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  • Feel the power of the magnificent Victoria Falls, known as one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World.”
  • Explore Botswana’s Chobe National Park and encounter some of its abundant wildlife.
  • Visit a local village and learn about its compelling history.

This trip has been discontinued. Instead see

South Africa: An Elegant Adventure 2017

South Africa: Trails of the Garden Route

Teach, Read, Learn – Volunteering in South Africa







Explore awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, one of the true wonders of the world. A noted local historian teaches you about David Livingstone’s “discovery” of the falls and the geological forces that shaped them. In Botswana’s renowned Chobe National Park, a game drive and boat excursion allow you to discover a unique ecosystem and the diverse wildlife that inhabits it. A visit to a local village introduces the traditional way of life in the area.

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Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
93% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 0
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.8 Lodging
4.5 Transportation
4.6 Meals
Extension: Victoria Falls and Chobe

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Road Scholar .


Does Not Recommend


  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 3.0
I would have enjoyed this trip much more if I felt I was being treated as an adult, the educated, enthusiastic traveler that I am.
Unfortunately, I took a fall and broke my arm near the end of the trip. I was shocked at the very insolent, uncaring attitude of Road Scholar. I received two calls from the insurance program my husband was encouraged to pay for for the trip (we usually use Travel Guard who is great). Both calls were very negative. Neither expressed concern about my condition and both apparently had called to state that ROAD SCHOLAR
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Operator Road Scholar


Does Not Recommend

Don't go! March 2017

  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
  • Value 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
I took a four day bridge class at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. The class was mediocre. And I came home with over 50 BED BUG BITES! Please beware.

Operator Road Scholar



Excellent coverage of major cities and Guizhou Province January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar (also known as Elderhostel) offers hundreds of tours worldwide, using local tour companies, sometimes universities. I have taken RS tours to Africa, China, and France and look forward to more. This was my first "tour" of China, but my 20th visit, with the rest on business. Our guide, Mei Mei, was one of the finest I've seen on tours. We started with Beijing and continued to Xian and then to Guizhou Province for a week in this fascinating area, which was new to me. We were able to meet the people in the villages, thanks to our guide, and enjoyed the chance to see and photograph such a variety of places in China. Hotels were excellent and appropriate to this type of tour (usually centrally located and very fine). Meals were family style and always good. Road Scholar makes its tours educational and doesn't push shopping as so many commercial ones do. Touring in China is very safe. You do have a lot of walking and RS tells you this in the tour, but it seems that a great deal of the walking is in those huge airports! I recommend Road Scholar and always turn to their catalogs to choose my next trip.
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Operator Road Scholar



A peaceful and green country with lots of history revealed by motor coach travel. January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 3.0
  • Meals 3.0
The trip was a good overview of the country. The Road Scholar guide was very knowledgeable. The motorcoach was very comfortable. The accommodations and meals were fine. Couldn't ask for a better overview of the place.
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Operator Road Scholar



Old Cuba is fantastic and should be seen before it's spoiled by capitalism. January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 3.0
This was my wife's and my first trip with Road Scholar. At the time (April, 2012), it was not possible for Americans to directly visit Cuba. You had to do it with a cultural/educational group, often associated with a university. Or, you could fly to Canada, Mexico, or Europe first and then get a flight to Cuba from there (while risking a ~$10,000 fine from the US Government). We opted for the legal route with Road Scholar.

It was a fantastic trip! We had a small-ish group of about 20 people and a wonderful guide, José Luis (who, like most Cubans, had never been off the island).
The trip began in Miami where we had an orientation and spent the night. Then we flew to Havana and stayed in the Hotel Nacional for four nights. It doesn't get more historic -- or fun -- than the Nacional:

While in Havana, we enjoyed great history/culture lectures from experts, toured various parts of Havana (including Hemmingway's home in the hills nearby), and, on our own, had the opportunity to have dinner at a paladar -- a restaurant inside someone's home.

The Cuban people are friendly but the infrastructure of their country is in shambles. It's been a long time since Russia's deep pockets left the island (1991), and you see poverty everywhere. But not the begging-in-the-street kind. Cuba provides universal health care, education (including room and board all the way through grad/med school!), food staples, and a very modest income (~$30/month) to everyone. Most people add to that income by working on the side.

After Havana, we traveled to Cienfuegos. From there we saw the infamous Bay Of Pigs, but also the wonderful Benny Moré Art School where we learned of the fantastic support for the arts by the Cuban government. Children are identified in grade school as having artistic talent and then funneled into magnet schools like Benny Moré to study art for their entire scholastic career!

Don't go to Cuba for the food. It's edible (and won't make you sick) but rather boring. You mainly get the "three amigos": fish, pork, or chicken, along with rice and/or black beans. But the aged rum is superb and so are the cigars!

Probably my favorite thing on the island, though, was the music -- whether on the street or in a more formal setting:

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
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Operator Road Scholar


Day 1: End of Main Program        

Afternoon: Fly from Hoedspruit, South Africa to Johannesburg at the end of main program #19398, South Africa Wildlife Safari and the Garden Route. Upon arrival in Johannesburg, you are met and transferred to Melrose Place Guest Lodge.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Lodging: Melrose Place Guest Lodge

Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Fly to Victoria Falls/ Local Village Visit 

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: After breakfast you are transferred back to the Johannesburg airport to board your commercial flight to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Lunch: On board the flight.

Afternoon: Arrive Victoria Falls where you clear customs/immigration; please be advised that long lines at Victoria Falls airport can sometimes cause delays while obtaining a visa. You are met at the airport by your group leader and transferred approximately 15 minutes to Intabayengwe Village, a nearby traditional village. Here you have the chance to meet members of the community and see how they live. You help the local women prepare a traditional meal and see what role women play in the village. You also visit a local, illegal “moonshiner’s” distillation facility and learn about this underground industry. Visits to some of the homes and the local pre-school round out the visit. Afterward, transfer to the A’Zambezi River Lodge, where you check-in and settle into your rooms before your group leader gives an overview on Zimbabwe’s history, cultures and wildlife.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Lodging: A'Zambezi River Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Chobe National Park    

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: This morning you are transferred across the border to Chobe National Park, Botswana for a full-day excursion. After crossing the Botswana border, you are taken for a game drive within the park. Chobe National Park remains one of Africa’s prime game-viewing areas. Here one finds all of the “Big Five,” except for rhino. This is elephant country, home to the largest population of elephants in the world…many of these great grey giants can be seen at this time of year. (Note that seasonality makes a big difference in how much game you will see. If it’s dry you will see larger herds; if it has recently rained

the animals will be more dispersed.) The park forms part of Botswana’s northern-most border and is a contrast of desert aridity and flood plains. The Chobe region is best known for its vast magnificent river and floodplains filled with grazing herds of big game. Buffalo, sable, lion, leopard, hippo, hyena, and many species of antelope find safety in this huge national park. Chobe is one of Africa’s most pristine ecosystems and greatest wildlife refuges.

Lunch: At one of the local lodges, located on the banks of the Chobe River.

Afternoon: Following lunch, head out on a game-viewing boat cruise on the Chobe River. You explore the Chobe River by motorboat where you may come face to face with the elephant, buffalo and other wildlife that gather on the banks of the river to drink and bathe. Immerse yourself in the unique environment viewing numerous birds including sacred ibis, blue heron, goliath heron, saddle-billed storks, marabou storks and little egrets. Your group leader gives a lecture on the immense birdlife in the area. Once the safari boat cruise is done, you are transferred back across the border into Zimbabwe and driven back to your lodge.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Lodging: A'Zambezi River Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Free Time/ Victoria Falls and Dr. David Livingsto...        

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: This morning you have free time to explore Victoria Falls on your own or participate in one of the many optional activities offered in the area.

Lunch: On your own account to explore local fare.

Afternoon: In the afternoon, you hear a presentation on David Livingstone's "discovery" of the Falls by a noted local historian, given over tea at the hotel. Afterward, your group leader leads you on a walk to the magnificent Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Victoria Falls is where the Zambezi River opens out into an extravaganza of roaring, spray-tumbled water, known to the locals as "Mosi oa Tunya" (the smoke that thunders). Few sights are as awe-inspiring as this when the ground rumbles with the forces of the water.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at the lodge.

Lodging: A'Zambezi River Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Departure               

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast, you have time to pack before you are transferred to the Victoria Falls airport to board your commercial flight to Johannesburg.

Afternoon: Arrive Johannesburg where you connect to your international flight home or ongoing travel.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6: Arrive Home           

Morning: Early morning arrivals back in the U.S.

Dates & Pricing

Price From


Price Per Day:

NA per person
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Trip Includes
  • 4 nights of accommodations
  • 10 meals: 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners
  • 3 Expert-led lectures
  • 3 Field trips
  • 2 Flights during the program
Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Start City
End City

Trip ID#: ExtVicRoa


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