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. Departs Oct 5th 2014. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 of the Falls region. Peak flood season is around March and April and the full power of the falls can be experienced in all its glory. As the floods abate the view of the falls gets better and better through the year, but at its lowest, around November and December the Falls become little rivulets running over the edge and in some places along the 1,7km width no water falls at all.
Later this morning you'll visit the Mukuni Village. It is home to the Leya people. On this tour you have the opportunity to learn more about this interesting culture whilst being shown around the village homes and Chief Mkuni’s Palace, as well as having the opportunity to try out their traditional food and beer. This is a real village with a population in the region of 5000.
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.
Enjoying a superb location at the foot of Table Mountain, and just a short stroll from downtown, Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel offers the perfect combination of leafy tranquility and contemporary buzz. Whether dining on exotic Cape cuisine, soaking up the sun on any of the stunning beaches nearby or getting ready to stroll down fashionable Kloof Street, guests have the ideal central base from which to discover this exhilarating city. There are two heated outdoor swimming pools, available exclusively for guests staying at the hotel. The fitness centre is equipped with the latest cardiovascular and weight training equipment. A trainer is available for fitness assessments and programmes.
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. A safari to Jack's Camp is also a complete desert experience focusing on species unique to the area such as aardvark, gemsbuck and springbuck. It is the only place where you are virtually guaranteed to see the rare and elusive brown hyaena and be able to walk through the Kalahari with a gang of habituated but, wild meerkats.
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 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.
Ronald Jones ,
December 12, 2014
"I cannot express how fabulous our trip was!! I know it was made that way thanks to ALL the kind, knowledgable, and helpful people that you all placed in our path. Many went above and beyond to make our experience even more positive. From drivers, to guides, to hotel staff---we met some wonderful people that we can now call friends. Thank you Christine and Kensington tours for this once in a lifetime African adventure!"
December 09, 2014
"A truly wonderful trip......first class accommodations and service in each venue....the guides were knowledgable and went out of their way to insure that we could see and understand Africa. Capetown is a fascinating city, Sabi Sands an extraordinary private game preserve, and Zimbabwe with Victoria Falls and the Victoria Falls Hotel a once in a lifetime experience. For those who want to visit Africa we enthusiastically recommend Kensington Tours. And Jolene Plant stayed with us in every step during the planning of our trip and itinerary. We saw as much of Africa as much as anyone can during our two weeks vacation."
Belinda Skelton ,
December 12, 2014
"This was one of the most amazing trips that I have ever had. The custom tours and activities exceeded my expectations. I was traveling alone but felt safe and in good hands. The process of booking the trip with Lily Baffour was so easy and personal, especially with the constant communications from her up to my departure. Thank you Kensington Tours for an awesome experience. I will definitely use you for my next adventure!"
Nathan Nerland ,
December 15, 2014
"Kensington Tours is always our only guided company we use because every staff has been amazing along the way and they accommodate everything we request, and more."
December 12, 2014
"Our week-long tour in Morocco went without a hitch in the company of a great driver and knowledgeable guide who were always prompt, courteous, helpful, and very nice. Kensington Tours' picks for our overnight accommodations were excellent, as well as the excursions planned for us. We're grateful to our conscientious agent, Lily, who went out of her way to make us feel welcome in Morocco. We feel confident that we are in very capable hands whenever we travel with Kensington Tours. "
December 12, 2014
"Our trip was a perfect 10 - exceeding all expectations! Starting with Christine Willner's attentiveness to our wish list and balancing it to our budget, every leg and element of our journey took place without so much as a hiccup. We were blown away by the quality of our tours, accommodations and guides. Thank you for giving us a great experience and wonderful memories!"
Rebecca Warren ,
August 02, 2014
"My 26 year old daughter recently traveled alone to Madagascar using Kensington tours. I was a little concerned about her safety and wanted to make sure that she would be well taken care of. Kensington was great from start to finish. Our travel agent, Marc Sisson, put together the tour in very short order with very little notice, had no problem doing it for just one person, and gave me a sense of security that my daughter would be well cared for. She did the Anjajavy 5 Day Beach extension. The tour guide who picked her up at the airport in the capitol city was outstanding -- very knowledgeable and helpful. The Anjajavy hotel was extraordinary. Her pictures are breathtakingly beautiful. She kayaked, swam in the ocean and saw lemurs feeding. She got to practice her French with the outstanding hotel manager and otherwise was able to just relax and unwind. She described the experience as "visiting Eden." I highly recommend Kensington. I contacted a number of tour/travel agencies and none of them compared to Kensington. "
Shayna Maislin ,
April 21, 2014
"I would highly recommend the tour guide that we had in the Serengetti . He was extremely knowledgeable, very helpful and courteous. We all agree that Kensington has first class staff working for them in Africa. All the camps that we stayed at were absolutely beautiful except perhaps for the one in Lake Manyara. All in all it was a spectacular trip!"
Lucy Gilkes ,
April 21, 2014
"The whole trip was wonderful but the guides were what made it for us. They were knowledgeable and thoughtful a pleasure to spend time with."
Janine Chey ,
April 21, 2014
"Our trip to Masai Mara via Kensington ran very smoothly. We stayed at the Mara West Lodge. Beautiful location atop a ridge overlooking the Masai Mara plains. Our luxury tents were quite comfortable and the staff/service at the lodge were great. Meals were very nice especially the daily soups. Our guide, Steve, was also great...so knowledgeable and eager to show us many interesting things. He planned our daily game drives and took us on a nature hike one afternoon. He clearly knows and understands this ecosystem. He has an amazing eye, finding animals in fields of tall grasses. Our entire family had an amazing time, trip of a lifetime...would love to go back!"
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