You should arrive at the airport for your overnight flight to Johannesburg.
After your morning arrival you will connect with your onward 1 hour 50 minute flight to Livingstone in Zambia and our hotel for the night, the three-star superior Azani Victoria Falls resort, located just a short walk from Victoria Falls. All rooms are air-conditioned and brightly decorated in an African theme with a balcony or patio overlooking the extensive landscaped gardens. The resort has a large pool, bar and restaurant and Riviera guests are welcome to use the excellent restaurant, bar and facilities of the five-star Royal Livingstone Hotel next door. After some time to relax and freshen up, we experience one of the highlights of your tour – a sunset cruise along the mighty Zambezi on the African Queen. As the boat slowly glides across the expanse of a river inhabited by hippo and crocodiles, why not settle into a shaded wicker armchair, absorb the unique surroundings, sip a refreshing drink, become acquainted with your fellow travellers and reflect on how good life can be!
This morning we approach Victoria Falls for an outstanding guided walking tour. The area around the falls is surrounded by a unique, lush rainforest eco-system, watered by the fine spray rising from the falls. As we pass through several rainbows arching through the mist, the roar of the falls intensifies and conversation becomes virtually impossible. The anticipation mounts and on your first view, you will fully appreciate why this is truly one of the wonders of the natural world! During low water flow, an optional boat trip is available to Livingstone Island from where the famous explorer himself first saw the falls. For the ultimate view you can take a helicopter or even a micro-light’ aircraft flight (essentially a powered hang-glider) on an optional ‘Flight of Angels’ tour. During the afternoon we drive west parallel to the Zambezi until it joins the Chobe River, actually forming the Botswanian border, which we cross on small open speedboats. We stay three nights half-board at the four-star Chobe Safari Lodge. Note - some groups will stay at the four-star Mowana Lodge and some will stay at the Chobe Bush lodge.
There is simply nothing to beat the feeling of excited anticipation and rising expectation as we start our game drive in the half light of an African dawn, accompanied by a unique ‘dawn chorus’. Using specially adapted 10-seater open-sided safari vehicles we look out for big cats, giraffe and elephants. You will see a wide variety of game: beautiful impala, monkeys, warthogs, kudu, even leopards if we are lucky! The birdlife is also simply superb – look out for the darting pied kingfishers, African skimmers, ibis, ground hornbills and a variety of brilliantly coloured bee-eaters. We return to our lodge mid-morning for some relaxation by the pool and a spot of lunch. During the afternoon we take a boat safari on the Chobe River, the main watercourse in the region. Elephant and hippo sightings are virtually guaranteed all year-round. Fish eagles and crocodiles are also often spotted, but during the peak of the dry season (Aug-Nov), hundreds of elephants congregate along the shore for their daily drink – an awesome game viewing experience, unique to Africa! As the sun sets beyond the wide grassy plains on the horizon, we are treated to one of this continent’s greatest gifts: the amazing multihued spectacle that is an African sunset.
Today is at leisure at the Chobe Safari Lodge or Mowana Safari Lodge. You may either relax and enjoy the excellent facilities or take additional optional game drives or river safaris in this, the real heart of Africa. Alternatively, there is another optional, short excursion to Namibia just on the other side of the Chobe River or, you may wish to try your hand at fishing for the fearsome Tigerfish.
After breakfast we cross back into Zambia across the Chobe River and drive back to Livingstone airport. From Livingstone we fly (commercial jet) to Cape Town, via Johannesburg and transfer to our hotel, the four-star Southern Sun Waterfront Hotel for four nights bed and breakfast, beautifully located within walking distance of the V&A waterfront.
This morning we drive to Cape Point, visiting the legendary Cape of Good Hope, originally known as the Cape of Storms. We pass pristine beaches, the fishing harbour of Hout Bay and continue along the breathtakingly scenic Chapman’s Peak Drive, full of rugged seascapes and cliffs, to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, one of the world’s biodiversity hot-spots. At Cape Point itself you see the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean currents and the treacherous promontory of rocks, the scourge of mariners for centuries. Finally, you visit Boulders Beach and its resident penguin colony before returning to the city in the afternoon. Lunch is included today.
Today you tour the awesomely beautiful Winelands. Set in a wide valley backed by majestic mountains, rows of manicured vines and orchards stretch into the distance, studded by lime-washed, often thatched, 300 year-old wineries built in the unique Cape Dutch style, sympathetically mirroring the undulations of the surrounding countryside. Later you visit the small town of Franschoek in a magnificent setting at the head of a valley, then elegant Stellenbosch, established 300 years ago and home to South Africa’s most prestigious university. Period buildings and historic streets reinforce the town’s dignified atmosphere. We have time to explore this delightful town before enjoying a fascinating cellar tour and tasting at the award-winning Neethlingshof Wine Estate. Lunch is included today.
Cape Town, featuring British, Dutch and Cape Malay influences, is simply one of the world’s most naturally beautiful cities, with so much to offer the visitor! Today is at leisure to explore as you wish. In addition to the excellent shopping and dining available within the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront complex, no visit to Cape Town would be complete without taking the revolving cable car to the summit of iconic Table Mountain, at the unofficial symbol of South Africa and with breathtaking views. You should also visit Robben Island (weather permitting), where Nelson Mandela spent most of his 27 years incarceration, and whose visitors have included Bill Gates, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton and even Nelson Mandela himself. Wander through the Bo- Kaap area, the very image of small-town South Africa. Tours are available to charming nearby Hermanus, the world’s premier onshore whale watching location (Jul-Nov only). Alternatively, simply just wander where your feet take you, or relax a little, taking afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson, one of the great colonial hotels of the world: the choice is yours.
Your final day in Cape Town is again at leisure, before transferring to the airport at the appropriate time for your return flight to Heathrow via Johannesburg.
You arrive back in the UK after an extraordinary tour.