Saving Rhinos + Painted Dogs
SOUTH AFRICA + ZIMBABWE
19 days/18 nights
At Africa 360, we hand-craft bespoke safaris designed just for you. Our experts will construct a magical itinerary and offer recommendations for unique places and experiences that best fit your budget and dreams. This itinerary was created for one of our small group journeys but it can be tailored to meet your every desire.
Consider it safari motivation!
- 2 nights in Johannesburg, South Africa
- 2 nights in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- 14 nights across five diverse safari regions within South Africa and Zimbabwe: Pilanesberg National Park, Mana Pools National Park, Hwange National Park, Ngala Private Game Reserve (Timbavati) and Phinda Private Game Reserve (KwaZulu-Natal)
- Participate in rhino dehorning/trimming with Endangered Rhino Conservation
- Tour Victoria Falls – a Wonder of the World
- Track African Wild Dogs with Painted Dog Conservation
- Canoe the Zambezi River – a truly memorable experience
- Collar an elephant for research with a wildlife vet team
- Thrilling Big 5 game drives and much more – bring your camera!
Day 1: Arrive Johannesburg,South Africa
Welcome to South Africa! You will be met by an Africa 360 representative and taken to your hotel where you can rest up from your long journey. Touring Johannesburg, Soweto and the Apartheid Museum is an excellent option if you plan to arrive earlier.
Day 2: Johannesburg to Pilanesberg National Park Area, Private Reserve, South Africa
After breakfast, you will be met at your hotel and road transferred to Endangered Rhino Conservation which is approximately 3-hours from Johannesburg. You’ll stop along the way at the festive African craft market where haggling is a sport!
Lunch will be served upon arrival into camp. Meet the family and conservation team that runs this private reserve and head out for an afternoon game drive to explore this magnificent landscape. All meals will be served at camp.
Day 3: Endangered Rhino Conservation, South Africa
After breakfast, you’ll participate in the safety briefing as you prepare to participate in the Rhino dehorning experience to protect this amazing species from poaching. Hear stories on the plight of the rhino and their extraordinary efforts to protect and save them. Meet the K9 anti-poaching team that protects the rhinos and wildlife Vets.
After lunch and a well-deserved break, you’ll have the unique opportunity to walk with giraffe, see a baby rhino and explore the reserve where they have many rare mammals like Sable, Eland, Steenbok, Blesbok, Red hartebeest, Tsessebe, Brown hyena, Honey badger, Aardvark and more.
The evening isn’t complete until you experience a hearty braai (barbeque) with campfire conversation. The true bush experience gives guests a chance to live amongst the abundant wildlife and experience the serenity of nature.
Day 4-5: Pilanesberg National Park Area to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
After breakfast, you’ll depart for Johannesburg Airport where you’ll take an international flight to Victoria Falls. After you clear customs, you’ll be escorted by our representative to Matetsi River Lodge with beautiful suites overlooking the mighty Zambezi River.
Your stay includes a tour of Victoria Falls, game drives, and sundowner cruise on the Zambezi river. Meet the conservationist from Painted Dog Research Trust.
Day 6: Victoria Falls to Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe
After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to Victoria Falls Airport for your shared light aircraft flight to Mana Pools National Park along the banks of the mighty Zambezi River.
You’ll be met at the airstrip by your private specialist guide and your safari journey begins on your drive back to camp!
Vundu Camp is a permanent tented camp that is well-known for its breathtaking views of the Zambezi River and the constant stream of elephants passing through.
Day 7-8: Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe
Safari! Your day at Vundu Camp begins with an early riser cup of tea or coffee with breakfast around the fire, before you set off on your first activity. After a few exciting hours spent in the thick wilderness of Mana Pools, you will return for a chance to siesta or enjoy the sounds of the bush and riverfront from the comfort of your private terrace.
Your alfresco lunch is served at 1pm where the chef will prepare a fresh feast for you. Afternoon tea and cake is served at 3pm where you will then head off to another activity. Dinner is served upstairs under the shaded riverine trees where a chandelier is set up, which paired with the bright shining stars, excellent cuisine with South African wines, create the perfect Out of Africa ambience.
In partnership with Painted Dog Conservation, you’ll have the opportunity to see the magnificent endangered African Wild Dogs, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see pups.
Mana Pools is the only national park in Zimbabwe that allows you to walk. In addition to game drives, you have the choice to canoe the Zambezi River (a highlight) or enjoy a walking safari to track their infamous Big Tusker Elephants.
On night two, Bushlife Conservancy will show a powerful short presentation on their anti-poaching efforts and success stories.
Day 9: Mana Pools National Park to Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by the Painted Dog Conservation team who will escort you to their visitor’s center to commence your VIP tour. This private tour includes PDC’s African Painted Dog rehabilitation center, kids bush camp, arts center, and visitor’s center.
After visiting the Iganyana Arts Center, with hand-made artifacts, you’ll be transferred to camp in the heart of Hwange National Park.
Nestled discreetly beneath a grove of false mopane trees, the remote Davison’s is found in the private Linkwasha Concession – one of the most prolific wildlife areas in Hwange National Park. Hidden within the shade of the tree line, this classic African tented camp overlooks an open plain and a waterhole that is a favorite drinking hole for elephant and buffalo.
Enjoy dinner outside on the deck under the stunning southern sky. All meals will be served at camp.
Day 10-11: Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Safari! Enjoy your morning and evening game drives with your expert guide in a shared vehicle. Stop to enjoy a classic safari “sundowner” drink in a scenic location to watch the breathtaking African sunset. All meals will be served at the lodge.
On night two, Painted Dog Conservation will join for dinner and show their heartwarming video on their impressive work to save the African Wild Dogs and engage the community.
Day 12: Hwange National Park to Johannesburg, South Africa
Luxury accommodations at the beautiful boutique hotel 54 on bath. Dinner at a top-rated restaurant featuring distinguished dinner guests from Rhinos Without Borders.
Day 13: Johannesburg to Ngala Private Game Reserve (Timbavati), South Africa
After breakfast, you will be met by our representative for transport to Johannesburg Airport for your flight to Ngala’s private airstrip followed by a short drive to camp.
Ngala is a private game reserve incorporated into the Kruger National Park. Activities include early morning and late afternoon game drives; Interpretive bush walks; tracking and photographic safaris; Wild dog, leopard, lion, hyena, giraffe, buffalo, rhino and more!
Unwind for 3 nights in your very own luxury cottage with ensuite bathroom, including outdoor shower, and intimate veranda in this game rich reserve.
Bucket List Option: Your stay can include the option for a private specialist guide and rhino notching experience with conservation and wildlife vet team. Experience the rare opportunity to participate in a rhino capture. An intensive rhino monitoring project has been initiated in order to better manage and protect this endangered species.
Day 14-15: Ngala Private Game Reserve (Timbavati), South Africa
Safari! Enjoy your early morning and late afternoon game activities. During your mid-day break, you can enjoy the pool, spa or sitting by the water hole observing wildlife.
On your afternoon game drive, stop to enjoy a classic safari “sundowner” drink in a scenic location to watch the breathtaking African sunset.
Day 16: Nglala Private Game Reserve to Phinda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Following breakfast, you will be transferred to the airstrip for your shared light aircraft flight to Phinda.
Set within easy reach of the Indian Ocean coastline and the famous iSimangaliso / Greater St Lucia Wetland Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal, Phinda Private Game Reserve is known for its abundant wildlife, diversity of habitats and wide range of safari activities. Thanks to its coastal rainfall pattern, Phinda enjoys a lush green environment that contains seven distinct ecosystems.
You’ll be greeted by your private specialist guide and the afternoon is yours to design and enjoy as you make your way back to camp.
Enjoy 3-nights in your luxury suite that us set on the edge of the sand forest and overlooking an open meadow, complete with its own watering hole. Phinda Vlei Lodge is a wildlife playground where the animal encounters are up close and personal with your own plunge pool that is often frequented by elephants! All meals served at the lodge by gourmet chefs.
Bucket List Option: Your stay can also include the option to participate in an Elephant collaring experience with the conservation and wildlife vet team. Enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity to witness an elephant darting, and assist in the changing of the sleeping pachyderm’s radio collar. The elephant collar utilized in the research program needs replacing and guests are being invited to participate in this extraordinary experience.
Day 17-18: Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Safari! Enjoy your morning and evening game drives with your private specialist guide in a shared vehicle. All meals will be served at camp.
Your private guide will unlock the secret gems of Phinda including the magnificent ancient sand forest. Phinda has seven distinctly different habitats, a haven for a variety of wildlife, including excellent opportunities of seeing cheetah as well as black and white rhino and elephant.
On night two, you will be treated to a special guest speaker and presentation from the Head of Conservation for wildlife research and animal monitoring programs.
Day 19: Depart South Africa
After your morning game activity, enjoy breakfast at the lodge. You will be transferred to the airstrip for your shared light aircraft flight to Johannesburg. Upon arrival in Johannesburg, you will be met by our representative to check into your international flight. The international terminal has excellent shops for last minute gifts or simply relax with a drink in the airport lounge.
All itineraries can be changed or enhanced to match your desires.
Not sure where to go?
Whether you’re looking for a classic safari, a private off-the-beaten path journey, a conservation/mission driven adventure, a small group safari, or a personal exploration of Africa’s cultures and rituals, Africa 360 can create your personalized trip of a lifetime.