VRRA Africa 2020 Tour

A Victor Romagnoli 30th Anniversary Tour

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Mountain gorilla viewing trek, Spectacular Cape Town; Desert landscapes, dramatic dunes; Superb wildlife viewing; Stupendous wilderness lodges

INQUIRE ABOUT THIS TRIP
  • DATES & PRICES
  • FULL ITINERARY
  • MAP & HOTELS
  • TRIP INFORMATION

Dates & Prices

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to the entries under the blue box below.


Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Sat 17 Oct 2020Sat 07 Nov 2020 $15730 USD

$2000 per person deposit required. An additional pre-payment of $3250 per person is due once the tour becomes 'guaranteed.' Due to the exclusive accommodation used on this tour and the non-refundability of gorilla permits, contrary to our usual terms governing deposits, once the tour is guaranteed all monies paid become non-refundable/non-transferrable.

Optional Single Supplement: $3141 USD (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $3141 if you join our share program and we are unable to pair you.


Tour Overview


This Africa 2020 Tour was designed by, and will be led by, senior Tour Leader Victor Romagnoli who, in 2020, celebrates 30 years of of leadership with Adventures Abroad.

He invites you to join him on this exciting journey!

Regions visited: East Africa and Southern Africa
Countries visited: Rwanda; South Africa; Namibia; Zimbabwe and Botswana


Full Itinerary

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Day 1 Arrival in Kigali, Rwanda
Today we arrive in Kigali, the capital and the largest city of Rwanda, situated in the centre of the nation. It has been the economic, cultural, and transport hub of Rwanda since it became capital at independence in 1962.

Overnight in Kigali.

Included Meal(s): Dinner

Day 2 Kigali - Parc National des Volcans
Today we transfer to the Parc National des Volcans (+/- 3 hours).

"In the heart of Central Africa, so high up that you shiver more than you sweat," wrote the eminent primatologist Dian Fossey, "are great, old volcanoes towering up almost 15,000 feet, and nearly covered with rich, green rainforest - the Virungas". Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, the Parc des Volcans protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range--home of the rare mountain gorilla--and the rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath.

Overnight at Parc des Volcans.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3 Parc National des Volcans: Gorilla Trekking
Early this morning we drive to the park headquarters where we are briefed by the guides of the Parc des Volcans before we start our gorilla trek. This 13,000-hectare national park protects the Rwanda sector of the Virunga Mountains, a range of six extinct and three active volcanoes which straddle the border with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bamboo forest is interspersed with alpine moorland, grassland and marsh.

Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virungas is a magical experience. If you are lucky you will get to the gorillas, spend an hour with them, and be back at the base in time for a late lunch. Some gorilla families however are more elusive, and tracking can take a full day... especially when wet and muddy.

The Mountain Gorillas in the Parc National des Volcans are part of a worldwide population of just 740 individuals. The gorillas we are allowed to track belong to one of five habituated family groups. For up to five years each, these groups have undergone an extremely delicate process that has gradually brought them to tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day and allowed a few privileged visitors to interact with them in the wild.

The gorillas are by no means tame, and are completely wild animals. However, experienced guides will accompany us on our tracking, many of who have been involved in the habituation process themselves. The guides will use their knowledge of the gorillas' habits and information from the previous day to locate the group’s whereabouts. Because of this, the time taken to track the gorillas varies enormously, from as little as 1 hour to as much as 8 hours before one returns to base. Once the gorillas are located, our group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them.

Please remember that the mountain gorillas are a wild animal and are not enclosed in any form and free to move as they please. For this reason actual sightings of the gorilla groups cannot be guaranteed. For more information on gorilla tracking in Rwanda, go to www.ortpn.gov.rw.

Overnight near Parc National des Volcans.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4 Parc National des Volcans: Twin Lakes & Optional Activities
This morning you have some options. You may choose to take a trek up to the grave of Dian Fossey and the remains of the Old Karisoke Research Station (additional cost; rate included in your pre-trip notes). For those who loved the book and/or the movie ''Gorillas In The Mist'' the Dian Fossey trek could be a good option. Over the course of the morning you follow in her footsteps as you trek to Dian Fossey's grave and the many graves belonging to the poached gorillas, including that of Digit. Please note that this involves a 30 minute (each way) drive to the trail head and a 60-90 minute moderately-steep hike (one-way). Please also note that if you choose this option, you will return too late to participate in the Twin Lakes excursion described below.

For a more leisurely experience (that allows you to go to the Twin Lakes as described below), trekking to the Golden Monkeys is highly recommended (additional cost - possibly also available tomorrow morning before departure). A short walk to the edge of the forest to see the endangered Golden Monkeys is a rare treat; watching these unique primates play and perform in the forest is mesmerizing.

It is strongly advised that these options are pre-booked and confirmed at time of purchase of the main tour to ensure availability.

This afternoon we offer an excursion to two scenic lakes usually referred to as the Twin Lakes; Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo, fed by rivers and a lake in Uganda. The twin lakes area is very scenic, with steep and intensively farmed hills surrounding the pristine dark blue waters. They offer magnificent views over the whole of the Virunga Volcanoes (weather-permitting).

Overnight near Parc National des Volcans.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5 Parc des Volcans - Kigali: City Touring
Today we drive back to Kigali.

In Kigali we will have a brief look at Kigali and the Genocide Museum, opened in 2004 to mark the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. While the genocide occurred as a result of a complex series of factors, it can only be seen as an absolute tragedy to Rwanda and its people. Time spent at the Genocide Museum is moving and important in understanding the sheer courage and resilience of this beautiful, tiny nation.

Overnight in Kigali.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6 Kigali, Rwanda - Cape Town, South Africa
Today we fly to Cape Town (likely via Johannesburg), one of the world's most spectacularly located cities.

Overnight in Cape Town.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7 Cape Town: Robben Island & City Touring
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! You'll have the opportunity to experience the Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway, a curved steel and timber bridge that winds and dips its way through and over the trees of the Arboretum. The Walkway takes the visitor from the forest floor into and through the trees and bursts out above the canopy, giving spectacular panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains, Garden and Cape Flats.

* Weather dependent; other sightseeing will substitute if needed.

Overnight in Cape Town.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 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.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch

Day 9 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.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10 Cape Town, South Africa - Windhoek, Namibia
Today we fly from Cape Town to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. Depending on the flight schedule, we hope to have a tour of Windhoek upon arrival.

The capital is located in Namibia's central highlands, at an altitude of over 1600 metres. The city's name translates as "Windy Corner." This is a small, rather elegant city with a distinctly European feel to it. The city is full of trees and gardens and some splendid buildings dating from the turn of the 19th century. The multicultural nature of Namibia is most evident on the streets where you can see influences of the Wambo, Herero and Damara people, among others.

Overnight in Windhoek.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11 Windhoek - Namib-Naukluft National Park
Today we travel by road to the Namib-Naukluft National Park via the scenic Khomas Hochland Highlands and the Great Escarpment.

The Namib Desert is a place of magnificent colours, pastel-basted rock formations, and waves of taupe-coloured grasses. Even the clouds are tinged orange-pink as distant dunes reflect their colour skywards. In the Nama language, Namib means vast, and this is an understatement. This park is the largest conservation area in Namibia and one of the largest in the world, at almost 50000 sq km (31,000 sq miles). It encompasses several very different landscapes the wettest of which is the estuarine lagoon at Sandwich Harbour. At the opposite end of the moisture-scale is the parched Namib Desert, with endless orange dunes blown into razor sharp ridges by the sand- shifting wind. The famous Sossusvlei sand dunes at 300 m (1,000 ft), are the highest in the world, towering over their nearest rivals in Arabia, and just begging to be climbed barefoot. The northern part of the park has stony plains leading to lunar landscapes, and the Naukluft Mountain massif has monumental purple-hued mountains, rock pools and wildlife.

Animals, insects, and plants have adapted to live in this generally inhospitable region and apart from infrequent rains, rely on the sea mist that rolls far inland. En route we have the chance to see kudus, springboks, gemsboks and black eagles set against some of the most expansive and dramatically rugged scenery in the world. Picnic lunch en route.

Overnight Namib-Naukluft National Park.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 12 Sossussvlei & Sesriem Canyon
Very early this morning we drive into the park to a place called Sossusvlei, a huge dried up pan (vlei) which sporadically holds water, at the base of some of the most spectacular dunes in the Namib. We watch the morning sun light up the apricot coloured sands, the long shadows accentuating the graceful, almost feminine curves of the dune crests. These immense rich ochre sand dunes are one of the most wondrous sights in the world.

Geologists say that this supreme desert covering most of the Namib-Naukluft Park could be the oldest in the world. The older the dune, the brighter the colour from slow iron oxidisation and minute fragments of garnets. Dwarfed by the sheer size of the dunes, your footprints look like insect trails and each step forward forms a mini sand-slide. The solitude is immeasurable and your place in the great scheme of life, takes on a curious insignificance. Visually powerful and deafeningly silent, this unforgettable experience is a high point of our visit to the Namib. Possible game sightings include oryx antelope, springbok, or ostrich.

On our way back to our accommodation we will make a stop at Sesriem Canyon located near the entry gate to Sossussvlei. It was an important source of water for early inhabitants and even during dry times there is water in the upper reaches, where deep clefts in the rock reduce evaporation. Explorers, transport riders and early travellers used to lower a bucket down to collect the water and it normally took 6 lengths of thong tied together, hence the Afrikaans name Ses meaning six, and Riem meaning thong. The canyon was formed by the Tsauchab River rising in the Naukluft and Zaris Mountains to the east, and flowing through to Sossusvlei. Walking through the canyon takes you on a journey back 10-20 million years ago when sedimentary layers of gravel and sand were deposited and cemented together by lime. The ledges are now inhabited by pigeons, raucous pied crows and chattering starlings.

We'll bring a picnic breakfast with us and return to our lodge for a late-ish lunch.

Overnight in the vicinity of Namib-Naukluft National Park.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 13 Namib-Naukluft - Swakopmund
Today we travel west by road to the German colonial resort town of Swakopmund. Our route takes us via the spectacular rocky Kuiseb Canyon -- with possible sightings of baboon, rock hyrax, or, if really lucky, leopard.

This is Namibia's second biggest town and traditional "summer capital", and one of the most surreal places in this surreal country. We approach the town through the endless expanses of the desert, one of the world's largest wilderness areas. Then, through the mists (it is almost always misty in the morning and late afternoon), Bavarian spires and elaborate Germanic architecture rise through the fog banks. The boom of the surf on the notorious Skeleton Coast is an ever-present reminder of the icy Atlantic Ocean beyond. We'll have a picnic lunch en route; upon arrival we'll have an informal walking tour of the town.

Overnight in Swakopmund.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 14 Swakopmund: At Leisure
Today is free to enjoy Swakopmund and/or optional activities.

We recommend a full-day flying excursion (weather permitting), up the northern coast of Namibia. Our choice is the "Epupa Himba Excursion," on which you witness the rugged beauty of the Skeleton Coast and meet the proud, nomadic tribe of the Ovahimba. The Namibia section of your post-booking information booklet will provide a price range (approx US$1500 per person) and further instructions re this option, which needs to be booked in advance and requires a minimum of 7 participants.

Overnight in Swakopmond.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 15 Swakopmund, Namibia - Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Today we drive the short distance to the airport at Walvis Bay from where we fly to Victoria Falls (via Windhoek).

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.

Overnight in Victoria Falls.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 16 Victoria Falls Touring
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 end as the views are fantastic, including the best look at the famous Victoria Falls Bridge, the brainchild of Cecil Rhodes and part of his grand and unfulfilled Cape to Cairo railway scheme. 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 sightseeing by micro-light aircraft or helicopter. Your Tour Leader can help plan your afternoon.

NOTE: We don't include dinner tonight as there are a number of choices in the area and past passengers have indicated a preference for some independence in the evening meal plan at Vic Falls.

Overnight in Victoria Falls.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 17 Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe - Chobe National Park, Botswana
This morning cross into Botswana and travel to Chobe National Park via the town of Kasane.

The original inhabitants of what is now the park were the San people, hunter-gatherers who lived by moving from one area to another in search of water, wild fruits and wild animals. In 1967, the area was declared a national park, the first in Botswana. A major feature of Chobe National Park is its elephant population, which is probably the largest in the world. This population covers most of northern Botswana plus north-western Zimbabwe and is currently estimated at around 100,000 individuals. This elephant population has been built up steadily from a few thousand since the early 1900s, having escaped the massive poaching that decimated other populations elsewhere on the continent during the 1970s and 1980s.

Upon arrival, after lunch, we'll have our first game drive in the park.

Overnight at lodge in the vicinity of Chobe National Park.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 18 Chobe National Park & River Cruise
The Chobe National Park covers 10,566 sq km and has one of the greatest concentrations of game found on the African continent. This park has an amazing variety of habitats, ranging from floodplains, baobab, and mopane trees and acacia woodlands, to verdant flood grasslands and thickets bordering the Chobe River.

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

After lunch we board open (covered) safari vehicles and head off into the park to view some of the elephants, buffalo herds, sable, wildebeest, giraffe, and with luck, some resident lion and hyena.

Overnight at lodge in the vicinity of Chobe National Park.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 19 Chobe - Okavango Delta
Today we travel by road to Kasane where we connect with our flight into the Okavango Delta.

Named after Chief Moremi, Sanctuary Chief's Camp is located in the world-renowned Moremi Game Reserve. The luxurious camp is ideal for an exciting African safari due to the vast numbers of animals that congregate all year round. Chief's Island is one of the many islands created by the seasonal flood waters of the Okavango Delta and is well-known for the finest game viewing in Southern Africa. With the finest cuisine and wines, the camp is also consistently rated as one of the top safari camps in Botswana. Sanctuary Chief's Camp has twelve luxury bush pavilions, all with their own private decks as well as both indoor and outdoor showers.

By game viewing on foot and by mokoro, you do not have the noise of the vehicle and therefore will experience the bush in its true form. You will be at one with nature without the intrusion of man. There will be just the sounds of the bush and your footfalls on the earth. The silence will help your ears to pick-up the previously unheard sounds of the bush usually hidden by the mechanical hum of the car. You are on their ground on their terms! Motorboat excursions to the Xo Lagoon is offered when the lagoon is in flood, and game viewing in 4x4 vehicles is also available.

Overnight in the Okavango.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 20 Okavango Delta
We have a full day exploring the waterways of the Okavango Delta. Depending on water levels, we may do our sightseeing either by mokoro canoes or by 4WD vehicles, or a little of both.

The Okavango Delta is unique. It is the largest inland delta in the world; instead of flowing into the sea, the annual flood of fresh water flows inland, spreading over 15 000 sq km of the Kalahari sand in a maze of lagoons and channels. The Okavango Delta is a lush wonderland surrounded by the arid Kalahari Desert and home to many species of antelope, such as Lechwe and Tsessebe. Herds of buffalo, zebra and elephant that number in their thousands pass through annually on their migration routes.

Overnight in the Okavango.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 21 Okavango Delta
We have another full day exploration of the wonders of the delta.

In the lush indigenous forests of the delta and its islands, and along the floodplains spawned by this great marriage ofwater and sand, more than 400 species of birds flourish. On the mainland and among the islands in the delta, lion, elephant, hyena, wild dog, buffalo, hippo and crocodile congregate with a teeming variety of antelope and other smaller animals -- warthog, mongoose, spotted genets, monkeys, bush babies and tree squirrels. Fishing, bird watching, game viewing, photography or simple relaxation; indulging in any of these in the Okavango are experiences without parallel.

Overnight in the Okavango.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 22 Flight to Maun - Departure from Maun
Today we fly back to Maun and connect with our homeward flights.

Safe Journey!

Included Meal(s): 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.


Lemigo Hotel

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Kigali
Country: Rwanda

With everything right where you need it. Be it luxury or comfort, we have it all in one package.Lemigo brings
... refreshingly unique experience to Rwanda. Conveniently located in Kimihurura-Rugando. It is just 10 minutes drive from Kigali International Airport. Relaxation reigns here amid a serene landscape. Set in a serene environment, the hotel is sandwiched between International Organizations of repute.
Rating: 4-star

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Parc National des Volcans
Country: Rwanda

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is located approximately fifteen minutes from the park offices, at the base of Sabyinyo Volcano.

... the rooms are individual spacious cottages with a fire place, sitting area and en-suite bathroom. The lodge consists of thirty cottages nineteen with king size beds, five cottages have twin beds and varnished flat stone floors.

As the lodge is at altitude the evenings can get quite cold the staff will make sure that your cottage is lovely and warm by lighting your own fireplace.

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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, epitomizing stylish living, quality service and a tranquil setting that have ensured our guests, whether businessmen or tourists, return year after year.
Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Avani Windhoek Hotel

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Windhoek
Country: Namibia

This high-end hotel is a 5-minute walk from Zoo Park, a 10-minute walk from the Parliament Gardens and a 12-minute
... from the National Art Gallery of Namibia. The modern rooms and suites come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and safes, along with tea and coffeemakers.
Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Dead Valley Lodge

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Namib-Naukluft National Park
Country: Namibia

Dead Valley Lodge is situated next to the main entrance gate inside the Namib-Naukluft National Park, between the Sesriem campsite
... Elim Dune on the way to the world famous Sossusvlei and the Dead Vlei. This oasis offers a panoramic view of the Namib Desert with towering red sand dunes, rugged mountain ranges, and arid desert savannahs. Each of the 20 free-standing luxury tented chalets is climate controlled and equipped with double bed units, electric plugs, private patios, a kitchenette, and free-standing bathrooms stocked with toiletries. The lodge is currently under construction, as is their website.
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A'Zambezi River Lodge

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Victoria Falls
Country: Zimbabwe

Set 2 km from Victoria Falls, this upscale resort with views of the Zambezi River is 17 km from the
... of Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Featuring plush, modern decor, the cozy rooms come with free Wi-Fi, TVs and minibars, as well as in-room safes, tea and coffee making facilities and furnished balconies.

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Chobe Game Lodge

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Chobe National Park
Country: Botswana

The only permanent game lodge situated within the famous Chobe National Park, Chobe Game Lodge is Botswana's premier venue for
... looking for a perfect base from which to explore the National Park and the Chobe River.
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Click here to visit hotel website

Camp Xakanaxa

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Okavango Delta
Country: Botswana

The prime location of Camp Xakanaxa (pronounced Ka-ka-na-ka) on the banks of the Khwai River on the Xakanaxa Lagoon, in
... heart of the Moremi Game Reserve, makes it one of the very few safari camps that offers guests an authentic, year-round Okavango Delta land and water safari experience.
Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website


Trip Information

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Inclusions

Breakfast daily, most dinners, most lunches in Rwanda and Botswana (see tour itinerary). All accommodation, transport (including internal flights), sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary (including your gorilla permit, a $US$750 value). Gratuities for drivers, local guides, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers arriving/departing on tour dates and early arriving/late departing land & air customers who book their extra nights through us.

Exclusions

International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuity, some meals (see trip itinerary), drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc); international air taxes (if applicable) and any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for 'Land Only' customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance.

Seasonality and Weather

RWANDA: October temperatures average about 25C (79°F) during the day and 15C (60°F) at night (the hottest months are from December to February). The main rainy season is April to May; our October timing coincides with the gradual transition from dry to possibly showery from time to time.

SOUTH AFRICA: In the Cape, weather conditions can be highly- changeable with wind and rain possible at any time, but Oct/Nov is early summer and it is usually very pleasant, though perhaps getting a bit hot if the weather is fine. Humidity is generally low.

NAMIBIA: Most rain falls in summer (Nov-Apr); that said, Namibia is an arid place that tends to be dry at any time of year. Temperatures are quite high at this time. Winter (May-Oct) nights can be fairly cold, but days are generally warm and pleasant. Our Oct/Nov timing falls in the the transitional period from cooler, winter weather to warmer temperatures associated with summer. Short-lived showers can occur, though this pattern usually manifests later in Nov/Dec.

BOTSWANA: Our visit coincides with the end of the dry/cooler season and the transition to wetter and warmer times. At this time, many animals bear their young. The grass in many areas is beaten flat and not yet high, hence game viewing is easier and animals are well concentrated around major water sources.

Transport and Travel Conditions

RWANDA: We travel by touring mini-bus, with seating for approx six. Main roads are generally good but travel is much slower than on European or American roads. Secondary roads are of variable quality and often slow and bumpy especially around the gorilla parks.

SOUTH AFRICA (Cape Town): Ground transport will be provided by air-conditioned motor coach, 24-40 seater depending on group size (see 'Group Size'). Internal flight to Namibia via scheduled carrier.

NAMIBIA: Varies depending on group size. Bus transport may be arranged, or the group may be accommodated in multiple Land Rover type vehicles. These are specially modified vehicles and are the best-suited for the conditions we will encounter.

BOTSWANA: We access remote lodges with chartered light aircraft. Our game drives in Chobe will be via open-top 4x4 vehicles.

We have rated this tour difficulty 'level 3' largely due to the gorilla trekking activity in Rwanda (see below). Elsewhere, the bulk of our program is closer to a level 2, which refers to the overall ambitious nature of the program, full days of travel and activity, some possible early starts, remote locations, and the likelihood of heat at some locations.

MOUNTAIN GORILLAS

Mountain gorillas are a major attraction of the Rwanda section of this tour and the following is compiled to maximize your enjoyment and understanding of these animals. Tracking gorillas is a unique experience - the trek will take you into a strange land to meet these unusual creatures on their own terms.

Gorilla tracking is an intense experience that can take all day. A trek can take from one to six hours, sometimes more, at elevations in excess of 2270m (7,500 ft) and over rough terrain. Local guides will have a very good idea where the gorillas are and how far away they may be on the morning of our excursion. If they have the luxury of doing so, and if there are multiple gorilla family groups to choose from, the guides may choose to divide the group into groups that are less/more capable physically and assign participants dependent on estimated distance. But, of course, this cannot be guaranteed.

Although the hike can be physically demanding, the anticipation of the exciting experience ahead is invigorating, and the beauty of the forest and its inhabitants is fascinating.

We must also stress that, while you have a very good chance of seeing gorillas, the parks that we visit clearly state that success is NOT guaranteed! They are wild creatures with no fixed routine, and finding them requires the skill and experience of your trackers and guides, as well as luck!

For more information, go to www.ortpn.gov.rw

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.

Accommodation

RWANDA has only re-emerged as tourist destinations in the last few years and their lodges and camps are not as luxurious as in some African countries. That said, service levels are high and you will be more than comfortable for these days/nights.

SOUTH AFRICA/NAMIBIA: Well-located, air-conditioned, 4-5 star hotels/lodges with en suite toilet and bath throughout (maybe shower only). Porter service is available throughout (see 'Inclusions'). Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins. There is no camping on this tour.

BOTSWANA: Lodges in Okavango, Chobe and Vic Falls (Zimbabwe) are very comfortable -- even luxurious -- and with all modern conveniences.

A mandatory single supplement will apply if you choose our share program and we fail to pair you. Due to the high cost of single hotel accommodation at destination, this up-charge is 100% of the published single supplement.

Please click on the 'Map & Hotels' tab elsewhere on this page for more information.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader (Victor Romagnoli) throughout, drivers, local guides at various locations. In Rwanda and Botswana you will be also be accompanied by local guides.

Group Size

Maximum 18 plus Tour Leader

VRRA TRIP DETAILS

DURATION22 days

TOUR STARTKigali

TOUR ENDMaun

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