You want to experience as much as possible on your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa. This 13-day luxury South African Safari and Victoria Falls Adventure covers it all! Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultures of Johannesburg and Cape Town, take a relaxing cruise on the Zambeze River, explore the world’s largest waterfall, taste the best wines that South Africa has to offer, and spend 5 days on safari at private, luxurious Big-5 game resorts. All land cost are included, so you know exactly what to budget with no unexpected expenses. Rest assured that you’ll be well taken care of by your local guides as well as your U.S. based Backwoods Adventures representative. Once you’ve experienced Africa, life may never be the same!
South African Safari and Victoria Falls Adventure
Day 1: When you arrive in Johannesburg, you’ll be welcomed by your expert, local guide and transferred to the Da Vinci Hotel and Suites – a soothing place to recover from a long flight. Once you’ve freshened up, we’ll have a half-day tour of Johannesburg and a welcome dinner with the guides at a traditional South African steakhouse.
Day 2: Today, you’ll tour the Apartheid Museum, which tells the story of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. Soweto is one of the world’s most famous townships, and an important monument to apartheid. We’ll tour Soweto, and learn about the community projects and the focus on sustainable tourism here. There are many optional, adrenaline-fueled activities in Soweto, including bungee jumping and quad-bike tours. Or, you can just relax and soak up the spirit of good cheer and acceptance that Soweto is known for.
Day 3: Today, you’ll be transferred back to the airport for a quick flight, then 40 minute drive to Kapama Private Game Reserve. Accompanied by a skilled ranger and tracker, you can expect to encounter a diverse range of animal and bird species on game drives. Since this is a Big Five reserve, seeing lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo is very possible over your two-day safari in Kapama Private Game Reserve.
Day 4: The day starts with an early wake-up call. Tea, coffee and rusks are enjoyed together before heading out at first light. Birding enthusiasts will be delighted at the approximately 350 species of birds recorded on the reserve. Halfway through the game drive, there’s a stop for hot drinks and snacks, before returning to the lodge at around 9am for a full breakfast. Throughout the day, it’s likely you will see wildlife around the lodge – nyala antelope and vervet monkeys are frequent visitors, though seeing some of the Big Five is also not uncommon. At around 3:30pm, everyone gathers for a decadent high tea, before heading out with your ranger and tracker for the afternoon game drive through the reserve. En route, you’ll stop for a sundowner drink and will have a chance to stretch your legs as you watch the sun set over the distant peaks of the Drakensberg mountains. As darkness falls, the nocturnal animals of the bush come out. The skilled tracker will scan the landscape using a spotlight, which illuminates animals’ eyes. A variety of completely different species can be seen on the night drive back to the lodge. Arrival is at the lodge is usually around 7pm, allowing time to freshen up before enjoying a sumptuous dinner.
Day 5: Today, we’ll take a light aircraft shuttle to Jock Safari Lodge, nestled in the southwest corner Kruger national Park where the Mitomeni and Biyamiti rivers flow as one. Carefully screened by lush trees and reed walls, the 12 individual thatched rooms at Jock Safari Lodge impart a sense of aloneness and oneness with the landscape. There is also the option of staying at the Explorer Camp, and participating in a walking safari each day. Reminiscent of the safaris of the 18th century, nights are spent around a campfire enjoying hearty meals while learning about the history of Jock of the Bushveld (whom the Lodge is named after) and the other famous explorers of the 1700’s.
Day 6 and 7:
05h30 Wake up call
06h00 Early morning refreshments served
06h15 Depart for morning game drive
09h00 A continental breakfast buffet and (plated) hot breakfast is served
11h00 Requested check-out time
12h00 Lunch is served until 14h30
13h00 / 14h00 Recommended arrival time
15h00 / 15h30 Afternoon tea
15h30 / 16h00 Depart for afternoon game drive
20h00 Pre dinner drinks
20h30 Set menu or Braai/Barbeque dinner is served – every alternate night
Day 8: It’s time to bid farewell to the safari portion of the adventure and head off to explore Victoria Falls! After a quick flight and transfer to David Livingston Lodge, you’ll hop aboard the Royal Livingstone Express, a beautifully restored steam locomotive. This dinner trip incorporates a classic steam expedition with a fine dining experience and the trip gets even better as you stop at the bridge overlooking the largest waterfall in the world – Victoria Falls.
Day 9: Today is all about getting up close and personal with the source of Victoria Falls. We’ll begin with a half-day whitewater rafting trip on the Zambeze river. The rapids below The Falls are among the world’s wildest but also the safest due to deep water, steep canyon walls and no mid stream rocks. Spectacular scenery, sunshine, warm water and superb rapids all make this one of the greatest white water venues in the world. Safety is paramount and all precautions are taken to avoid accidents including plenty of safety kayaks, highly trained guides with a minimum of 5 years experience, radio communications and comprehensive evacuation facilities. After lunch, we’ll hop aboard the Lady Livingstone Sundowner Cruise ship, also known as “The Jewel of the Zambeze”. During the cruise, guests have the opportunity to observe crocodiles as well as hippos while the colorful and rich birdlife can also be admired. Other wildlife such as elephants, giraffes, buffaloes and buck and also be encountered. Experienced guides accompany each Sunset Cruise on the Lady Livingstone who happily shares his/her knowledge on the wildlife and the local history.
Day 10: Today, you’ll transfer from Livingstone airport to Cape Town international Airport. Our next few days will be spent in Cape Town, and you’ll have the afternoon free to relax or explore the heart of the city on your own. Dinner will be at the Harbour House in the famous waterfront district.
Day 11: You’re off to experience the scenic South African Peninsula! Highlights include the Atlantic and Indian Ocean coastlines, the National Botanical Gardens, abundant wildlife, indigenous vegetation, beaches, lighthouses, and historical fishing villages. After the peninsula tour, you’ll enjoy dinner at Gold Restaurant, complete with interactive drumming and pan-African cuisine in a glorious setting.
Day 12: Today, you get to experience the best wines in all of South Africa through a full-day winelands countryside tour. You will see the Franschoek Valley with its endless mountain vistas, then visit the pearl of the Cape – home to the Afrikaans language. After lunch, you’ll tour a wine cellar and taste the exquisite wines that make this region so famous. Then, it’s back to Cape Town for dinner at the Potluck Club, famous for its innovative international cuisine and relaxed, yet edgy environment.
Day 13: This morning, you will be met by a representative from Uthando and taken on a cultural tour that allows you to see, directly, how the cost of your tour benefitted projects in the deprived areas of South Africa. You will experience the hope that local families feel through community gardens, musical and theatrical projects for kids, orphanages, and refuges designed to help the most unfortunate members of the community. You’ll feel confident knowing that your visit left a direct and lasting impression on the families that live here. In the afternoon, you will say farewell to Africa and transfer to Cape Town international Airport for departure to your destination.
- All accommodations in 5-star hotels and luxury safari lodges
- All transportation for the duration of your time in Africa, including flights within the continent, airport transfers, and private ground transportation
- Expert local guides and Backwoods Adventures Trip Host
- All excursions mentioned in the itinerary
- All meals mentioned in the itinerary
- Minimum 3 pre-departure information conference calls with Backwoods Adventures host
- All park entrance fees and guide fees
- Airfare to Johannesburg and from Cape Town (We can book your flights for you for an additional $75)
- Personal gear and clothing
- Alcoholic drinks, extra drinks and meals beyond what is mentioned in the itinerary
- Optional activities not included in the itinerary
- Items of a personal nature ie: laundry, massage, internet, etc.
- Travel Insurance
At Backwoods Adventures we know that well fed travelers are happy travelers! This is a luxury adventure, and that spirit of luxury is reflected in the choice of meals on your trip. While on safari, meals will be prepared for you by the safari chef. While in town, you will experience dining at some of the best restaurants available. Examples include the Butcher Shop and Grill in Johannesburg and Harbour House Restaurant in Cape Town.
Note: Vegetarian and other special diets can be accommodated. Please inform your BWA representative of any special dietary considerations prior to departure.
Da Vinci Hotel and Suites (2 nights) – This contemporary masterpiece is located adjacent to the prime location of the cosmopolitan Nelson Mandela Square. The hotel oozes sophistication and elegance making it the perfect destination for both business and leisure travellers.
Kapama Southern Camp (2 nights) – Located in the South of the game-rich Kapama Reserve, its tranquile and relaxing setting will be savored by the most discerning of guests.
Jock Safari Lodge (3 nights) – Carefully screened by lush trees and reed walls, the 12 individual thatched rooms at Jock Safari Lodge impart a sense of aloneness and oneness with the landscape.
David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Spa (2 nights) – This luxurious retreat is set on expansive grounds with palms and indigenous trees creating a peaceful setting on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River.
Victoria and Alfred Hotel (3 nights) – Within walking distance to the vibrant Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, this location is ideal for anyone who wishes to have a base from which to explore the city. Elegant and luxurious interiors are only rivaled by the hotel’s laid-back atmosphere and warm personalized service.
Malaria precautions are required for most safaris – please consult your local doctor or clinic.
Entry to South Africa requires two blank pages in your passport and passport validity for at least 6 months after departure. Please check Visa entry requirements with your local embassy for the countries you are visiting. We recommend that all passengers purchase travel insurance in their country of residence.
FROM OUR TRAVELERS
“Thanks for being the best guide ever. Your encouragement, concern, and professionalism has made this trip a truly wonderful experience. I wish you all he very best in all that you do and hope to see you soon. “
“I hope this weekend goes as well as last week. You, Joe and Billy were excellent hosts and instructors. I had a wonderful time. Thanks again for all your patient coaching and kind words. “
“Thank you for offering such an amazing life experience. From the beginning with Joe and Mike’s emails, to the store’s support on outfitting, to the actual trip, it was an overall very positive experience. I highly recommend this trip to those with a passion for wanting the challenge of this mountain.”