South Africa: An Elegant Adventure
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South Africa: An Elegant Adventure

Starting at $9,990


Destinations & Sightseeing
Itinerary and Meals
Accomodations

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Your 12 days in South Africa go beyond the ordinary with amazing travel experiences that include game drives in two of the most sought-after private game reserves - stay in the heart of the reserves, where you just might spot leopards, lions, elephants, impalas, and zebras. Attend wine tastings, special presentations and lectures with local experts... and experience the vast legacy of cultural and natural history in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Soweto. Learn more about the struggle against apartheid, travel up Table Mountain for extraordinary views of "the end of the continent," and meet some elephants during your two-night stay at Victoria Falls. And when you cruise the Zambezi River at sunset... you know that South Africa has a place in your heart forever more. You'll find yourself immersed in the Earth Journeys experience, featuring on-tour films by BBC Earth natural history experts and when the opportunity arises, the use of field equipment such as night vision goggles and FLIR® thermal camera imaging that reveal the secret nocturnal life of South Africa's wildlife, providing a rare look at what is normally hidden in darkness.

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Map for South Africa: An Elegant Adventure

Destination & Sightseeing

Earth Journey, created with BBC Earth; game drives for four nights at private reserves, cultural exploration in Cape Town and Soweto, wine tasting in the Winelands, two nights at Victoria Falls; custom-made BBC Earth on-tour film vignettes and when the opportunity arises, the use of field equipment.

Highlights
On-tour film vignettes custom-made for Tauck by BBC Earth natural history experts
Field equipment may include FLIR® thermal imaging cameras and night vision goggles
Includes four on-tour flights
Private game drives with skilled rangers and trackers during four nights at private game reserves in or near Kruger National Park - two nights at Lion Sands - Kruger National Park and two nights at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge
Exclusive cultural discoveries in historic Soweto; view the homes of Winnie Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
A wine-tasting dinner in the Cape Winelands
A private lecture on the history of Apartheid in Johannesburg
Two nights in Victoria Falls, with a private lunch with the elephants in Zambezi and a sundowner river cruise
Three nights at one of the "World's Best" hotels, Cape Grace in Cape Town, on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
28 meals (11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners); gratuities to local guides, service charges, taxes and porterage

ITINERARY

Arrive Cape Town
Tour begins: 6:30 PM, Cape Grace. A transfer from Cape Town International Airport to the Cape Grace is included; the hotel, found on the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler's Gold List is perfectly situated right on the waterfront in the heart of the city. Meet your Tauck Director and your fellow travelers at our welcome reception in the Bascule Bar followed by dinner in the Conservatory. Join us for a welcome reception in Bascule Bar followed by dinner in the Conservatory.

Explore Cape Town and the Winelands
Explore Cape Town today on an orientation sightseeing tour in and around the city including views of City Hall, Parliament and St. George's Cathedral (where Desmond Tutu was inaugurated as Archbishop). Following a journey by rotating cable car, you'll find yourself atop famous Table Mountain. Enjoy magnificent 360-degree views of the city and bay during the ride up and on a walk at the top. After lunch, enjoy a walking tour of Kirstenbosch Gardens, the national botanical gardens on the eastern slope of Table Mountain highlighting the unique plant life of southern Africa. Back on the mainland, spend some free time in Cape Town before a drive to Constantia in the Cape Winelands for a memorable wine-pairing dinner. Please note - the order of sightseeing on days 1 and 2 is subject to change.

On and around the Cape Peninsula
First up today, travel to Cape Point and take a funicular up to the historic lighthouse. The views are outstanding, and you'll overlook the Cape of Good Hope - and the point that is thought to be where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean. Meet African penguins in a boulder-strewn coastal park before returning to your hotel. This evening, enjoy the dining and entertainment options of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront at leisure. Please note: the order of sightseeing on days 1 and 2 is subject to change.

Fly to Kruger National Park and a Private Game Reserve
Depart Cape Town and board a flight for Skukuza airstrip and the incomparable Kruger National Park, where your safari experience begins at Lion Sands - Kruger National Park. Set in the South African lowveldt, it is one of the best game-viewing areas of the park; your classic safari accommodations are in a private riverside setting inside the park - the waters are a magnet for park wildlife. The area is home to many endangered and rare animals, birds and reptiles - as you'll discover soon beginning with an afternoon game drive before dinner.

Lion Sands-Kruger National Park
Wildlife viewing is at its best here at the Lion Sands-Kruger National Park Concession, which covers 12,000 acres and boasts one of the highest recorded densities of predators - and especially of leopards - in Africa; guests have spotted elephant, cheetah, rhinos, wild dogs and, of course, leopards in Kruger during their stay. You'll have ample opportunity to spot the animals who live here on two game drives today. Tonight, feast on regional culinary specialties at dinner.

Exclusive Game Drives in Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Enjoy a final game drive at Lion Sands this morning before moving on to Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, situated within the Sabi Sands Game Reserve bordering expansive Kruger National Park. Comprising five smaller private game reserves set along the Sabie River, the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve is home to a great biodiversity of habitat and wildlife, including Africa's iconic "Big Five" - elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard; wild dogs, cheetahs and over 300 species of birds can also be spotted here. An afternoon game drive takes you into the African bushveld to spot wildlife.

At Home on Safari
Morning and afternoon game drives aboard four-wheel-drive, open-top Land Rovers today provide the possibility of up-close sightings of African game. Expert Shangaan trackers and experienced rangers help you spot the animals who migrate through the reserve, including gazelles, antelopes, kudu, impalas and giraffes. They are well-versed in the geography of the area, the wildlife and the efforts being made to conserve these living treasures and eagerly share their knowledge with you. You'll have opportunities to enjoy life at your lodge as well, which is reminiscent of safaris in days gone by - perhaps afternoon coffee, tea and biscuits, or possibly a swim between game drives. And tonight, a traditional braai - which is a barbecue; it's a social custom in South Africa that has been around for ages.

A day in Johannesburg
Return to Skukuza airstrip and fly to Johannesburg, South Africa's largest city and commercial hub, for a two-night stay. Johannesburg is the world's biggest city not situated on a river, lake or coastline. Among the most modern and prosperous cities in South Africa, "Jo'burg" has derived much of its wealth from the major gold- and diamond-mining industries based here. Learn about the history of apartheid at a special presentation early this evening. Your hotel, 54 on Bath, is centrally located in the lovely Johannesburg suburb of Rosebank; dine at your hotel restaurant this evening.

Sightsee Historic Soweto
During today's guided tour, you'll experience the diversity of Soweto, from its thriving business environment of today to its historical importance as a residential township in the time of the apartheid. You'll see the homes of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as South Africa's Constitutional Court. Visit the Apartheid Museum, acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th-century South Africa, at the heart of which is the apartheid story; the museum illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid. Return to the hotel, where the remainder of the day is free to spend as you please in Johannesburg.

Magnificent Victoria Falls
Fly to Victoria Falls today, regarded as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Zambezi River plunges more than 300 feet into the Zambezi Gorge, often creating rainbows in the spray; the cataracts are nearly twice as wide and twice as high as Niagara Falls. Enjoy elegant accommodations at The Victoria Falls Hotel, established in 1904; nowhere is the hotel's gracious service more welcomed than at traditional afternoon high tea, which you experience during your stay. In your free time, stroll the hotel's private pathway atop the gorge for inspiring views of the Victoria Falls Bridge crossing into Zambia. A local historian offers insights into the life of the famous Dr. David Livingstone aboard a private sundowner cruise on historic Zambezi River this evening - watching the setting African sun is an added bonus! Tonight, dine at your choice of restaurants in the hotel.

Explore Zambezi National Park and meet the elephants
First up this morning is a privately guided walk around Victoria Falls, stopping to view its thundering waters from various vantage points including the Devil's Cataract, Rain Forest, Main Falls and Danger Point. You'll gain some amazing insights about African elephants from a naturalist during a hands-on visit to an elephant sanctuary where you'll interact with the elephants and watch them as they feed, play, and socialize. Majestic, wise and very intelligent, they have earned their nickname "gentle giants" as they are thought to be the largest living mammal on Earth today. Join us this evening for our farewell cocktail reception and dinner, a fitting end to a fantastic trip!

Journey Home
Tour ends: O.R. Tambo International Airport. Enjoy time at leisure in Victoria Falls before your return flight to Johannesburg. You should allow a minimum of three hours from the time of arrival in Johannesburg for check-in for your flight home.

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