Sample South Africa Itinerary
15 Days / 14 Nights with 4 optional nights in Chobe National Park, Botswanna
This is a sample HLO Tours itinerary.HLO Tours will customize your tour to meet your specific travel tastes, wishes, and expectations.
Depart from New York (JFK) South Africa Airways. Overnight on board. Meals will be served in flight
JOHANNESBURG / CAPE TOWN
Arrive to Johannesburg where you will connect with South Africa flight to Cape Town. In the afternoon you will arrive to Cape Town Airport where you will be met and transferred to spend the next four (4) nights at the CAPE GRACE HOTEL
CAPE GRACE HOTEL is situated on a private quay between the working harbor of Cape Town's bustling Victoria & Alfred waterfront and the serenity of an international yacht marina, the luxurious 5 star Cape Grace Hotel, exudes the atmosphere of unpretentious elegance. The gentle elegance of this luxurious small hotel, combined with the allure of one of the world's most beautiful cities. The Cape Grace Hotel is surrounded by water on three sides with the majestic Table Mountain as a backdrop.
CAPE TOWN (Full Day Peninsula-CAPE POINT & CAPE OF GOOD HOPE- Tour, including lunch)
Buffet breakfast at the hotel and then you'll meet in hotel Lobby to depart with your guide and drive along the Atlantic Seaboard coast, passing the seaside suburbs of Sea Point, Bantry Bay and Clifton. En-route, stop on the granite boulders where we have magnificent views of the Twelve Apostles along the Atlantic coast side of Table Mountain and the beach of Camp’s Bay. Drive to the old lookout point for spectacular views along Hout Bay to the Sentinel and Karbonkelberg Mountains.
You then leave Hout Bay and travel over the mountain and through the Constantia Valley and over Ou Kaapse Weg to the Noordhoek area. Drive to Kommetjie and Scarborough, little hamlets on the Atlantic Coast. Between June and November there is a good chance that you will sight whales along the coastline. These are mainly Southern Right Whales that come into the waters to mate and calve. Have your cameras ready.
Then enter the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and can take a drive off the main road to the untouched area of Olifants Bay. There is a herd of endemic Bontebok living on this side of the reserve and we have the possibility of seeing them on the beach and in the surrounding "fynbos", magnificent indigenous floral vegetation with flowering species throughout the year. Enjoy lunch (included) at the seafood restaurant: The Black Marlin.
After lunch, you'll spend time exploring the rocky coastline and fynbos with possibilities of seeing the African Black Oystercatchers and Avocets as well as fynbos endemics such as the Cape Sugarbird and Protea Canary, as well as various Sunbirds.
Continue your drive to the tip of the Cape Peninsula and take a walk to the lighthouse at Cape Point with its beautiful views overlooking False Bay, so named as the early navigators thought they had put into Table Bay. Drive to the Cape of Good Hope, the southwestern most point of the African continent. Now leave the reserve and drive along the False Bay coastline to Boulders Beach, and enjoy an opportunity to study the only penguins to be found on the continent of Africa, the African Jackass Penguin.
We continue on through historic Simons town, with its past and present naval traditions and travel along the coast to Fish Hoek. Late afternoon return to your hotel and have your evening at leisure. Overnight. BB, L
CAPE TOWN / Visit to ROBBEN ISLAND
Buffet breakfast at the hotel in the morning, then meet in the lobby to start your half-day tour where you will be transferred to the harbor for your 30-minute ride on a ferry to Robben Island for your four hour tour including a visit to the cell of former president Nelson Mandela.
The small flat islet of Robben Island, situated some 7km off the coast of Bloubergstrand and just a few meters above sea level, has been varyingly used since the end of the 17th century to isolate political prisoners as well serving as a leper colony and animal quarantine station. The original Dutch settlers under Jan van Riebeeck first used the island to warn passing ships of the dangerous rocks around the island by building huge bonfires at night. The original colony of African Penguins was eliminated by 1800 but has since been re-established and is today one of the largest breeding colonies of these birds along the African coastline.
A short ferry ride, departing from the V&A Waterfront, carries passengers across Table Bay, where on arrival guests will participate in a guided tour of the prison buildings, including a visit to Nelson Mandela’s cell where he was incarcerated for eighteen years. Many well-known individuals were imprisoned here in the Apartheid-era, including current South African president Jacob Zuma. The duration of the excursion is about four hours.
After the visit we will take the ferry back to our private coach to return to our hotel to freshen-up for our dinner at Africa Café Restaurant for an authentic African dinner. After dinner return to our hotel for overnight. BB, L, D
CAPE TOWN – WINELANDS OF THE CAPE – Full day tour including lunch.
Buffet breakfast at the hotel then meet in the lobby for our departure towards the wine areas of South Africa. South Africa is the world’s 8th largest producer, approximately twice the size of Switzerland’s wine industry. It has about 100.000 acres under vine concentrated in the Western Cape. The best areas are: Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschoek and the Swartland. Our tour will include a visit to Paarl Nature Reserve and Taal Monument. We continue to Fairview for wine tasting – passing Zandwijk (the only Kosher wine estate in South Africa). Fairview Estate has 240 acres under vine and has won numerous medals especially for its excellent Chardonnay. Also, there are 500 Swiss Saanen goats living in Zandwijk Estate with which they make excellent cheese. This will also be available for tasting. We then proceed to the French Huguenot town of FRANSCHOEK and visit the memorial, followed by wine tasting. Stop for lunch at La Petite Ferme Restaurant in Franchoek.
After lunch we proceed to visit the oldest Huguenot wine estate, Boschendal, for a tasting. This vineyard was the first to introduce Blanc de noir in
South Africa. 80% of their production is white wine, although they have a very good red called Lanoy. More wine tasting at Boschendal, then proceed to the lovely Helshoogte Pass for a visit to Stellenbosch, a charming 17th century town famous for its Cape Dutch Architecture. Late in the afternoon we return to our hotel for overnight in Cape Town. BB, L
CAPE TOWN / JOHANNESBURG
Buffet breakfast at the hotel and then we will be transferred to Cape Town airport for our short flight to Johannesburg. Arrive to Johannesburg airport where we will be met and transferred to MICHELANGELO HOTEL to spend the next night. En – Route to our hotel, we are going to have a quick stop at the UNION BUILDINGS which, currently house the office of the South African President and were designed by the famous British architect Sir Herbart Baker, and are regarded as one of the country’s architectural masterpieces.
The luxurious Michelangelo is set in the heart of the Sandton business and leisure district of Johannesburg. It features an indoor pool and fitness center with sauna and steam room. Rooms at this 5-star hotel are stylishly decorated and equipped with all modern amenities including minibar, satellite TV and free Wi-Fi. In-room tea-and-coffee-making facilities are also provided.
Hotel Michelangelo features a 24-hour lounge offering light meals, tapas and snacks. The Piccolo Mondo Restaurant serves classic Italian dishes accompanied by local and international wines. Guests can take a dip in Michelangelo’s heated swimming pool or relax in the sauna. The Michelangelo Hotel overlooks the Nelson Mandela Square. It is located 21 miles from OR Tambo International Airport.
In the afternoon we board our private coach, driver & English speaking tour guide will take you for an orientation tour of Johannesburg; SOWETO TOUR: is designed to give the visitors an overall impression of “Egoli” the city of Gold, South Africa’s commercial and financial capital. We take a look around the northern suburbs, then on to the hustle and bustle of Hillbrow and the downtown area to view a “mini – Manhattan” from the 50th floor of the Carlton Center. Continue to Soweto South West Townships: thirty-two square miles of slums spread out on a featureless landscape with mostly unpaved streets and poorly constructed single-story houses.
Over half a million, mostly poor, black South Africans live there. It is the largest black urban community in all of Southern Africa.
Soweto was a city of bitter, angry, and frustrated people. Education was necessary if black South Africans were to have any hope of advancing. White schools had up-to-date computers, tennis courts, and swimming pools. Blacks were not even required to attend school. Our tour will include all the major points of interest, such as Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Baragwanath taxi rank, Freedom Square, Hector Peterson Memorial and Nelson Mandela’s former home. Return to our hotel. Overnight. BB
JOHANNESBURG / KRUGER AREA (Sabi Sands Game Reserve)
Buffet breakfast at the hotel then we will be transferred to domestic airport in Johannesburg where we board a local flight to Skukuza airport which is located in the heart of Southern Kruger National Park. Upon our arrival we will be met and transferred by open 4X4 safari vehicles to SABI SANDS GAME RESERVE where we are going to spend the next three nights at LION SANDS RIVER LODGE. Lunch at the lodge.
LION SANDS RIVER LODGE: is located right on the banks of the Sabi River and its the very heart and soul of the Lions Sands concession area in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. The setup of the Lodge is very spacious, and each communal area is a welcoming invitation to wind down in one of Africa's prime game areas. Sit back and relax in the comfortable lounge and soak up the sounds of the bush. On chilly winter nights a large fireplace provides comfortable warmth. You may also prefer to take a refreshing dip in one of two heated swimming pools.
The Lodge consists of twenty rooms, all with their own private wooden viewing deck looking out over the Sabi River. You may not need to leave the privacy of your room to see wildlife roaming around River Lodge. The Sabi Sands, and especially the surroundings of the Sabi River, is famous for its record number of leopard sightings. Private large en suite bathroom (with both indoor and outdoor showers). Of course all suites are air-conditioned. The communal areas and rooms are connected by raised wooden boardwalks.
The Sabi Sands Game Reserve has become famous for its magnificent leopard sightings. This gorgeous wild cat can be incredibly difficult to find, but at Sabi Sands you are very likely to get the unique opportunity of tracking one in the midst of a hunt! In an open 4x4 vehicle you will be able to follow this magnificent creature and see how it survives in the wild. Perhaps you will even go off-road and experience a thrilling journey through the African bush.
Sabi Sands is superb Big Five territory, and has a huge variety of other mammals, reptiles and winged beauties as well. You will certainly have ample opportunity for stunning photographs to take home. Guests enjoy two exciting guided game drives daily atop custom-built 4x4 vehicles, conducted by your professional ranger and tracker. You may also choose to participate in an optional guided bush walk at no additional expense if weather conditions permit. Once privately owned commercial farms, the Sabi Sand today is open with the celebrated Kruger National Park and is considered an extension of that prestigious wildlife area. The reserve is internationally known for its high frequency of leopard sightings, arguably the best in Africa.
There is an afternoon guided game drive by land rovers, guide and tracker and then you return to the lodge for dinner and overnight. BB, L, D
SABI SAND GAME RESERVE
Early morning tea and coffee at the lodge, then we board our safari vehicles with our guide and tracker and may be proceed to find some Leopards. These compelling cats are habituated to the presence of vehicles and very close encounters are now often the norm. Their close cousins, the impressive lion, are also common and there is no experience more thrilling than a pride of lions bringing down its quarry.
Sabi Sand also protects the endangered white rhino and it’s more aggressive cousin, the black or hooked-lipped rhinoceros, as well as their other ‘big 5’ counterparts, the elephant and cape buffalo, a most formidable creature. These mega fauna are of course not the only animals living here and sightings of impala, zebra, giraffe, warthog, waterbuck, nyala and wildebeest occur frequently. African wild dog and cheetah, once uncommon, are now recent additions to the predator hierarchy and are often spotted. Game drives take place during periods of increased activity, during the early morning and late afternoon and evening. The remainder of your day may be spent enjoying the creature comforts of your luxurious accommodations
Mid-Morning, we return to our lodge to have our buffet breakfast and then kick back and relax with a cool refreshment while reliving your safari experience with your tour companions or relax around the pool, browse through the curio shop, or may be take a siesta. Lunch at the lodge
In the late afternoon board your safari vehicle to start your afternoon game safari. Return to the Lodge for dinner and overnight. BB, L, D
SABI SAND GAME RESERVE
Early morning tea and coffee at the lodge, then board our safari vehicles to start our early morning game drive.
Mid-Morning: Return to our lodge to have buffet breakfast and enjoy your time until our afternoon game safari. Lunch at the lodge.
In the afternoon meet your guide and tracker to start your afternoon game drive.
Late afternoon you will return to the Lodge for dinner and overnight. BB, L, D
SABI SAND to JOHANNESBURG
Enjoy your early morning game drive. You return to our lodge to have buffet breakfast. This is when you say good-bye to Sabi sand Game reserve because you will be transferred to Skukuza airport for our local short flight back to Johannesburg. You arrive to Johannesburg in the afternoon, where you will be met and transferred to spend the next night in Johannesburg. Rest of the day at leisure in Johannesburg. Lunch and dinner on your own. Overnight in Johannesburg. BB
JOHANNESBURG / VICTORIA FALLS (Zimbabwe)
Buffet breakfast at the hotel after which you will be transferred to Johannesburg International Airport for your 2 hours flight to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Arrive to Victoria Falls Airport where you will be met and transferred to Victoria Falls City to spend the next three nights at the historical VICTORIA FALLS HOTEL
The hotel is set in lush tropical gardens with lily ponds, palm trees and semi-tropical shrubs, it provides the tranquility and seclusion that many guests seek. The famous Victoria Falls are just a ten-minute walk away using the hotel’s private pathway, and “the smoke that thunders” or “Mosi-O-Tunya” in the local dialect, is clearly audible and visible from this luxurious landmark.
It has 161 rooms. All rooms are air conditioned with every modern amenity including digital satellite television and a personal safe. The old fashioned bath tubs of the stable wing turn the bathroom into a haven of relaxation.
VICTORIA FALLS: Described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800’s as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” – “The Smoke that Thunders” and in more modern terms as “The greatest known curtain of falling water”, Victoria Falls one of the seven natural wonders of the world – are a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, bordering Zimbabwe and Zambia. A mile-wide avalanche of twisting, leaping water. From the rush of Devil’s cataract, over the precipice of the main Falls, Rainbow Falls and the Eastern cataract, the Zambezi pounds into the Bakota Gorge, rainbow arching over its frenzied, furious progress and smoke billowing upwards in clouds that can be seen over 28 miles a way
The Curtain of falling water has been known to reach a volume of 700.000 cubic metres per minute when the Zambezi is in full flood and at her most aggressive; At Main Falls the water is channelled into smaller falls and rivulets, falling 100 metres into the chasm below. Awe-inspiring views of the Falls are found at lookouts located at intervals along a short walk through the opulent abundance of the rain, home to the graceful Chobe bush buck. At times the spray-drenched visitors stand only 60 metres away from the thundering water beyond a flimsy fence of woven brush. The winding path ends at danger Point, which overlooks the turbulent waters of the Boiling Pot in the river below. The rest of the day is at leisure. You will have lunch and dinner on your own. Overnight. BB
Buffet breakfast and then you'll be picked up by your private coach and guide for your tour of the Victoria Falls Zimbabwe side, which offers excellent photographic opportunities. Visit the Eastern Cataract and cross the footbridge to the Knife Edge. After our visit you will return to your lodge.
In the afternoon you will be picked up again to enjoy your Zambezi River’s sunset cruise. Snacks are included and you will be given three (3) drinks coupons per
per person on arrival (excludes wine), where after a cash bar will be available. Return to the lodge for overnight. Lunch and Dinner on your own. Overnight. BB
Buffet breakfast at the hotel followed by a day at leisure to relax around the pool with a book OR choose one or more of the following optional activities offered in Victoria Falls:
UPPER ZAMBEZI CANOEING
Enjoy the tranquility of the Zambezi River in two person canoes. The half-day trip is in calm waters, whilst the full day trip includes some gentle rapids in the afternoon. Explore hidden overhung channels as you sit back, relax and enjoy the tranquility and splendor of the river as you glide past elephant, hippo and birds.
One of the finest ways to get close to nature is on horseback. The trails offer prolific bird and game viewing opportunities. Novices and experienced riders are catered for with horses to suit. There is generally a minimum age limit of 12 years old on this activity.
Enjoy hours in the sunshine, learning about the African bush and wildlife. Walks generally depart at 6:15 AM and you will return at about 2:3o PM.
Rated by many anglers as the finest sporting and fighting fish in the world, the feisty Tiger Fish is found in the waters of the Upper Zambezi above the Victoria Falls.
Play 18 holes of golf surrounded by wildlife – certainly a unique experience! The course is just across the road from Elephant Hills and you can hire golf clubs and carts there.
SCENIC HELICOPTER FLIGHT
These flights provide an unrivalled bird’s-eye view of the majestic Victoria Falls and surrounding areas. Helicopter flights of 13 or 28 minutes depart regularly throughout the day and offer spectacular photo opportunities. The 13 minute option takes you over the Victoria Falls, while the 28 minute option takes you over the falls and then upriver over the Zambezi National Park for game viewing.
Guided game drives in open safari vehicles are operated in the mornings and late afternoons. As well as numerous bird species, game that may be seen includes elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, waterbuck and other antelope.
This takes place daily at 13h00 in front of the terrace/ buffalo bar. Carcasses are laid out for the vultures and they all descend to feed. It is a useful way to keep count of vultures in the area and does not affect their natural routine, as it is not their main source of food
WALKING WITH LIONS
Operated by Lion Encounter on a private property adjacent to the Zambezi National Park, Walking with Lions is an intimate experience with the Kings of the Jungle. Participate in a breakfast, mid-morning or afternoon safari which includes interacting and walking side by side with the lions, learning about their habitat and behavior and the conservation challenges they face in the wild. The trained guides will use their discretion at intervals and allow the guests close contact with the lions, pat them and take pictures of this memorable experience. Shorter lion encounters are available in combination with other Shearwater safari activities such as Elephant Back Safaris or Rhino Encounter Game Drives.
ELEPHANT BACK SAFARI
Shearwater’s herd of twelve elephants reside on the Stanley and Livingstone Private Game Reserve, a few kilometers outside of Victoria Falls. Each Elephant has formed a close bond with their personal Induna (elephant handler) who live permanently with the elephants and understand each elephant’s unique character and traits.
Participate in a Breakfast or Sundowner Elephant Back Safari and seize the opportunity to ride on these magnificent animals in their natural habitat.
You will learn about their life stories, behavior patterns and anatomy from the knowledgeable Indunas who accompany every safari. After the 45 minute ride in the African bush, where abundant wildlife is often encountered, you will participate in a close-up interaction with your elephant during which time you will feed, touch and bond with your gentle giant.
MICROLIGHT FLIGHTS OVER VICTORIA FALLS
Fly like a bird above one of Africa’s greatest natural wonders as the Zambezi River transforms from a gentle meander over the thunderous Victoria Falls and on to the steep and secret Batoka Gorges. The micro light flights offer completely unobstructed viewing of this most majestic of waterfalls.
Lunch and dinner on your own. Overnight. BB
VICTORIA FALLS / JOHANNESBURG / NEW YORK
Buffet breakfast at the hotel and then your morning at leisure
Mid-morning: transfer to Victoria Falls Airport for your short flight to Johannesburg. Once you arrive to Johannesburg you will proceed to connect with your flight back to New York (JFK). BB
Arriving NEW YORK (JFK)
Arrive to New York (JFK), proceed to domestic terminal for your connection to your next destination. Welcome back home.
Join our exciting and very interesting
4 days OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO VISIT
CHOBE NATIONAL PARK (Botswana)
An outstanding wilderness area of 11,000 sq.km. In the north of Botswana, the Chobe National Park offers enormous and extensive wildlife diversity and game viewing in Africa, from water & land, due to the Chobe and Savute Rivers.
There is no substitute for the thrill of seeing, hearing and being showered by Victoria Falls! Stand in awe at the endless curtain of water a mile-wide. This Seventh Natural Wonder of the World is truly the “Smoke that Thunders”!
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
VICTORIA FALLS (Zimbabwe) / CHOBE NATIONAL PARK (Botswana)
Buffet breakfast & luggage outside your door. You will then be picked up and transferred by private vehicles, short drive to cross to Botswana. At the border we continue driving (after we finish our immigration formalities) to Chobe National Park spend the next three nights at CHOBE ELEPHANT CAMP.
Perched on the edge of a rocky ridge overlooking the famous Chobe River, presenting a unique design, it has been built to take advantage of the incredible views overlooking the sweeping floodplains. Built from the same red Kalahari sands that dominate the northern part of Botswana. Along the Chobe River, you might have the opportunity to interact with the local Sibuya Tribe who live within this wildlife haven. With 12 rooms, Chobe Elephant Camp can comfortably accommodate 24 guests. All rooms are en-suite with both indoor and outdoor showers. The whole lodge has been designed to take advantage of the spectacular views over the Chobe River.
Welcome to CHOBE NATIONAL PARK, a destination that will live in a visitor’s memory forever. This incredible untamed
wilderness area is one of the great wildlife paradises of the world with its amazing eco-diversity and landscapes. A single day’s safari can reveal thousands of animals – elephants, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, kudu, the big five, and 250 species of birds. Game viewing at Chobe is a unique experience as we are on the doorstep of the Chobe National Park, which hosts the largest concentration of wildlife in Southern Africa.
The Chobe Game Reserve is famous for its enormous elephant population – it is said that 45 000 of these interesting creatures roam the plains of Chobe. They share the area of almost 10 000 square kilometers with lion, leopard, giraffe, cheetah, buffalo, approximately 450 bird species, as well as puku and Chobe bushbuck, which are indigenous to Chobe National Park plains of Chobe. They share the area of almost 10 000 square kilometers with lion, leopard, giraffe, cheetah, buffalo, approximately 450 bird species, as well as puku and Chobe bushbuck, which are indigenous to
Chobe River boat safaris. In the afternoon have lunch at the Lodge. Get ready for your game drives either by open safari vehicles or a water safari by boat. Return to the lodge for dinner & overnight. BB, L, D
CHOBE NATIONAL PARK – Botswana
Early morning tea and coffee followed by your morning game activities by private 4X4 open safari vehicle. Mid-morning, return to your lodge for a hearty buffet breakfast, then you are at leisure to relax around the pool or reading a book.
At around 11:00 A.M. there will be boating activities and game viewing by small boat on the Chobe River. We then return to the lodge for lunch at noon.
Tea and snacks will be served in the lounge area prior to the afternoon game activities. A sunset boat cruise on the Chobe River caps the day. We will return to the lodge around 7:00 P.M. to freshen up before dinner.
Overnight. BB, L, D
CHOBE NATIONAL PARK – Botswana
6:00AM: Early morning tea and coffee followed by your morning game activities by private 4X4 open safari vehicle. Mid-morning, return to your lodge for a hearty buffet breakfast, then you are at leisure to relax around the pool or reading a book.
11:00A.M. there will be boating activities and game viewing by small boat on the Chobe River. Return to the lodge at noon for lunch.
In the afternoon tea and snacks will be served in the lounge area prior to the afternoon game activities. A sunset boat cruise on the Chobe River caps the day.
We will return to the lodge around 7:00 P.M. to freshen up before dinner.
Overnight. BB, L, D
CHOBE ELEPHANT CAMP / KASANE / JOHANNESBURG / USA
Buffet breakfast and luggage outside the door then meet in the hotel lobby for your transfer to KASANE AIRPORT for your short flight to Johannesburg. Arrive to Johannesburg Airport where you will proceed to connect with your flight back to New York (JFK). BB
NEW YORK (JFK) / USA
Arrive to New York (JFK), proceed to domestic terminal for your connection to your next destination. Welcome back home.