Day 1: JOHANNESBURG – CAPE TOWN
You'll arrive in Cape Town at the end of the morning and have lunch at the Southern Sun Cape Sun Hotel (or similar accommodations). We’ll have a panoramic tour of Cape Town (affectionately called the “Mother City”), Southern Africa’s most-beautiful, most-romantic, and most-visited city. Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and traditional African beliefs coexist peacefully in this proudly multicultural area. From the brightly painted facades of the Bo-Kaap to the Afro-chic decor of the restaurants and bars, this is one amazing-looking metropolis. We’ll see: The Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town City Hall (built in 1905) on the Grande Parade, The Company’s Garden, and Bo-Kaap (the Cape Malay Quarter). We’ll then take the Table Mountain Cableway to soak up the 360-degree views of Cape Town, Table Bay, and the nearby peaks of the surrounding mountains (weather permitting; otherwise the excursion will be postponed until the next day). We’ll have dinner and spend the night at the Southern Sun Cape Sun Hotel (or similar accommodations).
Day 2: THE CAPE PENINSULA
All meals included. We’ll head out to the legendary site of the Cape of Good Hope. We’ll ride along Chapman’s Peak Drive, located on the Atlantic coast of the Southwestern tip of South Africa. The twists and curves in the road seem endless, and it is a photographers dream as it is one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world. The narrow stretch of land, dotted with beautiful valleys, bays and beaches, contains a mix of extraordinarily diverse and unique fauna and flora. We’ll take the famous Flying Dutchman funicular to the summit to see the old lighthouse and relish the panoramic views. Afterwards, we’ll return to Cape Town for lunch on the Waterfront. During the second part of our day, we’ll visit a place that needs no introduction with regards to its significance in South Africa’s and indeed the world’s history: Robben Island. As the former “home” to one of the world’s most famous prisoners, statesmen and leaders—Nelson Mandela—Robben Island is quite possibly the most well-known island-prison on the planet. We’ll have a guided tour of the island and its cells, given by one of its former prisoners. We’ll spend the night at the Southern Sun Cape Sun Hotel (or similar accommodations).
Day 3: CAPE TOWN – SOUTH AFRICAN WINE ROUTES
All meals included. We’ll leave on one of the many wine routes in South Africa. We’ll first discover the historical city of Stellenbosh, one of the first Dutch settlements in 1679. With the rich agricultural opportunities, the early settlers soon established a bustling town. Now, the buildings reflect over three centuries of occupation, including Dutch, Georgian and Victorian architecture. We’ll have lunch at a renowned wine estate. Amateur or master, you are bound to taste a wine you’ll fall in love with. Next, we'll visit Franschhoek (French Corner). After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in France in 1685, when Protestantism was outlawed, hundreds of Huguenots fled their homeland and 277 of them arrived by ship at the Cape of Good Hope. The town is also home to the Huguenot Memorial Museum, portraying the history of the French Huguenots who settled in the picturesque region.
We’ll spend the night at the Southern Sun Cape Sun Hotel (or similar accommodations).
Day 4: CAPE TOWN/KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
All meals included. You’ll be transferred to the airport to catch a flight to Nelspruit. You’ll then be transferred to Kruger National Park and the Lukimbi Safari Lodge (depending on the local weather, it will be a 2 to 3.5 hour transfer). Lukimbi Safari Lodge is situated in the game-rich, southern section of the world-renowned Kruger National Park. Bounded by 3 major river systems, the extensive 15,000 hectare area offers a diverse array of habitats. The height of the lodge above the river provides viewing points with a feeling of safety. The raised walkways provide guests with clear and easy access to their suites. After a welcome cocktail, you'll settle into your rooms.
At around 4:00 p.m., you’ll leave on your first safari in a Land Rover. The guides love to share their extensive knowledge and work closely with their Shangaan trackers to get the best sightings. Trackers enjoy sharing their knowledge of local uses of herbs and trees, animals and birds. This is how you’ll be able to get really close to the animals and experience truly fantastic opportunities. Enjoy the magnificence of an African sunset before returning to the lodge. We’ll spend the night at the Lukimbi Safari Lodge (or similar accommodations).
Day 5: KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
All meals included. The term “Big Five” was historically used to denote the five most dangerous animals to hunt in Southern Africa, but fortunately the term is now used to describe the most popular and exciting animals to view on safari in the Kruger National Park: lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, buffalo and leopards. Get up before daybreak for the ultimate safari experience accompanied by skilled rangers. One of the best times to enjoy game viewing is first thing in the morning before the heat of the day kicks in. We’ll return to the lodge for a breakfast buffet. Enjoy the rest of your morning relaxing by the pool. We’ll have lunch at the lodge. Before dinner, you’ll set out once again with your rangers, since late afternoon is another great time for game viewing as the day starts to cool down. You'll spend the night at the Lukimbi Safari Lodge (or similar accommodations).
Day 6: KRUGER NATIONAL PARK/JOHANNESBURG
All meals included. Get up before daybreak for the ultimate safari experience accompanied by skilled rangers. After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the airport in Nelpruit (approximately 3 hours), where you’ll catch a flight to Johannesburg. Our first visit in Johannesburg will be to Soweto, which came to the world's attention in 1976 with the Soweto Uprising, when mass protests erupted over the government's policy to enforce education in the Afrikaans language rather than English. It has been estimated that one-third of the city’s population lives in Soweto. All eleven of South Africa’s official languages are spoken here. It is a community of extremes: on the one hand there is abject poverty, and on the other hand there is extraordinary wealth in the suburbs such as Diepkloof Extension and Selection Park. With our panoramic tour, you’ll discover Freedom Park and the unique atmosphere in this well-known neighborhood. Dinner tonight will be at Chez Alina, boasting a unique, authentic and homely environment. We’ll finish up the evening with a performance of Zulu dances. We’ll spend the night at the Southern Sun Cape O.R. Tambo Hotel (or similar accommodations).
Day 7: JOHANNESBURG/KAZANE/CRUISE ON THE CHOBE RIVER
All meals included. You’ll take a flight to Kazane, Botswana, where you’ll be transferred to your ship. Before boarding the Zambezi Queen, you’ll need to pass through customs. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we’ll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail. We’ll cruise as the sun sets. The boat will remain anchored through the night.
Day 8: CRUISE ON THE CHOBE RIVER
All meals included. We’ll set out on a boat safari on the Chobe River in order to observe the animals coming to the water to drink. Crocodiles and hippopotamuses call the river their own, while leopards, lions, buffalos and antelopes dominate the lands. We’ll have lunch before visiting a local village in Namibia in order to discover the customs and culture of the region. Tonight we’ll enjoy a traditional “Boma” dinner with Namibian dances and music, presented by the ship's crew. The boat will remain anchored through the night.
Day 9: CRUISE ON THE CHOBE RIVER
All meals included. We’ll leave on a safari to the Chobe National Park. Chobe has some of the finest game viewing in Africa, and the area contains an interesting variety of habitats and rich plant life. Wildlife enthusiasts and photographers will delight in the density and diversity of the park’s wildlife and flora. We’ll have lunch and spend the afternoon cruising to our next destination. Take advantage of this time to participate in the onboard activities, take a quick swim in the pool on the sun deck, or simply admire the landscape as it floats by. You’ll also be able to fish, take a boat trip to observe the birds and wildlife, or listen to a presentation on the geographical, political and economic situation in the region. Tonight will be our farewell dinner. You’ll be able to gaze at the African skies after night fall (weather permitting). The boat will remain anchored through the night.
Day 10: ZAMBEZI QUEEN/VICTORIA FALLS (Zambian side)
All meals included. We’ll leave in small boats for the customs check point in Kasane. After the formalities, we’ll continue in a minibus for the Botswana/Zambia border and once again take a small boat. From there, you’ll be transferred by coach to your hotel near Victoria Falls. We’ll have lunch at the Zambezi Sun Hotel (or similar accommodations) before you’ll be able to check into your room. This afternoon, enjoy a walking tour of Victoria Falls. The Zambezi River, which is more than a mile wide at this point, plunges noisily down a series of gorges and raises a mist that can be seen more than 20 miles away. It is one of the most spectacular attractions in Africa and one of the most unusual waterfalls in the world. Different times of the year will provide completely different experiences of the Falls region. We’ll spend the night at the Zambezi Sun Hotel (or similar accommodations).
Day 11: VICTORIA FALLS
Enjoy breakfast before being transferred to the airport. OPTIONAL: soar over Victoria Falls in a helicopter — 12-minute ride (€220 per person) OR walk with lion cubs (€165 per person)*. End of our services
*Due to time constraints, you will only be able to do one of these excursions, and it must be reserved before your departure.