Exploring South Africa

Get ready for the ultimate African travel adventure through the brilliant expanses of Southern Africa, on a journey to South Africa, Victoria Falls, and Botswana. In the land of eleven languages that Desmond Tutu called “The Rainbow Nation,” get ready to experience an Africa you’ve only dreamed about. From Cape Town – the Mother Country’s Mother City – to Table Mountain and the famous winelands of the Western Cape, the spirit moves. From stars you can only see in the Southern hemisphere to the ways of life in a local village learned from an elder, the eyes open. From the thundering power of Victoria Falls to the roar of a lion king in a remote Botswana wilderness, the soul stirs. And on the glittering Chobe River, on a search for wildlife you only thought was legend, the world unfolds. As the African proverb says: In South Africa, the eye never forgets what the heart has seen.

AAA Vacations® Amenity

$50pp and $75 pp optional tour excursion credit

Inclusions

Services of a professional tour manager, hotel accommodations; at least one meal per day; sightseeing; hotel-to-hotel luggage handling; and roundtrip home to airport sedan service on air-inclusive tours**.

Sightseeing highlights

  • Cape Town
  • Table Mountain
  • Cape Winelands
  • Pilanesberg National Park
  • Victoria Falls
  • Chobe National Park
  • 9 Wildlife Safaris

Itinerary

Day 1: Overnight Flight
You’re on your way to southern Africa, where incredible landscapes lead the way to a blend of cultural diversity, an abundance of wildlife, and a remarkable history. From urban centers to wild safaris, Africa takes you by surprise, delighting you again and again until its unique spirit claims you, heart and soul.

Day 2: Cape Town, South Africa – Tour Begins
Welcome to South Africa’s electric cultural mecca of Cape Town. Nicknamed “The Mother City,” it captivates you at every turn. Explore Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a Cape Town hotspot. From heritage sites to historic landmarks, markets, shops, and restaurants, the waterfront is one of South Africa’s most compelling destinations.

Day 3: Cape Town
Rise gently over the South African landscape in a cable car to Table Mountain,* taking in views of Cape Town, Lions Head, and historic Robben Island. Return to the city via Table Bay. Pass through the Moorish Malay Quarter and pause at Milnerton Lighthouse. The rest of the afternoon is yours. Take advantage of your hotel’s ideal location, just steps from the lively waterfront. Tonight, taste the country’s beloved flavors at dinner, starring a host of South African specialties and delicacies.

Day 4: Cape Town
Travel to Cape Point, the southwestern tip of Africa. Marvel at the vibrant green foliage blanketing the rocky outcrops, set as a contrast to the bright blue waves below. Set out on an easy hike down the mountain, wandering by diverse patches of native flowers. Stop at Boulders Beach for the rarest of black-tie events – a rendezvous with endangered African penguins! Tonight, you’re an honored guest in a Capetonian family’s home. Over dinner, exchange stories and get to know what everyday life is like here in Cape Town.

Day 5: Cape Town – Stellenbosch
The winelands of the Western Cape await. See for yourself why this area boasts a reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful wine countries. A short drive takes you to the idyllic town of Stellenbosch – one of South Africa’s most famous wine regions. Among rolling vineyards and historic Cape Dutch architecture, make the most of free time in the afternoon. This evening, learn about South Africa’s renowned varietals during a wine tasting. Cap the evening off with a dinner featuring locally-sourced ingredients.

Day 6: Stellenbosch – Franschhoek – Stellenbosch
Sip the South African specialties with a full day exploring the country’s winelands. Start in the Stellenbosch Valley and enjoy a tasting at your first winery of the day. Perhaps you’ll try the local favorite, Pinotage, which is a Pinot Noir blend known to produce both fruit and oak undertones. Travel to the charming village of Franschhoek for lunch. Take advantage of time at leisure before visiting a second winery in the afternoon.

Day 7: Stellenbosch – Johannesburg – Pilanesberg National Park
Take to the skies on a flight to Johannesburg. In a place where the lions reign as kings, head to Pilanesberg National Park, a fascinating game reserve set within an ancient crater. This is the wild Africa you’ve always dreamt of – now laid out before you just waiting to be discovered. Venture out in a 4×4 in search of the “Big 5” across vast marshlands and craggy landscapes. Enjoy a drink at a traditional African sundowner and watch as the sun disappears behind the mountain.

Day 8: Pilanesberg National Park
Answer the call of the wild before sunrise. In the open expanse of Pilanesberg, among the pitch-perfect sounds of the wild, drive out in your 4×4 on a chase for the elusive “Big 5.” Enjoy coffee and tea amongst the wildlife prior to your return. In the afternoon, drive past the big cats preparing for the hunt before you indulge in a bush dinner under the stars. Allow your mind to wander as you stare up at the sky in awe, marveling at the parade of stars and constellations only seen in the Southern Hemisphere.

Day 9: Pilanesberg National Park
Discover the wildlife around you with another full day in Pilanesberg. On morning and afternoon game drives, continue your search for the “Big 5” and other local animals, such as giraffes or cheetahs.

Day 10: Pilanesberg National Park – Johannesburg – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Fly to Victoria Falls** today – an awe-inspiring Natural Wonder of the World. When you arrive, check in to your lodge – an authentic African tent camp with all of the amenities of a luxury resort. This afternoon, when rainbows are at their best, witness the awesome power of Victoria Falls. As the sun sets and the animals gather around the watering hole, toast the stunning African landscape with a sundowner. Your evening continues with dinner on the shores of the Zambezi River overlooking Victoria Falls.

Day 11: Victoria Falls
Embark on an experience of a lifetime. Greet African elephants, spend some quality time interacting with them in their own habitat, and learn some of their unique behaviors. After you’ve worked up an appetite, join a local Zambian family for a home-hosted lunch. This evening, you might decide to join an optional sunset cruise on the Zambezi River.

Day 12: Victoria Falls – Chobe, Botswana
Cross the border into Botswana and arrive in Chobe – an untamed national park whose namesake river twists its way throughout the area. During a captivating safari cruise along the Chobe River, spot elephants and hippos that linger and swim along the shores, and crocodiles basking in the sun.

Day 13: Chobe National Park
On a game drive through Chobe National Park, embark on an unforgettable wildlife excursion that features diverse ecosystems and unparalleled biodiversity. After lunch, it’s your choice! Continue the wildlife search by land on an afternoon game drive -OR- venture down the river again for a different perspective on a safari cruise. Tonight, gather by the river for an unforgettable, chef-hosted farewell dinner. Learn the secret to cooking a traditional braai, complete with some local favorites and delicacies.

Day 14: Chobe – Johannesburg, South Africa – Tour Ends
Fly to Johannesburg today, where your tour comes to a close.

 

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*Rates are land only, per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Offer is valid on new bookings only made between 9/01/19-12/31/19 for travel between 9/1/19 – 4/30/20. Offers can expire earlier due to space or inventory availability. Savings amount will vary by tour and departure date, and is only available on select departures. Space is on a first come, first served basis. Offer is not valid on group or existing bookings or combinable with any other offer. Other restrictions may apply; call for details. **Not valid on group travel. Purchase of roundtrip international or domestic U.S. airfare from MCV through AAA Travel required to obtain sedan service. **Purchase of required internal airfare (as applicable) does not qualify for sedan service. Included in many U.S. cities within a 50-mile radius of more than 90 airport gateways. Service is available between 51 and 75 miles for a small fee. One transfer per room booking. Additional stops are not permitted on route. Other restrictions may apply; call for details. CST#2006766-20 UBN#601220855 Nevada Seller of Travel Registration No. 2003-0279.