Build your tour
1 / 9
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
1 / 16

Botswana & Zimbabwe: Untouched Africa

12 days Safari Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours
Venture into this remote corner of southern Africa to witness wildlife at its fiercest and freest. After an inspiring introduction to the continent at Victoria Falls, you’ll spend a week scanning the horizon for cheetah in Hwange National Park, tracking the elephant herds in Chobe and gliding through the lush lagoons of the Okavango Delta. Journey from grasslands to woodlands, through waterways and byways, to experience Africa’s incredible diversity of life.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

Local cuisine with beer or wine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

Local cuisine with beer or wine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 6 lunches, 7 three-course or buffet dinners with beer or wine

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private 4x4 vehicle

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 1

Board your overnight flight to the stunning natural spectacles and captivating wildlife of Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Victoria Falls3 nights Hotel info

Day 2

Included meals: Dinner

Connect in Johannesburg and board your flight to Victoria Falls, where a Go Ahead representative will escort you to your hotel. Upon arrival, spend the afternoon settling in or exploring on your own before your welcome dinner.

Day 3

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Victoria Falls National Park

Connect & Conserve: Rose of Charity

Victoria Falls is called the “Smoke That Thunders” by native people, and today you’ll experience the power and beauty of the falls firsthand. As you discover this Wonder of the World from multiple angles, your Tour Director will give you a history of the falls, pointing out its surrounding flora and fauna along the way. Later, visit the Rose of Charity, an organization that’s helping to transform the lives of sick and impoverished children in the region. Since 2007, the group has aimed to improve the quality of life for local children, their families and community caregivers by providing them with opportunities to learn and grow.

Day 4

Included meals: Breakfast

This morning, opt for an elephant ride through Victoria Falls National Park. Then, the rest of the day is open to spend as you’d like. You may choose to get to know the town of Victoria Falls, or simply relax back at the hotel, listening out for the roar of the mile-wide waterfall just outside.

Optional Excursion - Elephant Ride in Victoria Falls National Park $139*pp Details

Get up close to nature’s gentle giants at an elephant camp. The elephant handlers will introduce you to the world’s largest land mammal, the African elephant, and give insight into the camp’s mission along with a brief lesson on the species. Then, while seated comfortably on the back of an elephant, embark on a safari through the grasslands of Victoria Falls National Park, passing by the gorges of the Zambezi River along the way. Back at the elephant camp, feed the elephants before sitting down for a hot breakfast yourself.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Hwange2 nights Hotel info

Day 5

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Connect & Conserve: Hwange Conservancy

Travel to Hwange National Park, the largest game reserve in Zimbabwe. The diverse landscapes are striking here—you’ll find everything from cracked salt pans to grassy plains dotted with acacia trees to teak forests and mopane woodland. Once a royal hunting ground, the region teems with protected wildlife: over 100 species of mammals and 400 species of birds make their home in the park. After an included lunch, ramble across the sweeping landscape on your afternoon game drive. Later in the evening, enjoy an included dinner.

Day 6

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Connect & Conserve: Hwange National Park

Set out on a full-day game drive to discover the park’s herds of buffalo, prides of lions and wealth of plains game like kudu, eland and waterbuck. See elephants trudge along in herds, and scan the landscape in search of elegant giraffes. After a picnic lunch, continue your journey through the wildlife-rich Hwange region and cap off your day in the wild with an included dinner.

Chobe2 nights Hotel info

Day 7

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Included entrances: Chobe National Park

Connect & Conserve: Hwange National Park

Wake up early and explore the untamed Hwange on a game drive once again before crossing over the Botswana border and arriving at your next destination, Chobe National Park. This semi-arid wilderness is best known for its elephants: huge herds of them gather along the winding Chobe River. In fact, most of the Big Five (lion, leopard, Cape buffalo and elephant) can be seen in Chobe, which is one of the reasons it’s among the best off-the-beaten-path safari destinations in Africa. After an included lunch, take a peaceful cruise along the Chobe River, watching elephants drink and bathe as the sun sets. Join your fellow adventurers at tonight’s included dinner.

Day 8

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Included entrances: Chobe National Park

Connect & Conserve: Namibia community visit

Today begins with a walk around the Namibian village on Impalila Island and a visit with the community there. After lunch at the lodge, embark on a game drive in Chobe, Bostwana’s oldest national park. Comprised of both dry grasslands and permanent swampland, the park draws a dizzying array of animals: from hippos and hyenas to baboons and Cape buffalo. The elephant dominates, though—there is a higher concentration here than virtually anywhere else in Africa. Later, relax with a drink and dinner back at the lodge.

Okavango Delta2 nights Hotel info

Day 9

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Included entrances: Chobe National Park

Connect & Conserve: Okavango Delta

Follow along the varied landscapes of Chobe on a morning game drive. Afterward, transfer to the airport for your chartered flight to Bostwana’s Okavango Delta. Boasting a unique ecosystem, the delta offers one of the most diverse wildlife experiences on the continent. After lunch at the lodge, explore the delta’s serene surroundings by boat. Gliding along the reed-fringed waterways, you’ll see wildlife from a different perspective. After your excursion, dinner awaits back at the lodge. Please note: Boating excursions are dependent on water levels.

Day 10

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Connect & Conserve: Okavango Delta

Begin your day floating along the Delta’s tranquil channels in your mokoro. From the water, you may spy giraffe, lion, leopard, jackal, impala, red lechwe and other denizens of the delta. Next, traverse the region’s rugged landscape on a guided bush walk. Your guides will point out the land’s natural features, as well as grazing wildlife. After an included lunch, take to the water again to feel the wind through your hair on a motorized boat. Celebrate your adventures with fellow travelers at your farewell dinner this evening.

Day 11

Included meals: Breakfast

Connect & Conserve: Okavango Delta

This morning, get one last glimpse of Africa’s wild landscapes on a boating excursion. As you scour the savannah, keep watch for zebra, kudu, vervet monkeys, hippos and much more. Later, take a chartered flight to Maun, to connect to your flight home or continue on to Cape Town for the tour extension.

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 12

Arrive home.

Add Cape Town $1,299 pp

Discover the splendors of Cape Town, one of the world’s most beautiful, vibrant and multicultural cities. On the rugged Western Cape coast, the “Mother City” is nestled at the foot of iconic Table Mountain. Explore this magnificent metropolis—from the elegant Victoria and Alfred Waterfront to the eclectic Malay Quarter, from striking Cape Point to the idyllic Winelands.

Cape Town4 nights Hotel info

Day 11

Included meals: Breakfast

Fly from Maun to Africa’s southern jewel: Cape Town (via Johannesburg). Nestled between Table Mountain and Table Bay, the Mother City of South Africa is its most picturesque. A fascinating fusion of cultures, Cape Town is home to vibrant Xhosa, Malay, and West and Central African communities.

Day 12

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Table Mountain Cableway

Explore the Houses of Parliament, the lively markets of Greenmarket Square and the 17th-century Castle of Good Hope. After a stop at the historic Company’s Garden, ride on a cable car to the top of Table Mountain (weather dependent). You’ll also visit the colorful streets of Bo-Kaap and learn the history behind this Cape Malay corner of the city.

Day 13

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Cape of Good Hope funicular

Discover the wonders of the Peninsula, including Camps Bay Beach, a ribbon of white-sand beneath the Twelve Apostles mountains. Winding along Chapman’s Peak Drive, you’ll arrive at the Cape of Good Hope Nature Preserve and Cape Point. Later, stop at historic Simonstown, see the African penguins at Boulders Beach and wander Kirstenbosch Gardens.

Day 14

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a day exploring Cape Town independently, discovering the city’s artistic galleries, unique boutiques and vibrant neighborhoods. Alternatively, join the optional excursion to the Cape Winelands for wine tasting and lunch.

Optional Excursion - Cape Winelands Tasting & Lunch $95*pp Details

Leave the city behind for a scenic drive from Cape Town through the valleys of the Cape Winelands, finally arriving in the Stellenbosch wine region. Among the mountainous, treelined surroundings of the Stellenbosch Waterford Estate, get a taste for the region’s finest labels complemented by luxurious chocolate pairings. Continue on to Takora, an award-winning winery estate, for another wine tasting and a light lunch. Afterward, relax and soak in the vineyard scenery before returning to Cape Town.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 15

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the morning as you’d like. You may want to shop at the famed Victoria & Alfred Waterfront before a Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for your overnight flight home this afternoon.

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 16

Included meals: Breakfast

Arrive home.

Rose of Charity

Hwange Conservancy

Hwange National Park

Stretching across thousands and thousands of kilometers, through seemingly endless woodlands, wetlands and grasslands, Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s largest game reserve. Once the royal hunting grounds for the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi, these lands were first declared a national park in 1929. Since then, the park has become host to over 400 bird and 100 mammal species, including significant populations of the rare gemsbok, brown hyena and painted dog. The most notable residents of the park, however, are its elephants— Hwange is home to one of the world’s largest population of these gentle giants.

Hwange National Park

Stretching across thousands and thousands of kilometers, through seemingly endless woodlands, wetlands and grasslands, Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s largest game reserve. Once the royal hunting grounds for the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi, these lands were first declared a national park in 1929. Since then, the park has become host to over 400 bird and 100 mammal species, including significant populations of the rare gemsbok, brown hyena and painted dog. The most notable residents of the park, however, are its elephants— Hwange is home to one of the world’s largest population of these gentle giants.

Namibia community visit

Okavango Delta

Okavango Delta

Okavango Delta

How's the weather?

  • Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • Hwange, Zimbabwe
  • Chobe, Botswana
  • Okavango Delta, Botswana
  • Cape Town, South Africa
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & Visa Requirements

If you’re a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you’ll need a passport to enter Zimbabwe and Botswana. Make sure that your passport has:   

* An expiration date that extends 6+ months beyond the last day of your trip * 2+ blank pages (a page for each country you visit on tour)

A visa is required for U.S. and Canadian citizens to enter Zimbabwe. You’ll have the option to purchase your visa when you arrive at the airport, but we recommend obtaining it in advance using VisaCentral. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, contact the consulates of Zimbabwe and Botswana for your entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Safari luggage restrictions are strict and strongly enforced. Due to limited space in the vehicles and chartered aircrafts on your tour, it’s essential that your luggage meet the following requirements:         

  • You must pack in a soft, flexible duffel bag (absolutely no wheeled or hard suitcases are permitted)
  • Your bags can be no larger than 10” W by 12” H by 24” L
  • The total weight of your baggage cannot exceed 44 lbs (this includes your camera equipment/hand-luggage)

Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. For details, please contact your airline.

Packing

Since you’ll spend a lot of time outdoors, we recommend packing lightweight cotton clothing that can be layered as temperatures change throughout the day. For game drives, we recommend muted colors, as bright clothing can scare animals away. You should also bring comfortable shoes that don’t expose the skin, such as sneakers or lightweight hiking boots, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. As you’re preparing to go, make sure you label your baggage and pack any valuables, medications and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Vaccinations

Before traveling to Africa, it is important that you check with your healthcare provider to determine what immunizations are recommended for you. Upon arrival, you may be asked to present a valid International Certificate of Vaccination (“yellow card”) or statement of medical exemption regarding the yellow fever vaccination. Your healthcare provider can advise you about receiving the yellow fever vaccination and/or any additional recommended immunizations, including malaria medications as some areas in Africa still carry malaria.

Transportation

  • International Flights—Your round-trip international flights will arrive in Victoria Falls and depart from Maun. Arrival and departure flights will route through South Africa.
  • Internal Flights—You’ll take a small, chartered aircraft to get in and out of the Okavango Delta. Before boarding, you may be weighed along with your luggage. This is necessary to determine a seating arrangement that properly distributes weight throughout the aircraft. As a result of these restrictions, travel companions may be required to fly separately.
  • On Safari—During your safari, you’ll travel in openair safari vehicles, motorized boats and traditional canoes. Transfers between parks are long and cross bumpy terrain, so we recommend bringing a small pillow to ease the ride.

Tipping

We’ll take care of the gratuities for baggage handling on your safari. However, it’s customary to tip safari and transportation staff at the end of your journey. Here’s a breakdown of our tipping recommendations:     

  • Tour Director—$6–9 USD per person, per day of your tour
  • Wildlife Guides in Hwange, Chobe & the Okavango Delta—$5 USD per person, per game excursion or $10 per day.
  • Drivers—$3 USD per person, per transfer

Staying Healthy

In order for you to stay healthy throughout your tour, we recommend the following:     

  • Drink bottled water. Refrain from drinking tap water, including when brushing your teeth.
  • Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they’re cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
  • Bring a small first aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness medication and any prescription medications.

Eating

You’ll find that most cuisine in your game lodges reflects the region’s British colonial influence. In many areas of Botswana and Zimbabwe, you may find locals indulging in porridge for breakfast and pausing for afternoon tea. In addition to porridge and maize-based dishes, local staples include game meats, particularly beef and goat, as well as many different types of fish and fresh varieties of melon.

Electricity

Zimbabwe operates on 220 volts, while Botswana uses 230 volts.

Time Zones

Botswana and Zimbabwe are two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), or six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm in Victoria Falls.

Currency

The currency you’ll be using in Botswana is the Botswanan pula, but U.S. dollars are widely accepted. In Zimbabwe, it’s recommended that you use U.S. dollars or South African rand. If you are joining the tour extension in Cape Town, you will use the rand as well. Full banking services are available in major towns only, but ATMs are becoming increasingly prevalent. We recommend that you carry a little local cash and U.S. dollars for small purchases, such as souvenirs in local markets. (Please make sure that you bring U.S. dollars printed in 2004 or later.) Most major American credit cards are accepted at hotels and restaurants (Visa is the most widely accepted). We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Shopping

You’ll have the opportunity to shop for handicrafts and souvenirs at outdoor markets, small shops, tribal roadside stalls and some lodges. Prices in Botswana and Zimbabwe are almost always negotiable, providing an excellent way to meet the local people.

Items to give or trade

Many Africans are fond of North American goods, and travelers often bring token items to offer as gifts or to use for bartering for souvenirs. Inexpensive items include: tee shirts, baseball caps, pens, cosmetics and toiletries. Offering African children candy and gum is somewhat controversial because the availability of dental care may be limited. Instead, offer children’s books in English or crayons. Note that the Rose of Charity community visit occurs prior to any internal flights and therefore any gifts or donations will not be subject to stricter luggage restrictions.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/10/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: KS

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Amazing Tour

This tour had it all!! Our tour director, Chris was so knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating. He made sure our every need was met. The itinerary was the best, from many types of safaris where we saw a multitude of animals in the wild to the highlights of Capetown. I feel like everything was covered. We have travelled quite a bit--I can't imagine we will ever find another tour we enjoy more. The hotels were lovely and the food at all the accommodations was great. The only suggestion I could make is that the Capetown tour include a Township Tour in its itinerary. We stayed in Capetown a couple of extra days and that was definitely a highlight.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/13/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Adventure Plus

Loved everything about Africa. Learned about the country, animals and people through our tour director and the knowledgeable guides. Very pleased with our accommodations, loved the tent like atmosphere in two of the lodges. Hosts were very hospitable. Only changes I would make is the flight booking over to and back from Africa, thought flights could have been more direct, ie. Atlanta return city from Cape Town. Also would not spend as much time at the orphanage and wild dog museum. On the extra days spent in Cape Town was not able to receive the final dinner stated in the program. Tour agency was unaware of any such plans.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 6/9/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Untouched Africa

We had a wonderful trip. Some suggestions....we went in June. It is their winter. The temperture ranged from 40 degrees F to about 90 degrees F. Since the game drives are in an open vehicle and often start before sun-up, it was COLD. Bring LAYERS of clothing that you can start warm, then peel off clothes as the sun comes up and it gets hot. You need warm sweatshirts and pants! We did not really have the opportunity to see rhino. SO, don't expect to see one. Where we were in Botswana specifically, they have moved the rhinos to an area that is guarded by the military due to the poaching. We would have liked to done more all day game drives, as opposed to the morning and evening ones. We had one all day game drive and got deeper into the national park and saw more that one day than all the other days. Okavango Delta is an amazing landscape, but you will not get as close to the animals as you do at the other parks. The fun part was the walk in the bush. We heard a lion close by, but couldn't see it. All the accomodations are top notch! Our favorite was the Ivory Lodge. Unusual setting, beautiful area, FRIENDLY hosts!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 5/16/2013

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: MA

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Truly Off the Beaten Path of Africa

This tour was truly beyond expectations! I have traveled all over the world and must say that this is one of the best experiences I have ever had. If you ever dreamed of going to Africa and seeing a different perspective, these areas of Zimbabwe and Botswana offer a supremely unique, up close and personal view of wildlife and the most awesome accommodations you can imagine! One of my favorite lodges was in Hwange and can only be compared to an upscale version of a tree house, where the elephants roam right on the property! All of the lodges were top notch and it was a perfect balance between somewhat of a resort feel and also that rustic experience that enhances your connection to the areas you are in. The people we encountered were first rate, from the knowledgeable wildlife guides to the amazingly friendly staff at each lodge, the service provided was more than you could ask for. They truly helped make this once in a lifetime trip feel even more special. I loved all of the food we got to try! We ate quite an assortment of fresh fruits and veggies (safe at the lodges), we tried various kinds of game meat and even crocodile! We also ate things like porridge, delicious rice dishes and of course fish caught from the nearby rivers. The biggest tip I would give is about packing LOTS of layers, including a warm sweater to wear under your coat because the mornings are very chilly. Don’t leave home without plenty of sunscreen and bug spray – though every room came with lovely mosquito nets draped over the beds. The memories that I took from this trip will be with me forever and I hope everyone gets to experience this. Thank you Go Ahead Tours!

review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo
1 / 13

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 5/16/2013

Number of Past Tours: 7

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Botswana & Zimbabwe, Untouched Africa

This was a wonderful tour and our tour director, Duane, was excellent. We stayed in 4 locations, 2 nicer hotels and 2 safari type lodges. The mix was good because we started at a nice hotel, then the Ivory Lodge, then another nicer hotel, and then Moremi Crossing in the Delta. Ivory Lodge was my favorite place, I had a private room up on stilts, with a view of the watering hole. When we arrived there were at least 100 elephants there to greet us, and it was a thrill. I was a little disappointed in the amount of animals that we saw at the Okavango Delta, but the experience there was so pleasant I was okay with not seeing a lot of animals. The food was good and I enjoyed the whole experience. Happy travels!

review photo review photo review photo
1 / 3