Greet another remarkable day in southern Africa as the sun rises over Kruger National Park and an elephant and her young calf wander past you. Keep your sense of wonder at the ready on a 21-day adventure that takes in the iconic sights of Southern Africa. Fall for Cape Town’s remarkable beauty, feel the power of Victoria Falls reverberate in your core, and watch for the "big five" alongside a researcher from National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative.

Trip highlights

Carnivore Conservation Experience, A researcher from the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Cheetah Metapopulation Project will conduct a lecture and join us on a wildlife safari drive to share insights into the behaviour of cheetahs and other carnivores – and efforts to protect them. This National Geographic-sponsored project is part of the Big Cats Initiative.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens Guided Tour, Stop and smell the flowers on a tour specially designed for National Geographic travellers. Walk with a botanist through the incredible Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, named one of the “10 most magnificent gardens in the world” by National Geographic.

Zimbabwean Family Dinner, Visit Flatter Ncube’s home and meet her extended family. On her homestead, you’ll sit down to a traditional Zimbabwean dinner made with produce fresh from the gardens. Hear what daily life is like for Ncube and her family over a delicious meal.

Itinerary - 21 Days

Day 1 Cape Town

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.

Day 2 Cape Town (1B)

Visit Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden with an expert guide on a tour exclusively designed for our groups — the garden has been named one of the top gardens in the world by National Geographic Traveler magazine. Continue on to explore vibrant Cape Town and Cape Point, with a visit to the penguins at Boulders Beach.

Day 3 Cape Town (1B)

Enjoy a day of leisure and choose from a variety of optional activities including a visit to Table Mountain or a Stellenbosch wine tour.

Day 4 Cape Town/Johannesburg (1B, 1D)

Fly to Johannesburg, then visit Soweto, the former home of Nelson Mandela. In the evening, enjoy a traditional South African Braai (barbecue) for dinner with your local CEO and fellow travellers.

Day 5 Johannesburg/Greater Kruger Area (1B, 1D)

Enjoy a full day scenic drive along the famed Panorama Route with stops at Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes, and God's Window. Continue to our tented camp located near the Kruger National Park and this evening enjoy a delicious South African dinner in the boma.

Day 6 Kruger National Park (1B, 1D)

Enjoy a morning wildlife safari drive through Kruger National Park in an open vehicle. Take in views of the abundant wildlife including elephants, lions, and giraffe. In the afternoon, opt to extend your safari drive or head back to the lodge where you can take a short nature walk or relax on the deck with views of the surrounding area.

Day 7 Greater Kruger Area/Karongwe Private Game Reserve (1B, 1L, 1D)

Continue on to a private nature reserve in the Greater Kruger area. This afternoon, meet with a researcher from the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Cheetah Metapopulation Project who will share information about their efforts to protect cheetahs and other carnivores. This National Geographic-sponsored project is part of the Big Cats Initiative. After, the researcher will join us on our evening wildlife safari drive.

Day 8 Karongwe Private Game Reserve (1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy early morning and afternoon safari drives with our local guides, searching for buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinos – Africa's famed "big five". In our down time, relax at the camp, take a walk around the grounds, or enjoy a cool drink on the deck.

Day 9 Karongwe Private Game Reserve/Johannesburg (1B, 1D)

After one last wildlife safari drive, head back to the city. In the evening, enjoy dinner at our local guest house.

Day 10 Johannesburg/Victoria Falls (1B, 1D)

Fly to Zimbabwe and meet our local CEO. Gain insight into what life is like here with a walk through a local market and dinner at a family homestead. Meet our host, learn their history, and discuss daily life and culture in Zimbabwe. Share stories as you enjoy a traditional Zimbabwean dinner.

Day 11 Victoria Falls (1B)

Enjoy a morning tour of the beautiful Victoria Falls, then the rest of the day is free to explore the area. Take part in a river safari, cultural tours, whitewater rafting, canoeing, or a helicopter ride over the falls.

Day 12 Victoria Falls (1B)

Spend the day exploring your beautiful surroundings. Opt to visit Victoria Falls, go whitewater rafting, or take a helicopter flight over the falls.

Day 13 Victoria Falls/Hwange National Park (1B, 1D)

Enjoy free time in the morning and opt to visit the falls. Later, visit the Painted Dog (Wild Dog) conservancy and meet with a conservationist to learn about the work being done to rehabilitate injured animals as a result of poaching. After, travel to Hwange, Zimbabwe's largest national park, and enjoy a safari drive on the lodge concession in search of wildlife. This evening, arrive at the lodge, located just outside the park entrance, and enjoy dinner.

Day 14 Hwange National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)

Take a full-day wildlife safari drive in the park which is home to large elephant herds, lions, and the rare African wild dog. This evening, relax on the sun deck with a cool drink, keeping an eye out for local wildlife visiting the lodge's watering hole.

Day 15 Hwange/Chobe NP (1B, 1D)

Depart Hwange and head north, crossing the border into Botswana and arriving in Kasane, gateway to the stunning Chobe National Park. This afternoon, enjoy a boat safari on the Chobe River in search of bathing elephants, hippos, and crocodiles.

Day 16 Chobe NP (1B, 1D)

In the morning, continue our wildlife viewing with a safari drive along the banks of the Chobe River. In the afternoon, opt to take a photography river safari on a specialized photography boat.

Day 17 Kasane/Okavango Delta (1B, 1L, 1D)

Catch a flight into the “Panhandle” area of the Okavango Delta and check into our remote lodge in the wilderness. Enjoy lunch before taking a boat cruise on the waterways. In the evening, join one of the expedition members to watch and discuss the new National Geographic documentary Into the Okavango, and learn about the ongoing work at the camp.

Day 18 Okavango Delta (1B, 1L, 1D)

Explore the stunning Okavango Panhandle with expert local guides. View wildlife from mokoros (African dugout canoes) and during bush walks. This evening, we will stay at a unique bush camp on one of the remote islands within the Okavango Delta. Here, enjoy a three-course meal around a roaring campfire while sitting back and listening to the night calls of the Delta's wildlife.

Day 19 Okavango Delta (1B, 1L, 1D)

Depart from our island camp and continue wildlife viewing on foot and by mokoro with our expert local guides. Return to the main camp later this afternoon and opt to relax or take a swim. This evening, relax on the deck. With views overlooking the lagoon, hidden seating areas, and a fire pit, it's the perfect place for stargazing.

Day 20 Okavango Delta/Maun (1B, 1L, 1D)

Transfer to the frontier town of Maun and enjoy an evening of culture and traditional foods with celebrated author Bonty Botumile and the Thari-E-Ntsho Storytellers. This local enterprise is dedicated to preserving Botswana’s heritage and providing youth with employment opportunities in the arts. Option to take a scenic flight over the delta.

Day 21 Maun (1B)

Depart at any time.

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