Note – the Rwandan Gorilla Adventure extension to our East Africa tour has been scheduled to allow anyone on the Southern Safaris tour to participate as well. You would be responsible for a Kigali to Victoria Falls flight and lodging between. [Gorilla permits sell out early. Participation depends upon availability.]
Day 1 Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe 3/26
Get acquainted meeting; Dinner
Ilala Lodge is one of Victoria Falls most luxurious accommodations and it is walking distance from the market, downtown, and the falls! Dinner in the Ilala dining room will be a memorable African feast.
Accommodation: Ilala Lodge (3nt)
Day 2 Victoria Falls 3/27
Victoria Falls National Park; Township Visit; Free afternoon
Spectacular Victoria Falls, one of the world’s seven natural wonders, is our goal this morning. “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 to the roiling gorge below. We’ll be here at the end of the rainy season so we’ll experience the falls at their thunderous best.
Later his morning we visit Chinotimba Township. The word Chinotimba describes the roar of the water from the Falls in the local Nambya language. We will be hosted in a local family residence for tea and a Q&A session.
Day 3 Victoria Falls 3/28
Rhino Safari; Free afternoon; Zambezi River Cruise; Zambezi Riverside Dinner
The Rhino Safari was a huge success as an optional activity on our 2014 tours. So we are including it this time around. An early morning start takes us to a private game preserve where black rhinos reside. The success rate exceeds 90% so we should see the elusive animals. And of course, we may well see other wildlife as well. Optional afternoon activities include: Helicopter flight; elephant back safari; and a large variety of adventure sports activities. At the end of the afternoon we’ll enjoy 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 (and an open bar for us!), beautiful scenery, hippos lounging alongside, the thundering sounds of the falls approaching, and another amazing African sunset. Then we settle in for a traditional outdoor “Brai” (African barbecue) along the banks of the mighty river.
Day 4 Hwange National Park 3/29
Transfer to Hwange NP; lunch; PM game drive; dinner
Hwange National Park hosts over 100 mammal and 400 bird species. All of Zimbabwe’s specially protected animals are to be found here. Additionally, it is the only area where gemsbok and brown hyena are found in large numbers and the population of Cape wild dogs is one of the largest in Africa. Major predators include lion, leopard, spotted hyena, and cheetah. Elephants have been enormously successful in Hwange and the population has increased in recent years. However, perhaps Hwange’s greatest claim to fame was the infamous poaching of Cecil the lion in 2015.
Accommodation: Hwange Safari Lodge (2nt)
Day 5 Hwange 3/30
AM and PM game drives; lunch and dinner
Day 6 Chobe National Park 3/31
Transfer to Kasane, Botswana; Sunset cruise; dinner
Upon our arrival in Kasane 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 near enough for close-up photographs, not to mention the chance of a spectacular African Sunset. Kwalape Safari 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 and Boma for starlight meals.
Accommodation: Kwalape Lodge (3nt)
Day 7 Chobe 4/1
AM game drive; lunch; free afternoon; dinner; Q&A
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 elephants 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. Another Chobe highlight, exclusive to Imprint, is an informal Q&A session with our host, Milton K., director of the lodge. Among other topics, he will share what life is like in today’s Botswana, why Botswana is so different from the surrounding countries, why its people are so confident, how his marriage was arranged, and how he got his nickname!
Day 8 Chobe 4/2
AM game drive; lunch; PM game drive or river cruise; dinner; local entertainment
More game drives highlight the day's plans. But today’s unique activity is a wonderful music and dance performance from a local dance troupe. At Imprint, we have arranged local music and dance performances in many countries – this is by all measures the most energetic, the most authentic, the most fun, and the most engaging performance we have ever offered.
Day 9 Cape Town South Africa 4/3
flight to Cape Town; transfer to hotel
Today is a travel day. We have a free morning at liesure before being transferred to Kasane's airport. We fly via Johannesburg to our destination of Cape Town.
Accommodation: Cape Manor Hotel (4nt)
Day 10 Cape Town 4/4
Cape Excursion; lunch & dinner
This is an awe-inspiring day-long tour to the towering headland known as Cape Point. The drive south highlights the 12 Apostles peaks, historic and picturesque coastal villages, and photogenic beaches. At the Good Hope Nature Reserve we’ll enjoy rich fynbos vegetation, bird life, endemic antelope and zebra, and the historic lighthouse. For lunch we travel on to Simon’s Town with its charming Victorian architecture. Then a visit to the charming penguin colony at beautiful Boulders Beach. Dinner tonight is on Cape Town’s colorful and lively V&A Waterfront.
Day 11 Cape Town 4/5
Winelands day trip
A delightful drive takes us into the heart of the Cape winelands, through superb mountain ranges, vineyards, and Cape Dutch homesteads. 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 to the 17th century when French Huguenots arrived. Billed as the Gourmet Capital of South Africa, this charming town retains its French Huguenot style. Then it’s on to Stellenbosch via scenic Helshoogte Pass. Take a stroll down the canal-lined avenues in the shade of giant oaks 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 second wine tasting of the day. After our return to Cape Town, your evening is free.
Day 12 Cape Town 4/6
Imprint will assist with free time transportation arrangements and bookings. Two obvious options are Robben Island and Table Mountain. 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. The rotating Table Mountain Aerial Cablecar 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, Robben Island to the north, and the Atlantic seaboard to the west and south.
[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. The Table Mountain excursion is weather dependent and cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, we have elected to make these excursions optional.] Our final dinner together is at Marco’s African Place, a famous Cape Town restaurant renowned for live Marimba music and its exquisite indigenous African and cape cuisine fusion.
Day 13 Cape Town 4/7
Tour over after breakfast. [Namibia Extension departs after breakfast]
Itinerary details subject to change.
12 night’s accommodation; All breakfasts, 9 dinners, 6 lunches; 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 – bus, custom safari vehicle, Kasane-Cape Town flight, airport transfers day 9; all park, preserve, and included sight entrance fees and activities (Cape Point; driving safaris; Chobe River cruise; Zambezi River cruise; Township visit; Rhino safari; Chobe NP; Hwange NP; Victoria Falls NP)
Tour participants are responsible for the cost of drinks, free-time sightseeing, meals not included in itinerary, possible flight baggage charges, and visas. See our Terms and Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.
Day 1 Cedarberg Mountains 4/7
A post breakfast departure from Capetown begins our Namibia extension/tour. A brief stop as we depart the city allows a photo op and view back to Table Mountain across the Bay. We’ll drive through the hills of southern South Africa to our first destination, Clanwilliam, gateway to the Cederberg Mountains. We’ll have time to visit the nearby Cederberg Wildernsess Area to do some easy hiking, see the ancient San Rock Art, and photograph the famously picturesque rock formations. Leopards are known to have been seen in this area as well.
Accommodation: Clanwilliam Lodge (1nt)
Day 2 Orange River 4/8
Today is largely a travel day as we make our way to the Orange River which serves as the Namibian border. Upon arrival we can relax in our lovely riverside bungalows or have a sunset drink by the hotel pool as the river meanders by below us. Dinner together at our hotel.
Accommodation: Felix Unite Camp Provenance (1nt)
Day 3 Fish River Canyon 4/9
Canoe trip; Fish River Canyon
After breakfast we’ll indulge in a leisurely paddle as we travel by canoe on the Orange River. In the afternoon we’ll drive to nearby Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa and second largest in the world. Hopefully there will be time for a quick, easy hike along the canyon rim upon arrival. Later we’ll take in another perfect African sunset with the magnificent views from the canyon rim. We'll have a picnic lunch enroute and dinner is in the colorful and eclectic dining room at our characteristic hotel.
Accommodation: Canyon Road House (1nt)
Day 4 Sossusvlei 4/10
Today is another travel day as we have lots of miles to cover. But our goal is the highlight of southern Namibia – magnificent Sossusvlei, home to the globe’s highest sand dunes and southern gateway to the Namib-Naukluft National Park. We’ll have a picnic lunch on the road and at the end of our day we can settle into our comfortable lodge, but not before visiting the cheetahs and leopard they care for in an onsite enclosure.
Accommodation: Hammerstein Lodge (2nt)
Day 5 Sossusvlei 4/11
Sossusvlei; Sesreim Canyon; desert activities
Today is our desert activity day. An early start will allow us to enjoy the early golden light that electrifies the redish sands of Sossusvlei’s magnificent dunes. Our destination is Dead Vlei with its stunning, picturesque black petrified trees, backed by the golden dunes and blue desert skies. We’ll finish off our morning at with an easy hike through Sesriem Canyon, carved millions of years ago by the Tsauchab River. This is an absolutely spectacular photographic day – the clear highlight of the extension. With luck, there may even be water in the vlei (lake). In the afternoon optional activities include a guided hike, 4-wheel ATV tour, or a scenic flight.
Day 6 Windhoek 4/12
This day will be mostly spent driving the edge of the Namib Naukluft National Park on our way north to Windhoek. 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, Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra, leopards, and cheetahs. One can also see the Welwitschia mirabilis, an odd-looking desert shrub, one of which is a large, protected specimen estimated at over 1 500 years old.
Accommodation: Klein Windhoek Guesthouse (1nt)
Day 7 Windhoek - Tour Over 4/13
Tour over after breakfast.
6 night’s accommodation; All breakfasts, 5 dinners, 3 lunches; full time services of professional tour director and local escort for all excursions and sights; all tips for drivers, guides, tour director, group meals; all tour transport; all park, preserve, and included sight entrance fees and activities (Cedarberg Mountains, Orange River canoe excursion, Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei)
Tour participants are responsible for the cost of drinks, free-time sightseeing, meals not covered in the itinearary, and visas. See our Terms and Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.