The thrills of an East Africa safari featuring Kenya’s and Tanzania’s finest parks and reserves are uniquely combined with Victoria Falls and the best of South Africa. We include the Winelands, our complete Cape Town experience and the marine life of Grootbos at the tip of Africa! Delightful dining with wine and our luxury hotels, lodges + safari camps complete this ultimate adventure.
Day 1 – 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
Day 2 – 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 Manyeleti 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 the Manyeleti Private Reserve, a 60,000-acre game preserve that shares an unfenced boundary with the National Park. Settle in to your spacious and luxurious private cottage here at the intimate Tintswalo Safari Lodge and then join your fellow travelers for dinner in the Main Lodge. All of the cottages and buildings of Tintswalo are connected by elevated boardwalks. However, the property is unfenced so Lodge staff will accompany you back to your cottage for the night. Predators rarely come onto the grounds, so it’s likely that the rustling you here is just a bush baby or small antelope settling down for the night! Meals B+D
Day 4 - The Thrill of Safari
With only 6 guests in each safari vehicle, your morning and afternoon game drives with our expert safari guides and sharp-eyed trackers promise unobstructed views for all! Manyeleti 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 African wild dog and elusive cheetah are regular occurrences here on our private reserve; along with the Big Five, these two rarer species make up the Magnificent Seven!
A warming cup of coffee in the bush accompanied by some pastries 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 your private plunge pool, relax on your verandah, or look for wildlife from Tintswalo’s expansive open decks: Grazing nyala, frolicking baboons and elephants in search of water are regular visitors to our Lodge. Meals B+L+D
Day 5 – Another Day on Safari
In addition to adjoining Kruger National Park, the Manyeleti Reserve shares unfenced borders with the renowned Sabi Sands and Timbavati 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 at Manyeleti alone: 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, open decks overlooking an active watering hole and elegant dining complete your ultimate luxury safari experience! Meals B+L+D
Day 6 - 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
Day 7 – 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
Day 8 - 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
Day 9 – 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
Day 10 – 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
Day 11 – 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
Day 12 – Fly from Cape Town to Nairobi
Upon arrival at the airport and clearance through customs, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel. In the heart of the city, our luxury landmark has been the starting point for some of history’s greatest safari expeditions.
Day 13 – Fly into the Maasai Mara
Your safari adventure begins this morning at the Giraffe Center, established in 1979 to save the endangered Rothschild Giraffe. At that time, there were only 130 left in the wild. Today, thanks to the Centers pioneering conservation efforts, there are nearly 500 Rothschild Giraffes in Kenya!
Then visit the Daphne & David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where the care of orphaned elephants and rhinos is just a small part of their decades-long conservation work. Highlighting these morning visits is the chance to learn about the passions that drove two families to establish these pioneering conservation organizations.
Enjoy lunch at Tamambo Karen Blixen, set on the farm where the Danish author lived and worked until her return to Denmark in 1931. The property is surrounded by tranquil gardens and woodlands that were featured extensively in the 1985 Oscar-winning film "Out of Africa" in which Meryl Streep portrayed the author. Then transfer to the airport for your included flight into the Maasai Mara where you’ll be welcomed by Maasai dancers and cool eucalyptus-scented towels. After checking in to the 5-star Fairmont Safari Club, you can unwind on your private verandah overlooking the hippo and crocodile-filled Mara River. Meals B+L+D
Day 14 – Ballooning and Game Drives in the Maasai Mara
Arise early this morning for an unforgettable experience... As the sun is rising to cast its first golden rays across these endless landscapes, youll be floating silently above in a hot air balloon. Thrill to this incredible birds-eye view of the Maasai Mara - and the animals as they begin their day. Back on the ground, you’ll embark on a morning game drive with our expert safari guide.
Return to the Fairmont Safari Club where you’ll have lunch and time to relax; take in the views from your verandah or join your fellow guests in the Club’s main lodge or at the pool. Later this afternoon, you’ll thrill to a second safari expedition. With its undisturbed panoramas of rolling savanna punctuated by the iconic silhouette of acacia trees, the Maasai Mara is ravishing in its wild beauty and celebrated as one of the richest wildlife habitats on Earth. Accompanied by our sharp-eyed safari guides, today’s game-viewing activities offer a chance to see all of the Big Five - lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and Cape buffalo. The term was coined by big game hunters and refers not to their size but the danger and difficulty of tracking and hunting these animals on foot. Meals B+L+D
Day 15 – Onward to Amboseli
Enjoy a morning game drive here in the fabled Maasai Mara. In addition to healthy populations of the Big Five, the Mara Reserve is home to giraffe, grazing herbivores, cheetah and other predators - and more than 450 bird species including spectacular birds of prey. Then transfer to the airport for your included safari flight to Amboseli National Park. Set against the majestic silhouette of Kilimanjaro, Amboseli is heralded for its quintessentially African landscapes of open plains, rolling savanna and acacia woodlands. Enjoy two nights at the inviting Ol Tukai Lodge. Meals B+L+D
Day 16 – Game Drives in the Shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro
Join our expert safari guide this morning and set out across the dew-touched landscapes of Amboseli. The animals are up with the first light of day, and the early light is one of the best times to experience the full majesty of Kilimanjaro. With clear weather and a bit of good luck, today offers a chance to capture that classic shot of an elephant or giraffe silhouetted against the dramatic backdrop of Africas highest peak. But even if Kilimanjaro is hidden by clouds, your wildlife-viewing promises to be spectacular. Although best known for its vast herds of free ranging elephants, the greater Amboseli eco-system is also home to hippos, wildebeests, zebras, Thomsons and Grants gazelles, giraffes, impalas, and baboons. The great predators are well represented with healthy populations of lions, spotted hyenas and pointy-eared caracals. Cheetah and leopards can also be observed along with more than 400 species of birds. Free time to enjoy the amenities of your safari lodge plus a late afternoon game drive complete this unforgettable day. Meals B+L+D
Day 17 – Through the Great Rift Valley into Tanzania
Cross the border into Tanzania for lunch in Arusha and then journey across the magnificent Great Rift Valley to Lake Manyara National Park. Although not large, this is one of the prettiest parks in the country. Often overlooked by other safari groups trying to save time on their way to the much better-known Serengeti, Manyaras breathtaking natural beauty, diversity of eco-systems and remarkable variety of exotic African birds make it a highlight. Check in to the deluxe Manyara Serena Lodge, and then join our safari guide for an evening game drive. Elephants, Giraffes and pods of Hippo are among the animals that you might observe. Meals B+L+D
Day 18 – From Lake Manyara to Ngorongoro Crater
Set out this morning to spot the flocks of flamingos, herons and pelicans that gather on the shores of Lake Manyara. In addition to these shore birds, the National Park is heralded as one of the best overall birdwatching locations in Tanzania – with nearly 400 species on record. Sykes monkeys, olive baboons, zebra, wildebeest and Cape buffalo are also regularly seen. Then travel northwest toward Ngorongoro Crater, the largest intact caldera in the world. This awe-inspiring natural landmark stretches almost 12 miles across, with an encircling volcanic rim that appears in the distance as a chain of mountains soaring 2,000 feet above the crater floor. Midday finds you gazing across these wondrous landscapes from your luxury under-canvas suite at the exceptional Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp. Later, thoughtful engagement with Maasai villagers and a visit to a local school reveal the challenges and rewards of life in East Africa. Meals B+L+D
Day 19 – Be Among the First on the Crater Floor this Morning!
There is no place like this anywhere else in the world. Ngorongoro truly offers an absolutely unique environment for wildlife viewing. First, you won’t see any giraffe or impala inside the crater; though they would love to graze the abundant vegetation, these delicate-legged animals find it nearly impossible to navigate their way down the steep cliffs. But because it is so enclosed and the crater floor is mainly open grassland, this conservation area is easy for game officials to patrol, and the result is a healthy population of endangered species like the Black rhino and cheetah.
Making today’s game drive even more special is the privileged location of our luxury camp: Situated close to the Lemala Crater Access Route, you’ll bypass the long line of vehicles at the main entry and descend quickly to the Crater floor; often, our guests will enjoy an hour’s head start over other visitors, ensuring unmatched game-viewing experiences. We’ve arranged for a packed lunch prepared by Lemala’s chefs, so you’ll be able to spend all morning and a good part of the afternoon here on the Crater floor. Take in the views as you relax over your midday meal and enjoy more wildlife thrills before returning to Camp where you’ll have time to refresh before dinner. Meals B+L+D
Day 20 – Into the Serengeti
Travel into the fabled landscapes of the Serengeti to stay at one of our luxury Lemala camps. With strategic settings in the Southern, Central and Northern Serengeti, our safari camps are situated to ensure the best game-viewing yearround – whenever you travel:
From April to June and in November, you’ll travel overland from Ngorongoro to Lemala Ewanjan, set within the game-rich Seronera Valley in a secluded part of the Central Serengeti. This region is renowned for terrific game viewing all year long - due to its abundance of water. But during the months that our guests are here, the Seronera Valley receives the annual wildebeest migration – turning the area into an exciting wildlife amphitheater!
From July to October, we’ll take you from Ngorongoro to the Manyara airstrip for your included flight into the Northern Serengeti. On arrival, you’ll be escorted to the luxury Lemala Mara Camp – set close to the Mara River, yet far enough away so as not to interrupt wildebeest behavior as they mass along the steep river banks! Indeed, this luxury camp is in the heart of the best game-viewing area in the Northern Serengeti and – at this time of year – is perfectly situated to witness the dramatic spectacle of the Great Migration river crossings.
From December to March, a scenic overland drive takes you from Ngorongoro into the Southern Serengeti to stay at Lemala Ndutu Camp. Perched on the edge of a permanent marsh, our luxury camp is ideally situated for the wildebeest migration as the animals arrive in search of water and to feed on the nutritious grasses that surround our Camp. By February, the calving season has begun and the vast herds continue to feed in preparation for the never-ending cycle that comprises the annual wildebeest migration!
Upon arrival at your Lemala Camp, you’ll enjoy an exciting afternoon game drive followed by dinner. Meals B+L+D
Day 21 – On Safari in the Serengeti
The Maasai call it Siringitu - "the place where the land moves on forever." Indeed, these wide open expanses are awe-inspiring in their natural beauty. But the Serengeti is also renowned for its extraordinary concentration of plains game - including of course the Big Five - so todays morning and afternoon safari drives are sure to be heart-pounding and inspiring. And in the company of our engaging, impassioned and knowledgeable safari guides, todays activities will also deepen your understanding and appreciation for Africas abundant natural wealth. Meals B+L+D
Day 22 – Another Thrilling Day of Game Drives in the Serengeti
Featured in numerous nature documentaries, Serengeti National Park is certainly the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world. Established in 1952, the Park covers 5,700 square miles - larger than the state of Connecticut. Its ecosystem is one of the oldest on Earth. Indeed the essential features of climate, vegetation and wildlife that you see today have changed little in the past million years! Unequaled in its abundant natural beauty and high-density of wildlife, the Serengeti boasts an enormous variety of exotic birds, horned bovines, ungulates, wild dogs and big cats. After breakfast and again this evening, youll set out with our expert safari guides on game drives that promise up-close unobstructed wildlife viewing. Meals B+L+D
Day 23 – Out of Africa
After another early morning game drive, we’ll drive you to the airstrip for your flight to Arusha. After lunch in town, transfer to the Kilimanjaro Airport for your onward flight. Meals B+L