Ultimate Romance of Africa Safari
From Cape Town to Victoria Falls to the wildlife rich Okavango Delta, Selinda and Kalahari
Set off on a colonial-style grand railway journey from the elegant capital of Pretoria to the thundering waters of the spectacular Victoria Falls. Discover magnificent wildlife and breathtaking landscapes as you safari through Botswana, travelling from the lush Selinda to the lagoons and channels of the Okavango Delta. Discover the richness of life in the Desert on a Kalahari safari where you can sleep beneath open skies and gaze in wonder at some of Africa’s brightest stars.
Wrap yourself in luxury among the picturesque scenery, golden beaches, rich culture and poignant history of Cape Town. Enjoy the ultimate in private luxury accommodation throughout, with dedicated service and an array of enticing activities that are guaranteed to make your romantic holiday simply unforgettable.
17 DAYS / 16 NIGHTS
This itinerary has been carefully designed to give you a taste of the exciting, endless possibilities and can be tailored to suit your exact preferences.
DAY 1: JOHANNESBURG
On arrival at OR Tambo International Airport, you will be warmly welcomed by a member of the &Beyond team, who will drive you to The Saxon in a luxurious S class Mercedes.
After a bawdy start as a tent and shanty town, today Johannesburg is the second largest city in Africa. Had it not been for the discovery of gold by prospector George Harrison, who pegged the first claim on the reef, sold it for just ₤10 and disappeared without a trace, the city probably wouldn’t even be in existence. Known as the greatest gold-mining area on earth, this vibrant city is not just an industrial giant, but the heart of South Africa’s economy. From traditional ‘muti’ (medicine) shops, exclusive boutiques in upmarket malls, theatres and museums to cultural villages, restaurants, beautiful walks in indigenous gardens and more, Johannesburg is a diverse cultural melting pot.
Cushioned in lush, landscaped gardens, the exclusive Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa lies within the tree-lined suburb of Sandhurst. World-class chefs serve up delectable fare in the hotel’s elegant restaurant, while the wine cellar and dining library offer novel locations for intimate dinners. Guests can relax at the Pool Terrace before retreating to the Olive Bar, while the more energetic few will be thrilled with the outdoor heated infinity pool (with underwater music) and a well-equipped gym. Those in need of pampering can unwind with a treatment in the award-winning spa.
Tonight, you will get to sample the talents of globally-renowned Cape Town chef, Luke Dale Roberts, at the Test Kitchen’s Pop-Up Restaurant at the Saxon Hotel. Delight in the same ground-breaking menus associated with The Test Kitchen’s signature style of cuisine. Currently at the number 28 spot of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, The Test Kitchen (based in Cape Town) has also been presented with the Best Restaurant in Africa award for two consecutive years.
Spend the night in an executive one-bedroom suite at this exclusive hotel. Your stay includes breakfast, dinner, full mini bar, Wi-Fi, use of the spa hydro facilities and your choice of red, white or sparkling wine on arrival.
DAY 2, 3 & 4: LUXURY TRAIN JOURNEY TO VICTORIA FALLS
This morning you will be driven to Capital Station in Pretoria in an S class Mercedes for the start of your train journey to Victoria Falls.
One of the world’s most sumptuous trains, Rovos Rail offer guests world-class travel experiences, fine dining and the romance and elegance of a bygone era. Half of the refurbished coaches in the Rovos stable date back to the 1920s and each has a story to tell. From the moment guests step aboard they will be delighted to relax among the traditional Edwardian furnishings.
You will enjoy your journey in the comfort of a spacious and elegant Royal Suite, which takes up half a carriage and features a private lounge area and full bathroom with Victorian bath and separate shower. The epitome of luxury, the suite features a comfortable double bed, as well as handsome wood panelling and period Edwardian features. Meals are served in grand style in charming Victorian-themed dining cars. Tables are laid with crisp linen, fine china and sparkling silver, and the delectable meals are prepared with only the freshest local ingredients, complemented by a selection of excellent South African wines. At the rear of the train is an Observation Car, where guests can marvel at the stunning views from the open-air balcony and large windows. It includes a cocktail lounge and a comfortable sitting room, the perfect setting to while away the hours. Other guest areas include a Non-Smokers and a Smokers Lounge Car.
Your grand railway adventure includes all meals, as well as alcoholic and other beverage, 24-hour room services and limited laundry while on board the train. Elegant his and hers dressing gowns are also included, while private dinners can be arranged on request.
Indulge in the romance of classical rail for three nights as you travel from the gracious railway station in Pretoria to the magnificent Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Wind your way south through the goldfields of the Witwatersrand region before travelling west along the flank of the picturesque Magaliesberg Mountains. Complete border formalities at Mafikeng, where the train crosses into Botswana and travels north through the capital, Gaborone. Crossing the Tropic of Capricorn, you will continue through the frontier towns of Mahalapye and Francistown, reaching the Zimbabwean border at Plumtree. The following day’s journey will take you through Hwange National Park, where you will stop to enjoy a game drive through this remote and scenic wilderness. You will disembark the train for the final time at Victoria Falls Stattion, situated near the mighty Zambezi River and the magnificent waterfall of the same name.
DAY 5 & 6: VICTORIA FALLS
On arrival at Victoria Falls Station, you will be met by a member of the &Beyond team, who will drive you to the ferry crossing in a private Rolls Royce. Your private water taxi will be waiting here and will take you to the Royal Livingstone, slowly meandering its way down the river to the hotel’s dock.
Tucked in between the verdant flora of the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park and the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, Sun International’s The Royal Livingstone Hotel provides guests with an atmosphere that captures the opulence of a bygone era. Elegant suites are situated in two-storey clusters that are inspired by the grand estates of times past. Each suite is appointed a private butler and includes a private balcony and a terrace that offers spectacular views of the river.
Relax in the Presidential Suite for the next two nights. This luxuriously appointed suite consists of a king-sized bed, a Victorian-style ensuite bathroom with a Victorian tub, twin vanities and a walk-in shower. Other luxury features include a dressing area, separate lounge, dining area and a private veranda. Your stay includes breakfast, a five-star, candlelit dinner at the Monkey Tree on the night of your choice and additional activities as described below.
Pick and choose from the following activities, all included in your stay, to create the ideal day in Africa.
Share the adventure of a lifetime on a private early morning elephant back safari. Get to know a little about these majestic beasts and meet their handlers before setting off in search of other wildlife. Cosy up to each other on the wide back of the elephant and set off through the riverine thickets, crossing the river shallows to explore some of the many islands. Halfway through the ride you will have an opportunity to dismount and interact with the elephants, finding out more about their unique relationship with man.
Set off on a scenic helicopter flight for two, including a gourmet picnic with sparkling wine served in the dramatic Zambezi River Gorge. Taking off from the helipad, gaze out onto the gently undulating landscape, with its massive baobabs, mopani trees and acacia scrub. Land in a secluded spot in the Zambezi River Gorge, where you can choose from a sumptuous picnic or a chilled glass of sparkling wine. At the pre-arranged time the helicopter will land in the gorge to pick you up for your flight back.
Travel back in time as you discover the story of the Livingstone and tour the Victoria Falls while listening to Russell Gammon, one of Africa’s leading professional guides. Currently working with National Geographic and the Smithsonian Institute and is a leading authority on the life of the Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone.
If the time of year is right and the water is low enough (usually between July and January), you can enjoy a private afternoon tea on Livingstone Island. A short boat ride from the hotel, this isolated island is situated right on the lip of the chasm into which the waters of the mighty Zambezi River thunder to become the Victoria Falls.
For a more classical experience, a traditional high tea served in the classical lounge of the Royal Livingstone, which includes a wide selection of tea, coffee and pastries.
Relax from the day’s activities with an indulgent and relaxing massage treatment, enjoyed while looking out onto magnificent views of the rolling Zambezi River.
As the sun gently sinks towards the horizon, board a private river cruise that will take you along the waters of the Zambezi, marvelling at the wealth of wildlife that comes down to the river to drink. Watch the sky slowly darken and the stars come to life as you sip sundowners together.
End your day with a private dinner beneath the Monkey Tree, enjoyed in an intimate outdoor setting and offering a choice of a set or a la carte menu.
DAY 7 & 8: SELINDA RESERVE
Enjoy a delicious breakfast before your private Rolls Royce arrives to take you to Livingstone Airport, where a private Blackhawk King Air 200 VIP aircraft will be waiting to fly you to the Selinda Reserve.
Spend two nights in the Zarafa’s Dhow Suite, a private safari retreat that embodies authenticity, luxury and simplicity. The Suite comes complete with a dedicated team of staff that includes a private chef, vehicle and guide. Your stay includes all meals, laundry, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (excluding imported & premium drinks and champagne).
With a private vehicle and guide at your disposal, you can choose to sleep late and start your game activities at whatever time you want. Select from game drives in open 4×4 safari vehicles specially designed for phootgraphy, fly fishing, tiger fishing, safari walks or power boating in the channels. Spend some quiet time together in the camp’s sunked hide, which is situated at the waters edge, or enjoy a private cruise on the tranquil waters of the lagoon, celebrating the shared adventure with sparkling wine. Once the sun goes down, don’t forget to wish upon a star as you scan the magnificent night skies with the Nikon telescope provided in your suite. Memories to last a lifetime will be captured on the professional quality Canon cameras supplied by the camp and downloaded onto a DVD to take away with you as a souvenir.
DAY 9 & 10: OKAVANGO DELTA
This morning a private Blackhawk King Air 200 VIP aircraft will take you from Selinda over the lush landscape of the Okavango Delta and to Chitabe Airstrip, where a vehicle will be waiting to take you to your camp.
&Beyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge is situated on a permanent channel of the Okavango Delta, adjacent to Moremi Game Reserve. With exclusive traversing rights over a private concession, this site was specifically chosen for its extraordinary beauty and proximity to the game-rich grassy plains. &Beyond Sandibe’s raised guest areas and suites look out onto the Santantadibe Channel, providing spectacular Okavango Delta views.
Drawing its inspiration from nature, the lodge blends into the landscape, providing an experience that is serene, earthy and organic. Secluded plunge pools and outdoor showers in each of the twelve suites allow guests to feel part of the forest, while private fireplaces warm the African nights once the sun goes down. Cleverly constructed, indoor and outdoor lounging places create cosy nooks ideal for private dining beneath the stars. An interactive kitchen and interpretive naturalist library encourage guests to become one with the surroundings and to enjoy every aspect of the Delta experience.
Indulge in two nights in a suite inspired by the nests of the weaver birds at &Beyond Sandibe. Your stay includes all meals, laundry and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (excluding imported and premium drinks and champagne), as well as the activities described below.
Take advantage of your private vehicle and dedicated guide and tracker team to set the pace for your own adventure. Make up your ideal day in the Okavango Delta, arranging the following activities to best suit your mood:
- A 45-minute scenic helicopter flight over the channels and lagoons of the Okavango Delta, with the doors removed for better photographic opportunities and the wind in your hair.
- An indulgent couple’s treatment in the lodge’s massage sala, which looks out onto magnificent views of the Delta channels.
- A session with the chefs in the interactive kitchen.
- Thrilling game drives in search of the Delta’s rich wildlife.
- Nature walks that reveal the secret details of the bush, including a romantic and secluded picnic for two.
Your host throughout your stay will be Cecil Riggs, an expert in the history of Botswana, as well as the Okavango Delta. Listen spellbound around a blazing fire as he recounts local folklore and traditions, revealing the lives of the local communities, or hear the tales of the operations conducted by the anti-poaching unit that he runs in this beautiful wilderness. Cecil is also available to join you and your guide on game drives and other activities to share his vast knowledge of and experience in the African bush first-hand.
DAY 11, 12 & 13: KALAHARI
After breakfast, you will board a private charter flight back to South Africa and into the heart of the Kalahari, stopping in Maun and Upington to clear customs and immigration.
Set amidst the rolling mountain ranges of the Kalahari, Tswalu Tarkuni is an exclusive private safari villa that delights with its uncompromising standards of comfort and elegance. An oasis of serenity in the desert, Tarkuni boasts five luxurious suites, each with a magnificent ensuite bathroom that features both indoor and outdoor showers.
Guests to Tarkuni are pampered by a dedicated team that includes a host and private chef to ensure a deeply personal experience. A private vehicle, personal field guide and tracker are on hand to create tailor made desert adventures. Moments of calm and contemplation can be enjoyed in the shady salas that surround the quiet pool. Starlit meals are served in the traditional boma, while two lounges with open fireplaces add to the beguiling charm of this exclusive private home.
Spend three nights at Tswalu Tarkuni, one of them directly beneath the stars in the open-air Malori sleep-out. Your stay includes all meals, as well as the services of your own personal chef, private guide, vehicle and tracker, all beverages and a full selection from an award winning wine-list, laundry and valet services, wireless access and the activities described below.
Emphasizing a sense of space, the vast and magical landscape of the Kalahari offers sightings of some of South Africa’s rarest and most extraordinary wildlife, including desert black rhino, black-maned Kalahari lion, meerkat and cheetah. Rare antelope such as roan, sable and tsessebe are easily viewed in the open savannah. Other sightings may include the elusive aardvark, aardwolf, pangolin and porcupine. The Kalahari is the ancestral home of the San Bushman people and some of their ancient engravings can be seen at Tswalu.
When not exploring this magnificent wilderness, indulge in an opportunity to sleep late one morning and enjoy a champagne breakfast in bed.
Or choose to set off on an early morning game drive and don’t both to rush back for breakfast – simply enjoy a delicious gourmet picnic out on the golden plains.
Make the most of the early morning quiet to bond with the semi-habituated families of meerkat before they set off foraging for the day or spend the morning tracking desert black rhino with some of the best trackers in Africa.
If you are visiting between April and September, you can choose to book a rhino notching adventure, which offers the chance to for you to get involved hands-on in conservation as you assist in notching the ears of these prehistoric beasts and inserting microchips into their horns.
Once the heat of the day has died down, enjoy an early evening safari tracking the elusive aardvark and pangolin.
If you are yearning for a more active adventure, you can set off on horseback to see how close you can get to the animals.
Sip a sundowner cocktail on the dunes as the sun sets across the desert and indulge in a private dune dinner.
Don’t forget to choose a night to sleep out beneath the stars – just the two of you among the vast expanse of the Kalahari, safely cocooned in a king-sized bed situated on a raised deck set under the stars.
Enjoy the magnificent facilities of your private villa with a spa treatment and indulge in a five-course menu prepared by the executive chef and paired with South Africa’s finest wines, all served on a private deck overlooking the bushveld.
Take a trip to the wine cellar and let the wine director help you choose the perfect vintage to impress your partner.
Set out into the nearby community to meet the local people and visit the community health centre, the children’s school or the adult learning centre.
Visit the Tswalu Foundation and talk to the researchers about the important work that they do.
Marvel at the ancient rock art on the property, among some of the oldest in existence.
Top off your Kalahari safari with a hot air balloon flight over the vast open landscapes.
DAY 14, 15 & 16: CAPE TOWN
After breakfast, a private charter flight will take you to Cape Town International Airport, where a chauffeured luxury S class Mercedes will be waiting to take you to your hotel.
With Table Mountain – one of the most spiritual places on earth – at its heart and two oceans at its feet, the city of Cape Town, strategically situated at the south-western tip of Africa, has been famed for centuries as the Tavern of the Seas. Vibrant, cosmopolitan and an eclectic mix of old and new, this laid-back city is as much at home with its 17th century castle – whose cannons have never been fired in anger – as it is with its sleek skyscrapers and trendy malls. Home to South Africa’s first mosque, oldest wine farm, a 350-year-old garden and timelessly beautiful beaches, it’s no surprise the legendary Flying Dutchman and his spectral ship have spent eternity sailing the city’s shores.
Flanked by the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range and Table Mountain on one side, and the crashing waves of the Atlantic on the other, the Twelve Apostles offers a wonderful selection of spacious accommodation options, each with a spectacular garden, mountain or sea view. The Azure restaurant, with its dazzling sea views, is famous for its local and international menus or, for lighter fare, try the convivial Café Grill. Follow dinner with an intimate viewing of a classic movie at the private cinema.
Spend three nights at the Twelve Apostles, in the Presidential Suite that features separate his and hers bathrooms, a separate sitting room, in-room study and library, an eight-seater dining room and a wrap-around terrace with spectacular views.
Explore the scenic delights, spectacular scenery and exceptional shopping opportunities of Cape Town.
Indulge in the use of a personal shopper for the day and visit the Diamond Works, where you can purchase diamonds and tanzanite. Witness the art of diamond cutting and the craftsmanship of jewellery manufacture while sipping sparkling wine. View a replica of the iconic Cullinan Diamond and discover the fascinating history of the diamond and gold trade in South African. Choose from a large selection of stone and have a bespoke piece of jewellery created to celebrate your romantic African safari.
Immerse yourself in the history of South Africa on an exclusive private boat trip to Robben Island.
Canter along the beach on a thrilling horse riding adventure as the sun slips beneath the wakes.
Catch the cable car up to Table Mountain, watching the sun set as you spread out a gourmet picnic basket.
Enjoy an intimate picnic dinner, complete with bubbly and oysters, in the beautifully landscaped grounds of the Twelve Apostles.
Treat yourself and your loved one to the ultimate couple’s spa session at the Twelve Apostles. The Total Relaxation Duo treatment offers a top-to-toe soul-soothing experience that includes a hydrating milk bath wrap, skin-specific facial, aroma stone massage and 30minute manicure and pedicure. You will also be treated to a bottle of sparkling wine, delicious spa lunch and decadent strawberries covered in chocolate.
DAY 17: DEPARTURE
Your chauffeured S class Mercedes will take you back to Cape Town International Airport, where your adventure with us will end.
- Welcome and assistance service at all airports
- Accommodation inclusions as per the itinerary above
- All transport as mentioned
- Private waterborne and game viewing activities as mentioned
- National park entrance fees
- Administration fees – where applicable
- Emergency medical evacuation insurance
- Administration fee
Ultimate Romance of Africa Safari