Situated in the southern reaches of Africa, Botswana is renowned for its pristine wilderness areas characterised by deep lagoons, wetlands, rugged hills and desert plains. The country’s primary tourist draw card is undoubtedly the vast red expanse of the Kalahari Desert and its remarkably beautiful Okavango Delta. These natural wonders provide a tranquil haven for an abundance of 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 ancient rock paintings form a unique record of human settlement over many millennia.
Days 1 - 4
Situated in the north-western corner of Botswana, the Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta in the world and a registered World Heritage Site. The river sprawls out over the dry sands of the Kalahari Desert, forming this flourishing waterlogged oasis of meandering waterways and clear lagoons. The Okavango Delta stretches over 15 million hectares and offers an assortment of thrilling activities. Travellers can look forward to water-based game viewing, fishing, bird watching and mokoro boat trips. Commonly spotted animals include lion, rhino, giraffe, hippos, elephants, crocodiles and countless species of bird.
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, surrounded by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the south-west, Zambia to the north-west and Mozambique to the east and north. It is a nation of spectacular natural beauty, friendly people and rich culture. Travellers can look forward to visiting the world-renowned Victoria Falls – a popular tourist attraction and one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Lake Kariba, with its game-rich shores and islands, is an idyllic safari spot from where glorious sunsets can be enjoyed. Hwange National Park is known for its huge herds of elephants, and a kayak trip down the Zambezi through Mana Pools National Park will appeal to the intrepid traveller, providing close encounters with crocodiles, hippos and a host of other wildlife.
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Days 4 - 7
Resting on the southern banks of the Zambezi River, this popular tourist town is the ideal base to explore the renowned Victoria Falls. About two thirds of the Falls can be viewed from the Zimbabwean side and, while the Falls is undoubtedly the star attraction, the area provides both adventure seekers and sightseers with plenty of exciting opportunities. Popular activities include scenic flights over Victoria Falls in helicopters or Micro Lights, bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge, white-water rafting, and day trips to Chobe National Park. The town itself – small enough to explore by foot – offers some excellent accommodation and restaurant options. The town also boasts an eclectic variety of African curios and authentic art sold by friendly Zimbabwean locals.
This vast country is undoubtedly one of the most culturally and geographically diverse places on earth. Fondly known by locals as the 'Rainbow Nation', South Africa has 11 official languages and its multicultural inhabitants are influenced by a fascinating mix of African, Asian and European cultures. Spend your days discovering the gourmet restaurants, impressive art and nightlife scenes and fine beaches of Cape Town; enjoying a typical braai (barbecue) in the Soweto township; browsing the bustling Indian markets in Durban; or sampling some of the world’s finest wines in the picturesque Cape Winelands.
Due to its rich and turbulent history there are plenty of historical attractions to explore including the Zululand battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg and Robben Island, just off the coast of Cape Town. Above all else, South Africa’s attraction lies in its remarkably untamed wilderness with its astonishing range of wildlife roaming freely across unfenced game reserves. With all of this variety on offer, it is little wonder that South Africa has fast become Africa’s most popular tourist destination.
Days 7 - 8
Johannesburg is one of Africa’s biggest and most vibrant cities. It is the economic capital of South Africa and always a hub of activity. Tall sky scrapers tower above you, giving off a big city feel, but there are excellent museums and art galleries that show off the history of the country, the beautiful and the painful moments. Johannesburg comprises some of the best malls in South Africa, making it a shopper's paradise, and the many restaurants cater for all tastes. The nearby township of Soweto is Johannesburg’s most popular tourist attraction, as well as the upmarket suburb of Sandton and the trendy Nelson Mandela Square, which has a huge statue of the man himself.
andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve
Days 8 - 11
Described as 'Seven Worlds of Wonder', &Beyond Phinda encompasses an impressive 28 555 hectares (70 560 acres) of prime Big Five wilderness in KwaZulu-Natal. This Reserve comprises seven distinct habitats – from dry sand forest to wetland systems and mountain ranges. Catch a glimpse of the shy suni antelope, track rhino in the bushveld, observe breeding herds of elephant in fever tree forests, hold your breath as a cheetah teaches her cubs to hunt, glide past hippo on the Mzinene River and marvel at the gracious nyala. Phinda is home to more than 3 000 of these rare antelope.