(Click on each description box below to see detailed information about the activities and lodging.)
April 27-29: Depart the USA; Safari Club, Johannesburg, South Africa
April 27: Depart the USA
- Depart Raleigh on DL 1803 at 1:30 pm arriving Atlanta at 3pm. Connect to DL 200 departing at 6 pm.
April 28-29: Safari Club, Johannesburg, South Africa
- Upon arrival in Johannesburg at 3:40 pm, you clear immigration, obtain visas (no charge), collect any checked baggage, and meet a Safari Club agent at the Tourist Desk just outside baggage claim. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to rest. Dinner is included at Safari Club. You can also choose from other restaurants.
- After breakfast you enjoy a full-day tour of the Soweto Township, visiting the Apartheid Museum, and if time permits, the Hector Pieterson Museum. Again, dinner tonight is included at the Safari Club.
Safari Club Lodge
Safari Club Lodge is a country-style Inn with a luxurious yet homely ambiance. With only 17 rooms, guests are treated with exceptional personal service. Each of the rooms is en-suite, and each is decorated to a specific area of the continent such as the Okavango Room, etc. After a long day’s touring, relax in the garden, take a dip in the new pool, have a drink in the cozy bar, or try your luck at Emperor’s Palace Casino just 4 miles down the road. Lunch and dinner is served in the dining room, or you might try one of the local restaurants in the area – Emperor’s Palace has 12! There is free wi-fi in the rooms as well as in the common areas and also a business center for printing, faxing, etc.
The Apartheid Museum
The Apartheid Museum opened in 2001 and is 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 is a superb example of design, space, and landscape that offers a unique South African experience. The exhibits, assembled and organized by a team of curators, film-makers, historians and designers, include provocative film footage, photographs, text panels and artifacts illustrating the events and human stories that are part of the epic saga known as apartheid. A series of 22 individual exhibition areas takes the visitor through a dramatic emotional journey that tells a story of a state-sanctioned system based on racial discrimination, and the struggle of the majority to overthrow this tyranny.
The Hector Pieterson Museum*
The Hector Pieterson Memorial and museum opened in Soweto in 2002, not far from the spot where 12 year-old Hector was shot on the 16 June 1976 during the Soweto uprising. Today it is a symbol of resistance to the brutality of the apartheid government. On June 16, 2002, school children had gathered to protest the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in township schools. There are contradictory accounts of just who gave the first command to shoot, but as children began singing “Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika,” and before they could be dispersed, the police opened fire. Some 20 children died in the ensuing pandemonium – among them Hector Pieterson. Due to a photograph of the dying Hector being carried by a fellow student published across the globe, Hector has become an iconic image of the day.
* Since June 1976, Hector’s surname has been spelled Peterson and Pietersen by the press, but the family insists that the correct spelling is Pieterson. The Pieterson family was originally the Pitso family but decided to adopt the Pieterson name to try to pass as “coloured” (the apartheid-era name for people of mixed race), as coloured people enjoyed somewhat better privileges under apartheid than blacks did.
April 30-May 2: Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
April 30-May 2: Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- April 30: After breakfast, the staff takes you to the airport in time for BA flight 6285 departing at 11:25am arriving Victoria Falls airport at 1:05 pm. After obtaining your visa (US$30 exact change, and bills dated 2009 or after), your driver meets you for the 30-minute interesting drive to Victoria Falls Hotel. You drive through the”town” and can get your bearings. Feel comfortable to ask lots of questions. This afternoon walk around the grounds, have a drink overlooking the Zambezi Bridge, and watch the “smoke” from the Falls. Dinner is not included – try the patio restaurant.
- May 1: The day starts early with a 6 – 6:15am departure
for the Lion Walk Adventure. This will be on a bus that stops at several different hotels. Breakfast is included after the incredible walk. After returning to the Hotel late morning, there is time to visit the Falls that are only a short, safe walk from the Hotel (ask for directions to the path) and/or do some preliminary shopping in the town – again a short walk from the Hotel. You might have lunch at either the small cafe at the Falls or one of my favorite sandwich shops – the only one in Elephant Walk shopping area. For dinner you can try one of the other hotels within walking distance or eat at Victoria Falls Hotel.
- May 2: Today is at leisure. You may have decided to do another activity or do more shopping or just hang out at the Hotel. If the temperature allows, take a dip in the gorgeous pool – maybe have lunch poolside. Don’t miss high tea on the patio on at least one of the days.
Follow the footsteps of the great explorer, David Livingstone, to the very edge of the awesome gorge that forms the world-famous Victoria Falls. This 1688-meter long rent in the earth’s surface (where thundering waters leap over the edge to the tumbled black rocks nearly 100 meters below) sends up great clouds of mist forming endless jeweled rainbows, before drifting gently down to nourish the luxuriant rain forest below. Locally named “Mosi o Tunya” (the Smoke that Thunders), the Victoria Falls are completely unspoiled. Only well-kept gorge-side paths mark humans’ intrusion into one of the world’s greatest wonders.
Victoria Falls Hotel
This famous grand Edwardian-style hotel sits in a prime location overlooking Victoria Falls Bridge and gorge, with a private path to the falls (10-minute walk) and acres of lush gardens. The choice of activities is varied, including Zambezi River cruises, white water rafting, and the Flight of Angels over the Falls. All rooms have a shower and bath facilities, wall-to-wall carpeting, telephone, and air-conditioning. Of the three restaurants, only one has a formal dress code, while the other two are safari casual. For a cultural show, make sure to see the African Zulu dancers who entertain nightly at one of the restaurants. The large swimming pool has a poolside bar, and a wonderful gift shop at the hotel offers competitive prices for high-quality products. Wonderful shopping is also available at Elephant Walk, just a short walking distance from the hotel. If you are interested in any optional activities, it is best to arrange them in advance, particularly the flight over the falls in a fixed-wing plane, helicopter, or ultra-light. Another optional trip is to canoe on the Zambezi for a day trip and/or spend one night camping on the river. White water rafting can also be arranged. For those feeling lucky, there is a casino about a block away.
Activities in Victoria Falls:
- Horseback riding
- Helicopter ride over the Falls
- Micro-lighting over the Falls
- Walking with the Lions
- Elephant-back safari
- Private canoeing on the Zambezi with wine
- Cocktail Sundowner Cruise on the Zambezi
- Whitewater rafting
- Zip Line over the Zambezi
- Bungee jumping from Zambezi Bridge
May 3-5: The Hide, Hwange Park, Zimbabwe
May 3-5: The Hide, Hwange Park, Zimbabwe
- May 3: After an early breakfast and checking out, meet your driver in front of the Hotel at approximately 9am. Depart for the comfortable 2.5-hour trip to Hwange Park. Your driver is a guide and can provide lots of information – no subject is taboo. Feel free to stop anywhere you might find interesting. Upon entering the Park, you see lots of animals on your way to the Main Camp Office where staff from the Hide completes your journey to the Camp – about another 45 minutes, depending on what you see along the way. This is really your first game drive. Keep those cameras ready! (Note that there are good bathrooms at Main Camp.)
- May 4: Day at leisure for game drives and other camp activities.
- May 5: Day at leisure – be sure to keep an eye on the water hole.
The Hide (please say hello to Ian, Camp Manager, for me)
The Hide, regarded as one of the best-situated camps inside Hwange National Park, is a ten-tented camp accommodating a maximum of 16 guests in comfortable tents, each with its own en-suite bathroom and private veranda overlooking the waterhole. Meals are served in elegance around a solid teak 22-seater table, exquisitely laid with candelabra, cut glass, and silver cutlery. The two comfortably carpeted underground hides near the waterhole are a wildlife photographer’s paradise – often resulting in guests forgoing walks and other activities in camp! During the dry months (May – November) there is a constant flow of animals to the pan as water is scarce. Game viewing excursions in comfortable open vehicles (day and night) or on foot can be tailor-made to suit specific interests and preferences. Expect to see the rare and secretive black rhino, honey badgers, bat-eared foxes and the endangered wild dog, and herds of elephant, buffalo, kudu, giraffe and wildebeest. At night, a diffused orange light is used to view game at the waterhole when lion, leopard, and other nocturnal predators may be seen.
Hwange National Park, close to the edge of the Kalahari Desert, is one of Africa’s finest havens for wildlife and is home to vast herds of elephant, buffalo, zebra, and a very large concentration of giraffes. It is the only protected area where gemsbok and brown hyena occur in reasonable numbers and its population of African Wild Dogs is thought to be of one of the largest surviving groups in Africa. The landscape includes desert sand to sparse woodland, as well as grasslands and granite outcrops. Due to the lack of water, human-made waterholes were introduced to sustain the animals through the dry season. To travel through Hwange National Park today is to see what much of the interior of Africa might have been like more than 150 years ago.
May 6-7: Zambezi Queen, Botswana and Zambia
May 6-7: Zambezi Queen, Botswana and Zambia
- May 6: A reverse of the trip to the Hide back through Victoria Falls and on to the Botswana border. Your driver/guide assists with the visa process (no charge) before continuing on to Kasane where you board “the Queen.” It’s a fun process – I have to leave some surprises! Lunch on board and then a game drive by boat – be prepared to see more elephants than you thought possible. Every time you leave and return to the main boat, you make a stop to get a Zambia visa; it’s a bit of a chore, but that’s just the way it is, and the staff assists with all of the procedures. There is a little walking involved – not difficult at all. After cocktails, you have your first scrumptious ZQ dinner. I hope your pants have elastic – haha! Enjoy the game 24/7 from everywhere on board.
- May 7: You’ll have more game adventures, including a trip to Chobe National Park. There are several activities available (village visits, fishing, etc), and you can talk to the crew who will arrange whatever you want.
The Zambezi Queen is an elegant and luxurious ship that provides fantastic service to its passengers. The first and second levels incorporate 14 cabins (all of which have private balconies), while the top deck consists of the dining room, a lounge (including a wood burning fireplace), a bar, a library, and a sunbathing area complete with private pool. The entire boat (including the top deck and living and dining areas) has mosquito screening. From smaller boats, we will enjoy up-close and personal game viewing, fish for tiger and bream, and revel in the amazing number of bird species present in the area. We can also arrange for half-day land-based game drives, visit a local village, or even take light aircraft for aerial game viewing.
Chobe National Park
The second largest national park in Botswana, Chobe has one of the greatest concentrations of game found on the African continent. A major feature of the park is its elephant population, currently estimated at around 120,000. Their daily passage takes them from Zimbabwe through the Chobe and on into Namibia before returning. The elephants in this area have the distinction of being the largest in body size of all living elephants, although their ivory is very brittle so huge tuskers are rare.
May 8-10: Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp, Okavanga Delta, Botswana
May 8-10: Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana
- May 8: After breakfast, it is farewell to the wonderful staff and new friends as you are transferred to the Kasane airport for your flight to Stanley’s Camp. Upon landing at the airstrip, Camp staff meets you for the transfer to Camp. Depending on the water levels, the mode of transportation may vary – again, one of those “let you be surprised” moments. There may be game on the way, but there is definitely amazing scenery. After lunch you participate in one of the camp activities – game drives, mokoro (canoe) trips, walks, etc. If you decide to do the Elephant Experience, you can arrange that with the camp staff.
- May 9: Day at leisure to enjoy the camp and activities.
- May 10: Day at leisure to enjoy the camp and activities.
Stanley’s is located on the tip of Chief’s Island and borders the famous Moremi Game Reserve. The camp is set in an amphitheater of ebony and sausage trees and sits amidst 260,000 acres of wild African bush. Activities include day and night game drives, mokoro trips and walking safaris. Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp also offers the opportunity to spend a day interacting in the bush with their private herd of habituated elephants. (This activity, however, must be booked in advance, and is at an additional cost.) Guest accommodation consists of 8 well-appointed safari tents with antique furniture and oriental carpets. The communal area on a raised deck offers extensive views over the surrounding floodplains.
The magnificent Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland delta, was once part of an ancient lake that, except for seasonal flooding, has mostly dried up. Having no outlet to the sea, the Okavango River empties onto the sands of the Kalahari Desert, leaving enormous quantities of salt as the pure water passes through the sand aquifers of the numerous delta islands and evaporates. The year-round presence of fresh water means that many animals depend on the delta’s unique wilderness. In addition to over 400 species of birds, the delta provides common sightings of many other animals including African bush elephants, buffaloes, hippopotamuses, lechwes, topis, blue wildebeests, giraffes, Nile crocodiles, lions, cheetahs, leopards, brown and spotted hyenas, greater kudus, sable antelopes, black and white rhinoceroses, and Chacma baboons. The delta also hosts one of the densest populations of the endangered African wild dog.
May 11-15: The Gap, Cape Town, South Africa and Return Home
May 11-15: The Gap, Cape Town, South Africa
- May 11: The staff takes care of notification of time to leave for the airstrip and the flight to Maun. You arrive in time for your Air Botswana flight 215 from Maun connecting through Joburg to Cape Town. Upon arrival at 725 pm, clear immigration and meet LeRoi outside of baggage. He is VERY tall, so he’s easy to spot (unless he sends someone else). Get some rest, have some dinner – there are lots of restaurants in the area. Linda and LeRoi can make suggestions.
*Note: Wear comfortable walking shoes and take a sweater or jacket each day. The temperatures can be very cool and drop without warning.
- May 12: There is much to see in the area and your guide makes sure you see as much as possible. You can arrange with LeRoi anything of particular interest. Certainly included are Table Mountain (when weather permits), Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape of Good Hope, Cape Point, short Winelands tour, Robben Island, penguins at Boulder Beach, city tour, and more.
- May 13: Another day to enjoy touring the area.
- May 14: Another tour day. Most days you are gone from the Lodge from about 830 to 5ish, depending on what you want to do and what you schedule.
- May 15: Today is scheduled at leisure. If there is more you want to tour, you arrange that with LeRoi. A good half-day to spend some time on the Victoria and Albert Waterfront and do some shopping. You need to be at the airport by about 2 in order to check-in for your DL flight 352 at 410pm. Then it is time to bid a farewell to southern Africa as you head home.
Situated halfway between the Mother City (as Cape Town has become known) and the majestic Table Mountain, Gap Lodge is within easy walking distance of trendy and vibrant Kloof and Long Streets, with their many shops, restaurants, internet cafes and cinemas. Each of the Gap Lodge’s three en-suite bedrooms has dual air-conditioning (heating and cooling), a digital safe, a TV, and a hairdryer. The owners, LeRoi and Linda Steenkamp, are so delightful that guests inevitably feel like a part of their family.
Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve
Part of the Cape Peninsula Park, this nature reserve includes both Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. Its location at the tip of the continent where two oceans meet, the legendary strong prevailing winds, and the sandstone soil all influence the flora found in this area. As a result, the reserve is home to over one thousand different species of Cape Fynbos (Afrikaans for “fine bush”). The Chacma Baboon troops on the Cape Peninsula feed mainly on fruits, roots, bulbs, honey, insects, and scorpions, but they may be seen roaming the beaches during low tide, seeking sand hoppers and shellfish. Bird lovers can spot 250 species of birds, from the large Black Eagle down to the tiny Spotted Prinia. Animal lovers may see the elusive Cape Mountain Zebra, eland, Cape Grysbok, Red Hartebeest, and Grey Rhebuck. The beautiful Bontebok, considered the rarest antelope in the world, is often seen in the reserve. Other small animals, such as the lynx, Cape Grey Mongoose, dassies, and Striped Field Mice, are present. Between July and November, Southern Right Whales return to these waters to mate and give birth to their calves.
Cape Point is a promontory at the south-east corner of the Cape Peninsula, a mountainous and very scenic landform at the extreme southwestern tip of the African continent. It is often mistakenly claimed to be the place where the cold Benguela Current of the Atlantic Ocean and the warm Agulhas Current of the Indian Ocean collide. In fact, the meeting point fluctuates between Cape Agulhas and Cape Point, and it is these two intermingling currents that help create the micro-climate of Cape Town. These troubled seas have witnessed countless maritime disasters in the centuries since ships first sailed here.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, with its shaded lawns and gurgling streams, is without a doubt one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Founded in 1913, Kirstenbosch grows only indigenous South African plants. The estate covers 528 hectares (about 1,300 acres) and supports diverse flora and natural forest. The area’s human history begins long before the arrival of European settlers in the 17th century. Traces of large pear-shaped stone implements and round perforated stones, used to weight pointed digging sticks, are the only record that exists of the pre-colonial dwellers. Also of historic interest are the remains of the wild almond hedge which was planted in 1660. In the early colonial period, the forests were harvested for timber, and today visitors can still find small ruins and overgrown tracks where the timber was hauled out of the forest. Today the cultivated sections, seamlessly blending into the adjoining nature reserve, showcase some 8,000 of South Africa’s 22,000 plant species. There are a number of themed walks and areas, and guests can enjoy a picnic while listening to one of the musical performances held in the garden.
For nearly 400 years, Robben Island was a place of banishment, exile, isolation, and imprisonment where rulers sent political troublemakers, social outcasts, and society’s unwanted. During the apartheid years Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The island’s prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, succeeded on a psychological and political level in turning a prison ‘hell-hole’ into a symbol of freedom and personal liberation. For the whole world, Robben Island has come to signify the triumph of the human spirit over enormous hardship and adversity.
Included/Excluded on Safari
Included on Safari:
- Transfer from JNB airport to Safari Club
- 2 nights at Safari Club in Johannesburg
- Breakfast and dinner
- Full day Soweto Tour
- Transfer to JNB airport for flight to Victoria Falls
- Transfer from Vic Falls airport to Hotel
- 3 nights Victoria Falls Hotel
- Breakfast breakfast included (other meals excluded)
- Lion Walk
- Private road transfer from Vic Falls to The Hide
- 3-nights The Hide
- Private road transfer from the Hide to Kasane and Zambezi Queen
- 2 nights Zambezi Queen
- All meals
- All soft drinks, water, tea, coffee
- Wine and beer with meals/game viewing
- Water-based game drives on tenders
- Cultural tour of a local village
- ½ day game drive in Chobe Park
- Tiger and bream fishing in season
- Transfer from the Queen to Kasane
- Flight to Stanley Camp
- 3 nights full board Stanley Camp
- All beverages except premium brands
- All activities as stated in the itinerary
- Flight from Stanley Camp to Maun
- Transfer from Cape Town airport to the Gap
- 4 nights Bed and Breakfast at the Gap
- 3 days private touring in Cape Town area
- Tour of Robben Island
- All park fees
- Government taxes*
Excluded on Safari:
- International airfare
- Flights from JNB to VFA and Maun to CPT
- Lunch/dinner at Victoria Falls
- Meals, other than breakfast, in Cape Town
- Lunch/dinner last day
- Gratuities to drivers/guides
- Personal items, shopping, telephone calls
- Beverages, except where indicated
*A new Zimbabwe VAT tax of 15% has just been voted in and began effective January 1, 2015. I have contacted the Zimbabwe properties and have been assured that this will NOT be charged to you as we prepaid in time. Just want you to be aware that it is possible, definitely not probable, that someone may try to add this. If you encounter any problems, please let me know. You should have email access basically everywhere.
Contact Enaja Safaris and Tours for pricing
and more information.