Earth Journeys... Created by Tauck and BBC Earth.
Our 12-day South Africa tours go beyond the ordinary with amazing travel experiences that include game drives in two of the most sought-after private game reserves - stay in the heart of the reserves, where you just might spot leopards, lions, elephants, impalas, and zebras. Attend wine tastings, special presentations and lectures with local experts... and experience the vast legacy of cultural and natural history in Cape Town, Robben Island, Johannesburg, and Soweto. Learn more about the struggle against apartheid, travel up Table Mountain for extraordinary views of "the end of the continent," and meet some elephants during your two-night stay at Victoria Falls - a highlight of our South Africa tours. And when you cruise the Zambezi River at sunset... you know that South Africa has a place in your heart forever more. You'll find yourself immersed in the Earth Journeys experience, featuring on-tour films by BBC Earth natural history experts and when the opportunity arises, the use of field equipment such as night vision goggles and FLIR(R) thermal camera imaging that reveal the secret nocturnal life of South Africa's wildlife, providing a rare look at what is normally hidden in darkness.
➕ Day 1 Tauck's South Africa tour begins in Cape Town
Your South Africa tour and safari begins at the Cape Grace at 6:30 PM. A transfer from Cape Town International Airport to the Cape Grace is included; the hotel, found on the prestigious Conde Nast Traveller's Gold List is perfectly situated right on the waterfront in the heart of the city. Meet your Tauck Director and your fellow travellers at our welcome reception in Bascule Bar followed by dinner in the Conservatory.
➕ Day 2 Visit Robben Island and the Winelands
Today's sightseeing begins with a trip that explores a significant period in the story of Cape Town and South Africa. Take a ferry ride across Table Bay to Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The turbulent history of the island unfolds during a guided tour, and the struggles of South Africa's freedom fighters are brought to light as you view the infamous prison and the cell in which Nelson Mandela was confined for 27 years. This island, formerly a whaling station, also boasts a beautiful nature reserve. Back on the mainland, spend some free time in Cape Town before a drive to Constantia in the Cape Winelands for a memorable wine-pairing dinner.
➕ Day 3 Up Table Mountain and on to the Cape Peninsula
Explore Cape Town today on an orientation sightseeing tour in and around the city. Following a journey by rotating cable car, you'll find yourself atop famous Table Mountain. Enjoy magnificent 360-degree views of the city and bay during the ride up and on a walk at the top. Next, drive to Cape Point and take a funicular up to the historic lighthouse. The views are outstanding, and you'll overlook the Cape of Good Hope - and the point that is thought to be where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean. Meet African penguins in a boulder-strewn coastal park before returning to your hotel. This evening, enjoy the dining and entertainment options of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront as you please.
➕ Day 4 Kruger National Park, Africa untamed
Fly from Cape Town to Skukuza airstrip and the incomparable Kruger National Park for a two-night safari stay; Lion Sands-Kruger National Park is set in the South African lowveldt in Kruger, thought to host more mammal species than any other game reserve on the continent. Home to Lion Sands Tinga Lodge and Lion Sands Narina Lodge, Lion Sands is located in a private riverside setting inside the park. The river is home to many endangered and rare animals, birds and reptiles - be on the lookout for them on an afternoon game drive before dinner.
➕ Day 5 A riverside retreat in Kruger National Park
Wildlife viewing is at its best on our South Africa tour here at the Lion Sands-Kruger National Park Concession, which covers 12,000 acres and boasts one of the highest recorded densities of predators - and especially of leopards - in Africa; guests have spotted elephant, cheetah, rhinos, wild dogs and, of course, leopards in Kruger during their stay. You'll have ample opportunity to spot the animals who live here on two game drives today. Tonight, feast on regional culinary specialties at dinner.
➕ Day 6 Game drives in Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Enjoy a final game drive at Lion Sands this morning before moving on to Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, situated within the Sabi Sands Game Reserve bordering expansive Kruger National Park. Comprising five smaller private game reserves set along the Sabie River, the Sabi Sands reserve is home to a great biodiversity of habitat and wildlife, including Africa's iconic 'Big Five' - elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard; wild dogs, cheetahs and over 300 species of birds can also be spotted here. An afternoon game drive is your introduction to life in the African bushveld.
➕ Day 7 At home on safari
Morning and afternoon game drives aboard four-wheel-drive, open-top Land Rovers make your South Africa tour come alive with up-close sightings of African game. Expert Shangaan trackers and experienced rangers help you spot the animals who migrate through the reserve, including gazelles, antelopes, kudu, impalas and giraffes. They are well-versed in the geography of the area, the wildlife and the efforts being made to conserve these living treasures and eagerly share their knowledge with you. Enjoy afternoon coffee, tea and biscuits, or perhaps a swim, between game drives, and a traditional braai barbecue at dinner tonight.
➕ Day 8 Gems of Johannesburg
Bid farewell to safari days and depart the Sabie River region on a flight to Joannesburg for a two-night stay at 54 on Bath. Gold and diamonds made "Jo'burg" one of Africa's wealthiest cities - and the largest in the world that's not situated on a coastline, river or lake; learn about the history of the country's mines from a local gemologist this evening. Dine tonight at the hotel.
➕ Day 9 The sights of Soweto, past and present
During today's guided tour, you'll experience the diversity of Soweto, from its thriving business environment of today to its historical importance as a residential township in the time of the apartheid. You'll see the homes of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as South Africa's Constitutional Court. Visit the Apartheid Museum, acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th-century South Africa, at the heart of which is the apartheid story; the museum illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid. Return to the hotel, where the remainder of the day is free to spend as you please in Johannesburg.
➕ Day 10 Experience the grandeur of Victoria Falls
Fly to Victoria Falls today, regarded as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Zambezi River plunges more than 300 feet into the Zambezi Gorge, often creating rainbows in the spray; the cataracts are nearly twice as wide and twice as high as Niagara Falls. Enjoy elegant accommodations at The Victoria Falls Hotel, established in 1904; in your free time, stroll the hotel's private pathway atop the gorge for inspiring views of the Victoria Falls Bridge crossing into Zambia. Nowhere is the hotel's gracious service more welcomed than at traditional afternoon high tea, which you experience during your stay. A local historian offers insights into the life of the famous Dr. David Livingstone aboard a private sundowner cruise on historic Zambezi River this evening - watching the setting African sun is an added bonus on this South Africa tour. Tonight, dine at your choice of restaurants in the hotel.
➕ Day 11 The falls & elephants in Zambezi National Park
First up this morning is a privately guided walk around Victoria Falls, stopping to view its thundering waters from various vantage points including the Devil's Cataract, Rain Forest, Main Falls and Danger Point. You'll gain some amazing insights about African elephants from a naturalist during a hands-on visit to an elephant sanctuary where you'll interact with the elephants and watch them as they feed, play, and socialize. Majestic, wise and very intelligent, they have earned their nickname 'gentle giants' as they are thought to be the largest living mammal on Earth today. Join us this evening for our farewell cocktail reception and dinner, where you'll have a chance to share memories and stories from this enriching South Africa tour with your fellow guests, now friends.
➕ Day 12 Journey Home
Tauck's South Africa tour ends at Johannesburg Airport. Enjoy a final morning at leisure in Victoria Falls before your flight to Johannesburg at the conclusion of your South Africa tour. You should allow a minimum of three hours from the time of arrival in Johannesburg for check-in for your flight home.