Expedition to Southern Africa: whales, the Big Five, Stellenbosch wineries and Victoria Falls

South Africa + Victoria Falls

October 29 - November 8, 2023
Tour South Africa

New Year tour South Africa the Kingdom of Lesotho Swaziland Blind River Canyon Limpopo Province the Big Five South Africa Tabana Ntlenyana Lesotho тур в ЮАР

To find yourself in a remote and one of the most beautiful places on the planet, which amazes with its dizzying views, diversity of wildlife and gastronomic discoveries.

Reach the Cape of Good Hope, shrouded in many stories and legends about seafarers, walk along the beach with African penguins, climb the famous Table Mountain, recognized as one of the Seven New Wonders of Nature, visit the whale capital of the world to meet incredible southern right whales at arm's length, and then share the impressions at exquisite wineries with a glass of South African wine.

We will be waiting for a meeting with the Big African Five in one of the best nature reserves in the world – Kruger Park, and at the end of the trip we will get to another unique natural creation – Victoria Falls, so that under the myriad of splashes we can feel like the happiest person on the planet.

Explore the beautiful city of Cape Town, washed by the waters and winds of the Atlantic Ocean?
Go on a jeep safari in the Kruger National Park, home to the African Big Five and the largest concentration of wildlife?
See one of the deepest and most beautiful canyons in the world, the Blyde River Canyon?
Visit the southernmost point of the African continent - Cape Agulhas and the famous Cape of Good Hope?
Taste high quality South African wine in the finest Stellenbosch vineyards?
Or maybe even dive into a cage with white sharks?

The program also includes an ascent to the legendary Table Mountain, an adrenaline rush in the extreme amusement park Tsitsikama and much more!

Dates: October 29 – November 8, 2023

Duration: 11 days / 10 nights

Number of participants: 8 – 12

TRAVEL PROGRAM: Tour South Africa
Day 1. October 29 (Sunday). ARRIVAL IN CAPE TOWN

We arrive in Cape Town in the morning. Transfer to the hotel for the rest. Depending on the arrival time, walk along the V&A Waterfront. Dinner at one of the restaurants on the embankment.

Recommended flight from Moscow to Cape Town:

- by Ethiopian Airlines with a transfer in Addis Ababa, departure from Moscow at 22:00 on October 28, arrival in Cape Town at 13:45 on October 29,

- or any other flight arriving in Cape Town on October 29.

Accommodation: Cloud9 Boutique Hotel&SPA or similar
Meals included: No

Day 2. October 30 (Monday). CAPE TOWN SIGHTSEEING TOUR

Sightseeing tour in Cape Town with a Russian-speaking driver-guide. On this day we will climb Table Mountain, if the weather is clear, or go on an excursion to Robben island - the former prison where Nelson Mandela was held.

Also, on this day we will visit the colorful Malay district of Bo-Kaap, the lively Long Street, famous for its Victorian buildings with many establishments, and the historic Green Market Square.

Take a walk through the green oasis in the heart of the city Company's Garden or the picturesque Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, which is in the top five largest gardens in the world.

Also, optional on this day, you can take a helicopter ride over the city and have a dinner at a restaurant with national cuisine and an ethnic show (for an additional fee).

Accommodation: Cloud9 Boutique Hotel&SPA or similar
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3. October 31 (Tuesday). CAPE TOWN – CAPE OF GOOD HOPE – HERMARNUS

We check out from the hotel in Cape Town and go to the Cape of Good Hope with a Russian-speaking driver-guide. On the way we will pass Camps Bay, an elite area on the shore of the bay, bordered on the land side by the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range. Next, we will head to Hout Bay, where we will approach the seal islands by ship. Driving along the picturesque Chapmen's Peak Drive, we will enjoy panoramic views of the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. We will reach the Cape of Good Hope, covered with many stories and legends about seafarers, and take a funicular to the lighthouse. And then we will take a walk with penguins in Boulders Beach Park and a stop at Muizenberg Beach, famous for its colorful houses and beautiful views of Cape Town. In the evening we drive to Hermanus.

Accommodation: Windsor Hotel & Apartments or similar
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4. November 1 (Wednesday). WHALES IN HERMARNUS

Hermanus is recognized as the world capital of whale watching, they can be seen directly from the coastline. The high season for meeting them is October and November. Southern whales become the stars of the water show during the annual mating games and during the birth of cubs. The breeding season begins in June, when male whales come in the Hermanus area, followed immediately by females. Whales mate in the coastal waters of the South African Cape. Female southern whales who have given birth stay in the coastal area for a long time. They are the last to go into the ocean with their babies, when the little whales reach a good shape to return to Antarctic waters, where they will feed on krill and other crustaceans which size are of a rice grain.

While watching whales, you can also meet fur seals, flocks of common dolphins or playful bottlenose dolphins, as well as endangered African penguins. Depending on the season, you may also see migrating humpback whales or local Bride whales. And there is also a very large variety of seabirds in the Hermanus Walker Bay area.

On a boat, we will approach these huge creatures so close that we can hear their breathing and see the bizarre growths on their body. In the evening, we walk around the city, filled with art galleries and souvenir shops, and immerse ourselves in local life.

On request and for additional cost, you can go shark watching from a boat or even in a underwater cage in Gaansbai.

Accommodation: Windsor Hotel & Apartments or similar
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5. November 2 (Thursday). HERMANUS – STELLENBOSCH

In the morning we leave the hotel in Hermanus and go on a tour in the wine lands of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. These areas are famous primarily for their wine farms, where high-quality varieties of red and white wines are produced. Famous cheeses are also made here. We are waiting for wine tasting and lunch at one of the farms. After lunch, we will have a tour of the historic town of Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch is the second oldest city in South Africa. It was founded by the governor of the Cape colony Simon van der Stel in 1679 and already at that time became famous as a center of winemaking.

Accommodation: Roosenwijn Boutique Guest House or similar
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6. November 3 (Friday). STELLENBOSCH – CAPE TOWN – KRUGER PARK

In the morning we drive to Cape Town Airport and take a local flight to Kruger Park Airport. Transfer to the safari lodge from the airport. We visit the park and wildlife sanctuary with animals (for example, Jane Goodall Chimpanzee Eden Sanctuary, extra charge) on the way to the lodge in case we have time.

Accommodation, dinner and evening rest.

Recommended flight from Cape Town to Kruger Park Airport (Mbombela):
- By Airlink, departure from Cape Town at 10:25, arrival at Kruger Park at 12:50.

Accommodation: Rissington Inn or similar
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7. November 4 (Saturday). KRUGER PARK SAFARI

Early in the morning (at about 05:00) we go on safari in special jeeps with a ranger. We take breakfast with us.

We are completely immersed in the stunningly beautiful and amazing world of African wildlife. This is a safari in Kruger Park, the world's largest wildlife park. All the representatives of the Big Five live here in their natural environment: elephants, rhinos, lions, buffaloes, and leopards. Hippos can be observed in reservoirs, and in the savanna, there are 17 species of antelopes, giraffes, warthogs, zebras, jackals, wild dogs. You can witness how predators hunt antelopes, here everyone lives according to the laws of natural selection of wildlife.

Accommodation: Rissington Inn or similar
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8. November 5 (Sunday). KRUGER PARK – PANORAMIC ROUTE

Early in the morning we set off on an incredibly beautiful journey along the Panoramic route.

This is a magnificent scenic road in Mpumalanga province, which is considered one of the greatest natural wonders of the continent and one of the most beautiful automobile routes in the world. The whole route is literally steeped in the history of South Africa, passes around the canyon of the Blyde River, the third largest canyon in the world. Breathtaking picturesque mountain landscapes, stunning views of the Three Rondavels mountain range, a unique painting of the ocher riverbed in the style of Salvador Dali, an incredible view of the "window of God" for many miles of a beautiful valley, magnificent waterfalls and one of the largest woodlands in South Africa. In the evening we return to our hotel near Kruger Park.

Accommodation: Rissington Inn or similar
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 9. November 6 (Monday). KRUGER PARK – VICTORIA FALLS

Transfer to Kruger Park Airport (Nelspruit) in the morning. Departure to Livingston, Zambia. We get a KAZA visa at the border. We explore the Victoria waterfall from Zambia side. We cross the river and arrive to Zimbabwe. We stay at the hotel for 2 nights.

Recommended flight from Kruger Park to Livingston Airport:

- By Airlink, departure from Kruger Park at 11:35, arrival in Livingston at 13:30.

Accommodation: Pamarah Lodge or similar
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 10. November 7 (Tuesday). VICTORIA FALLS

We see to Victoria Falls from Zimbabwe part. In the evening at 16:30 we go on a cruise on the Zambezi River to watch the sunset.

During the excursion to Victoria Falls, you will be able to get as close as possible to the largest waterfall in the world in terms of the volume of water falling in a cascade. People often ask: how did the waterfall come about? As a result of the fracture of the earth's crust, the waters of the Zambezi River flowed into a narrow gorge, gradually expanding it with swirling whirlpools below. And now Victoria is a magnificent sight. Million liters of water flying down every minute creating splashes resembling a smoke screen visible from afar. You can feel these splashes on your face and understand why the locals call the waterfall " smoke that thunders". The waterfall is located on the Zambezi River on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Its width is 1800 meters, and the height of 120 meters is more than the famous Niagara Falls.

On request and for an additional fee, this day you can take a helicopter flight over the waterfall, take a canopy tour or bungee jumping at an altitude of 111 meters from the Victoria Falls Bridge.

Accommodation: Pamarah Lodge or similar
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 11. November 8 (Wednesday). VICTORIA FALLS – JOHANNESBURG

We fly from Victoria Falls Airport to Johannesburg, and on the same day take an international flight home.

Recommended flight from Victoria Falls Airport to Johannesburg:
- By Airlink, departure from Victoria Falls at 13:25, arrival in Johannesburg at 15:20.

Recommended flight from Johannesburg to Moscow:
- Emirates Airline with a transfer in Dubai, departure from Johannesburg on November 8 at 22:20, arrival in Moscow on November 9 at 13:45,
- by Qatar Airways with a transfer in Doha, departure from Johannesburg on November 8 at 21:35, arrival in Moscow on November 9 at 13:30,
- or any other flight departing from Johannesburg after 19:00 hours on November 8.

Cost includes:

  • Accommodation for 10 nights with breakfast in 3-4* hotels (on DBL basis)
  • Ascent to the Table Mountain in Cape Town or a trip to Robben Island
  • Entrance tickets to the Cape of Good Hope and ascent to the lighthouse by funicular
  • Boat trip to the fur seal islands in Haut Bay
  • Entrance tickets to Boulders Beach Park, where the penguin colony lives
  • Whale watching in Hermanus by boat - Guide on the Western Cape route (car/minibus, fuel)
  • Safari in Kruger Park, 1 day (ranger, transport)
  • Panoramic tour, 1 day (guide, transport)
  • Guided tour to Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe
  • Zambezi River cruise, Zimbabwe
  • All airport transfers according to the program
  • Russian- and English-speaking team leader throughout the trip

Cost excludes (to be additionally paid):

  • International flights to Cape Town and back from Victoria Falls,
  • 3 regional flights: from Cape Town to Kruger Park, from Kruger Park to Livingston, and from Victoria Falls to Johannesburg,
  • South Africa visa (not required for Russian citizens),
  • Visa of Zambia and Zimbabwe (single KAZA visa, 50 USD)
  • International medical insurance,
  • Lunches and dinners (about 300 – 400 USD per trip),
  • Optional wine tastings
  • Tips and personal expenses

To take with:

  • clothing sets fitting weather conditions, including sets of clothing for hot weather (shorts, T-shirts) and warm clothes (sweatshirt, fleece, trousers, windproof jacket), as well as long-sleeve shirts
  • thermal underwear
  • hats for different weather conditions: baseball cap/hat/sun hat and hat for cold evenings
  • bathing suits/swimming trunks
  • raincoat
  • trekking shoes and comfortable shoes like sneakers
  • personal hygiene items
  • personal medical kit (including analgesics, antiseptics, antibiotics, medicines necessary for you personally, antiviral, intestinal, multivitamins, rehydrone, patch)
  • sun and wind protection (cream)
  • sunglasses
  • repellents: sprays, creams
  • anti-malaria prevention pills (up to you but recommended),
  • for Zimbabwe and Zambia: PCR test for COVID in 48 hours or COVID vaccination certificate (requirements may change)
  • a large backpack for your luggage, either a trunk or a suitcase,
  • small backpack for sorties on the route (25 – 30 liters)
  • photo and video cameras, spare battery

    Photo by:
    Arthur Hickinbotham, Jandré van der Walt, Rosan Harmens, Dannii Coughlan, Spekboom-flZsDsLuARc

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