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South Africa: A Journey of Discovery

with Johannesburg & Victoria Falls extension
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Book today and feel good about your decision. If you change your mind, you’ll receive a refund of your deposit through January 1, 2021.See terms
Journey to the southern tip of Africa to a country that defies comparison.

No other destination offers such a spectacular combination of scenery, cities, and amazing wildlife sightings. One day you’re out on the savanna, spying on leopards and lions; the next, you’re sipping a crisp chenin blanc and feeling the breeze off the Indian Ocean.

Your tour package includes
  • 14 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 14 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 7 dinners with beer or wine
  • 4 guided sightseeing tours
Included highlights
  • Table Mountain
  • Cape of Good Hope
  • Knysna Eastern Head
  • Tsitsikamma National Park
  • Pumba Private Game Reserve
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Day-by-day itinerary
Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Cape Town today.

Cape Town4 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Cape Town

Welcome to South Africa! Settle in to your hotel this evening.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Cape Town
Included meals: Breakfast, Welcome dinner

Embark on a guided tour of Cape Town, a beautiful and culturally rich city.

  • Take a cable car ride up Table Mountain and soak in panoramic views of the city below (weather permitting)
  • See Signal Hill and the Castle of Good Hope
  • Catch glimpses of City Hall and the Houses of Parliament as you drive through the city, stopping in the colorful Bo-Kaap area
  • Enter the South African Museum and stroll through the neighboring Company's Gardens

Spend a free afternoon in Cape Town or add an excursion.

Enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow travelers this evening.

Please note: On some departures, the optional excursion will be offered in the morning and the sightseeing tour will take place in the afternoon. In the event of inclement weather, the visit to Table Mountain will be moved to day 4 or 5. In the unlikely event of poor weather both days, Table Mountain will be replaced with a visit to Signal Hill.

Robben Island
Excursion (additional cost)
Day 4: Cape Peninsula
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Spend the day exploring the Cape Peninsula.

  • Drive along the Atlantic seaboard, passing the Clifton and Camp’s Bay beaches
  • Visit the Cape of Good Hope and the lighthouse at Cape Point to soak in beautiful views of where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet
  • Head to Simon’s Town for lunch, where you may see some penguins, before arriving back in Cape Town

Enjoy a free evening in the city.

Day 5: Free day in Cape Town
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Cape town or add an excursion.

Cape Winelands Tasting & Lunch
Excursion (additional cost)
Knysna2 nights
Day 6: Transfer to Knysna
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today you’ll continue on to Knysna, known for its sandstone cliffs and deep lagoon. Stop along the way to visit a local wine estate for lunch.

Day 7: Knysna Eastern Head
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Explore the pristine beauty of Knysna Eastern Head during today’s activities.

  • Walk along Eastern Head to soak in the incredible ocean vistas
  • Take a boat ride and enjoy eating lunch on board as you make you way to a nearby lagoon
  • Head to a local beach that’s located on Plettenberg Bay
  • Spend free time strolling along the sandy shores or enjoying a cup of coffee at a cafe
Port Elizabeth2 nights
Day 8: Port Elizabeth via Tsitsikamma National Park
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today, travel to the sun-drenched shores of Port Elizabeth, set on the beautiful Algoa Bay, making several stops along the way.

  • Follow the Garden Route to Tsitsikamma National Park and Storms River
  • Walk along the Storms River suspension bridge for an incredible photo opportunity

Then, continue on to Port Elizabeth and venture out on an orientation tour before sitting down for an included dinner this evening.

Day 9: Pumba Private Game Reserve
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Get to know the wildlife and local culture on a series of guided visits today.

  • Visit the Pumba Private Game Reserve for a game drive
  • Keep a lookout for white lions, elephants, and other wildlife

Enjoy an included lunch with your group before touring a Port Elizabeth township with a local guide.

  • Learn about the township's history and how apartheid has impacted the area's struggle to overcome poverty
  • Stop by a local tavern in the township to watch dancers and musicians perform
Hluhluwe2 nights
Day 10: Flight to Durban & transfer to Hluhluwe
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Fly to Durban today. 

Then, continue on to Hluhluwe where you'll sit down for an included dinner with your group.

Day 11: Game Reserve & Wetland Park
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Drive out into the bush to enjoy a catered, open-air breakfast complete with coffee, tea, and juices. Then, join a wildlife guide and head out for a game drive at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve. The game reserve is home to the Big Five and is one of the best places in all of Africa to view rhinoceroses.

This afternoon, depart for the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, declared South Africa’s first World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999. (Please note: If your flight to Durban is in the morning on day 10, you will enjoy the St. Lucia Estuary cruise in the afternoon on day 10 instead.)

  • Admire the flora and fauna of the St. Lucia Estuary on a river cruise
  • Try to spot hippos, bush bucks, crocodiles, fish-eagles, monkeys, kingfishers, and mudskippers

Sit down for an included dinner tonight.

(Please note: Depending on timing, your Tour Director may move the game drive to the morning of days 11 or 12.)

Eswatini1 night
Day 12: Transfer to Eswatini
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enter the Kingdom of Eswatini, one of Africa’s smallest countries and the continent’s last absolute monarchy. Stop at a local market, then pass mountains, forests, and farms as you continue on to your hotel.

Then, sit down for an included dinner.

Kruger Region2 nights
Day 13: Transfer to the Kruger Region
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Continue on to the Kruger Region in South Africa, making stops along the way.

  • Visit a glass blowing factory
  • Say goodbye to Eswatini as you cross the border into South Africa

This evening, sit down for an included dinner.

Day 14: Kruger National Park game drives
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Set out for a full day of game drives, where you’ll have a chance to see the Big Five game animals: buffalo, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinos. 

Later this evening, sit down for an included dinner with your group.

Johannesburg1 night
Day 15: Transfer to Johannesburg
Included meal: Breakfast

Make your way to Johannesburg today.

Overnight Flight1 night
Day 16: Sightseeing tour of Soweto & departure
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell lunch

This morning, set out on a guided sightseeing tour of the Soweto township.

  • See the soccer stadium where the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals game was played
  • Pass Vilakazi Street, once home to both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu—both recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Enter the Hector Pieterson Museum to learn about the 1976 Soweto uprising

Afterward, raise a glass to your trip at a farewell lunch before transferring to the airport to board your flight home, or continue on the tour extension to explore Victoria Falls.

Arrive Home
Day 17: Travel day

Arrive home today.

Extension to Johannesburg & Victoria Falls

Spend a little extra time in Johannesburg (Jo’burg for short), then fly to Zimbabwe. Learn more about life in South Africa with visits to the Chinotimba Township and Community Peace Project. Later, visit Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world. You’ll fly back to Johannesburg before saying “so long” to Africa.

Johannesburg1 night
Day 16: Sightseeing tour of Soweto
Included meal: Breakfast

This morning, set out on a guided sightseeing tour of the Soweto township.

  • See the soccer stadium where the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals game was played
  • Pass Vilakazi Street, once home to both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu
  • Enter the Hector Pieterson Museum to learn about the 1976 Soweto uprising
Victoria Falls2 nights
Day 17: Flight to Victoria Falls
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Fly to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, located on the southern bank of the Zambezi River.

Then, sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Please note: Depending on flight schedules, Chinotimba Township may be offered on day 17 instead of day 18.

Day 18: Sightseeing tour of Victoria Falls & Rose of Charity visit
Included meal: Breakfast

Explore Victoria Falls, the largest curtain of falling water in the world, on a guided tour. Then, take a guided tour of Chinotimba Township, a village of the Nambya and Tonga people.

  • Take in spectacular views of the falls from several vantage points
  • Learn about the history, flora, and fauna of the area
  • Get a glimpse of local township life
  • See old houses, taverns, local markets, and churches

This afternoon, continue on to visit the Rose of Charity, a local charitable organization to learn about their ongoing work to improve the quality of life in local communities.

Enjoy a free evening in the Victoria Falls region or add an excursion.

Sundowner Cruise
Excursion (additional cost)
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 19: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast

Fly back to Johannesburg, where you’ll board your overnight flight home.

Arrive Home
Day 20: Travel day

Arrive home today.

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Read details
4.6 average
 Our reviews are authentic and unedited.
South Africa: Journey to Discovery Tour - Nov,. 2019.
by 2nd-time traveler 

My husband and I just returned from a 21 day trip with Go Ahead Tours, South Africa: A Journey of Discovery. Our tour director, Frank Mbete, was absolutely fantastic, always going the extra mile. He was so knowledgeable about all of Africa, Apartheid, geography, history and just about the nicest per...

Read more +
Good but not great trip
by 13th-time traveler 

I have traveled a lot with Go Ahead and even promoted the company; but this tour left a lot to be desired. The itinerary was not great. A wasted day in Zimbabwe while no extra day in Johannesburg, no trip to Soweto, Kruger National Park was disappointing. Saw more at Pumba. Cape Town was great; Knys...

Go Ahead Tours replied on 03/03/2020

Hi Anthony, We appreciate you taking the time to s...

South Africa with Zimbabwe extension
by 8th-time traveler 

This was an amazing trip and we learned so much about the culture and history of South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. We went in October so Victoria Falls was not running at full force but it was still beautiful and we took a helicopter ride which was amazing and they sold us a thumb drive of the...

Amazing Trip!!
by 2nd-time traveler 

This trip is absolutely amazing. The hotels, the excursions, food, and sights were all fantastic. Our (first) guide, Chris, was the best!! He felt more like a longtime friend than someone we had just met after the first day. Why Go Ahead does not send him to Zimbabwe with the group is beyond me and ...

A Trip of a Lifetime!
by 5th-time traveler 

Our experiences in South Africa cannot be matched. Much thanks to our tour director, Chris Wilke. His knowledge of the country gave the trip depth as to its history, geography, agriculture, and so much more. We thoroughly enjoyed our group as well. Favorite moments would be the game drives where...

Hotels, flights & FAQ

Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.

Southern Sun Cape Sun

This elegant hotel is located in the city center of Cape Town. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, a restaurant and bar, an indoor pool, and a spa. Nearby, you’l...

Protea Knysna Quays

This stylish, scenic hotel is located in Knysna. Guests enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool, and a sun deck. Nearby, you'll find Knysna Elephan...

Anew Hotel Hluhluwe

This welcoming hotel offers a true bush experience and is located in Hluhluwe. Guests enjoy an outdoor pool, sun deck, and Wi-Fi. Nearby, you'll find ...

Protea Hotel Wanderers

This vibrant, elegant hotel is located in Illovo. Guests enjoy an outdoor pool, spa, and laundry services. Nearby, you'll find the Wanderers Golf Club...

Protea Hotel Marine

This beachfront hotel is located in Port Elizabeth. Guests enjoy a beachfront location and pool, fitness center, and Wi-Fi. Nearby, you'll find Baywor...

A'Zambezi River Lodge

This unique hotel is located on the bank of the Zambezi River. Guests enjoy multiple restaurants, a bar, and an outdoor pool. Nearby, you'll find the ...

Hippo Hollow Country Estate

Nestled amongst lush indigenous gardens on the banks of the Sabi River in Hazyview, only ten minutes from the world famous Kruger National Park. Hippo...

Foresters Arms Hotel

This cozy hotel is located in the beautiful Eswatini highlands. Guests enjoy free Wifi, a pool, and a gym. Nearby, you’ll find the village of Mhlamban...


Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.

Add our airfare package and you'll get:
  • Round-trip flight for your tour
  • Airport transfers at your destination
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  • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
  • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
  • Find out more about flights
Print FAQ
Passport & visa requirements
  • In order to enter South Africa and Swaziland (plus Zimbabwe on the tour extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • We recommend having at least three blank passport pages for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. and Canadian citizens traveling to South Africa and Swaziland.
  • U.S. and Canadian passport holders must obtain a visa in order to enter Zimbabwe on the tour extension. We recommend obtaining your individual visa by purchasing it on arrival at the airport, at the cost of $30USD. If you choose to purchase your visa in advance, you may do so by applying directly for an e-visa. (Please note: if you would like to visit both sides of Victoria Falls, you will need to purchase a multiple-entry visa to cross the bridge to Zambia and then re-enter Zimbabwe.)
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
  • If you are or will be accompanied by a minor (under the age of 18), additional documents will be required to travel through South African ports of entry. Visit the South African Department of Home Affairs website for the most-up-to-date requirements for minors traveling to or from South Africa.
Tour pace
  • You will walk for about 1 hour daily across mostly flat terrain, including dirt paths and unpaved walkways, with some hills and stairs.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as getting in and out of boats. This tour also includes long bumpy rides in safari vehicles.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
Transportation & arrival information
  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Cape Town and depart from Johannesburg. A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
  • Flights from Port Elizabeth to Durban as well as a boat ride to Robben Island and St. Lucia Wetlands are included in the price of your tour. (The tour extension also includes one round-trip flight between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls.)
  • During game drives, you will be traveling in a specially equipped safari van.
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
Baggage allowance
  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.
  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that our travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches.
  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
Clothing & packing tips
  • Loose-fitting, layered clothing that can accommodate varying temperatures will be most comfortable. Quick-dry material is best for hot days outside and a warmer layer may be needed for chilly evenings and early mornings.
  • Comfortable closed-toes shoes, such as sneakers or lightweight hiking boots, are best for walking during the day.
  • Sun protection is very important. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a broad-brimmed hat to protect your face and the back of your neck from the sun.
  • Occasional rain showers are common during certain seasons, so lightweight rainwear may be necessary depending on the timing of your trip.
  • Insect repellent, binoculars, and a flashlight are highly recommended.
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • Local governments may require proof of a yellow fever vaccination (often referred to as a yellow card) or a statement of medical exemption from the vaccine. This is only required of travelers arriving from a country with a risk of yellow fever virus transmission. (Please note: This does not include the U.S. or Canada.) Visit cdc.gov/yellowfeverfor more information. Travelers flying with South African Airways with a fuel-stop in Dakar, Senegal, will not be exiting the aircraft and therefore will not be required to present proof of vaccination due to this stop.
  • Bring a small first aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness medication, and any prescription medications in your carry on luggage.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour and any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
  • You’ll find that most cuisine in South Africa reflects the region’s British, German, and Dutch colonial periods as well as Afrikaner influences. High-quality meats, vegetables, and fruits are sourced from the surrounding area’s farmland.
  • On the tour extension in Zimbabwe, cornmeal is an important staple used for making porridge and sadza, which is thicker and resembles Italy’s polenta. Rice, greens, potato, pumpkin, peanuts, black-eyed peas, and local fruits are popular additions to any meal.
Electricity & air conditioning
  • South Africa operates on 220–240 volts and uses a Type M plug with two small round pins and one larger round pin.
  • Zimbabwe (on the tour extension) operates on 220-240 volts and uses a Type G plug with three large, flat pins.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
  • Not all of the hotels on this tour will have air conditioning.
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
  • Wi-Fi is available in some hotels, though charges may apply.
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches or safari vehicles.
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
Time zones
  • South Africa and Swaziland (plus Zimbabwe on the tour extension) are two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET). South Africa and Swaziland (plus Zimbabwe on the tour extension) do not observe Daylight Saving Time.
  • From November through March, when it’s noon in New York, it’s 7pm on tour. From April through October, when it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.
  • You will use the South African rand on this tour. (In Zimbabwe on the tour extension, it’s recommended that you use U.S. dollars or South African rand.)
  • You may be able to purchase South African rand in advance from your local bank or a foreign currency exchange retailer, such as Travelex.
  • Please note that travelers cannot import or export more than $25,000 in South African rand and may be required to claim any additional foreign currency at customs.
  • We recommend that you carry as little local cash as possible as well as small amounts of U.S. dollars (only crisp bills printed in 2004 or later).
  • ATMs are not readily available in more rural areas.
  • Major North American credit cards are accepted but can be difficult to use in remote locations (Visa is the most widely accepted).
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend tipping the equivalent of $5USD per person for your local wildlife guides per game excursion and the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.
  • Gratuities for baggage handling are included in the price of your tour.
Purchasing excursions on tour
  • Most optional excursions will be available forpurchase while you are on tour.
  • Your driver/guide will accept cash (in USDonly), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursionby credit card while on tour, it may take up to threemonths for your card to be charged.
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased inadvance. See page four of your tour itinerary for moreinformation.
  • You will have the opportunity to shop for local handicrafts, such as wood carvings and textiles, at outdoor markets and roadside stalls. Some lodges will have boutiques on the premises as well.
  • Prices at most markets are negotiable, so don’t be afraid to bargain—it’s a great way to strike up a conversation with a local.
Items to give or trade
  • Many Africans are fond of North American goods, and travelers often bring token items (such as T-shirts, baseball caps, pens, English-language books, small toys, and crayons for children) to offer as gifts or when bartering for souvenirs.
  • Offering local children candy or gum is somewhat controversial because of the potential lack of access to dental care.
  • Go Ahead Tours strongly recommends that you don’t bring any goods that will require batteries or chargers. International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.
Dates & prices
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Jan 15
Jan 31

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