Highlights
  • Discover the incredible biodiversity of Madagascar at a protected reserve home to colorful birds, reptiles and lemurs.
  • Explore St. Lucia National Park, where a sunset boat safari gives you the chance to see hippos and Nile crocodiles up close.
  • Take a cable car to the top of Table Mountain for incredible views of Cape Town.

This trip has been discontinued. Instead see

Active South Africa

Family Discover South Africa

South Africa Saveur Private






On this first segment of Road Scholar World Academy 2014, experience the intriguing cultures and lush environments of Indian Ocean islands Mauritius, Réunion and Madagascar. Then sail for South Africa, where you encounter hippos and crocodiles in the St. Lucia wetlands, visit a traditional Zulu village, discover cosmopolitan Cape Town and more.

30
Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
87% Recommend

4.5 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 2
Value
4.5 Guide
4.6 Activities
4.5 Lodging
4.3 Transportation
4.4 Meals
4.3
Road Scholar World Academy Segment 1: Indian Ocean to Cape Town

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

S

Recommends

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

5.0
  • 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:
https://vimeo.com/41612444

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:
https://vimeo.com/43273083

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
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Operator Road Scholar

D

Recommends

Best trip I ever took! October 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Loved the variety of different hotels, the expertise of the individual tour guides, the meals and especially the beautiful countryside. All 17 of us on the t rip got to know each other well, thanks to the kindness, the personality and the organizational skill of Mark, our tour director. Keep up the good work!
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Operator Road Scholar

C

Recommends

Sunrise, Sunset, Learning Photography August 2016

5.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 4.0
Road Scholar offers many tours starting in Utah. The one I took focused of photography of the National Parks in Utah, with a professional photographer traveling with us. The schedule was set up such that we would get "the golden light" at each of the parks. Those not familiar with the term must know that the best light occurs at either sunrise or sunset, when the impact of the sun on objects is diffused by having to travel through the earth's atmosphere on a diagonal rather than vertically.

As such, you can now expect that sleep will be an issue as you will get to bed late and rise early. But the territory is beautiful at all times, and more so illuminated by the golden light.

In order to maximize your sleeping ability, the tour is only offered in the spring and the fall. Doing this in the winter would be pretty cold and require special equipment to traverse the snow. Doing it in the summer would basically mean no sleep as the daylight is so long.

A great learning experience in beautiful territory.
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Operator Road Scholar

J

Recommends

Thank you Road Scholar July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Thank you Road Scholar Staff for planning a wonderful introduction to Cuba today. My previous knowledge was from people who felt they had to leave Cuba more than fifty years ago. I learned from qualified professors, tour guides and from talking to Cuban people from different parts of Cuba who work in different kinds of jobs. I could see how the Cuban people have come together to meet the challenges of the past and to prepare for a brighter future.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

R

Recommends

Thank you Road Scholar! July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar tours are the best bang for your buck

Operator Road Scholar

N

Recommends

Fabulous! July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This is a fabulous program for young and old. The instructors are great with kids and adults. The activities are very well organized and varied. My grandson is already making plans for next year.

Operator Road Scholar

Itinerary

Day 1: Depart for overnight flight to Port Louis

Meals: Dinner

Depart From: Depart from home for overnight flight to Port Louis, Mauritius

Day 2: Arrival in Port Louis / Embark the mv Voyager 

Arrive To: Arrive to Port Louis, Mauritius. Transfer to embark the MV Voyager.

Afternoon: Meet your group leader for a brief program introduction.

Dinner: Welcome dinner on board the ship

Day 3: Port Louis, Mauritius   

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Note: Transfer time is approximately 1 hour.

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship

Morning: Explore the city of Port Louis. visit to Marie Reine de la Paix, Champ de Mars, the only race course, and the Citadel with a panoramic view of Port Louis and finally visit a pagoda. Then discover Caudan Waterfront and the Oriental Market, situated in the heart of the city, it is a colorful and diversified shopping experience: exotic fruits, vegetables, medicinal herbs, local crafts, Indian silks and oriental pastries.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Your afternoon is at leisure to continue to explore Port Louis independently or relax on the ship and advantage of the onboard amenities. Before dinner, join your group for a welcome party and introductions.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.

Day 4: Pointe des Galeis, Reunion, Mauritius

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.

Morning: Depart from the northern part of the island, taking the coastal road to Saint Denis, the capital, to discover the east coast. This is an area of intensive sugar cane farming, the majority of the population descending from Tamil Indians, who came in the thousands as indentured servents after the Abolition of Slavery in 1848. One of the evocative signs of the Tamil culture is the number of colorful temples you will see built around the area. You will see the outside architecture of "Temple du Petit Bazar" in Saint Andrew, and you will discover the fantastic story of the famous "Bourbon Vanilla" with a visit to a vanilla plantation. On your way to Salazie, you will stop at the Niagara Cascade, a real open air theater, where the star is a 180 foot waterfall. Salazie is situated in the wettest and greenest part of the island. It is an imposing garden with towering cascades - the most impressive of which is the Voile de la Mariee" (wedding veil). Continue on to the village of Hell-Bourg. Hell-Bourg is a small community in the Salazie, founded in the mid-1800's as a spa town, built up around thermal hot springs that were discovered in the area. European colonists from as far as South Africa ventured to Hell-Bourg, believing the hot springs to be a cure for numerous diseases and health problems that afflicted Europeans living in the colonial tropics.

Lunch: Enjoy a creole lunch in Hell-Bourg.

Afternoon: After lunch, explore the "Folio House" museum. This beautiful home and garden will give you a glimpse of life as a 19th century French colonist.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.

Day 5: At Sea  

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast: Breakfast on board.

Morning: Join your study leader for an exclusive Road Scholar lecture.

Lunch: Lunch on board or on your own in town.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the ship's amenities and activities.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.

Day 6: Port D'Ehoala, Madagascar    

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.

Morning: The road leading to Nahampoana Reserve is in poor condition, but the drive will be well worth it. Located approximately 7 km from Fort Dauphin, this well maintained garden, formerly named Garden of Acclimatisation, covers an area of 50 hectares. Here you will find a variety of plant species endemic to southern Madagascar, picture plants, ferns, palm-trees and exotic plants. You will also see endemic birds and reptiles, and every species of Lemur found in Madagascar, can be found at Nahampoana.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.

Day 7: At Sea            

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.

Morning: Join your study leader for an exclusive Road Scholar lecture.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.

Afternoon: Free time to enjoy the ship's amenities.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.

Day 8: At Sea     

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.

Morning: Join your study leader for an exclusive Road Scholar lecture.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the ship's amenities and activities.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.

Day 9: Richard's Bay, South Africa / Overnight in St. Lucia      

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Note: Please note you will disembark the ship for an overnight excursion to St. Lucia National Park. Please bring an overnight bag, plus any medications or items you will need while you are away from the ship.

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.

Morning: Disembark the ship with an overnight bag, for an extended overnight excursion to St. Lucia National Park. Depart by coach for the Veyane Cultural Village. This location will give you the opportunity to study the customs and rites of traditional Zulu life, from the lobola (bride's price) to the fortune telling and magic of the Sangoma (witch doctor). You will also have the opportunity to see the creation of the amazing Zulu handicrafts, like their bead work, grass baskets, mats, walking sticks and much more.

Lunch: Enjoy a leisurely lunch at the St. Lucia Ski Boat Club situated on the banks of the St. Lucia Estuary with views over the Indian Ocean and Mapelane. Look for hippos and crocodiles, which are commonly found in the estuary.

Afternoon: Return to the lodge, where you will have some time to relax before an sunset boat safari. During this 2 hour boat cruise, you will have the opportunity to get up close to the resident Hippos and Nile Crocodiles of the St. Lucia Estuary. The total length of the estuary is 85km and one of the largest in Africa. It is estimated that more than 800 hippos and 1200 crocodiles reside in the area. The bird-life in the area is a magnificent with an amount of 450 species witnessed during the year. Hear the calls of African Fish Eagles, watch newly born hippos display child-like tendencies.

Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.

Lodging: Elephant Lake Hotel

Day 10: St. Lucia National Park / Richard's Bay, South Af...              

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge after sunrise game drive.

Morning: After breakfast, depart for the eastern shores of iSimangaliso. iSimangaliso Wetland Park (or St. Lucia as many of the residents affectionately refer to this ecological paradise), was declared as South Africa's first Natural World Heritage Site. The declaration was by UNESCO protocol and the official ceremony took place on December 1, 1999. The large size of iSimangaliso Wetland Park includes five major ecosystems. This 328,000 ha (3,280 sq km) Natural World Heritage Site stretches for 280 km along the northern part of South Africa's east coast. The park plays a vital role in the survival of migratory animals and is home to an incredible variety and populations of birds, mammals, plants, insects, fish, reptiles, and scenic beauty. Historically the birthplace of the famous Huberta (the hippo that traveled from St. Lucia to King William's Town) and base for missionaries and Second World War Catalina Flying Boats - even an ancient burial lake of a local tribe - there is much more here than meets the eye!

Morning: Rise before the sun for an early morning game drive. This is when the wildlife is most active. The western shores are part of the iSimangaliso wetland park. As the name suggests it is on the western side of the St. Lucia estuary. The gate into the iSimangaliso western shores is only 2km from the town of St. Lucia. There are two species of animals that one can see on the western shores of iSimangaliso that you will not see on the eastern shores, namely Nyala antelope and the giraffe. The elephant of iSimangaliso wetland park spend 90 percent of their time on the western shores of the park. So this is where you have the best chance of seeing the elephant when staying in St. Lucia. Other special animals that we see there are the hippo, hyena, side stripe jackal, leopard, rhino and buffalo. Then all the other general game of the area are also there. The only animal of the Big Five that can not be found in the park are lions.

Lunch: Picnic lunch enroute.

Afternoon: In the afternoon you will coach back to the ship to re-embark the MV Voyager. The ship will be in port until 10:00 pm.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.

Day 11: Durban, South Africa               

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.

Morning: Durban is an intriguing blend of East, West and Africa. With it's endless summer climate, effervescent and lukewarm ocean lined with golden beaches, it offers a subtropical carnival atmosphere all year round. Today you will set off on a full day exploration of this vibrant and diverse city. With a local guide, you will explore the Durban City Center, learn about the city's troubled past at the KwaMhule Museum, the Juma Mosque (said to be the largest mosque in the southern hemisphere), KwaMashu Township, the Home of Mahatma Ghandi and John Dube High School.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Continue exploring the city of Durban with your expert guide.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.

Day 12: At Sea            

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.

Morning: Join your study leader for an exclusive Road Scholar lecture.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the ship's amenities and activities.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.

Day 13: Port Elizabeth, South Africa      

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.

Morning: Addo Elephant Park: Now the third largest park in South Africa, Addo Elephant Park has expanded to conserve a wide range of biodiversity, landscapes, flora and fauna. Stretching from the semi-arid karoo area in the north around Darlington Dam, over the rugged Zuurberg Mountains, through the Sunday's River valley and south to the coast between Sunday's River and Bushman's River mouth, addo covers about 180,000 hectares (444,700 acres) and includes the Bird and St. Croix island groups. The original elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, when only sixteen elephants remained in the area. Today this finely tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to over 550 elephants, lions, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopards, a variety of antelope and zebra species as well as the unique Addo flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.

Afternoon: At leisure.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.

Day 14: At Sea      

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.

Morning: Join your study leader for an exclusive Road Scholar lecture

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the ship's activities and amenities.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 15: Cape Town, South Africa           

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.

Morning: A visit to Cape Town would not be complete without a cable-car trip up Table Mountain. The cable-car rotates 360 degrees during the ascent, giving you a fantatic view over the city. Once at the top, you may catch a flimps of the resident dassies, an animal that resembles a large adn fluffy hamster, although it is in fact related to the elephant.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship (included) or on your own in town.

Afternoon: Your afternoon is free to explore Cape Town independently. The ship will be docked just steps away from the Victoria & Alfred waterfront. The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, with Table Mountain in the distance, is a focal point of Cape Town and is home to the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre, as well as markets, restaurants, hotels, the Two Oceans Aquarium, and the Iziko South African Maritime Museum. You will find plenty of ATM's and Internet cafes in the V&A Waterfront, as well as two information centers, found on Dock Road (alongside Ferryman's Pub) and at the Waterfront information kiosk in Victoria Wharf.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.

Day 16: Cape Town, South Africa     

Meals: Breakfast

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.

Morning: Disembark the ship and transfer to the airport for flights returning to North America.

Day 17: Flights Arrive in North America    

Arrive To: Overnight flights from Cape Town arrive in North America.

Dates & Pricing
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Details
Trip Includes
  • 14 nights of accommodations
  • 41 meals: 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 14 dinners
  • 5 Expert-led lectures
  • 9 Field trips
  • Learning led by expert instructors who are authorities in the field of study.
  • An experienced Group Leader attuned to the needs of Road Scholar participants.
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program that you would normally pay yourself.
  • The Road Scholar Travel Assistance Plan, which is purchased on behalf of every participant and provides 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance services coverage.
  • Taxes
  • State-of-the-art QUIETVOX listening devices
Trip Excludes
  • International transportation
  • Personal expenses
  • Insurance
Meals Included:

41 meals: 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 14 dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Intimate Group - 12 max
Start City
Port Louis
End City
Cape Town

Trip ID#: WorIndRoa

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