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Highlights of South Africa 2014

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Trip Extensions

Pre-trip: Big Five Bush Safari, South Africa


Begin your South African discoveries with three days in Entabeni Game Reserve, an 85-square-mile private reserve located in South Africa’s UNESCO-protected Waterberg Biosphere—the perfect setting for a unique and enjoyable safari experience. You'll spend your days searching for the legendary "Big Five"—Cape buffalo, elephant, lion, rhino, and leopard—and your evenings sleeping under the thatched roof of your comfortable tented chalet. It's the perfect introduction to your South African experience.

It's Included:
Accommodations for 1 night in Johannesburg at the Protea Hotel O.R. Tambo and 3 nights in Entabeni Game Reserve at the Wildside Safari Camp or similar
10 meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 3 dinners
6 included tours: Game-viewing drives in small, open-air safari vehicles
Exclusive services of a resident Grand Circle Program Director
All transfers
  • Fly overnight to Johannesburg, South Africa.

  • Arrive in Johannesburg this evening. A Grand Circle representative meets you at the airport and helps you transfer to your hotel, where you'll meet your Program Director and fellow travelers.

  • After breakfast, set off for Entabeni Game Reserve, about a four-hour drive from Johannesburg. A private reserve located in South Africa’s Waterberg region, Entabeni ("Place of the Mountain") features five distinct ecosystems—from arid, craggy rock structures to the wet lowlands, where streams have carved through the earth. The park’s characteristic geology provides a unique backdrop as you seek out the legendary "Big Five": Cape buffalo, elephant, lion, rhino, and leopard.

    You’ll arrive at your lodge in time to settle in and enjoy lunch.

    This afternoon, you’ll enjoy the first of your included game activities. These activities will vary on a daily basis, depending on the timing, season, and whims of the local wildlife. You might drive out in search of rare game, or stay close to the lodge for a leisurely game walk with a ranger. No matter what option presents itself, you’re guaranteed intriguing encounters. Because you’re staying in a private conservancy, game vehicles can travel off-road and approach wildlife at close range.

    Return to the lodge for an included dinner with your fellow travelers tonight.

  • This morning, you’ll enjoy a game activity—perhaps a drive to a waterhole to watch as wildlife gathers. By now you’ll have acclimated to the safari life, revolving as it does around the daily temperature and local landscape. In fact, you’ll be mirroring the area wildlife—which lays low in the heat of the day, and becomes active in the mornings and evenings.

    You’ll continue exploring the reserve on a second game activity, and return to the lodge for an included dinner.

  • Before breakfast, an early morning game activity offers the opportunity to glimpse nocturnal predators—including lion, leopard, and hyena—before they retire and sleep through the heat of the day. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a bush breakfast. Then, return to the lodge for some time to relax. With accommodations right inside the conservancy, you might even spot wildlife without even leaving the lodge.

    This afternoon, you’ll enjoy another game activity.

    Share the events of your day with your fellow travelers over an included open-air dinner in traditional boma style tonight.

    • Meals included:

    This morning, you’ll enjoy an early morning game-viewing drive and then return to the lodge for breakfast. Then depart for Johannesburg, where you’ll begin your Highlights of South Africa vacation.