The Travel + Leisure World's Best Safari
DestinationSouth Africa: Cape Town, Kruger National Park, Johannesburg.
Zambia: Victoria Falls.
Featuring Only “World's Best” List Hotels
We’re fans of Travel+Leisure’s annual Best in the World polls. (Admittedly, we’re just a bit prejudiced, having been voted #1 World’s Best Safari Outfitter by T+L a record nine times.) So a few years ago we decided to honour Travel+Leisure and its readers by creating an all-star safari that sets down at some of Africa’s best hotels, as consistently recognized by the magazine (and by our happy guests).
We begin with four nights in Cape Town’s “knockout” One&Only, a resort of “outsize luxury” on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and a superb base for explorations in this most cosmopolitan of cities and its varied, magnificent environs. Then come Singita Lebombo or Singita Sweni Lodge—both much-admired, both located in Singita Kruger National Park—and, two of the finest and most intelligently designed lodges on the continent. We end with a perennial favourite, the famed Royal Livingstone, where mist from nearby Victoria Falls freshens our day.
Most memorable was the attention to detail, the personal service and thoughtful gifts from our hosts Felix and Jane Pinto. This is what wins awards as well as loyal clients. I can honestly say that this was the finest tour my husband and I have ever takenVirtuoso Travel Consultant
- Four in-depth days in effervescent Cape Town, one-on-one meetings with local go-getters and experts, exhilarating visits to Table Mountain, the charmingly colourful Malay Quarter, an inspirational Micato-AmericaShare project, and the city’s many other shopping, historical, and human highpoints.
- Encounters with, and oenophilic wisdom from elite vintners in the gorgeous Cape Winelands.
- Touchdown-to-takeoff service from expert guides and facilitators and 24-hour backup by our Concierge Service.
- Wildlife excursions by 4-wheel drive vehicles and on foot in a wonderfully isolated part of famed Kruger National Park, based from the exquisite Singita Safari Lodges (also: extraordinary mountain biking and visit to inspiring Singita culinary school).
- Two days of awe-striking views and rainforest trail walking at the world’s most stupendous waterfall, Victoria Falls.
“The whole town,” Captain Cook wrote in 1771 about Cape Town, “may be consider’d as one great Inn fitted up for the recreation of all comers and goers.” The great voyager may as well have been writing this week: Cape Town is one of the world’s jazziest, most fascinatingly multicultural and downright beautiful cities, a magnet for discerning goers and comers from six continents.
We’ll have an electrically relaxed few days to explore the city, based from the incomparable One&Only, set on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a civic centre of colourful activity, looking up at Table Mountain, which we will summit via the famed Aerial Cableway, a spectacular bit of engineering in service to an even more spectacular view.
We’ll spend a little heartlifting time helping out at one of Micato-AmericaShare’s programmes for Cape Town’s less fortunate. And we’ll wander out to the Cape Winelands for tastings and relaxed meals at places like the sublime Delaire Graff Estate and Waterfod Wine Estates. The Winelands charms us with brisk and picture-pretty little towns, a variety of refreshing activities, and lovely scenery reminiscent of Northern California’s Wine Country (except the craggy mountains that shoot up from its vineyards make Sonoma and Napa’s look rather modest in comparison). And we’ll head over to the Cape of Good Hope, around which much of the world’s history once turned, and which a dissimilar cohort of creatures—including penguins, zebras, and ostriches—happily call home.
Singita’s concession in talismanic Kruger was granted in 2001 in recognition of its fervent and effective commitment to conservation, and its dedication to creating an absolutely minimal environmental footprint. Singita’s 33,000-acre concession is an isolated haven of untroubled wilderness where a unique and species-rich wildlife population thrives across four distinct ecological zones, all of which we’ll get to know and admire during our leisurely, wonderfully extended stay.
Singita Kruger’s two lodges, Singita Lebombo and Singita Sweni, were built to reflect its “touch the earth lightly” philosophy, which is entwined with every aspect of the lodges’ daily life. It is one reason these lodges are so respected and honoured—the other major reasons being their beauty and unobtrusive luxuriousness. In any case, Singita Kruger was recently voted by Travel+Leisure as the third-best hotel on planet Earth, an encomium that needs no expansion.
“Poor Niagara,” Eleanor Roosevelt supposedly said upon viewing Brazil and Argentina’s Iguazu Falls. Had she gazed on Victoria Falls—the greatest curtain of water on earth, 60 tumultuous feet higher than its South American rival—the famously articulate First Lady might have been struck speechless. Victoria Falls is a waterfall like no other, and during our stay at the legendary Royal Livingstone Hotel (another perennial T+L best) we’ll get to know the Falls, helicoptering over them on the famed Flight of Angels, savouring early-morning, coffee-sipping views from our room’s veranda of the almost 1,000 feet of mist that rise from the watery cauldron to lazy afternoon sundowners near its dramatic precipice, contemplating what the greatest travel writer of all time, Richard Halliburton, called “a hurricane of bursting water . . . that seems to fall up, not down.”
We fly from the Falls to Johannesburg, and on to a day room in the InterContinental at Johannesburg’s airport, and connect with our international flight home, arriving on Day 13.
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|Jan. 05 – Jan. 17||Aug. 30 – Sep. 11||Dec. 19 – Dec. 31|
|Jan. 12 – Jan. 24||Sep. 13 – Sep. 25|
Price Per Person
Land Arrangements, Per Person (2020)
|December 15-31||Balance of Year|
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