• $6,995
  • $600
  • AHI
  • High
  • Land Only

Follow in the footsteps of the great explorers on an adventure like no other. From Cape Town, see historic Robben Island, and then travel on to track big game at the Thornybush Game Reserve near Kruger National Park. Next, fly to Johannesburg to visit the historic township of Soweto, former home of Nelson Mandela. Board a Rovos Rail train in Pretoria for the fascinating journey through Botswana and Zimbabwe. Visit the thundering Victoria Falls before traveling on to Chobe National Park.

 


Gallery


Itinerary

Day 1

Depart gateway city

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Cape Town, South Africa.

AHI FlexAir passengers may depart today or tomorrow, depending on their individual flight itinerary. Please check your flight itinerary for your schedule.

Appropriate in-flight meal service

Day 2

In transit/London, England

If you are on an AHI FlexAir flight transiting through Heathrow Airport, you will arrive today. Day rooms will be provided for AHI FlexAir passengers with layovers longer than four hours.

Appropriate in-flight meal service

Day 3

Cape Town, South Africa

Arrive at Cape Town Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the designated meeting spot, where an AHI Travel representative will meet them. The meeting location will be provided with your final documents.

This evening, gather for your fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception.

Accommodations — Mount Nelson Hotel
Meals — Appropriate in-flight meal service

Day 4

Cape Town

Excursion: The Cape Peninsula
Explore the Cape Peninsula and Cape Point Nature Reserve. Flanked by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Twelve Apostles, a series of coastal peaks, on the other, make your way out of the city. Pass through trendy Camp’s Bay. Admire the coastal scenery before stopping in the quaint fishing village of Hout’s Bay. Continue to Cape Point, where you can take a funicular to the top for a spectacular view. As you return to Cape Town, visit Boulders Beach to see the African Penguin colony. Walk along boardwalks that run through the penguins’ protected area, and observe daily life among the 3,000 birds that live here.

Local Flavor
Stop at a local restaurant for lunch during your excursion.

Educational Focus: History and Culture of South Africa
Discover the event that have shaped modern South Africa: Dutch and British colonization, the introduction of Indonesian slaves, the plight of indigenous peoples and the discovery of rich lodes of minerals, gemstones and precious metals. Learn more about brutal apartheid rule, which oppressed the country’s nonwhite citizens for most of the 20th century, and how democracy finally prevailed.

Accommodations — Mount Nelson Hotel
Meals — Breakfast and lunch

Follow in the footsteps of the great explorers on an adventure like no other.

Day 5

Cape Town

Excursion: Highlights of Cape Town and Robben Island
Discover South Africa’s Mother City. Take a guided tour of the city’s highlights, and see historic colonial buildings and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a bustling working harbor. The V&A also has an abundance of shops and restaurants. The V&A is the gateway to Robben Island, home to the jail that held South Africa’s most famous prisoner, Nelson Mandela. Board a ferry here for a short ride to the island, where you will tour the jail with a former prisoner. After the tour, you will have an opportunity to ask your guide questions about his experiences. This is a very special experience to hear firsthand the poignant story of a former Robben Island prisoner. If weather permits, take a cable car to the top of Table Mountain for spectacular views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean.

Accommodations — Mount Nelson Hotel
Meals — Breakfast

Day 6

Hoedspruit/Thornybush Nature Reserve

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Hoedspruit. Upon arrival, transfer to Thornybush Nature Reserve and check in to Thornybush Game Lodge.

Excursion: Introduction to Thornybush
This afternoon, get the lay of the land, the African bushveld, during your first game drive on Thornybush Nature Reserve. Thornybush 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. Get to know your ranger and tracker, a hard-working team that will accompany you on each game drive. During each afternoon game drive, stop for refreshments and stretch your legs before resuming the hunt!

Local Flavor
Return to the lodge for dinner.

Accommodations — Thornybush Game Lodge
Meals — Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7

Thornybush Nature Reserve

Each morning on safari starts at dawn with a wakeup call from your ranger. Meet on the deck for coffee and rusks before climbing into your safari vehicle.

Excursion: Sunrise Safari
As you drive along, it may seem quiet, but there is plenty of activity. Many animals are just waking up and in search of breakfast! Others spent the night on the prowl and are searching for a spot where they can sleep during the day. See how many of the Big Five you can spot this morning. During each morning game drive, stop for coffee or tea.

Local Flavor
Return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast.

The rest of the morning is at leisure. Visit the spa for a massage, take a swim in the pool or relax with a book on the deck.

Local Flavor
Gather for a delicious lunch.

This afternoon, learn about the animals, birds and reptiles that call the reserve home. A Thornybush naturalist leads the discussion.

Gather for afternoon tea before embarking on your afternoon game drive.

Excursion: Sunset Safari
This afternoon, gain a different perspective as you see diurnal animals winding down their day and nocturnal animals beginning theirs. As the sun sets, stop for a round of drinks, aptly called sundowners.

Local Flavor
Return to the lodge for a sumptuous dinner.

Accommodations — Thornybush Game Lodge
Meals — Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8

Thornybush Nature Reserve

Excursion:Morning Game Drive
Your tracker and ranger are experts in finding animals on the reserve, so they will take every opportunity to find animals you have not yet seen. Some animals are elusive, but there always is a chance you will find them!

Local Flavor
Return to the lodge for breakfast.

The morning and early afternoon are at leisure. Pamper yourself with a spa treatment or catch up on your reading on the deck.

Local Flavor
Enjoy lunch on the deck.

Gather for afternoon tea before your afternoon game drive.

Excursion: Afternoon Game Drive
Your ranger and tracker are very knowledgeable about both the wildlife and plants in the park. Feel free to ask questions about your surroundings. This afternoon, you may scout around popular watering holes, where both four-legged and feathered residents gather for a drink.

Local Flavor
Return to the lodge for dinner.

Accommodations — Thornybush Game Lodge
Meals — Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 9

Johannesburg

Transfer to Hoedspruit for a flight to Johannesburg. Upon arrival, drive to Soweto.

Local Flavor
Enjoy a delicious lunch of local traditional dishes at a restaurant in Soweto.

Excursion: Soweto
Visit the townships of Soweto. The townships were built in the early 20th century to keep the black community, including the miners who toiled in the dark and dangerous conditions of the gold mines, out of the city center. When it was founded, Soweto was on the outskirts of the Johannesburg. It was incorporated into the city of Johannesburg in the early 2000s. Though life has improved for many people, you will still see corrugated tin shacks and homes without indoor plumbing. Several entrepreneurs have built successful businesses, and though many are millionaires, they have chosen to remain part of the Soweto community. Many people in Soweto run microbusinesses in their homes. They sell everything from fruit to auto parts, and they run hair salons and restaurants. During your tour, see the homes of Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Winnie Mandela. In historic Kliptown, one of the oldest townships, , learn about a youth program that offers tutoring and opportunities to play sports and participate in the arts. See a dance performance during your visit.

Check in to 54 on Bath in Johannesburg’s Rosebank neighborhood.

Accommodations — 54 on Bath
Meals — Breakfast and lunch

Day 10

Pretoria/Botswana

This morning, depart for the train station in Pretoria to board Rovos Rail, one of the world’s most luxurious trains, and embark on your journey to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Settle into your suite, and enjoy the ambience of a train journey recapturing the Golden Age of Travel. The train heads south to Johannesburg and west through the goldfields, eventually crossing the Magliesberg Mountains.

Local Flavor
A gong calls you to lunch in the Dining Car.

Enjoy the view of the passing countryside from the Observation Car, and enjoy a classic afternoon tea. Before the dinner gong sounds, return to your cabin to change for dinner. Meals aboard Rovos Rail always are a treat. Enjoy fine cuisine accompanied by a selection of excellent South African wines.

Tonight, travel to Mafikeng for border formalities with Botswana.

Accommodations — Rovos Rail
Meals — Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 11

Botswana/Zimbabwe

Travel through Gabarone, capital of Botswana, this morning. Spend the day relaxing. Visit the Observation Car or catch up on your reading in the Lounge Car. Visit the Observation Car to see the passing semidesert landscape on the outer edges of the Kalahari. You may also see cattle ranchers tending to their herds. There also is time to catch up on your reading in the Lounge Car. There are books and magazines, as well as board games, in the Lounge and Observation cars.

Lunch is served.

Gather in the Observation Car for afternoon tea.

This evening, the train crosses the border into Zimbabwe.

Local Flavor
Savor a sumptuous dinner with South African wines.

Accommodations — Rovos Rail
Meals — Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 12

Zimbabwe/Hwange National Park

Local Flavor Start another beautiful morning with a hearty breakfast.

Continue on your journey north today. Pass through Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city.

Local Flavor
Gather for lunch as the train travels along 71 miles (114 kilometers) of straight railway track, one of the longest stretches of straight track in the world, and the eastern edge of Hwange National Park.

Excursion: Hwange National Park
Disembark the train this afternoon at Kennedy Siding, and go for a game drive at The Hide, a private concession in Hwange National Park. This park, home to more than 100 mammal and 400 bird species, is known for its natural beauty. Visit one of the most popular watering holes to see some of the local residents!

Return to the train for dinner.

The train remains overnight at Thompsons Junction.

Accommodations — Rovos Rail
Meals — Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 13

Victoria Falls/Chobe National Park, Bostwana

Excursion: Victoria Falls
Until the 19th century, the Zambezi River’s great cascade was called Mosi-oa-Tunya, or “the smoke that thunders,” by the region’s Kololo tribe. “Discovered” on November 16, 1855, by Dr. David Livingstone and renamed for England’s queen, Victoria Falls is the planet’s largest curtain of water — spanning more than a mile — as it crashes some 328 feet into the raging Batoka Gorge below. Twice the height of Niagara Falls, mighty Victoria Falls casts a veil of spray that can be seen up to 50 miles away!

Continue to Chobe National Park, and check in to the Chobe Game Lodge.

The afternoon is at leisure to take advantage of the lodge facilities, including a swimming pool, spa and boardwalk.

Accommodations — Chobe Game Lodge
Meals — Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 14

Chobe National Park

Excursion: Introduction to Chobe
Chobe National Park is one of the most famous game parks in southern Africa. While you can see lions, leopards, giraffe, impala and baboons in the park, you will be amazed by the number of elephants who make their home here. You are likely to see several herds of elephants wandering the plains or stopping by the river for a drink or a bath. With a large bird population of more than 460 species, Chobe also is a favored destination of birdwatchers.

Return to the lodge for lunch.

Excursion: Chobe by Boat
The Chobe River and its floodplains give life to the many animals, birds and reptiles that call the park home. Board a boat and explore areas of the park that you can’t see by car or truck. From the water, you will have a different game-watching perspective. (In the event conditions make a boat excursion impossible, you will take a game drive.)

Tonight, share stories of your South African adventure at a festive Farewell Dinner.

Accommodations — Chobe Game Lodge
Meals — Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 15

Chobe National Park/Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe/Depart for gateway city

Excursion: Game Drive
Take a final game drive through the park before beginning your journey back home. Your expert guide will make the most of your last drive, endeavoring to show you any animals you may not have seen yet.

After breakfast, all passengers will depart for Victoria Falls Airport. AHI FlexAir passengers will continue to Johannesburg, where they will connect with their overseas flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

Meals — Breakfast and appropriate in-flight meal service

Day 16

In transit

Arrive in your gateway city.

Meals — Appropriate in-flight meal service

NOTE: Itinerary schedule may change due to local conditions. Many excursions in this program involve an element of walking.


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