Select your travel style--whether it's our signature expeditions, our active outdoors adventures, or our lower-priced journeys. Our newest small-group trips, provided in partnership with G Adventures, blend fun, hands-on exploration with meaningful cultural encounters, as well as more free time and choices. From cosmopolitan Cape Town to the wildlife-rich parks of South Africa and Botswana, to majestic Victoria Falls, discover the best of southern Africa.
Depart on an overnight flight to South Africa, and arrive in Cape Town the following afternoon.
Rise early this morning and head out in open safari vehicles to spot animals at one of their most active times.
Rise at dawn and, after a light breakfast, set out into the delta, exploring by safari vehicle, motorized boat, or mokoro (traditional canoe). Time permitting, enjoy a final morning game drive before transferring to the Xakanaxa airstrip and flying to Maun International Airport. Africa abounds with incredible sights, from soaring sand dunes to savannas teeming with wildlife. Travel the world with our experts on our flagship expeditions by land, train, private jet, or on board our fleet of small ships. Explore by foot, by camel or kayak, and even by dogsled on an active adventure that combines spectacular places, physical challenge, and cultural interaction. Our newest trips, offered with G Adventures, blend fun, hands-on exploration, meaningful encounters, and more free time and choices. After an exhausting day of photographing life out on the African savanna one more spectacle was in store. As the global population soars toward nine billion by 2045, this corner of Africa shows what's at stake in the decades ahead.
Rule of the gun prevails in North Kivu, a conflict-ravaged province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Exhaling clouds of gas, a cauldron of lava boils in the mile-wide crater of Nyiragongo, an active volcano in the Congo that threatens two million people. A metal-roofed metropolis, Goma sits at the crossroads of conflict in eastern Congo, its population exploding with displaced villagers, soldiers, profiteers, and aid workers.
Elephants have miles of unbroken savanna to roam inside Uganda's Queen Elizabeth Park, where their numbers total 2,500, a dramatic rise after heavy poaching in the 1980s. A path from market to squatters' camp leads a woman carrying sugarcane across a recently burned plot in Uganda's Kagombe Forest Reserve.
The hand of a mountain gorilla pokes from the rain forest in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.


From above, the scene is pastoral—a lush blanket of fields in the highlands of northwest Rwanda. Attacked in their homes and fields, impregnated, and often cast off by their families, shattered women bring their babies to meet an aid worker in Shasha in North Kivu, a province terrorized by what activists call Congo's epidemic of rape as a weapon of war.
In a region bursting with people, a few big open spaces remain—like the Rift floor in Queen Elizabeth Park, pocked with crater lakes formed by volcanic explosions.
Alert to human visitors, a young mountain gorilla and its mother sit tight in Bwindi Impenetrable Park. African buffalo create tracks in the salty mud at the edge of a crater lake in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Government soldiers patrol the streets of a settlement inside Virunga National Park near Lake Edward. Explore the stunning Cape Peninsula, and set out on safari in the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve. Look for herds of elephants, giraffes, and wildebeests, as well as lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, and endangered wild dogs. Experience the continent’s many wonders with our experts on trips to Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Rwanda, Morocco, and more. Our Journeys are led by knowledgeable local guides, feature small groups and accessible prices, and bring you closer to people and cultures all around the world.
The Mai-Mai Kifuafua, one of many local militias, flaunts its power on a road where it extorts money from villagers and travelers. Eruptions have blistered the region for millions of years, since the African tectonic plate began to split apart to create the Albertine Rift. The lava-rumpled city sprawls between Lake Kivu, full of dangerous gases, and the restless Nyiragongo volcano. Outside the preserve villagers kill elephants that trample and eat crops, though attacks have diminished with the digging of trenches to protect fields from wild trespassers. Desperate for land, 3,000 people live in the reserve, torching forest to clear plots for corn and other crops.
The number of endangered primates has stabilized at some 780 in Bwindi and the Virunga Mountains parks of Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda. Lacking electricity, almost every household in the region depends on charcoal for boiling water and cooking.
On the Uganda side of Lake Albert, where the fishing fleet has grown from 760 boats in the mid-1960s to almost 6,000, a boy nets only small species of fish, since the catch of big Nile perch and tilapia has plunged. Hardwood trees are turned into charcoal, filling the bags of men careering toward a Congo market.


Soldiers and rebels moving through the area have raped more than 800 women in this village alone. If protected areas hadn't been set aside in the Albertine Rift from the 1920s to the 1960s, conservationists doubt any large wilderness areas would exist today.
When the park opened in 1991, villagers resented losing access to forest where they had gathered honey and wood.
Land that's been cleared for crops extends right up to the eastern boundary of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
As catches decline due to overfishing, villagers are driven to use illegal small-mesh nets, even converted mosquito nets, to pull as much as possible from the water, including immature fish—depleting the lake stock even more.
Liemba, a ferry that has been transporting goods and people on Lake Tanganyika for almost a hundred years. In the late morning, take a walking safari with a ranger to see some of the smaller creatures of the bush and examine interesting plant life, or get acquainted with the local people on a visit to a rural Shangaan village. Witness the annual wildebeest migration on safari in the Serengeti, or explore the sun-washed cities of Morocco through your camera lens. For almost 20 years near-constant fighting over land, mining riches, and power has terrorized the people.
Due to political pressure, rangers can't evict settlers, many of whom have nowhere else to go.
Land is so scarce in the crowded countryside near Musanze that farmers struggle to cultivate every foot of the steep, eroding hillsides. Armed groups control the industry and have invaded Virunga National Park, where dozens of rangers have been killed trying to halt destruction of the forest. Today the park shares the fees from gorilla-watching tours with the locals, a small victory in the Rift's unending clashes for livable space. During the 1930s the British ship ferried passengers and cargo across Lake Albert—until it sank, or was scuttled, after Uganda gained independence from Britain in 1962. Cap off the journey encountering elephants, lions, and much more in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. On many of our Africa expeditions, we arrange visits to National Geographic–sponsored research sites and talks with scientists in the field.



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