South Africa/Zimbabwe/Botswana

Southern Africa Safari and Train Adventure: From Cape Town to Victoria Falls

Journey through iconic countryside by train, and spot an abundance of wildlife while on safari. Plus, enjoy expert lectures on the region’s cultural traditions and natural wonders.
Rating (4.97)
Program No. 21423RJ
16 days
Starts at
Flights start at

At a Glance

Explore Southern Africa in the romantic style of the past on this safari-and-train adventure. Start your journey by experiencing Cape Town's complex history and dramatic natural beauty. Then board Rovos Rail for an evocative train trek to Victoria Falls, making a stop along the way to search for magnificent wildlife. In Zimbabwe, witness elephants and Cape buffalo quenching their thirst from the Zambezi River and follow in the footsteps of Dr. Livingstone to marvel at Victoria Falls.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles daily on uneven terrain. Game drives in open-air safari vehicles can be bumpy and dusty; stamina and flexibility are required. Elevations up to 4,100 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Journey from Pretoria to Victoria Falls on Rovos Rail, a luxurious private train recalling the romance of Victorian era railroad travel.
  • Encounter African wildlife during boat excursions on the Zambezi River and safari game drives in national parks and on a private reserve.
  • Explore Cape Town's colorful and historic sites including District Six, where a local resident speaks about the forced removals experienced during the apartheid era.

General Notes

Due to the special nature of the program, we regret that we are unable to match solo participants with roommates. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Mark Geraghty
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.

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

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Mark Geraghty
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Victoria Falls Heritage Tours, David Livingstone Presentation
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Keith Chisnall
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Sisa Moyo
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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.
Long Walk to Freedom
by Nelson Mandela
An unpretentious tale of an extraordinary life. Mandela recounts the circumstances of his imprisonment and ultimately his successful drive to end Apartheid.
Out of Darkness, Shining Light
by Petina Gappah
So begins Petina Gappah's powerful novel of exploration and adventure in nineteenth-century Africa—the captivating story of the loyal men and women who carried explorer and missionary Dr. Livingstone's body, his papers and maps, fifteen hundred miles across the continent of Africa, so his remains could be returned home to England and his work preserved there.
Lonely Planet Southern Africa
by Anthony Ham
This hefty practical guide to the nine nations of southern Africa, including Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland (Eswatini), Malawi, Mozambique and Lesotho, is ideal for independent travelers on a multi-country tour.
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.
The Last Elephants
by Colin Bell & Don Pinnock
African savanna elephants--among the most magnificent and beloved of our fellow mammals--are an extraordinary, social, and intelligent species. The Last Elephants, an homage to these animals and a clarion call for their preservation, is based upon a shocking finding: savanna elephant populations across Africa are being decimated, with two to three murdered every hour for their ivory. Without action, these elephants soon will vanish from our world. They are a species in imminent danger of extinction, and it is up to us to save them.
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.
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.
by J.M. Coetzee
Set in Cape Town and on a remote farm in the Eastern Cape, Coetzee's Booker Prize-winning novel explores the devastating realities of racial politics in post-apartheid South Africa.
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.
Tomorrow is Another Country, The Inside Story of South Africa's Road to Change
by Allister Sparks
Essential to understanding South Africa today, this comprehensive account shows the extraordinary developments that led to multiracial democracy in South Africa.
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
by Trevor Noah
A harrowing look at life in South Africa under apartheid and country's lurching entry into a post-apartheid reality told through the prism of Trevor Noah and his family. Noah is the most successful comedian in Africa and is the current host of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning The Daily Show on Comedy Central.

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