Vic Falls to Kruger

Trip Code: YBOP

Why we love it

Visit the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust and learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, human-wildlife conflict and anti-poaching efforts., Pay the elephants and lions of Hwange National Park a visit in an open-air safari vehicle, stopping along the way for the perfect wildlife photographs., Track rhinos on foot with an expert local guide in Matobo National Park – an exhilarating way to experience the wildlife of Zimbabwe., Immerse yourself in the ancient culture of the Venda people at a two-night village homestay in South Africa's Limpopo province., Marvel at the unforgettable views of Blyde River Canyon. This spectacular gorge is up there with the world's largest and is probably the greenest of the lot.

Is this trip right for me?

This is an overland trip. That means you’ll be travelling with a group in a purpose-built vehicle, visiting remote communities, setting up your own tent (unless you’re on an Original or Comfort style trip), occasionally roughing it in the bush with no facilities, and getting the best possible views of the Big Five. For more info on this style of travel, see our Africa overland page: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/africa/overland

The African wild comes alive at sunrise, so there will be some early starts on this trip. The thrill of spotting your first lion or rhino will be well worth any loss of sleep!

Please note that this trip can be partnered with other adventures to make a combination trip, which means that some of your fellow travellers may have begun their journey before today. If you’d like to spend more time in Africa, have a look at the ‘combos’ that include this trip’s itinerary, such as Explore Southern Africa.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 5 & 6 (Homestay) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. This trip finishes upon arrival in Johannesburg on Day 9. Please do not book any flights until after 10 pm this evening.
3. The minimum age for this trip is 15 at the time of travel. Any travellers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian, or in lieu of a legal guardian, by an escort over the age of 18, appointed by their legal guardian. The legal guardian or their designee will be responsible for the traveller under the age of 18 day to day’s care. If a legal guardian elects to designate an escort in their lieu, they will be required to complete and sign a relevant document, to delegate their authority.
4. On occasion, especially during the peak months of May, June, July and December we are unable to secure campsites within the Kruger National Park. In this instance we will camp at a backpackers outside the park.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

ESSENTIALS:
- Sleeping bag. We recommend a 3–4 season sleeping bag because it can get very cold at night in winter months in desert and mountainous regions. Sleeping bags are also available for hire (if pre-booked). Please speak to your sales consultant, at least 14 days prior to departure, if you wish to hire one.
- Pillow / travel pillow / or pillow case to put your comfy jacket in
- Closed in shoes. As this trip includes camping and/or bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.
- Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Shorts are perfect for summer. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended.
- Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening game activities when it can be cool.
- Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening game drives (especially if travelling in winter)
- A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the campsite at night. Some campsites have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time. Although the trucks do carry lamps for meal times it’s a good idea to bring a headlamp to navigate the campsites and in particular going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
- Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
- Towel (or travel towel)

RECOMMENDED:
- A simple plastic bag/waterproof toiletry bag (that can hang on a nail on the back of a door) will be useful to keep your clothes dry inside basic camp shower structures.
- Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, anti-diarrhoeal, antibacterial gel, wet wipes, bandaids/plasters etc.
- Insect repellent.
- Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1 litre capacity. Our vehicle have large tanks of treated water for your refills.
- Camera with spare battery or power bank.
- Binoculars
- A small bottle of biodegradable laundry soap for hand washing your clothes
- Ear plugs to guard against a snoring tent-mate
- A good book, a journal or a smart phone with music
- toilet paper and soap to carry in your day bag

OPTIONAL:
- Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather.
- Thermarest. While we provide a basic camping mattress for each client, some travellers find they like the extra comfort of a double layer.

LUGGAGE LIMIT:
The weight limit for luggage on all trucks is a strict maximum of 20kg.
Your main luggage will be stored in a compartment at the back of the truck. Traditional, framed suitcases are not recommended as they are large and can damage other travellers belongings while on the road. Backpacks or duffel bags are an ideal choice.

VALUABLES:
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe and the safe on the overland truck to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

POWER:
Our overland vehicles are equipped with multiple power boards which may be used at the crew’s discretion, however, do bear in mind that only a minimal number of items can be charged at a time and will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Some campsites have electricity and charging of devices is advised before checking out the following day. We also recommend power banks and multi country power converters.

CONSERVATIVE DRESS FOR WOMEN:
In many parts of Africa women travelers should dress modestly as there is a wide range of cultural differences. Wear skirts or shorts that reach just above the knee and tops that cover shoulders at a minimum. If visiting coastal areas wear a cover-up when you step off the beaches., PLASTIC BAG BANS ACROSS AFRICA
While Namibia holds people liable to a fine of N$500 or imprisonment for entering Game Parks with a plastic bag, Botswana has announced a countrywide ban on plastic bags to come into effect on 1 November 2018. The ban will make the importing, trading and commercial use of plastic bags a criminal offence. Exceptions will be made for plastics that are essential for health and hygiene. With these announcements, Botswana and Namibia join other African countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tunisia, Morocco, Rwanda, Uganda, Somalia and Eritrea that have banned plastic bags. South Africa imposed a levy on plastic bags in 2004 but they have not yet been banned.
Many countries are strictly enforcing this and have been searching luggage at border points. Camping stores are good for obtaining waterproof reusable bags, for dirty laundry etc, prior to departure.

Physical rating

3

You do not need any real fitness for this safari besides the ability to get in and out of the safari vehicles. The step up into the overland truck, while not overly high, can become tiring, as can the constant setting and packing up of camp. You need to judge yourself to be physically fit enough to haul yourself up and down at least 8-10 times a day. Please also note that, in some areas, the roads are in quite poor condition and you may experience a fair amount of bouncing around.

Joining your group

Victoria Falls Rest Camp and Lodges - PEAK Southern Africa, Stand 5 Parkway, Victoria Falls, ZIMBABWE, Phone: +26 3773496695

Joining instructions

If you have pre-booked a transfer, your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals area near the point you clear customs. Please look for our driver who will be holding a card with your name on it. The driver will wait for an hour after your scheduled arrival time.

If you are unable to find your driver please make your way to the ‘Wild Horizons’ desk which is located in the arrivals terminal. Wild Horizons operate our ground transfers and a representative will be able to help you. If you are still unable to find your driver you can call +27 11 4717400 during business hours, or +27 82 822 9407 after hours. If you are delayed beyond one hour after your scheduled arrival time, please make your own way to the hotel.

If you are making your own way to the hotel, there is a taxi stand outside the airport building. A taxi should cost approximately 20USD.

Finishing your trip

Holiday Inn Rosebank, The Zone Phase 2, 187 Oxford Rd, Johannesburg, Johannesburg, 2196, SOUTH AFRICA

The Holiday Inn Rosebank is a comfortable modern hotel conveniently located just a short walk from the Rosebank Train Station and Zone Shopping Centre. The hotel facilities include an outdoor pool, a well-equipped gym and nearby golfing facilities. Guest rooms are fully air conditioned, include a TV with satellite channels, ensuite, tea and coffee maker and free WiFi. The Holiday Inn Rosebank is located 25kms from Johannesburg's O. R. Tambo International Airport.

We are happy to arrange a departure transfer for you at an additional charge. Please ask your booking agent if you would like to add this service and provide your flight details.

If you have pre-booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your exact departure transfer time. For international flights your transfer driver will be at reception 3.5 hours prior to the flight departure, while for domestic flights the driver will be there 2.5 hours prior to departure. If you need to contact the transfer provider, please call Page Corp Transfer Services on +27 84 400 8896.

If you want to make your own way to the Airport from our hotel in Johannesburg, you will need to catch the train from Rosebank station to Sandton Station. From here the Gautrain is a fast and inexpensive option. Please note that the train only operates between 05:30am and 20:30pm daily. The train journey to O.R Tambo International Airport from Sandton takes 15 minutes and costs approximately 125.00ZAR one way. During Peak hours the trains depart every 12minutes (05:30-08:30 & 16:00-19:00).

Alternatively the hotel can help organise a taxi for you. This will cost around 400-650ZAR which is payable to the driver. Depending on the time of day and traffic conditions, a transfer or taxi may take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 8

Lunches included: 5

Dinners included: 7

By travelling on an Overland trip you have chosen a participation camping tour. This means that you will be helping your cook prepare meals for the group. You may also get the chance to help with the shopping.

Your cook will come up with meal ideas and quantities needed for large groups. Participating in the camp is usually done on a duty roster system with group of 5 or 6 people (depending on group size) having a different camp job each day.

If you have any dietary requirements please tell us at the time of booking, and also remind your crew at your welcome meeting.

A typical camp breakfast might be toast with spreads, cereal, something hot such as eggs or pancakes, as well as tea and coffee. Lunch is almost always a sandwich with healthy salad and assorted fillings, sometimes with fruit to follow. On occasion there will be the opportunity to buy your lunch to allow you try the local cuisine or provide some variety to sandwiches. Dinner might be a BBQ, rice dish or pasta dish and there is always the chance to try some African food such as ugali and stew.

Your overland truck has a tank of treated water that is safe to drink. Your crew will use this to cook and provide cordial at meal times. Please do not hesitate to use this water to minimise the consumption of plastic water bottles. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are not part of included meals.

One thing is sure - you definitely won't go hungry or lose weight on your safari! When you aren't camping you will have the freedom to decide where, what and with whom you eat.

Climate & seasonal information

WINTER MONTHS:
Yes it is Africa, however the winter months can be very cold. Please bring a warm sleeping bag as well as warm winter clothing such as a wool pullover, jacket and woolly hat. It's also a good idea to check the weather reports prior to travel.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

Intrepid's local Operator: +27828229407

Accommodations

Accommodation on this trip is mainly in two-person canvas dome tents with camping mattresses supplied.

The type and variety of accommodation is determined by conditions on each of our routes. Each route is different - on some we use a mixture of campsites and wild camps; on others we also use hotels. In Africa it's not usually practical to camp when staying in towns and cities so we use hotel accommodation and eat out in local restaurants.

There may be the occasional night stop, when we stay in the grounds of a hotel or at a campsite which may also have rooms/cabins available. In this case there may be a choice of camping or upgrading to a room. Rooms cost approximately USD60-120 per room per night for a twin room and cannot be pre-booked. Standards of these rooms vary greatly and we recommend viewing the room before purchasing the nights accommodation. The day by day itinerary advises when upgrades may be possible (subject to availability).

Keep in mind that if we are staying in dormitory accommodation, you may have to share with other passengers or be split into same sex rooms.

Campsites do have facilities but they usually aren't to the same standard you would find in western countries. For example the bathroom facilities can be very basic. There is rarely toilet paper provided and shower facilities can be as simple as a hose pipe spurting out cold water. Wild camps have no facilities at all.

At times there may be spare tents in the vehicles. Unfortunately these cannot be used without purchase of a single supplement. This is to ensure the tents avoid wear and tear, or are clean and ready for the customers arriving on the next section of the trip.

Transportation

Our trucks are purpose-built, self contained safari vehicles. Our fleet of vehicles varies depending on your group size, trip route and style. In Southern Africa some departures may use vans and luggage trailers subject to group size and vehicle availability. It is also important to note that our overland vehicles are not air-conditioned, but all vehicles have windows that can be opened to allow for fresh air.

There are many early starts with long hours spent driving on rough roads on all African itineraries. While most people love the chance to watch the changing landscape and daily village life, feedback shows that long periods of inactivity does not appeal to all clients. We provide the approximate distance covered each day and how many hours this normally takes to drive so that you can choose the safari experience that is right for you.

African conditions are extremely tough on vehicles. While we fastidiously maintain our vehicles at our workshops, you should not expect Africa to be your traditional touring experience. While it's certainly our aim to avoid them, it's important that you set off on your trip knowing that the occasional breakdown can happen and are best treated as part of the African adventure. Due to wet weather there may be times when we have to take an alternative route which will mean longer travel times.


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