Journeys: Southern Africa Highlights (2024)

Journeys: Southern Africa Highlights (1)

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  • Full itinerary
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From multicultural cities to awe-inspiring landscapes and iconic wildlife, discover southern Africa’s most incredible attractions on one epic journey. Scan the grasslands of Kruger National Park for elephants and big cats, take in the otherworldly desert vistas of Namibia, and feel the thundering power of Victoria Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy delicious traditional foods along the way, and get a taste of daily life on visits to local markets.

21 days - Cape Town to Victoria Falls


Valid on Feb 10 2025

Trip Code: DSTNG

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Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys

Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.

Service Level: Upgraded

Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.

Physical Rating: 2 - Light

Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 16, avg 12.

Age requirement: 12+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

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21 days - Cape Town to Victoria Falls


Valid on Feb 10 2025

Trip Code: DSTNG

Need a flight? We can help.

Call us to book your flights! We'll find you the best option!

Journeys: Southern Africa Highlights (2)

Places visited

Itinerary Notes

There are new Health & Safety Protocols for National Geographic Journeys tours. Please see here for full details and up-to-date requirements as they may change.


Day 1Cape Town

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

Day 2Cape Town

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.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Journeys Highlight Moment Kirstenbosch Guided Walk

Meals included:


Day 3Cape Town

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.

Meals included:


Day 4Cape Town/Johannesburg

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 dinner with your fellow travellers.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Foodie Moment Traditional South Africa Braai (Barbecue)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 5Johannesburg/Greater Kruger Area

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.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 6Kruger National Park

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.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 7Greater Kruger Area/Karongwe Private Game Reserve

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.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Journeys Highlight Moment Carnivore Conservation Experience

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 8Karongwe Private Game Reserve

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.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Foodie Moment Boma Braai

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 9Karongwe Private Game Reserve/Johannesburg

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 lodge.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 10Johannesburg/Windhoek

Fly to Windhoek and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy free time to explore the Namibian capital this afternoon.

Meals included:


Day 11Windhoek/Sesriem

Set off from the Namibian capital towards Sesriem, the gateway to jaw-dropping Namib-Naukluft National Park. Drive past red-hued desertscapes, stark camel thorn trees, and dramatic curved dunes while keeping an eye out for the astonishing creatures that call these arid lands home—the oryx, springbok, jackal, hyena, and more. Settle in to our lodge and relax poolside, watching a fiery crimson sunset over the desert.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 12Sesriem

Embark on a thrilling excursion into one of Africa’s largest national parks. Explore the Namib desert, the oldest desert in the world; and venture to the massive dunes at Sossusvlei and the white clay pan of Deadvlei. Capture dramatic images of dead camel thorn trees against a backdrop of orange dunes and a crisp blue sky. Then visit the Sesriem Canyon, a natural gorge carved out by the Tsauchab River over millions of years.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 13Sesriem/Swakopmund

Continue by road through changing desert landscapes towards the coastal city of Swakopmund. Look out for roaming zebra, kudu, springbok, and oryx on the way, and take a break in the quirky town of Solitaire before heading into the countryside. Here, we meet a local for a 4x4 drive through the desert, learning about the survival strategies of bushmen who lived in this inhospitable area thousands of years ago. We also search for the smaller wildlife that has managed to survive here, such as snakes, geckos, spiders, and an array of insects.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 14Swakopmund

Enjoy a free morning in Swakopmund, getting a taste of the town’s unique Afro-German culture; or opt for sandboarding in the Namib desert. This afternoon, take a tour of Mondesa township with a local guide, learning about its people and history. Visit the local market for an introduction to traditional foods such as wild spinach, mopane worms, and dried sardines or kapenta. Stop by an arts and crafts shop; chat with the locals; and round off the day with dinner and a performance at a cozy family-run establishment.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Journeys Highlight Moment Mondesa Township Walk

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 15Swakopmund/Damaraland

Make your way to Twyfelfontein—Namibia’s first UNESCO World Heritage site—to see some of Africa’s largest concentrations of petroglyphs. Marvel at these remarkable engravings, carved by prehistoric hunter-gatherers and depicting rhinos, elephants, and ostriches, as well as human and animal footprints. Then continue to our lodge on the heart of the Damaraland area. Enjoy some free time to swim in the pool or admire a colourful sunset from the deck.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 16Damaraland/Etosha National Park Area

Enjoy a relaxed morning at our lodge and explore the rich sandstone treasure of Damaraland. In the afternoon, travel towards Etosha National Park, arguably Namibia’s most spectacular wildlife sanctuary. Settle into our lodge, located outside of the park.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 17Etosha National Park Area

Spend a full day on safari in Etosha National Park, where open grasslands converge on a massive salt pan. Etosha harbours some of the largest populations of lions, elephants, and other endangered species, so keep your camera on the ready as you explore in your open vehicle. Enjoy lunch at one of the park’s rest areas, where you can also take a swim; and sit back and watch all manner of creatures—including hundreds of species of birds—flock to the nearby watering hole.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 18Etosha National Park Area/Windhoek

After breakfast, visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund, a global research and education center founded by National Geographic Grantee Dr Laurie Marker. Tour the facility to learn about the important conservation and community outreach work they do to protect the world’s fastest land animal, and enjoy a talk by one of the researchers. Then head out on a drive through the grounds to meet some of the center’s rescued and rehabilitated cheetahs. Continue to Windhoek for our final evening.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Journeys Highlight Moment Cheetah Conservation Experience

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 19Windhoek/Victoria Falls

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.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Journeys Highlight Moment Zimbabwean Family Dinner

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 20Victoria Falls

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; or take a day trip to wildlife-rich Chobe National Park.

Meals included:


Day 21Victoria Falls

Depart at any time.

Meals included:


View full itinerary

What's Included

  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Kirstenbosch Guided Walk, Cape Town
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Carnivore Conservation Experience, Karongwe Private Game Reserve
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Mondesa Township Walk, Swakopmund
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Cheetah Conservation Experience, Otjiwarongo
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Zimbabwean Family Dinner, Victoria Falls
  • Your Foodie Moment: Traditional South Africa Braai (Barbecue), Johannesburg
  • Your Foodie Moment: Boma Braai, Karongwe Private Game Reserve
  • Arrival transfer
  • Orientation drive of Cape Town
  • Excursion to Cape Point and Boulders Beach
  • Soweto tour
  • Panorama Route scenic drive with entrances
  • Kruger National Park and private nature reserve wildlife safari drives in open vehicles
  • Sossusvlei desert excursion
  • Desert excursion with a local
  • View the Twyfelfontein ancient petroglyphs
  • Full-day open-vehicle wildlife safari drive in Etosha
  • Tour of Victoria Falls
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities


Hotel (9 nts), Lodge (9 nts), Comfortable tent or chalets (2 nts).


20 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 13 dinners
Allow USD390-510 for meals not included.


Air-conditioned touring vehicle, 4x4, open safari vehicle, plane, walking.

Staff & experts

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) for Kruger & Namibia, local CEO in Cape Town and Victoria Falls, local guides/rangers.

Available extras(Add these to your tour when you book)

Full Day Excursion to Chobe National Park - From $202.00

Depart Victoria Falls in the morning for a full-day guided tour of Chobe National Park in Botswana - a wildlife-abundant region covering about 11,700km² of the Northern Kalahari. Begin your adventure with a cruise down the Chobe River, taking in the sweeping views and witnessing the wildlife grazing along the riverbank. Enjoy an included lunch on land before boarding 4x4 safari vehicles for an afternoon wildlife safari drive with an expert guide. Keep an eye out for lions, elephants, and buffalos. Transfer back to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, arriving in the early evening. Please note that this activity includes two border crossings between Zimbabwe and Botswana. The ordering of activities is susceptible to change.** Please note that you need to get a double-entry visa or a Univisa when arriving in Zimbabwe to ensure you can return again without needing to pay an extra visa fee.

South African Wine Tour and Tasting - From $76.00

Take a day trip into the wine lands of South Africa with an expert guide. Visit iconic estates and lesser-visited farms only known to locals in the Stellenbosch area. Indulge in tastings and pairings with cheeses, chocolate, and local delicacies such as Biltong (salted meat). Walk through vineyards and cellars for an all encompassing look at wine production, and learn about the history of this region. Gesondheid!PLEASE NOTE that if this activity is listed on the first or last day of the itinerary you will need to book a pre-night or post-night with a sales representative as the wine tour begins at 8 am.

Zambezi River Sunset Cruise - From $73.00

Climb aboard and cruise along the beautiful Zambezi River. Enjoy some snacks, drinks, a festive atmosphere, and gorgeous views of the sunset. It's the ideal way to end an eventful day in Victoria Falls.Please note that National Park Fees are included at 10 USD per person.

My Own Room - From $1659.00

If you're travelling solo and would prefer to have your own private room throughout your trip, select this option during the online booking process.


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Make it a private tour

Book this tour as a private departure, with your own CEO and all the benefits of a G Adventures group tour.

Journeys: Southern Africa Highlights (2024)


What's the best time to visit South Africa? ›

If you'd rather enjoy warmer temperatures, head to the Cape between November and February (their summer) when it's hot and dry, with temperatures of 73°F to 79°F. September is the best month to travel to South Africa if you'd like to experience a combination of regions and wildlife.

What is the best route in South Africa? ›

The Garden Route is certainly South Africa's best-known road trip route, and not without good cause. It comprises an unfailingly picturesque 200km stretch of the N2 highway between Mossel Bay in the Western Cape and the Storms River Mouth on the Western fringes of the Eastern Cape.

Is 10 days in South Africa enough? ›

Top Tip: Whether you choose this itinerary or decide to create your own, don't spread yourself too thin. South Africa is so large that if you try to see everything in 10 days, you'll spend more time traveling than actually experiencing each destination. Pick your must-see places and build your trip around them.

Is South Africa cheap or expensive? ›

The country has long had a reputation for being affordable. Accommodations and food are particularly good value, especially in the upper ranges of the market, with prices at luxury hotels and restaurants considerably less than those at their European and North American counterparts.

Why is South Africa so famous? ›

South Africa, the southernmost country on the African continent, renowned for its varied topography, great natural beauty, and cultural diversity, all of which have made the country a favoured destination for travelers since the legal ending of apartheid (Afrikaans: “apartness,” or racial separation) in 1994.

What is the most beautiful road in South Africa? ›

The Best Scenic Drives In South Africa
  • Panorama Route. A visit to South Africa would not be complete without a drive along the Panorama route to experience some of the most unique and breathtaking scenery in the world. ...
  • Chapman's Peak Drive. ...
  • Swartberg Pass. ...
  • Garden Route. ...
  • West Coast Flower Route.

Is it easy to drive in South Africa? ›

The main roads and highways are generally maintained in an good condition, and are straight, long and fast. There are very few roads in South Africa where you would need a 4WD.

Should I fly into Cape Town or Johannesburg? ›

Johannesburg offers more when it comes to game reserves and inner city entertainment, whereas Cape Town offers wondrous coastal walks and mountain treks that are impossible to experience anywhere else. Africa can be a harsh environment, so it's important to be fully prepared for your expedition.

What is the average cost of a trip to South Africa? ›

A one week trip to South Africa usually costs around $628 (R11,573) for one person and $1,257 (R23,146) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing. A two week trip to South Africa on average costs around $1,257 (R23,146) for one person and $2,513 (R46,291) for two people.

How do I get from Johannesburg to Kruger National Park? ›

Daily flights operate between Johannesburg and many of the private lodges surrounding the Kruger. This is the easiest and most convenient way to travel to the park. The flights take about 90 minutes and deliver you to the nearest airstrip of the lodge you are travelling to.

What is the southern Africa known for? ›

This colorful mix of cultures gives South Africa its nickname "rainbow nation." South Africans are passionate about music, often using song and dance to express social and political ideas. They're also known worldwide for their skill in sports, including rugby, cricket, golf, and soccer.

What is special in South Africa? ›

Top Attractions in South Africa
  • Table Mountain. 18,489. Mountains. ...
  • Table Mountain Aerial Cableway. 17,412. Trams. ...
  • Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. 10,075. Gardens. ...
  • Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. 14,482. Marinas. ...
  • Boulders Beach Penguin Colony. 8,494. Beaches. ...
  • Cape of Good Hope. 6,969. ...
  • Lion's Head. 4,356. ...
  • Knysna Elephant Park. 3,119.

What are the special features of South Africa? ›

It is home to almost 300 mammal species, about 860 bird species and 8 000 plant species. The annual sardine run is the biggest migration on the planet. South Africa comprises eight world heritage sites and is divided into eight biomes.

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