Botswana, Victoria Falls and Beyond
Witness 'the smoke that thunders' at Victoria Falls, journey to where the wild things are in Botswana and sip and swirl to your heart's content in Cape Town. This active 12-day tour showcases the best of Southern Africa. Live your biggest adventure in Botswana and beyond…
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Sail away on a sunset cruise of Victoria Falls
- Go white water rafting on the Zambezi River
- Spot elephants at the Chobe National Park
- Explore the Okavango Delta by mokoro canoe
- Visit the winelands of Cape Town
- Climb Table Mountain
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When To Travel
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Day 1: Head to Johannesburg
An overnight flight to Johannesburg from London leaves just over 11 hours to get some shut eye. For those who don't sleep at thirty thousand feet, that's three movies, three glasses of wine, two meals, and one-hour daydreaming about elephants.
Day 2: See the Smoke That Thunders
No sooner than touching down in Johannesburg, you will be whizzed away to Victoria Falls. Hop onto a short 1 hour 45-minute flight to Zimbabwe. Take a moment to let that glorious African heat wash over you before a final 20-minute transfer to your hotel.
Chances are the effects of a red-eye flight are setting in, so take the afternoon to relax. Snooze on a soft bed, plunge into the pool, or head out to see the striking Victoria Falls - known locally by the Kalolo-Lozi people as 'the smoke that thunders'.
This evening you are invited on a sundowner cruise along the Zambezi River. Nibble on high tea delights and keep your eyes peeled along the riverbanks for elephants, yellow eyed crocs and hungry hippos.
Day 3: White Water Rafting
Take the chance to relax over breakfast; white water rafting on the lower Zambezi is not for the faint of heart. The rocky walls of the Batoka Gorge and the blasting power of the river create Grade 5 rapids that will have you clinging tight as you slice through surging waters. A great way to start the day.
This afternoon, Victoria Falls is served at a gentler pace, with a high tea experience at Stanley's Terrace. Dollop cream on your scones as you gaze across the rising mist of the falls.
If you prefer not to get your hair wet, opt for a fishing trip along the Zambezi or for a scenic helicopter flight.
- Fly fishing
- Helicopter tour
- Bungee jump
- Village tour
Day 4: Chobe National Park
Today head into the heart of the wild as you begin your two-day safari in the Chobe National Park. Beautiful Botswana is an elephant lover's paradise and Chobe has the highest density of African elephants in the world. Journey by road, and arrive just in time for a delicious lunch before your afternoon game drive.
Nothing can compare to witnessing a mother elephant hose down her young in a waterhole, or seeing these gentle giants roam the grasslands. Look for lions slinking in the shadows, watch a herd of buffalo make their way to the banks for a morning cool off. After admiring a savannah sunset, sip a cold beer and share stories beneath a sky illuminated by thousands of stars.
Day 5: Chobe National Park
This morning it's an early start with tea/coffee and snacks at dawn before departing on a game drive to see more of Chobe's big game. You'll be back at base in time for breakfast and time to relax.
Enjoy a hearty lunch and more time for R&R before a late afternoon game drive, timed to coincide with the heat of the day dissipating and when the animals are on the move again.
Share drinks and stories around the campfire this evening before another delicious dinner.
Day 6: Okavango Delta
After breakfast, head to Kasane airport for a quick flight over the winding waterways of Botswana to touch down in the Okavango Delta. On landing, a private transfer will take you to drop your bags at the safari lodge.
This afternoon, head out and discover the Eden-like aquatic gardens that make up this extraordinary delta. Game drive pathways are dependent on rising and falling water levels, but throughout the year this is an area where life teems. Africa's Big Five can be found wallowing in waters or trundling across the lush grasslands. Leopards stalk the periphery, leggy giraffes munch leaves from tall trees, and elephants, buffalo and lions are all feeding, wandering or napping in these wild and untamed lands.
Days 7-8: Explore the Okavango
For the next two days the Okavango Delta is yours to explore. The best way to navigate these carved out channels, rich reed beds and floating sand islands is to travel by mokoro dugout canoe. Locals know these streams and channels like the back of their hand, as you drift downstream their beady eyes are the best at spotting hooting baboons, wild dogs, curious otters, striped zebras and even miniature dwarf mongoose.
When you aren't animal hunting in the reeds or tracking lions on game drives, there is no better way to spend those sundowner hours than kicking back and watching the changing skies.
- Fishing for African Pike and Bream
Day 9: The Playground of Cape Town
Bid farewell to the Okavango as you take an early flight to Maun to connect for your 2.5-hour flight to Cape Town. It's worth trying to bag the window seat for this one - otherwise you may be elbowing your travel partner to catch a glimpse of the fabled Table Mountain.
Upon arrival a private transfer will carry you to your hotel. The natural playground of Cape Town is all about fragrant botanical gardens, salt whipped air and a melding of African and European cultures that makes for a super-sophisticated city.
Spend the afternoon relaxing before hitting the town for dinner. We suggest The Pot Luck Club for a myriad of sharing plates and mesmerising city views.
- Surf Lesson
- City tour
- The Museum Mile
- Pan African Market
Day 10: Sip and Swirl in the Winelands
Make sure to take a big breakfast on board as today is about to get a little boozy. Your guide will be waiting to take you through the winding mountain roads to the tangled vines of the Cape Winelands. Starting in Stellenbosch you can sample wines and chocolate in the picture book Dutch colonial town. Next stop Franschhoek - where renowned wines like The Little Rock Cabernet Sauvignon can be sampled at Mont Rochelle.
Finish at the scenic town of Paarl, to crush a final cup beneath the smouldering granite domes. Duck into the local farm shop of Babylonstoren and leave with armfuls of fresh biltong and thick glugs of olive oil to take home.
Day 11: Climb Table Mountain
Nothing will clear a hangover quicker than a brisk walk up the crowning glory of Table Mountain. After being collected from your hotel you can start from the lower cable car station with your guide.
Anyone with a decent level of physical fitness can ascend the winding trails past near vertical faces and heart stopping ledges. Drink in the fresh air and lap up lush views of the city. Intrepid walkers can push on to the top of Maclear's Beacon before riding the cable car back down.
From the mountain to the sea, the afternoon is yours. Hit the rolling surf of Clifton or peek into the chic boutiques on Kloof Street. For your final evening, indulge in a seriously good tasting menu at La Colombe, Constantia.
Day 12: Head for Home
Before boarding your flight back to Johannesburg or London, you have a few more hours to soak up the vibes of Cape Town. Make it a leisurely morning or take a scenic helicopter flight for a bird's eye view of South Africa's sublime Garden City.
This evening pack your bags and head for home with direct flights to London or via Johannesburg.
Isabel, Matt and Charlotte C are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.