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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
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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Soweto and Pretoria sightseeing
  • Deluxe Rovos Rail journey
  • Cape Town touring
  • African penguins at Boulders Beach
  • The Winelands
  • Seaside Hermanus
  • Breathtaking Garden Route
  • Tsitsikamma National Park
  • Three-night stay at private game reserve
  • Excellent accommodations
Day-by-Day Itinerary

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

Day 2: Arrive Johannesburg Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel, where rooms are ready for our early arrival. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities planned. B

Day 3: Johannesburg/Soweto We set out for a full day of touring in Johannesburg’s Soweto district, best known for its role in the struggle against apartheid. We see the home of former Archbishop Desmond Tutu; visit the home, now a museum, of the late Nelson Mandela; and learn about apartheid at the moving Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum. Tonight, we enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel. B,L,D

Day 4: Johannesburg/Pretoria/Rovos Rail We travel today to Pretoria, the “Jacaranda City,” where our tour features the esteemed Freedom Park memorial and the government Union Buildings. Mid-afternoon, we board the luxury Rovos Rail for the nearly 1,000-mile journey to Cape Town. On tap: a world of natural beauty in one country, from the grasslands of the Highveld to the barren Great Karoo; soaring mountain ranges to fertile winelands. As we pull out of the station and travel south through the fields of gold-bearing rocks of the Witwatersrand, we can watch the unfolding scenery from the rear Observation Car, with its oversized windows and open-air balcony. Tonight we dress for dinner (jacket and tie for men; cocktail or evening wear for women) and head to the opulent dining car for the first of our meals on board. B,L,D

Day 5: Rovos Rail – Kimberley Traveling through the North Cape today, we disembark in Kimberley, the “Diamond City,” to tour the infamous Big Hole, the huge hand-dug mine; and the Diamond Mine Museum, depicting the vivid history of the 1870s diamond rush here. Back on board, we enjoy lunch and afternoon tea while admiring the passing landscape. Again tonight, we dress for dinner. B,L,D

Day 6: Rovos Rail – Matjiesfontein/Cape Town This morning we’re on the edge of the Great Karoo, South Africa’s semi-desert heartland. We stop to explore the Victorian-accented village of Matjiesfontein, whose English gardens, pubs, cricket pitches, and museum of Victoriana reflect a bygone era. Then we reboard Rovos Rail for lunch and the final leg of our journey, reaching Cape Town early this evening. B,L

Day 7: Cape Town A highlight of this morning’s city tour: a 3,500-foot cable car ride to the top of the city’s signature Table Mountain for glorious views of the city and seascape beyond. Then we return to our hotel on the popular Victoria & Alfred Waterfront for an afternoon at leisure. B,D

Day 8: Cape Town/Cape of Good Hope Today we travel to the Cape of Good Hope, the rocky headland where we spot the waters of the Atlantic and Indian oceans. We visit the nature reserve here, and ride the funicular to the summit for wondrous views. We enjoy a seafood lunch, then visit Boulders Beach to see a colony of captivating African penguins up close. Returning to Cape Town, we stop at beautiful – and acclaimed – Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. B,L

Day 9: Cape Town/The Winelands/Hermanus Today we tour the Winelands, the renowned wine-growing region just 45 miles east of Cape Town. We stop first in the university town of Stellenbosch then continue on to Franschhoek for a wine tasting and lunch. This afternoon we reach seaside Hermanus and our hotel overlooking Walker Bay. Between June and November, we may see whales in the
waters below. B,L,D

Day 10: Garden Route – Hermanus to Plettenberg Bay We set out today on one of the world’s great coastal drives: the 186-mile Garden Route along South Africa’s southwest coast, between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Our first stop: Mossel Bay, a popular beach town, where we visit the Dias Museum of the region’s history, culture, and environment. We continue on to the coastal resort of Plettenberg Bay, where we spend the night. B,L,D

Day 11: Garden Route – Plettenberg Bay/Knysna Today we tour the township of Knysna with a local guide. Then we see a highlight of the Garden Route: stunning Knysna Lagoon, which we enjoy aboard a sunset catamaran cruise. B,L,D

Day 12: Garden Route – Plettenberg Bay/Port Elizabeth We stop today at Tsitsikamma National Park, whose 50 miles of dramatic coastline and ancient forests comprise part of the Garden Route National Park. Nestled between a mountain range and the Indian Ocean, Tsitsikamma (the Khoi people’s “place of sparkling water”) ranks as a gem of the Garden Route. After a walk and some free time, we stop for lunch then continue on to Port Elizabeth, arriving mid-afternoon and dining at our hotel tonight. B,L,D

Day 13: Port Elizabeth/Kruger Area – Makalali Private Game Reserve We fly via Johannesburg to the Kruger area, arriving early afternoon and transferring to our lodge, set in a 100-square-mile private reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park (the animals traverse the entire area). Late afternoon we embark on our first game drive in the private reserve. B,D

Days 14-15: Makalali Private Game Reserve Two full days of being “on safari,” with morning and afternoon game drives and time to relax at our lodge in between. Among the wildlife we may see: lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, white rhino, zebra, antelope, and smaller mammals. On the evening of Day 15, we celebrate our journey with a farewell dinner at our lodge. B,L,D both days

Day 16: Makalali/Johannesburg/Depart for U.S. Today we transfer to the airstrip for the flight to Johannesburg, where we board our return flights to the U.S. B

Day 17: Arrive U.S. We arrive in the U.S. today and connect with our flights home.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; all flights within itinerary
  • 14 nights’ accommodations: 12 nights in Deluxe and Superior First Class hotels; 2 nights aboard Deluxe Rovos Rail
  • 37 meals: 15 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, Rovos Rail train crew, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after three tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2018 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees


Sep 11
Dec 4Oct 9*
Nov 6
Boston, New York,
Washington, DC
$6,584$6,684$6,784
Chicago, Dallas,
Houston, Los Ang,
San Fran, Seattle
$6,784$6,884$6,984
Atlanta, Balt, Char,
Cinc, Cleve, Miami,
Minn, Orlando,
Phil, Tampa
$6,984$7,084$7,184
Denver, Detroit,
Phoenix, Port (OR)
$7,084$7,184$7,284

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

Single travelers please add $1,795 Aug, Sep; $1,995 all other dates. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days before departure. All 2018 tour prices above (excluding airlines taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Deluxe Suite upgrade aboard Rovos Rail: $595 ($895 single)

Accommodations: *Makalali River Lodge (Makalali Private Game Reserve)

Business Class upgrade on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: $4,795 per person

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

Accommodations
    Four Seasons The Westcliff, Johannesburg / Days 2-3 / Deluxe

    The grand Four Seasons Hotel the Westcliff spreads along a wooded hillside in the tony suburb of Westcliff, just a few minutes’ drive from downtown Johannesburg.  This iconic hotel offers five dining options, including a top-notch restaurant with dazzling panoramic views; 24-hour fitness center with sauna and steam room; two heated outdoor swimming pools; lovely gardens with walking and jogging trails; laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Each air-conditioned guest room includes private marble bath with separate shower and soaking tub, hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, minibar, TV, and phone.

    Rovos Rail, Pretoria/Cape Town / Days 4-5 / Deluxe

    The deluxe Rovos Rail train offers all the amenities of a top-of-the-line hotel, while simultaneously transporting guests through the stirring South African landscape.  Traveling at a leisurely 35 miles per hour, Rovos Rail evokes the luxury rail journeys of centuries past with large windows, dark wood accents, comfortable leather and plush upholstered seating, brass and antique-style fixtures, and stately dining cars.  Air-conditioned guest suites on board feature private bath with hair dryer, shower, personal safe, writing desk, 24-hour room service, and minibar. 

    Victoria & Alfred, Cape Town / Days 6-8 / Superior First Class

    Situated in an ideal location in the heart of Cape Town’s world-famous Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, the Victoria & Alfred Hotel stands in the midst of the best shopping and restaurants in the city.  Amenities of this dockside hotel include two restaurants and a bar, fitness center, full use of the garden-surrounded swimming pool and pool bar at the adjacent Dock House Boutique Hotel, laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Each air-conditioned guest room includes private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

    The Marine Hotel, Hermanus / Day 9 / Superior First Class

    The Marine Hotel stands at the edge of a sheer cliff, with stunning Walker Bay and the Southern Atlantic Ocean directly below.  Walker Bay is known as a haven for whale watchers, and these majestic creatures can often be spotted right from the hotel itself.  The Marine offers two restaurants and a bar, two saltwater swimming pools (one in the courtyard and one cut into the cliffside below the hotel), a beauty salon, a boutique selling locally made items, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Light and airy guest rooms feature air conditioning and under-floor heating, private bath with hair dryer, welcome bottle of wine and fruit platter upon check-in, tea- and coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, minibar, TV, and phone.

    The Plettenberg, Plettenberg Bay / Days 10-11 / Deluxe

    Standing on a rocky headland jutting out into the waters of Plettenberg Bay, The Plettenberg offers another stunning seaside experience.  This 35-room hotel offers a restaurant and bar, two outdoor swimming pools with views of the bay, ample outdoor seating and lounging areas, full spa, laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), a boutique selling locally made items, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  As they are owned by the same company, The Plettenberg’s guest rooms resemble The Marine’s:  light and airy, and featuring air conditioning and under-floor heating, private bath with hair dryer, welcome bottle of wine upon check-in, tea- and coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, minibar, TV, and phone.

    The Boardwalk Hotel & Casino, Port Elizabeth / Day 12 / Deluxe

    Port Elizabeth’s only casino, The Boardwalk Hotel & Casino sits just across the street from a sandy beach in the southern neighborhood of Summerstrand.  This Victorian-inspired complex, a combination hotel, casino, and conference center, offers a dizzying array of dining and drinking options, 24-hour gaming, a multicolored musical water fountain that spouts up to 200 feet high, fitness center, two swimming pools, spa, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Each soundproof, air-conditioned guest room faces the sea features private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, minibar, TV, and phone.

    aha Makalali Main Lodge, Makalali Private Game Reserve / Days 13-15 / Deluxe

    Newly built and nearly blending in to the surrounding savannah, the aha Makalali Main Lodge sits inside the Makalali Private Game Reserve.  As this is a private reserve, not a national park, staying at the Makalali allows us to get closer to the animals and enjoy longer, off-road game drives.  The lodge is designed to integrate with the landscape and features spacious wooden decks and lounge areas built around the existing trees, open-air boma (hut) allowing guests to take in the sounds of the wildlife, an open-concept restaurant, bar, and lounge, an infinity swimming pool, private viewing platform over a game watering hole, spa facilities, and gift shop.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with indoor and outdoor shower, in-room safe, and Wi-Fi internet access.

    Peermont D'Oreale Grande, Johannesburg / Extension / Superior First Class

    Located adjacent to O.R. Tambo International Airport, the opulent Peermont D’Oreale Grande includes a restaurant and bar, outdoor swimming pool with central fountain, full spa with steam room and heated pool (additional entry charge), art gallery, 24-hour fitness center, laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), casino, gift shop, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms are tastefully furnished and have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

    Batonka Guest Lodge, Victoria Falls / Extension / Not rated

    Located adjacent to O.R. Tambo International Airport, the opulent Peermont D’Oreale Grande includes a restaurant and bar, outdoor swimming pool with central fountain, full spa with steam room and heated pool (additional entry charge), art gallery, 24-hour fitness center, laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), casino, gift shop, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms are tastefully furnished and have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

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

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

5 days/4 nights for $1,895 total price
Single Supplement: $235

See this spectacular natural wonder and environs up close.

 

Your Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation Johannesburg/Victoria Falls, inclusive of airline taxes and fees
  • 4 nights’ accommodations: 1 night in Johannesburg at Peermont D’Oreale Grande (Superior First Class); 3 nights in Victoria Falls at Batonka Guest Lodge (Not rated)
  • 9 meals: 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Extensive included sightseeing: Victoria Falls, Zambezi sunset cruise, elephant sanctuary, visit to local village and school
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private vehicle transportation
  • Gratuities for dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers

Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.

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

Tour Directors for this Journey
Tonia Devereux

“Tonia was fabulous! Energetic, organized, and flexible; truly an asset to your team.”
Karen Sanzone
Patchogue, NY

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

Destination Insight

Suggested Reading

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.

Martin B. Withers
Wildlife of Southern Africa
This Princeton Pocket Guide, featuring 400 color photographs by Withers and co-author David Hosking, covers all the birds, mammals, lizards and insects you are likely to encounter.

Eyewitness Guides
Eyewitness Guide South Africa
This superb guide features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country’s attractions.

Nelles
Southern Africa Map
Scaled at 1:2,500,000, this shaded relief map covers South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and southern portions of Angola, Zambia and Mozambique.

National Geographic
Cape Town and Region Adventure Map
A handy map for exploring Cape Town and the surrounding areas. Full-color, double-sided. Scales vary. Includes Cape Town, Table Mountain National Park and other reserves south to Cape of Good Hope.

David Holt-Biddle
Culture Smart! South Africa
This handy guide will help you navigate local customs, etiquette and culture.

Time Out
Time Out Cape Town
Compact, informative and lively, this outstanding guide covers where to go and what to do in Cape Town and surroundings.

Allister Sparks
Beyond the Miracle, Inside the New South Africa
The South African journalist continues the tale of the transformation of South Africa and its accomplishments, failures and challenges in the decade following the collapse of apartheid.

John Carlin
Playing the Enemy, Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation
Carlin vividly documents how Mandela used the 1995 Rugby World Cup to unite South 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.

Mark Sanders
Learning Zulu, A Secret History of Language in South Africa
A potent mixture of autobiography, cultural portrait and history, Sanders’ scholarly tour de force explores the story of the Zulu language and its unique place in South Africa today.

John Giblin
South Africa, The Art of a Nation
Giblin’s chronological exploration of South African art begins with prehistoric artifacts and ends in 1990. He discusses the contemporary art scene, the influence of settlers on artists, the resistance art movement and much more.

Nelson Mandela
Long Walk to Freedom
An unpretentious tale of an extraordinary life, Mandela’s autobiography is essential reading for an understanding of South Africa. His grace and his love for his country shine throughout.

J.M. Coetzee
Life & Times of Michael K
Coetzee sets this short, hallucinatory novel, the powerful tale of a troubled boy, in South Africa in the midst of civil war.

Isabel Balseiro (Editor), Tobias Hecht (Editor)
South Africa, A Traveler’s Literary Companion
This diverse collection of short stories reveals South Africa through the eyes of its writers, including Nadine Gordimer, J.M. Coetzee and Alan Paton.

Bryce Courtenay
The Power of One
This riveting novel tells of the coming-of-age of a six-year- old English boy in South Africa during the darkest days of largely pro-Nazi South Africa, based on the author’s childhood.

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.

James Kavanaugh
African Wildlife
A laminated foldout guide illustrating almost 150 species of African animals, designed for quick reference in the field.

Keith Barnes
Animals of Kruger National Park
In accessible text and 200 color photos, this Princeton field guide covers the most common animals of South Africa’s iconic conservation area.

Jonathan Kingdon
Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals
A conveniently compact edition of Kingdon’s celebrated guide that includes information on distribution, ecology and conservation status, with 480 outstanding color illustrations aind maps.

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