Ultimate Botswana Safari & Best of Cape Town
May 10th – 19th, 2024 (2 Spots Left, Female Share)
A magical adventure combining Africa's largest inland delta wonderland with South Africa's "Mother City", Cape Town, & the southern coast's neverending beauty! We'll begin with a seriously authentic safari in the Okavango Delta, teeming with wildlife and home to Africa's most iconic creatures. Lions, elephants, hippos, giraffes, & leopards roam among a labyrinth of shimmering lagoons, winding waterways, and thriving islands that once began as termite mounds. Join this deeply intimate experience with nature and a safari that redefines the meaning of "off the path".
After our minds have been blown witnessing and photographing the beauty of Okavango, our adventure continues to the southernmost part of this gigantic continent: Cape Town, South Africa, and her epic coast. Resting at the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic oceans, sandwiched between the slopes of the iconic Table Mountain and the glistening sapphire waters of Table Bay, the exceptionally scenic city of Cape Town is in a class of its own. Some cities boast rich culture, vibrant nightlife, a cosmopolitan atmosphere, and extraordinary architecture, while others boast breathtaking landscapes and extraordinary natural wonders. Cape Town is lucky enough to be blessed with all of these attractions and so much more. With its bustling harbor, world-class beaches, top-notch vineyards, and its mountainous surroundings brimming with diverse flora and fauna, Cape Town captivates the hearts (and cameras) of all who visit.
Botswana's Okavango Delta (4 Nights)
"Welcome to one of Africa’s most extraordinary places. There is something elemental about the Unesco World Heritage-listed Okavango Delta: the rising and falling of its waters; the daily drama of its wildlife encounters; its soundtrack of lion roars, saw-throated leopard barks, and the crazy whoop of a running hyena; and the mysteries concealed by its papyrus reeds swaying gently in the evening breeze." - Lonely Planet
Mobile Glamping ("Glamorous Camping")
Off the Path in Style!
Our fully serviced mobile camps are designed to achieve a state of harmony and a celebration of balance & abundance. The tented paradise is set up on a private island deep within the heart of the Okavango Delta where our every need is catered for. ‘Glamping’ Safaris offer the ultimate in exclusivity – not just in terms of "luxury" tented accommodation, comfortable vehicles, and a private chef catering for every meal, but the ability to explore, experience, & photograph an unforgettable wildlife wilderness very few have access to.
* Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner every day
* 2 Game Drives or other Safari Activities every day
* Solar panel charging stations for cameras and other technology
* Luxury Tents Include:
- Beds (real mattresses w/ frames, bedside tables, & lamps)
- Ensuite bathrooms w/ flush toilets & hot water showers
Xaxaba Island Private Reserve, Okavango Delta (2 Nights)
Xaxaba Island is located in the heart of the Okavango Delta and overlooks the famous Chief’s Island with Eagle Island on the other side, making it a pristine and untouched area with abundant wildlife. Here, we can experience the best of both land and water-based safaris and the wonderland of waterways, floodplains, lagoons, woodland, and savannah that so many beautiful creatures call home. With such diverse habitats, we can expect a wide range of wildlife and a beautiful array of birds.
Moremi National Game Reserve, Okavango Delta (2 Nights)
The only proclaimed wildlife reserve in the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve is also widely regarded as the most beautiful. The reserve has the most diverse habitat and animal populations in Botswana and contains about a quarter of the Okavango Delta, stretching across several thousand square miles. With a stunning landscape of forests, lagoons, floodplains, and islands, the diversity in habitats attract year-round resident species including lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, African wild dog, zebra, red lechwe, and many more. Needless to say, the game viewing is some of the best in the world!
* Wildlife Highlights
- The "Big Five": Lions, Leopards, Cape Buffalo, Elephants, & *Rhino (*Both black and white rhino have been reintroduced in the reserve, although sightings are still rare. All the other "Big Five" are easily spotted)
- An Abundance of Wildlife: Giraffe, Cheetah, Baboon, Impala, Spotted Hyena, Blue Wildebeest, Burchells Zebra, Hippo, Warthog, Bushbuck, Vervet Monkey, Kudu, Waterbuck, Wild Dog, Jackal, Bat-eared fox, Clawless, Cape & Spotted-necked Otter (Water areas), Marabou Storks, Saddle-billed Stork, Wattle Cranes...to name just a few!
The Game Activities (Two Everyday)
An open vehicle offers all-round views and an elevated aspect which helps considerably when searching afar for game. It also facilitates moving reasonably quickly from one place to another especially if lion sightings, for example, are reported by other rangers. They are purpose-built and equipped with sunshade roofs & warm blankets to ward off the chill in the early mornings. Each day, morning & afternoon game drives offer opportunities to experience and photograph the best Africa has to offer including lions, leopards, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, cape buffalo, zebras, a diverse array of bird species, and so much more.
Motorboat & Mokoro Canoe River Safaris:
There’s always something happening on the river and the breeze out there is quite refreshing particularly on a cloudless and relentlessly sunny day. Wildlife knows no such boundaries and there is a rich variety of birds on its banks, reedbeds, backwaters, and sandy shores. You will see the ubiquitous fish eagle or an osprey often taking larger fish from the river and there are myriad kingfishers of all shapes, colors, and sizes. Our guides are always on the lookout for crocs and the boatman or guide will make sure we're able to get that close-up of the big one before it enters the water. The hippos, of course, are always around and our guide will know just how close we can safely go for the perfect photos! All the large mammals come to the river to drink, and in the case of elephants sometimes to simply frolic in the water. It's not uncommon to see lion, buffalo, kudu, bushbuck, waterbuck, and many other large animals on the river bank though, unlike the elephants, they have a healthy respect for crocs.
The surreal silence of the Delta is best experienced from a makoro, a traditional canoe-like vessel commonly used in the Okavango Delta as a popular mode of transport, and now utilized for game viewing safaris. Mokoros carry two passengers and the boat-man stands at the stern using a long pole called a "ngashi" to navigate the calm waters. Gliding through the tranquil papyrus waterways will be an experience we'll never forget and some fantastic images can be captured from this unique vantage point.
South Africa's Cape Town
& the Remarkable Garden Route
Cape Town (3 Nights)
"A coming-together of cultures, cuisines, and landscapes, there's nowhere quite like Cape Town, a singularly beautiful city crowned by the magnificent Table Mountain National Park. And one can’t help but be seduced by the glorious natural beauty of the Garden Route. The range of topography, vegetation, wildlife, and outdoor activities is remarkable, not to mention the world-class vineyards & stunning beaches." -Lonely Planet
* The "Mother City": Experience the best of South Africa's world-class city.
- Cable Car to Table Mountain: Enjoy the fresh air & capture stunning photographs as we ascend to the summit of the most iconic landmark in South Africa. When we reach the top, take in the panoramic views and be on the lookout for caracals (wild cats), rock hyraxes, & chacma baboons. On a clear day, we'll get spectacular views of the city, its waterfront, Camps Bay, the majestic Hottentots Holland Mountains to the East, and the mountains of the Cape Peninsula all the way down to Cape Point to the south.
- City Highlights Driving Excursion: Our drive takes us by the president's official residence, Houses of Parliament, City Hall, The Cape of Good Hope Castle, Green Market Square, and the Company Gardens.
- Signal Hill & the Noon Gun: From the top, photograph the stunning views of Table Bay Harbor, city center, Atlantic Ocean, & Table Mountain before witnessing the firing of the noon gun (cannon), one of Cape Town's oldest traditions. First fired in 1806, it was originally used to signal ships in Table Bay and are now the oldest guns used daily in the world!
- The "Bo-Kaap": Also known as the Malay Quarter, the architecture in this area is typical of what Cape Town was like 200 years ago. Here we'll experience first hand the cultural diversity that Cape Town has to offer on a guided walk through the historical heart of the Bo-Kaap.
- Traditional Cooking Demonstration & Lunch: Capture images of this interesting cooking demonstration, and learn how to fold samosas & mix Masala for Cape Malay Curry, before digging into a traditional, full course Cape Malay lunch!
- Explore Cape Point: An exciting road trip takes us to all the best beaches, bays, & viewpoints as we flank back & forth between the Atlantic and Indian coastlines, arriving at the meeting place of these two mighty oceans.
- Charming Hout Bay & "Seal Island" Cruise: Photograph the colorful fishing boats in this small harbor before hopping on a cruise for a first-hand view of the kelp forests and abundant sea life around Duiker Island ("Seal Island"). The ship takes us within feet of the shore for close up views and photo ops of the Cape Fur Seals in their natural environment.
- Cape Point & the Cape of Good Hope: Said to be the romantic meeting place of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the explorer Sir Francis Drake once called it "the fairest Cape that we saw in the whole circumference of the Globe”.
- Boulders Beach & the Penguin Colony: Humans and penguins alike treasure this beautiful beach, protected from the wind & large waves by her ancient granite boulders. Search for creatures in the interesting rock pools before meeting the local residents and stars of this sandy white haven, the African Penguins! The only species found on the continent, these cute, little sea birds are ever so curious and eager to pose for our cameras.
- Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens: Home to some 3,500 species of Southern African flora and fauna, we'll discover this beautiful, green sanctuary on a guided walk through the forest floor, into and through the trees, and pop out above the canopy, giving spectacular panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains, garden, and Cape Flats. Great shots to capture in every direction!
Hermanus, the Garden Route, & Cape Winelands (2 Nights)
At the beginning of the famous & stunning coastal drive known as the "Garden Route" we'll arrive in Hermanus. Here, the "pristine beaches extend as far as the eye can see, and the Klein River mountain range provides a breathtaking backdrop to this popular coastal town." But more importantly, Hermanus "is generally considered the best land-based whale-watching destination in the world. From June to December, the bay becomes the swimming grounds for a large number of southern right whales. So what might have otherwise just been a small fishing village is today a large, bustling town with an excellent range of accommodation, restaurants, and shops." And while the whales are no secret, Hermanus has hidden gems to delight our eyes and taste buds: a gorgeous wine route that runs parallel to the sea, dotted with laid-back vineyards and estates offering delicious vintages. - Excerpts from Fodor's & Lonely Planet
* Astounding Abalone: Learn about the history of abalone in South Africa, the biology of this mysterious mollusk, and the unfortunate demise of wild stocks due to over-harvest and poaching. We'll boot-up for a guided walk to experience the aquaculture industry of abalone farming firsthand on one of the oldest and largest abalone farms in South Africa, Abagold. Visit & photograph Abagold's state of the art abalone hatchery where broodstock are cared for and baby abalone (spats) are produced. Learn more about the system & technical infrastructure that keeps Abagold's 10,000,000 abalone healthy and happily housed in their 40,000 baskets! Highlights include the impressive seawater pumps and aeration system, back-up power generation, innovative water reticulation & renewable energy projects, including the construction of the first-ever wave energy converter in South Africa.
* Fernkloof Nature Reserve: Located in the Kleinrivier Mountains above Hermanus, this 4,500-acre reserve harbors a huge number of plant species and ranges from sea level to 2800 ft. The Reserve lies across the entire northern side of town and with a 40-mile network of trails, we'll have plenty of easy and moderate hiking options to choose from with our guide.
* Wine Tasting Safari: Our safari-style vehicles offer a distinctively South African experience for us to take in the beauty and ‘champagne air’ of the picturesque Hemel & Aarde Valley vineyards while exploring their world-class wineries. Two wine tastings are included along with a wine cellar tour.
Single Supplement: $1550.00
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Cancellation Policy & Refunds
*There is a $300.00 administrative fee for all cancellations. Cancellations made 145 days (December 17th, 2023) or more prior to trip departure date are fully refundable except for the $300 fee. Cancellations less than 120 days (December 18th, 2023) prior to the trip departure date will receive no refund of the full amount due. No refunds on unused portions of the tour. Credit card fees and paypal processing fees cannot be refunded. After airline tickets are issued, airline cancellations are per the airline’s policy and are usually non-refundable and changeable with a fee plus new ticket price. Travel insurance strongly encouraged (ask us about policy options).
COVID Cancellation Policy – Local Planet Travel Services OR Guest may cancel this reservation if the USA or country(s) we are visiting mandates a country-wide closure due to COVID. If this happens, you would receive a full refund. If guest chooses, the funds can remain on file and be applied for any future tour with PhotoFly Travel Club. *Please note bank merchant service fees when using a credit card are non-refundable.
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