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Botswana. The Great Wilderness Journey

Extend Your Stay

Contact our Africa Program Director for extension options to Cape Town, the Kalahari, Namibia or walking safaris in Zambia.

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Extension: 3 nights / 4 days

Walk in the footsteps of legendary biologist Dian Fossey in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda.  Escorted by our team of expert guides and native trackers, you bushwhack through the thick vegetation and up steep slopes in search of a family of wild mountain gorillas. Choose either two full days of gorilla tracking or one day with the gorillas and another day trekking to see Golden Monkeys. 


Pricing: From $1,650-$3,995 


Prices are per person, depending on group size and accommodation level. Additional permit costs of  $1500 per person per day for gorilla trekking and $100 per person per day golden monkey trekking. Must be 15 years or older to participate in trekking to see the Mountain Gorillas. 

Day 1: Kigali / Virunga Mountains


Touch down at the Kigali Airport where our local representative greets you. Transfer to overnight at the Kigali Serena . [D]


Day 2: Kigali and the Virunga Mountains

This morning we have the opportunity to see local life in Kigali. With your local guide, experience the real life of Rwandans as you’re introduced into this bustling multi-cultural commercial suburb with a typical African flair. Visit a local hair salon, a West Africa Tailor, the Muslim quarter, and the local market where you’ll procure supplies to cook and eat a traditional Rwandan meal in a local home.

After your tasty self made lunch depart Kigali for a scenic drive approximately two hours on a paved road to town of Kinigi at the base of the Virunga Mountains.  Stunning vistas greet you as the road winds its way over hills and through valleys. Rwanda is known as ‘The Land of a Thousand Hills’ for a reason!  Spend the next few nights at Five Volcanoes Lodge (classic) or Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (luxury), just 15 minutes away from the entrance to the park. [BLD]


Day 3: Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park

The Virunga Mountains in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo are home to the world’s population of mountain gorillas. Some of the gorilla families have been habituated to human presence, and it is possible to visit them in their natural habitat within the forest. 

Take a short drive to Park Headquarters and meet with local guides and trackers who present an orientation about gorilla tracking ethics. It is very important that under no circumstances are the gorillas to be touched by humans or visited by anyone with a cold or illness. This is to protect the animals from communicable diseases to which they are very susceptible. Spend two days in the Volcanoes National Park on full day treks to view two different families of mountain gorillas. The search, with experienced trackers leading the way, can take up to eight hours although the gorillas are usually found after two to four hours. Some hiking areas lie at altitudes above 7,500 feet over rough and muddy terrain. The hike can be physically demanding, but the forest and surrounding scenery are beautiful. 

Once the gorillas are spotted the encounter is a most profound natural history experience. Picnic lunches are provided and it is important to take plenty of water. Cameras set for low light conditions are recommended. It can rain at a few minutes notice, hence water proof clothing is necessary, also zip lock bags for cameras and memory cards. Return to the lodge to share stories and enjoy dinner. Overnight at

Five Volcanoes Lodge (classic) or Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (luxury). [BLD]


Day 4: Gorilla or Golden Monkey Trekking / Return to Kigali and departure

Today you will once again visit the Virunga Mountains either in search of Mountain Gorillas or in search of Golden Monkeys*. There is a fully habituated group of the beautiful primates in the park and this is one of the only places in Africa where this activity is offered. This afternoon return by land approximately 2 hours to the Kigali International Airport for departure. [BL]

Note: Permits for Gorillas or Golden Monkeys will need to be secured prior to arrival. Please discuss these options with the program director. 
 


Classic Accommodations:

Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Well located in Kinigi for gorilla trekking with excellent service, volcano views and a relaxing atmosphere. 


Luxury Accommodations:

Kigali Serena 

Located on one of Kigali's most charming boulevards in Rwanda, the five-star Kigali Serena Hotel offers luxury and elegant Rwandese décor.

Sabinyo Silverback Lodge

The luxury accommodation on our Rwanda Extension, Sabinyo Silverback Lodge is just minutes from Volcanoes National Park and boasts seven large cottages with huge bathtubs for soaking away a day of trekking in the bush.

Mashatu Botswana Extension: 4 nights / 5 days

Mashatu Game Reserve is located in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve of Botswana bordering South Africa. This place embodies that which defines travel in Africa. Vast open space; a wide variety of wildlife from the gigantic to the miniscule; a majestic sky, with expansive views of the plains by day and the universe of stars by night; a quiet that thumps with the sound of life; and adventure tours beyond the typical game drive including horse-back safaris, cycling safaris and wild walking safaris.


At 75,000 acres, Mashatu is one of the largest private game reserves in southern Africa and is a fitting setting for some of the largest herds of the world's largest land mammal - the elephant. Mashatu also provides sanctuary to the world's tallest mammal (the giraffe); the world's largest antelope (the eland); the world's largest bird (the ostrich) and of course, the world's heaviest flying bird (the kori bustard).


In addition to the three members of the Big Five in the reserve - leopard, lion and elephant - are some of the more surprising species, including the aardwolf, bat-eared fox, African wild cat, honey badger and black-backed jackal. Recently introduced to Mashatu (as part of the Northern Tuli Game Reserve) is the endangered wild dog. Mashatu is also home to more than 350 bird species, including the enchanting lilac-breasted roller, whose plumage features no fewer than seven different shades of blue.


Mashatu's safari camps are an expression of the warm hospitality of Africas people. Relaxation is key, regardless of whether your choice is the luxury of Mashatu Main Camp, or the rustic appeal of Mashatu Tent Camp.


Mashatu Game Reserve is a place to connect you to the essence of what life is meant to be. Uncomplicated, bold, and beautiful.


Pricing: From $3,950 per person for Tent Camp; add $700 per person for a luxury upgrade to Main Camp.

Day 1: Depart Johannesburg - Lanseria Airport on a scheduled flight to the Limpopo Valley airfield and drive from there to Mashatu. 

Days 2-4: Mountain bike safaris, horseback safaris, walking and vehicle safaris, photographic hides and private photographic vehicles are all on offer for your twice daily game activities. 

Day 5: Depart to Johannesburg or connect to the Kruger National Park area, the Okavango Delta, or Victoria Falls. 

Cape Town Extension: 6 nights

Cape Town has so much to offer with beautiful beaches, dramatic coastline along the Indian and Atlantic oceans, a cosmopolitan center and world class wine country only an hour away. This six-night itinerary is a suggestion only and we would be happy to customize your days in the Cape to meet your exact interests and travel style. Please review the trip itinerary page for more information about our custom tours in Cape Town. 


 Pricing: From $2,990, depending on group size

Day 1: Arrival in Cape Town

Arrive in Cape Town where you will be met and transferred into the city to your accommodations for the next few days.  Overnight at Cape Cadogen or More Quarters.


Day 2: Cape Peninsula Tour and Penguin Colony 

Our tour begins at Kalk Bay, best known for its working fishing harbor and bohemian feel. Browse the arts and crafts on offer, perhaps do a bit of shopping in the quirky fashion boutiques and enjoy the antiques and collectibles along the main strip. Before heading into the Cape Peninsula itself we search for our own rogue penguins – a splinter colony away from the crowded boardwalks over the main breeding site - on a beach known only to locals. Our tour ends with a gentle hike in the Cape Peninsula Reserve, exploring secluded beaches, shipwrecks and this region’s unique wildlife. The return journey weaves back to Cape Town via Noordhoek Farm Village a food artisan hub of the Peninsula and stopping for a little wine tasting at Cape Point Vineyards, producer of some of South Africa’s finest Sauvignon Blanc. Lunch options are a choice of local eats, fine dining or a wild picnic lunch (lunch at an additional cost.) Overnight at Cape Cadogen or More Quarters. [B]


Day 3: Cape Town Eats Walking Foodie Tour

Today you'll nibble your way through Cape Town, exploring the city with a local who weaves together history with the city's burgeoning food scene. From Bree Street to local food stalls, your personal guide will take you to the out of the way places only a local knows. Pro tip: do NOT eat breakfast this morning!


Day 4: Robben Island and/or Table Mountain

A ferry ride takes you across the bay to Robben Island. Here you have the opportunity to learn about the history of the island, its native animals and the political prison where Nelson Mandela was held captive. Your guide on Robben Island was one of the political prisoners held captive under the old Nationalist government and shares his memories of the daily life and conditions in the prison. A half hour ferry ride takes you back to Cape Town where you take a journey on the new Rotair cable car that takes under 5 minutes to reach the summit of Table Mountain, 1036 meters above sea level. The views of the city and surrounds are spectacular and there is a chance to walk around the top of the table in time to watch the sun go down over this beautiful city. Overnight Cape Cadogen or More Quarters. [B]


Day 5-6: Franschhoek Winelands 

Another exciting day of discovery starts with heading away from the city, to explore South Africa’s oldest wine route and visit a few of the award-winning estates that the region is famous for. Enjoy wine tasting and cellar tours of our favorite estates. Dining and shopping options abound in the this quaint Cape Dutch village. Overnight two nights at tranquil and idyllic Angala Hotel and Guesthouse. [B]


Day 7: Departure

Transfer to Cape Town International Airport for your onward flights.

Cape Cadogan

A charming 12 room hotel in a converted farmhouse just of Kloof Street which is full of cafes, and restaurants.


More Quarters

A sister hotel to the Cape Cadogan, More Quarters offers small one bedroom apartments


Angala Boutique Hotel

A traquil and idyllic retreat in the Franschhoek Valley outside of Cape Town.


Explore all Cape Town Accommodations

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"Our primary guide, was the BEST guide I have ever had – he was knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and fun. It’s impossible to say what I enjoyed most because each place had its unique experience, none of which were less than ‘peak’. Our group was extremely compatible in every way – our companions added to the trip." - Susan Davis, TX