Essential South Africa & Zambia Safari

A 11 day trip to South Africa & Zambia 

From discovering lions lazing in wild bush to lounging beneath the endless starlit sky, sampling mouthwatering cuisine to sipping award-winning wines, your handcrafted South Africa and Zambia safari reveals the mixture of captivating landscapes and luxurious safari lodges highlighting the wonders of UNESCO World Heritage sites and the breathtaking grandeur of nature. Whether indulging in an expansive view from a scenic flight or hiking to the top of Table Mountain, watching elephants trundle through the wilderness or wandering in the mist at the base of Victoria Falls, you will discover unforgettable jewels during your South Africa and Zambia vacation.

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

South Africa, Cape Town, Sabi Sands, Zambia, Victoria Falls

Departure Dates 

Flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town, South Africa

Today, you arrive in the city of Cape Town - which offers imposing landscapes and white sandy beaches, framed by the impressive 3,563 feet high Table Mountain. Relax and enjoy the city views as we collect you from the airport and transfer you to the picturesque Cape Winelands, an area renowned for award-wining wines. You’ll be staying at the La Residence luxury hotel which is ideally positioned in the breath-taking Franschhoek Valley. The hotel’s 30 acre estate overlooks majestic mountains, lush vineyards and plum orchards. After a day spent traveling, opt to relax in this idyllic setting alongside the infinity pool and soak up the warm summer rays, or spoil yourself with a visit to the spa for a soothing massage. 

Day 2: Winelands - La Residence 

Franschhoek is rich in both cultural heritage and culinary delights. As South Africa’s food and wine capital, you can be sure that the area’s gastronomic pleasures and prized wines will send your taste buds into overdrive. Today, you’ll get to explore the surrounding area from your luxury coach as your dedicated driver and guide transports you along the breathtaking wine route and past unimaginable scenery. Pass rolling hills and Cape Dutch buildings, distinguished by their white washed walls and gabled rooftops, then stop in at one of Franschhoek’s most iconic farms: Fairview Wine Estate. At Fairview you’ll get to relish fine wines, expertly paired with the Estate’s prized goats’ cheese. Afterwards, pay a visit to Fairview’s cheese makers – the goats, which can be found roaming their conical castle in the estate grounds. Then, discover more of the wine route as you travel to the town of Stellenbosch - home to a flourishing wine industry with over 200 wine and grape producers. Savor more exceptional wine and explore the charming town center. 

Day 3: Cape Town - Cape Grace (Cultural Tour)

Today, you make your way to the city of Cape Town. Here you’ll meet and interact with Cape Town’s residents (referred to locally as Capetonians) on a cultural tour with the company Uthando. Uthando is a non-profit group that is Fair Trade accredited, and the local people you meet today will benefit financially through your participation on the tour. You’ll experience a distinctive journey into the area’s township and visit various inspirational projects - from daycare centers to animal shelters. Then, tonight experience sensational cuisine at the award-winning ‘The Test Kitchen,’ which offers truly innovative food and is regarded as one of the finest dining establishments in Cape Town. Chef Luke Dale-Roberts will serve gutsy and flavorsome dishes – try the langoustine and smoked quail or the maple-braised shabu shabu. After dinner, you’ll be transferred to the five-star Cape Grace Hotel. Relax after a remarkable day by enjoying the sea air and your views of the nearby yacht marina. 

Day 4: Cape Town - Cape Grace (Hike up Table Mountain)

Table Mountain, one of the Seven Wonders of Nature, is your destination today. Explore this iconic site on foot as an experienced guide leads you up the mountain along the Platteklip Gorge hiking trail. Platteklip (meaning flat rock) is the quickest way up Table Mountain (between 1 – 3 hours) and was first used by Portuguese voyager Antonio de Saldanha at the turn of the 16th century. The route will take you past spectacular fynbos (natural vegetation with UNESCO World Heritage Site status). As you climb, your guide will share facts about the flora and point out the sites spread out before you – from the white sandy beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton to the iconic Robben Island (a UNESCO World Heritage site). As you make your final ascent into the gorge, feel the temperature drop, the summit is just in reach. Once on top, get a refreshing drink from the tabletop restaurant and relax, taking in the endless sea and city views. 

Day 5: Travel from Cape Town to Timbavati Private Game Reserve

Today, your unforgettable bush adventure at the luxurious Makanyi Lodge in the Timbavati Private Game Reserve, located in the Greater Kruger National Park, commences. Makanyi offers the perfect African safari in the heart of Big Five territory. The magnificent Reserve offers game viewing fit for royalty, and operates with the belief that all living things should be protected. Spend your afternoon unwinding at the Lodge, enjoying a spa treatment while relishing the magnificent views of the surrounding bush.

Day 6: Safari at Timbavati Private Game Reserve

Timbavati offers a wealth of exceptional bush and safari experiences. You get to choose the best way you want to spend your time here. Consider beginning your day with a walk through the bush, enjoy the wide open spaces led by an experienced guide. A bush walk offers an engaging way of exploring and interacting with the natural environment. What special wonders will the bush share as you can unpack her mysteries firsthand – enjoy the thrill of looking at animal tracks and learning what animal made them, then experience the awe and wonder of getting close to big game on their own turf. If the prospect of learning more about animal tracks excites you, then be sure to go on one of the Reserve’s tracking adventures – where a master tracker will uncover this magical world and you’ll learn not only what type of animal made the tracks but also how much time passed since they were made. 

Day 7: Safari at Timbavati Private Game Reserve

As you wake this morning, reflect on the sounds you heard last night – the whoop of a hyena and the roar of a lion - nowhere else on earth can compare with the primal sounds of the African bush. Feeling exhilarated and recharged you’ll set out on an early morning game drive, hoping to sight the predators you heard the night before. Your rangers will skillfully drive down dry river beds and through thickets to provide you with the best wildlife viewing. Be sure to look out for the Big Five: lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo and the leopard. Timbavati is home to the exceptionally rare white lion. Be sure to have your camera ready to capture your safari experience to share with those back home. This afternoon, take a cultural tour to a nearby Shangaan village. Here you’ll learn more about the way of life of this local community and how they keep their ancestral and cultural beliefs alive in a modern world. 

Day 8: Safari at Timbavati Private Game Reserve

This morning, set out on another exhilarating game drive exploring the African bush. Afterward, relax, catching a movie and learning more about the history of this famous reserve. Tonight, opt to sleep out on a unique, romantic getaway in the African bush. You’ll be staying in a safe lookout location – with the bush at your feet and the stars overhead, you can be sure that this event will be one of the most memorable of your life. 

Day 9: Leave Timbavati Private Game Reserve for the Victoria Falls, Zambia

Today, you fly from Makanyi to Zambia where you’ll be transferred to the Royal Livingston five-star hotel, only a short distance away from the Victoria Falls - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The falls are known locally as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ or the Smoke that Thunders because of the 230 million gallons of water that plunge over the falls every minute - which generates a spray, or ‘smoke.’ If you travel to the falls between the months of January and July, be sure to look out for a spectacular natural phenomenon known as ‘Moonbow’ – where the spray from the falls is lit up by the moonlight. 

A lush rainforest borders the falls, sustained by the constant spray, and its unique habitat is home to various rare plants, which are seldom found anywhere else in Zambia. After a visit to the magnificent falls, spend the afternoon exploring the nearby town of Livingston. Stop in at the Livingston Museum which features memorabilia associated with the great Dr. David Livingston, a Scottish born explorer who traveled much of this region in the 19th century. 

Day 10: Victoria Falls - Royal Livingstone

Today, the Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River are your playground, with a host of adventure activities on offer. Get a bird’s eye-view over this incredible natural wonder on a flight-seeing tour. Have your camera ready to snap away at the spectacular zigzagging gorges though which the mighty Zambezi River flows. Wildlife enthusiasts can enjoy a unique walk with the king of the beasts – the lion. The experience offers an opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with these big cats. Alternatively, meet another of the Big Five face-to-face, the African elephant, and relish a distinctive elephant back safari. Height is an advantage when searching for game and you enjoy clearance over the bush and scrub. The elephants also get you in closer proximity to the wildlife than a game vehicle might. 

Day 11: Leave the Royal Livingstone to Return Home

Lie in a Hotel hammock along the riverside this morning, and take in your last views of the mighty Zambezi River, before your return flight home. You might be bidding farewell to Africa but through sensational experiences you’ve written your own African story which you can treasure forever. But don’t just take our word for it, here are some African safari reviews by others who shared about their experiences.


Starting Price 

This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.