The Real Deal: Seven nights' camping in Chobe National Park, one night in a hotel in Victoria Falls, transfers, most meals, ground transportation, camping gear and tents, entrance fees, the services of a three-person local crew (including a guide), game drives, a cruise on the Chobe River, and all road taxes and tolls, for $1,024 per person.
When: Aug. 22, Sept. 5, 19, Oct. 3, 17, 31, Nov. 14, 28, Dec. 12, 26, 2009. There are also dates in 2010. While Botswana's wildlife is active year-round, October is a great time to go—it's between the tourist high season and the rainy season, which begins in November.
The fine print: The trip price includes a $335 payment due in cash upon arrival. Based on single or double occupancy (single travelers will be paired with a roommate of the same gender). Airfare not included. You will need visas to visit both countries; see the U.S. State Department's travel fact sheets for Botswana and Zimbabwe for details. Group size averages 15 people. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: No deadline; based on availability.
Contact: On the Go Tours, 866/377-6147, onthegotours.com.
Why it's a deal: The Elephants and Falls package offers many experiences that might be hard to book yourself: a cruise on the Chobe River, camping in Chobe National Park (among the hippos!), guided tours of the Okavango Delta, and plenty of time to explore the Zimbabwe side of the huge Victoria Falls. Your meals and equipment are also included, all for about $128 per person per night—plus you get the convenience and reassurance of working with a tour operator that specializes in travel to Africa.
More: In addition to the regular itinerary, there are lots of optional tours, like a $70 per person horse-riding excursion and a $105 bungee-jumping experience.
Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.