Botswana: A Far Off Place
An Exploration from the central Kalahari to the Okavango Delta
November 9-19, 2011~ NEW DEPARTURE
Faculty: Fred Diehl, Professor of Biology emeritus
Price: From $5,995 per person, double occupancy, land package with internal air within camps
From $8,695 per person, double occupancy, air inclusive from Washington, DC
Registration is Open
With its breathtaking landscapes, incredible bio-diversity and exclusive accommodations, Botswana is hailed as Africa's ultimate safari destination. Discover the best Botswana has to offer, from the vast Kalahari Desert to the fertile Okavango Delta, and experience some of the most remote and unspoiled wilderness on the continent. By day, venture out in open 4X4 vehicles and mokoros in search of black-maned lion, buffalo, leopard, cheetah and the exceedingly rare African wild dog; meet researchers studying regional elephant populations; or take a guided walk to discover hundreds of colorful bird species. Fall asleep to the sound of hippos crunching on water lettuce and awaken to the songs of hundreds of birds welcoming a new day. Along the way, intimate lodges and camps provide the utmost in comfort and luxury combined with incredible access to the surrounding wildlife and expert guides enrich every moment with insight and passion. Experience even more of Southern Africa's legendary beauty on two optional extensions: a delightful retreat in Cape Town, South Africa, a cornucopia of natural beauty, wildlife, political history and sophistication; and an exciting jaunt to Zambia to witness the power of Victoria Falls.
- Limited group size: only 12 spots available
- Stay in small but luxurious camps in canvas cabins deep in the southern African bush.
- Fly to Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve, one of the most remote and unspoiled sites on the African continent, to observe scores of mammals and birds.
- Delve into the habitat of the almost mythical black-maned Kalahari lions, experience some of the best cheetah viewing in Africa and photo safari for a vast array of wildlife, including elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, enormous herds of buffalo and the highly endangered African painted wolf (wild dog).
- Experience the Kalahari at night which is alive with the sounds of roaring lions, White-faced Scops-Owls and the garrulous calls of barking geckos.
- On night drives, enjoy the rare opportunity to view animals such as civet, serval, genet, pangolin and aardwolf.
- Witness the only major wildebeest migration outside the Serengeti as you track thousands of plains animals and an abundance of predators.
- D’Oreale Grande
D'Oreale Grande is situated near Johannesburg International Airport, boasting luxurious accommodation, with palatial buildings set in a display of gardens, fountains and statues. Richly cloaked surroundings such as marble floors, plush carpets, magnificent stained glass domes, highly decorated murals and frescos, sculptures, intricate mosaics and Roman columns and arches contribute to an atmosphere of intimacy, classical elegance and lavish opulence.
- Kalahari Plains Camp
Your home for the next three nights will be in the rustic 12-tented camp situated in a remote part of this productive and diverse protected area. The camp is beautifully situated on a low sandy ridge fringing a typical Kalahari pan. Guided wildlife drives and walks will unlock the fascinating wildlife treasures found in this wonderful area.
- Chitabe Camp
Accommodation at Chitabe is in eight luxurious canvas cabins built on elevated teak decks, under a lush canopy of indigenous trees. Each cabin is well decorated with very comfortable beds, en-suite facilities and a lovely balcony overlooking the open flood plain in front of the camp. A separate thatched dining room and living area, also attractively decorated, is linked to the cabins by raised teak walkways. From the walkways the prolific wildlife often moving through camp can be safely viewed. Activities include day and night wildlife drives in open 4x4 vehicles as well as nature walks. This is not a water activity camp. Wildlife seen here includes elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and cheetah. Wild dog are among the major wildlife attractions of the area. You should also see zebra, reedbuck, red lechwe, impala, and all the plains species. Night drives can be very rewarding, giving you rare opportunities to view animals such as civet, serval, genet, pangolin, porcupine and aardwolf.
- Xigera Camp
Spend the next two nights at Xigera Camp (pronounced keejera), situated in the heart of the Okavango on Paradise Island, within the Moremi Game Reserve. The camp consists of ten luxuriously furnished walk-in tented rooms, each with en-suite facilities and outdoor showers. All rooms are raised off the ground and are built within a shady grove offering superb views of the floodplain to the east of camp and its attractive waterhole that is frequently visited by lechwe. Meals are taken in the dining room overlooking the main river, which along with the pub and lounge is under a thatch roof. You may also choose to take a beautifully prepared picnic onto one of the nearby islands for a more secluded and intimate experience.
Eight breakfasts, seven lunches, seven dinners, including Welcome Reception and Farewell Dinner.^ back to top
Fred Diehl, Professor of Biology emeritus
Fred Diehl is an emeritus faculty member in the Department of Biology at the University of Virginia and has over 30 years experience teaching biology at all levels. His research and teaching interests are mainly in the areas of zoology, developmental biology, ecology and marine sciences, with a specialization in invertebrate biology. Whenever possible, field experiences and laboratories have been important components of his courses, and he is a firm believer in learning from direct observation and first-hand exposure to nature. Professor Diehl has a long history of working with the Advanced Placement Biology program and in-service teacher preparation. His proudest accomplishment as a faculty member at the University of Virginia is having taught a variety of courses to over 25,000 undergraduate students. Fred has lead past Cavalier Travels trips to Costa Rica, Belize and the Galápagos Islands.
Graham Johansson is a Professional Guide and an accomplished wildlife photographer. He has been leading private and specialist photographic tours and safaris since 1994 in Botswana, his first love and an area he knows intimately – Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Graham was born and raised on a farm in Zambia, educated in Zimbabwe, and moved to South Africa to further his studies, train and pursue a career in tourism. Graham is now based out of Cape Town where he lives with his wife and two sons. His passion is found in the intangible harmony and beauty of the wilds and outdoors. An avid naturalist with a well-published portfolio of wildlife photographs that have appeared in a variety of publications, he is well suited to interpret natural history and what can capture that special moment by camera. His interests also include current and historic affairs, sports, good food and South African wine.
DAY 1 – Wednesday, November 9
Your journey begins as you board your overnight flight. (Meals Aloft)
DAY 2 – Thursday, November 10
Upon arrival at the Johannesburg International Airport, you will be met and escorted to your hotel. Often called Jo'burg, Johannesburg is the country's largest city and financial center with ultra modern skyscrapers and a bustling way of life. It is the city of gold, as its claim to fame is the gold that was discovered close-by.
Overnight at the D’Oreale Grande. (Meals Aloft)
DAYS 3-4 – Friday, November 11 through Saturday, November 12
Maun/Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Today you will fly to Maun, Botswana, where upon arrival you will board your light aircraft for your flight to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve – one of the most remote and unspoiled experiences on the African continent. At over 20,000 square miles this reserve is one of the largest in the world. The abundance of herbivores and their prey is perfectly complemented with lush green landscapes, floral displays and beautiful skies. At this time of year these verdant flatlands are alive with aggregations of gemsbok, springbok and blue wildebeest. As a result of these populations on the fossil riverbeds, predator concentrations are also high and sightings of the almost mythical black-maned Kalahari lions are complemented with some of the best cheetah viewing in Africa. Wild dog and leopard are seen on occasion and black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox also occur. Other mammal possibilities include southern giraffe, steenbok, red hartebeest and the charismatic ground squirrels.
After sunset the Kalahari is alive with the sounds of roaring lions, White-faced Scops-Owls and the garrulous calls of barking geckos. The avifauna in the reserve is equally diverse with over 220 species recorded to date. There are significant healthy populations of regionally threatened species like Kori Bustard and Lappet-faced Vulture, but birders will enjoy the opportunity to see a variety of arid-west endemic species such as Burchell's Sandgrouse, Grey-backed Sparrowlark, Kalahari Scrub-Robin and African Wren-Warbler. The vivid colors of birds such as Crimson-breasted Shrike and Violet-eared Waxbill provide a startling contrast to the sometimes stark surroundings. Prime wildlife viewing areas include places with evocative names such as Deception Valley and Sunday Pan, made famous by Mark and Delia Owen in their book "Cryof the Kalahari." The former is all that remains of an ancient riverbed which today is a 50-miles-long gentle valley floor covered with short palatable grasses interspersed with picturesque tree islands. The name ‘Deception' is derived from the mirage effect caused by the dry surface of the pan halfway along its length which often appears misleadingly full of water.
Overnights at the KALAHARI PLAINS CAMP. (All Meals Daily)
DAYS 5-7 – Sunday, November 13 through November 15
Okavango Delta/Chitabe Camp
This morning's flight takes you to Chitabe Camp, situated on one of the most beautiful islands in the Okavango Delta. The reserve's boundary in the east is the Gomoti Channel and in the west the Santantadibe River. The area is made up of a variety of habitats, which include waterways and marshlands, dry acacia and mopane woodland, riverine areas, open grasslands and seasonally flooded plains. Located on a private concession alongside the Moremi Game Reserve, Chitabe offers classic Okavango scenery and a great wildlife experience. Such diverse eco-systems in turn make for a wonderful array of wildlife, including elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, and cheetah, as well as most other species of wildlife associated with Africa. Chitabe is particularly famous for the enormous herds of buffalo that move through the concession, and for sightings of the rare and highly endangered African painted wolf ('wild dog').
Overnights at CHITABE Camp. (All Meals Daily)
DAYS 8-9 – Wednesday, November 16 and Thursday, November 17
Okavango Delta/Xigera Camp
Board your light aircraft once again for your flight to one of the world's most distinctive regions, the Okavango Delta – earth's largest inland water systems. Its headwaters start in Angola's western highlands, with numerous tributaries joining to form the Cubango River, which then flows through Namibia (called the Kavango) and finally enters Botswana, where it is then called the Okavango. Millions of years ago the Okavango River used to flow into a large inland lake called Lake Makgadikgadi (now Makgadikgadi Pans). Tectonic activity and faulting interrupted the flow of the river causing it to backup and form what is now the Okavango delta. This has created a unique system of water ways that now supports a vast array of animal and plant life that would have otherwise been a dry Kalahari savannah.
Activities focus mainly on mokoro (small, dugout canoes) rides through the quiet waterways, as well as short walking safaris. You may get lucky enough to get good views of the elusive sitatunga antelope along the way – with its webbed feet, the sitatunga seems to walk on water. Drives are also offered (if water levels are low enough) as well as boat trips on the river (if water levels are high enough). Game drives are best here in the summer months. Birding in the area is excellent, with Pels Fishing Owl, Slaty Egret and Wattled Crane amongst the many species of birds regularly sighted. One very unique feature that Xigera offers is the footbridge in front of the camp. It is the only way predators can cross from island to island without having to swim. A "long-jump pit" has been built with soft sand, which each animal is forced to walk over when they use the bridge. Every evening the sand is raked smooth. Each morning guests are able to read the "newspaper" and see what animals have walked through camp. Almost every night lion, hyena and leopard stroll through camp.
Overnights at Xigera Camp. (All Meals Daily)
DAY 10 – Friday, November 18
Enjoy a last wildlife run this morning and a hearty breakfast before flying back to Johannesburg via Maun where you connect with your South African Airways overnight flight to the U.S.A. (B, Meals Aloft)
DAY 11 – Saturday, November 19
This morning you land in the USA and connect with your flight home, bringing with you the memories of all the wonderful sights of Southern Africa. (Meals Aloft)
OPTIONAL POST-EXTENSION TO VICTORIA FALLS & CAPE TOWN
DAYS 10-11 –
Livingstone/Victoria Falls, Zambia
Today a new adventure awaits you as you fly to Kasane where you will cross by ferry to Zambia and continue by vehicle to Livingstone, located on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls. At more than twice the size of Niagara Falls it’s no surprise that Victoria Falls are among the Seven Wonders of the World. Mosi-oa-Tunya – The Smoke that Thunders, derived from the towering column of spray when the Zambezi River runs high, is the name that Zimbabwe's local people have given to this awesome natural phenomenon. The name is probably more appropriate and descriptive than "Victoria", which has a far too calm and composed ring to it to do justice to the masses of thundering, swirling water of these spectacular falls. But all Dr. David Livingstone probably thought of when he named the falls after his Queen in 1855 was his royal duty. Five separate falls make up this incredible spectacle that plunges more than 300 feet into a sheer-sided chasm which separates Zimbabwe from Zambia. The awe-inspiring abyss is spanned by a 1905 Edwardian bridge which links the two countries and many adventurers now use to bungee jump. The masses of water plunging down the falls and into the gorge below originate from the mighty Zambezi River that meanders through more than 1,677 miles of African countryside.
Your visit will include a tour of the falls on the Zambian side. An afternoon sundowner cruise on a private boat will be a highlight as you glide along the Zambezi River, watching hippos snort, elephants drink on the riverbank, monkeys jump from branch to branch, birds fly overhead or pose for a photograph on the branches, and much more. Enjoy your gin and tonic, cool beer, or drink of choice, and see a panoramic sunset as the sun dips below the horizon, painting the whole area in unbelievable colors of brilliant reds, yellows, purples and mauves.
Enjoy a visit to an authentic native village to see how the local people live. You will be escorted by your English-speaking village guide, seeing a culture and ways of life that remains virtually unchanged through the ages. View their daily rituals, from the women cooking and mending their huts, to the artistic woodcarvings created right in front of you by the village artisans. Children scatter about and you are welcome to mingle and take photographs. Long after you’ve left, this cultural visit will remain with you, as you’ll feel as though you’ve experienced a different part of Africa, quite essential if you’re to understand the complexity of this continent.
Overlooking the mighty Zambezi River and some of its islands, under a shady canopy of jackal berry and water berry trees lies Toka Leya, your accommodation for the next two nights. The islands in front of camp are intriguing and part of the braided channel of the Zambezi with some rapids, a main channel and fringing dense vegetation. The camp consists of 12 safari-style tents, each en-suite with a view of the magnificent Zambezi River and some of its islands. The camp's dining and bar area is set beneath a shaded canopy of trees overlooking the River and a swimming pool.
Overnights at TOKA LEYA CAMP. (B, L, D Daily)
DAY 12 –
Victoria Falls/Cape Town
Last chance to photograph the incredible Falls, visit the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park which also features rhino, or shop at Livingstone, before transferring to the airport for your flight to Cape Town, South Africa’s "Mother City". Upon arrival, you will be met and escorted to your hotel. The provincial capital, Cape Town, is a sophisticated city with plenty to see and do, particularly around the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront area, where delightful buildings of the Cape Dutch and Victorian-era architecture have been restored as shops, restaurants, museums and pubs, as the busy water traffic of the docks goes on uThe Aquarium is within easy walking distance from your hotel, and well worth a visit. If interested in shopping, the area has a larger shopping plaza and numerous fine shops. Cape Town, which faces north across Table Bay, has thrived from its birth, first as a Dutch settlement in 1652 when Jan van Ribeeck established it as a supply station for ships of the Dutch East India Company, and later, under the British as a port supplying ships with food and fresh water from the perennial mountain
Your home for the next four nights will be at Winchester Mansions, situated on Cape Town's Platinum mile and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This exclusive, privately-owned 4 star hotel sets itself apart among other hotels in and around Cape Town with its spectacular beachfront location, stylish elegance and personalized service. Each of the 51 guestrooms and 25 suites has been exquisitely furnished by one of Cape Town’s leading interior designers. All rooms and suites have stocked mini-bars, satellite television including international channels, direct dial telephones, tea & coffee making facilities, hairdryers, electronic safes and beautifully furnished bathrooms with separate walk in showers. All rooms have air conditioning. Each elegantly appointed room or suite has breathtaking views of either the Atlantic Ocean or historic Signal Hill. After your long flights, Winchester Mansions is a welcome retreat.
Overnight at WINCHESTER MANSIONS. (B)
DAY 13 –
Cape Town/Cape Peninsula
Your luxury motorcoach takes you on a breathtaking coastal drive to the Cape of Good Hope. You are surrounded by spectacular mountains, rugged shorelines, and the blue sea below. See Devil's Peak, Lion's Head, Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles. Pass quaint seaside towns as you continue to Cape Point where the stormy waters of the Atlantic meet up with the calm waters of the Indian Ocean. At Cape Point, climb the steps or ride a funicular to the top where you can explore a lighthouse, enjoy the views or even indulge in a bit of shopping. Take a close look at the ocean where you may see southern right whales in the spring and early summer as well as dolphins and a variety of seabirds. You will also have the chance to explore the Cape Point Nature Reserve which is host to approximately half of the 2,700 species of indigenous plants contained in the Cape Peninsula. Look for the distinctive orange found in leucospermums, one of the rarest types of proteas – the mimites, marvel at the helicrysums and pelarganium calcullums, and enjoy the ericas, phenacomas and fine bush which the Dutch called "fynbos." There are 250 species of birds in the reserve, ranging from ostriches to minuscule sunbirds. Caracal, chacma baboon, a wide variety of buck and various other mammal species may be seen, including Cape Mountain zebra and the bontebok which is endemic to this part of the world. The baboons feed occasionally on marine foods which they garner at low tide. At Olifants Bay, look for Oystercatchers, and enjoy some superb birding.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, and continue to Boulders Beach where the African (Jackass) Penguins can be seen – also known as the Black-footed Penguins. These flightless seabirds are found only on the coast of Southern Africa and the only penguins found on this continent. Enjoy a delightful walk on a specially-built platform onto the little sheltered beach where they nest among the rocks, and "waddle" up and down into and out of the sea. Since the penguins are accustomed to human presence you can safely get within a few feet of them as you stand on the platform, and it is sometimes possible to view them nesting behind rocks and bushes.
Return to Cape Town in the evening, where you have another chance to discover one of the numerous restaurants that Cape Town has to offer.
Overnight at WINCHESTER MANSIONS. (B,L)
DAY 14 –
Cape Town: Winelands
Today you will venture off on a full day expedition to the wine lands region situated below the spectacular Boland Mountains only 50 minutes from the city. Discover the internationally acclaimed vineyards of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franshhoek on the Western Cape, along a most scenic route. You will visit the historic estate of Boschendal with some of the most brilliantly preserved Cape Dutch buildings in the Cape, and its collection of priceless period furniture. You will also visit Franschhoek with its lovely antique shops and gardens, nestled in the "Valley of the Huguenots" where the French first settled in 1688. All the wine estates you will be visiting in the region offer tastings and cellar tours and you will enjoy lunch in one of them. This afternoon, explore the university town of Stellenbosch, the oldest town in South Africa after Cape Town, undoubtedly the most scenic and historically-preserved town in Southern Africa. Oak-lined streets next to water furrows compliment the many fine examples of elegant Cape Dutch, Victorian and Georgian architecture - all part of this unique "Town of Oaks".
Overnight at WINCHESTER MANSIONS. (B,L)
DAY 15 –
Cape Town: Khayelitsha (New Hope)/Kirstenbosch Gardens & Robben Island
Today you will visit the settlement of Khayelitsha, on the Cape Flats. Khayelitsha means "new hope" and was established in 1984 during the tribal war outbreak in informal settlements. Like many other townships, it was created during the apartheid era as a dormitory area for the working class. Today residents continue to face challenges of HIV/AIDS and poverty in post-apartheid South Africa.
You will meet your guide, founder Vivian Zilo, and spend time with her gaining a personal insight into her work in the community and learning more about the area in which they live. Vivian established the Iliso Care Society in June 2005 when she solicited the help of four other women to begin providing services to her community. The mission of the Iliso Care Society is to fight poverty, encourage community empowerment, organize workshops for youth, provide safety and care for orphans and vulnerable children, the elderly and school children. ICS started giving meals to over 100 beneficiaries once a day from Monday through Friday, but the numbers were increasing each and every day. Today, Vivian brings new hope to the people of Khayelitsha and you will get a chance to experience this first hand. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, sampling typical African food and hospitality in an authentic setting.
Your day draws to a close as you visit one of the most symbolically significant and moving sights in South Africa, Robben Island. For nearly 400 years, Robben Island was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. During the apartheid years Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The duty of those who ran the Island and its prison was to isolate opponents of apartheid and to crush their morale. Some freedom fighters, including former President Nelson Mandela, spent more than a quarter of a century in prison for their beliefs. Those imprisoned on the Island succeeded on a psychological and political level in turning a prison 'hell-hole' into a symbol of freedom and personal liberation. In 1997 Robben Island became a National Museum and National Monument. The Museum is a dynamic institution, which runs educational programs for schools, youths and adults, facilitates tourism development, conducts ongoing research related to the Island and fulfills an archiving function. It was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. Tours are conducted by former prisoners of Robben Island, who bring to life this South African heritage, which speaks of heroic endurance and triumph of the human spirit in the face of enormous hardship and adversity.
Overnight at WINCHESTER MANSIONS. (B,L)
DAY 16 –
Cape Town: Kirstenbosch Gardens/Johannesburg/En Route
Visit Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, arguably one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Founded in 1913, Kirstenbosch lies on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and consists of landscaped gardens of indigenous plants and trees, watered by the Liesbeek River, as well as natural forest that extend up to the lower slopes. Kirstenbosch covers an area of 1,383 acres, 148 of which are cultivated; the remainder is a natural flora reserve. It is a living display featuring 9,000 of the estimated 20,000 species of indigenous South African flora, and close to 50% of the peninsula’s floral wealth. Among the interesting sections here are the Cycad Amphitheatre, which hosts most species of these "living fossils" found in southern Africa; the famed Protea Garden on the higher slopes, with its profuse growth of silver trees (Leucadendron argenteum); the JV Mathews Rock Garden (named after the first curator) containing succulents of the genera Crassula, Aloe, Lampranthus and Euphorbia; the Erica Garden and the Pelargonium Koppie. Two streams cut through Kirstenbosch, both laced with besembos, red alder and hard fern. Of historical interest is an avenue of camphor trees and fig trees planted by Cecil Rhodes in 1898, and a small section of wild almond (Brabejum stellatifolium) hedge planted by Dutch settler Jan van Riebeeck in 1660. Birds of all sorts can be seen here as well – Dusky and Paradise Flycatchers, sunbirds, Klaas's Cuckoos, bulbuls, pigeons, brilliant green and red Cape Sugarbirds (which pollinate the flowers), guinea fowls, and the Cape Batis.
Following your tour, you fly to Johannesburg where you connect with your South African Airways overnight flight to the USA. (B, Meals Aloft)
DAY 17 – Friday, November 25
This morning you land in the USA and connect with your flight home, bringing with you the memories of all the wonderful sights of Southern Africa. (Meals Aloft)
$5,995 per person, double occupancy, land program. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $1,495 to the per-person, double occupancy rates.
- All flights between the Botswana camps. On the optional post extension, the flight between Botswana camp and Kasane, as well as between Livingstone and Johannesburg.
- Superior accommodations throughout as indicated or similar.
- All meals while on safari. Other meals as specified in itinerary.
- All wildlife viewing by private 4X4 open vehicles, driven by professional driver/guides.
- Enrichment lecturer will accompany the group with a minimum of 14 passengers on the main program and 10 passengers on either extension.
- Laundry and all local beverages during safari in Botswana except for Champagne and imported spirits.
- Complimentary bottled water in vehicles throughout.
- All applicable hotel and lodge taxes and gratuities for baggage handling.
- All park entry fees and sightseeing as specified.
- Complimentary passport wallet and luggage tags.
Price does not include:
- Roundtrip air transportation from Washington to Johannesburg. (Quoted separately).
- Flight between Johannesburg and Maun round trip. (Quoted separately).
- Flight between Johannesburg and Cape Town round trip. (Quoted separately).
- Flight between Livingstone and Johannesburg. (Quoted separately).
- U.S. and foreign airport taxes.
- Passport and visa fees and service charges for obtaining visas. No visas are required for South Africa or Botswana.
- Gratuities to driver/guides, specialist-guide and other conveyance attendants.
- Excess baggage charges levied by airlines.
- Meals and beverages, other than specified.
- Laundry, other than specified and other items of a personal nature.
- Personal and baggage insurance.
- Cost for anything not specifically mentioned in the listing above.
- Optional insurance coverage is available for Baggage, Accident and Trip Cancellation/Interruption at special low cost group rates.
Please Note That The Itinerary Sequence Is Correct At The Time Of Writing
But Is Subject To Change.
$8,695 per person, double occupancy with economy-class roundtrip airfare from Washington, DC. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $1,495 to the per person, double occupancy rates.
Post-program extension to Victoria Falls, November 19-25, 2011:
$4,295 per person
$995 single supplement
$500 flight between Jahannesburg and Cape Town
How To Register
Ready to register? The best way to do this is by phone so that we can ensure we are meeting all of your needs. Please call us at 866-765-2646. Or, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information and the best time to reach you.
A deposit of $750 per person is required to reserve your spot. Final invoicing will be done approximately three months prior to departure. Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure (August 6, 2011).
Checks should be made out to Classic Escapes. Deposits can be made via check, Visa, American Express, MasterCard or DiscoverCard.
Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.^ back to top
General Terms & Conditions
HOW TO BOOK: Fill out the reservation form below and send it to University of Virginia Cavalier Travels, P.O. Box 400807, 400 Ray C. Hunt Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4807, together with a deposit of $750 per person for the main trip and $250 for the extension, as well as your insurance payment if you wish to take advantage of the pre-existing medical condition exclusion. All checks should be made out to Classic Escapes. On receipt of your signed reservation form and deposit, we will, subject to availability, reserve your place on your tour. When we send off your confirmation invoice, your booking is confirmed and accepted by us. Final payment is due not later than 95 days prior to departure (July 28, 2011). Final documents will be sent to you approximately two weeks prior to departure.
OPTIONAL AIR TRANSPORTATION: Roundtrip economy-class jet transportation from WASHINGTON D.C. via SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS. Rates based on special promotional group fares and are subject to cancellation fees once tickets are issued. Business and First class upgrades are possible and will be quoted upon request. This is for international flights only. Domestic flights within USA and Africa will be on economy. For Business Class, domestic flights within USA are not included and cost is lowest available at time of ticketing.
AIRLINE SEATING: For South African Airways, we request seats together for the group. All planes are non-smoking. We can request a seating preference on your behalf, however this is only a request and not guaranteed. Requests should be made in writing no later than 60 days prior to departure. Bulkhead and/or emergency row seats can only be requested at airport check-in on the day of departure. Boarding passes will only be issued at the airport on the day of departure. You may inquire during check-in to have a seating change made, however this change is based on availability and is at the sole discretion of airport staff.
FREQUENT FLYER MILEAGE: At time of publication, South African Airways is partners with BMI British Midland, Delta Air Lines, El Al, Emirates, Lufthansa, Qantas, South African Airlink, Airlink Swaziland, South African Express Airways, SAS, Sri Lankan Airlines, Thai Airways, Varig Brasil. Therefore you may obtain frequent flyer mileage. Present your frequent flyer card for all flight check-ins and keep the boarding passes until you receive a statement with the mileage credit.
BAGGAGE: International flights from the U.S. allow two pieces of checked luggage, each not exceeding 50 lbs. However we recommend you travel as light as you can manage. The baggage limit on domestic flights is 44 lbs. per person total weight. Also, the size and the structure of the bag is limited. Soft duffel bags are ideal. Large suitcases are virtually impossible to stow on smaller aircraft and vehicles and therefore should not be used. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU OBTAIN THE OPTIONAL INSURANCE POLICY.
ACCOMMODATIONS: You will marvel at the wonderful accommodations provided throughout your tour. All rooms have private facilities, and all rates are based on double occupancy. Most rooms are twin-bedded, but king size beds are occasionally available and should be requested in advance. Accommodations listed in this itinerary are correct at time of writing, but on rare occasions can change for similar lodging.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: Rate quoted is valid for first two single rooms booked. If more than two single rooms, additional supplement will apply. Singles are assigned on a first come/first serve basis. Single accommodations are not guaranteed, but will be provided at additional cost if available (see reservation form for cost.) The single room supplement pays for privacy, not better accommodations. On occasion, in smaller hotels, you may be required to share with other members of your tour group if single rooms/cabins are not available upon check-in. If this is the situation, appropriate per diem refunds are made to passengers in the event they paid for a single room but had to share during any portion of their trip. For passengers who are traveling alone and wish to share a room with another tour member, we will do our best to provide a roommate. However, if this is not possible, you will be required to pay the single room supplement prior to your departure from the USA.
MEALS: All meals while on safari. Bottled water and soft drinks during touring in cities.
WILDLIFE VIEWING: Your tour will be conducted by private 4X4 open vehicles, driven by professional driver/guides.
TRANSFERS: Roundtrip transfer of travelers between airports and hotels are included in the tour when arriving on group flights. If travelers make their own air arrangements, they will be subject to extra transfer fees.
TIPS AND TAXES: Gratuities for baggage handling, service charges and taxes imposed by hotels, lodges and tented camps, and entrance fees to all reserves as outlined in the itinerary are included. U.S. and foreign airport taxes are also not included. Tips to driver/guides and naturalist on both main trip and extension are not included.
INOCULATIONS: We would suggest you contact your personal physician or local health department for their recommendations as to inoculations. At the time of printing, no vaccinations are required for entry into Southern Africa. However, it is a sensible precaution for visitors to take one of the preventive pills that are in common use against malaria. Water is NOT safe to drink throughout and it is always advisable to drink bottled water which will be provided for you free of charge in the vehicles and during safari.
RATES: All rates quoted are based on tariffs and value of foreign currencies in relation to the U.S. dollar in effect as of April 20, 2010, and are subject to change. Rates are based on a minimum of 14 passengers traveling together. The right is reserved to levy a surcharge if minimum is not met, but that is rarely done. The minimum on the extension is 10 passengers. We will do our utmost to keep to the prices as published. Should increases be forced on us by airlines, exchange rates, etc., we reserve the right to surcharge.
ESCORT: Group will be accompanied by an enrichment lecturer with a minimum of 14 passengers on the main program and 10 passengers on the extension.
TRIP INFORMATION: Upon receipt of your application, instructions will be sent to you concerning all aspects of your trip, such as itinerary, photographic equipment, documents, clothing, insurance, etc.
INVOICING: Final invoicing of your trip will be done approximately three months prior to departure. Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure (July 28, 2011).
FINAL DOCUMENTS: Final documents and tickets will be sent to you approximately two weeks prior to departure. We regret to advise that no documents can be released if final payments are not received.
PAYMENT SCHEDULE: A deposit of $750 per person must be submitted with each application, plus an additional deposit of $250 per person if you wish to take the extension. Deposits may be paid by check or charged to American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa. Final payment is payable by check or money order ONLY and is due no later than 95 days prior to departure (July 28, 2011).
CANCELLATIONS: Cancellations are only effective on receipt of written notification. The following per person fees are applicable on this safari:
- Up to 95 days prior to departure, less $250.00 handling fee.
- 94-80 days prior to departure, deposit is forfeited.
- 79-65 days prior to departure, less 50% of tour cost on both the main trip and the extensions.
- Less than 65 days prior to departure, refund is dependent on amount recoverable from overseas suppliers.
These cancellation fees are also in addition to any imposed by airlines. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU OBTAIN THE OPTIONAL INSURANCE POLICY. INFORMATION WILL BE SENT TO YOU UPON RECEIPT OF RESERVATION FORM.
DEVIATIONS: Should additional reservations be required, including extensions in Europe or in Africa, we will be happy to make all the arrangements. However, there will be an extra charge of $150 per person for such deviations, over and above the cost of the services required.
CHANGE FEES: Once you reserve your tour, changes are possible subject to availability of air or land space at the time of request. Should there be any change fees imposed by airlines or ground operators, or additional costs incurred due to availability of any space, this cost will be invoiced to you.
LATE BOOKING FEE: Classic Escapes reserves the right to impose a late booking fee to offset additional administrative costs for any reservations received 60 days (or closer) to the program's departure date. This fee is $250 per person, over and above any costs incurred by airlines and suppliers
NOT INCLUDED: Cost of passport and visa fees, and service charges for obtaining visa fees; excess baggage charges levied by airlines; meals other than specified; beverages and meals not specified in itinerary; laundry and other items of a personal nature; gratuities not imposed by hotels and/or restaurants for included services; optional personal, baggage and tour cancellation insurance policy; U.S. and foreign airport taxes; Tips to driver/guides and naturalist on both main trip and extension; cost for anything not specifically included in listing above.
WILD ANIMALS: Please be aware that this safari may take you into close contact with wild animals. Attacks by wild animals are rare, but no safari into the African wilderness can guarantee that this will not occur. Neither the company, nor their employees, nor agents can be held responsible for any injury or incident on the safari. Please note that not all camps are fenced.
PASSPORT & VISAS: The onus is upon the guest to ensure that passports and visas are valid for the countries visited. The company, their staff and their agents cannot be held liable for any visas, etc. not held by the guests, nor the cost of visas. Visa information will be forwarded upon receipt of reservation.
RESPONSIBILITY: Neither Classic Escapes (the Company) nor any person or agent acting for, through or on behalf of the Company shall be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising from any cause whatsoever and without restricting the generality of the aforegoing shall particularly not be responsible for loss or damage arising from any errors or omissions contained in its brochure or other literature, loss or damage caused by delays, sickness, theft, injury or death. In addition the Company shall have the right at any time at its discretion to cancel any safari or the remainder thereof or make any alteration in route, accommodation, price or other details and, in the event of any safari being rendered impossible, illegal or inadvisable by weather, strike, war, government or interference or any other cause whatsoever, the extra expenses incurred as a result thereof shall be the responsibility of the passenger. The Company may at its discretion and without liability or cost to itself at any time cancel or terminate the guest's booking and in particular without limiting the generality of the aforegoing it shall be entitled to do so in the event of the illness or the illegal or incompatible behavior of the guest, who shall in such circumstances not be entitled to any refund. The person making any booking will, by the making of such booking, warrant that he or she has authority to enter into a contract on behalf of the other person included in such a booking and in the event of the failure of any or all of the other persons so included to make payment, the person making the booking shall by his/her signature thereof assume personal liability for the total price of all bookings made by him/her.
PHOTOGRAPHY: The Company reserves the right without further notice to make use of any photograph or film taken on the safari by our photographers without payment or permission. We guarantee that no photographs of a compromising nature will be used.
CHANGES TO SCHEDULES: Although every effort is made to adhere to schedules it should be borne in mind that the Company reserves the right and in fact is obliged to occasionally change routes and camps on safaris as dictated by changing conditions. Such conditions may be brought about by seasonal rainfall on bush tracks, airfields and in wildlife areas, by wildlife migrations from one region to another, or airline or other booking problems, etc.
REFUNDS: While the company uses its best endeavors to ensure that all anticipated accommodation is available as planned, there shall be no claim of any nature whatsoever against the Company for a refund either in the whole or part, if any accommodation or excursion is unavailable and a reasonable alternative is not found. If the guest is unable to use any service provided in the itinerary, then there are no refunds due.
AIRLINE CLAUSE: The airlines concerned are not to be held liable for any act, omission or event during the time the passengers are not on board their planes or conveyance. The passengers' tickets in use by the airline or by other carriers concerned when issued shall constitute the sole contract between the airlines and the purchaser of these tickets and/or passengers.
DELAYS: We cannot be held liable for any delays or additional costs incurred as a result of airlines not running to schedule.
If one of our guides is unable to take a safari due to illness, etc. we reserve the right to substitute with another guide.
This agreement is made subject to and shall be governed by and construed according to the laws of the country in which the safari takes place. Classic Escapes act merely as an agent for the operating companies.
To the best of our knowledge the itinerary is correct at the time of printing. We cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies or changes that may occur after printing.
CONSENT: The payment of the deposit OR any other partial payment for a reservation on a safari constitutes consent by all guests covered by that payment to all provisions of the conditions and general information contained in this brochure whether the guest has signed the booking form or not. The terms, under which you agree to take this safari, cannot be changed or amended except in writing signed by an authorized director of the Company.
INSURANCE PACKAGE: Classic Escapes offers a comprehensive insurance package, which allows the Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion to be waived if purchased within 7 days of the initial trip payment. Details can be found on our website at http://www.classicescapes.com/insurance.html.or call our office for more details (800-627-1244). If obtaining this pre-existing condition waiver is not of importance to you, you may opt to wait until you receive your pre-departure packet of information which will include details on the insurance package.
INSURANCE PREMIUM: See premium schedule below, or call us for the exact amount and information on the policy. This is applicable to all coverage contained in the policy. You must be medically able to travel when you pay your premium. In the event that a claim is filed, the injury or illness must be substantiated to the Claims Department.
The cost of your insurance premium is based on the TOTAL cost of your trip including: the main itinerary, airfare, airline taxes, single supplements, optional excursions and optional extensions. The premium for your tour will be calculated as follows:
Total Tour Cost
Premium Per Person
$5,001 - $5,500
$5,501 - $6,000
$6,001 - $6,500
$6,501 - $7,000
$7,001 - $8,000
$8,001 - $9,000
$9,001 - $10,000
$10,001 - $11,000
$11,001 - $12,000
Please contact Classic Escapes if you have any questions or need assistance calculating your premium.^ back to top