24 Day Southern Circle Tour

Tour DescriptionTour ItineraryPre / Post Tour AccommodationOptional ActivitiesPre -Depature InformationImportant InformationGeneral InformationPricePhotos

For those that wish to experience the highlights of southern Africa with the convenience of flying in and out of Johannesburg. This tour will show you the best of several countries, and endeavours to reveal the contrasts that make up this region.
From the desert landscapes of Botswana to the lush forests of Zambia, the tea plantations of Malawi to the deserted beaches of Mozambique, you will experience built up cities and rural homesteads, good highways and dirt tracks. This tour also concentrates on some of the finest Game Reserves in Africa, including Chobe, Luangwa and Kruger where you will see a huge variety of animals all in their natural environment. An open and flexible approach is essential for this tour.

This tour departs every second sunday, please inquire regarding availability.


Departing from GREENFIRE LODGE JOHANNESBURG at 06h30, we head directly to the Botswana border. On completion of immigration formalities we continue to Francistown and our camp for the night. Tonight we familiarise ourselves with the tour procedures over a catered meal (own expense). Camp the night.


This morning we travel through the Chobe forest reserves up to the mighty Chobe River and adjoining National Park where huge herds of Elephant gather at the water. After an extensive afternoon game experience within the Chobe National Park, we cross the border and head for Victoria Falls, to spend the next few nights in comfort at the GREENFIRE LODGE VICTORIA FALLS. B L D


During our stay here we will view the spectacular Falls and the other highlights of this “Africa’s Adventure Capital”. Those seeking adrenaline may wish to try the Bungi jump, White Water Rafting or a variety of aircraft flips (own expense). One night we enjoy traditional dancing and a “braai” at the pool. On the last night we eat at a local restaurant (own expense). On occasion we cross into Zambia and camp on the banks of the Zambezi. B D ; B


Crossing the original railway bridge, we have a last view of The Falls before entering Zambia. Our journey today takes us through southern Zambia and then down into the Lower Zambezi Valley to Kafue, where we will camp the night. Relax at the pool this afternoon in preparation for the upcoming days of canoeing. B L D


The Zambezi River needs little introduction, a mighty river winding its way through some of the best wilderness areas in Africa, this provides for what can only be described as the finest canoe adventure in the world. What better way to see big game at close quarters than from a canoe. We will spend two nights camping wild on the banks of the river. On the third day we are transferred by boat back to Kafue for a welcome shower and a catered meal (own expense). B L D ; B L D ; B L


Reunited with our vehicle we travel through the capital of Lusaka and then along the “Great East Road” to our next overnight camp. We will cover as much distance as possible today. B L D


Our next stop is the Luangwa National Park, where we spend two nights camping on the banks of the River, well known for its impressive Hippo population. During our stay here we will partake in an extensive game drive in the park in search of the elusive Leopard and other species that make this park one of Africa’s best. Optional night drive (own expense). B L D ; B L D


Crossing into Malawi today, our first stop is Lilongwe, the capital. After stocking up with groceries and curios, we continue to Lake Malawi, an impressive inland freshwater sea. The snorkeling is a highlight, as are the sandy beaches and friendly locals. We spend two nights here, camping literally on the beach. B L D ; B L D


Turning south, we head for Mulanje, an impressive mountain of granite rising some 600m above the surrounding forest and lush tea plantations. We will spend two nights camping in the area, and will enjoy a hike to the plateau from where the views are exceptional. B L D ; B L D


Traveling via Blantyre, today we enter Mozambique. Our journey takes us through the Tete corridor, across the Zambezi River and alongside the mountains that form the border with Zimbabwe. We camp wild tonight in the remote region of Chimoio. B L D


Leaving the wilderness behind us, today we pass through the many vibrant and bustling villages en-route to the coast. Our next stop is Vilanculos – on the shores of the warm azure Indian Ocean, overlooking the idyllic Bazaruto Archipelago. We spend the night here in casitas, situated literally on the Beach. Tonight we enjoy a meal at a local restaurant (own expense). B L


Moving south along the coast, our next stop is the ancient trading port of Inhambane. We spend some time exploring and visiting the bustling local market before continuing to our camp on the beach. We will enjoy three nights in relative comfort, staying in casitas at this camp. During our time here we will relax, snorkel, and soak up the sun whilst exploring the deserted beaches that Mozambique is so well known for. On the last night we enjoy a catered meal (Own expense). Those who wish to have the option of scuba diving (own expense). B L D ; B L D ; B L


Today we cross vast coastal floodplains and drive through forests of Cashew nuts towards our last stop in Mozambique – the capital, Maputo. (Dinner own expense) B L


Maputo boasts an interesting, almost Latino culture of street cafes and markets, and we will spend time this morning driving through and viewing these and the other attractions of this once grandiose city. This afternoon we cross back into South Africa and make our way to the Kruger National Park to camp the night. B L D


No visit to Africa would be complete without Kruger. We spend the entire day viewing animals in this premier National Park, and in the late afternoon travel the short distance to the GREENFIRE LODGE HAZYVIEW. B L D


A leisurely start today, after enjoying a walk on the property, we make our way back to Johannesburg. We arrive back at the GREENFIRE LODGE JOHANNESBURG in the late afternoon. B

The day by day descriptions published are intended as a rough guideline only. Adventure travel by nature is unpredictable, weather patterns, game migrations, road conditions and a multitude of other factors may necessitate itinerary changes that ultimately are for the client’s benefit. It is essential that clients are flexible and open minded in this regard.

The 24 Day Southern Circle Tour departs from Johannesburg and ends back in Johannesburg again on the last day. Guests can extend their stay in South Africa by booking Pre-Tour or Post-Tour Accommodation at the Greenfire Lodge Johannesburg.

Please contact Drifters or your agent for more information.

Optional Activities in Johannesburg,  South Africa
Soweto Tour – 3 hours
Johannesburg City Tour – 3 hours
Apartheids Museum – 3 hours
Soweto and Apartheids Museum – 5 hours
Lesedi Cultural Village – 5 hours
Sun City – Full Day
Cradle of Humankind
Pretoria City Tour – 4 hours
Optional Activities in Victoria Falls,
White Water Rafting – Low water
White Water Rafting – High water
Gorge Swing
Tandem – Gorge Swing
Zip line
Flying Fox
Sundowner Boat Cruise
Horse Riding Safari
Optional Activities in Inhambane,
1 Dive
2 Dives
3 Dives
Full Gear Hire for Dive
Snorkeling – 1 hour
Ocean Safari – 2 hours

Please Note:
Optional Activities can be booked on arrival. No bookings are made in advance.
Rates are subject to change without notice
Activities are subject to availability
Activities are weather dependant

For this tour, an open and flexible mind is essential to deal with the detours, delays and other inconveniences encountered in developing countries. A sleeping bag, towel and pillow are required for this tour. Visas are required by all nationalities for Mozambique, and by some for Malawi and Zambia- these are the client’s responsibility. Seasonal precautions against malaria are advisable and are locally obtainable. A small daypack is advisable for the hike on Mulanje. The recommended currency for this tour is the US Dollar, in small denominations.
Our price includes all transport, accommodation, entry fees and permits, game drives and walks, Vic Falls entry, canoe trip, group equipment, professional guides and most meals. Alcohol, soft drinks, bottled water ,curios, tips, visas, taxes, and optional excursions are for the client’s own expense.
Before departure clients will be required to enter into an agreement pertaining to our booking conditions and general information.
Clients are required to have their own comprehensive personal travel insurance.


Your tour will depart from:
– The Greenfire Lodge Johannesburg, 25 Alida Street, Northcliff, Johannesburg @ 06h30.
– Guests not staying at the Drifters Lodge must arrive at the Lodge at 06h00.
– Tel: +27 11 888 1160
Please note that we strongly advise against flying out on the day that the tour ends. Drifters will not be held responsible for missed flights on this day. We generally travel long distances and late arrivals are common.


Please note that linen will be provided at Johannesburg Lodge BUT you will need a sleeping bag and pillow for the rest of the tour. The nights specified as accommodated on tour is a total upgrade from camping, but stays very basic.

Batteries can be charged from a 220 volt source on night: Pre night Johannesburg, 2-4, 17, 18-20, 21

There is a central charging point on night 1, 5, 8, 14, 15, 22

Currency exchange opportunities on tour: Arrival at Johannesburg Airport, Day 5, 12, 17

Limited Laundry facilities on day: 3, 4, 18, 19 (Essential washing only)

Internet facilities: Pre night in Johannesburg, Victoria Falls

We sell a range of sleeping bags in our shop starting from € 30.00 nett per person. We also have a range of barrel bags for sale starting from € 50 nett per bag.


On certain days of this safari long distances are travelled on poor roads, so be prepared to spend time in the vehicle on these days. This tour requires participation in all aspects of the tour. This entails assisting with the preparation of food, washing of dishes, keeping the truck clean and the setting up of the camp. Participation is an essential ingredient of this safari; all participants will be expected to assist with chores around the campsite.
Please keep in mind that flexibility and an open mind will greatly contribute to an enjoyable safari. We are travelling in developing countries; please do not expect the punctuality you have come to expect in first world countries. Things do not always run according to plan; however, we do endeavour to run according to itineraries as best as possible.



Please ensure that you are in possession of valid travel documents for all the countries, (Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa) that you will visit. If you have any queries in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact us. Although we will endeavour to assist, we do not accept any liability or obligation for your travel documents. Please ensure that you have proof of further travel arrangements if you do not have a South African passport, permanent residency permit, work permit or study permit. Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the end of your tour.
Visas are not readily obtainable at Mozambique and Malawi border posts. We recommend that these visas are obtained before departing on tour.
All nationalities require visas for Mozambique. It is your responsibility to make sure you have all the required visas. Please contact us if you have any other questions.

Telephone numbers: Malawi Embassy in Pretoria is: (012) 342 0146
Zimbabwe Trade mission in Johannesburg is: (011) 838 2156
Zambian High Commission in Pretoria is: (012) 326 1847
Botswana Consulate in Johannesburg: (011) 403 3748
Mozambique Consulate in Johannesburg: (011) 327 2942

Or visit: Botswana Tourism at www.botswanatourism.co.bw
Zimbabwe Tourism at www.zimbabwetourism.net
Zambia Tourism at www.zambiatourism.com
Malawi Tourism at www.malawitourism.com
Mozambique Tourism at www.mozambiquetourism.co.za

Make two photocopies of valuable documents such as your passport, tickets, visas and travelers cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.


Your money should be taken in small CASH denominations of US Dollars. The South African Rand or US Dollar can be used in Zimbabwe. Please do not rely on credit cards, as most of the places we visit on this tour will not have the facilities to deal with them. Please ensure that you have a certain amount of cash in a major currency in small denominations. Counterfeit currency is a problem and high denomination notes are often treated with suspicion. Although Travellers Cheques are a safe way to transport money there are only limited opportunities to exchange your Travelers Cheques for cash.
Drifters trucks have safe-keeping facilities for extra cash/flight tickets/passports.


It is compulsory that all passengers make arrangements for adequate travel insurance to financially safeguard against unforeseen circumstances. If you need further information please do not hesitate to contact us. Drifters do not accept responsibility for any loss, injury, damage, accident, fatality, delay or inconvenience experienced whilst on tour. You will be required to complete and sign a full indemnity prior to tour departure.


A Yellow Fever vaccination is compulsory for Zambia and you will need to present proof at border posts. Strongly recommended additional vaccinations are Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Meningitis and Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential. Please consult with your general practitioner regarding the correct prophylactics for you. Resistant strains of Malaria occur in all the countries we will visit and adequate chemo-prophylaxis is essential. Prevention is better than cure; please use insect repellent on exposed areas after sunset. Malaria is a very common ailment in Africa; however adequate preventative measures greatly reduce the risk of contracting the disease.
All Drifters guides have first aid boxes for use in emergencies, however we recommend that you bring along your own basic supply of medication, headache tablets etc.


Please note that Southern African weather conditions vary tremendously from season to season. During summer months temperatures of up to 40°C can be experienced. During the winter months of June, July and August the nights are very cold, temperatures may drop well below 0°C – although the day temperatures will be pleasant at around 20°C. Please take weather conditions into consideration when choosing a sleeping bag for your tour.


Herewith, a recommended guide of what to bring along:

**Backpack/Barrelbag/Soft Suitcase
Sleeping Bag & Small Pillow
Sport Shoes/Sneakers
Long Trousers/Tracksuit
Waterproof Windbreaker
T-Shirts/ Shirts
Socks, Underwear
Swimming Costume & Towel
Passport/Visas (if applicable)
Water Bottle
Sun Cream
Insect Repellent
Mosquito Net (Optional)
Malaria Prophylaxis
***Refreshments (alcohol, coke etc)
Money (Sundry expenses, gratuities)
Camera, Binoculars (Film)
Books (Birds, Mammals etc.)
Sewing kit

** Luggage should be limited to a maximum of 15kg’s HARD SUITCASES ARE NOT SUITABLE!!
*** Refreshments can be purchased en- route on the first day of your tour and at regular intervals on the tour.


Meals are provided as indicated in the brochure/website. We do not provide meals on the first day of the tour. We do however stop en-route; therefore it is always possible to buy something along the way. Soft drinks and alcohol are for your own expense; obviously there is ample opportunity during the tour to buy refreshments. The guide will advise when you need to stock up for a couple of days.
Drinking water will be available on the truck, please note that this is not bottled water.


A reasonable amount of personal spending money must be brought on our tours. This is to cover own expense meals, sundry goods purchased – such as film, suntan cream etc., all alcohol and soft beverages, curios, optional extra excursions, airport tax, transfers and tips. In Southern Africa it is common courtesy to tip casual help for services rendered. In the case of your guide, if you were happy with his or her services, an amount of R 50 per day per person would constitute a reasonable tip. By not tipping for services you are expressing displeasure.
Credit card payments are NOT accepted for the activities in Vic Falls. Payments can be made in any of the following currencies: South African Rand and US Dollar.

24 Day Overland Camping Safari – Cape Town to Johannesburg $2,865