- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
A small group safari in safety, comfort & style with the personal Back Track Adventures touch
No other travel organisation, in the world, offers this unique itinerary. It is special.
The itinerary is designed to ensure that your journey will provide the best African wildlife encounters, sensational scenic attractions, and true cultural interaction without the tourist hoards. All locations visited offer a safe and warm welcome to tourists. This is not your normal mass market, off-the-shelf holiday package. If you like your travel to be ‘unique’ then you’ll love this journey.
This adventure is fully accommodated throughout with very comfortable hotels, resorts and lodges, and during your 3-night wildlife safari in Botswana, you will enjoy a spot of ‘glamping’ for a truly memorable African safari experience.
Trish, your Zimbabwe-born Tour Leader, is a very experienced, professional and knowledgeable guide. She is passionate, about all things Africa and great fun to travel with.
Africa is an expensive and complex destination to travel, however, we have taken the worry of organisation out of your travel plans and made the itinerary as well priced and all-inclusive as we can. Interested? Read on, it is an exciting itinerary and if you have any questions please call us. We’d love to have you on board in 2020.
Our Back Track Adventure crew
On arrival in Maun, Botswana on Day 1, you will be joined by Trish Pritchard your Safari Leader. You will meet Henry your driver, once you arrive in Kasane on Day 5. The crew are very knowledgeable on the birds, wildlife and local culture. They are a great source of information on game drives and when interacting with the locals. In many of the places you visit, we engage the services of local wildlife guides to provide that extra degree of expert knowledge.
Trish was born in Zimbabwe and together with her husband Garth are Directors of African Journeys, a safari company based in Victoria Falls. Back Track has been working with African Journeys for over 20 years and during that period we have operated many wonderful and unique safaris together, including the popular Great Southern Africa Safari. Escorting our safaris is a way of life. Trish is a fun travel companion and her knowledge and experience of the African bush adds immensely to the enjoyment of the safari.
How we travel – introducing “The Beast”
THE BEAST is our own classic Overlanding vehicle. The Beast has taken us all over Africa, from the gorillas in Rwanda to the snows of Kilimanjaro and to the Horn of Africa and back. He’s our mate, we love him, you will too.
The Beast has soft, comfortable seating and is designed for excellent game viewing and sight-seeing.
Originally a 28-seater, recently modified, The Beast now seats 18. There is plenty of room to spread out, plus, ample storage space for luggage, safari supplies and equipment. We have a fridge freezer fitted so drinks are always cold and food fresh, along with a charging desk for portable electrical equipment, as well as a TV monitor, sound system, library and a reading table.
The Beast handles the road conditions perfectly and is safe, reliable, and well maintained. The Beast carries 18 passengers plus your safari crew, in comfort and unique style.
We use a variety of vehicles to ensure you have a first-hand view of the countryside. In Chobe, Moremi, South Luangwa and Nyika Plateau, we use smaller 4WD safari vehicles specifically designed to handle local conditions. As well, we charter fly out of the heart of the Okavango Delta and utilise local canoes to explore the waterways of the Okavango Delta. We also take a scheduled flight from Lusaka to Mfufe in Zambia to avoid the bad roads. Modern motorboat transport is used on Lake Malawi.
Where you stay
You stay in a variety of hand-picked, researched accommodation including quality hotels, lodges, resorts and safari camps.
Camping has never been so comfortable. In Moremi Wildlife Reserve, you camp for three nights away from the tourist hoards in an exclusive private camp site. Your camp provides comfy chairs, roomy twin share walk-in style tents, kitted with beds, thick foam mattresses, warm doonas, fluffy pillows, and you have your own ensuite toilet and hot shower. Relax around the campfire at night as you dine under the stars or in the dining tent. All camp equipment is supplied, even wine glasses.
Lodges and hotels
In Victoria Falls, you ‘Home Stay’ in the family run Phezulu Lodge. Comfortable rooms in a haven of peace.
The term ‘Lodge’ encompasses the variety of hand-picked accommodation used on your Safari. Overall your accommodation is 3-star-plus throughout.
Meals and drinks
All meals are provided by your accommodation hosts and indicated on the itinerary. The only meal not supplied is one lunch when you may wish to be out and about doing your ‘own thing ’in Victoria Falls.
We have arranged some special dinners and lunches including dinner and lunch cruises on the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers, as well as a ‘special’ dinner in Victoria Falls. Alcoholic drinks are included while ‘glamping’ in Botswana. If you wish, your own personal drinks, wine, spirits, beers and soft drinks can be stored on the Beast in the fridge. Pure drinking water is always available 24 hours.
A dedicated supportive crew attend to all duties. Your only involvement is to enjoy your holiday. If you wish to help or assist our Driver to ‘maintain’ The Beast, you are welcome to get involved, only if it is fun for you to do so.
All activities mentioned in the itinerary are included in the tour price. The included activities will ensure you are always busy with lots to see and do. The only extra costs will be for any optional activities you wish to enjoy in Victoria Falls such as helicopter flights etc. Other non-included options may become available at various places while on tour.
An up to date price list for all optional activities in Victoria Falls will be provided before you depart, to assist your budgeting.
The areas through which your safari travels are safe and politically stable. In our many years of travelling in Southern Africa we have never felt threatened or had a security or safety incident. Tourists and travellers are always made welcome in the warm heart of Africa.
The African wildlife
Your safari will bring you into very close proximity with wild animals. The wildlife and birdlife spotting on this safari is superb. Your camp sites are safe and secure. It is a never-to-be-forgotten experience to camp in the wilds of Africa. Even in Victoria Falls and Kasane, where we stay in comfortable lodges located outside the wildlife reserves, we still encounter elephants, baboons and warthogs in the town centres.
Specialist safari guides
We engage specialist Safari Guides while camping for three nights in Moremi and the 3 nights lodging in South Luangwa These guides provide expert local knowledge and wildlife guiding skills essential to our enjoyment and success on what are highlights of your safari.
The local people
We take every opportunity to interact with the local communities encountered along the way. We want all to come home with an understanding of the lifestyles of the people in each country you visit. We find that some of our best safari memories are those that involve our interaction with the locals.
No details found.
Day 1Arrive Maun Airport, Botswana, from Johannesburg. Met on arrival and transferred to your very comfortable accommodation at Maun Lodge. Here you meet up with Trish and over a glass of wine you will have your first group briefing, followed by your first night dinner and a good night’s sleep. (D) (Check out your accommodation here: www.maunlodge.com)
Day 2, 3 & 4An early breakfast at Maun Lodge and then commence your journey by specially modified 4WD safari vehicles to your semi-luxury mobile campsite, deep in the heart of the Moremi and Khwai regions of the Okavango Delta eco system. From your camp, each day you head out for morning and afternoon game drives, coming back to camp for lunch and a rest in the middle of the day. At night you enjoy night drives plus fine food, wine and banter around a blazing campfire under a star-filled African sky. Time is found for a canoe journey with expert polers to experience the famous Delta waterways. Your Safari Team will include some of Botswana’s best Wildlife Guides. This area is famous for the quantity and quality of its wildlife. You can expect exciting wildlife encounters: lions, leopards, wild dogs, elephants, giraffes, zebras and much more are regularly encountered. You won’t be disappointed. All tents are serviced daily by camp staff and provide camp beds with comfortable bedding, doonas, pillows, linen, towels, solar lighting, daily laundry service and private personal toilet facilities and hot showers. All meals under the dining tent or around the campfire. Wine and soft drinks are included with all meals. (BLD)
Day 5You say goodbye to your Safari Team as they drop you off mid-morning at the Khwai air strip for your charter flight out of the bush to the safari town of Kasane. On arrival in Kasane, you are met by Henry and ‘The Beast’ and transferred to your luxury accommodation at the world-renowned Chobe Safari Lodge. A lunch cruise on the Chobe River will be a truly memorable wildlife experience. Finish the day with a late afternoon game drive into nearby Chobe National Park to search for the big herds of elephants that make this area famous. The smorgasbord dinner at the lodge is also memorable. You will sleep well tonight (BLD). (Visit this lodge to check it out: www.chobe-safari-lodge.com)
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Day 6A leisurely morning at Chobe Safari Lodge to enjoy a relaxed breakfast, rest, swim or walk. A short 90-minute late morning drive takes you across the border to Zimbabwe and the beautiful tourist township of Victoria Falls and the peace and quiet of Phezulu Lodge. This is your base for two nights. Your comfortable ensuite rooms are set in a nice garden. Plans will be made so you can book any optional tours required during your stay in Vic Falls, before we head out for an early dinner cruise on the Zambezi River, above the Falls. Expect a great sunset and good hippo sightings. Back to Phezulu Lodge for an early night. Refer to the Wild Horizons web site for a list and costs for Victoria Falls options. Please do not book before you arrive in Victoria Falls as discounts may be available and as well, we need to coordinate transfers and pickups from the Phezulu Lodge. (BLD) (Visit these sites to check them out for yourself: www.phezuluguestlodge.com and www.wildhorizons.co za).
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Day 7Today is set aside for optional activities such as helicopter flights, canoeing and much more. We try and find time to have ‘High Tea’ at the Victoria Falls hotel. Highlights today include an early morning guided tour of the Falls, plus our ‘Special’ dinner. (BD)
Day 8You set off early to cross the border into Zambia via the famous Victoria Falls bridge. Your journey today is only a few kilometres to Maramba River Lodge near the town of Livingstone. Time to rest and relax and enjoy the lodge facilities. A sunset dinner cruise on the Zambezi River is a highlight and will round off a wonderful stay in magical Victoria Falls. (BD). Check out the lodge:-www.maramba-zambia.com
Day 9Your ‘Venture to the warm heart of Africa’ begins in earnest today. Boarding the Beast early you set out on a 476km drive to Lusaka, the bustling Capital of Zambia. The journey is on moderate standard roads and the flow of daily Zambian life, as viewed from your high perch in the Beast, will entertain. We drive mainly through farmland and sugar plantations. Your accommodation tonight in Zambia’s capital city Lusaka, is the very comfortable Cresta Golfview Hotel (BLD). (Check it out: www.crestagolfview.com) The Beast will be your primary source of transport throughout the journey from this point. It is an ‘iconic symbol’ from the glory days of Overland Travel in Africa during the 70s, 80s and 90s when young adventures would set off from as far afield as London and travel the length and breadth of Africa with not much more than a smile and a tooth brush. It was hard work but loads of fun and an adventure. All contributed with meals and setting up small tented camps each night and even digging their truck out of bogs if necessary. The journeys always involved multiple countries and required a spirit of adventure.
South Luangwa, Zambia
Day 10, 11 & 12The road north from Lusaka is long and rough. You leave the Beast to do that journey alone with Henry, and you enjoy the comfort of a scheduled, commercial flight to Mfuwe. On arrival you will be met by your guides from Flatdogs Camp and transferred a short distance to the camp. After you settle into your very beautiful lodge accommodation, you have lunch and a rest, then head off on your first game drive late this afternoon. You spend three nights in a truly remote area that offers the intrepid traveller some outstanding wildlife viewing. Because of the remote location, South Luangwa receives very little tourist traffic therefore the experience becomes very special and reinforces our philosophy of seeking out the most special places in Africa to view the best wildlife that Africa offers. Your very comfortable rustic lodge camp is located on the Luangwa River and offers an enjoyable African Lodge experience. Morning and afternoon game drives will provide wonderful wildlife encounters and photographic opportunities. Local art and village tours will be included. The leopard is prevalent in this region and night drives provide the perfect opportunity to find them (BLD). (Check it out here: www.flatdogscamp.com)
Day 13At Flatdogs Camp you are reunited with Henry and The Beast. This morning you head off on a 277km scenic drive and cross the border into Malawi at the border post of Chipata. Malawi is known throughout Africa as, “the warm heart of Africa”. Expect loads of smiles from friendly people, this is the real Africa. Accommodation tonight is in the modern Sunbird Hotel in Lilongwe (BLD) (Visit this site to check it out where you are staying: www.sunbirdmalawi.com)
Day 14A 350km scenic / cultural drive north to Mzuzu, the administration centre for this part of Malawi. The journey is fascinating as rural life unfolds before us from the Beast windows. Your accommodation tonight is the Sunbird Mzuzu. (BLD) Check it out: www.sunbirdmalawi.com/hotels/sunbird-mzuzu
Nyika Plateau, Malawi
Day 15Early morning departure from the Sunbird Hotel Mzuzu as you head 70 kilometres to the small town of Rhumpi, located at the base of the Nyika Plateau. Here you will leave The Beast once again. The road to Nyika from Rhumpi is only passable by 4WD vehicles. The safari Team from Chelinda Lodge will transport you from Rhumpi. You will head off to explore the main objective of your journey, the Nyika Plateau, Malawi’s largest National Park. As you climb into the mountains in your 4wd vehicles, the vegetation changes abruptly to tree plantations of gum and pine and as you near the plateau the horizon is dominated by large whaleback mountains. you will have 3 days to unpack, relax and enjoy game drives, walks and biking. (BLD) Accommodation for the three nights is at Chelinda Lodge Each Chalet has an open fireplace to ensure you are warm and snug each night. (Check it out: www.cawsmw.com)
Nyika Plateau, Malawi
Day 16 & 17By now you will have viewed a lot of Africa’s unique wildlife, however, even on the open sweeping plains of this high plateau you can see Crawshay’s zebra, bushbuck, reedbuck, roan antelopes, eland klipspringer, duiker and warthogs. There are jackals, hyenas and leopard. On our 2019 recon trip, we even experienced lion calling at night, just outside Chelinda Lodge. These are the first lions recorded in this area for over 20 years, a promising sign for the future. Trout / fly fishing is also an activity available. (BLD)
Day 18 & 19Leaving Nyika Plateau you will enjoy a scenic winding drive from the highlands down to Rhumpi, where you meet up with The Beast and then on to a most picturesque lakeshore location on Lake Malawi, Chinteche Inn. A small, friendly lodge serving great food. A wonderful opportunity to join into a community walk to mingle and meet the people of the local area. (BLD). Check out Chinteche Inn. www.cawsmw.com/index.php/lodges/chintheche-inn/
Nankoma Island, Malawi
Day 20 & 21After breakfast, a relaxed start to the day with a slow 300km scenic drive along the lake shore roads through quinine and rubber plantations. The journey is fascinating as you observe Malawi country life. Your destination today is Blue Zebra Resort located on Nankoma Island a short 20-minute motorboat ride from the lakeshore at Salima, where you leave The Beast. Nankoma Island is one of a small group of three world heritage listed islands a short distance from the mainland. Here you spend two relaxing days and nights exploring, swimming, snorkelling, bird watching, and enjoying boat trips. (BLD) (Check it out:- www.bluezebra.mw)
Day 22Early morning transfer by boat back to the mainland to meet up with The Beast for the 110km journey to the capital city of Malawi, Lilongwe. A bustling city of just over one million people, you have time to explore the local markets after you check into your hotel for your final night on Safari in Africa. Tonight, is your last group dinner of your journey. (BLD). (Check out your hotel here: www.sunbirdmalawi.com)
Day 23Today you are transferred to the Lilongwe International Airport to connect with your home flights. The end of a great adventure and your venture into the heart and soul of Africa. (B) We hope you can join us in 2020.
This trip is an “All Inclusive” costed holiday. Our top inclusions are:
- ‘The Beast’ is our primary means of transport. The Beast is an original, classic, Mercedes Benz Overland Truck. The Beast, now heavily modified to carry us in comfort and unique style is a real rough and tough character. No one messes with The Beast. He is also our Safari Mascot. We love him, you will to. PLUS, when necessary, we’ll use small 4WD vehicles, canoes and charter flights.
- A Safari Crew of three staff. Driver, Safari Leader and Courier – our crew is dedicated to providing first class service while being part of the group and enjoying the comradery, fun and adventure.
- A relaxed pace, after all, we’re on holidays! We’ve got plenty of territory to cover and plenty of time to do it in.
- Exceptional wildlife encounters and a profound connection with nature in Africa’s famous Wildlife Reserves and National Parks.
- Spectacular scenery every day including the travel icons – the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, Moremi Wildlife Reserve, and some amazing game reserves.
- Most meals included.
- Unique quality accommodation, all ensuite, in a variety of African Safari Lodges, hotels and resorts, all picked for character and charm.
- All entrance fees, activities detailed in the itinerary and all tips and gratuities.
It also includes:
- All land transport
- All activities per itinerary
- All tips on activities per itinerary
- All internal African flights as per itinerary
- Fully escorted by Jim and Trish
- Polo style safari shirt and cap
- Pre-departure conference call for interstate members and pre-departure get together in Brisbane for those joining locally
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- Travel insurance
- A few meals as indicated in the itinerary
- Optional tours in Victoria Falls
- Visa fee for Zambia USD$40 and Zimbabwe USD$50 which are currently the only visas required for Australian passport holders and paid on arrival.