DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
Day 1 Depart USA
Depart New York on a flight bound for South Africa. Meals and refreshments served on board.
Day 2 Arrive Johannesburg, South Africa
Upon arrival transfer from the Johannesburg airport to your hotel. After check-in, spend the balance of the day at leisure. Welcome to Johannesburg, the biggest city in South Africa and also the financial hub of the country. Johannesburg is a relatively young city, just over 100 years old. The city is proud to be the biggest manmade forest in the world and consists of over ten million trees, making it a beautiful green city in the summer. The majority of South Africa’s gold mines can be found near Johannesburg and gave rise to the city just over 100 years ago. Johannesburg is also known as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Africa with a melting pot of different cultures from South Africa, Africa and the world.
Day 3 Johannesburg/Soweto/Mpumalanga/Hazyview (Kruger National Park)
After breakfast you depart for Hazyview. Along the way you visit Soweto (South Western Township), the largest black residential area in South Africa. You will see a fascinating contrast to Sandton and Rosebank in the northeast. This “city within a city” consists of 50 suburbs or sections, and your tour route takes you to all the major points of interest. During this panoramic tour view the Hector Peterson Museum and Mandela House. Next, as part of our Cultural Discovery Series, visit a local school, meet the Principal and students, and learn about the school system of the Black African Township. Continue to the Mpumalanga Region, a province of subtropical savanna, deep ravines, emerald valleys, crystal-clear streams, teeming wildlife and fascinating history. Situated in the north-eastern part of South Africa and bordered by Mozambique and the Kingdom of Swaziland, Mpumalanga is justly known as the land of the rising sun. Upon arrival to Hazyview, you will check into your lodge and relax. Dinner is served tonight at the lodge. (B,D)
Day 4 Hazyview (Kruger National Park) - Safari Game Drive
Enjoy one of Africa’s leading attractions, Kruger National Park. The park covers an immense area, allowing animals to follow ancient migration routes between South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. This region is one of the finest in Africa hosting more mammal species than any other game reserve on the continent. In addition to the “big five,” you’re likely to see zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, hippo, crocodile, wild dog, and vast antelope herds. The varied terrain is also home to more than 300 species of trees, including baobabs, marulas and mopanes, countless insects and fascinating plants and grasses. Spend the day on game drives in open safari vehicles and see magnificent wild animals in their natural habitat. Be on a lookout for “big five” and experience the best of Africa’s natural beauty. Later in the afternoon return to the lodge and relax before you join your fellow travelers for dinner in the evening. (B,D)
Day 5 Hazyview (Kruger National Park)/Cape Town
After breakfast, transfer to Johannesburg for your flight to Cape Town. Arrive in Cape Town late in the afternoon and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy an evening at leisure. (B)
Day 6 Cape Town - Stellenbosch
After breakfast depart for a full day tour of Stellenbosch winelands. Along the way savor traditional Cape food and drinks as your guide leads you through the historic heart of Stellenbosch with its beautiful architecture and oak-lined streets. A city tour orients you to Stellenbosch and its history, after which you have time to explore this small town on your own. As you walk along the streets, you will learn more about the Dutch colonialism, history and culture of this town. On this tour there will be a wine tasting, local snacks, and lunch with traditional desserts. Return to Cape Town and enjoy the late afternoon and evening at leisure. (B,L)
Day 7 Cape Town - City Tour with Scenic Cable Car Ride
After breakfast, depart for a city tour of Cape Town. Weather permitting, take a cable car to the top of Table Mountain, a soaring flat-topped mountain, to observe and learn about exotic flora and fauna and take in one of the best views in all of Africa. See the Malay Quarter, Company Gardens, the Edwardian-styled Town Hall, and the Castle of Good Hope. After some free time for lunch, we head on a tour to Robben Island. Take a ferry to ride across Table Bay to Robben Island. The island was once a prison, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison. Today, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site where former political prisoners give tours. See Mandela’s cell in prison, it’s roughly seven square feet, and hear what life was like for him and the other prisoners there, including how he was made to dig in a quarry when officials found out he was acting as a leader during a prisoner rebellion. As part of our Cultural Discovery Series, join us tonight before dinner for a discussion with Christo Brand, a former prison warden who was responsible for guarding Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, and later at Pollsmoor Prison. Mr. Brand will share his personal experiences and insights on Apartheid, and his friendship with Nelson Mandela. He is also an author of the book Mandela: My Prisoner, My Friend. (B)
Day 8 Cape Town
Today enjoy a full free day to explore Cape Town or take an optional tour to the Cape Peninsula. Travel via the 12 Apostles and Hout Bay to Chapman’s Peak for one of the region’s most dramatic panoramic views over the city. This full day Cape Peninsula tour will visit Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, and the African penguin colony at Boulders Beach. (B)
Day 9 Cape Town to USA or extend your stay with an Optional Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe extension
After breakfast transfer from your hotel to the Cape Town International Airport for your flight back to the USA. (B)
Day 10 Arrive to USA
Arrive back to New York and the USA.
OPTIONAL VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE EXTENSION
Day 9 Cape Town/Victoria Falls - Zambezi River Sunset Cruise
This morning after your breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Local people call it "Mosioa- Tunya" - the smoke that thunders. It is 5,604 feet wide and 354 feet high, making it the world's largest curtain of falling water. Remarkably preserved in its natural state, Victoria Falls inspires visitors as much today as it did David Livingstone in the 1860's. The falls and the surrounding area have been declared National Parks and a World Heritage Site, thus preserving the area from excessive commercialization. On arrival at Victoria Falls Airport, you will be met by a representative who will escort you to your hotel. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to relax. Later join us for a sunset cruise on the mighty Zambezi River. The cruise is a superb way to relax and enjoy the beauty of the river. Be on the lookout for a variety of game; including hippo, crocodile, elephant and sometimes even rhino in their home environment, as well as many different bird species. There will be great photo opportunities against the often-spectacular African sunsets. (B)
Day 10 Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls National Park
Today enjoy breakfast at your hotel then depart on an informative guided tour of legendary Victoria Falls, one of the biggest and most awe-inspiring on the planet and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. En route, stop by the ‘Big Tree,’ also called Livingstone's Tree, to admire one of the best-known trees in the world. At Victoria National Park, one of our qualified guides will guide you through the rainforest giving you a brief history of the falls as well as detailing the flora, fauna, bird, wildlife and other points of interest. The falls are massive and invite contemplation from many different viewpoints. You are invited to walk around the area and enjoy vistas. Raincoats are provided when needed. The rest of the afternoon will be at leisure to relax at the hotel. (B)
Day 11 Victoria Falls to USA
After breakfast transfer to the Victoria Falls Airport for your return flight home. (B)
Day 12 Arrive to USA
Arrive back to the USA.
Hotel and itinerary are subject to change.