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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 2023, including Royal Malewane, 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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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 5 City Hotels in Africa by Travel + Leisure in 2023.

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.

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.

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.

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 the Best Resort in Africa by Travel + Leisure in 2023.

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

Day 6 – Thornybush Private Game Reserve: After breakfast, transfer to Cape Town International Airport for your flight to the Kruger region. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your lodge, located on the Thornybush Private Game Reserve. Arrive for a late lunch, followed by an afternoon shared safari activity. Dinner and overnight at Royal Malewane.

Royal Malewane is a classic and luxurious safari lodge with just six luxury suites and two royal suites (which each have two bedrooms). Game drives, walking safaris, spa treatments, community visits, guided tours of the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, helicopter rides, golfing, horseback riding and canyon cruises are all on offer. Royal Malewane was named as one of the Top 10 Safari Lodges by Travel + Leisure in 2023.

Days 7 & 8 – Thornybush Private Game Reserve: Enjoy two full days of shared safari activities in Thornybush Private Game Reserve. Meals and overnights at Royal Malewane.

Day 9 – Victoria Falls: After breakfast, transfer to the 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.

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. Matetsi River Lodge was named as one of the Top 5 Resort Hotels in Africa by Travel + Leisure in 2023.

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.

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.

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 $$$

*Pricing is per person and an estimate. Contact a Journey Specialist for a customized quote.
$ = Call for Pricing | $$ = $5,000 – $9,999 | $$$ = $10,000 – $20,000 | $$$$ = >$20,000

Contact a Journey Specialist