intimate safari holiday.
DAY #4 - Mashatu Game Reserve , Botswana - Mashatu Lodge
Activities offered at Mashatu Lodge include the following: day and night game drives, world class photography experiences including and underground elephant hide, videography safaris, mountain biking, horseback riding, and walking safaris. The single fastest growth is in the photographic experience where excellent ‘Tuli’ light has engendered interest in Mashatu from all over the world. All our adventure experiences cater for the safari-goer who yearns for a more active and intimate safari holiday.
DAY #5 - Okavango Delta, Botswana - Tubu Tree
At a time to be advised by camp management, you will be transferred to the airstrip for your circuit light aircraft transfer with Angel Gabriel from Mashatu Lodge to Maun Airport. On arrival at Maun Airport and after clearing customs and immigration, you will be met and assisted by a Wilderness Safaris representative to your light aircraft for your onward circuit air transfer to Tubu Tree.

Situated in the northwestern corner of Botswana, the Okavango Delta is a World Heritage Site as it is the largest inland delta in the world. The magnificent Okavango River sprawls out over the dry sands of the Kalahari Desert forming this flourishing waterlogged oasis featuring countless meandering waterways and crystal clear lagoons studded with water lilies, as well as fertile floodplains and reeded islands inhabited with abundant wildlife. The Okavango Delta stretches over 15000 square kilometres. Visitors can enjoy a number of wonderful activities such as game viewing, fishing, bird watching or taking an authentic guided Mokoro excursion through this wetland paradise in a traditional dugout canoe. Commonly spotted animals include: lion, rhino, leopard, giraffe, hippos, elephants, crocodiles and countless species of bird.

PURPOSE: Tubu Tree is a member of the Tubu Joint Management Committee which focuses on community upliftment including assisting the local school with various requirements.
DAY #6 - Okavango Delta, Botswana - Tubu Tree
Tubu Tree lies on the western side of isolated Hunda Island, with easy access to diverse habitats and thus excellent game viewing. Hunda Island, on which Tubu Tree is situated, is known for its concentrations of game and offers both spectacular wildlife viewing on land, and tranquil adventures on the water. This combination of activities makes time spent at Tubu Tree a complete Delta adventure.
DAY #7 - Okavango Delta, Botswana - Tubu Tree
Wildlife seen around Tubu Tree includes elephant, lion, Burchell’s zebra, red lechwe, southern giraffe, tsessebe, and blue wildebeest on the floodplains. Kudu, impala, bushbuck and leopard are also seen in the forested areas. The variety of birdlife is impressive, with dry-land species seen on the larger islands and a multitude of wetland birds seen on the floodplains and waterways. Activities on offer at Tubu Tree include the following: day and night game drives, nature walks, birding, fishing on a catch and release basis, Mekoro rides and a sleep out experinec under the African night sky. Scenic helicopter flights and Half day Tsodilo Hills (UNESCO World Heritage Site) excursion to learn more about Botswana and the history of the San Bushmen can be arranged at an additional cost.
DAY #8 - Linyanti, Botswana - Savuti Camp
At a time to be advised by camp management, you will be transferred to the airstrip for your circuit light aircraft transfer from Tubu Tree to Savuti Camp. The Kwando-Linyanti river system is home to a series of private game reserves, known for their exotic animal species and luxury safari options. An abundance of wildlife roams freely between the woodland habitats, ancient floodplains and forests that make up these lush, unfenced reserves. The big game in this area increases dramatically during the dry season when the area hosts large herds of impala, blue wildebeest, giraffe and buffalo as well as the world’s highest density of elephant. Several packs of wild dog are found in the area and lion, leopard and cheetah are frequently sighted. Night drives allow for the discovery of nocturnal creatures such as civets, genets, honey badgers and spring hares. This vast, untamed wilderness is the perfect location for those seeking a unique African adventure in an exclusive and remote big game habitat. PURPOSE: Savuti provides support to research projects and initiatives in the Linyanti, particularly with regards to the enormous elephant herds and their impact on the environment.
DAY #9 - Linyanti, Botswana - Savuti Camp
Savuti is set on the productive Savute Channel – a refuge for a variety of wildlife and a fascinating natural phenomenon: When dry, it is a rich feeding ground and corridor between the mopane woodlands for both plains game and predators. When the waters flow, game congregates around it in numbers. Apart from abundant plains game, species such as roan and sable antelope, giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyaena, black-backed jackal and wild dog may also be encountered. This area can also be excellent for the rarely-seen aardvark and aardwolf. Birding is spectacular. Activities offered at Savuti day and night game drives, nature walks and boating (water levels permitting), fishing on catch and release basis and a sleep out experience. Scenic helicopter flights can be arranged at an additional cost. The Kwando-Linyanti river system is home to a series of private game reserves, known for their exotic animal species and luxury safari options. An abundance of wildlife roams freely between the woodland habitats, ancient floodplains and forests that make up these lush, unfenced reserves. The big game in this area increases dramatically during the dry season when the area hosts large herds of impala, blue wildebeest, giraffe and buffalo as well as the world’s highest density of elephant. Several packs of wild dog are found in the area and lion, leopard and cheetah are frequently sighted. Night drives allow for the discovery of nocturnal creatures such as civets, genets, honey badgers and spring hares. This vast, untamed wilderness is the perfect location for those seeking a unique African adventure in an exclusive and remote big game habitat. PURPOSE: Savuti provides support to research projects and initiatives in the Linyanti, particularly with regards to the enormous elephant herds and their impact on the environment.
DAY #10 - Victoria Falls, Zambia - Toka Leya
At a time to be advised by camp management, you will be transferred to the airstrip for your circuit light aircraft transfer from Savuti Camp to Kasane Airport.On arrival at Kasane Airport and after clearing customs and immigration, you will be met and assisted by a Wilderness Safaris representative to your light aircraft for your onward circuit air transfer to Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (Livingstone) where you will be met by a Underneath Trading (Wilderness Safaris Zimbabwe) representative for you r onward scheduled transfer to Toka Leya.

Situated along the southern border of Zambia, Victoria Falls is spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River. It forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and stretches across almost two kilometres into a gorge over one hundred metres below – making it one of the world’s widest waterfalls. Dubbed ‘The Smoke that Thunders’ by locals, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a popular tourist destination for those visiting Zambia. It is world-renowned for its sheer beauty and offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in spectacular landscapes inhabited by abundant wildlife. Visitors can look forward to a wide range of adventure sports such as kayaking, white water rafting, ziplining, bungee jumping and bridge swinging; and for those looking for more relaxation can enjoy a sunset boat cruise, game viewing, or browsing through the vibrant local Livingstone Market.

PURPOSE: Thanks to our tree-planting project, this formerly degraded site has been rehabilitated to become a lush riverine woodland once more. We (guests included) continue to plant trees, even donating to renew other sites in Zambia. We also take pride in the community partnerships we have created here.
DAY #11 - Victoria Falls, Zambia - Toka Leya
Toka Leya is the ideal combination of relaxation and adventure. Toka Leya overlooks the mighty Zambezi River where hippo, crocodile and elephant are often seen, as well as an incredible diversity of birdlife. It is also centrally located in the Mosi-oa-Tunya Park which hosts species such as buffalo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and white rhino. The occasional predator is also seen. Several sought-after bird species are found, including African finfoot, half-collared kingfisher, African skimmer (seasonal), Schalow’s turaco and rock pratincole (seasonal). Activities on offer at Toka Leya include the following: Tour of the Victoria Falls, a visit to a nearby rural village, rhino tracking with the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), back of house tours and discussions by camp staff on the camp’s eco-friendly initiatives, Wilderness Safaris and Olympus Photo Hub experience, fishing, on a catch and release basis, guided tour of Livingstone town and the Livingstone Museum, River cruises and children’s activities (tailor-made with the guide and parents based on the child/rens preferences such as fishing on a catch and release basis, a walk around the camp perimeter identifying various flora and fauna, tracks and scat, as well as tree planting).
DAY #12 - Kafue, Zambia - Busanga Bush Camp
Scheduled road transfer from Toka Leya to Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (Livingstone). On arrival at Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (Livingstone) and after clearing customs & immigration, you will be met and assisted by a Wilderness Safaris representative to your circuit light aircraft transfer to Busanga Bush Camp.

Set in the heart of western Zambia, Kafue National Park is the country’s biggest and oldest National Park. Three rivers form the lifeblood of the reserve namely the Lufupa, Lunga and Kafue rivers with the annual summer flood of the Lufupa creating an impressive floodplain delta. The floodplains, rivers, and woodlands support an impressive array of animal and birdlife and a number of private lodges make this remarkable reserve easier to visit. Visitors can look forward to catching a glimpse of the hippos swimming in the waters of Lake Itezhi-Tezhi, viewing abundant birdlife and a variety of game on the northern Busanga Plains such as zebras and lions; and in the more remote southern Nanzhila Plains antelopes and elephants can be spotted.

PURPOSE: Despite making a capital loss in the Busanga Plains every year – due to its remoteness and shortened tourism season – our presence is critical for the survival of this fragile ecosystem through the support of anti-poaching activities and employment.
DAY #13 - Kafue, Zambia - Busanga Bush Camp
Busanga Bush Camp lies on a verdant island in the heart of the Kafue’s Busanga Plains, a vast mosaic of grassy seasonal floodplains that extend to the horizon. When the mist rises off the drying floodplains in winter, incredible sunrises and sunsets can be experienced, and the plains and dambos teem with wildlife and birds. Due the remoteness and shortened tourism season here, our presence is vital for the survival of this fragile and extraordinary eco-system. The Busanga Plains are famed for its productive prides of lion. Other predators seen here include wild dog and cheetah which are drawn to the prolific plains game of the area. Puku, red lechwe, buffalo and wildebeest are just some of these, while a special treat is the resident herd of roan antelope. As the floodplains dry out more and more game is attracted from the surrounding woodlands and it is then that zebra numbers increase and sable venture out onto the plains. Hippo are also abundant and often found in large pods in the channels. For those interested in birding, the park boasts 491 species, including as the endemic Chaplin’s barbet.
DAY #14 - Kafue, Zambia - Busanga Bush Camp
Activities on offer at Busanga Bush Camp include the following: Day and night game drives, Birding, boating (water levels permitting), star-gazing and hot air ballooning.
DAY #15 - Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe - Ruckomechi
At a time to be advised by the camp management, you will be transferred to the airstrip for your circuit light aircraft transfer from Busanga Bush Camp to Lusaka Airport The journey from Lusaka to Ruckomechi takes approximately 4.5 5.0 hours and is an adventure in itself. Departure from Lusaka will be between 11:00 and 14:00 depending on your arrival arrangements to be confirmed on arrival at Lusaka Airport by a Tours Africa representative. The first section from Lusaka is two to three hours by road in an air-conditioned vehicle (operated by Tours Africa), heading south from Lusaka and winding through the hills of the Zambezi Escarpment. After crossing the mighty Zambezi River at the bustling border town of Chirundu, clear Zambian and Zimbabwean customs & immigration at a central point. As soon as formalities are complete (an average of 30 minutes), change vehicles and transfer by road with Go Fish Marine to the jetty (about 5 minutes). Board the Ruckomechi speed boat (with no fixed roof covering) for the onward transfer down the Zambezi River, reaching Ruckomechi Camp approximately 1.0 hour later. Although this is not a leisurely transfer, wildlife such as elephants, hippo and crocodile may be encountered on this part of the journey making it the perfect way to enter one of Africas most beautiful National Park.

Zimbabwe is a nation of spectacular natural beauty, friendly people and rich culture. A kayak trip down the Zambezi through the Mana Pools National Park will appeal to the intrepid traveller, providing close encounters with crocodiles, hippos and a host of other wildlife.

PURPOSE: Despite the political, and therefore financial, challenges that we have faced in Zimbabwe over almost two decades, we have never given up. Our simple presence on the ground has maintained a social and environmental stability throughout.
DAY #15 - Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe - Ruckomechi
Located in northern Zimbabwe, the life-giving power of the Zambezi River makes Mana Pools National Park one of Zimbabwe’s most lush and flourishing regions. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is known for its natural beauty and as one of the continent’s premier game-viewing areas.
Ruckomechi Camp rises along the banks of the Zambezi River, gazing out towards Zambia’s evocative escarpment. Its broad-canopied ana trees create glorious shade throughout the camp, and are much loved by the elephants for their rich, nutritious seeds. Our concession is explored by vehicle or on foot, while boating and canoeing allow for a different perspective of the area.
DAY #15 - Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe - Ruckomechi
The area offers large concentrations of buffalo and elephant, while predators such as lion, wild dog, leopard and cheetah are often sighted. Greater kudu, Burchell’s zebra, impala, warthog and common waterbuck can be seen on the surrounding plains and the grunting of hippo can be heard all day. Birdlife is superb, with numerous local specials like collared palm-thrush and racket-tailed roller.

Visitors can look forward to an array of activities such as canoe trips which are offered year round and provide a unique and memorable way for visitors to experience the area’s striking scenic beauty and diverse fauna, while guided walks are a great way to take its pristine riverside forests. Other popular activities include: game drives, river cruises, nature walks, bird watching, catch-and-release fishing, and searching for dinosaur tracks.
DAY #15 - Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe - Ruckomechi
At a time to be advised by the camp management, you will be transferred to the airstrip for your circuit light aircraft transfer from Ruckomechi to Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (Harare) for your onward travel arrangements.

Tour Pricing

3 Hour Tour
2 People +
$129/person
  • Return Shuttle
  • 5 Restaurants
  • Food Included
  • Historic Locations
5 Hour Tour
2 People +
$169/person
  • Return Shuttle
  • 10 Restaurants
  • Food Included
  • Historic Locations

Reviews

We had such a great time. Everything went over smoothly and our guide was very knowledgeable. I would recommend them to anyone. They really exceeded my expectations. I know I'll be back for sure!
Sally Smith
October 2018
Hop & Vine was recommended to us by a friend, and now I can see why! It was certainly one of the highlights of our vacation. All the food was top notch. The guide was very friendly, experienced, and professional which made it a real treat.
Doug Martin
September 2018
Amazing; Great locations, food, and awesome guides. We had an excellent time. We were a big group, but easily accommodated by Hop & Vine. The food was amazing, the weather was perfect, and it was really fun.
Gary Jones
July 2018

from $129

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