Announcing 2015 Southern Safaris Tour

Dear Imprint travelers.  Later today I'm boarding my flight for Windhoek Namibia and Imprint's inaugural Southern Safaris tour.  What better time to announce next year's tour!  We are excited to offer this fantastic travel adventure again for 2015. For this year's tours we created an "unpublished" Namibia extension for our alumni travelers.  For 2015, we are offering it to everyone.  Read on to be inspired for an African adventure and watch for my blog posts over the next 5 weeks to see and hear how this year's safaris progress.  Reid

Southern Safaris April 20, 2015

Dates:  April 20 to May 2, 2015 Cost:  $4100 + air    Single Supplement $500 Tour begins Capetown, SA ends Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe Namibia Extension:  April 12 to 20; Cost: $2300; Single Supplement $300; begins Windhoek ends Capetown

Day 1 Capetown  4/20

Bo Kaap neighborhood

Get Acquainted Meeting followed by neighborhood orientation and dinner together. Our hotel is near the Castle of Good Hope, South African National Gallery, Houses of Parliament, District 6 Museum, Grand Central Shopping Center, Green Market Square, and lively Long Street where we will adjourn for dinner.  Also nearby is the colorful, photogenic Bo Kaap neighborhood.

Township Hotel - our hotel is centrally located, owned by a local family, is non-smoking, and boasts “uptown luxury and down-to-earth hospitality”.

Day 2 Capetown  4/21

Cape Point

Full Day Cape Point and Peninsula Tour This is an awe-inspiring tour to the towering headland known as Cape Point. Magnificent beaches, breathtaking views, historic and picturesque coastal villages are to be seen along the way. The Cape Peninsula is one of the world’s most scenic areas and stretches from the City to Cape Point.  We travel along the Atlantic Seaboard via Sea Point, Clifton and Camps Bay, stopping at a Llandudno look-out point before continuing to Hout Bay, a quaint village and fishing harbor with magnificent mountain views and beach. Here you have the option to take a boat trip to Seal Island (not included). We carry on over Chapman’s Peak, one of the world’s most breathtaking coastal drives, to Cape Point and the Good Hope Nature Reserve. The reserve is rich in magnificent fynbos vegetation, birdlife, endemic antelope species and zebra, and boasts a historic lighthouse.  After a lunch break we travel on to Simon’s Town with its charming Victorian architecture and then on to a penguin colony at beautiful Boulders Beach. The tour ends after a visit to the well-known Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

Cape winelands

Day 3 Capetown  4/22

Full Day Winelands Tour A delightful drive winds its way into the heart of the Cape winelands, through superb mountain ranges, vineyards and Cape Dutch homesteads.  We begin the journey on the N1 to one of the Cape’s first farming districts – Paarl.  The town is set at the foot of a cluster of remarkable granite domes from which it takes its name. Our first stop of the morning is a local wine estate. An informative cellar tour and wine tasting gives us personalized insight into the finer points of wine-making.   We proceed to the town of Franschhoek which dates back to the 17th century when French Huguenots arrived.  Billed as the Gourmet Capital of South Africa, this charming town retains its French Huguenot style. The artistry of Franschhoek's chefs and winemakers is complemented by the beauty of its valley setting. Then it’s on to Stellenbosch via scenic Helshoogte Pass. Take a stroll down the canal-lined avenues in the shade of giant oak trees and past beautifully preserved historic buildings or enjoy the coffee shops, galleries, antique shops and wine bars that line the sidewalks.  This university town exudes an air of quiet intellectualism and wine-making history. With the great numbers of wine estates on offer we are truly spoiled for choices when we enjoy our final wine tasting of the day.  Excursion includes 1 Cellar tour, 3 Wine Tastings and 1 cheese tasting

Table Mountain

Day 4 Capetown  4/23

Free Day

Organized Option:  AM Excursion to Robben Island Located in Capetown’s Table Bay, Robben Island is the infamous Apartheid era prison.  The most famous inmate, of course, was Nelson Mandela.  All groups are escorted through the complex by former inmates – a fascinating cultural connection experience.  [Note:  Imprint Tours’ operational values are to include all major sights on our tours.  However, Robben Island does not offer any group discounts, meaning we are unable to add value by including it.  Therefore, we have elected to make it an optional excursion.]

Table Mountain Sunset Excursion The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway sweeps visitors to the top of Table Mountain. It is one of Capetown's most popular tourist attractions.  The upper cable station is on the westernmost end of the Table Mountain plateau, at an altitude of 1067 meters (3500 feet).  The station offers views over Table Bay, Capetown center, and Robben Island to the north, and the Atlantic seaboard to the west and south.  [Imprint Tours will include the excursion during the tour but will not schedule a specific day.  As the cable car is often shut down by late afternoon winds, we will plan to make the journey whenever conditions allow.  Due to the weather factor, this activity is not guaranteed.]


Day 5 Okovango Delta  4/24

This morning we will be collected and transferred to the Capetown airport where we board our flight to Maun.  Upon arrival you will be met and driven deep into the Okovango Delta to enjoy a traditional Mokoro excursion.  Afterward, we’ll be transferred to Mogotlho Camp for dinner.

Mokoros are the indigenous dugout canoes of the region, carved from the trunks of Sausage Trees.  We will be “poled” by our boatmen through the shallow waters of the Okavango Delta, one of the great natural wonders of the world.  This unsurpassed natural environment is a maze of waterways, islands and reed banks creating a perfect setting for wildlife.  As we drift silently along, this water-level vantage will provide us a unique perspective and personal experience of this amazing ecosystem.  Mokoros, traditionally the most practical way for locals to get around, are the ideal way to traverse the Delta channels.  This particular outing is not necessarily a big game excursion but rather a chance to enjoy the isolated beauty and serenity of the waterways, with time and leisure to notice details such as the flora (papyrus, reeds, and water lilies), a plethora of colorful water fowl (440 varieties), amphibians, and smaller mammals.

Mogotlho Camp accommodation is comfortable and in typical safari style.  We’ll enjoy raised beds and ensuite bathrooms in our permanent tents.  Our camp is perfectly located for forays into Moremi Game Reserve and the Okavango.  All meals are provided during our safari stay (dinner tonight + next 4 days).


Day 6 Okovango Delta  4/25

This morning we begin our big game safari adventure in earnest.  We’ll head into the famous Moremi Game Reserve in our custom built 4-wheel drive safari vehicles for an entire day of game viewing.  Moremi is known as one of the most beautiful and varied reserves in Africa with an unprecedented concentration of wildlife - making it a ‘must see' for a Botswana Safari.  It contains within its boundaries approximately 20% of the Delta, and a vast range of habitats: acacia forests, floodplains, reed beds, lagoons, wetland, mopane forest, and dry savanna woodland.  Game sightings could include lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, giraffe, hyena, wild dog, kudu, impala, roan, zebra, lechwe, hippo, and crocodile.

Moremi giraffes

Day 7 Okovango Delta  4/26

In our pursuit of the greatest variety of game viewing experiences possible, we’ll leave our safari vehicles behind today.  Instead, we’ll undertake a half day guided bush walk to get up close and personal with the wildlife and bush that surrounds us. Led by expert guides and trackers we are sure to have extraordinary game viewing experiences.  This evening we will take a night safari drive through the private concession.  The pursuit of nocturnal wildlife promises to provide new and different game spottings from those seen during the day.


Day 8 Chobe NP  4/27

Today our destination is Kwalape Safari Lodge near Kasane, the gateway to the Chobe National Park. We’ll board our custom safari vehicles and make a day’s journey with game-viewing stops along the way.  Our next two days will be spent in Chobe National Park.

Kwalape Safari Lodge  Situated between Botswana’s northern towns of Kazungula and Kasane and opposite the Chobe River, Kwalape Lodge offers the perfect base to discover the wonders of Chobe NP.  The main restaurant and bar are thatched and nestled into the surrounding bush with the restaurant bar offering an elevated deck, ideal for sun downers and sharing the day’s experiences. Other facilities include a swimming pool, conference facility and Boma for starlight meals.  Sleeping facilities are once again permanent tents with raised beds and ensuite bathrooms.  This evening, after dinner together, the Kwalape Lodge staff will entertain us with traditional African music and dance.

sleeping Chobe hippo

Day 9 Chobe NP  4/28

In case we’ve not seen enough animals on previous safari outings, today will begin with a Chobe game drive.  The park is over 4000 square miles of wilderness area watered by the Chobe & Savuti Rivers – big game magnets.  This includes lion and some of the highest concentration of elephant in Africa, an estimated population of around 25,000.  In addition we’re likely to see zebra, giraffe, warthog and numerous antelope including Sable, Roan, Oribi, Reedbuck, Lechwe and the colorful Chobe Bushbuck.  Bird watching opportunities in Chobe are ample and include some 350 species including the African Fish Eagle, the rare Pell’s Fishing Owl, saddle-billed storks, long-toed Plovers, pink-backed Pelicans, African Skimmers, Bradfield’s Hornbills and Carmine Beeeaters. This evening we enjoy a sunset cruise on the Chobe River where we can watch elephants, hippos, crocodiles and myriad birds without having to reach for our binoculars.  You’ll be close enough for close-up photographs, not to mention the chance of a spectacular African Sunset.

Victoria Falls up close

Day 10 Victoria Falls  4/29

Today we head across the border to Victoria Falls,  Zimbabwe.  Upon arrival you will have a free afternoon to explore the town and the falls.

Spectacular Victoria Falls, one of the world’s seven natural wonders, is our goal this afternoon.  “So lovely it must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight” said David Livingstone of the spectacular Mosi-oa-Tunya (‘The smoke that thunders’).  The mighty Zambezi River is divided into a series of braided channels that descend in many separate falls.  Together, the Falls are over a mile across and boast the largest curtain of water in the world – over 130 million gallons of water per minute go over the falls and drop more than 300 feet at its highest point.  We’ll be here at the end of the rainy season so we’ll experience the falls at their thunderous best.  Below the Falls the river flows through series of dramatic, zigzagging gorges.  Additionally, Victoria Falls is fast becoming one of the top adventure destinations in the world.

Ilala Lodge  After five days in the bush we’ll indulge in some comfort at the Ilala Hotel, a perfectly located, stylish boutique hotel.

township child

Day 11 Victoria Falls  4/30

Today we travel to the Chinotimba Township for a tour. The word Chinotimba describes the roar of the water from the mighty Victoria Falls in the local Nambya language. The Nambya and the Tonga people are the original people of the Victoria Falls area. The majority of people in Victoria Falls live in the Chinotimba Township, which has a population of about 60,000. During this tour, we will have an opportunity to observe township life – the oldest houses, the taverns, the local market, and churches.  We will then be transferred to a home in the township, hosted by a local family in their residence, and served a traditional homemade African lunch.  Stomachs full, we return to our hotel where the remainder of your afternoon is free.

This evening’s highlight is a sundowner cruise on the Zambezi River.  The Zambezi sunset cruise is a traveler's institution:  animals coming to the river for their evening drink, beautiful scenery, the sounds of the falls approaching, and another amazing African sunset.

VF helicopter ride

Day 12 Victoria Falls  5/1

Free Day

Today is yours to spend as you wish, with many optional activities to choose from or you can relax and enjoy your last day in Africa by soaking up the atmosphere.

Optional Activities include but are not limited to: Helicopter Flight; Bungi Jump; Elephant Back Safari; Rhino Safari; Elephant Interaction; Canoeing; White Water Rafting; Flying Fox (ultralight); Gorge Swing; Zip Line; Lion Walk; Vintage Railway

This evening we will gather for happy hour to celebrate the highlights of the tour before going to a last night’s dinner together.  Then, for our final evening together, we have something truly rare and spectacular planned.  Today is one day prior to full moon – so we are able to have a special, post-sunset tour of Victoria Falls. On our tour, we’ll walk along the rim of the spectacular First Gorge, seemingly within reach of the roaring thunder of the falls.  Victoria Falls is one of the only places on the planet where one can see a “moonbow.”  The combination of bright moonlight and the tremendous waterfall spray creates this unique phenomenon.  It’s a true travelers’ pilgrimage and bucket list sight – and we’ll be there to enjoy it!  It’s a perfect farewell to our African adventure.

Day 13 Victoria Falls  5/2

Tour over after breakfast


What’s Included: 12 night’s accommodation; All breakfasts, all meals during 4 safari days + 3 dinners & 1 lunch; full time services of professional tour director and local guides for all excursions, sights, and safaris; all tips for drivers, guides, tour director, group meals; all tour transport (except int’l flight and Capetown-Maun flight) bus, custom safari vehicles, airport transfers day 5; mokoros, river boats; all park, preserve, and included sight entrance fees and activities (Cape Point ; Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens; Table Mountain Cablecar excursion {weather dependent}; Mokoro excursion; driving safaris; walking safari; night safari; Chobe River cruise; Zambezi River cruise; Township visit; Moremi Preserve; Chobe NP; Victoria Falls NP)
Important Exceptions: Tour participants are responsible for the cost of drinks, free-time sightseeing, flight to/from tour, Capetown-Maun flight, travel insurance, and visas.  See our Terms and Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.
*No carriers offer a group fare for the Capetown to Maun flight. We are able to book a great group fare from Capetown to Johannesburg (for about $100) but elect to have our travelers book the ongoing Johannesburg to Maun, Botswana flight online as individuals, thereby saving $200+ per person. In 2014 the total cost was $350 per traveler (Capetown to Maun).

dune ridge


Namibia Extension (8 days/nights)

Our attitude at Imprint Tours is to provide an opportunity for those travelers who have the resources to see as much of whatever corner of the world we are visiting.  Therefore, whenever possible, we offer an optional tour extension.  For our Southern Safaris tour, that extension is 8 days in Namibia.  The choice of Namibia was easy.  It is a desert state and therefore a fundamentally different African experience than any on our Southern Safaris tour.  If you are able to stretch to an extra week, we think the addition of Namibia creates the best three weeks possible in Southern Africa.

Day 1 Arrival Windhoek/Swakopmund  4/12

You will be collected at the Windhoek airport and transferred to the coastal town of Swakopmund.  Swakopmund is a charming “German feeling” town on the beautiful Atlantic coast of Namibia.

Departure:  15:00+/-    Accom: Hotel A La Mer

Namib dunes from air

Day 2 Swakopmund 4/13

In Swakopmund we’ll have a free day to adjust our clocks.  As Swakopmund is the adventure sports capital of Namibia you will have the opportunity to participate in the many available activities. Imprint organizes an optional scenic flight over the Sand Dune Sea and Skeleton Coast – one of the best we’ve experienced on any continent (2 hours+; price determined by participation numbers). Some of the other popular activities on offer are quadbiking, sandboarding, tandem sky diving, and shore or boat fishing.  Alternatively just soak up the atmosphere of this quaint town and enjoy its character and beaches.

Sossusvlei dunes

Days 3 Namib Naukluft National Park/Sossusvlei, Namibia  4/14

The day is spent driving through the Namib Naukluft National Park on our way to Sossusvlei.  The Namib-Naukluft Desert is an ancient land with an ageless spirit. It is home to some of the rarest plant and animal species in the world; sightings of this flora and fauna on a Namibian safari are a must. The animals of this harsh landscape include the Oryx, Springbok and Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra. One can also see the Welwitschia mirabilis, a curiously odd-looking desert shrub. One notable example we’ll see is a large, protected specimen estimated at over 1500 years old.

Accom: Hammerstein Lodge (swimming pool, bar)

Dead vlei

Day 4 Sossusvlei  4/15

This morning we need to wake up early to visit the world’s highest sand dunes at Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. At sunrise and sunset these dunes, which can reach heights of over 300 m (1000 ft), are absolutely spectacular and provide for a fantastic photo opportunity. With luck, there may even be water in the vlei (lake).  We also visit Sesriem Canyon, a scenic wonder carved millions of years ago by the Tsauchab River.

Fish River Canyon

Day 5 Fish River Canyon, Namibia  4/16

Today we travel south to the Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon on earth.  Exceeded only by our Grand Canyon, this is an awe-inspiring gem of nature not to be missed.  Upon arrival we’ll organize an easy hike along the canyon rim with its magnificent views and enjoy a spectacular canyon sunset.

Accom: Canon Road House (swimming pool, bar)

Orange river

Day 6 Orange River, Namibia  4/17

We leave this morning for our camp on the banks of the Orange River, the natural border between South Africa and Namibia.  En route we’ll stop at Ai-Ais, a natural thermal spa.  Geo-thermal water rich in fluorides and with a temperature of approx. 60°C gushes forth from the springs. In the Nama language, "Ai-Ais" means "burning water".  In the afternoon travelling is done in a canoe. Put your feet up and relax as the currents take you down the scenic Orange River.

Accom: Felix Unite Provenance (swimming pool, bar)

Maltese cross

Day 7 Cedarberg, South Africa  4/18

Today we cross the border into South Africa and make our way down the coast traveling through the famous Namaqualand region with its varied wildflowers. We arrive in Clanwilliam in the late afternoon, one of the ten oldest towns in the country, nestled at the foot of the Cedarberg Mountains. Again, we’ll organize an easy, optional hike in and among the curious and fascinating rock formations of this famous trekking area.

Accom: Clanwilliam Lodge (swimming pool, bar)

Capetown and Table Mountain

Day 8 Cape Town, South Africa  4/19

A morning’s drive through the mountains takes us to our final destination of Cape Town.  We’ll make a photo-op stop along the Atlantic coast to view Table Mountain across the Bay.

Accom: Townhouse Hotel


Day 9 End of extension/Start Southern Safaris Tour 4/20

Your tour ends after breakfast and Southern Safaris starts in the afternoon.  In the meantime you’ll be free to explore beautiful Capetown.


What's Included: experienced local guide; 8 nights accommodation: all breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners; all transport in fully equipped vehicles, all park entrance fees; organized hikes at Fish River and Cederburg; Orange River canoe trip; Ai-ais; all tips.
Important Exceptions:
Travel insurance, flights, pre tour accommodation, optional and free-time activities, all drinks, all personal expenses, and visas.