Best of Southern Africa
This signature package combines top-rate safari experiences with world-class scenic highlights including Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities on the planet, and Victoria Falls, one of the seven wonders of nature.
“The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa…For he has so much to look forward to” – Richard Mullin
Off-road game viewing, in private reserves that share an open border with the world-famous Kruger National Park, allows for a superior safari and luxurious lodging experience, while still enjoying the huge animal numbers and diversity of the Kruger Park ecosystem.
This winning combination of wildlife and scenery makes this our most popular package to date, run for 18 years under our founding brand “Africa Kosher Safaris/AKS.”
Arrive in Johannesburg and connect to Livingstone, Zambia, gateway to the mighty Victoria Falls.
The Victoria Falls are the world’s largest curtain of falling water, and plunge almost 100m down the 1800m width of the mighty Zambezi River!
Spend the afternoon admiring the magnificent views of the Falls from the Zambian side. Enjoy the views of the water of the Zambezi River pouring over the precipice, the thunderous sound of the water crashing into the gorge and the thick cloud of mist which leaves you refreshed and exhilarated.
We travel through the African bush to the confluence of the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers, the Kazungula border post, where 4 Africa countries meet. Here, we cross the great Zambezi River into Botswana, and set out on our first safari in the world famous Chobe National Park.
Chobe is home to the largest concentration of elephant in the world, as well as large herds of buffalo, hippo, many crocodile, antelope, zebra, giraffe, and of course the big cats.
We start our safari by boat, cruising down the most game-rich river in the world, hoping for some close up sightings of hippo, crocodile, and possibly even elephant swimming in the river.
After lunch, we board open jeeps for an exciting safari in the interior of the park, as well as along the river banks, looking out for giraffe, zebra, antelope, lion, leopard, and of course, Chobe’s famous large elephant herds – this is the world’s elephant capital after all!
This morning, we cross the “Victoria Falls Bridge”, one of the most spectacular border crossings in the world, where the old colonial road crosses the Zambezi River Gorge, affording great views of the falls and rain forest.
After completing border formalities , we tour the Zimbabwean side of the falls, encompassing the widest parts of the Victoria Falls, including the “Devil’s Cataract”, and the “Main Falls” – the world’s widest unbroken curtain of falling water.
Time permitting, we stop at the “Big Tree”, a massive baobab tree the size of house, and/or the historic “Victoria Falls hotel” for drinks.
We then cross back into Zambia for our flight back to Johannesburg and on to Cape Town, South Africa’s magnificent “Mother City”, set in a basin surrounded by mountains and ocean. We enjoy dinner at one of Cape Town’s kosher restaurants, and check into our luxury hotel.
Cape Town is virtually synonymous with “Table Mountain”, and today, weather permitting, we take the Cable-car up this world-famous landmark, now ranked as one of the “New 7 wonders of the natural world.” From the summit, the views are endless: The Cape Peninsula as far as “Cape Point” to the South, the “Two Oceans” to the West and East, and the City, West-coast, and higher mountain ranges to the North.
Due to unpredictable weather, a visit to the summit cannot be guaranteed, but the nearby “Signal Hill” and “Lion’s Head” mountains also provide incredible views in many cases where this is not possible.
Cape Town has so much to see and do, and after a lovely lunch at the “Jewish Museum”, we visit the world-famous “Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens”, nestled on the Southern Slopes of the mountain, where the various unique species of the “Cape Floral Kingdom” can be enjoyed, as well as different views of Table Mountain from the other side.
We return to our hotel on time to prepare for a wonderful and inspiring Shabbat with the friendly Jewish communities of Cape town.
Cape Town has a wonderful variety of Synagogues and communities, and what better way to get to know them than to spend a Shabbat in this incredible city.
From the historic “Gardens Synagogue” in downtown Cape Town, to the original “Sea Point Hebrew Congregation”, with their famous choirs and Chazanim, to the vibrant “Ohr Sameach” , Young Israel style “Morasha”, “the Shul on the Bay” and others, there is much to choose from.
Depending on your Shabbat hotel and your preference, we will guide you to the shul of your choice, after which a delicious Shabbat lunch will await you. What better way to spend a Shabbat afternoon than a relaxing walk along Cape Town’s magnificent beachfront!
Today, we experience some of the world’s most spectacular scenery: The “Cape Peninsula” is surrounded by the icy waters of the Atlantic on the West, and the warm waters of the Mozambique current on the East, separated by the majestic mountains of the “Table Mountain National Park.”
We start our day with a magnificent boat cruise out to “Seal Island” to see a massive colony of Cape fur seals , after which the famous “Chapman’s Peak Drive” takes us along narrow ocean-facing cliffs towards Cape Point, the dramatic meeting point of the two ocean currents and tip of the Peninsula.
After lunch, a spectacular hike leads the walking enthusiasts along cliffs, glorious beaches, and unbeatable scenery to the famous “Cape of Good Hope”, first navigated by the original Portuguese explorers so long ago. At the same time, those who are less energetic can relax and enjoy the magnificent views at Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope below.
We continue our scenic drive round the Eastern side of the Peninsula to “Boulders Beach”, where we visit a natural colony of Cape Penguins, a unique and exciting end to a magnificent day. The never ending Cape scenery takes us back to town and our hotel, where we freshen up for dinner.
On day 7, we fly to Hoedspruit, gateway to the luxury private reserves of the “Greater Kruger National Park”. After a delicious lunch and check-in to your luxury lodge, set out on your first exciting open-jeep safari.
With the help of off-road access and specialized game-trackers, getting close to the “Big 5” has never been easier. But this is NO zoo, and there are NO guarantees- anything can happen at any time on safari!
Some of the animals we hope to see include various antelope species, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, hippo, crocodile, and of course the famous “Big 5 “: elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion, and leopard. Even more elusive are the African wild dog and cheetah! A freshly prepared, gourmet kosher dinner awaits us on our return to the lodge!
Days 8 and 9 are spent at our luxury game-lodge on safari. The routine of safari is geared to take advantage of the best hours of the day for game-viewing: early mornings, and late afternoons since animals generally are less active in the heat of the day.
We rise early before dawn for coffee and biscuits, and enter the park in search of the still-active nocturnal animals such as lion and leopard, as well as the antelope and other species they prey on.
yet, even the leopard needs a siesta, and the middle of the day is relaxed, consisting of time to daven, a splendid late breakfast, an optional bush walk, time to relax by the pool or take a spa treatment, and of course, a delicious light lunch!
In the late afternoon, we continue our safari, searching for species we have not yet seen, and more of those we have already seen. Every game-drive is completely unique, and the bushveld is always on the move – what one vehicle is lucky enough to spot, the next might miss by a few seconds!
On day 10, when the sun has not yet risen over the African bush, our last exciting game-drive is upon us. Every safari is completely different – animals can be a lot like human beings, and every aspect of their behavior is fascinating to watch and observe.
The incredible sight of a lioness playing with her cubs, a hippo yawning, leopard stalking her prey, or a baboon family playing together, can now be seen by those lucky enough, not just on a National Geographic, but in real life!
After a delicious breakfast, we fly to Johannesburg on time for our flight back home, enriched by all the magnificent creatures and scenic wonders we have seen.
These FAQ's are specific to this tour. For general info please visit our FAQ's page.
- Citizens of the U.S., most commonwealth countries, and Israel do not require visas to enter South Africa.
- Visitors must ensure that they have at least 2 blank VISA pages (not endorsement pages) in their passport for this, or they WILL be denied boarding to South Africa.
- Due to the many different countries that are often visited and reentry into South Africa, we strongly suggest having at least 5 empty VISA pages available!
- Botswana also gives free visas to citizens of most of these countries but their rules change from time to time.
- Zambia and Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls on our itineraries ) require visitors to buy visas.
- For U.S. ,European, and Israeli citizens, this is usually possible at port of entry but their rules tend to change regularly, so please double check with your local consulate.
- A limited ammount of CAZA visas which allows multiple entry to both countries for only $50 can be obtained at airport points of entry- when not available, seperate double/multiple entry visas need to be purchased for each country and can cost up to about $130 or more each, depending on nationality- please carry enough cash $US for these (only new notes post 2006)
- As GKS cannot take responsibility for accuracy of visa information, it MUST be verified by the consulates of these countries well in advance of travel .
- El Al flies direct from Tel Aviv to Johannesburg a number of times a week.
- South African airways flies direct from New York and Washington to Johannesburg daily, sometimes with an hour stopover in Dakar.
- Delta flies non-stop from Atlanta to Johannesburg daily. British airways fly regularly from London to Johannesburg and Cape Town.
- Other possible routings from New York include NorthWest/KLM via Amsterdam or Virgin Atlantic/British Airways via London.
- Some tours start in Livingstone and end in Johannesburg. Others start in Johannesburg and end in Livingstone or start and end in Johannesburg.
- Always arrive the morning the tour begins or before and depart no earlier than 7 pm on the last day of the tour.
Always check routing and times with office before booking
GKS is happy to advise you with the booking process
- Despite its reputation for having a high crime rate, South Africa is generally a very safe destination for tourists.
- The Jewish centres of Johannesburg are now protected by CAP, community active patrol, which has brought about an 80% reduction in violent crime over the past two years and has made our suburbs relatively safe once again.
- Although a low-risk area for terrorism, the global climate dictates that we take certain precautions and exact venues of tours are only made known to confirmed participants.
- Most of South Africa has a moderate climate all year round with warm to hot rainy summers (October-March) and dry winters (April-September.)
- During our winter (May-August), the safari areas (Kruger region, Victoria falls, and Chobe) are usually mild to warm by day (highs in the 70’s and 80’s F) and cold at night (lows in the 40’s and 50’s F), Cape Town is usually mild by day (highs in the 60’s F) and cool to cold by night (lows in the 50’s F) with both sunshine, rain and fog being common, and Johannesburg and Madikwe are mild by day (highs in the 60’s and 70’s F) and very cold by night (lows in the 30’s F)
- During our summer (Oct-March), the safari areas are usually very hot (80’s and 90’s F by day, 70’s by night) with regular thunderstorms and rain, Cape Town is usually hot and dry ( 80’s and 90’s F by day, 60’s and 70’s by night), and Johannesburg and Madikwe are warm to hot and very rainy (80’s and 90’s by day, 60’s by night.)
- September and April are usually warm and dry in all venues, though weather can be very changeable during these transition months.
- EAST AFRICA has an equatorial climate and the temperatures are fairly similar throughout the year. They vary with elevation and precipitation, and although usually pleasantly warm , the higher areas of the Serengeti, Masai Mara, Ngorongoro, and Kilimanjaro regions can be windy, rainy, and cool, and a sweatshirt and jacket are always recommended
- South Africa has a modern health-care system and good medical care is available in all main urban centres.
- This is not always so in the more remote regions, and other African countries, so good medical travel and evacuation insurance is essential.
- Yellow fever innoculations are required for Victoria Falls/Zambia and for East Africa .
- Malaria is a risk in all of East Africa throughout the year, as well as in Victoria Falls, Chobe, and most tropical areas of Southern Africa. It is also a threat in The Kruger Park Region of South Africa, mostly, but not limited to the summer months (October-April) .
- Appropriate malaria prophylaxis should be taken before visiting these areas – consult your doctor about Malarone, mefloquine, or doxycycline.
- Women who are pregnant, infants, children under 4-5 should consult their doctor before visiting malaria areas. Malaria-free Safari areas like Madikwe and the Pilanesberg can be arranged in such cases.
- Johannesburg, Cape Town, and the Garden Route are completely malaria free.
- The unit of currency in South Africa is the Rand which is currently valued at about 17.42 ZAR = 1$, although currency fluctuations can be rather drastic.
- ATMs in South Africa accept most foreign Visa and Mastercards and are the best way of drawing the local currency.
- Botswana pula can also be obtained at ATMs in Botswana, and curio stores in Zambia and Zimbabwe will take $US