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Sit back and watch the world go by from your luxurious suite, head to the dining car for some delicious South African oysters or ostrich steak or enjoy a cocktail in the lounge car, as you traverse the diverse landscape in complete luxury.
Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Livingstone.
On arrival into Livingstone, you will be met by a local guide and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax in your well-appointed safari lodge, surrounded by the wild sounds of Africa.
After breakfast, enjoy a morning game drive in Chobe National Park. Encompassing a colossal mix of floodplains, swamps and woodlands, Chobe is home to one of the largest concentrations of big game in Africa, as well as over 460 species of birdlife. Famous for a staggeringly large elephant population, your chances of experiencing these majestic giants up close are extremely high. Elephants aren't the only mammals wandering the floodplains of Chobe however, large herds of buffalo can also be seen, as well as giraffes, zebra and a variety of antelope, making this a prime hunting spot for prides of lions, African wild dogs, leopards and cheetahs, which stalk their prey across the Botswana plains. In the afternoon you will take to the waters on a private boat to spot the wondrous birdlife such as the sacred ibis or the African fish eagle that make the river their home.
This morning, embark on a boat cruise along the Chobe River where you'll observe the national park and its fauna from a different vantage point. The Chobe River supports a diversity and concentration of wildlife unparalleled anywhere in Botswana. Witness hippos and crocodiles up close from the safety of your boat and admire the great herds and predators on the shores that have travelled miles to drink from its waters. In the afternoon, you'll be transported once again to the Chobe floodplains where you'll have another chance to spot a vast array of African wildlife on an afternoon game drive.
After breakfast, cross the border into Zimbabwe where you'll enjoy a scenic drive through Zambezi National Park, home to a wide variety of larger mammals before being dropped off at your Victoria Falls hotel. In the evening enjoy a cruise on the mighty Zambezi River to watch the sunset over this stunning landscape.
Today is your chance to experience one of Earth's greatest spectacles in all its wonder. At 1.7km wide Victoria Falls empties 550 million litres a minute in an immense curtain of water to the chasm below; the spray from which can be seen for miles around, prompting the local Kololo tribe to name it 'Mosi-oa-Tunya' or 'The Smoke that Thunders'. Your knowledgeable English speaking guide will instruct you on the formation of the Falls and the local customs surrounding them, adding to the truly unforgettable experience of being up close to this thundering natural wonder. In the evening enjoy a traditional Boma dinner centred around an open fire.
After breakfast, transfer to Livingstone Airport for your flight to Cape Town via Johannesburg. On arrival you will be transferred to your city centre hotel, for an evening at leisure.
Explore the Cape Peninsula today on a scenic tour past pristine beaches and picturesque harbours. You'll journey along the breath-taking Chapman's Peak Drive, famed for its spectacular, mountain-hugging roads and rugged seascapes, before stopping off at the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. Here you'll have a chance to spot a wide variety of wildlife, in particular the Chacma baboons of which there are around 400 individuals. From here you'll travel onwards to Cape Point where you can witness the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean currents which combine to create treacherous swells against the rocks that have plagued mariners for centuries and sent many an explorer to the bottom of the ocean. Lunch will be served at the Black Marlin restaurant with astounding views and irresistible seafood, before paying a visit to nearby Boulders Beach, home to a large colony of African penguins. Lastly, you'll take a wander in the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, set dramatically on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain before returning to Cape Town.
Sandwiched between two oceans and a kilometre high mountain, Cape Town's staggering natural setting, Mediterranean climate and cosmopolitan culture make it the most visited city in all of Africa. Today is at leisure to discover what makes this city so extraordinary. Explore its golden beaches, take a cable car to the top of Table Mountain for sweeping views across the harbour or relax with a chilled glass of wine at an Atlantic seaboard bistro.
Set out this morning on a scenic drive towards the stunning Winelands region. Situated in a cool valley backed by a dramatic mountain range, manicured vines stretch as far as the eye can see, studded with lime-washed wineries built over 300 years in the unique Cape Dutch style which blend in seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. First stop is Franschhoek, which enjoys a magnificent setting at the head of a narrow valley. One of the oldest towns in the Republic of South Africa, in recent times it has strongly established itself as the country's culinary capital. The final stop is a visit to elegant Stellenbosch, home to historic streets, a number of fascinating museums and the country's most prestigious university. Spend some time exploring this charming town before enjoying a fascinating cellar tour and wine tasting at the award-winning Boschendal Wine Estate.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your scheduled flight back to the UK.
This morning you'll be transferred to Cape Town Station to enjoy exquisite pre-departure snacks and drinks, where a butler will then show you to your luxurious cabin before departure. Following brunch, a sherry stop will be made at the elegant Matjiesfontein hotel that encapsulates colonial elegance. The blue train sets off this afternoon where a tempting selection of treats will be served at high tea in the lounge car before unwinding at the bar watching the wild plains of South Africa roll by. Tonight you are requested to adorn your finest evening attire, for a five-star dining experience of signature dishes cooked by professional chefs. The remainder of today is at leisure to sample a delicious range of beverages at the bar or simply unwind within your spacious cabin.
Awake to spectacular views and breakfast, which can either be taken in the dining carriage or brought to your room. Relax on board before a sumptuous three-course lunch in decadent surroundings. The blue Train will arrive at Pretoria Station min-afternoon where you will be transferred to the upscale Sheraton Hotel, which boasts a rejuvenating spa - the perfect way to end your utterly magical escorted tour.
Following breakfast, you will be transferred to your airport in Johannesburg for your return flight back to the UK.
There is no visa required for entry into Botswana or South Africa. A visa will be required for entry into Zambia, this can be purchased either prior to departure or upon arrival (If purchasing your Zambian Visa upon arrival, ensure you have the correct amount of cash as change isn't always available. Further information can be found at on the Foreign Office Website). Further advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities and for general queries. We strongly advise you check your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding passport validity.
You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Holidays is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:
|Age in Years||Up to 64||65 - 74||75 - 85|
|Up to 17 days cover||£42||£79||£135|
|Up to 24 days cover||£48||£94||£146|
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your flight into Livingstone and returning from Cape Town is with South African Airways (SA), departing from London Heathrow, Terminal 2. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage plus 1 item of hand luggage and 1 personal item such as a handbag, briefcase or laptop case. Weight restrictions will be finalised on your E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Check-In should be at least 3 hours before departure. Please note that all flight times are subject to change. Final flight details will be confirmed on your e-ticket and final documentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure.
If you wish to arrange Airport car parking or accommodation at preferential rates, we recommend you book this in advance with Holiday Extras - Tel. 0871 360 2000, quoting HX313.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves moderate days of walking on uneven paths and small hills, and getting on and off coaches. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of passengers on your tour will be 10, and the maximum number of passengers will be 30. If in the unlikely event your tour does not reach the minimum passenger numbers, then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is an escorted tour, meaning the you will have the services of an English speaking guide during each excursion ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.
The currency in South Africa is the South African Rand. The currency in Botswana is the Botswana Pula. The currency in Zambia is the Zambian Kwacha. We recommend that you exchange your currency before you leave the UK. Some local banks will not change money back into Euros or Pound Sterling, so do not change up too much money. It is advisable to carry smaller note denominations as some outlets and vendors may not accept the larger notes. US Dollars are widely accepted in Botswana.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any dinners where these are not mentioned on your itinerary and personal purchases, such as souvenirs, extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £200-£400 per person should be sufficient for the duration of your tour. Please also bear in mind that there will be several shopping opportunities throughout your tour. Tipping is at your discretion, however we would recommend approximately £6 per person (100/120 ZAR) per day. Tips are accepted in the local currency, however it is asked that if you do not tip in the local currency that you only pay with notes, as coins cannot be exchanged. As normal practice you may be asked for your credit card details on check-in at the hotel in order to cover any extras incurred during your stay. If you do not have a credit card, you may be asked for a cash deposit. American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted in hotels.
The order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions or for operational purposes. For this reason, we have indicated approximate times only. Your local guide will inform you of any schedule changes as they are informed of them. Some road construction and/or weather conditions may lengthen the driving times or sailing conditions. Our intention is to adhere to the day-to-day itinerary as printed; however, order of events and sightseeing may vary according to the local conditions.
Single rooms available on this tour at a supplement.
Private tours are not available on this tour.