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Kruger Park – Victoria Falls – Chobe Safari – 9 Days

TOUR SUMMARY

Amazing safaris in the Kruger Park in the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle await you. Go in search for the illusive Big 5 animals with your guide as your ranger in the Kruger Park; the top wildlife destination on the planet.

Our guides are masters at finding the animals and their knowledge of the fauna and flora are unbeaten! Keep looking for the Big 5, as viewing these magnificent animals are basically guaranteed. You will fly back to Johannesburg at the end of your visit in the Kruger.

Then its time to visit one of the seven wonders of the world; the thundering Victoria falls with all its activities. Chobe National park is next where you will experience one of Botswana’s most prestigious parks. The planet’s highest elephant population is to be seen here. Qualified rangers to bring you close to animals for great photo opportunities conduct land-based and waterborne safaris.

Highlights:

  • Safaris in the Kruger Park.
  • Searching for the Big 5 animals on safari.
  • Visit the Victoria Falls and enjoy a complimentary visit to the Vic Falls and a sunset river cruise on the Zambezi River.
  • Safaris in Botswana’s Chobe National Park.

Check in at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg for your forward flight to Kruger Mpumalanga International near Nelspruit. Meet your Jewel of Africa Safaris guide and make your way to the southern part of Kruger Park. Spotting animals will almost present themself instantly when entering the Kruger Park and driving to your overnight camp located inside the Kruger Park.

Check in at the camp and settle down before taking an afternoon safari in search of giraffe, zebra, the “Big 5” and many other species. Return to your camp by sunset and prepare for dinner at the restaurant.

OVERNIGHT:   Lower Sabie (or similar depending on availability)

                         TRIP ADVISOR

MEALS:            Dinner

Rise at dawn to take advantage of the best part of the day when animals very active and witness the change over from night to day. Your guide will proof to be the first vehicle at the gate before it opens and enjoy your safari in the luxury of your guide’s air-conditioned vehicle.

Explore the Kruger today (2 million hectares – roughly the size of Wales) in search of the Big Five today – Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino with our expert guides. As the age old saying goes: “you can’t beat local knowledge” is especially true for our guides, as they know the Kruger Park like the palm of their hands. They will reveal you the hidden intricacies of the animal species, birds, trees, insects and all aspects of the fauna and flora. Enjoy breakfast and one of the many stopovers before returning to your lodge.

The rest of the morning is free to spend at leisure swimming, bird watching, taking a nap, reading, etc. We will set out again for late afternoon safari. Be on the look out for the “magnificent 7”. That is the Big 5, plus the cheetah and the wild dog, or painted wolf as some choose to call it. Keep your eyes pealed also for zebra, giraffe, sable antelope, the little steenbuck, hippos and crocodiles, kudu, waterbuck, warthogs, baboons and many other interesting animals. Excellent bird watching opportunities are basically guaranteed.

After a beautiful African sunset and dinner, enjoy a night cap around the camp fire and enjoy the stars of the Milky Way and the amazing Southern Cross while listening to the sounds of the night life before creeping in to bed.

Note: Night safari drives are optional extras (own cost) if you are interested. Night safaris cost around R300 per person and needs to be booked at the Reservations desk of the camp.

OVERNIGHT:   Lower Sabie (or similar depending on availability

MEALS:             Breakfast & Dinner

Enjoy one last early morning safari drive and a leisurely breakfast, before flying back to Johannesburg Airport (O.R. Tambo International) around midday. Arrive back in Johannesburg and proceed to the bus terminal, which will take you to your overnight hotel.

The rest of the day is at leisure. Your hotel has a shuttle service to the nearby Emperor’s Palace where you can enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants or spend some time at the gambling tables.

OVERNIGHT:   City Lodge O.R. Tambo          

                         TRIP ADVISOR

MEALS:             Breakfast

Check out after a late breakfast and take the shuttle back to the airport for your flight to the Victoria Falls. As you descend to the Vic falls, catch your first glimpse of the “Mosi-oa-Tunya; the smoke that thunders as the local tribes call it. Our ground handler at the airport will meet up with you and transport you to your hotel for check in.

There is something to do for everyone. Go on the world’s wildest white water rafting trip, bungee jump off the 111-meter high bridge, zip-lining the flying fox across the river, kayaking, do a heart stopping gorge swing, and many more.

An activities list will be provided before you arrive. Make your pick of the activities you want to experience and we will book them before the time to prevent disappointment.

A complimentary sunset boat cruise on the Zambezi River is the perfect way to end off the day before dinner and some nightlife entertainment.

OVERNIGHT:   Ilala Lodge (or similar)

                         TRIP ADVISOR

MEALS:             Breakfast

Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast before the day starts. Our ground handlers will arrange a pickup time with you and escort you to the Victoria Falls for a complimentary guided tour.

After your falls tour, continue with the fun in the sun! Available are half day elephant-back and horseback safaris, fishing excursions, helicopter flips over the falls, river cruises, cultural experiences, walks with lions and rhinos, golf, museums, local arts & crafts and many more.

OVERNIGHT:   Ilala Lodge (or similar)

MEALS:            Full Board

Our ground handlers will pick you up after breakfast and transfer across the border into Botswana where you will spend the next 2 days exploring the Chobe National Park. Chobe has the highest concentration of elephants on the African continent. This Park is especially famous for its large numbers of wildlife and is the focus of your first afternoon safari.

Land based safaris are conducted in open top 4×4 vehicles and water borne safaris by boats. It is sure to bring you within meters of the wildlife and renders the perfect opportunity for amazingly stunning photos.

OVERNIGHT:   Chobe Mowana Safari Lodge (or similar)

                         TRIP ADVISOR

MEALS:             Full Board

After one last safari and full English breakfast, our ground handlers will transfer you to the airport for your flight back to South Africa. This is where the tour ends.

OVERNIGHT:   None

MEALS:            Breakfast

INCLUDED AND EXCLUDED

INCLUDED:

  • Pre-tour documentation with all-inclusive travel information.
  • Welcome kit in Africa with animals and birds checklists, postcards and many more.
  • All ground transfers in air-conditioned vehicles.
  • Accommodation as specified.
  • Meals as specified.
  • Complimentary bottled water on board while in transit.
  • Services of a registered tour guide and lodge rangers.
  • Activities as specified.
  • Conservation and entrance Fees.
  • Guaranteed departures.
  • Domestic flight from the Kruger Park to Johannesburg.
  • International return flights to the Victoria Falls.
  • Airport transfers for all travelers, at any time.
  • Rental vehicle for Self-drive tours if applicable.

EXCLUDED:

  • International flights to and from South Africa – ask us for a quote.
  • Lunches & Dinners (unless specified).
  • Cold drinks, wine, beer, & refreshments.
  • Tips & gratuities for guides, hotels, porters, and restaurants.
  • Telephone calls, laundry, & other incidental personal expenditure.
  • Travel & Medical insurance.
  • Visas.
  • Fuel for self-drive tours if applicable.

ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

    • This is a privately guided, luxury tour run exclusively for you.
    • A self-drive option is available for this tour.
    • Can depart any day and can be tailored to suite your needs.
    • Can be booked by single travelers – a single supplement will apply.
    • There is no minimum age requirement – children of all ages are welcome.
    • In case an accommodation is fully booked, we will suggest a similar lodge/hotel.
    • You can book your own flights to and from South Africa online or through your travel agent. Please feel free to ask our in-house travel agent for a quote.
    • Please confirm availability with us before you book your flights.
    • If you fly in to Johannesburg and you arrive later than 09:00 on the day your safari tour starts, we recommend that you book in at a hotel nearby to recuperate and get rid of your jetlag as the drive to the Kruger Park takes about 5 hours. A day tour can be arranged instead. This obviously does not apply if you fly to the Kruger Park.
    • All activities are subject to prevailing weather conditions.
    • Malaria prophylaxis is advised for the Kruger Park.
    • Prices are subject to price hikes, fuel increases, etc. Prices are fixed upon the official reservation and receipt of a 20% deposit.
    • Jewel of Africa Safaris is a registered professional tour operator with the necessary permits and insurance cover to transport International Tourists. All our driver-tour guides are Satour & Theta accredited, medically cleared, hold Professional Driving Permits and are accredited First Aid practitioners.

FAQ's

Is Jewel of Africa Safaris part of a Professional Body?

Jewel of Africa Safaris is been a member of the South African Tourism Services Association (SATSA). SATSA is the tourism industry’s watchdog and guarantees high standards of service, good quality tourism services and product and a trustworthy accreditation with the association itself.

How long has Jewel of Africa Safaris been in business?

Jewel of Africa Safaris is a registered tour operator with the necessary permits and insurance cover to transport International Tourists. We have been conducting quality safaris and tours in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe since 2001.

Is Jewel of Africa Safaris’ guides registered with the authorities?

All our driver & tour guides are Satour & Theta accredited, medically cleared, hold Professional Driving Permits and are accredited First Aid practitioners.

Do you have booking system with a secure payment gateway?

Our on-line booking system allows you to do EFT’s (Electronic Transfer) through a secure payment gateway in your own currency, avoiding high exchange rates and excessively high transfer fees charged by banks. Credit card payments are levied by an extra 6.5% via a very safe third party company.

Safety issues?

Our guides will continuously ensure your safety by informing you of a potentially unsafe or dangerous situation may arise. We will never allow ourselves to get caught up in a dangerous or life-threatening situation, let alone putting you in that situation.

The same as you would do back home; keep an eye on your valuables, passports, money and cameras when walking in a crowd. Avoid walking in the cities at night and leave your valuables in your hotel safe. This is where our guides are of great importance to you. They will brief you on potential hazardous scenarios. If you are one of Jewel of Africa’s self-drive clients, you will find all the precautions in our tour documentation.

What do I need to pack for my safari tour?

  • Sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher, hat or cap, and sunglasses.
  • A quality camera with a lot of memory cards and a pair of binoculars.
  • Swimming clothes at the lodges or Kruger Park.
  • Cool, long pants and shirts in summer for around the campfire.
  • A warm jacket or sweater for wintertime as it becomes cold on evening safaris.
  • Comfortable walking shoes and a few god pairs of socks.
  • Neutral colored clothing (green, brown, khaki, beige) for bush walks.
  • A flashlight.
  • Insect repellent, but are freely available here in South Africa.
  • Power supplies and adapters for South African. We run on 220V.
  • All your medication normally used, including some anti-allergic ointment or pills.
  • Some US dollars in cash when are traveling to Botswana, Zambia, or Zimbabwe.
  • Formal dressing if traveling on the Blue Train, Rovos Rail or staying in 5 star lodge

Do I need a visa?

All visitors traveling to the Southern African necessitate a valid passport that is valid for six months beyond the intended length of stay. The passport entry obligation for travelers entering South Africa is a minimum of two blank pages in their passport. If visitors are traveling via South Africa to more than one African country, then the visitors must ensure they allow for adequate pages for each country to be visited. They must also have a minimum of two blank visa pages for each re-entry into South Africa.

Currently American passport holders do not require visas for South Africa, Namibia, or Botswana, but do require visas for Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, or Tanzania. Visas may be purchased at the point of entry for a nominal fee, accept for Kenya. Please check with the website of the country that you intend to visit to confirm.

Should I get traveler's insurance?

Insurance should include the cancellation of the trip to Africa, emergency evacuation, medical, repatriation, and cover against loss, damage or theft of personal luggage, money, and goods. Ask your travel agent for travel insurance.

Should I take any medical precautions before going to Africa?

Before you arrive in South Africa, check with your local doctor or health department for the latest health precautions of which malaria is the most important. Medication it is strongly recommended and is taken as a precaution. You are only required to have vaccinations if you are traveling from a region where yellow fever is prevailing, in which case an immunization will be required against the disease.

Are your tours child and family friendly?

Most of our safari tours are fitting for families and children of all ages are accepted.

Money matters?

South Africa has one of the most advanced banking systems in the world. Banks use world-class technology and facilities, and cash is available with major credit cards from thousands of ATMs countrywide. Forex traders are available at airports and shopping malls. Most of the larger hotels also offer money-changing facilities.

Visa and MasterCard credit cards as well as debit cards, are accepted throughout South Africa, and in most key centers in Botswana and Namibia. About 50% of establishments in tourist areas in Zimbabwe and Zambia will accept credit cards. A 3 – 5% levy will apply. Traveler’s checks are accepted in South Africa.

Make sure that you bring along some cash for spending money, tip, drinks, etc. US Dollars, Euros, and Pounds can easily be converted to Rands (ZAR) at the airport. At the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Livingstone, you will be able to use ZAR, US$, Euros, and Pounds at curio markets, while most lodges will accept these currencies. Foreign currency will be a problem at Victoria Falls, so we recommend to bring enough small value notes (20’s, 10’s, 5’s and 1’s).

Electricity?

All of the Southern African countries make use of a 220 – 240V electricity supply via their national networks. It is important to make sure that the equipment you plan to bring along on tour or safari is compatible. European, Australian and New Zealand adaptors are available in South Africa and come in both formats of two or three pins. USA and Canada adaptors are also available and most stores in large malls and shopping centers. The USA and Canada adaptors are not converters and will lower the voltage from 220V to 110V.

In Zambia, the wall sockets will match the UK’s 220V supply, and adaptor plugs that fit that standard may be used. If you plan on purchasing an adaptor plug while in South Africa, do not buy it on the flight over to South Africa, as some airlines sell adaptors that are not locally well suited. Some airlines sell adaptors, which are not locally compatible. Rather buy it here after you have arrived.

Medical amenities?

Generally speaking, medical facilities in South Africa are very good is considered to be the best on the African continent and our private hospitals are considered world class. The general practitioners, nurses, and medical staff are trained at top medical institutions in the country. Some of the specialists obtained their medical degrees while undergoing training in western countries like the USA and the UK. The standard of healthcare in South Africa, particularly in the urban and coastal areas, are of world standard.

Communication?

Most people wishing to visit the remote safari areas of Southern Africa to get away from civilization so to speak, is the major reason for going, however all major centers in South Africa will have access to the internet. Cell phone coverage is better than the run-of-the-mill, but unfortunately not available in every corner of the country, particularly when visiting a safari lodge. All hotels we use will offer Internet facilities and a fair number will offer free WiFi, but for most hotels it is expected to pay for the service. International airports are the exception and both Johannesburg and Cape Town will have WiFi hotspots.

It is advisable to purchase a local SIM card when you arrive in South Africa and to do that, you will need to present your passport. This enforced by law to prevent terrorists (amongst many others) from attaining untraceable cell phone numbers. International roaming service is not automatically enabled on cell phones. You will need to contact your service provider to activate the international roaming feature.

Tipping?

Tipping is a general practice in South Africa. A large number people in the tourism industry that serve you, is pretty much dependent you their tips as many of them do not get a fixed salary, like waiter for example. Others do get a salary, but are encouraged to deliver a better service to increase their income from tipping.

Here is some information on tipping in South Africa.

  • In restaurants and bars, 10% to 15% is the accepted tipping standard.
  • Petrol attendants at gas stations – from R2 up.
  • Porters at airports – between R5 and R10 per luggage.
  • Hotel porters – between R10 to R20 per porter service.
  • Taxi drivers – between $2 and $10, depending on the distance.
  • Rangers and trackers – between $10 and $20 or more per day for both.
  • Site guides (e.g. a guide at the ostrich farm) – $10 per person.
  • Guides – anything between $20 and $100 per day, but $100 is the norm.

Visa & Passports?

Countries Passport? Return ticket? Visa?
USA Yes Yes No
UK Yes Yes No
Canada Yes Yes No
Other EU counties Yes Yes No

It is important to organize your own visas through your nearest embassy or consulate. We cannot be held liable if you arrive without the necessary visas immigration officials will be obliged to refuse you entry in to South Africa.

Requirements for entering South Africa?

  • A valid passport that will be endorsed for the length of your anticipated stay.
  • Your passport should have at least TWO blank pages in it.
  • A valid visa, if required – see the list above.
  • A return or onward ticket.
  • Adequate funds.
  • Yellow fever certificates – if your journey passes through yellow fever prone areas.

Visa requirements?

Depending on your nationality (see the list above), you may or may not need a visa to visit South Africa. Please the Department of Home Affairs’ website for the list of countries that are exempted – http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/exempt-countries

Where to make enquiries about visas?

Visit the South African Home Affairs website for more detail – http://www.dha.gov.za. You could also visit the website of the “South African offices abroad” to apply for a visa in your own country – http://www.dirco.gov.za/foreign/sa_abroad/index.htm

If traveling to Zimbabwe or Zambia, you are expected to secure your entry visa at the port of entry in US Dollar only. No other currency is accepted; credit or debit cards, checks, or travelers checks will not be accepted for purchasing your visas. The current going rate for visas to these two countries are between $50 and $100 per person. It is recommend having at least an adequate supply of small value notes to the amount of between $200 and $300 for personal expenses. Old bank notes, notes with ink marks, notes with writing marks on them, or notes that have been overly folded will not be accepted.

Note: 

The Department of Home Affairs’ website (www.dha.gov.za) has complete details on visa requirements and exceptions and the relevant forms that you can download. If you are subject to visa requirements, you should apply for your visa at least a month before you plan to arrive here. Do not arrive in South Africa without it; wait for it to be issued before you travel. No visas are issued at South African ports of entry.

WEATHER

South (& Southern) Africa is truly blessed with amazing weather. The official months for:

  • Summer: December, January, and February.
  • Autumn: March, April, and May.
  • Winter: June, July, and August.
  • Spring: September, October, and November.

This in theory however as we experience only summer and winter over here. Our weather is very predictable. Summer arrives in the first week of September; normally the 5th, and temperatures range from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius.

Winter arrives in the first week of June. We actually only have 2 months of winter – June & July and by mid August things start to warm up again. Winter temperatures range from zero (normally 5 degrees) at night to 25 degrees Celsius during the day. Winter daytime temperatures in the Kruger can reach 28 to 30 degrees.

The rainy season in the old Transvaal starts on 10 October to the date. The old folks believed that if it rains before President Paul Kruger’s birthday (10 October), it is going to be a very good rainy season. If it rains before his birthday, they believed it would be a bad rainy season. Transvaal is now divided into the Gauteng-, Northwest-, Limpopo-, and Mpumalanga Provinces.

For detailed information about the weather, please visit the South African Weather Service’s website to find out more – www.weathersa.co.za

GREAT BOOKS TO READ

Nothing gets you prepared for a safari like a good book. From field guides to fictional masterpieces, there are a slew of reading options to help crystallize your vision of Africa: the sights, the sounds, the unbridled adventure to come.

Follow this link to a website called Longitude for a list of recommended books that we believe will enhance your experience so much more!