Spotting the “Big Five” and more in private game reserves in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana… lush South African vineyards and wine estates… thundering Victoria Falls… the rugged tip of the African continent… and the cutting edge of art, culture, and cuisine in exciting Cape Town...
Part safari, part cultural immersion, all amazing. Indulge your imagination for safari expeditions of old à la Dr. Livingstone during two nights in Victoria Falls. Make tracks for wildlife-rich game drives in the heart of Chobe and Kruger national parks during stays in luxury lodges in the heart of the wilderness. And explore the stunning landscapes and vineyards of Cape Town, enjoying regionally inspired arts, culinary treats and more. This is a trip of a lifetime you won’t want to miss.
Arrive Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Tour begins: 5:00 PM, Old Drift Lodge. A transfer is included upon arrival from the airport to the Old Drift Lodge, a tented camp on the banks of the Zambezi River upstream from iconic Victoria Falls. Join us for a welcome reception and dinner tonight.
Natural Wonders of Victoria Falls
Join our local guide for a walking tour of Victoria Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Explore trails that offer different perspectives of the magnificent falls, considered the largest waterfalls in the world. Have lunch with a view of the Zambezi River before heading to an elephant sanctuary for a private visit with a family of elephants out in the bush, patiently waiting for the treats you’ll bring. The Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust Clinic is renowned for promoting environmental conservation in Southern Africa, and operates a medical care facility and orphanage dedicated to the health and welfare of Africa’s wildlife. Tour the facility and meet the naturalists and doctors who work here, learning about their efforts to protect animals injured by traps, snares and poachers and meeting the wildlife they have rescued. The evening is yours to enjoy as you wish, dining at the hotel at your leisure.
Chobe National Park
Cross into Botswana this morning en route to your lodge in Chobe National Park. An afternoon game drive with an expert safari guide introduces you to the locals, furred, feathered and fleet-footed. Botswana’s first national park, Chobe attracts large herds of elephants and Cape Buffalo that frequent the Chobe River; lions, antelopes and hippos linger near lagoons; and numerous bird species and zebras favor the floodplains. Enjoy dinner at the lodge this evening.
A Game Drive & a Motorboat Safari
Rise early for a game drive that spies wildlife starting their day in the bush as dawn breaks over the park. Wildlife whisperers, your guides follow tracks and interpret signs that lead to animal sightings out of nowhere and everywhere. See the ever-present impala, puku antelopes and majestic giraffes snacking on treetops more than 16 feet high, and look for lions, wild dogs and leopards on the hunt. Return to your lodge for lunch, then join us on a private motorboat safari aboard a skimmer boat along the Zambezi River. Watch for birds, elephants, hippos and herd animals stopping by for a drink while crocodiles lie in the water or on the shore, along with other thirsty predators. Dine indoors or out at your lodge tonight.
A Look at Local life
Meet the people native to Botswana when you visit a local village this morning. Learn about their daily lives and deep-rooted cultural traditions and see baskets hand woven to perfection. Depending on the season, ride aboard a safari vehicle or a skimmer boat in search of up close wildlife sightings that never get old. Enjoy panoramic views of the Chobe River from the elevated boardwalks at your lodge during your free time, a great spot to watch the ever-changing wildlife parade across the river, on the islands and the surrounding floodplains, before night falls with an awe-inspiring starlit sky, dining at your leisure.
Kruger National Park
Take a final morning game drive in Chobe National Park before driving to the airport for a flight to Johannesburg, followed by another flight to your safari lodge in the Timbavati Game Reserve, bordering Kruger National Park. Stay in a thatched roof cottage that has its own private verandah for animal sightings – a watering hole on property is a favorite gathering place for visiting wildlife – and enjoy dinner as you please.
Game Drives in the Park
Set off in search of Africa’s Big Five – lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants and rhinos – along with wild dogs, hippos, cheetahs and herd animals with your expert guides. Morning and afternoon game drives offer ample opportunities to see predators and prey in their natural habitat. Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves, is world-renowned and is home to hundreds of species of animals and birds, including vultures, storks and eagles.
Walk with the Animals
Rise early for a game drive followed by a nature walk unlike any you have experienced before. Join your safari guides on a walking safari that offers an opportunity to learn about the bush and its fascinating fauna and flora from the ground up. Follow in the tracks of Africa’s wildlife as your guide shares tracking tips with you, seeking out signs and scents that reveal which animals have passed this way before you. Catch a glimpse of smaller game, like impalas or gazelles, or see elephants lumbering on distant landscapes. Walking safaris are only permitted on private lands and not in Africa’s national parks. Enjoy an afternoon game drive and join us under the stars for a private dinner tonight.
Fly to Cape Town
Take a final game drive this morning before flying to Cape Town for a three-night stay. Your hotel, painted pink for peace in 1918, is nestled on a lush garden estate at the foot of Table Mountain. Dinner is at your leisure in the hotel tonight.
Explore Cape Town Your Way
A choice of sightseeing excursions today includes a tour of the Cape Winelands with tastings at two prestigious wineries, along with a wine pairing luncheon that tempts with regional fare and time to explore the quaint streets of Franschhoek. Or, join us for an artisan and culinary tour of Cape Town, stopping to meet a jewelry designer who makes pieces from prison fences from Robben Island. Take a cooking lesson in making traditional Cape Malay appetizers before lunch at a hidden gem of a restaurant and visit an art gallery featuring the works of South African artists. Your local guide enriches your tour with insights about Cape Town’s history and highlights. The rest of the day is free to explore on your own.
Experience a bird’s-eye view of Cape Town as you soar over the city aboard a helicopter that follows the coast to see Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles, Chapman’s Peak and the bays and towns that line the shores of the Cape Peninsula. Spend the remainder of the day exploring the waterfront delights of Victoria & Albert Waterfront, a mecca for shopping, art galleries, restaurants and entertaining street performers. Tauck’s shuttle will bring you back to the hotel at your convenience this afternoon. Tonight, join us for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant, renowned for its local culinary fare.
Tour ends: Cape Town. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included to Cape Town Airport from Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel. Allow three hours for flight check-in at the airport.