Johannesburg to Victoria Falls

9 days from 2,065pp

Enjoy a nine-day highlights tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe. Go on safari in the Greater Kruger area, spotting and photographing elephants and lions on their own turf. Then, jet off to Zimbabwe to take in the spectacle of Victoria Falls, where the mist can be seen 40 kilometres (25 miles) away. From the roar of lions to the roar of the world’s greatest waterfall, southern Africa’s wonders ring out loud and clear.
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9 days Johannesburg to Victoria Falls

From 2,065 per person

Is this tour for me?

Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys

Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.

Service Level: Upgraded

Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.

Physical Rating: 2 – Light

Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 16, avg 14

Age requirement: 12+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Day 1: Johannesburg

Arrive at any time. Transfer to hotel. Enjoy a traditional South African braai (barbecue) welcome dinner.

If you are interested in spending more time in Johannesburg, it is recommended to book pre-accommodation to enjoy the sights of the city at your own leisure.

Arrival Airport Transfer:
Oliver Reginald Tambo International – Johannesburg30m-45m

You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel to start your adventure.

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting:
1h18:00

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Traditional South Africa Braai (BBQ)
Johannesburg

Enjoy a spread of grilled meats, vegetables and homemade salads, and talk with your friendly hosts about life in South Africa.

Optional Activities – Day 1

Apartheid Museum
Johannesburg1h-2h

80ZAR per person

Take a self guided tour around the complex and learn about the history of the apartheid in South Africa.

Soweto Tour
Soweto1h-2h

Take a guided tour of bustling Soweto and learn more about its important history. The residential area was created under apartheid and played a significant role in bringing the issues of segregation to the forefront. The anti-apartheid movement was launched here by its most famous resident, Nelson Mandela.

Soweto Bicycle Tour
Soweto1h-2h

Explore South Africa’s largest township on two wheels and under your own steam. This guided tour will take you through the vibrant streets of Soweto, giving you the opportunity to meet some of its diverse residents, see the sights, hear the music and even taste a local ‘home-brewed’ beer.
Popular stops include the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Vilakazi Street, where Nelson Mandela used to live.

Accommodation

Malikana Guesthouse (or similar)

Meals included:

Dinner

Day 2: Johannesburg/Kruger National Park

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.

Today is a very long driving day; however, we will make many stops along the way at sites along the Panorama Route.
Panorama Route Scenic Drive

Enjoy a scenic drive along the famed Panorama Route. You’ll see magnificent mountains, panoramic passes, valleys, and waterfalls. There will also be stops at Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, and God’s Window.

Private Vehicle
Johannesburg – Kruger National Park7h-8h30m500km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accommodation

Muluwa Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 3: Kruger National Park

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.

At over 19,000 sq km (7,500 sq mi), South Africa’s Kruger National Park is one of the largest and most impressive animal reserves in the world. With 147 species, Kruger has more species of large mammals than any other park on the continent.

Safari vehicle
Kruger National Park3h

Get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride.

Kruger National Park Open Vehicle Wildlife Safari Drive – Half day
Kruger National Park3h-4h Morning

Hop in a 4×4 safari vehicle and get yourself one step closer to the surrounding nature. Be ready to spot elephants, giraffes, hippos, lions, zebras, and many other species in this impressive South African NP.

Free Time
Kruger National Park Afternoon

Opt to take an optional afternoon safari drive or nature walk.

Optional Activities – Day 3

Muluwa Nature Walk

100ZAR per person

Head out on a guided walk to explore the extensive estate of the Muluwa Lodge. Enjoy the diverse scenery of the Lowveld, and keep an eye out for the ‘plains’ wildlife that graze close to the lodge.

Kruger National Park – Afternoon Safari Extension
Kruger National Park3h-4h

450ZAR per person

After an included lunch in the National Park, continue your safari drive in 4×4 safari vehicles.

Accommodation

Muluwa Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 4: Kruger National Park/Karongwe Private Game Reserve

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.

For the next two days, enjoy ranger-led morning and evening wildlife safari drives in an open safari vehicle in Karongwe Nature Reserve. Search for buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinos – Africa’s famed Big Five. With over 9,000 hectares (22,240 acres) of supreme African bushveld, Karongwe Private Game Reserve is home to many creatures, and our safari drives provide several opportunities for wildlife viewing.

We use various accommodations within the reserve (the location is based on availability). During your time here, you will either stay in lodge rooms or very comfortable permanent tents (both of equal quality and with similar amenities).

Wildlife safari drives are conducted with qualified wildlife rangers and Shangaan trackers who will share their vast experience of the African bush.

On some occasions, if space is unavailable, we may need to change accommodations or even use a different private reserve. In such a case, be assured we will choose other lodges or comfort camps (of equal quality) within the Greater Kruger area.

Private Vehicle
Kruger National Park – Karongwe Private Game Reserve3h150km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Carnivore Conservation Experience

Meet with a researcher from the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Cheetah Metapopulation Project, a project managed by National Geographic grantee Vincent van der Merwe. A member of Vincent’s team will give a talk about cheetahs in South Africa and the important research CMP is doing. We will also discuss conservation within parks and reserves in South Africa and National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative. You will then be accompanied by the researcher on a wildlife safari drive to give you more insight into cheetahs and other carnivores.

Accommodation

Karongwe Private Game Reserve – Lodges (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 5: Karongwe Private Game Reserve

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.

Wake up before the sun (around 5am) and sip your morning coffee before heading out on a morning wildlife safari drive. Return to the lodge for brunch and some leisure time. Converse on the deck, walk the grounds and gardens, and enjoy high tea. Following tea, it’s time for a late afternoon safari drive. After spotting tons of wildlife, it’s time to return to camp and freshen up before dinner.

Karongwe Private Reserve Open Vehicle Wildlife Safari Drive
Karongwe Private Game Reserve3h05:00

Jump into a safari 4×4 and keep your eyes open for fantastic wildlife encounters. Wildlife safari drives are conducted with qualified wildlife rangers and Shangaan trackers; both will share their vast experience of the African bush.

Free Time
Karongwe Private Game Reserve Afternoon

Relax and enjoy some down time between wildlife safari drives.

Accommodation:

Karongwe Private Game Reserve – Lodges (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 6: Karongwe Private Game Reserve/Johannesburg

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

Karongwe Private Reserve Open Vehicle Wildlife Safari Drive
Karongwe Private Game Reserve3h05:00 Morning

Jump into a safari 4×4 and keep your eyes open for fantastic wildlife encounters. Wildlife safari drives are conducted with qualified wildlife rangers and Shangaan trackers; both will share their vast experience of the African bush.

Private Vehicle
Karongwe Private Game Reserve – Johannesburg7h500km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accommodation:

Malikana Guesthouse (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 7: Johannesburg/Victoria Falls

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.

The mist off Victoria Falls can rise to a height of more than 400m (1312 ft). Local tribes used to call the falls Mosi-o-Tunya or “the smoke that thunders.” Explorer and missionary David Livingstone renamed the falls after Queen Victoria when he first saw them in 1855.

Plane
Oliver Reginald Tambo International – Victoria Falls2h

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… yup, it is a plane, actually.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Zimbabwean Family Dinner

Flatter Ncube is the head of her family which includes two sisters and numerous children. She’s the youngest of a family of 10 and, now in her early 40s, lives in the village she was raised in near Victoria Falls. There she takes care of her extended family on their homestead, which she and they have been proudly building by hand, brick by brick, for years. Flatter’s story highlights that life isn’t easy in Africa, but despite its challenges, there is much love and laughter and a strong sense of family here.

Visit Flatter’s homestead in her rural village; meet her and some of her family, and walk with some of them throughout the property, among the fruit and vegetable plants the family grows for consumption. (They even plant hot chillies among the vegetables to discourage nosy elephants.) Then help the family prepare a traditional Zimbabwean dinner, which we’ll all eat together outside on the property, weather permitting. Ingredients for the meal will have been hand-selected earlier in the day, at the bustling and friendly local village market.

This experience offers great insight into typical African life, and ultimately reinforce how we all really want and need the same things in life: a stable home full of love, a good education, and plenty of opportunity for our children.

Accommodation:

Cresta Sprayview Hotel (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 8: Victoria Falls

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.

If you have an activity planned for this morning, we will reschedule your Falls tour for this afternoon, or tomorrow morning.

Victoria Falls Guided Tour
Victoria Falls1h30m-2h30m

Join a knowledgeable guide for an unforgettable experience at Victoria Falls. Explore the rainforest and learn about the geology, history, and local legends of this world wonder. After your immersion, get up close to the falls and discover the beauty of “the smoke that thunders.” Be sure to have your camera ready!

Optional Activities – Day 8

Victoria Falls Whitewater Rafting
Victoria Falls4h-7h

150-160USD per person

Take the opportunity to go whitewater rafting on the Zambezi River while Victoria Falls roars above. Depart in the morning and navigate through the canyon that forms the famous falls. The dramatic rapids will fill you with excitement and complete your experience. Includes a full-day of rafting on class III-V rapids, transfers, and lunch.

Please note: River conditions and activity pricing vary depending on the seasons. High water season is from about February to July. Low water season generally runs from August to January each year – this is when the Zambezi is at its very wildest. The “closed season” is dependent on the season’s rains, and usually is from March to April; during this time rafting on the river is not permitted. Additionally, this activity requires passengers to hike down and up the Batoka Gorge (approx. 45 minutes each way) to access the river; an average level of fitness is required.

This activity price excludes a $10 park entrance fee.

Zambezi River Sunset Cruise
Victoria Falls

58USD per person

Climb aboard and cruise along the beautiful Zambezi River. Enjoy some snacks, drinks, a festive atmosphere, and gorgeous views of the sunset. It’s the ideal way to end an eventful day in Victoria Falls.

Zambezi Bungee Jump
Victoria Falls

160USD per person

Get the adrenaline pumping with a bungee jump from the Victoria Falls Bridge over the Zambezi River. Hear the rush of Victoria Falls as you enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.

Victoria Falls Helicopter Ride – 15min
Victoria Falls

160USD per person

You don’t want to miss the opportunity to see Victoria Falls from above. Watch the Zambezi River make its way toward the gorge and form the largest waterfall in the world. During your 15-minute ride, you will have time to take in the incredible views over the falls, Livingstone Island, and Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park while snapping as many pictures as you like. You may be lucky enough to see some giraffes and elephants in the surrounding landscape and even catch a rainbow over the falls. Includes pick-up and drop-off from hotel and a 12-15min flight.

Please note there is a cost for an additional park fee paid for on-site at time of the activity.

Victoria Falls Helicopter Ride – 25min
Victoria Falls

330USD per person

You don’t want to miss the opportunity to see Victoria Falls from above. Watch the Zambezi River make its way toward the gorge and form the largest waterfall in the world. During your 25 minute ride, you will have time to take in the incredible views over the falls, Livingstone Island, and Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park while snapping as many pictures as you like. This extended ride also includes time flying over the vast and towering walls of the Batoka Gorge. You may be lucky enough to see some giraffes and elephants in the surrounding landscape and even catch a rainbow over the falls. Includes pick-up and drop-off from hotel and a 25min flight.

Please note there is a cost for an additional park fee paid for on-site at time of the activity.

Canoeing the Zambezi
Victoria Falls

160USD per person

Opt to canoe above the Falls on the upper Zambezi for a unique and tranquil bird and animal sighting experience.

Accommodation:

Cresta Sprayview Hotel (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 9: Victoria Falls

Depart at any time.

Departure Day (Activities)

Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with any onward travel arrangements you require.

Optional Activities – Day 9

Microlight Flight over Victoria Falls
Livingstone

175USD per person

Take a 12-15 Microlight flight over the falls to get an unparalleled, unobstructed view of the spectacular gorge that the Zambezi River has carved into the surrounding landscape over thousands of years.

Please note that this activity takes place in Livingstone, Zambia and visa fees are not included in the price of this activity.

Victoria Falls Helicopter Ride – 15min
Victoria Falls

160USD per person

You don’t want to miss the opportunity to see Victoria Falls from above. Watch the Zambezi River make its way toward the gorge and form the largest waterfall in the world. During your 15-minute ride, you will have time to take in the incredible views over the falls, Livingstone Island, and Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park while snapping as many pictures as you like. You may be lucky enough to see some giraffes and elephants in the surrounding landscape and even catch a rainbow over the falls. Includes pick-up and drop-off from hotel and a 12-15min flight.

Please note there is a cost for an additional park fee paid for on-site at time of the activity.

Victoria Falls Helicopter Ride – 25min
Victoria Falls

330USD per person

You don’t want to miss the opportunity to see Victoria Falls from above. Watch the Zambezi River make its way toward the gorge and form the largest waterfall in the world. During your 25 minute ride, you will have time to take in the incredible views over the falls, Livingstone Island, and Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park while snapping as many pictures as you like. This extended ride also includes time flying over the vast and towering walls of the Batoka Gorge. You may be lucky enough to see some giraffes and elephants in the surrounding landscape and even catch a rainbow over the falls. Includes pick-up and drop-off from hotel and a 25min flight.

Please note there is a cost for an additional park fee paid for on-site at time of the activity.

Victoria Falls Whitewater Rafting
Victoria Falls4h-7h

150-160USD per person

Take the opportunity to go whitewater rafting on the Zambezi River while Victoria Falls roars above. Depart in the morning and navigate through the canyon that forms the famous falls. The dramatic rapids will fill you with excitement and complete your experience. Includes a full-day of rafting on class III-V rapids, transfers, and lunch.

Please note: River conditions and activity pricing vary depending on the seasons. High water season is from about February to July. Low water season generally runs from August to January each year – this is when the Zambezi is at its very wildest. The “closed season” is dependent on the season’s rains, and usually is from March to April; during this time rafting on the river is not permitted. Additionally, this activity requires passengers to hike down and up the Batoka Gorge (approx. 45 minutes each way) to access the river; an average level of fitness is required.

This activity price excludes a $10 park entrance fee.

Chobe National Park Day Trip
Victoria Falls9h-10h

170USD per person

Depart Victoria Falls in the morning for a full-day guided tour of Chobe National Park in Botswana – a wildlife-abundant region covering about 11,700km² of the Northern Kalahari. Begin your adventure with a cruise down the Chobe River, taking in the sweeping views and witnessing the wildlife grazing along the riverbank. Enjoy an included lunch on land before boarding 4×4 safari vehicles for an afternoon wildlife safari drive with an expert guide. Keep an eye out for lions, elephants, and buffalos. Transfer back to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, arriving in the early evening. Please note that this activity includes two border crossings between Zimbabwe and Botswana. The ordering of activities are susceptible to change. (This is a full day activity, a pre-night in Victoria Falls is required in order to do this optional excursion)

Canoeing the Zambezi
Victoria Falls

160USD per person

Opt to canoe above the Falls on the upper Zambezi for a unique and tranquil bird and animal sighting experience.

Zambezi Bungee Jump
Livingstone

Get the adrenaline pumping with a bungee jump from the Victoria Falls Bridge over the Zambezi River. Hear the rush of Victoria Falls as you enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.

Zambezi Sunset Cruise
Livingstone

Jump on a boat and cruise on the beautiful Zambezi River. Enjoy some snacks, drinks, a festive atmosphere, and, of course, gorgeous views of the sunset.

Meals included:

Breakfast

What’s Included

  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Carnivore Conservation Experience, Karongwe Private Game Reserve
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Zimbabwean Family Dinner, Victoria Falls
  • Arrival transfer
  • Traditional South African braai (BBQ)
  • Panorama Route scenic drive
  • Kruger National Park and private nature reserve wildlife safari drives in open vehicles
  • Tour of Victoria Falls
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Accommodations

Guest house (2 nts), hotel (2 nts), comfortable safari camp (2 nt), comfortable tent or chalets (2 nts).

Meals

8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 7 dinners
Allow USD140-185 for meals not included.

Transportation

Air-conditioned touring vehicle, open safari vehicle, walking, plane.

Staff & experts

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) & driver for Kruger portion, local CEO in Victoria Falls, local guides/rangers.

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