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Southern Africa

GEEO is happy to offer you this exciting travel adventure in Southern Africa. Our program visits the countries of South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe. You will travel by a specially outfitted expedition truck for the three weeks, camping along the way. Track down the “Big 5” in South Africa's Kruger National Park, swim in the warm water of the Indian Ocean in Mozambique, Walk with lions and visit Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and explore the Okavango Delta in Botswana on this diverse and fantastic adventure which embodies what southern Africa has to offer!


Itinerary

July 1 : Arrive in Johannesburg

Arrive in Johannesburg at any time.

July 2 : Johannesburg to Greater Kruger Area (B,L,D)

Today there is an early departure from Johannesburg at 7 am. Tonight we will stay just outside Manyeleti Game Reserve.

July 3 : Kruger National Park (1B,1L,1D)

Today we enter the world-renowned Kruger National Park, home to a staggering amount of wildlife and birds. We camp for the night within the park and there is an option of a night safari. Kruger is one of the few places in Africa where it is possible to observe nocturnal wildlife and this makes a unique experience.

July 4 : Maputo (1B,1L,1D)

We will leave the wildlife of Kruger behind us, and enter into Mozambique, a colorful, vibrant, fascinating country. The journey takes us first to the capital of Mozambique, Maputo.

July 5 to July 6: Inhambane (2B,2L,2D)

Next we travel further north along the palm-fringed coast to Inhambane – a small town with a colorful market and friendly atmosphere. We stay in dorms at the idyllic Bamboozi Lodge for a couple of nights and enjoy relaxing on the beach, or walking along the peninsular where there are more opportunities for getting in the water, whale watching or quad biking.

July 7 to July 9: Vilanculos (3B,3L,3D)

For the next two days we will be based in Vilanculos in order to enjoy a Dhow safari to the islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago – classed as a World Heritage Site for its outstanding natural beauty. The town of Vilanculos is well worth exploring and a great way opportunity to meet the locals.

July 10 to July 12: Lake Chicamba and Gweru (3B,3L,3D)

Leaving the beautiful coastline behind us, we camp on the shores of picturesque Lake Chicamba before crossing into Zimbabwe. We then travel on to Antelope Park, home to a lion breeding program. Here you will have the opportunity to walk with lions, ride elephants and get much closer to nature.

July 13 to July 14: Bulawayo (2B,2L,2D)

From Antelope Park we will travel to Bulawayo, the second city of Zimbabwe and join a full day tour to Matopos National Park, home to a large population of white rhino and the site of Cecil Rhodes grave. On this safari we will travel by open top jeeps.

July 15 to July 16: Victoria Falls (2B,2L)

Today is spent travelling from the Zimbabwe Midlands to Victoria Falls where we will be based for two nights.

July 17 : Chobe National Park (B,L,D)

Departing the falls we go into Botswana and visit the Chobe National Park on the Chobe River. Here we do an afternoon boat cruise on the river. This cruise is very good for seeing all the aquatic animals that are not normally seen during a game drive. Before we head to Maun, the base for our trip into the Okavango Delta, we will hop on an early morning open vehicle game drive.

July 18 to July 20: Maun And The Okavango Delta (3B,3L,3D)

The Okavango Delta is the world's largest inland delta. We will go bush camping for 3 days and 2 nights in the Delta. You will go on safari by foot and dug out canoe.

July 21 to July 23: Gweta / Palapye / Johannesburg (3B,3L,2D)

Departing Maun we head south towards South Africa via Gweta and Palapye. We drive on the edge of the Kalahari before crossing over to South Africa. We then continue onto Johannesburg where we will spend our final night at the hotel.

July 24 : Depart for the airport (B)

Depart Johannesburg at any time.

Detailed Itinerary

July 1 : Arrive in Johannesburg

Arrive in Johannesburg at any time.

Johannesburg, the economic heart of South Africa and the largest city. Our starting point hotel is located outside of the city of Johannesburg near the airport, but take some time on an excursion to Soweto or to the famous Apartheid Museum.

George Harrison discovered gold near present-day Johannesburg in March 1886 on the Witwatersrand. Surveyors were instructed by the government to lay this farm out as a future town. They completed their work on 03 Dec 1886. The name Johannesburg was written for the first time on their plans of streets and stands.

Only five days after the completion of the survey the first 986 stands were auctioned, and the first building to be erected was a corrugated iron hut. Within 12 months, Johannesburg was the second largest town in Transvaal, and by the middle 1890s there were 20 separate mining companies working from headquarters in Johannesburg.

The Transvaal government granted Johannesburg municipal status in 1897. Later, the city became almost deserted with the advent of the Anglo-Boer war on 11 Oct 1899, as trainloads of refugees fled. Johannesburg was placed under martial law, to protect the existing claims. After the war, the labour shortage led to a proposed suggestion to import Chinese labour. The first load of 1055 Chinese labourers arrived in 1904. By 1905 they numbered 46,895. In December of 1905 the British liberal party ( who just won the national elections) suspended the Chinese recruitment. Between 1903 and 1997, 55,877 miners had been killed in mine accidents. In the same period 47,229 tons of gold had been produced.

Johannesburg officially became a city in 1928, and by 1960 it had more than 1 million inhabitants. Today, Johannesburg is fondly known as eGoli, or place of gold.

July 2 : Johannesburg to Greater Kruger Area (B,L,D)

Today there is an early departure from Johannesburg at 7 am. We will overnight just outside the Manyeleti Game Reserve. Your guide will teach how to set up and take down your tents as well as how to use the cooking equipment.

Sharing an open border with the famous Kruger National Park, the Manyeleti Game Reserve is a great location to search for some fantastic wildlife, such as elephant, lion, antelope, and buffalo, in addition to incredible bird life. Hop on an optional night game drive in an open safari vehicle tonight. Enjoy your sundowner drink around the campfire, sleep tight and listen to the haunting sounds of the African night.

The name Manyeleti, means 'Place of the Stars' in the local Shangaan language and guests have the opportunity to view the magnificent Southern Constellation. Manyeleti is situated away from the mainstream tourist areas and guests can experience the tranquility of the African Bush in absolute seclusion.

Approximate Distance: 450 km
Estimated Travel Time: 7 hours

July 3 : Kruger National Park (1B,1L,1D)

The following morning we enter the world-renowned Kruger National Park, home to a staggering amount of wildlife and birds. On this Safari you will observe animals from the comfort of our overland truck. Keep your eyes peeled for lions, zebras, giraffes, hippos, elephants and many other animals. We camp for the night within the park (a fenced in area) and there is an option of a night safari. Kruger is one of the few places in Africa where it is possible to observe nocturnal wildlife and this makes a unique experience. (Keep in mind sometimes you don't see any animals at night, so the night safari is only recommended for the most enthusiastic safari-ers. Bundle up, it's very cold on night safari's).Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld (low-lying bush land), this national park of nearly 2 million hectares. Kruger National Park is unrivalled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies. Notably as well is its mixed biological, historical and archaeological significance.

The Kruger National Park is truly the flagship of the South African National Parks, and it is home to a huge array of plants and animals. With over 145 species of mammals, it is possible to see all the classical African big game, including elephant, black and white rhino, hippopotamus, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, warthog and many antelope species. Large carnivores include lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and spotted hyena. There are also many smaller mammals of equally enticing species.

Some of the bird life here cannot be found elsewhere is South Africa, as 507 species reside in the park. Hornbills, Starlings, Vultures, Rollers, Bee-eaters and Shrikes typify the ubiquitous avi-fauna, and birders can look forward to pursuing the big 6 (Saddle-billed Stork, Kori Bustard, Martial Eagle, Lappet-faced Vulture, Pel’s Fishing Owl and Ground Hornbill). Eagles are common: Bateleur, Martial, Black-breasted Snake, Brown Snake, African Hawk, African Fish and Tawny are all regularly seen, and in summer: Wahlberg’s, Steppe, Lesser Spotted. The Park’s numerous water points make for excellent birding, while the rest camps and picnic sites are exceptionally rewarding for birders.

We will overnight just outside the Gate of the Kruger National Park.

Approximate Distance: 100 km
Estimated Travel Time: the whole day as we will drive through Kruger National Park to do game driving.

July 4 : Maputo (1B,1L,1D)

We will leave the wildlife of Kruger behind us, and enter into Mozambique, a colorful, vibrant, fascinating country. The journey takes us first to the capital of Mozambique, Maputo. Several rivers meet the sea at this wonderful locale, and two islands, Inhaca and Portuguese, lie just off the coast. Notice the definite Latin flare to the city of approximately two million people, as Maputo openly embraces it’s Latin heritage. There is a unique style and feel to this city with its popular seafront, colonial architecture, and colorful jacaranda trees. We will only overnight in Maputo and continue to Inhambane the next morning.

Approximate Distance: 300 km
Estimated Travel Time: 6 hours

July 5 to July 6: Inhambane (2B,2L,2D)

Next we travel further north along the palm-fringed coast to Inhambane – a small town with a colorful market and friendly atmosphere. We stay in comfortable dorms at the idyllic Bamboozi Lodge for a couple of nights and enjoy relaxing on the beach, or walking along the peninsular where there are more opportunities for snorkeling (Not recommended by previous travelers, go in Vilanculos instead), scuba diving, whale watching or quad biking.

Inhambane is a photographers paradise; it has a unique charm that can only originate from a rusty old town with dilapidated buildings and derelict maintenance. It is worth exploring the fascinating mix of African, old-world Portuguese and Muslim cultures.

Approximate Distance: 590 km
Estimated Travel Time: 9 hours

July 7 to July 9: Vilanculos (3B,3L,3D)

For the next two days we will be based in Vilanculos in order to enjoy a Dhow safari to the islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago – classed as a World Heritage Site for its outstanding natural beauty. The town of Vilanculos is well worth exploring and a great way opportunity to meet the locals.

Vilanculos, in the subtropical province of Inhambane, Mozambique. Vilanculos lies 720kms north of Maputo and 500kms south of Beira. The town, with friendly people and a lively atmosphere, offers the perfect base from which to explore the picturesque Bazaruto Archipelago and the Bazaruto National Park.

The marine reserve includes five islands – Santa Carolina (also known as Paradise Island), Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque and Bangue. The Archipelago offers some of the world's best snorkeling, diving and big game fishing. The islands are pristine in their natural beauty and diverse ecologies. The coral reefs are profuse with a diversity of tropical fish and turtles, and are amongst the most pristine in the Western Indian Ocean. Dolphins are seen year round and whales are seasonal visitors to the Archepelago. The park is also home to the last viable population of dugong on the east African coast. There is an abundance of bird species, including the crab plover and olive bee-eater that tunnels its nest into the sand dunes. Large flocks of migrant waders visit the fertile mud flats from September to April, and the nomadic Greater Flamingo arrive around mid-October.

Approximate Distance: 340 km
Estimated Travel Time: 6 hours

July 10 to July 12: Lake Chicamba and Gweru (3B,3L,3D)

Leaving the beautiful coastline behind us, we camp on the shores of picturesque Lake Chicamba. Here we stay on the grounds of Casa Msika Lodge with great views of the Chicamba Dam. We then cross the border into Zimbabwe and travel on to Antelope Park, home to a lion breeding program. Here you will have the opportunity to walk with lions, ride and swim with elephants (optional) and get much closer to nature.
Situated 8 kilometers from Gweru in the Zimbabwe Midlands, Antelope Park is the ideal stopover for anyone looking for a truly unique experience.

Home to the African Lion Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) and the world’s first Lion Rehabilitation & Release into the Wild Program, your stay at Antelope Park will not only leave you with memories that will last a lifetime, but also with the knowledge that you have personally helped contribute to the survival of the African Lion. A walk with lion will last around one and half hours and the cubs accompanying you on this incredible journey range in age from 6 to 18 months. You might even be lucky enough to witness them practicing their stalking skills on some of the abundant wildlife species found in the Park!

Or climb on board nature’s four-wheel drive and let Amai, Tombi, Jecha or Chibi take your African adventure to majestic new heights! Experience the thrill of a lifetime as you ride one of their African elephants.

Day 10:
Approximate Distance: 580 km
Estimated Travel Time: 9 hours

Day 11:
Approximate Distance: 480 km
Estimated Travel Time: 7 hours

July 13 to July 14: Bulawayo (2B,2L,2D)

From Antelope Park we will travel to Bulawayo, the second city of Zimbabwe and join a full day tour to Matopos National Park, home to a large population of white rhino and the site of Cecil Rhodes grave. On this safari we will travel by open top jeeps.

We stay at the Big Cave campsite, which is located 3 km from the Matopos National Park boundary in the Big Cave private wilderness area and is located 46 km from Bulawayo. Big Cave campsite has wonderful views down the valley into the National Park. The next day we will explore Motopo National Park by foot and by open safari vehicles.

The Matobo wilderness area is a specially protected area for both white and black rhino. Matopo Hills has the last significant population of rhino in Zimbabwe, and the best way to view and photograph these rare creatures is on foot, with a professional guide. We will view not only rhino, but also leopard, and a selection of plains game. We will enjoy a once in a lifetime opportunity to creep up on these wonderful animals on foot once the correct area has been located by the professional guide.

The Matopo area contains some of the most majestic granite scenery in the world, and has great cultural and religious significance. The beauty of the Matopos is that it offers a wide variety of activities to the visitor. The Matopos Hills comprise an extraordinary collection of huge bare granite hills with gravity-defying boulders scattered all over the countryside to create a quite unique and rather mysterious landscape. The most spectacular areas are within the Matopos National Park. The local Matabele people call it Malindidzimu (the place of ancestor spirits). The national park is famous for its outstanding views, San (bushman) painted caves, wildlife (especially the Black Eagle) and as the chosen burial place of Cecil Rhodes who named his favorite spot.

Matopo Hills gained its World Heritage Status principally on the rich cultural diversity of this area. The Matopo Hills boasts one of the highest concentrations of rock art anywhere in the world. This ancient khoisan art can be viewed in the both the National Park and even within the immediate vicinity of Big Cave Camp. These famous rock art galleries can be visited on foot or by 4x4.

Approximate Distance: 220 km
Estimated Travel Time: 3.5 hours

July 15 to July 16: Victoria Falls (2B,2L)

Today is spent travelling from the Zimbabwe Midlands to Victoria Falls where we will be based for two nights. Victoria Falls can be explored in many different ways. Most participants like to view the falls from the walking path on the Zimbabwe side. To get an additional view, some participants will cross the border by foot into Zambia and view the falls from that side as well. Another option is taking a helicopter high over the falls or even bungi jumping off a bridge adjacent to the falls.

David Livingstone was born on March 19, 1813 in the village of Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, Scotland. He first studied Greek, medicine, and theology at the University of Glasgow and while working in London, joined the London Missionary Society became a minister. He originally planned to gain access to China through his medical knowledge. The Opium Wars, which were raging at this stage with no signs of peace on the horizon, forced Livingstone to consider other options. From 1840 he worked in Bechuanaland (present-day Botswana), and in the period 1852–56, he explored the African interior, and was the first European to see the Mosi-oa-Tunya waterfall, which he renamed Victoria Falls after his monarch, Queen Victoria.

The Victoria Falls waterfalls occur in a country that is perfectly flat. From its source on the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Zambezi River meanders for 1300 km across the wooded plateau of Zambia, eroding for itself a shallow valley on its mild descent to the site of the falls. The river eventually found a weak spot on the lower lip of the surface over which it passed, and forced a passage which was steadily deepened into an exit gorge. During the last half million years the river has scoured out eight of these cracks across its bed. The Victoria falls occur where the river is 1688m wide, presents the spectacle of an average maximum of 550 million liters of water a minute tumbling over the lip of the trench in five main falls, the Devil’s Cataract, Main falls, Horseshoe Falls, Rainbow falls and the Eastern Cataract. The highest of these is Rainbow falls, on an average 108 m high. A peak flood sees 750 million liters of water in one minute hurtling over the falls.

The name Zambezi comes from the Tonka tribe, also meaning Great River, but the Sotho-speaking Kololo people of the upper reaches of the river gave it the well-known name of Mosi o a Thunya (smoke that rises). The Lozi people call it by the same name but translated it into smoke that sounds. The Ndebele call it aManza Thunqayo (the water that rises like smoke). The Namibian people call it Chinotimba (a noise-making place like the distant sound of digging).

Approximate Distance: 590 km
Estimated Travel Time: 9 hours

July 17 : Chobe National Park (B,L,D)

Departing the falls we go into Botswana and visit the Chobe National Park on the Chobe River.

The best way to appreciate one of Botswana's national parks and its thousands of resident elephants, crocodiles, and hippos, is on an included sunset boat cruise on the Chobe River. This cruise is very good for seeing all the aquatic animals that are not normally seen during a game drive. From Chobe we head to Maun, the base for our trip into the Okavango Delta.

Kasane is situated on the banks of the Chobe River, near its mouth. This is where the Chobe and Zambezi rivers meet, creating a border area of four countries – Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Chobe National Park is Botswana’s first national park, and is situated along the Chobe River. It has one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa and one of the world's last remaining sizeable wilderness areas. By size, this is the third largest park (11,000 sq km) of the country, though it is definitely the most diverse and spectacular.

The park is probably best known for its spectacular elephant population: with over 120,000 it has the highest elephant concentration of Africa. Moreover, most of them are probably part of the largest continuous surviving elephant population on Earth. The elephant population seems to have solidly built up since 1990, from the few initial thousands. By chance, they have not been affected by the massive illicit exploitation of the 1970's and 1980's. Elephants living here are Kalahari elephants, the largest in size of all known elephant species. Yet they are characterized by rather brittle ivory and short tusks. Damage caused by the high numbers of elephants is rife in some areas. In fact, concentration is so high throughout Chobe that culls have been considered, but are too controversial and have thus far been rejected. During the dry season, these elephants sojourn in Chobe River and the Linyanti River areas. During the rain season, they make a 200 km migration to the south-east region of the park. Their distribution zone however outreaches the park and spreads to north-western Zimbabwe.

Approximate Distance: 110 km
Estimated Travel Time: 2-3 hours (border crossing)

July 18 to July 20: Maun And The Okavango Delta (3B,3L,3D)

The town of Maun is the gateway to the Delta and is also Botswana’s third largest city. While in Maun we have the option to take flights in light aircraft over the Delta. These are optional and can be organised by your tour leader.

The Okavango Delta is formed by the Okavango River, which flows into the desert and disappears as it fans out to form the Delta. We go into the Okavango Delta for 3 days (2 nights). We camp in the bush at designated free camps as a lodge or hotel is not the best way to see this region. There are bush walks and trips in Mokoros where it is possible to see some wildlife. We take all our own equipment and food and bring it all back out (including the rubbish) of the area. The method of transport is by 4 wheel drive vehicle, motorboat and Makoro (dug out canoe in Setswana). The Makoros are traditionally made of wood but as they come to the end of their useful life fiberglass canoes are now replacing them. These are not quite as authentic but the old canoes take a whole tree to build them and the environment is beginning to suffer.

The delta region is home to a vast amount of animals and it is possible to take some walks to view the flora and fauna. This region has a lot of environmental problems. This is due to the fact that the water level is dropping due to the over use of water from the river before it dissipates into the delta. There are now restrictions on the amount of hotels and tourists allowed into the region in an attempt to reduce the environmental hazards that it faces.

Don't forget to bring a book with you as there is plenty of time in between the early morning and afternoon game drive where you relax at your camp, read a book or have a nap. In the evenings count the shooting stars, sing with the locals or just unwind and enjoy your sundowner and sit around the campfire. Please note, it can be cold at night in the Delta so please pack warm clothing.

"Where all this water goes is a mystery", Aurel Schultz, 1897

The area of the delta was once part of Lake Makgadikgadi, an ancient lake that dried up some 10,000 years ago. Today, the Okavango River has no outlet to the sea. Instead, it empties onto the sands of the Kalahari Desert, irrigating 15,000 km_ of the desert. Each year some 11 cubic kilometers of water reach the delta. Some of this water reaches further south to create Lake Ngami. The water entering the delta is unusually pure, due to the lack of agriculture and industry along the Okavango River. It passes through the sand aquifers of the numerous delta islands and evaporates/transpirates by leaving enormous quantities of salt behind. This precipitation processes are so strong that the vegetation disappears in the center of the islands and thick salt crusts are formed. The waters of the Okavango Delta are subject to seasonal flooding, which begins about mid-summer in the north and six months later in the south (May/June). The water from the delta is evaporated relatively rapidly by the high temperatures, resulting in a cycle of cresting and dropping water in the south. Islands can disappear completely during the peak flood, then reappear at the end of the season.

Approximate Distance: 650 km
Estimated Travel Time: 10 hours

July 21 to July 23: Gweta / Palapye / Johannesburg (3B,3L,2D)

Departing Maun we head south towards South Africa via Francistown. In Gweta we will stay at a beautiful campground, surrounded by Baobab trees.

We continue to Palapye, a growing town on the Gaborone-Francistown road. Palapye was originally called Phalatswe (meaning 'Many Impalas' in Sekgalagadi). Tonight is just a stop over to break the long travel time between Gweta and Johannesburg, but a good opportunity to unwind at the camp’s pool and to enjoy their beautiful bar area and campground. Read a book, relax or use their internet facilities.

We drive on the edge of the Kalahari before crossing over to South Africa. We then continue onto Johannesburg where we still stay at the hotel.

Day 21:
Approximate Distance: 260 km
Estimated Travel Time: 4 hours

Day 22:
Approximate Distance: 540 km
Estimated Travel Time: 8 hours

Day 23:
Approximate Distance: 530 km
Estimated Travel Time: 8 hours

July 24 : Depart for the airport (B)

Depart Johannesburg at any time.

Stuff You Need to Know

Terms and Conditions

It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.

Trip Notes

VERY IMPORTANT: This is a camping trip!

Service Level

Basic:

Our Basic service level is for trips that are slightly more rustic than the normal service level. Our basic, accommodation is clean and well kept. For some of our our basic trips camping is involved. Others might have have the occasional multi-share accommodation. When it comes to getting around, public transport is often the best and most colourful way to go. Alternatively, travel is by private van or coach. Ideal for travellers looking to combine the convenience of small group travel at a competitive price.

Physical Grading

2:

2: Light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels.

Minimum/Maximum Group Size

This program is guaranteed to run and will have a maximum of 20 participants.

Group Leader Description

This trip is accompanied by one of G Adventure's group tour leaders and a driver. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through and offer suggestions for things to do and see. All of our overland truck drivers are experienced in the routes travelled, and highly skilled in dealing with different terrains. Our tour leader will organize and lead the meal preparation, and they have experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.

While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.

Your tour leader aims to provide you with the best service possible during your tour. They will be joining you in the back of the truck for a maximum of approximately 50% during driving, to answer questions and provide more information about the areas that you visit. They will spend the remainder of the driving time in front with the driver to enable them to make bookings, do planning and to fulfill other organizational requirements of the tour.

During game drives, your tour leader will ensure to accompany you in the passenger area of the truck. This is of course because they have a lot of knowledge to share with you during these exciting game drives. Please do not hesitate to ask your tour leader any questions.

Packing List

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We highly recommend using a large multi-day backpack, plus a small daypack. There are lots of different backpacks out there, but in general you want a bag that has a capacity of around 50 to 80 cubic liters. For an example click here. (Please email jesse@geeo.org if that link does not work)

It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cold evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning game drives. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable. We can't stress this enough, this trip take place during winter in Africa! Bring layers so that you can adjust to various temperatures.

Also, bring jackets, coats, fleeces that are neutral in color like beiges, greens, browns for the game drives and game walks. Bright colors will scare off the wildlife.

We have linked some of the suggested items for your convenience.

Suggested Checklist

Neutral colored Fleece top or pack-able winter jacket (
• Winter hat and gloves
Long john top and bottom
• Windproof/waterproof jacket
Camping Towel
• Sleeping bag (3 season bag is best, 10 degree-30 degree rating. Click here for more info on rating)
• Ground Pad
• Travel pillow (This one is great)
• Swimwear
• 8 shirts/t-shirts
• Underwear/socks
• Sun hat
• 2 pairs of shorts
• 2 pairs of long trousers or jeans (Remember it is cold at night!)
• 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes or running shoes
• Headlamp (Very, very important. I'd bring 2 just in case you lose 1)
• Sport sandals or flip flops
• Sunblock
• Sunglasses
• Toiletries (biodegradable)
• Watch or alarm clock
• Water bottle
Headlamp
• First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Dramamine

Optional Checklist

• Money belt
• Water bottle
• Phone/Tablet
• Chargers for electronics as well converters/adaptors if needed (See FAQ)
• Packing cubes (These are awesome)
• Ear Plugs (These are a life-saver if you have a snoring roommate)
• Snacks (Packing a few granola bars is a good idea. You can buy snacks when you get there too, so don't go crazy here.)
• Ziplock bags for wet clothing
• Reading/writing material
• Binoculars
• Hand Sanitizer/Baby wipes
• Phrase books (Portuguese)
• Electric lantern for tent

Document Checklist

•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Credit and/or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas, additional passport photos or vaccination certificates required (Check our FAQ to see if you need them)
•GEEO Classroom action plans for your group (This is sent 10-30 days before departure)

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Single Travellers

We believe single travelers should not have to pay more to travel so our trips are designed for shared accommodation. Single travelers joining group trips are paired in a tent with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip.

Money

Spending Money

Every traveler is different and therefore spending requirements will vary. Some travelers may drink more than others while other travelers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

The currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR).
Mozambique’s local currency is the Metical, though the US$ and Rand as these are widely accepted.
In Botswana, you pay with Pula (BWP) and the official currency of Zimbabwe is is the US$.

The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally for any of the local currencies is the $; however the British Pound and Euro may also be exchanged as well. $US notes that are older than year 2009 are not accepted everywhere and can be difficult to change. In addition, $US notes prior to 2000 are worthless in some areas of Africa, as they are rarely accepted and impossible to exchange. We recommend US $20 notes, as larger currency can be difficult to change in some places. We also recommend bringing a lot of US $1 and $5 notes.

Please note that South African Rand is widely accepted throughout Southern Africa, and you may use this as you “foreign currency” while travelling in other countries in the region.

Travellers’ cheques are not recommended in Africa. They are difficult if not impossible to exchange in many places. Where they are accepted, you often need the receipt of the purchase of the cheques, and the process of changes cheques where possible is extremely time consuming. Please no not expect to rely on traveller’s cheques for access to cash in Africa.

Debit cards are very useful for cash advances, but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept a 4-digit PIN). The Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted and reliable debit cards; it is harder to find machines Master Card/Cirrus cards and therefore we do not recommend using a Master Card especially in Mozambique and Swaziland. You will only able to use your Master Card/Cirrus in South Africa. While there are many ATMs in the major centers, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank.

Credit cards can be used for purchases in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Credit cards, especially Visa cards, ARE INDEED USEFUL, HOWEVER, for taking cash advances in ATMs and for paying optional activities in South Africa (e.g. helicopter flight/hot-air balloon). Receiving ATM cash advances from cards other than Visa is extremely difficult, if not impossible in Mozambique. Please do not rely on any non-Visa credit cards for accessing cash.

Please note that in many areas there may be occasional power-outages, where there will be no electricity for hours at a time. In addition, ATMs outside of larger centers often run out of cash or can be out of order unexpectedly. These factors could affect your ability to access money from ATMs. As such, please do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money.

A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds. Experience has shown that it is better upon arrival at the airport/starting city, to draw a large amount of money from the ATM’s in the local currency. Your Tour Leader can advise you on the approximate amounts of money you will need for each country of your tour.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.

Medical Forms

GEEO travel programs bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, at minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travelers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage. Travelers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travelers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our tour leaders work hard to ensure that all our travelers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings above for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at: www.gadventures.com/medical-form.

Optional Activities

Please note: All optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance which activities you would like to sign up for. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please feel free to use them as a guide for budgeting your trip.

Johannesburg

All prices in US Dollars
Soweto Township tour $58

Mozambique

Scuba Diving Single Dive $120
Quad Biking $50
Deep Sea Fishing $150
Horse Riding $40

Antelope Park

Walk With Lions $75
Lion Breeding $20
Lion Feeding $25
Cub Viewing $25
Cub Feeding $15
Night Encounter (when available) - minimum 6 people $95
Elephant Ride (30 minutes) $35
Elephant Ride (60 minutes) $45
Lunar Elephant Ride (approx. 1 hour) – only at full moon $50
Elephant Training $15
Horse Ride $30
Horse Lessons $20
Carriage Ride – includes soft drinks and snacks $25
Bush Walk $15
Sunset Cruise $25

Victoria Falls

Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls park admission $30
Zambian side of Victoria Falls park admission $20
Zambian entry visa cost $50
Rafting Full Day $140
River Boarding Half Day $125
Flight of Angels Helicopter Ride 30 mins $220
Flight of Angels Fixed Wing $80
Bungy Jumping $130
Jet boating from $100
Gorge Swing / Abseil $115
Sky Dive (Tandem) $305
Canoe Safaris from $85-110
Kayaking $165
Interactive Drumming $30

Okavango Delta

Okavango Flight (min 5) $70pp

Costs

Please keep in mind this trip is designed to give you the freedom to do whatever interests you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and keep in mind these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. The prices below are in US dollars and are rough estimates so you can budget your trip.

Tour Company Fee

$2799 USD

Non-Educator Fee

$100 USD (Educators do not have to pay this fee)

Optional Activities

$500-$1000 USD. The detailed itinerary lists optional activities and their costs. We recommend giving yourself a healthy budget for these as some of them can’t be missed!

International Airfare from USA

Roughly $1200-2000 USD
If you require assistance in booking your international airfare we would be happy to assist you. Just email air@gadventures.com for more information. Also see our FAQ for flight advice.

Insurance

$35- $200 USD
Please note it is mandatory for all of our travellers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers for both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing an all inclusive plan that covers cancellation/interruption insurance as well.
See our FAQ for advice on Travel Insurance.

Tipping

$160-$200 USD total. $60-$80 USD for the G Adventures tour leader, $60-$80 USD for the driver. The rest go to local guides on activities throughout the trip.

Meals Not Listed in the Itinerary

$100 USD
Pretty much all meals are included while on tour, but people go out to a few meals by choice. You will want to buy snacks along the way for in between meals.

Laundry, Drinks, Phone Calls, etc.

You should budget for these types of expenses.

Airport and Departure Taxes

allow $20-30 USD from Johannesburg, this is subject to change

Vaccines

It all depends on what you don’t have already/what your insurance covers.

Visa

Zimbabwe and Mozambique require visas for US passport holders. Currently $40 USD for Zimbabwe and $85 USD for Mozambique, but this could change. If you are not a US passport holder, please check your local embassies for current prices.

Souvenirs

$0-???? (This is up to you)

FAQ

What should be my expectations for this GEEO program?

Before you decide on travelling with GEEO it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. To summarize, our programs are quite adventurous.

• You will be camping throughout this trip with the occasional opportunity to upgrade your accommodation to a lodge or basic hotel. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised with the facilities of the campsites, but we ask you to keep your expectations low.

• We use a specially equipped overland truck for this trip. Sometimes you will have full days of transportation as our trips tend to cover a lot of ground. The roads will often be an adventure in itself.

• You must be able to easily carry or roll your luggage, so do not over-pack. We recommend using a large backpack along with a smaller daypack, which is typically the most comfortable way to carry your possessions.

• Please make sure you have thoroughly read the itinerary and can handle the group activities, which sometime include day hikes with your daypacks.

• We recommend always carrying snacks with you because sometimes meals can be far apart.

• Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.

• We try to set up anywhere from 1-3 school visits per program, but these sometimes fall through due to complications. Please understand they are not a guaranteed part of the program.

Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!

Do I need a Passport? Do I need a visa?

All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport that will not expire within 6 months of trip departure. If you have a U.S. passport, but it has expired, or will expire within 6 months of trip departure, click here for information on how to get it renewed. If you have never been issued a passport or have lost your passport, please click here. Processing time for US Passports is 4-6 weeks so please start this process immediately.

US passport holders do not need a Visa to visit South Africa and Botswana but will need a visa for Zimbabwe and Mozambique, which can be obtained on arrival at the borders. (always subject to change)

Non-American participants should check with their government to find out if they need a visa.

Where do I meet the group? What happens when I arrive at the airport?

Our groups meet at the hotel we use for the first night of the trip. Your tour leader will leave a note for you at the hotel's front desk with the introductory meeting time and location.

When you arrive at the airport you can either take a taxi to the first hotel or have the hotel pick you up for free.

The transfer from our hotel will likely be a shared transfer and you may have to wait between 20 minutes and 1.5 hours to be picked up. They also give you a free coffee at the airport coffee shop they use as the meeting point. In order to get this transfer please email your flight information and a request for an airport transfer to:

booking@airport-game-lodge.co.za

See the below website for more info:
http://www.airport-game-lodge.co.za/mapsdirections/mapsdirections.htm

Here is the hotel information:

Airport Game Lodge
21 Fourth Road
Bredell, Kempton Park
Johannesburg, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)11 396 2969

If all goes wrong, you can just take a taxi to the hotel address above.

Please note, G Adventures offers an airport transfer service through a local transfer company. GEEO has found that the company that provides the transfers is unreliable and overpriced so we do not recommend booking this service.

Is it OK if I am traveling alone? Do I have to have a roommate?

Half of the people that travel with us are traveling by themselves so please don’t worry if you have no one who wants to join you on our trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy, in other words, two people to a tent. If you do not have someone that you are traveling with that you would like to room with GEEO will find you a tent-mate of the same gender.

What is group travel like?

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all across the US and beyond and are likely to be of a variety of ages too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travelers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.

Who travels with GEEO?

GEEO participants are mostly made up of American K-12 teachers. Each group tends to have a good mix of educators in their 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's. About half of our participants are coming alone and do not know anyone in the group prior to the trip. We group single travelers of the same gender together as tent-mates. If we have an odd amount of one gender we will rotate the single tent for free among the participants.

GEEO trips are open to all Kindergarten to University teachers, school staff, school administrators, and soon-to-be teachers pursuing their teaching certificate. Our programs are also open to retired educators. Non-American educators are welcome on our trips.

Participants in our programs are permitted to bring friends or family members on their trip. You must be at least 18 years old to participate and of adequate fitness level for your chosen trip.

How long have we been running this program?

GEEO was founded in 2007 and our inaugural trips were run to Peru and India in the summer of 2008. We ran this Southern Africa program for the first time in 2010. G Adventures, who actually handle the logistics of the trip have been running trips to Southern Africa for many years so you can have faith that your trip will be safe and well run.

Is it possible to get references for GEEO?

Over 800 educators have traveled with GEEO since we ran our first programs in 2008. We have had an overwhelmingly positive response to the quality and value of the life changing experiences that we provide.

To read comments from past travelers, please feel free to visit a website that reviews non-profit organizations called Great Non-profits. Please click here for those reviews.

Please contact us if you would like to communicate with some of our former participants for a reference.

What cities/airports should I book my flight in and out of?

Your trip begins and ends in Johannesburg. Please double check our itinerary for the date on which you must arrive in Johannesburg by. You can arrive at anytime of the day you choose. You can depart anytime on the final day of the trip.

Where can I purchase flights?

We recommend using www.kayak.com to see what is out there in terms of flights. G Adventures also has a wonderful air department, which can be reached at 1-800-708-7761.

You may also want to take a look at the prices at www.flyforgood.com or call 1-877-359-4466 to speak to a person. They get humanitarian rates from airlines and GEEO is registered with Fly for Good as a non-profit. If you purchase a humanitarian rate flight, you will need a supporting document from GEEO. Please request this from us after you purchase the tickets. Note that humanitarian rates are not available for all flights to GEEO destinations, and are sometimes higher than tickets found on on kayak, travelocity, orbitz, etc. Often the layovers are long and sometimes impossible to navigate. Look very carefully at the offer before purchasing your ticket.

When should I purchase my flights?

This program is now confirmed to run. Feel free to purchase your flights whenever you like. GEEO usually suggests purchasing flights 60 days before departure as the prices of flights are just as likely to go down as up at anytime of the year. 60 days before gives you the most flexibility while at the same time studies have shown prices on average are lowest at that point.

Where can I purchase travel insurance?

One of the least expensive options is the "International Volunteer Card." They have a $35 card (The individual plus option) that includes the amount of travel medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance you need for our trip, plus other trip insurance benefits.

To sign up for the card you can follow this link:

http://www.volunteercard.com/geeo.html.

We recommend purchasing cancellation insurance too, which the IVC offers as an additional option.

Another option is www.insuremytrip.com. They offer different options from many different companies. You can also get your insurance directly through G Adventures if you wish.

Please note it is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000USD.


Can GEEO book extra hotel nights for me?

You may want to stay longer in Johannesburg so feel free to arrive a few days early or depart a few days later. We can book your extra hotel nights for you if you wish. Just send us a request by email with dates you would like at least 30 days before departure.

We do not recommend using G Adventures airport transfer service as it is much more expensive than a taxi and our hotels in Johannesburg usually provide a free airport pick-up service.

What are the emergency contact numbers for this trip?

Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local office in South Africa. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so that they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Operator (South Africa)
After Hours Emergency number:
From outside South Africa: +27 82 5757 434
From within South Africa: 082 5757 434

If you are unable for any reason to contact the local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with G Adventure's 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

Is there any safety advice we should know about?

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your tour leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your tour leader will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your tour leader will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is G Adventure's policy not to allow our tour leaders to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

PHOTOGRAPHY:
Please do not take photo’s of Police stations or at Cross borders, Airports, army barracks and personnel or any Government building. It is against the law and will result in the minimum of your film and camera being confiscated.

What vaccinations do I need for this trip?

We legally cannot give you any medical advice. It is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. GEEO recommends contacting Passport Health, (http://www.passporthealthusa.com/) who have travel clinics throughout the US. Please take this seriously!

Is there advice that past participants would like to pass onto you?

Quotes from past participants:

"It's cold weather for about half the trip. Make sure you pack a winter coat, hat and gloves."

"Compared to other overland trucks I saw, I'd say G Adventures had one of the best. People should know there are plenty of 8 - 12 hour road days on the trip and you should be prepared for constant bouncing to where reading, writing aren't possible. This isn't a complaint, just that it's a hard thing to visualize until you are there. While some of the travel days were tough, I wouldn't have missed the experiences that came along with it (markets, animals, towns, etc) for anything."

"At times the pace is exhausting - arrive and set up in the dark, get up and leave by sunrise. Part of me understands the need for this, and part of me says it was too much. I don't want to overstate this, though, because this was the trip of a lifetime and I treasure the memories and the friendships with other participants."

"Some meals are not covered, eg- Victoria falls 2 days, and 3 meals at the conclusion of the program. Regular padlocks wont work on the lockers in the truck, you must use a very skinny pad lock or luggage locks."

"A few thoughts. Bring long underwear. Upgrades to lodges are not always possible, and the price range varies greatly (sometimes it was upwards on $60 or more). There's a safe for your passport and valuables. You'll have plenty of access to grocery stores for snacks, toiletries, etc. Wifi is difficult to come by, but sim cards are not... You can buy "air time" all over. I brought a netbook but it wasn't really much use. I mostly just used it to upload photos."

"Not every one seemed to have read about the climate conditions to expect. I'm glad I'd inquired about sleeping bag, etc. Mine was rated to 20 degrees, and several times I was very glad! I also put an air mattress on top of the provided foam one. This provided better temperature insulation and comfort and I was glad for it. Also, my long underwear was used often for night and once or twice for the first few hours of a game drive - a good recommendation for next year's participants. De-emphasize the need for warm weather gear. Warm temps were only present a couple of places and a couple of hours in a day."

"It's funny. GEEO said it was going to be cold, but when I got on the plane in Houston to go to South Africa it was 95 degrees. It was so hard to imagine that it was going to be in the 30's! That information was well documented before we left, but I still didn't bring enough warm clothing. :-)"

Is there clothing that is considered inappropriate that I should not bring?

Southern Africa is a pretty relaxed place and you can pretty much wear anything you would like, if ever in doubt always best to err on the side of modesty

What should I expect in terms of school visits?

GEEO tries to include anywhere from 1 to 3 school visits per program; however these visits are never a guaranteed part of our programming. School visits can be very tricky.

• For four years running we have been able to visit a teaching school in Mozambique. We also have had one or two other schools visits on this trip.

• In many of the countries we visit, schools will be closed for vacation over the summer. In that case we try to arrange an informal meeting with local teachers or a visit to a summer school.

• Many times we spend hours setting up a visit only for the school to cancel on us at the last minute.

• Often arranging school visits is easier if done in person with short notice. Your tour leader will try to schedule ad hoc school visits for your group when possible.

• Each school visit is different. We aim for you to get a tour of the school, sit in on a class and have a Q and A session with some of the staff.

• If we do schedule a school visit it is important that the entire group attend. In the past we have offended schools that were expecting ten visiting educators and only three came.

• Over time we try to establish long term relationships with schools so we can have more predictable, immersive visits that are rewarding for both our guests and the schools themselves.

Should I bring school supplies with me to donate to a school?

You can if you wish. Please keep in mind it is important for you to pack light for your trip and school supplies can take up a lot of space. Sometimes school visits are at the end of the trip so you may be carrying the supplies for the entire trip. Sometimes we aren't able to arrange a school visit at all so you would then have to figure out a way to give them out yourself.

Our advice is to bring some school supplies with you and if you need more, purchase them locally. This will allow you to give an appropriate gift, save room in your pack and also help the local economy. We encourage you to establish relationships with the schools that we visit. In the past some of our participants have run fundraisers for needy schools and have mailed supplies to the schools.

Do I need plugs and current converters for my electronic devices?

There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your computer.

South Africa uses a type 230v M style plug.The adapter for this plug may be hard to find in US stores and can be purchased in J-burg. Mozambique uses a 230v type C euro plug. Zimbabwe and Botswana use 230v type G and type D plugs.

Most laptops, ipod chargers, phone changers will be usable both on 120V and 220V. A universal pin adaptor will be needed to plug in US based devices to the local outlets. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an "Input" line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, "Input: 100 - 240V" means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can't handle the different voltage, you'll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.

Is the water safe to drink?

Unless your tour leader tells you differently, only bottled water should be drunk, and this is readily available for purchase. Fruit and vegetables should be peeled, washed in boiled water and in the case of the latter, well cooked. Meat and fish should also be fresh, well-cooked and hot, to avoid possible infection.

Is there Internet access? Should I bring a computer? Mobile phone?

There are Internet cafes in most of the places we visit and many of the hotels also have computers that can be used. Expect to be able to check your email every two to three days. You can also bring along your mobile phone if you choose. Make sure you check with your phone company before you leave to find out the rates for calling back to the US and if they have any special international plans that are worth taking advantage of. International roaming rates can be extremely high, so you don’t want to be surprised. You can bring a laptop/netbook/tablet computer if you wish, but remember, GEEO and G Adventures are not responsible for the damage or theft of you valued items.

What is the weather like?

Southern Africa will be mild and dry at this time of year (July). The weather is generally dry, mild to warm during the days and coolish at night.

Is the itinerary exactly as described on this website?

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Why are some activities included in the price of the trip and others are not?

We have found paying locally for activities allows our participants to save money. Not every activity is appealing to everyone and we don't want you to pay for services you might not use. Perhaps you feel sick one day and would prefer to rest. This allows you to decide on the spot what you want to do each day with your free time and at the same time control your budget.

What shape do I need to be in for this trip?

This tour is a hands on participation tour where everyone is expected to takes turns pitching in around the campsite. It is not a physically demanding tour rather it is active.

Do you have advice on tipping?

Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory and optional (up to the discretion of the group/guest) - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. It is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, as an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. Giving a tip should be a seen as a formal 'thank you', and the action should in no way be awkward. The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group as a whole should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s). You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per client format: Restaurant/Café servers: 10% of cost of bill, especially when in a large group (no envelope required); Driver / Tour Leader US$2 each, per day worked, per traveller.

What is the camping like?

The hotel we use in Johannesburg is clean and comfortable. GEEO trips are designed to be affordable for any teacher, so please don’t come in expecting luxury. The rest of the tour we will be camping in good quality tents and designated campsites with shower and toilet facilities. You will often have the opportunity to upgrade to a simple lodge throughout the trip.

An essential part of your safari is participation - from putting up your tent (while camping) or packing away in the morning, to helping with meal preparation and cleaning up - it is all part of your adventure and when everyone puts in a little effort the trip will run smoothly. Your tour leaders will do all the meal preparation, but we do ask the clients to help with the washing up. Team spirit is part of the fun!

Even if you’ve never camped before, after a quick lesson you’ll be an expert in pitching your tent under the stars. Campsites can be surprisingly well equipped in some places, while “wild” or bush camping in the middle of Africa can be as rustic as it gets.

Durable Tents - We use canvas safari tents that are rugged and tough, built for demanding Africa.

Spacious 2-Person Tents - Tents have a base area of about 4 square meters, plenty of room for 2 people with gear. Large doors and windows provide air flow and keep you as comfortable and cool as possible.

Protection from the Elements - Our tents are waterproofed regularly and all have built-in insect netting on windows and doors. We also provide 4cm thick, warm and comfortable air mattresses to sleep on. Just bring your own sleeping bag and pillow!

Campsite Equipment - When camping, the Overland truck stores portable camp chairs for everyone. Most campsites have additional tables and seating areas. A full supply of kitchen equipment is also provided.

Campsite Amenities - Majority of campsites we use have a small snack bar or restaurant, flush toilets, simple showers and washing facilities. Hot water is a premium sometimes, so showers are often cool. Some showers may be in outdoor enclosures. A telephone is usually available at campsites as well.

Wild or Bush Camping - In the Okavango Delta and Serengeti (plus possible other spots), camping facilities are very basic. In the Okavango there are no facilities, so we bring our own water, dig our own toilets and use buckets in trees for showers. A truly wild experience! In the Serengeti there are basic toilets and washing facilities but no showers or hot water.

Campsite Safety - The campsites are frequented by many groups, so do not store valuable items in your tents. Nervy monkeys can also run away with your possessions. Certain campsites are enclosed for safety, but others are open to the wild animals of Africa and may have armed rangers patrolling at night. Use extra caution, and a torchlight, after dark. It is not unusual for Hippos and other animals to graze on the grass right outside your tent in the middle of the night. Your G Adventures tour leader will brief you on the specific safety precautions of each area you visit.

What are the campsites like?

Camping in Africa is truly an adventure. You will be able to get off the beaten track to get a first-hand experience of the beautiful wilderness and nature. While camping, we stay at designated campsites in national parks and outside towns. Campsite facilities in southern Africa are generally good, but can be basic in certain places. There are generally small restaurants and/or bars, washing facilities and occasionally telephones available.

The camps have flush toilets, and showers at some camps are outdoors, having simple reed enclosures for privacy. Additionally, warm water is available at most sites, but it is not guaranteed to always be warm when you take your shower; the warm water may be used up others who also use the camp. We usually set-up camp within close proximity to the toilet facilities, though occasionally to reach them you may to walk a short distance.

In camping within the national parks and conservation areas, some camp sites are enclosed for keeping the resident wildlife out. Other camps are open to the natural environment – care must be taken, especially at night, when a torch/flashlight is recommended when walking around the camp area.

Your camping experience in the Okavango Delta is fondly called “bush camping”. This will be the most basic two nights of our trip, as there is no running water, no showers, nor toilets facilities. You will be truly camping in the wild, away from civilization and its comforts, and completely surrounded by nature – an unbelievable experience some in fact feel is the highlight of the trip.

Despite the challenge that a few days “roughing it” may pose to some, the experience of being that close to nature, camping under the African stars, and seeing incredible wildlife at your tent door-step is not just gratifying but ultimately an experience of a lifetime.

What is the food like on this trip?

Most of the meals on this prorgam are included in the tour price. When a meal is not included, this is because there are often many options available - we would like to give you the opportunity to explore a bit and test the local cuisine yourself. In these cases, your tour leader will be able to suggest some good local restaurants or options for you to choose from.

All included meals will be prepared from fresh local produce. The majority of the shopping for foodstuffs will be done before the trip departs, and fresh goods, such as meats, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, will be bought en route during the trip from supermarkets, local shops and markets. Breakfasts will generally consist of breads and cereals, if time allows a warm breakfast may be prepared. Many lunches will be provided en-route and will be light meals such as sandwiches and/or salads. All evening meals will be freshly-prepared hot meals, and will consist of a variety of continental and local dishes.

Our tour leader will organize the meal preparation and lead the way here, but will prepare a duty schedule for ensuring a fair, rotating participation from you and your group members in the meal preparation and dish washing duties.

Vegetarian meals and other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival. Please note all bottled drinking water will be at your own expense.

What are the toilets like?

All of our campsites will have toilets. They are mostly sit down style toilets, but some are basic squat style toilets. Also of note, many of the toilets you use won’t have the septic systems for flushing toilet paper. If there is a little trash can near your toilet, please put your used toilet paper in there.

What are the showers like?

Will vary from hole of the wall spout with warmish water to full shower heads, hot water and lots of water pressure. Most of the campsites will have very good toilet and shower facilities

What is our transportation like?

Your home away from home. When the next closest town or park is 6-8 hours away some days, you want to ensure that you’ll get there safely and comfortably! Our Overland trucks are purpose built for the bumpy, sometimes non-existent, roads of Africa. When in Africa, “any truck” won’t do. You need to know that your truck can multi-task when needed. Think of our trucks as your worry-free, safe haven in an unpredictable world.
What makes our Overland trucks stand out?

Storage space - Lots of storage areas for keeping your luggage out of the way and travelling in comfort.

On board safe, fire extinguisher and first aid kit - secure your important documents, passports and money safely on the truck without any worries. We’ve got you covered. All you need is your own padlock.

Front view windows - Seriously, this is important. When you are on the road for hours it is nice to see what lies ahead.

Quad style side windows - A fancy name, which basically means the windows are big and easily open wide for taking photos or letting in fresh air. They just as easily close to keep out rain and naughty monkeys!

Battery charger - An on board inverter allows you to charge camera batteries while on the road.

Kitchen - A fully stocked camp kitchen easily opens up for quick meal preparation.

Communications - An intercom system between the driver and passenger areas ensures constant communication, so you can learn about your surroundings as you drive by, or before you reach your next destination.

Interior Lights - Sometimes you get up extra early, or arrive after dark, so reading a book, eating breakfast or playing cards is made easier when you have some light!

Ample Seating - Everyone has a seat and often there are extras. Our standard Overland trucks have 22 cushioned seats, comfy enough for an afternoon nap and big enough so you never feel crowded.

Safety - Our overland vehicles are custom built to survive the myriad of conditions that Africa throws at us. All trucks are built to the highest safety standards and comply with all legal requirements in the various African countries we cross.

Crew - Experienced and fully licensed Tour Leader and Driver.

How much money in US cash should I bring? Should I exchange local currency in advance?

This is entirely up to you, but we think it is critical for you to bring along $300 USD in cash for emergencies. Also, Zimbabwe uses the US $ yet sometimes it is difficult to get their ATM's to work. This is what GEEO's executive director Jesse does in regards to money while traveling:

"I do not exchange any money before travelling to a country but instead bring about $300-500 US in cash. I go to a bank before I leave the US and take out the cash there rather than an ATM. I make sure each bill is in great condition with no rips or tears. I like to have mostly 20's and a lot of 1's and 5's. I divide this money between a money belt and my main backpack and my daypack.

I also bring an ATM card and a credit card. Before I leave the country I call the bank and credit card companies to let them know I am traveling abroad so they don't think the foreign transactions are fraudulent and cancel my cards when I am most reliant on them. Having a second bank account and bank card is pretty handy so that just in case one card doesn't work at an ATM or is lost, you always have a back up account. It's also important to check with your credit card to see if there is an international transaction fee. Some cards charge up to 4% extra for any transactions made out of the US. My Capital One visa card doesn't have any international transaction fee. I just use this card for traveling so if it gets stolen and I have to cancel it I won't have to worry about recurring automated payments. I like to split up my cards between my money belt, wallet and one emergency one hidden in my main bag.

When I arrive at the airport I make sure to go to an ATM before leaving the airport and typically take out the equivalent of $150 USD in the local currency. I find that ATMs give the best exchange rate so throughout the trip I will use the ATM card to draw out my spending cash. I will ask our tour leader for an estimate on how much I will need if I am close to leaving a country so this way I do not draw out too much money.

I try not to use the US cash I brought with me so that I can use it in an emergency. This trip is the exception because visa fees are often paid in US and the US $ is the currency for Zimbabwe. Typically I will come back to the US with most of that US cash unspent. On a recent trip I lost my ATM card and was able to get cash by paying for our group dinners with my credit card and having people pay me their share in local currency. I NEVER take cash advances on my credit card as they charge you an arm and a leg.

I also never use travelers checks, but have heard good things about AAA ATM cards that you can load up with money instead of using travelers checks."

How long are the drives?

Not every day is a driving day and when we are on the road driving times will vary due to road conditions. The longest drive might be 8 hours but on average a driving day would be 5-6 hours.

Can I bring a rolling suitcase?

Not very suitable for Africa, a backpack is better. There are lots of different backpacks out there, but in general you want a bag that has a capacity of around 50 to 80 cubic liters. For an example click here. (Please email jesse@geeo.org if that link does not work)

Are there mosquitoes? Should I be worried?

There are mosquitoes, and we recommend that you take preventative action against malaria. Using bug repellent is a very good idea, light weight long sleeve clothing at dusk and anti-malaria medication. The tents will be treated, there is no need for mosquito netting unless you plan to sleep outside your tent. Please consult your doctor for more information.

What happen if the airline loses my luggage on my way to Johannesburg?

It occasionally happens that luggage on international flights into Johannesburg does not arrive. Please be aware that this may happen, especially if you have a tight connection in either of these centers, are flying with different airlines with a connection, have a last minute flight change or re-route, or fly from or connect through another African center. Please be prepared and keep all important documentation and valuables on your person. As well we recommend a change of clothes in your hand luggage. If unfortunately this does happen, and your luggage does not arrive, you should be entitled to a limited initial compensation from your airline. In Southern Africa, the arrival of lost luggage normally takes between 10 and 48 hours after the initial plane’s arrival. The airlines technically should be responsible to forward your luggage to you, to your hotel or elsewhere in Southern Africa. You may find that your tour will begin, and you still have not received your luggage. When reporting your missing bag at the airport please provide the airline with the emergency telephone number of our local office in South Africa (+27 82 4444 303). Please do not give out any address (starting point hotel) as on most trips we do not stay long enough for the bag to arrive, the airline should phone our local office to arrange the delivery address.

It is recommended that you purchase locally a few needed items, begin your tour. Your tour leader or local representative will be able to help you organize this, and once your luggage is retrieved, it should be able to be forwarded to you – depending where you are. Please note that any costs that you may incur for luggage retrieval or sending luggage are not the responsibility of G Adventures, though we will always strive to assist you in any way possible, Please make sure to hand in the reference number of the bag and your flight details to your tour leader in order to help with the tracing of the bag. You should always keep all receipts and documentation, and contact your airline or insurance provider for reimbursement.

Is there any advice for finding funding for this program?

The first thing we recommend you do is speak to your school's principal and/or professional development coordinator. They may know of grants that your school district or state offers. Often schools reimburse teachers for professional development expenses. You can also try contacting your school's PTA or professional organizations that you belong to.

We also recommend applying for a Fund for Teachers grant, www.fundforteachers.org. These grants can be used on GEEO trips. Please note that they are only offered to teachers in a limited number of pre-selected school districts around the country.

What is expected from me from an educational stand point?

Please take a look at the "Sharing your Adventure section of our website by clicking here.

What happens if it becomes unsafe to travel on this trip?

Your safety is our utmost priority and we will cancel a trip if we do not feel our participants will be safe. If GEEO or G Adventures cancels your trip we will issue a full refund of any payments you have made including the deposit. If YOU decide to cancel your trip you will have to abide by the rules of our terms and conditions.

What is the relationship between G Adventures and GEEO? Who is running this trip?

GEEO is an independent non-profit organization that helps teachers travel. GEEO negotiates with tour companies to get great deals for teachers. GEEO customizes these trips for teachers. GEEO provides educational materials to teachers before and after the trip to help bring the participating teacher's experience into the classroom. GEEO markets these programs to convince teachers to explore the world. For more about GEEO, please see our mission statement.

G Adventures is a tour company that GEEO has partnered with to run our trips. For over 20 years G Adventures has been sending hundreds of thousands of people abroad and today they are the largest adventure travel company in the world. They design the trips, provide expert tour leaders, ground logistics and work hard to make sure you have an excellent experience.

What is the GEEO book club and which books have been selected for this program?

GEEO's book club is a way for you and your fellow participants to learn through literature about the places you will be traveling. For each trip we have selected four books, two fiction and two non-fiction. It is completely up to you whether you choose to read them as the GEEO book club is not required for our participants. We hope you will enjoy the books we have selected and they will enhance your experience. We welcome feedback on our selections so we can develop and improve the list for the following summer.

For your convenience we have a hot-linked each of the selected books to amazon.com. If you purchase this book through the link, Amazon will share some of the proceeds from the sale with GEEO, helping to fund our operations. You should hopefully be able to find most of our selections through your library system as well.

For this program we have selected the following books:

Fiction:
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Coconut by Kopano Matlwa

Non-Fiction:
When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa by Peter Goodwin
A Complicated War: The Harrowing of Mozambique by William Finnegan

For those looking for more suggestions, here are some other books you may want to consider:

BOTSWANA
Twenty Chickens for A Saddle by Robyn Scott, first published in 2008
Saturday is for Funerals by Unity Dow, first published in 2010

ZIMBABWE
House of Stone: The True Story of a Family Divided in War Torn Zimbabwe, by Christina Lamb, first published in 2006
Where We Have Hope: A Memoir of Zimbabwe, by Andrew Meldrum, first published in 2004
Where are You Going Manyoni? by Catherine Stock, first published in 1993 (Children’s book)
Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga,first published in 1988

SOUTH AFRICA
Tsotsi by Athol Fugard, first published in 1980 (made into a movie)
Selected Stories by Nadine Gordimer
Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela by Nelson Mandela, first published in 1990
Life and Times of Michael K by J.M. Coetzee, first published in 1983
An Act of Terror by Andre Brink
Boyhood by J. M. Coetzee
Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton, first published in 1944
Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog

MOZAMBIQUE
Sleepwalking Land by Mia Culto, first published in 1992
Chronicler of the Winds: A Novel by Henning Mankell, first published in 1995
A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer, first published in 1996 (YA)
Scribbling the Cat by Alexandra Fuller

Is there advice that past participants would like to pass onto you?

"Warm clothing is necessary! I was prepared but not everyone was at night. The warm sleeping bag as I had was very necessary. The only things I didn't really need that I brought were the sleeping mat as they provided a nice one and bug spray(I used very little spray as it was really to cool at night for a lot of bugs). Also, snacks and most toiletries were available along the way."

"Try not to overpack. We only have so much room in the luggage compartment and because people overpacked we ended up with lots of stuff inside our riding area because it wouldn't fit in the luggage area."

"Bring jackets, coats, fleeces that are neutral in color like beiges, greens, browns for the game drives and game walks. I only had red ones and had to turn mine inside out or borrow coats."

"The camp grounds were adequate and we thankfully had warm showers every night except in the Okavanga Delta."

"It's freezing at night for the entire trip other than Mozambique; stress winter jackets, thermals, gloves and hat, really good sleeping bag."

"Bring exact change for border crossings. Zimbabwe takes the dollar.
"
"Get a Capital One Venture Visa card to charge your trip fees on so you don't have to pay any international transaction fees (since G Adventures is in Canada). Then use that card on the trip so you don't pay any service fees."

"Download Google Voice app on iPhone for free calls to US wherever there is WiFi."

"Shoes and sandals should have closed toes for most activities. There really is no need for a nice outfit"

"As soon as you sign up start watching the prices of tickets from the US to Africa. THEY VARY GREATLY. (Some on our trip paid as little as $900 RT and others paid as much as $2000 RT.) Keep checking every week and be ready to buy your ticket as soon as GEEO says the trip is confirmed. South African Airlines (SAA) has non-stop flights to and from JFK to Jo'Burg and if you watch their website, they can be as cheap or cheaper than other airlines - and they are awesome - very highly rated!"

"There is a safe on the truck for passports and money if you want to use it but the tour leader has the only key."

"Know that it is a good idea to get a yellow fever shot and bring along your travel vax book even though it is not currently needed in the four countries on the trip. At Victoria Falls if you cross the border to Zambia you will need to show evidence of yellow fever vaccination. )"

"Bring long underwear. You will use it almost every day."

" Bring cash to Zimbabwe!! ATMs were difficult and since they have adopted the US dollar, they use whatever money happens to have come into the country. There was often no change -- so I would advice having a lot of ones and fives. Also, people there are very interested in trading for personal items -- clothing, shoes, etc. If you are interested, that is an option."

"PACK LIGHT! you have to unpack and re-pack often and space is limited."

"Bring a water bottle to fill up. We bought a lot of large 5l water bottles and then used them to refill the smaller bottles."

"It's not that its freezing or hot all the time, its about dressing in layers! The mornings can be chilly (sweatshirts, jackets, hat, gloves) but by the time its noon, you want to be in t-shirts and pants (maybe shorts), and then nighttime can be just as cold as the morning. Bringing layering pieces is key. The people who brought a winter coat with a shell and an inner layer seemed to do best. Two nights were really cold so I felt that if I had those chemical hand warmers (like snowboarders use) then I would be okay. Also at the Airport Game Lodge we had hot water bottles, those might work well! (A cheap and eco friendly alternative!) Warm clothes are a must! I was in my sweatshirt more than anything else, but did wear t-shirts and my bathing suit quite often (Mozambique and Zimbabwe!)."

"Atms seem to do pretty well- make sure your card takes Visa or Mastercard. I took a large sum of money at the airport when I landed, it seemed to last me awhile because we could change it as we got into new countries. At The South African/Mozambique border we traded with street vendors (safe!), not a lot of money needed in Mozambique. Antelope Park took credit cards! Vic Falls was good on credit cards as well for activities and restaurants. I'd lay out all the US money ahead of time for the border/visa fees (put a sticky on it and save it!) exact change is always favorable. Also any activites that you know you want to do ahead of time, bring cash (some places may take credit card, but you never know how reliable they are- TIA (this is Africa))"

"Zimbabwe- you need small American currency!! (Bring it from home, no one has change for larger bills and they will not take coins) I'd recommend about $50 US in small bills if you are interested in shopping"

"DO NOT do snorkeling at Bambozi, there is a dhow ride and snorkeling INCLUDED in our trip at Vilanculos, and its WAY better than anything you'll see in Inhamabe."

"There is inernet (with computers) and wifi available at Antelope Park and Vic Falls."

"Big Rock campground- upgrades $15- best bang for the buck. If you upgrade anywhere, I'd do it here!! (even have the guide call ahead!) Whitewater rafting was great! Had a blast, worth the money, included all gear, transport, and lunch! Bungee jumping was pretty good (havent done it anywhere else, so cant compare!)"

"If you are a shopper, bring an extra bag to check on the way home- tons of stuff to buy and some stuff is NOT small. Also be wary of bringing food items and drinks home. I know some airlines have a wine limit (we had this problem leaving Cape Town), but know that you may not be able to bring all your food stuffs home. Best to put these items in your checked bag and bury them!"

"Snacks & Food- we were able to stop often to buy snacks and drinks. So no reason to fill your limited bag space with snacks unless you have dietary constraints."

"Cash machines were VERY unpredictable and often took a long time or were out of money. Credit cards not very useful except for the big purchases like side trips. LOTS and LOTS of $1 and $5 bills useful. (Zimbabwe uses NO COINS, even though they use the US dollar, so everything is at least $1.) Nothing over a $20 bills is much good (no 50's or 100's for sure) because no one ever has change and nothing costs that much. People in the group are always looking for someone who has change because the vendors never do. And make sure all money is BRAND NEW. Forget putting a date on this suggestion (like "must be newer than 2003") because that was wrong info. Our money had to be newer than 2009. Just tell everyone to get ALL BRAND NEW MONEY (US BILLS) before coming and bring plenty."

"Travel light. You may want to bring old clothes or shoes you can give away or trade at the end. The lady I gave my old hiking shoes to at the trip really appreciated them. It would have been good to bring a couple of teaching books, curriculum, kid books in English, etc. Schools could really use them. I brought a huge bag of pens and pencils not used from school and gave them to the teachers. They liked that. Other folks brought soccer balls and small items to give out. Big hit to these poor schools."

Has this GEEO trip inspired any songs or ballads?

Of course!

Ode to Africa

6/26/12-7/19/12
by Sharon Allen

Tune: Oh I Had a Silly Chicken or Do Your Ears Hang Low

Oh we came from many places all across the USA
From Wisconsin and New Mexico, New Jersey and LA
We hardly knew each other nor what we had in store
But in Africa our friendships grew, she touched our very core.

Johannesburg is where we met, we all were sort of shy
We looked at each and every face, there only was one guy
The overlander was to be our home for three plus weeks
Call it a bus? You'd better not or to Barry do not speak.

At Kruger Park we got a look at what we came here for
Lions, zebras and some elephants, a lion with a roar.
Impala by the zillions and some hippos in the mud
The USA just can't compare-our cows just chew their cud.

Then onto Mozambique we rode the truck is lots of fun
We hit a bump, bounced to the roof, and land back on our buns
The passengers are friendly now, we share our lives and snacks
We even help each other with our tents and stuffed backpacks.

A tent can be quite challenging to set up in the dark
But a better way does not exist to see a wildlife park
Yet there are those whose tolerance for sleeping on the ground
Is less than others-aren't you glad when upgrades can be found.

On a dhow in Inhambane we sailed quite far across the sea
Margaruque an island paradise could prettier not be
We snorkeled among fish, their beauty too hard to describe
The coral cut, it hurt a bit, but I'm so glad we tried!

Vilanculos has a mayor, he's a Muslim with a heart
Who cares for his town's residents and claims he's done his part
To make his town quite prosperous, but problems still exist

Across the border then we trekked into a land of strife
The fields were barren e're we looked, how could they make a life?
Zimbabwe let us freely view the ravage war has wrought
We helped their sad economy with curios we bought!

Our guide is a South African, we all call her Charlene
When it comes to cooking time she is the potjie queen
She shops, then organizes, and then calls ahead to check
To make sure that the trip runs smooth, not a pain in the neck.

Our driver's name is Barry, he's a most amusing guy
And when trying to spot wildlife he has got an eagle's eye
A ponytail hangs down his back, he wears no shoes and smokes
A pipe-and braai's his specialty, he's likable this bloke.

On the fourth, our Independence Day, we celebrated one
Who was travelling amongst our group, a sweet and quiet one
Maricar had quite the birthday when a class of many kids
Sang to her a happy birthday and I know she's glad they did!

Moving on we crossed the border to the country of Zimbabwe
The line was long, the temps were hot, but T.I.A!
But the wait was surely worth it and it wasn't even dark
For the joyous singing welcome there at Antelope Park.

As we walked among the lions we were humbled to the core
Night safari, riding elephants, it seems there's always more!
Then we drove to Bulawayo and the rhinos-few are left
Alas we didn't see one, but our guides sure did their best.

An enthusiastic welcome from Mpondo village chief
In his leopard skin, showed off his wounds, now this was quite unique
Then we danced and sang with gusto under African sun
A surge of happiness and hope, the world could all be one!

Onward to the falls Victoria, a wonder of the world
As Patty bravely faced the gorge her bungee cord unfurled
Others flew above the mist, spent our pula here and there

The markets were amazing, money's gone, but we don't care!

Onto Chobe in Botswana, can there possibly be more?
On safari by the river game abounded near the shore
Sable, antelope, and hippos, elephants and monkeys too
On the sunset cruise surrounded, this sure beats a US zoo!

I know you've had enough of me, but sorry I'm not through
We're entering the delta in our our mokoro (canoe)
Okanvango has a beauty that cannot be put in words
The peace, the COLD, the water, and a thousand, million birds.

Have you seen my ____ is now the question of the day
As we organize and pack our things each time a brand new way
Putting up the tent's now easier than on day number one
But squatting o'er a bush-dug hole now's a challenge with the runs.

As we shivered by the fire with our new-found poler friends
Sang and laughed around an awesome fire, at our journey's almost end
I'd like to think that each of us has changed a bit within
And will reach the students that we teach with love for Africans.

Now we've all become much closer as the trip's about to end
I am sure that every one of us has made a lifelong friend
As we go our separate ways returning to the USA
Keep Africa close to your heart until your dying day.

I am finally going to end this song, I know you've had your share
The time we've spent together has been way beyond compare
Charlene and Barry surely helped to make our trip succeed
Now for me to finally end this song is all we really need!

2799.00 USD

*Based on Double Occupancy, International Airfare not included

Availability: 0

This program is guaranteed to run and will have a maximum of 20 participants.

Southern Africa map

What's Included

  • G Adventures Tour leader and Driver

  • Accommodation: Basic Hotel (2 nts), Dorms (2 nts), Participation camping (19 nts)

  • Total Meals: 23 breakfasts, 22 Lunches, 19 dinners.

  • Activities listed in itinerary. Please note activities that are listed under the Optional Activities tab are not included in the price of the trip and can be booked on site.

What's Not Included

  • International air

  • Incidentals

  • Insurance

  • Applicable visas

  • Airport Taxes

  • Tips or gratuities

  • Beverages

  • Meals not mentioned above

  • Optional Tours or optional admissions