Set off on an epic journey that combines the best of southern Africa, from its vibrant cities and iconic landscapes to its multitudes of legendary wildlife. Begin this 30-day adventure in South Africa, experiencing Cape Town’s colourful culture, then continue to Kruger National Park to spot a dazzling array of creatures like the "big five." Experience Namibia’s vast desert landscapes and the thunderous roar of Victoria Falls before exploring Zimbabwe and Botswana, which boast some of the richest wildlife reserves in the Africa.

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.

Cheetah Conservation Experience, Visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund, a global field research facility founded by Dr. Laurie Marker, whose work has been supported by National Geographic. Enjoy a lecture about the centre's work before heading out on a wildlife drive to view cheetahs up close in their natural habitat.

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.

Mondesa Township Walk, Visit Mondesa Township with an expert resident guide to learn about daily life while spending time with this community’s welcoming people. Visit the local market, an arts-and-crafts shop, and a tavern before heading to a nearby home for dinner and entertainment.

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 - 30 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/Windhoek (1B)

Fly to Windhoek and transfer to the hotel. Free time to explore Windhoek in the afternoon and then meet your CEO and the rest of the group in the evening.

Day 11 Windhoek/Sesriem (1B, 1D)

Enjoy the dramatic Namibian landscapes as we drive to the desert area of Sesriem, gateway to Namib-Naukluft National Park. Settle in to our desert lodge, relax at the pool, or enjoy a cool drink watching the stunning sunset over the desertscape.

Day 12 Sesriem (1B, 1D)

Embark on a scenic excursion into the national park to explore the Namib Desert. Visit Sossusvlei and Deadvlei — clay pans covered in a crust of salt-rich sand surrounded by burnt orange and red towering dunes. It's considered one of the most stunning desert landscapes in Africa. After, visit Sesriem Canyon, a natural gorge carved out by the Tsauchab River.

Day 13 Sesriem/Swakopmund (1B, 1L)

Continue through changing desert landscapes, keeping an eye out for free-roaming zebra, kudu, springbok, and oryx. Stop in the quirky town of Solitaire for a break before heading out into the countryside. Here we meet a local to this remote region who takes us on a drive and talks about the survival strategies of ancient bushmen who lived in the area. We also search out smaller animal life that manages to survive in these harsh conditions such as snakes, geckos, spiders, and insects to learn how they have adapted to this arid region. After, continue to Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast.

Day 14 Swakopmund (1B, 1D)

Enjoy a free morning. Opt to go sandboarding, or just take a walk in town. This afternoon, explore the township of Mondesa with a local guide, learning about its people and history. Visit the local market for an introduction to traditional food including wild spinach, mopane worms, and dried kapenta fish. Also visit an art and craft shop, meet with some locals, then visit a family-run establishment for dinner and local entertainment.

Day 15 Swakopmund/Palmwag (1B, 1D)

Continue on to Twyfelfontein where we visit the ancient petroglyphs which were named Namibia's first UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site is thought to hold the largest concentrations of Bushman engravings in Africa, with over 2500 figures, ranging from 2000-5000 years old. Finish the day on the Palmwag Concession, in northwest Damaraland.

Day 16 Palmwag/Etosha National Park (1B, 1D)

Enjoy a relaxed morning at the lodge, or opt for a guided nature walk in the Palmwag Concession. In the afternoon we continue to our lodge located in the Etosha National Park area, considered the greatest wildlife sanctuary in Namibia.

Day 17 Etosha National Park (1B, 1D)

Embark on a full day open vehicle safari drive in the national park with a local guide. There is abundant wildlife that congregate around the waterholes, so keep your cameras at the ready for elephants, lions, endangered black rhinos, and even leopards. Over lunch, you have time to relax at one of the rest camps, take a swim, or sit back and watch the animals as the come to the waterhole.

Day 18 Etosha National Park/Windhoek (1B, 1L)

After breakfast, visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund, a global field research and education facility founded by Dr. Laurie Marker whose research has been supported by National Geographic. Tour the facility to learn about the important research, conservation, and community outreach work they do as one of the world’s leading organizations dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild. Meet with a researcher for a lecture to learn about the various projects in the works, then enjoy a cheetah drive to view some of these amazing creatures up close. After, enjoy lunch on the veranda overlooking the magnificent Waterberg Plateau. Continue on to Windhoek for our final evening.

Day 19 Windhoek/Victoria Falls (1B, 1D)

Fly to Zimbabwe. Gain insight into what life is like in Africa with a walk through a local market and dinner at a family homestead. Meet the family, learn their history, and share stories as you help prepare a traditional Zimbabwean dinner.

Day 20 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. Opt to take a day trip to the wildlife haven of Chobe National Park.

Day 21 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 22 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 23 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 24 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 25 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 26 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 delta conservation projects in the area.

Day 27 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 28 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 29 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 30 Maun (1B)

Depart at any time.

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