Day 1: CAPE TOWN
We'll meet up at the hotel at 8:00 a.m. and have a panoramic tour of the city. Cape Town is a meticulously preserved city with modern towers in the center, cobblestone roads and a bounty of historical monuments. We’ll then take the Table Mountain Cableway to soak up the 360-degree views of Table Bay and the nearby peaks of the surrounding mountains (subject to favorable weather conditions). We’ll have dinner and spend the night at our 4-star hotel LS.
Day 2: ROBBEN ISLAND - GROOT CONSTANTIA WINE ESTATE
During the fist 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. We’ll have a guided tour of the island and its cells, given by one of its former prisoners. We’ll return to Cape Town for lunch on the waterfront. Afterwards, we’ll visit the Groot Constantia estate, considered the oldest vineyard in South Africa. For the past 300 years, agricultural activities at Groot Constantia have focused on wine making, and the Constantia wines have become renowned throughout Europe. We’ll visit the cellar followed by a tasting. We’ll have dinner and spend the night at the hotel.
Day 3: THE CAPE PENINSULA
Today, we’ll set out for the legendary 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 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. We’ll have lunch before discovering the penguin colony near Simon’s Town. Once called Jackass Penguins, they are famous for their hilarious braying call. We’ll have dinner and spend the night at the hotel.
Day 4: CAPE TOWN - JOHANNESBURG (South Africa)
You’ll be transferred to the airport and fly to Johannesburg to join the rest of the safari-cruise group. Your local guide will greet you upon arrival at the airport. Departure by coach for 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 Johannesburg’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. We’ll have lunch before setting out on a panoramic tour to discover Freedom Park and the unique atmosphere in this well-known neighborhood. We’ll have dinner and spend the night at a four-star hotel LS.
Day 5: JOHANNESBURG - VICTORIA FALLS - KARIBA - BOARDING THE SHIP (South Africa-Zimbabwe)
We’ll fly from Johannesburg to Kariba (flight with a stop-over). Enjoy a picnic lunch. We’ll set out to discover the gigantic Kariba Dam which was created in 1955 to form Lake Kariba. Today, the dam serves as a source of electric power for 70% of Zimbabwe. Reaching over 140mi/200km in length and spanning a distance of approximately 25mi/40km at its widest point, the lake flooded flatlands, hills and forests alike, creating unique and emblematic landscapes. You’ll get to discover the history and legends surrounding the creation of the lake, including the tale of NyamiNyami, the river god. You’ll be transferred to board your ship. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we’ll start sailing across the lake, have dinner and spend the night on board.
Day 6: LAKE KARIBA - SAILING ON THE GACHE-GACHE AND SANYATI RIVERS (Zimbabwe)
At sunrise, we’ll set sail through the rare and mysterious landscapes of Lake Kariba where drowned trees reach skywards from the depths of the reflecting water. We’ll set out on small private boats to discover the Gache Gache River and its unique wildlife. Gliding along its meanders, large bends and small, unspoiled inlets, you’ll be amazed by the magical atmosphere all around. We’ll return on board for lunch. This afternoon, we’ll discover one of the most impressive gorges to be found at Lake Kariba as we sail through the Sanyati Gorge until sundown. During this time, a round table will be the opportunity to learn more about the creation of the Lake, its inhabitants as well as its ecosystem. We’ll have dinner and spend the night on board.
Day 7: LAKE KARIBA - MATUSADONA NATIONAL PARK (Zimbabwe)
We’ll journey out on a full-day safari to discover the area around Matusadona National Park. Bordered by the Sanyati and Ume Rivers, this 1,400km²/540 sq mi-large untouched area is home to numerous animal species such as elephants, hippos, crocodiles, buffalos as well as thousands of birds, among which the legendary African Sea Eagle, the majestic Yellow-billed Stork, or the Black Heron with its interesting hunting method. We might be lucky enough to cross paths with a big cat or two! The history of the park is closely linked with that of the lake: during the construction of the dam, the rising floodwaters affected the native wildlife although the damage was mitigated by Operation Noah, an initiative which saved the lives of over 6,000 animals. This rescue operation allowed for large mammals, big cats, impalas and more to be moved to Matusadona where hunting is strictly prohibited. We’ll enjoy lunch and dinner on board the ship and spend the night on board.
Day 8: LAKE KARIBA - VICTORIA FALLS - KASANE - ARRIVAL AT LODGE (Zimbabwe-Botswana-Namibia)
At sunrise, we’ll set sail towards Kariba to disembark and fly out to Victoria Falls. We’ll then reach Kasane and set out on small private boats headed to your CroisiEurope lodge. Take advantage of your trip to observe the numerous bird species living among the flooded flatlands. You may even catch a glimpse of a few hippos or crocodiles basking in the sun! You’ll be greeted by our crew upon arrival and settle into your comfortable lodge ideally located on one of the islands created by the Zambezi River. We’ll have dinner and spend the night at the lodge in absolute tranquility at the heart of the wilderness.
Day 9: CHOBE NATIONAL PARK (Namibia-Botswana)
We’ll journey out on a full-day safari in Jeeps to explore the Chobé National Park that is home to more than 1/4 of the total elephant population in Africa. Enjoy lunch in our “floating restaurant” in the middle of the river where the views of the surrounding nature are unparalleled. Afterwards, we’ll board small private boats and sail off on Chobé River all the way to Sedudu Island and its marshes. We’ll have dinner and spend the night at the lodge.
Day 10: IMPALILA ISLAND (Namibia)
Join us for a trip to authentic villages on Impalila Island, Namibia, to discover the traditional Namibian houses, culture and customs. We’ll return to our lodge for lunch. This afternoon, you can enjoy time at leisure at the lodge, taking advantage of the private pools and comfortable fittings, or join us for a discovery of the Zambezi River on small private boats. We’ll have dinner at the lodge. Tonight, let a local tell you all about the traditions and customs of this particular island. We’ll spend the night at the lodge.
Day 11: LODGE - KASANE - VICTORIA FALLS (Namibia-Botswana-Zimbabwe)
We’ll depart from the lodge and leave by coach for Victoria Falls. Enjoy an exceptional lunch cruise on the Zambezi River, upstream from the falls. This afternoon, we’ll leave for a tour on foot of the falls where the views are among the most exceptional in the world. We’ll also see where the Zambezi River plunges over the cliff to become the widest waterfall in the world, creating the “smoke that thunders.” Tonight we’ll enjoy a “Boma” dinner with traditional dance and music. We’ll spend the night at a four-star hotel LS.
Day 12: VICTORIA FALLS
Optional early morning excursion: Soar over Victoria Falls in a helicopter (must be booked before departure). End of our services at the hotel.