Safari in South Africa & Botswana

4x4 Safari | July 2019

Where the Wild Things Are

A safari in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe is a chance to be amazed at the sheer number of wild elephants that roam southern Africa's vast game reserves, to sleep in the shadow of some our planet's oldest baobabs, and to get an adrenaline rush at Victoria Falls or over the Okavango Delta.
Countries visited
Highlights of Safari in South Africa
Kruger National Park, Makgadikgadi, Hunter's Road, Chobe, Khwai river, Moremi Game Reserve, Okavango Delta 
Distance traveled / Duration of safari
3696 KM / 14 days

Kruger National Park

For the first 3 days of the safari in South Africa, we focus on Kruger National Park,  home of the Big Five.
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As South Africa's key park, Kruger is well fitted for visitors. A 4x4 is not required, many roads are paved, the restcamps are enormous and many of them offer shops, ATMs, restaurants, even post offices and museums. It may appear overly touristy at first look, but look again. Kruger has many beautiful corners and unique perks. Don't shrug at the tarred roads: animals love to lay on the pavement or graze on the clean vegetation, and certain roads traverse territorial species' homelands.
There is even an app that helps visitors to keep up with the latest sightings in Kruger. We like to check it even when we are not on safari, because there is never a dull day where the wild things live.
2019 was again an usually dry year in southern Africa, the 4th in a row. The veld was visibly dwindled, and animals congregated around the artificial waterholes that have been working overtime. However, compared to the safari from 2016, we noticed larger herds of herbivores and a lot of elephant calves. 

Makgadikgadi (Kalahari)

It was a good couple of days in Kruger National Park. After that, we stop to unwind at the charming Nyala campsite, on the Limpopo river. Then we push north, crossing into Botswana via Groblersburg / Martins Drift border post. We make our way through the arid, Kalahari scrubland that spans the south-east of the country, and spend a night in the eerie Makgakikgadi salt flats, on Kukonje Island.

Victoria Falls

To see the mighty Victoria Falls, we grab our passports and our flip-flops and hop on a minibus towards the Zimbabwe border.
As elsewhere, Zimbabwean tourist hotspots like Victoria Falls show little of the recent turmoil. Despite the political and economical struggles, Zimbabwe is a safe country to visit, and we encourage anyone to go there not just for the superb safari destinations, but also for its friendly, easy-going people.
After the classic Victoria Falls "bridge shower", a part of our group hitched an adrenaline-pumping helicopter flight over the water. The Zimbabwe daytrip ended with a smooth return to Botswana, for a nice break from braaing: a vegetarian dinner. 

Elephant country

We leave behind the Hunter's Road and our base in Senyati to find a wildlife paradise on the river Khwai.
Driving across northern Chobe and Moremi and alongside Khwai River was one of the most anticipated passages of our safari. It didn’t fall short of expectations. Both Botswana and Zimbabwe keep their wild areas unfenced and are home to Africa's largest elephant population. Our trip included navigating a few sizable herds and a nightly visit of a honey badger and a couple of hungry hyenas at the bivouac.

Over Okavango

Time to take in again to the air to see from above the Okavango Delta.
Fed by the Cubango River which rises in the highlands of southern Angola, the Okavango Delta is as a unique ecosystem as is fragile. We visited during what should have been its flood season, but from the small Cesna aircraft we could see why it is said that the delta is experiencing the most severe drought in 90 years. Every 10 years or so, there is a shift in rainfall patterns here. Drier years impact all activities dependent on water levels, from fishing to mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) trips, to motorised boat cruises. The current the dry spell is expected to continue, possibly for some years.

Wild Sunsets

Making a home in the wild for two more sunsets before the safari in South Africa and Botswana ends.
We revisited on our way back Kukonje island and the Limpopo bank. Two places that showed if and how the trip had left an imprint on each of us, while the vast territory we had set to explore never changed.  
Toyota Hilux
Camping, roof tents
All inclusive