Garden Route

The Garden Route

To many who have visited it, the Garden Route has a mysterious allure. A most unusual part of Africa, it is also the sunny corner of the Cape where evergreen forests, verdant fields, tranquil inland lakes, sparkling bays and pristine beaches languish in a sultry Mediterranean climate.

Stretching along the southern Cape coast from Heidelberg in the west to the Tsitsikamma Forest and Storms River in the east, the region’s entrance to the interior is barred by towering mountains breached by breathtaking passes and gorges.

The silence evoked by its ever-changing landscape carries on its still, fragrant, sea-scented air a sense of the spiritual

With so much of the Garden Route’s beauty unspoilt, visitors may feel they have been set free to play in God’s backyard. A well-developed tourist infrastructure has strung the region’s towns along its coast like a string of pearls.

In all of them, artists, writers, naturalists and nature lovers co-exist with those devoting their time and energies to catering to the whims and special fancies of the area’s year-round visitors.

And where the whales come to calve and mate in the many unspoiled bays. Importantly, it’s an area boasting two national parks – Tsitsikamma and Wilderness – as well as numerous other provincial and private nature reserves. A treasure trove of history, culture, food, sport and entertainment awaits you between Heidelberg and Plettenberg Bay. Indeed, the Garden Route is a veritable playground, offering every sport imaginable – from golf to scuba-diving, abseiling to mountain biking.

Beyond this, there are those unforgettable wild and lonely reaches that will touch your soul and revive your spirit

Oudtshoorn is the tourist capital of the Little Karoo and ostrich capital of South Africa with thousands of the beady-eyed birds all over the place. Big bodies but small brains, these long legged monsters eat pebbles to aid digestion and are particularly attracted to the odd earring or glinting necklace from unsuspecting tourists. At the turn of the century ostrich feathers were in such demand that the fashion conscious paid a premium and feathered the nests of the barons who built magnificent mansions known as ‘Feather Palaces’. This fine architecture can still be seen around the sedate and pleasant town.

There are some spectacular mountain passes with the Swartberg Pass the most sensational in South Africa. The wonderful twisted sedimentary layers of rock sport colours that look as if a painter were splashing about with his palate. The 24 km road has some awesome sheer drops and hair pin bends leading down to great echoing canyons.

Knysna is one of the Southern Cape coast’s best known holiday destinations, situated between lush forests and the shores of the peaceful lagoon – it offers many activities and attractions of a wide variety. The most well known attraction being the heads – two great sandstone cliffs guarding the mouth of the lagoon which connects the estuary with the sea. A lookout has been erected on the Eastern Head, commanding spectacular views of the lagoon, Leisure Isle and Knysna. The Western Head is a privately owned nature Reserve – Featherbed Bay. The Knysna Lagoon is one of the few places along the coast and in the world that supports a oyster hatchery. And the Knysna oysters are reputedly among the tastiest in the world

Originally christened “Bahia Formosa” (beautiful bay) by early Portuguese explorers, Plettenberg Bay can now be accessed by first class national roads, by sea or by scheduled air flights.

The great forests lying at the feet of the fabled Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains are the gateway to the incredible indigenous African wealth of Plettenberg Bay, which lies on South Africa’s spectacular south coast 210 kms from Port Elizabeth and +/- 600 km from Cape Town. The Outeniqua-Tsitsikamma indigenous forests are a unique mixture of Cape Fynbos and temperate forest and offer the nature lover world-renowned hiking trails and an exciting opportunity to see the last remaining forest elephants of South Africa. The entire area teems with birdlife. Nearly 300 species are to be found in the great variety of habitats ranging from fynbos to forest to wetlands.

The Robberg Beach Lodge – Plettenberg Bay

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The Plettenberg – Plettenberg Bay

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Hog Hollow Country Lodge – Plettenberg Bay

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St James of Knysna Guest House

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Wilderness

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Knysna Elephant Park – Knysna

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Cape Town

Cape Town

South Africa is a beautiful and diverse country offering something special for each and every traveller.

Once you have visited our lovely country, you will without a doubt be bitten by the “Africa Bug“ and want to return to enjoy places not yet visited.

South Africa is most certainly one of the most beautiful and varied countries in the world, offering travellers scenic wonders, top class safaris in a variety of areas, mountains, forests, award winning wines , gorgeous beaches and wide open spaces.

South Africa is guaranteed to sooth your soul and delight you in every respect.

Cape Town has been voted as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and for good reason. Offering picture perfect beaches, cosmopolitan and modern surroundings and panoramic views, this city is a must visit on any travellers itinerary. Table Mountain looms over the “ Mother City “ with the view over the ocean, and the famous Robben Island in the distance.

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A leading destination of the rich and famous, ‘the fairest Cape’, is known throughout the world for its scenic splendour and cosmopolitan sophistication. It is in Cape Town that the Rainbow Nation really covers the spectrum with cultural diversity.

Between beautiful Cape Dutch homesteads, elegant Georgian townhouses, traditional dancers and minstrels performing in the city streets, the smell of spicy Malay cooking, the taste of a well made wine, and the sound of the snoek horn advertising the wares of fish vendors, this city will fill your senses. The bells of St George’s Cathedral alternate with the plaintive tones of the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer. Visitors give a startled jump, and Capetonians calmly glance at their watches, when the noon gun booms above the city – a relic from the days of sail when sea captains had to check their chronometers.

You will never be bored in Cape Town. Table Mountain offers some of the best climbing in the world. The surfing and diving are fantastic. There is mountain biking or sand boarding and sea kayaking, where you may see seals, dolphins or penguins.

There is a multitude of varied shopping malls and flea markets, live music, art exhibitions, ballet and symphony concerts to enjoy.

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More Destinations

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INDEPENDENT REVIEWS

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AFRICAN SAFARI SPECIALISTS

Let us design your African safari with a variety of safari destinations – Our expertise includes travel and safaris in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania.

PERSONALISED SERVICE

African Welcome Safaris offers a highly personalised service. With a dedicated travel consultant catering to all your travel needs. Our passion is creating your holiday of a lifetime.

Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park

One simply cannot visit Africa without experiencing the world-renowned Kruger National Park, home to the ’Big Five’ – Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Buffalo and Rhino. Here, deep in the African bush, you will find an excellent a choice in accommodation, from opulent luxury safari lodges to luxurious tented camps. Enjoy a fully inclusive safari, including Open Land Rover drives and walking safaris with your armed ranger or perhaps enjoy a self-drive where you can watch game from the comfort of your own vehicle.

The Kruger National Park is world renowned for its spectacular wildlife. It is the largest nature reserve in South Africa and indeed one of the largest on the continent. At 360km long and 65km wide the surface area surpasses that of the nearby country of Swaziland! Despite its size, the density of wild animals found here is one of the highest on the planet, making for superb viewing opportunities no matter where you are in the park.

Most of the private game lodges are situated in private concessions – commonly known as the Greater Kruger National Park. Some of the better-known concessions are The Sabi Sands (known for its fantastic leopard sightings), the Timbavati Concession (famous for the White Lions of Timbavati) and the Mala Mala Concession. There are no fences between the Kruger and these concessions and the game roams freely, adding to your true African adventure.

The private concessions afford guests exclusivity and luxury.  Although still bound by certain park regulations, the advantage is that only the game drive vehicles belonging to the lodges situated in the concessions are allowed to traverse the area.  Therefore there are no crowds, and the game drive vehicles can deviate off the road network within their boundaries, allowing for amazing close-up wildlife encounters.

The lodges and camps in these concessions have an excellent reputation for world class luxury service and highly-trained guides, promising travellers a safari of a lifetime

The wide open spaces, lack of crowds, fresh air ,sounds of the bush and amazing game viewing serve as the perfect contrast to the bustling cities and the perfect place to be in these times of Covid

The Kruger National Park is easily accessible from either Johannesburg or Cape Town, with daily direct flights offered by Airlink or Federal Air.  Some of our most popular travel itineraries include a combination of Cape Town and the Kruger National Park, with other destinations such as Victoria Falls and Botswana easily incorporated into the program.

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To highlight a few of the more popular private concessions in the Kruger National Park to name but a few. Each concession offers slightly different landscapes, however, all of them promise outstanding and exciting game viewing.

The Sabi Sands Game Reserve

The Sabi Sands Game Reserve is the most famous of the private concessions in the Greater Kruger National Park. Covering over 65 000 hectares of wild bushland, it remains one of the top and most popular game-viewing areas in South Africa, for good reason.  Your Sabi Sands experience will promise to delight and deliver a world class safari in every respect.

There are no fences dividing Sabi Sands from Kruger, meaning that the animals are free to roam between the two areas. This makes the reserve excellent for Big Five sightings, with lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo all wandering peacefully through its huge natural wilderness.

Sabi Sands is also particularly famous for its leopard sightings and has one of the highest concentrations of leopard in the whole world. As leopard are notoriously elusive and tricky to spot, it’s a perfect spot for anyone who loves Big Cats

Valuable refreshment for thousands of animals are  supplied by the two rivers that flow through Sabi Sands. Popular drinking haunts among giraffes, buck and elephants remain at the many waterholes in the reserve. Cheetah, wild dog and another 200 animal species have all made their homes in the reserve, as well as over 350 species of birds. In fact, almost 5% of the world’s bird species have been recorded in this region of South Africa!

Unlike Kruger next door, Sabi Sands has no public roads for self-drive safaris and no day visitors are allowed. This gives the reserve a really exclusive atmosphere. The rangers are not restricted to the roads and tracks, so you can follow leopard, lion and elephant deep into the bush on your own off-road safari adventure. This adds a huge adrenaline rush to each game drive and provides some incredible wildlife sightings as well as jaw-dropping photo opportunities.

Your Sabi Sands safari will include two exciting game drives daily. Every dawn and dusk you’ll set off into the bush in an open-topped vehicle to search for the Big Five in the African bush, stopping for sunrise coffee and sundowners, sipping on a cocktail whilst watching one of the jaw dropping African Sunsets.   The game drives are led by expert guides and trackers, who will use their years of knowledge to give you close encounters with some of the planet’s most incredible animals. Nothing quite compares to drivng across open bushveld and through thickets to find a pride of lions lazing under thorn trees or a herd of elephants crossing a river.

Exclusive and exciting are the words that come to mind when thinking of the Sabi Sands, with just a handful of luxury lodges on this reserve, you will feel as if you have escaped the world and all it’s stress.

All of the lodges are beautifully designed and hugely atmospheric, providing an elegant contrast to the rugged bushveld, and many are brilliant value for money. Lounging in your own private plunge pool overlooking a waterhole or gazing out across the treetops from your balcony, you’ll get a real sense of the romance of Africa.

Timbavati Game Reserve

Timbavati is one of South Africa’s most renowned private game reserves, primarily lauded for its luxurious safari lodges and high calibre game viewing in classical Big Five territory.

Being one of the largest private game reserves bordering the Kruger National  Park, The Timbavati protects 53 392 hectares of wild bushveld. 40 species of mammals and 360 bird species inhabit this biologically diverse game reserve

The White Lions of Timbavati made this game reserve famous in 1975, and although white lion cubs are still being born here, sightings now remain rare

A diverse and exclusive safari destination, the game viewing in Timbavati remains regulated to ensure that wild life sightings do not become crowded, allowing for excellent and heart-thumping game viewing

Highlights of going on safari in the privately owned collection of game reserves that constitute Timbavati Game Reserve, include seeing the Big Five of Africa – lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant.

The lodges in the Timbavati offer expert guides and trackers who accompany you on all game viewing activities.  Thrilling night game drives, guided walking safaris and off-road game viewing are all part of the adventure, and for those who are interested in more specialist safaris , such as photographic, tracking or birding safaris   – the Timbavati offers it all and more ….

Timbavati is situated north of Sabi Sand Game Reserve, both of which lie along the western border of Kruger National Park. Sabi Sand, like Timbavati, shares unfenced boundaries with the legendary Kruger National Park, making it part of the Greater Kruger Park area. The Timbavati and Sabi Sand private game reserves are both renowned as premier game viewing destinations, where visitors can get up close to the Big Five of Africa and other wildlife.

The Timbavati reserve hosts fewer lodges and camps than the Sabi Sands, resulting in a lower number of visitors, which means less game viewing vehicles and no more than two vehicles per wildlife sighting are allowed !

There are some differences in terms of wildlife sightings, especially when it comes to the Big Five. Timbavati is home to larger herds of both buffalos and elephants, which are commonly sighted on game drives. Although rhinos are often spotted in the southern part of Timbavati, rhino sightings are perhaps a bit more common in Sabi Sand.

Timbavati is famous for the white lions first discovered in the reserve and Sabi Sand is famous for its outstanding leopard sightings. There are plenty of leopards in Timbavati too, but they tend to be a bit more shy and are not sighted as often as in the Sabi Sand.

The Timbavati’s landscapes are more open, with less bush than the Sabi Sands, although both offer top class safari settings.  A greater diversity of vegetation is found in Timbavati, providing a variety of habitats for different kinds of animals, insects and birds.

Many of our clients choose to spend a few nights in Sabi Sands combined with the Timbavati, for the diversity that both offer  – giving you the best of both worlds

 

 

 

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More Destinations

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Don’t believe us, read independent reviews from past clients.

AFRICAN SAFARI SPECIALISTS

Let us design your African safari with a variety of safari destinations – Our expertise includes travel and safaris in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania.

PERSONALISED SERVICE

African Welcome Safaris offers a highly personalised service. With a dedicated travel consultant catering to all your travel needs. Our passion is creating your holiday of a lifetime.

Botswana

Botswana

Botswana is one of the few remaining destinations in Africa that still offers a true safari experience. Home to a wonderfully diverse range of wildlife, its expansive game parks and game reserves are still largely undeveloped and untamed.

When visiting, combine your big-game viewing in Chobe National Park, Moremi or Savute Game reserve with the unique experience of travelling down Okavango Delta in mokoros: dug-out canoes. The Okavango River empties into the Kalahari sands to create the largest inland river delta in the world.

Remember, while the Okavango Delta is home to relatively few large game animals in comparison to other areas of Botswana, its clear waters and myriad small islands are home to an astounding variety of birds, plants, and smaller species of animals.

Botswana’s offers something to everyone. From luxury lodges, fine dining and cocktails at sunset to adventurous camping safaris. Unique natural features like the Okavango River inland delta which forms the western edge of a migration route that stretches northeast from Moremi Game Reserve through the Savuti to Chobe National Park on the Chobe River and beyond into Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. The Central Kalahari with its wide open spaces and wonderful wildlife. The San Bushman paintings adorning rocks of Tsodilo Hills.

Main areas in Botswana include:

Moremi Game Reserve: The Moremi Game Reserve covers much of the eastern side of the Delta, and combines permanent water, with drier areas – making for some startling, and unexpected contrasts. In the Moremi, you can experience excellent savannah game viewing by 4×4, as well as bird-watching on the lagoons.

Okavango Delta: The Okavango Delta is one of the world’s largest inland water systems.

Millions of years ago the Okavango river use to flow into a large inland lake called Lake Makgadikgadi (now Makgadikgadi Pans). Safari activities by water are the primary speciality of the Okavango – the mokoro – a dugout canoe which is ‘poled’ along by your Guide is the most evocative way of exploring the numerous waterways. Motor launches travel on the main waterways and lagoons.

Chobe National Park: The Chobe National Park, which is the second largest national park in Botswana and covers 10,566 square kilometres, has one of the greatest concentrations of game found on the African continent.
Its uniqueness in the abundance of wildlife and the true African nature of the region offers a safari experience of a lifetime.

A major feature of Chobe National Park is its elephant population. First of all, the Chobe elephant comprises part of what is probably the largest surviving continuous elephant population. This population covers most of northern Botswana plus northwestern Zimbabwe.

Botswana’s elephant population is currently estimated at around 120,000.

Savute: Savuti boasts one of the highest concentrations of wildlife left on the African continent.

Animals are present during all seasons, and at certain times of the year, their numbers can be staggering. If you allow yourself adequate time here (a minimum of three to four days is recommended) you will probably see nearly all the major species: giraffe, elephant, zebra, impala, tsessebe, roan, sable, wildebeest, kudu, buffalo, waterbuck, warthog, eland and accompanying predators including lion, hyaena, jackal, bat-eared fox and possibly even cheetah and wild dog.

Savuti is famous for its predators, particularly its resident lions and spotted hyaena populations. Almost certainly you will hear a lion at night.

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Chobe Princess Luxury Houseboat

With only a small number of guests per boat staying in one of the three Chobe ...

Zambezi Queen Luxury Houseboat

Moving along the banks of the great Chobe River, Zambezi Queen is a 5-star, 42 ...

Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero Lodge

Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero is a luxurious retreat in the heart of the bush, ...

Ngoma Safari Lodge

Ngoma Safari Lodge is 55 km from the nearest town, Kasane, and 135 km from the ...

Belmond Savute Elephant Camp

In the heart of the Chobe National Park, sometimes referred to as the elephant ...

Belmond Khwai River Lodge

Nestled on the edge of a leadwood and fig tree forest, overlooking the vast ...

Belmond Eagle Island Lodge

Hidden from the world, deep within Botswana’s Okavango Delta, is the paradise ...

Savute Safari Lodge

The western section of the Chobe National Park has been provided with life by ...

Leroo La Tau – Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

The park, populated by up to 30,000 zebra and wildebeest closely accompanied ...

Chobe Game Lodge

Picturesquely situated 100 km west of the Victoria Falls, overlooking the ...

Camp Okavango

Botswana’s magnificent Okavango Delta, which is the world’s largest inland ...

Botswana in Focus Photo Safari

From US$ 5,750 - This spectacular 9 day Photo safari takes you through Chobe ...

Best of Chobe Photo Safari

From US$ 2,950 per adult - This 7 day Photographic safari in the renowned and ...

5 Day Victoria Falls & Chobe Fly-in Packages

From US$ 1,795 per adult - Embark on this five day adventure seeing Victoria ...

3 Nights Zambezi Queen Experience

From R 29,400 per adult - An adventure on-board Zambezi Queen is a different ...

Luxury Romantic Botswana Honeymoon

A Honeymoon in Botswana is the ultimate romantic getaway. Your days will be ...

Victoria Falls & Botswana Safari

This itinerary includes 2 nights in Victoria Falls with the option of either 4 ...

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INDEPENDENT REVIEWS

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AFRICAN SAFARI SPECIALISTS

Let us design your African safari with a variety of safari destinations – Our expertise includes travel and safaris in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania.

PERSONALISED SERVICE

African Welcome Safaris offers a highly personalised service. With a dedicated travel consultant catering to all your travel needs. Our passion is creating your holiday of a lifetime.

Namibia

Namibia

In Southwest Africa, Namibia combines the arid beauty of the Namib Desert – possibly the oldest in the world – with surrounding grasslands and bush. This unique combination makes the country home to a wide variety of wildlife.

If you’re planning a holiday in Namibia, remember that Etosha National Park is an option. It’s one of the finest wildlife and game reserves in Africa, thanks to its remaining largely free of human influence.

Sossusvlei situated in the The Namib Naukluft Park is one of Africa’s oldest and certainly one of the most spectacular National Parks on the continent. A combination of the rocky Naukluft Mountains and wide open plains that gives rise the huge towering red dunes that reach more than 1000 feet, astound the visitor with the stark beauty and makes Sossusvlei one of Africa’s most photographed destinations.

Damaraland, situated to the east of the Skeleton Coast National Park and southwest of Etosha National Park is the breathtaking mountainous region of Damaraland.Here, an assortment of unique desert-adapted animals, such as elephant, zebra and lion, seek out an existence in this near-barren landscape.

Damaraland offers exceptional Bushman etchings, The Petrified Forest, where ancient fossilised tree trunks can be seen and a remarkable assortment of desert-adapted fauna and flora.

Combine photographic dunes, remarkable wild-life and history during your Namibia vacation – offering you a world of contrasts in just one country

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Okonjima Bush Camp – Central Namibia

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Namibia is an all year destination, offering different benefits depending on your interests.  Game Viewing is best done in the dry season whereas the wetter  ( green ) seasons is better if you are interested in scenery, bird watching and photography.

January, February, March & April:

Wildlife and game viewing:  The animals, particularly in Etosha National Park tend to spread out and not gather at the waterholes.   This does not mean that you do you see the game !  This is a fabulous time to see baby animals, as may of the plains game such as Springbok and Zebra give birth over this period.  Many predators such as Lion and Leopard stay in their territories and do not move away, allowing for excellent game viewing

Desert and landscapes:   This is a wonderful time to visit the Namib Desert  [ Sossusvlei ] as this area offers clear skies with incredible cloud formations and expanses of green grasses

Photography: This is an excellent time in the desert for landscapes, beautiful colours as well as Namibia’s colourful ethnic people.

May, June, July & August:

Wildlife and game viewing:  This is an excellent time for game viewing  as the dry season starts, the water levels are dropping and the game congregates at the waterholes for their daily drink. There is still a lot of vegetation so the game is quite spread out and easily viewed on game drives

Desert and landscapes:  As this time of the year enters Autumn and Winter in Namibia,   the cool and chilly evenings offer clear skies, crisp conditions and pristine dunes and landscapes , bringing out the amazing colours and contrasts

Photography:  These are the best months for photography,  with the landscapes and dune formations clearly viewed  against the clear and open skies

September, October, November & December:

Wildlife and game viewing: This period is one of the hotter times of the year  which makes for excellent game viewing as a wide range of animals meet at the waterholes to quench their thirst.  This is often during the heat of the day so good game viewing throughout the day. In the north of Namibia, the rains can start as early as December but game viewing is normally still excellent.

Desert and landscapes: All year destination but can get extremely hot from about 11h00 to 16h00.

Photography: Photography in Namibia is always good … game viewing  in Etosha, dunes at Sossusvlei, landscapes and ethnic people. The middle of the day and early afternoon is hot and the light would not be that good, therefore early mornings and early evenings are good times to take those brilliant photos

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Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

The magnificent Victoria Falls – or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Mist that Thunders) – is located on the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Being one of the largest falls on the planet, it is considered by some to be among the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

There is a magic about the falls manifested in the towering column of spray, the thunder of the falling water, and tranquil lagoons upstream. Let us help you get there and experience it for yourself.

It is awesome splendour that will take your breath away and is a must for all to visit. Visitors can gaze at the mighty Zambezi as it flows, broad and placid, to the brink of a basalt lip seventeen hundred meters wide before taking a headlong plunge into the frothy chasm of the gorge below. This is the world’s largest sheet of falling water, yet although its fame has spread far and wide; the site has been tastefully preserved so that tourists do not spoil the magic of the very place they have come to see. There is far more to do at Victoria Falls than to marvel at the Falls themselves; upstream, the Zambezi plays host to the famous ‘sundowners’ cruises, excursions onto the river to watch the local wildlife while gently sipping a glass of champagne and partaking of a light snack. But once the river has taken its plunge, there is quite a different experience to be had…

A visit to Victoria Falls is easily combined with a safari experience in Botswana.

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Let us design your African safari with a variety of safari destinations – Our expertise includes travel and safaris in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania.

PERSONALISED SERVICE

African Welcome Safaris offers a highly personalised service. With a dedicated travel consultant catering to all your travel needs. Our passion is creating your holiday of a lifetime.

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