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Southern Africa Safari by Private Air
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10 days

from $27,400 AUD trip_detail hint icon

($18,695 USD)

Prices are per person, based on twin share occupancy. The AUD prices are based on USD and calculated at today’s rate of exchange. The expedition price will be finalised at time of booking.

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Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives on bumpy roads, and easy hikes.

Premium trip_detail hint icon

Premium expeditions are led by a National Geographic expert, an expedition team, or top guides, and tap into National Geographic's worldwide resources to allow for in-depth exploration and special access to sites and experts in the field. Itineraries are fully planned, with some free time. Accommodations are high-end or best available. Ground transportation and most meals and activities are included in the trip price.

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Expedition Overview

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EXPEDITION OVERVIEW
  • A National Geographic expert provides insight on ecosystems like the Okavango Delta and Victoria Falls.
  • Enjoy exclusive safaris far from the crowds as we soar between private game reserves in our our own charter aircraft.
  • Settle into a spacious suite at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World set within the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve.
  • Visit the Motloutse Ruins with an archaeologist and examine pottery shards and trading beads that date back thousands of years.
EXPERTS ON THIS TRIP

A National Geographic expert will accompany each departure to share insights and a rare behind-the-scenes perspective. Listed below are some of the experts and the departure date(s) they will be joining.

Southern Africa Safari by Private Air

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 flightseeing at Victoria Falls to canoe safaris and bush walks, and stay at some of southern Africa’s top safari camps.

Day 1: Johannesburg, South Africa/Sabi Sabi GAME RESERVE

Arrive in Johannesburg and board our aircraft for a scenic flight to Sabi Sabi 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, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, and take your first game drive before our welcome dinner tonight.

Day 2: Sabi Sabi Game Reserve

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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.

Days 3-5: Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana

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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 activities: go on a bush walk, join a photographer in a hide to capture close-ups of wildlife (select departures), take a game drive, or mountain bike along elephant trails. Visit the Motloutse Ruins, a significant archaeological site, in the company of South African archaeologist Grant Hall.

Days 6-7: Moremi Game Reserve, Okavango Delta

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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. Explore by open safari vehicle, and take a trip to Gadikwe Island by flat-bottom boat to see hippos and breeding colonies of herons, egrets, pelicans, storks, and cormorants.

Days 8-9: Chobe National Park/Victoria Falls and Livingstone, Zambia

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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 in to 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 head 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. On our final evening, enjoy a sunset cruise along the Zambezi River, followed by an al fresco farewell dinner at our hotel.

Day 10: Johannesburg, South Africa

Fly to Johannesburg and connect with your return flight home.

EXTENSIONS

Day 1: Arrive Cape Town, South Africa

Upon arrival in Cape Town, check into the hotel and enjoy a free afternoon to relax or explore the city on your own.

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Day 2: Cape Town

Set out on a city tour that includes a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain, where you'll take in stunning panoramic views of the city and harbor. This afternoon, travel by ferry to Robben Island—the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years—and learn about his historic "walk to freedom."

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Day 3: Cape Peninsula

Begin the day with a drive through the oceanfront towns of Clifton and Camps Bay. Continue over Chapman's Peak to the Cape Point Nature Reserve. After lunch, visit the naval village of Simonstown and walk amid a colony of penguins on Boulders Beach. Head to the Cape Winelands to explore the historic Groot Constantia estate and sip on their award-winning wines.

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Day 4: Cape Town/Johannesburg

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for a domestic flight to Johannesburg, where you'll meet the group for our flight to Mala Mala.

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What to Expect

This expedition is rated as light; travelers should be in good health and comfortable sitting for extended periods of time. Excursions include safari drives in open vehicles on dusty, bumpy roads; nature walks on uneven terrain; and sometimes climbing stairs without handrails. We will travel by Cessna aircraft, 4x4 safari vehicle, and boat.

Accommodations
Throughout the expedition, we stay in ideally located, high-end hotels and safari lodges with many amenities. In Xakanaxa, we spend two nights in luxury safari tents.

Expedition Team
A National Geographic expert and an expedition leader will accompany this trip, and local guides join us along the way.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Our accommodations are selected for their exceptional quality, location, and character. Below are several of the accommodations featured on this expedition.

1 /8

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve - Sabi Sand Reserve, South Africa

Within a private game reserve in one of South Africa’s most prolific wildlife areas, the four distinctive lodges of Sabi Sabi offer a phenomenal safari experience away from the crowds.

2 /8

Mashatu Main Camp - Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana

Located in the 75,000-acre Mashatu Game Reserve, Mashatu Main Camp features 18 air-conditioned luxury suites, each tastefully decorated and offering an ample en-suite bathroom with bath and shower facilities. The lodge’s main area includes a large swimming pool, fully stocked curio shop, and the Discovery Room, where curious guests can get a glimpse into the natural history of the surrounding ecosystem. Meals are a sumptuous celebration of traditional African cuisine.

3 /8

Mashatu Main Camp - Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana

Located in the 75,000-acre Mashatu Game Reserve, Mashatu Main Camp features 18 air-conditioned luxury suites, each tastefully decorated and offering an ample en-suite bathroom with bath and shower facilities. The lodge’s main area includes a large swimming pool, fully stocked curio shop, and the Discovery Room, where curious guests can get a glimpse into the natural history of the surrounding ecosystem. Meals are a sumptuous celebration of traditional African cuisine.

4 /8

Xakanaxa Camp - Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

Xakanaxa Camp preserves the authentic character of an African bush camp, while providing guests with modern comforts. The stylish main buildings extend over the Khwai River and are set on raised platforms to maximize views across the surrounding lagoons and islands. Accommodations are luxurious canvas safari tents on raised decks, and each offers en-suite facilities, fans, electrical outlets, in-room safe, toiletries, insect repellents, and a hairdryer.

5 /8

Xakanaxa Camp - Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

Xakanaxa Camp preserves the authentic character of an African bush camp, while providing guests with modern comforts. The stylish main buildings extend over the Khwai River and are set on raised platforms to maximize views across the surrounding lagoons and islands. Accommodations are luxurious canvas safari tents on raised decks, and each offers en-suite facilities, fans, electrical outlets, in-room safe, toiletries, insect repellents, and a hairdryer.

6 /8

Xakanaxa Camp - Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

Xakanaxa Camp preserves the authentic character of an African bush camp, while providing guests with modern comforts. The stylish main buildings extend over the Khwai River and are set on raised platforms to maximize views across the surrounding lagoons and islands. Accommodations are luxurious canvas safari tents on raised decks, and each offers en-suite facilities, fans, electrical outlets, in-room safe, toiletries, insect repellents, and a hairdryer.

7 /8

Royal Livingstone Hotel - Livingstone, Zambia

Located on the banks of the Zambezi with views over magnificent Victoria Falls, the Royal Livingstone Hotel exudes grandeur in both setting and style. The hotel was designed to capture the elegance of the Victorian era and features riverside sundecks, spa, and pool; an elegant afternoon tea; and lavish lounges and dining rooms. Each en-suite guest room has a private terrace, Wi-Fi internet access, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, hair dryer, mini bar, satellite television, universal adapter socket, and air conditioning.

8 /8

Royal Livingstone Hotel - Livingstone, Zambia

Located on the banks of the Zambezi with views over magnificent Victoria Falls, the Royal Livingstone Hotel exudes grandeur in both setting and style. The hotel was designed to capture the elegance of the Victorian era and features riverside sundecks, spa, and pool; an elegant afternoon tea; and lavish lounges and dining rooms. Each en-suite guest room has a private terrace, Wi-Fi internet access, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, hair dryer, mini bar, satellite television, universal adapter socket, and air conditioning.

PRICES & DATES

  • date May 17-26, 2020
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $27,400 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $32,896 AUD Per Person
  • extensions yes

EXTENSIONS

Post-trip Extension: 26 May 2020 - 29 May 2020

Double Occupancy from $27,400 AUD per person

Single Occupancy from $32,896 AUD per person

  • date Jun 29-Jul 8, 2020
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $27,400 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $32,896 AUD Per Person
  • extensions yes

EXTENSIONS

Post-trip Extension: 08 Jul 2020 - 11 Jul 2020

Double Occupancy from $27,400 AUD per person

Single Occupancy from $32,896 AUD per person

  • date Jul 20-29, 2020
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $27,400 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $32,896 AUD Per Person
  • extensions yes

EXTENSIONS

Post-trip Extension: 29 Jul 2020 - 01 Aug 2020

Double Occupancy from $27,400 AUD per person

Single Occupancy from $32,896 AUD per person

  • date Aug 21-30, 2020
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $27,400 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $32,896 AUD Per Person
  • extensions yes

EXTENSIONS

Post-trip Extension: 30 Aug 2020 - 02 Sep 2020

Double Occupancy from $27,400 AUD per person

Single Occupancy from $32,896 AUD per person

  • date Sep 11-20, 2020
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $27,400 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $32,896 AUD Per Person
  • extensions yes

EXTENSIONS

Post-trip Extension: 20 Sep 2020 - 23 Sep 2020

Double Occupancy from $27,400 AUD per person

Single Occupancy from $32,896 AUD per person

  • date Dec 29, 2020 - Jan 7, 2021
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $27,400 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $32,896 AUD Per Person
  • extensions yes

EXTENSIONS

Post-trip Extension: 07 Jan 2021 - 10 Jan 2021

Double Occupancy from $27,400 AUD per person

Single Occupancy from $32,896 AUD per person

Prices are per person based on double or single occupancy (unless otherwise noted) and do not include international airfare to/from your destination. Internal flights for the optional extension to Cape Town are $350 per person. The AUD prices are based on USD and calculated at today’s rate of exchange and subject to change. See the terms and conditions for this trip for more information.

  • Transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary
  • All gratuities

What's Not Included

  • Airfare to and from destination
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Alcoholic beverages
Steve Boyes
Conservationist Biologist
"

Conservationist, National Geographic Fellow, and TED Senior Fellow Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to preserving Africa’s wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. A native of South Africa, he founded the Cape Parrot Project with support from National Geographic, and is the scientific director of the Wild Bird Trust. In 2015, Steve launched what has become the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project to promote broader protection for the Okavango Delta’s watershed and its wildlife. Steve’s 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.

"
  • Jul 20-29, 2020
  • Sep 11-20, 2020
Adjany Costa
Biologist Conservationist
"

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Adjany Costa knows the wildlife of southern Africa well. She is a conservationist, ichthyologist, and assistant director for National Geographic’s Okavango Wilderness Project—an initiative to survey and record the extraordinary biodiversity of the Okavango Delta. Adjany grew up traveling to southern Africa's parks, and has participated in six different expeditions in the Okavango River Basin, studying the system’s freshwater fish. She hopes that her work will support the creation of a marine protected area along the southwest coast of Angola, adjoining the Skeleton Coast in Namibia.

"
  • May 17-26, 2020
  • Jun 29-Jul 8, 2020
  • Dec 29, 2020 - Jan 7, 2021