Encounter exotic wildlife on this 12-night adventure through South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. With expert trackers, scout lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos, and more on safari in three world-class parks. Explore Cape Town and travel to Johannesburg and Soweto to see the Nelson Mandela’s home and visit community leaders at a local youth program. Relish in Hwange National Park on a game drive, feel the power of Victoria Falls, and spy elephants on the Chobe River during a safari cruise. This adventure includes a journey on Rovos Rail and two flights within South Africa.
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DAYS 1 & 2: In Transit
Your bags are packed and you’re ready to embark on the trip of a lifetime to one of Earth’s most incredible continents! AHI FlexAir passengers will transit through Heathrow Airport before connecting to beautiful Cape Town.
DAY 3: Cape Town, South Africa
Upon arrival in Cape Town, meet your AHI Travel representative and transfer to the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel. This Cape Town landmark resides at the foot of the iconic flat-topped Table Mountain, one of the Seven Wonders of Nature. Settle in your room or get to know the area around your hotel before a meet and greet at a Welcome Reception tonight.
DAY 4: Cape Town | Cape Point
Nestled dramatically on a peninsula between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, Cape Town is surrounded by stretches of alabaster beaches and sleepy fishing villages. Take a scenic drive to Cape Peninsula, passing windswept cliffs and the buttresses of the Twelve Apostles. Stop at Boulders Beach where inlets of granite form a protected breeding ground for a colony of African penguins. Watch as they waddle, swim and cuddle along the pebbled beach.
DAY 5: Cape Town | Robben Island
Ride a ferry across Table Bay to Robben Island, home to the infamous prison where Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and other notable political leaders were incarcerated. Listen to first-hand accounts from your guide, an ex-political prisoner. Back on land, enjoy the sights and sounds of the bustling Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and Bo-Kaap, a colorful Cape Malay suburb with brightly painted homes.
DAY 6: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
After breakfast, it’s off to Victoria Falls! Following your flight, check in to The Victoria Falls Hotel, and settle in to the elegant comforts of your luxury hotel. Then get your camera ready for the mesmerizing image of Earth’s largest curtain of falling water. Colossal Victoria Falls crashes some 328 feet into the Batoka Gorge. Twice the height of Niagara Falls, “The Smoke that Thunders” casts a veil of spray that can be seen up to 50 miles away!
DAY 7: Chobe National Park, Botswana
As the sun rises, watch elephants ramble from the brush, lions clashing with game and other dramatic predator action. Your expert safari guide introduces you to Botswana’s vast Chobe National Park, home to some of the Africa’s largest concentrations of elephants as well as a multitude of buffalo and more than 450 bird species. Later, enjoy a safari cruise on the Chobe River, which forms the northern boundary of the park and gives life to many animals, birds and reptiles. Watching elephants splash and bathe is sure to be a highlight on your journey!
DAY 8: Victoria Falls | Rovos Rail
Board the elegant Rovos Rail at Victoria Falls Station to begin your extravagant train journey to Pretoria, South Africa. As you settle in your suite, travel back to a time of refined, pre-war elegance and indulge in the Golden Age of Travel where each day is defined by opulence. Travel slowly through a surreal natural landscape and take in splendid views from the panoramic windows and Observation Car.
DAY 9: Zimbabwe | Hwange National Park
Disembark at Kennedy Siding for a game drive at The Hide, a private concession in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s flagship reserve. Your guide takes you deep into the African grassland teeming with wildlife. Hwange is a breeding ground for the black rhino and sable antelope, and big cats, including lion and cheetah, are sought-after animals to spot. Allow the spirit of the wilderness to embrace you as you scan the bush for the Big Five.
DAY 10: South Africa
Watch out the windows for glimpses of the region’s famous baobab trees, prehistoric species that are significant in many African legends and folklore. These hardy trees thrive in the African savannah, a dry climate where little else can survive. Pass through Bela-Bela, the hot springs resort in South Africa’s Limpopo Province. Referred to as Warmbaths until 2002, Bela-Bela boasts near constant sunshine and is home to dozens of wellness facilities.
DAY 11: Pretoria | Johannesburg
Created in the 1930s, Soweto — short for South Western Townships — is where the government forced Blacks to relocate during the apartheid regime. The city quickly became a center of political campaigns aimed at overthrowing the apartheid state. Explore this significant piece of South African history as you see the homes of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In nearby historic Kliptown, learn about a youth program that offers tutoring and opportunities to play sports and participate in the arts.
DAY 12: Hoedspruit | Thornybush Nature Reserve
Fly to Hoedspruit this morning and travel to Thornybush Nature Reserve, which covers more than 53 square miles and is home to 147 species of mammals, including the Big Five: lion, elephant, leopard, Cape buffalo and rhinoceros. This afternoon, as you embark on a game drive through the spectacular wilderness, your knowledgeable guide shares secrets and insights of the African bushveld. After a convivial evening with your travel companions, fall asleep to the lullaby of the African night.
DAY 13: Thornybush Nature Reserve
Meet on the deck for coffee before climbing into your safari vehicle. Nothing can prepare you for seeing elephants ramble from the brush or giraffes stretching in the warmth of the rising sun. The sheer presence of majestic leopards, hyenas and lions will send tingles down your spine and the memory of an antelope soaring across the plains will touch your soul. Spend the balance of the day relaxing at camp before a sunset safari. Tonight, share adventurous tales beneath a starry sky.
DAY 14: Thornybush Nature Reserve
Today, your tracker and ranger will help you find the thickets where giraffes nibble at the treetops, the open veld where zebra graze and the perfect spots to marvel at lion prides, hippo pods and elephant herds. Return to the lodge for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea before your final game drive, offering idyllic moments to soak up the pure magic of the wilderness. Tonight, gather for a Farewell Dinner, a sumptuous meal seasoned with tales of your wild animal sightings and other memories of southern Africa.
DAYS 15 & 16: Hoedspruit | Depart for your home city
Bid farewell to your fellow passengers and head for home.
NOTE: Itinerary may change due to local conditions.