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overview

Stretch seven days of thrills into a lifetime of memories on this big-action adventure that takes you and your family from picture-perfect Kruger National Park to the Victoria Falls, via glamorous Emperors Palace. Set your own pace in search of the Big 5 along the pristine banks of the Nhlaralumi River in renowned Timbavati Nature Reserve, and focus your skills on a photographic safari, with early-morning and sundowner game drives.

Spoil yourself and indulge your senses with a stop-over at ‘Africa’s Las Vegas’ en route to Victoria Falls. Wine and dine at the D'Oreale Grande hotel; take in a show at Circus Maximus; try your hand at the casino and then dance the night away at the Monsoon Lagoon.

Bring your adventure to an iconic close at the beloved Victoria Falls Hotel in Zimbabwe. Soar in a microlight over Batoka Gorge, try your hand at white-water rafting, bungee jump off Victoria Falls Bridge, and then relax on a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, the perfect end to a perfect holiday.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Thrill to a classic Big 5 safari
  • Photograph the rare white lions of Timbavati
  • Take in a show at Emperors Palace
  • Walk the edge of the ‘Smoke that Thunders’
  • Microlight over Batoka Gorge
  • Bungee jump off Victoria Falls Bridge
  • Cruise into the sunset along the Zambezi

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1

Sink into the sanctity of timeless Simbavati

Board your scheduled SA Express Airways flight from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport to Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport in South Africa’s Limpopo province. A representative will be standing by to escort you to Simbavati River Lodge, approximately an hour’s drive. Located within Timbavati Nature Reserve on the unfenced western boundary of the Kruger National Park, you are now in classic Big 5 territory.

Settle into your luxuriously-appointed, air-conditioned tent, and then step outside onto your viewing deck to absorb the moment. The stillness and sanctity are utterly compelling. This is Africa as it has always been, its rhythms asserting themselves into your being as you gaze out over the banks of the Nhlaralumi River. A kudu coming down to the water’s edge to drink may be joined by an impala, both unaware of a patient crocodile. You sit back in your chair, mesmerized: your African safari has just begun.

Days 2-3

Focus on a Big 5 photo safari

Simbavati River Lodge is unfenced, meaning elephants can ghost through the pre-dawn light passed your tent to the river to drink, while vervet monkeys scramble through the canopy above, screeching at the scent of leopard. And so your day begins: a wake-up call accompanied by coffee and rusks to sustain you through the sunrise. You are seated now in an open safari vehicle, in the company of your guide and tracker, within touching distance of a kill if you are lucky. It is an exhilarating moment, its terrible clarity searing itself through the lens of your camera…

With its open borders and free movement of wildlife between Timbavati Reserve and the Kruger National Park, your game-viewing opportunities at Simbavati are vast. Enjoy two game drives a day, three hours each, at sunrise and sunset. If your bent is literally to the perfect picture, focus your skills on the ultimate prize: a once-in-a-lifetime image of wild dogs, cheetahs or a golden-eyed close-up of an endangered white lion. Specialist facilities are available for a photographic safari, from equipment to professional advice. Join a wildlife photographer in a specially-adapted vehicle with low sides, swivel seats and camera mountings, and come away from your safari with a high-definition trophy to mount with a clear conscience on your wall.

Return from your morning game drive to a hearty breakfast and then relax at the lodge through the heat of the day. Have a dip in the swimming pool; unwind on your viewing deck; drift off for a nap. Revive yourself out-of-doors in the privacy of your refreshing alfresco shower and join your fellow guests for a delectable light lunch overlooking the river. On your late-afternoon game drive – as the shadows lengthen into twilight - pause for sundowners beside a waterhole and watch, spellbound, as hyenas and lions come down to drink, the sky changing from gold to violet to a fiery red finale. Bring your day to a close under the stars in the open-air boma, with dinner followed by coffee and liqueurs around the glowing embers of the fire, before making your way into the night with a guard to escort you to your tent, and fall sleep to the strains of the wild.

Days 4

Trip the light fantastic at the Palace of Dreams

After a last early-morning game drive, enjoy breakfast at Simbavati and then transfer back to Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport to board your flight to Johannesburg. On arrival at OR Tambo International Airport, your representative will be on hand to escort you by private transfer to D'Oreale Grande at Emperors Palace, your high-energy stop-over for the night.

Settle into your lavish suite and then set off to explore: Emperors Palace is the ‘Las Vegas of Africa’, with the award-winning D'Oreale Grande its ‘Caesars Palace’.

Plunge into the swimming pool, or select a lounger and soak up the sun, delighting in the cascade of its champagne-style fountain. Or slip into the mien of classical Rome and indulge yourself with a massage or beauty therapy at Octavia’s Sensorium followed by sundowners at Neptune’s Bar. And ‘when in Rome…’ dine at Aurelia's, D'Oreale Grande's signature restaurant, named after Julius Caesar’s mother, with its floor-to-ceiling cut-glass windows overlooking the manicured Gardens of Vespasian. Emperors Palace also has nine other eateries to choose from if you feel like seafood, Asian, Indian or Italian cuisine. After dinner, take in a show at the Circus Maximus, try your hand in the magnificent casino or dance the night away at vibrant Monsoon Lagoon.

Days 5-6

Steel yourself for the Smoke That Thunders…

After breakfast, transfer back to Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport for your scheduled 2-hour flight to Livingstone in Zambia. On arrival at Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport, meet your representative who will be standing by to transfer you to Zambia’s border with Zimbabwe. Spend the next two nights at the iconic Victoria Falls Hotel overlooking the mighty ‘Smoke that Thunders’ on the Zimbabwean side of the Falls.

Steel yourself for an extraordinary experience. Victoria Falls – ‘the Smoke that Thunders’ or ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ in the local language - is a breath-taking spectacle. Settle into your elegant en suite room and listen to its distant roar. You are within sight of the Falls, in one of Africa’s most-beloved hotels. With its manicured lawns and colonnaded terraces evoking the charm of a bygone era, this gracious Edwardian hotel is steeped in history, a rendezvous for adventurers for over a century. Established in 1904 and celebrated as the ‘Grand Old Lady of the Falls,’ the Victoria Falls Hotel is the perfect base from which to explore Africa's adventure capital.

Follow the pathway through the rainforest that runs along the edge of the Falls and watch, mesmerized, as the wide flow of the majestic Zambezi River plummets over the lip of the precipice before you and crashes headlong into the gorge below to create the world’s largest sheet of falling water. Experience the full scope of it in a thrilling micro-light flight with a wing-mounted camera to record the moment. For adrenaline junkies, try your hand at white-water rafting along the rapids of Batoka Gorge or bungee jump from Victoria Falls Bridge. For those who prefer something more tranquil, an elephant-back safari or high tea on Stanley’s Terrace - with white-gloved waiters serving you sandwiches and scones - will no doubt fit the bill. For golfers, the 18-hole championship course at The Victoria Fall’s sister hotel, Elephant Hills Resort, is a short drive away. Then bring your day to a romantic close with a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River with hippos and crocodiles gliding to either side of you in the shimmering waters as the sun drops below the horizon.

Day 7

As your plane banks away, remember the ghostly mists of Simbavati …

After a satisfying buffet breakfast at The Grand Old Lady’s Jungle Junction, transfer back to Livingstone International Airport for your return flight to Johannesburg, and your onward journey home. As your plane banks away over Victoria Falls, recall that sunset over the Zambezi, and the cool mists of Simbavati, with elephants walking silently through the dawn to drink…

Inclusions

  • 3 nights at Simbavati River Lodge on a full board basis
  • 1 night at D'Oreale Grande at Emperor's Palace on a bed and breakfast basis
  • 2 nights at Victoria Falls Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Return scheduled charter flight from OR Tambo to Hoedspruit Airport
  • Return transfer from Hoedspruit Airport to Simbavati Lodge
  • Return scheduled flight from OR Tambo to Victoria Falls Airport
  • Return road transfer from Victoria Falls Airport to Ilala Lodge
  • Return transfer from OR Tambo to Peermont Metcourt

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Tour Rates

  • dates rates from
  • 24 Aug 2014 - 19 Sep 2014 $2820
  • 20 Sep 2014 - 16 Oct 2014 $3000
  • 17 Oct 2014 - 12 Nov 2014 $3000
  • 13 Nov 2014 - 09 Dec 2014 $3000
  • 10 Dec 2014 - 31 Dec 2014 $2955

Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently.

Please treat all pricing as a guide only:

  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice
  • Single supplements may apply

Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.

Carlien Parsons

Carlien Parsons

Product Manager

"A popular family holiday among our travellers, this trip has all you are looking for in a holiday: family adventures, easy travel arrangements & child-friendly lodges."

From

$2820

Per person sharing

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