12-Day Southern Africa Safari, Including Chobe

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Cape Town
(SOUTH AFRICA)

Johannesburg
(South Africa)

Can start any day

Suitable for solo travellers

Suitable for all ages

Can be customised

Overview
Cost
Activities & Transport
Travel Advice
Map
Images

This 12-day safari offers an itinerary that concentrates on Southern Africa’s must-see destinations and activities. This includes exploring the iconic city of Cape Town with a specialist local guide, staying in a wildlife-rich, “Big Five” private game reserve in Greater Kruger, visiting the majestic Victoria Falls, quality wildlife viewing in Chobe National Park and a sunset boat safari on the Chobe River.

Each of the Cape Town daily itineraries can be modified and are interchangeable with each other.

This safari is a private journey and not a group tour.  It can be further customised to suit the number of days you wish to travel, and can also include other destinations.

From US$6600 per person, based on two adults in a double/twin room.

Children under 12 receive a discount.
The cost excludes regional flights during this safari but we can book these for you.

COST INCLUDES:

  • All accommodation (en-suite)
  • All breakfasts in Cape Town and Victoria Falls
  • All meals and drinks in Greater Kruger
  • All meals in Chobe
  • Private guide and transport in Cape Town (excluding evenings)
  • All wildlife activities in Greater Kruger and Chobe National Park
  • Complimentary visit to the Victoria Falls (Private guide, including entrance fees)
  • All entrances and National Park fees
  • Private transfers and cross-border assistance Zambia-Zimbabwe-Botswana
  • All airport transfers
  • All local taxes

COST EXCLUDES:

  • International flights to/from Africa
  • Regional flights
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Victoria Falls activities (except complimentary visit to the falls)
  • Personal travel insurance and visas
  • Items of a personal nature, such as drinks and laundry (unless specified)
  • Tips for all guides, drivers, domestics, porters and wait staff

ACTIVITIES

  • Day tours in Cape Town with a private Compass Odyssey guide.
  • Game drives and bush walks in Greater Kruger.
  • Visit to the Victoria Falls.
  • Game drives and boat safaris in Chobe National Park.

The Greater Kruger game drives and bush walks may be shared with fellow lodge guests. The Chobe game drives and boat safaris are private.
The Greater Kruger bush walk is subject to guide availability and the age/fitness of the participant, who should be able to comfortably walk at least 5km/3mi over uneven terrain.  A game drive will always be provided should a bush walk not be possible.

TRANSPORT

  • Day tours in Cape Town in an air-conditioned mini-van.
  • Airport transfers and other road transfers in air-conditioned mini-vans.
  • Game drives in custom-designed open-sided 4×4 safari vehicles.
  • Boat safari in a custom-designed boat with an overhead canopy.

WHEN TO VISIT

In Southern Africa the seasons are generally the same as in other southern hemisphere countries, with spring/summer from October to April and winter/autumn from May to September.

In Cape Town, rain and cold weather can be expected during the autumn/winter months and dry, sunny weather in spring/summer.  However it is worth noting that due to its location at the southern-most tip of the continent, the weather can be quite dramatic and can pass through the region very quickly. Some of the nicest days can be experienced during winter, though it can be preceded and/or followed by wet and windy weather. The city is a very popular destination in spring and summer for both locals and international visitors, who come for the pleasant climate (warm but very rarely hot) as well as the nightlife, cuisine, scenery and beaches.

In the Kruger-Zambezi-Chobe safari regions, spring/summer is characterised by hot humid days and afternoon thunderstorms. Daytime temperatures can get very high followed by cooler, comfortable nights. Vegetation is at its highest and thickest during these months which can make wildlife-spotting difficult although the region’s birdlife is at its most prolific. Travelling in this same area during the autumn/winter brings clear and warm days with cool to chilly evenings. Known as the “dry season”, this is possibly the best period for wildlife viewing as the permanent waterholes attract many animals, and the thinning vegetation offers unobstructed views. 

Within the dry season, we recommend coming in May or June as there can still be some greenery in the landscape but there is no risk of rain plus fewer visitors compared to the peak visitor months from July to September. It is worth noting that the month of October can be especially hot and humid, as the rains have usually not arrived but the cool winter weather has ended.

For your visit to the Victoria Falls it is worth noting that the dry season is when the Zambezi River is at its lowest and the falls can subsequently be better described as a trickle, especially on the Zambian side. Conversely, the months of February to May can see the river at its highest level and the popular Livingstone Island/Devil’s Pool tour can be closed due to safety reasons.

 

VISAS

Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the end of your time in Southern Africa, and it is a good idea to bring a few photocopies in case you lose the original. In addition to a passport, children under 18 years of age entering Botswana with only one parent or with parents who have a different surname are required to produce additional documentation upon arrival. See here for further information about travelling with children.

Although most visitors are not required to obtain a visa before entering South Africa and Botswana, this is not applicable to all nationalities. For travel in Zambia and Zimbabwe, travellers of most nationalities are required to pay for a visa which is issued upon arrival. Compass Odyssey does not issue visas nor can we complete visa applications for our travellers. While we will obviously assist our travellers with the documentation required for any visa applications, it is the responsibility of our travellers to investigate the visa requirements for their journey and to complete any necessary applications.

An immigration form sometimes needs to be completed when entering and departing these Southern African countries. This form requests information such as passport and birth particulars, as well as the address of your accommodation. Prior to your safari, we provide you with a personal Safari Dossier that includes a swathe of information including the booking references, transport timings and contact numbers specific to your journey.

 

TRAVELLER’S HEALTH

 Yellow Fever and malaria are the two major health considerations for travellers coming to Southern Africa.

Yellow Fever is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, and approximately 200,000 cases occur each year with the vast majority of these occurring in parts of Africa and Central/South America.  A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is not required for entering Southern Africa unless you are coming from – or you are in airport transit for more than 12 hours within – a country deemed to be infected with Yellow Fever. The World Health Organisation lists the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe as being free from Yellow Fever. For further clarification on Yellow Fever, refer to tables 4-23, 4-24 and 4-27 on this page of the website for the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Malaria is present in most of Southern Africa’s safari regions but there is no risk of malaria in Cape Town. See here for further information. A number of other tropical diseases are present in Southern Africa but generally the biggest health risk you will face on your safari is usually an upset tummy (often caused by dehydration) or a cold.  For complete peace of mind we recommend you visit your local GP or Travel Health Clinic.

 

 

Itinerary
DAY 1-4: CAPE TOWN

Day 1Welcome to South Africa, “Amkela” Cape Town

You arrive at Cape Town International Airport and our local guide says amkela (“welcome” in the local isiXhosa language) to the Mother City. As you travel into the city, you fall under the watchful eye of Table Mountain and can look across Table Bay to Robben Island and beyond. Our guest house is located in the chic inner-city neighborhood of Gardens, one of the oldest parts of the city and within a short, safe walking distance to vibrant and trendy Kloof Street and its southern extension, Long Street. All along here you’ll find restaurants, coffee shops and bistros along with a wide range of shops and markets peddling creative and authentic wares. Depending on your arrival time, your guide will be most happy to commence your exploration this afternoon should you wish.

Accommodation: Tintagel Guest House
Mid-range 4-star guest house located in Cape Town

Day 2Cape Town – “History & Heroes” city walk, Table Mountain & Robben Island

Sheltering between ocean and mountain – with a national park at its heart – this spiritual city bears a soul influenced by a cultural melting pot of indigenous Bushman peoples, settlers of Dutch, Indo-Malay, French, British and German origin, and African Nguni tribes originally from the north, such as the Xhosa. Today we show off our Mother City with an insightful and enjoyable walk through the city’s historical heart followed by the dramatic ascension by cable car of Table Mountain. (Cableway closed for two-week annual maintenance in late-July to early-August). For nearly 400 years, Robben Island was a place of exile and imprisonment for those regarded as outcasts and troublemakers – the most famous being Nelson Mandela who spent 18 years of his life here. The 3½ hour tour includes a return boat trip across Table Bay, a visit to the Maximum Security Prison, interaction with an ex-political prisoner and a 45-minute guided bus tour of the island.

Accommodation: Tintagel Guest House
Mid-range 4-star guest house located in Cape Town

Meals:
Breakfast

Day 3Cape Town - Cape Peninsula, Cape Point & the Cape of Good Hope

A relaxing day awaits you today on a meander around the scenic Cape Peninsula with our Compass Odyssey guide. Leaving the city behind, you first visit the eclectic fishing village of Kalk Bay and the historical naval town of Simon’s Town and its resident colony of African penguins at nearby Boulder’s Beach. You then venture further south to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, where the many legends and shipwreck stories that abound at the “Cape of Storms” are brought to life. After visiting both Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, you travel back to the city via the Atlantic coastline and the dramatic and picturesque Chapman’s Peak Drive.

Accommodation: Tintagel Guest House
Mid-range 4-star guest house located in Cape Town

Meals:
Breakfast

Day 4Cape Town - Cape Winelands Eco-Encounter

South Africa’s celebrated Cape Winelands region is not just internationally famous for its exquisite wines, but is also highly valued for its extraordinary beauty and diversity. Set in soaring mountains and sweeping valleys amidst the carefully preserved, natural bounty of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the Cape’s vineyards are rich in fascinating tradition, history and unique Cape-Dutch architecture, as well as exceptional wines and cuisine. Today offers a meaningful and inspirational visit to a number of vineyards, allowing you to enjoy the fine wine and good food on offer with the peace of mind that our hosts are committed to both the environmental and social welfare of this scenic and historical region.

Should the theme of this day not be of interest, you may prefer instead to visit the world-renowned Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden or the many museums within the city. Or you may prefer a shark viewing excursion (additional expense and seasonal).

Accommodation: Tintagel Guest House
Mid-range 4-star guest house located in Cape Town

Meals:
Breakfast

DAY 5-7: GREATER KRUGER

Day 5Greater Kruger – Private Wildlife Reserve

Our guide returns you this morning to Cape Town Airport for your direct flight to South Africa’s wildlife-rich Lowveld from where our local driver transfers you into the Associated Private Nature Reserves – better known as the Greater Kruger – and you immediately embark on your first game drive on the way to your camp in Klaserie Private Nature Reserve. This afternoon and over the next two days, you can anticipate quality wildlife viewing within this “Big Five” reserve adjoining Kruger National Park.

Accommodation: Senalala Safari Lodge
Mid-range 4-star lodge located in the Greater Kruger

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 6-7Greater Kruger - Private Wildlife Reserve

One of the most undeveloped and pristine wilderness areas of the Greater Kruger, animals migrate freely between Klaserie and Kruger National Park, creating an incredible biosphere and one of Africa’s premier safari destinations. Located in a remote and private location within Klaserie Private Nature Reserve and managed by James and Corlia Steyn, Senalala Luxury Safari Camp offers a truly authentic bush safari experience. Set on the banks of the seasonal Ntsiri River, you can expect an abundance of quality wildlife viewing while at Senalala, with the camp itself overlooking a watering hole that draws a constant flow of wildlife. You can choose a game drive or bush walk – the latter is a specialty of Senalala.

Accommodation: Senalala Safari Lodge
Mid-range 4-star lodge located in the Greater Kruger

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 8-9:ZAMBIA & ZIMBABWE

Day 8Victoria Falls, Zambia & Zimbabwe

This morning you are transferred to Kruger-Nelspruit Airport and fly direct to Livingstone, Zambia. Our local guide greets and transfers you across the border into Zimbabwe and the town of Victoria Falls. Along the way our guide assists you with the cross-border formalities. Your accommodation is located in a quiet and leafy area of the town, still within earshot of the constant roar coming from Mosi oa Tunya, “the Smoke that Thunders”.

We are pleased to offer you a complimentary guided visit to the Victoria Falls during your stay (Zimbabwean and Zambian sides; includes entrance fees).

Accommodation: Batonka Guest Lodge
Mid-range 4-star lodge located in Victoria Falls

Meals:
Breakfast

Day 9Victoria Falls, Zambia & Zimbabwe

Besides visiting the falls, we have not included any other activities in your safari, allowing you the freedom to choose what you’d like to do and when you’d like to do it. The many activities on offer include Zambezi river cruises and white-water rafting or canoeing, elephant interactions and rhino walking safaris, helicopter and microlight flights, African township and village tours, adrenaline activities like bungee jumping and much more. We especially recommend “Tour the Township” with our local guide, Mortimer who introduces you to his home turf and often invites our travelers to lunch with his wife and family. Dining options include African-style feasts with accompanying tribal entertainment at The Boma or Jungle Junction restaurants, as well as an afternoon High Tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel. We will send you our separate “Victoria Falls Activities” booklet, and we can pre-book any of these for you or they can be organized by Mortimer upon your arrival.

Accommodation: Batonka Guest Lodge
Mid-range 4-star lodge located in Victoria Falls

Meals:
Breakfast

DAY 10-12: BOTSWANA

Day 10Chobe River & Chobe National Park, Botswana

Today you travel to Botswana and Garden Lodge, located in the small safari town of Kasane on the banks of the Chobe River. The private road transfer from Victoria Falls passes through bushveld that is home to wildlife such as elephant and giraffe, sightings of which often occur during the drive. You are again accompanied by our local guide who will assist with the cross-border formalities. This afternoon you embark on a private boat safari along the Chobe River. The accompanying sunset on the river often provides a truly memorable moment of your African safari. From your riverside accommodation, you are usually ‘serenaded’ to sleep tonight by the grunts coming from nearby pods of hippo as they venture out of the water to graze on the lodge’s lush lawn.

Accommodation: The Garden Lodge
Mid-range 3-star lodge located on the Chobe River in Kasane

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 11Chobe River & Chobe National Park, Botswana

Your day revolves around morning and afternoon private game drives within the Chobe National Park. You’ll also enjoy delicious home-style meals and have time for some quality lazing by the pool and perhaps even a midday siesta.

Note: You have the option today of a full day private game drive that ventures further into the park and takes along a picnic lunch. To make your safari extra special, Compass Odyssey travelers are provided with a private vehicle and boat during your stay in Chobe – other companies typically offer game drives with up to 10 passengers and boat safaris with 10-50+ travelers on board.

During your game drives, be on the lookout for predators such as lion and hyena, and iconic herbivores such as buffalo, zebra, giraffe, warthog and wildebeest. On your boat safaris along the Chobe River you will encounter all manner of wildlife, including Nile crocodile and the Chobe’s great herds of elephant as they come to the river’s edge to drink and frolic in the fresh water.

Accommodation: The Garden Lodge
Mid-range 3-star lodge located on the Chobe River in Kasane

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 12Chobe River and Farewell Southern Africa

This morning’s private boat safari on the Chobe River offers a serene and tranquil end to your safari. After a hearty brunch, we say tsamaya sentle (“goodbye and go well” in the local Setswana language) as you are transferred the short distance to Kasane Airport for your flight to Johannesburg and onward travel arrangements.

During your stay in Southern Africa you will experience our natural beauty and renowned African hospitality, as well as the iconic wildlife of this fascinating region. Thank you for choosing to visit us on this Compass Odyssey safari. Sizobonana msinya (“See you soon”).

Meals:
Breakfast