Rivers & Rails: Luxury South Africa Cruises with Safari
Embark on southern Africa’s most sought-after river cruise on Chobe River, which is famed for its large elephant population. Explore Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park, then sit back and watch the beautiful scenery roll by aboard the Rovos Rail, South Africa’s premier luxury rail service.
Relive the romance of a bygone era traveling on the world’s most luxurious and historic train, the Rovos Rail. Before experiencing the timeless grace and high romance of African exploration via this legendary train, you’ll spend 3 nights in Cape Town. Cradled by the imposing Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak, and Lion’s Head, Cape Town is known for its majestic beauty, offering a blend of cosmopolitan city life and outdoor adventure.
From here, fly to Botswana for your 4-night Zambezi Queen wildlife and safari cruise. Revel in the Chobe National Park’s breathtaking scenery and marvel at its mighty elephants splashing in the water and the stealthy lions ruling over the plains. Continue to the UNESCO-designated Victoria Falls for 2 nights, then board the Rovos Rail for a luxurious cross-country journey through Zimbabwe and on to South Africa. Experience 5-star cuisine, excellent South African wines, extraordinary scenery, amazing wildlife, and a safari at the legendary Hwange National Park as you journey through southern Africa’s most spectacular regions.
Welcome to Cape Town! After being greeted at the airport by a representative, enjoy a transfer to the luxurious Cape Grace Hotel. Get to know your tour director and fellow travelers at a welcome reception this evening.
Cape Grace Hotel
Embark on a full-day exploration along one of the world’s most stunning driving routes, taking you past the 12 Apostles, Hout Bay, and Chapman’s Peak. Stop at the Cape of Good Hope, first rounded in modern times in 1488 by the Portuguese in their attempt to establish trade in the Far East and still a significant landmark for sailors today. Visit Boulders Beach, home to thousands of African penguins, and then be treated to lunch with drinks overlooking beautiful False Bay.
Cape Grace Hotel
You have a choice of two excursions today, depending on your interests. Take a cableway
up to the top of Table Mountain for spectacular views of the city and surrounding areas, followed by a trip to the Cape Winelands. South African wine is world-renowned, and you’ll get to visit two of its best vineyards, complete with wine tasting. A sumptuous lunch will be included along the way.
Or choose to explore another side of Cape Town at famous Robben Island, once used as a prison for many political inmates, including Nelson Mandela. You’ll ferry over to the island, where you will take a tour led by a former inmate. Back in Cape Town, enjoy lunch and afterwards board the cableway to Table Mountain’s summit, followed by a drive through some of the city’s diverse neighborhoods.
Cape Grace Hotel
Today marks the beginning of your safari river cruise on the Chobe River—one of the best places in the world to see large herds of elephants! Fly to Kasane, Botswana (via Johannesburg), where you’ll be transferred to the Chobe River, and tender boats will take you to the fabulous Zambezi Queen cruise vessel. Settle into your stateroom and in the evening, enjoy a welcome cocktail reception and dinner.
This morning, head out on a thrilling water safari! Venture out by tender boat to get up close and personal with huge herds of elephants, buffalo, lions, crocodiles, zebras, and more that are drawn to the water. You’ll also see a huge variety of birdlife and plant life as you breathe in African air around you.
After your morning activities, enjoy lunch on board while using your unique vantage point to spot wild animals and drink in the expansive views. In the afternoon, enjoy another water-based safari adventure. After a delicious dinner, settle down for a restful and tranquil night in your luxurious suite.
Today, join a full-day safari of the world-famous Chobe National Park in open-top 4×4 vehicles. You’ll have the chance to spot wildlife like giraffes, zebras, lions, leopards, and more! For lunch, take a seat under the trees and savor a delicious al fresco picnic. As the sun begins to sink and the animals wake up from their afternoon naps, enjoy another game drive as you make your way back to Chobe River.
Visit a typical African village this morning, where you’ll spend time with the village children and elders. Back on board and following lunch, you’ll have a choice to take a boat safari, go birdwatching, or fish for tiger and bream in the river. In the evening, you’re in for a treat. Enjoy a traditional African dinner, served with festive African singing and dancing. You can even join in the festivities if you feel like it!
During breakfast, watch for wildlife as you cruise the Chobe River. Later, bid farewell to your friendly boat crew and transfer to Victoria Falls. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon, perhaps indulging in a relaxing spa treatment. In the evening, join a cocktail reception aboard a vintage steam train.
Victoria Falls Hotel
Today, a local guide will take you on a tour of Victoria Falls, the world’s largest waterfall and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. In the evening, embark on a private sunset cruise along the Zambezi River, observing a variety of game while enjoying a mix of tapas with drinks.
Victoria Falls Hotel
Enjoy a leisurely morning before touring the town of Victoria Falls and being treated to a home-hosted lunch. Later in the day, head to the Victoria Falls colonial-era rail station to board the Rovos Rail—South Africa’s premier luxury rail line, which elegantly captures the romance of a bygone era.
Start the morning with a safari to the famed Hwange National Park, which boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 different birds. The elephants of Hwange are world-famous and the park’s elephant population is one of the largest in the world. After your safari, return to the train for a lovely brunch as you travel through the vast landscapes of central Zimbabwe on the way to the border town of Beitbridge. Take in the southern African landscape from the lounge, observation cars, or your deluxe suite.
Leave baobab tree country and South Africa’s northern wilderness as you cross the Tropic of Capricorn, traveling alongside the Magaliesberg Mountains.
Disembark the train in beautiful Pretoria, South Africa, where you will be transferred to the airport in Johannesburg. From here, you can catch a connecting flight home or continue the adventure. Perhaps some relaxation on the little-known, powdery white sand beaches of Mozambique? Ask our Africa specialists about handcrafted touring options based on your interests, travel dates, and budget!
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