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South Africa Highlights & Safari

CAPE TOWN, KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, SWAZILAND, ZULULAND, SOWETO, HLUHLUWE NATIONAL PARK

  • Destination:
  • Duration: 14 days
  • Price: from $2,899

    Save up to $1000 per couple!!!

Never-before-seen pricing to South Africa for a limited time only! Save up to $1000 per couple on our remarkable South Africa Tours. Reserve by March 10 2016 to qualify for the early booking discount. Space is limited on this South Africa Safari so please reserve early.

Also available: Optional Victoria Falls Extension!
Scroll down to see the Extension tab!

As Seen In_South Africa

Itinerary at a glance Highlights Your South Africa tours include
  • 4 nights in Cape Town
  • 2 nights in Hluhluwe/Zululand
  • 1 night in Swaziland
  • 2 nights in Kruger Park
  • 2 nights in Johannesburg
  • 3-night extension to Optional Victoria Falls

 

  • Table Mountain (Cape Town)
  • Cape Peninsula (Cape Town)
  • Hluhluwe Game Reserve
  • Kruger National Park
  • Apartheid Museum (Johannesburg)
  • Optional Victoria Falls Extension

For an in-depth look at the highlights of this amazing journey to South Africa, click here to take a look at photos recently taken by a smarTours traveler in May 2015!

  • Round-trip airfare from New York (JFK) via South African Airways
  • Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
  • Intra-South Africa flight and ground transportation
  • Accommodations at superior first class hotels
  • 18 meals: 11 buffet breakfasts (B), 2 lunches (L), 5 dinners (D)
  • Comprehensive touring and safaris 
  • Experienced, English speaking Tour Director

Your Extension Includes:

  • Round-trip airfare
  • Three nights at the luxurious Victoria Falls Safari Lodge with buffet breakfast daily
  • Sundowner Cruise on the Zambezi River
  • A tour of the Victoria Falls

Click on the tabs below to learn more!

Land + Air 
(Land Only Prices Available Upon Request) 

Tour cost airfare included

Depart

Return

Reserve by
Mar 10 2016

Reserve after
Mar 10 2016

2016

 

w/check 
discount

Sale

 After Sale

Mar 15

Mar 28

$ 3299

$ 3399

$ 3799

Mar 22

Apr 4

$ 3399

$ 3499

$ 3899

Mar 29

Apr 11

$ 3299

$ 3399

$ 3799

Apr 12

Apr 25

$ 3399

$ 3499

$ 3899

Apr 19

May 2

$ 3399

$ 3499

$ 3899

May 3

May 16

$ 3499

$ 3599

$ 3999

May 10

May 23

$ 3399

$ 3499

$ 3899

May 17

May 30

$ 3299

$ 3399

$ 3799

May 24

Jun 6

$ 3399

$ 3499

$ 3899

Jun 21

Jul 4

$ 3299

$ 3399

$ 3799

Jun 28

Jul 11

$ 3499

$ 3599

$ 3999

Jul 5

Jul 18

$ 3399

$ 3499

$ 3899

Jul 12

Jul 25

$ 3499

$ 3599

$ 3999

Aug 16

Aug 29

$ 3299

$ 3399

$ 3799

Aug 23

Sep 5

$ 3199

$ 3299

$ 3699

Aug 30

Sep 12

$ 3199

$ 3299

$ 3699

Sep 13

Sep 26

$ 3299

$ 3399

$ 3799

Sep 15

Sep 28

$ 3299

$ 3399

$ 3799

Sep 20

Oct 3

$ 3199

$ 3299

$ 3699

Sep 27

Oct 10

$ 2999

$ 3099

$ 3499

Oct 4

Oct 17

$ 2999

$ 3099

$ 3499

Oct 11

Oct 24

$ 2899

$ 2999

$ 3399

Oct 18

Oct 31

$ 2999

$ 3099

$ 3499

Nov 1

Nov 14

$ 2899

$ 2999

$ 3399

Nov 15

Nov 28

$ 2899

$ 2999

$ 3399

Dec 24

Jan 6

$ 3399

$ 3499

$ 3899

Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
Single room supplement is $399 from October ’15 through May ’16 and $349 from June ’16 onwards.
Business Class upgrade supplement is $5,700.

VICTORIA FALLS EXTENSION: 

Add $989 per person double occupancy / $1189 single

If taking the Victoria Falls extension, a visa is required for Zimbabwe. US and Canada passport holders can obtain it upon arrival
For more information on this tour, please contact us here or call us during business hours (Mon-Fri, 9:30-5:30 EST) at 800-337-7773.
Reservations and Payments
Reservations can be made by phone 1 800 337 7773 and will be confirmed upon receipt of $300 per person non-refundable deposit (by check) which must be received within 7 days of reservation. Full payment is due 75 days prior to departure. Baggage fees may apply. Space and prices subject to availability. For complete booking information and terms & conditions click here.

 

Day 1
Depart USA.
Your fascinating South Africa Tours begin as you depart New York today.
Day 2
Arrive Cape Town.
Arrive in Cape Town, South Africa’s oldest and most spectacular city, where you’ll be met and escorted to your hotel, ideally located near the vibrant V&A Waterfront. This evening, your Tour Director hosts a welcome dinner and briefing. Southern Sun Cape Sun Hotel. (D)
Day 3
Sheltered beneath the dramatic shape of Table Mountain, Cape Town is indeed one of the world’s most unique cities. This morning, a local expert leads you on a sightseeing tour to explore the charms of the city. Ride by cable car to the top of Table Mountain for glorious city and bay views. Descend and travel through the Malay Quarter and the city center for a chance to view and photograph impressive Table Mountain from a distance. Your tour ends at the vibrant V&A Waterfront where the balance of the day is at leisure. You may relax at one of the many cafes, stroll around and browse the craft and art shops or sample South Africa’s renowned wines. (B)
Day 4
A memorable full day excursion to Cape Peninsula begins with a scenic drive passing steep mountains, secluded coves, and sweeping beaches en route to Cape Point at the southern tip of the Peninsula. Stop at the fishing village of Hout Bay before arriving to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. The reserve is rich with flora and fauna and you may see baboons, rheboks and Cape Mountain zebras. Savor the stunning views of the coastline where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. After lunch at a famous seafood restaurant follow the majestic coastline along False Bay and stop at Simon’s Town, where you’ll visit the Penguin colony. Lastly, visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and enjoy the magnificent display of indigenous South African flora before returning to Cape Town late this afternoon. (B,L)
Day 5
Today is at leisure for independent exploration, shopping or relaxing! An optional excursion to the charming winelands region just outside Cape Town is available. You may also use your free time to visit Robben Island and see where Nelson Mandela spent nearly two decades in captivity. Or, if you’re so inclined, you can enjoy the amazing and thrilling experience of great white shark cage diving! (B)
Day 6
Cape Town/ Zululand/ Hluhluwe.
Board a morning flight to King Shaka International Airport on the Kwazulu Natal North Coast, just outside the bustling port city of Durban. Journey to the charming resort village of Westbrooke, where you may enjoy a stroll on the golden sands of the Indian Ocean shoreline. Later, travel northwards through canefields and timber plantations to Zululand, home to one of the most famous of the African tribal peoples. Arrive at your hotel located near the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, renowned for saving the white rhinoceros from extinction. Emdoneni Lodge (B,D)

Day 7
Hluhluwe Game Reserve/Zululand.
An exciting day begins with a morning game drive in open South Africa safari vehicles to explore the magnificent animals and species in the fascinating Hluhluwe Game Reserve. Later, visit Dumazulu Village and experience the everyday life of the Zulu tribe, renowned for its warrior culture. Witness traditional customs such as tribal dancing, spear making and a ceremony of beer drinking. A special Zulu lunch will be served. The balance of the day is at leisure. (B,L)

Day 8
Hluhluwe/Swaziland.
Today, continue your scenic drive north and cross the border into the tiny Kingdom of Swaziland. Shop for unique African souvenirs at the colorful markets and see basket weavers at work. Lugogo Sun Hotel. (B)

Day 9

Swaziland/Kruger National Park.
Drive through the beautiful countryside of the province of Transvaal to the world famous Kruger National Park. Encompassing some of the most stunning and diverse terrain, the park is South Africa’s premier game sanctuary. An unforgettable game drive in your own motor coach this afternoon takes you in search of the wild. Your upscale lodge is located near the park. Kruger Gate Lodge. (B,D)

Day 10
Your safari today includes a morning game drive, in open vehicles, in search of the parks many residents including the “Big Five”: Lion, elephant, buffalo and rhino and hopefully the more elusive leopard. You may also spot hippopotamus and crocodiles as well as zebras and giraffes. Plains game and bird life also abound. Have your camera ready! After a lunch break, return to the park for an afternoon open-vehicle safari. (B,D)
Day 11
Kruger Park/ Mpumalanga/ Sandton (Johannesburg).
Drive through Mpumalanga (formerly Eastern Transvaal) panoramic wild countryside and enjoy unparalleled views of densely forested mountains, valleys, rivers and waterfalls. Arrive in the magnificent Blyde River Canyon, one of the greatest spectacles of Africa. Proceed to Bourke’s Luck Pot Holes, a place of African legend containing bizarre holes cut into rock by powerful river erosion. Later relish sweeping views from God’s Window. Proceed to Sandton, a flourishing suburb of Johannesburg, the commerce and diamond mining center. Garden Court Sandton City Hotel. (B)

Day 12
Soweto Excursion/Apartheid Museum.
This morning learn more about South Africa’s turbulent past and its hope for the future on a fascinating tour to Soweto, a sprawling metropolis on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Peek into the past – hostels, Freedom Square and the struggle for liberty. Tread the paths to greatness by the late Nelson Mandela and visit his former house. This afternoon, visit the Apartheid Museum, the pre-eminent museum in the world exposing the rise and fall of apartheid and South Africa’s tumultuous journey through the 20th century. Tonight, celebrate with your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner feasting on a traditional South African buffet. (B,D)

Day 13
Depart South Africa.
Today is at leisure for last minute shopping or independent pursuits before transferring to the airport for your return flight. (B)

Day 14
Arrive USA.
Your memorable South Africa tours come to an end as you touch down in New York this morning.

Why not extend your trip to the magnificent Victoria Falls? The 300 feet tall falls are often called the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. Your extension includes airfare, three nights at the luxurious Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, buffet breakfast daily, a Sundowner Cruise on the mighty Zambezi River, a tour of the falls and all transfers. Extension starts on day 13.

Day 13
Johannesburg/Victoria Falls.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Victoria Falls. You’ll be met and escorted to your deluxe hotel. Join a Sundowner cruise on the mighty Zambezi River. Marvel at the vegetation on the river’s banks and the spectacular sunset. Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. (B)
Day 14
Visit the craft village and observe the traditional way of life. Proceed to the Victoria Falls, often described as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. This afternoon you may return to the Falls on your own. (B)
Day 15
A day at leisure. You may join a fascinating optional excursion across the border to Chobe National Park in Botswana. Chobe boasts one of the largest populations of elephants in the world along with lions, hippos and zebras. (B)
Day 16
Victoria Falls/Johannesburg, depart South Africa.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Johannesburg connecting to your flight back to the USA. (B)
Day 17
Arrive New York this morning.

Check out videos from smarTours travelers on this trip of a lifetime!

Optional Tours

To enhance and make your visit to South Africa (and Victoria Falls if applicable) more complete and memorable, you will be offered several optional tours. All rates are approximate in US dollars and are subject to change based on fluctuation of exchange rates and suppliers rates. Payment should be made in local currency by cash, Visa or Mastercard. Additional optional tours may be added for your enjoyment, and the optional tours listed below may not be available on all departure dates.

Day 3
Half-Day Cultural Heritage & Township Tour (Approx. $40 per person)
This tour allows visitors a unique journey through the history of South Africa, divided into what is referred to as “The Three South Africa’s”. From the monumental turning point in the Birth of South Africa to the now-decaying ruins of Apartheid South Africa to the townships of the New South Africa. This tour is not to be missed during your visit to Cape Town, as you’re given insight into the greatness of Nelson Mandela and what South Africa has achieved ever since the nation took up his challenge to rise above pain and bitterness. Some of the elements of the excursion may vary depending what’s going on in Cape Town on that particular day, but may include a walking tour, visiting a family’s very modest home and being entertained by a choir. You’ll be sure to experience eye-opening encounters, especially when visiting Langa, the oldest black township and Khayelitsa the largest township, where cultural values and personal experiences are exchanged.
Day 5
Winelands Tour* (Approx. $48 per person)
Join this excursion to the beautiful wine region. Travel to culturally and historically significant Stellenbosch, a quaint town in the heart of this scenic region, filled with wineries. Walk through the town and explore the impressive Cape Dutch architecture. Your next stop is at a wine estate where you’ll attend a wine tasting session, have an opportunity to explore the grounds and gardens and maybe purchase some local wines!  *This tour will be offered in the morning in September through March and in the afternoon in April through August.

Day 5
Robben Island Tour** (Approx. $23 per person)
Depart from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront by ferry across Table Bay to Robben Island, the infamous home to the maximum security prison where Nelson Mandela and others were jailed. You’ll have a chance to visit the prison and explore Murray’s Bay Harbor precinct before returning to the waterfront by ferry. (Ferries depart from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront several times daily, weather permitting. Transfers from your hotel to the pier and back are not included). Please note: The Robben Island excursion is operated by a non-profit foundation and therefore, smarTours cannot guarantee space on this tour. Tickets are sold on a first-come-first-served basis and therefore may not be available during your visit. (For further information online you can go to www.robben-island.org.za).   ** During September through March, we advise that you sign up for an afternoon Robben Island tour if you wish to participate in the Winelands optional tour offered on the same day. During April through August, we recommend you sign up for a morning Robben Island tour if you wish to participate in the Winelands optional.

Day 5
Full Day Great White Shark Cage Diving*** (Approx. $148 per person, including breakfast, packed lunch, hot soup and transfers)
Depart your hotel early in the morning for a full day adventure to experience great white shark cage diving. You’ll head east to the coastal fishing town of Gansbaai, where’you’ll meet your crew and go over the day ahead (and safety instructions) while enjoying breakfast. Then, board the boat and head into the open waters where you’ll put on gear provided to you and climb into through the top of the secure cage. Watch the amazing great white sharks from underwater and enjoy an amazing, thrilling experience. You’ll also enjoy watching the predators from the comfort of the boat while your fellow divers are under water. *** This tour operates on the last day in Cape Town, and it is not possible to do Robben Island or Winelands if you participate in this optional activity. Please also note that this tour must be cancelled at least 24 hours prior to departure, otherwise 100% cancellation fees will apply. In addition, if bad weather prevents you from going to sea, you will be informed and given a full refund. If strong winds pick up while at sea and a return to shore is required for your safety, you will not be entitled to a refund. In addition, due to variable weather conditions and variable shark activity, diving may not always be possible and is therefore not guaranteed.

Day 15 Extension
Full-Day Chobe National Park (Botswana) Safari & Tour (Approx. $175 per person)
Transfer this morning from Victoria Falls across the border to Botswana and arrive at Chobe National Park. Embark on a safari boat ride on the Chobe River to view the rich wildlife and numerous bird species in this amazing game reserve. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon game drive in open safari vehicle. Return to your hotel at Victoria Falls early this evening.

Trip Preparation

FLIGHT INFORMATION

Your departure flights from New York’s JFK Airport to South Africa and back are on South African Airways.  We recommend that you check-in 3 ½ hours before departure.                               

Depart       10:30AM

Return        8:00AM

Please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing immigration and customs if you are planning a connecting flight.  We recommend at least 3 ½ hours.  Please keep in mind that flight schedules are always subject to change.

ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT

South African Airlines does not assign seats in advance.  Seat assignment can only be arranged upon check-in at the airport.

PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION

You must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. All visitors are required by the South African immigration authorities to have a minimum of two consecutive blank visa entry pages in their passport. Insufficient pages in the passport normally results in denied boarding or denial of entry upon arrival and the person is likely to be detained pending return to their country of origin.  Visa not required for American passport holders for South Africa. Non U.S. citizens should check with the respective consulates as to the most current visa requirements to all their travel destinations (which includes the Republic of South Africa and Swaziland and if taking the Victoria Falls extension, also Zimbabwe). Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.

If you are taking the Victoria Falls extension, a Zimbabwe visa is required. U.S and Canadian citizens can obtain the visa on arrival at Victoria Falls airport. US citizens pay a fee of $30 in U.S. dollars (cash) for single entry visa. If you are planning to join the Chobe optional excursion to Botswana, you’ll need a double entry visa which is $45. Canadian passport holders’ single entry visa fee to Zimbabwe is $75 and if taking the full day Chobe optional trip, an additional fee of $75 applies to re-enter Zimbabwe.  Passport holders of other countries need to check with the Zimbabwe embassy before departure as to the visa requirements. Visa fees & regulations are subject to change.

TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS

Your airline tickets along with final instructions and additional travel tips will be sent to you 10 – 7 days before the scheduled departure of your tour.  Please make sure to advise us in case your address changes.

ENTRY REQUIREMENT FOR CHILDREN

Effective October 1, 2014 children 18 and under who enter South Africa will be required to present a certified copy of a full birth certificate.  Copies are not acceptable. If not traveling with both parents then additional documentation is required. For more information about children’s requirements, please visit the consulate website at http://www.southafrica-newyork.net/homeaffairs/index.htm

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

Please consult your personal physician or local public health authorities regarding taking anti malaria pills as well as other recommendations.

CLIMATE

South Africa is located in the southern hemisphere and therefore has the reverse season to those of the U.S. The weather is temperate and even during the wintertime you’ll enjoy comfortable temperatures. Average daytime temperatures are in the 60’s and 70’s from April-Sept and in the 70’s and 80’s from Oct to March. Overnight temperatures are lower by 10-20 degrees.

NON-INCLUDED MEALS

You may dine at either of the hotels used on this tour or in another nearby restaurant recommended by your guide. Food costs in South Africa are very reasonable compared with the USA. Average cost for dinner (excluding drinks) in the coffee shop is about $20-25 per meal per person. Your hotel will accept credit cards for your non-included meals.

CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY

Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards.  However, for “street shopping” you will need local currency or U.S. Dollars.  Your hotels will be able to exchange for you cash to local currency. It is recommended that you bring along cash in small denominations.

BAGGAGE

Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (suitcase maximum 44 pounds) and one carry-on piece not to exceed 18”x10”x8”. We recommend that you do not over-pack and that you take a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.

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Average rating:  
 38 reviews
by Toby & Steve Ross on smarTours
Adventure of a Lifetime!

We had the fortunate opportunity to be on the January 12, 2016 South African Highlights tour led by Ron McGregor. We cannot find enough words to express what a fabulous adventure this trip was. From the first minute we met Ron until the very last day at the airport, he was the Tour Director Extraordinaire! He warned us that this was not a vacation – it was a holiday. His organization kept us all on our toes and allowed us to get the most out of the tour. Ron gave us a realistic lesson in the politics and history of South Africa and there was no question he couldn’t answer. In all of our travels Ron is the best guide we ever had. He led us from place to place and tackled every problem that arose calmly, professionally and proficiently. The extras that he arranged for us – the extra safari, and those of us who didn’t go to Victoria Falls, got the awesome experience of Walking with Lions – which we know none of us will ever forget. The hotels, the food, the local guides, etc. were all more than we ever expected!! This was our first Smartour but it’s not going to be our last one!

by Sharon Schweidel on smarTours
South Africa and Victoria Falls

I have done a great deal of traveling in my life, but I can say that the 17 days I spent on this tour were among the best of my travels, if not THE best. In South Africa, we had a tour director who easily surpasses all others with his knowledge and ability to communicate it. Jeremy was largely responsible for the excellence of this trip. The only downside was the number of different guides in Victoria Falls and Chobe. The optional tours throughout were excellent, but the tours in Victoria Falls were quite expensive.

by Penny DeBarge on smarTours
Amazing

Wish there were ten stars. Just returned from South Africa tour. It not only met, but far exceeded, my expectations. From the second we stepped off the plane and was met by Ron MacGreggor (sp?) our tour guide it was smooth sailing. Ron's knowledge of his country was AMAZING. How he kept 32 people organized and on time was nothing short of miraculous. The small mishaps along the way were handled with a calm and professional manner. The tour itself was unbelievable. I was talking to a woman on our return flight who paid almost double what we did and saw half what we saw. I can without hesitation completely recommend Smartours to anyone who wants to make the most of their vacation and see and experience, to the fullest, the culture where they are going. Memories to last a lifetime!

by Marina Edgar on smarTours
South Africa Highights and Safari

November 24- December 10, 2015. Great trip and very well organized. Food and hotels A plus. And our guide Mr.Ron McGregor is just plain excellent. There is very little that gentleman does not know. Learned a lot. It was like going to school every day but loved it!! Remember, get your Robben Island ticket BEFORE you leave home. The add on of Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls) and Botswana (Chobe National Park and 45,000 elephants) absolutely worth it as were the river cruises. Highly recommend this tour with SmarTours.

by Charles Pulley on smarTours
South Africa review

Great trip with a good cost.

by Stacey on smarTours
The Best. Ever.

The South Africa tour was incredible, and so all-encompassing. Our tour guide, Jeremy, was THE BEST. EVER. He was so knowledgable and passionate about what he does. I could not recommend it more highly.

by helen paulus on smarTours
SOUTH AFRICA TOUR NOVEMBER 2015

TOUR DIRECTOR RON MCGREGOR WAS THE BEST I HAVE HAD IN ALL MY TRAVELS. THE TOUR WAS AN INTELLECTUAL FEAST. WE SAW SO MUCH OF THE COUNTRY AND I LEARNED MORE THAN I EVER ANTICIPATED. I SUGGEST THAT PARTICIPANTS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ALL THE OPTIONAL TOURS AS I FELT THEY WERE WELL WORTH THE EXTRA COST. THIS TRIP FAR EXCEED MY EXPECTATIONS AND DESIRES.

by Linda McCamley on smarTours
Fantastic trip

This was the fourth Smartour I've taken, and one of many over the years. Our tour guide Jeremy was the BEST! His knowledge of South Africa was incredible. The entire tour was well organized. The hotels were great, the optional tours very informative and the itinerary included all the highlights. Victoria Falls extension was also very worth the additional expense.

by Patricia Dungy on smarTours
South African Highlights and Safari

This tour went way beyond my expectations for its ability to present all levels of society in South Africa. The excursions that were included were enhanced by additional excursion opportunities to learn more about low, middle, and upper classes. Our tour guide was provided intelligent insights and was an excellent story-teller in sharing about the history and dynamics of the various people and cultures inhabiting the country. I am now reading his book (Ron McGregor) and reliving my tour again. I am pleased to have made this investment.

by Joanne Zecca-Veater on smarTours
South Africa

We loved the South Africa trip. Our guide Shaun Bartnick was fantastic. He was knowledgable, and never lost patience with some folks on our tour who kept asking questions he had just answered. A few points for improvement: less time in JoBerg airport. Perhaps rearrange the trip so that we are not in JoBerg so often. Publicize ALL the optional tours so we can budget and plan better ahead of time. Less time on the bus - break up the days more. Otherwise everything was perfect

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