SOUTHERN CROSS: FROM VICTORIA FALLS TO PRETORIA

Cultural tour of Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique & Eswatini (Swaziland)

This is an incredible rail journey that starts at the majestic Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. In the comforts of our deluxe train we continue on to experience the born free wildlife at the incredible Hwange & Matobo National Parks.  The wildlife with enchanting scenery and landscape through South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, the Southern Cross route offers unforgettable safari experiences, hikes and historic and cultural tours through urban and rural Africa.

TRAIN INFO
Tour Information
Tour Duration : 13 days
Min. Tour Size : N/A
Max. Tour Size : 25 persons
Tour Price (From) : US$ 6960
Includes international air
Day 01: Arrive Victoria Falls (ZIMBABWE)
(D)
Day 02: Departure on the African Explorer
(B, D)
Day 03: Hwange National Park
(B, D)
Day 04: Matobo National Park
(B, D)
Day 05: Great Zimbabwe
(B, D)
Day 06: Across the Limpopo by Train (SOUTH AFRICA)
(B, L, D)
Day 07: Meeting Cheetahs and the Big Five
(B, L, D)
Day 08: The Drakensberg Mountains
(B, L, D)
Day 09: On Safari in Kruger National Park
(B, L, D)
Day 10: Maputo and the Shores of the Indian Ocean (MOZAMBIQUE)
 (B, L, D)
Day 11: The Kingdom of Eswatini (SWAZILAND)
(B, D)
Day 12: Pretoria (SOUTH AFRICA)
 (B, L, D)
Day 13: Depart Pretoria
 (B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day 01: Arrive Victoria Falls (ZIMBABWE)

Stand on your private balcony, gazing at ripples on a watering hole fringed by pink earth and green brush. Moments ago, you were on a plane, landing in Victoria Falls Airport. Now, a short ride later, you’re in the untouched wilderness of the Zambezi National Park. This afternoon, take a boat along the wide Zambezi River, where elephants drink and hippos swim. As night closes in, sit around a flickering fire under the stars to eat braai, a traditional barbecue in southern Africa. What a welcome to Zimbabwe.

Overnight: Victoria Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls (1 night) (D)

Day 02: Departure on the African Explorer

African Explorer - Your private trainGigantic plumes of spray, shimmering light, and the relentless roar of one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. You’re standing over the largest waterfall on Earth, Victoria Falls, also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, or the Smoke that Thunders. In the long afternoon shadows, you step into the wood-paneled comfort and old-world charm of your private train, the African Explorer. Night approaches, and your car rolls south into Africa’s largest game reserve.

Overnight: on board your train (6 nights) (B, D)

Day 03: Hwange National Park

Elephant and zebras near the water hole in the Hwange National ParkAs the sun rises over the savannah, you drive deep into the park and have breakfast at a water hole. Gazing into the wilderness with the dawn light spreading through the scrub, you seek out elephants, giraffes, lions and antelopes. Then it’s time for an optional lunch in a safari lodge, and the chance to explore Africa’s largest game reserve in an open vehicle with a professional ranger. After a full day of experiencing the natural beauty of Africa, you retreat to the comfort of your private train. Next stop: Bulawayo. (B, D)

Day 04: Matobo National Park

Lion and Lioness in the evening lightUnder a bright morning sun, you visit Matobo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. From a distance, natural granite sculptures crown its rolling hills, each crafted by the elements over two billion years. Up-close, you see man-made art nestling among the monoliths—intricate rock paintings, thousands of years old. You stop at the grave of Cecil Rhodes to take in the view. A spectacular vista across a stunning landscape. In the afternoon, you take a tour of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city, and choose whether to visit the extraordinary collections of its Natural History Museum or the relics in the Railroad Museum, including the personal rail car of Rhodes himself. Back on the African Explorer, you enjoy dinner and set off on your journey south. (B, D)

Day 05: Great Zimbabwe

Vast ruins loom above the forest trees. Walls 36-feet (11 meters) high surround you, built from thousands of interlocking granite blocks. These are the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, Africa’s largest pre-colonial monument south of the Sahara, and the city that gave modern Zimbabwe its name. (B, D)

Day 06: Across the Limpopo by Train (SOUTH AFRICA)

Beneath you, the steady beat of the wheels, while outside the train window, wild landscapes scroll by. An unending visual feast as your private train winds through the red rock mountains and emerald forests of the Soutpansberg range. It’s a day to relax to the rhythm of the railroad, before crossing the wide, churning waters of the Limpopo River at the border town of Breitbridge. You’ve arrived in South Africa. Welcome! (B, L, D)

Day 07: Meeting Cheetahs and the Big Five

Look out at vast herds of antelope, grazing on the plains of the 13,000 hectare private Kapama Game Reserve. All of Africa’s Big Five live here, including leopards, elephants and rhino, and you watch them on your morning’s safari through the park. Later, touch cheetahs and rare African wild dogs at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, where animals are prepared for their release into the wild. (B, L, D)

Day 08: The Drakensberg Mountains

African Explorer - A look inside the revamped Shongololo ExpressA bus takes you along the legendary Drakensberg escarpment, taking a panoramic route through the mountain range. Look down and see the sheer drop through the forest, leveling into the green plains of the Lowveld 3,000 feet below. More exquisite natural beauty awaits at the Blyde River Canyon, where gentle slopes curve around towering rock formations. As the sun sets, you relax with a cold drink on the terrace of a safari lodge in Kruger National Park, and watch elephants, hippos and crocodiles interact on the banks of Crocodile River. The lodge is your accommodation for the night and you’re traveling light, your luggage securely stowed aboard the African Explorer. As night falls, climb into an open Jeep for a thrilling night safari before enjoying a bush dinner under the African night skies. A day that will leave you exhilarated just at the memory.

Overnight: Pestana Kruger Lodge, Blyde River Canyon (1 night) (B, L, D)

Day 09: On Safari in Kruger National Park

A full day to explore one of the world’s largest game reserves. Board your bus and head out into the wild, where zebra and giraffe roam and lion prides rest from the night’s adventures. In the afternoon, return to the African Explorer and the comfort of your compartment. Under the warm red glow of a setting sun, you continue on to Mozambique.

Overnight: on board your train (3 nights) (B, L, D)

Day 10: Maputo and the Shores of the Indian Ocean (MOZAMBIQUE)

Game drive. Safari car on game drive with rhinos aroundOvernight, you cross a border, and when morning arrives, you awake at Maputo railroad station, a domed, century-old masterpiece of elegant wrought iron. Welcome to the capital of Mozambique. On a tour of this singular city, with its mix of crumbling colonial Portuguese buildings and socialist apartment blocks, you take in the truly unique architecture of the Catholic Cathedral and the Casa do Ferro. After visiting tranquil botanical gardens, energetic markets, national landmarks, and enjoying a fresh lunch on a palm-lined beach, you return to the station and your train. (B, L, D)

Day 11: The Kingdom of Eswatini (SWAZILAND)

In an air-conditioned bus, you enter the tiny kingdom of Eswatini. After witnessing the gentle, green, pastoral beauty of the Ezulwini valley, you tour the capital Mbabane and the small town Piggs Peak. You browse hand-carved wooden artefacts and fine raffia items at the markets. As shadows lengthen into the late afternoon, your train journeys into South Africa, where your private train awaits. Time for a last dinner in the dining car, and your last night on board, as the African Explorer carries you to Pretoria where your train journey comes to an end. (B, D)

Day 12: Pretoria (SOUTH AFRICA)

African Explorer - Train dining carIn the glorious gardens of the Union Buildings, you look up at the magnificent symmetry of South Africa’s parliament. Before it, arms outstretched, stands a huge statue of a smiling Nelson Mandela. You feel a strong sense of how far the country has come. In the charming green gardens of your lodge, you relax and prepare for your last evening in Africa. Then, a farewell dinner, and a chance to reminisce with your companions, remembering spectacular scenery and the wildlife you’ve seen.

Overnight: Misty Hills Lodge, Pretoria (1 night) (B, L, D)

Day 13: Depart Pretoria

Check out and according to your flights, transfer to the airport for your flight back home. (B)

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Departure Dates & Prices

We accept payments in US$, CA$ as well as in other convertible currencies like EUR, AUD and GBP. Tour prices have been costed in US$. CA$ price shown below is an indicative amount reached at by using the conversion rate at the time of web posting and will be applicable if there is no change in the conversion rate. Should the currency conversion rate change, the US$ pricing will prevail. Bestway Tours & Safaris offers a conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here

2020 Per Person on
Twin Sharing
Single Room
Supplement
Estimated Airfare (FROM)+
Departure(s) East Coast West Coast
Elephant Category
Aug 18
US$ 6960 Available upon request
Leopard Category
Aug 18
US$ 8920 Available upon request
2020 Per Person on
Twin Sharing
Single Room
Supplement
Estimated Airfare (FROM)+
Departure(s) East Coast West Coast
Elephant Category
Aug 18
CA$ 9396 Available upon request
Leopard Category
Aug 18
CA$ 12042 Available upon request


Notes

• This tour is not part of our small group journeys.
Maximum group size is 25 passengers while touring, while the maximum capacity of the whole train is 70 passengers.
• For Train Info please click here



Inclusions


Tour Price Includes
  • Accommodation on the African Explorer private train & hotels according to the category booked
  • 30 Meals as mentioned (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All sightseeing and transfers by private transporation
  • Multilingual Tour Director
  • English-speaking tour guide for max. 25 guests during sightseeing off the train
  • Doctor on board
Not Included
  • Any airfares
  • Insurance/visas
  • Tips/gratuities

Participants

This tour operates on a maximum group size of 25 participants while touring, while the maximum capacity of the whole train is 70 passengers.
Please note that this tour is NOT part of our small group journeys.

Customised Itinerary

If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.

Contact Info
You may e-mail us at bestway@bestway.com or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.

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