SAFARI BY RIVER & RAIL, South Africa
CURATED ROMANCING THE RAILS
ROMANCING THE RAILS - South African Safari by River & Rail
This is a ThirdHome featured small-group rail journey (ideal for 2-8 people). Our customized journeys allow members to set their own travel dates and include their individual personal interests along with specific excursions, dining and regional opportunities that they may wish to experience for the perfectly-personal journey experience. NO keys are required for this journey. Please refer to fees section in this experience page.
Experience 12 nights/13 days on a small-group luxury South African quintessential journey that highlights all the best of the region. From cosmopolitan Cape Town to thundering Victoria Falls to the extraordinary Okavango Delta, experience the best of Southern Africa in one spectacular itinerary. Embark on a three-night stay along the banks of the Chobe River aboard the graceful 'Zambezi Queen'; traverse majestic mountain ranges and grassy savannas on a two-day train journey by elegant, timeless Rovos Rail; stand atop Table Mountain overlooking the Twelve Apostles range, tour the spectacular Cape of Good Hope and see the African penguin colony on Boulders Beach; enjoy a guided tour of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. End your journey with the quintessential experience - stay within the sanctuary of one of the latest luxury safari camps located in the Okavango Delta's Moremi Game Reserve.
RIVER & RAIL SOUTH AFRICAN SAFARI Itinerary in brief:
DAY 1: ARRIVE CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
Arrive in Cape Town, the metropolitan light of South Africa, where you transfer to one of the country’s most famous luxury boutique hotels, set in the heart of the city - the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel. Remainder of the day and evening at your leisure to relax in this paradise.
DAY 2: CAPE TOWN
Explore this magnificent harbor city, starting with a scenic drive to flat-topped Table Mountain, where you reach the summit via cable car (weather permitting). Take in the panorama of southern seas, sun-drenched city and the impressive cliffs of the Twelve Apostles, brooding high above the ragged shore. History follows with a drive through old Cape Town, past Groote Kerk (South Africa’s oldest church), City Hall and the Grand Parade. Continue with a drive past the Company Gardens with views of the Houses of Parliament and National Art Gallery. Stop for an artisan visit at Streetwires, where locals come together to craft handmade bead art. Your afternoon is at leisure before tonight’s wonderful local welcome dinner. (Breakfast and Dinner included)
DAY 3: CAPE TOWN & THE COAST
Journey along the Atlantic coast, past the “bikini beaches,” through the charming harbor of Hout Bay and over historic Chapman’s Peak Drive. Reach the tip of the continent at the Cape of Good Hope, a richly diverse, 22,000-acre nature reserve that juts into the sea. Ride the “Flying Dutchman” funicular to the great pinnacle at Cape Point, offering views of Southern right whales from July through November. Spot Cape mountain zebras and possibly the rare bontebok en route to Boulders Beach, to sight endangered African penguins. Pass through Simon’s Town with its English seaside feel, the brightly painted boats on False Bay and Constantia, South Africa’s legendary wine country. Stop at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden to explore five of Africa’s six biomes (distinctive ecological regions) with a private local guide. Enjoy an evening at leisure at your hotel with dinner on your own. (Breakfast and Lunch included)
DAYS 4 & 5: ROVOS RAIL JOURNEY - Winelands to Grasslands
Recapture the romance of a bygone era as you board the woodpaneled coaches of the luxurious Rovos Rail. Depart Cape Town Station as you settle into your suite featuring a sitting area, an en suite bathroom, and the perfect blend of period ambience and modern amenities. Wind through mountains, rolling green hills and the Cape Winelands before stopping to visit Matjiesfontein, an authentically preserved Victorian village. Sip South African vintages in handsome dining cars serving up artful menus as the stunning scenery scrolls by. The next day, gain another perspective from the Observation Car at the rear of the train. In Kimberley, tour the Diamond Mine Museum and the world’s largest excavation site. Continue through the hauntingly barren Great Karoo and the grasslands of gold-rich Highveld, marveling at the changing landscapes. Overnight is onboard the luxury Rovos Rail in your train car compartment with a memorable dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)
DAY 6: JOHANNESBURG - The Heart of South Africa
Enjoy breakfast as the scenic views of the gold fields of Witwatersrand pass by, and arrive at Pretoria Station. Transfer to your stylish boutique retreat in Johannesburg, complete with its very own wonderful spa, where you enjoy lunch before an afternoon at leisure. Rest and relax or enjoy the amenities of your accommodations. (Breakfast and Lunch included)
DAY 7: VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE & ZAMBEZI RIVER
Fly to Victoria Falls, where you transfer to your beautiful, historic hotel overlooking the magnificent falls. This afternoon, set sail on scenic sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, watching for the rising mist of the falls in the far distance while you sip a refreshing cocktail. Spot hippos, crocodiles and a variety of birds as you gently glide along. Return to your hotel for a relaxing evening dinner. (Breakfast and Dinner included)
DAY 8: ALONG THE CHOBE RIVER - Zambezi Queen
Join your guide for a walking tour on the Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls, known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders). Watch as the mile-wide Upper Zambezi plunges 300 feet into the Lower Zambezi, making rainbows form and fade in the mist. Later, enjoy a market visit, browsing stalls filled with local handicrafts and relax on a drive to Kasane, where you pass through Namibian customs before boarding five-star luxury houseboat, the ‘Zambezi Queen.’ Enjoy the sunset river views on this elegant, uniquely African vessel while sipping cocktails and sampling canapés. Watch as elephants, buffalo and monkeys come to the river’s edge to drink. On board tonight, enjoy a beautiful dinner prepared by the resident chef, who shares a dinner that matches the majesty of your surroundings. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)
DAYS 9 & 10: RIVER CRUISING & CHOBE NATIONAL PARK
Discover the wildlife-rich Chobe plain, which boasts buffalo, lions, giraffes and hippos, as well as Africa’s highest concentration of elephants. Experience the region as you wish: Choose a morning and afternoon activity, opt to tour a local Namibian village, fish on the Chobe River or embark on a river safari from the seat of a small boat. The next day, set off on a morning game drive in Chobe National Park. Following lunch and time to unwind aboard ‘Zambezi Queen,’ you again have the choice to fish or embark on a river safari, both from aboard a smaller boat for more intimate views of the river. This evening, from the decks of ‘Zambezi Queen,’ watch baboons, buffalo and familial herds of elephants come to the river to drink, while hippos begin their nightly graze. Each evening is spent onboard the Zambezi Queen. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)
DAY 11: OKAVANGO DELTA - Big Predator Capital
After breakfast, disembark the ‘Zambezi Queen’ and fly to the Okavango Delta via Kahane Airport. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your safari sanctuary retreat, the Sanctuary Chief’s Camp, in the Mombo Concession of the vast Moremi Game Reserve. This area is considered the “Predator Capital of the World” and is home to the “Big Five" in wildlife viewing opportunities. It offers Botswana’s most exciting game viewing, with a lush delta that draws a remarkable concentration of birds and wildlife. The rest of your day is at leisure to enjoy the activities overnight is at the Camp. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)
DAY 12: OKAVANGO DELTA - Game Drives of the "Big Five"
Rise early for a game drive on the Okavango Delta, where viewing is nothing short of magnificent with large concentrations of elephants, buffalo and impalas; lions and other predators also call the Okavango home. Activities include a seasonal mokoro ride on the delta and a Chef’s Table experience offering you a taste of traditional local cuisine. Visit the area where 20 rare and endangered rhinos, which were transported into Moremi Reserve to protect them from poachers, now live in their new home. The Philanthropy and Sanctuary Retreats partnered with the Botswana Defense Force and Wilderness Safaris in this bold commitment to conservation. Prior to your afternoon safari, enjoy an educational presentation about the rhinos and their journey from South Africa to Botswana. Tonight, celebrate with a special farewell African safari dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)
DAY 13: DEPART JOHANNESBURG
After breakfast, fly to Johannesburg via Maun, where you connect with your international flight home. (Breakfast)
TO INQUIRE FOR MORE DETAILS & BEGIN PLANNING YOUR PERSONAL JOURNEY - please contact:
Liz Bates - Director of Travel & Concierge Services
Single Family Home with 1 level
1 bedroom, 1 bath, 1 square feet
1 guest maximum
In lieu of the normal ThirdHome Keys & exchange fees, this personally tailored journey is a full-pay travel option and the monetary cost will be quoted to the member based on whatever accommodations are chosen, along with all other itinerary arrangements and inclusions the member requests to be a part of their customized itinerary. This journey does not require a specific number of keys.
Activities of Interest
- Wine Country
Places of Interest
- Cape Town & Johannesburg
- Victoria Falls & Chobe National Park
- Okavango Delta & Maun
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- Concierge Service