There is nowhere quite like South Africa, with its vast expanses of wilderness, packed with a cornucopia of the world’s most remarkable flora and fauna. Two countries to the north, Namibia and Botswana are no different, hosting national parks, mountains, desert and, along the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the mighty Victoria Falls.
There is a lot to explore, and equally a great deal of distance to cover. As such, the popularity of fully escorted tours is entirely justified, handling the transportation, accommodation and guiding duties so that travellers can spend more time exploring and less time organising. Considering factors such as price, duration, itinerary and previous traveller reviews, here are five of the best tours that include both South Africa and Victoria Falls.
From: $3,182/per person
Wine, wildlife and waterfalls are three of the highlights of this beast of a tour. Lasting for 37 days and travelling all the way across the southern half of the continent, the African Adventure is a must for anybody with both the time and the inclination to take an immersive tour across the region. Starting out in Cape Town, the tour heads into the Cederberg wine country for a tasting or two. Continuing north, the itinerary takes travellers through Namibia and Botswana, with wildlife spotting at the Okavango Delta, before heading into Zimbabwe and stopping at Victoria Falls. The tour then passes through Zambia and Malawi before ending at Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
From $1,619/ per person
Making the most of Zimbabwe’s off-the-beaten-track vibe, this tour is a great way to experience the country’s highlights as well as a few in the northern part of South Africa. Starting out at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Victoria Falls, the tour then passes into the even wilder territory of Hwange National Park, where you will be able to spot animals like elephants, lions, giraffe and zebra from an open vehicle. In South Africa you will visit the Limpopo Valley to see the baobab trees and unusual rock formations. Some fees are not included in this price, such as the entry fee to Victoria Falls and a few meals.
From $3,090/ per person
Homing in on four of the biggest sights in this part of the continent, the 11-day South Africa Sojourn tour starts off in Cape Town, with a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain and a visit to Boulders Beach to see the penguins. Next up is a flight to the Kruger National Park area (flight price is excluded from the tour fee), for two full days of game viewing, and a chance to witness the Big 5 – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo, along with wildebeest, cheetahs and hippos. Important South African sites like Mandela House and the Apartheid Museum are highlights of the trip to Johannesburg, with a final flight (price also not included) to Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls capping off the experience.
From $4,361/ per person
Following a very popular route, this 19-day tour first leaves Cape Town for the region of Namaqualand to the north, where wildflowers fill the valley near Springbok in the right season. The tour then heads into Namibia, with highlights like Sesriem Canyon and Etosha National Park offering great landscapes for wildlife encounters. The tour then passes into Botswana to explore the Okavango Delta then following the Chobe River into Zimbabwe where its confluence with the Zambezi leads to Victoria Falls. Included in the price are admission fees to all sites along the way, 18 nights’ accommodation with breakfast, most dinners, and guided transport.
From $5,609/ per person
Similar in length and itinerary to the South Africa Sojourn is the Splendors tour; starting in Cape Town, but which swaps Kruger with Makalali Private Game Reserve instead. While the two are close to one another, Makalali is less heavily touristed and still offers the chance to spot the Big 5 on game drives across four days, before heading to Johannesburg. Here you will get the chance to visit Soweto, South Africa’s largest township. The final few days involve a flight north to the Victoria Falls, with a guided walk and nature spotting opportunities available. Accommodation with breakfast, guides and transportation are included in the price, as well as lunch and dinner on half of the days.