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Africa

African Safari: A Close-up on Wildlife

Program No. 13938RJ
Take the adventure of a lifetime as you explore parks and reserves on a southern Africa safari, spotting some of the world’s most iconic animals and learning about conservation efforts.
Length
15 days
Rating (4.97)
Activity Level
Starts at
7,699
Flights start at
1,425

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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climate
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itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 24 - Apr 7, 2023
Starting at
7,699
Apr 21 - May 5, 2023
Starting at
7,699
May 14 - May 28, 2023
Starting at
7,699
Jun 15 - Jun 29, 2023
Starting at
7,899
Jul 16 - Jul 30, 2023
Starting at
7,899
Itinerary Note

For days 9-11, this departure will stay at Tsowa Safari Island in the Upper Zambezi River instead of Chobe Savanna Lodge on the Chobe Riverfront. Activities still focus on safaris, including a day trip into Chobe National Park, Botswana.

Aug 3 - Aug 17, 2023
Starting at
7,899
Sep 15 - Sep 29, 2023
Starting at
7,899
Sep 29 - Oct 13, 2023
Starting at
7,899
Oct 8 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
7,899
Oct 13 - Oct 27, 2023
Starting at
7,899
Nov 3 - Nov 17, 2023
Starting at
7,699
Jan 26 - Feb 9, 2024
Starting at
7,899
Feb 9 - Feb 23, 2024
Starting at
7,899
Mar 15 - Mar 29, 2024
Starting at
7,899
Apr 24 - May 8, 2024
Starting at
7,899
May 10 - May 24, 2024
Starting at
7,949
Jun 7 - Jun 21, 2024
Starting at
8,099
Jul 14 - Jul 28, 2024
Starting at
8,099
Jul 26 - Aug 9, 2024
Starting at
8,099
Aug 18 - Sep 1, 2024
Starting at
8,099
Sep 6 - Sep 20, 2024
Starting at
8,099
Sep 27 - Oct 11, 2024
Starting at
8,099
Oct 30 - Nov 13, 2024
Starting at
7,899
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 24 - Apr 7, 2023
Starting at
8,299
Apr 21 - May 5, 2023
Starting at
8,299
May 14 - May 28, 2023
Starting at
8,299
Jun 15 - Jun 29, 2023
Starting at
8,499
Jul 16 - Jul 30, 2023
Starting at
8,499
Itinerary Note

For days 9-11, this departure will stay at Tsowa Safari Island in the Upper Zambezi River instead of Chobe Savanna Lodge on the Chobe Riverfront. Activities still focus on safaris, including a day trip into Chobe National Park, Botswana.

Aug 3 - Aug 17, 2023
Starting at
8,499
Sep 15 - Sep 29, 2023
Starting at
8,499
Sep 29 - Oct 13, 2023
Starting at
8,499
Oct 8 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
8,499
Oct 13 - Oct 27, 2023
Starting at
8,499
Nov 3 - Nov 17, 2023
Starting at
8,299
Jan 26 - Feb 9, 2024
Starting at
8,379
Feb 9 - Feb 23, 2024
Starting at
8,379
Mar 15 - Mar 29, 2024
Starting at
8,379
Apr 24 - May 8, 2024
Starting at
8,379
May 10 - May 24, 2024
Starting at
8,549
Jun 7 - Jun 21, 2024
Starting at
8,699
Jul 14 - Jul 28, 2024
Starting at
8,699
Jul 26 - Aug 9, 2024
Starting at
8,699
Aug 18 - Sep 1, 2024
Starting at
8,699
Sep 6 - Sep 20, 2024
Starting at
8,699
Sep 27 - Oct 11, 2024
Starting at
8,699
Oct 30 - Nov 13, 2024
Starting at
8,379

At a Glance

Elephant, lion, blue wildebeest, vervet monkeys — just a few of the thousands of species observable in the national parks and private reserves of sub-Saharan Africa. In South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia, encounter an unimaginable diversity of wildlife and meet the people who have dedicated their lives to its protection.

Extend Your Adventure

This program offers an optional program extension.

Extension: The Best of Cape Town

Gain a deeper understanding of South Africa as you explore Cape Town with experts, learning about apartheid, exploring historic sites and enjoying local wine and cuisine.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to two miles at a time; some stairs and slick paths. Open-air safari vehicles require stamina, stability for long rides, getting in and out.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Explore wildlife along the wildlife-rich Chobe Riverfront.
  • Search for the majestic Presidential elephant herd in Hwange.
  • See Victoria Falls, discover nearby crafts markets and interact with local artisans.

General Notes

Please refer to the “Travel Information” section on the Road Scholar website or contact the provider if you plan on booking your own flights for correct arrival and departure dates. Following select departures, you can extend your program with "Extension: The Best of Cape Town (#13597)". Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available. The summer months of November-March are considered the green season in southern Africa; quick rain showers in the afternoon are common, and game viewing may be more difficult due to the lush vegetation and more plentiful water, which causes the wildlife to be more dispersed. Seasonal advantages this time of year: the vegetation is beautiful and green; the flowering plants are in bloom; many animals give birth at this time of year; and there are more bird species in the area due to migratory birds.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Honest Siyawareva
Growing up, Honest Siyawareva spent much of his life in close proximity to nature, thanks to his family’s passion. Fulfilling his family legacy — his father and uncle were both professional nature leaders — in 2014, Honest qualified as a professional nature leader in Zimbabwe, the only person to pass the extremely onerous examinations that year. Working for Wilderness Safaris in Zimbabwe, he has split his time between camps in Hwange National Park and Mana Pools National Park.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Lisa Reed
Lisa Reed was born in Zimbabwe, spent her school years in South Africa, and now lives in Botswana. She has worked or visited most Southern and East African safari destinations, and has managed safari camps on her own and with others since being in Botswana. Lisa has a natural affinity with adults and children, and enjoys passing on her years of experience and knowledge to the next generation. She has been leading safaris for Road Scholar for more than 15 years.
Profile Image of Keith Chisnall
Keith Chisnall View biography
A local of northern Zimbabwe, Keith Chisnall relishes in showing the bush culture to travelers from around the world. As a child, Keith learned the medicinal value of bush plants, how to track animals, tribal customs and the indigenous flora and fauna, and his knowledge has only grown since then. He’s worked as an engineer, salesman and detective, but his most meaningful work has been in leading educational adventures. After over 20 years of experience leading groups in “Big Five” territory, you can rely on Keith to explain every aspect and every detail of the wilderness!
Profile Image of Sisa Moyo
Sisa is Ndebele by tribe and grew up in Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s beautiful wilderness and wildlife inspired him to begin leading overland trips. In 2011, Sisa served as an Ambassador for Zimbabwe at Walt Disney World, raising awareness about conservation issues. He currently lives in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe with his wife and family. In his "office," covering thousands of miles in Southern Africa, Sisa shares his passion for the bush and his country with travelers from around the world.
Profile Image of Sam Mushandu
Sam Mushandu View biography
Sam was born in a small village in southeast Zimbabwe. Growing up in the village gave him an appreciation for nature, particularly during holidays when he would herd his family’s cattle in the bush. Sam attended Bulawayo Commercial College and is an award-winning safari educator. He has lead learning safaris throughout southern Africa, including top destinations like Hwange and Kafue National Parks. Sam lives with his wife and family in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and enjoys history and fishing. (Be prepared to hear some fishing stories!)
Profile Image of Honest Siyawareva
Honest Siyawareva View biography
Growing up, Honest Siyawareva spent much of his life in close proximity to nature, thanks to his family’s passion. Fulfilling his family legacy — his father and uncle were both professional nature leaders — in 2014, Honest qualified as a professional nature leader in Zimbabwe, the only person to pass the extremely onerous examinations that year. Working for Wilderness Safaris in Zimbabwe, he has split his time between camps in Hwange National Park and Mana Pools National Park.
Profile Image of Mark Geraghty
Mark Geraghty View biography
Mark Geraghty was born in Ndola, Northern Zambia where his father was stationed in the British Army. He grew up in Zambia, until his family moved to Harare, Zimbabwe. Not only has Mark traveled extensively throughout Southern Africa, but he has also spent time in Kenya and the Congo. His marriage into a prominent Zimbabwean family sparked an interest in Africa’s early history, specifically the “Scramble for Africa.” Mark is a passionate storyteller with a piercing insight and great sense of humor.
Profile Image of Victoria Falls Heritage Tours, David Livingstone Presentation
Victoria Falls Heritage Tours, David Livingstone Presentation View biography
A dynamic storyteller from Victoria Falls Heritage Tours will join your group to discuss David Livingstone's fascinating life and his explorations, which covered more than 28,000 miles of uncharted territory. Dr. Livingstone's unparalleled story is truly an inspiration and will offer new-found perspectives on the African continent.
Profile Image of Khule Ndlovu
Khule Ndlovu View biography
Mkhulekelwa Ndlovu — Khule for short — was born in Matebeleland, Zimbabwe, in 1971 and grew up in a small village as the youngest of nine children. After completing his primary and secondary education, he worked for a vet who took him to game farms where he met rangers and safari guides who inspired him. Khule qualified for Zimbabwe’s prestigious Professional Guide designation in 2001 and has never looked back. He currently resides in Victoria Falls with his family. Khule loves nature and guiding is his passion.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Adventuring in Southern Africa
by Allen Bechky
This comprehensive guide to game parks throughout Southern Africa includes an overview of the region, tips on watching wildlife and good descriptive information on each park or nature reserve.
The Scramble for Africa
by Thomas Pakenham
A well-written, meticulously researched history of the Victorian land grab in Africa. The book includes especially good portraits of the egomaniacal personalities who overran the continent.
Silent Thunder, In the Presence of Elephants
by Katy Payne
In this memoir, Katy Payne relates stories of research, discovery and conservation in Africa. An acoustic biologist, Payne has worked on communication among elephant populations at Amboseli National Park, Etosha and Sengwa.
Okavango, Africa’s Last Eden
by Franz Lanting
In this handsome volume, master wildlife photographer Franz Lanting captures the wildlife and habitats of the Okavango
Cry of the Kalahari
by Mark Owens, Delia Owens
A thoroughly readable version of Born Free, set in Botswana (and just as weepy about the animals). This is the book that got the Owens family thrown out of Botswana, in part because of their opposition to fencing the land.
The Ukimwi Road, From Kenya to Zimbabwe
by Dervla Murphy
An Irish grandmother and award-winning travel writer, Murphy journeys from Kenya to Zimbabwe, including a sojourn in Zambia.
Southern Africa Wildlife, A Visitor's Guide
by Mike Unwin
A popular, photographic guide to the mammals, birds, reptiles and habitats south of the Zambezi. With 300 color photographs and illuminating text.
Lonely Planet Botswana
by Lonely Planet
A comprehensive, practical guide in Lonely Planet’s hallmark style with 16 detailed maps and a separate chapter on Victoria Falls.
Bradt Guide to Zambia
by Chris McIntyre
A detailed overview of Zambia, its history, culture, attractions and natural history with color photos, maps and travel information.
The Safari Companion
by Richard Estes
An encyclopedic guide to the behavior of Africa’s mammals by a noted scientist.
North of South, An African Journey
by Shiva Naipaul
This is a great book – engaging and unafraid of controversy. It’s a sharp portrait of contemporary East Africa, as well as Zambia, sensitive to issues black, white and brown.
Exploration of Africa, From Cairo to the Cape
by Ann Hugon
This jewel of a book chronicles 19th century exploration of Africa with hundreds of contemporary paintings and prints, brief chapters on the expeditions and a very useful chronology.
The Myth of Wild Africa
by Jonathan Adams, Thomas McShane
A no-holds-barred attack on old-style conservation in Africa, provocative and dead-on. The authors explore the fallacy of an untouched continent where animals roam freely in sanctuaries.
The Eye of the Elephant
by Mark Owens, Delia Owens
Mark and Delia Owens, having set up camp in the Luangwa River Valley in northern Zambia among the elephants, are drawn into an ugly struggle with the local people.
Cape Town, A Lonely Planet City Guide
by John A. Murray
A practical guide to the city and surroundings, featuring suggested walks, excursions and attractions. This surprisingly complete book also includes color photographs and a map.
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15 days
14 nights
36 meals
12 B 2BR 10 L 12 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Johannesburg, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Johannesburg
D
City Lodge Hotel Eastgate

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 2:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Check in at the hotel and relax before the welcome dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a buffet welcome dinner including a starter and entrée with side dish; a welcome drink, bottled water, coffee and tea are provided.

Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We are fortunate to have as our Group Leader a knowledgeable expert who will also serve as our primary lecturer. In addition, we will have the benefit of local experts who will join us at different sites. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill
Johannesburg
B,L,D
City Lodge Hotel Eastgate

Activity note: Drive time to the Apartheid Museum is approximately 30 minutes, 10 miles; to Maboneng Precinct is approximately 15 minutes, 6 miles; to Constitution Hill is approximately 15 minutes, 4 miles. Drive time is traffic-dependent; traffic can be quite bad in Johannesburg. Getting on/off minibus; walking approximately 2 miles total; periods of standing.

Breakfast: Taken at the hotel, breakfast will be an expansive buffet featuring a variety of cold cereals, fresh fruit, cold meats and cheeses, pastries and hot items such as bacon, sausage, tomatoes and mushrooms. Omelettes, eggs and waffles can be cooked on demand. Fruit juices, coffee, tea, milk and water provided.

Morning: Boarding our motorcoach, we will transfer to the southern edge of Johannesburg to visit the award winning and internationally acclaimed Apartheid Museum. This beautiful museum gives a balanced account of 20th century South Africa. It recounts the political upheavals beginning in the last century and moves on to the transition from a racist state into the new era of hope and freedom as a democracy. Discussion: History of South Africa and apartheid. From the museum, we will transfer to the Maboneng Precinct, a revitalized, colorful area in the heart of Johannesburg, for lunch.

Lunch: Taken at a local restaurant in Maboneng, lunch will be a 2-course, set menu meal plus water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: From lunch, we will reboard our minibus for a short transfer to Constitution Hill. In the company of a local expert, we will walk through the entirety of the Constitution Hill precinct, visiting the Old Fort, the Women's Jail, Number Four and the Constitutional Court. Our local expert will discuss the area's complex history and its various uses throughout its existence. We will learn about the injustices suffered by the Apartheid-era inmates held here, and discuss why the decision to locate the Constitutional Court to this site holds such meaning. At the end of the afternoon, we will return to the hotel with time to freshen up before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Fly to Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls - Zimbabwean Side
Victoria Falls
B,L,D
Ilala Lodge

Activity note: Flight time 1 hour 40 minutes. Drive time from the airport to the lodge is 20 minutes, 13 miles. In order to see all viewpoints at the Falls, approximate length of walk is 2 miles. It is possible to walk less and see some, but not all, viewpoints. Paths may be slick from mist, but are mostly flat.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning, we will board our minibus and transfer to the Johannesburg airport to board our commercial flight to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Lunch: Lunch provided in flight.

Afternoon: After clearing Zimbabwean immigration, we will be transferred to the lodge for check-in. Later this afternoon, we will visit Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side. Because the waterfall spans the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, it is visible from both countries. However, viewing from the Zimbabwean side is preferred as more of the waterfall falls on this side. Here, our Group Leader will lead us on a walk to the various viewpoints and show us how, through the millennia, the forces of nature have created this marvelous spectacle, Africa’s greatest waterfall. After viewing the Falls, we will return to the lodge in our minibus.

Dinner: Taken at a nearby restaurant in Victoria Falls, we will have a buffet meal featuring traditional Zimbabwean dishes, plus water, tea and coffee. As we interact with our hosts, we’ll learn about local ingredients and cooking traditions in this part of Zimbabwe. Other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Elephant Encounter, Local Community Visit, Free Time
Victoria Falls
B,L,D
Ilala Lodge

Activity note: Transfer time to the elephant encounter site is about 30 minutes. Walk at the elephant encounter site is along flat, uneven, dirt pathways for about 1 mile. The transfer time to the community visit from the elephant encounter is approximately 15 minutes. Return transfer to the lodge is about 15 minutes. Periods of standing at the Trust and community visit.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the elephant encounter site will be a plated, full English breakfast consisting of eggs cooked to order, grilled bacon, grilled tomato, baked beans, sausage and toast. Fruit juices, tea, coffee and water will be included.

Morning: We will have an early start for the morning’s field trip. By motorcoach, we will be driven to a nearby location for our elephant interaction. Here, we will have an opportunity to learn more about the past, present and future of elephant conservation from local experts. We will also gain insight into these gentle giants through up close, personal time with the elephants that reside here. In the company of our local experts, we will be escorted on a walk alongside the elephants through the pristine bush and valley of the Masuwe River. Upon conclusion of the encounter, we will enjoy breakfast on site. Following breakfast, we will re-board our motorcoach for a very short drive to the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, where we will learn about how the Trust’s local conservation efforts are making a major impact in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA). The Trust has four main areas of operation: Rescue and Rehabilitation; Wildlife Research; Wildlife Disease and Forensics Laboratory; and Community Outreach. In the company of a local expert, our hour-long visit will incorporate an overview of the Trust and its facilities, including the wildlife rehabilitation area. Then, we will transfer to visit a community project in Victoria Falls. Here, we will have the chance to meet members of the community and see how they live. Visits to these projects are done on a non-commercialized, authentic and interactive basis with a view to a genuine and meaningful interaction. From the projects, we will be driven to a local restaurant for lunch.

Lunch: Taken at a local restaurant with scenic views, our lunch will be a 2-course, plated, set menu offering; bottled water included with additional beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in the town of Victoria Falls. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. In the early evening, we will regroup at the lodge for an overview on Zimbabwe, given by our Group Leader.

Dinner: Taken at the lodge’s restaurant, our dinner will be a 3-course, set menu meal including bottled water, coffee, tea; additional beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
David Livingstone's Explorations, Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park
B,L,D
Khulu Bush Camp

Activity note: Transfer time to Hwange National Park is 2.5 hours, 115 miles, done in an enclosed minibus. Safari drive lasts 3-4 hours in open-air 4x4 vehicle.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: Following breakfast, a noted local historian will discuss the story of Scottish explorer Dr. David Livingstone, who first visited Victoria Falls over 150 years ago, and whose journeys laid the ground work for the Colonial era that followed. Mid-morning, we will head south to Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s premier safari destination. Hwange is legendary for its wonderful array of wildlife, particularly the massive herds of elephant and buffalo. In the summer months, large antelope herds migrate onto the plains, closely followed by large predators. Shallow pans are spread throughout the park, around which wildlife congregate, making for excellent and reliable game viewing. Elephant, Cape buffalo, sable, roan, southern giraffe, blue wildebeest, impala and sometimes even gemsbok (oryx) can be seen here. This park is one of the best for predators - lion, leopard, wild dog and cheetah are regularly sighted, along with the smaller African wildcat, serval, honey badger, civet and spotted hyena. Bird life in the area is also prolific, with more than 400 species found.

Lunch: Lunches at the camp will be small buffets with a starter, main dish with side, and dessert. Dishes often vary between brunch and lunch offerings. All local brand alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, water and coffee/tea provided; premium brand alcohol available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will have the mid-day at leisure to rest, relax and enjoy the camp's amenities. Following afternoon tea, we will board our 4x4 vehicles for the afternoon safari. Game drives will be in open-air safari vehicles in the early mornings and late afternoons, when the animals are most active; each vehicle will have a local safari expert to provide commentary on the flora and fauna seen. Safari game drives during the program will last for approximately three hours each, with rest breaks half-way through. Game drives consist of moving slowly through the reserve searching for predators and other animals. Around dusk, we will return to the camp with time to freshen up before dinner.

Dinner: Dinners at the camp will be plated meals consisting of a salad or starter, main course with side, and dessert. All local brand alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, water and coffee/tea provided; premium brand alcohol available for purchase.

Evening: Following dinner, we’ll set out on a short night game drive with a local safari expert in search of the nocturnal species active in the area. Some species we could spot may include civet, genet, bushbaby, pearl spotted owl, African scops owl, and Verreaux’s eagle-owl.

DAY
7
Game Drives, Importance of Termites
Hwange National Park
B,BR,D
Khulu Bush Camp

Activity note: Bush walks are over uneven terrain for up to 1 mile. Safari drives last 3-4 hours in open-air 4x4 vehicle.

Breakfast: Coffee/tea and light breakfast items, such as cold cereal and rusks, will be served before the game drive.

Morning: On an early morning game drive, we will search for the varied wildlife in the area. Upon our arrival back in camp, a hearty brunch will await us, followed by the heat of the day at leisure. A guided bush walk will also be available for those interested, where we may encounter wildlife and explore the little surprises in the bush.

Brunch: At the camp, brunch will be a small buffet consisting of hot and cold breakfast and lunch dishes. All local brand beverages, water and coffee/tea provided; premium brand alcohol available for purchase.

Afternoon: During afternoon tea, our Group Leader will give a lecture on termites, followed by a late afternoon game drive. We will return to the camp at dusk, in time for dinner.

Dinner: At the camp.

Evening: A short night game drive will be offered in search of the nocturnal species active in the area.

DAY
8
Safari Game Drives, Elephant Behavior
Hwange National Park
B,BR,D
Khulu Bush Camp

Activity note: Bush walks are over uneven terrain for up to 1 mile. Safari drives last 3-4 hours in open-air 4x4 vehicle.

Breakfast: Light breakfast at the camp.

Morning: On our morning game drive, we will search for wildlife that may have eluded us thus far. Then, we will return to camp for a hearty mid-day meal and the heat of the day at leisure. A guided bush walk will also be offered this morning.

Brunch: At the camp.

Afternoon: Before departing on a late afternoon game drive, our Group Leader will give a lecture on elephant social structure, behavior and culling issues. Afterwards, we will board our vehicles for the final afternoon game drive in Hwange National Park.

Dinner: At the camp.

Evening: A short night game drive will be offered in search of the nocturnal species active in the area.

DAY
9
Chobe National Park, Game Drive
Chobe Riverfront
B,L,D
Chobe Savanna Lodge

Activity note: Transfer time to Chobe National Park is 4 hours including border crossing; 165 miles. Game drive lasts 1.5 hours. Transfer from national park to Chobe Lodge approximately 1.5 hours, including border crossings; transfer done in 4x4 vehicle and then motorboat. Getting on/off safari vehicle and small boats.

Breakfast: In camp.

Morning: We will transfer by minibus to the Kazungula border, where we clear Botswana entry formalities then board open-air 4x4 vehicles which will take us into Chobe National Park for a game drive. Each safari vehicle will have its own local safari expert who provides insight on the flora and fauna seen. Chobe National Park remains one of Africa’s prime game-viewing areas. Here, one finds all of the “Big Five,” except for rhino. This is elephant country, home to the largest population of elephants in the world…many of these great grey giants can be seen at this time of year. (Note: seasonality makes a big difference in how much game you will see. If it’s dry you will see larger herds; if it has recently rained the animals will be more dispersed). The park forms part of Botswana’s northern-most border and is a contrast of desert aridity and flood plains. The Chobe region is best known for its vast magnificent river and floodplains filled with grazing herds of big game. Buffalo, sable, lion, leopard, hippo, hyena, and many species of antelope find safety in this huge national park. Chobe is one of Africa’s most pristine ecosystems and greatest wildlife refuges. Our game drive will take us to a lodge inside the park, where we will take our lunch today.

Lunch: We will enjoy a set menu lunch at a lodge inside Chobe National Park. Water, soft drinks and coffee/tea included.

Afternoon: Following lunch, we will re-board our safari vehicles for the drive back through Chobe National Park to the Kasane Immigration Center, where we will clear Botswana exit formalities. Then, we will board our motorboats and ride across the Chobe River to the Namibian Immigration Center, to clear entry formalities. From there, our motorboats will transfer us along the Chobe River to the lodge, which is located on the Namibian side of the river; wildlife will be seen en-route. After settling into our rooms, we will gather on the flood plain in front of the lodge to enjoy our sundowners around a campfire.

Dinner: Dinners at the lodge will be a 3-course, plated meal. All local brand alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, water and coffee/tea included; premium-brand alcohol available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Sunrise Boat Ride, Safari Activities
Chobe Riverfront
B,L,D
Chobe Savanna Lodge

Activity note: Boat safaris last approximately 2 hours each in the morning, and 3 hours in the late afternoon.

Breakfast: Upon return from the early morning activity, hot breakfast items such as eggs cooked to order, sausage, bacon and toast will be provided at the lodge.

Morning: Before sunrise, we will walk the short distance down to the dock to board our pontoon boat for a sunrise boat ride on the Chobe River. As we enjoy a beautiful sunrise over the landscape, our local safari expert will seek out the prolific birdlife active along the water, and provide commentary on the species seen. Morning refreshments such as coffee, tea and biscuits (cookies) will be provided on the boat. At the conclusion of our sunrise excursion, we will return to the lodge for breakfast. Mid-morning, as the heat of the day starts to rise, we will again head out on the river for a boat safari. The Chobe River is the lifeblood of the area, attracting all of the local fauna to its banks to drink and bathe. As the day gets hotter, hundreds of elephants, large herds of buffalo, giraffe and numerous species of antelope can be found along the river. We will return to the lodge for lunch and the heat of the day at leisure.

Lunch: Lunches at the lodge will consist of a small buffet with several salad options, main entree, and dessert. All local brand alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, water and coffee/tea included; premium-brand alcohol available for purchase.

Afternoon: Following afternoon tea, we will embark on another game viewing boat safari on the Chobe River, where we may come face to face with the elephant, buffalo and other wildlife that gather on the banks of the river. We'll find ourselves immersed in the unique environment, viewing numerous birds including sacred ibis, blue heron, goliath heron, saddle-billed storks, marabou storks and little egrets. Refreshments will be served on the boat as we watch one of Africa's stunning sunsets. We return to the lodge after dusk, with a chance to freshen-up before dinner.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Birding Walk, Lion Social Structure & Behavior, Boat Safari
Chobe Riverfront
B,L,D
Chobe Savanna Lodge

Activity note: Early morning birding walk over uneven terrain for approx. 1 mile; 1.5 hours. Boat safari lasts approximately 3 hours in the late afternoon.

Breakfast: At the lodge following the birding walk.

Morning: Just after sunrise, we will explore the floodplain surrounding the lodge on foot with our local safari expert. We will seek out interesting bird species such as glossy starling, little bee-eater, a variety of sunbirds, and capped wheatear. Following breakfast at the lodge, our Group Leader will give a lecture on lion social structure and behavior. Then, the heat of the day will be at leisure to rest, relax and enjoy the lodge's amenities.

Lunch: At the lodge.

Afternoon: Enjoy afternoon tea at the lodge. In the late afternoon, we will embark on our last boat safari on the Chobe River to seek out wildlife not yet seen, returning to the lodge just after dusk.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Livingstone, Victoria Falls - Zambian Side
Livingstone
B,L,D
The River Club

Activity note: Transfer time between Chobe Savanna Lodge and The River Club is 2 hours including border crossings; 45 miles; transfer done by boat and minibus. Total drive between River Club and Victoria Falls is approx. 1.5 hours, 20 miles. In order to access all of the viewpoints at Victoria Falls, one must go up and down around 150 stairs one way; the path may be slick due to the waterfall's mist. It is possible to still see the waterfall without climbing all of the stairs, but only from one viewpoint.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: Transferring by motorboat to the Namibian Immigration Center, we complete Namibia exit formalities then proceed by boat to the Kasane Immigration Center to enter Botswana. From there, a minibus will take us over the Kazungula Bridge which spans the Zambezi River; while being driven over the bridge, we will be able to see where four countries meet: Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We will clear Zambia immigration formalities at the Kazungula border before continuing the drive to Livingstone, Zambia, arriving at our lodge in time for lunch.

Lunch: Lunches at the lodge will be a plated meal chosen from a menu, including items such as salads, pastas, fish and pizza. Bottled water will be provided with other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will transfer into Livingstone for a guided excursion of the town and its colorful produce market. Livingstone is a classic old colonial town of former Northern Rhodesia, which can still be seen in some of its architecture. We will visit the Livingstone Museum, known for its archaeological and ethnographic displays, but most notably for its artifacts that belonged to Dr. David Livingstone. We will also visit the famed Victoria Falls, where the Zambezi River opens out into an extravaganza of roaring, spray-tumbled water, known to the locals as “Mosi oa Tunya” (the smoke that thunders). Few sights are as awe-inspiring as this, when the ground rumbles with the forces of the water. We will view the Falls this morning from the Zambian side, followed by a visit to the local crafts market. After returning to the lodge in the late afternoon, our Group Leader will give us an overview of Zambia.

Dinner: Dinners at the lodge will be a plated, 3-course dinner chosen from a set menu. Bottled water and one glass of table wine will be provided, with additional beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Local School & Market, Free Time
Livingstone
B,L,D
The River Club

Activity note: Drive time between the lodge and town is approximately 30 minutes each direction, 10 miles. Minimal walking in township; dirt roads, some uneven surfaces.

Breakfast: Taken at the lodge, breakfast will be an expansive buffet with a selection of cereals, pastries, fruit and yogurt; hot breakfast items cooked to order with a daily special that changes seasonally. Coffee, tea, fruit juices, milk and water will be provided.

Morning: After breakfast at the lodge, we will board our minibus and journey to the Maramba Township, in the heart of Livingstone. Here, we will walk through the market with a local expert, with a chance to learn about how residents in the area live, do their shopping, and what they typically eat. We will also visit a school that was started by a motivated local resident, with a chance to meet the students and teachers; our local expert will explain the educational system in Zambia. In the late morning, we will return to the lodge for lunch and time at leisure.

Lunch: At the lodge.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in the town of Livingstone. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at the lodge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Program Concludes, Optional 13597 Extension
In Flight
B,L

Activity note: Transfer from the lodge to the airport is 30 minutes, 10 miles. Flight time is 1 hour 45 minutes.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: We will have time to pack following breakfast. Mid-morning, we will transfer to the Livingstone airport to board a commercial flight to Johannesburg.

Lunch: Provided in flight.

Afternoon: Mid-afternoon, we will arrive in Johannesburg and connect to our international return flight or the start of optional extension #13597 "Extension: The Best of Cape Town." This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

DAY
15
In Transit From Program
In Flight

Morning: Early morning arrivals in North America.






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