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What People Are Saying About Us

I have come to expect excellence from Odysseys Unlimited and have never been disappointed.

Michael E. Leahy
Oak Lawn, IL

We have been to many, many places all over the world, with many different tour companies.  None of them compare to the Odysseys Unlimited small group experience.

Nancy & William Sondervan
Sherrills Ford, NC

The small group is wonderful and the quality of tour directors is exceptional.

Bill Jones
Vancouver, WA

All that was advertised was delivered. Consider this tour to be a real value as to sites visited, itinerary, hotels, and travel between sites.

Susan & Paul Krupp
Georgetown, TX

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

Barbara Schoetzau
New York, NY

Very early in the tour we saw we got much more for our dollar than anything we could have put together ourselves. The value exceeded our expectations.

Tara Malmberg
Quitman, TX

Good value for $ — accommodations, food, guide, itinerary, and [small] size of group. Have traveled with other tour groups ... and like you best.

Jean Hall
Prairie Village, KS

We like the model – small groups, excellent tour directors, solid hotels, good mix of group/independent activities.

Roger Soder
Seattle, WA

The combination of excellent hotels with a small group is the way I like to travel. I would highly recommend Odysseys to everyone I know.

Patricia Joyce
Peoria, AZ

We love the small group experience.

Dave & Alice Wilson
Williamstown, MA

Odysseys is the best company we have traveled with. You have first-rate tours at affordable prices, with great itineraries, excellent guides, and outstanding accommodations.

Jane & Ronald Decker
Chicago, IL

Odysseys tours are just right for us: great value, nice group size, complete trips, sufficient free time.

Laurin & Phyllis LeTart
Shepherdstown, WV

This trip far exceeded our expectations: the small group size, the quality of the tour director (the best we’ve ever had), the ability to have dinners on our own, the lower cost without a significant reduction in the quality of the accommodations.

Barry & Bobbi Rosner
Somerset, NJ

I thought I would not like traveling in a group but I was wrong! [Our tour director] was so good at making the group seem as one that it turned out to be the best part of the trip.

Donna Stevenson
Dublin, OH

It was the best value in travel we’ve ever had. It was a wonderful experience.

Trish Merrill & Mac White
Austin, TX

This was my 7th trip with Odysseys and they keep getting better and better.

Merle Frank
Miami, FL

Love the small group format and the ease of traveling with arrangements made for us.

Ken & Carolyn Helm
Newburgh, IN

Tour exceeded my expectations having never taken a group tour. An excellent experience – can’t wait for my next one!

Ronni Goldberg
New York, NY

Absolutely the best bang for the buck – organization, quality, consistency.

Harvey Wine
Dallas, TX

I like the small size of Odysseys tours. [You] have excellent Tour Directors, great itineraries and spend more time in areas than some of the other tour companies.

Lynn Bafaloukos
Glendale, AZ

Because of the group size and outstanding guides, you make travel easy for us!

Sharon Irwin & John Akamatsu
Kent, OH
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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, straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. 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 hotels; 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

2019/2020 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

2020Mar 14*
Mar 22*
2019Nov 10
Nov 24
2019Oct 6
Nov 3


2020Apr 11*
Apr 29*
2019Sep 8
Sep 15
Sep 22


2020May 10*
May 13*
Boston, New York,
Washington, DC
$7,184$7,284$7,484$7,684
Chicago, Dallas,
Houston, Los Ang,
San Fran, Seattle
$7,484$7,584$7,784$7,984
Atlanta, Balt, Char,
Cinc, Cleve, Miami,
Minn, Orlando,
Phil, Tampa
$7,584$7,684$7,884$8,084
Denver, Detroit,
Phoenix, Port (OR)
$7,684$7,784$7,984$8,184

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 Sep-Nov; $995 Mar, Apr; $1,195 May. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days prior to departure. All 2019/2020 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Upgrade to thatched tent suite with larger indoor and outdoor living areas at Royal Zambezi Lodge: $165 ($295 single) Sep-Nov; $195 ($295 single) all other dates

Accommodations: *Batonka Lodge (Victoria Falls)

Post-Tour Cape Town Extension: $1,495 Sep-Nov; $1,395 all other dates. Single Supplement: $345 Sep-Nov; $295 all other dates

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 Sep-Nov; $5,495 all other dates

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 $1,395 total price
Single Supplement: $295

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

“Eric is knowledgeable and courteous. He was a wonderful guide and I would now count him as a friend. His patience and concern went above and beyond. He helped make the trip.”
Michele Lossius
Gainesville, FL

Tim Carr

“We cannot say enough good things about Tim Carr. Personable and knowledgeable about both wildlife and area history. Also took time with everyone to make them feel welcome and comfortable.”
George & Annie Green
Rahway, NJ

 

Tonia Devereux

“Tonia is amazing-one of the best tour directors we’ve had. She handled any issue that came up promptly and with her engaging smile and laughter, she made us love her country and her!”
Sheryl Jacobs & Stephen Shorofsky
Owings Mills, MD

Russell Gammon

“Smartest and most well spoken guide ever! He was so knowledgeable [with] great oration skills! He knows his wildlife so well!”
Wendy Cole
Park City, UT

James McKenzie

“Clearly, the Tour Director can either ‘make’ or ‘break’ the travel experience. Mr. McKenzie was a superlative Tour Director….James ensured that everyone’s special needs were met. His guidance and knowledge of local areas and customs was exemplary….He was simply the best.”
Arthur & Edith Roth
Orinda, CA

Chris McWilliams

“Chris was extremely approachable and generous with his time, and willing to share his knowledge of South African history and the habits of the animals we saw on safari. An experienced tour guide never lets you see what goes on in the background, handling everything quietly so that all you know is the tour itself, and this was the essence of Chris.”
Janet Sanford
Lutherville, MD

Tony Shuman

“We were so fortunate to have Tony as our tour director. He was funny, charming, well organized, very knowledgeable and professional.”
Mary Susan Berg
Sleepy Hollow, IL

Robyn Steegstra

“Robyn is a true professional. She handled the group with ease and with a smile. She was willing always to go the extra mile for everyone…. We would tour with her anywhere! She made everything seem seamless.”
Tom & Sue Wood
Alberta, Canada

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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