19 days
Duration
Africa
Destination
Level 2 - Moderate
Activity

Visit the Southern Africa Region with Odyssey Traveller

Odyssey Travellers’ South Africa small group tour is an unforgettable, fully escorted 19-day tour of Africa’s southernmost country and nearby nations, designed with the mature traveller in mind. Travellers will be amazed by southern Africa’s scenic beauty, cultural diversity, and astounding wild life. This complex and beautiful region features rich farmland, game-rich plains, rugged mountains, cosmopolitan cities, and traditional villages.

This tour will begin in Cape Point and weave across southern Africa to visit Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Livingstone in Zambia, ride through Chobe National Park in Botswana, and end in Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest urban area and its centre of commerce. In this city, travellers will have the option to extend their holiday to Namibia and Madagascar, also with Odyssey Traveller.

Enjoy the Coast in Cape Town

Cape Town is a coastal city and the legislative capital of South Africa. It is the oldest urban area in the country, developed in the 17th century as a waystation for ships travelling to the Dutch East Indies (what is now Indonesia) by employees of the Dutch East India Company. Here, we will have a full-day tour of the city, and a half-day tour of Cape Point, which provides spectacular sights of stone cliffs, beaches, and rolling valleys.

Highlights of this leg of the tour are the wine farms on the Constantia Wine Route, a drive to the city past famous landmarks, a visit to the Castle of Good Hope, initially a maritime replenishment station and now the seat of the military in the Cape; revolving cable car ride to Table Mountain (weather permitting) and Signal Hill, and the Company Gardens, a large public park and botanical garden set in the heart of Cape Town.

Experience Nature in Oudtshoorn and Knysna

We visit the Western Cape to stop at the “ostrich capital of the world”, Oudtshoorn, and learn about ostrich farming. In Knysna, we will visit the Featherbed Private Nature Reserve a pristine piece of paradise situated accessible only by ferry, and Monkeyland, the world’s first free-roaming primate sanctuary.

See the City of Pretoria

Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa. Here we will visit the Cullinan Diamond Mine, also known as the Premier Diamond Mine, which has uncovered some of the largest diamonds in the world today, the majestic Voortrekker Monument, situated south of Pretoria in a nature reserve, Kruger House, the historical Pretoria residence of the Boer leader and President of the first South African Republic, Paul Kruger, and Kruger National Park, a game reserve with a high density of wild animals, including the “Big 5”: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalos.

Visit Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Botswana

We will travel out of South Africa to take a tour of Victoria Falls and walk through the rainforest and take a game drive across Chobe National Park in Botswana.

Learn History in Johannesburg

We will return to South Africa, where the tour ends in Johannesburg. Our trip here is focused in the township of Soweto, where we will visit the Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown, site of the Congress of the People who drew up the Freedom Charter as an alternative to the repressive policies of the then-apartheid state, and visit the present home of Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the first home of Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg.

For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email.

Namibia & Madagascar small group package tours

Namibia & Madagascar small group package tours are timetabled to be linked to Odyssey Traveller's Southern Africa tours each year.

To find out more about our optional extension to Namibia, please click here. This tour also links with our Madagascar tour. For more information about  Odyssey's Madagascar wildlife small group tour; Lemurs & avenue of Baobabs  please follow the highlighted link in the text.

We have several articles about Africa including an article about the history of Madagascar. Other articles of possible interest is this two-part post filled with travelling tips for seniors, an article on the many nifty gizmos and gadgets you can bring on your trips, and an important article about practising responsible travel.

Tour Notes
  • Due to flight schedules, passengers may require additional night pre or post tour in Johannesburg.
  • There is an optional extension Namibia Experience.
  • Group size is limited to a maximum of 18 participants.

PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

1
Enjoy safaris and guided walks in the Kruger National Park, home to the Big Five.
2
Discover the delights of Chobe National Park, home to one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa.
3
Marvel at Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya, the “Smoke that Thunders.”
4
Travel along the Garden Route, between Cape Town and Knysna
5
Experience a relaxing sundowner cruise down the mighty Chobe River.

Overview: Upon arrival in Cape Town we will transfer to our hotel. Our tour commences with our welcome dinner at the Greek Fisherman restaurant.

(D)

Accommodation: 3 nights at Cape Milner Hotel or similar.

Overview: After breakfast, we meet at the hotel where our local guide will escort us on a half-day tour of Cape Point, which will include visits to the Good Hope Nature Reserve, which has magnificent fynbos vegetation, birdlife, endemic antelope species and zebra, historic shipwrecks,

Afterward, we enjoy lunch at the Seaforth Restaurant.

In the afternoon, we continue our tour with a half-day Wine Route at Constantia. The Wine Valley here is the most spectacular wine experience in the world, offering a unique blend of centuries-old established wine homesteads and new stylish boutique wineries in a setting of unsurpassed beauty and heritage. Later on, we enjoy a group dinner at Meloncino Restaurant.

(B,L,D)

Accommodation: Cape Milner Hotel or similar.

Overview: Today, we enjoy a full-day tour of Cape Town City, including lunch.

The Mother City is steeped in history, culture and scenic wonders, and offers an abundance of things to see and do.

The drive to the city takes us past famous landmarks. We will pass the Dias statue, the Van Riebeek statue and Train station, before your visit to the Castle of Good Hope, built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The Castle was developed as a maritime replenishment station, and from 1678 it was the center of civilian, administrative and military life at the Cape until the area grew and operations expanded elsewhere. Today, the Castle is the seat of the military in the Cape, and is open for visitors to explore and learn more about its history.

The route then leads us to the magnificent Table Mountain (weather permitting), or in the event of inclement weather, Signal Hill. You will ascend to the top by the revolving cable car. Here, you will see wild flowers, daisies, silver tree, and marvel at a birds-eye view of the city and its beaches. On a clear day it is even possible to see Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

After that we descend back to the city, move on to a visit of the Company Gardens, a large public park and botanical garden set in the heart of Cape Town, home to a rose garden, Japanese garden, fish pond and aviary, and driving through Malay quarters, also known as the Bo-Kaap, which means “Above Cape” because of its location up against the slopes of Table Mountain. There after visit Greenmarket square for some souvenirs.

Next we visit the V&A Harbour, Shopping and entertainment complex with a last stop at the Cape Town Diamond Museum, situated in the bustling heart of the world-famous Clock Tower precinct at the V&A Waterfront. Discover a 3 billion year old story unfold from a diamond’s formation to the final polished stone. Explore the origins of South Africa’s famous diamond industry, and get introduced to some of the great names in diamond history, including Cecil John Rhodes, Barney Barnato and the Oppenheimer family.

(B,L,D)

Accommodation: Cape Milner Hotel or similar.

Overview: Today we journey to Oudtshoorn, where we enjoy an Ostrich Farm Tour including lunch.

Here, we experience the world’s largest bird, the ostrich, which lays the largest egg, has the most beautiful feathers and eyes that make we want to fall in love and hug them. We offer a variety of ostrich tours. Each tour has 2 parts – the main yard and the farmlands. In the main yard, we will be shown different ostrich feathers, the incubators and how they work, gizzard stones, and we can feed the ostriches ourself!

The farmlands are where we will be shown the anatomy of an ostrich, visit the breeding pairs nest and for the brave, we may even get the chance to ride one!

In the afternoon,we experience the world famous Cango Caves tour.

29km from Oudtshoorn, at the head of the picturesque Cango Valley, lie the spectacular underground wonder of the Klein Karoo – the Cango Caves. Situated in a limestone ridge parallel to the well-known Swartberg Mountains, we will find the finest dripstone caverns, with their vast halls and towering formations.

(B,L,D)

Accommodation: 1 night at Queens Hotel or similar

Overview: Today we experience a full day Featherbed Tour, including lunch

Featherbed is a privately-owned, registered Nature Reserve and a South African Heritage Site. It is a pristine piece of paradise situated on the Western Head of Knysna and is accessible only by ferry.

Many people make a day of it, catching the ferry across the lagoon, going on a drive or walk through the reserve followed by a picnic under milkwood trees, in the hopes of sighting the beautiful green, but rather elusive, Knysna Loerie.

(B,L,D)

Accommodation: 2 nights at Knysna Log Inn or similar.

Overview: Today, we enjoy a full day Birds of Eden and Monkey land Tour, including lunch.

Monkeyland opened its doors to the public on the 6th of April 1998. Our unique primate sanctuary is currently the top eco-tourism attraction on the Garden Route and for very sound and sunny reasons. Monkeyland has captured the hearts of visitors in its efforts to rehabilitate and free previously caged primates. The sanctuary is exceptional as it caters for several species of primates who are not caged. They are free to move about the forest and this they do most harmoniously.

Monkeyland has as one of its aims, to create awareness about the plight of primates and to show that with a greater understanding of our primate cousins, that we can all live in harmony.

(B,L, D)

Accommodation: Knysna Log Inn or similar.

Overview: After breakfast, we enjoy a half day Johannesburg City Tour

Whilst this tour takes in many activities it is not a difficult day as there are several stops for walking, lunch and coffee and soft drink breaks.

The tour commences in the new financial heart of the African continent in the Sandton CBD with a drive past the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and moves onto the wealthiest suburbs on the African continent, Sandhurst and Hyde Park and then progresses to Houghton with a drive past President Mandela’s home in this beautiful suburb.

Thereafter we enter the bustling high rise cosmopolitan suburb of Hillbrow formerly the home to most of South Africa’s European immigrants and now home to South Africa’s African diaspora.

We then progress to Constitution Hill, the home of the Constitutional Court, down to the business district of Braamfontein which hosts the world famous University of the Witwatersrand, across the Nelson Mandela Bridge into Newtown for our first stop at Main Street where we will walk around the old Mining House District, home to most of the World’s largest mining companies such as Anglo American and BHP Billiton.

We re-join our vehicle for a drive past Gandi Square named after Mahatma Gandi who lived in South Africa during his early years as a lawyer and then disembark on our second stop at the Carlton Centre, Africa’s tallest building.

From the 50th floor of this building we will enjoy panoramic views of downtown Johannesburg, its skyscrapers and the iconic yellow gold mine dumps surrounding the city.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Peermont Mondior Hotel or similar

Overview: After breakfast, we head off on a full day city tour of Pretoria.

The morning leads to the east of Pretoria, and the village of Cullinan where the world’s largest Diamond was discovered in 1905.

The Cullinan Diamond Mine, also known as the Premier Diamond Mine, has uncovered some of the largest diamonds in the world today and the mine lies over one of the biggest Kimberlite pipes in the world (Kimberlite is named after Kimberley in South Africa and refers to a type of Potassic volcanic rock known to contain diamonds).

A visit to the mine will include a detailed above ground tour (surface tour) of the mine with lots of facts and technical information on the mine and the diamond industry in South Africa.

Move on to the majestic Voortrekker Monument, situated south of Pretoria in a nature reserve. It is a unique Monument which commemorates the Pioneer history of Southern Africa and the history of the Afrikaner. Today it is the most visited heritage site of its kind in Gauteng and one of the top ten cultural historical visitor attractions in the country. This Monument also manages the Heritage Foundation and various other monuments and cultural historical sites country-wide.

Kruger House is the historical Pretoria residence of the Boer leader and President of the first South African Republic, Paul Kruger. It was built in 1884 by architect Tom Claridge and builder Charles Clark. Milk was used, instead of water, for mixing the cement from which the house was constructed, as the cement available was of poor quality.

Lunch at La Madeleine restaurant

Enjoy a tour of the administrative capital of South Africa. Pretoria / Tshwane lies about 50 km north of Johannesburg. The population is just under a million persons and consists mainly of government officials and other related government personnel. In Pretoria, life goes at a much slower pace than in Johannesburg and it is quite easy for the visitor to find his or her way through the city, which is laid out like a chess board. Pretoria lies 1367 m above sea level, which makes it about 400 m lower than Johannesburg. It is surrounded by protecting mountains and is home to the magnificent Union Buildings

As the capital of the country for over 100 years it is strewn with many official buildings and memorials dating back to the early 1900’s.

(B,L,D)

Accommodation: Peermont Mondior Hotel or similar

Overview: After breakfast, we depart JHB Airport for our flight to Nelspruit. In the afternoon, we meet up with our game lodge range and then depart on our evening game drive, before heading back to the lodge for dinner.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Royal Kruger Lodge or similar

Overview: Today, we enjoy an early morning game drive with the Ranger, before returning to the Lodge for breakfast and a morning at leisure. In the afternoon, we head out on another evening game drive, before returning for dinner.

(B,L,D)

Accommodation: Royal Kruger Lodge or similar

Overview: This morning, after breakfast at the hotel, we head off for Nelspruit. We then head to Dullstroom via the beautiful Panorama route. Along the way, we visit the Three Rondavels, the Blyde River Canyon, and the God’s Window and the Bourke’s Luck Potholes, before reaching the hotel in time for dinner.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Southern Sun Emnotweni or similar

Overview: After breakfast, we depart for Zimbabwe, where we take a tour of Victoria Falls.

Described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘the Smoke that Thunders’ and in more modern terms as ‘the greatest known curtain of falling water’, Victoria Falls are a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe.

A path along the edge of the forest provides the visitor who is prepared to brave the tremendous spray with an unparalleled series of views of the Falls.

One special vantage point is across the Knife edge bridge, where visitors can have the finest view of the Eastern Cataract and the Main Falls as well as the Boiling Pot where the river turns and heads down the Batoka Gorge.

Other vantage points include the Falls bridge and the Lookout Tree which commands a panoramic view across the Main Falls.

Different times of the year will provide completely different experiences of the Falls region. Peak flood season is around March and April and the full power of the falls can be experienced in all its glory. As the floods abate the view of the falls gets better and better through the year, but at its lowest, around November and December the Falls become little rivulets running over the edge and in some places along the 1,7km width no water falls at all.

(B)

Accommodation: Kingdom Hotel or similar

Overview: After breakfast, we spend more time enjoying the Falls, with a comprehensive tour.

The Victoria Falls – Now in Its 150 Millionth Fantastic Year – Reaches Its Zenith In May each year. It’s a truly awe-inspiring experience – the sight, the sound, the smell; the humbling feeling that here indeed is Nature’s Supreme Masterpiece. No photograph can begin to depict the reality, and nothing prepares we for our first sight.
This tour is conducted in the morning and afternoon. En route, we may be taken past the ‘Big Tree’ where they may stop and take photos.

We will be accompanied through the Rainforest by one of our qualified Guides who will give a brief history of the Falls themselves as well as detailing the flora, fauna, bird & wildlife and other points of interest.

(B)

Accommodation: Kingdom Hotel or similar

Overview: After breakfast, we transfer to Chobe, where we meet our lodge range and go on another evening game drive. We enjoy a group dinner after returning to our lodge.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Chobe Marina or similar

Overview: Today we head out for an early morning game drive, before returning to the lodge for breakfast. After a day of relaxation, we depart on a boat cruise around the local area, spotting numerous kind of flora and fauna. We head back to the lodge for a group dinner.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Chobe Marina or similar

Overview: After breakfast we meet up with our ranger for a sightseeing morning boat cruise. Later on in the day, we enjoy a Namibia Village walk tour.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Chobe Marina or similar

Overview: After breakfast, we depart for the Kosane, from where we fly to Jo’burg. Upon arrival, we transfer to our new hotel.

(B)

Accommodation: Peermont Mondior Hotel or similar

Overview: After breakfast, we enjoy a half-day tour of Soweto.

The history of African townships south west of Johannesburg that would later form Soweto was propelled by the increasing eviction of Africans by city and state authorities.

Africans had been drawn to work on the gold mines that were established after 1886. From the start they were accommodated in separate areas on the outskirts of Johannesburg, such as Newtown.

We will then proceed into the iconic suburb of Soweto, where we will visit the Kliptown Memorial, site of the famous Freedom Charter gathering on which South Africa’s constitution is based and then past the present home of Nobel prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu followed by a stop at Nelson Mandela’s first home in Johannesburg for some pictures.

On our departure from Soweto we will have one final stop at the Hector Pieterson memorial.

(B)

Accommodation: Peermont Mondior or similar

Overview: The tour concludes today after breakfast.

Those connecting to Odyssey’s Namibia tour will head to the airport for an a morning flight to Windhoek.

What’s included in our Tour

  • Coach transport in air-conditioned coach.
  • 18 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 11 dinners.
  • Services of local guides.
  • Lectures, field trips, entry fees to parks and attractions as indicated.
  • Game drives and boat cruises.
  • 18 nights of accommodation in 3 and 4 star hotels and game lodges offering en-suited share twin rooms.
  • Internal flights.
  • Services of a Tour Leader.
  • Detailed tour information booklet.
  • All porterage fees.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Return economy class international airfare and departure taxes.
  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls and laundry.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.

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Tour Reviews

February 16, 2018

Without exception the hotels were of high standard. They were comfortable and clean and had plenty of hot water. Any problem that I had, such as not having the right electrical adapter, was solved quickly and pleasantly.

February 16, 2018

All the guides were good, but I thought Daryl in Pretoria and Johannesburg was excellent. His knowledge of South African history and his passion for his country was impressive. He took us to see places that were important in that history. He does tend to talk too much and run out of time, but he was always worth listening to.

February 16, 2018

The drumming experience and the cultural food at the Gold restaurant in Cape Town was fantastic

February 16, 2018

Exceeded Expectations

February 16, 2018

The Victoria Falls were an outstanding treat.

March 12, 2018

THE TRIP WAS FANTASTIC.

September 11, 2018

This was an outstanding travel experience. The itinerary was very well planned to include many highlights of a large region of Southern Africa, and all transport and accommodation arrangements were excellent. There was a good balance between social and urban aspects on the one hand, and wildlife and nature on the other. The tour leader and all local guides did a lot to enhance the experience. Strongly recommended to those interested in this fascinating part of the world.
Michael F. Aug ’18

September 11, 2018

A very varied and interesting tour in a region that sometimes seems a bit daunting to the individual traveller.
Anne B. Aug’18

September 12, 2018

Great small group touring. A mix of city and rural experiences. Our tour guide was interested in both the history and peoples of South Africa and in the amazing wildlife, and was responsive to our interests. The Apartheid Museum was a must-visit venue, arranged at our request.
Gabrielle F. Aug 18

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