CAPE TOWN, ZULULAND-HLUHLUWE NATIONAL PARK, ESWATINI, KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, AND SOWETO
South Africa is truly a study in contrasts, and you’ll see its amazing diversity for yourself on our expertly curated South Africa tour from the U.S. Experience the cosmopolitan flavors of Cape Town and the uplifting legacy of Nelson Mandela. View the meek and the mighty at both the oldest and largest nature preserves in Africa. Discover enduring traditions and expansive landscapes in Zululand and eSwatini (formerly Swaziland). And gain a better understanding of South Africa’s struggle through history and the remarkable, big-hearted spirit of its people. The only way to enhance this tour is by extending it with a specially priced excursion to Victoria Falls, the “Smoke That Thunders.” Breathtaking!
- 4 nights in Cape Town
- 2 nights in Hluhluwe/Zululand
- 1 night in eSwatini (Swaziland)
- 2 nights in Kruger Park
- 2 nights in Johannesburg
- 3-night optional extension to Victoria Falls
- Round-trip airfare from New York (JFK)
- Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
- Intra-South Africa flight and ground transportation
- Accommodations at superior first-class hotels
- 18 meals: 11 buffet breakfasts (B), 2 lunches (L), 5 dinners (D)
- Comprehensive touring and safaris
- Experienced, English-speaking Tour Director (Meet one of our guides!)
Your extension includes:
- Round-trip airfare
- Three nights at the luxurious lodge with buffet breakfast daily
- Sundowner Cruise on the Zambezi River
- A tour of Victoria Falls
Click the Day-by-Day itinerary above (or swipe on mobile devices) to see the experiences that await on each day of your tour.
Depart from the U.S.
Overnight flight to Cape Town. Your tour includes round-trip airfare from the U.S.
Arrive in Cape Town
Welcome to South Africa’s oldest city, set on a stunning harbor in the shadow of imposing Table Mountain, where you’ll be met and escorted from the airport to your hotel. Meet up with your tour host and fellow travelers tonight for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Learn more about all this city offers here.
The President Hotel or similar | Dinner
Today’s all about exploring (and savoring!) this unique city. Join a local expert to see the highlights and charms of Cape Town. We’ll ascend via cable car to the top of Cape Town’s iconic landmark, Table Mountain, for incredible city and bay views. Then you’ll have a chance to view and photograph Table Mountain from a distance from the historic, colorful neighborhood known as Bo-Kaap (the Malay Quarter). The final stop is a guided Diamond Experience where you learn about the journey of a diamond direct from South Africa mines to a finger. Our tour ends at the vibrant V&A…
Stunning seascapes, delicious seafood, spectacular gardens—and penguins? Our day on Cape Peninsula is truly extraordinary, as we pass steep mountains, secluded coves and sweeping beaches before a stop at a Hout Bay fishing village. Then it’s on to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, home to baboons, rheboks and Cape Mountain zebras. At Cape Point, soak up the majestic views at the confluence of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. After lunch at a famous seafood restaurant, we’ll head to the most remarkable of the mainland African penguin colonies, Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town,…
So many options! Today is at leisure for independent exploration, shopping or relaxing. Go to the beach, take an optional excursion to the scenic Winelands or take the plunge with a thrilling great white shark cage diving excursion. You may also use your free time to visit Robben Island and see where Nelson Mandela spent nearly two decades in captivity.
Say farewell to Cape Town and board a morning flight to King Shaka International Airport on the Kwazulu-Natal North Coast, just outside the bustling port city of Durban. Our first stop is Westbrooke, a pretty beachside village where you can stroll golden sands along the Indian Ocean. We’ll continue north through cane fields and timber plantations to Zululand, home to one of the most famous of African tribal peoples. Our hotel tonight is set near the Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park, the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa and best known for saving the white rhinoceros from extinction….
You’ll fall under the spell of the Zulu people as we visit the Dumazulu Cultural Village. Here, the ancient arts are kept alive, and we’ll learn about traditional dress and the construction of “beehive” huts, as well as meet a Zulu healer and watch tribal dancing. Our visit includes a special lunch with both Zulu and Western dishes. The enchantment continues as we climb aboard open safari vehicles to explore Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park, a haven for the second largest land mammal—the white rhino.
| Breakfast, Lunch
This morning, we cross the border into the independent Kingdom of eSwatini. (No visa required for USA and Canadian passport holders). You’ll have the chance to shop for unique African souvenirs and see basket weavers in action at the colorful local markets.
Piggs Peak Hotel & Casino or similar | Breakfast
eSwatini/Kruger National ParkSwaziland
Our journey takes us through eSwatini’s beautiful countryside to the world-famous Kruger National Park, South Africa’s premier wildlife sanctuary. Enjoy views of the wild from the comfort of our own motor coach as we wind our way to our safari home base, an upscale lodge located near the park.
Sabi River Sun Resort or similar | Breakfast, Dinner
Kruger National Park
Your chances of viewing lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalo (the “Big 5”) are very good on today’s safari, as Kruger National Park boasts an estimated 1,500 lions, 17,000 elephants, 48,000 buffalo and even 1,000 of the elusive leopard. You may also spot hippos, crocodiles, zebras and giraffes as we navigate the park in open vehicles. Have your camera ready!
| Breakfast, Dinner
Scenic vistas abound as we traverse the wild countryside of Mpumalanga along parts of the Panorama Route. We’ll be wowed by mountains, rivers, waterfalls and more in what is called “Paradise Country.” Highlights include the magnificent Blyde River Canyon, divine views from God’s Window and the bizarre and legend-inspiring Bourke’s Luck Potholes. Our final destination is Sandton, a flourishing suburb of Johannesburg, the commerce and diamond mining center.
Garden Court Sandton City Hotel or similar | Breakfast
Soweto Excursion/Apartheid Museum
We’ll delve into South Africa’s turbulent past on a fascinating tour of Soweto, an urban settlement or “township” outside Johannesburg. Our tour takes us to Freedom Square, the home of Nelson Mandela and the Apartheid Museum, which documents the rise and fall of apartheid and offers a beacon of hope for a future all South Africans can call their own. Tonight we’ll gather with our fellow travelers for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
| Breakfast, Dinner
Depart South Africa
Take care of last-minute shopping or explore independently before transferring to the airport for your return flight.
Arrive in the U.S.
Your South African journey comes to an end as you touch down in the U.S. this morning.
Price includes land and round-trip airfare from the U.S. (Land-only pricing available upon request.)
|Depart||Return||Depart - Return||Best Value Pricing - Reserve by Jan 31, 2021||Reserve after|
Jan 31, 2021
|2021||2021||w/ eCheck Discount||Sale||After Sale|
|May 3||May 16||May 3 - |
|May 10||May 23||May 10 - |
|June 21||July 4||Jun 21 - |
|July 5||July 18||Jul 5 - |
|August 9||August 22||Aug 9 - |
|September 2||September 15||Sep 2 - |
|September 9||September 22||Sep 9 - |
|September 16||September 29||Sep 16 - |
|September 27||October 10||Sep 27 - |
|October 4||October 17||Oct 4 - |
|October 11||October 24||Oct 11 - |
|October 21||November 3||Oct 21 - |
|November 1||November 14||Nov 1 - |
|November 15||November 28||Nov 15 - |
|December 2||December 15||Dec 2 - |
|2022||2022||w/ eCheck Discount||Sale||After Sale|
|January 10||January 23||Jan 10 - |
|February 7||February 20||Feb 7 - |
|March 14||March 27||Mar 14 - |
|April 25||May 8||Apr 25 - |
|May 16||May 29||May 16 - |
|June 20||July 3||Jun 20 - |
|July 25||August 7||Jul 25 - |
|August 22||September 4||Aug 22 - |
|September 5||September 18||Sep 5 - |
|September 15||September 28||Sep 15 - |
|October 3||October 16||Oct 3 - |
|November 7||November 20||Nov 7 - |
|December 1||December 14||Dec 1 - |
Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
Single room supplement is $449.
Note: Table Mountain has scheduled its annual maintenance closure every July. 2021 dates to be announced. During this time, the Cat Project Tour at Emdoneni will be offered as an alternative.
VICTORIA FALLS EXTENSION:
Jun-Aug ’21 & Jun-Jul ’22 Departures: Add $1499 per person double occupancy / $1699 single
Apr-May ’22 & Aug-Sep ’22 Departures: Add $1399 per person double occupancy / $1599 single
Sep ’21 (except Sep. 16 ’21) – Mar ’22 & Oct-Dec ’22 Departures: Add $1299 per person double occupancy / $1499 single
Sep 16 ’21 Departure: Add $1399 per person double occupancy / $1599 single
If taking the Victoria Falls extension, a visa is required for Zimbabwe. US and Canada passport holders can obtain it upon arrival
For more information on this tour, please contact us here or call us during business hours (Mon-Fri, 9:00-9:00 EST and Sat-Sun, 10:00-6:30 EST) at 800-337-7773.
Reservations and Payments
Reservations can be made by phone (1-800-337-7773) and will be confirmed upon receipt of $300 per person non-refundable, non-transferable deposit which must be received at the time of reservation*. A second non-refundable, non-transferable deposit of $300 is due 60 days after the date of your reservation. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure. *If the reservation date is within 70 days of the final payment due date, both first and second deposits are due at the time of reservation. Baggage fees may apply. Space and prices subject to availability. For complete booking information and terms & conditions click here.
Victoria Falls Extension
- From approx. $1299, USD per person
This extension includes airfare, three nights’ accommodation, buffet breakfast daily, a Sundowner Cruise on the mighty Zambezi River, a tour of the towering Victoria Falls and all transfers. Extension starts on day 13.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Victoria Falls. You’ll be met and escorted to your deluxe hotel. Join a Sundowner cruise on the mighty Zambezi River. Marvel at the vegetation on the river’s banks and the spectacular sunset.
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge or Ilala Lodge Hotel or similar | Breakfast
Zambezi River/Victoria Falls
Begin the day with The Life of David Livingston, an inspirational story that offers insights into Africa’s tumultuous past. You’ll have time to see the traditional way of life before returning to the Zambezi River and the magnificent Victoria Falls, the largest curtain of water in the world. Twice as wide and deep as Niagara Falls, it looks much the same as it did to David Livingston in the 1860s. In the afternoon, you can return for more mesmerizing views of the 355-foot-high falls.
Enjoy a day at leisure or go on an optional tour across the border to Botswana. Here you’ll visit Chobe National Park, which boasts one of the largest populations of elephants in the world.
Victoria Falls/Johannesburg/Depart South Africa
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Johannesburg, where you’ll connect for your flight back to the U.S.
Arrive in the U.S.
Your South African and Victoria Falls journey comes to an end as you touch down in the U.S. this morning.
Optional Tours Customize your trip with these optional tours.
*NEW* Indicated optional tours are now available to pre-book when you reserve your trip. This is the best option to guarantee your spot on your preferred optional tour!
Availability and pricing are subject to change. Optional tours require a minimum number of participants in order for the tour to operate. If you choose to book your optional tour while on your trip, payments are non-refundable and should be made by cash or credit card (VISA, MasterCard or AmEx, subject to service charge).
Half-Day Cultural Heritage Tour & Township Tour
- Cape Town
- From approx. $48 Per Person
Time-travel through the history of “The Three South Africas”—from the monumental turning point in the Birth of South Africa to the now-decaying ruins of Apartheid South Africa to the townships of the New South Africa—on this can’t-miss tour. Gain insight into the greatness of Nelson Mandela and what South Africa has achieved ever since taking up his challenge to rise above pain and bitterness. Experience eye-opening encounters, especially when visiting Langa, the oldest black township, and Khayelitsha, the largest township, where cultural values and personal…
Robben Island Tour**
- Cape Town
- From approx. $40 Per Person
Catch the ferry to Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the infamous maximum-security prison where Nelson Mandela and others were jailed. Adding to the realism of this tour: guides on the island were once political prisoners! Important tour details:
- Ferries depart several times daily, weather permitting, from V&A Waterfront. Transfers from your hotel to the pier and back are not included.
- The Robben Island excursions are operated by a non-profit foundation, and tickets are sold on a first-come-first-served basis. smarTours® does…
- Cape Town
- From approx. $55 Per Person
Taste for yourself why South African wines are so celebrated with a trip to the enchanting Winelands and the second oldest town in South Africa. See Stellenbosch’s oak-lined streets and admire the gables of Cape Dutch architecture. We’ll then head to a wine estate for a wine tasting session and to explore the grounds. Here’s your chance to purchase some local wines!
AVAILABLE TO PRE-BOOK!
- Cape Town
- From approx. $57 Per Person
There is no better way to experience an African-themed restaurant than the Gold restaurant. They promise a “taste safari” that includes flavors from Cape Town and all over the stunning continent. How does the evening go there? The evening kicks off with a djembe drumming session followed by a hand-washing ceremony. Then you delve into a 14-course meal, each one from a different African country.
AVAILABLE TO PRE-BOOK!
Full Day Great White Shark Cage Diving***
- Cape Town
- From approx. $194 Per Person, including breakfast, packed lunch and transfers
On this full-day adventure, you’ll depart from Kleinbaai and enjoy 2-4 hours at sea, depending on how often the sharks visit the boat, diving and viewing from the cage. The cage holds five people at a time and each person can spend about 20 minutes in the cage! All scuba equipment, including 7mm wetsuits, are provided and you don’t need a scuba license to cage dive. If you prefer not to go in the cage, you won’t be missing out! You’ll enjoy a picnic lunch onboard and a hot homemade soup at the lodge upon return. Hot showers and dry towels are available….
Victoria Falls Extension/Full-Day Chobe National Park (Botswana) Safari & Tour
- From approx. Approx. $224 Per Person
Travel from Victoria Falls across the border to Botswana and Chobe National Park. Embark on a safari boat ride on the Chobe River to view the rich wildlife and numerous bird species in this amazing game reserve. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon game drive in an open safari vehicle. Return to your hotel at Victoria Falls early this evening.
AVAILABLE TO PRE-BOOK!
- Cape Town
Authentic artwork adds charm to this sophisticated hotel. Set between the city and Atlantic Ocean, it features a spa and outdoor infinity pool.
4 Alexander Road, Bantry Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
This wilderness haven features intimate, charming accommodations and a spa. The Lodge is also home to the Cheetah Project, a rescue and release program for endangered wild cats.
Emdoneni Farm, Hluhluwe, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
Piggs Peak Hotel & Casino
King Mswati 11 Highway,
Kingdom of Eswatini
Sabi River Sun Resort
- Kruger National Park
Comfortable, homey accommodations, enhanced by spectacular views. Spa and pools.
Main Sabie Road, Hazyview, Mpumalanga
Garden Court Sandton City
Comfortable, relaxed hotel conveniently located in the heart of Sandton. Pool with garden area and patio.
Cnr. West and Maude Streets, Sandown, Johannesburg, 2196
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
- Victoria Falls
This airy lodge looks like an oversized tree house. It offers sunset views of the African bushveld, including a waterhole frequented by elephants, buffalo and other wildlife. Two-tier swimming pool.
471 Squire Cummings Road, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Your departure flights from the U.S. to South Africa and back are on the below airlines. We recommend that you check in three-and-a-half hours before departure.
|2021: All Dates|
2022: All Dates
ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT
The above airlines do not assign seats in advance. Seat assignment can only be arranged when you check-in at the airport.
International flights to/from the U.S. are not included. Land-only travelers are responsible for arranging entry and exit flights, as well as their arrival and departure transfers. smarTours cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by air schedule changes and delays. Unused land services are non-refundable.
Main Tour Only: Land-only services start upon independent check-in at the hotel in Cape Town on Day 2 of the itinerary listed on the tour page. Land-only services end after breakfast at the Johannesburg hotel on Day 13 of the itinerary listed on the tour page.
Main Tour + Extension: Land-only services start upon independent check-in at the hotel in Cape Town on Day 2 of the itinerary listed on the tour page. Land-only services end upon arrival at the Johannesburg airport on Day 16 of the itinerary on the tour page. Flights from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls and back are included.
PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION
You must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. All visitors are required by the South African immigration authorities to have a minimum of two consecutive blank visa entry pages in their passport. Insufficient pages in the passport normally results in denied boarding or denial of entry upon arrival, and the person is likely to be detained pending return to their country of origin. Visa is not required for U.S. passport holders. Non-US citizens should check with the South Africa and Kingdom of eSwatini consulates as to the most current visa requirements. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.
If you are taking the Victoria Falls extension, you will need a Zimbabwe visa. U.S. and Canadian citizens can obtain the visa on arrival at the Victoria Falls airport. U.S. citizens will pay a fee of $30 in U.S. dollars (cash) for single entry visa. If you are planning to join the Chobe optional excursion to Botswana, you’ll need a double entry visa, which is $45. Canadian passport holders’ single-entry visa fee to Zimbabwe is $75 and if taking the full-day Chobe optional trip, an additional fee of $75 applies to reenter Zimbabwe. smarTours recommends you have the exact amount in cash as it can be difficult to get change. Passport holders of other countries need to check with the Zimbabwe embassy before departure about visa requirements. Visa fees & regulations are subject to change.
TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS
Your airline tickets, along with final instructions and additional travel tips, will be sent to you 7–10 days before the scheduled departure of your tour. Please make sure to advise us in case your address changes.
Please consult your personal physician or local public health authorities regarding taking anti-malaria pills, as well as other recommendations.
South Africa is located in the southern hemisphere and has the reverse seasons to those of the U.S. The weather is temperate, even in the winter. Overnight temperatures are 10-20 degrees lower. Here’s what you can expect:
- April–September: Highs in the 60s and 70s.
- October–March: Highs in the 70s and 80s.
Food costs in South Africa are quite reasonable compared to the U.S. In Cape Town, you may dine at either of the hotels used on this tour or in a nearby restaurant recommended by your guide. The V&A Waterfront also offers a fantastic range of dining options. Your hotel will accept credit cards for your non-included meals.
CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY
As of July 23, 2019, the Zimbabwe Dollar (ZIM) is the official currency in Zimbabwe, in both cash and electronic format. The Zimbabwe government has banned trading foreign currencies. Credit cards are the preferred method of payment and it is readily accepted everywhere in Zimbabwe (Visa & MasterCard), so we advise that you prepare to use your credit card here. Street vendors require cash and the government has advised you must pay in ZIM. You may find that ATMs do not have any cash in them and hotels will be reluctant to exchange monies. You can pay in USD at all airports, immigration offices, and many other vendors/shops, but they will only accept newer, crisp US Dollar notes with the “large heads” printed on them. These are the US Dollar notes printed after 2001. If USD is used and change is owed, the cash will be returned in Zimbabwe Dollar, which will be very difficult to exchange back in both Zimbabwe and the U.S. If you’d like to use USD, we recommend bringing cash in small denominations to avoid large amounts of change being returned to you in ZIM.
Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (suitcase) max. 44 pounds, and one carry-on not exceeding 18”x10”x8”. We recommend that you do not overpack and that you take a variety of casual separates with climate and comfort in mind.