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A private Journey through South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana

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Itinerary Highlights

4 Nights Exploring Cape Town, South Africa 

2 Nights in the Wine Region, South Africa

3 Nights on Safari at the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, South Africa  

2 Nights at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

3 Nights on Safari in the Okavango Delta, Botswana  

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Sample Itinerary

Day 1

  • Arrival into Cape Town


    Cape Town is one of the world's most beautiful cities and a top international tourist destination. Large numbers of visitor’s flock to Cape Town every year to experience this unique city with its fascinating history, stunning natural beauty, award winning wineries and relaxed lifestyle.

    Arriving into Cape Town you will be met at the airport by your local driver and guide and transferred to your nearby hotel. You have the remainder of today to relax and unwind at your hotel or perhaps venture out and explore your surroundings at your leisure.

    Meals Included: None

    View
    • Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Day 2

  • Cape Town City Tour Including Table Mountain


    This morning you will meet your driver and guide in your hotel lobby and set off on an exploration of this incredible city. Today you will visit several of the Cape’s top attractions, from the imposing Castle of Good Hope to the colorful cottages of the Bo Kaap, bustling Green Market Square, the South African Museum, the beautiful Company Gardens and plenty of other unique and important sites. However, a journey up Table Mountain is usually the highlight for most visitors to Cape Town and so this is where you will begin!

    Having taken the revolving cable car all the way to the top, over 3000ft above the city, you are rewarded with spectacular views. Here you can take your time and enjoy this unique environment, a multitude of walking trails criss cross the top of the mountain each leading to a view more stunning than the last.

    You will then continue on with your experienced and knowledgeable guide, and from the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle, as you continue to learn all about the City of Cape Town and the central role it played in the creation of this wonderful country. Following your exciting morning of touring, your guide will be happy to drop you back at your hotel and say farewell, or if you prefer, simply continue to explore this amazing city independently for the remainder of your afternoon.

    Meals Included: Breakfast


    View
    • Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Day 3

  • Full Day Cape Point Tour


    This morning you will meet your guide and driver in your hotel lobby and embark on a full day tour of the stunning Cape Peninsula. This tour will take you around the entire Cape peninsula and show you the wonders of Cape Town - from the pristine beaches, to the spectacular sight of Cape Point, where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet.

    Situated along the Atlantic Seaboard, you will begin with the beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay, both of which have been awarded Blue Flag status. Boasting pristine white sand beaches and beautiful, clear waters these beaches are very popular with locals and visitors alike. You will then continue on to Hout Bay, a small fishing village that is often jokingly referred to as the ‘Republic of Hout Bay’ by Cape Town locals who see the small town as being an entirely separate entity. Here you will find a beautiful beach, delicious fresh seafood, bustling markets and plenty of restaurants that make this suburb a must-visit on any Cape tour.

    You will then continue to Cape Point, a spectacular nature reserve that lies along the coast and is now one of the most famous landmarks in Cape Town, and for good reason. Situated on the very tip of the peninsula, with the Indian Ocean on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, the area spans landscapes as diverse as rugged cliffs, lush fynbos and vast open spaces – no Cape Town tour is complete without a visit to Cape Point.

    You will then make your way back to Cape Town via Simon's Town and its famous penguin colony. Simon's Town is the seat of the South African Navy and boasts a charming coastal town atmosphere and vibrant history. Here you will find a thriving harbor, a navy museum and plenty of other sights including Boulders Beach, one of the few places in the world you can walk among, and swim alongside penguins. If time allows be sure to visit Kalk Bay, this quaint suburb runs along the Main Road, with the False Bay coastline running on one side, and the mountain on the other. Along the Main Road lies a host of veritable treasure troves, from antique shops to curio shops, bakeries, restaurants and plenty more. Following your day of touring you will be dropped back at your hotel where you have the remainder of your day and evening at leisure.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

    View
    • Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Day 4

  • Cape Town Day at Leisure


    Today you have at leisure to continue exploring this vibrant city independently, or perhaps simply relax by the hotel pool or enjoy a spa treatment as you prepare for the next leg of your Africa adventure!

    Meals Included: Breakfast

    View
    • Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Day 5

  • From Cape Town to the Wine Region


    This morning you will check out of your hotel and meet your driver in your hotel lobby. Together you will set off on an incredibly scenic drive as you make your way into the rolling winelands. Here you will arrive at your new home for the next 2 nights, the lovely Babylonstoren Farm Hotel, a 250-hectare working wine and fruit farm that dates back over 300 years.

    Having checked in and taken some time to soak in your scenic surroundings you then have the remainder of your day today to spend as you wish. Your hotel has a number of exciting activities on offer, some complimentary and some that can be paid for locally.

    The nearby town of Franschhoek is known as the ‘Food and Wine Capital of South Africa’ and for good reason. Although the list varies year-to-year, up to 8 of South Africa’s ‘Top 100’ restaurants are based in Franschhoek! Despite its tiny size, the town boasts an incredible range of snug cafés and stylish restaurants with every style of food on offer. From traditional English pub food to classic bistro fare, superb wood-fired pizzas to sumptuous sushi, this gourmet dining town has it all.

    As befits the town’s Huguenot heritage, Franschhoek restaurants frequently feature French cuisine, alongside plenty of traditional and contemporary South African restaurants. Some of the country’s leading chefs create innumerable dishes using only the freshest produce from the valley, complimented by a host of delightful local wines. As well as the wonderful restaurants you will also find a number of art galleries, pottery studios and wine bars.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

    View
    • Babylonstoren Farm Hotel

Day 6

  • Full Day Winelands Tour


    This morning you will meet your wine guide and driver in your hotel lobby and embark on a full day winelands tour! It is difficult to choose the best feature of the Cape Winelands. The region produces some of the world’s best wines as well as fantastic cheeses and olives, all coupled with a wealth of natural rustic beauty. Around every corner you will find vast estates shaded from the African sunshine by giant oak trees and towering mountains overlooking lush valleys.

    On this full day tour, you will travel and explore the Cape Winelands’ most popular route. You will visit the famous and renowned towns of Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek as you stop in for tastings at some of the region’s best wineries. Look forward to a day filled with fine wines, great food and spectacular scenery!

    Meals Included: Breakfast

    View
    • Babylonstoren Farm Hotel

Day 7

  • From Cape Town to the Sabi Sands Game Reserve


    This morning you will check out of your hotel and meet your driver for a drive back to Cape Town International Airport. Here you will board a short flight to Skukuza Airport where your Safari adventure begins!

    Arriving into the tiny Skukuza airport you will be met by your driver and transferred the short distance into the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. The Sabi Sands is without a doubt one of South Africa's premier private game viewing destination! It was here that the southern African safari began and today this famous reserve offers exceptional game viewing and equally exceptional accommodations. Two perennial rivers, the Sabi and the Sand flow through this Game Park, sustaining the diverse fauna and flora of the area. The success of leopard viewing within the Sabi Sands is legendary. Elephants, lion, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, zebra and a vast variety of antelope and other species can also be closely observed in their natural environment.

    Arriving at your lodge around lunchtime you will be shown to your luxury accommodation and given an orientation tour of this incredible property. The Manager of the lodge will explain a few precautions to take during your stay to ensure your safety as it is worth keeping in keep in mind despite your opulent surroundings you are in the middle of wild Africa! You will then enjoy a welcome lunch before having a few hours at leisure to relax and unpack. In the late afternoon you will enjoy a casual high tea in the main communal area of the lodge overlooking the wilderness before setting off on your first safari drive!

    While on safari you will have the opportunity to join two safari drives every day. One in the early morning and then another that leaves in the late afternoon and returns shortly after dark. Please note you are in no way obligated to join both drives every day and if you would prefer to sleep in one morning and simply join the afternoon drive (or vice versa) you are of course welcome to do so. As the lodge is located in the middle of the game reserve you will enjoy fantastic game sightings from anywhere around the property including the communal areas or even often right from your bedroom. Returning from the evening game drive you will enjoy a splendid African inspired meal prepared by the lodges talented team of Chefs. After dinner you are welcome to either relax around the communal fire pit sipping your choice of beverage or retire to your room in preparation for the next day’s early start.

    Meals Included: Full Board (including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

     

    View
    • Lion Sands River Lodge

Day 8

  • On Safari in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve


    This morning you will wake up just as the sun is rising above the horizon and make your way to the main area of the lodge. Here you will enjoy a selection of coffee, tea, fruit and light pastries before hopping on board your safari vehicle and continuing your exploration of this enormous game reserve. Note that on both your morning and evening game drives your guide will find a nice area to stop for a half hour where you will enjoy some light refreshments and a chance to stretch your legs.

    Arriving back at the lodge mid-morning you will then enjoy a lavish brunch during which you can swap stories about that mornings game drive and decide on the plan for the remainder of the day. Please chat with your guide if you have any specific interests that you would like to explore while on Safari. These could include interests such as birding or perhaps ask about the possibility of doing a nature walk during which you can get up close and personal with the fauna and flora that surrounds your lodge.

    Regardless of how you choose to spend your afternoon you will return to the lodge in the early evening and enjoy another wonderful dinner.

    Meals Included: Full Board (including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

    View
    • Lion Sands River Lodge

Day 9

  • On Safari in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve


    Today you have the option of either joining the safari activities on offer or simply relaxing by the pool and watching quickly as wildlife passes in front of the lodge.

    Meals Included: Full Board (including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

     

    View
    • Lion Sands River Lodge

Day 10

  • From South Africa to Zimbabwe


    This morning you will check out of your lodge and enjoy a short transfer back to Skukuza Airport. From here you will fly to the nearby Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport where you will pass through passport control and board your next flight to Livingstone. Arriving into Livingstone Airport you will be met by your driver and together you will travel the short distance to your hotel. On route you will cross from Zambia into Zimbabwe.

    Here you will find one of the original natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls. This incredible natural feature is both a World Heritage Site and an extremely popular tourism attraction. Known locally as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’ this spectacle is accessible from both Zambia and Zimbabwe and it is an ideal place to combine game viewing and other outdoor activities. The area provides excellent fishing, a terrifying bungee jump and arguably the best commercial white water rafting in the world.

    Arriving at the Ilala Lodge Hotel you will immediately be struck by the sublime surroundings of this boutique hotel. Located on the Zimbabwean side of the mighty Zambezi River, Ilala Lodge Hotel is geographically the closet hotel to the magnificent Victoria Falls and offers east access to the town center. At Ilala you have the option to explore the lush wilderness surrounding the town on a game drive, surf the rapids on a Zambezi River white-water rafting expedition, get your heart racing as you bungee jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge, or view the Falls from the exhilarating angle of Devil’s Pools on the edge of the plunging water. You can also enjoy a legendary Zimbabwean sunset from the comfort of the elegant Ra-Ikane river cruiser. Please inquire at the hotel regarding which excursions are included and which would incur an additional fee.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

    View
    • Ilala Lodge Hotel

Day 11

  • A day to explore Victoria Falls


    Today you have at leisure to enjoy this incredible region in whatever way you prefer. Through your hotel you can book and enjoy a variety of exciting activities.

    Why not get a bird's eye view of the Victoria Falls and Zambezi River on a 15 minute or 30-minute microlight flight! This memorable experience will provide some of the most stunning views of the falls imaginable and will wow you long after your safely back on the ground. Another option that will allow you to see the Victoria Falls from the best possible angle – above, is via a short helicopter flight. United Air Charter offers 3 different flight options from their base at Baobab Ridge. The short flight circles the Falls and offers superb views over the gorges below. The longer flight skims over the Zambezi rapids, ascends over the Falls and finishes with game viewing over the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. The adventure flight in a Huey helicopter, flown with doors open at a lower level, skims over the African bush, deep down into the Batoka gorge and over the falls.

    Another exciting option would be either a half or full day Zambezi Rafting experience! Acclaimed as the best one-day white water run in the world, the river is also recognized as one of the top ten paddling rivers in the world. Your knowledgeable and experienced guides will ensure you have both an enjoyable and safe day on the river. The days adventure is captured on video and film and the trip even includes a riverside picnic lunch.

    Another awesome way to see the Falls is from the bottom of the gorge. Swimming in the rock pools below the Falls, surrounded by the massive black basaltic rock towering up above you and the water cascading down, seemingly out of the sky, is certainly one of the most breathtaking experiences you will ever have. This activity is a perfect combination with white water rafting.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

     

    View
    • Ilala Lodge Hotel

Day 12

  • From Victoria Falls to the Okavango Delta


    This morning you will check out of your hotel and bid the falls goodbye. You will then be met by your driver and transferred to Kasane Airport, crossing the border into Botswana along the way. At Kasane you will board your light aircraft and enjoy a scenic flight over the wilderness landing at a small dirt airstrip only a few minutes from your luxury lodge.

    At the airstrip you will be met a member of staff from the lodge and together drive the short distance to your new home for the next three nights, the incredible Xaranna Camp. Located in the middle of the largest expanse of sand on earth the Okavango Delta is one of Africa’s most amazing, sensitive and complex environments supporting a spectacle of wilderness and wildlife. Unique as one of the world’s few inland deltas, the placid waters and lush indigenous forests offer a safe haven for innumerable bird and wildlife species. One can experience this magical world of islands and waterways from the land, air and water. Highlights include the elusive Sitatunga antelope which has found refuge in this pristine wetland ecosystem, while birds such as the African fish eagle, Pel's fishing owl and many others provide a spectacular display.

    Having checked in to your lodge and taken some time to get settled you will then set off on your afternoon game drive. Game viewing in the Okavango Delta is remote and secluded, with very few vehicles sharing the private concession. Sensitive off-road driving practices allow guests to get up close to the area’s exceptional wildlife. Afternoon drives usually continue into the night, allowing for an opportunity to see the many animals that are more active once the sun goes down, including leopard and serval. Lion frequently hunt at night and there is always a chance of stumbling across a pride feeding on a kill.

    Your lodges professionally trained guides will ask you about your favorite wildlife and will do their best to ensure that your preferences are met, whether it is tracking a particular species or spending more time enjoying each sighting, getting to know the habits of the animals. They will also tell you about the vegetation of the region and will explain the behavior of the animals that you come across. In some cases, the guides will be able to identify individual animals and let you know about their history and habits.

    Following your evening drive, you will return to your lodge to be met by a delicious feast often set up under the stars, weather permitting.

    Meals Included: Full Board (including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

     

    View
    • andBeyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp

Day 13

  • On Safari in the Okavango Delta


    While safari drives are an ideal way to explore your surroundings there are numerous other options available to experience the Okavango Delta including via motorized boats. These boat safaris allow you to cover more ground and to truly immerse yourself in the surrounding landscape. Boating is offered seasonally as it depends totally on the water levels in the Okavango Delta. The Okavango Delta is also well known for its Mokoro safaris. These local canoe type boats take you through the maze-like channels and shallow lagoons of the Delta. As mokoros are not motorized, they allow you to glide silently through the channels. You will see many animals that feed on the grass and reeds on the palm islands such as lechwe, sitatunga, elephant, hippo and crocodile.

    For the more adventurous it is possible to experience an aerial view of the Okavango Delta as you soar in a helicopter above a vast maze of both permanent and fleeting waterways and floodplains that occupy an otherwise sandy corner of Botswana. Fly over rivers and pools dotted with lily pads, as well as a variety of wild animals that inhabit this unique habitat.

    Another option is to immerse yourself in the unique landscape of the Okavango Delta on a half or full day horseback safari. A horseback safari explores this magnificent habitat, providing you with the opportunity to venture up close to the Delta’s spectacular wildlife and bird species. Set off on this extraordinary adventure, which allows for exceptional game viewing opportunities and an exhilarating experience as your expert ranger guides you through untamed Africa. All horses and tack are of the highest quality and safari guides are armed to ensure your safety at all times, with stringent safety precautions taken when dangerous game is encountered.

    Meals Included: Full Board (including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

    View
    • andBeyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp

Day 14

  • On Safari in the Okavango Delta


    Today you have at leisure to enjoy as you wish. Join one, or both of the safari drives that go out today or perhaps enjoy a quiet day at the lodge watching a parade of animals slowly wander past your lodge.

    Meals Included: Full Board (including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

    View
    • andBeyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp

Day 15

  • Depart Africa


    This morning you will check out of your luxury lodge and together with your driver make your way back to the small airstrip near your lodge. Here you will board a short flight to Maun where you will pass through passport control and join your onward flight to Johannesburg. In Johannesburg you will meet your onward flight home.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

     

Download The Full Itinerary

Estimated pricing for a private journey through South Africa, Zimbabwe & Botswana:


Classic Program

Includes more basic accommodation than that mentioned in the Program above: $8,845 per person.

Luxury Program

Includes the accommodation mentioned in the Program above (or equivalent): $12,605 per person

Premium Program

Includes more luxurious accommodation than that mentioned in the Program above: $19,980 per person.

Please note the costs of the international & regional flights required for this program are not included. Please let us know if you would like assistance in booking your airfare.

Please note due to the bespoke nature of our itineraries combined with profound seasonal variations in accommodation costs and availability the above pricing estimates should be used only as a guide. An exact cost can be provided once exact dates and logistics have been discussed.

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Please tell us your questions about A private Journey through South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana and we'll be in touch to get the ball rolling!

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Why go through a company such as the Exeter Safari Company?

An African safari is, for many people, a once in a lifetime trip and for that reason you will want to be sure the arrangements are flawless. A safari incorporates many different elements including airport arrival and departure services, transfers, light aircraft flights, the routing to remote lodges and the most knowledgeable local guides. Coordinating all these different services, often throughout multiple countries, languages and currencies can be daunting.

By going through an experienced safari company which has a wealth of local knowledge, local connections and years of experience in the region you can be sure you will be receiving the highest possible level of service before, during and after your travels. At the Exeter Safari Company we work with only the best guides, highest quality lodges at every price point, and the most reliable transportation providers in Africa. Our extensive experience and connections throughout the continent will ensure your trip goes off without a hitch.

In addition, you will enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you have access to 24/7 support both before your departure and during your time in Africa.

What should I wear on safari?

When deciding what clothing to pack for a safari trip your main priority is going to be comfort, coverage, durability and ease of packing. Keep in mind safaris often include light aircraft flights on to which normal hard sided suitcases are not allowed. You will therefore want to pack your clothing and other items into a soft sided duffel style travel bag (no larger than 24 inches long and 15 inches wide) that can be easily stored along with other travelers’ bags in the small luggage compartments on board. Note there is also a strict 15KG (33lbs) weight limit for your luggage.

Regardless of the time of year you are traveling, or the expected temperatures, you will want to be prepared for some cooler occasions. In order to find animals while they are at their most active, safari drives generally take place in the early morning and late afternoon/early evening. You will therefore often be out and about during the cooler parts of the day and this combined with sitting in the back of an open sided safari vehicle means it can get chilly - even in the middle of Summer. Accordingly, you will want to bring one or two light jackets, preferably that can be layered, so when it does start warming up you are able to shed layers and maintain a comfortable temperature.

It is also important where possible to wear long-sleeve shirts and pants to help with both sun and insect protection (fleece is great as insects can’t bite through it). Mosquitoes, Tsetse flies and other small flying insects can be bothersome during certain parts of your safari and preparing for them ahead of time will make your trip that much more pleasant. You will want to avoid bringing dark blue and black clothing as this color is known to attract certain flying insects such as Tsetse flies. You may also want leave behind your favorite white clothing as they can quickly become dirty from the dust in the air and climbing in and out of the safari vehicle. Last you will want to keep in mind you are trying to remain inconspicuous while on safari and so bright colors and loud prints should be avoided. Instead opt for more neutral tones in greens and browns that will help you blend into your surroundings.

When it comes to footwear you will again want to choose an option that covers as much of your bare skin as possible, think hiking boots or closed shoes with long socks rather than flip-flops or sandals. You will also be climbing in and out of vehicles and walking on uneven terrain that could have sharp rocks or thorns and so you will want footwear that is relatively durable. Your safari may include bush walks and so you will want to wear sturdy hiking boots on these occasions. Around the lodge area you will be able to wear more casual and lightweight footwear including flip flops or sandals, assuming you have bug-spray to stop any pesky mosquitoes that may be in the area. While in your rooms you will normally have mosquito nets over the bed area however you may still want to bring some full-length pajamas to ensure you have less skin exposed to any mosquitoes that did manage to sneak in.

When is the best time to travel to Africa?

The short answer is anytime! While there are better and worse times to be on safari throughout the various regions of Africa because the continent is so large and so diverse whenever you are looking to travel there will be a destination that is right for you.

Traditionally, the best time to go on safari is during the dry season that broadly runs from June through October, however this season does vary significantly depending where in Africa you are considering. During the dry season the vegetation is much less dense and because the grass is shorter it is much easier to track and locate wildlife. Additionally, when there is less rainfall there are fewer available water sources for wildlife to gather around. This results in the animals tending to congregate around the same lakes, pans and rivers which again makes for great game viewing (and leads to some interesting herbivore/predator encounters!).

Often during the wet season, also called the green season, when water sources are abundant, the wildlife tends to spread out over an enormous area. Many camps and lodges close during this time of year, often December through February as the dirt tracks that surround the lodges become impassable.

Another aspect to consider, especially if visiting East Africa, is the great migration. Please visit our page that explores this topic at length as it will give you a good idea as to where the migration is located at any particular time of year.

What About Yellow Fever?

Yellow Fever is a disease found in many parts of sub-tropical Africa transmitted into humans through Mosquito bites. As it can be quite a serious illness it is essential you receive a yellow fever vaccination before embarking on a trip to an effected country.

The main safari destinations where Yellow Fever vaccinations are required are Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda and Rwanda. Other countries such as South Africa and Botswana require you to arrive with a yellow fever vaccination even if you have only transited through or visited a country where yellow fever exists within the past 6 months (keep in mind many of the countries on this list are in South America).

Check with your Exeter Safari Company expert for the specific requirements regarding the destinations included in your program. It is important to note the Yellow Fever vaccine requires 10 days before it becomes effective and so don’t leave it to the last minute!

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