Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Ship Cruise
Southern African Cruise Safari: South Africa & Botswana tour

Southern African Cruise Safari: South Africa & Botswana

Aurora Expeditions
4.6 . Excellent
Travel Style: For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
15 days
From: $ 8,250 $ 550 / day
Checking price



  • Explore historic Cape Town’s valleys and vineyards
  • South Africa's Kapama Private Game Reserve, home to over 40 different mammal species and 350 bird species
  • Explore the Chobe Game Reserve - 10,000 square kilometres of elephant, lion, leopard, giraffe, cheetah, buffalo, hippo and some 450 bird species.
  • Sail the Chobe River aboard the luxury 28-passenger Zambezi Queen
  • Stay in luxury safari lodges with guided game drives each morning and evening
  • Three nights at the famous Victoria Falls Hotel

Short Description

Africa is a melting pot of culture and wildlife, and a safari is the best way to experience it. From the Western Cape to the wilds of South Africa and Botswana, join us on our African Cruise Safari! True to its meaning, our Safari will be an expedition to observe Africa's wildlife in its natural habitat. We'll explore by bus, boat and jeep to bring you the very best African wildlife safari.

Starting in Cape Town discover South Africa’s culture, valley and vineyards before enjoying the diverse wildlife of Kapama Private Game Reserve. Travelling to Botswana enjoy some safari lodge luxury in Botswana's Chobe National Park – home to 45,000 roaming elephants as well as lion, leopard, giraffe, cheetah, buffalo and over 450 species of birdlife – before spending three nights cruising the Chobe River aboard the Zambezi Queen. To top it all off, enjoy three glorious nights at Victoria Falls.

Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Trip Type Small Ship Cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Cape Town
End City Johannesburg

Trip Includes

  • All internal flights associated with the itinerary
  • All meals except where not advised
  • Accommodation during the expedition
  • Snacks, tea and coffee are available on board the vessel and lodges
  • All land and shore excursions
  • Educational lectures and guiding services from our expert team
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Professionally produced voyage journal (one per booking)
  • All taxes and charges during the expedition
  • All entry fees to historic landings sites.
  • BONUS: Free Photography Workshops

Find your perfect trip
A vast selection of trips on every continent, for every style. Thousands of itineraries from hundreds of trusted travel companies.
Save time
Use simple search and comparison tools to easily find the best trip. Don't sweat the logistics -- travel providers plan for you.
Save money
Book directly with the operator. Find inclusive packages for the best value and get access to amazing deals.
Travel confidently
Read unbiased user reviews, pick the company that fits your style, and connect with them directly. No worries, just memories.


Days 1-3

Arrive into Cape Town at your leisure and meet your Expedition Leader and fellow expeditions for a sumptuous welcome dinner. Enjoy a full day exploration of the Cape Winelands region, sampling a wide range of local produced wines and cheeses. We’ll spend time exploring Cape Town’s colourful Malay quarter and Milnerton Lagoon’s spectacular views of Table Mountain as well as enjoy a cultural dining experience at one of Cape Town’s finest African restaurants.

Days 4-6

We take a mid-morning flight to Hoedspruit and transfer to our lodge in the Kapama Private Game Reserve, situated in South Africa’s northern most province of Limpopo and renowned for its prolific and diverse wildlife, including over 40 different mammal species (including the famous Big Five), over 350 bird species and a myriad smaller species. Predawn safaris feature the departure of night predators, the dawn chorus and visits to many local waterholes. We rest during the hottest part of the day then board our open-sided Land Rovers for a night safari before returning for dinner and entertaining talks.

Days 7-8

Our charter flight to Botswana offers a spectacular bird’s-eye view across the African landscape. Arriving into Kasane we travel to luxury Mowana Safari Lodge, set amongst baobab trees with magnificent views to where the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers meet. In the surrounding Chobe Game Reserve, some 45,000 elephants share their lands with lion, leopard, giraffe, cheetah, zebra, buffalo and more than 450 species of bird. As in Kapana, our our overland safaris will be early in the morning and early evening, with a rest in the middle of the day.

Days 9-11

Today we board Zambezi Queen on the Chobe River. Over three days we delight in viewing Chobe National Park’s teeming wildlife from the open air lounge or from watercraft that allows close views of the wildlife that has come to bathe and drink. Generator free evenings allow us darkness for stargazing and the stillness to enjoy sounds of the Africa night.

Days 12-14

Disembarking the Zambezi Queen, we make our way to Victoria Falls and the elegant Victoria Falls Hotel for three nights, delighting in the magnificent views over the Fall’s Bridge to Zambia. A sunset cruise on the Zambezi River reveals crocodiles, hippos and birdlife, while on a trek through the rainforest, we learn local legends of ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. Enjoy a traditional Boma dinner, featuring kudu, warthog, crocodile and the local delicacies like Mopani worms, while being entertained by tribal dancing and storytelling.

Day 15

Today we transfer to Victoria Falls Airport for our flight to Johannesburg and our trip’s end.


Checking price
Price From $ 8,250
Price Per Day: $ 550 per day
Check Availability
  • Deposit Price: $ 2,500

Ask Our Destination Experts

Clark Norton
Email Us

Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

14 Aurora Expeditions Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 11
Great 2
Average 0
Disappointing 1
Terrible 0

Southern African Cruise Safari: South Africa & Botswana

Write a Review
No reviews yet for this trip. Be the first one to write a review

Company Reviews

Not impressed!

Just got off polar pioneer. Got charged my bar bill on my credit card today. Pretty pissed off! Only had 2 bottles of wine and a dozen beers or so between the two of us. Bill was $700 AUD. Shame they failed to tell us that the only thing included is tap water. $3USD soft drink cans.... Nice way to take advantage of the captive audience there guys.
Read more

I'd highly recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in visiting the polar regions.

My South Georgia and Antarctic odyssey ended a few days ago. It was amazingly unbelievable and words will never be enough to describe the encounters experienced during my 18 days on the PP.
A huge thank you to the amazing crew who managed things perfectly, I'll forever be grateful for those arms coming out to assist when hoping in and out of zodiacs, especially when disembarking at Cape Horne and hoping out of the water after the polar plunge. I was totally in awe of the wildlife at South Georgia and the beauty of Antartica....
Thanks Aurora for exceeding expectations, everything I wanted to see/do was ticked off my list: Walking on a berg, sighting leopard seals, orcas, whale sightings in zodiacs to mention a few.
I'd highly recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in visiting the polar regions.
Read more

WOW! Awesome! This was the most incredible adventure we have ever taken

Just back from our amazing trip to Antarctica. WOW! Awesome! This was the most incredible adventure we have ever taken. Thank you to Aurora Expeditions for making a dream come true, and much thanks to the wonderful crew who made our time full of excitement plus. This is an incredible place, and as we left I felt the magic seeping into my veins. Antarctica is now part of me, and I must return.
Read more


We went on the Polar Pioneer to Antarctica and it was fantastic. Now back for more - just booked on Jewels of the Arctic trip. Cannot wait.

Fantastic experience

We went on the Polar Pioneer to Antarctica in 2004 and it was fantastic. Now back for more - just booked on Jewels of the Arctic trip, leaving 22/8/14. Cannot wait
Read more


Ship Name

Zambezi Queen

Ship Stats

  • The Zambezi Queen offers 10 suites and 4 master suites.
  • All suites offer:
  • King or twin beds
  • Private en-suite bathroom
  • Private balcony
  • Full-length sliding shutters
  • Sliding mosquito net doors
  • Electronic safes

Ship Description

The 28-passenger Zambezi Queen is as unique and adventurous as it is comfortable and elegant. Offering world-class sophistication in one of the most remote locations on Earth, each of her 14 suites offer remarkable game viewing from the comfort of your bedside.

Featuring all of the mod-cons, the Zambezi Queen boasts an open-plan, air conditioned lounge bar and dining area, all protected by mosquito screens which allow for a comfortable and pleasant environment for dining and relaxing. Two public outside spaces offer a shaded area with comfortable seating and another includes a pool and sun bathing area.

Deck & Cabin Plans

Deck plan

Zambezi Deckplan

All Deck & Cabin Plans Trip Photos

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group

Cancellation Policy:

We recommend cancellation insurance. If it becomes necessary to cancel your expedition, we ask that you notify your Travel Agent or our Sales Team immediately in writing. Cancellation will take effect upon receipt by Aurora Expeditions of your written notice. Cancellation made before 90 days of expedition departure are subject to a non refundable deposit of $2,500, however your deposit may be transferred towards a different expedition for a fee of $500. Transfers are subject to availability and are only valid on expeditions that depart within 12 months from date of transfer and you are permitted one transfer only. Funds will not be held in suspense and new booking must be advised at time of requested transfer. You must pay the difference between the original booked price and the price of any transferred booking including the new deposit amount. If cancellation takes place less than 90 days prior to departure, you will be required to pay the full cost of the expedition.

Additional Information:

Delay or Change of Itinerary

Aurora Expeditions may for any reason change the date of departure or conclusion of the tour, the scheduled point of departure for the tour, omit or change any scheduled stop on the tour or change the scheduled place of conclusion for the tour whether before or after the tour has departed, without prior notice to you. You will have no right to any refund and Aurora Expeditions will have no obligation to you or be liable for any loss, consequential damages, expenses, loss of time or enjoyment or inconvenience in respect of such changes. Aurora Expeditions reserves the right to cancel any tour prior to departure in which case any payment made by you will be refunded in full and you will not be entitled to make any further claim for compensation or damages, for any loss, consequential damage, expenses, loss of time or inconvenience which may result from such cancellation.

Health, Fitness, Trip Grades and Age Limits

It is your responsibility to advise Aurora Expeditions of any preexisting medical conditions and /or disability that might reasonably be expected to increase risk of you requiring medical attention, or that might affect the normal conduct of an expedition and the enjoyment of other expedition members. You are required to provide an assessment of your medical condition from a fully qualified medical practitioner.

Aurora Expeditions reserves the right, at its reasonable discretion, to cancel your booking and refund the money paid by you, less any unrecoverable costs. Aurora Expeditions also reserves the right to cancel your participation in an expedition at any time, including after the commencement of the trip, with no right of refund if your medical condition and/or disability could be reasonably expected to aff ect the normal conduct of the trip and the enjoyment of other expedition members.

Trip ID#:


Trip Excludes

  • International or domestic flights to or from the cruise safari starting point, unless specified
  • Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Visa, passport, and vaccination charges
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
  • Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
  • Optional excursions not included in the itinerary
  • All items of a personal nature including, but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, and email or phone charges.

Similar Trips

See all similar trips
Great Choice!

You can access members-only savings of up to $700 on over 6,000 Stride Select trips.

Sign in to see trip eligibility

Provide email and password

With your FREE membership you get to:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
Already a member?

We respect your privacy and take great care to protect your information. By joining you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Sign in to Save Trips
Welcome back! We're so happy to see you. ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
  • Bookmark trips you like
  • Share with your travel companions
  • Track price changes
  • Access private discounts on trips you save
Sign in to see your results

TripFinder is a member-only feature. Don’t worry, it’s free!

With a membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
Activate your free Stride membership

Just use the email address and password provided in the email we sent.

? Forgot Password?

With your free membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
To Follow, sign in or sign up (it's free) ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
member benefits
First name is required!
Last name is required!
First name is not valid!
Last name is not valid!
This is not an email address!
Email address is required!
This email is already registered!
Please enter valid email address
Password is required!
Enter a valid password!
Please enter 6 or more characters!
Please enter 32 or less characters!
Passwords are not the same!
Terms and Conditions are required!
Email or Password is wrong!
Please select the captcha checkbox!
Please select the valid captcha!
Something went wrong! Try again later!
Find the 3 best trips for you.
Take a short quiz to recieve your top matches.

Download your brochure

Enter your email to get the "" brochure.

Brochure successfully sent!

We've sent the "" brochure to "". Check your inbox!