The bustling streets of cosmopolitan Johannesburg serve as the perfect introduction to our 32-day tour through the lands and cultures of the African south, since its extraordinary wealth of diversity epitomizes the cultural richness of the continent in its entirety. From frenetic urban centres to wilderness, we travel through sweeping grasslands to Low Veld, an arid region characterized by rocky hills and acacia scrub forest, and on amid vast mountainscapes to admire the magnificent Blyde River Canyon.
Further south, we soak in the aptly named vistas of Wonder View, God's Window and the Pinnacle. No tour to these world-famous African safari destinations would be complete without making some attempt to investigate the teeming wildlife on display and our adventure cuts no corners in bringing you the best of nature.
Hluhluwe Game Reserve, the oldest conservation area in Africa and one famous for saving the White Rhino from extinction, features the largest rhino populations in Africa and both Black and White Rhinos; Namibia's Etosha National Park, despite the fact that it is one of the world's largest national parks, is often referred to as the best-kept secret of African safari destinations; and Botswana's Okavango and Chobe parks offer views of huge herds of impala, wildebeest, zebras and elephants, prides of lions, packs of wild dogs and cheetahs.
As we make our leisurely course through four hugely rewarding and distinguished countries, we marvel at some of the most unforgettable sceneries on the planet; from the jaw-dropping panoramas atop Table Mountain in South Africa and the endless rolling hills of sugarcane in Swaziland, to the magnificent technicolour desolation of Namibia's Namib desert and our aerial view of the legendary marshlands of the Okavango Delta in Botswana.
Seasonality and Weather
SOUTH AFRICA: Sep-Nov: Short-lived thunderstorms are a frequent occurrence, especially in the north. Low water season at Victoria Falls. June / July coincides with "winter" in Southern Africa-warm and dry days and cool-cold nights in the northern regions. Game parks are dry and cool with short grasses that enhance game spotting. In the Cape weather conditions can be highly changeable with wind and rain possible. Medium water levels at Vic Falls. NAMIBIA / BOTSWANA: Our departures in Sep / Oct will experience hotter temperatures, especially inland (30-35 C / 85-90 F).
Transport and Travel Conditions
SOUTH AFRICA: Air-conditioned motor coach, 24-40 seater depending on group size (see 'Group Size'). Open safari vehicles in Chobe, Kruger, and Hluhluwe parks. We have some full bus days but routes are scenic, stops are frequent, and roads are excellent. Internal flights via scheduled carriers. NAMIBIA: Varies depending on group size. Bus transport may be arranged, or the group may be accommodated in multiple Land Rover type vehicles. These are specially modified vehicles and are the best-suited for the conditions we will encounter. Note that air conditioning is VERY rare in vehicles in Namibia in general, though in a dry climate an open window should provide adequate relief. For our full days of game viewing in Etosha we will be using open safari-style vehicles (ie Land Rover / Land cruiser) with space for 4-6. BOTSWANA: We access remote lodges with chartered light aircraft.
SOUTH AFRICA / NAMIBIA: Well-located, air-conditioned, 3-star hotels with en suite toilet and bath throughout (maybe shower only). Some hotels have hairdryers, irons, and outdoor swimming pools. Porter service is available throughout (see 'Inclusions'). Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins. There is no camping. BOTSWANA: Lodges Okavango, Chobe and Vic Falls are very comfortable and with all modern conveniences.
Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout South Africa & Namibia, drivers, local guides at various locations. In Botswana you will be accompanied by local guides and agents.
10-21 (plus Tour Leader)