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 one of the best safari lodges, city hotels, and resort hotels on Travel + Leisure World’s Best List in 2019, including Lion Sands Ivory Lodge & Matetsi River Lodge. Begin your trip in Cape Town, voted Africa and the Middle East’s best city for 18 consecutive years. You’ll then spend 2 nights in the nearby Winelands before beginning your Big 5 safari in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Round out your time visiting the stunning Victoria Falls.

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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.


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 Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel.

Located in the leafy suburb of Gardens, at the foot of Table Mountain, the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is one of the most iconic luxury hotels in South Africa. A whimsical shade of pink, the Belmond Mount Nelson hotel nestles within stunning landscaped gardens, a tropical oasis in the midst of a dynamic city. 198 rooms and suites offer old-world charm, classic décor and garden or mountain views. Settle under shaded trees in comfortable lawn furniture, or take High Tea on the terrace. Unwind in the fitness center, renowned spa and heated pools, or savor the exquisite cuisine created by top chefs. The Belmond Mount Nelson hotel was named as one of the top 10 City Hotels in Africa by Travel + Leisure in 2019.

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 Belmond Mount Nelson 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 Belmond Mount Nelson 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 us 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 La Residence for your overnight. (B, Dr)

La Residence is located in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley, on a private estate surrounded by vineyards and orchards. With the stunning mountains in the background and breath taking natural scenery, La Residence is a haven of tranquility and exquisite opulence. Eleven suites are individually decorated, the elaborate interiors rich and eye-catching. Persian rugs, velvet and silk fabrics, antique furnishings and lavish finishes encapsulate La Residence’s French flavor. With a reputation for superb cuisine and excellent service, dining is part of the property’s appeal. Enjoy pampering spa treatments or soak up the sun beside the pool, admiring the sheer perfection of this location. La Residence was named as the top Africa resort hotel by Travel + Leisure in 2019.

Day 5 – Franschhoek Valley: Enjoy a day at leisure exploring the area’s vineyards, fine dining, and shopping. (B, Dr)

Day 6 – Sabi Sand Game Reserve: After breakfast, transfer to Cape Town International Airport for your flight to Skukuza Airport (flight not included). Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your lodge, located on the Sabi Sand 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 colous, 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 the 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 2019.

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 Skukuza Airport for your flight to Victoria Falls Airport (flight not included). Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your lodge, located on the Zambezi River. Overnight at Matetsi River Lodge. (B, L, D, Dr)

Nestled along the Zambezi River, in a private concession, Matetsi River Lodge is a safari oasis upriver from the majestic Victoria Falls. Matetsi River Lodge boasts 2 intimate camps of 9 river-facing suites, including 2 inter-leading family suites. Rooms extend to private verandas with plunge pools.  The vibrant copper and wood theme and repurposed materials creatively reflect the country’s historical mining industry. Interiors feature clean lines, attractive craft pieces and bright splashes of blue. Each camp has an interactive kitchen, convivial bar and al fresco area where guests can settle around the blazing fire bowl. Cool off in the rim-flow pool, work-out in the fitness center or try a relaxing massage (extra fee). Matetsi River Lodge was named as one of Travel + Leisure’s top 10 safari lodges in 2019.

Days 10 & 11 – Victoria Falls: Spend 2 full days exploring Victoria Falls and enjoying activities near the lodge, including game drives, boating excursions and fishing. 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)

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20 Years of Experience & Passion

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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Pick a Destination

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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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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