Botswana and Cape Town Grand Tour

 

11 Nights

Starting from

91548.80 p.p.

A luxury safari exploring the Okavango Delta and the best of Cape Town.

This unique trip, created with the Belmond Group, whisks visitors away on a luxury safari tour that spans from Cape Town to Botswana and takes in two UNESCO world heritage sites. The Belmond name is, of course, synonymous with luxury, and you will get to experience this for yourself as you visit three luxury safari lodges in the Okavango Delta and finally the grand dame of Cape Town luxury hotels.

 

Ticks on your bucket list:
 

  • Visit two UNESCO world heritage sites
  • Stay in three luxurious lodges
  • Explore the Delta by game drive, speedboat and mokoro
  • See 1500-year-old bushmen paintings
  • Meet the San Bushmen in their village
  • Enjoy Cape Town's thriving culinary scene
  • Tour the oldest wine region in the new world
  • Meet the penguins of Boulders Beach
  • Enjoy the views from atop Table Mountain

Botswana is one of our favourite safari destinations and one of Africa’s hidden gems. While admittedly more expensive on average than elsewhere on the continent (owing to the government’s focus on high yield, low impact tourism) a safari in Botswana will immerse you in some of the most pristinely conserved wilderness in Africa and, of course, the spectacle that is the Okavango Delta. This two-million-hectare oasis in the middle of the Great Kalahari Desert attracts the most spectacular migrations of animals and birds when the flood waters arrive from the Angolan Highlands more than 1,000 km away.

Belmond’s properties serve as modern, sustainable and luxurious launch pads to explore this vast area on what promises to be an unforgettable, and unique safari experience during the first six days of your trip. To make the most of your time, you will be whisked by private plane between the Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, Belmond Eagle Island Lodge and Belmond Khwai River Lodge to enjoy the unique safari experiences each of lodges offer. 

Of course, the benefit of low impact tourism is that lodges are small, intimate and generally quite isolated, providing an experience that will never leave you feeling like you are part of a tourist crowd. With their exceptional attention to detail, it will honestly feel like every single moment of your trip has been handcrafted just for you. 

Your final four days are spent in a city that needs no introduction, the cosmopolitan and chic Cape Town. Its spectacular coastline, epic natural scenery and vibrant buzz, especially during the summer season, make it easy to see why it is often voted as the most beautiful city on earth. 

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Day 1.  Enjoy the views from your luxury tent's private deck

Savute Elephant Lodge

Game Drive

Full board

Arriving in Maun from Cape Town, you will board a private plane for your transfer to Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, which will be your starting base to explore the Moremi Game Reserve and the UNESCO listed Okavango Delta. Prepare to witness one of the most spectacular and unspoilt wildlife extravaganzas as well as some of the most unusual safari experiences you can imagine. The Savute Elephant lodge is an explorer's paradise. This sustainably designed oasis will envelop you in a timeless luxury afforded by the accommodation. Take in the magnificent view from your private deck before going on an evening game drive. As the shadows start to lengthen, the skies in the horizon take on a unique African orange glow at sunset. At this time of day, the bush comes back to life as the heat abates and predators return to their prowl for pray. With each vehicle only carrying six guests you are ensured a spectacular view from your window seat. On your return to camp, you will be served dinner at the lodge's raised restaurant overlooking the stunning Savute Channel. Cap off your evening by making the most of your opportunity to stargaze at this location with near zero light pollution. Using a powerful telescope, you will have the chance to see the star-studded Milky Way with a clarity and depth unimaginable in the northern hemisphere.

Included: Full board, all activities, transfer to lodge
Optional extras: Premium drinks

Day 2.  Go on a game drive and see 1,500 year-old bushman paintings

Savute Elephant Lodge

Bushmen paintings

Boma dinner

Awake to the smell of freshly baked pastries and coffee served to your tent. Prepare to setoff with your guide on a morning game drive as the first rays of the sun start to peak out over the horizon. The touch of a cool morning breeze and the scent of wild sage awake your senses in preparation the spectacle of nature about to unfold in front of your eyes. Expect to see everything from elephants, lions and leopards, and depending on the time of the year, the great migrations of zebra and antelope in their thousands. On a good day, you may even be treated to a rare sighting of the endangered wild dog. After lunch, you are taken up among stony hills for a collection of paintings unlike any you have seen before. Thought to be more than 1,500 years old, these paintings depict the diverse animal populations that shared the bushmen's habitat. From here it's on to an imposing cluster of 13 giant baobab trees which are almost as old as the bushmen paintings. It is fabled that these trees use to be fond of walking around and refused to stay rooted in one spot. It annoyed God so much that he plucked them from the ground and planted them upside down. They seem to have stayed put since. On your return to the lodge treat yourself to a soothing spa treatment as you watch elephants graze at nearby Marula trees before setting off for dinner at the Boma where you are welcomed by a huge bonfire, a traditional choir and a buffet of the most tempting African specialities.

Included: Full board and all activities
Optional extras: Premium drinks, spa treatments

Day 3.  Enjoy a mokoro safari and look in awe at 400 species of birds

Eagle Island Lodge

Mokoro Safari

Full board

After breakfast, we set off by private plane to Belmond Eagle Island Lodge. This grand lodge is situated on a private island in the heart of the Okavango Delta and offers the ultimate launchpad for water-based safaris. After settling in, your adventure kicks off with a mokoro safari. The mokoro is a traditional canoe-like vessel commonly used in the Okavango Delta as a mode of transport, and more recently as a way for visitors to explore the Okavango while on safari. The narrow mokoro offers a serene, dreamlike gliding experience through the shallow papyrus waterways of the delta, taking you to places inaccessible by foot, boat and even land vehicles. Returning home to the lodge after a day on the water is, of course, also a treat in itself. The twelve luxurious tented rooms are arranged to offer both privacy and stunning views, the latter of which can be enjoyed from either your oversized bed or from the large outdoor deck boasting a private plunge pool. The African thatched roofed tents offer both indoor and outdoor showers. Before dinner, you may wish to spend some time indulging in one of the island's principal attractions: birdwatching. Many people come to Belmond Eagle Island Lodge purely to experience its massive variety of birds. The 400 land and aquatic species drawn to the watery Okavango Delta and Eagle Island, in particular, make for an unrivalled bird viewing opportunity.

Included: Full board, all activities, transfer to lodge
Optional extras: Premium drinks

Day 4.  Meet creatures great and small as you explore on foot and by speedboat

Fish Island Lodge

Speedboat Safari

Full board

It's another early start to your final day at Eagle Island Lodge. After breakfast, you are off on a walking safari, an experience that truly takes you on a path less travelled. Enveloped by nature, you will experience the local habitat in a way impossible by any other mode of transport. From getting up close with small insects, to your guide showing you how to track animals in the wild as bushmen do, a morning spent looking at the minute and more intricate elements of your surrounds tend to leave an oversized impact on visitors. In the afternoon you are off on a speedboat safari. With more than 2 million hectares to explore (roughly the same size as Wales), covering off great distances in this extensive wetland can be challenging. Speedboat safaris are a great way to explore the area at speed, allowing you to witness the many creatures navigating its waterways in an area mostly inaccessible to vehicles. As the day draws to a close, you will change your mode of transportation and move from speedboat to barge as you gently cruise down the delta for sundowners. Expect your sunset to be framed by birds swirling in the sky, elephants bathing and pods of hippos seemingly drifting past.

Included: Full board and all activities
Optional extras: Helicopter safari, horseback safari


 

Day 5.  Indulge in bird watching, a game drive and the boma experience

Khwai River Lodge

Bird Watching

Boma Dinner

It's on to your third and final lodge in the delta as you transfer by private plane to Belmond Khwai River Lodge. Nestled on the edge of a leadwood forest and built on raised platforms, the lodge offers unsurpassed views of the Moremi Wildlife Reserve's expansive floodplains. Each tent comes with an elegant bathroom, private deck, easy chairs and even hammocks, all offering near 360-degree views of the surrounding wilderness. Many come here exclusively for bird-watching. With more than 300 species of birds in the area, the annual migration of massive flocks of Carmine Bee-eaters offers one of the most spectacular avian events you can imagine. After an afternoon game drive in the Moremi Reserve, the only place in Botswana boasting the big 5, it's on to the boma experience for dinner. Exchange tails of your day's adventures around the campfire while a traditional choir provides the soundtrack to a dining experience filled with African specialities. A lack of light pollution also makes this an ideal spot to stargaze with unique views of the Milky Way, Orian and Venus. Here you will learn how bushmen used the stars to locate the true south and a powerful telescope helps guests view stars and constellations only visible from the southern hemisphere.

Included: Full board, all activities, transfer to lodge
Optional extras: Premium drinks

 

Day 6.  Visit a San Bushman village and learn the ancient art of tracking

Khwai River Lodge

Visit a San village

Full board

On day six expect heaps of variety with a visit to a nearby San Bushman village and a walking safari. Get introduced to the San who live in a nearby village, and if you are fortunate to get invited into a private home, you will experience how the San have adapted their ancient traditions to keep up with a more modern way of living. In the afternoon your private guide will take you on a walking safari. As you become enveloped in the surrounding wilderness, you will have the opportunity to make amazing discoveries which would be impossible with vehicle-based safaris. The ancient art of animal tracking will be shared with you, but as your focus shifts from big game to the smaller inhabitants of the delta, expect to be delighted by small creatures making a big impression. Dinner on your final night at the lodge is served in the open air and covered dining areas where you are treated to an exceptional dining experience. Enjoy delicious cuisine prepared by the lodge's chef while surrounded by wildlife and taking in the spectacular view over the delta.

Included: Full board, all activities
Optional extra: Premium drinks

Day 7.  Wave good-bye delta, and hello gorgeous to Cape Town

Mount Nelson Hotel

Transfer to Cape Town

Planet Restaurant

After a hearty breakfast to start the day, is time to bid Botswana farewell as you exchange the serene wilderness of the Okavango Delta for the metropolitan buzz of one of the most beautiful cities on earth. After being transferred to Maun by private plane, you will board a commercial flight to Cape Town. On arrival, you will check into a junior suite at the city's grand dame of luxury hotels, the Belmond Mount Nelson. Enthralling visitors since 1899, this iconic resort hotel with its expansive gardens offer a tranquil hideaway, moments away from the city's buzzing heart. With more than 72 beaches, a buzzing nightlife and wide array of cultural indulgences, visitors to Cape Town have a never-ending list of options to spend their time. As such, your stay is at the Mount Nelson is on a bed and breakfast basis, and our itinerary for Cape Town is purely recommendations, rather than a fixed diary. Journeez will be more than happy to help you plan your time here on request. On your first day, we suggest you relax after your trip, explore the hotel's expansive grounds, take in a spa treatment and try out one of the hotel's many onsite dining options.

Included: Full board, airport transfer to Maun
Optional extras: Premium drinks

Day 8.  Explore the history and diverse cultural tapestry of the city

Mount Nelson Hotel

City tour

The Pot Luck Club

Thanks to the mountain looming large over the entire metropolitan area, Cape Town is incredibly easy to navigate on your own. We suggest, however, that your first day kicks off with a Cape Town city tour to learn the lay of the land. The tour starts with a ferry trip to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. From Cape Town's birth in the 17th century, the island has served as a place of banishment and imprisonment. Now a world heritage site, it serves as a constant reminder of the price paid for freedom. On your return to the city, you will travel through the Bo-Kaap, Cape Town's most colourful and recognisable neighbourhood. Built as slave quarters near the harbour, it now serves as a beacon for the influence that Malay slaves had on the local culture, cuisine and aesthetics of this beautiful city and its people. Your tour takes you through the city's key landmarks such as The Company Gardens, Houses of Parliament, the Grand Parade and City Hall where Nelson Mandela made his first speech as a free man and finally, the Castle of Good Hope, the oldest building in the country, and home to the first European settlers on these shores. Your final adventure for the day (weather permitting), is the world-famous cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain. From here you can enjoy sweeping views of both the city and the spectacular peninsula creating the Tip of Africa. Cape Town is well known for its thriving and inventive culinary scene, and for dinner, we recommend dinner at the Pot Luck Club. A collaboration between the city's creative set, it's considered one of the coolest restaurants in town. Be ready to be served up innovative cuisine in one of the more edgy, yet trendy, neighbourhoods in town.

Included: Bed and breakfast only

Day 9.  Tour the Winelands and immerse yourself in a 15-course feast of African fair

Mount Nelson

Vineyard Tour

Gold Restaurant

No visit to Cape Town would be complete without a visit to the picturesque Cape Winelands with the beautiful towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek at its centre. This region is the oldest wine producer in the world outside of the Mediterranean, and that maturity shows in the massive array of award-winning wines produced here. Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel offers half and full day tours of the key Winelands (there are many to choose from including the longest wine route in the world). Should you prefer, you can also arrange a tour that focusses on either red, white or Cap Classique (sparkling wine). If you have the afternoon to spare we recommend Drumming at the Gold Museum, the cultural experience that helps you cover a lot of ground very quickly. Starting with a tour of the Gold Museum, the experience also includes a drumming session with an expert as well as a live performance. The grand finale is the dinner at Gold Restaurant where you are served a 15-course meal of African and Cape Malay delights. For a more laid-back dining experience head to Seabreeze in Cape Town's culinary hub of Upper Bree street. Seabreeze Fish and Shell is an unpretentious spot dishing up the most exquisite delights that the coastline has to offer. The menu is dictated by what comes off the boat in the morning, but we have been reliably told that oysters and champagne are always in stock.

Included: Bed and breakfast only

Day 10.  Explore the Cape Peninsula and learn about life in the townships

Mount Nelson Hotel

Peninsula Tour

Chef's Table

One is easily mesmerised by Cape Town's trendy and upmarket havens of the city bowl and the Atlantic seaboard, but we highly recommend adding a township tour to your itinerary. Townships are the areas that were previously reserved for the native African population and include both formal housing and shanty towns. The Hope and Harvest Tour takes you through the sprawling Langa and Gugulethu area to learn about township life, before visiting a Mama Kaba's Organic Vegetable garden for morning tea. Now a successful and entrepreneurial farm, it was started from dire need as a community project on a small neglected piece of municipal land. Mama Kaba not only transformed the land but transformed people's lives with this initiative. The Mount Nelson Hotel has been buying vegetables, herbs and salads from this organic garden for more than four years. After tea, you will walk through the garden collecting your own fresh produce in a basket, which the chefs back at the hotel will transform into a delicious local dish that is truly from farm to plate. For lunch, we recommend the Chef's Table located in the Belmond Mount Nelson's kitchen. This distinctively different gourmet experience places you right in the middle of the action. Located in an alcove in the heart of the hotel kitchens, you will be able to observe the sizzling action of a working kitchen catering to a busy hotel. An over-sized mirror positioned on one of the walls ensures that every guest will have a view of the chefs in action. The chefs will be on hand to share cooking tips, recipes, anecdotes and the inspiration behind each dish. Dress comfortably, the kitchen can get quite hot. For an afternoon outing, we suggest you explore the peninsula's stunning and rugged coastline and meet the famous penguins of Boulder's beach on The Cape Peninsula Tour. Expect to see beautiful sea-side villages, gorgeous beaches stretching as far as the eye can see, and a jaw-droppingly epic drive on the cliff-hugging Chapman's Peak drive on your way to Cape Point, the mythical meeting spot of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

Included: Bed and breakfast only

Day 11.  Take a final bite out of Cape Town before saying good-bye

Check-out

Zeitz Mocaa

V&A Waterfront

It's your final day in Cape Town, if you are flying directly from Cape Town to Europe it is likely that you will only board an evening flight leaving you with a day, or at least a morning to enjoy a final taste of Cape Town's many delights. If you enjoy a bit of shopping, you can head to Green Market Square and St Georges Mall in the city centre or else choose to spend your day at the V&A waterfront. Once Cape Town's main harbour, it has become a premier shopping, dining and entertainment hub. From international fashion brands to local crafts, you'll find it all here. Lunch at one of the many restaurants here and take a stroll around the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. Dubbed the Tate Modern of Africa, it is situated in an old harbour silo which has been thoughtfully repurposed. You are bound to be impressed by both its stunning architecture and the art it contains. From here return to your hotel to collect your luggage and make your way to the airport.

Included: Bed and breakfast only

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