Summary : Enjoy traveling with the tour operator named "World's Best" by readers of Travel+Leisure magazine for an unprecented eight years in a row. This journey is a magnificent passage through fabled African lands. Travelers will delight in the civilized charms of South Africa, thrill at the majesty of Victoria Falls and fall silent in appreciation of East Africaís eternal wildlife. From graceful Cape Town at the southern tip of the Africa, to the wild heart of Kenyaís legendary game reserves, this program has been carefully crafted to present the best of Africa in luxury, including six flights to add to the comfort of your travels.
Activities : Birding, Culture
$999,999,999 to $0
You board your international flight this evening, bound for South Africa.
Following an afternoon or evening arrival, you settle happily into the city's grande dame hotel, the Mount Nelson, set in nine acres of lush gardens, reclining elegantly at the foot of Table Mountain. The balance of the day is to relax and enjoy the surroundings. A sound rest tonight prepares you for tomorrow's adventures.
A full-day tour explores this dramatically beautiful city, including a spectacular cable car ride up Table Mountain, offering a splendid view of Cape Town. Then it's off to the Cape Point Nature Reserve of Flying Dutchman fame, and the fabled Cape of Good Hope, revealing dramatic and beautiful panoramas along the way.
The area's famed vineyards, home to some of the world's finest vintages, are on your agenda today. You enjoy a tour and sumptuous lunch at one of the wine estates and stroll through quaint colonial Dutch villages. This lyrically lovely region, with vistas of majestic mountains, lush vineyards and whitewashed Cape Dutch homes, will leave you breathless.
This morning you enplane for Victoria Falls, connecting in Johannesburg. In the afternoon you check into either the magnificent Royal Livingstone Hotel (Zambia-side of the Falls) or the old-world Victoria Falls Hotel (Zimbabwe-side). From both hotels you hear the roar of the plummeting torrents and see cascades of billowing mist. Lunch is served on the hotel's stunning veranda and the afternoon is at leisure, delighting in the views and the hotel's delightful amenities.
Breathtaking! This morning you tour the Falls, stopping at various vantage points to marvel at one of Mother Nature's most dazzling spectacles. A scenic flight over the Falls is also included. The day ends with a sunset cruise along the upper Zambezi, the perfect venue to enjoy "sundowners" and watch elephants and giraffes drink at the water's edge.
You fly to South Africa and find yourself absolutely enchanted with your accommodations at the Westcliff Hotel, evocative of a sprawling Mediterranean village cascading down landscaped gardens with lush greenery, fountains and panoramic views over the leafy suburbs.
Another hop on the plane and you touch down in Nairobi, Kenya, where your home will be the celebrated Norfolk Hotel. This evening Jane and Felix Pinto invite you for cocktails and dinner at their home. The Pintos take great pleasure in meeting all of their travellers and delight in counting them as friends.
You depart by air to Lake Manyara via Arusha where mahogany forests, marsh, grass, scrubland and over 350 species of birds populate this magnificent tangle of vegetation. On your game runs here, you seek the famous tree-climbing lions, a sight not as rare as you might think. Charming rooms at the Lake Manyara Serena Lodge and a superb dinner await you.
A Bush Walk is a magical way to begin your day in Manyara. Your guide is busy every minute pointing out animal tracks, flora, fauna and birdlife. Then you're off to Ngorongoro Crater where your lodge, the stunning Ngorongoro Serena, is spectacularly situated on the rim of the caldera, revealing an awesome panorama below.
You descend into the giant crater of this extinct volcano and spend the morning tracking animals. This magnificent natural amphitheatre contains the largest concentration of animals in all of Africa, including a high density of lions and thousands of flamingos inhabiting an alkaline lake. Because the grass is short, game is easily spotted. The ever-changing mood and tenor of this great caldera will endlessly hold your attention.
Returning to the Manyara airstrip, you fly to the Serengeti, the jewel in the crown of Tanzania, located deep in the heart of the famous migration corridor. Its far-reaching plains of endless grass, tinged with the twisted shadows of acacia trees, have made it the quintessential image of a wild and untarnished Africa. After two days of intensive game runs you will be passionate about this land. Your lodgings are at the exquisite Kirawira Tented Camp, the epitome of classic safari camp luxury and a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Your journey continues by air across the tapestry of East Africa to Arusha and Nairobi, where you pause for lunch before continuing by air to the Maasai Mara. And here, once again, you find the Africa of your imagination—a pristine wilderness of haunting beauty, arcing vistas and a sea of richly rolling grasslands. And here, your splendid expedition reaches a grand finale with Bush Cocktails on the plains and a visit to a Maasai village. Two glorious days and nights are enjoyed in the cosseted comfort of Mara Explorer or Governors' tented camps.
Having traversed the African continent from the Cape to Kenya, you return by air to Nairobi. You may wish to visit an AmericaShare project this afternoon or revisit a favorite site. Your international flight departs this evening.
You arrive in Europe and connect to homebound flights.
First-class hotel accommodations based on twin-bedded rooms with private bath or showers; three meals daily based on evening arrives on Day 2; transport and handling of two pieces of luggage per person per airline regulations (Guests are urged to travel with only one medium-sized suitcase. On certain flights within Africa, strict luggage restrictions apply; details are provided in tour documentation. Luggage and personal effects are at the owner's risk throughout the tour.); hotel taxes as imposed by city and state governments, entrance fees to National Parks and Game Reserves, and airport taxes for intra-country flights; internal airfare (Cape Town / Victoria Falls / Johannesburg / Nairobi / Manyara / Serengeti / Maasai Mara / Nairobi).
International airfare; cost of obtaining passports, visa, travel insurance; excess baggage charges; items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, communication (calls, faxes, emails, etc.); international airport departure tax (to be paid in US dollars or acceptable foreign currencies); deviations from the tour; gratuities to safari directors; tour leaders, drivers, rangers and trackers are at your discretion.
Sample Airfare from New York to Cape Town returning from Nairobi to New York:
Economy Class from $1,250
Business Class from $4,800