On this fascinating tour through South Africa, experience some of South Africa’s most popular cities—Johannesburg and Cape Town—as well as its scenic valleys and splendid animal attractions. Plus, spend time in Victoria Falls, bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe. Roughly twice the height of Niagara Falls, stand in awe as you hear the roar of the falls and witness the beautiful rainbows left behind by the impressive amount of spray shooting into the sky. Another highlight of your vacation is the scenic Cape winelands, where some of the world’s finest wines are produced. Enjoy lunch at a winery, tastings at two famous wines estates, a cellar tour, and a chance to blend your own wine. No trip to Africa is complete without partaking in a safari adventure, and you’ll have an opportunity to participate in game drives in Mthetomusha Private Game Reserve, part of Greater Kruger National Park. Skilled trackers and professional rangers will help you spot lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo, impala, giraffe, zebra, and more. But that’s not all. You’ll also visit an elephant sanctuary, a colony of endangered African penguins, an ostrich farm, and a meerkat clan, where you can observe these shy creatures playing and foraging for food. Spend time in Knysna, where you’ll take a cruise on the lagoon and visit the nature reserve. All of this and more await you on this enchanting trip through South Africa and Victoria Falls—an exhilarating vacation indeed!
Day #1 Arrive in Cape Town, South Africa. Welcome to South Africa! Arrive late this evening, check in to your hotel, and rest as you prepare for a great adventure.
Day #2 Cape Town. Cape Peninulsa Excursion. Today, enjoy a full day of sightseeing starting with an orientation tour of Cape Town. Then, take a scenic drive south through the fishing village of Hout Bay before ascending Chapman’s Peak Drive, one of the most spectacular drives in the world and which skirts the rocky coastline. Continue on to CAPE POINT NATURE RESERVE. Stop at the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point, the southwesternmost point of the African continent, for incredible panoramic views. Continue on to Simon’s Town and Boulders Beach, where you will visit a COLONY OF ENDANGERED AFRICAN PENGUINS, known for the unique sound they make. Return to Cape Town and enjoy the evening at your leisure. This evening, join your traveling companions for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)
Day #3 Cape Town. This morning, visit Table Mountain and take a CABLE-CAR RIDE to the top (weather permitting) for stunning views of the city and surrounding area. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. Perhaps simply explore the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, visit Kirstenbosch Gardens, or take a cruise to infamous Robben Island, where Nelson Madela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison, for a guided tour. Your Tour Director will have suggestions to help you make the most of this beautiful city. (B)
Day #4 Cape Town-Cape Winelands-Franschhoek. Depart Cape Town this morning for a day exploring the scenic Cape winelands, where the fertile valleys, surrounded by stunning mountain peaks, produce some of the world’s finest wines. Along the way, drive through the town of Paarl and TOUR charming Stellenbosch with its neo-Dutch architecture. Afterward, begin your gastronomic adventure as you savor each bite during LUNCH AT A LOCAL WINERY. This afternoon features TASTINGS at two famous wine estates. You will also take a CELLAR TOUR at one of the winieries and enjoy a hands-on experience as you get to [LF] BLEND YOUR OWN WINE. Continue on to Franschhoek, where you will see the Huguenot Monument, dedicated to the French Huguenots who settled the area in 1694. (B,L)
Day #5 Franschhoek-Oudtshoorn. Drive east through the Breede River Valley and over spectacular mountain passes to Oudtshoorn. After lunch, take a tour of a LOCAL OSTRICH FARM. (B,L,D)
Day #6 Oudtshoorn-Knysna. Rise early this morning for a unique experience as you [LF] VISIT A MEERKAT CLAN. Here, with an experienced guide, learn more about meerkats as you observe them going about their daily routine of foraging for food and playing with one another. It is a true privilege to get within a few steps of these shy creatures in the wild! Continue on to Knysna and take a WALK through the TSITSIKAMMA FOREST prior to visiting the KNYSNA ELEPHANT SANCTUARY. (B,L) NOTE:On cold and/or rainy days it may not be possible to visit the meerkats, as they will not venture out of their burrows. If this occurs, an alternate visit to Monkeyland and the Birds of Eden Sanctuary in Knysna will be arranged.
Day #7 Knysna. Today, take a CRUISE on Knysna Lagoon to FEATHERBED NATURE RESERVE. Here, take a walk down the coastline and enjoy lunch on a deck overlooking the lagoon. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore the Knysna waterfront. (B,L)
Day #8 Knysna-Johannesburg. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Johannesburg. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B)
Day #9 Johannesburg. Your sightseeing starts with an enriching visit to [LF] SOWETO (South Western Township), the largest township in the country. Soweto is a part of South Africa’s turbulent past, but this multicultural area is also a reflection of today and hope for tomorrow. Along the way, see the homes of two Nobel Peace Prize winners: Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. You will also see the Hector Pieterson Memorial, dedicated to the 12-year-old boy killed by police during a demonstration in 1976. This led to the Soweto Uprising, an important event in the long struggle to end apartheid some 14 years later. Next, visit the unforgettable APARTHEID MUSEUM, where you will learn about the founding of South Africa before delving into the apartheid era. Using photos, video, and print, the museum takes you on an extraordinary journey through the apartheid years to the 1994 democratic elections that named Nelson Mandela president. (B,L)
Day #10 Johannesburg-Mthetomusha Private Game Reserve, Greater Kruger National Park. Today, leave Johannesburg behind and fly to MTHETOMUSHA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE, part of Greater Kruger National Park, to begin your safari adventure! Kruger is famous for its abundance of wildlife, and you will have a great chance of seeing the “Big 5”—lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo. Enjoy your first GAME DRIVE this afternoon in an open-air 4-wheel-drive Land Rover. Your skilled tracker and professional ranger work together as a team so you can learn more about the ecosystem as you view wildlife up close. Return to your lodge for dinner. (B,D)
Day #11 Mthetomusha Private Game Reserve. Rise between 5 am and 5:30 am for coffee and tea before your EARLY 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, zebra, nyala, and more. Return for breakfast mid-morning followed by time to relax and enjoy the lodge and its surroundings, including a welcoming pool. Optional activities include a walking safari and a tour to see the rock art of the San bushmen, the first people on the African continent. In the mid-afternoon, tea will be served prior to your AFTERNOON GAME DRIVE. As the sun sets, step out of your safari vehicle to stretch your legs and watch the sun set. As darkness descends, your tracker will bring out a spotlight to help you spot nocturnal animals and, if you are lucky, maybe even a leopard! Return to your lodge in time to freshen up before dinner. (B,L,D daily)
Day #12 Mthetomusha Private Game Reserve. Rise between 5 am and 5:30 am for coffee and tea before your EARLY 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, zebra, nyala, and more. Return for breakfast mid-morning followed by time to relax and enjoy the lodge and its surroundings, including a welcoming pool. Optional activities include a walking safari and a tour to see the rock art of the San bushmen, the first people on the African continent. In the mid-afternoon, tea will be served prior to your AFTERNOON GAME DRIVE. As the sun sets, step out of your safari vehicle to stretch your legs and watch the sun set. As darkness descends, your tracker will bring out a spotlight to help you spot nocturnal animals and, if you are lucky, maybe even a leopard! Return to your lodge in time to freshen up before dinner. (B,L,D daily)
Day #13 Mthetomusha Private Game Reserve-Johannesburg. Fly to Johannesburg for an overnight. (B)
Day #14 Johannesburg-Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Today, leave South Africa and head north to Zimbabwe. This evening, enjoy a CRUISE on the Zambezi River, which affords you a great opportunity to photograph wildlife and a spectacular African sunset. (B,D)
Day #15 Victoria Falls. Today, visit mighty VICTORIA FALLS for an awe-inspiring experience. You will enjoy a GUIDED WALK, where you will learn the history of the falls and hear fascinating details about the surrounding flora and fauna. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B) Note: During the dry season (September-December) and during particularly dry years, water flow to Victoria Falls may be low.
Day #16 Victoria Falls-Johannesburg-Homebound Flight. Your tour ends with a flight back to Johannesburg to connect with your homebound flight. Book homebound flights after 5:30 pm. (B)