Skip to main content
magnificent sunset landscape

Overview

A truly unforgettable adventure

Southern Africa, like all of Africa, is a land of tremendous contrast, as evidenced by its various ecosystems, wildlife and cultures. From the windswept coastline of South Africa’s Cape Peninsula to the majesty of Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls and the wetlands of Botswana’s Okavango Delta. every corner reveals an amazing tale of survival and triumph on the continent that is home to the origins of human history itself.

Enjoy four nights aboard the luxurious Rovos Rail, a world-class Edwardian-style train. With a combination of safari trips and a look back at the region's turbulent past and the end of apartheid, you’re sure to experience the exploration of a lifetime!

Dates

August 16–30, 2023

Duration

15 days

Price

From $18,995 per person

Trip size

38 participants

Minimum age

18 years
Reserve(opens new window)

Faculty leader

A different kind of classroom

With renowned Stanford faculty and scholars leading the way, every Travel/Study trip is a one-of-a-kind educational experience.

Larry Diamond

Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

As a scholar of democracy, development and the rule of law, Larry focuses on the current political scene in the countries we visit and the issues and challenges they face.

“Any trip with Larry Diamond is not to be missed!”

— Nancy Ditz Mosbacher, '76

Itinerary

A wildlife adventure by rail

Begin our journey in coastal Cape Town, South Africa, then fly to Botswana and explore one of the world’s greatest unspoiled wildernesses, the Okavango Delta. Head to Zimbabwe, see Victoria Falls and embark on the luxurious Rovos Rail, returning to South Africa to spend the next several days discovering the country’s wildlife.

  • Cape Town, South Africa

    Arrive in Cape Town. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Town is often described as one of the world’s most beautiful cities, boasting beaches, mountains and plenty of greenery. It’s also a rare cultural gem whose cuisine, languages and cultures reflect the rich diversity of Cape Town’s unique population. Transfer to our historic hotel, located at the foot of Table Mountain, then gather this evening for an orientation and welcome reception before dinner.

    Accommodations:

    Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

    Included meal: Dinner
  • Cape of Good Hope/Boulders Beach

    Travel along the Atlantic seaboard to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, location of the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point promontories. Here the windswept terrain and soaring cliffs showcase distinctive fauna and unique flora. Take the funicular to Cape Point, the tip of the reserve, which offers a dramatic vista southward to the Atlantic Ocean. Visit the colony of endangered African penguins at Boulders Beach before returning to Cape Town.

    Accommodations:

    Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Robben Island / Table Mountain

    Today board a boat for the short trip to Robben Island in Table Bay, well-known during the struggle against apartheid for its detention of many political leaders and activists, including Nelson Mandela, who spent 18 of his 27 years as a prisoner here. During our tour of the prison—which was abandoned in 1991, was formally closed in 1996 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site—we’ll view the cell occupied by Mandela, as well as the cells of other noted anti-apartheid activists. Ride a cable car to the summit of Table Mountain to admire the spectacular view, then drive through District Six, a residential area once ravaged by apartheid policies, as we travel back to our hotel.

    Accommodations:

    Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Cape Town / Maun, Botswana / Okavango Delta

    This morning catch a flight to Maun, Botswana’s fifth-largest town, then take a charter flight to exclusive tented safari camps in the Okavango Delta. The two camps available to us for the next two nights, Camp Xakanaxa (pronounced “ka-ka-na-ka”) and Camp Moremi, situated in the heart of the Moremi Game Reserve on the banks of the Khwai River, make ideal bases from which to experience Okavango Delta safari experiences on both land and water.

    Accommodations:

    Camp Xakanaxa and Camp Moremi

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • to

    Okavango Delta

    Spend two full days discovering the riches of the Okavango Delta, one of the world’s greatest unspoiled wildernesses. On our morning and late-afternoon wilderness drives and river safaris, view a spectacular range of flora as well as the area’s incomparable wildlife, including elephants, hippos, lions, hyenas and over 400 species of birds.

    Accommodations:

    Camp Xakanaxa and Camp Moremi

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Okavango Delta / Kasane / Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

    This morning, board chartered bush planes bound for Kasane. Upon arrival cross the border into Zimbabwe and drive to the town of Victoria Falls. Check in to our lovely Edwardian-era hotel, Zimbabwe’s grandest and oldest, located within walking distance of the incomparable falls. Spend the afternoon at leisure, then enjoy a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River.

    Accommodations:

    Victoria Falls Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Victoria Falls / Embark Rovos Rail

    Wander along the winding footpath bordering the rim of Victoria Falls. Measuring one mile across these magnificent falls drop from between 295 to 350 feet into the First Gorge. The mist created by the 1,804,000 cubic feet of water pouring over the falls each minute produces a constant tropical rain forest-like cloud that gives the falls its local name of “the smoke that thunders.” This afternoon board our luxury train, Rovos Rail, at Victoria Falls Station and settle into our suites as we travel southeast. Later savor dinner en route to Malindi railway siding, where we overnight.

    Accommodations:

    Rovos Rail

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Hwange National Park

    After an early breakfast, embark on a safari in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s largest wildlife area. Our train then travels between Gwaai and Dete along one of the world’s longest stretches of straight railway line—70 miles—en route to the country’s second-largest city and its industrial capital, Bulawayo.

    Accommodations:

    Rovos Rail

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Matobo National Park

    This morning enjoy a wildlife safari in Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe’s oldest national park—a bequest from the British mining magnate, imperialist and politician Cecil Rhodes, after whom the former British colony of Rhodesia (today’s Zimbabwe) was named. This area of seemingly incongruous granite domes is home to a wide diversity of fauna, including the white rhino and the world’s densest leopard population. Visit the park’s famous caves, whose walls are rich in rock art painted by the San peoples approximately 2,000 years ago. In the late afternoon the train proceeds to the Beitbridge border crossing.

    Accommodations:

    Rovos Rail

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • South Africa

    After entering South Africa at Messina, the northernmost town in the Limpopo province, cross the Tropic of Capricorn, and head toward Modimolle, dubbed Nylstroom by a group of 19th-century Voortrekkers, or Boer pioneers, who mistakenly thought the area’s northward-flowing was the source of the Nile (or Nyl in the Afrikaans language). Pass Bela Bela, also known as Warmbaths, famous for its mineral hot springs. Ride along the edge of the escarpment, where the Highveld, South Africa’s inland plateau, drops precipitously to Pyramid, where our train overnights.

    Accommodations:

    Rovos Rail

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Pretoria / Disembark / Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve

    Our train journey ends at Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria. Board a charter flight to the Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. One of the first private game reserves in South Africa and abutting the southwestern border of Kruger National Park. Check in to our luxurious lodge and spend the rest of the afternoon and the evening at leisure.

    Accommodations:

    Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • to

    Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve

    Enjoy two delightful days exploring the African bush and relaxing at our lodge. Wildlife here is plentiful, due to the great biodiversity of habitat and lack of barriers between Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve and Kruger National Park, which is home to a spectacular array of wildlife, including approximately 200 indigenous animal species and some 300 species of birds. In addition to early-morning and late-afternoon safaris with our lodge’s well-versed and intuitive rangers and trackers, activities included guided bush walks, moonlit bush dinners, guided stargazing trips and bird watching. On our last evening, celebrate the conclusion of our Southern African adventure with a farewell dinner.

    Accommodations:

    Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve / Johannesburg / Home

    After one last wildlife safari this morning, board a charter flight bound for Johannesburg, where we connect to international flights, arriving back home the following day.

    Included meal: Breakfast

Make the most of your trip

Want more time to explore? Get the most out of your stay in this region when you sign up for an optional trip extension.

Pre-trip Extension: Namibia

Start our adventure early by exploring Namibia's unique wildlife, otherworldly landscapes and sweeping dunes.

Dates

August 11–16, 2023

Duration

6 days

Price

From $6,995 per person

Trip size

10 participants
  • Johannesburg, South Africa

    Upon arrival in Johannesburg, walk a few short minutes from the arrivals terminal to our airport hotel.

    Accommodations:

    Intercontinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport Hotel

  • Johannesburg / Windhoek, Namibia / Sossusvlei / Kulala Wilderness Reserve

    Meet the group in the lobby of our hotel and walk back to the airport together to check in for our flight to Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek, capital of Namibia. Upon arrival, board a charter flight for Sossusvlei, the towering red dunes in the Namib Desert’s Namib-Nakluft National Park—Namibia’s most spectacular landmark and one of the most photographed places in Sub Saharan Africa. Transfer to our lodge, situated in the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve and the only camp with direct access to the park.

    Accommodations:

    Little Kulala Camp

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Namib Nakluft National Park / Kulala Wilderness Reserve

    Enjoy the sites and dramatic scenery of Namib Nakluft National Park. Visit Sossusvlei and the equally dramatic Dead Vlei, an enormous white clay pan that stands in stark contrast to the black camel thorn trees and rust-red dunes that surround it. Also explore the 67,000-acre Kulala Wilderness Reserve on safari rides and guided bush walks.

    Accommodations:

    Little Kulala Camp

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Sossusvlei

    Continue exploring the bush camp and the hauntingly beautiful area in which it is situated.

    Accommodations:

    Little Kulala Camp

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Little Kulala Camp / Swakopmund / Walvis Bay / Cape Town, South Africa

    Take a charter flight to Swakopmund, a small German colonial city at the edge of the desert, where the dunes meet the Atlantic Ocean. Drive to Walvis Bay Airport and depart Namibia on a flight to Cape Town. Transfer to our stately Edwardian hotel, situated at the foot of Table Mountain.

    Accommodations:

    Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Winelands / Cape Town

    Travel inland to the Franschoek and Stellenbosch wine regions. Taste award-winning wines made from grapes grown on historic estates, some of whose buildings bear early 18th-century dates on their gables. Return to our hotel and join the rest of our group at a welcome reception and dinner this evening.

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch

Trip details

Start preparing for the trip of a lifetime

From top to bottom, we’ve taken care of all the details, so you can enjoy a no-stress, worry-free travel experience.

train on bridge near magnificent waterfalls

Pricing

Secure your spot today

The price of your trip covers a comprehensive educational program in addition to meals, accommodations, tours and excursions. Continue reading for a full list of what’s included.

Pullman Suite

Choice of fold-away double bed or two fold-away, bunk-bed-style twin beds. En suite facilities, shower, individual temperature controls, mini-bar, sitting area and wardrobe.

Average square feet: 75

  • Double Occupancy: $18,995 per person

  • Single Occupancy: $23,595 per person

Deluxe Suite

Choice of double bed, adjoining twin beds or L-shaped twin beds. En suite facilities, shower, individual temperature controls, mini-bar, sitting area and wardrobe.

Average square feet: 108

  • Double Occupancy: $20,595 per person

  • Single Occupancy: $25,595 per person

Royal Suite

Choice of double bed or adjoining twin beds. En suite facilities, bathtub with shower, individual temperature controls, mini-bar, sitting area and wardrobe.

Average square feet: 172

  • Double Occupancy: $21,645 per person

Join us in Southern Africa!

Have a question for us?

Get in touch with someone at Travel/Study.