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Odysseys does everything with style, but without pretension. Beautiful meals and hotels. Excellent guides.

Barbara Schoetzau
New York, NY
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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Spectacular Victoria Falls
  • Sunset Zambezi River cruise
  • Chobe National Park’s diverse and abundant game
  • Early morning game drives and afternoon boat safaris
  • Privately chartered flight to Lower Zambezi
  • Three-night stay in remote Lower Zambezi National Park, one of Africa’s last pristine wildernesses
  • Royal Zambezi Lodge’s game-viewing activities: open- vehicle game drives, sunset river cruises, guided canoe trips
  • Outstanding game viewing
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Johannesburg, South Africa

Day 2: Arrive Johannesburg Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel in the suburb of Rosebank, where our rooms will be ready for our early check-in. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities planned. B

Day 3: Johannesburg/Soweto We meet our fellow travelers today as we embark on a tour of the Soweto district of Johannesburg. Here we see the home of former Archbishop Desmond Tutu; visit Nelson Mandela’s home, which is now a museum; and tour the moving Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, where we learn more about apartheid and the Soweto uprising of 1976. Then we hear fascinating stories from a local Sowetan who was present during the uprising, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner together. B,L,D

Day 4: Johannesburg/Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe We fly today to Livingstone, Zambia, then transfer to Victoria Falls and our historic hotel.  This afternoon we see for ourselves the thundering falls, first “discovered” by David Livingstone and claimed for Queen Victoria in 1855. With its 300-­foot-deep gorge and soaking spray, “Vic” Falls is a wonder of the natural world. B,D

Day 5: Victoria Falls This morning we embark on a game drive to spot the elusive – and critically endangered – black rhino. Late afternoon we embark on a “Sundowner” dinner cruise on the Zambezi where we see wildlife on shore and in the water. B,D

Day 6: Victoria Falls After a morning visit to Victoria Falls town and a local village, this after­noon is at leisure to relax at our grand hotel. Tonight we hear a fascinating guest speaker on “The Story of David Livingstone,” followed by dinner together. B,D

Day 7: Victoria Falls/Chobe National Park, Botswana This morning we visit a nearby school then travel two hours by motorcoach to Botswana and Chobe National Park, boasting one of the largest concentrations of game in all of Africa. After settling in and enjoying lunch at our lodge, this afternoon we embark on a game-viewing boat safari on the Chobe River, where we may see hippo, crocs, and some of the park’s 450 species of birds (including the sacred ibis, carmine bee-eaters, fish eagles, and kingfishers). We dine tonight at our lodge. B,L,D

Day 8: Chobe National Park Known for its diverse terrain that attracts an exceptional array of wildlife – including the world’s largest elephant population (some 120,000), along with zebra, lion, giraffe, impala, wildebeest, and buffalo – Chobe covers 4,517 square miles of protected parkland. We’ll see a portion of this natural wonder on our early morning game drive and this afternoon’s boat safari. And this evening perhaps we’ll see one of the sublime sunsets for which Chobe is known. B,L,D

Day 9: Chobe National Park We’re settling into a comfortable routine, with early morning and late afternoon game drives. In between game-viewing activities, we’re at leisure to enjoy the amenities of our lodge on the banks of the Chobe River, adjacent to the park itself. B,L,D

Day 10: Chobe National Park/Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia This morning we board a privately chartered plane for the 1½-hour flight to Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia’s newest reserve (since 1983) and, as the former private sanctuary of Zambia’s president, the least developed. Here in one of Africa’s last stretches of pristine wilderness we have the chance to get closer to the animals than anywhere else. Late afternoon we engage in some of the lodge’s game-viewing activities that include open vehicle game drives, guided canoe trips, bush walks, and boat safaris. B,L,D

Day 11: Lower Zambezi National Park A day of game-viewing activities in this 1,600-square-mile park on the southern end of Zambia known for its 100-strong elephant herds, unusually large prides of lion, plus buffalo, water­buck, antelope, impala, crocodile, hippo, kudu, wart­hog, eland, and leopard, among other wildlife; and where ebonies, leadwoods, figs, and acacias preside over the mineral-rich grassland. Together with Zimbabwe’s renowned Mana Pools Reserve situated across the river, the Lower Zambezi National Park forms a massive sanctuary and UNESCO World Heritage site where we’re certain to enjoy unparalleled game and bird viewing – and rarely see other safari-goers. B,L,D

Day 12: Lower Zambezi National Park From our 14-room luxury lodge on the banks of the Zambezi, we have another day to engage in game-viewing activities in this lush riverine environment of 50 mammal species and 400 bird species. With the Zambezi River, abundant game on the valley floor, and the Zambezi Escarpment as a backdrop, the Lower Zambezi National Park offers a dramatic setting for game viewing … as does our lodge, where animals roam freely on the grounds. Tonight we celebrate our wildlife adventure at a farewell dinner. B,L,D

Day 13: Lower Zambezi National Park/Lusaka/Depart for U.S. We travel by charter flight today to Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, where we have hotel day rooms until our departure this evening for the airport and our overnight flight to the U.S. B

Day 14: Arrive U.S. We arrive in the U.S. this morning and connect with our flights home.

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; all flights within itinerary
  • 11 nights’ accommodations: 5 nights in Deluxe hotel; 6 nights in Deluxe and Superior First Class lodges
  • 29 meals: 12 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 10 dinners
  • Extensive game viewing as described, including all park entrance fees
  • Mineral water while on safari
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for driver/guides, hotel and lodge staff, and porters
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2019 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Mar 3
Nov 10
Nov 24
Apr 17
Oct 6
Nov 3
May 12
May 19
Sep 8
Sep 15
Sep 22
Jun 9, 16
Jun 23
Jul 7, 14
Jul 21
Aug 4, 11
Aug 21
Boston, New York,
Washington, DC
$7,284$7,484$7,684$7,984
Chicago, Dallas,
Houston, Los Ang,
San Fran, Seattle
$7,584$7,784$7,984$8,284
Atlanta, Balt, Char,
Cinc, Cleve, Miami,
Minn, Orlando,
Phil, Tampa
$7,684$7,884$8,084$8,384
Denver, Detroit,
Phoenix, Port (OR)
$7,784$7,984$8,184$8,484

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy in a Deluxe thatched tent at Royal Zambezi Lodge and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $989, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $1,395. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days prior to departure. All 2019 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Upgrade to thatched tent suite with large living area and private plunge pool at Royal Zambezi Lodge: $165 ($295 single)

Depending on flight schedules, certain U.S. cities may require a departure one day prior to the listed schedule above.

Business Class upgrade (subject to availability) on roundtrip Trans-Atlantic flight: $4,995 per person

A visa is required for this tour. Odysseys Unlimited will provide information about visa requirements upon reservation.

Accommodations
    54 on Bath, Rosebank / Days 2-3 / Deluxe

    The contemporary 54 on Bath hotel owns a convenient location in the heart of Johannesburg’s trendy Rosebank suburb, within walking distance of boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries.  The 75-room hotel features a restaurant, bar, and lounge; outdoor pool; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access; spa treatments; and laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee).  All air-conditioned guest rooms have a private bath with hair dryer, TV, and phone.

    The Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls / Days 4-6 / Deluxe

    Built in 1904 and recognized as part of the exclusive Leading Hotels of the World group, The Victoria Falls Hotel sits a short walk from Victoria Falls town and offers a dramatic view over the Zambezi River’s Second Gorge.  The Edwardian-style hotel is often referred to by locals as “The Grand Old Lady of the Falls,” and includes three restaurants, two bars, and several lounges; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, laundry services (for a fee); hair salon; spa with massage treatments; library; and outdoor pool.  Elegant air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, fine wood furnishings, in-room safe, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    aha Chobe Marina Lodge, Chobe National Park / Days 7-9 / Superior First Class

    The aha Chobe Marina Lodge stands on the south bank of the Chobe River, a short distance from the entrance of Chobe National Park.  Along with extensive gardens containing a variety of wildlife, the well-situated 60-room lodge features two restaurants, riverside bar, and pool bar; beauty salon and spa with massage treatments; outdoor pool; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access; and laundry service (for a fee).  Air-conditioned guest rooms, all with private patios overlooking the river and gardens, have private bath with hair dryer, mosquito netting, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, minibar (stocked on request), TV, and phone.

    Royal Zambezi Lodge, Lower Zambezi National Park / Days 10-12 / Deluxe

    The luxury Royal Zambezi Lodge sits on the banks of the vast Zambezi at one of its broadest points, bordering the Lower Zambezi National Park and within a protected Game Management Area.  Combining rustic elegance and warm hospitality with an unspoiled wilderness experience, the 14-room lodge offers an open-plan dining room and lounge, copper-roofed verandah, wide decks, campfire, outdoor pool, spa treatments, laundry service, and afternoon tea.  Game-viewing activities include open-vehicle game drives, bush walks, boat safaris, birding, and guided canoe excursions.  Individual canvas-walled tents with thatched roofs, positioned with river views, have private bath with hair dryer, private verandah, mosquito-netted beds, fan, in-room safe, and phone (to the main lodge only).  (Please note:  the tents and main lodge do not have air-conditioning or heating).

    With the lodge situated in a remote region, there is no mobile signal for cellular phones.  There is limited wireless internet service available in some of the lodge’s public areas.

    Radisson Blu Lusaka, Lusaka / Day 13 (day room) / Superior First Class

    Fully renovated in 2012, the Radisson Blu Lusaka is situated a short drive from Lusaka’s city center and the airport.  The 142-room hotel’s amenities include a restaurant, poolside bar and bar/lounge; fitness center; complimentary Wi-Fi access; outdoor pool; gift shop; and laundry and dry cleaning services.  Tastefully appointed guest rooms are air-conditioned and have private bath with hair dryer, TV, and phone.

    The Table Bay Hotel, Cape Town / Extension / Deluxe

    Standing in the heart of Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, The Table Bay Hotel provides stunning views of Table Mountain and Cape Town Harbor.  Combining contemporary décor and Victorian accents, the hotel offers two restaurants, two bars, and lounge; spa with massage treatments and steam rooms; fitness center; laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee); heated outdoor pool; and complimentary shuttle service.  The 329 air-conditioned rooms have private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Post-Tour Extension

Cape Town, South Africa

4 days/3 nights for $1,495 total price
Single Supplement: $345

Discover South Africa’s sparkling “Mother City,” from Table Mountain and the Malay Quarter to the Cape Peninsula and the Winelands.

 

Your Tour Price Includes
  • Air transportation Lusaka/Cape Town, inclusive of airline taxes and fees
  • 3 nights’ accommodations at The Table Bay Hotel (Deluxe)
  • 6 meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
  • Extensive included sightseeing: full-day Cape Peninsula tour; full-day Cape Town and Winelands tour
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited representative
  • Private motorcoach/van transportation
  • Transfers to/from airport
  • Gratuities for dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers

Please note that guests on the extension will proceed directly to Cape Town and will not use the hotel day room in Lusaka on Day 13.

Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.

Tour Directors for this Journey
Eric Botha

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Tim Carr

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Tonia Devereux

“There are not enough superlatives to express how great Tonia was. She cared for all of our needs and more. Problems were dealt with quickly and effectively. Tonia became part of the group, making our tour feel like we were traveling with an extended family.”
Jan & Art Sussman
Lords Valley, PA

Russell Gammon

“Russell was one of the best tour guides we have ever had. He was fantastic. Very knowledgeable, entertaining, thought provoking, great sense of humor. I can’t speak highly enough of him. FANTASTIC!!!”
Eric & Susan Plow
Chapel Hill, NC

James McKenzie

“We have traveled extensively and have encountered many tour guides. We would rate James among the best guides we have had. He is knowledgeable, organized, personable, and obviously loves what he does.”
Jim & MB Fagerson
Scottsdale, AZ

Chris McWilliams

“Our Tour Director Chris McWilliams was very accommodating and awesome. Made our trip more enjoyable, very interesting, and very educational.”
Florante & Elsie Gaid
Pearland, TX

Tony Shuman

“Tony is an excellent, experienced guide. He fully lived up to Odysseys’ high standards for Tour Directors.”
Darwin & Patricia Johnston
Apollo Beach, FL

Robyn Steegstra

“We have been on over 40 tours with trip leaders – Robyn is the best we’ve had.”
Phillip J. Morris
Honolulu, HI

Phillip Steffny

“Phill was truly OUTSTANDING! All of our [Odysseys] tour guides so far have been excellent, but Phil made the entire experience way above and beyond our expectations.”
Carl Anderson
Chapel Hill, NC

Destination Insights

Suggested Reading

Frans Lanting
Okavango, Africa’s Last Eden
Frans Lanting captures the wildlife and habitats of the Okavango, focusing on the wetlands. Additional chapters cover an island oasis in the Kalahari, elephants and the people of the region. This book won Lanting the BBC Photographer of the Year award.

Vincent Carruthers (Editor), Kenneth Newman (Illustrator)
The Wildlife of Southern Africa
With 1,200 color illustrations by a range of experts, this compact field guide includes all the birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, fish and plants that a traveler is likely to encounter in southern Africa.

Chris McIntyre
Botswana, the Bradt Safari Guide
With comprehensive coverage of history, flora, fauna and practicalities, this fourth edition presents Okavango, Chobe, the Kalahari and other popular destinations in detail.

Hallwag
South Africa, Namibia, Botswana Map
This fold-out overview map of Southern Africa – including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana – is ideal for route planning.

The Africa Adventure Company
Safari Planning Map, East & Southern Africa
This large-scale colorful map covers the top safari countries and important wildlife reserves of East and Southern Africa. With enlargements of key regions like Northern Tanzania, Southern Kenya and Northern Botswana to Victoria Falls, the map includes information on planning your safari and climate graphs.

Michael Main
Culture Smart! Botswana
A concise, well-illustrated and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture.

John Reader
Africa, a Biography of the Continent
With the ease of a practiced journalist, Reader weaves a masterful and lively tale of the continent, from ancient cultures to modern times. Both authoritative and informal, this is a splendid introduction to all of Africa.

Martin Meredith
The Fortunes of Africa, A 5000-Year History of Wealth, Greed and Endeavor
Covering the epic story of colonialism in Africa, Meredith’s magisterial history depicts empire-hungry kings, missionaries, tribal warlords, mining barons – even modern multinational corporations. An expansive but entertaining read.

Thomas Pakenham
The Scramble for Africa
Absorbing and meticulously researched, this in-depth history of the Victorian land grab in 19th century Africa includes excellent portraits of the egomaniacal personalities who overran the continent.

Martin Dugard
Into Africa, The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone
A nicely paced tale of the Scottish explorer and Stanley’s headline-grabbing efforts to locate him. Dugard has done his homework well, drawing on a wide variety of sources to paint a lively and nuanced portrait of the two men.

Robyn Scott
Twenty Chickens for a Saddle
Haphazardly schooled by her free-spirited mother and left to roam the bush, Scott writes with warmth and candor of her unconventional upbringing in Botswana, commenting on her Grandpa Ivor (personal pilot to the first president of Botswana), physician father’s work, unfortunate pets, siblings and adventures.

Peter Allison
Whatever You Do, Don’t Run
Allison spins captivating tales of wildlife, camps and the life of a safari guide into a hilarious, slyly informative introduction to Botswana.

Mark Owens, Delia Owens
Cry of the Kalahari, Seven Years in Africa’s Last Great Wilderness
The story of a family thrown out of Botswana for its stance on conservation. While their approach to conservation is controversial, there’s no doubt that the Owens are dedicated to the wildlife of Southern Africa – and are very good writers.

Norman Rush
Mortals, A Novel
A dazzling novel, set among American expatriates in 1990s Botswana. Rush pulls off the trick of making the sprawling book both personally and politically charged.

Alexander McCall Smith
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
The delightful introduction to Botswana’s formidable female detective, evoking the cultures, customs and texture of Africa.

Gerald Hinde (Photographer)
Big Five of Africa
Award-winning wildlife photographer Gerald Hinde’s stunning photographs celebrate Africa’s lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos and buffalos. Brief but informative text introduces each animal but the photographs (rightly) are the main focus. Size: 8 x 8 inches.

Richard Estes
The Safari Companion
An invaluable encyclopedic guide to Africa’s mammals by a noted scientist, this perennial bestseller includes black-and-white drawings, an overview of each animal group and in-depth information. Written with the typical safari-goer in mind.

Jonathan Kingdon
Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals
A conveniently compact edition of Kingdon’s gloriously illustrated Field Guide to African Mammals. The guide includes abbreviated information on identification, distribution, ecology and conservation status and 480 outstanding color illustrations and maps.

Bunny McBride, Duane Schlitter, Richard Estes, Peter Alden
National Audubon Society Field Guide to African Wildlife
This comprehensive photo guide covers 850 birds, mammals and reptiles of Africa. With range maps and a good country-by-country overview of habitats and parks.

Kenneth Newman
Newman’s Birds of Southern Africa
This commemorative 10th edition celebrates the late author with a fully revised and updated version. Edits were done by his daughter, Vanessa Newman, to reflect the latest research, taxonomy and common names.

Doug Newman
Southern African Mammals Made Simple
Profiling 115 mammals common to Southern Africa, many of which (bat-eared fox, oribi, hartebeest) are not found anywhere else. The guide offers a three-step, foolproof process for identifying similar-looking species.

 

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