Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Grace Hotel None

Arrive Cape Town, South Africa

Arrive in Cape Town and transfer to your hotel, located on the Victoria Alfred Waterfront. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, strolling the lively docks or dining on a harbor-front patio.

Day 2
Cape Peninsula, South Africa
Cape Grace Hotel Breakfast, Lunch

Cape Peninsula

The day starts with a guided trip along one of the most scenic roads in the world. Chapman’s Peak Drive is carved into coastal mountains, offering sweeping views of shimmering Atlantic waters. Our first stop is the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. Here, hike coastline trails that run through flowering shrublands while keeping an eye out for rare bird species and baboons. Visit the reserve’s landmarks, including the Cape Point lighthouse and the Cape of Good Hope, the southwesternmost point in Africa. After lunch, walk to Boulders Beach, home to hundreds of African penguins. On your way back to Cape Town, get immersed in a sea of exotic blooms at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, where over 7,000 plant species flourish.

Day 3
Cape Peninsula, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Grace Hotel Breakfast

Cape Town

Ferry across Table Bay to Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Return to the mainland and ride the cable car to the summit of Table Mountain. From here, take in spectacular views over the City Bowl before descending and exploring the streets below. Wander past the brightly colored homes and mosques of the multicultural Bo-Kaap neighborhood. End your tour of Cape Town with visits to some of its foremost museums and historical sights, including the Castle of Good Hope, South Africa’s oldest existing colonial building.

Day 4
Gansbaai, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa
Grootbos Garden Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Grootbos Reserve

Today’s trip along the South African coastline takes you to the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. Nestled in the nooks of an ancient milkwood forest with expansive views of the wildlife-rich Walker Bay, Grootbos is part of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection. This afternoon, trace the legacy of ancient peoples who once lived at water’s edge. Walk a path that winds along limestone cliffs and white-sand beaches to discover ancient seaside cave dwellings where important Stone Age artifacts and fossils have been unearthed. Tonight, as a National Geographic traveler, you’re invited to enjoy a special private dinner in the lodge’s boma, savoring excellent cuisine while surrounded by thousand-year-old milkwood trees and a starry sky.

Day 5
Gansbaai, South Africa
Grootbos Garden Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Grootbos Reserve

Enjoy a full day to discover the diverse natural wonders of this pristine corner of Africa. Ride horseback along one of the many scenic trails winding through Grootbos Reserve and take in views of the vast Atlantic to the south and craggy peaks to the north. If you wish, dare yourself to encounter great whites face-to-face on an optional cage-diving adventure, or take an optional scenic flight for incredible aerial views of South Africa’s splendid coast. This afternoon, join a guide on a nature walk through the gnarled milkwood forests, a unique ecosystem in which some trees date back nearly a thousand years, or hike the fynbos-clad slopes of the nearby mountains. Breathe the sweet scents of seasonal flowers as you pass through a colorful Eden of over 750 plant species. Toast an ocean sunset from one of the lodge’s balconies.

Day 6
Gansbaai, South Africa
Grootbos Garden Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Grootbos Reserve

Embark on a morning bird-watching expedition with a naturalist, spotting weavers at their dangling nests and other exotic and brightly colored species that call the reserve home. Or set out on an optional wildlife cruise, keeping your eyes out for southern right whales (June-September), dolphins, seals, and penguins. Go for an afternoon hike or take a coastal drive to see the convergence of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.

Day 7
Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa
Gansbaai, South Africa
Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Grootbos Reserve/Cape Town/Sabi Sabi Reserve

Fly from Cape Town to Skukuza, the airstrip for world-renowned Kruger National Park. Transfer to one of the four stunning National Geographic Unique Lodges set within the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve. Sabi Sand is the oldest private reserve in South Africa and shares an unfenced border with Kruger, allowing animals to roam freely. Head out on your first safari this afternoon and track elephants, lions, buffalos, leopards, rhinos, and so much more.

Day 8
Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa
Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Sabi Sabi Reserve

Rise with the sun to join experienced rangers on two full days of game drives in search of wild dogs, hyenas, and impala engaged in their morning routines. If you choose, you may set out on foot with a tracker, learning about the smaller flora and fauna of the bush and identifying signs of wildlife. Grab your binoculars and go birding on the reserve, where roughly 350 species flutter and roost. Late in the afternoon, embark on a safari that continues into the evening. As the sunset creates a pallet of red, gold, and orange across the vast, African sky, stop for a sundowner drink, and then watch for the evening activity of nocturnal wildlife. Back at the lodge tonight, you’re treated to another opportunity exclusive to National Geographic guests: a private dinner in the lodge wine cellar featuring an introduction to South African wines.

Day 9
Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa
Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Sabi Sabi Reserve

Rise with the sun to join experienced rangers on two full days of game drives in search of wild dogs, hyenas, and impala engaged in their morning routines. If you choose, you may set out on foot with a tracker, learning about the smaller flora and fauna of the bush and identifying signs of wildlife. Grab your binoculars and go birding on the reserve, where roughly 350 species flutter and roost. Late in the afternoon, embark on a safari that continues into the evening. As the sunset creates a pallet of red, gold, and orange across the vast, African sky, stop for a sundowner drink, and then watch for the evening activity of nocturnal wildlife. Back at the lodge tonight, you’re treated to another opportunity exclusive to National Geographic guests: a private dinner in the lodge wine cellar featuring an introduction to South African wines.

Day 10
Johannesburg, South Africa
Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa
None Breakfast

Sabi Sabi Reserve/Johannesburg/Depart

Venture out on one last safari before flying to Johannesburg and connecting to your international flight home.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

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Description

Private Expedition: South Africa

10-day adventure across the diverse landscapes of South Africa

From its dramatic coast to the undulating lowveld where iconic creatures roam, South Africa dazzles with its natural bounty. Get to know captivating Cape Town with a private guide, and explore the seaside landscapes of the Western Cape, blanketed in milkwood forests and exotic wildflowers. Then travel to a private game reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park for a thrilling safari experience.

Trip Highlights:

- Spot marine life—from penguins to whales—off Africa’s southernmost shores, and stroll through the flowering fynbos of the Cape Floral Kingdom.

- Stay at spectacular National Geographic Lodges of the World, including Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and one of the four stunning lodges set within the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve.

- Track lions, leopards, and more with expert guides on a private game reserve.

- Enjoy private tours of Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula.

Available though December 31, 2018

National Geographic Private Expeditions are specially crafted itineraries designed for independent travelers that combines guided excursions, fascinating insights into culture and wildlife, and top accommodations. Simply select a trip and decide whom you’d like to travel with and when you want to travel. We’ll take care of the rest.

Note: Private Expeditions can be arranged to fit into your schedule. You choose your desired departure date, and we'll make all the arrangements. Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for more details

About Us

National Geographic Expeditions offers a broad array of travel experiences to more than 80 destinations across all seven continents, each led by a National Geographic expert, a dynamic trip guide, or an expedition team. National Geographic taps into their vast network of resources around the world when designing trips to create authentic and transformative travel experiences. The official travel program of the National Geographic Society, National Geographic Expeditions aims to fulfill the organization’s mission to inspire people to care about the planet by providing meaningful opportunities to explore it.


Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Basis of Rates: All prices are based on two persons sharing a room or cabin. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars. The rates are based on tariffs, currency values, airfares and third-party charges as of catalog publication date and are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. While National Geographic will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, if it is necessary to levy a surcharge, National Geographic reserves the right to do so, and notification will be given at the time of final invoicing.

Eligibility: Participation in a National Geographic Expedition is a benefit of membership in the National Geographic Society. Membership dues for 2014 are $39. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the entire journey.

Single/Shared Accommodations: A limited number of single rooms/cabins are available at an extra cost on a first-come, first-served basis. We will assist persons requesting a roommate. Participants will be notified if a suitable roommate is not available, in which case the single rate will be charged.


Trip-cancellation insurance is available at an additional cost and is strongly recommended. For more information about and to enroll in an option available through Travel Insurance Services, visit the “Travel Insurance” section of our website at www.nationalgeographicexpeditions.com.


Other: Additional Terms and Conditions may apply to some expeditions and will be provided with pre-expedition mailings.

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for National Geographic Expeditions

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recommend


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By: Howie


Reviewed on: 05 Oct 2015

Wonderful and busy tour.
Travel Advisor:  Dennis Wallace

Very Well done and professional

By: Judd


Reviewed on: 14 Feb 2016

Our 14 day Antarctica adventure was wonderful: the National Geographic team were extremely knowledgeable and very much enjoyed their jobs! All were really in to teaching and conveying their devotion to Antarctica and their particular area of expertise. We are already planning our next adventure with NG!
Travel Advisor:  Cheryl Everhart
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Outstanding

By: The ayotollah


Reviewed on: 21 Sep 2016

She has helped me with a number of trips and always shines. I know I can rely on Linda to be certain that all of the details are taken care of, and her recommendations are well though out. She is a superstar.
Travel Advisor:  Linda Rainwater

Maya

By: Ron


Reviewed on: 10 Feb 2017

This was my third trip with National Geographic and, like the others, it was interesting, professional, and well managed.
Travel Advisor:  Eleanor Hardy

Galapagos/ Nat Geo 2017

By: Sree


Reviewed on: 23 Jul 2017

National Geographic was on my bucket list for an expedition to the Galapagos. The Islands are amazing and Nat Geo had great programs in place to highlight this ecological paradise. The partnership with Lindblad was a plus. My kids had a blast with the ships young explorers program which was the kind of quality education I expect from Nat Geo. The naturalists were real professionals. The entire team succeeded in making it a memorable trip.

Wild and Windswept, for sure!

By: RobinBG


Reviewed on: 25 Sep 2017

Always the best trip out there if you want history, culture and adventure. We learned so much about the places we visited, were able to hear local musicians play, and went to places that are hard to reach any other way than by a small ship. And - the food and service is beyond compare.
Travel Advisor:  Amy Rectenwald

Morocco Private Expeditions

By: Morocco Traveler


Reviewed on: 23 Oct 2017

Good trip. Fair amount of driving but most of it is on the autoroutes which are good roads. Going to the south the road is under construction so it is longer. Good representation of the various areas of Morocco. Our private guide, Ali was excellent.
Travel Advisor:  Martha Gaughen

Morocco

By: Jud


Reviewed on: 28 Oct 2017

Outstanding in every respect except Casablanca Sofitel and some of the guest on the tour
Travel Advisor:  Jamo Ladd

NatGeo Photo Workshop

By: Lance R


Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2017

The NatGeo photo workshop was a great experience. Myrna was wondering to work with. Can't wait for my next trip through her!
Travel Advisor:  Myrna Arroyo

The White continent - Antarctica

By: Anissia


Reviewed on: 28 Dec 2017

Absolutely amazing! They ran a tight ship literally. Everyone was so pleasant to deal with, all naturalists were so knowledgeable. Expedition Leader Lucho had all zodiac outings running smoothly. I would repeat this trip if it was not so expensive though it is worth the money!
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

excellent

By: oh my


Reviewed on: 03 Jan 2018

Natalie was excellent. Very good to work with and very helpful.
Travel Advisor:  Natalie Rael

Yellowstone

By: Dana


Reviewed on: 30 Mar 2018

Nat Geo hosted a wonderful tour of Yellowstone in winter. We would use Nat Geo again in a minute!
Travel Advisor:  Loni Truitt

Antartica, South Georgia and Falklands

By: Lin


Reviewed on: 28 Feb 2018

The Antartica, South Georgia and Falklands trip exceed my expectations. Travelling on the National Geographic Orion provided an exceptional experience which included spacious well appointed accommodation, delicious food, attentive good natured staff and interesting daily presentations and outings with knowledgeable experts. I can not think of a better way to explore and enjoy the incredible beauty of this pristine and its abundant wildlife. I now understand why there were a number of returning visitors on this fabulous trip.
Travel Advisor:  Samuel Spencer

Exploring Patagonia

By: Greg


Reviewed on: 23 Mar 2018

Nat Geo Expeditions is awesome! This particular expedition provides an excellent overview of this unique area of the world. Our tour manager Sylvina and expert Constanza Ceruti were excellent guides for our expedition providing high-level insights into the culture, history and ongoing research of Argentina, Chile and Patagonia. We would highly recommend this expedition!
Travel Advisor:  Courtney Regan