Tours

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Southern Africa – Zambia, Victoria Falls, Botswana, Chobe National Park

Tour departs: 13 August 2017
Tour length: 21 Days

We visit some of the most famous of the Game Reserves and National Parks in Africa, boasting an astonishing amount of game. Not only the game, but the areas we visit are ravishingly beautiful and also offer long undisturbed views and dramatic panoramas.

Overview

Tour Departs – 13 August 2017.

Tour Length – 21 Days.

South Africa is a remarkable country and a wonderful holiday destination. It is a land of diversity with a varied and rich history, magnificent natural beauty, abundant wildlife and a unique spirit and energy that exudes from a true melting pot of cultures – it is without doubt a “Rainbow Nation”. South Africa is truly a country for all seasons with an extremely pleasant climate and daily sunshine hours among the highest in the world. Zambia is our gateway to the magnificent Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of The World and the largest waterfall in the world fed by the Zambesi River. Close by is Botswana and Chobe National Park which offers one of the largest concentration of wildlife in Africa.

 

Tour Highlights
  • Johannesburg, our gateway into South Africa and its largest city
  • Zambia – Victoria Falls, a natural wonder of the world, sunset Zambese River cruise
  • Botswana – Chobe National Park, a safari experience of a lifetime
  • Kruger National Park, a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa home to “The Big Five” – Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Leopard and Buffalo
  • Swaziland and Zululand where we take a step back into history to experience a taste of the Zulu customs
  • Durban, the holidaymakers paradise on the Indian Ocean with its sub-tropical climate and carnival atmosphere
  • The “Garden Route” tour between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town
  • Oudtshoorn, centre for the Ostrich farming industry
  • Cape Town, the “Mother City” of South Africa set against the magical backdrop of Table Mountain
  • Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens – the gardens are a must when visiting Capetown
  • Cape Winelands Tour – vineyards, green valleys, Cape Dutch homesteads, beautifully preserved historic buildings, oak tree-lined avenues
  • Cape Point Tour – the Atlantic Seaboard – Cape of Good Hope, rugged coastlines, beautiful gardens, quaint villages
  • Pretoria – the Jacaranda city and capital of South Africa

Itinerary

Sunday 13 August

Home – Johannesburg

A morning departure for Johannesburg, arriving late afternoon. After clearing Customs and Immigration, we are met and transferred to our hotel, located in the exclusive Sandton area, for a two night stay. The remainder of the day is at leisure to rest up after the journey from home.


Monday 14 August

Johannesburg (B.L)

Enjoy a day tour of the South Western Townships otherwise known as Soweto. On this day tour we are treated to various sights and sounds of Soweto including Nelson Mandela House, the Apartheid Museum, as well as enjoying lunch at Chez Alina.


Tuesday 15 August

Johannesburg – Livingstone (Zambia) (B, D)

After breakfast, we are transferred by coach back to the airport in time to join the short flight to Livingstone (Zambia), Victoria Falls. We are met on arrival and transferred to our hotel for a 2 night stay.


Wednesday 16 August

Victoria Falls (B)

This morning, we enjoy a guided tour of Victoria Falls. Our Zambian guide enlightens us on the facts and history along the way as we are guided around the falls. It is a truly awe-inspiring experience – we are able to view the largest falling sheet of water in the world – the sight, the sound, the smell, the humbling feeling that here indeed is Nature’s supreme masterpiece. In the afternoon, we enjoy a sundowner cruise on the great Zambezi River.


Thursday 17 August

Livingstone – Victoria Falls – Chobe National Park Botswana (B,L,D)

This morning we travel by road (100kms) to Chobe National Park, home to some of the largest herds of elephants in Africa, large numbers of crocodiles, hippos, as well as a large array of birdlife. After lunch at our lodge, we enjoy a game-viewing cruise on the Chobe River. The months of August and September offer some of the best conditions for viewing the wildlife. This trip will definitely allow you to feel the pulse of Africa. Overnight stay in the park.


Friday 18 August

Livingstone, Botswana – Johannesburg (B)

An early wake-up call as we enjoy a wonderful game-viewing drive in 4×4 open safari vehicles. We return to the hotel for breakfast, before travelling back across the border to Livingstone Airport in time for the short flight to Johannesburg. On arrival, we are transferred back to our hotel for an overnight stay.


Saturday 19 August

Johannesburg – Kruger National Park (B,D)

This morning, we depart Sandton and travel by coach to Kruger National Park. This is approximately a 5 hour drive through both interesting and scenic countryside. Highlights include a short visit to the historic town of Pilgrim’s Rest, the Blyde River Canyon, Three Rondawels, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s Window and waterfalls. We stay for 2 nights at a private Lodge inside Kruger Park.


Sunday 20 August

Kruger National Park (B,L,D)

Today we awake early to enjoy the early morning game drive. Afterwards a lovely breakfast awaits. Lunch is served out on the deck (weather permitting). In the afternoon high-tea is served followed by an afternoon game drive. We enjoy dinner upon returning to the lodge.


Monday 21 August

Kruger National Park – Swaziland (B,D)

We again enjoy game viewing in open top vehicles early this morning before we leave the reserve and continue to Swaziland with sightseeing en-route. Our overnight stay is in the heart of Swaziland’s most beautiful valley.


Tuesday 22 August

Swaziland – Zululand (B,D)

After breakfast, we depart our hotel with time to enjoy the Swazi market before crossing the border back into South Africa. We enjoy the beauty and splendour of Hluhluwe National Park before arriving at our hotel at Shakaland for an overnight stay. Here, we experience one of South Africa’s most unique tourist attractions tucked away between aloes and mimosa tress overlooking Umhlatuze Lake and originally created for the set of the film “Shaka Zulu”. The complex is now a living museum and cultural centre where Zulu folk pursue the customs and traditions of their forebears. Take a step back into the history of the Zulu people at the Great Kraal of King Shaka and experience the mystery and magic that is Africa.


Wednesday 23 August

Zululand – Durban (B,D)

Today, we continue our journey to the coastal resort city of Durban and enjoy an afternoon tour of this seaside city. Drive along Marine Parade; see the rickshaw pullers and the harbour. We pass the Vasco da Gama Clock, the Sugar Terminal, University of Natal and the Botanical Gardens. There will be the opportunity to spend some time bargaining at the colourful Indian Market. We have a two night stay in Durban.


Thursday 24 August

Durban (B)

Today is left entirely free to relax and enjoy this wonderful city.


Friday 25 August

Durban – Port Elizabeth – Knysna (B,D)

After breakfast, we transfer by coach from our hotel to Durban airport for the short flight to Port Elizabeth. On arrival, we join our coach and enter the Garden Route via the Tsitsikama Forest – dense indigenous forest renowned for a large number of giant yellowwood and stinkwood trees, forest ferns, clear streams, magnificent birds and fascinating walks. We visit the Tsitsikama National Park, comprising a glorious 10km stretch of wild and rocky coastline characterised by massive cliffs, narrow isolated beaches and shady indigenous forest along the river valleys. We travel via Plettenberg Bay, an up market resort with 3 beaches. We continue to the well-known seaside resort of Knysna established by George Rex, reputedly the illegitimate son of George III. The town lies on the Knysna lagoon, the mouth of which is guarded by two promontories known as The Heads. We enjoy a 2 night stay at Knysna. Dinner tonight is at JJ’s restaurant on the Waterfront.


Saturday 26 August

Knysna (B,L)

Knysna is one of the southern Cape’s most popular holiday destinations, located between lush forests and the sheltered waters of the lagoon. This morning, after a leisurely breakfast, we are taken on a tour of the Featherbed Nature Reserve including lunch. We start with a 25 minute ferry ride during which a local guide shares fascinating tales about the lagoon, the shipping industry and oyster cultivation. On arrival at the reserve, we join a unimog-drawn trailer and drive up to the top of the Reserve. While stopping at a scenic lookout point, our specialist guides share with us some fascinating tales about Knysna and the surrounding area while we enjoy the panoramic views. The remainder of the day is at leisure.


Sunday 27 August

Knysna – Oudtshoorn (B,D)

This morning, we leave Knysna and travel to Oudtshoorn via Mossel Bay. Mossel Bay is the site of the first landfall made by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias in 1488 and today is a popular holiday resort. Continue on to Oudtshoorn, known as the Feather Capital for a guided tour of an Ostrich farm . Visit the Cango Caves for a guided tour. Regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders, the fascinating calcite caves comprise an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites. We continue to the nearby Cango Wildlife Ranch for a guided tour. We stay overnight at Oudtshoorn.


Monday 28 August

Oudtshoorn – Cape Town (B,D)

After breakfast, we depart Oudtshoorn and travel along the R62 coastal road to Cape Town where we stay for 4 nights.


Tuesday 29 August

Cape Town (B)

Our tour today sees us first at the Table Mountain lower cable station. Weather permitting board the cable car for a ride to the top of the mountain. Table Mountain is probably the most famous landmark in Capetown and offers spectacular views that stretch from Table Bay to False Bay and around the mountain to Hout Bay. On a clear day one can see right across the Cape Flats to the Hottentots Holland Mountain range. It also offers a restaurant from where you can enjoy the view. Return to central Capetown for a tour of the mother city. Further highlights include the South African Museum, a window on the world of natural history, and the Castle of Good Hope built by the Dutch in 1666 and the oldest surviving building in South Africa. We also visit the Malay Quarter which is a living cultural museum and home to the oldest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere.


Wednesday 30 August

Cape Town – Cape Point Tour (B.L)

This morning, our full day tour commences as we make our way down to Cape Point, via rugged coastlines, beautiful gardens and quaint villages. The Atlantic seaboard stretches along Sea Point, Bantry Bay, Clifton and Camps Bay where some of Cape Town’s best beaches are found. The road follows the coastline between the mountains and the Atlantic ocean. Continuing along the coast, we enter the Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National Park and visit the Nature Reserve with its natural beauty and abundance of indigenous flora and fauna. We then go to Cape Point, the extreme tip of the Cape Peninsula where you may take a funicular trip to the lighthouse look-out point at the top of the cliffs. Lunch is enjoyed at Simonstown. On the journey back to the hotel we visit Boulders Beach and also the world renowned Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain.


Thursday 31 August

Cape Town – Cape Winelands Tour (B,D)

Full day tour of Cape Winelands. Visit the city of Paarl, the largest town in the district, with many well maintained mansions and pretty Cape Dutch cottages. Stellenbosch, the second oldest town in South Africa, is famous for its university, tree lined streets and historical architecture and is at the centre of the wealthy wine-growing area. Franschoek is the gourmet capital surrounded by majestic mountains culminating in an awe-inspiring pass. Here, we visit the Huguenot Monument and Museum documenting their history. We finish the tour with dinner at a winery restaurant.


Friday 01 September

Cape Town – Johannesburg (B)

Sadly, it is time to farewell Cape Town this morning as we are transferred by coach to the airport in time to join our flight to Johannesburg. On arrival, we are met and transferred to our hotel for an overnight stay.


Saturday 02 September

Pretoria Tour – Johannesburg – Sydney (B,L)

Today is our final day in South Africa and we travel to Pretoria to enjoy a half day tour of this, the nation’s administrative capital. The city of Pretoria has many historical sights including the State Theatre Arts Complex, The Union Buildings housing the administrative seat of government and venue for Nelson Mandela’s inauguration, Melrose House where the peace treaty marking the end of the Boer War was signed, Kruger House Museum, once the modest well maintained official residence of Paul Kruger, a former president of the South African Republic, and the Voortrekker Monument which dominates the Pretoria skyline and commemorates the Voortrekkers (Pioneers) who left the Eastern Cape in order to escape British rule. Lunch is included today and later this afternoon we return to Johannesburg Airport in time to join our overnight flight to Sydney.


Sunday 03 September

Sydney – Home

Our flight arrives Sydney early afternoon with time to connect with late afternoon flights to Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

“WELCOME HOME”

 

Map

Maher Tours Tour Programme_South Africa Spring Tour 2015_MAP

 

Prices

Tour Costs

Sharing Twin or Double Room $13,650
Supplement for Single Accommodation $2,300

 

Costs include
  • Economy Class air travel – upgrade to Business Class available at additional cost
  • Airport and government security taxes as at 01 September 2016
  • Superior / First Class hotel accommodation
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary B = Breakfasts L = Lunches D = Dinners
  • First Class air conditioned coach transportation for all touring
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary
  • Services of a driver/guides and local guides for touring and sightseeing
  • Baggage handling of one suitcase per person
  • Tips to local guides and coach drivers
  • Fully escorted by Maher Tours Leader
Costs exclude
  • Any meals and sightseeing not specifically mentioned in the itinerary
  • Passport and Visa Fees or Travel insurance – advice and assistance offered
  • Items of a personal nature such telephone charges, laundry, drinks etc.

I loved it all!!  A great bunch of folks to travel with and at the right time of year.  A totally enjoyable travel and companionable experience, well organised.

SB

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