Hills of Africa

A Taste of a Mother/Daughter African Safari Vacation to Southern Africa

Featuring Cape Town, Imbabala, Hwange National Park, Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta, Selinda

17 nights/18 days - Itineraries start at USD$12,000 per person

Day 1 - Cape Town

Welcome to Africa On arrival in Cape Town you will need to clear South African immigrations, collect your luggage and proceed through customs. You will be met by your Hills of Africa Travel representative as you enter the Arrivals Hall. Look for your name on a sign. Your Hills of Africa Travel representative will then transfer you to your hotel.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: US Citizens do not require holiday visas to enter South Africa, BUT you must have at least two blank pages in a valid passport per country you are visiting. You must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after date of travel.

The Long Beach

Discover the beauty of the incredibly scenic southern Cape Peninsula. Situated in the picturesque lobster-fishing village of Kommetjie, the Long Beach Luxury Hotel is available on an individual daily-room basis, or as an entire villa to share with your family and friends.

The hotel provides spectacular uninterrupted views across the sea to Hout Bay and Table Mountain as well as added extras such as an in-house chauffeur service and focused hospitality.

Your Long Beach Hotel hosts are locals, who can arrange personalised tours to any of the Cape's many attractions such as Cape Point Nature Reserve, which is the perfect spot for whale-watching, and a visit to Cape Town which is only 20 minutes' drive away.

Room: 1 x Superior Room on bed & breakfast basis for 4 nights

Day 2 - Cape Town

Today you will be collected from your hotel lobby at 9:30am for a day of exploring the peninsula region of Cape Town. This scenic coastal meander that will introduce you to the extended suburbs of Cape Town.

Highlights of the day include:

    Passing through many of Cape Town's most beautiful villages: Camps Bay, Llundudno, Hout Bay, Simon's Town and Kalk Bay.
    A visit to the famous Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope. Cape Point represents the success of Bartholomew Diaz who first discovered it while looking for a way to get to the East, he may not have made it all the way there, but finally the Portuguese knew that there was a turning point and as such there was hope that the route would be discovered. Nine years later the famous Vasco da Gama would pass the point and manage to get all the way through to the East. This opened up the Spice Routes for the Europeans and very soon there was shipping traffic passing the Cape on a regular basis.
    A visit to the penguin colony at Boulders. Penguins are only found in the Southern hemisphere, and as such it is a treat for those from the North to be able to see them outside of an aquarium. The African penguin's natural habitat is to live on islands off the Coast of South Africa. However, many of the penguins natural habitats have been disturbed by man over the years. As such in the 1980's a couple of penguins decided to relocate to one of Cape Town's favourite beaches, Boulders beach, they must have liked what they saw as they then got busy breeding. Today there are over 3000 penguins living at Boulders. The beach is now only open to penguins and is closed to sun tanners! There are however viewing platforms that will allow you to get up close to the penguins.

A favorite restaurant for inclusion on Peninsula tours is The Harbour House Restaurant http://www.harbourhouse.co.za/harbourHouse/html/home.php - this restaurant boasts panoramic sea views and the freshest fish in town as they have their own fishing boats.

Day 3 - Cape Town

This morning, at 9:30am you will be collected from your hotel to go on a private half day tour of the City of Cape Town. Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa and as such has acquired the name of the "Mother City". Today we take a walk through the history of the city; its people, its buildings and its business district.

Highlights of today will be:

    Either a walk or a driving tour through the oldest part of the city. Simply let us know your preference. Here we explore the old history of the Dutch India Company occupation, followed by the invasion of the British in 1795. Both had a distinct impact on the city in terms of architecture.
    A visit to the Bo-Kaap area which is the only region of the city that people of color were not forcefully removed from. This is the Cape Malay Muslim quarter of the city and boasts brightly colored houses. There is the opportunity to visit some community projects in this area such as Monkey Biz and Streetwires (Mon- Sat. Closed Sat afternoon and Sunday)
    A visit to the District 6 Museum (Mon- Sat) which is a museum of the memories of the people who were forcefully removed from the "sixth" district of Cape Town. Over 60 000 people were removed from the "slums" at the edge of the city. This museum is a powerful reminder of the happy times they shared living together. It is a place where the community meet to try and fight to recreate their community and to get their land back
    Ascending the cable car to the top of Table Mountain (weather dependant). From the top of Table Mountain you enjoy panoramic views of the city and after a short stroll on a clear day you will be able to see all the way to Cape Point (weather dependant!).

Note: This tour is a half day tour which is either in the morning or in the afternoon. It is recommended tour be done on either a week day or a Saturday morning. Note also that the amount of activities achieved on each day would depend on your preferences and the amount of time you choose to spend at each activity. For example on a perfect day, you may choose to spend the whole morning on the mountain!

Day 4 - Cape Town

Today you will be collected at 9:30am by your Hills of Africa guide for a day of wine tasting and exploring in the beautiful Cape Winelands.

On your first wine tour to the Cape we introduce you to the Cape's oldest wine regions. The aim of the day is to take a journey through this beautiful mountainous region and to explore the history, wine and architecture of the region. Be sure to mention what your interests are early in the day as well as whether you are a white wine or red wine drinker. The answers to these questions will change the direction that the tour goes during the day. Stellenbosch is the 2nd oldest town; it boasts oak tree lined streets and gorgeous white houses from both the Dutch and English periods. This region is renowned as the best red wine region in the country. Today we explore Stellenbosch and possibly Franschhoek and Paarl - depending on your interests, the routes will change.

Some of the experiences you might enjoy could be: A visit to Vergelegen - one of the oldest estates, to explore their beautiful gardens and historical Cape Dutch Homestead; wine tasting at some of the Cape's best estates; a tutored olive oil tasting or a chocolate and wine pairing experience; a cellar tour (note that this must be pre-booked well in advance).

During the day, you will have lunch at a top restaurant in the wine region (not included in the price of your itinerary).

Day 5 - Okavango Delta

Today is an early start! You will be collected at 4:00am and driven back to the Cape Town Airport to fly to Johannesburg and onward to Maun (Cost of these flights are not included in the itinerary cost). On arrival in Maun you will be assisted to a shared charter to the first safari camp.

NOTE: US Citizens do not require holiday visas to enter or Botswana, BUT you must have at least two blank pages in a valid passport per country you are visiting. You must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after date of travel.

Mapula Lodge

Mapula Lodge is an up-market Botswana Safari Lodge situated in the northern part of the Okavango Delta, an area ideal for both land and waterborne activities. The shallow channels and floodplains invite tranquil Mokoro trips in the clear Delta waters, while the larger islands are home to a wide variety of game, viewed from the vantage of open 4x4 game drive vehicles.

The traditional design and use of natural log creates a unique large central lounge with open balcony encompassing a small library, open-air bar and curio shop. There is also a swimming pool for you to enjoy and to cool off on a hot day. Mapula Lodge consists of 10 comfortable luxurious chalets on raised decks, each with an en suite bathroom, an outside shower and a private balcony. Traditional design and use of local materials provide unique detail in luxurious surrounding. Mapula Lodge was officially opened in 2003, by his Excellency the President of Botswana, Festus Mogae.

Game drives in open 4 x 4 vehicles. Designed for maximum game viewing pleasure. Guided walks from the camp (on request). Morning, afternoon and night drives. Discover the magical enchanting delta waters on the permanent lagoon right in front of the Mapula Lodge by mokoro (dugout canoe) with your guide.

Room: 1 x Standard Chalet on all inclusive basis for 3 nights

Day 8 - Selinda

Today you will transfer by light aircraft charter to Selinda Camp in the beautiful Selinda Reserve. On arrival at the airstrip, you will be met by your guide and transferred to camp.

Selinda Camp

On arriving at Selinda Camp, one is struck by the grand architecture of the main area. The high-beamed ceilings and traditional thatch roof coupled with the raised wooden foundation keep the area cool in the African sun. Views across the surrounding floodplains provide a place to relax and yet still be 'on safari'.

The main lounge has been designed around the four basic elements of nature: water, air, earth and fire. Each element is also complemented by art. Upon entering the open-air thatched main area, bright touches of blue evoke the imagery of WATER. Large sculpted mokoros (dugout) canoes, painted by world-renowned artist Keith Joubert are the centerpiece. Perched off the main lounge, is a quaint tea verandah. Here, billowing soft fabrics in light colors provide shade and ambiance in the spirit of AIR. And the journey continues to the element of EARTH, manifested in the dining spaces - either under thatch or under the stars - where wholesome food and African wines provide sustenance. And as the day ends, a tradition continues: the exchange of philosophy, laughter, folklore and stories of safari. Since ancient times mankind has sought companionship. It is so often communed by nature's final element of FIRE. The evening fireside is a seductive end to the day in the bush.

Each of Selinda Camp's nine spacious tents is constructed of sturdy canvas, thatch roofing and is raised on wooden decks. Comfortable three-quarter sized beds dressed in fine linen are draped with flowing mosquito nets to complete the romantic atmosphere. Each bed can be joined seamlessly to create a grand extra-large king bed. Ceiling fans, combined with roof vents, bring the African breeze in and cool the surroundings. For moments of reflection, a writing desk and lounge furniture provide a private respite. The large private verandah, extending into the bush, provides each tent with a slice of it's own private Africa. The extended en-suite dressing area and bathroom, accessible via sliding wood doors, allows for privacy or an open-air feel. The dual basin vanity, deep stone bath and antique shower embody luxury. Hot and cold water are in ample supply.

Room: 1 x Suite on all inclusive basis for 2 nights

Day 10 - Imbabala

Today you will fly to Kasane, where you will clear Customs & Immigration.

On arrival in Kasane you will enter Zimbabwe (US passports require visas) and you will then be driven to Imbabala Lodge on the Zimbabwe side of the Victoria Falls.

NOTE: Zimbabwe Tourist Visas: USD30 per person single entry, USD45 per person double entry, USD55 for multiple entry. Kindly be advised that each time a client exits Zimbabwe the visa expires. If you have day trips outside of Zimbabwe (this may be especially true if you are staying in Victoria Falls), you should pay for a double or multiple entry visa on arrival in Zimbabwe. Should you only get a single entry visa, you will have to pay another USD30 on return into Zimbabwe.

Imbabala Safari Lodge

Imbabala Safari Lodge, ideally situated to tour both the Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls. Situated where Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia converge, 80km west of Victoria Falls, Imbabala Lodge has its own safari park in which Game drives are conducted and is directly on the banks of the Zambezi River, offering pontoon cruises to view the game and extensive bird life.

The lodge offers every luxury and comfort for your sojourn in the wilds. There are just 8 thatched chalets accommodating a maximum of 18 Guests, so individual attention and service is guaranteed. Each chalet has a view over the Zambezi, and each is individually and imaginatively decorated with a particular theme. Each has en-suite facilities and mains electricity. High culinary standard meals are taken al fresco or in the main dining room. The swimming pool offers cool relaxation during the heat of the day.

Activities at Imbabala include 4x4 game viewing safaris in the Lodge's own concession and in the nearby Chobe National Park, walking safaris and river cruises on Imbabala's own pontoon - enabling close viewing of the wildlife that comes down to the River to drink as well as the amazing variety of birds that are attracted by the papyrus reeds that border the Zambezi.

Elephant lovers will not only be fascinated by the huge herds of elephant in the Chobe National Park but can also go on elephant back safari at Imbabala's sister Lodge, The Elephant Camp at Victoria Falls for an extra fee.

Room: 1 x Standard Room on all inclusive basis for 3 nights

Day 13 - Hwange National Park

Today you will be collected at 8:00am and transferred by road from Imbabala to Hwange National Park (approximately a 4-hour drive).

On arrival in Hwange National Park you will be met by a guide from the Hide and driven through the park at game drive speed to Camp which is about another hour's drive - we hope you see lots of elephants!

The Hide

The Hide Safari Camp, consistently voted the "Best Safari Camp in Zimbabwe", is a comfortable, tented safari camp inside the majestic surroundings of the Hwange National Park. Hwange is a haven for wildlife and one of Africa's premier game parks, bordering ancient elephant paths and a vast grassland corridor. Herds of elephant buffalo, and a myriad of others are drawn to the constant waters of the Hide's waterhole, and the spectacle of the great predators making a sudden appearance is not uncommon.

A foremost attraction is the concealed "hide" located on one side of The Hide's waterhole. This offers a totally secure haven for remarkable close encounters and incredible photographs of some of Hwange's elephant and an array of other wildlife.

The Hide features in the recent book "1000 Places To See Before You Die - A Traveler's Life List"

Room: 1 x standard tent on all inclusive basis for 3 nights You will need to pay USD20 per person per day for National Park fees directly to camp, to include days of arrival and departure.

Day 16 - Victoria Falls

Today you will leave The Hide at 8:00am for transfer to Hwange National Park gate. You will then be driven to the Victoria Falls Hotel where you will be staying for the next two nights.

At 4:00pm, this afternoon, you will be collected from the hotel lobby and driven to the Zambezi River above the Victoria Falls for a sunset cruise. Look for wildlife while you watch the African sun set over another day in Africa.

Victoria Falls Hotel

The Victoria Falls Hotel, popularly known as "the grand old lady of the Falls", is situated in the Victoria Falls National Park, a world heritage site, and is a member of the exclusive Leading Hotels of the World group. It is one of only three 1S0-accredited hotels in Zimbabwe.

The Edwardian-style five-star hotel, built in 1904, was recently redecorated and refurbished and now combines the charm of the old with the convenience of the new. Set in lush tropical gardens with lily ponds, palm trees and semi-tropical shrubs, it provides the tranquility and seclusion that many guests seek.

The famous Victoria Falls are just a ten-minute walk away using the hotel's private pathway, and "the smoke that thunders" or "Mosi-O-Tunya" in the local dialect, is clearly audible and visible from this luxurious landmark.

World-class service, and food and beverage choice and preparation second to none, make the hotel a magnet for international visitors and locals alike. There are a variety of restaurants to choose to eat at and there will always be something to please everyone. The Livingstone Room for fine dining and dancing; the Jungle Junction with its famous breakfast and dinner buffets and ethnic entertainment in the evenings; Stanley's Terrace, with its clear view of the Victoria Falls Bridge, connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia, is renowned for its cocktails and afternoon teas. The Terrace has been a rendezvous for adventurers in Africa for over a century.

Accommodation: 1 x deluxe room on a bed and breakfast rate for 2 nights

Day 17 - Victoria Falls

Today you will be collected at 8:30am by your private guide and taken on a tour of Victoria Falls. The tour will begin with a visit to the world renowned Victoria Falls where you will explore the geological pre history of the area that created this magnificent spectacle. It's a truly awe-inspiring experience - the sight, the sound, the smell; the humbling feeling that here indeed is Nature's Supreme Masterpiece. No photograph can begin to depict the reality and nothing prepares you for your first sight.

To discover how the Victoria Falls were formed and what local customs and traditions surround them it is well worth taking a guided tour. These tours of the Victoria Falls are extremely informative and end with a visit to the local art and crafts centre.

Afterwards, with your private guide, we will take you into a local village to interact with the community and take a tour of a real-life African village to experience their daily life. The Monde Village Tour is not only recognized for the quality of its content, but also for its inclusion of the local people in a real and beneficial manner. The Monde Community is a shareholder in the tour and the guides are local villagers.

On the outskirts of Victoria Falls Town is Chinotimba Township which is where a lot of Zimbabweans working in the tourism industry in Victoria Falls live. It's a friendly townships with proper houses rather than shacks and it is here that Aunty Flatery and her likeminded neighbors have started their own businesses. They welcome you into their homes to interact in an informal way and learn more about each others' countries, cultures and traditions. As Flatery's daughters prepare a tasty traditional Zimbabwean meal, you are able to ask questions - and be prepared to answer some as well! The food ranges from beef and chicken stews to peanut laced pumpkin, mopane worms and the traditional sadza which is a corn flour mash and the staple food in many countries in Southern Africa. Expect a unique hour or two!

Day 18 - Victoria Falls

Today you will be collected at 11:00am and transferred to the Victoria Falls Airport to connect with your international flights home.

Safe travels and we hope you have lived the Magic of Africa.

Hills of Africa