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21528
Africa

Southern Africa Birding Safari: South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe & Botswana

Add the birds of Southern Africa to your birding life list as you explore the diverse habitats of four countries with experts, spotting unique wildlife and learning about local culture.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21528RJ
Length
15 days
Starts at
6,999
Flights start at
1,400
Africa

Southern Africa Birding Safari: South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe & Botswana

Add the birds of Southern Africa to your birding life list as you explore the diverse habitats of four countries with experts, spotting unique wildlife and learning about local culture.
Length
15 days
Starts at
6,999
Flights start at
1,400
Length
15 days
Rating (5)
Starts at
6,999
Flights start at
1,400
Program No. 21528RJ

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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Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Oct 27 - Nov 10, 2022
Starting at
6,999
Nov 6 - Nov 20, 2022
Starting at
6,999
Nov 9 - Nov 23, 2022
Starting at
6,999
Jan 24 - Feb 7, 2023
Starting at
7,799
Feb 7 - Feb 21, 2023
Starting at
7,799
Oct 20 - Nov 3, 2023
Starting at
7,799
Nov 9 - Nov 23, 2023
Starting at
7,799
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Oct 27 - Nov 10, 2022
Starting at
7,699
Nov 6 - Nov 20, 2022
Starting at
7,699
Nov 9 - Nov 23, 2022
Starting at
7,699
Jan 24 - Feb 7, 2023
Starting at
8,399
Feb 7 - Feb 21, 2023
Starting at
8,399
Oct 20 - Nov 3, 2023
Starting at
8,399
Nov 9 - Nov 23, 2023
Starting at
8,399

At a Glance

Embark on the birding adventure of a lifetime in some of Southern Africa’s most renowned national parks. Search for beautiful and exotic species such as Carmine Bee-eaters, Rock Pratincoles, Western Banded Snake Eagles, African Jacanas, Sacred Ibis and countless more. Be there at the optimal time of year, as migratory birds are in the area, and learn from local experts who speak in-depth about the birdlife, wildlife, flora and cultures you encounter.
Activity Level
Outdoor: No Sweat
Walking up to two miles daily on paved, possibly uneven paths. Open-air safari vehicles require stamina, flexibility, stability for long rides, getting in and out. Elevations up to 5,575 feet.
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…

  • Wonder at myriad birdlife present in Southern Africa, up to 400+ different species in some locations.
  • Marvel at the beauty of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
  • Search for the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and Cape buffalo) while on safari in Hwange, Zambezi and Chobe National Parks.

General Notes

All Road Scholar birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1 in the field. We adhere to the American Birding Association’s Code of Ethics. Learn more at http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html 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. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Chris Chiparaushe
Chris Chiparaushe was born in Zimbabwe and exposed to the bush from an early age when he herded cattle with his grandfather over school holidays. He learned a lot about animals, birds and plants from his grandfather, and knew from an early age that he wanted to work in hospitality. He studied tourism management in Victoria Falls and has been a professional leader since 1998. He is especially passionate about birding and astronomy and loves teaching travelers about Southern Africa’s rich history and culture.

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

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 Chris Chiparaushe
Chris Chiparaushe View biography
Chris Chiparaushe was born in Zimbabwe and exposed to the bush from an early age when he herded cattle with his grandfather over school holidays. He learned a lot about animals, birds and plants from his grandfather, and knew from an early age that he wanted to work in hospitality. He studied tourism management in Victoria Falls and has been a professional leader since 1998. He is especially passionate about birding and astronomy and loves teaching travelers about Southern Africa’s rich history and culture.
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.
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.
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.
Africa: A Biography of the Continent
by John Reader
In 1978, paleontologists in East Africa discovered the earliest evidence of our divergence from the apes: three pre-human footprints, striding away from a volcano, were preserved in the petrified surface of a mudpan over three million years ago. Out of Africa, the world's most ancient and stable landmass, Homo sapiens dispersed across the globe. And yet the continent that gave birth to human history has long been woefully misunderstood and mistreated by the rest of the world.
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.
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.
Birds of Southern Africa: The Complete Photographic Guide
by Ian Sinclair
This brand new photographic field guide to the birds of southern Africa presents more than 2,500 images showing a wide selection of age and sex plumage variations, perched and in-flight birds, and color morphs where relevant, making it the most comprehensive collection of bird photographs of the region ever produced in a single volume. Accompanying text focuses on identification, call, status, breeding details and diet. Also included for each species is a distribution map and a calendar bar indicating occurrence and breeding months. About the author: IAN SINCLAIR is renowned in African birding circles for his field knowledge and expertise in identifying the region's many bird species. His vast experience has been gained in expeditions to every corner of Africa, as well as to the Himalayas, Antarctica and Marion Island. He has authored or co-authored several successful bird books, including the hugely successful Field Guide to Birds of SA and the equally successful Birds of Southern Africa.
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood
by Alexandra Fuller
A worthy heir to Isak Dinesen and Beryl Markham, Alexandra Fuller remembers her African childhood with candor and sensitivity. Though it is a diary of an unruly life in an often inhospitable place, it is suffused with Fuller's endearing ability to find laughter, even when there is little to celebrate. Fuller's debut is unsentimental and unflinching but always captivating. In wry and sometimes hilarious prose, she stares down disaster and looks back with rage and love at the life of an extraordinary family in an extraordinary time.
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.
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.
SASOL Birds of Southern Africa
by Ian Sinclaire, Phil Hockey & Warwick Tarboton
An excellent all round bird field guide for southern Africa. This comprehensively revised edition ensures up-to-the-minute information, latest taxonomy and an advanced technique for improved field identification. A checklist corresponding to this field guide will be provided at the beginning of the program.
Newman’s Birds of Southern Africa
by Kenneth Newman
This classic field guide features hundreds of color plates, a comprehensive checklist – and information on habitat and distribution.
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.
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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; additional beverages available for purchase.

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
Birding near Johannesburg
Johannesburg
B,L,D
City Lodge Hotel Eastgate

Activity note: The birding today is done on foot; total distance covered may be up to 2 miles on paved walkways. Total driving approx. 90 miles; about 2 hours.

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: Transfer by motorcoach east of Johannesburg to the Marievale Bird Sanctuary, a provincial nature reserve that has been designated an Important Bird Area in South Africa. Marievale has been shaped by the gold mining activities in the area; much of the water that fills the floodplain has been pumped up from underground, creating a body of water that attracts an extraordinary number of birds. Habitats within the sanctuary include shallow open water, reedbeds and grassland, so the variety of birds is impressive with some 280 species having been recorded in the area. Here one can often see specials like little bittern, slaty egrets, black and squacco herons, and handsome red-knobbed coots along with the usual aquatic species such as African rails, crakes, moorhens, cormorants and snipes. Additionally, it may well be the only place in the Gauteng region where it is relatively easy to see fulvous duck and South African shelduck. The wetland sanctuary does have a history of attracting extremely rare vagrants, with past sightings including buff-spotted flufftails, buff-breasted sandpiper, and a black-tailed godwit. In the company of our Group Leader, we will bird the varied environments in Marievale.

Lunch: In Marievale, we’ll find a nice spot to enjoy our boxed lunches with bottled water.

Afternoon: We’ll continue birding in Marievale. In the mid-afternoon, we will return to the hotel with some time to relax before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Fly to Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls - Zimbabwean Side
Victoria Falls
B,L,D
A'Zambezi River Lodge

Activity note: Flight time is 1 hour 40 minutes. Drive time from the airport to the lodge approx. 30 minutes; 15 miles. In order to see all viewpoints at the Falls, approximate length of walk is 2 miles on paved paths. 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: Arrive Victoria Falls where we will clear customs and immigration; please be advised that long lines at Victoria Falls airport can sometimes cause delays while obtaining a visa. 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: 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
Birding Drive, Local Community Visit, Free Time
Victoria Falls
B,L,D
A'Zambezi River Lodge

Activity note: Birding drive lasts approx. 3 hours. Total transfer time approx. 1.5 hour round-trip; approx. 20 miles. Minimal walking at the community visit, dirt paths. Periods of standing at the community visit and Trust.

Breakfast: Packed breakfast with homemade muffin, fruit, yogurt, oat cookies, water and tea/coffee will be provided during the morning drive.

Morning: We will start at sunrise for a birding-focused drive to several local hot spots in the Victoria Falls area. In open-air, 4x4 safari vehicles, we will start in town, driving along the Zambezi River and stopping at the golf course, as well as the water treatment plant; at both locations, we will have a chance to get out of the vehicle and walk a short distance searching for birds. Our drive will continue into the eastern side of Zambezi National Park, moving slowly through prime areas for birding from the vehicle. Species sighted today may include the black eagle, African skimmer, Taita falcon and half-collared kingfisher. Big game animals such as elephant, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, waterbuck and sable antelope may also be spotted inside the park. We will return to the lodge before departing for the rest of our morning activities. Following the birding drive, we will visit 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 visit will incorporate an overview of the Trust and its facilities, including the wildlife rehabilitation area. From the Wildlife Trust, we will re-board our motorcoach for a short drive to a community project in Victoria Falls; visits to these projects are done on a non commercialized, authentic and interactive basis with a view to a genuine and meaningful interaction. Your group will have the opportunity to visit Chamabondo Primary School, where you will learn about their ongoing projects, educational system, as well as interact with the local children and adults. From the school, 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. Then, we will be driven a short distance to our dinner location.

Dinner: Our dinner will be taken at a neighboring lodge and consist of a 3-course, set menu meal including bottled water, coffee, tea; additional beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
David Livingstone, To Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park
B,L,D
Khulu Bush Camp

Activity note: Transfer time to Hwange National Park is approx. 110 miles; 2.5 hours. Safari drive lasts 3-4 hours in open-air 4x4 vehicle; night game drive is about 1 hour.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: Following breakfast, a noted local historian will join us at the lodge to 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: At the camp, we’ll have a buffet lunch with a starter, main dish, side dish, and dessert. All local brand alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, water and coffee/tea provided; premium brand alcohol available for purchase.

Afternoon: The early afternoon will be at leisure to rest during the heat of the day. Following afternoon tea, we will depart on our game drive. Game drives will be in open-air safari vehicles in the early mornings and late afternoons, when the animals and birds are most active. Each game drive lasts for approximately three hours, with a rest break half-way through. Game drives consist of moving slowly through the park searching for birds, predators and other animals. During the game drive, we will search for a variety of bird species including the Kalahari robin, lilac-breasted roller, ground hornbill, eastern red-footed kestrel, Lanner falcon, hobby falcon, and the Steppe eagle, which migrates to southern Africa all the way from the Central Asian steppes.

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: Walking approx. 1 mile on the morning bush walk; about 1 hour; uneven, sandy terrain. Early morning and afternoon game drives are approx. 3 to 4 hours each in open-air, 4x4 vehicles; evening game drive is about 1 hour.

Breakfast: Early at the camp before our game drive, we’ll have a light buffet with cold cereal, fresh fruit and rusks, plus coffee, tea, water.

Morning: On an early morning game drive with a local safari expert, we will search for the varied wildlife in the area before returning to camp.

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

Afternoon: In the company of a safari specialist, we’ll set out from the camp for a bush walk where we may encounter wildlife and birdlife, as well as explore the little surprises in the bush. You may wish to take some time on your own to rest during the heat of the day and enjoy the camp's amenities. During afternoon tea, our Group Leader will give a lecture on termites, followed by a late afternoon game drive. Keep an eye out for the Whalberg's eagle, swallow-tailed bee-eater, crested guinea fowl and Bradfield's hornbill.

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
Game Drives, Lion Social Structure and Behavior
Hwange National Park
B,BR,D
Khulu Bush Camp

Activity note: Walking approx. 1 mile on the morning bush walk; about 1 hour; uneven, sandy terrain. Early morning and afternoon game drives are approx. 3 to 4 hours each in open-air 4x4 vehicles; evening game drive is about 1 hour.

Breakfast: Light breakfast at the camp.

Morning: On our morning game drive, we will search for birds and wildlife that may have eluded us thus far. Then, we will return to camp.

Brunch: Camp buffet.

Afternoon: After a bush walk led by a safari specialist, we’ll have some relaxation time to escape the heat of the day. Mid-afternoon, we will regroup for a tea-time lecture given by our Group Leader, which will focus on the social structure and behavior of lions. Afterwards, we will depart on our final afternoon game drive in Hwange to search for species such as the Steppe buzzard, harrier hawk, Cape vulture and secretary bird.

Dinner: Camp meal.

Evening: Following dinner, we’ll set out for a short night game drive to look for nocturnal species.

DAY
9
Game Drive, To Tsowa Safari Island, Game Drive
Upper Zambezi River
B,L,D
Tsowa Safari Island

Activity note: Total drive time to Tsowa Safari Island is 3.5 hours; approx. 135 miles; majority of transfer done in an enclosed minibus, final 45 minutes done in open air 4x4 vehicle; short motorboat ride across river to access island lodge. Afternoon boat safari lasts 2-3 hours. Getting on/off motorcoach, 4x4 vehicle and motorboat.

Breakfast: Early morning snacks at the camp, followed by a heartier breakfast upon completion of the morning game drive.

Morning: We will embark on one last morning game drive in Hwange. Mid-morning, we will be transferred by minibus to the Zambezi National Park entrance for Tsowa Safari Island, where we will switch to an open-air 4x4 vehicle for the final part of the drive through the park to the river’s edge; the vehicle drops us off at the riverbank, where a short 2-minute boat transfer takes us to our lodge, built upon an island in the middle of the Zambezi River. Upon arrival at the lodge, we will settle in and enjoy the riverfront scenery.

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: The early afternoon will be at leisure to rest, relax and enjoy the lodge's amenities. Following afternoon tea, we will walk a short distance to the launch to board our motorboat for a game-viewing safari on the Zambezi River. Here, we may have the chance to spot wildlife coming to drink and bathe in the river, as well as observe the multitude of birds that gather on the river’s banks. Species seen here can include the rock pratincole, African spoonbill, African skimmer, squacco heron, water thick-knee, southern red bishop and all species of southern African bee-eaters. Refreshments will be served on the boat as we watch one of Africa's stunning sunsets. At dusk, we will return to the lodge in time for dinner.

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
Safari Activities, Elephant Behavior
Upper Zambezi River
B,L,D
Tsowa Safari Island

Activity note: Safari drives last 3-4 hours in open-air, 4x4 vehicles. Getting on/off motorboat and 4x4 vehicle.

Breakfast: At the lodge prior to the morning game drive, early morning tea/coffee and light breakfast items will be served, such as fresh fruit, rusks, muffins, and cereals. Upon return from the morning game drive, hot breakfast items such as eggs cooked to order, sausage, bacon and toast will be provided at the lodge.

Morning: The short boat ride ferries us across the river where we will then climb into our safari vehicles for a morning game drive. Our destination this morning will be the Chamabondo area of Zambezi National Park, where we will explore the vlei and the permanent water holes there. In addition to the multitude of mammals resident in the area, there is an immense amount of birdlife present, with over 400 species being recorded in the national park. Bird species spotted may include: violet-backed starling, emerald spotted wood dove and white crested helmetshrike. At 140,000 acres in size, Zambezi National Park forms part of a greater protected wildlife corridor known as the Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area that stretches for hundreds of miles south to Hwange National Park, east towards Matusadona National Park, as well as west towards Chobe National Park and beyond into the Okavango Delta, Caprivi Strip and southern Angola. This vast, protected area is larger than Germany and Austria combined, and allows for natural movement of wildlife between the different ecosystems. Upon completion of our morning safari, we will return to the lodge. Following breakfast, our local safari expert and Group Leader lead an hour-long walk on the island, seeking out African finfoot, Schalow's turaco and the resident pair of Pel's fishing owls.

Lunch: At the lodge.

Afternoon: Mid-afternoon, our Group Leader will give a lecture on elephant social structure, behavior and culling issues. After the lecture, we will ferry across the river to board our safari vehicles for an afternoon game drive in the park. We will explore the mopane forest and riverine environments as we drive along the river seeking out birdlife not yet seen. Bird species spotted may include: long-toed plover, western banded snake eagle and swamp boubou, as well as red-winged pratincole, purple heron, green-backed heron, and spotted thick-knee. At sunset, sundowner refreshments will be served before we return to the lodge after dusk, in time for dinner.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Chobe National Park, Botswana
Upper Zambezi River
B,L,D
Tsowa Safari Island

Activity note: The drive to Chobe National Park is approx. 60 miles one way; 2 hours, including the border crossing. Game drive is approx. 3 hours. Getting on/off motorboat; ride is approx. 2 hours. Minimal walking throughout the day.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: This morning we will transfer over the border into Botswana and Chobe National Park for a full-day field trip. After crossing the Botswana border, we will embark in open-air safari vehicles on a game drive within the park accompanied by a local safari expert. 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 that seasonality makes a big difference in how much game one will see. If it’s dry, larger herds gather; 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.

Lunch: We will enjoy lunch at a lodge near Chobe National Park, with a beautiful view over the Chobe River. Lunch will be an expansive buffet with numerous salad, main dish and dessert options. Coffee, tea and water provided; additional beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After a short walk to the dock, we’ll set out on our game-viewing boat safari, during which we will explore the Chobe River by motorboat, potentially coming face to face with the elephant, buffalo and other wildlife that gather on the banks of the river to drink and bathe. Immersed in this unique environment, we will view numerous birds including African jacana, sacred ibis, blue heron, goliath heron, saddle-billed storks, marabou storks and little egrets. After the boat safari, we will be driven back across the border to the lodge.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: At leisure.

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

Activity note: Drive time between Tsowa Lodge and The River Club is 2.5 hours including border crossing. Drive time between the River Club and Victoria Falls is approximately 30 minutes, 17 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. Walking up to 2 miles on paved paths.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: We will embark on our last game drive of the program, seeking out animals we may not have seen thus far. At the end of the drive, we will return to the lodge with time to pack. Mid-morning, we will transfer across the border 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 at the lodge, we will 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 afternoon from the Zambian side, followed by a visit to the local crafts market. Before dinner, our Group Leader will give us an overview of Zambia.

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

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Birding along the Zambezi River, Livingstone Museum
Livingstone
B,L,D
The River Club

Activity note: Early morning start for pre-breakfast birding boat ride; getting on/off the boat from a dock; ride is approx. 1.5 hours. Driving approx. 20 miles; about 1 hour total. Walking at the museum up to 1/2 mile; periods of standing.

Breakfast: After our birding boat ride, breakfast at the lodge 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: In the early morning before breakfast, we will embark on a boat ride on the Zambezi River for birding along the river banks. Interesting species sighted may include the half-collared kingfisher, Schalow’s turaco, red-chested flufftail and African skimmer. Light breakfast snacks will be served on board the boat, and a full breakfast will be available at the lodge upon our return. In the late morning after breakfast at the lodge, we will transfer to Livingstone and its colorful produce market for a field trip led by our Group Leader. Livingstone is a classic old colonial town of former Northern Rhodesia, and evidence of this fact can still be seen in some of its architecture. While here, we will also visit the Livingstone Museum, known for its archaeological and ethnographic displays. Most notable is the museum’s collection of artifacts that belonged to Dr. David Livingstone, the Scottish explorer and missionary who is credited with discovering Victoria Falls and helping to map much of the interior of Africa in the mid-1800s. We will return to the lodge in time for lunch.

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 with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Birding Walk, Program Concludes
In Flight
B,L

Activity note: Walk for less than 1 mile; uneven ground. Transfer from the lodge to the airport approx. 30 minutes; 10 miles. Flight time 1 hour 45 minutes.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: Early morning before breakfast, our Group Leader will lead a birding walk on the lodge's property; keep an eye out for the pied kingfisher, scimitar-billed hoopoe, white fronted lapwing and pearl spotted owl. 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: We’ll arrive in Johannesburg in the mid-afternoon. Our program concludes upon arrival. 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. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. 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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If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.