Our specialist says:
A step back in time to some of Southern Africa's most alluring experiences
Colonial elegance has been long synonymous with travelling in Southern Africa and this trip combines the best of the colonial-era properties to offer a wonderful adventure through this beautiful part of the world. Starting in Cape Town you will stay at the iconic Mount Nelson Hotel, originally built to accommodate First Class passengers from the Union-Castle Shipping Line arriving in to Cape Town. You will then board the impossibly elegant Rovos Rail, a luxury train lovingly restored by the owners as a throwback to the golden age of rail travel. The 5-night journey through the South African and Botswanan interior to Victoria Falls will be broken by a night in South Africa’s political capital, Pretoria. At Victoria Falls you will spend your time at the eponymous Victoria Falls Hotel, a superb base for exploring the area and renowned for its outstanding afternoon tea with views across the lawns to the waterfall. The final stop will be the wonderfully elegant Dubai Plains Camp, a superb spot for a few days on safari, combining traditional safari elegance with modern touches and an unrivalled wildlife viewing experience.
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Day 1: London to Cape Town
This evening you will be flying overnight to Cape Town.
Day: Arrival in the Mother City.
On landing in to Cape Town you will be met and assisted through immigration and luggage collection before meeting your drive for the short transfer to the beautiful Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel where you will be spending the next 4 nights. After a long flight you may simply wish to spend today relaxing in the glorious surroundings of the hotel and we wholeheartedly recommend this! There is plenty of outside space, two swimming pools and a wonderful array of dining options so you really will be spoilt for choice.
Day 3: Exploring Cape Town
There is so much to see and do during a stay in Cape Town that you really can pack your days full of adventure. Must-dos including taking the cable car (or walk if you are so inclined) to the top of Table Mountain to enjoy the panoramic views out across the city and out to sea. Robben Island is also a very interesting way to spend some time and a chance to learn a little more about South Africa’s often turbulent history. The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are just a short drive from the city centre and a superb spot to unwind after a busy day exploring, especially during the summer months when a number of open-air concerts take place.
Day 4: Wine and dine
As well as being wonderfully scenic, Cape Town is also home to some world-class restaurants and outstanding wineries. Today will be a chance for you to take a day tour to the surrounding Cape Winelands, visiting 4 wineries in the area around Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. Your expert guide will help to make this a truly memorable experience and will take a long a gourmet picnic lunch which you can enjoy in the shaded garden of one of the wineries you visit.
Day 5: And relax...
After a couple of busy days exploring you will doubtless want a little time to relax and see a slightly more sedate side of Cape Town. The beautiful beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton are just a short taxi ride from the hotel and a wonderful place to spend the morning as they don’t tend to be too busy. After lunch you can enjoy some shopping in the V&A Waterfront or around the more hidden boutiques of Long and Kloof Street before heading back to the hotel. One of the Mount Nelson’s signature experiences is their afternoon tea and you should be sure to try it at least once during your stay.
Day 6: Boarding Rovos
After a leisurely breakfast at the Mount Nelson you will be collected and transferred to Cape Town Railway Station where you will board Rovos Rail. Your butler will show you to your suite and as you settle in and enjoy the beautiful interiors the train will depart at 11:00am. Enjoy lunch in the dining car as the train makes its way through the Hex River Valley and in to the barren, yet beautiful interior of South Africa. Afternoon tea will be enjoyed on-board before you disembark for a tour of the historic garrison town of Majiesfontein, which includes a glass of sherry in the historic Lord Milner Hotel. Re-board the train for dinner as the train winds through the Karoo to Kimberley.
Day 7: A day of diamonds
This morning will be spent on board the train as you move through the dry, barren exterior of South Africa, marvelling at the endless plains in the lounge car in between breakfast and lunch. In the early afternoon you will disembark the train in the historic diamond mining town of Kimberley. You will be taken on a tour of the town and visit the Big Hole and the diamond museum, where you can learn how this once desolate piece of land became home to some 55,000 diggers not long after the discovery of diamonds in 1871. Enjoy afternoon tea as the train departs Kimberley and hopefully catch a glimpse of the huge flock of lesser flamingos on the lake as you leave the town.
Day 8: Arrival in Pretoria
Today will be a more leisurely morning as you enjoy breakfast in the dining car at a time of your choosing before the train picks its way through the goldfields of the Witwatersrand, arriving in to Pretoria’s Capital Park Station at lunchtime. There you will be met and transferred to the Sheraton Pretoria where you will be spending the night. This evening will be at leisure for you to relax.
Day 9: Back on board
After an early breakfast at the hotel you will be transferred back to the station in good time to board prior to the 10:00am departure for Zimbabwe. Travelling through the spectacular Highveld you will enjoy the day on board gazing at the beautiful scenery through which you pass. Dinner will be served in the dining car and you will cross the border in to Zimbabwe this evening.
Day 10: Passing through Zimbabwe
Today will be spent aboard the train as it travels in a Westerly direction through Zimbabwe, passing Bulawayo at lunchtime and heading on towards the Hwange National Park. You will have the chance to sit back, relax with a good book, admire the scenery and enjoy the gentle, relaxed hospitality for which Rovos Rail is renowned.
Day 11: Exploring Hwange
After a morning at leisure and lunch on board, enjoyed as you pass along the 114km stretch of line between Gwaai and Dete – one of the longest stretches of straight rail track in the world. You will arrive at Dete in the early afternoon and disembark for an afternoon game drive through the beautiful Hwange National Park. Dinner will be served after you have had time to freshen up after the game drive as the train proceeds on to Victoria Falls.
Day 12: The Smoke that Thunders
This morning you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast as the train makes its way towards Victoria Falls, arriving there for disembarkation at 10:00am. You will be met and taken on a short transfer to The Victoria Falls Hotel where you will be spending the next 2 nights. The hotel is ideally located for exploring Victoria Falls town and of course visiting the iconic waterfall. Afternoon tea on the terrace of the hotel, with views across to the spray rising from The Falls is an experience not to be missed.
Day 13: Adevntures in Victoria Falls
Today will be yours to do as you please, perhaps simply relaxing in the hotel or maybe you would prefer to enjoy some of the many activities on offer around Victoria Falls. We can arrange helicopter or microlight flights over The Falls, cruises along the Zambezi River, canoeing trips and even interactive bush cooking experiences. However you choose to spend your time you will do so with the backdrop of the mighty Zambezi River and Victoria Falls as the river tumbles in to Bakota Gorge.
Day 14: In to the Delta
You will be able to enjoy breakfast in the hotel before being transferred across the border to Kasane in Botswana. From there you will have a light aircraft flight down to the Duba Plains airstrip in the Northern part of the Okavango Delta. From the airstrip it will be a short drive to Duba Plains Camp where you will be spending the next 3 nights. Enjoy lunch in the camp and some time to relax before heading out on an afternoon game drive through this stunning part of Botswana.
Day 15: Safari, safari, safari
Duba Plains is renowned as one of the best places in Africa to witness lion hunting the huge herds of buffalo that roam the plains. This spectacular sight was first witnessed by National Geographic filmmakers Derek and Beverly Joubert, who run Duba Plains Camp. You will explore the game rich wilderness in the company of your highly experienced guide, with your specially adapted 4x4 vehicle allowing you to get up close and personal with all manner of wildlife. When water levels permit you will also be able to enjoy boat safaris along the channels and lagoons which act as a magnet for wildlife.
Day 16: A final day in Africa
Your final full day on safari will be a chance for you to enjoy more wildlife viewing as well as to relax and enjoy the glorious surroundings of Duba Plains. This is truly one of the most spectacular camps in Africa, with accreditation from both Relais & Chateaux and National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, so you really are getting an amazing experience. With wonderfully spacious and comfortable tented rooms, an elegant main area and outstanding food, you will definitely want as much time as possible to enjoy the wonderful surroundings in which you find yourself.
Day 17: The journey home begins
Having enjoyed a final morning game drive and breakfast in the lodge you will be transferred back to the airstrip for a light aircraft flight down to Maun, where you will catch the scheduled Air Botswana flight to Johannesburg. After a short layover you will fly overnight back to London Heathrow, with British Airways, in Business Class.
Location: South Africa, Africa
This Timeless Southern Africa trip costs from £18,585 per person and includes:
- Domestic light aircraft flights
- Meet and Greet at Cape Town airport
- All applicable transfers
- 4 nights with Breakfast at Belmond Mount Nelson - Deluxe Room
- 5 nights Fully Inclusive aboard Rovos Rail - Deluxe Cabin
- 1 night with Breakfast at Sheraton Pretoria - Deluxe Room
- 2 nights with Breakfast at Victoria Falls Hotel - Deluxe Central Room
- 3 nights Fully Inclusive at Duba Plains Camp - Suite
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