1st September: Depart Malta
We will meet at Malta International Airport for our flight* to Johannesburg. According to our current flight schedule we are expected to depart at 15.35hrs, transit for 3 hrs in Dubai, arriving in Johannesburg the next day at 10.15am. *We have booked a limited number of seats with Emirates Airlines. Prices are indicated in the information e-mail.
2nd September: Pilanesberg National Park (L, D) (Driving Distance: 200kms)
Welcome to South Africa!
Upon arrival in Johannesburg we will be met by our safari crew. Accompanying us on this trip we will have a full time local guide, driver and chef. We will be crossing from South Africa to Zimbabwe and all the way to Victoria Falls by a specialised 4×4 safari vehicle, equipped with comfortable seats, large windows all around and enough space to stretch our legs. The safari crew will offer a short briefing and off we go to experience an African Dream Safari!!
Pilanesberg Game Reserve is set within a 1300 million-year-old extinct volcanic crater. Bursting with wildlife, it offers a wide variety of beautiful landscapes featuring grasslands, wooded valleys and unique rock formations. Its unusual ecological richness makes it possible to encounter the Big Five and over 360 species of bird. For the next 2 days we will immerse ourselves in the natural world. Upon arrival in Pilanesberg we will head to the National Park for our first afternoon game drive. Get your cameras ready as this is the perfect place to spot wildebeests, water-bucks, zebras and impalas as they roam around on the grassland.
We will overnight in one of the park’s resorts, a haven which highlights the raw beauty of our great escape. We will be sleeping under the stars in rustic safari tents with shared bathrooms. The tents are electrified and are supplied with tea & coffee facilities. As soon as we settle in we will meet up by the pool for a relaxing evening.
3rd September : Pilanesberg National Park (FB=Full Board)
Following breakfast we will experience the park up close and personal on foot. Our morning activity is a bush walk in the park. A bush walk will allow us to immerse ourselves in the unspoilt wilderness and feel the freedom of nature. We will join a ranger, who will also be our guide, to locate and observe the inhabitants of the park.
The rhythms of African drums are enchanting and positively contagious. The beauty and energy of the African continent resonates from the ancient instruments. However, picking up a drum and immersing yourself into the rhythm and dynamic of the group is an uplifting experience that will leave you with a taste for more. This afternoon we will join in one of the oldest forms of communication known to man as we enjoy the interactive rhythms of Africa by taking part in a drum circle with locals. Dance to the beat and sing to the rhythm during this fulfilling experience.
4th September: Limpopo (FB) (Driving Distance: 350kms)
Bordering Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Botswana, the Limpopo Province is South Africa’s northernmost province renowned for its quintessentially African vistas. This region is known for its immense natural beauty featuring rugged mountains meeting pristine savannah plains sheltering a diverse array of wildlife. It encompasses the Makgabeng Plateau, the Blouberg Mountains, and a variety of towns and cities surrounded by a host of reserves including the world-renowned Kruger National Park.
After breakfast we will start our journey to Limpopo, more specifically, Polokwane. On the way we will stop in markets and later continue to our lodge set amidst a lush and manicured garden in a quiet
neighbourhood. This afternoon we will relax around the crisp swimming pool, and later gather around a bonfire for an African dinner under the stars.
5th September: Kruger National Park (FB) (Driving Distance: 300kms)
Kruger National Park is one of the world’s largest reserves and a truly remarkable destination. September is also the height of the dry season which means that a high concentration of animals congregate around waterholes making viewing much easier. This time is particularly lovely since it is more likely to experience sunny skies. It also coincides with the low touristy season, which makes it even more attractive to observe the animals up close. After breakfast we will continue on our journey East. On our way we will experience fantastic diversity. The park is home to over 130 mammals and over 500 bird species. So do get ready for an unforgettable and life-changing experience.
This afternoon we will head to the park for our game drive. This game viewing area is known as the ‘Southern Circle’ and is renowned for its rhinos and lions, with different prides boasting an array of
different hunting techniques and behaviours to observe. Near the Hippo Pool, we can also view ancient San rock paintings. For the next 2 nights, our accommodation is in the park itself. After we check-in, join us for a sunset drink and dinner.
6th September: Kruger National Park (FB)
Today we’re off for an unforgettable experience on a full day Kruger Game Drive. We will start the day early and set off to explore the national park on our safari truck. Kruger Park is well known for the Big 5 – elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, but there are also many more wildlife species to see. Today we will search for wild animals with our overland safari truck, and an experienced ranger will help us spot the animals and tell us all about the wildlife.
Our exciting adventure will end later in the afternoon when we will be dropped off at our accommodation. As the sun goes down, and the day turns into night, join us for stargazing under the South African night sky. It is a truly humbling experience as we consider our significance in the face of the enormity of the universe which consists of over 100,000 million stars.
7th September: Soutpansberg Mountain Range (FB) (Driving Distance: 450kms)
Soutpansberg, meaning ‘Salt Pan Mountain,’ is South Africa’s most northern mountain range, which forms part of the UNESCO-designated Vhembe Biosphere Reserve. These mountains boast a rich cultural heritage, diverse fauna and flora, and unspoilt wilderness featuring rugged peaks rising from the baobab-dotted plains which can reach heights of 5 to 30m, and have a trunk diameter of 7 to 11 metres, a real natural wonder. The landscape is truly one-of-a-kind, with scenic mountain views, and today we will spend the day driving through this mountain range and witnessing vast expanses of land.
8th September: Welcome to Zimbabwe (FB) (Driving Distance: 350kms)
It’s time to enter another land. Zimbabwe is a nation of spectacular natural beauty, friendly people and rich culture. It boasts one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls, huge herds of elephants in Hwange National Park, and its rivers provide close encounters with crocodiles, hippos and a host of other wildlife. In September, temperatures rise and the rift valleys become populated with some fantastic game.
Zimbabweans are described as warm, hospitable and friendly. The Shona is the biggest ethnic group native to Zimbabwe and traditional beliefs are very vivid among them. The most important features are ancestor-worship and totemism. According to Shona tradition, the afterlife is another form of existence in the world here and now, and people of the same totem are not allowed to marry. During our time here we will meet locals who will tell us more about their traditions, culture and way of life. So if you have any curiosities about the Zimbabweans, this is the perfect opportunity to sit with a local and listen to their stories. After we cross the border we will head to the city of Great Zimbabwe, the biggest and most significant archaeological complex in sub-Saharan Africa, second only to the pyramids of Egypt in terms of historical interest. Great Zimbabwe was designated a World Heritage Site. Here, we will wander through these ancient stone structures and immerse ourselves in the
history of this site, where the kings sat and watched over the people and where they held their religious rituals and ceremonies.
9th September: Rhino Tracking and Cultural Visits (FB) (Driving Distance: 275km)
Matobo Hills National Park is world-renowned for its large population of leopard and one of the last wild and free-roaming populations of Rhino found anywhere in Africa. Today we will go on one of the most iconic safaris…rhino tracking! Feel your heart pound as you get close to one of the world’s most handsome and endangered animals, the rhino. A professional guide and ranger will be accompanying us at all times, and we will split in small groups to respect the animals.
Later, we will enjoy walks to the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, atop Malindidzimu Hill, meaning, the hill of benevolent spirits. Here we will enjoy a 360° panoramic view in every direction of the Matobo Hills. Rhodes spent many afternoons pondering life’s great questions at this exact spot which he called “A view of the world.” Will the panorama have the same effect on us? It’s easy to see why the most powerful man in Africa, at the time, chose to be buried here. We will then head to Bulawayo which is where we will be staying tonight.
10th September: Hwange National Park (FB) (Driving Distance: 275kms)
Hwange National Park is the country’s biggest reserve. Home to a profusion of wildlife, it should be on any safari lover’s bucket list. The park is known for regular sightings of cheetah, leopard and lion, and it is also home to some 50,000 elephants. In fact, the elephants of Hwange are world famous and the elephant population is one of the largest in the world. Huge herds congregate, making the park one of the best places in the world for elephant viewing. What makes Hwange so special is its lack of crowds which means that we have the space and the quiet to soak up the magic of the bush.
This afternoon get ready for spectacular wildlife sightings!!! We will hop on open 4×4 vehicles and spend the our time experiencing the African wilderness. Here we are guaranteed to see all of the big cats in their natural habitat especially because the dry winter months are the best time to visit. Once the rains stop, animals have to rely on waterholes. So we will head to particular areas of the park as animals make their way towards water to quench the Savannah thirst.
This and the next 2 pages show the places we will be staying at. Throughout this adventure we will be moving from one park to another. We will be staying in rustic safari tents, African-style huts, lodges, chalets and a hotel, havens that highlight the raw beauty of our great escape.
11th and 12th September: Victoria Falls (B) (Driving Distance: 200kms)
Victoria Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world and it is also one of the seven natural wonders. Known to locals as ‘The Smoke That Thunders,’ its noise can be heard from a distance of 40kms. The sheer power of this massive body of water plunging into the Zambezi Gorge is awe-inspiring and unforgettable. Livingstone wrote that no one can even imagine the beauty of this scene, and now it is time for you to experience it, to feel the spray of the mist, listen to the roaring sound, and if you dare, swim in its waters.
After breakfast we will start our journey to the falls. There is nothing quite like the heart-pounding sensation of actually standing on the edge of these magnificent falls and being drenched by the never ending spray. Upon arrival we will join our guide for a walk to the falls. Standing on the edge above the raging Zambezi river is something quite unforgettable. So be prepared for the incredible beauty and mesmerising power of the mighty Victoria Falls. For the next 2 nights we will be staying in twin chalets, merely 500m from the falls and just 150m from the epicentre of town. The town retains a relaxed local feel, and its streets are lined with bars and some of the best crafts you’ll find anywhere in South Africa.
With adrenaline-pumping activities, there are countless ways to experience this enthralling natural wonder. A visit to Devil’s Pool is a must, so on our 2nd morning we will experience a swim on the edge of the falls at the famous and world unique Livingstone Island.
We will also allow free time so everyone can enjoy the falls as they wish. There are plenty of activities you can do here; white-water rafting, zip-lining, bungee jumping, gorge swing, helicopter flights over the falls, high speed jet boat, canoeing, sunset boat cruises, and even sky diving!
13th September: Johannesburg (B, D)
After breakfast we will allow some free time to witness the Victoria Falls one last time, and then we will be picked up from our accommodation and we will take a transfer to the airport for our flight to Johannesburg! Johannesburg is South Africa’s biggest city and its sprawling Soweto township was once home to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Upon arrival we will head to our Safari Club Lodge accommodation. For our last official night in South Africa we will sit back, relax and recount the unique and beautiful memories shared. Local dinner will be served at our accommodation.
14th September: Soweto township and cultural visits (B, L)
But our adventure is not over yet! Today we will visit some very important places. First we will explore the shanty Soweto Township, and later we will pay a visit to the homes of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. We will finish off with a hearty meal in a local restaurant. After a full day in Johannesburg we will head to the airport for our flight back home! According to our current flight schedule we are expected to arrive in Malta on the 13th of September in the afternoon. As our experience comes to an end, we hope that you will always look back and cherish the many memories we have shared together.