PRE CRUISE Chobe and Victoria Falls
PLEASE NOTE – This Pre Cruise Program begins in Johannesburg
This nonstop adventure presents the unrivalled experience of touring thundering Victoria Falls and venturing into Botswana’s first national park on three game drives to view African’s most iconic wildlife.
DAY 1 – February 12th, 2015
On arrival in Johannesburg at OR Tambo International Airport, you will be met outside the Customs and Immigration area by a local representative and assisted to your awaiting vehicle.
Transfer to “54 on Bath” Hotel located in Johannesburg.
The earliest check-in time allowed at the hotel is 2:00pm, although every effort will be made for your room to be available earlier.
Spend the remainder of the afternoon at leisure and this evening dinner is enjoyed at the hotel.
DAY 2 – February 13th, 2015
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before checking out and transferring to the airport.
On arrival at the airport, a representative will meet and assist you with luggage storage and checking in for your connecting flight to Victoria Falls.
On arrival, a local representative will meet and transfer you to Victoria Falls Safari Lodge where a light lunch will be enjoyed.
Following lunch, you will transfer to Victoria Falls for a guided walking tour. Located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, it’s the world’s largest curtain of falling water, based on the falls’ one-mile width and height of 360 feet. What an amazing spectacle to watch as the Zambezi River roars over the edge of a basalt gorge, forming what the locals call Mosi-Oa-Tunya or “the smoke that thunders.” In November 1885, after seeing the falls for the first time, Scottish explorer and doctor David Livingstone re-named them after Queen Victoria.
Few places are on earth are so mesmerizing, as Victoria Falls rumbles like thunder, spewing clouds of iridescent mist from the seething cauldron below. The mist rises so high at times that it can be seen from more than 12 miles away.
After your tour of the natural phenomenon, you will transfer to the town of Kasane in Botswana ( border crossing) and on to nearby Chobe Marina Lodge for check in. The lodge is located on the Chobe River, not far from the entrance to the Chobe National Park.
The remainder of the day is yours for relaxing or further exploration, with dinner being served in the early evening.
DAY 3 – February 14th, 2015
After an early-morning wake-up call, and coffee or tea in the lobby, you will embark on a morning game drive. This is an ideal time to view wildlife, as it’s cooler and the animals are more active. While there is no telling what you will observe, the reserve is home to countless animals, including the largest concentration of elephants on the African continent.
You may see wildlife including elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo to name a few. Chobe is also home to two antelope that aren’t encountered anywhere else in Botswana, the puku and the Chobe bushbuck. Declared a national park in 1967, Chobe was the first one established in Botswana and now covers more than 4,500 square miles of dry savannah, floodplains, and teak woodlands that are ideal animal habitats.
Returning from your morning safari, a full breakfast will be served, after which you may spend the remainder of the morning however you please. The lodge’s facilities are yours to enjoy.
Following lunch, you will depart on a cruise down the Chobe River. This too is an ideal time for wildlife viewing, and you may see animals coming to the river for water.
Upon returning to the lodge, enjoy more free time before dinner is served and you retire for the evening.
DAY 4 – February 15th, 2015
After an early-morning wake-up call, and coffee or tea in the lobby, you will embark on another morning game drive. As before, what you see depends entirely on the animals, but you can be sure the experience will be extraordinary.
Later, following breakfast at the lodge, you will transfer by bus back to the Victoria Falls Airport (border crossing) and check in for the return flight to Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport. Upon arrival a local representative will meet and assist you with your stored luggage and checking in for your connecting flight to Cape Town.
On arrival in Cape Town, a local representative will meet and transfer you to the harbor where your ship will be waiting for you.
Program Step by Step:
Please note: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The flights and timings indicated are only approximate, and are given here for general reference purposes and are subject to change.
EXTRA NIGHTS: Should you book any extra nights through the cruise line, you will be met per the flight details provided and transferred to “54 on Bath” hotel. Note that check in time is 2:00pm. Kindly ensure that the cruise line has your most up to date flight details.
Arrival of your flight into Johannesburg. You will be met and transferred to the hotel. From 7:30pm onwards, dinner will be served at the hotel
Overnight at “54 on Bath” Johannesburg or similar hotel
8:00am Transfer from your hotel to the airport
8:45am Arrive at the airport and check in for your flight to Victoria Falls
11:45am Flight SA 40 to Victoria Falls (subject to change) Light snack on board
1:10pm Arrival in Victoria Falls. Transfer to Victoria Falls Safari Lodge for lunch
3:00pm Transfer to the Falls
3:30pm Guided tour of the Falls
4:30pm Transfer to Kasane and then onto Chobe Marina Lodge
6:00pm On arrival at Chobe Marina Lodge, check in
7:30pm Dinner at the lodge
Overnight at Chobe Marina Lodge or similar
5:00am Wake up call
5:30pm Tea and coffee are served
6:00am Morning game drive
9:00am Breakfast at the lodge
12:00pm Lunch at the lodge
3:00pm Boat cruise
6:00pm Return to the lodge
7:00pm Dinner at the lodge
Overnight at Chobe Marina Lodge or similar
5:00am Wake-up call
5:30am Tea and coffee are served
6:00am Morning game drive
9:00am Breakfast at the lodge
10:00am Check out and transfer to Victoria Falls Airport
1:55pm Flight SA 41 Victoria Falls to Johannesburg (subject to change) Light snack on board
3:35pm Arrival Johannesburg
6:00pm Flight SA 357 Johannesburg to Cape Town (subject to change) Light snack on board
8:10pm Arrival in Cape Town and transfer to the pier
8:45pm Approximate arrival at the port and embark the ship
? The contents and order of the activities in this program are subject to change by the lodge management without prior notice, due to the prevailing weather conditions and movement of dangerous wildlife in the Chobe National Park.
? The roads in the game reserve are gravel. There are also inclines and certain parts of the game drive can be bumpy. This program is not recommended for guests with back problems.
? This is a malaria risk area. Make sure that the necessary medication has been taken. Guests should seek their physicians’ advice regarding malaria precautions and other recommended immunizations. You must begin taking malaria precautions prior to your departure date.
? Bring warm clothing, as the evenings and early mornings are chilly.
? Citizens of the United States do not require visas for Botswana.
? Citizens of the United States and Canada require a visa for Zimbabwe. These can be obtained upon arrival at Victoria Falls Airport.
? A Zimbabwe double-entry visa for U.S citizens is $80 per person and payable in cash. Please ensure that you have the correct denominations of U.S. currency available, as change will not be given. Canadian citizens can only obtain a single-entry visa, which is $75 dollars per entry. This visa will need to be purchased on each entry.
? Please note that the above information regarding visas is current and is subject to change should the Zimbabwe Government and Customs implement new rules and tariffs. Two clear pages are required in your passport per entry into South Africa and Zimbabwe.
? Guests should consult the embassy to obtain the latest visa regulations.
? The water levels at Victoria Falls are season dependent. This time of year is low season.
? This program is not fully guided. Local representatives will assist you with your transfers and you will have a guide at Victoria Falls, however, the program at the lodge and hotel is run solely and at the discretion by the lodge/hotel staff.
South Africa’s seasons are the reverse of those in the northern hemisphere. Midwinter is in June and midsummer in December and January. The climate varies from region to region but is generally mild throughout the year.
What to Bring:
Light cotton tops and cotton trousers and shorts in summer. Safari trousers and warm fleece tops for evenings and cooler days. Swimwear, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, camera, film and batteries (including spare batteries), personal toiletries and lip creams. Anti-malaria prophylaxis.
The monetary unit of South Africa is the Rand, divided into cents and abbreviated as R and c. Notes currently in circulation are to the value or R200, R100, R50, R20 and R10. Coins are in denominations of R5, R2, R1, 50c, 20c, 10c, and 5c. All major credit cards are accepted at most establishments, although Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted cards.
The monetary unit of Botswana is the Pula (P), which is divided into 100 thebe. Notes are in P5, P10, P20, P50 and P100. Coins are in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 (thebe) and P1 & P2. However, US Dollars are accepted throughout Botswana at all lodges.
Most international hotels accept most standard credit cards as a payment for your “extras” account.
As a general rule, we would suggest that you allow sufficient local currency to cover the cost of any additional service at hotels, as many of the small lodges and game lodges do not have credit card facilities. MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted, with more limited use placed on American Express and Diners Card.
South Africa’s electrical system is 220/230 volts A/C 50 cycles. Most hotels have hair dryers and plug adaptors in the bedrooms.
Botswana’s electrical system is 220/230 volts A/C 50 cycles. Most hotels and lodges and camps have hair dryers and plug adaptors in the bedrooms. If you bring electric appliances, take along an international converter kit complete with a set of adapter plugs.
Outlets in Botswana require a three-pronged adapter plug with 3 round prongs.
Adapters can be brought from home as not all will be provided.
Be aware, however, that overnight recharging may not be possible where generator use restricts the availability of electricity.
No luggage restriction on board the coach. For your flight:
? Passengers are permitted to check-in one piece of luggage at a maximum of 23 kg (50 lbs.) and maximum dimension of 158 cm (62 inches)
? Any piece of luggage exceeding 32 kg (70 lbs.) will not be accepted as baggage and must be checked as cargo at the cargo rate.
? Any additional luggage not being taken on the trip will be stored in Johannesburg from Days 2-4 in a secure location.
? Passengers are permitted to travel with one piece of hand luggage not exceeding 8 kg (18 lbs.) and a dimension of 56 cm (22 inches) length, 36 cm (14 inches) width and 23 cm (9 inches) height.
? If the hand luggage does not conform to the size specified, passengers may be denied entry into the departure area or sent back to the check-in counter.
? All hand luggage must be of a size that fits under the seat in front of you or in one of the overhead lockers.
? Hand luggage must not obstruct the emergency exits or aisles.
Documents and Visa Requirements:
South African Immigrations requires that you have at least two consecutive double-blank pages in your passport, or entry to the country could be denied. Passports should also be valid for more than 6 months at the time of travel. Please consult your local embassy for all the visa requirements pertaining to South Africa.
54 on Bath in Johannesburg – Luxury Double Room
Chobe Marina Lodge – Double Room
We will only source alternate hotels in unforeseen circumstances. Should alternate hotels be required they will be of equal ratings and standards.
? 1 night at 54 on Bath or similar hotel
? Dinner at the 54 on Bath, including 2 local drinks per person (beer, house wine, soft drink or water) and gratuity
? 2 nights at the Chobe Marina Lodge or similar, including all meals, two game activities daily, and two local drinks per person at meal times
? Meet and Greet service at Johannesburg / O R Tambo International Airport on Days 1 & 4
? Transfers in luxury air-conditioned vehicles
? Registered English-speaking tour guide on transfers in Cape Town and Johannesburg
? Lunch at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, including 2 local drinks per person
? Tour of Victoria Falls, including entrance fees to the Falls National Park
? Luggage storage in Johannesburg from Days 2 - 4 of additional bags not accompanying you on the trip
? Porterage, allowing for a maximum of 2 pieces per person
? One mineral water per person on transfers
? Scheduled internal flights in economy class
** Please Note: Guests booking their own flights (independent of the cruise line) are responsible for ensuring that the cruise line has the most current and updated arrival information so your transfer can be arranged. Should you book any additional nights independently of the cruise line, an arrival transfer is not provided.
? Any other meals not listed in the program
? All other beverages, including premium-brand drinks at Chobe Marina Lodge
? Personal expenses such as telephone calls, shop purchases and laundry
? Gratuities to drivers, guides, rangers, trackers, lodge staff
? Additional baggage fees
? Any other services not mentioned above
Please note: Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces which may include: inclines, cobblestones, sand, and gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion. Guests who utilize a wheelchair and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may not be considered suitable for their individual situation. Weather appropriate clothing; hats; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are generally recommended.
$3,299 Per Guest