Arrival day: Cape Town
Note: We will be pleased to research and recommend flights from your home city. Most flights arrive mid-day.
You will be met at the airport, brought to the hotel and have time to enjoy the facilities until dinner. Please remember it is SUMMER in South Africa in February!!
The backdrop to this wonderful old Hotel is CapeTown's famous Table Mountain.
Check out the hotel online.
This first morning, we head straight to the bottom of the African continent. We'll take the scenic drive around the Cape Peninsula to Cape Point, where the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meet, to the Cape of Good Hope.
En route, cameras ready for Chapman's Peak, one of the most dramatic coastal roads in the world. Time permitting, we'll walk the exhilarating nature-trail (not too strenuous) along the cliffs to the Cape of Good Hope.
We'll visit the penguin colony at Boulders Beach, one of the few sites where the vulnerable African Penguin can be observed at close range.
Included in this first day of "overview" of the region are well-known attractions such as Hout Bay, Seal Island and Muizenberg, much beloved vacation resort for the Jews of South Africa whose shul is still active.
For a brief video history of Jewish life in South Africa click on:
On Friday, back in Cape Town, we'll take the cable car up Table Mountain to see from above one of the most beautiful cities in the world. At the top the views are spectacular, and we'll take one of the gorgeous nature walks. Time for gift shopping.
We'll lunch at the Jewish Museum, and then visit the magnificent Kirstenbosch botanical gardens, situated on the southern slopes of Table Mountain, before returning to the hotel to prepare for shabbat.
Shabbat will be at our hotel and with the friendly Jewish communities of Cape Town. After lunch, we'll take a guided tour in the neighborhood of the hotel.
After Havdala, we'll visit the Waterfront, buzzing with nightlife, built along the harbour in magnificent surroundings, followed by dinner at our hotel. And, being Saturday night, great entertainment is on the menu!!
One of those VERY early starts today, unfortunately, to get the flight from Cape Town to Kruger National Park, but it will be worth it and it's good training for the Safari experience.
Early mornings and late afternoons are safari times. Every game drive is different - nothing is guaranteed, and surprises come at any time. Look out for the "Super 7" (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, elephant, cheetah and wild dog) and over 400 bird species.
We'll enjoy 6 drives in total, from Sunday late afternoon to Wednesday early morning.
During the "down" time between breakfast and lunch that is common to all game lodges, you can choose to enjoy a nature walk, relax at the pool, enjoy a spa treatment, or simply soak in the beauty and luxury of the Lodge.
Johannesburg is NOT the capital of South Africa, as many mistakenly think, but it is the biggest city. (Pretoria is the capital).
It is also home to some 50,000 Jews who have a thriving community by any standard. Jo'burg is the city of which the in/famous township of Soweto is a "suburb".
From our moving visit to Soweto and the magnificent Museum of Apartheid we will gain a better appreciation of the tragedy and the triumph (for now) of this country.
Victoria Falls, Zambia & Zimbabwe sides
And now for the magnificent finale, flying from Jo'burg to Livingstone, Zambia, once referred to, incredibly, as the "Shtetl of Africa". That's NOT the main reason for our visit but it opens our eyes to a little known part of the history of Lithuanian Jewry at the end of the 19th and early part of the 20th century. The Livingstone shul was active until 1972!!!!
We will be staying in one of our favorite hotels in the entire world, the colonial Royal Livingstone on the banks of the "Mighty Zambezi" river. Check it out....
Lunch is followed by our first look at one of the "7 wonders of Nature", the spectacular Victoria Falls, from the Zambian side. The Victoria Falls are the world's largest curtain of falling water, and plunge almost 100m down the 1800m width of the mighty Zambezi River. Those who wish to can book a helicopter ride over the Falls, a once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed. There are other activities available ... such as walking with the lions!! And we'll see Jewish Livingstone too.
We return to the hotel for our dinner under the African Sky.
Friday morning, we cross the "Victoria Falls Bridge", one of the most spectacular border crossings in the world, where the old colonial road crosses the Zambezi River Gorge, affording great views of the falls and rainforest.
After border formalities, we'll tour the Zimbabwean side of the falls, encompassing the widest parts of the Victoria Falls, including the "Devil's Cataract", and the "Main Falls"- the world's widest unbroken curtain of falling water. Time permitting, we'll stop at the "Big Tree", a massive baobab tree the size of house, and/or the historic "Victoria Falls hotel" for drinks before returning to the hotel for Shabbat.
Spending Shabbat in Livingstone, being able to sing the Creator's praises while surrounded by, and having just seen so much of his magnificent Creation on Safari, is a spiritual experience that defines description and cannot easily be replicated.
We hope this Shabbat and the day to Chobe following will leave impressions that will NEVER be forgotten.
And we'll go back to the Falls one last time too, just outside the grounds of the Hotel.
Botswana Day!! Chobe is home to the largest concentration of elephant in the world, as well as large herds of buffalo, hippo, crocodile, antelope, zebra, giraffe, and of course the Big cats.
We'll ride on open-jeeps tracking elusive lion, leopard, hippo out of the water, and many other animals on Chobe's formidable sand-tracks; who knows what luck our last morning in this true African wilderness could bring?
After our Botswana experience, we drive back across the Zambezi River into Zambia, (an experience in and of itself) to the hotel for our final farewell dinner under the African starry starry night.
The morning will be yours to enjoy the hotel for a couple of hours. In the early afternioon, we'll take a flight back to Johannesburg, where our adventure ends, leaving with incredible memories of Africa and nature at its absolute best!