Botswana, South Africa & Zambia - 12 Days

Botswana, South Africa & Zambia

Livingstone Zambia – Cape Town South Africa

EARTH JOURNEYS | WITH BBC EARTH | ALL DEPARTURES SMALL GROUPS AVERAGING 20 TAUCK GUESTS

TIME OF YEAR – Mar – Oct

On safari, explore some of the continent’s most spectacular wildlife reserves; stay in luxury tented camps and five-star luxury hotels, view the Okavango Delta by mokoro canoe and helicopter, enjoy sundowners under a blazing African sunset, dine at private homes, in elegant hotels and under the stars in the bushveld… this is the Africa you’ve been looking for. Siya namkela nonke! (Welcome!)

ONLY WITH TAUCK

  • On-tour film vignettes custom-made for Tauck by BBC Earth natural history experts
  • A welcome dinner rail journey through Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park aboard a vintage 1920s steam train, in elegantly restored Pullman lounge and dining cars, gourmet dinner included.

Tour prices are per person in U.S. dollars. All hotel accommodations, porterage, safari expenses and adventures, entertainment, land transportation, admission fees, and the services of the hotel and restaurant staff, local guides and drivers Tauck Director are included. Transportation from Livingstone airport to the Royal Livingstone hotel is included, regardless of the time you check in to the hotel, provided you have furnished us with accurate flight information at least two weeks prior to the start of your tour. The tour ends at the Cape Town International airport. Guests that post stay in Cape Town will have airport transfers included as well. Transportation to and from airports and train stations may be shared with other Tauck guests.

Rates and schedules are not guaranteed until booked and will vary based on departure date.

Day 01:
Arrive Zambia

Tour begins: 5:00 PM, The Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara. Transfers are included from Livingstone Airport to The Royal Livingstone Hotel in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Livingstone, Zambia, named for 19th-century missionary and explorer, Dr. David Livingstone, the first European to document the region. Settle in at The Royal Livingstone Hotel, a colonial-style luxury hotel on the Zambezi River in the heart of Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park; the hotel’s lounges and shaded verandahs evoke the elegance of a bygone era. Join us this evening for our welcome reception and dinner during a romantic journey through the bushveld aboard a vintage 1920s steam train. View the park from the stylish comfort of elegantly restored Pullman lounge and dining cars as you enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a five-course gourmet dinner.

MEALS – Dinner

LODGING – The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel by Anantara

Day 02:
Rhino sanctuary & a Victoria Falls walking tour

A guided walking safari through a rhino sanctuary offers you a chance to see the great horned animals in their natural habitat. Then follow the sound of roaring water on a walking tour to Mosi- oa-Tunya – “The Smoke That Thunders” – which Livingstone named Victoria Falls. The site where the mile-wide Zambezi River plunges powerfully into a chasm more than 350 feet deep, sending billowing clouds of spray skyward like inverted rain, is sure to leave you speechless.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

LODGING – The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel by Anantara

Day 03:
Game drives in the Okavango Delta

A ferry transports you across the Zambezi River from Zambia to Botswana this morning, where you’ll embark on a motorboat safari on the Chobe River. After lunch, hop a flight to a game reserve on the Okavango River, in the world’s largest inland delta, and settle into your lodge on the Khwai River. During seasonal flooding, the delta swells to three times its size, becoming an oasis in an arid country and attracting wildlife – and predators, including lions and leopards. You’ll have a unique chance to view the wildlife after dark on a night safari before dinner this evening.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 04:
More wildlife viewing & dinner under the stars

Between morning and afternoon game drives in the bush for even more exciting wildlife viewing today, return to camp for lunch and leisure. Enjoy the spa, or watch the passing parade of wildlife on the floodplains from the comfort of your own private deck, before embarking on another game drive this afternoon. Enjoy dinner under the stars in a boma on the lodge grounds this evening.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 05:
Eagle Island Camp & a motorboat safari

Begin the day with a game drive and an optional walking safari. Today you’ll fly from Khwai further into the Okavango Delta to Eagle Island Camp; situated on remote Xaxaba Island among a web of waterways and lush vegetation, it overlooks a lagoon that attracts a breathtaking variety of big game and exotic birds. This afternoon, take a motorboat safari along the intricate waterways of the Okavango Delta in search of elephants and exotic birds. With incredible views cross the Okavango Delta and delicious food to match, the dining experience at Eagle Island Camp tonight will be one to remember.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

LODGING – Eagle Island Camp

Day 06:
Okavango Delta by canoe and helicopter

First up this morning – exploring the Okavango Delta by canoe – and helicopter. A mokoro canoe safari aboard a traditional dugout canoe takes you gliding over shallow, clear waters past brilliant water lilies and papyrus grasses to areas inaccessible by boat. Listen to the gentle, rhythmic splash as you are poled along and then attune your ears to other sounds. Long reed frogs will be out enjoying the sun: tiny as your fingertip, they emit extraordinarily loud croaks that resemble Oriental wind chimes. Spiders spin glistening webs above the water; luminous dragonflies hover with whirring wings; game such as red lechwe antelope, reed bucks and giraffes come to drink. But for many, it is the birds of this ornithological paradise that dazzle. Stately egrets, storks, cormorants and even fishing eagles swoop overhead… but for pure drama, the magnificent malachite kingfisher steals the show. The parallel views you’ll experience by helicopter are truly stunning; hovering over the delta, you’ll be treated to amazing wildlife sightings, water and land contrasts and a visual kaleidoscope of nature. Following lunch, take a drive through the Xaxaba village for a unique look into the daily life of a Botswanan. You’ll learn about local traditions for marriage, cooking, village government, music, medicine and more. End the day with another memorable dinner at Eagle Island Camp.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

LODGING – Eagle Island Camp

Day 07:
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

Fly from Okavango to Makgadikgadi Pans, the salt plains at the edge of the Kalahari Desert, and arrive at Camp Kalahari. A parched wasteland most of the year, seasonally the plains come alive with water and grass, drawing spectacular herds of wildebeest and zebra, as well as springboks, vultures, eagles, flamingoes, and hyenas. From your deluxe tented camp, venture out on a game drive or take a walking safari with the local San Bushmen, learning how they use their legendary hunting and survival skills in this usually inhospitable environment. Learn how scorpions and roots are used for medicinal purposes as well as hydration in the desert. Please note: Camp Kalahari is a classic, traditional safari camp where air conditioning, Internet and cell phone service are not available; illumination is provided by gas lanterns, and showers are heated by solar power. While there are no electrical outlets in the tents, a charging station is available in the main reception area.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 08:
Meet the Meerkats & 4-wheel-drive adventure

“Meerkat” is Dutch for “lake cat,” which seems odd, since the meerkat is not a cat and it lives in a desert. But you’ll find the name somehow suits these hyperactive, charming creatures as you encounter them on their daily routine, digging for termites, frolicking, and standing at attention, forever on the lookout for predators. The meerkat families you’ll meet today have no fear of humans; in fact, they’ve been known to climb on visitors’ heads for a better vantage point (one of many potential photo ops on these Botswana and South Africa tours). Enjoy free time at camp in the afternoon before a trip out to the salt pan in a 4-wheel-drive all-terrain vehicle (ATV)* for sundowners and a breathtaking African sunset.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 09:
From Botswana to Cape Town

Fly today from the Makgadikgadi airstrip to Maun, then on to Cape Town, South Africa, where you’ll spend three nights at the One&Only Cape Town. Your aptly-named hotel is one of a kind, an urban oasis designed around a series of artificial islands, offering contemporary glamour with an African accent and stunning views of Table Mountain and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, where the evening is free to spend as you please.

MEALS – Breakfast

LODGING – One&Only Cape Town

Day 10:
Spend the day in Cape Town on Africa's southern tip

Cape Town nestles in a setting of spectacular natural beauty, between the crashing tides of an azure sea and towering Table Mountain. But its real fascination is in its contrasts – modern towers beside ornate colonial architecture, and the mix of cultures (Dutch, French, English, African, Afrikaans, Malaysian, Indian and more) that blend in the vast enclave known as the City Bowl. Visit the Cape Malay quarter (also known as Bo-Kaap), a colorful neighborhood of cobbled streets, spice shops, and brightly painted houses; the original residents were slaves from Dutch colonies in Southeast Asia, and their legacy thrives in Bo-Kaap’s Muslim culture, artisan skills, and spiced cuisine. Visit the District Six Museum, chronicling the effects of apartheid and forced removals in Cape Town’s District Six. The afternoon is free for you to explore as you please; return to your hotel, or perhaps explore the maritime heritage of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a promenade of shops, tall ships and historical buildings along the working harbor. Join us this evening at a private home for a traditional braai (barbecue) under a stunning Cape Town sunset.

MEALS – Breakfast, Dinner

LODGING – One&Only Cape Town

Day 11:
Seal Island eco-tour & the Cape of Good Hope

This morning, arrive at Cape Point Nature Reserve – home to antelope, zebra, ostrich, baboons, and breathtaking seascapes; later, a funicular will carry you up to the Old Lighthouse that watches over the ironically-named Cape of Good Hope – the Portuguese explorer who first navigated these treacherous waters where two oceans converge originally named it “the Cape of Storms,” a warning validated by the many shipwrecks strewn along its coast. Following lunch overlooking False Bay, set sail for an eco-tour to Seal Island, a rock off the coast that is home to thousands of fur seals and other diverse wildlife including great white sharks that may visit adjacent waters throughout the year. Join us this evening for a farewell reception followed by dinner in the hotel’s signature restaurant.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

LODGING – One&Only Cape Town

Day 12:
Homeward bound

Tour ends: Cape Town. Fly home anytime. Transfers to Cape Town International Airport from One&Only Cape Town are included. Allow at least 3 hours for flight check-in.

MEALS – Breakfast

What's Included

  • On-Tour Air (4 flights)
  • Intimate safari groups average just 20 Tauck guests; 6-passenger, safari vehicles with window seats for everyone on game drives led by expert safari guides!
  • Field equipment may include FLIR® thermal imaging cameras and night vision goggles
  • Visit to a village of San Bushmen in Botswana for a close-up look at their life and culture
  • Visit to a rhino sanctuary to see rhinos in their natural habitats & a Meerkat colony in Makgadikgadi Pans
  • Helicopter sightseeing over the Okavango Delta
  • Two nights in a traditional, authentic safari camp in deluxe tents on the Makgadikgadi Pans
  • A traditional braai (barbecue) dinner with drinks and good company at a private home in Cape Town
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • 29 meals; gratuities to local guides, service charges, admissions fees, taxes and porterage

NIGHTS 1 – 2

LIVINGSTONE, ZAMBIA

The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel by Anantara

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Named for explorer Dr. David Livingstone, The Royal Livingstone reflects the elegance of days past with its African architectural style. The hotel property includes 17 colonial-style buildings with large verandahs. Spacious guest rooms all have private verandahs, air conditioning, satellite TV, minibar, a small safe and coffee and tea making facilities. During leisure time, take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool, keep up with your workout routine or enjoy a little pampering in the spa. The Lounge is a lovely place to relax over some light refreshments, teas, coffees and pastries. Enjoy lunch on The Verandah or on The Sun Deck, also a popular place for evening cocktails, built over the Zambezi River. The elegant Livingstone Bar features rare whiskies, cognac and a wide range of cocktails.

NIGHTS 3 – 4
MOREMI GAME RESERVE, BOTSWANA

Belmond Khwai River Lodge

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Belmond Khwai River Lodge is set at the edge of a forest overlooking the floodplains of the Moremi Wildlife Reserve, which is home to an exceptional range of big game, which are often visible from the private deck of your luxury tent. Sitting on raised platforms and shaded by traditional thatch roofs, tents feature an en suite bathroom, fully stocked minibar, a four-poster beds complete with mosquito netting, air conditioning and a small safe. A dip in the 20-meter swimming pool is the perfect way to cool off between game drives and the fully equipped spa offers the opportunity to relax and refresh. The Observation Deck overlooking the river and the game reserve beyond has a high-power telescope for an up-close look at the breathtaking wildlife as they go about their business. The Restaurant, offering both open-air and covered dining areas, features delicious meals set against the most dramatic backdrop imaginable. After dinner, head to the bar and lounge areas or gather around the campfire to relive the incredible day you’ve had with your fellow travelers.

NIGHTS 5 – 6
OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA

Eagle Island Camp

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Belmond Eagle Island Lodge in Botswana’s Okavango Delta is the ultimate luxury safari paradise. Situated on remote Xaxaba island among a web of waterways and lush vegetation, it overlooks a lagoon that attracts a breathtaking variety of big game and exotic birds. A wonderful secluded retreat, Belmond Eagle Island Lodge offers a safari vacation that brings together the excitement of discovery and an experience of the real Africa. Accommodation is everything you would expect of a luxury safari experience… you’ll find one of the most romantic bars in the world* located on its own private island away from the main camp… and dining is a pleasure with an al fresco dining area overlooking the surrounding lagoon.

NIGHTS  7 – 8
MAKGADIKGADI SALT PAN, BOTSWANA

Camp Kalahari

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