- Panorama Route
- Victoria Falls
- Open Safari vehicle
- Big 5
- God's Window
- Bourke's Pot Holes
We contacted Heidi at Pembury Tours to help us organize a select part of our South African Journey. We arranged to Skype Heidi at a time that would work for both parties, not easy with a 9 hour time difference. She quickly understood what we required for our safari bookings and made many helpful suggestions. Heidi arranged all our safaris accommodations and transfers, we did our own flight bookings. Everything went without a single glitch! We were very happy with the companies she chose for our transfers, they were always on time, extremely pleasant and we always felt safe! Her recommendations for accommodations for our safari's were excellent, we loved everything about our experience! We would not hesitate to recommend Pembury Tours to our friends and after them seeing our pictures and hearing our stories, I'm sure Heidi will be kept busy! Thank you again for your excellent service!
Tour Consultant's Overview
Gord & Sandy contacted me to arrange a Safari Holiday for them. They were so lovely to deal with, we arranged a Skype call and had a chat and I got to hear and understand their holiday wish list. I put together a tailor-made itinerary for Gord & Sandy and emailed it through to them. I presented two options to them. One option was to be upon the Princess House Boat in Chobe and the other was staying at Elephant Valley Lodge. Gord & Sandy opted for the Elephant Valley Lodge option. After a few emails their tour was booked and confirmed.
Day 1: Arrival in Kruger
Upon arrival in Hoedspruit, you are met by our representative and transferred to your safari lodge in the Sabi Sand Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park. You arrive in time to freshen up before embarking on your first game drive. Transfer time: Hoedspruit to Kruger Lodge – approx. 2 hours
Day 1 to 4: Kruger – Sabi Sand (3 nights)
Forming part of the Greater Kruger National Park, the Sabi Sand Reserve has no fences and the wildlife is able to cross freely between the Sabi Sands and the rest of the Greater Kruger National Park. The safari experience in the Sabi Sand is highly personalised because game drive vehicles have exclusive traversing rights in their area.
The Sabi Sand Reserve is a remarkable natural sanctuary known for its exceptionally high concentration of animal and bird life. Close contact encounters are guaranteed as the animals are not threatened by the presence of vehicles thanks to sound conservation management policies. Safaris are led by experienced rangers coupled with local Shangaan trackers. With exceptional sightings of leopard (usually the most elusive of cats), lion, rhino, elephant and buffalo during game drives - visitors are never lacking in exciting photographic content. You will head out on dawn and late afternoon game drives in the company of dedicated and highly knowledgeable rangers and trackers. The fact that the Sabi Sand is a private Kruger reserve means that guests can enjoy activities not normally permitted in the Kruger Park itself. Your ranger will go off road for close-up views of special sightings and once darkness falls, you'll be treated to thrilling spot-lit night drives in search of rare nocturnal creatures and big cats on the move. Guided nature walks complete the spectrum of safari activities.
Day 4: Kruger to Mpumalanga Lowveld (2 nights)
After your morning game drive, you bid farewell to this African wonderland. You are transferred to a country lodge in the Mpumalanga Lowveld. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax in the beautiful gardens of the lodge or lounge around the pool. The next morning you are met and taken on a full day Panorama Tour.
Day 6: Mpumalanga Lowveld to Chobe
This morning you are transferred to Nelspruit Airport for your direct flight to Livingstone. Upon arrival in Livingstone, you are transferred by road to your lodge in Chobe National Park.
Day 6 to 9: Chobe Game Reserve (3 Nights)
Chobe National Park on Botswana’s north-west border is a pristine wilderness of open plains, baobab trees, ancient woodland, swamps and flood plains and is home to the greatest concentration of game in the entire southern African subcontinent. One of Africa’s most beautiful rivers, the Chobe River forms the Park’s northern boundary.
The Chobe riverfront area is most famous for its large herds of elephants and buffalo, which come down to the river in huge herds to drink during the dry winter months. During this season, one may see hundreds of elephants at one time. Other species include waterbuck, lechwe, puku (this is the only part of Botswana where they can be seen), giraffe, kudu, roan and sable, impala, warthog, bushbuck, monkeys and baboons, along with the accompanying predators lion, leopard, hyena and jackal. Over 460 bird species have been recorded in the park, making it one of Africa’s premier venues for bird Safaris. A highlight of Chobe is taking a river cruise, which allows you to get up close with hippo, crocodile and a mind-boggling array of water birds. You also get really close to animals that come down to the river.
Day 9: Chobe to Victoria Falls
This morning you bid farewell to this African Wonderland as you are transferred by ferry and road to your hotel in Victoria Falls. You have time to settle into your new hotel and perhaps view the falls this afternoon.
Day 9 to 11: Victoria Falls (2 nights)
Besides being one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a World Heritage Site, Victoria Falls is the unchallenged adventure capital of Africa with more than 50 activities available. At 1708 metres wide, Victoria Falls is the most expansive curtain of water in the world and drops more than 100 metres into the sheer Zambezi Gorge.
Straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, these Falls and the Zambezi River are the central points in an area of spectacular scenic beauty: from the Falls themselves to the broad, picturesque course of the Zambezi River upstream, the rainforest adjacent and the stark jagged gorge downstream, the power and timelessness of nature's forces are evident throughout. The Falls’ local name, Mosi-Oa-Tunya - "the Smoke that Thunders" - more accurately defines the essence of the place: the rising, shining spray that can be seen 30km away. This vapour has the effect of adding moisture in the form of humidity to the air in the "splash zone", so that a unique, small rainforest ecosystem clings to the edge of the Falls, providing a toehold for no less than 70 shrub and 150 herbaceous species, as well as trees such as pod and Natal mahogany, ebony, Cape and strangler fig and Transvaal red milkwood. There are two National Parks in the vicinity: the Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe and the Mosi-oa-Tunya Zoological Park in Zambia, which means that herds of big game such as elephant and buffalo, as well as smaller species and even predators such as lion persist in the area.
Day 11: Victoria Falls & Departure
This morning is at leisure to catch a last glimpse of the Falls, until you are transferred from the hotel to Livingstone or Victoria Falls Airport to catch your flight to Johannesburg. Transfer time: Avani Vic Falls Resort to Livingstone Airport – approx 25 minutes
Arathusa Safari Lodge
Arathusa Safari Lodge is a jewel within the heart of the Sabi Sand Reserve. The camp is an intimate one, completely open-plan and designed to harmoniously blend with the adjacent waterhole and African bush. The lodge flanks the bank of a large waterhole (approximately 250m x 150m) allowing for a 180 degree view of the water.
An infinity swimming pool overlooks the waterhole and is the perfect spot for wildlife viewing on a smoldering African summer’s afternoon. Massive herds of buffalo, antelope and elephant families gather at the waterhole and there is also a resident herd of hippos. 13 thatched suites are within the camp's perimeter. Each has a bathroom en-suite (with bath and separate indoor and outdoor showers), and a verandah. Meal times at Arathusa are a sociable affair. Guests are treated to sumptuous dishes, fresh produce and home baked confectionary.
In addition to the morning and evening game drives, unique walking safaris are offered daily giving guest the opportunity of discovering the hidden treasures of the region. Arathusa prides itself on its leopard viewing. As leopards are territorial, their regular appearances in the area allow their movements to be plotted. Many of the animals become familiar and are easily recognized by the rangers. Large herds of buffalo numbering in excess of 300 are often encountered. Elephants are also seen in large numbers. There are various lion prides in the area, as well as a few nomadic males. General “lowveld” game are abundant in this section of the Sabi Sand Reserve, including giraffe, zebra, warthog, impala and more. Between game drives, lazy hours can be spent in the sparkling pool or having a massage at the Nature Spa.
Elephant Valley Lodge
Elephant Valley Lodge lies between the Chobe National Park in Botswana and the equally impressive Matetsi wildlife conservancy within the Kasane Forest Reserve. The lodge lies beneath a forest of sturdy knob thorn trees and overlooks an extremely productive water hole. It is within these tree tops that the largest colony of white back vultures occurs.
Open-air guest areas, an outdoor dining Boma, a secluded hide and a refreshing swimming pool provide plenty of opportunities for relaxation. There are 20 “Meru”’ style luxury safari tents situated around the gardens or along the edge of the valley. Your tent also ensures that you are able to hear the multitude of night sounds as you drift away with vivid memories of the experiences of your day on safari. The tents have twin beds, an ensuite bathroom and a private, shady deck.
The Chobe region is home to the largest population of wild elephant in the world. Their sometimes daily passage takes them from Zimbabwe through Chobe and across the river into Namibia before returning. Elephant Valley Lodge lies along one of these routes. The camp perimeter is fenced to keep the elephant from moving through the camp. Instead, now they move around the camp boundary, along their well worn paths to and from the Chobe River. Activities include daily safaris open landrover safaris and boat cruises into the Chobe National Park.
Avani Victoria Falls Resort
The Avani Victoria Falls is a superior 3 star hotel located right on the edge of the Eastern Cataract of the falls and reflects the richness and diversity of the land's heritage. The architecture of the hotel was inspired by the timeless African tradition. Simple, rustic, and welcoming, its unique styling offers visitors the experience of truly being in the heart of Africa.
The 212 en-suite rooms have private balconies that allow the morning sun in and are tastefully decorated with an African flavour with mosaics and earthy coloured fabrics.
The Victoria Falls National Park borders the front of the property and wild animals often graze on the hotel lawns, with the spray of the falls in the background. Facilities at the hotel include an in-house restaurant and an outdoor swimming pool.
The hotel is within walking distance of the Falls.
Bohm’s Zeederberg Country House
Böhm’s Zeederberg is a small owner-run Country House situated in the picturesque Sabie River Valley of the Mpumalanga Drakensberg, South Africa. The 4-star Country House is situated on a hilltop close to the Kruger National Park.
10 Individually decorated Chalets are located in the garden around the swimming pool, with majestic views over the Sabie River Valley from private verandas. The Garden Chalets can accommodate 2 guests, the Family Garden Chalets can accommodate 2 adults & 1 child (one extra bed is available in the open plan lounge for a child), the Family Garden Suites can accommodate 2 adults & 2 (with two extra beds available for children in the lounge), and the romantic Honeymoon Chalet is located in a private corner of the garden. All the chalets are air-conditioned and have en-suite bathrooms.
The swimming pool is situated in a 2 hectare lush subtropical garden; filled with beautiful indigenous tree which have been labelled for your easy identification. The garden is a bird watcher’s paradise, with two different kinds of Turaco nesting in the huge Wild Fig trees, to name a few of the abundant birds found at Böhm’s. The 60 hectare indigenous bush farm is alive with varied wildlife: small buck including Duiker and Bushbuck, Blue Vervet Monkeys and Bushbabies, many small mammals like Mongoose and Bats, and a myriad of indigenous birds.
Enjoy a sun-downer on the terrace in the summer or a sherry in front of the roaring log fire in the lounge in the winter. The dining room serves home cooked dinners prepared by Mrs Böhm, with the accent on German, French and African Fusion Country cooking combined with fresh herbs & salads from the garden.
Download the full itinerary to read which experiences were included in this itinerary and which were suggested.
Daily Safari Programme - Sabi Sand
Upon arrival at your safari lodge you are given a welcome drink and your safari experience will be explained to you by your lodge host. There will be time to settle in before afternoon High Tea followed by your first game drive. Game drives take place in the early morning and evening to ensure game viewing when animals are most active.
Night game drives provide a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the predators, particularly the leopard for which this area is renowned. You return to your lodge in time for a sumptuous safari cuisine dinner. The next day after a light snack you are taken on a morning game drive. You return to the lodge for a grand brunch. There is time to relax around the sunny pool, do some bird-watching from the observation deck or read a book in the peace of your room’s private verandah. After High Tea you set off on another evening game drive, returning again in time for dinner.
On your day of departure, you will do a morning game drive and will leave the lodge after brunch.
View the Falls
As you approach the Falls and hear the water pounding and witness the vapour rising, you quickly understand why local tribesman called the Falls “Mosi-oa-Tunya” (the smoke that thunders) and why the explorer David Livingstone exclaimed that a scene “so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”.
The great columns of spray rising from the tumultuous falls can be seen from 80 kilometres away on a clear day. If you are lucky enough to be there at full moon, a "moonbow" can be seen in the spray instead of the usual daylight rainbow.
Because the Victoria Falls fall into a chasm, rather than falling down an escarpment, it is possible to walk along the opposite side of the chasm, at the same height as the top of the Falls. From the unique walking trails the magnificence and glory of the Falls are head on and only about 60 metres (200 feet) away. The spray falls on the trails like soft rain, feeding the lush vegetation.
Adventure Activities at the Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls is the unchallenged adventure capital of Africa with more than 50 activities available. Here is our selection of the best: Bungi Jumping - Bungi jump off the 111 metre high railway bridge into the Zambezi gorge, stopping just metres from the rushing water of the Zambezi River. This is a wild jump! There are two bungi options: A single jump on your own or a tandem jump with a partner.
White Water Rafting - White Water Rafting on the Zambezi River is acclaimed as the best one day white water rafting trip available in the world. There are different options for rafting depending on the time of year and the level of water in the river.
Jet Boat Extreme - Speedboats powered by huge jet engines shoot down the rapids below the Victoria Falls at 100 km an hour. Enjoy a thrilling half hour spent “flying” over the water.
Tiger fishing - Spend a half day on the Zambezi River fishing for one of the great freshwater game fish - The Tigerfish. These powerful, swift predators are truly thrilling to catch.
Canoeing - Paddle slowly down the Zambezi River in a canoe with some of the best wildlife guides in Africa and enjoy the beauty, peace and wildlife of this unique place. Explore islands and waterways and learn about the birds and animals you come across along the route.
Daily Safari Programme - Chobe – Elephant Valley Lodge
At Elephant Valley Lodge you enjoy a morning cruise along the Chobe River, which allows you to get up close with hippo, crocodile and a mind-boggling array of water birds. You also get really close to any animals that come down to the river, especially elephants and buffalo.
In the afternoon you enjoy a game drive in a 10-seater open vehicle in both the Chobe National Park and the Kasane Forest Reserve.
In addition to elephant and buffalo, species that might be seen on game drives include waterbuck, lechwe, puku, giraffe, kudu, roan and sable, impala, warthog, bushbuck, monkeys and baboons, along with the accompanying predators lion, leopard, hyena and jackal. It is during the late afternoon that game becomes most active. During the game drive a stop is made for sundowner drinks along the river to capture the sunset on camera.
Guided Panorama Route Tour
The Panorama Route in Mpumalanga has breathtaking vistas around every mountain corner, waterfalls plunging down faces of sheer rock, memories of the gold rush and an endless river canyon.One breathtaking view after another – that's South Africa's famous Panorama Route, where you'll experience mountains, sky, forests and the truly impressive Blyde River Canyon, one of the world's largest canyons.
Scenic landmarks with evocative names like God's Window, Wonder View, the Pinnacle, Bourke's Luck Potholes and the Three Rondawels beckon. The Blyde River Canyon's lush subtropical foliage makes it the world's largest 'green canyon’, thread your way along the cliff tops 800m above the Blyde River Canyon, and at God's Window, be sure to walk in the thick, indigenous mist forest that's often among the clouds.
There are several beautiful waterfalls on the Panorama Route; The Lisbon Falls is 94 metres (308 ft) high. The Berlin Falls is on the Sabine River and falls 80 metres (260 ft), pouring into a circular basin flanked by red cliffs. The falls have the shape of a candle, with the first short drop forming the wick, and the remaining, broader drop being the candle body. The Mac Mac Falls are 70 meters (229 ft) and is situated near the site where payable quantities of gold were first found in 1873. The diggings became known as Mac-Mac because of large number of Scottish diggers at the camp.
The gold rush town of Pilgrim's Rest gives you the chance to relive the 1873 gold rush in surroundings of unparalleled beauty. You can even try your hand at panning for gold.