Bucket List Safaris | 27 days | From $24,899

South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda

ITINERARY

TRIP SUMMARY

If you are going to visit Africa once in your life this trip is it! Nearly a month in length this well paced itinerary visits southern and eastern Africa’s most iconic locations – Cape Town, Kruger, Botswana, Victoria Falls, the Masai Mara, the Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater – and includes our favorite bucket list activities such as an elephant back safari, viewing the great wildebeest migration, and trekking for rare mountain gorillas!… Read more

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We have included a good number of our absolute favorite safari properties keeping value in mind when possible. For those of you seeking more luxurious properties in some, or all areas, we have included notes below.

DAYS
1-2-3

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

You will be met on arrival at the airport and transfer by road to the Cape Grace Hotel for 3 nights.

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On day 2 enjoy a personalized private full day Cape Peninsula tour including the Company Gardens, Desmond Tutu’s Church, the colorful BoKaap neighborhood, Long Street, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Point Nature Reserve and lighthouse, Chapman’s Peak Drive, and the penguins at Boulder’s Beach with a lavish picnic lunch. On day 3 take the cable car up Table Mountain before sipping your way through the winelands with your private guide. If you have the time to add 1 or 2 days to your trip there is plenty more to see and do in Cape Town. Walk the historic city, explore the castle, or take the boat to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in prison. Feeling adventurous? Go dive with great white sharks! Prefer something a little slower paced? The afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel is a Cape tradition.
Accommodations: Cape Grace Hotel, 3 nights, bed and breakfast in a Table Mountain Luxury Room with a picnic lunch on your Peninsula tour and lunch at Le Petite Ferme on your Table Mountain / Winelands tour.

Cape Grace Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa – This hotel’s prime Victoria and Alfred Waterfront location puts you in the heart of action. Watch sea lions play in the harbor waters with iconic Table Mountain in the background. Step outside and explore the numerous wharf side shops and restaurants. Rooms are spacious and super comfortable. Voted by Conde Nast as the “Best Hotel in the World” with the highest score ever in addition other awards including “Best Hotel in Africa”, “Best City Hotel in Africa and the Middle East” and “Best Value in the World”.
What we do: After a full day’s touring relax on the wharf with a glass of South African wine. The next evening take a steam in the spa before watching the sunset on Table Mountain from the spa’s rooftop patio – your own private piece of Cape Town!

Ultimate Africa Exclusive: Grab a bottle of wine from our private wine bin (we suggest the Pinotage), and enjoy breakfast served in bed one morning – it is the height of indulgence.

Cape Grace Hotel
Cape Grace Hotel Bedroom
Cape Grace Hotel Room Bathroom
Cape Grace Hotel Cable Car up Table Mountain
DAYS
4-5-6

SABI SANDS, SOUTH AFRICA

Continue by scheduled flight to Mpumalanga and then by light air (included in land cost) to the world renowned Mala Mala Private Game Reserve set within Sabi Sands. Open to Kruger National Park this 33,000 acre historic property not only has the largest exclusive game viewing area of any Sabi Sands property it has, by far, the best.

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The big 5 species – elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, and buffalo are ever present and may be viewed on day and night wildlife viewing drives in open safari vehicles and on professionally guided walks. Add to this the flexibility to go out on full day drives and you have a real winner. On a recent afternoon, in addition to loads of general game such as zebras and giraffe, I encountered elephant seemingly around each turn, 3 prides of lion, a mother white rhino with a baby, and 7 different leopards! Simply astounding!
Accommodations: Mala Mala Rattrays, 3 nights, all inclusive

Mala Mala Rattray’s Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa – Rattray’s is a gem! Not only is the exclusive use wildlife viewing area the largest in all of the Sabi Sands (i.e. no crowds), the 8 colonial styled villas are incredibly spacious and ultra comfortable – we’re talking his and her’s bathrooms and private plunge pools! Fronting the wildlife rich Sand River and Kruger National Park Rattrays’ offers the hands down, most consistent Big 5 wildlife viewing in the area. No joke… and they have the daily stats to prove it. Jointly owned by both the local community and the Rattray family the property is at the forefront of sustainable tourism / conservation development.

Mala Mala Rattray's Walking Safari
Mala Mala Rattray's Bedroom
Mala Mala Rattray's Bathroom
Mala Mala Rattray's Game Drive
DAY
7

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

Mid morning fly (included in land cost) to Johannesburg where an overnight is needed before flying onwards to Botswana the following morning.

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You will be met by professional guide Robin Binckes who will take you on a private ½ day tour visiting the Apartheid Museum, the vibrant township of Soweto, and Nelson Mandela’s former home. End at the Doreale Grande Hotel. Located only 5 minutes from the airport the Doreale is a 5 star hotel with a 3 star price. It knocks the socks off other similarly priced airport hotels. Surely this place is subsidized by the adjoining casino. There is also an attached shopping mall with a number of restaurants. This night is about logistics and convenience… it is not considered “bucket list”.
Accommodations: Doreale Grande Hotel, 1 night, breakfast included

Johannesburg Airport Doreale Grande, South Africa: A 5 star hotel with a 3 star price located a couple minutes drive from the airport. We are pretty sure the adjoining casino / mall, which are great for people watching, subsidizes this place. Weather permitting we recommend taking your breakfast on the outdoor patio overlooking the pool, lawns and gardens.

Doreale Grande Hotel Patio
Doreale Grande Hotel
Doreale Grande Hotel Bedroom
Doreale Grande Hotel Bathroom
DAYS
8-9-10

OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA

Fly to Maun, Botswana. Continue by light aircraft (included in land cost) to Chitabe Camp in Botswana’s famed Okavango Delta.

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The Okavango is the world’s largest inland river delta and this particular area offers some of Africa’s best game viewing in a pure wilderness setting. In fact it has been producing even better wildlife viewing than the Moremi Reserve the last several years. Head out in an open 4×4 vehicle for both day and night wildlife viewing drives or explore on foot with your professional guide! You can even opt to spend a night “Under African Skies”!
Accommodations: Chitabe Camp, 3 nights, all inclusive

Chitabe Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana – Flying into Chitabe one year we had to circle the runway while the guides dragged a buffalo off the airstrip – with lion’s hanging on! This area has been pumping the last few years providing some of Africa’s best wildlife viewing. Wild dog, lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, giraffe… you name it. The rooms are just right with wooden floors, big comfy beds, hot / cold running water, flushing toilet, and shower. It is very common to have wild animals walking right through camp. One of our top “go to” properties in Botswana.

Chitabe Camp Room
Chitabe Camp Bedroom
Chitabe Camp Bathroom
Chitabe Camp Lion
DAYS
11-12

VICTORIA FALLS, ZAMBIA

Fly onwards (included in land cost) to Livingstone, Zambia and the world’s largest waterfall – Victoria Falls.

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Known locally as “the smoke that thunders” they are a mile wide and 300 feet tall. You will stay 2 nights at the stately Royal Livingstone Hotel – a 5 minute walk from the Falls themselves. We will arrange a privately guided tour of the falls, a quiet sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, and a morning elephant interaction / safari. Feeling adventurous? We suggest a helicopter flight over the Falls or a swim in the Devil’s Pool on the lip of the Falls themselves! Want to experience a bit of local fare? For dinner one evening ask if the chef will prepare a plate of Nshima (maize porridge) with beef stew.

Accommodations: The Royal Livingstone, 2 nights, bed and breakfast

Royal Livingstone Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zambia – The colonial Royal Livingstone Hotel, set just above the Falls on the Zambian side of Zambezi river, is one of the most beautiful hotels in all of Africa. The rooms are a bit on the small side but the main areas make up for it. The bar, lounge, and dining areas are wonderfully comfortable and it feels good to be seen by others enjoying them… a sense of “I have arrived” pervades the premises while giraffe and zebra wander freely across the expansive lawns.

What we do: Wake for a few laps in the expansive pool before taking breakfast on the verandah – what a pleasure!

Royal Livingstone Hotel
Royal Livingstone Hotel Bedroom
Royal Livingstone Hotel Bathroom
Royal Livingstone View of Victoria Falls
DAY
13

NAIROBI, KENYA

Today you will travel by air from Livingstone, Zambia to Nairobi, Kenya.

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You will be met upon arrival and transferred by road to Giraffe Manor for 1 night. This place is a superbly unique experience and is often fully booked more than a year in advance! There is simply nowhere else in the world where you have the opportunity to interact with giraffe from the comfort of your room or while enjoying breakfast!
Accommodations: Giraffe Manor, 1 night, dinner, bed and breakfast

Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya: Originally built in 1933 by the Macintosh Family, famous for their Macintosh Toffee, Giraffe Manor allows guests to get up close and personal with a bevy of giraffe! I am not much of a morning person but being able to share my breakfast with a long lashed beauty (other than my wife) is good reason to get out of bed. Betty, our favorite room, is located upstairs in the main house and has a fireplace, the original bathroom from the early 1930s, and a large balcony from which you can feed the giraffe. Often completely booked 1 year in advance some rooms are more basic than others. Bucket list all the way!

Giraffe Manor
Giraffe Manor Bedroom
Giraffe Manor Bathroom
Giraffe Manor Giraffe
DAYS
14-15-16

MASAI MARA, KENYA

Travel by air (included in land cost) to the iconic Little Governor’s Camp. Back in the day Kenyan Governors used to hunt this area.

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It has gained more recent fame on the BBC as the location where Big Cat Diary is filmed. Set within the Mara itself, unlike most safari properties where game drives include more cattle and goats than wild animals, Little Governor’s is tucked into a forest overlooking the plains. With a great number of resident animals it offers terrific year round wildlife viewing in addition to the wildebeest migration during the months July through October. Activities include day time wildlife viewing drives in open 4×4 vehicles. Hot air ballooning is an option as well. Keep a look out for Malaika (Angel) and her brood – cheetahs that have become famous the world over for sitting atop safari vehicles!
Accommodations: Little Governors Camp, 3 nights, all inclusive

Little Governor’s Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya – Little Governors is our favorite Governor’s property. The location overlooking the marsh has a great feel to it and with 17 rooms the smaller size is ideal. I also like that you have to take a small boat across the Mara River to get there – quite an adventure. Resident warthogs mow the lawn and elephant can be spied at lunchtime. Here is it all about the safari – there are no swimming pools. Just comfy rooms, great food and drink, and excited guides. Please note that Governor’s hot air balloons launch from Little Governors at sunrise and this can be a bit noisy for those trying to sleep in.

Little Governors Game Drive
Little Governor's Main Area View
Little Governors Hot Air Ballooning
Little Governor's Camp Room
DAYS
17-18-19

SERENGETI, TANZANIA

Continue by light air transfer (included in land cost) to the Serengeti and Olakira Camp.

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Nights under canvas and days surrounded by wildebeest and wildlife! We chose Olakira for 2 reasons – it is in our opinion the very best value yet high quality experience in the Serengeti and importantly the camp moves with the migration throughout the year. Open 4×4 vehicles put you right in the action. Depending upon the time of year visit Olduvai Gorge or catch the migration crossing the Mara River. Optional hot air ballooning.
Accommodations: Olakira Camp, 3 nights, all inclusive

Olakira Camp, Serengeti, Tanzania – No safari to Tanzania would be complete without a few nights spent in a comfortable tented camp right amongst the migration. It is so cool to fall asleep to the sounds of lion roaring and wake to thousands of wildebeest and zebra within arm’s reach. Each of the 9 tents offer comfortable beds, a flushing toilet and bush shower which is filled with hot water upon request.

When it comes to the wildebeest migration location is EVERYTHING. When the migration is in the northern Serengeti late July through early October Olakira is located a 5 minute drive from the Mara River. Only Singita Mara River Camp is closer. When the migration is in the south, January through March’ish, Olakira moves to Ndutu – the same area chosen by legendary wildlife photographer Hugo Van Lawick (one time husband to Jane Goodall) as his base from which to live and work.

Ultimate Africa Exclusive: Enjoy a complimentary private bush breakfast on the Serengeti Plains one morning!

Olakira Camp Serengeti Wildebeest Migration
Olakira Camp Tented Room
Olakira Bathroom
Olakira Camp Main Dining Tent
DAYS
20-21

NGORONGORO HIGHLANDS, TANZANIA

Continue by light air transfer (included in land cost) to the Ngorongoro Highlands and Gibbs Farm – a must visit location in Tanzania.

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The afternoon of day 20 will be spent with your private guide looking for tree climbing lions in Lake Manyara National Park. Early the next morning your guide will drive you to Ngorongoro Crater for a full day wildlife viewing. A picnic breakfast on the crater floor is a bucket list experience.
Accommodations: Gibbs Farm, 2 nights, all inclusive

Gibbs Farm, Ngorongoro Highlands, Tanzania – This utterly charming property, built on a lush hillside within a 40 acre organic farm, is the ideal base to explore nearby Lake Manyara, the town of Karatu, and Ngorongoro Crater. The 17 rustic, yet wonderfully comfortable rooms, each with its own fireplace, are surrounded by incredible flowering gardens with views of the misty Ngorongoro Highlands. The farm fresh meals are wholesome and hearty – so good I wish I were married to the chef (please don’t tell my wife). When not out on safari you can watch coffee being roasted, take a hike to the elephant caves, or learn to bake bread. Voted #2 hotel in Africa and #16 in world according to Conde Nast in 2016. Please note this great value property is not set within a wildlife area.

Ultimate Africa Exclusives: As an Ultimate Africa guest enjoy a private fireside dinner in the gardens your first evening. UA guests also receive a complimentary bag of Gibb’s Farm organic coffee beans.

Gibbs Farm Main Area View
Gibbs Farm Bedroom
Gibbs Farm Bathroom
Gibbs Farm Lunch
DAY
22

KIGALI, RWANDA

Light air transfer to Kigali, Rwanda.

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Your private guide will meet upon arrival at the airport and transfer you by road to the Kigali Serena – the only quality place to stay in the capital.
Accommodations: Kigali Serena, bed and breakfast

Kigali Serena, Kigali, Rwanda – Not the type of place we typically recommend but realistically it is the only quality option in town. Catering mainly to business people the rooms have all the comforts a world traveler would expect. They also have a lovely pool area with lush tropical gardens. Breakfast on the verandah overlooking the pool is a nice way to start the day.

Kigali Serena Hotel
Kigali Serena Pool Area
Kigali Serena Bedroom
Kigali Serena Hotel Bathroom
DAYS
23-24-25

PARC NATIONAL DES VOLCANS, RWANDA

Drive with your private guide 3 hours to Virunga Lodge.

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High in the clouds with jaw dropping 360 degree views you will be welcomed with open arms to this rustic mountaintop hideaway. Days 24 and 25 will be spent trekking for mountain gorillas.
Accommodations: Virunga Lodge, standard room, 3 nights, all inclusive (if you prefer a 25 helicopter transfer to / from Virunga Lodge this can be arranged at extra cost)

Virunga Lodge, Parc National Des Volcans, Rwanda – The staff at Virunga Lodge easily makes this our favorite lodge in the area. They are some of the friendliest and most accommodating people we have ever met in Africa. Did I mention the truly jaw dropping 360 mountaintop views? While at the lodge don’t miss the local Intore dancers. We normally don’t go for the touristy dance thing however this is a whole different ball game. If you prefer the slightly more luxurious Sabinyo Lodge we are happy to book it – be forewarned however there are 283 stairs from the car park to the main lodge at just over 8,000 feet… a stretcher is available for those who can’t handle it – seriously!

Ultimate Africa Exclusive: Enjoy a free massage and boot cleaning.

Virunga Lodge
Virunga Lodge Gorilla Trekking
Virunga Lodge Bedroom
Virunga Lodge Bathroom
DAY
26

KIGALI, RWANDA

A private road transfer with picnic lunch returns you to the capital.

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A visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial is one of the most moving emotional experiences you can have in Africa! The day ends back at the Serena Hotel.
Accommodations: Kigali Serena, 1 night, bed and breakfast

Kigali Serena, Kigali, Rwanda – Not the type of place we typically recommend but realistically it is the only quality option in town. Catering mainly to business people the rooms have all the comforts a world traveler would expect. They also have a lovely pool area with lush tropical gardens. Breakfast on the verandah overlooking the pool is a nice way to start the day.

Kigali Serena Hotel
Kigali Serena Pool Area
Kigali Serena Bedroom
Kigali Serena Hotel Bathroom
DAY
27

EN ROUTE

Road transfer to the Kigali Airport, breakfast included

Cost
January through February, 2017: $26,499 + $3,000 for 2 gorilla permits
March, 2017: $24,899 + $3,000 for 2 gorilla permits
April through May, 2017: We do not suggest travel during these months
June, 2017: $27,099 + $3,000 for 2 gorilla permits
July through September, 2017: $28,999 + $3,000 for 2 gorilla permits
October, 2017: $27,599 + $3,000 for 2 gorilla permits
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.

 

Save 2.5%
Clients paying by check can save 2.5% off their land costs

What you get

– Cape Town, Sabi Sands / Kruger, Okavango Delta / Botswana, Victoria Falls, Masai Mara, Serengeti Plains, Ngorongoro Crater and Virunga Mountains
– 27 wildlife viewing / safari activities
– Africa’s Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo) – really close
– Wildebeest migration
– Mountain Gorillas
– Penguins and whales
– Tree climbing lions
– Day and night wildlife viewing drives in open and closed 4×4 vehicles (no minibuses) with unlimited mileage and guaranteed window seat
– Walking safaris with professional guides at Rattray’s, Chitabe, and Virunga Lodge
– Personalized private full day Cape Peninsula tour including the Company Gardens, Desmond Tutu’s Church, colorful BoKaap neighborhood, Long Street, Cape Point Nature Reserve and lighthouse, Chapman’s Peak Drive, penguins at Boulder’s Beach, and a lavish picnic lunch
– Personalized private full day Table Mountain / Cape Winelands tour with spectacular cable car ride and private tastings – includes lunch at Le Petite Ferme restaurant
– Optional boat trip and tour of Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held for many years (at extra cost)
– Optional great white shark cage boat trip / cage dive with Apex Predators (at extra cost)
– Private ½ day Johannesburg tour with specialist guide Robin Binckes visiting the Apartheid Museum, the vibrant township of Soweto, and Nelson Mandela’s former home.
– Optional night spent sleeping “Under African Skies” at Chitabe Camp
– Privately guided tour of Victoria Falls
– Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi River
– Morning elephant interaction / safari
– Giraffe up close and personal at Giraffe Manor
– Optional Serengeti hot air balloon excursion with Champagne breakfast (at extra cost)
– A private full day wildlife viewing drive in Ngorongoro Crater
– Bird watching including flamingoes in Ngorongoro Crater
– 2 guided gorilla treks with permits
– Intore dance performance at Virunga Lodge (if available)
– Village visit at Virunga Lodge with possible Bridge2Rwanda introduction (ask us about this)
– Complimentary massage and boot cleaning at Virunga Lodge
– Private half day Kigali city tour including local market, pottery project, handicraft shops and Rwanda Genocide Memorial
– All park and entrance fees
– Expert English speaking guides
– 3 nights Cape Grace Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis in a Table Mountain Luxury room
– 3 nights Mala Mala Rattray’s on an all inclusive basis
– 1 night D’Oreale Grande Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis
– 3 nights Chitabe Camp on an all inclusive basis
– 2 nights Royal Livingstone Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis
– 1 night Giraffe Manor on a dinner bed and breakfast basis
– 3 nights Little Governor’s Camp on an all inclusive basis
– 3 nights Olakira Camp on an all inclusive basis
– 2 nights Gibb’s Farm on an all inclusive basis
– 2 nights Kigali Serena on a bed and breakfast basis in a Deluxe room
– 3 nights Volcanoes Virunga Lodge on an all inclusive basis
– VIP airport meet and assist in Cape Town, Mpumalanga, Johannesburg, Maun, Livingstone, Nairobi, and Kigali
– Private airport transfers in Cape Town, Victoria Falls, Nairobi and Kigali
– 8 light air transfers (Mpumalanga to Rattrays, Rattrays to Johannesburg, Maun to Chitabe, Chitabe to Livingstone, Nairobi to Little Governors, Little Governors to Olakira, Olakira to Lake Manyara, Lake Manyara to Kigali)
– 26 breakfasts, 21 lunches, 18 dinners
– Lavish breakfast in bed at the Cape Grace Hotel
– A complimentary bottle of South African wine from our private wine bin at the Cape Grace Hotel
– Private bush breakfast at Olakira Camp
– Private fireside dinner at Gibb’s Farm
– Complimentary bag of Gibb’s Farm organic coffee
– Lavish Ngorongoro Crater picnic
– All drinks at Mala Mala Rattray’s, Chitabe Camp, Little Governor’s Camp, Olakira Camp, Gibb’s Farm, and Volcanoes Virunga Lodge (waters, teas / coffees, sodas, beers, wines, spirits)
– Laundry at Mala Mala Rattray’s, Chitabe Camp, Little Governor’s Camp, Olakira Camp, and Volcanoes Virunga Lodge
– 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 Kigali back home and 3 scheduled commercial flights within Africa (Cape Town to Mpumalanga, Johannesburg to Maun, and Livingstone to Nairobi)
– 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 January through mid March and June through October each year.

More information

Go luxury
In Sabi Sands Rattray’s is up there with the best. Alternative high end properties with superb game viewing include Lion Sands Ivory (voted best hotel in the world), Singita Ebony and Singita Boulders (world’s #1 hotel numerous times), or any of the Londolozi Camps.

 

Go luxury
Mombo Camp in Botswana has been voted world’s #1 safari property – numerous times! If you have the funds to replace the 3 nights at Chitabe Camp with higher cost Mombo you will not regret it… we stake our reputation on it.

 

Go Luxury
Stay at Crater Lodge in place in Gibbs Farm. Crater Lodge is an opulent, Hobbit like, retreat perched on the edge of Ngorongoro Crater. It has won a head spinning number of big time awards and is consistently voted Tanzania’s leading safari lodge.

 

Go Luxury
Depending upon the time of year opt to stay at Mwiba Lodge, Sasakwa Lodge, Sabora Plains Camp, Faru Faru, Mara River Camp, or Sayari in the Serengeti in place of Olakira Camp.

 

Linger Longer
Yes this trip is nearly a month long… if you have the time add 2 or 3 nights in Botswana at Paul Allen’s Abu Camp. Days and nights are spent with a family of African elephant – you can even sleep above their boma – their snores permeating your African dreams! It is not cheap but it is a one of a kind experience -truly unforgettable.

 

Linger Longer
Add 3 nights in Botswana’s Mkgadikgadi staying at Jack’s Camp. This place is something else all together – they offer quad bike excursions on the world’s largest salt pan, roof top game drives, and walks with local bushman. You can even hang out with wild Meercats. This place has won a ridiculous number of awards including #1 in the World by Conde Nast in 2010, Best Safari Camp in Africa, Best Property in Botswana, Best Guiding Team etc…

 

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 15 kilograms (33 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.

 

Your guides
In Cape Town, at Gibbs Farm / Ngorongoro Crater, and in Rwanda you will have your own private safari vehicle and private professional, local English speaking, guides. At Rattray’s, Chitabe, Little Governors and Ubuntu activities, such as wildlife viewing drives, are shared with other guests (no more than 6 guests per vehicle) and 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?
Yes – a yellow fever inoculation certificate is required. You will need to provide a doctor’s letter if you do not receive a yellow fever inoculation. In addition most travelers 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 Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Zambia. A Kenyan visa must be obtained online prior to travel. Upon arrival in Kigali, Rwanda an entry visa may be purchased for US $30 cash per person. Upon arrival in Tanzania an entry visa may be purchased for US $100 cash per person. Upon arrival in Livingstone, Zambia an 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 and limited gorilla trekking permits 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 info@ultimateafrica.com

 

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.

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