Epic South Africa & Botswana

13 days, 12 nights
Price Range: $8,022 – $27,323
(all-inclusive price per person, depending on dates & camps selected)

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Southern Africa offers a multitude of settings and experiences for the safari enthusiast, and this grand itinerary is a sampler of some of the best. Begin in South Africa's famed Sabi Sand Reserve, home to plentiful numbers of the Big Five and a host of other classic species. Stop at Victoria Falls to marvel at the world's most astounding wall of water, then continue to Botswana's two most noted wilderness areas to view even more abundant wildlife. Great herds of game are drawn to perennial water while large prides of lion and other predators steal behind, making for thrilling encounters.

Photo of Court Whelan

Our Expert Says

This is one of my favorite combinations for a safari. The Sabi Sand features strong Big Five populations, particularly great rhino and leopard, and Botswana is just incredible for animal viewing in vast, pristine wilderness areas. The two regions are very different but complement each other beautifully, showcasing a broad range of wildlife.

– Court Whelan


Photo: Johannesburg view image gallery

Day 1: Johannesburg

Cosmopolitan Johannesburg is the jumping-off point for this epic adventure through Southern Africa's most wildlife-rich areas. The city of 3.6 million is a vibrant mélange of colors and cultures. Food and music are central to life in ‘Joburg,’ and its clubs and pubs are an integral part of the social fabric. Tour Soweto or visit the Apartheid Museum to gain a deeper understanding of Johannesburg’s history, travails and rich multicultural heritage.


Photo: Sabi Sand Reserve view image gallery

Days 2-4: Sabi Sand Reserve

Today, fly from Johannesburg to Skukuza Airport, adjacent to the world-famous Sabi Sand Reserve. Sabi Sand is one of the world’s most extraordinary wildlife locales. This private 150,000-acre reserve shares a border with Kruger National Park and is named for the two rivers that flow through it. Renowned for its excellent “Big Five” viewing – the elephant, rhino, Cape buffalo, lion and abundant leopard, which were once favorite hunting targets – Sabi Sand has led the way in bringing them back.


Photo: Victoria Falls (Zambia side) view image gallery

Days 5-6: Victoria Falls (Zambia side)

After a low flight over the Sabi Sand today, fly from Kruger Mpumalanga Airport to Livingstone, Zambia. You'll see the spray first, visible for miles, called Mosi-oa-Tunya – the “smoke that thunders” – by the local people. The roar of the cataract follows, as the Zambezi River plunges 350 feet over a basalt cliff into the gorge below. View Victoria Falls on rain forest trails, from the famous bridge, or via an exhilarating helicopter or ultralight flight – activities abound in Livingstone, including whitewater rafting, canoeing and sunset cruises.


Photo: Linyanti / Savuti Reserves view image gallery

Days 7-9: Linyanti / Savuti Reserves

Fly from Livingstone to the Linyanti Reserve of Botswana today, with one stop en route to clear customs and immigration. The Linyanti Reserve and Selinda Spillway in northern Botswana are noted for their shifting landscapes, from riverine to dry pans, woodlands to plains. Perennial water attracts great herds of animals that come to slake their thirst in the dry season. Large prides of lion and other predators steal behind, making for exciting wildlife viewing. Previously dry for 30 years, the Savuti Channel is once again a hippo-filled stream. Elephant, zebra and giraffe are also abundant.


Photo: Okavango Delta view image gallery

Days 10-12: Okavango Delta

A scenic low-altitude flight carries you into the wetlands of the Okavango Delta today. Where the Okavango River meets the Kalahari Desert, a green oasis sprawls amid the sands and parched savanna. The maze of channels sustains a profusion of wildlife in permanently flooded lagoons and on land. Explore the marsh by poled mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe, and wildlife drives on higher ground. Islands and wetlands are home to prolific birdlife, hippo and red lechwe, while elephant, lion, leopard, zebra and more thrive beyond the water’s reach.


Photo: Maun/Home view image gallery

Day 13: Maun/Home

Fly to Maun today, where you will connect to your departing flight.

Recommended Extensions:
Cape Town, South Africa
Etosha National Park, Namibia


Notes

  • iSafari.com's Africa safari planner cannot precisely calculate the costs of air and land transfers to all camps and lodges as the locations and travel distances vary slightly. With this in mind, your final quote may increase or decrease by a small amount.
  • The estimated rates given for these itineraries are adult rates, but many properties offer reduced rates for children. Please contact our office for more information.
  • Holiday surcharges may apply for travel in late December and early January, and occasionally over the Easter holiday.
  • A non-refundable deposit of 25% of the trip fee per person is required upon booking to confirm your reservation.

Inclusions

  • All accommodation on a double occupancy basis
  • Meals at camps and lodges
  • Excursions and transfers unless listed as optional
  • Services of the lodge guides and staff unless a NHA Safari Expedition Leader is booked
  • Relevant park fees
  • Alcoholic and soft drink beverages are included at some camps and lodges
  • Laundry service is available at most permanent camps/lodges and hotels; in some cases this service is included in the tariff quoted
  • Air transfers within countries as specified (excluding commercial flights, see Exclusions)
  • Accommodation taxes, the applicable Tourism Levies and all relevant Value Added Tax (VAT) or Government Sales Tax (GST)

Exclusions

  • Travel to the start and end point of the route
  • Commercial flights from Johannesburg to Skukuza/Sabi Sand on Day 2 and from Kruger Airport to Livingstone on Day 5 (contact our Air Desk at 1-800-543-8917)
  • Generally lunch and dinner in city hotels
  • Alcoholic and soft drink beverages at some camps and lodges
  • Cancellation, baggage and medical insurance
  • Staff gratuities
  • Any newly-implemented government taxes, levies, fuel or industry increases which are beyond our control
  • Visa fees where relevant
  • International airport departure taxes applicable from manned airports only, which is to be paid in US$ cash on departure unless included in your ticket cost
  • Any items of a personal nature