Revel in the endless thrill of elegant lions, graceful zebras, and the roar of Victoria Falls as you experience Southern Africa on a 12-day luxury safari. From the culture of the Kalahari Bushmen to elephants roaming the plain at dusk, the white sands of the Cape Peninsula to the delicate wines of the Cape Winelands, you will embark on a custom-tailored adventure through South Africa, Zambia, and Botswana.
Cape Town – Welcome to South Africa
Arriving at Cape Town International Airport, you are met by a representative and driven to your luxury hotel. This grand establishment resides in the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a lively and bustling port lined with interesting shops, bars and fabulous restaurants. Spend your evening with relaxation, or step out into the city to explore.
Cape Town – Tour the Cape Peninsula
We collect you in the morning for a tour of the Cape Peninsula. The drive takes you past the “Cape Town Riviera” of Camp’s Bay with its beautiful beach and promenade lined with cafes, along the spectacular Chapman’s Peak Drive, past quaint little seaside villages and into the rugged beauty of Cape Point Nature Reserve. The landscape is dominated by fynbos, the unique flora that make up the Cape Floral Kingdom, which are found nowhere else in the world. Keep an eye out for antelope and birds, and beware of the baboons that slyly gaze in your direction! Take a walk along the cliff paths to the lighthouse at Cape Point, and imagine you can see the Indian and Atlantic Oceans mingling in the deep waters far below.
Visit Boulders Beach to see the African penguin colony, before continuing to the naval village of Simon’s Town for lunch overlooking the harbor. Explore the nooks and crannies of the town, steeped in seafaring history before making your leisurely way back to Cape Town. Passing by the tiny fishing harbor at Kalk Bay with its colorful boats and fishermen selling their catch, you continue along Muizenberg, where surfers ride the waves along the pristine beach.
Cape Town – Visit the Winelands
The wine making tradition in the Cape goes back hundreds of years, and there are exceptional vintages and varietals to enjoy. Set in a spectacularly scenic landscape of rearing mountains and sea views, the wine country is reminiscent of Provence, with an African twist. Beautifully gabled Cape Dutch buildings characterize the older estates, set in rolling vineyards on mountain slopes. Visit several estates for tastings of their finest offerings, and stop for lunch at one of them. Enjoy a delicious, indulgent meal in a setting that will take your breath away- a blend of ocean, mountains and vineyards that is truly unique.
Cape Town – A Shark Experience and Table Mountain
We collect you in the morning for the drive to False Bay, where the famous Seal Island attracts Great White Sharks in large numbers. Join an expedition to witness the amazing predation activity of these monsters of the deep as they launch themselves out of the water in pursuit of the fleeing seals. False Bay is also home to a large variety of other marine life, so keep your eyes peeled for whales, dolphins and seabirds along the way.
Enjoy a delicious seafood lunch in Kalk Bay, gazing out over the ocean, before heading back to Cape Town, to ascend the famous Table Mountain. The cable car to the top of the mountain rotates 360 degrees as you ascend, offering incredible views of the city below. Arriving at the top, there are networks of paths to wander, with viewpoints dotted along the way. From here you can see Lion’s Head, Robben Island, the distant mountains of the wine country and all the way to Cape Point in a series of breathtaking vistas.
Livingstone – The Mighty Zambezi
Today you catch a flight from Cape Town to Livingstone, Zambia, near the world-famous Victoria Falls. A guide will meet you at the airport and take you on the short drive to your lodge.
Your lodge is perched on the bank of the mighty Zambezi River, in a grove of towering trees. Luxurious and elegant in a safari camp style, the lodge has an undeniable romance and sense of adventure. From your suite you can hear the river gurgling as it flows past, the shriek of an African fish eagle in the trees above, and the splashing and honking of hippos in the water.
Here you can enjoy an afternoon cruise on the river, where you sip on a cocktail while watching animals come down to drink in the warm glow of sunset light. Alternatively, take on the legendary Tigerfish with rod and reel: this famous fighting fish spends as much time in the air when hooked as it does in the water!
When you return to the lodge in the evening, you will find it bathed in soft lantern light, welcoming you home from your adventures. A sumptuous dinner awaits you on the terrace overlooking the river, or in the romance and privacy of your suite.
Livingstone – The Smoke That Thunders
The Victoria Falls are one of the most impressive sights on earth. Known to local tribes as ‘The Smoke That Thunders’, this is where the Zambezi River plunges over a mile-wide curtain into a huge crack in the earths crust into a boiling gorge below. The spray thrown up from the falls is visible for miles around, and the thundering of millions of gallons of water going over the lip generates a rumble that shakes the ground. If water levels permit, you can stand at the edge of this cauldron of energy on Livingstone’s Island, feeling the tremendous power of nature surrounding you.
After a visit to the Falls, Livingstone has a host of other attractions. Known as the adrenaline capital of Africa, you can go white water rafting the legendary rapids, take a helicopter or microlight flight over the falls, bungee jump over the gorge, (330 feet!), take an elephant back safari; the list goes on and on.
Selinda Reserve – Fly to the Selinda Reserve, Botswana
After breakfast, you leave Livingstone for the short flight to the Selinda Reserve in Botswana. Upon landing, your safari tour of Botswana begins. Your guide will take you on a short game drive through the mopane woodlands to your safari camp on the edge of Zibadianja Lagoon, the source of the Savuti Channel. Designed to leave as light a footprint as possible without compromising on luxury or comfort, the lodge harkens back to the glory days of safari while including modern touches. After a warm welcome from the staff, you have time to settle into your suite and admire the view from your private veranda, possibly even spot an elephant or two wandering by.
In the late afternoon, English high tea is served in the lounge area, consisting of a mouth-watering selection of sweet and savory snacks, before you depart on your game drive.
The vast Selinda Reserve has a variety of habitats from tall riverine forests to grasslands, floodplains and woodlands that support a tremendous diversity of game. In the dry season, this area has the greatest concentration of elephants in the world as they rely on the waters of the Linyanti River for survival. Nothing can quite compare to sitting quietly in an open safari vehicle while watching a herd of these enormous beasts coming to the water to drink. The first thing you will notice is how silently they move through the forest, like grey ghosts on padded feet; the next, how much they love water. The old females, guardians of the herd, stand quietly, almost meditatively, sucking up trunkfuls of water and squirting it into their mouths with relish. The youngsters, on the other hand, can’t contain their enthusiasm and rush into the water, splashing and frolicking, dunking and spraying each other.
After this heartwarming display, you continue your safari, keeping an eye out for the leopards that stalk the dense thickets, the prides of lions that hunt in the woodlands, and cheetahs that look out over the grasslands from the tops of termite mounds.
As the sun begins to lower into the horizon, your guide will select a scenic spot for you to stretch your legs, and produces a hamper packed with snacks and chilled drinks. You find yourself with an ice-cold glass in hand, gazing at the splendid colors of sunset, toasting this untrammeled wilderness surrounding you.
As the first stars begin to appear, you make your way back to camp, using a spotlight to look out for nocturnal animals emerging into the night. Red eyes in the glow of the light reveal hyenas, off on a nightly hunt, or a lion waking from his slumber.
Arriving back at camp, you find an inviting campfire welcoming you home, and delicious aromas drifting from the kitchen. After a scrumptious meal accompanied by excellent wines, you sit out by the fire, mesmerized by the canopy of stars and the sounds of the African night around you. Later, drifting off to sleep, you hear the grunting of a hippo and the far-off roaring of the lions.
Day 8 - 9
Okavango – The Magic of Moremi
After your morning game drive, you enjoy a delicious brunch and board a light aircraft for your flight to the Moremi Reserve. A short while after takeoff, you see a vast, shimmering expanse of water opening out before you- a maze of channels, islands and lagoons appear below, and you are flying over the legendary Okavango Delta. This pristine wetland is a World Heritage Site, and home to an astonishing variety of life, and your camp is located right in the middle of it.
It’s a short drive from the airstrip to the camp, and you will most likely see plenty of game along the way. The camp is built in a grove of trees along the edge of a game-rich floodplain, with elevated timber walkways connecting the suites with the main areas so that animals can freely pass below.
Game drives here are extraordinary- you are hardly ever in a place where you can’t see an animal, and the area is known for its large lion population, as well as healthy numbers of other predators. Drive through this amazing landscape in search of the Big Five: elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard, as well as a host of other creatures, from giraffes to numerous antelope both large and small.
Day 10 - 11
Makgadikgadi Pans – The Mysterious Makgadikgadi
After you morning game drive, enjoy a delicious brunch before winding your way south to the Makgadikgadi- an immense salt pan left behind when a super lake the size of Botswana dried up millions of years ago.
Your camp sits on the edge of this enigmatic region that feels a world away from the lushness of the Okavango Delta. Designed and constructed in a unique 1940’s style, similar to a Bedouin encampment, the luxurious tents stand in a stark, and harshly beautiful landscape.
Explore the wonders of this region with your expert guide, who will seek out and reveal the creatures that live here- animals adapted to life in such an arid place. You will learn about the fascinating history and geology of the area, which gives you an inkling of the magnitude of geological time.
Join a group of Bushmen from the Western Kalahari, as they walk through this wilderness and demonstrate how their ancestors have lived here for thousands of years. They show you how a dry twig sticking from the ground reveals a moisture-rich tuber below the surface, the art of tracking animals, medicinal plants and the secrets of their survival in this immense landscape.
A visit to the meerkat colony is truly special- watch as these highly social mammals scurry about on their daily business, completely ignoring visitors unless they want to use them as a vantage point to survey the area for predators!
Ride out over the vast salt pans on a quad bike, reveling in the sense of absolute freedom, and spend a night sleeping under the stars that loom so close in the clear air you almost feel that you could reach out and touch them.
Maun – Homeward Bound
Depart the Makgadikgadi with a fond farewell, and board a flight to Maun, where your incredible journey comes to a close. Or, continue your journey by adding on an extension. See the Africa safari trip reviews for additional ideas.
- Search for the Big Five in the Moremi Game Reserve
- Experience the best big game viewing, arguably in all of Africa, while staying at three of Botswana’s best luxury camps
- Enjoy the uncrowded exclusivity of Botswana’s safari camps- herds of animals, not tourists!
- Witness the largest dry-season congregation of elephants in the world in the Selinda Reserve
- Experience thrilling predator sightings in the Okavango - hyenas, big cats and the Big Five
- Interact with the Western Kalahari Bushmen and meerkats
- Experience the highlights of Cape Town
- Walk with African penguins, an endangered species whose population has declined almost 100 fold in the last century
- Visit the Cape Winelands for tastings and fine cuisine
- Cruise False Bay to see dolphins, whales and Great White Sharks
- Marvel at the awe-inspiring splendor of Victoria Falls
- Indulge in adrenaline activities on the Zambezi River
$10,915 per person (excluding international flights)
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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