best of southern africa

12-Day Safari to Some of Southern Africa's Top Camps and Lodges as Voted by Travel + Leisure

Experience the best of the best on this 12 day safari to South Africa and Victoria Falls. Stay at four luxury hotels and camps that were named as some of the top safari lodges, city hotels and resorts on Travel + Leisure World’s Best List in 2022, including Lion Sands Ivory Lodge, The Silo and Babylonstoren. Begin your trip in Cape Town, named one of Africa and the Middle East’s best cities for over 20 years and one of the top cities in the world. You’ll then spend 2 nights in the nearby Winelands before beginning your Big 5 safari. Round out your time visiting the stunning Victoria Falls.

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Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive Cape Town: Upon arrival in Cape Town, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure. Overnight at the The Silo Hotel.

The Silo Hotel is Cape Town’s most exclusive luxury hotel towering above the V&A waterfront and above Africa’s largest museum of contemporary art – Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA). Each room has been individually designed and decorated with splashes of color and eclectic pieces contrasted against modern, industrial architecture. A tribute to timeless elegance, The Silo is a celebration of art, style and design. The Silo Hotel was named as one of the top 3 City Hotels in Africa by Travel + Leisure in 2022.

Day 2 – Cape Town/Peninsula Tour: Your tour begins at Kalk Bay, best known for its working fishing harbor and bohemian feel. Browse the arts and crafts on offer, perhaps do a bit of shopping in the quirky fashion boutiques and enjoy the antiques and collectibles along the main strip. Next, head over to Simon’s Town for insight into the shark diving industry and stories of Just Nuisance – Great Dane, WWII mascot and only dog ever enlisted in the Royal Navy. Before heading into the Cape Peninsula itself you will search for your own rogue penguins – a splinter colony away from the crowded boardwalks over the main breeding site – on a beach known only to locals. The tour continues with a gentle hike in the Cape Peninsula Reserve, exploring secluded beaches and this region’s unique wildlife. The return journey weaves back to Cape Town via Noordhoek Farm Village, a food artisan hub of the Peninsula and – time permitting – stopping for a sundowner at a local brewery, vineyard, beach or scenic look-out. Overnight at The Silo Hotel. (B)

Day 3 – Cape Town: Enjoy a day at leisure with a private car and driver to explore the Cape Town you want to see. Overnight at The Silo Hotel. (B)

Day 4 – Winelands: Depart your hotel this morning and head over the mountain to the lesser-known Elgin Wine Valley, the wine region with an organic, off-the-radar appeal. Your day of visiting farm stalls, local hotspots and estates takes you through the striking scenery of Elgin Valley: apple and pear orchards, rows of vineyards and lush flower gardens. Plantations and forests are encircled by distant mountains and interspersed with old-world Cape Dutch buildings. Explore the artisanal products, expertly-crafted ciders and wines, deli treats and foodie delights created in this earthy region. Depending on the time of year, meet the wine-makers or experience a barrel tasting. After your wine touring, transfer to Babylonstoren Farm Hotel for your overnight. (B)

Babylonstoren Farm Hotel is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms, set at the foot of Simonsberg in the Franschhoek wine valley. It has a fruit and vegetable garden of beauty and diversity, unique accommodation, fine food and wine and evokes a sense of wellbeing. Beautiful hotel rooms and private cottages are available. A multitude of activities are on offer in addition to wine tastings, including harvesting, pruning, planting or picking fruits, herbs, nuts, spices and vegetables. Canoeing, private yoga sessions, swimming in the outdoor pool, fishing, bicycling through the Winelands, running or walking on the six trails, spa treatments, a variety of dining options and unwinding at the healing garden ensure you’ll never be bored. Babylonstoren was named as one of the 3 Best Resorts in Africa by Travel + Leisure in 2022.

Day 5 – Franschhoek Valley: Enjoy a day at leisure exploring the region’s vineyards, fine dining and shopping.  Overnight at Babylonstoren Farm Hotel. (B)

Day 6 – Sabi Sands Game Reserve: After breakfast, transfer to Cape Town International Airport for your flight to Skukuza Airport. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your lodge, located on the Lion Sands Game Reserve. Arrive for a late lunch, followed by an afternoon shared safari activity. Dinner and overnight at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge. (B, L, D, Dr)

Intimate and family-owned Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is located in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, nestled along the banks of the Sabie River. Six luxurious suites feature contemporary interiors with neutral colors, clean lines and strikingly sophisticated appointments. Glass sliding doors and massive windows let in the natural light, allowing uninterrupted private bush views to be appreciated throughout the suite. Spacious lounges open out to private decks and the rim-flow plunge pools allowing guests to soak in the cool waters, whilst keeping an eye out on the inhabitants which move freely through the wilderness. Lion Sands Ivory Lodge boasts a uniquely romantic treehouse experience: a night outdoors close to nature. Lion Sands Ivory Lodge was named as one of the Top 10 Safari Lodges by Travel + Leisure in 2022.

Days 7 & 8 – Sabi Sand Game Reserve: Enjoy two full days of shared safari activities in Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Activities include morning and afternoon game drives, spa, gym and cultural visits upon request. Meals and overnights at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge. (B, L, D, Dr)

Day 9 – Victoria Falls: After breakfast, transfer to Mpumalanga (Kruger) Airport for your flight to Victoria Falls Airport, Zimbabwe. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your lodge. Overnight at Matetsi River Lodge. (B, L, D, Dr)

Matetsi is located 25 miles upstream from Victoria Falls, is set on 9 miles of private Zambezi River frontage and offers exclusive access to more than 135,000 acres of Matetsi Private Game Reserve. A stay at Matetsi combines the big five luxury safari experience with a bucket-list visit to the largest waterfall on earth.

Days 10 & 11 – Victoria Falls: Spend 2 full days exploring Victoria Falls, known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, or “the Smoke that Thunders.” In addition to a walking tour of the Falls, choose from other activities on offer such as a game drive or walk; canoeing or kayaking on the Zambezi River; touring a local village; or adventure activities such as white water rafting, bungee jumping or a helicopter flight over the Falls (some at additional fee). Work with your Journey Specialist to pre-plan what activities you’d like to include in your stay. Meals and overnights at Matetsi River Lodge. (B, L, D, Dr)

Day 12 – Departure: After your last early morning activity, you will be transferred to Victoria Falls Airport in time to check-in for your onward flight. (B)

Quick Facts

Perfect for:

  • Perfect for Big 5/Wildlife Sightings
  • Perfect for Luxury Accommodations
  • Perfect for Honeymoons/Romance
  • Duration 12 Days
  • Departures Anytime
  • Accommodations Luxury hotels & safari lodges
  • Fitness Rating Easy
  • Activities Game drives, wine tasting, city tour
  • Safari Type Luxury
  • Style Luxury
  • Land-Only Price $10,000+
  • Flight Price Call for pricing

*All pricing per person based on double occupancy. Pricing varies based on travel dates, call for a customized quotation matching your travel needs. Changes to itinerary and pricing may apply. Price includes all accommodations, meals, some drinks, transfers, vehicles, park fees, guides and activities as indicated, and a $25 donation to a worthy African charity. Price excludes international flights, visas, tips, inoculations, travel insurance, and anything not specified above. We accept Visa, Master Card, Discover & AMEX. No refunds—see Terms and Conditions for details.

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Our passion for Africa began with a dream of living on the continent – a dream realized. We explored parks, rivers, mountains and villages, learned about the flora and fauna, fell in love with everything, and came away wanting to share our passion for a remarkable continent. Africa Adventure Consultants was born of the desire to give more people the chance to experience Africa’s wonders. Let us guide you into the wilderness.

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Africa is enormous. There are endless things to see and do, and it can’t all be done in one trip. That said, we realize that many people believe that a trip to Africa is ‘once in a lifetime’ (though many more end up realizing once is not enough!). What do you most want to see? What experiences have you been dreaming of? Visit our destination pages to narrow your choices down, browse our safari types to get a sense of the activities and styles available, or talk with a Journey Specialist to hone in on the areas that will deliver the journey of your imagination.

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Trip Ideas

We know it can be hard to narrow down what to do on vacation, especially with the wealth of choices that are available on the African continent. That’s why we have created an array of sample itineraries to inspire your travel. Browse through them – you’ll find everything from family safaris to honeymoons to Kilimanjaro climbs – and find the places and activities that excite you. From there, you can contact a Journey Specialist to start the process of crafting a customized safari just for you!

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