Day 1 & 2
After your arrival at Hoedspruit airport your MaTakaTaka guide will take you for a light lunch during which you will get to know each other a bit better. Time permitting we will visit a close by animal rehabilitation centre which is home to many of South Africa’s abandoned, injured and poisoned wildlife with the aim to release the animals back into the wild. On a guided tour you will learn about the problems and the challenges associated with conservation and habitat protection.
After the tour your guide will take you to your accommodation for the next two nights in Hoedspruit. The lodge is situated in the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate which is perfectly located to explore the surrounding areas.
After breakfast we head out to explore the Panorama Route where you get to see spectacular landscapes with impressive rock formations, waterfalls and of course the Blyde River Canyon which is the third largest canyon in the world. If you prefer to be a bit more active we suggest the hike along the canyon (3-5hrs, entirely your choice) which offers beautiful views of the Blyde Dam and the “Three Rondavels”. There are also crystal clear natural pools along the way to cool down on a hot day.
Including 4* accommodation in a boutique lodge with breakfast, entry fees Panorama Route and animal rehabilitation center
Day 3 & 4
It is time to leave Hoedspruit and explore the world-famous Kruger National Park. It is South Africa’s largest and also most important National Park with a size of nearly 20,000 km2. The park is home to 147 mammal species, 507 bird species, 114 different reptiles, 34 amphibians, 49 fish species and 336 different trees. We explore the northern part of the park: the Makuleke concession borders Zimbabwe to the north and Mozambique to the east. The concession is a restricted area not accessible for the normal tourist. The beautiful fever tree forests, the massive, ancient baobab trees & the gorges make this area one of the most beautiful places in South Africa. Our accommodation for two nights is a stunning lodge right on the banks of the Levuvhu river. We are certain that you too will feel the magic of this special place.
On our second day we explore more of the Makuleke concession, either by vehicle or on foot. You will learn more about „Crooks Corner“, the archaeological site of Thulamela and with a little bit of luck will get a glimpse of the shy Nyala antilope, elephants and buffalos. We will visit the Lanner gorge, a breath-taking place for a Gin & Tonic as the sun sets! If we are lucky, we will encounter a leopard on our night-drive back to the lodge…
Including 4* accommodation in a luxury tented camp with full board, 2 safari activities/day and conservation levy
Day 5 & 6
Today we leave for Botswana. After crossing the Limpopo river via boat, a game viewing vehicle is already waiting for us to transfer us to our safari camp in the Mashatu Game Reserve which lies in the remote eastern corner of Botswana. The Reserve is situated at the confluence of the great Limpopo and Shashe Rivers which shaped the fascinating landscape for centuries. A natural amphitheater, open savannas, swamps and sandstone formations await you.
The next morning our guides will again show us the beauty of this reserve which is characterized by an average of only 9 days of rain per year. Besides elephants, lions and leopards one can also find less common animals such as the Aardwolf, Bat-eared foxes and brown hyena which have all adapted to living in harsh conditions.
Including 4* accommodation in an intimate tented camp with full board, 2 safari activities/day and conservation levy
Day 7 & 8
We enjoy one last safari before we leave Mashatu and continue our journey. During the drive we get a good insight into the life in Botswana: women carrying firewood on their heads, kids collecting water from the public well, donkeys resting in the shade of umbrella thorns and waving kids along the road. Late afternoon we arrive at our lodge situated on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans, one of the biggest saltpans on earth covering a size of 6,500 km2. Most of the year those pans are dried up but from December until March, when the rain comes, little lakes and lagoons fill up, attracting lots of wildlife in this desert-like landscape.
On Day 2 we explore the breath-taking remoteness, the harsh landscape and silence of the pans. The horizon often melts with the sky, creating mirages and playing with our senses.
Just around the corner from our lodge is the Nata Bird Sanctuary which is home to about 165 bird species, including Flamingos, Pelicans, Ducks, Geese, Ostriches, Kingfisher, Eagles, Spoon Bills and more.
Including 4* accommodation in a luxury chalet with half board, 1 pan drive and entry fees
Day 9 & 10
We continue our way north towards Kasane where we will spend two nights. Elephants and other wildlife are often found along the road. After we settled into our lodge, we will enjoy a sunset boat cruise on the Chobe river. Hopefully we will see buffalos, elephants, crocodiles, hippos and a variety of birds. The sunset over the Chobe is spectacular and the reflection of the setting sun on the river’s surface will stick with us forever.
The next morning we make our way to the Chobe National Park for a safari. The Chobe is one of the largest national parks in Botswana and is considered to be one of the best game viewing destinations in Africa. Over and above the huge populations of elephants, the park is also home to a wonderful array of other African wildlife from buffalo, zebra and numerous species of antelope to large populations of predators; lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena, providing endless opportunities for excellent game sightings.
Including 4* accommodation in a serene private lodge with breakfast, sunset cruise and entry fees Chobe National Park
Day 11 & 12
We are leaving Botswana today and cross over to Zimbabwe for two nights. After checking in to our lodge we head straight to what the country is probably best known for: the Victoria Falls. David Livingstone, a Scottish missionary and explorer was the first European to discover the falls in 1855 and named them after his queen. The locals call them “Mosi-oa-Tunya” – the smoke that thunders. While it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, Victoria Falls is classified as the largest, based on its combined width of 1,708m and height of 108m, resulting in the world’s largest sheet of falling water.
You have the second day to yourself and there are plenty of activities to keep you busy: boat cruises on the Zambezi river, helicopter rides over the Victoria falls, white river rafting or even a bungee jump from the Victoria Falls bridge.
Including 4* accommodation in a unique lodge with breakfast and entry fees Victoria Falls
After one last breakfast together it is time to drive to the airport and say goodbye to your MaTakaTaka guide. On your flight home you will have plenty of time to think about all the special moments and encounters from the trip and we hope that you leave with many unforgettable memories.