African Safaris, Victoria Falls Plus Cape Town
This adventure tour, our fifth adventure tour in Africa, includes wildlife safaris in Botswana and South Africa, a visit to Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and four days in Cape Town, the captivating modern city on the southern tip of the African continent.
The tour begins with a four day safari in Chobe National Park, located in remote northern Botswana along the Chobe River. Chobe has some of the finest wildlife viewing in Africa and is renowned for its large populations of wildlife including elephants, hippos, buffalo, and lions. From the comfortable Muchenje Lodge overlooking the Chobe River with its large populations of elephants, hippos, crocodiles, and other animals, we venture out in open air safari vehicles in the early morning and late afternoon to immerse ourselves into huge herds of African wildlife who have roamed this wild and beautiful landscape for hundreds of thousands of years. After breakfast we have the opportunity to explore Chobe on foot with our naturalist guide, observe the wildlife, and learn about their ecology. On some afternoons we cruise the Chobe River in boats to watch the awesome spectacle of huge herds of elephants drinking and bathing in the river along with large numbers of hippos and crocs. In the evening, we enjoy a delicious cuisine with South African wines before retiring to our cozy chalets to fall asleep to the wild primal sounds of the ageless African bush.
We spend time in Victoria Falls to immerse ourselves in the mists, rainbows, sounds, and the captivatingly awesome beauty and power of the mile wide and 350 foot high Victoria Falls, truly one of the Natural Wonders of the World. We have the rare opportunity to attend a lion refuge and romp around with playful lion cubs that will soon be returned to the wild. We lodge at the Victoria Falls Hotel, a gracious colonial-style hotel and World Heritage Site, which epitomizes the romance of grand travel at the turn of the century.
We spend four exciting days in Cape Town, a charming, sophisticated and cosmopolitan African city located amid mountainous beauty along the beautiful beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. We lodge in the luxurious Glen Hotel, the premier gay hotel in Cape Town, located close to the major gay venues and dining, shopping, and entertainment areas. We visit the city’s picturesque and interesting natural areas, hike to the top of the 3,560 foot high Table Mountain for a grand view of the city, beaches and ocean, spend a day in the wine country tasting the region’s best, venture out into the Atlantic Ocean for a very exciting day of shark cage diving to see and photograph the Great White Shark, up real close, and have time in the evening to relax and immerse ourselves in a vibrant and welcoming gay culture.
The trip ends with four more exciting days on safari in the pristine wilderness of the Sabi Sands game park in remote northeast South Africa adjacent to the Kruger National Park. The quality of the wildlife experience makes this private park truly world class and unique. The animals in the park, in particular the large predators, are conditioned from birth not to fear humans. Therefore, we have the opportunity for daily close encounters with leopards, lions, cheetah, and other wildlife from our open air vehicles during morning, evening and night game drives. We also have the opportunity to explore the bush on walking safaris with our naturalist guide. We have a first class safari lodge, gourmet food, wine, and the ambience of the African bush while in a remote and timelessly beautiful wilderness.
Day 1. Saturday (9/4) Depart U.S.A., Canada, Australia.
Day 2. Sunday (9/5) Arrive Johannesburg, South Africa
Day 3-7. Monday-Thursday (9/6-9/9) Chobe National Park – Botswana
We spend four exciting days on safari at Chobe and have a diversity of wildlife viewing activities to enhance our enjoyment. During the early morning and again late in the afternoon, we venture out in comfortable 4×4 open air safari vehicles with our naturalist guide to view and photograph wildlife. On some afternoons we cruise on the Chobe River in boats to watch the awesome spectacle of huge herds of elephants drinking, bathing and swimming in the river along with a large number of hippos and crocodile. After dinner we have night-time game drives with spotlights to observe the night predators including lion, spotted hyena and leopard on the hunt for food. We will also have the opportunity to go on “bush walks” during the day with our guide and an armed escort to see wildlife and learn about the ecology of Chobe. On one afternoon we will visit a local village to learn how the native people live in rural Africa.
The estimated 120,000 elephants in Chobe represent the largest concentration of elephants in Africa. However, Chobe is also noted for huge herds of buffalo and zebras, lechwe, Chobe bushbuck and puku. The huge herds of buffalo and other herbivores provide food for a diversity of predators. We will see large prides of lions lounging around in the shade waiting for the night hunt. Other common animals that we may see in Chobe include numerous species of antelope, giraffe, impala, warthog, mongoose, jackal, African wild cat and dog, serval, and 440 species of birds including the fishing owl, kestrel and the fish eagle, which has a cry evocative of the remote African wilderness.
Day 8 Friday (9/10). Chobe National Park to Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and a World Heritage Site, is the widest and most spectacular falls in the world. The Zambezi River is more than a mile wide where it drops over a sheer basalt cliff to the bottom of a gorge 350 foot deep gorge. The natives refer to the Falls as Mosi-oa-Tunga, meaning the smoke that thunders. The roar of the Falls is truly thunderous and the smoke, or mist caused by the Falls, can be seen almost 20 miles away.
After lunch at the Victoria Falls Hotel, we head out for a walking tour of the Falls. First stop is the Big Tree, a massive baobob many hundreds of years old with a girth of 72 feet. The tour continues on to the Falls themselves, starting at Livingstone’s statue and Devil’s Cataract and proceeding through the rainforest to Danger Point. The 2 mile walk affords spectacular and exciting views of the Falls. After the tour we may have the opportunity to hike to the base of the Falls for a different and more intimate view of the Falls.
In the evening we go native and enjoy a boma dinner at the nearby Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. The buffet style dinner consists of a wide variety of game meats, local dishes, vegetarian options, salads and accompaniments, as well as a range of desserts. During dinner, we will be entertained by traditional African tribal dancing. After the show we are transferred back to the Victoria Falls Hotel for a night of rest in luxury.
Day 9. Saturday (9/11). Victoria Falls – Cape Town
Later in the morning we will be transferred to the Victoria Falls Airport for our flight to Johannesburg with a connecting flight on to Cape Town. We arrive in Cape Town in the early evening and are transferred to our hotel, the Glen Hotel, the premier gay hotel in Cape Town, located in Green Point in the heart of the Gay Village. Our beautifully styled four-star boutique hotel has an outdoor pool and spa with a steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi, and is also near the Waterfront, Cape Town’s hot spot for shopping and entertainment. Set amidst a maritime backdrop of modern ships and turn of the century sailing vessels, the Waterfront provides a harmonious setting for a dinner, shopping, drink, or a stroll along the pier. The most remarkable and unique aspect of the Waterfront is that it is still a real working harbor with a rich cultural heritage dating back hundreds of years.
The beautiful, sophisticated and cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, a city of three million, has a stunning location on a scenic mountainous peninsula which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean to form the Cape of Good Hope. The peninsula is characterized by the majestic 3,560 foot tall Table Mountain, vineyards in the valleys, scenic natural parks with a unique vegetation, and magnificent beaches.
Day 10. Sunday (9/12). Cape Town – City Tour
Day 11. Monday (9/13). Cape Town – Wine Tour
Day 12. Tuesday (9/14). Cape Town – Shark Diving
The Great White Shark is a surface feeder and thus all the activity takes place on or very close to the surface, due to this, the surface viewing from the boat is excellent. We do not need any diving certification to do the cage dive. The ride to the dive sight takes 15-20 minutes where we anchor on the ocean for between four and five hours. Diving time is unlimited, and for the first dive you stay in the cage for about 30-45 minutes. A five person cage is used so there is plenty of time to cage dive. We will each get at least 2-3 dives, depending on the shark activity for the day.
Once the sharks are around, a specially designed shark cage, that floats right below the surface, is lowered into the clear aquamarine waters. Divers enter the cage, where they hold on to its inside ring still out of the water, waiting for the shark to approach closer. Only on the dive master’s command do they descend. Divers are never more than three feet below the surface.
Divers comfortably step into the cage from the side of the boat. Once in the diving cage, we breathe through the “hooker system” (air supplied from the surface on the extended hose, instead of BCD and cylinders on the back), or just taking and holding their breath. This is an established method, providing the safest and most comfortable dive.
Day 13. Wednesday (9/15). Cape Town – Climb Table Mountain
Days 14-17. Thursday-Sunday (9/16-9/19). Sabi Sands
We will spend four days in the pristine wilderness of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, an exclusive private wildlife conservation area, which encompasses 15,700 acres along the southwestern edge of Kruger National Park, the largest wildlife conservation reserve in South Africa. The absence of a fence between Sabi Sand and Kruger, one of the most diverse wildlife conservation areas in Africa, allows wildlife to roam freely between these conservation areas.
What makes Sabi Sands truly unique is the quality of the wildlife experience. The animals of this private reserve, in particular the large predators, are conditioned from birth not to fear humans. Therefore, we will have opportunities to observe and photograph leopards, cheetahs, lions, and other wildlife at an incredibly close range, 15-20 feet, and strict vehicle limits at wildlife sightings ensure the privacy and exclusivity of the experience. We will see the big five (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo & elephant) and a vast number of the other 200 animals and 350 birds in this amazing Park.
We have early morning and late afternoon game drives in open air vehicles led by highly trained rangers and trackers, and off-road driving allows us to follow the wildlife to get the best possible views for those unique and exceptional experiences. The rangers are constantly in touch with each other via radio to keep track of the movement of wildlife and guide guests to a diversity of wildlife sightings. In the morning after breakfast, we will have the opportunity for wildlife walks with the rangers and an armed guard and observe wildlife in their natural habitat. In the evening we are treated to a gourmet dinner with those wonderful South African wines.
Day 18. Monday (9/20). Depart for U.S.A., Canada & Australia.
(B) – Breakfast; (L) – Lunch; (D) – Dinner
Land Cost: Please note, due to the fluctuation in international currencies, the cost is priced in South African Rand and converted to U.S. dollars based upon the current exchange rate. Therefore, the actual cost of the trip will be based on the exchange rate when the trip is purchased and on the number of participants. The trip cost as of March 1, 2010 for:
Internal African Air Travel: Estimated at US $1,200 based on current airfares and exchange rates.
Land Cost Includes: All lodging, airport transfers, land transportation to Safari Lodges, meals as noted above, Park entry fees, tour guides, safari guides, 14% VAT, 1% tourism levy.
Land Cost Does Not Include: International air flights, internal African air flights, drinks and bar purchases except as detailed above, dinners in Cape Town, insurance, telephone calls, excess baggage, visas, and tips for guides.
This trip is rated low to moderate in terms of difficulty. All lodging is in hotels and lodges in Game Parks, and we have short day hikes while on safari and a four hour climb to the top of Table Mountain.
If you would like additional information, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us locally at 303-449-0990 or toll free at 1-877-440-0990. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Mountain Time) Monday through Friday.
You may also download our trip registration form, and mail it in to us.
Victoria Falls Hotel
Victoria Falls Hotel
Shark Cage Diving Boat
Great White Shark
Great White Shark
Djuma Bush Lodge
Djuma Bush Lodge
Leopard in Sabi Sands
Djuma Bush Lodge
Djuma Bush Lodge