South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe: The Best of Southern Africa

Program Overview

Follow Nelson Mandela’s “Long Walk to Freedom” and witness the breathtaking beauty of southern Africa, where “Big Five” game viewing is extraordinary. This trip of a lifetime features visits to 4 countries, 5-star hotel accommodations, and a 3-night guided safari cruise on Namibia’s Chobe River. Enhance your journey with an extraordinary Post-Program Option at the acclaimed MalaMala Private Game Reserve, an extension of Kruger National Park and an unforgettable 5-star African safari experience.

Program Details

February 10 to 24, 2024 (Zambezi Queen) February 17 to March 2, 2024 (Zambezi Queen) March 2 to 16, 2024 (Zambezi Queen)
From approximately $9,445 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • 15-day, 12-night land and river boat journey featuring a Chobe River Safari aboard the 5-star Zambezi Queen.
  • Experience the breadth and beauty of southern Africa, rich with history, multicultural heritage, and natural grandeur.
  • Explore Johannesburg, “the City of Gold,” and visit Cape Town’s Table Mountain, Cape of Good Hope, and Cape Winelands country.
  • Five-star land and deluxe river boat safari, featuring the Zambezi Queen.
  • Legendary, 5-star hotels—Johannesburg’s Fairlawns Boutique Hotel, Cape Town’s spectacular Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel and the Victoria Falls Hotel.
  • Follow Nelson Mandela’s “Long Walk to Freedom”—including a visit to his former home in Soweto, which is known today as the Nelson Mandela House and Museum.

Day 1 - Depart Home City

Day 2 - Johannesburg, South Africa

Day 3 - Johannesburg for Pretoria

Day 4 - Johannesburg for Soweto

Day 5 - Johannesburg / Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Day 6 - Victoria Falls

Day 7 - Victoria Falls / Kasane, Botswana / Namibia / Embark Zambezi Queen

Day 8 - Chobe River Safari

Day 9 - Chobe River Safari

Day 10 - Kasane / Cape Town, South Africa

Day 11 - Cape Town / Table Mountain / Robben Island

Day 12 - Cape Town / Cape Point

Day 13 - Cape Town / Cape Winelands

Day 14 - Cape Town / Johannesburg / Return to U.S. or Canada

Day 15 - Arrive in home city

View detailed program itinerary >

Zambezi Queen

Exclusively chartered, African river boat

The 5-star Zambezi Queen is a specially designed, stylish “floating lodge” built to offer sophistication along the Chobe River, one of the most remote locations on Earth. This world-class, unique African river safari offers remarkable opportunities for unobstructed viewing of wildlife and river vistas, whether from the comfort of your bedside or from the classic and contemporary lounge, bar, or open-air deck with plunge pool.

Learn more about the Zambezi Queen >

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel

Here, 41 opulent suites are individually decorated to the highest standard to inspire even the most well-travelled guest. Established in 1997, this is a property proud in heritage and character, with such features as a privately owned garden hotel spanning 5.5 acres, a unique up-market sanctuary for local and international guests, and a therapeutic Balinese Spa Garden, which offers the ultimate relaxation with tranquil outdoor massage and treatment areas. This is the perfect place to recuperate after a long flight before your African adventure

Victoria Falls Hotel

Built in 1904, this Edwardian-style, 5-star hotel is set among lush tropical gardens, offering spectacular views. The main terrace overlooks the Victoria Falls Bridge, connecting Zimbabwe to Zambia. A private footpath through the gardens leads guests directly to the Falls.  The hotel was recently remodeled, combining traditional elegance with modern touches. All of the hotel's 115 rooms are opulently appointed in a grand style evoking the Golden Age of Travel.

Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Perfectly positioned in the heart of the city center and at the foot of magnificent Table Mountain, the iconic Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel offers an oasis of tranquility in a lush garden setting. Step out of the Prince of Wales gates and you will find yourself in Cape Town's cultural and historical center, or from the Kloof Street entrance you will discover the best of Cape Town's vibrant local flavor.

MalaMala’s Five-Star Lodge

MalaMala Game Reserve is the oldest and most historical private game reserve in South Africa, in existence since 1927. Sound conservation management, sheer size of land (it’s the largest private Big Five game reserve in South Africa) and a 19 km (12 mile) unfenced border shared with the Kruger National Park contribute to MalaMala’s reputation as the finest game viewing destination in the world. The open boundary provides unimpeded access to Kruger’s wildlife, which are attracted by MalaMala’s vast array of habitat types—ranging from open savannah to dense riparian zones and granite kopjes. At a mammoth 13,200 ha (33,000 acres), MalaMala is not only the largest private "Big Five" game reserve in the country, it also features the largest piece of land in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve—South Africa’s oldest conservancy of private game reserves. But perhaps of strongest allure to wildlife is the perennial Sand River of which 13 km (8 miles) flow through the reserve.

MalaMala Private Game Reserve Post-Program Option

Extend your safari experience by spending 2 nights in the MalaMala Private Game Reserve, ideally located between the open boundaries of Kruger National Park and the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. Enjoy early morning and late afternoon game drives aboard 4-wheel drive safari vehicles with luxury accommodations at the 5-star lodge.

The  Post-Program Option is available at an additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

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Program Itinerary

Day 1 and 2 Departure / Johannesburg, South Africa

Depart your home city and arrive the next day in cosmopolitan Johannesburg, known colloquially as “Joburg,” and check in to the 5-star Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa.

Day 3 Johannesburg for Pretoria

North of Johannesburg, vibrant Pretoria is South Africa’s administrative capital, known for its distinctly Afrikaans culture, stunning architecture, and ubiquitous purple-blossomed jacaranda trees. Visit the monolithic Voortrekker Monument, honoring the mid-19th-century Dutch voortrekkers (pioneers) who migrated from the British-controlled Cape Colony to the inland highveld. See the sandstone Union Buildings and the formal garden where Nelson Mandela delivered his historic presidential inauguration speech in 1994.

Day 4 Johannesburg for Soweto

Follow in the footsteps of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela along Vilakazi Street and visit the house where he lived from 1946 to 1962, a short distance from the former home of fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu. See the FNB Stadium which hosted Mandela’s 2013 memorial service, attended by world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama.

At Johannesburg’s poignant Apartheid Museum, trace South Africa’s 21st-century journey to democracy and gain insight into the realities of township life through powerful artifacts, photographs, and film footage.

Day 5 Johannesburg / Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Arrive in Victoria Falls and check in to the elegant and historic Victoria Falls Hotel.

Day 6 Victoria Falls

Walk the jungle-fringed trail along the edge of UNESCO-inscribed Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Here, the Zambezi River plunges into a narrow, 360-foot gorge—twice the height of Niagara Falls—creating frothy rapids and vaulting a colorful mist into the air. 

Days 7 Victoria Falls / Kasane, Botswana / Namibia / Embark

Watch for elephants, wild dogs, zebras, and giraffes on a game drive in Chobe National Park. In the afternoon, embark the Zambezi Queen, a 5-star river boat, to prepare for your cruise along the Chobe River.

Day 8 and 9 Cruising the Chobe River

Enjoy up-close views of wildlife, including elephant, giraffe, kudu, oryx, and an astounding array of bird species. Discover the unique symbiosis between species such as the Oxpecker and Cape buffalo in this unspoiled ecosystem. Expert local guides will lead game-viewing river safaris aboard small excursion boats.

Day 10 Kasane / Cape Town, South Africa

Disembark the river boat in Kasane and transfer to the airport. Fly to Cape Town, South Africa, and check in to the iconic, 5-star Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel at the foot of Table Mountain.

Day 11 Cape Town / Table Mountain / Robben Island

Enjoy a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain for spectacular views, followed by a scenic drive through the city and view the Bo-Kaap and District Six area. This afternoon, tour Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where Mandela and other political prisoners made strides during apartheid. The prison’s storied interior and its guides—former prisoners, many of whom served with Mandela—provide an invaluable perspective on South Africa’s social and political transformation.

Day 12 Cape Town / Cape Point

Experience a panoramic drive to Cape Point, visit an African Penguin Colony on Boulders Beach, and journey to Cape Point, a nature reserve within the Table Mountain National Park. Take the Flying Dutchman Funicular for incredible views over the Cape of Good Hope.

Day 13 Cape Town / Cape Winelands

Drive to the world-class estate of Vergelegen for a wine tasting. Explore the picturesque formal gardens and historic Cape Dutch manor house, then continue on to Bonshendal for lunch.

Day 14 and 15 Cape Town / Johannesburg / Return to home city

Check out of the hotel and transfer to Johannesburg for your return flight home, which arrives the next day.