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City, Bush and Ultimate Adventure

This 15-night trip offers the very best accommodation and experiences in Cape Town and Zimbabwe. Start your trip in the vibrant and scenically beautiful city of Cape Town before heading off to the wild and untouched Mana Pools National Park. Then head off to the breathtaking waters of Lake Kariba before venturing off to the game-rich Hwange National Park. End off with an unforgettable stay in Victoria Falls, also known as “the adventure capital of the world”.

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Your adventure starts here

Days

1-3

Days 1-3

Mother city’s natural wonder

Cape Town, South Africa

Scenically beautiful, Cape Town is a compelling mix of trendy modern and old-world elegance. Glamorous hotels, world-class dining and stunning vistas merge seamlessly with dynamic student suburbs and vibrant nightlife. Malay and African heritage is evident in the cuisine, traditions and entertainment while the architecture reveals a strong Dutch, German and English flavour and style. Contemporary art is proudly displayed in a variety of galleries and modern boutique hotels, and wine bars and brandy tasting lounges will appeal to the fashionable set. For the well-heeled the finest in opera, ballet, drama and music can be appreciated in style.

We’ll explore the working fishing harbour of Kalk Bay, with its bohemian arts and crafts shops, quirky boutiques, and antiques stores. Heading to the richly historic Simon’s Town, a naval town with museums and monuments to bring insight into the colourful past and the shark diving industry. We go in search of our own splinter colony of rogue penguins, away from the crowded boardwalks, on a beach known only to locals. Next its on to the Cape Peninsula for a gentle hike to explore the reserve’s secluded beaches and unique wildlife. Our return to Cape Town is via Noordhoek Farm Village a food artisan hub of the Peninsula OR alternatively, pop into a gorgeous Constantia wine estate, a well-known wine-producing area, one of the oldest in the southern hemisphere. Time permitting, we may stop for a sundowner at a local brewery, vineyard, beach or scenic look-out.

Today we’ll head to the fascinating town of Stellenbosch, browsing through appealing shops and museums, and sipping coffee in one of the tempting street-side cafes. We awaken our senses with a wine tasting experience at an iconic property. Soak up the scenery of this wonderful region, admire a contemporary art collection, see the highest-growing vines and take in breath-taking vistas from an elevated vantage point. After lunch, discover the town of Franschhoek, established by the French Huguenots in 1688, where historic charm blends with a contemporary ambiance. The town boasts a host of boutiques, gourmet restaurants and galleries. We continue to some family-owned, off-the-beaten-track estates for a more intimate, boutique wine tasting experience, before returning to Cape Town.

Scintilla’s special experience
Scintilla’s special experience

Experience the very best of Cape Town with our Cape Peninsula Explore and Winelands Explore tours.

3 Nights

Ellerman House

  • Luxury 5-star hotel, dramatically poised on the slopes of Table Mountain, in Bantry Bay
  • 13 sumptuously decorated rooms & suites boast rich textures & flawless finishes
  • Timeless elegance, exquisite taste & artistic flair abound: an appealing getaway for discerning travellers
  • Exquisite sea vistas, beautiful gardens & a renowned contemporary art gallery
  • Quality service, superb hospitality standards & well-maintained cellars
Transfers
Transfers

Cape Town Airport to Bantry Bay: Luxury transfer

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South-African-Escape
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Ellerman House - Intro
Days

4-6

Days 4-6

The bush-lover’s park

Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

Wild, untouched and beautiful, Mana Pools National Park, is a World Heritage Site, located on the floodplains of the Great Rift Valley. Ranging from Kariba Dam to Mozambique, this is one of Africa’s most remote reserves, a lack of borders providing freedom of space for the inhabitants. Prime Zambezi river frontage and lush vegetation sustain a wide variety of game species and birdlife. Dominating the scenery are the four large, permanent pools – “mana” translates as four’s as well as seasonal smaller pools.

Remnant ox-bow lakes, the pools were created by ancient changes in the river’s meanderings and are fringed by foliage and forests of mahogany, wild fig, ebony and baobab. The islands, sandbanks and waters are ideal for substantial hippo pods and crocodiles – these “generalist” hunters, having earned their sinister reputation by being one of the few species that actually view mankind as legitimate prey.

As the abundance of water recedes in the dry months (June to October), Mana Pools draws large herds of elephant and buffalo to its vicinity, the giants appearing – silent as shadows – from out of dense bush. Lion, leopard and wild dog may be sighted as kudu, impala, zebra and waterbuck graze invitingly on open plains. The iconic reserve is a prime walking safari destination with highly professional guides. Fishing is done from the banks of the river and canoeing is available.

Scintilla’s special experience
Scintilla’s special experience

The iconic reserve is a prime walking safari destination with highly professional guides.

3 Nights

Nyamatusi Camp

  • Located in the Nyamatusi Wilderness Concession, in the far east of Mana Pools
  • 6 beautifully appointed wood, glass & canvas suites are spacious & contemporary
  • Outdoor showers, private decks, plunge pools & uninterrupted views of the Zambezi River
  • Intimate camp with a magnificent location on the riverbanks
  • Luxurious safari experience in a remote frontier
Transfers
Transfers

Bantry Bay to Cape Town Airport: Luxury Transfer

Flights
Flights

Flight from Cape Town to Harare (excluded)
Flight from Harare to Mana Pools

Transfers
Transfers

Mana Main airstrip to Nyamatusi Camp: Shared Road Transfer

Mana Pools 2019 Dook (28) (1)-min
Nyamatusi Camp - Details 4-min
Days

7-9

Days 7-9

Wildlife viewing from a wondrous waters

Kariba, Zimbabwe

Lake Kariba’s waters capture the reflection of iconic painted skies, the blazing sunset colours echoing across waters. Nature’s unrestrained palette balances water and sky. In many places Kariba’s vastness gives the impression of endless oceans, while closer to shore, tree stumps pierce through the lake surface, graveyard evidence of land claimed by water. One of the four largest man-made lakes in the world, Kariba stretches 220kms by 40 kms wide, positioned on Zimbabwe’s northern border with Zambia. Covering approximately 5500kms of what was once the Zambezi valley, the lake is studded with islands and flanked by the rugged Matuzviadonha Mountains. The dam’s genesis provides an almost biblical history of vengeful gods, displaced people and epic relocation plans.

Lake Kariba was created in the late 1950’s by damming the Zambezi River and flooding the land behind the dam. Before the project could begin, 57,000 Batonga people and their villages had to be relocated causing much unhappiness and resentment. Today there are still Tonga people who believe the river god, Nyaminyami, was responsible for the death of 86 workers who perished whilst building Kariba dam. At the same time, Operation Noah, a massive wildlife rescue project was launched in a bid to relocate the animals affected by the rising waters. The five year long programme caught the attention of the world as over 6000 animals were moved to safety.

Scintilla’s special experience
Scintilla’s special experience

An open vehicle game drive on the shoreline, or walking safari is an exhilarating way to further immerse yourself in the wilderness.

3 Nights

Bumi Hills Safari Lodge

  • South west of Kariba town, on the southern foreshore of the vast Lake Kariba
  • 10 beautifully appointed suites are perched on the edge of a cliff & have covered balconies
  • An elevated position from which to appreciate the magnificent panoramic vistas
  • Outdoor living spaces: terraced dining areas, chill-out spots & an infinity pool
  • Iconic “drowned” trees & magnificent sunsets
Transfers
Transfers

Mana Main airstrip to Nyamatusi Camp: Shared Road Transfer

Flights
Flights

Flight from Mana Pools airstrip to Kariba airstrip

Transfers
Transfers

Bumi Airstrip to Bumi Hills Safari Lodge: Shared Road Transfer

Kariba Sunset
Bumi Hills - Intro
Bumi Hills - Hero-min
Days

10-12

Days 10-12

A Zimbabwean icon

Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Royal hunting grounds in the 19th century and declared a national park in 1929, today, Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest game reserve. Vast stretches of wilderness, extend from horizon to horizon and form part of the ancient migration route towards Northern Botswana’s Chobe and the Linyanti.

This diverse landscape of mopane and teak forests, semi-desert scrubland and granite hills is inhabited by a wide variety of mammals and birds. Although a year round destination, Hwange is particularly appealing during the winter months (April to October) when large concentrations of animals flock to artificially pumped waterholes as the seasonal pans dry out. The park’s network of waterholes sustains life when natural resources are unavailable. Massive herds of elephant make their presence felt during the dry period. Buffalo, zebra, sable and roan antelope, as well as lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog may be seen.

Cool mornings warm up to comfortable sunny days, and chilly night drives reveal the exciting nocturnal species which make Hwange home. Between November and February/March summer thunderstorms blanket the earth with life,filling up the waterholes and dispersing the animals throughout the park. Game can be located on the open southern plains during summer, but the scenic north is a renewed landscape of hills, floating lily-pads and full pans. Brightly coloured birds dot the trees, bringing movement to endless skies.

Scintilla’s special experience
Scintilla’s special experience

Camp activities include morning and afternoon game drives, walking safaris and Hwange Main Camp village visit.

3 Nights

Somalisa Camp

  • A luxury tented camp in a private Hwange concession, on the edge of a seasonal floodplain
  • 7 sail tents: a thoughtful pairing of modern décor influences with natural elements
  • Copper slipper-style baths with views, inspired by the romance of yesteryear
  • Authentic & luxurious tented bush camp with a contemporary African Style
  • Spacious decks & the ‘elephant pool’ – excellent elephant territory
  • Animal-centred camp traversed by well-used game paths
Transfers
Transfers

Bumi Hills Safari Lodge to Bumi Airstrip: Shared Road Transfer

Flights
Flights

Flight from Bumi Hills airstrip to Manga airstrip

Transfers
Transfers

Manga Airstrip to Somalisa Camp: Shared Road Transfer

Somalisa Camp - Details 4
Somalisa Camp - Details 3
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Days

13-16

Days 13-16

The world’s largest waterfall

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

When you wander through the lush rainforests above the Victoria Falls, newly baptised in the mist, your ears holding the echo of thundering waters, it isn’t hard to imagine that this is where it all began. Eden. As the land cuts away beneath the ancient Zambezi River, the waters plummet dramatically into the Batoka Gorge, over 100 metres below. The angrily churned up spray shoots skyward, painting the landscape in billowing clouds. This striking “smoke that thunders” can be seen for miles, a geographic pointer summoning visitors into its presence.

On a private stretch of the mighty Zambezi River, 40 minutes from Victoria Falls, lies the sleek safari lodge of Matetsi. Set within a 136,000-acre private concession neighbouring the Zambezi National Park, in dense mopane and acacia woodland and a network of open grasslands, the suites are all strung out along the banks of the Zambezi River. Enjoy a host of activities from morning and afternoon game drives, a private stretch of the river offering sunrise or sunset boat cruises, incredible canoeing on a tranquil part of the river, bush walks, bird-watching and amateur fishing.

What makes this destination so memorable is the fact that it is perfectly combined with warmly hospitable people, exquisite scenery and an array of accommodation. Excellent game,historic ruins, fishing and luxury train travel are easily accessible from Victoria Falls, as are the neighbouring countries which border this fascinating town.

Scintilla’s special experience
Scintilla’s special experience

Visit the town of Victoria Falls and experience the thunderous Falls, while High Tea at the iconic Victoria Falls Hotel is a treat not to be missed.

3 Nights

Matetsi River Lodge

  • Nestled along prime Zambezi River frontage, in a private concession, upriver from Victoria Falls
  • 18 suites (split between 2 intimate camps) with private verandahs & plunge pools
  • Vibrant copper & wood theme & repurposed materials, reflect the country’s historical mining industry
  • Private Zambezi River frontage, stunning views & superb migratory birds
  • Excellent guiding: land & water-based safari experiences
Transfers
Transfers

Somalisa Camp to Manga Airstrip: Shared Road Transfer

Transfers
Transfers

Flight from Manga airstrip to Victoria Falls airport

Helicopter flight from Victoria Falls airport to Matetsi Lodge

Transfers
Transfers

Shared road transfer from Matetsi to Victoria Falls Airport

Matetsi - Details 4
Matetsi - Hero
Matetsi - Intro
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Your Adventure Ends

Ellerman House - Intro
Bumi Hills - Details 1
Matetsi - Hero
Somalisa Camp - Details 1-min
Nyamatusi Camp - Intro-min
  • VIP meet and greet on arrival
  • 15 Nights accommodation with selected meals
  • 2 Full days of Scintilla Escapes touring with your expert guide
  • Road transfers where applicable
  • Light aircraft flights from Harare to Mana Pools, Mana Pools to Kariba, Kariba to Hwange and Hwange to Victoria Falls
  • Helicopter flight from Victoria Falls to Matetsi
From $16,345 per person

Trip Summary

Days 1-3
Mother city’s natural wonder

Cape Town, South Africa

Scenically beautiful, Cape Town is a compelling mix of trendy modern and old-world elegance.

Days 4-6
The bush-lover’s park

Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

Wild, untouched and beautiful, Mana Pools National Park, is a World Heritage Site, located on the floodplains of the Great Rift Valley.

Days 7-9
Wildlife viewing from a wondrous waters

Kariba, Zimbabwe

Lake Kariba’s waters capture the reflection of iconic painted skies, the blazing sunset colours echoing across waters.

Days 10-12
A Zimbabwean icon

Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Royal hunting grounds in the 19th century and declared a national park in 1929, today, Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest game reserve.

Days 13-16
The world’s largest waterfall

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

This striking “smoke that thunders” can be seen for miles, a geographic pointer summoning visitors into its presence.

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Guest Testimonials

Discover why our guests select Scintilla for their travel to Southern Africa.

Hi Cuan.  Just wanted you to know we have had an amazing time in Namibia!  What an experience!  Yesterday we stopped off at a bar in a very remote village after tracking elephants and had beers and danced with the locals which was fantastic.  Between the orphanage, stops in many villages, the kids we’ve gotten to meet, the Himba village and of course all the animals it has just been incredible.  You organized quite a trip for us!  And now, Botswana!!!

The Soloman Family, USA

My week in Namibia was sensational and went seamlessly. From the welcoming pickup from the airport to the beautiful accommodations and fascinating road-trip across much of the country, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Of particular note, the food at Hoodia Desert Lodge was impeccable and the al fresco lunch prepared by the guide after the visit to Deadvlei and Sossusvlei was simply magical. The sundowners at both Hoodia and Onduli Ridge were top-notch, each offering breathtaking views and fabulous Namibian gin cocktails and bites. What made the entire journey so easily enjoyable was the daily itineraries and maps presented to me upon arrival and the overall organization and attention to detail. My solo sojourn was truly flawless, and I will recommend it widely!

Sarah Scott, ZA

Cuan, everything going to plan so far with stunning weather and excellent service and amazing wildlife in Etosha!! Thanks again for your professionalism. Everything has been magical, and we have definitely brought some luck with us being the first group to find the elephants only after 10 minutes of looking !! Really appreciate your help, and I will be recommending you to our friends back home.

Tom Last, AU

Our guide Charlene was out of this world. She was charming, intelligent, and fun and she showed us the best of Cape Town while also educating us on the journey Cape Town has taken from Apartheid through today. We were fascinated, engaged, and overjoyed to spend our final days in Africa with her. She is truly outstanding.

Paul & Wendy, UK

The trip was FANTASTIC, and our guide Marcus was absolutely superb! We took all of his recommendations for our last free day in the city and can’t thank him enough for the stellar suggestions.

Thomas & Mary Louise, Canada

Please convey my thanks to the Cape Town guiding teams! Without a doubt our most memorable moment of the trip was our visit to the Cape Peninsula with our guide, Chizzy. A major positive, thrilling time. The penguins, picnic and swim at the reservoir, continual birthday celebrations for Jack’s 18th Birthday were all home runs.

Suzanne, Jack & Family, USA

The most important thing for me to tell you is that we had a fabulous time with James exploring the Peninsula of Cape Town! Along with our visit to the Zeitz Museum, our day with James was a highlight of the time we spent in South Africa. He was friendly and open about discussing his experiences growing up with apartheid which I really appreciated. I enjoyed the towns we visited, the restaurant where we had lunch, our visit with the penguins, and our hike out to the shipwreck. Thank you!!

Emma & Lori, USA

Well, we finished up Cape Town this evening, heading to safari tomorrow. We loved the country tour and winery tour, absolutely amazing. Also, our guide for both days, was one of the best we have ever had. We couldn’t imagine a better time and she couldn’t be more flexible. Thank you for setting up this first part of the vacation and setting us up with the tours.

Cory & Heather, USA

It was great! Everything worked out perfectly! We absolutely loved the Sidecar experience – wow, was that fun! We loved our guide in Cape Town, Josh, he was the BEST! He was so fun. We took him for dinners and played golf with him! We just thought Cape Town was fantastic. Wine Country was great. Fantastic.

Joseph, Marsha & Family, USA

On Saturday, we met our guide, Charlene, who was OUTSTANDING. We had missed the Zeitz Museum, and she was happy to let us rearrange our schedule so that we could tour it as well as taking me to a beautiful craft market to buy gifts.  On arriving in the wine country, we enjoyed an amazing lunch at La Motte.  With Charlene's background in wines, she was able to recommend the best wineries to visit on the winetram, as well as several good restaurants in the area.

William & Constance, USA

Cape Town was so scenic and beautiful.  Had an interesting visit around town and to the houses of parliament with a very accommodating guide James.  James made that whole experience everything it was and deserves a lot of credit. What a great place to visit!  What phenomenal food!  What masters of hospitality they all are in Africa!

Jeffery & Barbara, Canada
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