The wonders of southern Africa
Join us and fellow like-minded travellers as we embark on a small group tour through southern Africa, visiting some of the continent's most extraordinary sights. Beginning in Zambia, we'll marvel at the wondrous Victoria Falls, cross the border into Botswana to go wildlife spotting in Chobe National Park, then fly down to South Africa for a journey around its stunning southwest corner. Indulge in local vintages in the Cape Winelands, explore the wilderness on sunrise and sunset safaris, travel along the stunning Garden route to visit its pretty coastal towns, and conclude the journey in spectacular Cape Town, South Africa's most exciting city.
WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?
Day One: Fly to Livingstone
Fly overnight from the UK to Livingstone, travelling via Nairobi or Johannesburg.
Day Two: Included Victoria Falls tour
Upon arrival in Livingstone, transfer to your hotel, where there'll be an opportunity to rest and relax after the journey and to meet your fellow travellers. This afternoon, join an included tour for your first sight of the Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, where the great Zambezi River plummets into a 100-metre drop.
Day Three: Look for game in Chobe National Park
It's an early start this morning as we cross the border into Botswana to visit Chobe National Park, a vast area of swamp, floodplain and forest, home to an astonishing array of birds and wildlife. In the company of a knowledgeable guide, spend the morning game viewing along the Chobe River, then, after lunch at the Chobe Safari Lodge, enjoy an overland game drive through the park, looking out for herds of elephants, wildebeest and water buffalo.
Day Four: A day of leisure
Spend the day relaxing, or join a wide range of optional activities that reveal the beauty of this wondrous part of the world. Tour the Falls, take a fascinating close-up look at the engineering marvel of the Victoria Falls Bridge, see the sights on an open-top bus tour, or swap sightseeing for thrill-seeking on an exhilarating white-water rafting trip. This evening, board a riverboat for an optional lazy sunset cruise, sipping a cocktail on deck and looking out for resident hippos, crocodiles and birdlife as the sun sinks over the horizon.
Day Five: Fly to Cape Town and transfer to the Cape Winelands
Early this morning transfer to the airport to board a flight south to Cape Town. Meet your Tour Manager, and make the short transfer into the beautiful, verdant Cape Winelands region, for a two-night stay. Spend the rest of the day exploring Stellenbosch, framed by rugged mountains and home to a quaint city centre of European-style, 'Cape Dutch' houses, old oak trees, a pretty village green and historic Dorp Street. During your stay, enjoy an included wine tasting at De Zalze Winery.
Day Six: Tour Stellenbosch and Franschhoek
A morning 'Bites & Sites' walking tour of Stellenbosch not only introduces the history of this charming town but also offers a taste of artisan foodstuffs from the local region. We'll visit a family-owned bakers and an award-winning wine-bar, and have the chance to sample local teas and a selection of famous Cape desserts. Lunch today is included at South Africa's oldest hotel.
This afternoon we'll take in Franschhoek, a fashionable wine town with Victorian grandeur. Enjoy a guided introduction to the city, and complete a wonderful day with a wine tasting and cellar visit, before returning to Stellenbosch for a second evening.
Day Seven: Spot the Big Five
Bidding farewell to the Winelands, we'll travel east on a scenic drive, to spend two nights in the wilderness at the Garden Route Game Lodge, a privately operated game reserve at the gateway to the famous Garden Route coast. In the shadow of the majestic Langeberg Mountains, we'll head out on safari game drives in search of the Big Five of lion, rhino, elephant, leopard and buffalo, then spend the evenings tucking into typical African meals and huddling around the authentic Boma beneath starry skies (weather permitting). Enjoy the first of the game drives this evening, perhaps followed by a sundowner drink from the lodge bar.
Day Eight: Enjoy game drives and visit the reptile centre
Our second day at the Lodge begins with a pre-breakfast game drive, followed by a visit to the fascinating reptile centre. After some free time to enjoy lunch (payable locally), enjoy a restful afternoon - perhaps by the pool - before a second evening game drive brings one final chance to spot the Big Five.
Day Nine: Travel along the Garden Route to Knysna
On this morning's picturesque journey we'll travel along the famous Garden Route to Knysna. The characterful town is set on the banks of a beautiful lagoon, against a backdrop of wooded hills, and flaunts Victorian and Georgian architecture. On an included tour we'll take a ferry across the lagoon to the Featherbed Nature Reserve, home to some 200 fish species and a rare species of seahorse. We'll also enjoy a nature drive to Western Head for spectacular views and lunch in the shade of milkwood trees.
Day 10: Visit the Cango Caves and Oudtshorn, and enjoy an African Braai
Today we travel along the breathtaking Outeniqua Mountain Pass, calling at the remarkable Cango Caves - vast limestone grottoes with extraordinary calcium formations built up over thousands of years. We'll then continue our scenic journey to arrive in sunny Oudtshoorn, the Ostrich Capital of the World. This unique, curious bird has been farmed in Outshoorn for 130 years, first for its plumage - Edwardian farmers built handsome Feather Palaces with the proceeds - and more recently for its tasty meat - samples of which will be offered at lunchtime.
This afternoon, we'll take a scenic drive across the Swartberg Mountain Pass and conclude a memorable day with a typical South African Braai (barbecue) in the mountains.
Day 11: Stay in traditional cottages in Arniston and dine at a fisherman's cottage
Continuing west, we'll travel back towards the sea today, pausing to admire the views from Cape Agulhas, Africa's southernmost point, where there are regular sightings of whales and sharks. We'll then continue our picturesque journey along the coast to spend a night in the Indian Ocean fishing village of Arniston, staying in traditional seaside cottages that gaze out over the azure waters. Experience an authentic taste of life in the Cape this evening as you dine at a fisherman's cottage - a unique experience that is sure to be one of the highlights of the tour.
Day 12: Spot whales in Hermanus and tour Cape Town
Our journey today takes us to Hermanus, the famed whale-watching centre. You'll have some time to explore this pretty coastal town before we board the coach once more to travel to stunning Cape Town. Few places on Earth can boast such a beautiful setting, nestled on a mountainous peninsular that leads to the Cape of Good Hope, flanked by the Atlantic Ocean and watched over by majestic Table Mountain.
This afternoon, enjoy an guided introduction to the city, which includes a walk through the Company Gardens and an unforgettable ascent of Table Mountain in a rotating cable car. Later, after checking into your hotel, perhaps spend time in the redeveloped Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a complex of shops, theatres, bars and restaurants that has become the city's most popular attraction.
Day 13: Explore the Cape Peninsula
On a memorable final full day we'll take a fascinating full-day's included tour of the Cape Peninsula. We'll see treacherous Cape Point, where the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean; the beach resort of Boulders, home to a resident penguin colony; the colourful botanical gardens at Kirstenbosch; and Hout Bay, where an optional cruise brings the chance to visit famous Seal Island. Weather permitting, we'll also travel along the breathtakingly beautiful Chapman's Peak Drive, one of the world's most thrilling coastal roads.
Day 14: Fly back to the UK
After a little more free time today - perhaps for some last-minute shopping along the Waterfront - transfer to the airport for your return overnight flight to the UK, travelling via Amsterdam or Johannesburg.
Day 15: Arrive in the UK
Arrive home this morning, at the end of an unforgettable African adventure.
Victoria Falls to Cape Town Touring Hotels
Small group tours
Group sizes on each departure on this tour are restricted to a maximum of 24 people. The usual group size is between 16 and 20. As a result you'll be able to travel in smaller vehicles, enjoy experiences and encounters (and in some cases even stay in wonderful little places) that are denied to larger groups.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour.
Passports and visas
A visa is required for UK citizens travelling to Zambia, which currently costs £35. A visa is not required for UK citizens travelling to Botswana or to South Africa where special entry rules apply for children under 18 years. Your passport must be valid for six months beyond the date of entry to South Africa and have four adjacent blank pages.
Foreign Office Travel Advice
Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made. In many developing countries access is sometimes not as easy as at home. Should you have walking difficulties, getting around monuments and attractions may be harder and, in some cases, impossible. Should you have any concerns whatsoever please do contact us prior to travel.
Requirements and advice can vary over time, and from person to person, so please contact your GP about eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or any other preventive measures.
Changes to your hotels
Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.
In developing countries road networks are continually being improved and expanded, which can mean that, from time to time, roadworks and rough road surfaces can extend journey times. Some journeys are made on winding mountain roads and passes, which may also make for slow travelling - although the scenery is usually worth it! Many roads do not have separate pavements or safety barriers, and great care should be taken when crossing or walking alongside roads.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.