A Grand Safari in Africa (24 days)

A Grand Safari in Africa

(24 days)

Description

Tour Highlights Explore Cape Town, small but sophisticated, the Cape Peninsula and the stunning South Africa coastline from a vintage WWII motorcycle sidecarTravel into Botswana’s incredible Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, part of the Kalahari Basin in central Botswana, and the largest salt flats in the world that encompasses dramatic scenery and fascinating, desert-adapted animal speciesBy boat or on foot, discover the Okavango Delta, one of the best known ecosystems in Southern Africa, where ancient cycles play out, while supporting vast herds of elephant, buffalo and hippo, as well as antelope, giraffe, zebra and the ever-present predatorsIn Nairobi, encounter the rescued elephants at a well-known elephant and rhino orphanage; before traveling into the fabled Serengeti Plains and Ngorongoro Highlands for some of the most awesome game viewingComplete your extraordinary safari adventure at the beach on the exotic island of Zanzibar, where you can do as much or as little as you like

Included:

Not Included:

Lunch Included

Beakfast included all day, As well as 16 Days Lunch and 16 Days Dinner Ask travel specialist for more details.

Virtuoso

All tours depart daily and are private, highly personalized and luxurious. Virtuoso travelers receive amenities and VIP treatment on all Artisans of Leisure tours.

Professional Guide

All tours include a guide to show you all there is to see on the tour.

Hotel Pickup & Drop-off

Private airport transfer for every Virtuoso member

Trip Itinerary

DAY #1 - Cape Town, South Africa Cape Grace Hotel
Cape Town, South Africa

Welcome to Africa! On arrival in Johannesburg, clear immigration and customs before connecting on to Cape Town. Should your arrival aircraft be directed to the apron and not the terminal, you will be transported to the terminal by bus. As you step off the bus, you will be welcomed by an assistant who will assist with your connection for your flight to Cape Town. You will be met when you land in Cape Town and be transferred to your hotel. Scenically beautiful, Cape Town is a compelling mix of trendy modern and old-world elegance. Glamorous hotels, world-class dining and stunning vistas merge seamlessly with dynamic student suburbs and vibrant nightlife. Malay and African heritage is evident in the cuisine, traditions and entertainment while the architecture reveals a strong Dutch, German and English flavor and style. Contemporary art as well as traditional arts are displayed in a variety of galleries and modern boutique hotels. Wine bars and brandy tasting lounges will appeal to the fashionable set. Theater lovers will savor the finest in opera, ballet, drama and music.

Situated on a private quay on the V & A Waterfront, the Cape Grace Hotel commands dynamic views over the working harbor, yacht marina and iconic Table Mountain. Spacious and classically decorated, the 120 rooms and suites incorporate world-renowned vistas from large French windows. Signal Restaurant offers superb Cape and international cuisine while the Library and Bascule Whisky, Wine and Cocktail Bar afford elegant places to relax. The Cape Grace runs a daily Cape Wine Orientation Tasting which is an introduction to wines of the Cape. This five-star luxury boutique hotel is within easy distance of the main Cape attractions and an ideal base from which to explore.
DAY #2 - Cape Town, South Africa Cape Grace Hotel
Cape Town Today is at leisure for you to enjoy as you like the stunning views from your hotel, or do a bit of shopping. Or just relax. This evening, enjoy a sundowner in unique fashion, sitting in a WWII era replica motorcycle with sidecars. Enjoy the views from your sidecar of Cape Town twilight like never before. Your driver will pick you up and will provide you with appropriate gear.
DAY #3 - Peninsula, South Africa Cape Grace Hotel
Cape Town – Cape Peninisula

Begin your day early to explore the stunning coast on a full-day private tour of the Cape Peninsula. Travel along the spectacular Atlantic Seaboard through the chic suburbs of Clifton and Camps Bay, and on to the scenic fishing village of Hout Bay. Next, drive along the famous Chapmans Peak Drive, which if it is open, hugs the dramatic cliff side with a 200-meter/656-foot drop on one side and the same 200-meter/656-foot rise on the other. This is a spectacular mountain pass. You continue south to reach the Cape of Good Hope National Park. Explore the rocky coastline and unique Cape Fynbos vegetation which is home to unique birdlife such as African black oystercatchers and Cape sugarbirds amongst others. You may see the Cape mountain zebra, bontebok, ostrich and baboon. Climb up to the famous Cape Point Lighthouse to capture the magical views over the bay. Alternatively, you can take the funicular train as an optional extra. This afternoon, visit the penguin colonies at Boulders Beach for a close encounter with these delightful African penguins. Drive through the historical naval village of Simonstown and over another spectacular mountain pass, Boyes Drive, and on to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens nestled on the lower slopes of Table Mountain. Discover some of the 4,000 of the 22,000 Southern African flowering plants are cultivated in a setting of mountain streams, pools and rolling lawns. Return to your hotel this afternoon.
DAY #4 - Cape Town, South Africa Cape Grace Hotel
Cape Town

Today you begin with Table Mountain (weather permitting). Enjoy delicious panoramic views over the Mother City and the Atlantic Seaboard with Robben Island in the distance lying sleepily in Table Bay Harbour. In the city itself, stop at the Company Gardens to walk through the garden and visit the South African Museum. Then on to the Castle of Good Hope. Built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company as a maritime replenishment station, the Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa. The drive through the city center will take you past the Houses of Parliament, the Grand Parade and City Hall from where Nelson Mandela first addressed South Africans after his release from prison in February 1990.

This afternoon, take a walking tour to discover something of Mandela’s story. When most people think of this leader and Cape Town, they may not see beyond Robben Island, but Cape Town has a captivating Mandela story to tell as it provided the setting for the unfolding of a series of significant and secretive meetings that led to the surprise release of Mandela and the unbanning of the ANC in February 1990. This 2.5-hour walk, which covers approximately 2km/1.24 mi. of the historic and cultural heart of Cape Town, is rich in elements of human drama with key players being a president, a chief of prison, a spy and a prisoner.
DAY #5 - Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana Jacks Camp – Luxury Tent
Cape Town / Maun, Botswana / Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

Today you are transferred to the Cape Town airport for your flight to Maun, Botswana, and you connect to a shared charter flight to the Makgadikgadi Pans.
DAY #6- Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana Jacks Camp – Luxury Tent
Makgadikgadi Salt Pans – Days 6/7

Enjoy the activities at your camp, which offers a menu of safari options including vehicle safari, quad-biking safari, walks with the San to learn how they see the nature and the land, geological and paleontological walks, visits to Chapman’s Baobabs, encounters with a habituated meerkat colony and a brown hyena den. Some of these activities are available throughout the year while others are seasonal. Expertly guided nature drives go in search of the unique desert wildlife and incredible star gazing adds to the wonder of a stay at Jack’s. There are two distinctly different seasons and itineraries: the wet season ushers in the spectacular sight of the annual zebra and wildebeest migration, and the dry season allows guests the opportunity to explore the vast Makgadikgadi saltpans on quad bikes. Perhaps explore the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans on horseback (optional).
DAY #7- Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana Jacks Camp – Luxury Tent
Makgadikgadi Salt Pans –

Same as Day 6
DAY #8- Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana Jacks Camp – Luxury Tent
Makgadikgadi Salt Pans / Okavango Delta Today you are transferred to the Tsigaro airstrip for your shared charter flight to the Okavango Delta. On arrival, you are met and transferred to your camp.
DAY #9- Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana Jacks Camp – Luxury Tent
Okavango Delta Day 9 /10 Enjoy activities from the lodge, including bush walks with a local San guide with whom the camp has had deep relations for decades. Guests walk in the company of a couple of local hunters, who are can impart a little of their incredible knowledge of the harsh Kalahari landscape, with plant gathering, trap setting, animal hunting and fire-making. Go on safari by vehicle, by motorboat, by mokoro canoe safari, on foot and at night to explore the name facets of the Kalahari. Mokoro canoe safaris are especially enjoyable because they offer a quiet and more subtle way to explore these beautiful landscapes. These trips are good all year but tend to be at their best during Jun/Oct, when the plains are usually flooded. Motorboat safaris tend to provide a better chance of encounters with larger wildlife. These trips tend to be slightly better during Jun/Oct, when the network of deep-water channels also expands slightly. On walking safaris, you can explore nearby islands in the company of an armed ranger, although in our experience these tend to be relatively low key in terms of animal interaction. Scenic helicopter flights are also available at a substantial additional cost.
DAY #10- Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana Jacks Camp – Luxury Tent
Okavango Delta: Day 10 is same as Day 9
DAY #11- Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe Chundu Island
Okavango Delta / Kasane / Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Return to the airstrip for your shared charter flight to Kasane, where you have a road transfer to your hotel at the Zimbabwe side of Victoria Falls.
DAY #12- Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe Chundu Island
Victoria Falls : Days 12 / 13

Enjoy some of the activities available from your lodge today. he adventures include Class V whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, abseiling, morning and evening game drives, river cruises, canoeing, bush walks, historic ruins, and fishing.
DAY #13- Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe Chundu Island
Victoria Falls : Same as Day 12

DAY #14- Nairobi, Kenya Hemingways Nairobi
Victoria Falls / Nairobi

Today you are transferred from your lodge to the airport for your flight to Nairobi, Kenya. Welcome to Kenya! Upon arrival at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you will be met by the Big Five representative and assisted with a private transfer to your hotel, where the remainder of the evening is at leisure. The Hemingways Nairobi is a 45-suite luxury boutique hotel. Beautiful in its symmetry and flooded with natural light, this plantation-style property is airy and spacious. Each suite has a private balcony overlooking the iconic silhouette of the Ngong Hills, a magical view that can also be enjoyed over sundowners at the bar.
DAY #15- Nairobi, Kenya Hemingways Nairobi
Nairobi

This morning is at leisure for you to relax. Early this afternoon, visit the charming Giraffe Centre adjacent to Giraffe Manor where you have an opportunity to interact and feed the habituated giraffes. In the late afternoon, enjoy a special visit to the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage run by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust overlooking Nairobi National Park. The late David Sheldrick stands out, even today, as one of Africa’s most famous and proficient Pioneer National Park Wardens of all time. With just one vehicle, and a handful of laborers, he was given the task of transforming a huge chunk of inhospitable arid land, previously uncharted and known only as the Taru Desert, into what today is Kenya’s largest and famous Tsavo National Park. His wife, the late Daphne Sheldrick, was the first person in the entire world to successfully hand rear newborn fully milk dependent African Elephant orphans, something that spanned 28 years of trial and error to achieve. By the year 2008, the Trust had successfully saved and hand-reared more than 82 infant African elephant calves, two from the day of birth. A tiny newborn elephant is orphaned, often its mother and family gunned down to serve the ivory trade, its life support gone. Any survivors flee in terror, so the fate of the infant is usually suffering and death in hopeless and lonely isolation that it cannot understand. For an elephant, the family is vital. Its very existence depends upon its mother’s milk for the first two years of life. In a perfect world, that elephant life would be filled with fun and joy through the companionship of friends and a close-knit and loving family all the days of its life. The trust is still run by the Sheldrick family and Big Five believes and champions this mission. By fostering an orphan in your name, you visit the orphanage when it is open only to fellow foster donors and not the public.
DAY #16- Serengeti National Park, Tanzania Serengeti Bushtops
Nairobi / Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Today after breakfast, you are transferred to the Nairobi airport for flight to Kilimanjaro airport. On arrival, you connect to a regional flight to the Serengeti National Park. On arrival, you are greeted and transferred to your camp. The Serengeti is easily Tanzania’s most recognizable national park. It is also the largest, at 14,763 sq. km/5,700 sq. mi. of protected area that borders Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve. Far-reaching plains of endless grass, tinged with the twisted shadows of acacia trees, have made it the quintessential image of a wild and untarnished Africa. Its large stone kopjes are home to rich ecosystems, and the sheer magnitude and scale of life that the plains support is staggering. Large lion prides laze easily in the long grasses, families of elephants feed on acacia bark and trumpet to each other across the plains, and giraffes, gazelles, monkeys, eland, and the whole range of African wildlife is in awe-inspiring numbers.

A Tanzanian haven for serious safari seekers, Serengeti Bushtops is an oasis of five-star luxury within one of the world’s most magical settings. Picture yourself gazing out over the stunning scenery of the Serengeti. Imagine returning from safari and watching the sun set from the comfort of your tent’s private hot tub. Consider the thrill of watching the annual migration thunder across the mighty Mara River. Or simply revel in the thought of being pampered by your butler and the friendly staff, before enjoying fabulous cooking and fine wines in the comfort of the restaurant and shared spaces. This combination of safari adventure, first class facilities and blissful relaxation. Two family tents available for bigger families, especially since they are linked by a bridge to create a private family suite.
DAY #17- Serengeti National Park, Tanzania Serengeti Bushtops
Serengeti National Park

Enjoy game activities from your camp. Although every day is different, you will see a cornucopia of wildlife, from herds of elephant to masses of buffalo, charging wildebeest and curious antelope, zebras and large lion prides laze easily in the long grasses, giraffes, gazelles, monkeys, eland, and the whole range of African wildlife is in awe-inspiring numbers. Then there’s the constant kaleidoscope of bird life, with vultures, goshawks and eagles soaring past secretary birds, sandgrouse and plovers, bustards and an array of fabulously-colored smaller birds.
DAY #18- Serengeti National Park, Tanzania Serengeti Bushtops
Serengeti National ParkSame as Day 17
DAY #19 - Ngorongoro, Tanzania he Manor at Ngorongoro
Serengeti National Park / Ngorongoro Highlands

This morning you transfer to the airstrip for your flight to Manyara airstrip. On arrival, you are met and transferred to the Ngorongoro Highlands and to your hotel. The Manor at Ngorongoro, has nine luxurious cottages (18 suites), family cottage, and magnificent main Manor House, is one of the first safari lodges of its kind to blend East African hospitality with old-world Afro-European architecture and decor. Adjacent to the famous Ngorongoro Conservation Area and within a 1500-acre Arabica coffee estate, The Manor is reminiscent of an elegant up-country farm home in the Cape Dutch-style of architecture. Each of 18 Manor Cottage Suites has its own private entrance and adjoining private sun terrace. A double open-fronted, log-burning fireplace divides a room interior that mirrors the traditional Cape Dutch architecture. The en suite bath and shower room features a Victorian-style claw-footed bath, as well as twin vanity basins and large ‘rainfall’ shower. Every detail of The Manor has been designed with your comfort in mind. Each of the cottages has been carefully positioned to maximize the views of the adjacent verdant hills but at the same time to maintain the intimacy and privacy of this old- world Manor home.
DAY #20 - Ngorongoro, Tanzania he Manor at Ngorongoro
Ngorongoro Highlands

Early this morning you head into the Ngorongoro Crater and enjoy a full day private game drive on the floor. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is inhabited by 30,000 animals, all protected within the confines of the crater walls. Resident zebra, wildebeest, Grants and Thomson’s gazelle are a predator’s dream. Tanzania’s few remaining black rhinos are protected and regularly sighted in the crater, as are large herds of buffalo. Huge tusked elephants, black-manned lions, cheetah and spotted hyena are also found, as well as thousands of lesser and greater flamingoes in the soda lake. Enjoy a thrilling day in the crater, this is perhaps the best place in East Africa to get close to rhinos and lions and other predators among the hundreds of animals. Enjoy a bush lunch at the ideal spot this afternoon, just you, the wilderness, and each other. This afternoon, return to our accommodations for overnight.
DAY #21 - Zanzibar, Tanzania Baraza Beach Resort and Spa
Ngorongoro Highlands / Arusha / Zanzibar

Return to the airstrip today for your flight to Zanzibar via Arusha. On arrival, you are met and transferred to your resort. Along the Bwejuu – Paje Beach, named as one of the top 30 in the world by Conde Nast Traveler magazine, Baraza is Zanzibar’s most exclusive boutique resort. Baraza Resort and Spa is a five-star all-inclusive hotel voted among the top 60 best new hotels in the world by Conde Nast Traveler. With just 30 villas, this stunning fully inclusive resort evokes the heritage of Zanzibar dating back to the era of the Sultans. The luxury hotel is a fusion of Arabic, Swahili and Indian design, with Swahili arches, intricate hand-carved cement décor, beautiful antiques, handmade furniture and intricate brass lanterns. The name Baraza itself means “meeting place” and represents community, social interaction, and relations. All the Zanzibari furniture in the hotel is handmade by local artisans who have perfected the art of wood carving, for which Zanzibar is so famous. Architecturally, Baraza is a journey through the grand, beautiful designs of the style of Sultans Palaces of Zanzibar.
DAY #22 - Zanzibar, Tanzania Baraza Beach Resort and Spa
Zanzibar Days 22 / 23

Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania, composed of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 km/16–31 mi. off the coast of the mainland, and consists of many small islands and two large ones: Unguja, the main island, referred to as Zanzibar, and Pemba Island. The capital is Zanzibar City, on Unguja. Its historic center is Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Zanzibar’s main industries are spices, raffia, and tourism. In particular, the islands produce cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper. For this reason, the Zanzibar Archipelago, together with Tanzania’s Mafia Island, are sometimes called the “Spice Islands” (a term also associated with the Maluku Islands of Indonesia). Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear water of the Indian Ocean, sip a freshy cut coconut from our waving palm trees, indulge in a massage, dive the Coral reef, experience our warm, genuine Swahili hospitality. Learn to play the bao game, traditional weaving, coconut harvesting, and cultural cooking. Learn to dive at the only PADI 5* Gold Palm and National Geographic Dive Centre in Zanzibar. Water Club is the place to experience the very best of the Indian Ocean. Learn kite surfing, wind surfing and kayaking.
DAY #23 - Zanzibar, Tanzania Baraza Beach Resort and Spa
Zanzibar: Day 23 is same as Day 22

Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania, composed of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 km/16–31 mi. off the coast of the mainland, and consists of many small islands and two large ones: Unguja, the main island, referred to as Zanzibar, and Pemba Island. The capital is Zanzibar City, on Unguja. Its historic center is Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Zanzibar’s main industries are spices, raffia, and tourism. In particular, the islands produce cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper. For this reason, the Zanzibar Archipelago, together with Tanzania’s Mafia Island, are sometimes called the “Spice Islands” (a term also associated with the Maluku Islands of Indonesia). Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear water of the Indian Ocean, sip a freshy cut coconut from our waving palm trees, indulge in a massage, dive the Coral reef, experience our warm, genuine Swahili hospitality. Learn to play the bao game, traditional weaving, coconut harvesting, and cultural cooking. Learn to dive at the only PADI 5* Gold Palm and National Geographic Dive Centre in Zanzibar. Water Club is the place to experience the very best of the Indian Ocean. Learn kite surfing, wind surfing and kayaking.
DAY #24- Zanzibar, Tanzania Baraza Beach Resort and Spa
Zanzibar / Depart

Transfer back to the airport for your flight onwards where you connect to your flight home. (B)

SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT ELEPHANTS: Elephant-back safaris: Please note that Big Five does not participate in any elephant-back safaris. The decision was made due to the abusive way some of animals are trained and treated. Based on our founding principles, our approach to animal welfare issues, and our sustainable principles, we agree with many others who are against any abusive methods of training or mistreatment. Please note that this decision does not reflect on those properties and parks who do things the right way.

Tour Pricing

11-13 People

From Tulum
$ 80 per person
  • Private Transportation
  • Entrance into Chichen Itza
  • Lunch
  • Tequila Tasting Tour
  • Cenote entrance
Popular
11-13 People
From Playa del Carmen
$80/person
  • Private Transportation
  • Entrance into Chichen Itza
  • Lunch
  • Tequila Tasting Tour
  • Cenote Entrance
11-13 People
From Cancun
$93/person
  • Private Transportation
  • Entrance into Chichen Itza
  • Lunch
  • Tequila Tasting Tour
  • Cenote Entrance

Reviews

The Big Five Guides were amazing. Very attentive to every detail.
Catherine Dagenais
26 Jun 2022
Big Five made our trip easy and seamless.
Susan Morley
25 Jun 2022
Knowledgeable Flexible Excellent sources Timely We’ll informed We were extremely happy with the effort and creativity that went into our two week trip. Every day was a learning experience about the country, snd filled with adventures.
Amy Ongaro
13 Apr 2022

from $80/person

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