Become intoxicated by the beauty of Southern Africa as you are immersed in the wild beauty of its sprawling, bountiful scenery. Fall in love with the baby cheetahs at the Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Center and discover the origins of humanity at the Cradle of Mankind. Marvel at rare creatures and colorful, exotic flora blooming across the horizon at three iconic nature reserves that span Botswana and South Africa. Feel the surge of excitement as you survey the bush in search of camouflaged leopard or capture a photograph of a lioness playing with her young. Marvel at some of the most spectacular scenery and discover South Africa’s famed panorama route. Beneath thatched roofs and the vast African sky, enjoy international cuisine, indulge in classic African sundowners, and sleep soundly in the middle of a breathtaking wild kingdom.
Degree of Difficulty –
Your journey begins as you board your overnight flight to Johannesburg, arriving the next day. Your home for the next two nights is on the outskirts of the city within the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, the latest addition to the Cradle Nature Reserve. CRADLE BOUTIQUE HOTEL.
(Meals Aloft, Dinner)
Begin the day with a visit to the Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Centre, a cheetah conservation project that has bred over eight hundred cheetah cubs, including the famous King Cheetah, since its inception in 1971! Learn about the centre’s history and how it survives without any government aid as you tour the grounds and meet its inhabitants, adorable cheetahs and other wildlife that live here. Head back to the Cradle of Humankind for lunch and a stop by Maropeng visitor center and Sterkfontein Caves, where the area’s rich fossil history is particularly profound along dolomitic limestone ridges. CRADLE BOUTIQUE HOTEL.
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Travel north to the Limpopo Province and the Marakele National Park, a place that has drawn humans to its beautiful vistas and lush natural bounty since the Iron Age. Marakele is a great place to observe the Big Five, as well as an abundance of healthy and thriving African wildlife. For bird-lovers, keep an eye out for Cape Griffon Vultures, who have their largest colony on Earth right here in the park. The park is known for its wildlife population being very comfortable with the guide vehicles, and as a result, you will have wonderful photo opportunities as many creatures come right alongside your tour vehicle! Embark on guided safaris every day of your stay, capped off with scenic coffee breaks and sundowners to truly absorb the wonder of being in this place during its most beautiful hours. MARATABA SAFARI LODGE.
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily)
Enjoy a last game drive at Marakele before departing for Mashatu, situated just across the border in South Africa’s neighboring country of Botswana. Your lodge awaits, surrounded by vast open spaces, exotic wildlife, majestic skies, and the calls of the wild. Mashatu is located in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve of Botswana, wedged between the Tuli Safari Area, a national park in Zimbabwe, and the Mapungubwe National Park, a World Heritage Site in South Africa. Mashatu shares unfenced borders with both the South African and Zimbabwean national parks in the south and north respectively. This vast area forms part of a cross boundary wildlife conservation area protecting the substantial biodiversity of fauna and flora in this region. Daily morning and evening game drives bring visitors into close contact with classic African wildlife. Here you will have access to unique ways to explore the bush, horseback safaris, cycling safaris, and walks in the wild (some at additional cost). Photographic hides are available in your lodge, hidden “rooms” to provide photographers with unique, up-close opportunities to capture the life in the park. MASHATU LODGE (MAIN CAMP).
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily)
Enjoy your last breakfast at Mashatu before re-crossing the border into South Africa and continuing to the town of Tzaneen, Discover the Modjadji Cycad Reserve, situated high in the Lobedu Mountains near Duiwelskloof, and next to the home of the fabled throne of the Rain Queen. The Reserve boasts some of the oldest and largest Cycad specimens on earth and contains one of the most fascinating populations of plants seen in South Africa. Delve into the raw beauty of the wilderness as you discover some of Mother Nature’s most curious flora. THE COACH HOUSE HOTEL & SPA.
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Enjoy a scenic drive through the Panorama Route, alongside Blyde River Canyon, Three Rondavels, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s Window and Pinnacle viewpoint, Jock of the Bushveld, and more. The area is hauntingly beautiful and breathtaking in its vast scale with spectacular gorges, isolated buttresses, unusual geological features, rolling mountains, deep ravines and fairy-tale waterfalls. Settle into your stunning lodge at Kruger National Park. Experience the colonial delights of four o’clock tea, succulent evening meals, cigars and brandy and the luxury of your beautifully appointed chalets with private plunge pools. Safaris will take place either on foot or in open-sided game-viewing vehicles and led by professional rangers and Shangaan trackers. The reserve is home to the great cats – lion, leopard, and cheetah, as well as elephant, buffalo, black and white rhino, zebra, giraffe, and a host of antelope. Night drives may afford you a glimpse of elusive nocturnal animals such as the armadillo-like pangolin and African wildcat. Animal tracking, bird watching, and stargazing are also available. IMBALI SAFARI LODGE.
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily)
A last chance to discover the wildlife of South Africa before your flight to Johannesburg where you connect with your return flights home, arriving the USA next day.
(Breakfast, Meals Aloft)
Begin your journey with a delightful retreat to Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Enjoy accommodations at the VINEYARDS HOTEL & SPA, which has over 200 years of history within its walls and is situated in six acres of attractive landscaped parkland. Ascend Table Mountain and take the coastal route to the Cape of Good Hope to discover charming seaside towns, wildlife, and the endearing “jackass” penguins at Boulders Beach. Tour the brilliant Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and spend a day in the famed Boland Valley wine region. Visit the settlement of Khayelitsha with a township guide and learn how to prepare a meal at a Malay home. This is the perfect way to begin your adventure in Southern Africa.
Another adventure awaits as you fly to Johannesburg for a night at the FAIRLAWN S BOUTIQUE HOTEL in the leafy suburb of Sandton. Fly onward to Victoria Falls, where five separate cascades plunge more than 300 feet with a thunderous roar, known to locals as the Smoke that Thunders. Feel the mist of the world’s largest waterfall on your face during a guided tour and enjoy a sundowner cruise along the Zambezi River. Visit a native village to experience their way of life and shop in the African marketplace for those last-minute souvenirs. Stay at the “Grande Dame” of the Falls, THE VICTORIA FALLS HOTEL, where Edwardian splendor is recalled in period art and antique furniture, world-class service and fine dining. Your farewell dinner is at the Boma for a very unique African experience.
PRICING: Per person, based on double occupancy
Maximum group size: 20 travelers. Idube only has 10 chalets.
YOUR JOURNEY INCLUDES:
- Flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town on the pre-extension.
- Roundtrip flights between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls on the post-extension.
- Superior accommodations throughout at hotels and lodges as listed in the itinerary, or similar.
- Breakfasts daily, all meals while on safari and other meals as indicated in itinerary.
- All transfers in Southern Africa in deluxe motor coaches.
- All wildlife viewing by 4×4 open-air vehicles.
- Specialist guide will accompany the group with 10 travelers.
- Complimentary bottled water in vehicles and during meals.
- All applicable hotel/lodge gratuities and taxes.
- All park entry fees.
- Complimentary baggage tags and passport wallet.
- Complimentary emergency evacuation insurance.
No matter when South Africa is visited, it is a stunning country and one is sure to delight in its offerings. South Africa is affected by the waters surrounding the country on three sides, and thus there’s variation in the weather pattern depending on what part of the country visited. In Cape Town, the winter months (June-August) are mild and changeable; this is also the time when most of the rainfall occurs in the Cape. Summer months (January-March) around Cape Town are generally dry. On the high veld, in the center of South Africa around Johannesburg, there are sharp differences of temperature between day and night and it can be quite cold during the winter months. During the summer months at Kruger (December-March,) there can be sporadic rainfall in the form of quick thunder showers, but wildlife viewing is superb no matter when visited. April through August represent the winter months in Southern Africa which in turn means very little rain in most of the country, except for the Cape. South Africa is incredible to visit, particularly the Cape, during the Spring, when the wildflowers are in bloom – generally midAugust through September. Marine enthusiasts should consider visiting between June and November when the Southern Right Whales congregate in the waters.
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