Expedition Details

 

Soar over southern Africa’s splendid landscapes on an unforgettable journey by private air. Experience some of the world’s best wildlife viewing on safari in private reserves away from the crowds. Choose from a variety of activities, from optional flight-seeing at Victoria Falls to canoe safaris and bush walks; and stay at some of southern Africa’s top safari camps.

Trip Highlights

  • Take close-ups of wildlife from a hide with a professional photographer, or go mountain biking along elephant trails.
  • Examine ancient rock art with an archaeologist and see pottery shards and trading beads that date back thousands of years.
  • Set out on a wildlife cruise in Botswana’s Chobe National Park and watch elephants “snorkeling” in the river.
  • Sip sundowners on the classic steam train Royal Livingstone Express as it travels through Mosi-o-Tunya National Park.

Itinerary - 12 Days

Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Johannesburg, South Africa/MalaMala Game Reserve

Depart on an overnight flight to Johannesburg. Board our aircraft for a scenic flight to MalaMala Game Reserve, a private reserve in Greater Kruger National Park. The distinctive habitat of the Lowveld region is full of big game, including lions, leopards, and white rhinos. Settle into our luxury safari lodge, situated on the leafy banks of the Sand River, and take your first game drive before our welcome dinner tonight.
MalaMala Main Camp (D)

Day 3 — MalaMala Game Reserve

Set off on an early morning safari in open vehicles and observe wildlife at one of its most active times with naturalist guides. Enjoy time to relax and take advantage of the camp’s amenities before lunch. During our late afternoon game drive, stop for sundowners in the bush. Continue exploring as night falls, searching for nocturnal predators on the prowl. Gather for dinner around a large campfire in a reed-enclosed boma.
MalaMala Main Camp (B,L,D)

Days 4, 5, & 6 — Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana

Our private aircraft flies us directly to Mashatu Game Reserve, an enormous private reserve located in the remote eastern corner of Botswana that comprises a diverse wilderness of savanna, riverine forests, marshlands, open plains, and sandstone outcrops. Take morning and evening game drives accompanied by expert guides, and choose two of the following exciting activities: go on a bush walk, join a photographer in a hide to capture close-ups of wildlife, or mountain bike along elephant trails. Visit the Motloutse Ruins, a significant archaeological site, in the company of South African archaeologist Grant Hall.
Mashatu Main Camp (B,L,D daily)

Days 7 & 8 — Moremi Game Reserve, Okavango Delta

Our next flight takes us soaring over the magnificent wetlands of the Okavango Delta to a tented camp in Moremi Game Reserve. Spend two days discovering this untamed habitat by land and water. Choose to explore by open safari vehicle or by traditional mokoro canoes, and take a trip to Gadikwe Island by flat-bottom boat to see hippos and breeding colonies of herons, egrets, pelicans, storks, and cormorants.
Xakanaxa Camp (B,L,D daily)

Days 9 & 10 — Chobe National Park/Victoria Falls and Livingstone, Zambia

Board our aircraft for a flight to Chobe National Park, known for its many elephant families. On a wildlife river cruise, watch for elephants frolicking at the water’s edge and using their trunks like snorkels as they swim. Then fly along the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers to Livingstone; and check into the luxurious Royal Livingstone Hotel, just steps from Victoria Falls. Design your morning according to your interests: visit a local village or the Livingstone Museum, or venture into the Maramba market. Take a canoe safari, or experience the falls from a thrilling perspective on an optional flight-seeing excursion. Explore the falls with a local guide this afternoon, venturing into the mists along suspended walkways. Board the historic Royal Livingstone Express steam train for a festive farewell dinner as we travel through Mosio-Tunya National Park.
Royal Livingstone Hotel (B, L; B, D)

Days 11 & 12 — Johannesburg, South Africa/U.S.

Fly to Johannesburg and connect with your return flight home, arriving the next day.
(B)

Optional Extension

Related Trips

National Geographic Expert

Steve Boyes

Steve BoyesConservationist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to preserving Africa’s wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. A native of South Africa, Steve spent more than five years in the Okavango Delta while doing fieldwork for his doctorate in zoology. He currently runs the Cape Parrot Project with support from the Society’s Conservation Trust. His work takes him all over Africa, studying wildlife rehabilitation and biodiversity, fighting the wild-caught bird trade, and planting thousands of trees in forest restoration projects. Steve is the Scientific Director of the Wild Bird Trust.

Steve will join the following departures:

Dec 27, 2014 - Jan 07, 2015
Jul 25 - Aug 05, 2015
Dec 26, 2015 - Jan 06, 2016

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Dates

2014
  • Sep 20 - Oct 01, 2014 (waitlist only)
  • Dec 27, 2014 - Jan 07, 2015 (waitlist only)
2015
  • Jul 11 - 22, 2015
  • Jul 25 - Aug 05, 2015
  • Aug 23 - Sep 03, 2015
  • Sep 20 - Oct 01, 2015
  • Dec 26, 2015 - Jan 06, 2016

Expedition Cost

2014

$14,785

2015

$15,450

Price is per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $3,050.

All flights within Africa are included in the expedition cost. Transportation within Africa is by DC-3 (minimum of 16 guests) or by small private aircraft (if there are fewer than 16 guests). International airfare to/from Johannesburg is not included in the expedition cost.

What To Expect

MalaMala Main Camp and Mashatu Main Camp are luxury safari lodges; Xakanaxa Camp is a luxury tented camp; the Royal Livingstone Hotel is a five-star hotel.