Rovos Rail, Victoria falls, Zambezi Queen & Botswana
Set off on an extraordinary journey through Africa. Rovos Rail is a beautiful and authentically refurbished Edwardian-style train designed to take guests back in time as it meanders through some of South Africa’s least-seen but most spectacular countryside. This is what it really means to travel in decadense. Once you stop, you find yourself at the legendary Victoria Falls - David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, is believed to have been the first European to view Victoria Falls in 1855. You spend 2 nights at the Stanley & Livingstone . The magic does not stop here, you traverse the Botswanian border and embark on the beautiful Zambezi Queen for an unparallelled wildlife experience.
Day 1-2.Upon arrival at OR Tambo International Airport you will be met by a representative, who will hand over your travel documents and answer any questions that you may have about your holiday. Afterwards you will be transferred to Pretoria Train Station to board the Rovos Rail Luxury Train.
The train departs from Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria at 09h30. Lunch is served in the dining car/s en route to Zeerust. After traversing the Magaliesberg Range, dinner is served as the train heads westwards to Mafikeng for border formalities.
Rovos Rail is synonymous with luxury train travel and for many seasoned visitors to South Africa, there’s no finer way to see the country. The traditional train carriages, all 1920 originals, rekindle the excitement of a bygone era. The Deluxe Suites each have a lounge area, private bath with shower and space to relax in privacy. The use of traditional furnishings and period décor ensure an atmosphere of elegance and grandeur in the dining, lounge and observation cars. Dinners are extravagant with fine food, wines and attentive service.
Day 3.Breakfast and lunch are served as the train passes through the Hwange Game Reserve and along one of the longest straight stretches of railway line in the world – 114kms – en-route to Dete and the Zambezi River. Occasional sightings of wild animals can occur from the train. Arrive in Victoria Falls at 17h00.
Upon arrival at Victoria Falls Station you will be met and transferred to your hotel to check-in.
Day 4.Just 15 minutes away from the magnificent Victoria Falls, The Stanley and Livingstone is ideal for guests seeking a luxurious and tranquil environment, away from the hustle and bustle of the Victoria Falls town. The Stanley and Livingstone fills a unique niche in catering for the discerning visitor, offering guests superb cuisine, personalised attention. The manicured, lush gardens of the hotel, which blend into the African bush beyond, are home to a wealth of bird and animal life, and provide the perfect setting from which to enjoy a visit to this destination. Each uniquely decorated suite has its own living room, Victorian-style bathroom and separate bedroom, with a choice of twin or king beds. Each suite comes complete with air-conditioning, mini-bar, electronic safe, satellite TV and DVD player, and patio overlooking the luscious garden. The luxurious bathrooms are equipped with a combination of old and new from the old cast iron bathtub to the modern power shower. Relax alongside the sparkling swimming pool or take a stroll in the tranquil gardens. Order cocktails from the pool bar whilst watching elephants, kudu and waterbuck at the waterhole just 25 metres away.
Day 5.After breakfast you will be transferred to Kasane Immigration at the Botswana border to complete the formalities required to board the Zambezi Queen.
Cruise down the Chobe River in decadent style on the luxury houseboat, the Zambezi Queen. Offering a unique experience in the heart of the densest wildlife population on the African continent. The activities on offer, from water- and land-based game viewing, bird watching excursions, tiger-fishing and the option to visit exciting destinations in nearby countries such as the Okavango Delta and Victoria Falls is superlative.
Day 6.You will pass the days on the luxury Zambezi Queen enthralled by the abundance of wildlife in the region. The Chobe National Park is home to the largest grouping of elephants in the world, some 120 000 of them as well as Africa’s great predators, the lion and leopard. There are huge groups of buffalo and a diverse range of antelope and if you are lucky, you might spot the rare puku. Relax into the gentle rhythm of this luxury experience knowing that all of your needs are being taken care of from superlative dining experiences to guided fishing, birding and game viewing trips. No expense has been spared to ensure that this is the luxury African safari experience that you have dreamt of.
Day 7.Depart the Zambezi Queen before being transferred to Kasane Airport to catch your flight to Savute Safari Lodge. It is on the banks of the dry Savuti channel that Savute Safari Lodge peers out from amongst the beauty of gnarled acacia camel thorn trees. This channel has a bizarre history of drying up during good rains and having flood levels at other times. The beauty of this area, created by the silhouettes of the many dead trees which relied on sustenance from the water supply of past years, combined with the congregations of old bull Elephants, diversity of animals and abundance of predators makes Savute Safari Lodge a highlight destination for any safari traveller to Botswana. Geographically, Savuti is a place of mystery and great unknowns.
Day 8.Spend this day at leisure taking part in the exciting activities on offer at the lodge.
Savute boasts a viewing deck, an al fresco dining area and swimming pool – which is ideal for watching game at the waterhole. These features set the lodge apart from other typical safari destinations. Open 4x4 game drives are conducted in the Savute area, including the famous Savute Marsh, and the ancient San rock paintings at Gubatsa Hills, add magic to a delightful African safari.
Day 9.After breakfast depart for your inter-camp air transfer to Xugana Island Lodge.
The Xugana Lagoon is widely accepted as being the most spectacular permanent water site in the entire Okavango Delta, which in the midst of the Kalahari sands, is Africa’s largest and most awe-inspiring oasis. The Okavango River rises in the highlands of Angola and never reaches the sea; instead its immense waters empty over the sands of the Kalahari. Here the great desert thirst is quenched in a wilderness of fresh water lagoons, channels and islands. It is in the heart of this inland delta that one will find the remote Xugana Island on the edge of the beautiful Xugana Lagoon, assuring a year-round water wilderness experience to our visitors.
Day 10.Spend this day at leisure taking part in the exciting activities on offer at the lodge.
Xugana Island Lodge’s boma and al fresco dining area overlook the Xugana Lagoon’s expanse of pristine water of this unique delta. Guests can either explore the delta by motorboat, mokoro, or take leisurely walks on surrounding islands in the concession. This provides the opportunity to experience a classic Okavango Delta safari. Birdwatching opportunities are outstanding, and fishing for bream and tigerfish is offered.
Airport: Cape Town International.
Duration: 11 nights
Price Includes: Fully inclusive including drinks.
- All accommodation not mentioned
- All flights
- Meals and drinks other than specified
- Activities other than specified
- Items of a personal nature
- Comprehensive Travel Insurance
Combine with: Our other hotels or extra nights.
The first eco-friendly, floating boutique hotel in Southern Africa, the Zambezi Queen took its inaugural journey last year in Botswana, marking a major departure in high-end river experiences and a landmark event in African tourism. Now in its second year, the Zambezi Queen takes guests along Botswana’s Chobe River, presenting the numerous wildlife species and nature along the riverbanks from a unique vantage point. Elephants, leopard and lion prides, buffalo, giraffe, the rare puku, hippos and crocodiles come to the river to drink and can be seen as part of this eco tour adventure.
But there is even more behind the luxury. Sustainable, responsible tourism lies at the heart of this project. One of Zambezi Queen’s major concerns is the preservation of the unspoiled area through which it travels. The boat uses a jet propulsion system instead of conventional propellers, which reduces damage to the riverbed and enables the boat to operate in very shallow water.
At night it switches over to a low emission power system for lighting, refrigerators and other technical equipment. This system also cuts down on equipment noise, allowing guests to enjoy the natural atmosphere. All hot water requirements are provided by solar panels, which transfer the sun’s heat to storage boilers. Taps and showers incorporate advanced water saving designs and all wastewater is stored in holding tanks, so as to prevent discharging directly into the river.
At 135 feet long, the ship also boasts a library, numerous games, computer facilities with Internet access, a dining room and fully-stocked bar headed by one of South Africa’s top chefs, and a pool on the upper deck. Safaris are available year-round, with two and three night voyages available.
Stanley & Livingstone
The Nakavango Conservation Programme
“With its diverse wilderness areas, abundant wildlife and breathtaking scenery, Victoria Falls still remains vastly untouched and untamed”
Based at the Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve, the Nakavango Conservation Centre aims to make a difference to the spectacular Victoria Falls through integration of conservation and education of communities.
Preserving Victoria Falls. The Nakavango Conservation Programme’s vision is one of preserving the natural environment of Victoria Falls for our children – the future generation. It focuses on community development projects such as the “Children in the Wilderness” programme – which helps to enrich people’s lives by preserving the beautiful Victoria Falls area, including the preservation and conservation of the Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve.
The Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve is the only “Big Five” reserve in Victoria Falls, due to the presence of the black rhino. The Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ) for black rhino monitors the black rhino in the area with the aim of increasing the population and protecting the species from poaching.
The Reserve also falls under the KAZA Transfrontier Conservation Area, which aims to promote sustainable ecotourism across the five countries of Africa namely: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Angola.
Nakavango is also proud to include the Bear Grylls Survival Academy course and various courses aimed at educating and training people interested in experiencing hands on conservation.
Savute & Xugana Lodges
Every aspect of the operation is monitored in terms of its environmental impact, and we work hard to maintain high standards of environmental care.
Any combustible litter is burnt in a controlled area while all glass, plastic and cans are stored in animal-proof cages and removed by road to Maun for recycling.
Our primary waste-water flows into a series of above-ground, sealed water-treatment tanks. The end product is potable water that we use to irrigate our lawns and gardens. This water is tested on a regular basis.
Our energy requirements are met by a diesel generator, housed in a sound-proofed room built from fire-resistant materials. The exhaust runs through an underground drum in order to reduce emissions, and we limit our running hours as much as possible in order to reduce noise pollution. Our hot-water systems and kitchen stoves use gas, which is brought to the lodge by road in 48 kg cylinders. Batteries are stored and packaged separately, and waste oil is used to fuel a furnace, which heats water for the staff village.
Our water supply – for showering, washing and cooking – is drawn directly from the Okavango Delta, passed through a filter and is then ready to use! A naturally well-balanced ecosystem over the Kalahari sand, like this one, acts as an enormous filter that provides us with a natural source of pure water. Its quality is continually monitored and it is entirely safe to drink.
Bottled drinking water used to be brought in by truck from Maun, but to reduce our environmental footprint we now purify our borehole water with a recently installed state-of-the-art Reverse Osmosis (RO) system. The RO system runs this already safe and naturally filtered water through an additional set of filters to further purify it. The end result is water with TDS (total dissolved solids) of less than 5 ppm. In comparison, bottled mineral water is around 10 ppm, and the Okavango Delta river water is around 20 ppm. The level below which water is considered safe to drink is 500ppm. The tap water in the average American home has a TDS of around 350ppm.
Our continuous supply of hot water is provided by electric geysers.
We ask our guests to refill their water bottles (provided) as required from the water coolers in camp.
Please take care to respect this unique environment during your stay. The Guides will help you to make sure any litter is taken back to camp and disposed of properly.
The larger part of our social responsibility programme therefore focuses on our staff who, in the main, come from relatively poor rural backgrounds.
The Lodges are conscious of the need to develop the human potential of the country’s citizens and a particular effort has been made to enhance skills within the company through an active and very successful skills development programme. Today a large proportion of management staff are citizens of Botswana. In response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic They have developed a far-reaching and integrated policy in partnership with various government agencies. This policy focuses on prevention, treatment and support as well as stigma reduction and community outreach. All staff who require ARV drugs are enrolled in the government’s comprehensive treatment programme. Privileged to have many properties within Botswana’s National Parks and Game Reserves, the lodges are committed to working with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks to ensure the preservation the unique habitats within both these and our private concessions. The parent company, Chobe Holdings Limited, is the only tourism company listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange and provides a mechanism for the citizens of Botswana to own a stake in and play a real and meaningful role in the development of the country’s tourism resource.
The Wellness Program was initiated in 2002. The program began as an HIV/Aids Policy to assist those affected by this devastating disease. In 2004 the company was invited to partner with the International Labour Organisation, which is part of you United Nations, along with 13 other enterprises from a variety of industries in a pilot programme to address HIV workplace interventions. At the end of this programme the ILO recognised us as one of the best performing companies in the country in this vital area.
Find out more about South Africa:
Travel Ethics: No special.
South africa - Your passport must be valid for 6 months after departure from South Africa and have two blank pages for entry and exit stamps.
Botswana - Holders of Swedish passports do not need a visa to Botswana for stasy up to 90 days.
Zimbabwe - Travelers are advised to contact before departure Zimbabwean Embassy to obtain updated information on current visa and entry regulations, and the cost of visas, requirements for validity of passports, etc.
Time Zone: GMT + 2
Vaccinations: Read more about which vaccinations you need.
Packing: Sunglasses, sun hat, sunscreen, good walking shoes.
Currency: South African Rand, Botswana Pula, Zimbabwean dollar.
Mobile Networks and Email: Email and internet access are available but may not work from time to time.
Water: Buy bottled water, make sure that the bottles end up in the bin.
Security: Your security is our priority, read more under the headline below.
More information at: travel advice
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