South Africa, Zimbabwe
Cape Town, Boulders Beach, Robben Island, Table Mountain, Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, Victoria Falls, Zambezi River, Hwange National Park
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Zimbabwe and South Africa effortlessly complement each other. Kruger’s rhinos and leopards, Hwange’s elephants and lions, Table Mountain and the city, Victoria Falls and the wilderness. Iconic landscapes showcase the wonder of the continent, while safari destinations contrast atmospheres and activities. With a week in each country, this handcrafted safari celebrates the iconic and unmissable, including seven days on safari, and the unique highlights that make every day a new experience on your...
Cape Town – An Urban Retreat Gazing Over the City
There’s something wonderfully tranquil about landing in Cape Town. Cape Town might be a city of a few million people, but it’s dominated by nature, Table Mountain, and the two oceans providing a calm sense of serenity. You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to a retreat on the mountain’s slopes, gazing down at the lights and colors of the city. Your 19th-century colonial lodge is situated in Constantia, Table Mountain’s ancient wine and culinary region. You are welcomed by a signature wine tasting, as vistas stretch beyond the vineyards to the city and frothy Atlantic waves. The rest of the day is at your leisure, and the lodge’s gardens provide a place to reenergize after the international flight. There are many excellent vineyard restaurants within easy reach of your lodge.
Cape Town – Penguins and Panoramas
Beneath the mountain slopes is a white beach populated by penguins, cute characters that waddle over the sand and dive off the cliffs. This is Boulders Beach, just one of the stops on a private tour of Cape Point. Throughout the day, you’ll follow a spine of peaks to the southwestern tip of Africa. Stop at various outstanding viewpoints, admiring how the mountains stand above fishing villages and little bays, springbok-dappled plains, and white beaches that stretch for miles. The road is part of the experience, clinging to the edge of the continent as it weaves southwards. You will stop at a wine farm for a picnic lunch, explore early 20th-century beach suburbs undergoing a creative urban revival, and walk to the lighthouse that marks the tip of Africa. It is a full-day tour, returning to Constantia in the late-afternoon.
Cape Town – Robben Island and Free Afternoon in Cape Town
South Africa’s history is best evoked by the story of its modern father. Nelson Mandela spent 18 years on Robben Island, an imposing fortress isolated by the cold, shark-infested waters of the Atlantic. An ex-inmate leads your tour, recounting stories of Madiba’s quiet determination for peaceful reconciliation. Everyone knows what Mandela achieved. This tour reveals where the ideas were formulated, in a tiny concrete cell that would have made most other men insane. After touring the island, the boat returns to the V & A Waterfront, a pedestrianized area of quirky markets and excellent restaurants. From here, you have a free afternoon in the city, a chance to explore its colorful streets and cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Sabi Sands Game Reserve – Easy Big Five Safari in the Greater Kruger
You never have to wait long for the first inspiring encounter in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. On the transfer from the airstrip to your luxury camp, you are likely to see three of the Big Five, notably rumbustious buffalo herds and trunk-swinging elephants. Sharing an unfenced border with Kruger National Park, this private reserve is dominated by the Sand and Sabi rivers. These rivers are an almost magnetic allure for the Kruger wildlife, which migrates towards the reserve’s natural bounty. Zebras skip past in large herds, wildebeests provide endearing early highlights, and you quickly learn to distinguish a kudu from a springbok, and a springbok from an eland.
Sabi Sands is a perfect introduction to an African safari. The famous animals are represented in large numbers; wildlife is easily spotted directly from the camp, and activities can encounter a huge range of animals in just two hours. You will fly here directly from Cape Town, before an afternoon getting acquainted with the wonders. Giraffes rise high above the safari vehicle, elephants demolish tree trunks with their rumps, and an array of primates occupy the canopy above your spacious canvas suite. Step out from the bedroom to a private wooden deck that overlooks the Sand River, and spend the evening watching a procession of animals come for their nighttime drink.
Sabi Sands Game Reserve – Intimate Encounters With Rhinos and Leopards
Rhinos and leopards are two of Africa’s most elusive animals. Lions are easy to spot on safari, as they happily bask in the open. Elephants and buffalos are always easy to spot due to their size, leopards are secretive and solitary, and white rhinos remain endangered. Sabi Sands has some of Africa’s densest populations of these iconic species, and a three-day safari is virtually guaranteed to encounter them on multiple occasions. The vehicle stops in a clearing, and you watch two rhinos wander past, revealing an unexpected elegance and grace. On a nighttime game drive, you find a leopard on the prowl, bounding down a tree before stalking a springbok herd. Today’s three game drives seek out these animals, along with dozens of unusual species that live in the unfenced reserve. Early morning is great for spotting big cats on a hunt, an afternoon drive showcases the reserve’s diversity, while a nocturnal drive presents completely different atmospheres and animals.
Sabi Sands Game Reserve – Full Day Exploring Kruger National Park
From the ease of Sabi Sands to the enormity of Kruger National Park, you spend the full day on an adventure through the wilderness. Leave early, and take a picnic breakfast to a viewpoint overlooking the savannah, then loop around the park’s permanent waterholes. You’ll quickly notice that the national park has a lower density of wildlife. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Instead, the Kruger savannah becomes the scene of raw drama as the animals compete for resources; herds hoot and battle by the water, lions lay an ambush in the high grass, some species look out for each other, while others cast tension into the air. The guide finds a shaded jackal berry tree for lunch, before you slowly drive back towards the camp, losing count of the rhinos and elephants, lions and zebra.
Victoria Falls – Relaxing on the Zambezi
Wake to the sounds of the wild, like a herd of buffalo grazing nearby, or an elephant herd splashing in the river below. Mornings are special on safari, and you always have a view when eating breakfast. Take a morning game drive en route to the Sabi Sands airstrip, which is skillfully cleared of wildlife, before your departure to Johannesburg. You will change planes in Johannesburg’s modern O. R. Tambo International, boarding a direct flight to the town of Victoria Falls in the northwest of Zimbabwe. In total, the aerial journey is around five hours, followed by a 20-minute transfer to a luxurious lodge on the banks of the Zambezi River. Check-in, check out the baboons that swing in the canopy above and settle into three days of tranquility.
Victoria Falls – The Splendor of the Falls
Baboons guard the trail to Victoria Falls, mischievous primates that prove you’re going deep into nature. Unlike some of the world’s famous waterfalls, there are no flashing lights or artificial structures around this cascade in the heart of nowhere. The walking trail takes you through the forest, where gaps in the trees provide first glimpses of the spectacle. As the forest recedes, you walk out onto a rugged cliff, looking down into the narrow chasm below. A mile-wide sheet of rampaging water is just a few hundred meters away from you, pouring into the canyon, then soaring back up as steam and spray. You need a couple of hours to take it all in, the visuals accompanied by the sounds and scents of Zimbabwe’s wonder. Transfers to the park gate are included during each day of your stay, and there are optional extras should you wish to take in another angle of Victoria Falls, including aerial tours and a boat to the island on the precipice.
Victoria Falls – Leisurely Day Around Victoria Falls
Spend the day succumbing to the charms of nature, lounging along the banks of the Zambezi as hippos poke their heads above the waterline. There are various additional activities dependent on your mindset, from a bungee jump in no man’s land to kayaking on the Zambezi, a sunset dinner cruise to a day in neighboring Zambia. Of course, you may also want to return to Victoria Falls and explore the vistas one more time. Three days in Victoria Falls provides a tranquil interlude between your two safari destinations, time to rest, and recuperate before those early-morning starts tracking the predators in Hwange National Park.
Hwange National Park – Into the Epic Wilderness of Zimbabwe
The wilderness opens out, a dusty four-wheel-drive trail takes you into a park that’s bigger than many US states. Every moment in Hwange feels like an adventure, the herds reflecting the scale of the landscape. Elephants are counted in the hundreds, bulldozing pathways through the park’s northern woodland. Rare brown hyenas scurry past, a pack of wild dogs provides moments of drama, cheetahs are spotted on the trail of impala close to a sighting of a large gemsbok herd. There’s hardly another person or vehicle in sight as you spend the day exploring, an intrepid journey through woodland and savannah that delights in its isolation. Raucous sounds guide you to a lion pride, paw prints lead the search for leopards, and it seems that you can’t go five minutes without finding another elephant herd. Intimate and inspiring, this full-day game drive is a famous adventure into the scale of Southern Africa safari.
Hwange National Park – Endless Encounters With Lions and Elephants
Hwange is less than two hours from Victoria, and this northern section of the park is dominated by woodland and lush savannah. Lions are territorial, and you’re likely to spot a new pride during every hour in the vehicle. Some watch you from on high, lounging on rocks and surveying the dinner menu. Others approach the vehicle, then lie down in the shade it has created. In the early morning, you find them prowling, lionesses disappearing into the grass as they skillfully stalk a zebra herd. Hwange is an iconic place to see the predators in full hunting mode. Follow the vultures to a kill, where you’re close enough to hear the crack of a lion’s jaws biting through a carcass. Track the birds and watch a battle unfold, the scavengers looking to chase a cheetah off her kill. Along the way, the parks’ other sights never seem to stop: elephants, gemsbok, buffalo, lechwe, a dozen antelope species bringing photogenic charm.
Hwange National Park – Big-Game Viewing on a Unique Safari Train
After two nights in a luxurious camp amidst the woodland you take a train to the Southern Kalahari Plains, cruising slowly between landscapes as giraffe and elephant populate the horizon. For comfortable game viewing, there’s nothing else like it in Africa, a languid journey onto the vivid colors of the semi-desert. The south of Hwange is open and endless, dusty plains stretching out in every direction. It’s one of Africa’s ultimate destinations for spotting predators. Black lion manes flutter in the breeze, cheetahs perch elegantly on sporadic rocks, wild dogs congregate in menacing packs, and waterholes become scenes of African theater. Game drives will be longer here as you have a huge landscape to cover; patience is always rewarded as you connect with a landscape that’s just like the wildlife documentaries.
Hwange National Park – Final Day of Zimbabwe Safari
You really need four days in Hwange in order to appreciate its complementary ecosystems. The north is dense and intimate, remembered for its elephants, and how close you can get to wildlife. The south is evocatively big, memorable for the drama of each wildlife encounter. You spot nomads on their lonely journeys, find untamed battles at waterholes, and scout predators as they seek out a meal. This final day in Hwange is flexible, and you have a choice of activities, just like the previous two days. Game drives can be combined with walking safaris and night time drives, each providing a fresh approach to Zimbabwe’s premier safari destination. Your accommodation is in an opulent camp overlooking a floodlit waterhole, bringing charming moments as you dine for the final time in Africa.
Victoria Falls – Departure
Appreciate the scale of Hwange from the air as you fly back to Victoria Falls, where a representative assists in the transfer to your international departure.
- Explore the colors and contrasts of Cape Town, spending three nights in Africa’s most evocative urban landscape
- Discover the ease of Big Five safari in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, where leopards and rhinos provide daily enchantment
- Relax along the banks of the Zambezi River and acquaint yourself with the wonder of Victoria Falls
- Live the excitement of Southern Africa’s untouched wilderness with a 4-day safari in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, where it seems there’s no end to the encounters with lions and elephants
- Take a vintage train from the Hwange woodland to the Kalahari plains, one of Africa’s most unique safari experiences
- Spend a full day game driving around Kruger National Park, a famous landscape that always brings a surprise
- Uncover the secrets of the Cape with excursions to Robben Island, the penguins of Boulders Beach, and the lighthouse at the southwestern tip of Africa
- Combine game drives with bush walks and nighttime drives, the range of activities building a detailed understanding of Southern Africa’s big-game environments
$12,735 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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