Popular Tour

Southern Africa Escapades 3 to 5 Star (18 Days) SAE18D

Mluwati Concession| Dullstroom| Panorama Route| Chobe National Park| Overberg| Cape Agulhas| Hermanus| Mpumalanga Highlands| Chobe River Front| Cape Winelands| Western Cape| Magaliesberg Mountains| Gauteng| South Africa| Africa| Kruger National Park| Victoria Falls (Zambia)| Zambia| Kasane| Botswana| Franschhoek| Cape Town
  • Overview
  • Accommodation
  • Itinerary
  • Terms and Conditions

Overview

Introduction

One of the best adventures a small group of up to 10 people can have in Southern Africa. Escape to Botswana, Zambia and South Africa, experience the best 3- to 4-star accommodation these countries have to offer from the wildlife of the bush to the wild life of the city! Feast on unsurpassed Wonders of the World, history so close you can almost touch it, creatures of the animal kingdom in their natural habitat and flora found nowhere else on earth. Discover different cultures, adventures and surprises, or laze in front of an ever-changing vista of wildlife. Swim, hike and explore to your heart’s content, and then, after 2 and a half weeks of some of the best Southern Africa has to share, return home with a lifetime of unforgettable memories.

Accommodation

2 Nights Seasons Sport Leisure & Spa

Room: Luxury Lodge Rooms
Seasons Golf, Leisure and Spa can be found in the heart of the South African bushveld. With 300 acres of indigenous beauty on the northern slopes of the Magaliesberg mountains, ...

2 Nights Dunkeld Country & Equestrian Estate

Room: Country Hotel Deluxe Room
If you are looking for a place to unwind and rejuvenate body and soul in the sunny Mpumalanga, you do not need to look much further than Dullstroom. While ...

2 Nights Imbali Safari Lodge

Room: Suite
This exclusive lodge in the world-renowned Kruger National Park has private suites, each with their own private plunge pool and en-suite bathroom with magnificent views of the wilderness beyond.

2 Nights AVANI Victoria Falls Resort

Room: AVANI Room
AVANI Victoria Falls Resort is located in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, only a 5-minute walk from and with direct access to Victoria Falls. Accommodation is provided in Standard Rooms, Garden ...

1 Night Chobe Safari Lodge

Room: Standard Room
Chobe Safari Lodge is situated in Kasane on the banks of the Chobe River and shares a border with Chobe National Park. Right on the doorstep is the meeting ...

2 Nights Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa

Room: Classic Rooms
Located in the Gourmet Capital of South Africa, Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa has become one of the ultimate getaways in its class. Capturing the essence of 4-star luxury, ...

6 Nights President Hotel

Room: Standard Mountain Facing Room
Nestled beneath Bantry Bay’s majestic Lion’s Head, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and just a step away from Cape Town’s CBD lies the President ...

Itinerary

+ Day 1

Your tour representative will meet you at OR Tambo International Airport when you arrive. You will then be transferred to the Magaliesberg Mountains where, after check in, you will have the rest of the day at leisure to explore the resort before dinner.
Overnight:  Seasons Sport Leisure & Spa or similar

Activities and Services

Recommended

+ Day 2

Today, you will find yourself immersed in the sometimes sobering, yet always vibrant history of this beautiful country. Constitution Hill in Johannesburg was once a military fort and a prison. It is one of the most poignant symbols of South African history, bearing testimony to people of all ages, races, creeds and political opinions, including Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi were incarcerated here. Now, fittingly, it is the home of South Africa’s Constitutional Court which upholds the rights of all citizens. From here we travel to Soweto – South Western Townships - where over 4 million people live, many in shacks. It’s a stark contrast to Johannesburg, the City of Gold, which is home to Sandton, the richest square mile in Africa. The Apartheid Museum, which, through film clips, sound bites, and live accounts documents South Africa’s fascinating, horrifying, but ultimately inspiring journey from the days of ‘White’s Only’ privilege to Nelson Mandela’s historic release from prison. After an authentic Soweto lunch visit the only street in the world which has been home to 2 Nobel Laureates – President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu – the modest and unassuming Vilakazi Street.
Overnight:  Seasons Sport Leisure & Spa or similar

Activities and Services

+ Day 3

Rising well before dawn to catch the start of one of the most breath-taking experiences the Magaliesberg Mountains and River Valley has to offer – a sunrise balloon Safari - is well worth it. The valley has the best ballooning weather in the world. After coffee and muffins, drift over the treetops and across the Cradle of Mankind, a 47,000 hectare UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has produced an impressive array of hominin fossils ever found, and some of the oldest, some dating back as far as 3.5 million years ago. Celebrate this unique experience with a sparkling and delectable champagne breakfast. A change of location takes you to Dullstroom, and a country estate, set within the misty highlands of Mpumalanga. The Estate, with its beautiful architecture and serenity, has all you could wish for, including luxury spa services and an indoor swimming pool. Explore the estate on a hike, on horseback, a quad bike or a mountain bike. You can take time out and go fly-fishing, bird watching or play golf. Or, if you prefer, curl up with a good book in front of the fireplace before pre-dinner entertainment in the boma.
Overnight:  Dunkeld Country & Equestrian Estate or similar

Activities and Services

Recommended

+ Day 4

An early morning coffee and then, taking a packed breakfast with, you head out to enjoy the day following the Panorama Route, stopping first at Elephant Whispers in Hazyview where you can enjoy personal and educational interactions with these huge, wild animals. After lunch you will find yourself staring out of God’s Window at the canyons that seemingly stretch forever and the waterfalls, and indigenous forest nearly 3000 feet below. The Lisbon Waterfalls, named after the Portuguese who, in the late 1800s, panned for gold in the area, plunges over 300 feet into the ravine. View the intricate network of large, otherworldly potholes, tunnels and whirling pools at Bourke’s Luck Potholes. These bizarre shapes in the sandstone were formed over millennia at the mouth of the canyon by the raging Blyde and Treur Rivers swirling and crashing together. Visible on the other side of the northern edges of the Drakensberg mountains and shaped like traditional African huts are the iconic Three Rondavels, once known as the Chief and His Wives. From there, the Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world and largest green covered canyon in the world opens out before us before we return to the hotel for dinner.
Overnight:  Dunkeld Country & Equestrian Estate or similar

Activities and Services

+ Day 5

Enjoy breakfast at Dunkeld then head north to Imbali Safari Lodge, located within the private 10,000-hectare concession of Mluwati, in the western region of the Kruger National Park. As one of the first private concessions in the Kruger National Park, Mluwati has worked tirelessly to ensure the sustainability of this pristine wilderness that for over 100 years has been a sanctuary for over 114 reptiles, 34 amphibians and 147 mammal species, including Africa’s Big Five. Imbali continues the safari tradition of a bygone era, incorporating comfort and luxury in the serenity of the African bush with just twelve private suites, each with their own plunge pool, an expansive deck, large king bed cocooned in a mosquito net, and romantic en-suite bathroom.  On arrival, lunch is a relaxed, informal affair, served on the deck of the dining room with beautiful views of the surrounding bushveld and the Nwaswitsontso River. Guests are treated to light salads and tasty desserts before retiring to their rooms for an afternoon siesta.  Beverages and selected alcoholic drinks are included at Imbali. Afternoon tea, served on the deck, heralds the imminent departure of your sunset safari through the Mluwati Concession. Sip a sundowner G&T as you watch the sky turn from the brilliance of an African sunset to a bright band of stars. Back at the lodge, enjoy a magical three-course table ‘d hotel menu under those stars.  Good wine and good conversation flow while you listen to the enchanting sounds of the surrounding bush coming alive at night. Expect a bedtime story on your pillow or a sweet treat to enjoy before retiring for the night.
Overnight:  Imbali Safari Lodge or similar

Activities and Services

Recommended

+ Day 6

Kick-start your day before the sun rises, dunking a homemade rusk into a steamy cup of coffee before setting off on your sunrise safari with your assigned ranger. Some of Kruger’s most spectacular landscapes and extraordinary variety of wildlife lies within the Mluwati Concession, ensuring that each safari experience will be unique. Keen birders will delight in the hundreds of bird species (over 500) that call Kruger home, many of which occur in the Mluwati Concession including the Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Crested Barbet and Burchell’s Glossy Starling. Enjoy a delicious hot plated breakfast after your morning safari either in the gorgeous dining room which boasts an impressive hundred year old Jackalberry rising through the deck of the dining room and Tsonga-styled thatched roof or under the tree’s on the outside decks. Then retire to your room and relax, or laze at the crystal-clear infinity pool. Spa treatments are available in the privacy of your suite or request a bush walk for an up-close encounter with the Kruger. Indulge in High Tea with a delicious selection of cakes and pastries freshly baked at the lodge before embarking on your sunset safari with a stop for sundowners. Your three-course dinner will, no doubt, be accompanied by much chatter of your game viewing successes. Restful sleep will come easy this evening.
Overnight:  Imbali Safari Lodge or similar

Activities and Services

Recommended

+ Day 7

On this early morning start, Imbali will transport you to Orpen Gate where you will meet your tour guide who will take you to Kruger Mpumalanga Airport for your flight to Livingstone Airport. A road trip of about 3 to 4 hours in total and Imbali will provide a packed breakfast for the road trip. Upon arrival in Livingstone, you will be met by a tour representative from Avani who will transfer you to the resort. At check in, Avani will also brief you on your experiences. Should you wish to have lunch, Avani will provide recommendations. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Remember that Avani guests are afforded unlimited access to the falls so enjoy the view as much as you like until your two-hour Sundowner Cruise along the Zambezi River boundary of the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. While you are served snacks and drinks, you enjoy viewing game (elephant, hippo, crocodile, various antelope, buffalo, bee-eaters, fish eagle, zebra and giraffe), bird watching and take advantage of sunset photo opportunities. Rest of evening is at leisure.
Overnight:  Avani Victoria Falls Resort or similar

Activities and Services

Recommended

+ Day 8

You may choose to have breakfast at Avani and/or after your swim in Devil's Pool. This morning you visit the historic Livingstone Island (aka Devil's Pool) where David Livingstone first witnessed the falls himself – a completely different perspective than the views from the rain forest. Then it’s your opportunity to jump into Devil's Pool, a natural rock pool on the edge of the Falls. The guides on site will give you a safety briefing but you should be a confident swimmer. Once in the pool, you can lie on the rock ledge and look out over the 350-foot long thundering cascade, world-renowned as ‘the smoke that thunders’ for the rain-bowed mist that rises after the water falls such a distance. After your swim you will be served breakfast and returned to Avani.  At 11:30am, meet your guide at reception for your transfer to the helipad. The 25-minute flight sweeps over the upper gorges and hovers for a luxurious period over the Falls. The helicopter will then soar further up river to explore the impressive Batoka gorges and finally the beautiful national park before returning to the helipad. Total length of experience including transfers to and from resort is 1 hour 30 mins. Back at Avani, you have an hour to grab lunch before you meet the guide at reception at 2:30pm to take the guided walking tour of Victoria Falls - one of The Seven Natural Wonders of the World. You will learn how the falls were formed and what local customs and traditions surround them. The tour ends at a local art and crafts center for your shopping pleasure. Rest of day at your leisure.
Overnight:  Avani Victoria Falls Resort or similar

Activities and Services

Recommended

+ Day 9

Today is dedicated to the Chobe National Park in Botswana, less than 2 hours away. Chobe covers a vast 11,700 square kms of northern Kalahari and your tour includes the Chobe Riverfront. This area is renowned for its wildlife; lions are common, the antelope prolific, and herds of buffalo and elephant among the largest anywhere. Bird life is also excellent, from the fish eagle to myriad herons and waders. The amazing fishing skills of the African skimmer is one of the real highlights on the river! A 7:00am start gets you to the Botswana border at opening time to clear customs (visas for your account) which takes about 30 mins. You then cross the Zambezi River into Botswana where you will go on a 3-hour game drive and 3-hour game cruise. You are served light refreshments and snacks on the cruise then return to the Lodge for dinner and stay the night.
Overnight: Chobe Safari Lodge or similar

Activities and Services

+ Day 10

You will be transferred to Livingstone International Airport for your flight to Cape Town International Airport where you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel in Franschhoek. Set in the heart of the Cape Winelands and in the culinary capital of the Cape, Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa lies beneath the towering Franschhoek Mountains. The picturesque vineyards are within easy distance, making this hotel the perfect base from which to taste the legendary Cape Wine Route. Rest of the day at leisure to enjoy your hotel and the amenities or possibly wander into town for dinner.
Overnight: Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa or similar

Activities and Services

Recommended

+ Day 11

Have a hearty breakfast and drink plenty of water throughout the day because today you explore the Cape Winelands, its superb mountain ranges intersected by Cape Dutch Homesteads, and their vineyards and wines. You start exploring Franschhoek’s 40+ wine farms from the hop-on hop-off Wine Tram - the Green Line timetable is in the link under Activities And Services. Your guide will transfer you to the terminal by 9:30am when the tram departs for Rickety Bridge Wine Estate, arriving 9:45am - you skip Grande Provence since you spend the evening there. Select activities at Rickety Bridge as you wish (for your account). Please note that activities in red require pre-booking. The next wine estate is Franschhoek Cellar - you pick up the tram from the Rickety Bridge platform at 11:45am, arriving at Franschhoek Cellar at 11:54am. You will have just under an hour to explore until the guide whisks you away to your 1:00pm picnic luncheon on the lush lawns of the Rhone Rose Garden at Boschendal Wine Estate – a wine farm that has title deeds dated 1685. Your picnic lunch basket is filled with delicious wholesome food; only naturally grown produce from the estate and locally made artisan goods are used. You then transfer to Stellenbosch - the heart of South Africa’s wine industry and boasting great beauty, culture and history. A local historical expert will help you explore oak lined Dorp Street which is famous for its heritage buildings, museums and coffee shops. The old Lutheran Church, also an art gallery, provides a fitting backdrop to this historical lane. You will return to your hotel to freshen up before your food and wine pairing at Grand Provence – an exquisite and award-winning wine estate.  
Overnight: Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa or similar

Activities and Services

+ Day 12

This morning begins with a two-hour journey towards Cape Overberg, a rugged mountain range home to picturesque vistas and rolling wheat and canola fields, arriving in Cape Agulhas. You visit the historic lighthouse, an icon denoting the tip of Africa and the second oldest lighthouse in South Africa. The museum also contains a wonderful historical source of the ancient fish traps used hundreds of years ago by the Khoisan people. See your hiking trail options in the link under Activities And Services. They range from 2 to 5 hours and there are maps available at the Agulhas Lighthouse tourist office. Depending on the duration of the trail you choose, lunch could be at Bredasdorp Square. The Shipwreck Museum is a 30 min drive from the lighthouse and is home to striking visual displays, a fascinating collection of shipwreck artifacts, and a treasure trove of figureheads and lifeboats, porcelain, cannons, anchors, old bottles and coins from various European Countries. Cape Town is two and a half hours away via Sir Lowry’s Pass which allows easy passage across the daunting natural barrier of the Hottentot’s Holland Mountain range and the chance to enjoy some spectacular views. Late check in is arranged. You may choose to dine at your hotel or perhaps venture out to a Bantry Bay restaurant.
Overnight:  The President Hotel, Bantry Bay or similar

Activities and Services

Recommended

+ Day 13

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront (V&A), a working harbour, is where you board a ferry to Robben Island. The island has a rich 500-year-old history and the ferry ride is wonderfully scenic, but the island is best known for the prison that housed former President Nelson Mandela for 18 years of his 27-year incarceration as a political prisoner fighting for a new South Africa and democracy. You will get the opportunity to look out the same cell window that Nelson Mandela looked out for those 18 years. From 1961, Robben Island was used by the then-South African government as a prison for political prisoners. The island is roughly 2 square miles in size and about 4 miles off the west coast of Cape Town. Many of the guides are former political prisoners, so in addition to the official history, you might also be treated to a few personal anecdotes. It is now a South African Heritage Site and an UNESCO World Heritage Site. On return to the V&A, you are transferred to the most iconic landmark of South Africa, Table Mountain, the only flat-topped mountain in the world and one of the NEW7WONDERS of Nature. Starting with spectacular 360-degree rotating views from the cable car, you then enjoy lunch while marveling at the abundant views from the summit. After lunch, explore the awesome display of very unique “fynbos” vegetation with a variety of over 2,200 species. The most common mammal found on the mountain, the “dassie” (pronounced “dussy”) or rock hyrax, is about 50cm long and similar to a marmot but surprisingly more closely related to the elephant and manatee. At the base of the mountain, you board the Hop on-Hop off, double-decker, open-roof, round-trip bus tour. The route provides a wide range of interests - historical sites, museums, a Jewish Synagogue (rated as one of the best in the World), ancient castles, curio shops, food markets, craft markets, beaches, and cultural plazas where you can enjoy performers and mingle with locals. This experience will prove invaluable to you when choosing things to do on your unscheduled tour day. The bus returns you to the base of Table Mountain and your guide will return you to your hotel or, if you wish, the V&A to explore.
Overnight:  The President Hotel, Bantry Bay or similar

Activities and Services

+ Day 14

Hermanus, your destination this morning, is recognized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) as one of the 12 best whale-watching destinations in the world. It is home to the World’s only trade-marked Whale Crier of whom it is said that he is “the most photographed South African, after Mandela”. He uses a horn fashioned out of kelp to let people know where the whales have been spotted. Lunch is at award-winning Bientang’s Cave Restaurant with the official address of: “In a cave below Marine Drive, 100m from Old Harbor, Hermanus, 7200, South Africa”! It really is set in a cave with a series of rock terraces that stop just above the ocean and a well-known prime position from which to view the whales in the bay. Then off for a walk in the Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens situated in the centre of the coastal fynbos. Just 10 mins away is Stony Penguin Colony in Betty’s Bay. Reservations are made for dinner at The Tides, also in Betty’s Bay after which you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Overnight:  The President Hotel, Bantry Bay or similar

Activities and Services

Optional

+ Day 15

This full-day tour of the Cape Peninsula begins with a drive of never-ending breathtaking scenery along the Atlantic Seaboard which stretches from the V&A Waterfront to Hout Bay. Your 40 min cruise charter from Hout Bay Harbor to Duiker Island Seal Colony affords you the opportunity to view thousands of wild Cape Fur Seals who are protected here and you pass the Maori Bay Wreck during the cruise. Next along the route is Chapman’s Peak where the guide will stop for you to take photographs. Boulders Beach is just past Simon’s Town and home to the protected Boulders Penguin Colony of African Penguins, also known as the Jackass Penguin because of the braying sound they make. Now sit back and relax while taking in the countryside en-route to Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point, nature reserves within the Table Mountain National Park of almost 8,000 hectares of rich and varied flora and fauna, buck, baboons, and the Cape Mountain Zebra. Lunch is enjoyed overlooking the oceans and after you walk to the summit of Cape Point or take the Cape Point Funicular Railway to see the old lighthouse and enjoy the panoramic views. Rest of the day at leisure on return to the hotel.
Overnight:  The President Hotel, Bantry Bay or similar

Activities and Services

+ Day 16

After breakfast, a unique part of the tour will unfold. While the other days in your tour have highlighted the beauty of the Mother City and its surrounds, today will focus on the beauty of its people. Living with the consequences of apartheid policies, the people you’ll meet have created singular communities in the townships you will explore. The five townships on the itinerary are District Six, Langa, Khayelitsha, Bonteheuwal and Gugulethu. Each one has a history and flavour unique unto itself. District Six, a vibrant community of different races and beliefs created by former slaves in 1833, saw the destruction of homes and the forcible removal of 60 000 residents in the 1970s to the barren outlying areas of the Cape Flats. Langa, the oldest black township in South Africa welcomes you to visit a school creche to meet the children and discover their challenges and victories despite their circumstances. A local family in Khayelitsha will be your hosts for lunch. The Bonteheuwel township is a former so-called coloured township with deep roots in the Cape-gang culture. In Gugulethu you will visit the Gugulethu Seven Memorial and the Amy Biehl Memorial. Afterwards, you will roam the legendary Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the first botanical garden to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and 2015’s International Garden of the Year. Few gardens match the sheer grandeur of the 528 hectares set against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, 36 hectares of which are cultivated gardens. You are then returned to the hotel to freshen up for dinner which is complete with a djembe drum performance and a 14-dish tasting menu. Each dish is based on African culinary traditions and storytelling.
Overnight:  The President Hotel, Bantry Bay or similar

Activities and Services

Optional

+ Day 17

The day is free for you to delve into your very own area of interest. If desired, a personally tailored and costed itinerary can be provided or perhaps just a driver/guide for the day or nothing at all if you just want to laze on the beach.
Overnight:  The President Hotel, Bantry Bay or similar

Activities and Services

Recommended

+ Day 18

Depending on your schedule, enjoy a healthy and filling breakfast, either in Cape Town, or at the Cape Town International Airport before flying home or onward to another adventure on your vacation.

Activities and Services

Terms and Conditions

Includes

  • 17 nights accommodation
  • 48 excursions/activities, includes 4 game drives and 1 game cruise with experienced guides
  • 38 meals including the gratuities - 17 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 10 dinners
  • In addition to above meals: a pre-flight morning coffee, tea, biscuits and muffins and a post-flight champagne breakfast on Magalies Balloon Safari; 2 High Teas, 1 morning coffee, soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages at Imbali Safari Lodge; light snacks and selected beverages on Victoria Falls sunset cruise and Chobe game cruise
  • Standard transfers from and to airports, accommodations and activities as outlined in detailed itinerary
  • Transport in an air-conditioned luxury vehicle and bottled water provided daily
  • Game drives in an open 9 seat off-road vehicle
  • International flights from Nelspruit to Livingstone and then from Livingstone to Cape Town inclusive of taxes
  • Access to Seasons Spa
  • Dedicated driver/guide

Excludes

​Unless otherwise specified

  • All flights, related costs, and taxes (international and local)
  • All meals and beverages (bottled water, coffee, tea, soda, specialty beverages and alcohol)
  • Visa and passport fees
  • Porterage and tipping
  • Trip insurance and items of a personal nature
  • Cost of spa treatments