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Best Southern African Safari

TOUR SUMMARY

We offer the Best Southern African Safari!  We begin with a 2 nights visit to Victoria Falls’ perpetual favorite, the celebrated Royal Livingstone, where the spray from nearby Victoria Falls freshens our day. Participate in all the exceptional attractions on offer before being transferred to Chobe Chilwero; a luxurious riverside safari lodge on the edge of Chobe National Park, home to the world’s largest residual population of elephants.

Next, you will board arguably the most luxurious floating boutique hotel in Africa, the Zambezi Queen. The Zambezi Queen was explicitly designed for safari river cruising. The air-conditioned upper-deck boasts a dining room, lounge, bar & pool area. Enjoy watching transitory animals from the stateroom or visit the upper-deck for drinks, beverages, or just sun bathing for the fun.

Meander back to Pretoria on board Rovos Rail; the world’s most luxurious train. Dine and wine in superb gourmet style.

Then comes Singita Ebony situated in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park one of the finest and most intelligently designed lodges on the continent. Enjoy three full nights of pure indulgence in this gem on safari with world-class rangers.

We end off the tour with 3 nights in Cape Town’s exhilarating One&Only, a hotel of un-ashamed luxury on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and a magnificent base for explorations in this supreme cosmopolitan of cities with its diverse and exceptional lures.

Highlights:

  • Visit the Victoria Falls with all its attractions.
  • Go on safari in Chobe National Park.
  • Being spoilt rotten on the Zambezi queen boat.
  • Fly to the Kruger Park and experience the ultimate luxury in safari.
  • Visit Cape Town’s Table Mountain, Winelands and many more.

Your Jewel of Africa Safaris representative with all your documentation will meet up with you at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and will assist you for your flight to the Victoria Falls. As you descend to the Vic falls, observe your first glimpse of the “Mosi-oa-Tunya; the smoke that thunders as the local people call it. Our ground handler at the airport will meet up with you and transport you to your hotel for check in.

There is something to do for everyone. Go on the world’s wildest white water rafting trip, bungee jump off the 111-meter high bridge, zip-lining the flying fox across the river, kayaking, do a heart stopping gorge swing, and many more.

An activities list will be provided before you arrive. Make your pick of the activities you want to experience and we will book them before the time to prevent disappointment.

A complimentary sunset boat cruise on the Zambezi River is the perfect way to end off the day before dinner and some nightlife entertainment.

OVERNIGHT:   Royal Livingstone Hotel

                         TRIP ADVISOR

MEALS:            Dinner

Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast before the day starts. Our ground handlers will arrange a pickup time with you and escort you to the Victoria Falls for a complimentary guided tour.

After your falls tour, continue with the fun in the sun! Available are half day elephant-back and horseback safaris, fishing excursions, helicopter flips over the falls, river cruises, cultural experiences, walks with lions and rhinos, golf, museums, local arts & crafts and many more.

OVERNIGHT:    Royal Livingstone Hotel

MEALS:             Full Board

Our ground handlers will pick you up after breakfast and transfer across the border into Botswana where you will spend the next 2 days exploring the Chobe National Park. Chobe has the highest concentration of elephants on the African continent. This Park is especially famous for its large numbers of wildlife and is the focus of your first afternoon safari.

Land based safaris are conducted in open top 4×4 vehicles and water borne safaris by boats. It is sure to bring you within meters of the wildlife and renders the perfect opportunity for amazingly stunning photos.

OVERNIGHT:   Chobe Chilwero

                         TRIP ADVISOR

MEALS:            Full Board

Our ground handlers will pick you up after breakfast and take you to the Riverside Lounge of the Chobe Marina Lodge in Kasane where you can enjoy some refreshments. You will be transferred to the Zambezi Queen where you will be served lunch.

Once all our guests are on board by late afternoon, you will go by smaller “tender boat” in search of some of the wildlife on the riverbanks. This is the perfect time of day for some once-in-a-lifetime photo shots of the animals as they gravitate towards the river before night falls.

Return back to the Zambezi Queen, have a quick freshen up and assemble at the upper deck where the Captain waits for you with a welcome drink, an official welcome and some safety briefings. A delightful three-course dinner is served with an excellent choice of wine pairing. Enjoy a nightcap or espresso on the upper deck and enjoy the spectacular stars of the Milky Way like you have never seen them before, as well as the spectacular Southern Cross. Stars só close that you can pick them.

OVERNIGHT:   Zambezi Queen

                         TRIP ADVISOR

MEALS:            Full Board

Take things a little easier this morning. Enjoy breakfast at the camp and drive to Umlani Bush Camp. You guide will drop you off at Umlani Bush Camp. This is where you part ways with your guide as he/she hands you over to the Umlani Rangers that will take care of you for the remainder of the tour

Umlani is located in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and they share an unfenced border with the Kruger National Park. This is truly Big Five territory and you will have the opportunity to see lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino; almost guaranteed, especially if you have missed some of the Big Five with your guide in the Kruger. Safaris take place on safe 4×4 open top vehicles, conducted by trained and qualified rangers that will take you on safari drives and bush walks

OVERNIGHT:   Zambezi Queen

MEALS:            Full Board

After a lazy breakfast, you will be transferred back to Chobe Marina where our ground handlers will again pick you up and transfer you to the train station at the Victoria Falls for you’re your trip on Rovos Rail.

Experience the romance of a bygone era as you step aboard the world’s most luxurious train with fine cuisine in five-star luxury. The epitome of luxury, the air-conditioned suites accommodate two people, offering twin or spacious double beds and en-suite bathrooms with hot showers. There is a 24-hour room service available.

All meals are served in in the Victorian style atmosphere of the dining cars. Lunch and dinner are complemented by a selection of only the best South African wines.

The train departs at 17h00 from the Victoria Falls Station and travel towards Zimbabwe’s largest reserve, the Hwange National Park. A 5-star dinner is served en-route for the overnight stop.

OVERNIGHT:   Rovos Rail Train

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MEALS:            Full Board

You will be woken early and enjoy a continental breakfast before going on a safari in the Hwange National Park. Back on the train again, brunch is served in the dining car.

High tea follows around 15h00 and dinner is served as the train heads towards Botswana and border formalities as well as your overnight stop.

OVERNIGHT:   Rovos Rail Train

MEALS:            Full Board

Breakfast is served en-route via Botswana’s capital city, Gaborone. Reaching South Africa’s border post, border formalities take place for the last time. Lunch is served as the train travels through the bush veld of the Marico Valley.

Another 5-star dinner is served as the train traverses through the Magaliesberg Mountains. Your last overnight stop is at Krugersdorp.

OVERNIGHT:   Rovos Rail Train

MEALS:            Full Board

Breakfast is served until 09h30 as you reach Pretoria by 10h00. Your guide will transfer you to O.R. Tambo International in Johannesburg for your flight to the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. Your Singita Ebony ranger will wait on you and drive to the lodge for check in. Singita Ebony is built in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve is known for its big cats. Lions and leopards thrive in this paradise, teeming with wildlife across the savannah plains of Africa.

Enjoy high tea before setting out on an afternoon safari. The safari vehicles return after sunset allowing you some time for a quick shower and enjoy some drinks before a gourmet dinner is served. The evenings are often rounded off with a few drinks around the campfire, enjoying the amazing Southern Cross and magnificent the Milky Way; stars só close you feel you could pick them like.

Spend the next 2 days at this big cat sanctuary. Singita basically guarantees that you will see the Big 5 on the entire safari drives; at least the big cats.

OVERNIGHT:   Singita Ebony

                         TRIP ADVISOR

MEALS:             Full Board

Relish one last safari, a scrumptious breakfast, and off to the airport for your flight to Cape Town. You will land in Cape Town by late afternoon. Your guide will transfer you to the One&Only Hotel on the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

Check in, freshen up, and prepare to enjoy dinner at the hotel’s exquisite restaurant.

OVERNIGHT:   The One&Only Hotel

                         TRIP ADVISOR

MEALS:             Full Board

Your Jewel of Africa Safaris guide will hand you a day-pass for the Hop-On Hop-Off bus. This bus visits all the interesting attractions in Cape Town. You have the option to disembark at any of these attractions and catch the next Hop-On Hop-Off bus that regularly stop at all the attractions, including Table Mountain.

You will also have the opportunity to visit Robben Island. A short ferry ride from the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront takes you to the island. Home to President Nelson Mandela where he was imprisoned for 27 years, this prison has since been turned into a museum. Ex-political prisoners will conduct the guiding at the museum and they had first-hand experience of what life has been on the Island.

By sunset, meet up with your guide at the waterfront for a sunset boat trip around Table bay. Take a remarkable, romantic cruise as you sail towards the setting sun with Table Mountain at the back ground whilst sipping on a glass of exquisite Cape’s sparkling wine and enjoying some oysters.

OVERNIGHT:   The One&Only Hotel

MEALS:             Full Board

Depart after an early morning breakfast for Houtbay. Here you will embark on a 45-minute boat trip to Duiker Island to visit a huge seal colony. The extremely skilled skipper will guide the boat to almost touching distance of the thousands of seals feeding and playing in the stunning turquois waters.

Next, take a drive on one of the world’s most beautiful drives; the spectacular Chapman’s Peak Drive, cut into the 650m high Chapman’s Peak. The road takes you through the town of Noordhoek to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, known as Cape Point, where the stormy waters of the Atlantic ocean meets the calm waters of the Indian Ocean.

Enjoy dinner at the Two Oceans restaurant and continue the tour to Boulders Beach, an attractive secluded haven for the colony of mainland-based African penguins. Time permitting; you will also pay a short visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens before returning back to your hotel.

OVERNIGHT:   The One&Only Hotel

MEALS:             Full Board

Today we will meander out to the Cape Winelands for wine tastings and unperturbed meals at exquisite wine estates. The Winelands charms us with refreshing and picture-perfect little towns like Franschhoek amongst others. Recently rated as the world’s loveliest town, Franschhoek is the seat of the ancient French Huguenots that settled in the valley with a variety of refreshing activities, gorgeous wines, and dazzling beauty.

We will enjoy some wine tasting and lunch at the inspiring Delaire Graff Estate, before moving on to Stellenbosch, South Africa’s second oldest town.

Some time is devoted to walking down Dorp Street, one of the best examples of old Cape-Dutch houses in South Africa; most of them are declared National Monuments. Pay a visit to “Oom Samie se winkel“, a general dealer dating back to 1904 and also the oldest shop still in operation in Stellenbosch.

Your guide will take you to Cape Town International for your flight back home, or any location of your choice in Cape Town. This is where the tour ends.

OVERNIGHT:   None

MEALS:             Breakfast & Dinner

INCLUDED AND EXCLUDED

INCLUDED:

  • The services of a superior tour guide and lodge rangers.
  • Pre-tour documentation with all-inclusive travel information.
  • Welcome kit in Africa with animals and birds checklists, postcards and many more.
  • All ground transfers in air-conditioned vehicles, including fuel and toll fees.
  • Only the best hotels, lodges, and camps selected for all programs.
  • Full Board – all meals, drinks, beer, wine; from start to finish.
  • Travel amenities include safari duffle bag, bush hat, luggage tags, flashlight, etc.
  • Complimentary bottled water, soft drinks and fruit juices on board while in transit.
  • International return flights from Johannesburg to the Victoria Falls.
  • Domestic flight to Sabi Sands and Cape Town.
  • All tips and gratuities for lodging, hotel staff, guides and rangers, etc.
  • All porterage included at airports, hotels, and camps.
  • Laundry services.
  • All activities as specified.
  • Conservation and entrance Fees.
  • Guaranteed departures.
  • Immediate hotel check-in, no matter what time you arrives.
  • Sundowner bush cocktails when on safari.
  • Bush walks with expert safari rangers.
  • On-site shopping and shipping assistance.
  • Airport transfers for all travelers, at any time.

EXCLUDED:

  • International flights to and from South Africa – ask us for a quote.
  • Telephone calls, laundry, & other incidental personal expenditure.
  • Travel & Medical insurance.
  • Visas.

ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

  • This is a privately guided, Platinum tour run exclusively for you.
  • Can depart any day and can be tailored to suite your needs.
  • Can be booked by single travelers – a single supplement will apply.
  • There is no minimum age requirement – children of all ages are welcome.
  • In case an accommodation is fully booked, we will suggest a similar lodge/hotel.
  • You can book your own flights to and from South Africa online or through your travel agent. Please feel free to ask our in-house travel agent for a quote.
  • Please confirm availability with us before you book your flights.
  • All activities are subject to prevailing weather conditions.
  • Malaria prophylaxis is advised for the Kruger Park, Victoria Falls, and Chobe.
  • Prices are subject to price hikes, fuel increases, etc. Prices are fixed upon the official reservation and receipt of a 20% deposit.
  • Jewel of Africa Safaris is a registered professional tour operator with the necessary permits and insurance cover to transport International Tourists. All our driver-tour guides are Satour & Theta accredited, medically cleared, hold Professional Driving Permits and are accredited First Aid practitioners.

FAQ's

Is Jewel of Africa Safaris part of a Professional Body?

Jewel of Africa Safaris is been a member of the South African Tourism Services Association (SATSA). SATSA is the tourism industry’s watchdog and guarantees high standards of service, good quality tourism services and product and a trustworthy accreditation with the association itself.

How long has Jewel of Africa Safaris been in business?

Jewel of Africa Safaris is a registered tour operator with the necessary permits and insurance cover to transport International Tourists. We have been conducting quality safaris and tours in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe since 2001.

Is Jewel of Africa Safaris’ guides registered with the authorities?

All our driver & tour guides are Satour & Theta accredited, medically cleared, hold Professional Driving Permits and are accredited First Aid practitioners.

Do you have booking system with a secure payment gateway?

Our on-line booking system allows you to do EFT’s (Electronic Transfer) through a secure payment gateway in your own currency, avoiding high exchange rates and excessively high transfer fees charged by banks. Credit card payments are levied by an extra 6.5% via a very safe third party company.

Safety issues?

Our guides will continuously ensure your safety by informing you of a potentially unsafe or dangerous situation may arise. We will never allow ourselves to get caught up in a dangerous or life-threatening situation, let alone putting you in that situation.

The same as you would do back home; keep an eye on your valuables, passports, money and cameras when walking in a crowd. Avoid walking in the cities at night and leave your valuables in your hotel safe. This is where our guides are of great importance to you. They will brief you on potential hazardous scenarios. If you are one of Jewel of Africa’s self-drive clients, you will find all the precautions in our tour documentation.

What do I need to pack for my safari tour?

  • Sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher, hat or cap, and sunglasses.
  • A quality camera with a lot of memory cards and a pair of binoculars.
  • Swimming clothes at the lodges or Kruger Park.
  • Cool, long pants and shirts in summer for around the campfire.
  • A warm jacket or sweater for wintertime as it becomes cold on evening safaris.
  • Comfortable walking shoes and a few god pairs of socks.
  • Neutral colored clothing (green, brown, khaki, beige) for bush walks.
  • A flashlight.
  • Insect repellent, but are freely available here in South Africa.
  • Power supplies and adapters for South African. We run on 220V.
  • All your medication normally used, including some anti-allergic ointment or pills.
  • Some US dollars in cash when are traveling to Botswana, Zambia, or Zimbabwe.
  • Formal dressing if traveling on the Blue Train, Rovos Rail or staying in 5 star lodge

Do I need a visa?

All visitors traveling to the Southern African necessitate a valid passport that is valid for six months beyond the intended length of stay. The passport entry obligation for travelers entering South Africa is a minimum of two blank pages in their passport. If visitors are traveling via South Africa to more than one African country, then the visitors must ensure they allow for adequate pages for each country to be visited. They must also have a minimum of two blank visa pages for each re-entry into South Africa.

Currently American passport holders do not require visas for South Africa, Namibia, or Botswana, but do require visas for Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, or Tanzania. Visas may be purchased at the point of entry for a nominal fee, accept for Kenya. Please check with the website of the country that you intend to visit to confirm.

Should I get traveler's insurance?

Insurance should include the cancellation of the trip to Africa, emergency evacuation, medical, repatriation, and cover against loss, damage or theft of personal luggage, money, and goods. Ask your travel agent for travel insurance.

Should I take any medical precautions before going to Africa?

Before you arrive in South Africa, check with your local doctor or health department for the latest health precautions of which malaria is the most important. Medication it is strongly recommended and is taken as a precaution. You are only required to have vaccinations if you are traveling from a region where yellow fever is prevailing, in which case an immunization will be required against the disease.

Are your tours child and family friendly?

Most of our safari tours are fitting for families and children of all ages are accepted.

Money matters?

South Africa has one of the most advanced banking systems in the world. Banks use world-class technology and facilities, and cash is available with major credit cards from thousands of ATMs countrywide. Forex traders are available at airports and shopping malls. Most of the larger hotels also offer money-changing facilities.

Visa and MasterCard credit cards as well as debit cards, are accepted throughout South Africa, and in most key centers in Botswana and Namibia. About 50% of establishments in tourist areas in Zimbabwe and Zambia will accept credit cards. A 3 – 5% levy will apply. Traveler’s checks are accepted in South Africa.

Make sure that you bring along some cash for spending money, tip, drinks, etc. US Dollars, Euros, and Pounds can easily be converted to Rands (ZAR) at the airport. At the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Livingstone, you will be able to use ZAR, US$, Euros, and Pounds at curio markets, while most lodges will accept these currencies. Foreign currency will be a problem at Victoria Falls, so we recommend to bring enough small value notes (20’s, 10’s, 5’s and 1’s).

Electricity?

All of the Southern African countries make use of a 220 – 240V electricity supply via their national networks. It is important to make sure that the equipment you plan to bring along on tour or safari is compatible. European, Australian and New Zealand adaptors are available in South Africa and come in both formats of two or three pins. USA and Canada adaptors are also available and most stores in large malls and shopping centers. The USA and Canada adaptors are not converters and will lower the voltage from 220V to 110V.

In Zambia, the wall sockets will match the UK’s 220V supply, and adaptor plugs that fit that standard may be used. If you plan on purchasing an adaptor plug while in South Africa, do not buy it on the flight over to South Africa, as some airlines sell adaptors that are not locally well suited. Some airlines sell adaptors, which are not locally compatible. Rather buy it here after you have arrived.

Medical amenities?

Generally speaking, medical facilities in South Africa are very good is considered to be the best on the African continent and our private hospitals are considered world class. The general practitioners, nurses, and medical staff are trained at top medical institutions in the country. Some of the specialists obtained their medical degrees while undergoing training in western countries like the USA and the UK. The standard of healthcare in South Africa, particularly in the urban and coastal areas, are of world standard.

Communication?

Most people wishing to visit the remote safari areas of Southern Africa to get away from civilization so to speak, is the major reason for going, however all major centers in South Africa will have access to the internet. Cell phone coverage is better than the run-of-the-mill, but unfortunately not available in every corner of the country, particularly when visiting a safari lodge. All hotels we use will offer Internet facilities and a fair number will offer free WiFi, but for most hotels it is expected to pay for the service. International airports are the exception and both Johannesburg and Cape Town will have WiFi hotspots.

It is advisable to purchase a local SIM card when you arrive in South Africa and to do that, you will need to present your passport. This enforced by law to prevent terrorists (amongst many others) from attaining untraceable cell phone numbers. International roaming service is not automatically enabled on cell phones. You will need to contact your service provider to activate the international roaming feature.

Tipping?

Tipping is a general practice in South Africa. A large number people in the tourism industry that serve you, is pretty much dependent you their tips as many of them do not get a fixed salary, like waiter for example. Others do get a salary, but are encouraged to deliver a better service to increase their income from tipping.

Here is some information on tipping in South Africa.

  • In restaurants and bars, 10% to 15% is the accepted tipping standard.
  • Petrol attendants at gas stations – from R2 up.
  • Porters at airports – between R5 and R10 per luggage.
  • Hotel porters – between R10 to R20 per porter service.
  • Taxi drivers – between $2 and $10, depending on the distance.
  • Rangers and trackers – between $10 and $20 or more per day for both.
  • Site guides (e.g. a guide at the ostrich farm) – $10 per person.
  • Guides – anything between $20 and $100 per day, but $100 is the norm.

Visa & Passports?

Countries Passport? Return ticket? Visa?
USA Yes Yes No
UK Yes Yes No
Canada Yes Yes No
Other EU counties Yes Yes No

It is important to organize your own visas through your nearest embassy or consulate. We cannot be held liable if you arrive without the necessary visas immigration officials will be obliged to refuse you entry in to South Africa.

Requirements for entering South Africa?

  • A valid passport that will be endorsed for the length of your anticipated stay.
  • Your passport should have at least TWO blank pages in it.
  • A valid visa, if required – see the list above.
  • A return or onward ticket.
  • Adequate funds.
  • Yellow fever certificates – if your journey passes through yellow fever prone areas.

Visa requirements?

Depending on your nationality (see the list above), you may or may not need a visa to visit South Africa. Please the Department of Home Affairs’ website for the list of countries that are exempted – http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/exempt-countries

Where to make enquiries about visas?

Visit the South African Home Affairs website for more detail – http://www.dha.gov.za. You could also visit the website of the “South African offices abroad” to apply for a visa in your own country – http://www.dirco.gov.za/foreign/sa_abroad/index.htm

If traveling to Zimbabwe or Zambia, you are expected to secure your entry visa at the port of entry in US Dollar only. No other currency is accepted; credit or debit cards, checks, or travelers checks will not be accepted for purchasing your visas. The current going rate for visas to these two countries are between $50 and $100 per person. It is recommend having at least an adequate supply of small value notes to the amount of between $200 and $300 for personal expenses. Old bank notes, notes with ink marks, notes with writing marks on them, or notes that have been overly folded will not be accepted.

Note: 

The Department of Home Affairs’ website (www.dha.gov.za) has complete details on visa requirements and exceptions and the relevant forms that you can download. If you are subject to visa requirements, you should apply for your visa at least a month before you plan to arrive here. Do not arrive in South Africa without it; wait for it to be issued before you travel. No visas are issued at South African ports of entry.

WEATHER

South (& Southern) Africa is truly blessed with amazing weather. The official months for:

  • Summer: December, January, and February.
  • Autumn: March, April, and May.
  • Winter: June, July, and August.
  • Spring: September, October, and November.

This in theory however as we experience only summer and winter over here. Our weather is very predictable. Summer arrives in the first week of September; normally the 5th, and temperatures range from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius.

Winter arrives in the first week of June. We actually only have 2 months of winter – June & July and by mid August things start to warm up again. Winter temperatures range from zero (normally 5 degrees) at night to 25 degrees Celsius during the day. Winter daytime temperatures in the Kruger can reach 28 to 30 degrees.

The rainy season in the old Transvaal starts on 10 October to the date. The old folks believed that if it rains before President Paul Kruger’s birthday (10 October), it is going to be a very good rainy season. If it rains before his birthday, they believed it would be a bad rainy season. Transvaal is now divided into the Gauteng-, Northwest-, Limpopo-, and Mpumalanga Provinces.

For detailed information about the weather, please visit the South African Weather Service’s website to find out more – www.weathersa.co.za

GREAT BOOKS TO READ

Nothing gets you prepared for a safari like a good book. From field guides to fictional masterpieces, there are a slew of reading options to help crystallize your vision of Africa: the sights, the sounds, the unbridled adventure to come.

Follow this link to a website called Longitude for a list of recommended books that we believe will enhance your experience so much more!