Splendors of South Africa & Victoria Falls
April 28, 2024 - May 9, 2024
Want the lion’s share of colorful cities, private game reserves, natural wonders, and wondrous wildlife? Then point your compass south for the diverse and enchanting sights of South Africa and Zimbabwe. The glorious panoramas from Cape Town’s Table Mountain and the candy-colored streets of its Bo-Kaap neighborhood set the stage for the sweet sights to come. Six open-air private game reserve drives near Kruger National Park offer a fascinating glimpse of up to 42 mammal species and 350 bird species. Keep your eyes peeled for the “Big 5”—lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and Cape buffalo—before branching out in Johannesburg. Here, you’ll explore Soweto, the city’s largest township, including the former home of Nelson Mandela and the most significant sites of the anti-apartheid movement. Your South Africa vacation crescendos at Victoria Falls, called Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders) on the Zambezi River. Twice the height of Niagara Falls, this breathtaking waterfall spanning the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia offers twice the photo ops.
APRIL 28: ARRIVE IN CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
Welcome to Cape Town, commonly referred to as the “Mother City” by locals. Check into your hotel with the balance of the afternoon and evening free.
APRIL 29: CAPE TOWN (B,L,D)
Start at the Grand Parade to see the Castle of Good Hope and City Hall. Take a walk to see more of Cape Town’s landmarks including St. George’s Cathedral, Parliament, and The Company’s Garden. Then, explore the Bo-Kaap neighborhood, also known as the Malay Quarter, including a visit to the Bo-Kaap Museum. After a traditional Malay lunch, take a scenic cable-car ride to the top of Table Mountain for stunning 360-degree views over the city.
Founded by former slaves in the 1750s, Bo-Kaap is a true melting pot of cultures and has been declared a national monument. As you stroll past colorful houses ranging from lime-green and pink to orange, reflecting Dutch and British architecture, your local guide will introduce you to the history and stories of this lively neighborhood.
APRIL 30: CAPE PENINSULA EXCURSION (B,L)
Take a scenic drive along stunning Chapman’s Peak Drive while enroute to Cape Point Nature Reserve. Stop at the Cape of Good Hope before arriving at Cape Point. Ride a funicular to the steps of the old lighthouse with panoramic views of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. After lunch, visit Boulders Beach to see a colony of endangered African penguins. This evening is free to explore on your own.
Boulders Beach is the premiere viewing spot for African penguins. The only penguins found on the continent, African penguins are known for the unique sound they make. Colonies can be found from southern Namibia all the way around the South African coast.
MAY 1: CAPE TOWN- OPTIONAL WINERY TOUR (B)
Full day at leisure to explore this beautiful city on your own. You may wish to join an optional tour to one of the local wineries. Sample wine and explore the picturesque valleys and vineyards in beautiful Cape Winelands.
MAY 2: MAKALALI PRIVATE GAME RESERVE (B,L,D)
Fly to Hoedspruit and transfer to Makalali Private Game Reserve in Kruger National Park. Home to an abundance of wildlife including the “Big 5”—lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and Cape buffalo.
Jump in your custom safari vehicle for an afternoon game drive with a skilled tracker and professional Ranger! Sip sundowner drinks before returning to your lodge for dinner.
MAY 3: MAKALALI (B,L,D)
Rise and Shine! Early morning (5:00 AM) coffee and tea before your morning game drive. If the timing is right, you might spot some of the big cats after a night of hunting. Other animals you may see include kudu, impala, giraffe, hippo, cheetah, spotted hyena, wildebeest, and more. After your morning game drive enjoy breakfast and time to relax at your lodge.
Enjoy an afternoon game drive with “Sundowner drinks”.
SUNDOWNER DRINKS This evening, as the sun sets over the majestic Drakensburg Mountains, savor a memorable happy hour in the bush in the nostalgic tradition of early safari explorers.
MAY 4: MAKALALI (B,L,D)
No two game drives are alike. Enjoy your day perfecting your game-spotting skills with morning and afternoon game drives in Kruger National Park.
When not on a game drive, do as the lions do and rest in the heat of the day. Take time to enjoy your lodge amenities, take a swim in the pool, enjoy a wellness treatment, or kick back on a viewing deck or your private balcony to watch nearby wildlife.
MAY 5: JOHANNESBURG (B)
Enjoy a final game drive this morning before boarding your flight to Johannesburg. After checking into your hotel you’ll have free time to explore on your own. .
MAY 6: JOHANNESBURG (B,L)
Join your local guide for a visit to Soweto (Southwestern Township) and the Apartheid Museum to learn about the dark apartheid years up to the historic 1994 elections that ended the apartheid era.
A BEACON OF LIGHT Soweto, the largest township in the country, is a part of South Africa’s turbulent past, but this multicultural area is also a reflection of today and hope for tomorrow. Your local guide will share stories along the way as you see the Hector Pieterson Memorial and the former neighborhoods of Nobel Peace Prize winners, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela. Gain some perspective of life here at Mandela House, where Nelson Mandela lived from 1946 to around 1960
MAY 7: VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE (B)
Fly to Zimbabwe and transfer to your hotel. Later this evening enjoy a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. Board your cruise boat on the banks of the Zambezi River. You’ll be treated like royalty as you take in the scenery, watching for wildlife while sipping and sampling from a selection of included drinks and canapés. Your cruise culminates in a spectacular African sunset!
MAY 8: VICTORIA FALLS (B,D)
Take a guided walk at Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders), as the locals call it due to the clouds of mist produced by the powerful falls. Your guide will introduce you to the history of the falls with fascinating details about the surrounding flora and fauna. Enjoy plenty of time for photos with free time to explore on your own. Want to soar high above the falls or visit a local village? Optional afternoon tours are available.
Join your Tour Director for a riverside farewell dinner this evening.
MAY 9: VICTORIA FALLS–JOHANNESBURG (B)
After breakfast this morning fly to Johannesburg with fond memories of your South African Holiday. Schedule departing flights back to the United States after 6:30 pm.
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner