Tailor-Made

Ultimate Icons of Africa Safari

This 17-day international trip combines the icons of Africa into one epic safari: from Table Mountain and Victoria Falls to the wildlife of the Virunga Mountains, the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.

Duration 17 days
Price From $17,317
When Year-Round
Destination South Africa, Rwanda, Zambia & Tanzania

Safari Overview

The concept of the safari was born in Africa, and still remains synonymous with the continent. Images of African icons like Victoria Falls and the plains of the Serengeti are well known and widespread, making them some of the most popular destinations for tourists to their respective countries. But here at Natural World Safaris we approach these world-famous locations differently, opening them up in way that other companies can't. With emerging flight routes it's possible to combine many of these into one trip, and that's exactly what we've done with this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Embark on game drives in the world-renowned Sabi Sands Game Reserve, home to Africa's Big Five and particularly well known for its leopard sightings.
  • Experience panoramic vistas from atop Table Mountain, looming large above Cape Town.
  • Witness the majesty of Victoria Falls from both sides of the Zambezi River.
  • Take two gorilla tracking excursions through the dense rainforests of the Virunga Mountains.
  • Take to the plains of the Serengeti and search for vast herds of wildbeest and other wild game.
  • Descend into the remarkable Ngorongoro Crater, a thriving ecosystem that sustains elephants, rhinos, spotted hyena and more.

The destinations on this safari are simply a must-see for all those whose heart lies in Africa.

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Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Cape Town

Upon arrival at Cape Town International Airport you will make your way to collect your hire car. From the airport it is only a short drive to the centre of town. Consistently voted one of the best cities in the world, Cape Town’s charms extend from its natural beauty to its vibrant urban atmosphere. The rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure.

Overnight: Four Rosmead

Days 2-3

Cape Town

Take these next two days to explore Cape Town and enjoy all that it has to offer. Highlights include Chapman's Peak, Hout Bay, the Cape Peninsula, driving the coastal road through Camps Bay, visiting the Boulder's Beach penguin colony, taking the cable car up Table Mountain, and visiting Robben Island for a moving and inspiring tour of the former prison, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years incarcerated during apartheid. The V&A Waterfront is also a lively place to explore, with the Two Oceans Aquarium and plenty of restaurants, cafés, shops, markets and outdoor performances on offer. If you would prefer, you can arrange group or privately guided excursions to the main areas around Cape Town. Cape Town boasts some world-class restaurants, and as such, advance dinner reservations are recommended.

Overnight: Four Rosmead B

Day 4

Cape Town - Sabi Sands

Today your hire car will be collected and you will transfer back to the airport for your onward flight to the private Sabi Sands Game Reserve, which borders Kruger National Park. Depending on your time of arrival, you may have time to head out on an afternoon game drive in search of Africa's Big Five and the rest of the wildlife who make this area their home (or hunting ground)!

Overnight: Chitwa Chitwa B, L, D

Days 5-6

Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve

Over the course of the next two days you'll enjoy morning and afternoon game drives inside Sabi Sands, home to a wealth of iconic African wildlife. The oldest and most established of Kruger’s private game reserves, Sabi Sands sits adjacent to Kruger National Park on its western border and, with no boundary fences, the wildlife is free to roam between the reserve and the park. Sabi Sands is home to over 140 species of mammal, 500 species of bird and countless reptiles, insects and amphibians; it is also renowned as one of the best places in Africa to see wild leopards. Named after the rivers that dissect the reserve into four quarters, many would say it is the experience of staying in some of South Africa’s most revered lodges, combined with high concentrations of game thanks to the proliferation of natural water sources, that embodies the Sabi Sands experience.

Overnight: Chitwa Chitwa B, L, D

Day 7

Sabi Sands - Victoria Falls

After an early-morning game drive, transfer for your direct flight to Livingstone and then on to Royal Chundu, your lodge on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls. Situated 30km upstream from the Falls, Royal Chundu is well placed for trips downriver but also occupies a private stretch of the Zambezi River, offering welcome seclusion when the time comes to leave the roaring waterfall behind.

Overnight: Royal Chundu B, L, D

Day 8

Victoria Falls

Known also by its indigenous name, Mosi-oa-Tunya ("the smoke that thunders"), Victoria Falls is classified as the largest waterfall in the world, with a width of 1.25 miles. A visit to this natural wonder is sure to be a highlight of any African safari, and the area is also a hub for water- and land-based activities. You'll be able to experience the Falls by land, water and air, with helicopter flights available. Alternative activities include white-water rafting, a visit to the surrounding Victoria Falls National Park and a sunset cruise, to name but a few! Most activities can be booked upon arrival, however it is advised to book helicopter flights in advance. During your time here, you'll be able to witness the Falls from both sides of the Zambezi River, in Zambia and neighbouring Zimbabwe.

Overnight: Royal Chundu B, D

Day 9

Victoria Falls - Johannesburg

Leave your lodge in the morning and transfer to the airport for your flight south to Johannesburg. Upon arrival, make your way to your airport hotel and prepare for your journey to Rwanda in the morning.

Day 10

Johannesburg - Kigali - Volcanoes National Park

After breakfast at your hotel, make your way to the departure gate to check in for your flight to Kigali. You will be met upon arrival at Kigali Airport by your private vehicle and driver/guide, then transferred through the "Land of a Thousand Hills" to Rwanda's famous Volcanoes National Park. Take the chance to relax at your lodge in the shadow of the dramatic Virunga Volcanoes before your gorilla tracking safari starts in the morning!

Overnight: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel B, D

Day 11

Volcanoes National Park

Today marks your first gorilla tracking excursion, as you head into the forest in search of the critically endangered mountain gorilla. Those that we are allowed to track belong to either one of ten habituated family groups living in Volcanoes National Park. After an early breakfast you'll then head to the park headquarters at Kinigi, where you'll register as a tracker and be allocated your gorilla family for the day. Once this is done, it's time to set out by vehicle and begin your gorilla safari in earnest. These great apes are by no means tame - although habituated to the presence of humans, they remain completely wild animals. Experienced guides will accompany you on your gorilla tracking, many of whom have been involved in the habituation process themselves. The guides will use their knowledge of the gorillas' behaviour and information gleaned from the previous day's tracking in order to locate your group's whereabouts. To assure the safety of the gorillas, you will only be able to spend an hour with these remarkable creatures, but this hour is sure to count among the most memorable safari experiences you are ever likely to have.

Overnight: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel B, L, D

Day 12

Volcanoes National Park - Kigali

Your second and final day of gorilla tracking now lies ahead! After an early start you will again make your way to the park headquarters where you will be assigned a ranger and a gorilla group. Tracking the gorillas can take anything from 4-8 hours, which you will spend traversing steep, muddy terrain that is nonetheless lush and vibrant. Despite the at time arduous journey, the awe-inspiring experience as you meet these amiable primates in their natural surroundings makes it more than worth it. Sit among the trees and watch as the apes go about their daily routine of grazing, grooming, playing and perhaps even mating. Afterwards you will be driven back to Kigali to check in to your hotel, where you will spend the evening reminiscing about your time with the gorillas.

Overnight: Kigali Serena Hotel B, L, D

Day 13

Kigali - Serengeti National Park

Another early start this morning as you leave your hotel to board your flight from Kigali directly into Tanzania's famed Serengeti. You will be met at the airstrip by your guide, who will drive you through the savannah plains to your camp, watching for wildlife along the way. Olakira Camp is a semi-permanent tented camp that moves between two prime locations in the Serengeti. From December to March, the camp is positioned in the southern Ndutu area, to encounter the herds of birthing wildebeest and attendant carnivores. From June, the camp moves into the central Serengeti, closer to Seronera, which boasts one of the greatest concentrations of lion prides and leopard in the Serengeti. From July onwards, the migration moves further north, but Olakira stays in the Central Serengeti. Your arrival into camp will allow you time for lunch before departing on an afternoon game drive.

Overnight: Olakira Tented Camp B, L, D

Day 14

Serengeti National Park

On this full day in the Serengeti, you'll be able to explore the plains on game drives in search of iconic African wildlife. This is a great region for big cats as well as elephants, giraffes, zebra and more. The Moru Kopjes are one of the last haunts of the endangered black rhino, so make sure to spend some time here on the lookout for these beautiful beasts in their natural habitat. From December to March, the southern area of the Ndutu Plains is an excellent base from which to see the Great Migration, as over a million wildebeest and zebra travel to new grazing grounds to give birth to their young.

Overnight: Olakira Tented Camp B, L, D

Day 15

Serengeti National Park - Ngorongoro Crater

There'll be time for one last game drive this morning before a short transfer to the airstrip, where you'll catch your onward internal charter flight to Lake Manyara. Met upon arrival, you will then make your way to the renowned Ngorongoro Conservation Area which is the perfect place to be based to access the crater on the following day. After a short transfer to your lodge, you'll then have a chance to sit back and relax in this tranquil setting.

Overnight: Gibb's Farm B, L, D

Day 16

Ngorongoro Crater

We suggest that an early-morning start is definitely the order of the day, as you head towards the natural wonder that is Ngorongoro Crater. Formed when a large volcano exploded and collapsed in on itself three million years ago, the crater contains within it some of the world’s densest populations of lion and spotted hyena. This is also one of the few places in Tanzania where you can reliably see black rhino and many grand old “tusker” elephants, who come to spend their retirement peacefully feeding in the Gorigor Swamp. After a good few hours of wildlife-viewing you can enjoy a picnic lunch at the hippo-filled Ngoitokitok Springs – just watch out for hungry black kites! In the afternoon, you’ll continue your exploration in search of the Big Five that roam the plains of this natural amphitheatre, before heading back to your lodge for the night.

Overnight: Gibb's Farm B, L, D

Day 17

Depart Ngorongoro Crater

After more than two weeks of criss-crossing Sub-Saharan Africa on your once-in-a-lifetime journey, it is now time to transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport and catch your international flight home.

Trip Details

About Tailor-made Safaris

A tailor-made safari is one designed according to your specific requirements, including budget, dates, personal interests, the number of people travelling, and more. This itinerary is just an example and can be refined and altered to make it perfect for you.

Price

Please note that the price of this safari excludes all regional and domestic flights, which are best booked in combination with international flight tickets. The price does not include the cost of gorilla permits, which are US$1,500 per person per permit. One gorilla permit will be required per day of gorilla tracking.

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