South Africa Odyssey with Victoria Falls
July 19 - August 4, 2023 (17 Days)
On this tour, we learn about the incredibly diverse topography as well as the sometimes shameful history that is the Republic of South Africa. The Western Cape offers beaches, lush wine lands, craggy cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, forest and lagoons along the Garden Route, and the city of Cape Town, beneath flat-topped Table Mountain. We continue up the eastern coast and experience completely different ecosystems in Kruger National Park. This is a comprehensive and spectacular tour exploring all aspects of this wonderful country.
Included meals are denoted: Breakfast: B, Lunch: L, Dinner: D
We depart the Albuquerque Sunport on our overnight flight to Johannesburg, where we have a night of rest.
We return to the airport for our short flight to Cape Town. Upon arrival, we begin our exploration of South Africa’s exciting ‘Mother City’ on a guided tour of the historical and cultural sights of Cape Town. We step into the rich history of the city, passing by the impressive Castle of Good Hope and Cape Town City Hall. The tour stops at the beautiful St. George’s Cathedral, passes through the lush Company Gardens, and explores the BoKaap, also known as the Cape Malay quarter. If weather permits, we’ll take a trip to the top of the world, high above the clouds on the famous Table Mountain. Table Mountain is an icon in Cape Town and is most likely the most photographed landmark in the country. We spend a full day exploring the Cape Peninsula.
We visit Hout Bay, an active fishing village on the Atlantic seaboard. The famous scenic drive to Chapman’s Peak winds its way between Hout Bay and Noordhoek on Cape Town’s stunning Atlantic Ocean coastline, taking over 100 curves in a road carved out by prisoners of war in the mid-1910s. The famous Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, a World Heritage site, is set at the end of Cape Town’s south peninsula. We take a trip via funicular to the lighthouse at 286 meters above sea. The sheltered Simon’s Town beach is the home of an endangered land-based colony of African penguins (over 2,000 of them). We can stroll on boardwalks which link to the penguin-viewing area, offering fantastic sightings of these unique and endearing animals. We visit Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, which is set up against Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain looking onto the city.
On a Cape Winelands tour, we head into the country’s principal wine routes of Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek – all of them with fascinating histories. Traversing stunning landscapes, we stop along the way for wine tasting at prestigious estates. South Africa is known for its quality whites, reds, blends, and bubblies.
Today we fly to Durban and head to Hluhluwe, a small town in the heart of Zululand. We’ll lodge at the ANEW Hotel Hluhluwe, the closest to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, once hunting ground of the Zulu warrior King Shaka, and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Reserve boasts an outstanding diversity of fauna and flora. Established in 1895, it is the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa and is world-famous for its White Rhino conservation.
Next morning, we have our first game drive – get your cameras ready! This reserve is surrounded by a variety of ecosystems, including the St Lucia Wetlands, a World Heritage Site, and Kosi Bay, making it a veritable wonderland of wildlife. This afternoon, we lunch at Dumazulu (‘Thundering Zulu’) Lodge while we visit a Zulu village and enjoy rich insights into the traditional ways of the Zulu nation. Guests can expect to get their blood racing with a traditional dancing show accompanied by tribal drumbeats, to enjoy a taste of Zulu beer and learn about a variety of indigenous skills. These range from spear and shield making to basket weaving, beadwork, pot making and more. Watch the sangoma (Zulu healer) throw the bones to divine the past, present and future.
Today we travel by coach to Eswatini (Swaziland), one of the smallest countries on the African continent, a mountainous wonderland as well as home to the last of Africa’s monarchies. The people of Eswatini are well known for their welcoming natures. The famous Reed Dance is a traditional ceremony that attracts visitors from all over the globe but the beauty of Eswatini is that traditional garments and ceremonies are year-round. The country may be small, but it is a phenomenal holiday destination and features traditional markets and wildlife reserves that will leave us in awe.
Day 10 - 12
We travel from Eswatini to Kruger National Park. Situated in the South Africa provinces of Mpumalanga and Limpopo in the northeast of the country, the Kruger is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. Approximately the same size as Israel, the sheer size of the Kruger National Park ensures constantly changing scenery as we navigate the well-kept roads. Each new habitat brings with it its own resident animals, making game viewing a quickly acquired skill and a fun challenge. The sheer size of Kruger ensures an everchanging landscape and many opportunities to see the more than 147 large animal species and 500 varieties of birds. Keep your cameras ready and your eyes open! We lodge three nights at Mdluli Safari Lodge in luxury tents and make game drives each day.
DAY 13 -14
We take the short flight to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. As night falls, we cruise on the Zambezi River, watching for hippos, crocodiles and a variety of birds. We lodge two nights at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. A guided tour of the majestic Victoria Falls and encompassing nature reserves is a stunning experience. Known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders), tons of water plunge over a chasm that is nearly 2km wide falling just more than 100m to the Zambezi River below. The shower of spray and the thunderous sound of the water can be heard for miles. It is the largest single curtain of falling water in the world. Over seventy percent of this world marvel can be seen from the Zimbabwe rain forest. In October and November, the falls on the Zambian side dry up, giving a unique geological view. On the Zimbabwe side the main falls flow year round. We visit the best viewpoints of this iconic waterfall, one of the seven wonders of the world
Today we return to Johannesburg, a massive municipality where opposites collide to create an interesting city of contradictions and extraordinary charm. The city is the economic powerhouse of South Africa, and as a result has some of the most high-end shops and restaurants in the country. This urban sophistication stands in stark contrast with the many local street vendors and informal African spaza shops. We visit Museum Africa, the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill. We spend one night in Johannesburg.
We return to Albuquerque on our overnight flights.
Itinerary subject to change
TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:
Roundtrip airfare to and from ABQ (not including airline baggage fees or in -flight charges)
Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
15 nights’ lodging at excellent 4 & 5 -Star Hotels
Baggage handling at hotels (for one piece)
Admission to all listed attractions
Sightseeing as listed.
Professional South African and Zimbabwean Tour Guide
Your SUN TOURS Escort (with 20 or more travelers)
All taxes and tips for included items (except hotel housekeeping)
$9,395 Double occupancy, per person
$10,395 Single occupancy
DEPOSIT: $250 per person NOW holds your place
FINAL PAYMENT DUE: March 14, 2023
None ... March 14, 2023
$250 ... March 15 - April 10, 2023
$5,600 ... April 10 - June 12, 2023
100% ... After June 12, 2023