Southern Africa by River & Rail

Marco Polo Club Journeys: Exclusive trips, accompanied by A&K's most accomplished guides

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Johannesburg, South Africa

Arrive in Johannesburg and transfer to your hotel; your afternoon is at leisure. Tonight, gather for a welcome dinner and Chef’s Table experience, where your resident chef explains the menu and ingredients.

Saxon Boutique Hotel & Spa   |   Meals: D
Day 2: Okavango Delta | Moremi Game Reserve

Today, fly to the Okavango Delta in Botswana via Maun, where you are met and transferred to the exclusive Sanctuary Chief ’s Camp in the Moremi Game Reserve. Situated at the northwestern tip of Chief’s Island, your luxurious camp and opulent bush pavilion overlook the lush delta — a beacon for wildlife from miles around — and landscape of the Moremi Game Reserve. Home to the “Big Five,” the reserve is known as the “predator capital” of Africa and offers the finest game viewing in Southern Africa. The rest of your day is at leisure.

Sanctuary Chief's Camp   |   Meals: B L D
Day 3: Okavango Delta | Moremi Game Reserve

Depart for an early-morning game activity in the company of a guide who is among the best in Botswana. Game viewing in the Okavango Delta is nothing short of spectacular with its large concentrations of elephants, buffalo, red lechwes, giraffes and impalas. Predators include leopards, cheetahs, painted wild dogs, spotted hyenas and a large resident pride of lions. Return for breakfast and then take time to enjoy your camp’s facilities or relax in your room. Experience the gentle pace of a water safari onboard a seasonal mokoro (dugout canoe). On your late-afternoon game drive you might hear lions roar or glimpse small nocturnal animals as they begin their nighttime activity. Along the way, sip sundowners while enjoying the tranquility of the bush. You may also participate in a Chef’s Table, joining your camp’s executive chef to prepare local dishes together, such as beef seswaa and mabale. This evening, you may want to attend a stargazing presentation.

Sanctuary Chief's Camp   |   Meals: B L D
Day 4: Cruising the Chobe River | Wildlife Watering Hole

This morning, time permitting, set off on an early morning game drive, while the animals are out and about hunting for food. After returning to camp for brunch, fly to Kasane and transfer to the Chobe River where you board your five-star houseboat, the ‘Zambezi Queen.’ Glide down the river at sunset on this elegant, uniquely African floating home while sipping cocktails and sampling canapés. Pass a variety of habitats and rich plant life, watching as elephants and other wildlife come to the river’s edge to drink. Later, enjoy a beautiful dinner on board, prepared by a resident chef who makes sure that the culinary delights are in keeping with the awesome majesty of your surroundings.

'Zambezi Queen'   |   Meals: B L D
Day 5: Cruising the Chobe River | River Safari

This morning after breakfast, depart for the day’s activities, which include a river safari where countless animals come to drink, bird watching or fishing. Return to ‘Zambezi Queen’ at midday, for lunch on board. Continue sailing the Chobe River, with plenty of time to relax and take in the deep stretches of verdant scenery, also fed by the river. Freshen up before departing by small boat for an afternoon of water-based game viewing. This evening you enjoy dinner on board ‘Zambezi Queen’ followed by star gazing.

'Zambezi Queen'   |   Meals: B L D
Day 6: Livingstone | Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park

After breakfast, disembark and take a short drive to Kasane’s airport where you board your flight to Livingstone. After you arrive, travel by vehicle to your enchanting lodge on the riverbank of the Zambezi River in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Just before sunset, cruise the Zambezi River and spot wildlife as you travel leisurely through the channels; pick up the pace as you cruise upstream to a location on the beach for a sundowner cocktail. Tonight, fall asleep in the luxurious embrace of your tree house built into the living canopy that borders the river.

Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma   |   Meals: B L D
Day 7: Livingstone | Victoria Falls

Join your guide for a walking tour of legendary, roaring Victoria Falls, also known as “The Smoke That Thunders.” See the cloud of spray where the mile-wide Upper Zambezi falls 300 feet into the Lower Zambezi; this same mist can be seen from miles away. Rainbows constantly form and fade away in the tropical sunlight over the waterfall. Afterward, wander through a local market; then take the “Flight of the Angels” by helicopter for a stunning view of the falls from above. Return to earth for your next exciting experience: an elephant-back safari. This eco-friendly method of game viewing gives you the opportunity to interact with these majestic, intelligent animals from an unparalleled viewpoint along the Zambezi River and surrounding bushland of Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. Observe trainers who use positive reinforcement to teach the elephants, and watch for the young calves as they frolic along with the herd. Later, enjoy sundowners on the pool deck of your lodge.

Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma   |   Meals: B L D
Day 8: Riding the Rovos Rail | Zimbabwe to Botswana

Transfer to Victoria Falls Station and recapture the romance of a bygone era as you step aboard the wood-paneled coaches of luxurious Rovos Rail. You are accommodated in a Deluxe Suite that offers a sitting area with a bar fridge and en suite bathroom with shower. For the first part of your journey, you may have the opportunity to view game through the window as the train travels along the border of the Hwange National Park. Cross into Botswana and find yourself looking at flat, open-scrub cattle ranching territory. Enjoy five-star cuisine in the dining car and five-star views from the Observation Car at the rear of the train. You can also watch the stunning scenery go by from the privacy and comfort of your suite, offering a perfect blend of period ambience and modern features.

Rovos Rail   |   Meals: B L D
Day 9: Riding the Rovos Rail | Botswana to Pretoria

Enjoy the train’s leisurely pace as you travel towards South Africa. This is an ideal time to sit back and relax, converse with your travelling companions and watch the glorious changing landscapes as day turns to night. This evening, the train stops at the border of South Africa in provincial Mafikeng; join your fellow guests here for a farewell dinner that celebrates your journey.

Rovos Rail   |   Meals: B L D
Day 10: Johannesburg | Heart of South Africa

After completing immigration formalities, continue from Mafikeng to Pretoria’s Capital Park Station. Disembark for the drive to your hotel in Johannesburg, the country’s modern and multicolored epicenter. The remainder of the evening is at leisure in “Jo’burg,” where you can enjoy the amenities of your luxury hotel or explore the city’s shops and restaurants.

Saxon Boutique Hotel & Spa   |   Meals: B L
Day 11: Depart Johannesburg

After breakfast, relax in your dayroom and enjoy your hotel’s amenities before transferring to the airport for your international flight home.

Saxon Boutique Hotel & Spa (dayroom)   |   Meals: B
Cape Town Pre-Tour Extension

4 days, priced from $1,995; internal air priced from $225.
Available on the April 13 departure.
DAY 1:
Arrive in Cape Town, South Africa and transfer to your hotel, with the rest of your day at leisure. One & Only Cape Town
DAY 2: Today tour Cape Point, traversing Chapman’s Peak Drive, the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and Boulders Beach with its African penguins. One & Only Cape Town | Meals: B L
DAY 3: Experience wine and cellar tours across the Cape Winelands, and visit historic Paarl. One & Only Cape Town | Meals: B L
DAY 4: Explore Table Mountain and fabulous Cape Town before departing for Johannesburg for your program. Meals: B