Botswana, South Africa & Zambia

Main destination Botswana · About Escorted or Guided Tour

Botswana, South Africa & Zambia

Main destination Botswana · about Escorted or Guided Tour

2017 prices from $9,690 plus on-tour air for 12 Days.

Welcome to a celebration of Southern Africa’s natural world. Our Botswana safaris explore the national parks of Botswana as well as Zambia – together they are amongst the largest concentrations of unspoiled wilderness and wildlife left on the planet. One of our most popular trips immerses you in the Earth Journeys experience, featuring custom-made BBC Earth on-tour film vignettes and when the opportunity arises, the use of field equipment. Our Zambia, South Africa and Botswana safaris explore some of the continent’s most spectacular wildlife reserves; stay in luxury tented camps and five-star luxury hotels, view the Okavango Delta by mokoro canoe and helicopter, enjoy sundowners under a blazing African sunset, dine at private homes, in elegant hotels and under the stars in the bushveld... this is the Africa you’ve been looking for.

Traveling Well Includes:

  • Intimate safari groups limited average just 20 Tauck guests; 6-passenger, safari vehicles with window seats for everyone on game drives led by expert safari guides! 
  • On-tour film vignettes custom-made for Tauck by BBC Earth natural history experts
  • Field equipment may include FLIR® thermal imaging cameras and night vision goggles
  • A welcome dinner rail journey through Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park aboard a vintage 1920s steam train, in elegantly restored Pullman lounge and dining cars, gourmet dinner included
  • Visit to a village of San Bushmen in Botswana for a close-up look at their life and culture
  • Visit to a rhino sanctuary to see rhinos in their natural habitat
  • Visit to a Meerkat colony in the Makgadikgadi Pans
  • Helicopter sightseeing over the Okavango Delta
  • Two nights in a traditional, authentic safari camp in deluxe tents on the Makgadikgadi Pans
  • A traditional braai (barbecue) dinner with drinks and good company at a private home in Cape Town
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • 29 meals (11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 10 dinners); gratuities to local guides, service charges, admissions fees, taxes and porterage

Itinerary

Day 1: Rail safari & welcome dinner in Zambia

Tour begins: 5:00 PM, Royal Livingstone Hotel. Transfers are included from Livingstone Airport to the Royal Livingstone Hotel in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Livingstone, Zambia, named for 19th-century missionary and explorer, Dr. David Livingstone, the first European to document the region you’ll discover on these South Africa tours. Check-in is 2:00 pm. Guests wishing to check in prior to this time should arrive the evening before. Settle in at the Royal Livingstone Hotel, a colonial-style luxury hotel on the Zambesi River in the heart of Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park; the hotel’s lounges and shaded verandahs evoke the elegance of a bygone era. Join us this evening for our welcome reception and dinner during a romantic journey through the bushveld aboard a vintage 1920s steam train. View the park’s wildlife (which includes big game like elephants, giraffes, and zebras) from the stylish comfort of elegantly restored Pullman lounge and dining cars as you enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a five-course gourmet dinner – a rail safari in high style.

Day 2: Rhino sanctuary & a Victoria Falls walking tour

A guided walking safari through a rhino sanctuary offers you a chance to see the great horned animals in their natural habitat. Then follow the sound of roaring water on a walking tour to Mosi-oa-Tunya – “The Smoke That Thunders” – which Livingstone named Victoria Falls. The site where the mile-wide Zambezi River plunges powerfully into a chasm more than 350 feet deep, sending billowing clouds of spray skyward like inverted rain, is sure to leave you speechless.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : THE ROYAL LIVINGSTONE

Day 3: Game drives in Moremi Game Reserve

A ferry transports you across the Zambezi River from Zambia to Botswana this morning, where you'll embark on a motorboat safari on the Chobe River. After lunch, hop a flight to the Moremi Game Reserve on the Okavango River, in the world’s largest inland delta, and settle into your lodge on the Khwai River. During seasonal flooding, the delta swells to three times its size, becoming an oasis in an arid country and attracting wildlife – and predators, including lions and leopards. You’ll have a unique chance to view the wildlife after dark on a night safari before dinner this evening.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : BELMOND KHWAI RIVER LODGE

Day 4: Walking safari in Moremi Game Reserve

Tauck's South Africa tours include days of optional activities. This morning, choose between a game drive or a walking safari* with local guides who demonstrate their knowledge and skills in tracking animals in the bush (where you’ll be on a more equal footing with the big game you seek). Return to camp for lunch and leisure; enjoy the spa, or watch the passing parade of wildlife on the floodplains from the comfort of your own private deck, before embarking on another game drive this afternoon.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : BELMOND KHWAI RIVER LODGE

Day 5: Heart of the Okavango Delta

Begin the day with a game drive and an optional walking safari. Today you'll fly from Khwai further into the Okavango Delta to Eagle island Camp on Xaxaba Island. Situated on remote Xaxaba island among a web of waterways and lush vegetation, it overlooks a lagoon that attracts a breathtaking variety of big game and exotic birds. This afternoon, take a motorboat safari along the intricate waterways of the Okavango Delta in search of elephants and exotic birds. With incredible views cross the Okavango Delta and delicious food to match, the dining experience at Eagle Island Camp tonight will be one to remember.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : EAGLE ISLAND CAMP

Day 6: Okavango Delta by canoe and helicopter

First up this morning – exploring the Okavango Delta by canoe – and helicopter. A mokoro canoe safari aboard a traditional dugout canoe takes you gliding over shallow, clear waters past brilliant water lilies and papyrus grasses to areas inaccessible by boat. Listen to the gentle, rhythmic splash as you are poled along and then attune your ears to other sounds. Long reed frogs will be out enjoying the sun: tiny as your fingertip, they emit extraordinarily loud croaks that resemble Oriental wind chimes. Spiders spin glistening webs above the water; luminous dragonflies hover with whirring wings; game such as red lechwe antelope, reed bucks and giraffes come to drink. But for many, it is the birds of this ornithological paradise that dazzle. Stately egrets, storks, cormorants and even fishing eagles swoop overhead... but for pure drama, the magnificent malachite kingfisher steals the show. The parallel views you'll experience by helicopter are truly stunning; hovering over the delta, you'll be treated to amazing wildlife sightings, water and land contrasts and a visual kaleidoscope of nature. Following lunch, take a drive through the Xaxaba village for a unique look into the daily life of a Botswanan. You'll learn about local traditions for marriage, cooking, village government, music, medicine and more. End the day with another memorable dinner at Eagle Island Camp.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : EAGLE ISLAND CAMP

Day 7: Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

Fly from Okavango to Makgadikgadi Pans, the salt plains at the edge of the Kalahari Desert, and arrive at Camp Kalahari. A parched wasteland most of the year, seasonally the plains come alive with water and grass, drawing spectacular herds of wildebeest and zebra, as well as springboks, vultures, eagles, flamingoes, and hyenas. From your deluxe tented camp, venture out on a game drive or take a walking safari with the local San Bushmen, learning how they use their legendary hunting and survival skills in this usually inhospitable environment. Learn how scorpions and roots are used for medicinal purposes as well as hydration in the desert. Please note: Camp Kalahari is a classic, traditional safari camp where air conditioning, Internet and cell phone service are not available; illumination is provided by gas lanterns, and showers are heated by solar power. While there are no electrical outlets in the tents, a charging station is available in the main reception area.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : CAMP KALAHARI

Day 8: Meet the Meerkats & 4-wheel-drive adventure

“Meerkat” is Dutch for “lake cat,” which seems odd, since the meerkat is not a cat and it lives in a desert. But you’ll find the name somehow suits these hyperactive, charming creatures as you encounter them on their daily routine, digging for termites, frolicking, and standing at attention, forever on the lookout for predators. The meerkat families you’ll meet today have no fear of humans; in fact, they’ve been known to climb on visitors’ heads for a better vantage point (one of many potential photo ops on these Botswana and South Africa tours). Enjoy free time at camp in the afternoon before a trip out to the salt pan in a 4-wheel-drive all-terrain vehicle (ATV)* for sundowners and a breathtaking African sunset.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : CAMP KALAHARI

Day 9: From Botswana to Cape Town

Fly today from the Makgadikgadi airstrip to Maun, then on to Cape Town, South Africa, where you'll spend three nights at the One&Only Cape Town. Your aptly-named hotel is one of a kind, an urban oasis designed around a series of artificial islands, offering contemporary glamour with an African accent and stunning views of Table Mountain and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, where the evening is free to spend as you please. 

MEALS : B

LODGING : ONE&ONLY CAPE TOWN

Day 10: Seal Island, sharks & the Cape of Good Hope

The continent’s most urbane, visually exciting and eclectic city, Cape Town nestles in a setting of breathtaking beauty, between an azure sea and a range of peaks dominated by Table Mountain. The city’s mix of modern towers and ornate colonial architecture is as diverse as the many cultures (Dutch, French, British, African, Africaans, Malaysian, and Indian) that blend in the vast enclave known as the City Bowl. Set sail this morning for Seal Island, a rock off the coast that is home to thousands of fur seals... and a magnet for the Great White Sharks that leap out of the water to grab them (it doesn’t get much wilder than this). Arrive at the Cape Point Nature Reserve – home to antelope, zebra, ostrich, baboons, and breathtaking seascapes – in time for lunch overlooking False Bay. Later, a funicular will carry you up to the Old Lighthouse that watches over the ironically-named Cape of Good Hope; the Portuguese explorer who first navigated these treacherous waters where two oceans converge originally named it “the Cape of Storms,” a warning validated by the many shipwrecks strewn along its coast. Return to your hotel, or explore the maritime heritage of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a promenade of shops, tall ships and historical buildings along the working harbor. Then join us this evening at a private home for a traditional braai (barbecue) under a stunning Cape Town sunset.

MEALS : B, D

LODGING : ONE&ONLY CAPE TOWN

Day 11: Cultural exploration in Cape Town

Learn all about Cape Town this morning on a city sightseeing tour. Idle in The Company Gardens, a botanical refuge that was originally the site of a vegetable farm that supplied the East India Company’s ships. Nearby is the Slave Lodge (now a Cultural History Museum), once a compound for the hundreds of imported slaves that tended the farm. History and contemporary culture blend in the high energy of Green Market Square, a haven of colorful open-air markets, artists, street musicians, and tribal dancers. The afternoon is free for you to explore as you please. Join us this evening for a farewell reception followed by dinner in the hotel.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : ONE&ONLY CAPE TOWN

Day 12: Homeward bound

This most extraordinary of South Africa tours ends: Cape Town. Tours conclude this morning with a transfer from the One&Only Cape Town to Cape Town Airport for your journey home. Fly home anytime. Allow at least 3 hours for flight check-in.

MEALS : B

You will visit the following places:
South Africa

South Africa

South Africa is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, marked by several distinct ecosystems. It is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area, and with close to 53 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. It is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, which is among the highest number of any country in the world. With golden beaches, jagged mountains and national parks overflowing with wildlife, South Africa is the Africa you’ve always imagined. While memories of a troubled past remain, the republic is well on the way to regaining its throne as the holiday capital of Africa, visited by nearly 10 million people every year.

Zambia

Zambia

Zambia is a a landlocked country in Southern Africa that's roughly the size of Texas or France. The country offers travellers some of the world's best safari opportunities, a glimpse into "real Africa," and a spectacular viewpoint — the Victoria Falls, one of the World's Seven Natural Wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.

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