In the intimate company of never more than 16 guests, our sophisticated and uniquely immersive journey shows you more of South Africa’s amazing diversity – on land and water. By night, you’ll retreat to private villas and elegant guestrooms at our handpicked luxury properties.
Welcome to Zambia
On arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the luxurious River Club. Here on the banks of the Zambezi River, you’ll find 11 lavishly appointed chalets set amidst shading trees and the broad lawns that surround the Edwardian-style Great House. Enjoy lunch with wine and a leisurely afternoon. You might relax by the pool or in the hammock on your private verandah: Both offer enchanting river views! Later, embark on a sunset cocktail cruise as waterbuck, antelope and other animals come to the river’s edge to graze and quench their thirst. Our expert, sharp-eyed guide knows every bend and current of the river, and can point out hippos, baboons, crocodiles and the many birds that thrive in the reeds and forests along the Zambezi. Tonight’s dinner is accompanied by fine South African wine. Meals L+D
Mighty Victoria Falls #WHS#
David Livingstone was the first European to visit the Falls and named it after Queen Victoria. But locals still call it Mosi-oa-Tunya, the Smoke that Thunders. As our expert guide takes you along scenic paths through the rainforest alive with birdlife, you’ll hit all the best vantage points on both the Zambia and Zimbabwe sides of the Falls - including Knife Edge Bridge and a heart-pounding view over the thundering Devil’s Cataract. And by tour’s end, we think you’ll agree that the local name best captures the dramatic spray and deafening roar of the mighty Zambezi River as it plunges more than 300 feet over a mile-wide chasm! Back at the River Club, sit down to another delightful meal accompanied y fine South African wine. Meals B+L+D
Note: Water levels on the Zambezi River are lower from August to November and the vantage points you’ll visit during these months may differ.
Day 3 – Onward to the Timbavati Private Reserve at Kruger National Park
We’ll take you to the airport today for your included flight to the Greater Kruger National Park Area. On arrival, you’ll be met and escorted to our intimate luxury lodge situated in a prime game-rich sector of the renowned Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. Settle in to your spacious, lavishly appointed suite before heading to the Main Lodge for an elegant dinner featuring internationally-inspired South African dishes prepared with fresh locally-sourced ingredients. Meals B+D
Day 4 – The Thrill of Safari
With only 6 guests in each of our special open-top safari vehicles, your morning and afternoon game drives with our expert safari guides and sharp-eyed trackers promise unobstructed views for all! Timbavati is home to a rich variety and incredible abundance of game, including all of the Big Five: Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Cape Buffalo and Rhinoceros. In addition, encounters with the elusive cheetah are not uncommon here on our private reserve and with a bit of luck, you might even spot the African wild dog; along with the Big Five, these two rarer species make up the Magnificent Seven!
A warming cup of coffee in the bush adds a delightful touch to your morning game drive. On your evening safari, you’ll take a break for sundowner cocktails and light snacks. In between these adventures, you can take a dip in the pool, relax on your private deck, or gather with your fellow guests in the inviting Main Lodge. Meals B+L+D
Day 5 – Another Day on Safari
In addition to adjoining Kruger National Park, the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve also shares unfenced borders with the renowned Klaserie and Manyeleti Reserves. Together with other neighboring game preserves, the region comprises 5 million acres of open land that allows for the unfettered free movement of the animals – affording an authentic experience of the “real, wild Africa!” In addition to the Magnificent Seven, the greater Kruger Area is hope to many other species, including giraffe, ostrich, spotted hyena, kudu and warthog – to name just a few. Birders will also be thrilled with more than 500 species recorded here: Magnificent raptors like the Bateleur and African fish eagle are complemented by colorful exotic species such as the lilac-breasted roller and southern yellow-billed hornbill. Guided bush walks during the South African winter months, fishing in a hippo-filled river, our open decks overlooking the bush and elegant dining complete your ultimate luxury safari experience! Meals B+L+D
Fly to Cape Town
After a final morning game drive, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your included flight to Cape Town. On arrival, you’ll be met by our experienced resident guide and escorted to the exclusive Cape Grace Hotel. Settle in your elegant, ultra-spacious guestroom overlooking the lively Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and then gather with your fellow travelers for dinner accompanied by fine South African wine. Meals B+D
Our Complete Cape Town Experience
With its unique revolving cars, your cableway ascent of Table Mountain promises enthralling 360° views including Cape Town and Table Bay. From the top, you can see the Twelve Apostles mountain range and the 3,200-foot summit of Devil’s Peak. Back in the city, your tour continues with a stroll through the Company’s Garden – a fresh produce garden in the 17th century and now home to the South African Museum, National Gallery and St. George’s Cathedral. Then explore the bustling market stalls of Greenmarket Square and take in the Grand Parade where Nelson Mandela addressed the nation upon his release in 1990. At the District Six Museum, you’ll learn about this historic area and the forced relocation of its resident during the Apartheid Era.
Then cross the harbor to Robben Island. Though best known throughout 450 years of history as an infamous prison for convicts, slaves, exiled princes and lepers, the island itself is remarkably beautiful. It’s home to a variety of wildlife including springbok, eland and penguins, and from the rocky shoreline, you’ll have a fine view of Cape Town and its dramatic setting between the sea and Table Mountain. Of course, the buildings of Robben Island bear witness to its very somber history. Exploring the prison compound with one of the island’s guides, some of whom were once inmates themselves, you’ll hear tragic yet inspiring stories of the political prisoners who were incarcerated here during the long years of Apartheid. You’ll see the Prison Block where Nelson Mandela was held and see the infamous limestone quarry where these political prisoners were once forced to toil.
This evening is yours to enjoy and dine as you wish. Just a short stroll from our luxury hotel, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is home to some of the city’s most popular restaurants. Meals B+L
The Cape Peninsula
An unforgettable morning unfolds as you leave the city behind to explore the wild coastal beauty of the Cape Peninsula. Travel along the Atlantic seaboard through the pleasant coastal suburbs of Sea Point, Bantry Bay and Clifton. Next up, the journey along Chapman’s Peak 2,000 feat above the ocean is considered by many to be one of the most spectacular coastal drives in the world!
As you continue along the rocky shoreline, note the distinctive Fynbos vegetation; this unique eco-system is home to myriad bird species like African black oystercatchers and Cape sugarbirds. Enter the Cape of Good Hope National Park and be on the lookout for native animals including zebra, bontebok, ostrich and inquisitive baboons. Reaching the iconic Cape Point Lighthouse, you’ll ascend by funicular to take in the captivating views of False Bay. Enjoy the return ride in the funicular or make the descent by foot; along the way, there are several lookouts with breathtaking views of the wild coastline! Return to Cape Town for lunch; the rest of your afternoon and evening are free to relax, explore and enjoy as you wish. Before saying good-bye for the day, our resident guide can make personal dining recommendations for this evening. The Cape Grace Hotel’s concierge can also assist. Meals B+L
A Day in the Winelands
After breakfast, you’ll depart Cape Town and travel into the heart of the Winelands, where pastoral farms, historic vineyards and charming towns are set against a beautiful mountain backdrop. In Stellenbosch, South Africa’s second oldest city, you’ll find handsome Cape Dutch, Victorian, Regency and Georgian architecture – and the lively spirit of a university town!
Nearby, you’ll visit the Simonsig Estate, founded in 1688 and hailed for its robust reds and crisp whites. Delight in a tour, wine tasting and traditional Sabrage – the opening of a bottle of Cap Classique with a sword! Then sit down to a leisurely 3-course, farm-to-table luncheon at the lovely Café Bon Bon, nestled at the foot of the Franschhoek Mountains. Finish your touring of the Winelands at the esteemed Boschendal Estate, known for its beautifully preserved Cape Dutch buildings and outstanding wines. Here in this delightful setting, you’ll enjoy a tasting of five of their finest vintages. Back in Cape Town, the evening is yours to enjoy. Meals B+L
Onward to the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
Leaving the city behind, you’ll make a stop at the Stony Point Nature Reserve, overlooking Helen’s Bay. With a well-maintained wooden boardwalk that winds along the rocky coast, you can have an up-close look at the Reserve’s colony of African penguins – observing these diminutive seabirds in their natural habitat, without disturbing or disrupting them! The first of these animals arrived at Helen’s Bay in 1982 from declining off-shore island colonies. They have since thrived here along the rocky mainland, and today there are thousands of breeding pairs!
Your journey continues through the inviting coastal community of Hermanus and onward to the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, set amidst the Fynbos ecosystem that is unique to the Western Cape. Your sophisticated Forest Lodge villa is stylishly furnished and includes a spacious bedroom, living room with fireplace, 2 full baths, and a private deck with panoramic views stretching all the way to Walker Bay. After settling in, rejoin your fellow travelers for lunch in the main lodge. This afternoon, you’ll learn how the innovative Grootbos Green Futures Project is training the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs. Tonight’s elegant dinner is accompanied by a fine selection of regional wines. Meals B+L+D
Exploring by Sea + Land
Travelers know Africa for the Big Five - and there’s a great chance that you saw all of them while on safari at Kruger. But here at the tip of South Africa, where the waters of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans converge, you’ll have a chance to see the Marine Big Five – whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and penguins! This morning, we’ll take you down the road to the nearby fishing port of Gansbaai where our expedition boat and crew await. Accompanied by our expert marine biologist, you’ll set out to look for breaching dolphins, to see thousands of Cape fur seals, and to trawl for Great Whites. Sleek copper sharks also inhabit these waters. And from June to November, Southern Right whales are also regularly spotted.
After lunch back at Grootbos, you can tailor your afternoon to your personal interests and taste for adventure with another included excursion: Embark on a 4x4 nature safari with spectacular views of the coast and oceans, or explore the caves and beaches of Walker Bay. This evening’s farm-to-table dinner again features fresh organic ingredients from Grootbos’ own Growing the Future food production and social sustainability project. Fine South African wines will accompany this elegant and congenial dining experience. Meals B+L+D
Back to Cape Town
After breakfast, we’ll take you to the airport in Cape Town for your onward journey. Meals B