(PJ) Explore South Africa with National Geographic and G Adventures – 24 March 2025

12 Days

On this extraordinary adventure through South Africa, journey from glittering Cape Town to the vast wilderness of Kruger National Park—home of the legendary “big five”. Visit Soweto township, where Nelson Mandela once lived; enjoy a homemade dinner with a local family in a Zimbabwean village; and witness the awe-inspiring beauty of Victoria Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

This is a National Geographic Journey, giving greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort. As a National Geographic Journey you will receive quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures Tours, like meals, private transport and activities.

Overview

24 March to 4 April 2025

Price from $6499 pp Twin Share and from $7518 Solo Occupancy

Conditions

  • Private Journey exclusively for Travel with Me
  • Price includes internal flights only
  • Based on departure 25 March 2025
  • Maximum of 12 guests
  • Maximum of 8 Solo rooms only
  • A deposit of $600 is required within 7 days of booking
  • Finals are due 10 Jan 2025
  • Prices and Itinerary are subject to availability and subject to change without notice
  • Prices will be subject to exchange rate (USD) at the time of final payment
  • Amendment and cancellation fees will apply both from the Supplier and Travel with Me
  • Cancellations prior to final payment date will incur a fee of $250 and an amount of $350 will kept as a lifetime credit to be used against a future G Adventures Journey. After final payment, all monies are non refundable.
  • Please ensure you have a current passport with a minimum of 6 months validity beyond the return date of your journey.
  • Please be aware that properties we stay in with only two stories may not have elevators installed and climbing the stairs with your luggage will be necessary.
  • Visas are required for Zimbabwe and are at additional cost
  • 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
  • Proof of Yellow Fever Vaccination will be required
  • Please ask your Travel with Me, Consultant, for a competitive Travel Insurance quote as insurance is compulsory on all Travel with Me Exclusive and Private Journeys

Explore-South-Africa-Mar-2025-1.pdf Download
Trip-Notes-Explore-Southern-Africa.pdf Download

Highlights

  • Carnivore Conservation Experience, Karongwe Private Game Reserve
  • Zimbabwean Family Dinner, Victoria Falls
  • Traditional South Africa Braai (Barbecue)
  • Excursion to Cape Point including the penguins at Boulders Beach
  • Soweto tour
  • Private nature reserve wildlife safari drive in open safari vehicles
  • Go for a wildlife safari drive with a researcher and expert on carnivores
  • Visit the Kirstenbosch botanical garden with an expert botanist
  • Spot wildlife in world-famous Kruger National Park
  • This is a National Geographic/ G Adventures Journey
  • Welcome and Farewell Dinners

Itinerary

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

Arrival Transfer – Cape Town International Airport – Cape Town

You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel to start your adventure.

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Meet your Cape Town G Adventures representative at the hotel – please have a look at the information board in the hotel for the meeting time. Your rep will go through your tour details, help you with booking optional activities, and be your contact person for the next few days.

Welcome Dinner Tonight

Accommodation: The Portswood Hotel (or similar)

Dinner

Begin the day with an exploration of vibrant Cape Town, wandering through the multicultural Bo-Kaap neighborhood. Then enjoy an exclusive guided tour of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, named by National Geographic Travel as one of the world’s 10 most magnificent gardens. Later, stop by Boulders Beach to see the resident population of African penguins, and continue to the Cape Point lighthouse and the Cape of Good Hope, the southwesternmost point in Africa.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Kirstenbosch Entrance fees

Stop and smell the flowers on a tour specially designed for National Geographic travellers. Visit Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, led by an expert who will talk about the history of the gardens, its exhibits and a behind the scenes look at the mother beds. The garden is administered by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) who have received funding from National Geographic and the site has been named one of the Top 10 gardens in the world by National Geographic Traveler.

Guided Cape Town Orientation Tour and Excursion to Cape Point

Enjoy a guided orientation tour of vibrant Cape Town. Continue on to Cape Point to enjoy a stunning vista and visit the penguins at Boulders Beach.

Accommodation: The Portswood Hotel (or similar)

Breakfast

Enjoy a day of leisure in Cape Town, choosing from a variety of optional activities. Hop on a cable car to the summit, taking in extraordinary views of the city and the Atlantic seaboard. Or explore the Cape Winelands, visiting the historical city of Stellenbosch, touring wine estates with expert guides, and indulging in a variety of tastings and pairings.

There is something for everyone in Cape Town. Visit Table Mountain, walk the V&A Waterfront or embark on a wine tour in and around Stellenbosch. For the adventurous, opt to go, abseiling. Wander through the city centre, which has some of the oldest buildings and gardens in South Africa. Check out the Cultural Historical Museum, Planetarium, and many other museums and theatres.

If you are interested in visiting Robben Island – you must book it directly with the museum on their website prior to travel: http://www.robben-island.org.za Due to high demand, it is common that this tour can be sold out over one month in advance.

Free Time

Enjoy a day of your leisure in this cosmopolitan and charming city.

Accommodation: The Portswood Hotel (or similar)

Breakfast

Fly to Johannesburg, then take a guided tour of Soweto township. Soweto was an important center of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement and home to its leader, Nelson Mandela. Visit the Mandela House Museum and learn about this painful chapter in the country’s history. In the evening, enjoy a traditional South African braai (barbecue) with your fellow travellers.

Plane – Cape Town – Johannesburg

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… yup, it is a plane, actually.

Soweto Tour

Take a guided tour of bustling Soweto and learn more about its important history. The residential area was created under apartheid and played a significant role in bringing the issues of segregation to the forefront. The anti-apartheid movement was launched here by its most famous resident, Nelson Mandela.

Your Foodie Moment: Traditional South Africa Braai (Barbecue)

Enjoy a spread of grilled meats, vegetables, homemade salads, and the opportunity to taste some of the South African flavours after your welcome meeting.

Accommodation: Kopanong Hotel (or similar)

Breakfast, Dinner

Set out towards Kruger National Park via the magnificent Panorama Route, one of the world’s most picturesque drives. Make stops at the dramatic Blyde River Canyon and Bourke’s Luck Potholes, and take in panoramic views of the forest-covered valley from the God’s Window viewpoint. Continue to our lodge near Kruger National park, savour a delicious South African Dinner in this picturesque location.

Today is a very long driving day; however, we will make many stops along the way at sites along the Panorama Route.

Private Vehicle – Johannesburg – Nelspruit

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Panorama Route Scenic Drive

Enjoy a scenic drive along the famed Panorama Route. You’ll see magnificent mountains, panoramic passes, valleys, and waterfalls. There will also be stops at Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, and God’s Window.

Accommodation: Umbhaba Eco Lodge (or similar)

Breakfast, Dinner

Rise early and climb aboard an open jeep for a full-day safari in Kruger National Park—home to an extraordinary array of large mammals. Spot elephants, lions, giraffes, and perhaps elusive leopards as we explore this breathtaking wilderness of savanna and scrubland. Return to our lodge in the evening, where you can take some time to relax and enjoy the nocturnal sounds of the bush.

At over 19,000 sq km (7,500 sq mi), South Africa’s Kruger National Park is one of the largest and most impressive animal reserves in the world. With 147 species, Kruger has more species of large mammals than any other park on the continent.

Kruger National Park Open Vehicle Wildlife Safari Drive – Full day

Hop in a 4×4 safari vehicle and get yourself one step closer to the surrounding nature. Be ready to spot elephants, giraffes, hippos, lions, zebras, and many other species in this impressive South African national park.

Accommodation: Umbhaba Eco Lodge (or similar)

Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to the Karongwe Private Game Reserve, a pristine wildlife sanctuary located in the Greater Kruger area. Meet with a researcher from the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Cheetah Metapopulation Project—a program funded in part by National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative—and learn about efforts to protect the region’s cheetahs and other carnivores. The researcher then joins us for a wildlife-viewing excursion through the reserve.

For the next two days, enjoy ranger-led morning and evening wildlife safari drives in an open safari vehicle in Karongwe Nature Reserve, searching for Africa’s famed Big Five. With over 9,000 hectares (22,240 acres) of supreme African bushveld, Karongwe Private Game Reserve is home to many creatures, and our safari drives provide several opportunities for wildlife viewing.

We use various accommodations within the reserve (the location is based on availability). During your time here, you will either stay in lodge rooms or very comfortable permanent tents (both of equal quality and with similar amenities).

Wildlife safari drives are conducted with qualified wildlife rangers and local expert trackers who will share their vast experience of the African bush.
On some occasions, if space is unavailable, we may need to change accommodations or even use a different private reserve. In such a case, be assured we will choose other lodges or comfort camps (of equal quality) within the Greater Kruger area.

Private Vehicle –  Nelspruit – Karongwe Private Game Reserve

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Carnivore Conservation Experience

Meet with a researcher from the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Cheetah Metapopulation Project, a project managed by National Geographic grantee Vincent van der Merwe. A member of Vincent’s team will give a talk about cheetahs in South Africa and the important research CMP is doing. We will also discuss conservation within parks and reserves in South Africa and National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative. You will then be accompanied by the researcher on a wildlife safari drive to give you more insight into cheetahs and other carnivores.

Accommodation: Karongwe Private Game Reserve – Lodges (or similar)

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend the day exploring Karongwe on morning and afternoon safaris with our local guides. Search for Africa’s famed “big five” as we drive through the shrublands of the bushveld. Back at camp, relax on deck or take a walk around the grounds.

Wake up before the sun (around 5am) and sip your morning coffee before heading out on a morning wildlife safari drive. Return to the lodge for brunch and some leisure time. Converse on the deck, walk the grounds and gardens, and enjoy high tea. Following tea, it’s time for a late afternoon safari drive. After spotting tons of wildlife, it’s time to return to camp and freshen up before dinner.

Karongwe Private Reserve Open Vehicle Wildlife Safari Drive

Jump into a safari 4×4 and keep your eyes open for fantastic wildlife encounters. Wildlife safari drives are conducted with qualified wildlife rangers and local expert trackers; both will share their vast experience of the African bush.

Free Time

Relax and enjoy some down time between wildlife safari drives.

Accommodation: Karongwe Private Game Reserve – Lodges (or similar)

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Embark on one last safari this morning, keeping a lookout for Karongwe’s iconic inhabitants. Then head back to the city, where you’ll enjoy dinner in our family run lodge.

Karongwe Private Reserve Open Vehicle Wildlife Safari Drive

Jump into a safari 4×4 and keep your eyes open for fantastic wildlife encounters. Wildlife safari drives are conducted with qualified wildlife rangers and local expert trackers; both will share their vast experience of the African bush.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accommodation: Kopanong Hotel (or similar)

Breakfast, Dinner

Catch a flight to the town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, named after one of the most powerful waterfalls on Earth. Visit a nearby village and go grocery shopping in the bustling market. Then sit down with a local family for dinner, helping your hosts prepare a traditional Zimbabwean meal using the ingredients you picked out, and hear stories about local life and culture.

The mist off Victoria Falls can rise to a height of more than 400m (1312 ft). Local tribes used to call the falls Mosi-o-Tunya or “the smoke that thunders.” Explorer and missionary David Livingstone renamed the falls after Queen Victoria when he first saw them in 1855.

Plane – Oliver Reginald Tambo International – Victoria Falls

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… yup, it is a plane, actually.

Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Zimbabwean Family Dinner

Flatter Ncube is the head of her family which includes two sisters and numerous children. She’s the youngest of a family of 10 and, now in her early 40s, lives in the village she was raised in near Victoria Falls. There she takes care of her extended family on their homestead, which she and they have been proudly building by hand, brick by brick, for years. Flatter’s story highlights that life isn’t easy in Africa, but despite its challenges, there is much love and laughter and a strong sense of family here.

Visit Flatter’s homestead in her rural village; meet her and some of her family, and walk with some of them throughout the property, among the fruit and vegetable plants the family grows for consumption. (They even plant hot chillies among the vegetables to discourage nosy elephants.) Then help the family prepare a traditional Zimbabwean dinner, which we’ll all eat together outside on the property, weather permitting. Ingredients for the meal will have been hand-selected earlier in the day, at the bustling and friendly local village market.

This experience offers great insight into typical African life, and ultimately reinforce how we all really want and need the same things in life: a stable home full of love, a good education, and plenty of opportunity for our children.

Accommodation: Explorers Village Lodge – Deluxe (or similar)

Breakfast, Dinner

Set out for a tour of magnificent Victoria Falls. Scottish explorer David Livingstone named them after Britain’s Queen Victoria, while their older, indigenous name is Mosi-oa-Tunya—“the smoke that thunders.” Opt for a scenic sunset cruise on the Zambezi River; and much more.

If you have an activity planned for this morning, we will reschedule your Falls tour for this afternoon, or tomorrow morning before departure.

Victoria Falls Guided Tour

Join a knowledgeable guide for an unforgettable experience at Victoria Falls. Explore the rainforest and learn about the geology, history, and local legends of this world wonder. After your immersion, get up close to the falls and discover the beauty of “the smoke that thunders.” Be sure to have your camera ready!

Farewell Dinner Tonight

Accommodation: Explorers Village Lodge – Deluxe (or similar)

Breakfast, Dinner

Depart at any time.

If you opted to go on the Chobe National Park Full Day Excursion then your visit to Victoria Falls will happen on the final morning of tour. Please book any onward travel no earlier than 11AM.

Departure Day (Activities)

Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with any onward travel arrangements you require.

Breakfast

Inclusions

  • Accommodation- Family Run Lodge (2 nts), Hotel (5 nts), Lodge (2 nts), comfortable tent or chalet (2 nts)
  • 11 Breakfasts/2 lunches/9 Dinners - Including Welcome and Farewell Dinner
  • Kirstenbosch Entrance fees, Cape Town
  • Carnivore Conservation Experience
  • Karongwe Private Game Reserve
  • Zimbabwean Family Dinner, Victoria Falls
  • Traditional South Africa Braai (Barbecue), Johannesburg.
  • Arrival transfer.
  • Orientation tour of Cape Town.
  • Excursion to Cape Point including the penguins at Boulders Beach.
  • Soweto tour.
  • Panorama Route scenic drive.
  • Kruger National Park wildlife safari drive in open vehicle.
  • Private nature reserve wildlife safari drive in open safari vehicles.
  • Tour of Victoria Falls.
  • Internal flights.
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
How Fit do I need to be?

This trip is considered a low physical grading. Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

(PJ) Explore South Africa with National Geographic and G Adventures – 24 March 2025