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Ever dreamed of getting up close to the Big Five? Or standing before one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world? Do both and much more on this 18-day journey. Photograph elephants and lions in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, meet a researcher at the National Geographic-supported Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, and explore the lush landscapes surrounding Victoria Falls. From thrilling game drives to intimate cultural encounters, enjoy the journey of a lifetime.
Go on safari with a researcher from the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Carnivore Conservation Programme, part of National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative.
Spot an array of wildlife, from zebras and oryxes to elephants, lions, and black rhinos.
Experience daily life in the Namibian township of Mondesa, and opt to go quad-biking or sandboarding in nearby dunes.
Explore a local market and enjoy dinner at a family home in Zimbabwe.
Itinerary - 18 Days
Day 1 — Johannesburg
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer and welcome dinner are included.
Days 2 & 3 — Panorama Route/Kruger National Park
Enjoy a scenic drive along the famed Panorama Route to our tented camp, located just outside Kruger National Park. The next day morning, opt to take a sunrise game drive. In the afternoon, embark on another game drive in an open safari vehicle, on the lookout for legendary species including elephants, giraffes, zebras, and lions. (2B, 1D)
Days 4 & 5 — Karongwe Private Game Reserve
Continue to Karongwe Private Game Reserve for two days of morning and evening safaris. Meet with a researcher from the Endangered Wildlife Trust's Carnivore Conservation Programme, a project headed by National Geographic grantee Kelly Marnewick. A member of Kelly’s team will tell us about their ongoing field research and join us on one of our game drives. (2B, 1L, 2D)
Day 6 — Johannesburg
After one last game drive, head back to the city. This evening, enjoy a home-cooked dinner at our guesthouse. (1B, 1D)
Day 7 — Windhoek
Fly to Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city, and transfer to our hotel with free time this afternoon to explore on your own. (1B)
Days 8 & 9 — Sesriem
Take in the dramatic Namibian scenery on a drive to the desert town of Sesriem. The next day, embark on a 4x4 excursion in Namib-Naukluft National Park, considered one of Africa’s most stunning desert landscapes. See Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, clay pans covered in a crust of salt-rich sand surrounded by burned orange and red towering dunes. Explore Sesriem Canyon, a natural rock formation carved over millions of years by the Tsauchab River. (2B, 2D)
Days 10 & 11 — Swakopmund
Journey through the desert, keeping an eye out for free-roaming zebras and oryxes. Go on a drive with a local and learn about the ancient hunter-gatherer culture of San bushmen. Then head to Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast. The next day, take advantage of a free morning to go quad-biking or sandboarding in the dunes, or take a walk through town. Later, visit the township of Mondesa alongside a local guide. Stop in at Datango, an arts-and-crafts shop that offers employment opportunities to local youth. Continue to a family home for dinner as well as entertainment by the local choir. (2B, 1L, 1D)
Day 12 — Twyfelfontein
Travel to Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s first UNESCO World Heritage site, and examine ancient San petroglyphs which date back over more than 5,000 years. (1B, 1D)
Days 13 & 14 — Etosha National Park
Depart early to visit the 280-million-year-old Petrified Forest national monument before continuing to our lodge in the Etosha National Park area. This afternoon, head off on a game drive in search of elephants, lions, endangered black rhinos, and much more. Enjoy a sunrise game drive the next morning. The rest of the day is free to relax at our lodge, swim, or join our CEO for another game drive. (2B)
Day 15 — Windhoek
Visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund, a global research facility founded by Dr. Laurie Marker, whose work has been supported by National Geographic. Tour the facility and learn about its ongoing research before embarking on game drive to view cheetahs up close. Later, return to Windhoek. (1B, 1L)
Days 16 & 17 — Victoria Falls
Fly to Zimbabwe and take a guided tour along the trails of Victoria Falls. Gain insight into everyday life during a walk through the local market and dinner at a family homestead. The next day, enjoy free time for optional activities, including a river safari or canoeing. (2B, 1D)
Our newest line of trips, offered in partnership with G Adventures, blends fun, hands-on exploration, meaningful encounters with people and cultures, and more free time and choices—with the structure and security of traveling in a small group.
All trip prices are per person based on double occupancy. If you're traveling on your own, we'll pair you up with a roommate of the same gender so that you can pay the same rate as other travelers. Prices are subject to change without notice and do not include airfare. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars.
My Own Room
During your trip, sometimes it's just more convenient and comfortable to have your own room. That's why we offer the "My Own Room" option - a single room all to yourself.
My Own Room Option: From $1699
Arrival transfer, internal
flights, transport between destinations and to/
from included activities, and activities as listed in
the itinerary. Optional experiences are at an additional cost
Meals Included 17 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 10 dinners. Allow an additional $365-475 for meals not included
Transportation Air-conditioned touring vehicle, 4x4, open safari vehicle, plane
You can do whatever you wish during your free time on tour, but if you're in need of suggestions, we've got them. Details about any optional experiences for this trip will be available during the booking process. Please note, these are at an additional cost.