Grand Africa: A Deluxe Journey from Cape Town to Cairo - 2018

Cape Town • Victoria Falls • Johannesburg • Dar Es Salaam • Selous Game Reserve • Zanzibar • Luxor • Cairo
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Cape Winelands, South Africa

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After visiting Africa in the early 1800s, the English explorer, naturalist, and author William Burchell wrote: “Nothing but breathing the air of Africa, and actually walking through it, can communicate the indescribable sensations.” Even now, some 200 years later, his words still ring true. Why not find out for yourself in 2018 on a thrilling new Vantage Adventure? 

Traveling in Vantage style with an intimate group of just 12-24 travelers and a seasoned Adventure Leader, you’ll enjoy the fascinating highlights of four different African countries over three weeks. Going from south to north, through lush rainforests and sun-baked stretches of desert, to dynamic modern cities and millennia-old monuments, you’ll get a sweeping look at Africa in all its glorious variety. Be captivated by Cape Town, South Africa’s vibrant coastal capital at the foot of Table Mountain, and visit Nelson Mandela’s infamous prison on nearby Robben Island … Feel the refreshing spray of Zimbabwe’s magnificent Victoria Falls on your face … Discover the diverse wildlife of Tanzania’s immense Selous Game Reserve during private game drives, boat rides, and guided walks ... Follow the intricate maze of alleys and cultural influences through Zanzibar’s historic Stone Town … Explore Egypt’s collection of ancient temples and iconic treasures (not to mention seeing the Pyramids up close and from your pyramid-facing room) during time in Luxor and Cairo. And throughout your African journey, our exclusive Cultural Discovery series will introduce you to the unique people, traditions, and “indescribable sensations” of this grand, mysterious continent.

Cape Town to Cairo

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DAY 1:

Fly overnight to Cape Town, South Africa

Your adventure begins with an overnight flight to South Africa, arriving in Cape Town on Day 2.

DAY 2:

Arrive in Cape Town

A Vantage representative will greet you upon arrival and assist with the private transfer to your hotel. You’ll have the afternoon and evening at leisure to relax, dine on your own, and get acquainted with your surroundings in this beautiful city.

DAY 3:

Take a cable car up iconic Table Mountain

This incredible African journey begins with a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain — one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. From its flat-topped summit, you’ll have magnificent views of Cape Town, Robben Island, and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. Later, embark on an afternoon tour of this stunning city, including the Houses of Parliament, City Hall, and the star-shaped, 17th-century Castle of Good Hope — the last surviving colonial building in South Africa. Following lunch on your own, enjoy the afternoon to explore Cape Town at your own pace.

This evening, we’ll enjoy a private Welcome Dinner at our elegant hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 4:

Ride the funicular up Cape Point, then tour scenic Simon’s Town

Today, we head south to the Cape Peninsula, the southernmost point of Africa where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean. We’ll travel along dramatic Chapman’s Peak Drive, among the world’s most scenic stretches of road — stopping for photos from atop the mountain itself (if open). Arriving at Cape Point, you’ll ride a funicular to the top for panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, such as the stunning Cape Floral Region. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its enormous botanic diversity, the region is home to nearly 9,000 plant species — 30% of which grow nowhere else in the world. Following lunch on your own and a scenic drive through seaside Simon’s Town, we’ll visit the world-famous Penguin Reserve at Boulder’s Beach. After a busy day of discovery, enjoy the evening at leisure and dinner on your own.

Included Meals:


DAY 5:

Ferry to Robben Island and learn about Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment

This morning, after breakfast at our hotel, you’ll head to Cape Town’s popular Victoria & Albert waterfront for sweeping views of the city’s picturesque setting. Cultural Discovery: Board a ferry bound for the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Robben Island, site of the notorious prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years. Our guide around this living museum is a former inmate, who will give you a firsthand account of life behind bars, and explain how Mandela and his fellow inmates lived out their days here. Back in Cape Town this evening, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss the day’s experiences over dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 6:

Fly to Zimbabwe, and enjoy a guided visit to Victoria Falls

This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Upon arrival, check in at the historic and gracious Victoria Falls Hotel, a grand dame from colonial days. After lunch on your own, enjoy a guided visit to Victoria Falls National Park — a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During your visit, view the spectacular Main Falls, Devil’s Cataract, and Rainbow Falls, and enjoy a stroll through the subtropical rainforest created by the humid environment. Hearing the roar of the falls and feeling its spray on your face as you walk is a truly sensational experience.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 7:

Your choice of tours, an optional elephant interaction or “The Trails of David Livingstone” cruise

Your only full day in Victoria Falls begins at leisure. Or you may join an optional visit to an elephant sanctuary, a truly powerful experience that allows you to interact directly with these majestic creatures and even feed them. It also includes the opportunity to see cheetahs and to tour a local village. Cultural Discoveries: Take an excursion a local market in Victoria Falls. Afterwards, you’ll pay a visit to a local primary school, where you can meet and interact with some of the friendly students. Later, you might embark an optional “Trails of David Livingstone” cruise along the wild Zambezi River, an ideal backdrop for a talk about the region’s history and culture by a third-generation Zimbabwean. Tonight, savor dinner at our charming hotel. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner
Optional Tour: Elephant, Cheetah, and Local Village Experience,

Elephant, Cheetah, and Local Village Experience

  • Approximate Cost: $295 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 5 hours
  • Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • When: Morning tour

It’s one thing to see an elephant, and it’s quite another to be thrillingly close to it – to see the spark of intelligence in its eyes, and run your hands over its rough skin. The same goes for a cheetah; seeing one in the distance is striking, but standing right next to one… well, that is breathtaking. This is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that awaits you today at an elephant and cheetah interaction at Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust (a Vantage Cares partner). 

During your visit, you’ll see firsthand the work that is being done at this organization that has spent the past 25 years dedicated to saving orphaned animals.  Your experience with elephants takes “up close and personal” to a new level: You’ll get a chance to feed these majestic creatures – and even pet them! – before watching them wallow gleefully in a nearby mud pit. You’ll also get a chance to meet Sylvester the Cheetah, who was saved by the trust at two days old and today is an “ambassador” for the valuable work being done to protect his precariously vulnerable species. 

Yet your excursion isn’t over yet. Still glowing from this experience, we’ll venture to the nearby Mpisi village, where the chief will bring us on a tour. See some of the houses here, and learn about everyday village life from the people who live here. You’re afforded a fascinating glimpse of their world: watching daily chores, asking questions, and learning about the importance of animal husbandry to their way of life.

In just a few hours, you’ll have a lifetime of memories and quite a few remarkable photos to share with friends and family back home.  Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity. 

Trails of David Livingstone - Zambezi River Cruise

Trails of David Livingstone - Zambezi River Cruise

  • Approximate Cost: $95 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 2.5 hours
  • Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • When: Afternoon tour

Although the enormous torrents are what Victoria Falls is renowned for, the broad Zambezi River above the falls is a scenic wonder that should not be overlooked. Join us on this special cultural sunset cruise. You’ll board a sightseeing boat to explore among the multiple channels and islands that dot the wide river, while you travel back in time and learn about the epic story of David Livingstone. As the sun sets, your on-board guide will discuss the compelling tale of Livingstone’s great impact on African history, as well as his exploration and discovery of Victoria Falls. Your guide will also help point out birds and wildlife along the rivers edge, including egrets, hippos, and even elephants. This is an experience you won’t want to miss!

DAY 8:

Fly to Johannesburg and enjoy a day at leisure

This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Johannesburg, back in South Africa. Upon arrival, you’ll check in to the hotel and spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Your dinner is included this evening.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 9:

Fly to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the gateway to your safari adventure

Following breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Johannesburg airport for your flight to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania — gateway to the next exciting phase of this African adventure. After checking in to your Dar Es Salaam hotel, you have the rest of the day at leisure, including dinner on your own.

Included Meals:


DAY 10:

Charter to the Selous Game Reserve and set out on your first game drive

Today, you’re in for a completely different and thrilling experience as you continue our Deluxe African journey in southern Tanzania. After breakfast, board our short charter flight to the Selous Game Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the world’s largest, most unspoiled game reserves, Selous is home to a diverse population of native wildlife — including African bush elephants, lions, cheetahs, hippopotami, black rhinoceros, Cape buffalo, giraffes, hyenas, crocodiles, and more than 300 bird species.

As guests at an exclusive 12-tent camp in the reserve, you’ll enjoy all meals at the lodge, where traditional African cuisine will enhance the safari experience. You’ll also enjoy daily game viewing excursions — with your choice of open vehicle game drives, river or lake boat rides, and “walking safaris” by foot. Following lunch at the lodge, today, set out with an experienced driver guide for your first afternoon of game viewing.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 11:

Experience exhilarating morning and afternoon game drives

Fall into the rhythm of safari life today with both morning and afternoon game viewing excursions. Open safari vehicles afford spectacular views of the extensive bush land and the land mammals that call it home, while boats take you closer to animals such as hippos and crocodiles. Whichever option you choose, get an early start to see the animals at their most active. Return to the lodge for lunch and a rest before heading back out in the afternoon. Later, share tales of your best wildlife sightings during dinner at the lodge.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 12:

Get close-up to wildlife with private game viewing excursions

You’ll enjoy a final safari day with your choice of two more private game viewing excursions. But however you choose to explore the vast Selous Game Reserve, be sure to have your cameras ready to capture whatever incredible wildlife may cross your path. Selous is one of Africa’s largest protected parks, stretching more than 300,000 square miles and encompassing a wide range of habitats and vegetation — from open grasslands and thick forests to lowland swamps and rainforests. Tonight, savor a final dinner at our luxurious wilderness retreat.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 13:

Fly to Zanzibar and enjoy a day at leisure at your oceanfront hotel

This morning after breakfast, transfer to the local airport for your flight to the island of Unguja — also known as Zanzibar. Located off the coast of East Africa, the Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar, of which Unguja is the main island, was an important center of the 19th-century spice and slave trades. Upon arrival, transfer to your oceanfront hotel and take the balance of the day to explore the charming surroundings at your own pace. Later, meet up for dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 14:

Discover East Africa’s rich past on a historic Stone Town tour

Cultural Discovery: This morning, set out on a guided tour of Zanzibar’s historic town center, Stone Town — featuring such notable sites as the House of Wonders, built in 1883 as a ceremonial sultan’s palace. Exploring the labyrinthine streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, minarets, carved wooden doors, former slave houses, and other 19th- century buildings will give you a sense of this East African city’s rich past, and unique mix of Swahili and Islamic influences. 

Following and included lunch, take the afternoon to explore this fascinating, multi-cultural city center on your own. And there are so many ways to absorb the local culture! Beyond its historic sites and museums, Zanzibar also offers inviting white-sand beaches, as well as colorful craft markets, shops, and atmospheric cafés.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 15:

Have the morning to yourself before flying back to Dar es Salaam

Spend a leisurely morning in Zanzibar before transferring to the airport for an afternoon flight back to Dar Es Salaam. Upon checking in to your Dar Es Salaam hotel, you’ll have the rest of the day at leisure. This evening, your last in Tanzania, toast your experiences here over an included dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 16:

Fly to Luxor

Today begins the North African phase of your adventure as you board a flight to Luxor (via Cairo). Arriving in Luxor this afternoon, you’ll have a chance to relax before an included dinner at hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 17:

Spend a full-day parsing the mythical Dendera Temple complex

Today, you’ll take a full-day excursion to one of Egypt’s most important ancient monuments. Boarding a comfortable Nile River ship this morning, take a leisurely sail north toward the West Bank village of Dendera, site of the renowned Dendera Temple complex. Centered around the sacred Temple of Hathor — the Egyptian goddess of joy, love, and motherhood — the site also includes the Temple of Isis and the Ptolemaic Temple, among Egypt’s most well-preserved, as well as several Roman birth houses, the fifth-century Coptic Basilica, a sanatorium, and a sacred lake. You’ll have the opportunity to explore and learn more about this great site before boarding the ship for the return trip to Luxor. As we cruise, have lunch onboard and witness everyday life in the riverside towns and villages lining the fabled Nile River. Upon return to the hotel, spend the evening as you please and seek dinner on your own.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 18:

Luxor’s treasures: Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Hatshepsut

There’s another exciting day of Egyptian discovery in store, featuring several of the greatest treasures on Luxor’s West Bank: the Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Hatshepsut. Part of the greater Theban Necropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Valley of the Kings encompasses more than 60 Pharaohs’ tombs and burial chambers cut deep into rock cliffs over a 500-year span. Exploring some of these sacred chambers — including the tombs of the powerful King Ramses II and the famous boy-king Tutankhamun — admire the elaborate hieroglyphs and spectacular decorative paintings that adorn their walls with illustrative stories of lives and dynasties past. You’ll also visit the multi-terraced, royal Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, named for the Egypt’s longest-reigning female pharaoh following the premature death of her husband, King Thutmose II. During your tour, learn more about the fascinating “Queen Who Would Be King.”

Afterwards, seek out have lunch on your own in Luxor. Cultural Discovery: Toast the day’s experiences during a scenic sunset cruise aboard a traditional Egyptian felucca. Upon returning ashore, spend the evening as you please with dinner on your on.

Included Meals:


DAY 19:

Experience more of Luxor’s grandeur exploring the Valley of the Queens

More ancient wonders await today, as you transfer to the nearby Valley of the Queens, a burial ground comprising as many as 90 tombs of the Pharaohs’ wives and children. You’ll also tour the vast, well-preserved complex of Medinet Habu — or Mortuary Temple of Ramses III — considered an important “New Kingdom” period structure from Egypt’s 20th dynasty. Then, revisit more recent history with a pleasant, poolside lunch at Luxor’s famous Old Winter Palace Hotel, a British, Colonial-era resort built in the late 19th century. Set along the banks of the Nile, it has hosted many celebrated guests — from the Egyptian royal family to crime novelist Agatha Christie — over the years, and still welcomes travelers with its sophisticated blend of history and glamour. 

This afternoon, return to ancient times with visits to two of Egypt’s most illustrious shrines — the Luxor and Karnak temples — located on the Nile’s East Bank. The vast Karnak complex is the world’s second largest religious site (after Angkor Wat in Cambodia), and our visit there features a spectacular Sound & Light show tracing the area’s history as you walk among its ruins. Conclude our last day in Luxor with an evening at leisure and dinner on your own.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 20:

Fly to kaleidoscopic Cairo and shop its bustling souk

This morning after breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Egypt’s sprawling capital city of Cairo, followed by a late lunch at the hotel. Cultural Discovery:

Now, visit the city’s famous Khan el Khalili market in Cairo’s Islamic district. This large souk attracts locals and travelers alike with a diverse selection of souvenirs, handmade goods, antiques and jewelry, as well as coffee shops, street food vendors and shisha bars. For those who don’t wish to shop, this bustling souk offers a colorful glimpse at the everyday life Cairo’s shopkeepers and merchants. Before heading back to your hotel, gather for a traditional Egyptian-style dinner at one of the market’s more upscale cafe. When you arrive back at your hotel, revel in your superb pyramid views. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 21:

Viewing Cairo’s iconic Pyramids and the Great Sphinx

Today begins with an exciting excursion to Giza in the southwest outskirts of Cairo — site of Egypt’s most iconic and monumental treasures: the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx. Constructed as tombs for the Pharaohs Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure, each of the three pyramidal, stone structures was built by hand using finely tuned ancient building techniques that remain a mystery today. The Great Pyramid of Giza — or Pyramid of Khufu — is the oldest and largest of the three, dating back to Egypt’s fourth dynasty (2580–2560 BC) and standing some 455 feet at its tallest point. Located nearby on this otherworldly archeological site, you’ll also see the legendary Sphinx, a huge limestone statue of a mythical reclining lion with a human face thought to modeled after Khafre. After a truly memorable morning, gather for lunch at a traditional local restaurant. Cultural Discovery: This afternoon, learn more about the challenges and realities facing modern-day Egypt from a local doctor of Islamic law. You’ll then visit Cairo’s famed Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, home to an impressive collection of ancient treasures and artifacts, including King Tut’s beautiful gold funerary mask. Tonight, celebrate your incredible Egyptian discoveries over a Farewell Dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 22:

Delve into Cairo’s captivating Islamic history

The final day of your African adventure will focus on some of Cairo’s most notable religious sites. We’ll begin with a visit to the city’s Coptic Christian neighborhood of Old Cairo, where you will visit the Hanging Church, the Fortress of Babylon and other landmarks of its Christian past. You’ll also visit several synagogues. Then, transfer to Cairo’s scenic Al Azhar Park — a vast public green space in Old Cairo — where we’ll take in panoramic views of the city from a popular restaurant. Afterwards, delve further into the city’s captivating Islamic history with visits to the fortified Saladin Citadel and the Al Azhar Mosque — one of Cairo’s earliest and most significant. You’ll spend your final evening here at leisure, including dinner on your own.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 23:

Fly home

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the Cairo airport for your flight home to the U.S.

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or local representatives at the destination.

Please Note: The hotels listed are preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract our hotels a year in advance, unforeseen situations do occasionally occur. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality and value will be substituted. You will receive verified hotel information with your final itinerary.

Note: That hotel ratings are based on the hotel and a leading travel industry authority on hotels throughout the world.

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Grand Africa: A Deluxe Journey from Cape Town to Cairo - 2018

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