Visit the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust to learn about the rehabilitation of wildlife from conflict and poaching and have the possibility of meeting some rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care.. Check out the large elephant populations of Hwange National Park on a 4WD game drive. Hwange also boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals.. Track rhinos on foot with an expert local guide in Matobos National Park – an exhilarating way to experience the wildlife of Zimbabwe – then witness ancient rock paintings and learn about the San people.. Experience Kruger with game drives in open-top 4×4 vehicles in both private game reserves and Kruger National Park.
Explore the epic game parks of Southern Africa, but not before taking in the magnitude of wondrous Victoria Falls. Spend time in Hwange National Park, known for its elephant population, then travel to Matobo to track rhinos and learn about the San people and, finally, visit famous Kruger National Park in search of the Big Five.
Breakfast Included: 8 Lunches Included: Dinner Included: 4
Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls, known traditionally as Mosi-oa-Tunya or the Smoke that Thunders. On arrival in Victoria Falls, you will be met by an Intrepid representative and transferred to your hotel. Your adventure begins at 6 pm with a welcome meeting at the hotel but you're free to arrive at any time today. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place.
If you arrive early we recommend checking out this incredible natural wonder from the Zimbabwe. Alternatively, visit the Wild Horizons activity centre to book an optional activity. Please note that we have not risk assessed all activities on offer and can only recommend, and help book, those listed in our itinerary. Another memorable option is to book a scenic helicopter flight over the falls, but if you do opt for one, choose Zambezi Helicopter company (CAA Zimbabwe), the only operator Intrepid endorses.
Hwange National Park
Depart Victoria Falls and hit the road to Hwange National Park (approximately 5 hours drive) via the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, one of The Intrepid Foundation projects. Here you can learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, human-wildlife conflict and their role in anti-poaching. There may also be a chance to meet any rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care.
In the afternoon enjoy a game drive within the Hwange National Park. Your vehicle of choice here is an open 4x4 vehicle that'll have you feeling like you're part of the action. Hwange, the largest park in Zimbabwe, was designated as a national park in 1929 after acting as the royal hunting grounds of the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19th century. The park is particularly famous for its elephants and is home to one of the largest populations in the world, as well as a huge variety of wildlife including over 100 mammals and nearly 400 bird species.
Matobo National Park
Leave Hwange in your dust as you make tracks for Matobo National Park. Shortly after leaving Hwange stop at the Painted Dog Conservation Centre. The loss of quality habitat and poaching are driving the painted dogs towards extinction. Learn about how they they protect and increase the range and numbers of Painted Dogs in Zimbabwe and the Hwange ecosystem as a whole. Then it's onto Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city. Take a stroll through the streets lined with old colonial buildings and stop in at a local resturant for lunch. Continue on to Matobo where you'll spend the next two nights. This area has great significance, both culturally and spiritually, to the local people and the rocks balanced in Matobo Hills are thought to be the seats of god and ancestral spirits. The park is home to the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, founder of Rhodesia and the De Beers diamond company, and is especially known for its rhino population.
Matobo National Park
Today you'll enjoy an unforgettable day tracking rhinos on foot with your local guides. You'll learn about the local plants and trees and their traditional uses, and there'll also be plenty of chances to spot wildlife other than rhinos. The park is home to leopards, hippos, antelope and more, and you'll also learn about the San people who have called this area home for thousands of years. Visit their rock paintings in the hills and spend some time in the nearby villages to meet some of the local community before returning to your lodge for the evening.
This morning the group will transfer to Bulwayo Airport and fly to Johannesburg. The afternoon Johannesburg walking tour is a great way to get under the skin of this changing city. With the help of a local guide this tour side skips the usual spots and embraces art, architecture, culture and history. Afterwards your leader will be happy to show the best place to purchase a local dinner.
Kruger National Park
Wake early and drive to your lodge located in the Greater Kruger National Park. Arrive in time for lunch, setttle in, then head off for a late afternoon game drive through a private reserve. You'll be in open 4WD vehicles once again and searching for the Big Five: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo. Enjoy a couple of sunset drinks by one of the waterholes then the game drive will continue into the night. Dinner will be a traditional meal around a fire at the lodge, and the evening is free for you to enjoy a book, chat with your fellow travellers or take a dip in the lodge's swimming pool.
Kruger National Park
Start the day early and head into Kruger National Park itself, one of the largest game reserves in Southern Africa. Here are some stats: over 500 bird species, 100 species of reptile and 150 mammal species including, of course, the Big Five. Your wildlife experience begins as soon as you enter the park as you're taken into prime viewing areas. Enjoy a picnic breakfast before spending the rest of the day in this incredible park, with time spent watching game, birds and stopping at various waterholes as you go. The group will leave the park in the late afternoon and return to the lodge for another relaxed evening.
Another early start will see the group heading out on a bush walk within the property. You'll learn about this region's finer details, including bird, tree and spoor identification from a qualified nature guide. Afterwards, transfer back to Johannesburg. It's a long drive (approx. 9-10 hours) but will be broken up with a visit to the spectacular God's Window viewpoint & Bourke's Luck Potholes. On arrival in Jojannesburg, there'll be time to freshen up at the hotel before heading out with your leader for an optional local dinner to farewell your group.
Your trip comes to an end in Johannesburg today. There are no activities planned and you're free to depart at any point in the morning.