Featuring Victoria Falls


Thundering Victoria Falls; Kingdom of Swaziland: Switzerland of Africa; Table Mountain Cable Way; Robben Island Museum; Maasai Mara's endless plains; Meeting local tribal groups; Karen Blixen "Out of Africa" Museum


Dates & Prices

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Prices are in US Dollars (USD), before taxes (if applicable) - All pricing reflects per-person Land Only expenses, however, we can book flights from virtually every city. Please call us for an air quote.

Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Tue 13 Oct 2015Fri 06 Nov 2015 $9560$9330 Discounted
Tue 26 Jan 2016Fri 19 Feb 2016 $9630
Tue 11 Oct 2016Fri 04 Nov 2016 $9630

Optional Single Supplement: $1850 (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $920, if twin-sharing accommodation is unavailable.

Tour Overview

One of the world's most dynamic and exciting cities in the world awaits us as we touch down in Johannesburg, South Africa. Having been completely rebuilt no fewer than four times in its relatively short history, Johannesburg first became established after the discovery of gold in the region and stands today as a city of mind-boggling contrast, where glittering skyscrapers and whitewashed mansions lie only blocks from poverty-riddled shanty towns. Our tour of the surrounding areas unveils a complex and intriguing history; we visit the former residences of Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, saunter through the Apartheid Museum, check out the administrative capital of the country and see Boer statues and war monuments.

From here, we enjoy some of nature's most memorable attractions with trips over to Zimbabwe's majestic Victoria Falls and to see the teeming wildlife in Botswana's Chobe National Park; two reasons that alone would warrant a trip to Southern Africa. From quaint colonial towns with Victorian tin-roofed houses and wooden verandas, to authentic, thatched mud huts in traditional rural villages, we explore the wide array of architectural style and cultural diversity that Southern Africa has to offer.

We have the chance to arrange elephant-back safaris, river cruises, canoe trips and short scenic flights to enjoy abundant lands from an aerial perspective en route through five unique Southern African countries and our visits to several of the most notable wildlife parks and reserves on the continent ensure that our thirst for animal-viewing is not left unsatisfied In South Africa's largest game reserve -- Kruger National Park -- there exists more than 137 mammal species, 49 fish species, 112 reptile species and nearly 500 bird species and it is here that we may see and photograph lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants and zebras; the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, the northern continuation of the area that has become synonymous with the word 'safari' -- the Serengeti Plain -- boasts an astounding array of wildlife, including the 'Big Five'. Magical, barren scenery, fascinating cultures and peoples, and incredible wildlife come together to make this tour an adventure never to be forgotten.

Regions visited: Southern Africa and East Africa
Countries visited: South Africa; Zimbabwe; Swaziland and Kenya

Full Itinerary

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Day 1 Arrival in Johannesburg
Arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Johannesburg is South Africa's financial centre and largest city. This "Place of Gold", as the Sotho word for Gauteng Province suggests, harbours the gold fields of South Africa. No one could have imagined the repercussions when an unemployed miner found a stone bearing traces of gold in 1886. This seemingly insignificant event led to the discovery of the world's richest natural treasure trove. People flocked to the area from all ends of the earth and the open pastoral landscape changed almost overnight. Today in the "New South Africa," Johannesburg continues as the country's -- indeed the entire region's -- economic powerhouse and is evolving into a very vibrant cultural melting pot.

Overnight in Johannesburg (Sandton).

Meal plan: dinner

Day 2 Johannesburg, South Africa - Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Today we fly from South Africa to Zimbabwe where we will spend three nights next to one of the world's most spectacular natural sights, Victoria Falls.

This area has actually been inhabited for hundreds of thousands of years. The first known name of the falls was "Shongwe"; the current name did not come into being until the Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone was brought to the falls in 1855 and named them after Queen Victoria. The falls and the nearby town of Victoria Falls are on the mighty Zambezi River, the fourth longest in Africa, forming the border with neighbouring Zambia.

After settling into our hotel, we'll travel by road a short distance to the Zambezi River on which we will enjoy a scenic sunset cruise above the falls. The river here is wide and slow moving; be on the lookout for hippos, elephants, antelope, giraffe and myriad bird species for which the region is famous. After our cruise we will enjoy a lively demonstration of traditional African dancing and drumming before our evening meal.

NOTE: Due to variable flight schedules and weather considerations, the order of Victoria Falls area sightseeing activities may vary at the discretion of your Tour Leader.

Overnight at Victoria Falls.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 3 Victoria Falls: Falls Tour & Leisure Time
Today we have a guided walking tour of Victoria Falls and adjacent national park.

Mosi-oa-Tunya ("The Smoke That Thunders") is one of the most amazing sights in the world: twice as high as Niagara Falls and several times longer. It took thousands of years of erosion for Victoria Falls to appear as and where it does now. During the Jurassic Period (150-200 million years ago), volcanic activity resulted in thick basalt deposits covering large parts of Southern Africa. As the lava cooled and solidified, cracks appeared in the hard basalt crust, which were filled with clay and lime. Erosion and the course of the mighty Zambezi River cut through these softer materials, forming the first of a series of waterfalls.

Our tour is conducted on level paved paths, much of which is shaded by the dense rainforest that exists due to spray from the falls. To walk to the farthest extent, with viewpoints along the way, is about one kilometre, the last part of which is without shade. We encourage you to go right to the dn, as the views are fantastic, including the best look at the famous Victoria Falls Bridge, the brainchild of Cecil Rhodes, part of his grand and unfulfilled Cape to Cairo railway scheme, even though he never visited the falls and died before construction of the bridge began.

The afternoon is yours to enjoy optional activities. You may relax by the pool, do some shopping in the village famous for local artisan crafts, travel to the Zambian side of the falls, or even go elephant back riding or sightseeing by micro-light aircraft or helicopter. Your Tour Leader can help plan your afternoon.

Overnight in Victoria Falls.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 4 Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe: Day Trip to Chobe Park, Botswana
Today we make an early morning excursion into Botswana to visit Chobe National Park, located only 1.5 hours by road from Vic Falls. We complete Customs and Immigration formalities and continue with a fifteen-minute drive to the lodge that we will be using as a base for today's activities.

Our safari starts with a cruise on the Chobe River (shade and refreshments available) that takes us close to the waterfowl and wildlife on the river. Large flocks of birds, big pods of hippos and very large crocodiles can be viewed from the safety of your boat.

Our lunch (included today) is served back at the lodge overlooking the river.

After lunch we board open (covered) safari vehicles and head off into the park to view some of the 70,000 local elephants, buffalo herds, sable, wildebeest, giraffe, and with luck, some resident lion and hyena. The game drive meanders its way back to the park gates for Customs and Immigration formalities and the crossing of the Zambezi River into back into Zimbabwe and the road transfer back to our hotel, arriving at about 18:00.

Overnight in Victoria Falls (dinner on your own this evening).

Meal plan: breakfast,lunch

Day 5 Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe - Johannesburg, South Africa
Today we fly from Victoria Falls to Johannesburg (flight times are variable).

Overnight in Johannesburg (Sandton).

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 6 Johannesburg - Soweto - Tshwane (Pretoria) - Johannesburg
This morning we have a tour of the city of Soweto.

Soweto unto itself is actually one of the largest cities in Africa with an estimated population of 2 million. It also has one of the most dubious histories of any city in Africa, as it was the site of some of the more infamous events during the struggle against apartheid. The name "Soweto" simply stands for South Western Township, due to its location outside Johannesburg. It was here that thousands of black workers were forced to live in order to provide labour for the gold mines.

We will see the good, the bad, and the ugly of Soweto -- from affluent neighbourhoods to shanty towns; the world's largest hospital, Baragwanath; and the former homes of Soweto's Nobel Laureates, Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. We also visit the excellent new museum dedicated to the victims of the 1976 Soweto Uprising.

En route to Pretoria we will visit the extraordinarily powerful Apartheid Museum, an obligatory stop for visitors and residents alike. The large blown-up photographs, metal cages and numerous monitors with continuous replays of apartheid scenes will make you feel that you were in the townships in the 70s and 80s, dodging police bullets or teargas canisters, or marching with thousands of school children. One can easily spend the better part of a day in this museum; however, for the sake of timing on a busy day, we will be taking in the highlights only.

We continue to Pretoria (recently renamed Tshwane*), the administrative capital of the Republic of South Africa. Surrounded by hilly countryside, this relaxed capital is known for its colourful gardens and lush green parks. We will see Church Square, dominated by its statue of the Boer Republic's first President, Paul Kruger, and lined with buildings of architectural and historical interest. From here we will proceed to a panoramic view of the city at the Union Buildings, the administrative headquarters of the Government of South Africa and scene of Nelson Mandela's inauguration as the New South Africa's first democratically elected State President in 1994.

* Tshwane is the name of a pre-colonial local chief and means "We Are the Same". In 2005 the city council approved the switch from Pretoria to Tshwane as part of an effort to make place names more African.

Overnight in Johannesburg (Sandton).

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 7 Johannesburg - the 'Panoramic Route' - Hazyview
From Jo'burg we head off through the vast wilderness of Mpumalanga (formerly the Eastern Transvaal), the "Land of the Rising Mist". Along the way we travel from the vast grasslands of the High Veld, with its huge farms and ranches, down to the drier Low Veld region characterized by rocky hills and acacia scrub forest. This is an expansive landscape of mountains, valleys, rivers, waterfalls, primal forests, and colourful flora. Steeped in a history of pioneers and fortune-seekers, we will pass many Gold Rush towns and farming communities en route. Lydenburg ("town of suffering") established by Voortrekkers in 1849 lies at the bottom of Long Tom pass. This pass, named after the big gun used by the Afrikaners during the Anglo Boer War, is one of the most scenically dramatic in the country. It links Sabie on the escarpment with Lydenburg on the Drakensberg plateau.

A highlight of our sightseeing today is the spectacular Blyde River Canyon. This great escarpment is the kind of place where brochures and guide books run out of original adjectives to describe the fresh mountain scenery and magnificent panoramic views. The Blyde River Canyon is one of the most spectacular in Africa and its cliffs rise between 600-800 m (2,000-2,640 feet) from the river bed. At the "Three Rondavels viewpoint" is an unforgettable view of three huge rock spirals rising out of the far wall of the canyon. Their tops appear to have a hut-like rounded roof.

Following the road and the Treur River south, there are further viewpoints; Wonder View, God's Window and the Pinnacle. Their names help to conjure up the indescribable vastness of the scenery. From here we continue to Hazyview near Kruger National Park.

Overnight in Hazyview.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 8 Kruger National Park
Early this morning we enter South Africa's largest game reserve, Kruger National Park, named after Paul Kruger, the first to initiate the setting aside of this area as a reserve in the 1890s. Here we transfer to open safari vehicles and make a full-day excursion through the southern sector of this fascinating and beautiful park.

The Kruger Park is an enormous area of flat veld, broken by rivers and comprised of mixed vegetation and terrain. The park, officially founded in 1926, supports more species of wildlife than any other African reserve -- over 137 mammal species, 49 fish species, 112 reptile species, and nearly 500 bird species! With some luck we may see and photograph lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, zebra and many other wonderful African animals.

We return to Hazyview in the late afternoon.

Overnight in Hazyview.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 9 Hazyview, South Africa - Mbabane, Swaziland
We travel south today and enter the Kingdom of Swaziland, an independent country completely landlocked by South Africa and Mozambique, and smaller than Kruger Park! Naturally fortified by beautiful mountains, Swaziland remains one of the last kingdoms in Africa, a continent once dominated by colonialism. The pace of life here is relaxed and the lifestyle traditional; we will see rural people working their farms and tending their herds as we make our way to the vicinity of Mbabane, the capital city.

Overnight in / near Mbabane.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 10 Mbabane, Swaziland - Mkuze Game Reserve, South Africa
This morning we depart our hotel and travel south, descending onto the Swazi Lowveld (lowlands), similar in climate and vegetation of the lowveld region we experienced in South Africa and Kruger Park in previous days. We'll travel through sugar cane plantations and the bustling commercial centre of Manzini, before crossing the border back into South Africa and the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Our destination is Mkuze Game Reserve, which boast an exceptional variety of natural habitats: from the Eastern slopes of the Lebombo Mountains along its Eastern boundary, to broad stretches of acacia savannah, swamps and a variety of woodlands and riverine forest. A rare type of sand forest also occurs in the reserve. It is renowned among ornithologists, with more than 420 different bird species on record. The Mkuze River curves along the Mkuze Game Reserve's Northern and Eastern borders with a stretch of fig forest along its banks. Fish eagles swoop over the pans, snatching prey spotted from their perches in the fever trees.

Mkuze is overlooked by Ghost Mountain, previously a historic battle field. This mountain is said to be the tombs of the previous Chiefs of the mountain and, according to legend, it has been the scene of a number of bloody fights. With its dramatic silhouette, in the shape of an old woman or witch head, it is not difficult to understand why the mountain is said to be haunted and to be the theatre of paranormal activities.

This afternoon we enjoy an afternoon game drive.

Overnight at Mkuze.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 11 Mkuze - Durban - Port Elizabeth
This morning we have a Zulu cultural experience with a local guide. During our walk to a local village, our local guide and village residents will show us what life was like for Zulus of yesterday, their traditions and belief system, and their contemporary lifestyle, politics, and world view.

We then travel by road to Durban, the 'Garden City' of South Africa. This area was opened up to white settlement by the Voortrekkers in the early 19th century, though the Portuguese were navigating the coast here as early as the late 15th century. Vasco da Gama was the first European to sail along this coast, giving it the name Natal to commemorate his Christmas Day arrival. In 1899 the British and the Boers went to war, but under reconciliation in 1910 formed the Union of South Africa with an agreement signed in what is now Durban's modern-day Main Post Office.

This evening we fly from Durban to Port Elizabeth, the start of the famous "Garden Route." (As this will likely be an evening flight, we will not be including dinner this evening).

Overnight in Port Elizabeth.

Meal plan: breakfast

Day 12 Port Elizabeth - 'The Garden Route' - Knysna OR George
Port Elizabeth is South Africa's fifth largest city and the third largest port. This morning we will have a brief panoramic tour of this city seeing the Market Square and the beaches of Algoa Bay.

From Port Elizabeth we travel along the world-famous 'Garden Route' toward Knysna. This route is parallel to the ocean and features lakes, mountains, beaches, and steep cliffs. This part of the garden route reminds one of the Oregon Coast (USA) with its sand dunes and great surf beaches. We'll make a lunch stop at Storm's River Mouth in the Tsitsikamma National Park, located on the shores of the Indian Ocean. You will have time to walk a short section of the famed Otter Trail, widely regarded as one of the finest in the world, stretching 41 km (25 mi - 5 days) from Storms River Mouth to Nature's Valley.

We continue to Knysna, a charming coastal town with tremendous water and mountain view and a laid-back lifestyle. The town was founded in 1817 by George Rex, reputed to be an illegitimate son of King George III. Known for its picturesque lagoon, the town was first established as a timber port. Today, Knysna is proud of its riviera atmosphere with many sidewalk cafes and shops.

Depending on limited accommodation availability in Knysna, we may overnight here in Knysna or continue a little further down the road to the town of George.

Overnight in Knysna or George.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 13 Knysna OR George - Mossel Bay - Outdshoorn
This morning we travel down the coast to Mossel Bay. Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias arrived here on February 3, 1488, thus proving to his sponsors that Africa had a southern tip; making it theoretically possible to sail from Europe to India. Our destionation is the Dias Museum Complex, which marks the spot of the historical landing of Bartolomeu Dias. The 500 year old Post Office Tree, a national monument, can still be seen at the site, now harbouring a post box shaped as a shoe.

We then head inland and over the Outeniqua Mountains to the Little Karoo (Klein Karoo), a semi-arid yet fertile valley or depression surrounded by formidable mountian ranges. This is the ostrich capital of South Africa with thousands of these unusual birds dotting fields throughout the area. At the turn of the century ostrich feathers were in such demand that the fashion conscious paid a premium and feathered the nests of the barons who built magnificent mansions known as "Feather Palaces." This fine architecture can still be seen around the sedate and pleasant town of Outdshoorn (pronounced 'Oats-horn'), our final destination.

We will have lunch at one of the region's main ostrich show farms, followed by a tour thereof before continuing to Outdshoorn where we finish our day.

Overnight in Outdshoorn.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 14 Outdshoorn - Swellendam - Cape Town
From Oudtshoorn we travel through the Huis River Pass with its spectacular rock formations, and the little farming town of Ladysmith, named after the Spanish wife of British Cape Governor Sir Harry Smith. We cross our second mountain range of the day to arrive in the town of Swellendam, the third oldest colonial town in South Africa, established in 1745. Here you will have time to have lunch and visit several historic buildings built in the charming Cape Dutch style with characteristic whitewashed walls and black, thatched roofs.

We then pass through a vast wheat growing and sheep farming area on our way to Cape Town. In the late afternoon we cross the Hottentot's Holland Mountains (our third range for the day), the centre of South Africa's apple growing region, to arrive in Cape Town, one of the world's most isolated and beautiful cities.

Overnight in Cape Town.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 15 Cape Town: the Cape Peninsula
Today we have the quintessential full-day tour of the Cape Town area: The Cape Peninsula.

Our tour takes us south along the Atlantic Seaboard where we have spectacular views of some of Cape Town's most affluent neighbourhoods and spectacular mountain and coastal scenery. We have a brief photo stop just before Camp's Bay, a pretty surfside suburban community featuring the classic view of the town with the 'Twelve Apostles' peaks as a backdrop.

We continue south along a seaside-hugging route, through the town of Hout Bay and the famous Chapman's Peak Drive, one of the most spectacular marine drives anywhere in the world. The 9km route, with its 114 curves, skirts the rocky coastline of Chapman's Peak, the 593m high southerly extension of Constantia Berg.

Our next stop is the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and Cape Point. The reserve is a wildflower, bird, and animal paradise on 77 sq km (30 sq miles) of the Cape Peninsula. The reserve is also home to eland, springbok, bontebok, baboon, and zebra. Within the reserve are Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, the most southwesterly point on the African continent.

After a break for lunch and free time at Cape Point, we head north again, stopping briefly at the Cape of Good Hope, before continuing back up the Indian Ocean side of the peninsula, passing through Simonstown, founded by the Dutch in 1741 as a naval depot and named for Simon van der Stel, governor of Cape Colony from 1679 to 1697. Today Simonstown is famous for its distinctly English architecture and atmosphere, and the southernmost train station on the continent. Depending on the season, we may stop at Boulders Beach to view a colony of South African penguins.

We complete our loop around the peninsula, past the well-watered eastern slopes of Table Mountain, Constantia, Bishop's Court and the campuses of the University of Cape Town.

Overnight in Cape Town.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 16 The Cape Winelands & Table Mountain
This morning we travel the short distance to Stellenbosch, South Africa's second oldest colonial settlement. After a little spin around the town, we'll park in the centre of town and allow some time for some independent, on-foot exploration. You will notice some of the finest examples of traditional Cape Dutch architecture along the town's famous oak-lined streets.

We continue to one of the area's many wineries for a cellar tour and tasting. The Cape vineyards were originated at Constantia by Jan van Riebeeck in 1685 and were advanced in 1688 by Hugenot refugees who brought their vine seedlings and skills with them from France. The Cape's different soils and climatic variations allow a wide variety of wines to be pressed. Along our route today we will see several wine estates with their delightful Cape Dutch houses, thatched roofs and decorative gables.

Today we include lunch at one of the area's wine estates. After lunch we'll continue our scenic drive through the area before heading back to Cape Town for dinner on your own.

At some point during our time in Cape Town (weather dependent and may move elsewhere in our program), we will take a gondola trip to the top of Table Mountain, a sandstone plateau rising up above the city. The top is approximately 3km wide and at its highest point, Maclear's Beacon, rises to 1085m / 3,580 ft. Over the centuries it has become one of South Africa's most famous landmarks. The steep cliffs and rocky outcrops of the mountain play home to a number of animals and approximately 1,470 species of plants -- more than the entire British Isles!

Overnight in Cape Town.

Meal plan: breakfast,lunch

Day 17 Cape Town: Robben Island & City Tour
This morning we travel by boat to Robben Island* for a guided tour of this historic site, formerly an infamous prison and today a museum. Our entire excursion will last about 3.5 hours and include a visit to the maximum security section where Apartheid era freedom fighters, including Nelson Mandela, were incarcerated. Robben Island provides a poignant reminder of how far South Africa has come since the dark days of apartheid and is a must-see for anyone heading to the Cape.

After our tour and a break for lunch, our city sightseeing continues; we see the seat of the Parliament, which holds a six-month session here each year, as well as the Malay Quarter with its narrow streets and minarets, and the Castle of Good Hope (exterior), South Africa's oldest building. We also pay a visit to the South African Museum and the National Botanical Gardens of Kirstenbosch, with over 4,000 species of indigenous plants (2,600 are endemic to the Cape Peninsula). The garden's history dates back to the 1660s, when the first Dutch settlers arrived in the Cape. Governor Jan van Riebeeck planted a barrier of Wild Almonds to protect settlers' cattle from the original inhabitants of the area -- and part of this hedge is still in the garden!

* Weather dependent; other sightseeing will substitute if needed.

Overnight in Cape Town.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 18 Cape Town, South Africa - Nairobi, Kenya
Today we fly from Cape Town to Nairobi (usually via Johannesburg), the capital of Kenya. Part of Maasai land when the British arrived, this modern capital grew with the development of the railway. Derived from a Maasai word meaning "Cold Water," Nairobi is a pleasant mix of colonial British with modern and traditional African influences.

PLEASE NOTE: if you book your own international air, today's flight will cost you approx $500 MORE than our published tour price. We get a discount on this flight if you book your air with us; if you do not book air through Adventures Abroad, we cannot get this special pricing for you.

Overnight in Nairobi. Nairobi Hilton or similar.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 19 Nairobi - Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Today we travel from Nairobi, through the "White Highlands," so called because of the large number of Europeans who settled here, northwards to the lower slopes of Mt Kenya, rising to 5199 m (16,728 feet), Africa's second highest peak. Our drive will take us into the Central Highlands, the heartland of the Kikuyu people. This is a very fertile region, well-watered, intensively cultivated, and thickly forested. The land was coveted by the Europeans who began arriving in ever-increasing numbers once the railway through the area was completed. The settlers established coffee and tea plantations on the eastern slopes of Mt Kenya and cultivated wheat on the western slopes.

Our destination is Sweetwaters, a luxury tented camp clustered around a water hole and set in the pristine calm of the private Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a non-profit organization supporting endangered species, tourism and community outreach. Ol Pejeta is East Africa's largest Black Rhino sanctuary, the only place in Kenya to see chimpanzees, and holds some of the highest predator densities in Kenya.

This afternoon we'll enjoy our first game drive within the conservancy.

Overnight at Sweetwaters Camp.

Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 20 Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Ol Pejeta is a mosaic of grass plains, wooded grassland, acacia woodland and evergreen thicket extending for over 350 square kilometers. The conservancy boasts an astounding variety of animals, including the "Big Five."

We will have morning and afternoon game drives today, as well as a chance to visit the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary -- the only place in Kenya where this highly endangered and remarkably intelligent species can be seen. The facility was initially established to receive and provide lifelong refuge to orphaned and abused chimpanzees from West and Central Africa. Here the chimpanzees are carefully nursed back to health so they can enjoy the rest of their days in the safety of a vast natural enclosure.

Overnight at Sweetwaters Camp.

Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 21 Ol Pejeta - Great Rift Valley - Lake Nakuru National Park
This morning we travel to Lake Nakuru, a shallow soda lake in the Rift Valley. The Rift Valley was created millions of years ago under the strain of enormous volcanic eruptions which resulted in a giant split in the earth's surface from Syria to Mozambique. Lava flowed into the valley, forming escarpments on either side of the gigantic trough which can be up to 80 km (50 miles) wide, big enough to be visible from space. At the lake, depending on the water levels, we may have the opportunity to see up to two million flamingos, in addition to the over 340 species of birds that have been recorded in the Rift Valley!

Lake Nakuru is very shallow and can fluctuate up to five metres (12 feet) each day. When the water is low, you can see a white band of crystallized soda along the shoreline. This is also one of the best places in Kenya to view the rare White Rhino as we explore the park on our afternoon game drive.

Overnight in Lake Nakuru National Park.

Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 22 Lake Nakuru - Maasai Mara National Reserve
Early this morning we depart from Lake Nakuru National Park and continue our journey through the Rift Valley, passing by Lake Naivasha and nearby Mount Longonot, a relatively young volcanic reminder of the Rift's violent past. We arrive at our lodge (via bad road) in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in time for lunch.

The Maasai Mara is a natural extension of the Serengeti eco-system and has an amazing concentration of wildlife. The largest population of lions in Kenya is found here, along with large herds of plains game. The Maasai Mara may also be the best place in Kenya to view cheetah. Later this afternoon we enjoy another game drive.

Time-permitting, we will stop and visit a Maasai village to witness the local way of life and meet its residents. If time does not permit, we will visit the village on our way back to Nairobi.

Overnight in the Maasai Mara.

Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 23 Maasai Mara National Reserve
The Maasai Mara National Reserve consists of rolling grassland and is located at the northern end of the Serengeti Plain. Considered the best of Kenya's parks, it is on the pathway of the yearly wildebeest migration, which comes north from Tanzania about the end of June and returns to Tanzania around the end of September. "The Mara" sustains all of the "Big Five" -- lion, elephant, leopard, rhinoceros and buffalo -- as well as an astonishing wealth of herding animals and other wildlife. You can see the stately Maasai men and youth along the road tending their cattle and goats.

We have a full day in the reserve, with morning and afternoon game drives.

In the Mara you will also have an optional opportunity to ascend over the northern Serengeti at daybreak in a hot air balloon (optional expense). From over 300 m (984 feet) above, you will be able to view the vast land and the myriad animals that inhabit the Maasai Mara.

Overnight in the Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 24 Maasai Mara - Nairobi
After breakfast we depart for Nairobi. En route, just outside the capital, we visit the Karen Blixen Museum. Baroness Karen Blixen-Finecke emigrated from Denmark to Kenya in 1918 and, in 1937, wrote under the pseudonym, Isaac Dineson, "Out of Africa." The novel tells the tale of the Baroness's experiences on a Kenyan farm. Her home is now a museum, restored to the style in which she maintained it.

Overnight in Nairobi.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 25 Departure
Departure from Nairobi.


Meal plan: breakfast

Tour Map

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.

Hotel List

The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.

Garden Court Sandton City

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Johannesburg
Country: South Africa

Spend time relaxing in the beautiful gardens with outdoor pool, or taking a short stroll to the city's most upmarket
... complexes, all with an exciting range of designer boutiques, restaurants, banks and entertainment facilities. All modern conveniences.

Read More.

Kingdom Hotel

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Victoria Falls
Country: Zimbabwe

The Kingdom Hotel in Zimbabwe is a luxury hotel on the Zimbabwean side of the Victoria Falls. The establishment is
... ideal choice for the visitor who wants the comforts of a luxury hotel, an environment with natural beauty (such as the Victoria Falls), as well as hotel entertainment such as a casino, spa, numerous restaurants and children’s activities.

The architecture of the luxury Kingdom Hotel in Victoria Falls resembles that of the city of Munhumutapa, capital of an ancient civilisation in Zimbabwe. Accommodation at the Kingdom Hotel is truly luxurious, with guests being accommodated in 294 rooms: 4 suites; 112 rooms with king-size beds; 102 queen-size beds; 34 with king-size and bunk beds; as well as 40 with twin beds and bunk beds. All rooms are en suite and equipped with airconditioning, satellite TV, telephone, hairdryer, safe and tea/coffee-making facilities.

In addition to a variety of restaurants (Whitewaters, Thundercloud Spur, the Burger Place, the Sweet Hut and Panarottis pizzeria), bars (Rapids Pool Bar, Quartermains Bar, Wild Thing Action bar, the Pit), casino (with slot machines, Black Jack and American Roulette) and four swimming pools, the luxurious Kingdom Hotel in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, also offers a business centre and Internet café, spa and beauty parlour, hair salon, a supervised children’s play area, curio shops and 24-hour room service. Bills from the restaurants and bars can be settled on one, final account.

Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is the capital of the adrenalin junkies. There are light aircraft flips across the Falls, white river rafting and kayaking on the Zambezi River, bungi jumping from the Victoria Falls bridge (for the brave ones), an elephant ride, or a swim in the ‘Devil’s Pool’ (a small rock pool right on the ‘lip’ of the Victoria Falls). The latter must surely rate as one of the experiences you are guaranteed to remember for the rest of your life!

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Hazyview Hotel

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Hazyview
Country: South Africa

The Hazyview Hotel prides itself on warm, friendly service and promises an effortless tranquility that will restore your soul and
... your senses. The unique location ensures guests of exceptionally good weather and a malaria free environment. En-suite bathrooms, air conditioning, satellite television, personal tea and coffee making facilities.

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Forester's Arms

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Mbabane
Country: Swaziland

This country-style hotel is situated on 90 ha of beautiful Swaziland highlands in the heart of the Kingdom. Spoil yourself
... our wonderful nine-course dinner by candlelight and choose your wine from our imaginative wine list. All 30 bedrooms are tastefully decorated, with bathrooms en suite, telephones and TV.

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The Graywood Hotel

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Knysna
Country: South Africa

49 en-suite rooms offer comfortable and convenient accommodation ideal for holiday makers. For added convenience the hotel has a licensed
... swimming pool, and full breakfast buffet.

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Riempie Estate

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Oudtshoorn
Country: South Africa

Embraced by the spectacular views of the Swartberg & Outeniqua Mountains, lies the Riempie Estate, offering 3-star accommodation in 40
... decorated chalets and thatched 'rondavels'. All rooms are en suite with bath and/or shower, air-conditioning, TV, tea and coffee facilities and a hairdryer.

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City Lodge Waterfront

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Cape Town
Country: South Africa

A centrally located hotel at the gateway to the vibrant and dynamic V&A Waterfront, within walking distance of Cape Town's
... 15 minutes from the international airport. A nautical theme runs through the hotel and a spa-pool is available for guests to relax in the warm Cape weather.

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Commodore Hotel

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Cape Town
Country: South Africa

The Commodore Hotel lies where Table Mountain and the sea meet. Overlooking the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, with views of
... Mountain, Robben Island, the Harbour and the Atlantic Ocean, is the luxury accommodation of The Commodore Hotel.

The Commodore Hotel is Legacy’s flagship hotel in Cape Town, epitomising stylish living, quality service and a tranquil setting that have ensured our guests, whether businessmen or tourists, return year after year.

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Sarova Lion Hill Lodge

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Nairobi
Country: Kenya

Set on a plateau above Lake Nakuru, the lodge has 67 chalets all overlooking the lake. It is the perfect
... to experience one of the world's largest ornithological spectacles, the pink flamingo, or a rich concentration of wildlife including black and white colobus monkey and black and white rhino. Private shower, verandah, tea / coffee making facilities.

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Maasai Mara Sopa Lodge

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Maasai Mara
Country: Kenya

Located on the slopes of Oloongams Hills, it is one of the first lodges to be built in the Maasai
... Game Reserve. Guests are drawn to this lodge built in an ethnic design, surrounded by a rich landscape, covered in fauna, from huge desert cacti to sweet smelling jasmine flowers, all within the fabled Maasai Mara game reserve. 50 traditional round buildings with thatched roofs, each with 2 rooms with private bath.

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Trip Information

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►


Breakfast and dinner daily, also most lunches in East Africa (local restaurants and hotels). All accommodation, transport, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Two bottles of bottled water per person daily in East Africa. Gratuities for drivers, local guides, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers arriving / departing on tour dates.


Tour Leader gratuities, one lunch, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international (if applicable) and domestic air taxes, visa fees, and any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on shopping, visas, and locally paid departure taxes.

PLEASE NOTE: if you book your own international air, the flight between Johannesburg and Nairobi will cost you approx $500 MORE than our published tour price. We get a discount on this flight if you book your air with us; if you do not book air through Adventures Abroad, we cannot get this special pricing for you.

Seasonality and Weather

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Oct / Nov is early summer in Southern Africa, a time of warm-hot days and cool evenings. Short-lived thunderstorms are a frequent occurrence, especially in the north. Feb / Mar is late summer when days are usually hot with thunderstorms in the north and dry, cooler weather in the south.

KENYA: Feb / Mar: post-short rains with many migratory birds from Europe, green landscapes though high grass can make game spotting a challenge. Sept / Oct is often hot and dusty though game viewing is excellent due to short grass and animals congregating around water sources.

Transport and Travel Conditions

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Air-conditioned motor coach, 24-40 - seater depending on group size (see 'Group Size'). Open safari vehicles in Chobe, Kruger, and Hluhluwe parks.

KENYA: Some road journeys are very long and very rough, possibly dusty. We travel via well-maintained, rugged minivan with six passengers each. The same vehicles, with roofs that pop up, will be used for our game drives in parks and reserves. Please note that air-conditioned safari vehicles are non-existent in East Africa. All internal flights via scheduled carriers.


SOUTHERN AFRICA: Well-located, air-conditioned, 3&4-star hotels with en suite toilet and bath throughout. Porter service is available throughout (see 'Inclusions'). Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins.

KENYA: Hotels and lodges are 4-5 star properties with hot water, electricity, mosquito netting, dining areas, bar, swimming pools. Remote lodges are not air-conditioned though many are at higher elevations where heat is not a factor. Many lodges are quite spread out and you will need to be able to walk up to 10 minutes from public areas to your room.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader throughout, drivers, local guides at various locations.

Kenya / Tanzania: Groups of six or fewer participants (one vehicle), will be led / guided by one of our local driver-guides. Only multi-vehicle groups will be assigned an Adventures Abroad Tour Leader.

Group Size

10-21 (plus Tour Leader)



TOUR STARTJohannesburg