Want to experience a family vacation that takes adventure to a whole new level? And by whole new level I’m NOT talking about camping at the Grand Canyon. I’m talking about a family vacation to one of the world’s most exotic places on earth, filled with exciting safari tours, sky diving, mountain biking, and white water rafting (with some relaxing activities mixed in, as well). This place is Africa.
We recently had the pleasure of planning a fantastic, out-of-this-world adventurous family safari vacation for one of our clients. Below is a look at their customized, 12-day family safari itinerary, which includes Cape Town (South Africa), Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe), and Selinda (Botswana):
Upon arrival at Johannesburg Airport you will clear South Africa Immigrations, collect your luggage and proceed through customs. You will then go through the arrivals hall and your Hills of Africa Travel representative will be there to greet you and escort you to your upcoming flight to Cape Town. You depart Johannesburg at 7:30pm and arrive in Cape Town at 9:40pm.
Upon arrival into Cape Town your guide will escort you to the beautifully appointed Cape Royale Luxury Hotel & Spa where he or she will go over your itinerary in full detail with you and answer any questions you might have.
If you’re feeling up for it, grab a drink at the hotel bar before heading to bed.
The Cape Royale Hotel is situated at the foot of Table Mountain and offers exceptional views of the Atlantic Ocean and bustling Cape Town. The hotel features the award-winning (and arguably Cape Town’s BEST spa) the Equinox Spa, as well as a gym, roof deck pool and bar, and internationally acclaimed restaurant.
Image above of breakfast in bed at The Cape Royale Hotel & Spa taken from their Facebook page
As you wake to a gorgeous Cape Town sunrise the kids are squealing with joy, ready to experience their very first adventures in Africa! You’ll head down to breakfast to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, vegetable omelet, and fresh fruit before meeting your guide in the hotel lobby for a sky diving adventure!
As you arrive at the airstrip, you can hardly calm your heart rate—this is one of the most exciting things you have ever done in your life. Once airborne your diving instructor and buddy preps you for the dive. As you reach 10,000 ft. you stand at the edge of the plane and . . . JUMP! As you free fall for 30 seconds you feel a rush of adrenaline like you’ve never experienced it before and you have some of the most fantastic views of Cape Town, Table Mountain, and Robben Island. Once the parachute is pulled, you float gently to the ground for approximately 4 – 5 minutes, just soaking in the beautiful surroundings and the feeling of weightlessness.
Once on the ground you receive your personalized certificate, stating how awesome you are for taking the dive! You also have the option of purchasing the video of your dive.
Well lucky for you and the kids the adventure isn’t over. As you reminisce about the thrill of the dive your guide escorts you to the sand dunes of South Africa where you take part in your next adventure, sand boarding.
The kids have such a blast as they venture down the dunes they can’t stop laughing and screaming with joy. And once the adventures are over, they can’t seem to find the words to explain how awesome the day was.
NOW, it’s time to relax. Your guide escorts you back to the hotel where you get ready for an exceptional dinner at Myoga Restaurant in Cape Town.
As you awake to yet another spectacular Cape Town sunrise you head down to the lobby for a revitalizing breakfast and cup of coffee before heading out to hike up the famous Table Mountain.
During your hike up the mountain, your nature guide will explain the various Cape Floral species you come across. And when your guide starts talking about the fascinating myths and legends surrounding Table Mountain your kids can barley focus on anything else!
At the end of your hike your guide will bring you to the Cape Winelands where you will enjoy your next adventure: biking through the quaint towns of Stellenbosch and Franschoek. As you leisurely stroll through these charming wine towns you come across spectacular Cape-Dutch architecture wine estates (and you even pop into a few for a tasting!), and venture through stunning landscape, rich with fynbos flora. For lunch you enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch in Franschoek with local wines and farm-fresh cuisine. As you enjoy your relaxing picnic, you and the kids cannot get over how beautiful the landscape is and how stunning the Groot Drakenstein Mountains are in the backdrop.
Tonight, dinner is at Beluga Restaurant in the vibrant Green Point neighborhood of Cape Town.
After yet another wonderful breakfast at the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel & Spa, your guide meets you in the lobby for a Mother City Tour.
Your tour begins in the car, passing through Cape Town’s most scenic seaside villages, including Camps Bay, Kalk Bay, Hout Bay, and Simon’s Town. Your first stop is at Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. Here, your guide explains to you and the family the rich history of the area and its importance in the Spice Trade Route.
Then it’s off to visit with the penguins at Boulders Beach! The kids are so excited to spend some quality time with the penguins and can hardly wait to get up close and personal with them. As you get to the beach you notice thousands of penguins, basking in the sun, some sleeping, some waddling along, and others jumping in the water. The kids are thrilled to see these creatures at such close proximity outside of an aquarium and are cheering with delight.
After a leisurely day, exploring the surrounding villages of Cape Town, you enjoy a spectacular dinner at the famous Belthazar Restaurant in the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. You even get to the waterfront a bit early to look for seals in the harbor at which time the kids spot two, playing and splashing.
This morning you are collected from your hotel at 5:15am to head to the Johannesburg Airport for your onwards flight to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
You arrive at Victoria Falls at 12:30pm and clear customs and immigration before meeting with your guide in the arrivals hall.
Your guide escorts you to The Victoria Falls Hotel, also known as “the grand old lady of the Falls,” which is situated in Victoria Falls National Park, a World Heritage Site.
This five-star, Edwardian-style hotel was built in 1904 and has been refurbished over the years so that guests enjoy old-world charm with modern amenities and comforts.
Guests at the hotel can enjoy a 10-minute walk to Victoria Falls, known by locals as “the smoke that thunders.”
The Victoria Falls Hotel features several different dining options. The Livingstone Room is ideal for fine dining and is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing dinner. The Jungle Junction offers a breakfast and dinner buffet with local entertainment in the evenings, while Stanley’s Terrace offers the perfect backdrop for tea time and evening cocktails.
After enjoying lunch at the hotel your guide picks you up at 3:30 and escorts you to the Wallow Elephant Sanctuary where you and the family enjoy an exciting elephant-back safari. This exhilarating ride, atop the world’s largest land mammal, brings you through stunning landscape where you might witness buffalo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, a wide variety of bird species, and much more.
It is important to note that the elephants at the sanctuary were orphaned at a very young age and were rescued by Willow. They take two walks per day.
As the ride comes to an end the kids are begging to stay on for longer. They eventually part ways with their gentle giant friend and you head to the hotel to freshen up for dinner at Palm Restaurant at the Ilala Lodge Hotel.
It’s another day of exciting adventure today! After a delectable breakfast of fresh fruit, eggs, and yogurt at The Jungle Junction breakfast buffet at The Victoria Falls Hotel, your guide picks you up at the hotel lobby at 7:30am and escorts you to the white water rafting center at Victoria Falls.
As you hop into the rubber rafts in the mighty Zambezi River, just at the base of the Falls, your heart starts pounding already! Then, it’s off through the rolling rapids where you enjoy lots of laughs and excitement.
After an exciting time on the water, it’s now time to embark on a zip lining adventure across the Batoka Gorge. As the kids get harnessed in you’re taking pictures and are getting super excited for them. Soon, they are launched over the edge and race down the cable at 65 miles per hour, screaming with sheer joy!
One last adventure before you head back to the hotel . . . the gorge swing. Not for the faint-hearted, the Gorge Swing is the most popular, but arguably the most scary of the adventurous activities at Victoria Falls. The kids are the only ones who want to do it so you stay on the ground as you watch them free fall 230 feet before swinging out over the mist of the Victoria Falls. You’re super nervous and excited for them at the same time and when you hear them scream with sheer adrenaline you giggle with excitement.
Tonight, dinner is enjoyed at The Livingstone Room.
Today you’ll grab a bite to eat at The Jungle Junction before departing with your guide on a Monde Village Tour. During this culturally rich tour, your guide brings you through the local Monde Village and shares various customs and cultures with you. You also interact with local villagers as you come across curio shops and children playing.
After the village tour your guide takes you on a historical tour of Victoria Falls where he or she will explain the geological history of the Falls and take you around the area for some fantastic photography opportunities. After you’ve gotten your fill of pictures at the Falls and the kids are complaining because you’re taking too many, it’s off to embark on the last adrenaline activity in the area: bungee jumping.
You and your husband wait on the side as the kids prep for a 365 ft. dive! You can barely watch as they jump off the side of the Victoria Falls Bridge but finally relax after they’re pulled back up, laughing from the sheer adrenaline they just experienced.
Tonight you enjoy dinner at Makuwa – Kuwa Restaurant at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.
This morning after breakfast your guide picks you up and takes you 50 miles across the Zimbabwe border in Botswana where you spend the last few days of your trip. From the Kasane airstrip you take a 50-minute flight aboard a light aircraft charter flight to the Selinda Airstrip in the Selinda Concession.
This reserve is centered on the Selinda Spillway, a water channel that connects the Okavango Delta to the Linyanti and Kwando drainage systems. This area has been dry for many years, filling with water over the last few seasons and turning Selinda into a magical paradise of waterways weaving their way through the deep Kalahari sands.
As you are greeted by your guide at the airstrip, you take a short drive to camp. Along the way you spot a herd of elephants walking along the dirt road, grabbing at some tree limbs every once in a while.
Upon arrival to Selinda Camp you are greeted with cold towels and chilled beverages before being escorted to your suite. After freshening up you head out for your nighttime game drive.
As you venture out onto the concession you come across a rare sighting, a pack of wild dogs! You watch as the adults leave the den to go out hunting. They leave a male with an injured leg to watch over the pups. You try to follow the adult dogs, but as is typical with these animals, they move so fast they are nearly impossible to follow. You then come across a young impala separated from it’s herd so you can only imagine that the dogs were responsible. You sit under a tree for a good ten minutes waiting to see if they appear in an open area when a leopard climbs down from said tree and walks off into the grass!
As the sun begins to set your guide stops in an open area and serves up some cocktails for you and your spouse and some Shirley temples and iced tea for the kids. There is also a display of snacks on the hood of the car. You reminisce about the sightings before heading back to Selinda Camp for a beautiful, candlelit dinner outside.
Days 9 – 11:
For the next three days you enjoy exceptional accommodations, morning and afternoon game drives, and canoeing safaris along the Selinda Spillway.
Today is the last day of your unforgettable family safari vacation where it’s time to say goodbye to newfound friends and depart for the Johannesburg Airport.
But we know you’ll be back in Africa soon enough!