Highlights northern South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe

Duration: 13 Days/12 Nights

Day 1

Once you arrived at Hoedspruit Airport, you will meet your MatTakaTaka Guide who will transfer you to the lodge in Hoedspruit, which will be your home for the next three days. In the afternoon you could go on an optional Bushwalk & discover the flora & fauna of the reserve. Giraffes, zebras, impalas, wildebeests & warthogs are resident visitors.

Your MaTakaTaka Guide will give you an inside into the world of reading signs & tracks of the bushveld. And you will also learn which plants play an important role in the traditional use.

Alternative program for the afternoon: visit a rehabilitation centre for wild animals.

After arriving at Hoedspruit airport, we will enjoy a delicious lunch at Ann’s Cotton Club. Afterwards we visit the rehabilitation centre “Moholoholo” which is situated below the 2.000 m high „Klein Drakensberge“. The centre takes care of wild animals which were injured or caught in a snare. If possible they will be released back into the wild after their treatment.

Day 2

After breakfast we explore the Panorama Route. Waterfalls, amazing viewpoint and the third largest canyon in the world are waiting for you. If you prefer a more active adventure, we will take you on an adventure hike through the canyon (3-5h). The hike offers breath-taking views of the Blyde Dam and the „three Rondavels“. Furthermore, we can cool down in natural pools along the way.

Afterwards we enjoy a delicious meal in Graskop, a little village, before we head back to the lodge.

Day 3

Today we leave Hoedspruit and it is time to explore the world-famous Kruger National Park. The size of 20.000 km2 is home to 147 mammals, 507 bird species, 114 reptiles, 34 amphibians, 49 species of fish and 336 species of trees. Kruger is South Africa’s biggest national park.

We take a closer look at the north of the park: The Makuleke concession borders Zimbabwe to the north and Mozambique to the east. The concession is a restricted area not accessible for the normal tourist. The beautiful fever tree forests, the massive, ancient baobab trees & the gorges make this area to one of the most beautiful places in South Africa.

We will be staying at a lodge right on the banks of the Levuvhu river. Your MaTakaTaka Guide is allowed to guide you in an open safari vehicle. We are almost certain you will feel the magic of this special place.

Day 4

Today we explore more of the Makuleke concession. Either by vehicle or on foot. You will learn more about „Crooks Corner“, the  Thulamela and with a little bit of luck will get a glimpse of the shy Nyala antilope, elephants and buffalos. We will visit the Lanner gorge, a breath-taking place for a Gin & Tonic as the sun sets! If we are lucky, we will encounter a leopard on our nightdrive back to the lodge…

Day 5

Today we leave for Botswana. After crossing the Limpopo river via boat, a game viewer vehicle is waiting for us and will transfer us to our safari camp in the Mashatu Game Reserve. The confluence of the Shashe and the Limpopo rivers shaped the landscape for centuries. A natural amphitheater, open savannas, swamps and sandstone formations await you.

Day 6

The guides from the camp will show us once more the beauty of the reserve which is characterized by only 9 days of rain per year. Besides elephants, lions and leopards, one can only find Aardwolf, Bat-eared fox and brown hyena. These animals are specialized in living in harsh conditions.

Day 7

We end the morning with one last safari into the bush before we leave for our next lodge.

While on the road we get a good insight into the life in Botswana: women carrying firewood on their head, kids collection water from public well, donkeys resting in the shade of umbrella thorns and waving kids along the road. Late afternoon we arrive at the Magkadikgadi Pans, which, with a total of 6.500 km, are the biggest saltpans on earth. Most of the year those pans are dried up. From December till March, when the rain comes, little lakes and lagoons fill up, attracting lots of wildlife in this desert like landscape.

Day 8

Today we explore the pans and the harsh landscape or visit the Nata Bird Sanctuary.

The remoteness and silence are breath-taking. The horizon often melts with the sky, creating mirages and playing with our senses.

 Day 9

We continue our way north towards Kasane. Elephants and other wildlife is often found along the road. Once we settled in our lodge, we will set off for a sunset boat cruise on the Chobe river. Hopefully we will see buffalos, elephants, crocodiles, hippos and a variety of birds. The sunset over the Chobe is spectacular and the reflection of the setting sun on the river’s surface will stick with us forever.

Day 10

Today we enjoy a safari to the Chobe National Park, which is famous for its huge herds of elephants. Chobe is nestled between Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Day 11

We are on our way to Zimbabwe today to view the magnificent Victoria Falls and move into our hotel. In the afternoon we visit the world famous Victoria Falls. David Livingstone, a Scottish missionary and explorer was the first European to discover the falls in 1855. He named the falls after his queen. The locals call them “Mosi-oa-Tunya” – the smoke that thunders – is listed as an UNESCO world heritage site. Although the waterfall is neither the tallest, nor the widest, it is still the biggest in the world. It has a width of 1.708m and is 108m high, which created the world biggest falling water mass.

Day 12

Today you have the day to yourself. Possible activities are: a bungee jump from a bridge over the Zambesi, helicopter rides, White River Rafting, boat cruises on the Zambesi or a visti to Zambia.

 Day 13

Today it is time to say good bye to Africa. After one last breakfast, you will have time to let the new experiences parade before you on the drive to the airport to catch your plane to Johannesburg.