Itinerary and Accommodations
Day 1: Depart U.S. for Johannesburg, South Africa
Day 2: Arrive Johannesburg Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel in the suburb of Rosebank, where our rooms will be ready for our early check-in. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities planned. B
Day 3: Johannesburg/Soweto We meet our fellow travelers today as we embark on a tour of the Soweto district of Johannesburg. Here we see the home of former Archbishop Desmond Tutu; visit Nelson Mandela’s home, which is now a museum; and tour the moving Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, where we learn more about apartheid and the Soweto uprising of 1976. Then we hear fascinating stories from a local Sowetan who was present during the uprising, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner together. B,L,D
Day 4: Johannesburg/Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe We fly today to Victoria Falls and our lodge. This afternoon we see for ourselves the thundering falls, first “discovered” by David Livingstone and claimed for Queen Victoria in 1855. With its 300-foot-deep gorge and soaking spray, “Vic” Falls is a wonder of the natural world, straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. B,D
Day 5: Victoria Falls This morning we embark on a game drive to spot the elusive – and critically endangered – black rhino. Late afternoon we embark on a “Sundowner” dinner cruise on the Zambezi where we see wildlife on shore and in the water. B,D
Day 6: Victoria Falls After a morning visit to Victoria Falls town and a local village, this afternoon is at leisure to relax at our lodge. Tonight we hear a fascinating guest speaker on “The Story of David Livingstone,” followed by dinner together. B,D
Day 7: Victoria Falls/Chobe National Park, Botswana This morning we visit a nearby school then travel two hours by motorcoach to Botswana and Chobe National Park, boasting one of the largest concentrations of game in all of Africa. After settling in and enjoying lunch at our lodge, this afternoon we embark on a game-viewing boat safari on the Chobe River, where we may see hippo, crocs, and some of the park’s 450 species of birds (including the sacred ibis, carmine bee-eaters, fish eagles, and kingfishers). We dine tonight at our lodge. B,L,D
Day 8: Chobe National Park Known for its diverse terrain that attracts an exceptional array of wildlife – including the world’s largest elephant population (some 120,000), along with zebra, lion, giraffe, impala, and buffalo – Chobe covers 4,517 square miles of protected parkland. We’ll see a portion of this natural wonder on our early morning game drive and this afternoon’s boat safari. And this evening perhaps we’ll see one of the sublime sunsets for which Chobe is known. B,L,D
Day 9: Chobe National Park We’re settling into a comfortable routine, with early morning and late afternoon game drives. In between game-viewing activities, we’re at leisure to enjoy the amenities of our lodge on the banks of the Chobe River, adjacent to the park itself. B,L,D
Day 10: Chobe National Park/South Luangwa National Park, Zambia This morning we board a plane for the flight to South Luangwa National Park. Here in one of Africa’s last stretches of pristine wilderness we have the chance to get closer to the animals than anywhere else. Late afternoon we engage in some of the lodge’s game-viewing activities that include open-vehicle game drives and walking safaris, which originated in South Luangwa. B,L,D
Day 11: South Luangwa National Park From our lodge situated inside the 3,500-square-mile national park established in 1972 and just a short drive from the main entrance, we embark on morning and evening game viewing excursions today. Thanks to its remote location, South Luangwa was protected from mass tourism and today boasts one of Africa’s highest concentrations of game. Among the fauna living here: lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, giraffe, zebra, hippos, wild dogs, and antelope. We also may catch some special sights, such as Zambia’s Crawshay’s zebras with their distinctive stripes, the elusive bushbuck, and the spiral-horned kudu. In addition, South Luangwa teems with almost 400 species of birds, including 39 birds of prey. When not out on safari, we visit a local school, and also see a borehole project which provides water for the community. B,L,D
Day 12: South Luangwa National Park We have another day to savor life in the bush and engage in morning and evening game viewing activities. Set amidst a grove of ebony and mahogany trees, our 18-chalet lodge overlooks two lagoons that attract a steady stream of crocodiles, hippos, giraffe, buffalo, antelope, and other animals, which we can watch from lodge’s open deck. Tonight, we celebrate our wildlife adventure at a farewell dinner. B,L,D
Day 13: South Luangwa National Park/Lusaka/Depart for U.S. We travel by light aircraft today to Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, where we have hotel day rooms until our departure this evening for the airport and our overnight flight to the U.S. B
Day 14: Arrive U.S. We arrive in the U.S. this morning and connect with our flights home.
54 on Bath, Rosebank (Johannesburg) / Days 2-3 / Deluxe
The contemporary 54 on Bath hotel owns a convenient location in the heart of Johannesburg’s trendy Rosebank suburb, within walking distance of boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries. The 75-room hotel features a restaurant, bar, and lounge; outdoor pool; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access; spa treatments; and laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee). All air-conditioned guest rooms have a private bath with hair dryer, TV, and phone.
Pioneers Lodge, Victoria Falls / Days 4-6 / Not rated
The newly built Pioneers Lodge occupies a beautifully landscaped property in suburban Victoria Falls, just minutes from the famed waterfall. This 50-room lodge runs predominantly off solar power, and includes a restaurant and bar, two outdoor swimming pools, day spa (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Well-appointed, air-conditioned guest rooms include private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, ceiling fans, mosquito nets, verandah, and tea- and coffee-making facilities.
Chobe Marina Lodge, Chobe National Park / Days 7-9 / Superior First Class
The Chobe Marina Lodge stands on the south bank of the Chobe River, a short distance from the entrance of Chobe National Park. Along with extensive gardens containing a variety of wildlife, the well-situated 60-room lodge features two restaurants, riverside bar, and pool bar; beauty salon and spa with massage treatments; outdoor pool; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access; and laundry service (for a fee). Air-conditioned guest rooms, all with private patios overlooking the river and gardens, have private bath with hair dryer, mosquito netting, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, minibar (stocked on request), TV, and phone.
Mfuwe Lodge , South Luangwa National Park / Days 10-12 / Deluxe
Set around two lagoons and shaded by the canopy of ebony and mahogany trees, Mfuwe Lodge sits within South Luangwa National Park in an area renowned for its excellent wildlife-sighting locations. The open-plan thatched chalets provide a rustic yet comfortable experience, including amenities such as an outdoor swimming pool, spa, curio shop, library, photo studio, lounge, dining and bar area, and an outdoor gym. The 18 air-conditioned guest rooms feature en-suite bathrooms, free laundry service, hair dryer, in-room safe, and mosquito nets. Please note that Wi-Fi internet access is available in the library only.
Ciêla, Lusaka, a Tribute Portfolio Resort and Spa, Lusaka / Day 13 (day room) / Superior First Class
Contemporary, 249-room Ciêla Resort & Spa sits within a tranquil 247-acre estate of courtyards and gardens. Amenities include a restaurant with a bar and terrace, fitness center, spa, outdoor pool, gift shop, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Modernly decorated guest rooms feature estate views, private bath with hair dryer, sitting area, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.
Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.Unrated hotels may be too small, too new, or too remote to be listed.