Premium Eastern and Southern Africa

Premium Eastern and Southern Africa

258 Views
37 Days From

$35005

$34042

Premium Eastern and Southern Africa

37 Days Starting in Kigali and ending in Windhoek

Visiting: Kigali, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Nairobi , Nairobi, Lake Naivasha / Lake Nakuru, Lake Nakuru National Park, Masai Mara National Reserve, Johannesburg, Kruger National Park, Victoria Falls, Chobe National Park, Zambezi River, Makgadikgadi Pans, Thamalakane River, Thamalakane River (Okavango Delta), Windhoek , Windhoek, Sesriem , Sesriem, Swakopmund, Damaraland, Etosha National Park

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

YGPUC

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 12

Physical rating:

Medium

Age range:

15-99 years

Trip Styles:

Safari Tours

Activities:

4WD, Boat/Cruise Excursion

From:
$35005
$34042 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$963

NB: Prices correct on 27-May-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Embrace the adventure of a lifetime on a 37-day Premium journey through Africa. Enter the world of rare mountain gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, take in quintessential East Africa in the Masai Mara, search for wildlife in the Kruger National Park, be amazed by the showstopping Victoria Falls, search for a wealth of elephants in Chobe National Park and marvel at the desert landscapes of Swakopmund and Sossusvlei. From the forests of Uganda to the vast grasslands of Kenya to the national parks of Southern Africa and Botswana, and the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia, few places on the planet offer such spectacular diversity and wildlife.

Highlights

  • With your gorilla permit included in the price of the trip, spend a day trekking (with an optional second) through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to get close to Uganda's rare mountain gorillas for an unforgettable hour.

  • Let your Feature Stays take you close to nature, from spectacular views at our carbon neutral Gorilla Lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, to a camp deep within the Masai Mara Game Reserve and a lodge on a private reserve in Greater Kruger, to a camp on the banks of the Chobe River and chalets in the Naukluft Mountains of Namibia.

  • Enjoy a front-row seat for wildlife viewings during 4x4 game drives in the Masai Mara, the Namibian desert, Lake Nakuru's National Park, Chobe National Park, Etosha National Park and Kruger National Park, with expert guides at the helm.

  • Discover the region’s best with Exclusive Experiences, including dinner with a local park ranger, a boat trip on Lake Naivasha, 4x4 drive through the Makgadikgadi Pans, game drives at the Boteti River and a privately catered cruise down the Zambezi River.

  • Visit a local Maasai community known for championing Maasai women’s health and education. During this Exclusive Experience, you’ll be welcomed by traditional Maasai warrior song and dance and learn about this remarkable culture.

  • Take in the spectacular contrasts of Namibia – climb the iconic Dune 45 to see the sand dunes of the Sossusvlei, explore the picturesque Deadvlei Salt Pans, Sesriem Canyon and Damaraland’s ancient rock paintings and petrified forests.

  • Let your Feature Stays take you close to nature, from spectacular views at our carbon neutral Gorilla Lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, to a camp with easy asccess to the Masai Mara Game Reserve and a lodge on a private reserve in Greater Kruger, to a camp on the banks of the Chobe River and chalets in the Naukluft Mountains of Namibia.

  • Let your Feature Stays take you close to nature, from spectacular views at our gorilla lodge surrounded by jungle in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to a lodge next to the Namib-Naukluft National Park with views of the ethereal desert landscape.

  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Gorilla Doctors. Donations help them care for injured mountain and Grauer's gorillas – contributing to the long-term sustainability of gorilla populations.

  • Discover the region’s best with Exclusive Experiences, including dinner with a local park ranger, a boat trip on Lake Naivasha, 4x4 drive through the Makgadikgadi Pans and a privately catered cruise down the Zambezi River.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Kigali

Location: Kigali

Accommodation: Hotel Des Mille Collines or similar

Meals Included: dinner

Welcome to Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city and the starting point for your adventure. You will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel, where you will meet your tour leader and small group for a 6 pm welcome meeting. Your accommodation for the next two nights is no ordinary hotel – the Hotel des Mille Collines is famous for sheltering and consequently saving more than 1000 people during the Rwandan genocide of 1994. If you arrive to Kigali early, perhaps take to the streets to explore this flourishing city in the midst of a great revival. Head to Nyamirambo, the Muslim quarter, to try some giant grilled tilapia, or stop by a local cafe and discover why Rwandan coffee is considered some of the world’s best. This evening, join your leader and small group for dinner at a lively East African restaurant popular with the locals. Enjoy live music, cocktails, incredible views and an authentic shared dining experience full of regional flavour.

Included Activities:
-Kigali - Welcome Dinner

Day 2: Kigali

Location: Kigali

Accommodation: Hotel Des Mille Collines or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch

This morning, head out of the city for a sobering visit to the Ntarama Church. Your leader will explain how this memorial marks the spot where 5000 people were tragically slaughtered during the Genocide. Reminders of lives lost remain in the church, including clothes and even bones. Continue to the Nyamata Genocide Memorial Centre, a former church where an incomprehensible 50,000 people were murdered. Your leader will discuss how the Tutsis sought refuge in churches, only for them to turn into death traps. Then, visit the Genocide Museum, a powerful yet confronting experience and important in understanding the tragedy and the resilience of the Rwandan people. This afternoon, re-energize with some local Ugandan treats before taking a tour of the thriving city and its vibrant market with your leader. The evening is free for you to enjoy.

Included Activities:
-Kigali - Genocide Memorial Centre
-Kigali - City Tour
-Kigali - Traditional Ugandan Lunch

Day 3: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Location: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Accommodation: Gorilla Heights Lodge (Feature Stay) or Similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

After breakfast, depart Kigali and head across the border to the Bwindi National Park in Uganda (approximately 4 hours). Arrive at the Gorilla Heights Lodge, your feature stay accommodation for the next three nights. Sitting high on the Nteko Ridge, the lodge offers up magnificent views of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home to half of the world’s 800 mountain gorillas. Gaze out across the jagged Virunga Mountains that straddle Uganda's borders with Congo and Rwanda. An eco-friendly oasis, each elegant cottage has a private balcony overlooking the forest canopy. The lodge is solar-powered and works closely with the local people. Here, you’ll experience genuinely warm Ugandan hospitality – when they wish you welcome, they really mean it. There’s no better spot for soaking in your wild surroundings and searching for mountain gorillas.

This evening will be a truly special experience as you're joined by a field veterinarian from the Gorilla Doctors for a fireside chat. This organization is dedicated to saving the mountain and eastern lowland (Grauer’s) gorilla species using veterinary medicine and science. They provide medical interventions to protect these magnificent animals from human-induced or life-threatening trauma or disease. You'll learn more about their fascinating work during this unique and exclusive experience.

Included Activities:
-Bwindi - Gorilla Doctors Veterinarian Educational Talk

Day 4: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Location: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Accommodation: Gorilla Heights Lodge (Feature Stay) or Similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Rise early and take a short walk to the park headquarters where you’ll be briefed on today's gorilla trek by the Uganda Wildlife Authorities. The trek can be strenuous, wet and uncomfortable at times but the incredible biodiversity of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the chance to see rare mountain gorillas makes it so worthwhile. We recommend investing in the help of local porters who can carry your pack and provide expert, local one-on-one assistance along the trek. Not only does it make for a more comfortable trek, it also provides valuable employment opportunities to locals. Gorilla trekking is highly controlled, with only 24 gorilla trekking permits available each day. Once you encounter a group of gorillas you will be able to stay with them for one hour – watch them swing from trees, groom each other and play, all under the watchful eye of a giant silverback. Coming face to face with a family of mountain gorillas is sure to be a life-affirming experience that will be etched on your mind forever. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the lush wilderness of the rainforest. At the end of the day the comforts of the hotel beckon, along with a chance to reflect on a memorable day. Freshen up with a hot shower and enjoy a hearty dinner by the crackling fireplace.

Included Activities:
-Bwindi National Park - Mountain Gorilla Permit & Trek

Day 5: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Location: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Accommodation: Gorilla Heights Lodge (Feature Stay) or Similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on the terrace overlooking the forest. The day is free for you to do as little or as much as you please – your leader will be able to help tailor a day that best suits your interests. For those seeking another encounter with the majestic mountain gorillas, there is the option for a second day of trekking. You may wish to simply relax at the lodge, take in the views from the outdoor pool, or enjoy a luxurious treatment at the spa. This evening, join your group and leader for dinner at the terraced restaurant overlooking the mountains.





Optional Activities:
-Bwindi Impenetrable Forrest - Nombe Forest Pocket (5-6hrs)
-Bwindi Impenetrable Forrest - Trek To The Top of The World (2-3hrs)
-Bwindi Impenetrable Forrest - Coffee Tour & Lake Mutanda Canoe (6-7hrs)
-Bwindi Impenetrable Forrest - Gorilla Buffer Zone Walk (2-3hrs)
-Bwindi Impenetrable Forrest - Buniga Batwa Cultural Trail

Day 6: Nairobi

Location: Nairobi

Accommodation: Sarova Panafric Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

After breakfast, early start and depart the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and begin the journey to cross border into Rwanda and onto its capital Kigali (approximately 4 hours). After arriving at the capital, your adventure will come to an end at around 1pm.Take some time out for your own discoveries of Kigali, then say goodbye to your leader and hop aboard an unaccompanied flight to Nairobi, Kenya (approximately 2.5 hours). On arrival, an Intrepid representative will collect you from the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Nairobi.

Day 7: Nairobi

Location: Nairobi

Accommodation: Sarova Panafric Hotel or similar

Meals Included: dinner

Welcome to Kenya! Your adventure begins in the capital city, Nairobi. You will be collected from the airport for a short transfer to your hotel, where you will meet your local leader and small group for a 6pm welcome meeting. If you arrive before this time, you could spend the afternoon browsing the artistic and cultural displays at Nairobi Gallery, or lounging by the pool at your home for the night – a swish central hotel complete with bold pan-African art, a sauna and steam room, and super friendly staff. After your meeting, head out with your leader and fellow travellers to a colourful local restaurant offering traditional favourites with a modern touch. Sharing food is a big part of the culture here and a great way to get to know your new travel companions – enjoy sharing platters and tasty sides like samosas, fried plantains and tilapia.

Included Activities:
-Complimentary Arrival Transfer
-Nairobi - Welcome Dinner

Optional Activities:
-Nairobi - City Experience Urban Adventure

Day 8: Lake Naivasha / Lake Nakuru

Location: Lake Naivasha / Lake Nakuru

Accommodation: Sopa Lodges Nakuru or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

After Breakfast, we pack our bags and head off to Great Rift Valley of East Africa where our first stop will be at the Eden Project. Eden Reforestation Projects is a nonprofit NGO that works in developing countries to rebuild natural landscapes destroyed by deforestation. Eden works directly with communities experiencing extreme poverty resulting from the deforestation and destruction of the land that sustains them – Intrepid is a proud sponsor of this project and we help raise funds for this organization. Spend an hour at this site and learn how they work alongside the community to produce, plant, and protect tens of millions of trees every month, creating jobs to support them in restoring their local environment and economy long-term.

Then depart for Elsamere, the former home of the writer Joy Adamson, whose 1960 book 'Born Free' helped bring wildlife conservation into the mainstream. The house is a veritable museum dedicated to the works of Joy and George Adamson, with many photos of Elsa, the lioness that started it all. Embark on a boat trip on Lake Naivasha, the highest of all lakes in the Great Rift Valley and home to many a hippopotamus. Later, enjoy a high tea lunch on the very grounds Joy cherished for so many years, with the lake as a serene backdrop. After lunch, continue to your Lake Nakuru lodge, arriving in the early evening. From your lodge you’ll enjoy remarkable views of Lake Nakuru and the surrounding national park, alive with the call of birds and rich in wildlife. What better way to take it all in than from your lodge’s infinity pool.

Included Activities:
-Lake Naivasha - Boat trip
-Lake Naivasha - Elsamere Conservation Centre
-Kiambu Tigoni - Eden Reforestation Project

Day 9: Lake Nakuru National Park

Location: Lake Nakuru National Park

Accommodation: Sopa Lodges Nakuru or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

This morning you will visit Lake Nakuru National Park by four-wheel drive vehicle (4x4) – the park’s lake is its stunning centrepiece. Mornings can be cold here so it's important to bring warm clothes. You might see why this great soda lake has been described as the world's greatest ornithological spectacle; great seas of flamingos often turn the landscape a sweeping shade of pink. Flooding in recent years has unfortunately caused a decline in birdlife, however the park boasts substantial numbers of other species, including waterbuck, reedbuck and gazelle. Leopards are also to be found here, and the chances of sighting one are significant. Return to the lodge and take some time out for lunch, then head back out for another afternoon game drive. Keep your eyes peeled for one of Africa's most endangered creatures, the elusive black rhinoceros. While white rhino sightings are fairly common, spotting a black rhinoceros is a real treat.

Included Activities:
-Lake Nakuru - Afternoon 4x4 Game Drive
-Lake Nakuru - Morning 4x4 Game Drive

Day 10: Masai Mara National Reserve

Location: Masai Mara National Reserve

Accommodation: Zebra River Camp (Feature Stay) or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Head southwest to the Masai Mara, one of the finest game reserves in Africa. Cross the Great Rift Valley and pass by the remote region of Loita Hills, home of the Maasai people. This is one of the few places where they still practice their traditional way of life with little influence from the western world. Stop at Tepesua Village where you’ll be welcomed by Maasai Warriors through traditional song and dance. Meet your Maasai hosts, take a walk to the community village and enjoy a fascinating talk full of insights into this ancient culture. The village offers support, safety and economic growth through the ‘Tepesua Widows Income Project’, where widowed women sew eco-friendly handicrafts to sell to visitors and locals. Learn about village life and be shown around a traditional Maasai home and cattle enclosure. Move on to Zebra River Camp, your Feature Stay accommodation for the next three nights. Here, you can watch blazing sunsets and share stories over the bonfire – or cocktails in the plush lounge area – before retiring to your luxury digs. Tented rooms feature ensuite bathrooms, large, comfortable beds and private verandas offering fabulous views of the surrounding wilderness.

Included Activities:
-Loita Hills - Cultural talk and village visit

Day 11: Masai Mara National Reserve

Location: Masai Mara National Reserve

Accommodation: Zebra River Camp (Feature Stay) or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Explore more of the park by 4x4 today with further game drives from morning to the afternoon. We depart for an early morning game drive with our packed lunch at hand since we will drive to the furthest part of the park. Witness the wonderful procession of wildlife that inhabits the area. Wildebeest, zebra and gazelle are plentiful, and you might even spot predators keeping a casual eye on their movements. Elephants, giraffes and elands are also commonly sighted, along with plenty of bird life. The area is known for its rolling green plains and riverine woodlands, and amongst the many species of game, a black-maned lion, leopard or cheetah might appear, with some luck. As the sun starts to set, stop and take a moment to soak it all in with a drink in hand – there’s few better ways to wrap up a day of wildlife spotting in one of the world’s most magical places. As dusk falls, a variety of animals might be visible in the vicinity of your camp also. We return to camp late in the evening and freshen up before settling in for dinner.


Included Activities:
-Masai Mara - Sundowner and snacks
-Masai Mara - Full Day 4x4 Game Drive

Day 12: Masai Mara National Reserve

Location: Masai Mara National Reserve

Accommodation: Zebra River Camp (Feature Stay) or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

The morning is yours to do as you wish. You may like to sit back with a cup of coffee on your private deck, keeping an eye out for animals in the reserve, or forgo a sleep-in in favour of an early morning game drive or walking safari. If you’d like to see the Masai Mara from a different perspective, a sunrise hot air balloon ride is a truly memorable experience. Balloon rides can be booked ahead of time or on the ground (subject to availability) and the suppliers are committed conservationists, with a portion of the profits from every flight going straight to worthy conservation projects within the park. You will be collected before dawn and glide through the sunrise, sometimes at tree height, making the most of the amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you'll ascend to get an overview of the enormity of the Masai Mara plains and the early-morning movements of the teeming herds. In the afternoon, regroup for another exciting 4x4 game drive in the park.

Included Activities:
-Masai Mara - Afternoon 4x4 Game Drive

Optional Activities:
-Masai Mara National Reserve - Balloon ride (from price)
-Masai Mara - Half Day Game Drive
-Masai Mara National Reserve - Guided Walking Safari

Day 13: Nairobi

Location: Nairobi

Accommodation: Sarova Panafric Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

Say goodbye to the Masai Mara and return to Nairobi. You can expect to arrive in the late afternoon, at which point your adventure will come to an end. Please do not book any international flights departing from Nairobi International Airport before 8pm this evening to allow for any unexpected delays. If you would like to extend your stay in Nairobi, additional accommodation can be booked in advance (subject to availability).

Day 14: Johannesburg

Location: Johannesburg

Accommodation: The Maslow Hotel or similar

Meals Included: dinner

Welcome to South Africa! Your trip begins in Johannesburg, where you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Please ensure that you organise the details of your arrival transfer well in advance. You'll meet the rest of your group and leader for a welcome meeting at 6pm, but if you do happen to arrive early, the day is yours to spend at leisure. After your meeting, join your leader and fellow travellers for dinner at your hotel. South Africa enjoys a diverse food scene flavoured by its multicultural influences. This evening you may like to try some boerewors, a spiced South African sausage, or perhaps some springbok carpaccio.

Included Activities:
-Johannesburg - Welcome Dinner

Day 15: Kruger National Park

Location: Kruger National Park

Accommodation: Mdluli Safari Lodge (Feature Stay) or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Set off early for a drive to Kruger National Park, arriving just in time for lunch at an exceptionally intimate lodge, your Feature Stay accommodation for the next three evenings. Developed in partnership with the local Mdluli community, Mdluli Safari Lodge is in perfect harmony with its wild surroundings. Luxury Tent feature first-class amenities, with private en suites, indoor and outdoor showers, air-conditioning and a gorgeous swimming pool for cooling off. Sit back and relax in the cosy lounge of the main lodge and take in spectacular views. In the afternoon you'll enjoy your first open 4x4 vehicle game drive. Experience close encounters with wild animals in their own habitat, and if you’re lucky, you may meet lions, elephants, rhinos and leopards. Retire to your lodge in the evening.

Included Activities:
-Kruger National Park - Afternoon Game Drive

Day 16: Kruger National Park

Location: Kruger National Park

Accommodation: Mdluli Safari Lodge (Feature Stay) or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Rise early and make the journey into the heart of Kruger National Park. Upon entry, you'll find yourself in the perfect position to catch a glimpse of one, or hopefully all, of the Big Five. Take a packed breakfast at a picnic spot then proceed with a full day of wildlife safari, stopping off at waterholes and various other points to observe these animals in their natural habitat. One of the largest game reserves in Southern Africa, Kruger National Park is not only home to members of the Big Five, but also 500 bird species, 100 species of reptile and 150 mammal species. The endangered African wild dog, herbivores like hippo, zebra, giraffe and numerous different types of antelope also enjoy the park’s rich mosaic of habitats, including savanna, mixed acacia woodland, rocky hills and mopane woodland. Return to the lodge this evening to relax and relive your favourite moments from the day.

Included Activities:
-Kruger National Park - Full Day Open Safari Vehicle Game Drive

Day 17: Kruger National Park

Location: Kruger National Park

Accommodation: Mdluli Safari Lodge (Feature Stay) or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Return to Kruger National Park for another thrilling game drive. This is an opportunity to catch a glimpse of any animals the group didn't see the day before. Today's game drive will finish in time for sunset and drinks, served on a kopje at your Feature Stay. Pronounced 'kopee' these large ancient rock formations provide scenic contrasts across Africa's vast landscapes. Take a moment to sit back and take in the sounds and sights of the bush as day turns to night.


Included Activities:
-Kruger National Park - Full Day Open Safari Vehicle Game Drive
-Kruger National Park - Sundowner Drinks

Day 18: Victoria Falls

Location: Victoria Falls

Accommodation: Victoria Falls Safari Lodge or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Rise early and depart for Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, where you will say goodbye to South Africa and board a mid-morning flight to Victoria Falls airport in Zimbabwe, your gateway to the Victoria Falls. Continue to your lodge accommodation, which serves up stunning views of uninterrupted wilderness and a waterhole frequented by elephant, buffalo, kudu and more. Spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool or spotting wildlife from any of the multiple viewing decks around the lodge. This evening head above the falls onto the Zambezi River and embark on a small and intimate Dinner Cruise. The specially designed jet-propelled boats allow you to reach the shallow water among the islands directly above the Victoria Falls. Two private chefs will prepare dinner with locally sourced fresh ingredients and serve drinks while the captain navigates the islands above the thundering Victoria Falls. Sit back in your comfortable lounge chair as you enjoy a four-course meal while looking out for crocodiles lazing on the banks or elephants and hippos submerging themselves in the river – this is truly an experience to remember.

Included Activities:
-Victoria Falls – Zambezi River Dinner Cruise

Optional Activities:
-Victoria Falls - Helicopter Flight (25 mins - Excludes US$30 fuel surcharge and NP fees)
-Victoria Falls - Helicopter Flight of the Angels (12 mins - Excludes US$25 fuel surcharge and NP fees)

Day 19: Chobe National Park

Location: Chobe National Park

Accommodation: Chobe Marina Lodge or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

This morning, visit the unforgettable Victoria Falls – one of the world's true natural wonders, forming the largest sheet of falling water in the world when in full flow. Once inside the park, your guide will take you through the falls area, stopping at different vantage points along the way to explain the history of the falls and their surrounds. After an exciting morning at the falls, depart Zimbabwe and make the journey to Chobe National Park in Botswana, crossing the Kazangula border. The afternoon is free to walk in Kasane town (watch out for wandering warthogs!), sit poolside on the edge of the Chobe River and watch the sun set, or perhaps opt for an optional afternoon Game Drive in the Chobe National park.

Included Activities:
-Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls tour Zimbabwe Side

Day 20: Chobe National Park

Location: Chobe National Park

Accommodation: Chobe Marina Lodge or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Start the day with a game drive through Chobe National Park, the first designated national park in Botswana. Chobe is known for its huge population of elephants and buffalo and you may well see them drinking at the local watering hole during the drive. Then head back to the lodge for breakfast. Afterwards embark on a cruise along the picturesque Chobe River, an ideal location for spotting bird life such as saddle-billed storks, malachite kingfishers, fish eagles and beautiful bee-eaters as well as hippos, crocodiles and large families of elephants often seen crossing the river between the boats. You will be joined by other travellers on the boat cruise which has a toilet and small bar to purchase drinks. Enjoy a drink on board and watch the sun set over the river.

Included Activities:
-Chobe National Park - River cruise
-Chobe National Park - Morning 4x4 Game Drive

Day 21: Chobe National Park

Location: Chobe National Park

Accommodation: Chobe Marina Lodge or similar

Meals Included: dinner

Welcome to Botswana! Your adventure begins at Chobe National Park – one of Africa’s premier wildlife destinations and home to its largest population of Elephants. You will be collected from the airport and transferred to your accommodation on the banks of the Chobe River at the fringe of the national park. Here you will meet your tour leader and small group of fellow travellers for a 6pm welcome meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. After your meeting, join your group and leader for dinner at the lodge. Enjoy a celebration of indigenous food and the rich flavours of Africa as you dine alongside the scenic Chobe River.

Included Activities:
-Chobe - Welcome Dinner

Optional Activities:
-Chobe National Park - 4x4 Game Drive

Day 22: Zambezi River

Location: Zambezi River

Accommodation: Zambezi Mubala Lodge (Feature Stay) or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Rise early for a morning game drive in Chobe National Park. You might see elephants drinking at the water's edge, large herds of cape buffaloes and many impalas within the park. Head back to the lodge for breakfast, then journey to the Ngoma Border Post before continuing to the Namibian side of the Zambezi River. Here you will find your Feature Stay accommodation, the fabulous Zambezi Mubala Lodge. Newly-built, modern, innovative and stylish, Zambezi Mubala is a secret river hideaway where you can find hippo, vervet monkeys and over 450 species of birds. Arrive in time for a hearty lunch at the lodge, then enjoy some downtime to relax by the pool, spot wildlife from the bar or soak up the wild surroundings on the banks of the Zambezi River. Speak to your leader about some fabulous optional activities for the afternoon, including a canoe trip, guided walking trail or a birding drive.

Included Activities:
-Chobe National Park - 4x4 Game Drive

Day 23: Zambezi River

Location: Zambezi River

Accommodation: Zambezi Mubala Lodge (Feature Stay) or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Today, head out for two boat cruises on the Zambezi River. The privileged position of your camp allows you to access a part of the river that most visitors don’t get to see, which means you’ll have the special opportunity to view abundant wildlife without the crowds. This region offers a wildlife spotting experience like no other – with a bit of luck you will see large herds of elephants, buffalo and antelope. Head back to the lodge to enjoy lunch, refreshments and time to relax. In the afternoon, head back out on the boat for sunset and enjoy drinks and refreshments as you watch the changing colours of the spectacular landscape.

Included Activities:
-Zambezi River - Morning River Cruise
-Zambezi River - Afternoon River Cruise

Day 24: Makgadikgadi Pans

Location: Makgadikgadi Pans

Accommodation: Nata Lodge or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Heading south, cross the Ngoma border back into Botswana and continue your journey to the vast salt flats and grassy plains of the Makgadikgadi Pans. Located in the north-east of Botswana, the Makgadikgadi Pans are situated in the middle of a dry savanna and are all that remain of the former Lake Makgadikgadi. This afternoon, get to know your gold-hued, otherworldly surroundings during a 4x4 excursion. The immense, sprawling salt flat will unfold in front of you as you look out for aardvark, ostriches and mongooses. Surrounded by the Nata sanctuary, a breeding ground for thousands of water birds, the horizon is tinted pink by clouds of flamingos and pelicans. Savour the ethereal landscape as you sit out on the pans and enjoy drinks and snacks as the sun sets. Return to the lodge for dinner and relive the highlights of an exciting day.

Included Activities:
-Makgadikgadi Pans - Sunset 4x4 Excursion & Sundowner

Day 25: Thamalakane River

Location: Thamalakane River

Accommodation: Thamalakane River Lodge or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Embrace a very early start this morning and head out with a packed breakfast in hand. Today’s experience will surely be one to remember. Travel to the edge of the Ntwetwe salt pan, home to a resident family of entertaining Meerkats. With the aid of trackers, arrive in time to observe their morning rituals as the sun rises. Watch the meerkats bask in the morning sun before heading out for their daily foraging – the fantastic conditions and lighting will help you snap an unforgettable picture of these marvellous creatures. Stop at a neighbouring lodge for lunch, then continue to Maun, the gateway to one of the world's most complex ecosystems, the Okavango Delta.

Included Activities:
-Makgadikgadi Pans - Meerkat & Kalahari Bushman Experience

Day 26: Thamalakane River (Okavango Delta)

Location: Thamalakane River (Okavango Delta)

Accommodation: Thamalakane River Lodge or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Today, you'll take a traditional mokoro – a dugout canoe steered by friendly local 'polers' – for an Okavango waterways experience. With some luck, you could spot some of the delta's unusual wildlife and exotic birdlife. Spend some time today exploring the maze of lagoons, lakes and streams by mokoro before exploring on foot with a local guide. View plants, trees and animals from a different perspective and observe close-up details often missed on game drives. Your guide will provide expert knowledge and help you gain a deeper understanding of the environment. Lunch will be served on one of the many secluded islands created by the Delta waterways.

Included Activities:
-Okavango Delta - Mokoro safari
-Okavango Delta - Expert Guided Bush Walk
-Okavango Delta - Full Day Mokoro

Day 27: Windhoek

Location: Windhoek

Accommodation: The Weinberg Boutique Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

Check out of your lodge this morning and transfer to the airport for an unaccompanied flight to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, known for its colonial German architecture and relaxed atmosphere. On arrival, you'll be met by another transfer driver who will take you to your hotel.

Windhoek is known for its colonial German architecture and relaxed atmosphere. Perhaps head out for a stroll around town to admire the architecture of the Tintenpalast and Christuskirche buildings or stop by a local market to peruse handmade crafts.

Day 28: Windhoek

Location: Windhoek

Accommodation: The Weinberg Boutique Hotel or similar

Meals Included: dinner

The Namibian section of your Premium Adventure begins tonight with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm, where you'll get to meet your new leader and travel companions. After your meeting, head to your boutique hotel’s sky lounge for a tapas dinner made with the freshest local ingredients. From here, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding valley – a perfect spot to watch the sun go down.

Included Activities:
-Windhoek - Welcome Dinner

Day 29: Sesriem

Location: Sesriem

Accommodation: Sossusvlei Lodge (Feature Stay) or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

This morning, drive south to Sesriem, your gateway to the Sossusvlei Dunes, Deadvlei, and Sesriem Canyon. Arrive at your Feature Stay accommodation for the next two nights, situated next to the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Take in the magnificent views, which can be enjoyed from your very own private patio. Enjoy lunch at the lodge’s restaurant, with the otherworldly landscape stretching far in each direction, then spend the afternoon relaxing by the bar or next to the sparkling pool. Later on, head out on a guided four-wheel drive (4x4) nature drive to discover the unique flora and fauna of the desert. Stop for a drink to take it all in as the sun sets, then return to the lodge for dinner and relax on the terrace overlooking the floodlit waterhole.

Included Activities:
-Sesriem - Guided Nature Drive & Sundowners

Day 30: Sesriem

Location: Sesriem

Accommodation: Sossusvlei Lodge (Feature Stay) or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Make an early-morning visit to Sossusvlei, which lies at the end of an ancient riverbed. This is a great opportunity for unsurpassed views of the surrounding area. Climbing to the top of Dune 45 will reward you with a spectacular perspective of the surreal desert landscape. After breakfast, travel to Deadvlei, a clay pan that lends itself to many iconic images. When you see the skeleton trees against a vibrant orange backdrop of dunes, you’ll soon understand what all the fuss is about. The pan is surrounded by some of the highest dunes in the world, 'Big Daddy' or 'Crazy Dune' average about 350 metres in height. In the afternoon you will visit Sesriem Gorge, a tranquil natural corridor that you can walk through and explore. Return to the lodge for the evening.

Included Activities:
-Sesriem - Sossusvlei & Deadvlei Salt Pan Visit
-Sesriem - Dune 45 Visit
-Sesriem - Sesriem Canyon Visit

Day 31: Swakopmund

Location: Swakopmund

Accommodation: The Delight or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

Continue your journey to the beachside town of Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast. Stop by the small settlement of Solitaire. Scattered with abandoned trucks, cars, petrol pumps and cacti, it's the only place between Walvis Bay and Sossusvlei to feature a petrol station, post office, general store, and bakery. Enjoy a piece of the local apple pie which has earned itself quite a reputation. Continue on past moon valley, named for its eerie lunar-like appearance, and the Tropic of Capricorn. Walvis Bay is the hibernation area for thousands of migratory birds, most notably flamingos. If in season you may take quick detour to see these elegant birds. Upon arrival at Swakopmund take some time for lunch, then join your leader on an orientation walk to get a feel for this interesting township with a German-Namibian atmosphere.

Included Activities:
-Solitaire - Bakery Visit & Apple Pie Tasting
-Swakopmund - Leader-led Orientation Tour
-Walvis Bay - Visit

Day 32: Swakopmund

Location: Swakopmund

Accommodation: The Delight or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

The day is yours to enjoy this gorgeous coastal town. Your accommodation conveniently located within walking distance of the town, where you can enjoy a walk on the beach, open air markets or the local museum. You may wish to take an optional trip north to Cape Cross, a breeding site for Cape fur seals. There can be in excess of 100,000 seals there at any given time, making for quite the spectacle (quite a smell too, if the wind happens to change direction). Wander the coastline and attempt to document these beautiful creatures with a photo or two, and visit the large cross that lies nearby, left by Diego Cao, the first European to arrive on Namibian soil in 1485.

Optional Activities:
-Swakopmund - Swakopmund Museum
-Swakopmund - Seal and dolphin cruise

Day 33: Damaraland

Location: Damaraland

Accommodation: Damara Mopane Lodge or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Leave the Atlantic Ocean coastline behind and drive towards the Namib Desert, along a portion of the Skeleton Coast. Take in the beautiful, diverse and colourful landscapes that stream past along the way; mountains, sand dunes, ocean waves and, shipwrecks. Continue to Damaraland. Home to Namibia's highest peak, ancient rock paintings and petrified forests, the harshly beautiful and sparsely populated Damaraland region is a land of extraordinary contrasts. Depending on the time of year, you might be lucky enough to see the desert elephants that roam the area. Your accommodation while here features a centrepiece swimming pool fringed by beautiful chalets, each with a private garden. End the day with a walk to a viewing platform to take in truly remarkable views of the surrounding Mopane woodland. The best spot to enjoy a drink as the sun goes down.

Included Activities:
-Damaraland - Sunset Walk

Day 34: Damaraland

Location: Damaraland

Accommodation: Damara Mopane Lodge or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Spend the morning visiting the Twyfelfontein Heritage Site and the Petrified Forest with expert local guides to provide insight on these wonders. Twyfelfontein has one of the largest concentrations of ancient rock engraving in southern Africa and is a fascinating insight into the past. The Petrified Forest looks back into nature’s history, where 280-million-year-old fossilised tree trunks lie. Continue on to the Living Museum of the Damara, which aims to reconstruct and preserve the 'lost culture’ of the Damara people. Your leader will tell you all about this fascinating traditional culture that is, along with the Bushmen, the oldest in Namibia. Return to the lodge in the afternoon, with the rest of the day free to relax by the pool with a book.

Included Activities:
-Damaraland - Twyfelfontein Bushman Paintings
-Damaraland - Twyfelfontein Heritage Site
-Damaraland - Petrified Forest
-Damaraland - Living Museum of the Damara

Day 35: Etosha National Park

Location: Etosha National Park

Accommodation: Etosha Safari Lodge or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Leave Damaraland behind and head towards Etosha National Park. On arrival, the afternoon will be free to relax at your lodge. Maybe cool off in the pool, read a book, or enjoy a sundowner by the bar. Be sure to charge your camera tonight as tomorrow will be a full day in the park. This is one of the world's premier game-viewing destinations; spotting animals in the park is relatively easy due to the man-made waterholes and the large, sparsely vegetated pans. The bushland surrounding the pans is difficult to see through, but there are enough clearings, pans and waterholes to allow for sightings. Namibia has protected its game reserves against poaching, so there are large herds of elephants, antelope and other herbivores.

Day 36: Etosha National Park

Location: Etosha National Park

Accommodation: Etosha Safari Lodge or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Rise early for a morning 4x4 game drive in the Etosha National Park. Keep a close eye on the landscape for black rhino, Hartmann's mountain zebra, black-faced impala, roan antelope and the tiny Damara dik-dik. The park is also home to some 340 bird species. Retire to a rest camp within the park for lunch and a swim, a welcome break from the midday sun, then set out again for an afternoon game drive in search of any wildlife you may have missed on the morning outing. Return to the lodge and reflect on the day's adventures with your fellow travellers over dinner.

Included Activities:
-Etosha NP - PM Game Drive (4x4)
-Etosha NP - AM Game Drive (4x4)

Day 37: Windhoek

Location: Windhoek

Meals Included: breaksfast

This morning after breakfast you will make your way back to Windhoek. Your adventure comes to an end on arrival. Please do not book any international flights departing from Windhoek before 8pm this evening to allow for any unexpected delays. If you would like to extend your stay, additional accommodation can be booked in advance (subject to availability).

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    Hotel (10 nights), Lodge (23 nights), Permanent tented camp (3 nights)

  • Meals
    32 breakfasts, 18 lunches, 30 dinners

  • Kigali - Welcome Dinner

  • Kigali - Genocide Memorial Centre

  • Kigali - City Tour

  • Kigali - Rolex Streetfood Lunch

  • Bwindi National Park - Mountain Gorilla Permit & Trek

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer

  • Nairobi - Welcome Dinner

  • Lake Naivasha - Boat trip

  • Lake Naivasha - Elsamere Conservation Centre

  • Lake Nakuru - Afternoon 4x4 Game Drive

show more

Transport

  • On the Kenya part of this trip we use 8 seater 4x4 safari vehicles. For smaller groups of up to 6 travellers we will use 1 safari vehicle and for larger groups between 7-12 we will use 2 vehicles.
  • There are many early starts with long hours spent driving on rough roads on all African itineraries. While most people love the chance to watch the changing landscape and daily village life, feedback shows that long periods of inactivity does not appeal to all clients. We provide the approximate distance covered each day and how many hours this normally takes to drive so that you can choose the safari experience that is right for you.
  • African conditions are extremely tough on vehicles. While we fastidiously maintain our vehicles at our workshops, you should not expect Africa to be your traditional touring experience. While it's certainly our aim to avoid them, it's important that you set off on your trip knowing that the occasional breakdown can happen and are best treated as part of the African adventure. Due to wet weather there may be times when we have to take an alternative route which will mean longer travel times.

Accommodation

  • The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.
  • Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.
  • If you require a Sleep Apnea Machine to sleep please ensure that it is battery operated. Lodges and Permanent Tented Camps are often powered by generators which are turned off during the night.

Important Information

  • 1. This trip requires a higher non-refundable deposit (AUD1000, USD1000, EUR800, NZD1250, GBP650, CAD1000, ZAR8000, CHF900) in order to secure the included gorilla permit. Please note that we need to confirm availability of a gorilla permit if you are booking within 45 days of departure. The additional deposit paid at time of booking will be credited to the final balance of your booking.
  • 2. Please note that the Gorilla Permit included is only valid for one day on Day 4. For those who are interested for a second trek, please consult your booking agent about purchasing the second Gorilla Permit.
  • 3. A single supplement is available on all nights of this trip, subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
  • 4. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
  • 5. An optional sunrise balloon ride in the Masai Mara is possible on this itinerary. Please see the itinerary above for full details of this activity. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and we recommend you book in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to book this optional activity.
  • 6. This trip includes flights. The luggage allowance is 23kg for check in luggage and 8kg for carry on.
  • 7. Travel is always an adventure and our leaders are experts when it comes to dealing with anything unexpected along the journey, so sit back and relax while they take care of the rest.
  • 8. Border crossing delays in the region have been sporadic and difficult to predict. What takes an hour one day may take four hours the next. This may affect the order of activities in the itinerary. We understand this uncertainty can be frustrating, and we strongly recommend packing a bit of patience and flexibility.
  • 9. Depending on the departure date, we may use other luxury camps for our Feature Stay in Kenya, including Mara Engai, Amani Mara or Fig Tree Camp.
  • 10. Depending on the departure date, we may use Desert Hills Lodge for our Feature Stay in Namibia.

Check out our Q&As

  • Is this trip right for you

    Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, humid, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous walking. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk up to 4 hours up and down hills (perhaps pack some gardening gloves to assist in any up-hill climbs). But the sheer thrill of coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty.

    The gorilla trek is a shared activity. You may be split into different groups according to fitness level, and be accompanied by other travellers on your trek. However there will only be a maximum of 8 people per gorilla family, plus a local Uganda Wildlife Ranger and trackers.

    This itinerary features some long travel days, which can be exacerbated by bumpy African roads. It is recommended that you pay close attention to the given approximations of driving hours.

    As the early bird catches the worm, the early camper sights the animals. There will be many early starts either to make use of the better safari time or to beat the morning traffic on long travel days.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

Reviews of this operator

Maroochy Dazza (Google Reviewer)  

Just leaving a review to...

24-Aug-2023

Just leaving a review to share how much I enjoyed my Central America trip. I thought the guide, Aura was so knowledgeable and organised and clearly a great ambassador for Intrepid. She gave us lots of information on each region, helped us organise anything we needed and dealt with queries from passengers very well and diplomatically. She made the trip run smoothly. She was also keen to explain the Intrepid vision and how the company values making a difference to locals and is a credit to your company. I did Guatemala and beyond and thoroughly enjoyed it - very fast paced, lots to see and do and a great overview of the region. I would definitely recommend 👍

Jo Clayton (Google Reviewer)  

I recently went on an...

15-Mar-2024

I recently went on an 11 day tour of India with Intrepid and was impressed with every aspect of the tour, the tour leader and the organisation behind the scenes. I always travel alone so it was a big deal to join a tour, I didn't want to feel less independent or ferried about. I loved being part of a group and the things we saw and did on the tour, I would never have known about or seen if I had been by myself. I loved it from start to finish. Yes the overnight trains were not easy to sleep on, but I managed. Meeting locals on board was a high light for me. English is widely spoken in India and its amazing who you strike up a chat with. I had two problems on the tour - one my own fault and one hotel related. The support from Intrepid was amazing. I cannot thank them enough for going the extra mile to support me. I recommend Intrepid 100% and have gone from thinking an organised tour is for people who don't know about Lonely Planet and can't do solo stuff, to realising its a faster, better, more fun way to get to know a country truly and deeply whilst on a bit of a budget. I will book again and again with Intrepid. I loved it that much! Big thanks to tour leader Daddy H. Devender for his help on day one, and Nick in the Oz office for his fab customer care skills. Also the person who staffed the emergency whatsapp in India - you saved my sanity helping me get there a day late! THANK YOU ALL X

Nicole  

North American Adventure

12-Oct-2021

This was my first international solo trip, but I never felt “alone” - there was always someone to go shopping, hike, or grab a quick bite with. The itinerary was a great balance between organized activities, while still allowing free time for exploring. Each location was unique and charming in its own way. Spending the night in the holy city of Moulay Idriss and wandering the winding streets of Chefchaouen were especially memorable. Thank you Mustapha and Intrepid for an incredible adventure!

Alice Norton (Google Reviewer)  

I have just completed a...

29-Feb-2024

I have just completed a 12 day food tour of Vietnam, and had an amazing time. Our tour leader was great, knowledgeable and kind, who helped throughout the trip with recommendations for places on our free days, and spas. All the food we tried was delicious. It is a very fast paced tour, and Bon tried to maximise our experiences for the best.

Henry Guy Robinson   United Kingdom

Cambodia Discovery

22-Jan-2024

The overall experience was fantastic. V good tour leader. All places visited had something special to do or see. I would book a tour with this company again. Only one negative tour hub is not I repeat not available to contact direct by phone.

Merouane Harkat   Uk

Explore Southern Africa

08-Mar-2024

Best trip ever was, 2 things I didn't like the black mamba stop was wasting day and village ,so 2 night I think was just wasting, I could do 2 days in Kruger, and one more night in delta

Ann  

Amazing Guatemala and beyond tour with Intrepid

13-Dec-2022

Did Guatemala and beyond trip in November 22. It was amazing, we were so well looked after by our guide Aura. She was very knowledgeable and during our bus trips she gave us the history of the 4 countries. The border crossings can be tricky but handled very well by our guide. We saw all the most interesting and beautiful places. The hotels were lovely comfortable colonial style. I will travel with intrepid again

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Hazel Rogers (Google Reviewer)  

I have just completed my...

06-Mar-2024

I have just completed my first trip with Intrepid to Southern Africa, and I loved every moment of it! We saw so much wildlife, stayed in some beautiful places, and learnt so much about the countries and people in a very short space of time. Our group leader, Admore, was exceptionally organised, coordinating every detail of our packed itinerary and keeping us informed along the way. The recruitment of a local group leader who can share their knowledge and fix the smallest of issues quickly really sets these trips apart, ensuring you feel safe and looked after at all times. I shall be booking my next trip soon!

RICHARD ALAN RODDY   England

Central American Journey

08-Feb-2024

Very enjoyable, good paced Tour. Tour Leader, Choko was helpful, knowledgeable and extremely informative.

Joanne W  

Wonderful Croatian tour

02-Dec-2022

Our tour guide,Tamara, was the highlight of our Explore Croatia tour. She was knowledgeable, organized, and so kind and fun. Croatia is a beautiful country. I loved the people, the scenery, the food, the history. I hope to go back one day. Intrepid was perfect for me. There was group time and there was plenty of free time. It wasn’t a luxury tour but all of our accommodations were clean and safe. The dinner in Hvar was SO special!

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Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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