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South Africa Highlights & Safari

From
  • $2999
     
  • 14
    Days
  • Average Tour Review

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!

Itinerary at
a Glance

  • 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

Tour
Highlights

  • Table Mountain (Cape Town)
  • Cape Peninsula (Cape Town)
  • Indian Ocean Coast (Durban)
  • Hluhluwe Game Reserve
  • Kruger National Park
  • Apartheid Museum (Johannesburg)
  • Optional Victoria Falls Extension

Activity Level: Discoverer 

Your Tour
Includes

  • 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

Tour Itinerary

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

Cape Town

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…

Cape Town

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,…

Cape 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.

| Breakfast

Cape Town/Durban/Zululand/Hluhluwe

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….

Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park/Zululand

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

Hluhluwe/eSwatini

Swaziland

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 Park

Swaziland

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

Kruger Park/Mpumalanga/Sandton

Johannesburg

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.

| Breakfast

Arrive in the U.S.

Your South African journey comes to an end as you touch down in the U.S. this morning.

Guided Tour Pricing

Price includes land and round-trip airfare from the U.S. (Land-only pricing available upon request.)

DepartReturnDepart - ReturnBest Value Pricing - Reserve by Jan 31, 2021Reserve after
Jan 31, 2021
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20212021w/ eCheck DiscountSaleAfter Sale
May 3May 16May 3 -
May 16
$3,299$3,399$3,799

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May 10May 23May 10 -
May 23
$3,499$3,599$3,999

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June 21July 4Jun 21 -
Jul 4
$3,699$3,799$4,199

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July 5July 18Jul 5 -
Jul 18
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August 9August 22Aug 9 -
Aug 22
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September 2September 15Sep 2 -
Sep 15
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September 9September 22Sep 9 -
Sep 22
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September 16September 29Sep 16 -
Sep 29
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September 27October 10Sep 27 -
Oct 10
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October 4October 17Oct 4 -
Oct 17
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October 11October 24Oct 11 -
Oct 24
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October 21November 3Oct 21 -
Nov 3
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November 1November 14Nov 1 -
Nov 14
$3,199$3,299$3,699

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November 15November 28Nov 15 -
Nov 28
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December 2December 15Dec 2 -
Dec 15
$2,999$3,099$3,499

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January 10January 23Jan 10 -
Jan 23
$2,999$3,099$3,499

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February 7February 20Feb 7 -
Feb 20
$2,999$3,099$3,499

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March 14March 27Mar 14 -
Mar 27
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April 25May 8Apr 25 -
May 8
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May 16May 29May 16 -
May 29
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June 20July 3Jun 20 -
Jul 3
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July 25August 7Jul 25 -
Aug 7
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August 22September 4Aug 22 -
Sep 4
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September 5September 18Sep 5 -
Sep 18
$3,399$3,499$3,899

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September 15September 28Sep 15 -
Sep 28
$3,499$3,599$3,999

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October 3October 16Oct 3 -
Oct 16
$3,299$3,399$3,799

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November 7November 20Nov 7 -
Nov 20
$3,299$3,399$3,799

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December 1December 14Dec 1 -
Dec 14
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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.

Extended Tours

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.

Johannesburg/Victoria Falls

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.

| Breakfast

Leisure/Optional Tour

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.

| Breakfast

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.

| Breakfast

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…

Winelands Tour

  • 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!

Gold Dinner

  • 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

  • Botswana
  • 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!

Reviews

Jennifer P

We had an excellent trip! Everything was perfect.

Shirley A

The South Africa tour and Victoria Falls extension were fabulous! Our tour guide, Jeremy Poole, was outstanding. He is knowledgeable about history, social issues, geography, and all aspects of travel. He is efficient, extremely friendly and caring about providing the best travel experience for everyone in his tour group. I highly recommend the optional tours. Very special experiences, in addition to visits to parks to view a great variety of wild life by boar and by safari vehicle, include the chance to see and get close to cheetahs, and to even pet young lions and also to pet and feed elephants. I highly recommend this tour!

Carol K

This was a wonderful trip! Jeremy was our guide, and he was so knowledgeable and organized. We were the "lucky" group who went up Table Mountain on a beautiful sunny day, and the rest of the week was too windy for the cable cars to go up. We saw all the animals including the big 5 on most all of the safaris. One day our local guide on a safari spotted a leopard with two cubs as we were in a hurry to get back. It was wonderful, and that made three leopards we had seen. Victoria Falls was magnificent, and probably my favorite part of the trip, which is hard to say, as the whole trip was awesome!

Alice D

What an experience walking with the lions? Up close and personal with the beastly lions was an experience of a lifetime. A trip I would definitely want to retake Best trip ever. I love animals and our group was able to see the Big 5 at both Kroger and Chobi National Parks. Giraffes like to stay camouflaged but such graceful animals. If you love animals, this trip is for you.

Alice D

Best trip. Had a lot of fun and enjoyed walking with the lions. An amazing experience that everyone should take. What an opportunity. Great trip, great price, great tour director. Everything about SmarTours is top notch.

Virginia S

We visited South Africa three years ago. Our trip was sensational. Our guide was Jerami and he was awesome. Could not have been better. All days were perfectly planned and his historical knowledge of the area and the people, Amazing!!! We can not wait to return to Africa. Hoping to go again next year.

Dorrel S

Excellent Tour it was educational, fun ,well organized .Tour covered numerous sites of interest ,added excursions fits well into schedule. Mark the tour guide was knowledgeable and accommodating. African cuisine was tasty, delicious & healthy .Smart Tours Package was economical.

Charney Y

Comprehensive tour exactly what I had anticipated. Jonathan Muller , our guide, was extremely knowledgeable, passionate about his country & the finest, sincere, warm human being. Hotels were excellent, food fantastic & high quality of service . Only negative was the time spent travelling from Cape Town to Durban via Jo’berg. It would have made more sense flying direct to save time. We were fortunate in having a small group of 15 which allowed for plenty of space on bus & Jeep. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone interested in South Africa!

Daniel W

The South Africa SmarTours trip in October-November 2019 was exceptional, Our guide Ron was the best I have ever encountered on may trips. He was well informed, extensive in his explanations, passionate about his country and most helpful to all the participants. He went far beyond what would be expected. The accommodations were first rate and very creative, especially the lodging in the remote area. Our drivers were excellent. The food outstanding. The safari excursions were far beyond my expectations. I cannot say anything negative or any need to change any aspect of he tour. GO SMARTOURS!

LOUISE H

features-includes major sights and safari/s quality- we stayed at a few fancy hotels-- in hazeyland hotel grounds and food were top-notch, value for $--yes good value, especially nonstop flight From NY COMPARISON TO OTHERS; I visited South Africa twice before and staying in tent lodges was quite an experience. I missed not seeing animals when I was not on safari. However, Capetown is a beautuful area which i did not see before. My husband only wanted to stay in the parks and this itinerary held no interest for him.

LOUISE H

very well run, our guide was excellent. wish we had more time in Swaziland. Also would have liked more included dinners even if the price was raised slightly.

elliot k

We loved almost everything about the tour. The guide Sean was outstanding -- probably the best guide we have ever had. Since we skipped the Victoria Falls extension, he went out of his way to arrange a visit for us to a lion breeding farm on the day of our departure from Johanesburg. The game drives through the 2 parks were terrific and we had close up encounters with Cheetahs at the breeding farm where we stayed in Hluhluwe. The best game drive was offered as an option to driving through Kruger on our bus. This game drive enabled us to complete the big 5 and see lions and leopards that we would have missed on the bus. The hotels were all very nice and well located. The group was not too big - 24 people and the bus was very comfortable. The hotels were very nice and well located. Also, the included breakfast buffets and dinners were delicious. Our only complaint was the optional tour to the vineyard in Stellenbosch where we were led by a local guide who spent way too much time in the wine cellar and tasting room and gave us very little information about the town. The stores were all closed by the time we got there.

Karen L

Our trip to South Africa was a truly amazing and eye-opening experience. Our tour guide, Jeremy Poole, was extremely intelligent, knowledgable and organized. We learned and saw so much on this adventure and highly recommend it. It was truly the trip of a lifetime. Overall, the tour was an excellent value for the money. The optional tours were very worthwhile. Most of the hotels were good, but a few were below our expectations.

Melinda S

Fantastic trip. We loved every minute of it. Jonathan was our guide and I can't say enough good things about him. I wanted to bring him home with us. He was on top of everything, made us comfortable and shared so much knowledge One suggestion would be to have name tags for the group for at least the first night or 2 so we get to know each others names in the group quicker. This is the first organized tour we had ever been on but we were more than happy with every thing. I can't wait for the Greece tour.

Linda S

We have done 4 Smartours over the years. South Africa, Macchu Piccu, Galapagos, India and Nepal. Each and every time we have been so very happy with EVERYTHING. The tour, the accommodations, the food, the tour guides, especially the tour guides. Safe, knowledgeable and fun! I recommend Smartours to so many people you would think I worked for the company. 111 countries and the very best of these were done with Smartours.
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