Follow in the footsteps of the great explorer Dr. David Livingstone as you learn about his life and 19th century expeditions through South Africa, Botswana and Zambia. Head out in search of the “Smoke That Thunders” led by famous Livingstone and African history expert, Russell Gammon. A distant descendant of this legendary scientist and explorer, Gammon’s worked with everyone from the Smithsonian Institute and National Geographic to the BBC and Discovery Channel.
Begin your journey in Cape Town as Dr. Livingstone himself did. Experience a variety of activities and sightseeing journeys including a climb up Table Mountain, a visit to a modern day missionary projects, and more. Next it’s off to the Kalahari Desert where Livingstone’s actual mission station was located, followed by a visit to the breathtaking Makgadikgadi salt pans. While there, trek with local Bushmen in search for wildlife, play with some cheerful meerkats, visit Chapman’s unique Baobab, and more. Continue on to Linyanti which Livingstone and his expedition team crossed through on their way to the mighty Zambezi River. Admire the vast scenery teeming with wildlife including lions, elephants, giraffe, zebra, leopards, and more during various game drives. Prepare for a scenic cruise across the Zambezi river to the thundering Victoria Falls which Livingstone christened after England’s Queen Victoria.
Price is $16,200 per person based on double occupancy. Departs Oct 5th 2014.
Minimum group size 6, maximum group size 16. Please note departures are not guaranteed until 120 days before travel, and we advise you do not book international air until the tour has been confirmed. Deposit is due upon booking, and refundable up until 120 days before travel. At 120 days before travel, and upon departure guarantee, final payment is due. Minimum traveler age is 18.
Upon arrival into Cape Town, you will be met at the door of the plane and escorted through Customs and Immigration, avoiding any queues.
Transfer from the airport to your hotel, where the rest of the evening is at leisure.
Mount Nelson is a recognized luxury hotel in the heart of Cape Town, placed in beautifully landscaped gardens. The 201 rooms are decked in traditional British decor, promising luxury linen alongside modern necessities expected by seasoned travelers. Fine cuisine is served at Mount Nelson's restaurants, with a wide variety of options for all tastes. Using fresh local ingredients, chefs whip up everything from bistro-style al fresco surprises to international staples. Be sure to use the hotel facilities. Relax at the spa, or wander around the downtown core of Cape Town. The hotel is conveniently located within walking distance of many interesting sights and the busy part of town.
Today, after breakfast, you will be met by your local guide for an exploration of Cape Town, known affectionately as the Mother City. Your tour will take in the Houses of Parliament, the Castle (built between 1666 and 1679, this is South Africa’s oldest building), lively Greenmarket Square with its daily market, the Company Gardens and of course Table Mountain which will give you spectacular views over the city and Peninsula.
Today, lunch will be done independently.
This afternoon after the tour, you'll head to the Mount Nelson Hotel where you'll be introduced to your experienced host for this Southern African Adventure, Mr. Russel Gammond. Mr. Gammond has spent many years guiding tours through the diverse landscapes of the Southern African nations, and boasts an uncanny skill set for tracking some of the region’s most recognized and elusive wildlife. His in-depth knowledge of David Livingstone's explorations has influenced his own experiences in the wild, which he'll happily pass on to you during this afternoon tea and information session.
This evening is free, you may walk about Cape Town and enjoy the city.
This is a tour which delves deep into South Africa’s political past and opens up doors to communities not always encountered in the city itself. You will start off at the colourful Bo- Kaap, home to the Malay community and one of the oldest residential areas in the city, before crossing over to District Six, once a vibrant neighbourhood, but turned during Apartheid into a deserted neighbourhood. The museum makes for interesting viewing. From here, we visit one of the townships – created specifically for black residents under Apartheid. We join local community workers on a walk about through the township, meeting many friendly faces en route and also seeing the changes being brought about here with the advent of the New South Africa. We also stop at one of the many successful projects operated by uThando, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the revitalization of communities. On our return to the city, we board a ferry to Robben Island (weather permitting). Here we will be joined by a local guide – someone who spent time on the island during the Apartheid years – and thus is able to give a personal and often moving account of time spent there. You will also learn something about the island’s most famous prisoner – Nelson Mandela – and see his cell where he spent nearly 27 years of his life.
Lunch today is not included.
Dinner this evening is also done indepenedently.
This morning, after breakfast, transfer between your hotel and the airport.
Enjoy a direct flight today between Cape Town and Maun. Flight time is approximately 3hrs 45mins. The flight is scheduled to depart Cape Town approx. 9:45am and arrive into Maun approx. 1:30pm. Please Note: Flight times may vary.
Next, onto a short charter hop flight; this departs Maun and travels to Makgadikgadi, Botswana.
Lunch is included.
After tea, travel down to the pans where you will be given a brief safety talk before mounting your quad bike to head off across the pans. Watch the sun set and the stars rise. This is one of the only places in the world where the silence is so complete you can hear the blood circulating through your ears. There is not one visual landmark to be seen and one swiftly loses one’s sense of perspective.
Dinner is included.
Jack’s Camp which was refurbished in a traditional East African 1940's safari style is situated in one of the most unique regions of the country - the Makgadikgadi Pans. The Makgadikgadi is not without drama and, here, the emphasis is on observing the intricacies of a truly unique ecosystem.
Set off in the morning to visit some of the Kalahari’s meerkats (‘Suricate’ to science-minded people and ‘Timon’ to Lion King Fans). Get up close and personal with these captivating creatures. On chilly mornings, you might well find a meerkat snuggling up to you for warmth. In the absence of a termite mound or tree, these playful creatures may use your head as a sentry lookout post. By spending quality time with these incredibly social, superbly adaptable animals, you will be able to see how they interact with each other and their environment. You also get the chance to see the desert through the eyes of a meerkat – which, despite the fact that it’s only a foot off the ground, is a pretty spectacular vantage point, and definitely one of the most special and memorable game experiences you will encounter in Botswana.
This afternoon your group will meet up with the other guests from the lodge for your game drive in Makgadikgadi. The Makgadikgadi Pan is a series of large salt pans in the middle of the dry savannah of Northeastern Botswana. It is one of the largest salt flats in the world and interspersed between the pans are sand dunes, rocky islands and peninsulas, and desert terrain. The pan is all that remains of the formerly enormous Lake Makgadikgadi, which once covered an area larger than Switzerland, but dried up several thousand years ago. The Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve has an area of 3900 sq. km and is the scene of large migrations. Species that can be spotted here include wildebeest, zebra, gemsbok, eland and red hartebeest, as well as kudu, bushbuck, duiker, giraffe, springbok, steenbok, and even elephant, with all the accompanying predators, as well as the rare brown hyena. Your afternoon is guaranteed to be full of excitement, spectacular views and amazing experiences.
Early in the morning, comb the edge of the extinct lake shore to find some of the many stone tools and fossils that litter the pan surface and learn of the origins of early man. Return to camp for a huge brunch. After another decadent tea, head off to see one of Africa’s rarest carnivores – the brown hyena. Due to a PhD research programme on this cleverly adapted desert species, the cubs are habituated which allows us to observe their social behaviour without disturbance. Afterward, back to the camp for dinner by candlelight.
This morning you depart Jack’s Camp. Sit back and enjoy the view during your charter hop flight travelling between Makgadikgadi and Maun.
Next fly between Maun and Linyanti, Botswana, another short flight.
After arrival at Linyanti Bush Camp, your group will depart from the lodge for an afternoon game drive.
Linyanti Bush Camp is a small, intimate 12 bedded tented camp on the banks of the Linyanti marshes in a private reserve, which borders the western boundary of Chobe in the Chobe Enclave. Set in one of the remotest parts of Botswana, this private concession allows guests to experience the Botswana Wilderness through the lap of luxury. The magnificent area boasts of an unparalleled wilderness with highlights of big herds of buffalo in the dry season and regular close encounters of unique wildlife species. The endless vistas of the Linyanti marsh makes an incredible playing field for the avid bird watcher, combined with breath taking views of a scenery carved by defiant forces of nature. The personalised service and unique experience is afforded to a maximum of 12 guests at a time. Linyanti Bush Camp provides the perfect atmosphere for an authentic and wild safari experience. Combining simple design with modern comfort and a measure of African elegance, the camp offers a relaxing environment amidst the Wilderness.
The Linyanti Wildlife Reserve is considered one of the few remaining "untouched" game viewing gems of Africa. This absolutely superb safari area boasts similar characteristics as the nearby Okavango in terms of geographical trademarks and of course, wildlife. The truly gorgeous waterways and lagoons are ideal for attracting some of Africa's Big 5 species amongst the thousands of birds whom inhabit these lands. During the dry season, June to October, a variety of game including elephants, buffaloes, lions and wild dogs gather around the various watering holes and rivers in large numbers. During the green season, November to May, the game extends their reach further throughout the reserve into the blooming bush. Equally exciting morning or evening game drives through the reserve will provide an almost unreal game viewing experience during both the dry and wet seasons.
Later this afternoon you will head out on another game viewing drive.
Continue on this exploratory adventure of the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve on another game viewing drive, or if you wish spend time relaxing around your camp. A variety of optional activities are made available for you to enjoy including day and night-time game drives, nature treks, motorized boat cruises or traditional dugout “Mokoro” canoeing.
During your time in the Selinda Reserve you'll have the choice of Game Drives in open 4X4's and also the chance to explore the area by boat.
This morning you will fly between Linyanti and Livingstone, Zambia.
Transfer on arrival to the Royal Livingstone property, where you will check in for your final stop.
This leisurely excursion departs from the Royal Livingstone Hotel at 15h30, allowing you a long and relaxed visit on Livingstone Island itself. Experience the rush of the mighty Zambezi, as it sprays all around you, and enjoy the complimentary tea, coffee, light snacks, soft drinks, beer and wine.
The Royal Livingstone is one of the most exquisite hotels in Zambia, set quietly on the edge of the Zambezi river belt and within walking distance of the Victoria Falls. With 173 rooms set in 17 colonial-style buildings, the century architecture of the hotel lends to its cool, refined atmosphere. Refreshing, with lounging areas and terraces overlooking the misty waters, the hotel is shielded with privacy by the indigenous trees and plants. One may take meals at High Tea in the lounge, in elegance, or dine comfortably on the veranda with a view of the gardens. Relax in one of the lounging areas of the hotel or test your limits with white water rafting along the river.
Victoria Falls are a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe. A path along the edge of the forest provides the visitor who is prepared to brave the tremendous spray with an unparalleled series of views of the falls. One special vantage point is across the Knife edge bridge, where visitors can have the finest view of the Eastern Cataract and the Main Falls as well as the Boiling Pot where the river turns and heads down the Batoka Gorge. Other vantage points include the Falls Bridge and the Lookout Tree which commands a panoramic view across the Main Falls. Different times of the year will provide completely different experiences.
Later this morning you'll visit the Simonga Village, home to approximately 3000 inhabitants, it is a mixture of the Lozi and Tonga tribes. The village was founded in 1958 and is situated approximately 20 kilometers from Livingstone Town, along the Kazungula/Sesheke road, which runs parallel to the Zambezi River as it flows down towards the Victoria Falls. This village is quite unique as it one of only three in the entire country of Zambia that is ruled by a Headwoman, Inonge Imusho Samachila, who was chosen by the Royal Family to rule in 1970, following the death of her father, Imusho Samachila. Upon arrival, guests are escorted through the village by a local resident, where they are introduced to the daily activities of an African village. You'll then be taken back to the Royal Livingstone Golf Club for lunch.
Enjoy one last evening with your fellow travellers, and your host Russell Gamon, before finishing your adventure and heading home the following day. Dinner is included.
Transfer between your hotel and the airport.
Fly from Livingstone to Johannesburg today. The flight duration is approximately 2 hours.
Depart from Johannesburg international airport - End of itinerary.
November 08, 2012
"I am a world traveller and this was one of my Top 3 vacations ever! Kensington Tours did a great job with EVERY little detail, from the planning to being met and catered to every step of the way. Our favorite lodges were Tau Pan in the Kalahari, Botswana & Moon Mountain in Sossusvlei, Namibia. We especially loved the Batswana people and all the animals we saw at Camp Moremi on the Okavanga River. The highlight of our trip was actually our stay in Swakopmund when we stayed on the South Atlantic & went for an exciting boat ride to see all the sealife up close and personal (like a seal coming onboard the boat!), a rollar coaster dune ride in a 4 X 4!! the balloon ride over the red sand dunes over Namibia and several champagne brunches in the middle of the desert. Also, will never forget all the sundowmer game drives which ended with our favorite cocktail, watching the sunset with wildlife close at hand!
Unforgettable. Thanks Ivona for planning it all!"
October 26, 2012
"35 Goose Pond Road
Lincoln, MA 01773
Re: Steven Weru Kinyua, Kenya tour guide
We recently returned from a wonderful 8 day tour of Kenya with Steven, he is an exceptional individual. But one example: As we returned to the Samburu lodge from our first game drive, Steven pointed out a young, sick-looking lion in the shade of a tree. We observed it momentarily and soon returned to the lodge for dinner.
The next day Steven mentioned he had reported the weak young lion to the local Samburu ranger. Steven explained that due to the arrival of a new alpha male in his pride the young lion had likely been chased out before he was able to hunt for himself. He further explained that the young lion would be welcome back in a week or two, if he were alive. I pursued the full story w/Steven. The ranger Steven had reported the weak lion to had been unresponsive, indicating he would do nothing. Steven, unsatisfied w/that response told the ranger to report it to the Head Park Ranger, or he would. The Head Ranger agreed with Steven's analysis of the situation; bought 10 kilos of meat for the young lion; and directed his staff to feed it appropriately.
Steven understood the workings of that lion pride, and has an exceptional knowledge of all the wild animals of Kenya. Furthermore he has a passion for their well-being. He would not accept a lazy, disinterested response from the local ranger. During our trip in Kenya I had occasion to speak to groups of secondary school students. I related Steven's actions as an excellent example of a Kenyan's knowledge, passion and commitment.
One day Steven pointed out a cheetah. We saw the cheetah w/a young impala in its mouth. After the cheetah had choked the young impala, Steven explained the mother cheetah was calling her cubs --it was thrilling to see the 3 cubs come tearing across the plain creating a mini-dust storm in their wake. The mother gave the kill to her cubs. Steven explained they had to learn to open it up. Shortly she sent them off the kill, twenty paces or so, then froze, looking westerly. A lion, smelling the kill Steven explained, was moving off to the north about a 1000 yards away. Intent on the lion the mother cheetah remained frozen in place (as we're the cubs, mimicking their mother). After the lion passed the mother called the cubs back to the kill. Not 15 minutes later the lion came back, followed by yapping jackels, this time moving off to the east of the cheetahs. As soon as the lion appeared, the mother cheetah repeated her previous actions, sending off the cubs and freezing over the kill, intently watching the lion. Steven explained that the jackels were distracting the lion from the kill, knowing if the lion found the kill, nothing would be left for them. Again the lion passed off to the southeast, never able to find the cheetah kill.
This summary highlights events that played out over a 90 minute period. In that time several tourist rovers and vans came, took pictures of the cheetahs, and left. None of those tourists had a complete explanation of the scene that was playing out before us. Game-viewing w/Steven is a rich experience, a clear cut above the average.
In our time w/Steven we had lengthy conversations about the pluses and minuses of grass-burning, the challenges of maintaining wildlife corridors, park encroachment by locals, roadway underpasses for big game, etc. in addition we discussed ukabila and other political challenges facing Kenya. Steven Kinyua is an exceptional Kenyan guide. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and made our Kenya safari a wonderful learning experience we will cherish for years.
Mark Masterson, Ed.D."
October 18, 2013
"I am so happy that I used Kensington Tours to help with my dream trip to Cape Town South Africa. I was looking for a well respected tour company that planned private guided tours that was not going to cause me my leg, lol. I begin searching companies by reputation and value. I narrowed it down to Kensington Tours because of the quality and value. I felt taken care of prior to my departure due to the detailed itinerary.
From the time of got off the plane to the time I headed back to the states, I was in excellent hands. The service was EXCELLENT! I will definitely use Kensington again. Certainly, a trip of a lifetime!"
October 29, 2013
"My husband and I have just returned from the trip of a lifetime in Egypt. The sites were amazing and overwhelming. Everything was as promised. We had the most amazing pyramid view and Nile view from our hotels. Our itinerary included the most magnificent sites and we were accompanied by the most informative and friendly people. I highly recommend visiting Egypt. It is totally safe. Thank you to everyone at Kensington for this experience. It was so beyond our expectations!"
October 31, 2013
"From our greeter, who whisked us through customs in Johannesburg, to all our excellent drivers, guides and associates in Lions Sands, Cape Town and the wine country, everyone was highly professional, well dressed, well mannered, and well informed. Overall our tour worked like a superbly designed, technically perfect Swiss watch. An experience for the ages. Bravo!"
October 29, 2013
"This was a trip of a life time for me and I was never disappointed. Sylvia listen to me and give me exactly what I wanted in the way of a photo Safari as well as full tour of Cape Town and the wine country. I never had to wait one minute for a guide or any of the transportation provided. The people I dealt with along the way could not have been more courteous and friendly. I just cannot say enough about my experience with Kensington Tours, it was fabulous! "
Hanne Jones ,
October 24, 2013
"I have travelled all my life. I've combed much of Europe, from The arctic north in Norway to the streets of Seville in Spain, the beaches of Cannes and Nice in France and the medieval heart of Bologna in Italy. I've been on two African safaris (one tented, one not), both "luxurious." I've been on more than a dozen jaunts to India, some guided, others not. Over the years I have discovered that I had rather be lost and disoriented in a foreign country than submit once again to the unbending schedule of a guided tour. Hence I had given up tours of any kind, until Molly Kelly, an American Express travel agent, suggested I might want simply to list the places my friends and I wished to see in Morocco then let Kensington Tours make accessing them in an orderly way not only possible but thoroughly enjoyable as well. And this Kensington Tours did. They pulled our disparate destinations together and designed a far, far better route than we could ever have done on our own. They satisfied all our requests and threw in delicious additions, areas of interest we had never considered or even heard of. Our accommodations were well within our means and wonderful. Our guide and driver, not to mention our Mercedes SUV, could not have pleased us more. In other words, thanks to Molly and her recommending Kensington Tours, we had a sensational holiday. "
Anthoula Korina ,
September 05, 2013
"Africa had always been a myth in mind since I was child that was up until a week ago. I just returned from an epic safari adventure! Kenya, Tanzania and the Maasai are sorely missed.
Words cannot fully express the magic of this ever-flowing journey. It was awe-inspiring, breathtaking, free and powerful. My mind keeps playing tricks on me; thinking rather hoping that I'm going to see a giraffe cross a busy NYC street :)
The memories will resonate for a lifetime. To boot, I went on this trip solo; female traveler. Not sure any of it would have been possible w/out Kensington Tours!!! Thank you..."
July 12, 2013
"I had a wonderful trip visiting the mountain gorillas in Uganda. We were able to get really close to the gorillas and watched their interactions with each other. The local people are so gracious and made every minute a delight. The accomodations were great. I loved waking up in the morning to the sounds of the forest. The added luxury of a massage was a great way to end the trip!"
July 26, 2013
"Our family of 6 traveled to Morocco for a 9 day Imperial cities discovery, I was absolutely amazing. Our guide Lahcen Zaaim was the best guide we have EVER had and we have traveled to many countries. There was not one subject that he was not knowledgeable about. He made the trip sooooo memorable. He was so flexible and when he picked us up in the mornings to head out, he was talking nonstop to tell us soo much about everything we were seeing. There was soooo much to see in Morocco and he made sure we saw it all.. He truly has a gift in the touring business, you feel as if your leaving your best friend when the trip is over. When we got to the airport in casablanca, he spotted us before we saw him and of course, we asked him, how did you recognize us? He even went as far as to get the King of Moroccos artist to meet us at our riad the night before we left to return home late to do our names in moroccan arabic to frame, They were beautiful, He showed us a picture of the Kings Face he had done for the Palace! Lily Baffour from Kensington planned our trip and she was amazing, planning everything as she thought we would like based on what I told her. She did an Outstanding job and literally sent our Iteniaries by next day air in a beautifully done spiral bound personally book for each family that was going on the trip, SOOOOOO IMPRESSED and she even got the guide we requested!!!! I cant say enough about this trip and Kensington, we will definitely use again!!! We experienced a VERY different culture in going to Morocco and thats what we wanted, a Very different exotic trip and thats what we got!!!! Again our accomodations we Top Notch, staying in the TRuly authenic Riads, they were SOOOOO Luxurious, Plan on taking another suitcase or buying one there because you will buy more things to bring home than any other trip because of all the Handicrafts there, especially in Fes!!!
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