Making your way to Africa for a safari is a once in a lifetime experience. This is why I suggest to always book with an expert! There are several different ways you can enjoy a safari, you can enjoy with a group or have a tour customized specifically for your wants and needs. There are many different companies out there that you can use and few that I put my whole trust into. If you want something customized, contact your favorite travel agent (Heather Luckey at Brilliant Journeys) to get started. I can put together something for you that I know you will absolutely love! If you prefer a group, I suggest an itinerary like the one below with Tauck Tours.
Tauck has a wonderful partnership with BBC Earth and the itineraries are sure to wow you!
Tauck’s Botswana, South Africa and Zambia
Rail safari & welcome dinner in Zambia
Tour begins: 3:00 PM, Royal Livingstone Hotel. Transfers are included from Livingstone Airport to the Royal Livingstone Hotel in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Livingstone, Zambia, named for 19th-century missionary and explorer, Dr. David Livingstone, the first European to document the region you’ll discover on these South Africa tours. Check-in is 2:00 pm. Guests wishing to check in prior to this time should arrive the evening before. Settle in at the Royal Livingstone Hotel, a colonial-style luxury hotel on the Zambesi River in the heart of Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park; the hotel’s lounges and shaded verandahs evoke the elegance of a bygone era. Join us this evening for our welcome reception and dinner during a romantic journey through the bushveld aboard a vintage 1920s steam train. View the park from the stylish comfort of elegantly restored Pullman lounge and dining cars as you enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a five-course gourmet dinner.
Rhino sanctuary & a Victoria Falls walking tour
A guided walking safari through a rhino sanctuary offers you a chance to see the great horned animals in their natural habitat. Then follow the sound of roaring water on a walking tour to Mosi-oa-Tunya – “The Smoke That Thunders” – which Livingstone named Victoria Falls. The site where the mile-wide Zambezi River plunges powerfully into a chasm more than 350 feet deep, sending billowing clouds of spray skyward like inverted rain, is sure to leave you speechless.
Game drives in the Okavango Delta
A ferry transports you across the Zambezi River from Zambia to Botswana this morning, where you’ll embark on a motorboat safari on the Chobe River. After lunch, hop a flight to a game reserve on the Okavango River, in the world’s largest inland delta, and settle into your lodge on the Khwai River. During seasonal flooding, the delta swells to three times its size, becoming an oasis in an arid country and attracting wildlife – and predators, including lions and leopards. You’ll have a unique chance to view the wildlife after dark on a night safari before dinner this evening.
More wildlife viewing & dinner under the stars
Between morning and afternoon game drives in the bush for even more exciting wildlife viewing today, return to camp for lunch and leisure. Enjoy the spa, or watch the passing parade of wildlife on the floodplains from the comfort of your own private deck, before embarking on another game drive this afternoon. Enjoy dinner under the stars in a boma on the lodge grounds this evening.
Eagle Island Camp & a motorboat safari
Begin the day with a game drive and an optional walking safari. Today you’ll fly from Khwai further into the Okavango Delta to Eagle Island Camp; situated on remote Xaxaba Island among a web of waterways and lush vegetation, it overlooks a lagoon that attracts a breathtaking variety of big game and exotic birds. This afternoon, take a motorboat safari along the intricate waterways of the Okavango Delta in search of elephants and exotic birds. With incredible views cross the Okavango Delta and delicious food to match, the dining experience at Eagle Island Camp tonight will be one to remember.
Okavango Delta by canoe and helicopter
First up this morning – exploring the Okavango Delta by canoe – and helicopter. A mokoro canoe safari aboard a traditional dugout canoe takes you gliding over shallow, clear waters past brilliant water lilies and papyrus grasses to areas inaccessible by boat. Listen to the gentle, rhythmic splash as you are poled along and then attune your ears to other sounds. Long reed frogs will be out enjoying the sun: tiny as your fingertip, they emit extraordinarily loud croaks that resemble Oriental wind chimes. Spiders spin glistening webs above the water; luminous dragonflies hover with whirring wings; game such as red lechwe antelope, reed bucks and giraffes come to drink. But for many, it is the birds of this ornithological paradise that dazzle. Stately egrets, storks, cormorants and even fishing eagles swoop overhead… but for pure drama, the magnificent malachite kingfisher steals the show. The parallel views you’ll experience by helicopter are truly stunning; hovering over the delta, you’ll be treated to amazing wildlife sightings, water and land contrasts and a visual kaleidoscope of nature. Following lunch, take a drive through the Xaxaba village for a unique look into the daily life of a Botswanan. You’ll learn about local traditions for marriage, cooking, village government, music, medicine and more. End the day with another memorable dinner at Eagle Island Camp.
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
Fly from Okavango to Makgadikgadi Pans, the salt plains at the edge of the Kalahari Desert, and arrive at Camp Kalahari. A parched wasteland most of the year, seasonally the plains come alive with water and grass, drawing spectacular herds of wildebeest and zebra, as well as springboks, vultures, eagles, flamingoes, and hyenas. From your deluxe tented camp, venture out on a game drive or take a walking safari with the local San Bushmen, learning how they use their legendary hunting and survival skills in this usually inhospitable environment. Learn how scorpions and roots are used for medicinal purposes as well as hydration in the desert. Please note: Camp Kalahari is a classic, traditional safari camp where air conditioning, Internet and cell phone service are not available; illumination is provided by gas lanterns, and showers are heated by solar power. While there are no electrical outlets in the tents, a charging station is available in the main reception area.
Meet the Meerkats & 4-wheel-drive adventure
“Meerkat” is Dutch for “lake cat,” which seems odd, since the meerkat is not a cat and it lives in a desert. But you’ll find the name somehow suits these hyperactive, charming creatures as you encounter them on their daily routine, digging for termites, frolicking, and standing at attention, forever on the lookout for predators. The meerkat families you’ll meet today have no fear of humans; in fact, they’ve been known to climb on visitors’ heads for a better vantage point (one of many potential photo ops on these Botswana and South Africa tours). Enjoy free time at camp in the afternoon before a trip out to the salt pan in a 4-wheel-drive all-terrain vehicle (ATV)* for sundowners and a breathtaking African sunset.
From Botswana to Cape Town
Fly today from the Makgadikgadi airstrip to Maun, then on to Cape Town, South Africa, where you’ll spend three nights at the One&Only Cape Town. Your aptly-named hotel is one of a kind, an urban oasis designed around a series of artificial islands, offering contemporary glamour with an African accent and stunning views of Table Mountain and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, where the evening is free to spend as you please.
Spend the day in Cape Town on Africa’s southern tip
Cape Town nestles in a setting of spectacular natural beauty, between the crashing tides of an azure sea and towering Table Mountain. But its real fascination is in its contrasts – modern towers beside ornate colonial architecture, and the mix of cultures (Dutch, French, English, African, Afrikaans, Malaysian, Indian and more) that blend in the vast enclave known as the City Bowl. Visit the Cape Malay quarter (also known as Bo-Kaap), a colorful neighborhood of cobbled streets, spice shops, and brightly painted houses; the original residents were slaves from Dutch colonies in Southeast Asia, and their legacy thrives in Bo-Kaap’s Muslim culture, artisan skills, and spiced cuisine. Visit the District Six Museum, chronicling the effects of apartheid and forced removals in Cape Town’s District Six. The afternoon is free for you to explore as you please; return to your hotel, or perhaps explore the maritime heritage of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a promenade of shops, tall ships and historical buildings along the working harbor. Join us this evening at a private home for a traditional braai (barbecue) under a stunning Cape Town sunset.
Seal Island eco-tour & the Cape of Good Hope
This morning, arrive at Cape Point Nature Reserve – home to antelope, zebra, ostrich, baboons, and breathtaking seascapes; later, a funicular will carry you up to the Old Lighthouse that watches over the ironically-named Cape of Good Hope – the Portuguese explorer who first navigated these treacherous waters where two oceans converge originally named it “the Cape of Storms,” a warning validated by the many shipwrecks strewn along its coast. Following lunch overlooking False Bay, set sail for an eco-tour to Seal Island, a rock off the coast that is home to thousands of fur seals and other diverse wildlife including great white sharks that may visit adjacent waters throughout the year. Join us this evening for a farewell reception followed by dinner in the hotel’s signature restaurant.
This most extraordinary of South Africa tours ends: Cape Town.Tauck’s South Africa tours conclude this morning with a transfer from the One&Only Cape Town to Cape Town Airport for your journey home. Fly home anytime. Allow at least 3 hours for flight check-in.