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Southern Africa Safari by River & Rail (2018)
Limited to 18 guests
Days: 13 | From: $12,695
Day 1: Arrive Cape Town, South Africa
Arrive in Cape Town, the metropolitan light of South Africa, where you transfer to one of the country’s most famous hotels, set in the heart of the city.
Day 2: Cape Town | Look to the Beacon of Hope
Explore this magnificent harbor city, starting with a scenic drive to flat-topped Table Mountain, where you reach the summit via cable car (weather permitting). Take in the panorama of southern seas, sun-drenched city and the impressive cliffs of the Twelve Apostles, brooding high above the ragged shore. History follows with a drive through old Cape Town, past Groote Kerk (South Africa’s oldest church), City Hall and the Grand Parade. Continue with a drive past the Company Gardens with views of the Houses of Parliament and National Art Gallery. Stop for an artisan visit at Streetwires, where locals come together to craft handmade bead art. Your afternoon is at leisure before tonight’s welcome dinner.
Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel | Meals: B D
Day 3: Cape Town | Thrilling Coast Beyond the City
Journey along the Atlantic coast, past the “bikini beaches,” through the charming harbor of Hout Bay and over historic Chapman’s Peak Drive. Reach the tip of the continent at the Cape of Good Hope, a richly diverse, 22,000-acre nature reserve that juts into the sea. Ride the “Flying Dutchman” funicular to the great pinnacle at Cape Point, offering views of Southern right whales from July through November. Spot Cape mountain zebras and possibly the rare bontebok en route to Boulders Beach, to sight endangered African penguins. Pass through Simon’s Town with its English seaside feel; False Bay with its brightly painted boats; and Constantia, South Africa’s legendary wine country. Stop at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden to explore five of Africa’s six biomes (distinctive ecological regions) with a private local guide. Enjoy an evening at leisure at your hotel.
Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel | Meals: B L
Days 4-5: Riding the Rovos Rail | Winelands to Grasslands
Recapture the romance of a bygone era as you board the woodpaneled coaches of the luxurious Rovos Rail. Depart Cape Town Station as you settle into your suite featuring a sitting area, an en suite bathroom, and the perfect blend of period ambience and modern amenities. Wind through mountains, rolling green hills and the Cape Winelands before stopping to visit Matjiesfontein, an authentically preserved Victorian village. Sip South African vintages in handsome dining cars serving up artful menus as the stunning scenery scrolls by. The next day, gain another perspective from the Observation Car at the rear of the train. In Kimberley, tour the Diamond Mine Museum and take the opportunity to see one of the world’s largest hand-dug excavation sites. Continue through the hauntingly barren Great Karoo and the grasslands of gold-rich Highveld, marveling at the changing landscapes.
Rovos Rail | Meals: B L D
Day 6: Johannesburg | Heart of South Africa
After breakfast and views of the gold fields of Witwatersrand, arrive at Pretoria Station. Transfer to your modern, residential-style retreat in Johannesburg, where you enjoy lunch before an afternoon at leisure. Rest and relax or enjoy the amenities of your accommodations.
Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa | Meals: B L
Day 7: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe | The Mighty Zambezi
Fly to Victoria Falls, where you transfer to your beautiful, historic hotel overlooking the magnificent falls. This afternoon, set sail on a Scenic Sundowner cruise on the Zambezi River, watching for the rising mist of the falls in the far distance while you sip a refreshing cocktail. Spot hippos, crocodiles and a variety of birds as you gently glide along.
The Victoria Falls Hotel | Meals: B D
Day 8: Along the Chobe River | Iconic Falls and Rivers
Join your guide for a private walking tour on the Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls, known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya (“The Smoke That Thunders”). Watch as the mile-wide Upper Zambezi plunges 300 feet into the Lower Zambezi, making rainbows form and fade in the mist. Later, enjoy a market visit, browsing stalls filled with local handicrafts and relax on a drive to Kasane, where you pass through Namibian customs before boarding five-star ‘Zambezi Queen.’ Enjoy the sunset river views on this elegant, uniquely African vessel while sipping cocktails and sampling canapés. Watch as elephants, buffalo and monkeys come to the river’s edge to drink. On board tonight, enjoy a beautiful dinner prepared by the resident chef, who shares a dinner that matches the majesty of your surroundings.
'Zambezi Queen' | Meals: B L D
Days 9-10: Along the Chobe River | Chobe National Park
Discover the wildlife-rich Chobe plain, which boasts buffalo, lions, giraffes and hippos, as well as Africa’s highest concentration of elephants. Experience the region as you wish: Choose a morning and afternoon activity, opt to tour a local Namibian village, fish on the Chobe River or embark on a river safari aboard a small boat. The next day, set off on a morning game drive in Chobe National Park. Following lunch and time to unwind aboard ‘Zambezi Queen,’ you again have the choice to fish or embark on a river safari, both from aboard a smaller boat for more intimate views of the river. This evening, from the decks of ‘Zambezi Queen,’ watch baboons, buffalo and familial herds of elephants come to the river to drink, while hippos begin their nightly graze.
'Zambezi Queen' | Meals: B L D
Day 11: Okavango Delta | Predator Capital
After breakfast, disembark ‘Zambezi Queen’ and fly to the Okavango Delta via Kasane Airport. Arrive at the newly renovated Sanctuary Chief’s Camp, in the Mombo Concession of the vast Moremi Game Reserve. This area is considered the “Predator Capital of the World” and is home to the “Big Five.” It offers Botswana’s most exciting game viewing, with a lush delta that draws a remarkable concentration of birds and wildlife. The rest of your day is at leisure to enjoy the activities on offer.
Sanctuary Chief's Camp | Meals: B L D
Day 12: Okavango Delta | Game Drives and the “Big Five”
Rise early for a game drive on the reserve, where the game viewing is nothing short of magnificent, with large concentrations of elephants, buffalo and impalas; lions and other predators also call the Okavango home. Activities include a seasonal mokoro ride on the delta and a Chef’s Table experience offering you a taste of traditional local cuisine. Visit the area where 20 rare and endangered rhinos were transported into Moremi Reserve to protect them from poachers and now live in their new home. Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy and Sanctuary Retreats partnered with the Botswana Defense Force and Wilderness Safaris in this bold commitment to conservation. Before your afternoon safari, enjoy an educational presentation about the rhinos and their journey from South Africa to Botswana. Tonight, celebrate with a special farewell dinner.
Sanctuary Chief's Camp | Meals: B L D
Day 13: Depart Johannesburg
After breakfast, fly to Johannesburg via Maun, where you connect with your international flight home. Enjoy access to the comfortable Premier Lounge before your departure.
Complimentary Safari Duffel | Guests on this journey receive a custom-crafted A&K safari duffel.
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Extend Your Journey | Enhance your journey with a pre-tour extension to Winelands (3 days, from $2,495).
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