On this whirlwind, life-changing tour through South Africa and Zimbabwe, experience the highlights of Cape Town, the jaw-dropping majesty of Victoria Falls, and the exciting action of a world class wildlife safari. The city of Cape Town is a modern center of adventure, culinary arts, wine, and art. In addition to your tours of the city, you will take a day to cage dive with the local shark population. Your next stop is Victoria Falls to take in one of the true natural wonders of Africa. The second half of your trip takes place in Zimbabwe, long known to be home to the best safari guides in the world. Here, you'll take on Hwange and Zambezi National Parks, tracking the world's most fascinating big game, as well as interacting with the local communities.
Welcome to South Africa! Upon arrival, you will be picked up at the airport by a private driver and transferred to your hotel.
Cape Town is one of the most beautifully situated cities in the world. Cradled by Table Mountain, it has immense charm and historical interest, while it's unique cultural blend of part African, part European and part Asian, makes for a cosmopolitan dining experience. Take the cable car or walk up Table Mountain, visit the colorful Malay quarter or meander through the wonderful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Browse through the vibrant Greenmarket Square, take a boat trip to Robben Island or simply relax on the beach. When you want to explore further, the Cape Peninsula offers one of the finest coastal drives in Africa to the Cape of Good Hope. Here, you might see whales breaching just off the bay or quirky African penguins on Boulder's beach. With so much to do and see in Cape Town, adventure truly awaits!
You are collected for your private tour at approximately 9am (if taking a morning tour) and 2pm (if taking an afternoon tour).
This is a great orientation tour of Cape Town. Highlights of this half day tour include a visit up Table Mountain on the cableway, where the varying flora and fauna will be explained; exploring the Malay Quarter - a historic picturesque area of the city with original Malay buildings and narrow streets. You tour some of the historic sights of the city center and stroll through the Company Gardens. Time permitting you will also see the Castle of Good Hope, built in 1652 and now painstakingly restored, and enjoy a photographic opportunities of Table Mountain from Table Bay.
*Please Note: Table Mountain tickets are NOT included in the tour price as they are weather-dependent.
Today, you will have the thrilling opportunity to go cage diving with sharks!
Your experience begins when you are met at your hotel and transferred to the Gansbaai harbor. From there, you will be greeted by a representative of White Shark Projects. (The exact time will be confirmed on the previous evening, but it will be between 5:30am and 6:30am). Enjoy breakfast at the lodge and a trip briefing on the day's activities. You will then board the shark boat and take the 20 minute trip to the white shark area, "Shark Alley".
During your excursion, you have the chance to view great white sharks from the boat or cage. Great Whites come right to the surface, where they swim around the boat, cage and baits. The experience from the surface, is just as exciting as from the cage. It is a true wildlife experience and nothing is lost for those not willing to get wet. For those who wish to dive, they have a five man, custom-built shark cage. Diving is dependent on sea and weather conditions, shark activity, and is at the discretion of the boat captain for your safety. On an average day, you can expect to spend between 15 to 30 minutes inside the shark cage.
In addition to viewing the amazing sharks, you will also experience the unspoiled scenery, sea and bird life, and have the chance to view thousands of seals, while visiting Dyer Island. During certain seasons, you might even view an abundance of Southern Right Whales. You will also learn a great deal from the experienced crew. As an added bonus, the cost of your trip will help support local civil developments that focus on introducing under privileged locals to the oceans and its diverse creatures.
On the boat you will enjoy a light lunch of rolls or sandwiches, snacks, juice and soft drinks. On return to the lodge, tea, coffee and fresh scones will be served, followed by the issuing of the trip certificates.
*Please Note: Launch times are subject to change according to the tides. The boat is a large 11-meter twin hull, custom-built craft with cabin, toilet, comfortable seating, and elevated viewing deck and has walk around configuration. The craft is "South African Marine Safety Authority" approved and is equipped with a 20 man life raft. All diving equipment is provided by White Shark Projects, consisting of: Wet suits, booties, gloves, mask and hood. If you require specific sizes, please let us know well in advance. (This service is on a group basis.)
Our full day Cape Peninsula tour includes a scenic coastal drive along Chapmans Peak; the Cape of Good Hope National Park and Cape Point; viewing the Penguins at Boulders Bay; Simon's Town historical naval base and ends with the magnificent Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
You will be picked up in the early morning to travel along the coastal road through the chic suburbs of Clifton, Camps Bay and onto the picturesque fishing community of Hout Bay. Once a fishing community, and now one of the most popular residential areas, the harbor still has a charm of days gone by. There is the option to take a half hour cruise to 'Seal Island' or for the not so adventurous; the fish market Mariners Wharf is a must.
Next you’ll enjoy a scenic drive along the famous Chapmans Peak drive - if open - as it hugs the cliffs with a 200m drop on one side of the coach and a 200m rise on the other. You continue south to reach the Cape of Good Hope National Park. Explore the rocky coastline and unique Cape Fynbos vegetation which is home to unique bird life such as African black oyster catchers and Cape sugarbirds among others. You may be lucky to see wildlife such as the Cape mountain zebra, bontebok, ostrich and baboon. Climb up to the famous Cape Point Lighthouse to capture the magical views over the bay. Alternatively you can take the funicular train as an optional extra.
After lunch (for your own account), you visit the unique penguin colonies at Boulders beach for an exciting close encounter with African Penguins - often a highlight of the tour. Drive through the historical naval village of Simonstown and over yet another spectacular mountain pass, Boyes Drive, and on to Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens - some of the finest gardens in Africa nestling on the lower slopes of Table Mountain. We walk through the gardens where 4,000 of the 22,000 Southern African flowering plants are cultivated in a setting of mountain streams, pools and rolling lawns.
Today you will be transferred to the Cape Town airport for your flight to Victoria Falls (flight not included - airfare can be arranged upon request).
On arrival you will be met by your driver and transferred to your accommodations in Hwange National Park. During the transfer you will board the Elephant Express Train. On board the Elephant Express Train you will sip drinks and enjoy snacks, as you glide slowly along the railway line for the two hour trip to Bomani or Camelthorn Safari Lodges. The Elephant Express seats 22 passengers, with all seats window-class for unobstructed game viewing and photography.
During your time at Camelthorne you will enjoy a wide range of activities including game drives, game walks, night drives, pump runs, underground photography bunker, village visits and school tours.
Whether conducted after returning from a sunset game drive, or after dinner when the lions are calling, a night drive using red filtered spot lights opens up a whole new world populated with species seldom seen in the daylight such as zorillas, selous mongoose and lesser bush babies and of course the thrill of driving at night amongst hunting predators is always a highlight.
At Camelthorn we love walking safaris and our experienced fully licensed armed guides conduct our game walks across the magnificent Ngamo Plains as well as deep within the fascinating and diverse woodlands that surround them. The perspective on foot changes dramatically, from close ups of Hwange’s famous elephant, to eye-to-eye with small reed frogs – these game walks will provide memories for a lifetime!
Enjoy two full free days on game driving activities.
Game drives at Camelthorn are structured to fit you, and are conducted by licensed guides in our specialized land rovers that seat 6 guests in 3 rows. There are storage units between the seats in which to store your cameras, bird books and other valuables during game drives. On your morning game drive breaks you will be served tea, coffee and biscuits and in the afternoons, cool drinks and cooked snacks are served at sunset in front of a waterhole.
Hwange National Park has no major rivers and for the past 70 years during Hwange's dry seasons wildlife has subsisted here on water originally pumped by windmills which were later replaced by diesel engines. In the southern sector of the Park, Imvelo Safari Lodges shoulders the responsibility for 8 pumped waterholes. The engines require diesel, oil and monthly services and the pump attendants who operate them require rations and pay. A popular activity is to take an all day trip into the Park to visit the waterholes and drop off fuel and oil for the motors as well as rations and supplies for the pump attendants. A picnic lunch is then enjoyed near one of the waterholes followed by a leisurely game drive back to lodge in the afternoon. Our Pump Run usually ends with sundowners at one of the waterholes close to camp
Village Visits & School Tours
Camelthorn is built on communal land and royalties and concession fees from bed night revenues are paid directly to the local community. These funds are used for community development, usually of schools and domestic water supplies. On visits to these local communities, Camelthorn guests are always afforded an especially warm welcome. Guests have the opportunity to enjoy an authentic look at village life in rural Matabeleland. A fascinating experience of a variety of typical daily village activities is followed by a tour of one of the nearby schools, conducted by the Headmaster, where guests are welcomed
Today you will be transferred by Elephant Express Rail and vehicle ground transfer to Zambezi Sands River Camp located on the banks of the Zambezi River.
During your time at Zambezi Sands, you will enjoy a wide range of activities including sunset cruises, game drives, game walks, canoeing, fishing and village & school visits.
Cruise on the Zambezi River amongst the islands near the lodge – enjoy the river, its wildlife and a Zambezi sunset with complimentary drinks and snacks. It is common to see elephant, hippo, crocodile and a variety of bird life.
Conducted by a fully licensed and highly experienced professional guide, usually undertaken in the mornings, ideal for photography of wildlife, both big and very little.
A guided canoe trip along the mighty Zambezi River in the network of islands close to the camp is a fun way to whittle away the afternoon. Paddle through hippo and croc-infested waters and delight at the abundant bird life. Picnic lunches on the islands are also on offer.
Enjoy two more full free days of activities at Zambezi Sands.
Traditional open safari vehicles driven by licensed experienced guides, Land Cruisers seat up to 9 guests and Land Rovers seat up to 7 guests.
Guided fishing - the Zambezi River is home to the fierce fighting tiger fish and many other species.
Village Visit & School Tour (1 hour drive from the lodge)
Visit Sidobe Village for a look at life in a typical Zimbabwean village. The trip includes a tour of the Sidobe School - during school term - and a moving performance of traditional songs by the local school children.
Today you will check out of Zambezi Sands and meet your driver for your transfer back to the Victoria Falls airport for your ongoing departure flight. We hope you enjoyed your experience and we wish you a pleasant flight home.
Four Rosmead Guesthouse is situated on the slopes of Table Mountain and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the mountain, Lions Head, Signal Hill, Table Bay and the city. This elegant boutique hotel, is within walking distance of the city center, for your convenience. Built in 1903, the property has been stylishly remodeled for its classic Cape heritage to blend harmoniously with a contemporary and modern style. The decor is chic with a subtle, distinctive African spirit. Accommodation consists of eight individually styled en suite guest rooms. A small massage room spa and a patio overlooking the pool deck and herb garden, all contribute to a sense of urban sanctuary, which welcomes you to relax and unwind.
Camelthorn Lodge is nestled in a patch of pristine woodland just west of Ngamo in the South Eastern corner of Hwange National Park. The lodge is unique in its style and design and has as its centerpiece a huge ancient Camelthorn tree. On the edge of the Ngamo Plain, and strategically placed to explore the remote and unspoiled south eastern portion of the park, Camelthorn provides a spectacular wilderness experience. Each of the 16 Forest Villas features a large bedroom (King beds or 2 Double beds) with overhead fans, fireplaces, en-suite bathrooms, and en-suite lounge areas. A spiral staircase leads to an outdoor deck/roof with hammocks ideal for a siesta, private dining or a night ‘under the stars’.
Zambezi Sands River Camp provides guests with an unforgettable experience in the wild. Only 45 minutes from the town of Victoria Falls, you will have the opportunity to appreciate the best of both worlds in Zimbabwe; the exotic nature, and the famous city highlights. Accommodations include 8 secluded Bedouin luxury tents offering complete privacy, dotted along the river bank. Rooms have twin double beds, a lounge area, mini-bar, en suite bathroom, outdoor shower, private splash pool and electricity by diesel/solar generator. In-house activities include game drives, game walks, fishing, canoeing and island picnics. In town, a smorgasbord of options include a guided tour of the Falls, river cruises, white water rafting, bungee jumping – or maybe just some relaxed souvenir shopping.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.