African Safari

Take part in an extraordinary journey to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia as you take part in thrilling game drives in search of the elusive “Big Five” and witness the largest concentrations of wildlife and birds in Africa.

Starting at: $7,854 * Including airfare, airline taxes & departure fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Zebra sighting on safari  Elephants on the savanna  The powerful and dramatic Victoria Falls  The majestic lion   Flight of an African Fish Eagle in Zambia. Credit: Richard Sooy  On safari  The beauty of an African Crowned Crane  Lilac-breasted roller  Elephants at a watering hole  Rhinos  African Buffalo  Giraffes running on the plains. Credit: Troy Feener  Elephants on the Serengeti  Evening view from guest balcony, Stanley & Livingstone Hotel  Victoria Falls

Tour Details



This trip far exceeded our lofty expectations. Words alone cannot describe the magic of this experience. 

Mark S.

Boat cruises on the river with animals on either side were exciting, quiet, peaceful and truly spiritual, all at once! My favorite thing about this tour as a whole was the absence of other tourists. It was private and personal. A totally fabulous experience! 

Previous Journeys Traveler

Africa and its wonders must be experienced in person! Nature at its best! A photographer's dream come true. 

Allen S.

Like everyone told me, I returned convinced this was the "Best trip I ever took!" 

Gwendolyn S.

If Africa is not on your bucket list, you need a new bucket! This trip should not be missed.

Stewart G.

This journey was a lifetime experience we will always treasure. It was fun, relaxing, elegant, and educational. Our expert, guides, and hotel staff were so wonderful! They made it special.

Carmen & Tony C.


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Save $200 *per person when you book by February 26, 2016! Use promotion code LASTCALL online or when speaking to our travel specialists to secure these savings.

  • May 18, 2016
  • June 26, 2016

*Offer valid on new bookings only.


This tour is specially designed for a small group of 16 to 24 Smithsonian travelers and offers outstanding travel value. Prices include airfare, airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees.

Consistently rated among Smithsonian Journeys top ten tours, our extraordinary African Safari is truly the trip of a lifetime! Enjoy thrilling activities in three spectacular parks with up-close wildlife viewings of elephant, lion, zebra, giraffe, hippo, impala, wildebeest, and buffalo, and possibly the elusive rhino and leopard.

Highlights Include:

  • Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve: Enjoy three days at this World Heritage site for a behind-the-scenes tour of Victoria Falls Bridge, a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, and a special safari.
  • Botswana’s Chobe National Park: Stay for three days and enjoy more sensational game drives and boat safaris. This park boasts one of the largest concentrations of elephant and other wildlife in Africa, plus more than 450 species of birds.
  • Zambia: Enjoy a special highlight with two days at Lower Zambezi National Park, renowned for its elephant herds and lion prides and unparalleled game viewing.
  • South Africa: Learn about the history of South Africa during a special tour of Johannesburg’s Soweto.
  • Accommodations: Stay in deluxe lodges and hotels, which add to your safari experience. 
  • See USA Today for story about Smithsonian Journeys African Safari.


Days 1 & 2 — Depart U.S. for Johannesburg, South Africa

Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. 

Day 3 — Johannesburg and Soweto

Meet your fellow travelers today and embark on a full-day tour of the Soweto district of Johannesburg. See the home of former Archbishop Desmond Tutu; visit Nelson Mandela’s home, which is now a museum; and tour moving Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, and learn more about apartheid and the Soweto uprising of 1976. After lunch, hear stories from a local Sowetan who was present during the uprising. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Johannesburg and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Fly to Livingstone, Zambia, then transfer to Victoria Falls and the deluxe hotel located in the Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve. View the thundering falls, first “discovered” by David Livingstone and claimed for Queen Victoria in 1855. With its 300-foot-deep gorge and soaking spray, “Vic” Falls is a wonder of the natural world. (B,D)

Day 5 — Victoria Falls

Enjoy a small group highlight: a game drive to spot the elusive black rhino. This experience serves to educate visitors about the increasing threats to Africa’s wildlife. Late afternoon embark on a “Sundowner” dinner cruise on the Zambezi. (B,D)

Day 6 — Victoria Falls

Take a guided tour of the Victoria Falls bridge and learn about its construction from atop the catwalks. This afternoon is at leisure at the deluxe lodge with its own watering hole and outdoor pool. Tonight hear a fascinating guest speaker on "The Story of David Livingstone." (B,D)

Day 7 — Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park, Botswana

This morning travel two hours by motorcoach to Botswana and Chobe National Park, boasting one of the largest concentrations of game in all of Africa. After settling in and enjoying lunch at your lodge, embark this afternoon on a game-viewing boat safari on the Chobe River, where you may see hippo, crocs, some of the park’s 450 species of birds, and perhaps a beautiful Chobe sunset. Dine tonight at your lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Chobe National Park 

Known for its diverse terrain that attracts an exceptional array of wildlife – including the world’s largest elephant population (some 120,000), along with zebra, lion, giraffe, impala, wildebeest, and buffalo – Chobe covers 7,270 square miles of protected parkland. See a portion of this natural wonder on this morning’s game drive and this afternoon’s boat safari. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Chobe National Park 

Settle into a comfortable routine, with early morning and late afternoon game drives. In between game viewing activities, enjoy the amenities of the lodge on the banks of the Chobe River, adjacent to the park itself. (B,L,D)

Day 10 — Chobe National Park and Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia

This morning board a privately chartered plane for the 1½-hour flight to Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia’s newest reserve (since 1983) and, as the former private sanctuary of Zambia’s president, the least developed. Here in one of Africa’s last stretches of pristine wilderness you have the chance to get closer to the animals than anywhere else. This afternoon and evening engage in some of the lodge’s game viewing activities that include open vehicle game drives, night game drives, fly fishing, guided canoe trips, bushwalks, boat safaris, and sunset river cruises. (B,L,D)

Day 11 — Lower Zambezi National Park 

A day of game viewing activities await in this 1,600 square mile park on the southern end of Zambia known for its 100-strong elephant herds, unusually large prides of lion, plus buffalo, water buck, antelope, zebra, crocodile, and hippos. Together with Zimbabwe’s renowned Mana Pools Reserve situated across the river, the Lower Zambezi National Park forms a massive sanctuary and World Heritage site where you’ll enjoy unparalleled game and bird viewing – and rarely see another person. (B,L,D)

Day 12 — Lower Zambezi National Park 

From the 14-room luxury lodge on the banks of the Zambezi, take part in game viewing activities in this lush riverine environment of 50 mammal species and 400 bird species. With the Zambezi River, abundant game on the valley floor, and the Zambezi Escarpment as a backdrop, the Lower Zambezi National Park offers a dramatic setting for game viewing ... as does the lodge, where animals roam freely on the grounds. Tonight celebrate your wildlife adventure at a farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 13 — Lower Zambezi National Park, Lusaka, Depart for U.S.

Travel by private charter flight today to Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, you'll have a day room to rest before this evening's flight to the United States. (B)

Day 14 — Arrive in the U.S.

Arrive in the U.S. this morning and connect with your flights home.