Group Size: 2 - 16 passengers
Departs: Weekly on Mondays
Combining two of Bench Africa’s most popular tours allows guests to experience the Highlights of Africa. An all-encompassing adventure to Kenya and Tanzania visits the spectacular Serengeti National Park, the world famous Masai Mara, the breathtaking Ngorongoro Crater and Amboseli National Park standing in the shadow Mt Kilimanjaro. Continuing to South Africa explore the highlights of this magnificent country including the ‘Mother City’, Cape Town, the spectacular coastline along the Garden Route and a ‘Big Five’ safari experience in a private game reserve. Finishing at the mighty Victoria Falls, this 29 day tour offers the very best of East and Southern Africa.
Day 1 - Nairobi
On arrival at Nairobi Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
A haven in the city, this Nairobi hotel is ideally located next to the Parliament building and walking distance to Kenyatta International Convention Centre and the government hub. The hotel is the ideal choice for discerning travellers boasting an award winning Indian restaurant – Bhandini, a dine by the pool restaurant, coffee shop and bars. Explore attractions close to the hotel whether it is the Masai market or the beautiful Nairobi National Park.
Day 2 - Arusha
Enjoy breakfast before making your way to Arusha (flight cost not included). (B)
The Arusha Hotel, first opened in 1894, is one of the oldest and best loved properties in the centre of town. Surrounded by tranquil tropical gardens, it has a history of bygone eras. With 86 elegantly appointed rooms and suites, it is professionally managed with East African friendliness, charm and warmth.
Day 3 - Ngorongoro Crater
Enjoy your morning at leisure. After lunch depart by road to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. (BLD)
Located in the Ngorongoro Highlands, the farm is only a short distance from the Ngorongoro National Park entry gate. There are 52 spacious chalets built in the style of an old colonial farm, rustically decorated with local materials, complete with en-suite bathroom. Additional facilities include a swimming pool, outdoor deck, two dining areas and massage facility. The 500 acre working farm on the slopes of the crater features a six acre organic vegetable garden which not only supplies the lodge, but many other lodges and mobile camp operations throughout northern Tanzania. Enjoy fresh roasted coffee from the 15 acre plantation.
Day 4 - Ngorongoro Crater
Enjoy breakfast before descending over 600m down to the Ngorongoro Crater floor. Covering over 250 sq km of land, the Ngorongoro Crater is home to the rare black rhino, lion, elephant, cheetah and great herds of buffalo, antelope and wildebeest, and is one of Africa’s most unbelievable landscapes. Explore the forest and lake areas where you may see flamingos and open savannah. A picnic lunch will be served in the crater, before driving back late afternoon to Ngorongoro Farm House for dinner and overnight. (BLD)
Day 5 - Serengeti National Park
After breakfast you will travel to Ol’Duvai Gorge, the site of Louis and Mary Leakey’s renowned archaeological discoveries. Their findings include some of man’s earliest known ancestral remains. Continue on to Tanzania’s abundant Serengeti National Park in time for lunch. This enormous park supports every variety of animal imaginable – from large predators to the smaller herbivores they prey on. Enjoy an afternoon safari in the Serengeti National Park and overnight at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge. (BLD)
Located on the edge of the escarpment overlooking the plains of the south-western Serengeti National Park, home too many thousands of wild and rare animals, Serengeti Sopa Lodge lies within an area of outstanding natural beauty. An oasis of cool relaxation from the equatorial sun. The lodge allows its guests to experience magnificent sights and enjoy interaction with the land and animals difficult to find elsewhere, whilst at the same time enjoying the highest level of cuisine and hospitality. The Lodge has 69 standard rooms, all with 2 queen size beds, carpeted, and tastefully furnished with local fabrics and pictures.
Day 6 - Serengeti National Park
Experience the Serengeti National Park in full colour and sound during an entire day spent on game drives through the park (picnic lunch included). (BLD)
Day 7 - Lake Manyara National Park
After breakfast depart for Lake Manyara, a mineral lake in the basin of Africa’s Great Rift Valley. Lunch is taken at Kirurumu Tented Lodge, followed by an afternoon game drive in the park, the home of the so-called ‘tree-climbing lions’. Apart from the varied types of landscape including forest, swamp and savannah, Lake Manyara National Park supports a large variety of animals including giraffe, zebra, elephant, hippos, monkeys and a large variety of birdlife. (BLD)
Kirurumu Tented Camp is located on the edge of Lake Manyara National Park about a 30 minute drive from Manyara Airstrip and about 2 hours from Arusha. In total there are 27 tented rooms, 2 honeymoon suites and 2 family cottages all of which are tented and raised slightly off the ground with a wooden decking, of which each has an amazing view of the Great Rift Valley of Lake Manyara National Park.
Day 8 - Amboseli National Park
After breakfast depart Lake Manyara for Arusha and continue to Tarakea for border crossing into Kenya and on to Amboseli. This afternoon enjoy a game drive or walk on the Elerai Conservancy. (BLD)
Satao Elerai is located in a quiet, unspoilt, unique setting on a 4,000 hectare private conservation area 12 km’s south east of Amboseli National Park at the foot of Africa’s largest mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro. The camp looks over Amboseli National Park and Mt Kilimanjaro, giving you what is arguably the best location of any camp in the area. The camp offers 12 tents and five suites. Each tent has its own en-suite bathroom with solar hot showers and a toilet with a view. Raised cedar wood floors, acacia poles and makuti (thatch) roofing complement the surrounding environment. Large balconies with relaxing day beds combine to offer the perfect place to lie as you take in the ambience when relaxing. The elegantly furnished suite rooms have large sliding doors that open out onto your own private veranda overlooking the plains below and Amboseli National Park. Elephants, giraffe’s and zebra are seen most days from the comfort of your room. Designed using natural rock and acacia wood, the bathrooms have their own naturally crafted bathtub and shower which is unique to Elerai.
Day 9 - Nairobi
Enjoy breakfast before heading out on safari through Amboseli National Park. Stop for a picnic lunch as you travel on to Nairobi. (BL)
Day 10 - Masai Mara Game Reserve
After breakfast, depart Nairobi past the extinct Volcano of Mt Longonot and Suswa, into the homelands of Kenya’s Masai. The Masai Mara Game Reserve constitutes the northern stretch of the Serengeti and has the richest concentration of animals in Kenya. (BLD)
Masai Mara Sopa Lodge is set in the Oloolaimutia Valley, where the lodge totally blends in perfectly with its surrounding hillside landscape. The lodge has 86 rooms, 12 suites and one Presidential suite, all of which have en-suite bathroom facilities with hairdryers. Every room and suite has a private, elevated veranda with splendid views across the valley and on which guests can relax, sunbathe and watch resident birds and wildlife. Minibars are also available in each room. The lodge has a freeform, freshwater pool which offers spectacular views over the valley.
Day 11 - Masai Mara Game Reserve
Today you will get to see the real Kenya as you enjoy a full day game viewing through the Masai Mara Game Reserve, searching for the ‘Big Five’ (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo), with a break for lunch back at the camp. (BLD)
Day 12 - Lake Nakuru National Park
Today you will travel to Kenya’s vibrant Lake Nakuru National Park, famous for its flamingos and pelicans. The park also boasts a good number of rhinos as well as leopard and lion. Lunch is taken at the lodge, followed by an afternoon game drive. (BLD)
Located on a range of hills that form the western limits of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, the lodge offers spectacular views over the vastness of Africa. The lodge, which has 84 rooms in total, also overlooks Lake Nakuru and its surrounding National Park, one that is a paradise for bird watchers and wildlife lovers alike. Lake Nakuru National Park is mainly a wooded and bushy grassland with a wide ecological diversity and characteristic habitats that range from the lake waters to the escarpment and ridges.
Day 13 - Johannesburg
Your day will start with an early morning game drive before breakfast through the Lake Nakuru National Park. Return by road to Nairobi for lunch at the famous Carnivore Restaurant. After lunch you will be transferred to Nairobi Airport for your flight to Johannesburg. (BL)
Own flight arrangements (flight cost not included).
On arrival at Johannesburg Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Peermont Metcourt Hotel at Emperors Palace offers stylish and comfortable rooms. The hotel offers a variety of room configurations and amenities which include LCD flat screen TV, satellite DSTV, tea and coffee stations, secure internet connections, laptop safe, working desk with business-convenient plug points. The hotel’s clean and modern façade is complimented by a private and sheltered pool terrace, set in a beautifully landscaped garden, providing guests with food and beverage service throughout the day.
Day 14 - Cape Town
This morning after breakfast take the courtesy airport shuttle bus back to Johannesburg Airport for your flight to Cape Town. (B)
Own flight arrangements (flight cost not included).
On arrival at Cape Town Airport, you will be met and assisted with your transfer to your hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Situated in the exclusive and wind-free suburb of Bantry Bay, The President Hotel is a peaceful haven just a step away from the buzz of Cape Town’s CBD. Experience four star luxury living in the hotel’s 349 rooms and apartments that make up the beautiful Urban Resort in Cape Town. The President Hotels light, airy, and tranquil rooms and apartments combine contemporary sophistication and comfort with spaciousness. Each and every guest room is beautifully appointed with all the luxury facilities you would expect in a world-class hotel. Enjoy endless views across Table Bay and the Atlantic shoreline while Lion’s Head looms magnificently above, whilst relaxing and soaking up the seaside aromas and stunning views of Cape Town’s beachfront.
Day 15 - Cape Town
Enjoy your morning at leisure. (B)
This afternoon at 13h30 you will be collected from your hotel for a scheduled City Tour – a geographical and cultural extravaganza showing you Cape Town from its historical beginnings to the dazzling, modern city it is today. Table Mountain ticket excluded (as weather permitting). Return to the hotel by 17h30.
Day 16 - Cape Town
This morning you will be collected for your scheduled full day Cape Point & Peninsula Tour. Travel along the Atlantic Seaboard via Sea Point, Clifton and Camps Bay, stopping at a Llandudno look-out point before continuing to Hout Bay, a quaint village and fishing harbour with magnificent mountain views and beach (optional boat trip to Seal Island – at own expense). Continue via Chapman’s Peak, one of the world’s most breathtaking coastal drives, to Cape Point and the Good Hope Nature Reserve. After lunch at a nearby restaurant (not included in cost), we go on to historic Simon’s Town – a village with charming Victorian architecture, a naval base and a large penguin colony at the beautiful Boulders Beach. Boulders Penguin Colony is home to a growing colony of the vulnerable African Penguin. (B)
End the day with a visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens which is world-renowned for the beauty and diversity of the Cape Flora it displays and for the magnificence of its setting against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. The tour ends upon return to your hotel during the late afternoon.
Day 17 - Cape Town
Today you will embark on a scheduled full day Cape Winelands Tour. This is a delightful drive, which winds its way to the heart of the Cape Winelands through superb mountain ranges, vineyards and Cape Dutch homesteads. Head off to the wine country via the N2 to the heart of South Africa’s wine industry, Stellenbosch, boasting great beauty and culture that is steeped in South African history. With the sheer vastness of wine estates on offer, you’re truly spoilt for choice when you enjoy your first wine tasting of the day. Travel over the Helshoogte Pass to the town of Franschhoek. Billed as the Gourmet Capital of South Africa, this charming town, in a most picturesque valley, retains a French Huguenot style. We enjoy a wine tasting before taking time to enjoy the fabled culinary skills of the Franschhoek chefs at one of the many award winning restaurants (lunch at own expense). Time permitting, a visit to a Paarl region estate would be included to round off the day’s wine-tasting experiences before heading back to Cape Town. (B)
Day 18 - Oudtshoorn
This morning at 08h00 you will depart Cape Town and travel along Route 62 to Barrydale for lunch (at own expense). Continue to Oudtshoorn – the ‘feather capital’ of the world. Visit a working ostrich farm for a guided tour. Check into your accommodation in the late afternoon before enjoying dinner. (BD)
Situated at the foot of the majestic Swartberg Mountain range (a UNESCO World Heritage site) in the Klein Karoo, Surval Boutique Olive Estate offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the Schoemanshoek Valley. Encompassing 23 luxurious and individually decorated suites and bedrooms. Each room is individually styled, and offers an indigenous South African feel. All rooms are spacious, with the finest furniture and fabrics, wooden shutters providing total privacy, offering you a luxurious experience of style and space.
Day 19 - Knysna
Enjoy a morning tour of the Cango Caves – one of the natural wonders of the world. Continue to the lagoon side town of Knysna – the gem of the Garden Route. Enjoy some time at leisure at the Knysna Waterfront before proceeding to The Crags near Plettenberg Bay. Embark on an informative cruise up the Keurbooms River before arriving at your accommodation where you will spend the following two nights. Freshen up before dinner at the lodge. (BD)
Just 18km East of the coastal town of Plettenberg Bay along the renowned holiday destination of the Garden Route is Hog Hollow Country Lodge & Villa, set on the edge of indigenous forest with breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and Tsitsikamma Mountains.
Day 20 - Knysna
After breakfast, get up-close-and-personal with nature at the Elephant Sanctuary. With the help of the resident African elephants and the well-informed guides, you will learn about the sad and mystical story of the Elephants. The visit presents you with the opportunity to touch, feed and photograph these gentle giants. After lunch (at own expense), travel to Plettenberg Bay for a visit to Birds of Eden – the largest free-flight bird aviary in the world. Birds of Eden stems from the need to create a safe environment in which to release a large collection of free-flight African birds and the sanctuary also enables bird owners to apply to release their pet birds into the sanctuary, after undergoing rehabilitation. (BD)
Day 21 - Port Elizabeth
After breakfast and check-out formalities, journey along the final leg of the Garden Route to the beautiful Tsitsikamma National Park. Described as the ‘Gem of the Garden Route’, the Tsitsikamma actually deserves a more vivid description to encapsulate the beauty of the place. Enjoy a walk along the suspension bridge across the Storms River mouth gorge which offers visitors incredible views and photo opportunities. Arrive in Port Elizabeth at approximately 18h00 with drop-off at the hotel. (B)
The Radisson Port Elizabeth Hotel perfectly balances its contemporary architecture and urban interiors with spectacular Indian Ocean surroundings, offering an ideal stay for every kind of traveller. The 173 rooms and suites provide conveniences like free high-speed, wireless Internet and treat guests to memorable sea views. Enjoy delicious dining options, including local cuisine and delicious pizza, and head to the on-site Camelot Spa and the gym for a day of rejuvenation and invigoration.
Day 22 - Johannesburg
This morning you will be transferred to Port Elizabeth Airport for your flight to Johannesburg. (B)
Own flight arrangements (flight cost not included).
On arrival at Johannesburg Airport, you will be met and transferred to the hotel. This afternoon at 13h30 you will be collected from your hotel for a scheduled afternoon Johannesburg City Tour. Johannesburg is a booming, happening city and the area close to City Hall, Newtown Cultural Precinct and Maboneng Precinct, which has completely transformed the Market Theatre and surrounds, now forms the heart of urban revival. Visit the Ghandi Memorial, see how art is being used to revitalise and uplift the inner city of Johannesburg and get a bird’s eye view of Johannesburg from the top of Carlton Centre. Return to your hotel for remainder of the evening at leisure. (B)
The Protea Hotel Balalaika on Maude Street, in Sandton, is located in Johannesburg’s economic heartland. The hotel’s charming colonial theme is accentuated with wooden elements and delicate floral accents. Each of the 330 classically-styled rooms make guests feel as though they never left home – with a king-size bed, LCD television, electronic safe and a full en-suite bathroom with a walk-in shower. Business executives are catered to with a desk, office chair and international plug points.
Day 23 - Johannesburg
This morning you will be collected for your scheduled morning Half Day Soweto Tour. Soweto is a cluster of townships located at the south western flank of Johannesburg. It is from here that most of the struggle was fought against the injustices of the apartheid regime and is home to sites of historical importance. The tour ends with lunch at a local township tavern before proceeding to spend the remainder of the afternoon exploring the exhibit at The Apartheid Museum. The Apartheid Museum opened in 2001 and is acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th Century South Africa, at the heart of which is the apartheid story. The exhibits include provocative film footage, photographs, text panels and artifacts illustrating the events and human stories that are part of the epic saga. For anyone wanting to understand and experience what apartheid South Africa was really like, a visit to the Apartheid Museum is fundamental. (BL)
Day 24 - Hazyview
Depart Johannesburg and travel to the ‘Land of the Rising Sun – Mpumalanga – via the magnificent Panorama Route. The most spectacular stretch of the Panorama Route is the Blyde River Canyon. From many well-positioned vantage points one has a view of the 33 km long gorge, which starts at “Bourke’s Luck Potholes” and ends at the “Three Rondavels”. Time and weather permitting, stop at God’s Window. Late afternoon arrival at your hotel. Check-in and freshen up before dinner. (BD)
Perry’s Bridge Hollow is set in beautiful grounds just minutes from Kruger National Park and close to the Panorama Route – a dramatically scenic region home to highlights such as Blyde River Canyon, Pilgrim’s Rest, God’s Window and Bourke’s Luck Potholes. Perry’s Bridge Hollow is a delightful stop-over or holiday destination with something of interest to suit every kind of traveller, both young and old. The 31 spacious rooms offer relaxed, yet sophisticated accommodation in a beautiful indigenous garden setting. The colonial-styled custom furnished, air-conditioned rooms each feature satellite television, indoor and outdoor showers, mini-safes, tea and coffee making facilities, mini-fridges and private patios with Lowveld vistas. Time spent at the swimming pool in this beautiful garden setting is bound to leave you feeling refreshed and revived.
Day 25 - Manyeleti Reserve
After breakfast and check-out formalities, you will be transferred to the Manyeleti Reserve, sharing unfenced borders with the Kruger National Park, for an authentic African bush stay. The camp offers a breathtaking wildlife experience whilst still pampering the senses with meticulous service and superb cuisine. Morning and evening game tracking drives in open 4X4 vehicles bring you into close contact with the ‘Big Five’ as well as the other aspects of our wildlife. Highly experienced guides will take you on foot to bring into clear focus the magic of the bush with its myriad of busy insects and resplendent birdlife during your stay. (BLD)
The tents at Mantobeni Camp are furnished with king size beds (which can be converted to twins if required), mosquito nets and soft leather couches. Each tent has an en-suite bathroom with a sunken concrete bath, double shower, his and hers basins and a separate toilet. The tents are each set on a wooden platform that has 5 steps leading up to the tent. There is soft lighting within the tent and mosquito repellent is provided for our guests.
Day 26 - Manyeleti Reserve
Enjoy a full day of being treated like African Royalty whilst creating a memorable safari experience on the scheduled game viewing activities on offer. (BLD)
Day 27 - Livingstone
Time permitting, embark on your final early morning game viewing activity before returning to camp for breakfast followed by check-out formalities. You will be collected for your transfer to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport for your flight to Livingstone, Zambia. (B)
Own flight arrangements (flight cost not included).
On arrival at Livingstone Airport you will be met and transferred to your resort.
Situated on the banks of the Zambezi River, adjacent to the mighty Victoria Fall and 20km from Livingstone Airport, AVANI Victoria Falls Resort (Formerly ‘The Zambezi Sun’) is designed in funky adobe-style décor with vibrant earthy colours creating a relaxed and fun atmosphere. The main reception looks onto the swimming pool and restaurants include an indoor buffet and alfresco poolside facility. The pool also features a bar and entertainment stage. There is a children’s playground and kids’ club – Kamp Kwena.
Day 28 - Livingstone
Enjoy your day at leisure. (B)
Day 29 - End of Highlights of Africa Tour
This morning you will be collected from your resort and transferred to Livingstone Airport where the tour ends. (B)
Dates and Pricing
Prices shown are per person based on twin share. Seasonal supplements and minimum night requirement may apply. Solo traveller and extra night prices available on request. Luggage restrictions may apply. International flights not included. Changes to the itinerary may be required at certain times of the year. The cost of this tour excludes all internal flights (from $2,250 per person – these can be booked by Bench).