The Grand Tour – Botswana, Cape Town and Victoria Falls

A twelve night grand tour of the region combining a Botswana safari with Cape Town and Victoria Falls staying in beautiful five star accommodation throughout. This comprehensive itinerary combines a 7 night luxury safari in the Okavango and Chobe, with a visit to Cape Town and Victoria Falls at the beginning or end of the safari, easily adapted to your preference. Showcasing the best of the region and staying in some of the most iconic properties this is a great itinerary for those looking for a classical and elegant tour.

A seven night Botswana safari lies at the heart of this itinerary, exploring the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park from some of the most luxurious lodges in Botswana. Beginning at Khwai River Lodge in the Eastern Okavango, an area rich in wildlife with varied and exciting game viewing. Lion, leopard and wild dog are regularly seen here. Moving deeper into the Okavango, to Eagle Island Lodge, where quintessential Okavango landscapes and water activities await. The third and final lodge on this safari is Savute Elephant Lodge, set deep in the southern reaches of Chobe National Park, the Savute area is famous for explosive game viewing. Immense herds of elephant visit the area in dry season and the predator sightings are impressive. All three lodges offer an extremely luxurious stay with a full range of facilities including air conditioning.

Both Cape Town and Victoria Falls easily connect to Botswana and combine beautifully with a safari experience to offer a more complete tour of the region. This itinerary begins with 3 nights in Cape Town, at the iconic Mount Nelson Hotel and ends with 2 nights at the Victoria Falls Hotel, after the safari. The perfect start and end to a tour, allowing time to recover from the rigours of travel and jetlag before your safari and time after the safari to recover from the early starts of the game drives and to savour the safari memories before the long journey home.

This itinerary can be amended to suit your preferences with more of less time in any of the destinations. A stop on the Chobe Riverfront can also be included.

Day 1 - Mount Nelson, Cape Town

On arrival at Cape Town Airport your driver will meet and transfer you to your hotel, a drive of about 30 minutes. The Mount Nelson is an elegant colonial style hotel sitting at the foot of Table Mountain. With a soft pink paint it is fondly known as The Pink Lady.

The Mount Nelson is an elegant hotel with a traditional style and a full range facilities and services to ensure the most comfortable stay. Various dining options, two large heated swimming pools and excellent service are stand out features. This iconic hotel has a fantastic location for exploring the city with restaurants and historical sites a short walk away, and the waterfront, beaches and Kirstenbosch gardens all short drive away.

Spend the rest of the day at your leisure, recovering from the journey. Perhaps by the pool, enjoying the famous afternoon high tea or venture up Table Mountain for a view of the city and to get your bearings.

Day 2 - Mount Nelson, Cape Town

Today you embark on a full day private tour of the Cape Peninsula, this is the ideal tour for fully appreciating the natural beauty and diversity of the Cape. Take in the beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay, before crossing over to Hout Bay, a quaint village and fishing harbour with magnificent mountains views and beaches. From here you drive to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve via Chapman’s Peak, one of the world’s most breathtaking coastal drives, where you will board a funicular to get to the top of the Peninsula to witness the symbolic meeting of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans and enjoy spectacular views over False Bay.

After lunch you continue to Simonstown, a charming Victorian town and naval base with a rich history. Here you visit the famous African Penguin breeding colony at Boulders Beach. As you make your way back to the city you will stop at the world-renowned Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens which lie on the other side of Table Mountain. One of the greatest botanical gardens in the world, this is an ideal spot to stretch your legs as you explore these rich and stunning landscapes. Finally you return to your hotel in the late afternoon in time to freshen up for dinner.

Day 3 - Mount Nelson, Cape Town

Today a number of options await, each can be tailored to suit you particular interests.

A visit to the top of Table Mountain is highly recommended for its stunning views which offer a better understanding of the region and its numerous different sites and neighbourhoods. For those interested in the history of this rich city, a tour of older sections of the city and the District Six museum is recommend, so too Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela and many others were imprisoned during the Apartheid era. A full of wine tasting in the winelands can be arranged, or half day of wine tasting is available in Constantia, home to the oldest wine farms, just 20 minutes from the hotel. Many beautiful beaches also await, and a visit to the Victoria and Albert Waterfront is always popular too. You are spoilt for choice!

Day 4 and 5 - Khwai River Lodge

This morning, after an early breakfast you will be transferred to Cape Town Airport, a drive of 30 minutes, for your flight to Maun, Botswana. This is a 2 hour flight. On arrival, once you have cleared customs and immigration you will proceed to the arrivals hall where you will be met by a representative who will assist you onto your 20 minute light aircraft flight to the Okavango. This is a wonderful introduction to the Delta, which is beautiful from above. On landing your guide will be waiting to transfer you to the lodge, a 15 minute game drive.

Khwai River lodge was one of the original safari lodges of the Okavango and commands a wonderful spot on the banks of the Khwai river, in east Moremi. Each of the tented rooms are fully equipped with all comforts including air conditioning and a mini bar. A private deck offers the perfect spot to relax between activities and watch the animals go by. There is a good size swimming pool, open sided dining area and spa.

Once you have met the team and settled into your room you will have some light refreshments while your guide introduces you to the area and the activities on offer. You will then set out on your first game drive, stopping for sundowners in a scenic spot before returning with a spotlight to the lodge, looking out for nocturnal creatures on the way.

The Khwai area is a pretty area and boasts some of the best year-round game viewing in Botswana, with good resident game and impressive predator numbers it is a popular destination. Lion, leopard and wild dog are regularly seen. Activities focus on day and night drives and guided walks.

The next morning you wake early for your first early morning game drive, this is the best time to catch the predators while they are still active. Tracking the events of the night before your guide will translate the news of the bush as you explore this area. Stopping for coffee and a chance to stretch your legs half way through the drive. Around mid morning, after about 4 hours drive, you return to the lodge for a hearty brunch followed by a few hours to yourself to relax and enjoy the beautiful lodge. Later that afternoon you meet your guide for high tea and then depart on your afternoon game drive, perhaps following up on the events from earlier in the day or tracking the predators as they begin to stir again as the day cools.

Day 6 and 7 - Eagle Island Lodge

This morning you rise early as before and set out for your game drive, perhaps following up on sightings overheard that night or tracking something new. One last chance to explore the Khwai area before you return for brunch. At a time advised the day before your guide will transfer you back to the airstrip for your light aircraft flight to Eagle Island, a short flight of about 20 minutes. This is a beautiful flight into the Okavango and worth keeping your camera ready for! See how many elephants you can spot! Landing in the south west of the Okavango your guide will be waiting to transfer you to the camp.

Set on the picturesque island of Xaxaba, Eagle Island Lodge is a beautiful retreat style lodge offering a quintessential Okavango water safari experience, water levels permitting. The focus here is on a slower safari, enjoying the peace and beauty of the Okavango from the water and one foot. And from the comfort of this sumptuous lodge. Each of the rooms features a private deck and plunge pool and inside air-conditioning ensures a supremely comfortable stay.

Once you have settled into your new home your guide will discuss your interests while introducing you to the environment around the lodge and the activities. Mokoro rides (traditional dug-out canoes) and boating are offered for a water safari experience, while walking offers a chance to understand the often overlooked smaller species and the diverse flora and fauna.

Other activities (at an additional cost) include helicopter flights and horse-back riding(experienced riders only). guests can visit Xaxaba village and see a traditional Okavango village at work and play, as local people adapt ancient traditions to modern life.

Later that afternoon you will set off on your first activity – perhaps gliding along the shallow waters in a mokoro or exploring further into the deeper waters by boat. The emphasis is on the slower safari, a break from the game drives and instead enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the Okavango.

The next day you will enjoy a full day of activities as discussed with your guide.

Day 7, 8 and 9 - Savute Elephant Lodge

This morning you will have the opportunity to enjoy another morning activity or perhaps a lie in for a change, before leaving the Okavango for your next camp, Savute Elephant Lodge. At a time advised the day before your guide will transfer you back to the airstrip for your light aircraft flight to Savute, a flight of about 30 minutes. The landscape changes dramatically as you leave the Okavango, the land dries up and the animals begin to concentrate on the watering holes. You guide will be waiting for you on landing and a 30 min game drive takes you to the lodge.

Savute Elephant Lodge is one of the most luxurious in Botswana and enjoys a prime location on the banks for the Savute channel – not far from the Savute Marsh, famous for the large marsh pride of lion. With great views over the channel and a constant stream of animals drinking this is a fantastic spot. Game viewing can be enjoyed from the pool, the hide, the dining room and even your private deck.

Activities focus on game drives here, morning and afternoon. Day trips to see ancient san bushman rock art is also possible and recommended, as game drives are enjoyed en route. This is big game country and you can expect huge numbers of elephants in the dry season and buffalo too. The predators follow. The lion have learnt to hunt elephant and hippo here, and have a ferocious reputation.

You will enjoy an afternoon game drive with a stop for sundowners on the day or arrival, returning for dinner as the sun sinks.

For the next 2 days you will explore Savute, with morning and afternoon game drives and plenty of time during heat of the day to enjoy the lodge and watching the comings and goings at the waterhole.

Day 10 and 11 - Victoria Falls Hotel

This morning you enjoy one last game drive before flying to Kasane, a 30 minute flight. On arrival you will be met and transferred to Victoria Falls, a drive of about 1.5 hours depending on border conditions on the Botswana/Zimbabwe border. Elephants are often seen on this road so keep your eyes peeled!

The Victoria Falls hotel is an elegant colonial hotel with an unrivalled position, just a short walk from Victoria Falls. Built in 1904 to accommodate the engineers who built the bridge which links Zimbabwe and Zambia, it has enjoyed many gentle facelifts over the years which have ensured this still one of the best hotels for visiting the falls. A full range of facilities are on offer- with large manicured grounds, a number of dining options, a swimming pool, tennis courts and spa.

Victoria Falls is a hub of activity and an efficient concierge desk is available to help with all bookings.

Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure. The next day you rise in your own time and after breakfast you will have a guided tour of the falls. Returning for lunch at the hotel, perhaps on the terrace with its wonderful views, you will have some time to relax before departing for your sunset cruise on the Zambezi River that evening.

Day 12 - End of tour

Today you will be transferred to Victoria Falls Airport in good time for your onward flight. This is a drive of about 35 minutes.

Map View

Mount Nelson

Mount Nelson

Mount Nelson

Khwai River Lodge

Eagle Island Lodge

Savute Elephant Lodge

Victoria Falls Hotel

Victoria Falls Hotel

Water Level

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Chobe Chilwero

A luxurious air-conditioned lodge overlooking the Chobe River, Sanctuary’s Chobe Chilwero lodge offers panoramic views of the floodplains. A small, sophisticated and peaceful sanctuary with spa treatments and gourmet meals, this a sophisticated safari option. Chobe Chilwero offers a refined base to experience the abundance of wildlife and large elephant population in the Chobe region with game drives in Chobe National Park and sundowner cruises on the Chobe River in specialised boats

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