Botswana, in southern Africa, is perfect for a family safari! It has more elephant than any country in Africa, near perfect weather, few insects and few safety / health concerns. Set within exclusive wilderness areas imagine… Read more+
days spent driving off road in an open 4×4 vehicle and at night fall asleep to the roar of nearby lions! This trip starts in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa and ends at the mighty Victoria Falls – the world’s largest waterfall. It includes penguins, walking with a family of meerkats, learning about life in the wild from San bushman, a visit with a friendly cheetah, meeting with locals in a real village, and an elephant interaction! This is the trip we would take our kids on!
If you want a lower cost, yet high quality, family safari with great guides check out our “2017 Best Value Family Safari” on our Specials / Exclusive Offers page.
You will be met on arrival at the airport and transferred by road to the Victoria and Alfred Hotel for 3 nights.+
On day 2 explore the Cape Peninsula with your private guide. Enjoy a boat ride to view seals and whales. At the Cape Point take the funicular to the southwestern most tip of the continent. A picnic lunch with the penguins is a highlight. Time allowing visit the incredible Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. On day 3 take the cable car up Table Mountain before visiting a local township where you can volunteer in a soup kitchen with your professional guide. If you prefer spend the afternoon walking the historic city, exploring the castle, or take the boat to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in prison.
Accommodations: The Victoria and Alfred Hotel, 3 nights, Table Mountain / Harbor facing room, bed and breakfast with a picnic lunch on your Peninsula tour and restaurant lunch on your Table Mountain / township tour
Victoria and Alfred Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa – This charming hotel enjoys a prime waterfront location in the heart of the family friendly Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Enjoy breakfast at a wharf side table and after a day’s touring explore the myriad of shops and restaurants right outside the hotel’s door. Table Mountain / Harbor view rooms a must. You can watch as fishing boats return from weeks at sea, and seals frolic in the dark green waters – all with Table Mountain towering behind. You really feel like you are part of Cape Town when staying here. Parents traveling with 1 child can share a triple room while a family of 4 would need 2 rooms.
Depart by air, via Johannesburg, to Maun, Botswana. Continue by light aircraft (included in land cost) to Jack’s Camp.+
Set on the edge of the world’s largest salt pan it is home to the highest density of ostrich in the world, the famed black maned lion which are the largest in Africa, and the rare brown hyena which are harder to see than wild dogs. A morning meerkat walk is sure to bring a smile to everyone’s faces. You can traverse the salt pans by quad bike stopping at campsites used by colonial explorers or head out in search of wildlife in the camp’s double decker wildlife viewing vehicle! Jack’s offers a glimpse into a quickly vanishing traditional way of life as 4 generations of San Bushman live in the area. Learn how they would traditionally hunt and gather food, make jewelry, and entertain themselves through story, song and dance. An optional night spent “Under African Skies” is another fantastic family experience. From January through April the world’s second largest migration of about 35,000 zebra and wildebeest can be seen. This place is a lot of fun.
Accommodations: Jacks Camp, 3 nights, all inclusive
Jack’s Camp, Mkgadikgadi, Botswana – Built in memory of legendary African hunter turned conservationist Jack Bousfield the camp is a Bedouin home from home. Rooms are comfortable with proper beds and ensuite bathroom with toilet, and both indoor and outdoor showers. The main areas are lined with glass cases displaying everything from pickled snakes to giraffe skulls… there is even a stuffed aardvark! For warm days the camp has a shaded pool under tented canvas. This place has won a ridiculous number of awards including #1 in the World by Conde Nast in 2010, Best Safari Experience 2017, Best Safari Camp in Africa, Best Property in Botswana, Best Guiding Team etc…
Travel by air (included in land cost) to Duma Tau. Meaning “roar of the lion” in the local language this beautiful camp is set in one of the most productive wildlife areas in ALL of Africa.+
In fact over the years I have had more wild encounters here than most other places combined. One time at breakfast an elephant ambled up, stretched out his trunk, and quietly removed an orange from the table. It was awesome. Add to this zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, crocodile, hippo, and buffalo. Then there are the predators – the lion here have been featured in several National Geographic films along with leopard, cheetah, and hyena! Activities here include boat rides, day and night wildlife viewing drives in open 4×4 vehicles and professionally guided walks (serious walks have a minimum age of 12). You can even opt to spend a night “Under African Skies”! For family’s traveling with children we will arrange a special bush buddy to assist during your stay. Activities include tracking lessons and making casts of tracks, bird / animal call identification, African scrapbook and jewelry making, painting with colors from the bush, soccer or volleyball with camp staff, cooking chicken in the ground, pizza-making in termite mounds, looking for frogs, dancing / drumming lessons, and star identification!
Accommodations: Duma Tau Camp, 3 nights, all inclusive in a family room
Duma Tau Camp, Linyanti Reserve, Botswana – Bordering Chobe National Park within the private 125,000 hectare Linyanti Wilderness Reserve, this small tented camp has 10 perfectly sized rooms overlooking a lagoon. The family rooms have a main bedroom and bathroom along with a second bedroom and bathroom connected with a wooden walkway. Children must share a room with an adult. Keep your eyes peeled – you are likely encounter an elephant wandering past your room, or to spot a pack of wild dogs chasing an impala while you relax by the pool. This is one of my all time favorite places to be in Africa.
Ultimate Africa Exclusive: Enjoy a complimentary private family dinner under the stars one evening!
Continue by air (included in land cost) to the world’s largest waterfall, Victoria Falls, and Elephant Camp West.+
In addition to a privately guided tour of the Falls enjoy the company of the camp’s friendly cheetah ambassador Sylvester and an elephant interaction / safari. My kids love the evening train ride across the Victoria Falls Bridge which provides stunning views of the Falls and river below (optional – at extra cost). A visit to a local school / community is a humbling experience. Elephant Camp is a super family friendly home from home.
Accommodations: Elephant Camp West, 2 nights, all inclusive
Elephant Camp West, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – Located about 15 minutes by road from Victoria Falls Elephant Camp West has 4 suites specifically designed for adults traveling with children. In addition to the bedrooms each suite has a lounge area with sleeper couch and private plunge pool overlooking the Victoria Falls National Park and the spray from the Falls themselves! This place is really well done.
Today you will be transferred by road to the Victoria Falls Airport
January through March, 2017: $9,599
April through May, 2017: $10,799
June through October, 2017: $12,699
To give you a sense of costs we have based the trip costing on a family with 2 adults and 2 children between the ages of 7 and 12. Lower child rates for travelers 7 through 16 have been averaged with the adult rates. A private vehicle must be booked,for family’s traveling with children who are 7 to 12 years of age and has been included. Prices are per person and do not include international flights and some regional inter-Africa flights.
Specials and exclusive offers
Depending upon the time of year you intend to travel we may be able to secure free nights or discounted rates at certain properties on this trip. Please don’t hesitate to ask.
Clients paying by check can save 2.5% off their land costs
What you get
– Cape Town, Kalahari, Savuti / Chobe, and Victoria Falls
– 12 wildlife viewing / safari activities
– Big time wildlife – really close
– Most elephant in Africa and lion including Kalahari black maned lion which are the largest
– Penguins and whales
– Great ostrich viewing
– Day and night wildlife viewing drives in open 4×4 vehicles (no minibuses) with unlimited mileage and guaranteed window seat
– Walking safaris with professional guides at Jack’s Camp and Duma Tau Camp
– Boat and canoe safaris with professional guides at Duma Tau Camp
– Personalized private full day Cape Peninsula tour including seal and whale viewing boat trip, the Cape Point Nature Reserve and lighthouse with funicular ride, and a lavish picnic lunch with the penguins at Boulder’s Beach
– Personalized private full day Table Mountain / township tour with spectacular cable car ride and township visit where you can volunteer in a soup kitchen with your professional guide
– Optional boat trip and tour of Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held for many years (at extra cost)
– Meerkat walk
– Bushman walk and interaction
– Quad bike excursions
– Special child activities at Duma Tau such as tracking lessons and making casts of tracks, bird / animal call identification, African scrapbook and jewelry making, painting with colors from the bush, soccer or volleyball with camp staff, cooking chicken in the ground, pizza-making in termite mounds, looking for frogs, dancing / drumming lessons, and star identification!
– Optional nights spent sleeping “Under African Skies” at Jack’s Camp and at Duma Tau Camp (at no extra cost)
– Privately guided tour of Victoria Falls
– Elephant interaction
– Cheetah interaction
– Optional evening train ride across the Victoria Falls bridge (at extra cost)
– Victoria Falls village / community visit
– Bird watching
– All park and entrance fees
– Expert English speaking guides
– 3 nights Victoria and Alfred Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis in a Table Mountain / Harbor Facing room
– 3 nights Jack’s Camp on an all inclusive basis
– 3 nights Duma Tau Camp on an all inclusive basis
– 2 nights Elephant Camp West on an all inclusive basis
– VIP airport meet and assist in Cape Town, Maun, and Victoria Falls
– Private airport transfers in Cape Town and Victoria Falls
– 4 light air transfers (Maun to Jack’s Camp, Jack’s Camp to Maun, Maun to Duma Tau Camp, and Duma Tau Camp to Victoria Falls)
– 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 8 dinners
– Private family dinner under the stars at Duma Tau Camp
– All drinks at Jack’s Camp, Duma Tau Camp, and at Elephant Camp West (waters, teas / coffees, sodas, beers, wines, spirits)
– Laundry at Jack’s Camp, Duma Tau Camp, and at Elephant Camp West
– No tsetse flies / no vaccinations
– Confirmation package with a wealth of predeparture information
– Major bragging rights at the office (and pretty much everywhere else)
What isn’t included?
– International flights from your home city to Cape Town / from Johannesburg home and 3 scheduled commercial flights within Africa (Cape Town to Johannesburg, Johannesburg to Maun, and Victoria Falls to Johannesburg)
– Trip insurance
– Tips / gratuities
– Some meals and drinks (i.e. when staying bed and breakfast lunch and dinner and most drinks are not included and when on safari premium spirits / champagne are not included)
– Spa treatments (unless stated)
– Telephone calls
When to travel
This trip is best mid March through October each year although during September and October there is little water coming over the Falls – we refer to it as “Victoria Walls”. It can also be quite hot during October.
Why we chose these locations?
Cape Town is wonderfully beautiful with lots of family friendly things to do. In Botswana we have suggested two distinctly different locations with unique family fun activities. We figured 3 days of serious safari at Duma Tau is perfectly balanced by the Bushman, quad bike, and meerkat activities at Jack’s Camp. The world’s largest waterfall and Elephant Camp are the icing on the cake!
Why not Kruger / Sabi Sands?
Kruger offers great game but is not an ideal wilderness experience. If you are visiting Botswana there is no need to visit Kruger. Having said that many people still want to combine the 2 areas and we are happy to do so.
Why not Chobe?
We did not include Chobe National Park as it is too close to civilization with farmers in view during the day and city lights at night. It is crowded with traffic jams, you can’t drive off road, and walks are not allowed.
Why Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe?
Generally speaking the view of the Falls from the Zimbabwean side is better – especially August through November.
If you wish to spend more time on safari spend 3 nights at Chitabe Lediba Camp. Set within Botswana’s famed Okavango Delta this area has more wildlife than you can shake a stick at. They also have special family rooms!
Getting to Africa
From North America there are direct flights to Africa from Washington DC, New York and Atlanta. Alternatively you may fly via Europe or even Dubai to Africa. If you let us know the name of your preferred departure city we can provide you with airfare options. Air tickets may only be booked 330 days in advance. Please note air fares are subject to change over time. Most light aircraft transfers between lodges and camps are included in the land cost and are noted on the itinerary.
Is this a group trip?
This is not a group trip. This trip can depart on any dates for 1 or more people (the trip costs have been based on 2 guests traveling together). With additional guests costs may change.
How much luggage can I bring?
As small aircraft are often used to transfer travelers between lodges and camps body weight and luggage weight are important safety considerations. Baggage is strictly limited to 20 kilograms (44 pounds) packed in one or two soft sided bags plus a small backpack per person. This includes camera equipment. Suitcases will not be permitted. If you wish to exceed the luggage limit please inquire about the extra cost of doing so.
The minimum age on this safari is 7. If you wish to travel with children under the age 7, or prefer exclusive use properties, there are loads of options – simply give us a call!
As proud parents we would note that for children to get the most out of a safari experience they should be no younger than 6 years of age… at this age a child can absorb and enjoy the experience with memories lasting a lifetime.
In Cape Town you will have your own private safari vehicle and private professional, local English speaking, guide. At Jack’s Camp and Duma Tau activities, such as wildlife viewing drives, are shared with other guests (no more than 6 guests per vehicle). A private vehicle must be booked for family’s traveling with children who are 7 to 12 years of age. Activities are led by professionally licensed, local English speaking guides who are based at each safari camp / lodge. They know their areas intimately. Your safety and comfort are their highest concerns. They are also trained and prepared to respond to medical emergencies. If you prefer to have a private guide and vehicle at any location this can be arranged at extra cost.
Do I need shots?
No. Most travelers do take anti-malaria tablets for the safari portion of their trip and get a Hepatitis A shot. We recommend that you visit with a local travel health specialist in your hometown to discuss any special concerns you might have.
Do I need an entry visa?
American passport holders visiting Botswana and South Africa do not need entry visas. However an entry visa is required for Zimbabwe. Upon arrival at the Victoria Falls Airport a Zimbabwean entry visa may be purchased for US $50 cash per person.
How far in advance to book
Most of the properties we recommend are small and dearly sought after. To ensure availability of accommodations we suggest planning and booking your travel arrangements at least 9-12 months in advance. If planning closer to your travel dates we may need to look at alternate properties to make things work.
How to make it happen
At Ultimate Africa Safaris we do it all – from hotel and lodge bookings, to air tickets and travel insurance. We handle dinner reservations and celebrations as well – we love celebrations! The first step is to check availability at the various properties. We will then prepare a personal proposal for you. To learn more call our Seattle office toll free 1 800 461 0682. From outside the USA / Canada call on 425 793 8877. We are in between 9AM and 5PM weekdays. Alternatively email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
No money, no funny
To confirm an itinerary we require a 25% of land cost non-refundable deposit per person. Your land payments may be made by credit card (MasterCard, Visa or American Express) or by debit card (MasterCard or Visa). Alternatively payments may be made by personal, business or certified check made out to Ultimate Africa and posted to our office. Clients paying by check can save 2.5% off their land payments which will be credited to your invoice upon receipt of the check payment (please do not deduct this from your deposit amount). Future discounts will be applied to land payments made by check. Deposits must be accompanied by completed reservation forms. Upon receipt of your deposit full trip details will be posted to your address. This includes a confirmation letter, invoice, country specific information, travel checklist (what you need to bring), and final air / land itinerary. Your final trip payment will be due 75 days prior to your departure.
Make sure you are covered
All clients are required to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance plan before trip departure. This should cover you for events such as tour operator bankruptcy / financial default, trip cancellation, delay or interruption, lost or delayed baggage, emergency accident, sickness and evacuation, 24 hour medical assistance, traveler’s assistance, and emergency cash transfer. For coverage we suggest Travel Guard insurance. The total premium will be based on your total land / air cost and your ages. If you provide our office with your credit card details we will purchase / complete the insurance formalities on your behalf.