Trip to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia

Cindy and Wm spent four weeks traveling around Southern Africa, including Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kruger Park and an adjacent private reserve, Mashatu and the Chobe Riverfront in Botswana, and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia. The first part of the trip was with a group from the Portland Audubon Society, and the last part was on our own.

Here are all the photos from the trip.

Cindy created a children's book using some of the photos, which tells about our adventure sleeping under the stars.

See also the videos at the bottom of this page.

Highlights

Touring around Cape Town, including visiting the Cape of Good Hope, seeing African Penguins, getting to pet a Cheetah, going to the top of Table Mountain, and eating African Food.

African Penguin Chapman Peak Drive Table Mountain Cheetah

Spending four nights at Klaserie Private Reserve. Unlike the national parks, in a private reserve you can hike around on foot and get a better feeling for the African Bush. This was also our first encounter with the wild animals of Africa, and learning respect for them. We even spent one night sleeping under the stars. We took turns all night tending the fire and keeping wild animals away! We saw giraffe, impala, warthog, kudu, zebra, and lots of elephants. Plus the birds in Africa are amazing.

Fire Watch On Safari Giraffe Zebra Roller

Next we spent four nights in Kruger National Park, one of the best places to view wildlife in the world. One of the things that amazed me was the sheer number of animals -- they were everywhere! We spent each night at a different camp, driving around during the day. In a national park, you are not allowed to get out of your vehicles, except at a few places. But because of that the animals are used to vehicles and you can observe them fairly up close. In addition to all the animals we had already seen, we saw lion, rhino, hippo, buffalo, hyena, jackal, nyala, waterbuck, eland, steenbok, wildebeest, bushbuck, tortoise, vulture, ostrich, crocodile, baboon, and monkey.

Elephant Buffalo Ostrich Hyena Baboon

We then drove up to Mashatu, in the Tuli Enclave of Botswana. This was the most luxurious stay of our trip, even though we were sleeping in tents. A highlight were the night drives. We finally got to see a leopard, two bush babies, a porcupine, mongoose, and the very rare african wild dog.

Bushbuck Warthog Lion Wild Dog Sunset

After that we went back to Johannesburg and parted from the group. Cindy and I got a private tour of some of the famous fossil beds where human ancestors have been found, called the Cradle of Humankind. We also visited the Apartheid Museum.

We then flew up to Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world. We stayed on the Zimbabwe side, but also went over to the Zambia side for a day. We even swam in the famous Devil's Pool, which is right at the top of the falls. It was crazy! We also flew over the falls in a helicopter. Zimbabwe is also a wonderful place to hear African music. There were often bands playing on the street, and live music at many meals.

Victoria Falls Devil's Pool Devil's Pool Marimba Band

Finally, we went to the Chobe Riverfront, in Botswana. This area is famous because of all the wild animals along the river. The animals do not seem bothered by the boats, so you can watch them go about their lives.

Elephants Hippopotamus Kudu Cicada Crocodile

Video

Music and Dance in Africa. A band in the restaurant "Mama Africa" in Cape Town, dancers and marimba players in Zimbabwe.

Wildlife in Africa. Giraffe, Warthog, Hyena, Buffalo, Kudu, Hippo, Impala, Wild Dogs, Wildebeast (gnu), Saddlebill Stork, Dung Beetles, Baboon, Zebra, Crocodile, Centipede. From South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Everything except for the Elephants, who have their own video.

African Elephants at the Chobe Riverfront in Botswana. The Elephants don't seem to mind the people in boats, so you can get relatively close and see them go about their lives.

African Wildlife at Night. Much of the wildlife is active at night. See Zebra, Lion, Spring Hare, and Hyena.

Victoria Falls and the Devil's Pool. Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe and Zambia sides, including a dip in the Devil's pool, right on the edge of the world's largest waterfall.

See all African videos by Wm Leler.