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FROM US$12,660-US$15,280

The Highlights of Africa

An epic adventure taking in some of Africa’s most incredible sights and wildlife experiences, from Cape Town to the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, the Maasai Mara and an encounter with mountain gorillas.

The Highlights of Africa: Day-by-day

More detailed information of what each day entails, and the various places you’ll stay on the The Highlights of Africa. Everything we do is completely tailor-made so while this is an idea which works well, we’ll always design an itinerary just for you.


Day 1

Starts: Cape Town International Airport

About image
Day 1

Pick-up car: Cape Town International Airport

10:00
Cape Town International AirportSouth Africa

On your arrival into Cape Town your hire vehicle will be ready and waiting for you at the car hire desk.

Mount Nelson Hotel
Days 1-5

Mount Nelson Hotel

4 nights
Bed & BreakfastCape Town, South Africa

The Mount Nelson Hotel – or 'Nellie', as locals call it – is a real institution. It is Cape Town's oldest and most famous hotel; a place to be seen. Set in the heart of Cape Town's cultural centre, it is close to the lively Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and some of the city's stunning beaches.

Mount Nelson Hotel

The Mount Nelson Hotel – or 'Nellie', as locals call it – is a real institution. It is Cape Town's oldest and most famous hotel; a place to be seen. Set in the heart of Cape Town's cultural centre, it is close to the lively Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and some of the city's stunning beaches.

If you like stylish grandeur and old-world charm, then the Mount Nelson Hotel will suit you perfectly. Large rooms, elegant dining, and the best address in town – though you can always stay elsewhere and drop in for the best high tea in Cape Town! See our full report on Mount Nelson Hotel

100%
2 reviews of Mount Nelson Hotel by travellers since August 2007

Activities

Birdwatching

Boat trip

Canoeing

Cultural excursion

Dune-boarding

Fishing

Helicopter

Horse-riding

Hot air ballooning

Kayaking

Microlight

Mountain biking

Quad-biking

Scuba-diving

Self-guided walking

Snorkelling

Watersports

About image
Day 5

Drop-off car: Cape Town International Airport

09:00
Cape Town International AirportSouth Africa

After a few days exploring Cape Town it is time to hand in the keys to your vehicle back at the airport where you collected it.

Kwara Camp
Days 5-8

Kwara Camp

3 nights
Full Board & ActivitiesOkavango Delta Safari Reserves, Botswana

Rebuilt and upgraded in 2019, Kwara caters exclusively for adults from its island base within the pristine Okavango Delta. With guides whose focus is firmly on the big predators, Kwara is in a perfect area of the Okavango.

Kwara Camp

Rebuilt and upgraded in 2019, Kwara caters exclusively for adults from its island base within the pristine Okavango Delta. With guides whose focus is firmly on the big predators, Kwara is in a perfect area of the Okavango.

In this private reserve, wildlife – both predators and prey – can be prolific. To maximise the chances of big-cat sightings, every 4WD excursion is led by a guide and tracker, and the guides are in constant contact by radio.

Rather more serene, both mokoros and a double-decker boat are on hand for effortless exploration of the lily-strewn waterways, perhaps combined with a guided walk.

Equally, with seasonal floodplains and a permanent lagoon in front of the island-based camp, and mature trees affording superb bird cover, it’s tempting to let the wildlife come to you.

In the huge “tented rooms”, beds, sofas, verandas, even baths are carefully sited to make the most of the views.

If you fancy company, a short stroll brings you to a thatched, open-sided structure complete with lounge, dining table, library, bar and curio shop. Colonial-style furniture combines effortlessly with simple stretched-canvas walls to give a contemporary-chic feel – designed for adults only.

"We loved the pairing of tracker & guide... some magnificent & unique sightings.."

Mrs SfromEssex

Arrived 5 Nov 2019, 6 nights

There are proper pools – complete with bars and sunloungers – at each end of camp, and a firepit down by the lagoon. And arguably of greatest importance, all share that captivating outlook. See our full report on Kwara Camp

93%
181 reviews of Kwara Camp by travellers since August 2007

Activities

4WD Safari

Birdwatching

Boat trip

Fishing

Guided walking safari

Helicopter

Mokoro

Night drive

Victoria Falls Hotel
Days 8-10

Victoria Falls Hotel

2 nights
Bed & BreakfastVictoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Not just the most famous name in town, this grand old lady of yesteryear is still up there with the best. Let’s start with the setting. Looking proudly down on the bridge that spans the Zambezi River gorge, the Victoria Falls Hotel remains the closest hotel in town to the waterfall. Just a 15-minute stroll from the extensive lawns and you’re gazing at one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Victoria Falls Hotel

Not just the most famous name in town, this grand old lady of yesteryear is still up there with the best. Let’s start with the setting. Looking proudly down on the bridge that spans the Zambezi River gorge, the Victoria Falls Hotel remains the closest hotel in town to the waterfall. Just a 15-minute stroll from the extensive lawns and you’re gazing at one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Then there’s the sheer glamour of the place. Oozing Edwardian style, it is now fitted out in contemporary comfort to marry the charm of the old world with the efficiency of the new.

Not least among its attractions is the imposing Livingstone Room. While jackets and ties are no longer de rigueur, dinner here remains a gloriously formal occasion with a top-notch menu, along with dancing accompanied by a live pianist.

Of course, you could work up an appetite on the tennis court or in the pool, but a relaxing spa treatment seems rather more appropriate before high tea, or perhaps cocktails on the terrace.

"Great service and staff."

Mr S & Mrs SfromUK

Arrived 1 Oct 2019, 2 nights

Combine this with committed, service-orientated staff, and it’s no wonder that the hotel remains the place to stay in Victoria Falls. See our full report on Victoria Falls Hotel

94%
136 reviews of Victoria Falls Hotel by travellers since August 2007

Activities

4WD Safari

Birdwatching

Boat trip

Canoeing

Cultural excursion

Elephant encounter

Helicopter

Kayaking

Microlight

White-water rafting

Ole-Sereni
Day 10

Ole-Sereni

1 night
Bed & BreakfastNairobi, Kenya

Opened in 2009, the Ole-Sereni is a convenient hotel for Nairobi’s airports. The building, which formerly housed the US Embassy, borders the north side of Nairobi National Park, and has a first-floor terrace giving direct views across the savannah.

Ole-Sereni

Opened in 2009, the Ole-Sereni is a convenient hotel for Nairobi’s airports. The building, which formerly housed the US Embassy, borders the north side of Nairobi National Park, and has a first-floor terrace giving direct views across the savannah.

"Good food and an appropriate wine list to accompany, coupled by quality service."

Mr N & Ms SfromZambia

Arrived 2 Jan 2019, 2 nights

Glitzy and flamboyant as it is, we wouldn’t normally gravitate to this kind of hotel. But the Ole-Sereni holds two strong cards. Firstly, it really is quite close to the international airport, making transfers relatively painless; and secondly, its food is excellent and deserves its good reputation. If you're staying here, the small rooms with thin walls are perhaps to be expected in a city hotel, but a frequent lack of attention to detail is also something to be prepared for. See our full report on Ole-Sereni

79%
55 reviews of Ole-Sereni by travellers since August 2007

Activities

4WD Safari

Birdwatching

Cultural excursion

Elephant encounter

Little Governors' Camp
Days 11-14

Little Governors'

3 nights
Full Board & ActivitiesMaasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

On the lip of an old oxbow of the Mara River, now a broad marsh frequented by elephants, Little Governors' Camp is one of only a handful of places to stay in the Mara Triangle sector of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. It has won a place in the hearts of many safari-goers and has been a favourite with visitors to the Maasai Mara since the 1970s.

Little Governors' Camp

On the lip of an old oxbow of the Mara River, now a broad marsh frequented by elephants, Little Governors' Camp is one of only a handful of places to stay in the Mara Triangle sector of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. It has won a place in the hearts of many safari-goers and has been a favourite with visitors to the Maasai Mara since the 1970s.

"Excellent camp....we were well looked after...we had a good time "

The lechwesfromLowestoft

Arrived 28 Jan 2020, 5 nights

Little Governors' is our favourite of the three Governors' camps. The location is terrific, and every tent has a wonderful view of the marsh. If you're doing a balloon flight, then staying here makes it very easy. Most first-time safari-goers adore this camp; many come back year after year; and lots of guests wouldn't change a thing. The new fully-solar power arrangements are commendable. And if you like the idea of a streamlined and dependable set-up, and want a camp that is smaller than the main Governors', then take a good look at this one. See our full report on Little Governors' Camp

97%
15 reviews of Little Governors' by travellers since August 2007

Activities

4WD Safari

Birdwatching

Cultural excursion

Guided walking safari

Hot air ballooning

Heaven Retreat
Day 14

The Retreat

1 night
Half BoardKigali, Rwanda

The Retreat is a luxury, boutique hotel in the Kiyovu district of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city. Located in the same street as its sister hotel, both properties share access to the well-loved Heaven Restaurant.

Heaven Retreat

The Retreat is a luxury, boutique hotel in the Kiyovu district of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city. Located in the same street as its sister hotel, both properties share access to the well-loved Heaven Restaurant.

"Beautiful hotel, decorated to a high standard."

Mr & Mrs L.fromLondon

Arrived 10 Nov 2019, 2 nights

Luxurious and stylish, the Retreat is a welcome addition to the accommodation options in Kigali. With a focus on wellness, comfort, relaxation and great food, it’s a perfect spot for a stopover in Kigali – though if you only stay for a night you’ll wish you’d stayed longer! See our full report on Heaven Retreat

100%
1 reviews of The Retreat by travellers since August 2007

Activities

Cultural excursion

Mountain biking

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
Days 15-18

Mountain Gorilla View

3 nights
Full BoardVolcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, previously called Gorilla Mountain View Lodge, is located on the slopes of Rwanda’s Mount Sabyinyo. A good mid-range hotel set in spacious grounds, it has beautiful views of the surrounding volcanoes and is only a 15-minute drive from the headquarters of Volcanoes National Park, which is the starting point for gorilla trekking.

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, previously called Gorilla Mountain View Lodge, is located on the slopes of Rwanda’s Mount Sabyinyo. A good mid-range hotel set in spacious grounds, it has beautiful views of the surrounding volcanoes and is only a 15-minute drive from the headquarters of Volcanoes National Park, which is the starting point for gorilla trekking.

"The staff was great and food was very good"

Rusty HudakfromStow

Arrived 21 Jul 2019, 3 nights

We really like Mountain Gorilla View Lodge. It is a very comfortable hotel with spacious cottages, friendly staff and a great location. Don’t come here expecting luxury, but if you are looking for a relaxed lodge that shouldn’t break the bank, it could be a good choice. See our full report on Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

88%
100 reviews of Mountain Gorilla View by travellers since August 2007

Activities

Birdwatching

Canoeing

Cultural excursion

Helicopter

Primate trekking

Golden Monkey Trekking
Day 16

Golden Monkey Trekking

Spend a morning trekking to find the golden monkeys in the Volcanoes National Park. These endangered monkeys are endemic to the Albertine Rift area and, as the name would suggest, are characterised by their golden-orange fur. You’ll be able to enjoy an hour watching them jump through the bamboo forests and hunker to chew thistles, curiously watching you, as you watch them. Read all about Golden Monkey Trekking

Gorilla Trekking Safari
Day 17

Gorilla Trekking Safari

Look into the eyes of a large silverback gorilla and he'll look back with a thoughtful, intelligent gaze, mindful that you're another individual. Any apprehensions or nerves you might have had during your trek will melt away the minute you see your gorilla family. Gorilla trekking safaris offer a magical encounter that transcends any other 'wildlife' experience we know. Read all about Gorilla Trekking

Day 18

Ends: Kigali International Airport

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Experiences you can add to this trip.

Optional extra day-trips and excursions possible whilst staying at lodges on this trip. These are usually best arranged in advance so talk to us.


Rhino Walk

Rhino Walk

Around four hours - mornings only

Spend an unforgettable morning on a walking safari tracking Mosi-oa-Tunya’s small population of white rhino, with a strong chance of being able to approach these endangered creatures on foot.

More about Rhino Walk
90% (2 reviews)
Chobe Day Trip

Chobe Day Trip

Full day - typically around 11 hours

For a top safari experience while visiting the Victoria Falls, don’t miss a day trip to Botswana’s Chobe National Park. Easily reachable from Livingstone, Zambia or Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Chobe boasts some of the best wildlife densities in southern Africa, with exceptional numbers of elephant drawn by the permanent waters of the Chobe River.

More about Chobe Day Trip
Helicopter Flight - Zimbabwe

Helicopter Flight - Zimbabwe

Shortest flight is 12-25 minutes

While viewing the Victoria Falls from the ground is a stunning experience, seen the world’s largest waterfall from the air allows for a completely different perspective, historically said to have been so beautiful as to have been seen by ‘angels in flight’.

More about Helicopter Flight
94% (7 reviews)
Balloon flight over the Mara

Balloon flight over the Mara

3 hours in total - morning only

With the sun rising over the Loita Hills, you scramble into the balloon basket for the start of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You’re about to go drifting with the breeze above the trees and plains of one of the world’s greatest wildlife regions.

More about Balloon Safari
90% (8 reviews)
Canoeing in Rwanda

Canoeing in Rwanda

Half day - approx. 3 hours on the water

A half-day adventure in lush countryside, on a gentle river near to Musanze, Rwanda

More about Canoeing
97% (7 reviews)
Ra-Ikane River Cruise

Ra-Ikane River Cruise

Two hours minimum

Cruising the upper sections of the Zambezi reveals another dimension to the river's beauty, adding a sense of serenity to the thrill of watching it cascade over the Victoria Falls. On a Ra-Ikane river cruise, experience the river’s islands and channels, keeping an eye out for wildlife, and the spray from the Falls.

More about Ra-Ikane River Cruise
97% (12 reviews)
Elephant Encounter

Elephant Encounter

Three hours

For a very personal encounter with elephants, head to The Elephant Camp near Victoria Falls. From its sanctuary for orphaned elephants, it offers close interaction with one of Africa's most iconic species, including the chance to feed the elephants by hand, and talk to the guides who have raised and trained them.

More about Elephant Encounter
100% (2 reviews)
Elephant Art Experience

Elephant Art Experience

Three hours

The Wild Horizons Elephant Sanctuary and Art of Africa have teamed up to create a unique experience in the bush, with private tutors running painting workshops and habituated elephants provision impressive models, standing just metres away from your easel.

More about Elephant Art Experience
Nairobi Elephant Orphanage visit

Nairobi Elephant Orphanage visit

One hour

Visit the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage for a close-up encounter with elephant orphans – and sometimes rhino orphans. You can easily visit during the public session on any morning, or make special arrangements for a private visit in the afternoon.

More about Elephant Orphans visit
100% (10 reviews)
Nairobi Giraffe Centre visit

Nairobi Giraffe Centre visit

One hour visit is generally recommended

Visit the AFEW Giraffe Centre for an eyeball-level encounter with gentle Rothschild giraffes. They visit this tree-level platform to be fed pellets.

More about Giraffe Centre visit
93% (3 reviews)
Zambezi Explorer River Cruise

Zambezi Explorer River Cruise

Two hours

Watching the sunset from the middle of the Zambezi River, with the spray of the falls behind you, is an incredibly popular activity. A large variety of cruises are on offer, ranging from cheap and boozy directed towards the backpacker crowd, to much more luxurious and serene experiences. A great option for the latter style is the Zambezi Explorer.

More about Zambezi Explorer
100% (2 reviews)
Safari in Nairobi National Park

Safari in Nairobi National Park

Half day - AM or PM, or full day

It is truly remarkable that the plains and woodland of Nairobi National Park, an area of around 70km² (some 17,000 acres) should exist in a near-natural state so close to the city that in any other conurbation they would just be suburbs.

More about Nairobi Nat. Park Safari
100% (1 reviews)
Winelands Private Tour

Winelands Private Tour

Full day

Spend a day exploring the beautiful vineyards, mountains and valleys of the Cape Winelands and sample some of the well-known wines they have to offer

More about Winelands Private Tour
100% (2 reviews)
Mount Bisoke Trek

Mount Bisoke Trek

Full day

For something a little different, set out on a one-day hike to the summit of Mt Bisoke in the Volcanoes National Park, home to Rwanda’s famous mountain gorillas. Discover the beautiful scenery of the Virunga Mountains, spot birds and wildlife, and enjoy spectacular views from the crater lake.

More about Mount Bisoke Trek
93% (3 reviews)
Mount Karisimbi Trek - 2 day trek

Mount Karisimbi Trek - 2 day trek

Two days - overnight on Mt Karisimbi

Set out on a two-day hike to the summit of Mount Karisimbi, which at over 4,507m is one of the highest in Africa. This is a challenge for the adventurous! With a local guide, you’ll traverse bamboo forests and rugged terrain, then camp on the slopes of this active volcano before enjoying sunrise from the summit.

More about Mount Karisimbi Trek
Cape Point and Peninsula Tour

Cape Point and Peninsula Tour

Full day - normally nine hours

Get your camera ready for one of South Africa’s most breathtaking coastal drives in the company of an informative guide. Take in magnificent beaches, stunning scenery, wildlife on land and at sea, and the meeting of two great oceans, then round off your day in the tranquillity of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

More about Cape Point and Peninsula
92% (5 reviews)
City and Table Mountain Tour

City and Table Mountain Tour

Approximately four hours - AM or PM

From atop the iconic Table Mountain, the panoramic views of Cape Town can be breathtaking – and if the cable car isn’t operating, they’re just as good from nearby Signal Hill. Back at sea level, explore the highlights of this fascinating and pretty city, including the South African Museum, the Castle of Good Hope and the Houses of Parliament.

More about City and Table Mountain
93% (3 reviews)
Trek to Dian Fossey’s Grave

Trek to Dian Fossey’s Grave

Half day, usually five hours

Dian Fossey is best known for her research and conservation work with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. She dedicated her life to researching and protecting these ‘gentle giants’ from harm, however she was tragically found murdered at her research camp in 1985. Today visitors can join a local guide to trek through the tropical forest to visit her grave, and learn about the impact of her work.

More about Dian Fossey Trek
Microlight Flight

Microlight Flight

15 or 30 minutes

For pure exhilaration, it's hard to find something better than flying in a microlight, swooping through the spray that crashes up and off the Victoria Falls, with rainbows shimmering below. If you don't like heights, then this isn't for you! For those looking for a different way to see the Falls, the microlight flights offer a stunning birds eye view of this spectacular natural wonder.

More about Microlight Flight
100% (1 reviews)
Livingstone Island & Devil's Pool

Livingstone Island & Devil's Pool

Three hours

Victoria Falls is one of the world's natural wonders, and a huge attraction for many visitors to southern Africa. We're often asked if the waterfall is best viewed from the Zambian or Zimbabwean side, but we think the best way to experience the full majesty of the falls is from the middle with a visit to Livingstone Island.

More about Livingstone Island
100% (5 reviews)
Historical Bridge Tour

Historical Bridge Tour

Two hours - AM & PM departures

A feat of engineering the Victoria Falls Bridge was built in 1905 as part of Cecil Rhodes' vision to link the Cape to Cairo. With an expert guide and the appropriate safety equipment you'll not only discover the wonders of this Victorian marvel but also gain a unique perspective of the Victoria Falls themselves.

More about Bridge Tour
Guided tour of Victoria Falls

Guided tour of Victoria Falls

Two hours - AM & PM departures

One of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, the mighty Victoria Falls has to be seen to be believed. Why not take an expertly guided trip to learn about the history, geology, flora and fauna of one of Africa's most spectacular sites?

More about Tour of the Falls
Cookery Course & Activity

Cookery Course & Activity

Six hours - afternoon activity

Make a traditional Southern African ‘potjie dinner’ on the banks of the Zambezi River. You’ll be guided through the preparation process by professional chefs before embarking on an afternoon activity while your dinner cooks. The activity is followed by a 3-course meal, including your self-made Pot as the main course.

More about Cookery Course
Bushtracks Express

Bushtracks Express

Generally four and a half hours

The Bushtracks Express Train starts its journey at Zimbabwe’s iconic Victoria Falls Station before departing on its route through Victoria Falls National Park the Victoria Falls Bridge, where guests enjoy the stunning view of the Falls. Afterwards, the train will depart for a siding out of town, for dinner.

More about Bushtracks Express

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