South Africa, Zimbabwe & Botswana
Safaris, Falls & the Rovos Rail
Embark on a magnificent journey that encompasses the elegance of vintage Rovos Rail, thundering Victoria Falls, fascinating Cape Town, and thrilling safaris! At a private game reserve lodge near Kruger National Park, set out to seelions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, and Cape buffaloes in their natural surroundings. Travel by luxury rail passingthrough mesmerizing prairie lands, forests, and spectacular mountain ranges. In Cape Town, immerse yourself in history, wine tasting, and the vast sea life scenery. Meander stunning Victoria Falls, and feel like an authentic African explorer as you cruise along Zambezi. Experience a game drive in Chobe National Park—home to one of the largest groups of elephants on the continent. Luxurious accommodations, raw natural beauty, and African cultural experiences are all woven together to form this trip of a lifetime.
A passport is required to travel to this destination and must be valid for at least six months after your return.
A double-entry tourist visa is required for Zimbabwe.
The country of Zimbabwe currently requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result for entry.
This itinerary includes activities where moderate walking, possibly on uneven terrain, is required.
Thu, Sep 7: Fly from Indianapolis, connecting enroute to Johannesburg, South Africa.
Fri, Sept 8: Arrive and transfer to nearby Sandton. Check in for an overnight stay at the DAVINCI hotel, located within the Legacy Corner Mall—right at Nelson Mandela Square. The hotel is a contemporary masterpiece, featuring a private art collection and rooms that will envelope you with elegance, not to mention having the finest shops at your doorstep. (Meals: Dinner)
Sat, Sep 9: After breakfast, escape to a place away from time, and indulge in one of the finest safari lodges near Kruger National Park. The adventure begins with a flight to Hoedspruit, and on to the five-star River Lodge on Kapama Private Game Reserve. Enjoy lunch at the lodge before checking in for two nights. Later, enjoy a game drive in the game reserve, home to Africa’s “big five” as well as many of the mammal species and birds. Return to the lodge for dinner. (B,L,D)
Sun, Sep 10: Wake up early with the four-legged residents on the reserve, have a quick bite and head out on a game drive. Upon return, have your full breakfast and time to relax. The next game drive is set for late afternoon. Dine with fellow group members upon your return. (B,L,D)
Mon, Sep 11: If you have not seen every animal on your list, don’t worry! There’s another chance today on an early morning game drive before late breakfast. Check out this afternoon and transfer to the airport for a flight back to Johannesburg, overnight at the DAVINCI hotel in Sandton. (B,D)
Tue, Sep 12: After breakfast in the hotel, depart by motorcoach to Pretoria and the Rovos Rail station. Board the train for the next three nights and begin traversing across the goldfields of the Witwatersrand enroute to Cape Town. Relax in your suite or join fellow travellers in the lounge and observation cars. Lunch and dinner are served in the dining car. (B,L,D)
Wed, Sep 13: As the train continues on its quest for Cape Town, enjoy the views and a stop to disembark for a tour of the Kimberley’s Diamond Mine Museum and the Big Hole. Capital of the Northern Cape, Kimberley is well known for the discovery of diamonds that led to its establishment in 1871. Depart Kimberley and travel through the Karoo. (B,L,D)
Thu, Sep 14: Continue through the Karoo, a vast semi-desert region that was once an enormous inland sea. Over millions of years, volcanic matter was ground down and deposited as silt upon the seabed to form what geologists call the Karoo system. After lunch, disembark at Matjiesfontein for an opportunity to stroll through the village well known for its splendid historical buildings, tranquility and timelessness. In testament, the entire village was preserved as a National Heritage Site in 1975. Of special interest is the museum, a collection of historic cars and railway carriages, and the historic Lord Milner Hotel. About an hour after Matjiesfontein, the train arrives at the first of four tunnels on the pass. Dinner is served as the train travels towards Worcester. (B,L,D)
Fri, Sep 15: The train travels through the Hex River Valley before arriving at journey’s end in Cape Town Station this morning. Disembark and head out on a winelands tour to the quaint town of Stellenbosch. Spend time perusing the shops before a visit to Middelvlei Wine Estate. Enjoy a cellar tour and a wine tasting before an included boerebraai (barbueque) lunch. Return to Cape Town after lunch and check in for three nights at the elegant Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, regarded as one of the city’s top five star hotels. Follow in the footsteps of Winston Churchill, John Lennon and Nelson Mandela with a stay in this iconic retreat. Boasting some of the best restaurants and bars in Cape Town, a stay at Belmond Mount Nelson is foodie heaven, and your evening is free to create endless memories to cherish. (B,L)
Sat, Sep 16: Today’s adventures begin with a cable car ride up Table Mountain for a spectacular view over the city and surrounds. Next, head to the waterfront for lunch on your own before a tour of Robben Island. Begin at the waterfront multimedia exhibition and museum shop before hopping onto the ferry for a scenic trip to the island, a World Heritage Site. Once on Robben Island, the tour is guided by a former political prisoner of the island, offering unique and incomparable insights into the island’s history. Following the tour, freshen up at the hotel before departing to Groot Constantia Wine Estate for dinner. (B,D)
Sun, Sep 17: Wander in a southerly direction today which includes a drive through “Millionaires Mile”, encompassing the towns of Bantry Bay, Clifton & Camps Bay—the famous Atlantic Seaboard. Stop in Hout Bay for a fascinating boat trip to Seal Island to catch a glimpse of these wonderful creatures at play. Back on land, continue south to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve! Ride the funicular to “The Point” to see the phenomenon of where the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean before lunch at the famous Two Oceans Restaurant. Return to Cape Town via the eastern coast line of the southern tip via Millers Point, and The Boulders famous for their penguin residents. After a fun-filled day, your evening is at leisure. (B,L)
Mon, Sep 18: Fly to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to an abundance of natural wildlife, birds, rainforests and the Zambezi River. Upon arrival, transfer to your home for the next three nights, the Batonka Guest Lodge. This upscale lodge is located just four kilometers from Victoria Falls National Park, and a fifteen minute stroll from the Walk With the Lions conservation project. Depart in the early evening for dinner at the Boma Restaurant, nestled in the Gusu Forest offering a unique cultural and culinary experience. Dine on a variety of traditional Zimbabwean dishes accompanied by entertainment from local musicians and traditional dancers. After dinner, an enlightening presentation from the restaurant’s very own Sangoma (storyteller) brings you closer to the country’s folklore, culture and heritage. (B,L,D)
Tue, Sep 19: Tour the Victoria Falls and the rainforest today, gaining insight into some of the history and background of one of the most spectacular sights in the world—Mosi Oa Tunya, “The Smoke That Thunders”. Take as many photographs as you wish while you learn all about the surrounding flora and fauna. Next, have lunch with a spectacular backdrop perched above the rapids of the Zambezi River at the Lookout Café—boasting the best views of the Batonka Gorge and Victoria Falls Bridge.
After an afternoon rest back at the lodge, this day just gets even better with an unforgettable sunset dinner cruise along the Zambezi River. Keep an eye out for hippo, crocodile, and elephant sightings along with many bird species that skim the waterline at sunset. (B,L,D)
Wed, Sep 20: Top off the tour today with a game drive in the Chobe National Park in Botswana, just about an hour and a half drive from your hotel. Cruise along the Chobe River with lunch included. Return to the hotel for a farewell dinner with the group. (B,L,D)
Thu, Sep 21: Check out of the hotel this morning and transfer to Victoria Falls Airport for the return flights to Johannesburg and overnight flights back home. (B)
Fri, Sep 22: Arrive back to Indianapolis in the early afternoon.
DaVinci Hotel and Suites, Sandton City, South Africa. Located within the mall leading onto Nelson Mandela Square, in the heart of the Sandton business and leisure district, featuring a private art collection that adorns the ground floor entrance. Highlights: opulent rooms with modern features • air conditioning • in-room coffee/tea maker, refrigerator • complimentary WiFi • restaurant • bar • outdoor pool.
Kapama River Lodge Game Reserve. This lodge is situated within Kapama Game Reserve in Greater Kruger and presents the perfect luxurious safari accommodation. Highlights: spacious, luxurious, rooms featuring a terrace with uninterrupted views into the private game reserve • air conditioning • in-room coffee/tea maker, refrigerator • complimentary WiFi • restaurant • bar • outdoor pool • fitness center.
Belmond Mount Nelson, Cape Town, South Africa. Five-star landmark hotel set in lush gardens at the foot of Table Mountain, an oasis in this historic city center. Highlights: Superb, well-appointed rooms with lavish marble bathrooms and luxury amenities. Air conditioning • complimentary WiFi • restaurant • bar/lounge • spa w/plunge pool • fitness center • outdoor pool.
Batonka Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Exclusive 22-room guest lodge set in lush gardens, a tranquil haven from the bustle of town but within walking distance of main attractions. Highlights: Spacious, non-smoking suites with verandah opening out into the surrounding gardens. Air conditioner • complimentary Wifi • restaurant • lounge • outdoor pool.
Deluxe Room – © Rovos Rail
Deluxe Bathroom – © Rovos Rail
Rovos Rail Dining – © Rovos Rail
Rovos Rail Bar – © Rovos Rail
*Package Price is based on Rovos Rail Pullman accommodations; other railcar accommodations are waitlisted.
Additional cost applies for double entry visa into Zimbabwe; not included in package price.
Price subject to change due to increase in exchange rate or fuel surcharge.
Documents Required: Valid Passport, visit travel.state.gov for specific requirements and visa (Zimbabwe only)