PHOTO: Clients can experience the beauty of Southern Africa with Abercrombie & Kent.
As Americans become more familiar with South Africa, tour operators are offering a greater variety of places and things to do and new combinations of destinations in packages to South Africa. Here are some of the new programs.
Tauck has created a new tour program of South Africa, Botswana and Zambia as part of its series of Earth Journeys in partnership with BBC Earth. The tours are designed to incorporate the expert knowledge of BBC’s wildlife filmmakers into some of Tauck’s nature-based tours. The Botswana-South Africa-Zambia program explores national parks with some of the world’s largest concentrations of unspoiled wilderness and wildlife using technology from BBC Earth, such as an underwater pole camera and an infrared camera for night views. The trip concludes with three nights in Cape Town. The 12-day trip is priced from $9,190 per person double occupancy. See www.tauck.com.
Abercrombie & Kent introduced for 2015 a new Southern Africa Safari by River and Rail program. It’s in A&K’s Luxury Small Group Journeys series and is built on a series of journeys by train or on the water. It travels through Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The tour includes a luxury train ride on Rovos Rail, a cruise on the Chobe River on a luxury houseboat and game drives in the Okavanga Delta. It also includes time in Cape Town with a visit to the top of Table Mountain and a tour of Victoria Falls. The 13-day trip is priced from $11,995 per person double occupancy. See www.abercrombiekent.com.
Austin Adventures is offering a family safari called Cape Town to Limpopo. It includes a tour of Cape Town with a visit to Table Mountain; a walk on the “Boomslang” treetop gangway in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens; Two Oceans Aquarium for kids while their parents visit Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island; a cycle tour of Cape Point Nature Reserve; a kayak trip from Simonstown; horseback riding through coastal forests of African fynbos; and three days exploring the African bush. The 11-day trip is priced from $6,998 per person.
G Adventures is offering an itinerary from Cape Town to Nairobi, Kenya. It includes game drives in Etosha and Serengeti National Parks, the Okavanga Delta and in the Ngorongoro Crater; a guided tour of a spice plantation in Zanzibar; a visit to the Kalahari Desert; a ferry ride to Dar es Salaam; and a view of Mount Kilimanjaro. The 40-day trip is priced at only $4,699 per person.
Travcoa’s 10-day Essence of Africa includes a dinner at the home of a family in Cape Town; a wine tasting in the Cape Winelands; a ride on the luxurious Blue Train to Pretoria; a visit to the Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Center; an encounter with ancient rock art in the Kalahari Desert; and a safari at Londolozi Founders Camp. The program is priced from $10,985 and includes internal air.
African Travel has a romantic package called African Romance designed for couples who want to wring the romantic potential out of Africa. The package includes starlit dinners, sundowners in the bush, beachside massages, wine tastings in the Cape Winelands, a safari on a private game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal and a stay in a beach retreat in Mozambique Lagoon coast. The 12-day program is priced from $8,695 per person.
Big Five Tours combines South Africa with Zimbabwe in a 13-day tour. It includes a tour of Cape Town on a motorcycle with a sidecar, as well as stays in luxury hotels such as the One & Only Cape Town, Le Quartier Français in the Winelands and Singita Ebony in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. The tour is priced from $13,950 per person.
SITA World Tours’ South Africa: A World in One Country is a 14-day trip that includes a wide range of what is available in South Africa, including Johannesburg; Pretoria; a cruise in Blyde River Canyon; a visit to the kingdom of Swaziland; a cruise on Lake Lucia; the Garden Route; and Knysna Lagoon. It’s priced from $2,650 per person double.
South African Airways Vacations’ Great Whites and Elephant Encounters includes four nights in Cape Town, including biking, hiking and an encounter with great white sharks, and three nights in Kruger National Park with elephant-back riding. The nine-day package is priced from $3,999, and this price, unlike most in this roundup, is an air-inclusive price.