South Africa resides at the southern end of this striking continent and is the locale of your next epic adventure. Johannesburg is the hub of this tour with its museums, chic hotels and UNESCO World Heritage sites for you to explore. We hope you are excited because you’re about to stay at some of the best safari camps in the world and get up close and personal with the Big 5 (and then some!) in this region’s expansive valleys and endless savannahs. With this itinerary you will experience guided game walks, night drives complete with vision goggles, stargazing, and delectable meals. After you get a flavor for the South Africa wildlife, we’ll arrange your transportation to Botswana where you’ll visit 2 more exclusive delta camps. Take advantage of the magnificent views from your spacious luxury thatched-roof or tent accommodation. There is no end to the activities – on land or on water – that you have access to in this magical setting. Go on a hippo drive, dine under the stars or get a post-safari massage. You’ll experience the African landscape in a whole new way.
Day 1: Arrival Molori Safari Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve
Welcome to Johannesburg! You will be met at the door of your aircraft, assisted through immigration, baggage collection and customs. You will then be shown to your onward flight to Molori Safari Lodge.
About the Molori Safari Lodge
An ultra-exclusive private retreat, Molori Safari Lodge is located on a private 36.4 hectare property within Madikwe Private Game Reserve in the North West Province. Molori offers breathtaking views of an expansive valley and the Dwarsberg Mountains, as well as an abundance of birdlife and game.
Molori Safari has 5 unique suites and a main lodge that includes 4 dining areas, a library, large living room and bar – both of which open to an outdoor heated Jacuzzi and twin infinity pools. All suites have floor-to-ceiling retractable glass walls connecting each suite’s interior to a private deck and infinity pool. All feature indoor and outdoor showers as well as free-standing baths; indoor and outdoor dining options, fireplaces, minibars, Bose iPod docking stations, spotting telescopes, espresso machines, air-conditioning and WiFi. A fenced property, Molori accommodates children of all ages. Accommodation is in a Lesedi Premier Suite with ensuite facilities, and includes all meals, select wines and spirits, all non-alcoholic beverages, game drives, bush walks, game reserve entrance fees, transfers to and from airstrip and laundry.
Days 1 – 3: Molori Safari Lodge
Live out your dreams as you see and experience the vast African landscape. Activities include guided game drives and walks (16 years +), night drives with night vision goggles, exclusive use areas for sunsets, bush breakfasts and the bush boma, stargazing from the observatory, spa that includes a spacious steam room and Nordic sauna, and specialized family programs ensuring the younger guests are kept busy and intrigued. The Molori experience is about every need being anticipated from beginning to end through personalized service, style and comfort. Cuisine is under the direction of gourmet chefs inspired by Eastern and Western influences and there is a spectacular collection of fine imported wines and special vintage whiskeys and cognacs.
Day 3: Royal Malewane, Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Bid Molori farewell and fly to Johannesburg, where your next flight will take you to Royal Malewane. Royal Malewane is situated in the Thornybush Private Game Reserve, which forms part of the Greater Kruger Area. Typical of Kruger Park lodges in this vicinity, the reserve boasts an astounding number of species of mammal, including the Big 5, as well as more than 500 species of birds. The incredible biodiversity of the Kruger Park area makes it a special destination for the serious nature-lover. In addition, there are plenty of striking trees and beautiful flowers to delight the eye and satisfy the keenest botanist. The surrounding landscape has a rough, wild beauty that captivates and exhilarates; the Drakensberg Mountains loom large on the horizon. A sense of timelessness pervades.
About Royal Malewane
Situated in the heart of the 12,000 hectare Thornybush Private Game Reserve that lies west of the Greater Kruger National Park, Royal Malewane is slightly elevated, thus completely surrounded by African bush. Elevated walkways link the 6 palatial free-standing double rooms and 2 splendid suites (sleeping 4). Opulence, luxury and colonial splendour are the trademark at Royal Malewane. Each double suite is blissfully private with their own spacious deck, rim-flow pool and thatched gazebo; palatial bathrooms with stunning bush views, Victorian bathtubs and indoor and outdoor showers; canopied king size bed, air-conditioning, a fireplace and a complimentary stock of drinks and snacks. Richly furnished with antiques and Persian carpets the lodge dining, lounge and deck area overlook a waterhole. The indoor dining, outdoor deck and boma are sophisticated dining venues. Accommodation is in a Luxury Suite with ensuite facilities, and includes all meals, local brand drinks, activities including twice-daily game drives, airstrip transfers and laundry.
Days 3 – 5: Royal Malewane
Game drives at Royal Malewane are tailored to suit your interests, so you can track your favorite animal or see the birds, flowers or trees that you love most. To engage with the landscape even more intimately, explore the bush on foot with expert guides and trackers at your side. Game drives at dawn and dusk form the basic rhythm of the day and to be out in the fresh air as the sun rises and sets is to be realigned with a pattern of deep and ancient significance. In addition, no matter what the time of year, each season has something special to offer in terms of game viewing and game drives. The dry, gold-brown winter bush makes for excellent sightings but the lush green foliage of the summer months brings with it migrant birds and newborn animals.
Royal Malewane has a state of the art photographic vehicle that has been fully customized to suit both amateur and professional. The vehicle has been designed with two swizel armchairs for the utmost comfort, and adjustable camera gimbles allowing you to get the perfect shot. The vehicle can be booked on a request basis.
There is an air-conditioned library with a television and selection of books, fully equipped gym, swimming pool, well-stocked curio shop and ‘The Waters of Royal Malewane’ Bush Spa, with internationally qualified therapists offering the ultimate range of treatments.
Day 5: Saxon Boutique Hotel and Spa, Johannesburg
Your shuttle flight will take you to Johannesburg, where you’ll be chauffeured to the Saxon Boutique Hotel and Spa where you’ll enjoy a 1 night stay before departing for Botswana.
About Saxon Boutique Hotel and Spa
Located in the tranquil tree-lined suburb of Sandhurst, within minutes of Johannesburg’s world-class shopping and business hub, is the exclusive Saxon Boutique Hotel and Spa. Set on 10 acres of landscaped gardens, the Saxon is a quiet escape from the outside world with panoramic views over the indigenous gardens toward the city skylines. The Saxon’s signature nouveau African style is light, airy and spacious, leaving an impression of stately elegance. The 24 exclusive suites are luxuriously furnished using the finest quality fabric, marble, light wood and subtle geometric prints interspersed with novel Eastern influences and African artefacts. The open plan layout includes a lounge and dining area, full business desk, generous bathroom with double vanity, oversized bath and separate shower, and latticed shutters opening to views over the gardens, pool terrace or city skyline. Suites include a 24 hour butler, pillow menu, complimentary minibar, WiFi and state-of-the-art entertainment system. Accommodation is in a 1-Bedroom Suite with ensuite facilities and includes breakfast, wine on arrival, one pressed laundry item per guest and complimentary non-alcoholic soft drinks in the minibar.
Day 6: Jao Camp, Botswana
After breakfast you’ll be transferred to OR Tambo International Airport where you will board a flight to Maun. There your shuttle flight will take you to the airstrip at Jao Camp. Jao Camp is located in the central region of the private 60,000 hectare Jao Concession, and lying close to the Panhandle in the north-west of the Okavango Delta.
About Jao Camp
Set on the southern side of the plains on a remote island, Jao Camp is surrounded by beautiful islands fringed with riverine forests offering magnificent views. The camp has 9 luxurious, spacious, individually handcrafted units with canvas walls and includes a family unit. Raised off the ground in decks with wooden doors and thatch roofs, each unit has a veranda with spectacular views over the floodplains. The open-plan design includes a lounge, dressing area and main bedroom with ensuite facilities featuring a bath, double vanity, indoor and outdoor shower. There are fans, mosquito nets and each unit has a relaxing outdoor sala under thatch. Raised walkways connect the units to the thatched main communal areas (also raised on decks) with landscape views over the floodplains. There is a dining room, lounge, bar, library, curio shop, evening campfire, boma for dining under the stars and 2 plunge pools. An excellent wine cellar, entertainment room, spa and small gym add to the camp’s diverse facilities.
Accommodation is in a Luxury Raised Deck Room with ensuite facilities, and includes all meals, local brand drinks, two scheduled activities daily, park fees and laundry.
Days 6 – 8: Jao Camp
All land- and water-based camp activities at Jao are very much dependent on flood levels and time of the year. Summer activities tend toward game drives and winter activities more water-based. Guests can enjoy day and night game drives, mokoro, boating, bird watching and seasonal fishing (except January and February).
Day 8: Mombo Camp
Your shuttle flight will take you from Jao Camp to Mombo Camp. Located in the Mombo Concession on the northern tip of Chief’s Island within the Moremi Game Reserve in the central Okavango Delta, Mombo Camp is built under large shady trees on the edge of a scenic floodplain. The camp offers magnificent vistas with big game viewing experiences from the veranda.
About Mombo Camp
Mombo Camp’s 9 luxurious tents accommodate 18 guests. The spacious tents are raised 2 meters above the ground and have ensuite facilities that include indoor and outdoor showers and a separate flush toilet, bathroom amenities, mosquito net, and fan. Glass doors open onto a veranda and sala where game viewing starts with wonderful concentrations of game gathering. Wooded walkways connect tents to the main living areas. Accommodation is in a Luxury Tent with ensuite facilities, and includes all meals, local brand drinks, 2 scheduled camp activities daily, park fees and laundry.
Days 8 – 10: Mombo Camp
Renowned as one of the best game viewing areas in Africa, activities from Mombo focus 100% on game drives even though guests will see water in the area at times. The Hippo Hide is 20 minutes from camp. Binoculars and reference books are available to all guests on drives. A flexible schedule is available. The dining room, lounge and bar are on a raised deck under thatch. There is a separate reading room/library, boma for dining under the stars, private lounge for dinners, small groups or honeymooners, 2 plunge pools, gym area, curio shop and a menu of massage treatments.
Day 10: Departure
You’ll have a brief flight to Maun Airport for your regional jet to Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport, where you will connect with a flight for your onward destination.