Here’s the kind of adventure about which many people dream but few experience. Venture Out is pleased once again to offer this very popular tour for the sixth time. It blends a splendid sampling of African culture, incredible wildlife, other outdoor activities, great food and wine, and gorgeous scenery — beginning in Cape Town, one of the world’s most beautiful cities. We will cover a vast, majestic land, and this is sure to be the trip of a lifetime! Cape Town is certainly one of the world’s most scenic cities. We will visit the environs of the city: the lovely Winelands area that produces most of South Africa’s excellent vintages and home to some acclaimed restaurants, as well as the fantastically scenic Cape Peninsula down to the Cape of Good Hope at the “bottom of Africa.”
Our first wildlife safari experience will take place in and near the Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa. A vast area of plains, interrupted by rocky outcrops, the 300-square-mile reserve hosts packs of the endangered wild dog. In addition there are healthy predator populations — lion, cheetah, and leopard. Black and white rhino and a wide range of antelope are numerous. Birdlife is outstanding as well, with numerous species of the nearby Kalahari Desert. Our intimate-in-size luxury safari lodge, with welcoming service and exceptional cuisine, is situated on private ground and hidden in lush riverside forest.
The country of Botswana, our next stop, is exceedingly rich in wildlife, and its vast expanses of nature are filled with a wide variety of fauna and flora to see and experience. In fact, some safari aficionados consider Botswana to be Africa’s best country for this type of experience owing to its policy of keeping the number of visitors on the low side. We experience one of the world’s great natural phenomena, the tranquil Okavango Delta, a 6,000-square-mile inland flood plain (larger than Connecticut) that fans out in the northwestern corner of the country, creating a paradise of palms, papyrus, crystal-clear channels, and backwaters. Set in a massive sea of Kalahari Desert sand, this fragile wonderland of waterways, islands, and forests is an oasis for wildlife, drawn to its life-giving waters from the surrounding thirsty lands. The evening air is filled with the sounds of birdcall, frogs, and antelope rustling in the reeds. Wildebeest, buffalo, and zebra roam the islands; elephants wade across channels under the watch of hippopotamus and crocodiles; and predators like lion and leopard rule the night. You will never forget our small-scale luxury safari “camp” here with its beautiful accommodation, very warm staff, and delicious cuisine.
Straddling the border between the countries of Zimbabwe and Zambia, Victoria Falls is justifiably called one of the Wonders of the Natural World, and spans a little more than a mile, making it the widest show of its kind on earth. The sight of more than 2 million gallons of water per second from the Zambezi River crashing 350 feet down (twice the height of Niagara) is one not easily forgotten. On a clear day, the veil of the roaring spray can be seen from up to 20 miles away, and the rain forest that clings to the cliffs opposite the falls in the Victoria Falls National Park is nourished by this constant spray. It is this phenomenon that gave the falls its local name: Mosi-Oa-Tunya — literally, “the smoke that thunders. Our new luxury lodge on the Zambezi River is located just a short distance upstream from the falls.