Gazing out over Cape Town from Table Mountain, the panorama alone is worth the trip to Southern Africa. Then again, this epic 19-day adventure to South Africa and Namibia is filled with rewards for travellers. Marvel at the Cape Floral Kingdom on stunning display at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, watch for the "big five" in Kruger National Park, and climb dunes in the sweeping deserts of Namibia. Along the way, the views just may change your outlook.
- Travel Style : National Geographic Journeys
- Service Level : Upgraded
- Physical Grading : 2 - Light
- Trip Type : Small Group
- What's Included:Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens Guided Tour, Cape Town
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Carnivore Conservation Experience, Karongwe Private Game Reserve
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Mondesa Township Walk, Swakopmund
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Cheetah Conservation Experience, Windhoek
Your Foodie Moment: Traditional South Africa Braai (Barbecue), Johannesburg. Arrival transfer. Orientation drive of Cape Town. Excursion to Cape Point and Boulders Beach. Soweto tour. Panorama Route scenic drive. Kruger National Park and private nature reserve wildlife safari drives in open vehicles. Sossusvlei desert excursion. Desert excursion with a local. View the Twyfelfontein ancient petroglyphs. Full-day open-vehicle wildlife safari drive in Etosha. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- Highlights:Explore vibrant Cape Town, Enjoy a traditional South African barbecue, Look out for the Big Five on wildlife safaris, Experience a traditional dinner with a local family, Visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund
- Dossier Disclaimer:The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
- Itinerary Disclaimer:While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
- Important Notes:1. TRAVEL DAYS
This is not a physically demanding journey; however, travelling can be difficult, with long drives and poor road conditions at times. Despite this, most clients feel that the diversity of the African landscape, countries, culture and wildlife are all well worth the experience. We use a comfortable and safe air-conditioned tour vehicle for the long drives.
2. COMBO TOUR
Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes
South Africa is to enforce new rules requiring proof of Yellow Fever vaccination for all travelers - even in airport transit - who have been in Zambia or other countries where the disease is endemic. The stricter guidelines, effective 01 Oct 2011, will see pax without an international Yellow Fever certificate refused entry.
Please note, if you have not booked MOR (my own room) for this trip, you might be sharing a room for your stay in Cape Town, as well as for the rest of the tour. Please ask at check-in at the hotel in Cape Town if you will be sharing your room.
5. Water-wise tips when visiting Cape Town:
Cape Town is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts it has seen in over 100 years, and while we want you to have the best time possible while there, here are some tips to help reduce your water usage:
- Bring a reusable water bottle, that you can fill with Cape Town’s tasty tap water.
- Reuse your towels in the hotel, for at least two days, before getting new ones.
- Keep your laundry until you have a full load to do, rather than just doing a handful of items.
- Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, or shaving.
- Keep your showers to two minutes or less, and don’t use the bath.
- Use hand sanitizer, instead of washing hands.
The use of drones in national parks in Southern Africa is prohibited.
- Group Leader Description:On this tour, you will be accompanied by one local Chief Experience Officer (CEO) in Cape Town and a different Chief Experience Officer (CEO) for the Kruger and Namibia portion. The CEO will be the group manager and leader. All of our leaders in southern Africa are registered and licensed tourism guides, meaning they’ve studied to have a broad knowledge base of the region’s history, cultures, and wildlife, and are legally certified to lead/guide tours in the regions visited. Most of our leaders in the region are from South Africa, though it may be possible that you’ll have a leader from another country in the southern African region.
All safari guides are certified safari guides, and are of course very skilled and experienced drivers. With years of experience taking wildlife seekers into the wildlife parks, our local safari guides are exactly what will make your safari a success.
We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting.
Safari guides: All safari guides are certified safari guides, and are of course very skilled and experienced drivers. With years of experience taking wildlife seekers into National Parks and Reserves, our local safari guides are exactly what will make your safari a success.
- Group Size Notes:Max 16, avg 14.
- Meals Included:18 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 12 dinners
- Meals:Eating is a big part of travel. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available in Southern Africa.
- Transport:Air-conditioned touring vehicle, 4x4, open safari vehicle, plane, walking.
- About our Transportation:In Namibia, the vehicle used will depend on the number of passengers. This style of transportation is a comfortable way to travel through the region, allowing the group to travel through the cities and parks with ease, with more opportunities to stop and either wander around or view the sites.
In South Africa
The vehicle used will depend on the number of passengers as follows:
10-16 guests: 22 Seater Mercedes Bus (A/C)
6-9 guests: 14 Seater Toyota Quantum (A/C)
3-5 guests: Mercedes Benz Vito OR Similar (A/C)
1-2 guests: Nissan Livina X-G or Toyota Avanaza (A/C)
For the wildlife safari drives on in the Kruger area we use an open safari vehicle.
For group sizes of 10 to 16, you will have a dedicated driver and CEO.
- Local Flights:The flight between Cape Town / Johannesburg / Windhoek is included.It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
- Solo Travellers:We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
- Accommodation:Guest house (2 nts), hotel/lodge (12 nt), comfortable safari camp (2 nt), comfortable tent or chalets (2 nts)
- My Own Room:Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops
- About Accommodation:Private Reserve location changes
On some occasions, we may need to change accommodation or even use a different private reserve, if space is unavailable. In such a case, be assured we will choose other Lodges or comfort camps within the Greater Kruger area of equal quality.
Karongwe Private reserve
We use various accommodations within the reserve based on availability. During your time here, the group will either stay in lodge rooms or very comfortable permanent tents - both of equal quality and with similar amenities.
-Please note that hot water shortages, low water pressure, and power outages can occur in Southern Africa. We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.
-Wifi is available in most places (extra charge may apply), but in remote areas, there can be service interruptions
-A/C is not generally available in the accommodations we use, really it isn't needed as evenings tend to cool down. Floor or ceiling fans are usually available
-Winter nights (June to September) can be cold, and most lodges and hotels do not have insulation or central heating. If you require additional blankets or a hot water bottle, these can be requested through your CEO or at the reception.
- Joining Hotel:For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
- Joining Instructions:The nearest international airport to your joining hotel is the Cape Town International Airport.
Please note, the arrival transfer included occurs on Day 1. If you plan to arrive prior to Day 1, you will be required to arrange pre-tour accommodation through National Geographic Journeys to be eligible for the transport from the airport. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1, please make your way to the joining hotel via your included transfer. Details on where to meet your transfer can be found in your voucher notes or on the G Adventures app.
If you have booked pre-tour accommodations through G Adventures, please note that you must contact us to confirm the included arrival transfer. Check-in time at your start hotel will be in the afternoon.
Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1.
Your Leader will organize a welcome meeting in the evening of day 1, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip.
To receive your complimentary transfer, proceed through the international or domestic arrivals area and look for a transfer person holding a National Geographic Journeys sign with your name. Ask him/her what hotel he/she will take you to (do not volunteer this information). Then present your passport for proof of identity.
- Arrival Complications:We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
- Emergency Contact:Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please call the local emergency contact numbers listed below for more information.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (South Africa)
From outside South Africa: +27 713823286
From within South Africa: 071 3823286
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
- What to Take:You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, sports bag, or backpack. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. Porters may not always be available, so be prepared to carry your own bags. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning wildlife safari drives. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable.
The Southern Hemisphere essentially has the opposite weather to the Northern Hemisphere. The winter months of June, July and August, whilst clear and warm during the day (up to 25 degrees), can drop down to single figures and even below freezing at night. Between September and May it is considerably warmer with the time between October and March being the hottest, getting up to the high 30C and sometimes above. However it is always a dry heat and the temperature does drop at night. The wet season is between November and February, but this is not a bad time to go, as it generally does not rain for very long. We strongly recommend lots of layers to wear from the start of the day until the night. You might still need to wear a fleece jacket in the mornings, a t-shirt during the day and again the fleece jacket at sunset time. A woolen hat is also very much recommendable for the cold winter’s early morning wildlife safari drives.
Please be advised that if you plan to bring a drone with you, the use of drones in national parks in Southern Africa is prohibited.
- Packing List:Cold Weather:
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Smart outfit (For evenings out)
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: Seasons in Southern Africa are quite extreme. Winters (May to October) can be really cold and summers will be really hot. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning wildlife safari drives.
- Laundry:Laundry can be done at some lodges (at own expense).
- Visas and Entry Requirements:All countries require travellers to have a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity), and you are required to acquire the entry visas for each of the countries visited.
Please double check with your agent and/or visa agent what the visa requirements is for each country that you will be traveling to. Some countries do require that you get your visa before arrival. If you show up at a border and should you not have the required visa you will be denied entry to the country and be send back to the closest embassy/high commission to get the visa. All arrangements and expenses for that will be at your own cost. The CEO will assist you with travel arrangements but will not be able to accompany you. You will also have to catch up with the group at their next destination at own cost.
We have been experiencing a lot of problems with people that need visas for Namibia and Malawi. Namibian and Malawian visas is not available at the border, so please make very sure if you do need a visa before arrival.
The information provided here is to be used as a guide only. Please consult with the relevant embassy or your travel agency before you travel. We cannot take any responsibility whatsoever for the use of this information.
Visas cannot be obtained on arrival.
FOREIGN NATIONALS EXEMPTED FROM VISA REQUIREMENTS WHEN TRAVELLING TO NAMIBIA
Angola, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, India (Diplomatic and Official Passport up to 3 Months), Ireland. Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Lienchtenstein, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Macau (SAR), Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russian Federation ( Including States of the former U.S.S.R), South Africa, Singapore, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Other categories must obtain VISAs
Please enquire with your agent or closest embassy.
The visa fee is different for every nationality, so please check this with your agent or closest embassy.
This information is accurate at the time of writing, and please contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements and costs, regarding these, and the other countries visited, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
Visas are not issued at South African ports of entry, and airline officials are obliged to insist on visas before allowing passengers to board. If you arrive without a visa, immigration officials are obliged to put you onto a flight back to your home country.
If you are a passport holder of the following countries/areas you do not need a visa for stays of LESS THAN 90 days:
African Union / Unity Laissez Passes, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Spain, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, United States of America, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica
If you are a passport holder of the following countries/areas you do not need a visa for stays of LESS THAN 30 days:
Antigua and Barbuda,Barbados,Belize,Benin,Bolivia,Hong Kong,Hungary,Jordan,Lesotho,Malaysia Cape Verde,Costa Rica,Cyprus,Gabon,Guyana,Peru,Poland,Seychelles,Slovak Republic ,South Korea,Swaziland,Thailand,Turkey,Zambia
The visa fee is different for every nationality, so please check this with your agent or closest embassy.
**Please note for those traveling with minors: The International Air Transport Association (IATA), on 29 April, 2019, updated the Travel Information Manual Automatic (TIMATIC), used by airport ground staff to determine whether a passenger can be carried, with regard to the requirements for children travelling to South Africa.
According to the updated text, IATA is advising that members’ check-in staff to no longer request birth certificates from minors who have visas, or who are exempted from visas, if travelling with their parents with the same surname.
This information is accurate at the time of writing, and please contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements and costs, regarding these, and the other countries visited, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
- Spending Money:Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
- Money Exchange:The Namibian currency is the Namibian Dollar (NAD), which is equivalent to the South African Rand.
The currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR).
The easiest way is to withdraw money at the ATM airport (see below).
Rand can be obtained locally by changing foreign currency or by using ATMs (where available) which will disperse local currency. Your CEO will inform you where you can change money throughout the tour and approximately how much money you will need.
Each currency can be obtained locally by changing foreign currency or by using ATMs (where available) which will disperse local currency. Your CEO will inform you where you can change money throughout the tour and approximately how much money you will need.
The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally for any of the local currencies is the $US; however the British Pound and Euro may also be exchanged as well. Please note that due to past problems with forgery, $US notes that are older than year 2006 are not accepted in Africa.
Large note ($US 50, $US 100 etc) can be difficult to change in some places, but will gain you the best exchange rate.
If you plan to rely on cash, please bring foreign currency (Euro, Pound, USD) with you, as it is often expensive to buy these currencies locally. And in more rural areas, it is often not likely.
If you plan to buy your visas at borders, you will need to bring $USD cash to pay for these visas. Please note you cannot use the local currency or any other currency to buy these visas- they must be purchased in USD.
Please do not bring Travellers’ cheques toAfrica. They are difficult if not impossible to exchange in many places.
Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. it is harder to find machines Mastercard/Cirrus cards. We highly recommend that if you hold a Mastercard, you obtain a Visa card prior to departure and travel with both. This is also useful should somethingunforeseen happen to one of your cards during your travels.
While there are many ATMs in the major centres, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank.
Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. The majority of our optional activities can also be paid by credit card. Your CEO will advise on these.
Please note that in many areas there may be occasional power-outages, where there will be no electricity for hours at a time. In addition, ATMs outside of larger centers often run out of cash or can be out of order unexpectedly. These factors could affect your ability to access money from ATMs. As such, please do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money.
A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.
- Emergency Fund:Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
- Tipping:Tipping is an expected, though not compulsory, component of your tour program. The gesture serves as an expression of appreciation for exceptional service, and amounts given are up to your discretion.
Tipping is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. Giving a tip should be a seen as a formal 'thank you', and the action should in no way be awkward.
The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).
You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per person format:
CEO: $7-10 USD (per day)
Driver: $5-8 USD (per day)
Local guides: $2-3 USD (per day)
Safari Guide/Driver: $2-3 USD (per day)
Restaurant Staff: 10-15% of cost of bill
- Optional Activities:Cape Town
- Shark Cage Diving (2850ZAR per person)
- Two Oceans Aquarium (185ZAR per person)
- Cape Winelands Tour (950ZAR per person)
- Optional Welcome Meeting for Travellers on Combos
- Whale and Bird Watching at Dyer Island (1890ZAR per person)
- Table Mountain Cable Car (300-360ZAR per person)
- Forbidden Coast Scenic Flight (4600NAD per person)
- Skeleton Coast Scenic Flight (4800NAD per person)
- Swakopmund Skydiving (3000NAD per person)
- Sandboarding in the Namib Desert (700NAD per person)
- Health:We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure. Travellers should also carry a basic first-aid kit and hand sanitizers/antibacterial wipes on their travels. Medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. For your own safety, we strongly recommend that you advise your tour leader of any medical condition that may affect you while travelling with the group. Your tour leader will be able to inform you of local health advisories (e.g. drinking water quality). Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor.
Yellow Fever Certificate Note: (Updated: May 2017)
It is compulsory to show a valid Yellow Fever Certificate if you are travelling to the following G Adventures-visited countries from a Yellow Fever endemic country:
- South Africa
For some of these countries, proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is also required for passengers who have travelled more than 12 hours through the airport of an endemic country. If other countries not endemic to Yellow Fever have been visited after visiting an endemic country, then a Yellow Fever certificate may still be required on entry. Please check country-specific regulations before your departure.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that is present in some regions in Africa. Risk of malaria can increase during periods of heavy rain, during the rainy seasons, and in densely populated areas of Southern & East Africa. To prevent malaria, we recommend speaking to your doctor about taking preventative medication (prophylaxis), combined with regular use of insect repellent spray/cream. Please check updated travel health advisories specific to malaria before your departure.
- Safety and Security:Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
- Trip Specific Safety:GENERAL: Look after your personal items. Do not leave your valuables visible in a car or hotel room. Lock your hotel room door when you enter and when you leave. Do not carry large amount of cash on you. Avoid displaying flashy jewellery and carry your camera in its pack on your shoulder rather than around your neck. Keep your passport, airline tickets, money, important documents locked up in your room/safe - do not carry it with you.
Please note that the use of drones in national parks in Southern Africa is prohibited.
NAMIBIA: Always be alert of animals that are wandering too close to the road. Both domestic and wild animals frighten easily and can jump directly in front of the moving vehicle. If possible, avoid travelling at night. Some wildlife tends to be more active at dusk. Always be on the look-out for sandy patches, potholes and sharp bends in the road. In rainy or wet conditions beware of slippery roads, washaways, running and or stagnant water. Always have enough water (bottled) for the journey. NO matter how beautiful or gentle an animal may appear, the only safe way to look at it is from the safety of your vehicle.
Vital Information when you are staying the KNP or any Reserve: Please ensure that your stay is happy and safe by taking note of a few simple warnings. You will be sharing your stay with many exciting and unusal creatures but without knowledge some of them could be dangerous: Example: Bats, Spiders, Snakes, Scorpions, Malaria Zone. If you must walk around at night please DO NOT DO SO WITHOUT A TORCH. Remember: by feeding any wildlife, you are signing their death warrant as they become aggressive!
- A Couple of Rules:Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they engage in any form of paid sex work.
- Travel Insurance:Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
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Itinerary (19 days)
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
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.
Enjoy a day of leisure and choose from a variety of optional activities including a visit to Table Mountain or a Stellenbosch wine tour.
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.
Johannesburg/Greater Kruger Area
Enjoy a 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.
Kruger National Park
Enjoy a full-day 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 late afternoon, return to the lodge where you can relax on the deck with views of the surrounding area.
Greater Kruger Area/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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Palmwag/Etosha National Park Area
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.
Etosha National Park Area
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.
Etosha National Park Area/Windhoek
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.
Depart at any time.