From the Sphinx to the Seychelles to Cape Town’s Table Mountain, encounter one wonder after the next on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to eight African countries aboard a new, custom-configured private jet. 

Starting at: $129,950 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 866-903-7650
 Mountain gorilla, Rwanda   Traditional fishing boats, Ghana  Textile market, Ghana  Local musicians, Seychelles  Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, Accra, Ghana  Elephants, Chobe National Park, Botswana  Elephants, Chobe National Park, Botswana   Chobe National Park, Botswana   Sand dunes, Namibia  Sand dunes, Namibia   Gemsbok, Namibia   African penguins, South Africa   Table Mountain, South Africa  Cape Town, South Africa  Traditional weaving, Rwanda  Gorilla family, Rwanda   Kigali, Rwanda  Seychelles  Hindu temple, Seychelles   Temple of Karnak, Egypt   Cairo, Egypt   Pyramids, Egypt   The Sphinx, Egypt   Barcelona, Spain   Aerial view of Barcelona Spain   Barcelona, Spain

Best of Africa: A Cultural and Wildlife Journey by Private Jet

22 days from $129,950

From the Sphinx to the Seychelles to Cape Town’s Table Mountain, encounter one wonder after the next on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to eight African countries aboard a new, custom-configured private jet. 

or Call 866-903-7650

Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona 

Barcelona, Spain

The stately Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona has been a symbol of five-star hotel excellence since 1918. Located on Barcelona’s exclusive Paseo de Gracia, it offers a timeless setting in a privileged location within the city. Enjoy the discreet luxury and sophistication of your well-appointed room, taste the refined cuisine at the bars, restaurants and stunning terrace, or let yourself be pampered at the Majestic Spa.

Number of nights: 1

Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City

Accra, Ghana

Guest rooms at the centrally located Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City Accra are sleek and contemporary with Ghanaian-inspired flourishes. Enjoy Mediterranean flavors at the hotel’s restaurants, or unwind with a cocktail by the infinity pool. If you want to stay active, head to the fully-outfitted gym and yoga studio. 

Number of nights: 2

Chobe Game Lodge

Chobe National Park, Botswana

Chobe Game Lodge is a five-star, ecotourism-certified safari lodge and the only property located inside Chobe National Park. Set on the banks of the famous Chobe River, the lodge offers an all-encompassing safari experience on land and water—using  a fleet of electric boats and vehicles. Enjoy your elegantly designed terrace room, find a quiet spot on one of the many expansive viewing decks, walk along the private jetty or lounge on the boardwalk.

Number of nights: 3

Royal Livingstone Hotel

Livingston, Zambia

On the banks of the Zambezi River, the Royal Livingstone Hotel reflects the vibrant energy of its natural setting. The room decor is inspired by a blend of Victorian elegance and African hospitality. Hotel amenities include a pool, spa and gym. 

Number of nights: 1

Little Kulala

Kulala Wilderness Reserve, Namibia

Situated on the banks of a dry riverbed in the Namib Desert, Little Kulala is a welcome oasis and the perfect home base for your Namibian explorations. Each private kulala offers floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over the desert, a private plunge pool, and elegant furnishings that reflect a starkly beautiful aesthetic. After a busy day exploring the desert, dine in style and then retire to your rooftop star bed to marvel at the blazing night skies. 

Number of nights: 2

&beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

Namib-Naukluft Park, Namibia

Experience this stark yet enchanting region from your luxurious stone-and-glass villa, set upon the curve of an escarpment overlooking the desert. Relax on your private veranda, enjoy a crackling fire, and count the stars in the southern skies through the skylight above your comfortable bed. Other amenities include a fireside bar in the main lodge, a lantern-lit dining room and a desert swimming pool fed by an underground spring.

Number of nights: 2

Kwessi Dunes

NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia

This luxury tented lodge, located deep in the NamibRand Nature Reserve, sits amid a vast 200,000-hectare desert wilderness. The 12 air-conditioned chalets feature canvas walls and thatched roofs. Each chalet comes with its own stargazing platform, allowing guests to take in the expansive night sky. Enjoy the main dining area and lounge in addition to the swimming pool. All feature stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape.

Number of nights: 2

Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Cape Town, South Africa

Nestled at the foot of majestic Table Mountain, this deluxe and historic hotel has been the destination for celebrities visiting Cape Town since 1899. It was listed by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the "World's Best Hotels" in 2012. Located at the historic center of town, it's easy to explore the real Cape Town, its surroundings, and some of the best beaches. The hotel boasts 85 suites and 124 beautifully decorated rooms. The Oasis restaurant offers lunch in a relaxed poolside garden setting. Morning and afternoon tea are served in the Lounge, and the Planet Bar and Restaurant offer a contemporary dining experience. There are two heated swimming pools, two floodlit tennis courts, the Librisa Spa and a fully equipped gym. The hotel is situated in nine acres of landscaped gardens. 

Number of nights: 3

Kigali Marriott Hotel

Kigali, Rwanda

Located on one of the city’s most charming boulevards, the new Kigali Marriott Hotel provides contemporary accommodations and amenities, including a swimming pool, relaxing spa, well-equipped fitness center and multiple restaurants.

Number of nights: 1

One&Only Gorilla’s Nest Lodge

Ruhengeri, Rwanda

Nestled into the foothills of the Virunga Volcano range, this new lodge offers an upscale base for encounters with mountain gorillas. Enjoy produce grown in the lodge’s on-site garden and relax after a day of trekking at the spa, which draws on African traditions for its treatment menu.

Number of nights: 2

Bisate Lodge

Volcanoes National Park Ruhengeri, Rwanda

Set in a natural amphitheater formed by eroded volcano cones, Bisate Lodge enjoys a dramatic natural setting. Each of the lodge’s six forest villas features a traditional design and spacious verandas with spectacular views of the surrounding volcanoes. 

Number of nights: 2

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Beautiful guest cottages and a main lodge offer spectacular views of the volcanoes and countryside. Each cottage is made of stone and terra-cotta and features a private veranda and living room with a fireplace. 

Number of nights: 2

Four Seasons Resort Seychelles

Mahe Island, Seychelles

Set on a hillside on the island of Mahé, Four Seasons Resort Seychelles is your luxurious island sanctuary. From your serene villa, relax indoors amid creole furnishings or outdoors cooled by soft breezes from the Indian Ocean. Refresh yourself with a dip in your villa’s private pool. Savor fresh seafood, island fruit, and creole flavors in your resort’s restaurants and bars.

Number of nights: 3

Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza

Cairo, Egypt

Stay on the banks of the Nile at the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza. The hotel’s quiet, upscale Garden City neighborhood is the perfect place to come home to after an afternoon exploring the city and nearby ancient sites. Unwind in the adults-only pool, the steam room and sauna, or any of eight on-site restaurants and lounges. 

Number of nights: 2

Activity Level

Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active

Expectations: 

Our Best of Africa itinerary is an active and ambitious program that will be taken at a moderate pace with many early morning departures and longer days so you can experience the best of these incredible destinations. When we depart each destination, we'll fly during the day to allow for rest and overnight accommodations in the finest hotels and resorts available along our route. This trip will travel great distances and sometimes experience time zone changes, which can affect energy levels. You should be physically active and in good general health, especially prior to departure. This trip will include plenty of physical activities—including safari excursions with walking and hiking—in addition to activities designed to offer cultural or historical context. Each excursion offered will entail a different level of physical expectation, with many that will require walks from one to three miles and last from two to three hours. At some locations you will be traveling to higher altitudes and you will need extra stamina, like our excursion to observe the mountain gorillas at Volcanoes National Park in Rawanda. If you wish to avoid these destinations, alternative choices are available. All excursions will take place rain or shine and some of the destinations will be warm and humid with strong sun. In more remote spots, expect to walk and hike along groomed trails, some that can have steep inclines and declines. There may be trails and pathways that can be uneven and sandy or rocky, with uneven steps, pebbles, mud, and exposed roots or that will be slippery and muddy if it has recently rained and this will be especially true at Volcanoes National Park. Specific inoculations will be required to take part in this journey. Details on how to prepare for this trip and information on each day’s activities, including weather, packing suggestions, and “what to expect” will be included with your Pre-Tour documents. 

Countries on this itinerary are not immune to events that could require an itinerary change. Weather, political occurrences, and visits by dignitaries can require extra flexibility to accommodate the unexpected event or events. 

This Private Jet Journey is appropriate for: Travelers who are reasonably fit and healthy, enjoy days full of discovery and adventure, and are comfortable with many early mornings to see the most of these destinations. *As part of registering for this trip, all participants will need to be evaluated by their private physician to be sure the program and pacing is suitable for them.  

For travelers who do require a slower pace, extra assistance, or the use of a cane or walking stick, arrangements can be made for private touring at each destination if necessary, at the discretion of tour staff. Any extra cost for such arrangements will be the responsibility of the individual guest.o land at smaller airports, so we can maximize your time spent at each destination. While onboard enjoy the exceptional service of your dedicated cabin crew while you savor delicious multi-course chef-prepared meals. Plus you‘ll be fully prepared for each destination with our complement of informative presentations and briefings by your Smithsonian Journeys expert and experienced tour staff. Then stretch out on your flatbed seat for rest and relaxation as you are whisked from one destination to the next. Learn more about our aircraft and your flying experience below. 

Covid-19 Protocols

The destinations on this journey are being thoroughly monitored now and will be throughout the trip via expert in-country consultants and partners, and with proprietary disease prevalence and trend data tools. If there is an increased risk visiting any of the countries, there is an ability to change the itinerary as needed, even while the trip is under way, which is one of the advantages of private jet travel. This program will also include a dedicated physician who will screen and monitor guests, staff, and flight crew health both prior to departure and throughout the trip. There will also be a daily monitoring of guests and staff as well as testing, as required by the destinations on the trip, and administered by the on-board physician. Additional cleaning and hygiene protocols will be in place. Hotel partners and in-country operations teams will ensure that hygiene standards and practices meet our elevated requirements. Personal hygiene kits expressly developed for this trip will be distributed to guests and refreshed throughout the journey. 

Aircraft

Airbus A321

The Airbus A321 Private Jet will be utilized for our Best of Africa program and is configured to accommodate just 52 guests with a large and spacious cabin with 2 x 2 seating across a single-aisle and custom-made leather flatbed seats that offer a full flat 180-degree recline and a host of additional recline options for your ultimate comfort as you fly. Seats are equipped with individual power connections to recharge batteries for cameras or laptop computers, with standard U.S. outlet compatibility. There is an in-flight entertainment system to give you a variety of options for relaxation, and an onboard presentation system for when enrichment activities are offered. Your friendly and helpful cabin crew of seven are there to greet you at each destination and make the jet a home-away-from-home as you fly. An onboard chef plans and supervises all food preparation, and in-flight menus feature dishes using only the freshest ingredients. The jet carries a wide variety of beverages, and purified/filtered water is always available.  

Your professional crew also include: 

  • Two pilots 
  • Engineer 
  • Luggage/arrivals manager 
  • Chef 
  • Trip physician 
  • Expedition leader 
  • Assistant expedition leaders 
  • Professional photographer  
  • Destination experts including a Smithsonian Journeys Expert 

Airbus A321

The Airbus A321 Private Jet will be utilized for our Best of Africa program and is configured to accommodate just 52 guests with a large and spacious cabin with 2 x 2 seating across a single-aisle and custom-made leather flatbed seats that offer a full flat 180-degree recline and a host of additional recline options for your ultimate comfort as you fly. Seats are equipped with individual power connections to recharge batteries for cameras or laptop computers, with standard U.S. outlet compatibility. There is an in-flight entertainment system to give you a variety of options for relaxation, and an onboard presentation system for when enrichment activities are offered. Your friendly and helpful cabin crew of seven are there to greet you at each destination and make the jet a home-away-from-home as you fly. An onboard chef plans and supervises all food preparation, and in-flight menus feature dishes using only the freshest ingredients. The jet carries a wide variety of beverages, and purified/filtered water is always available.  

Your professional crew also include: 

  • Two pilots 
  • Engineer 
  • Luggage/arrivals manager 
  • Chef 
  • Trip physician 
  • Expedition leader 
  • Assistant expedition leaders 
  • Professional photographer  
  • Destination experts including a Smithsonian Journeys Expert 
Reading List

Recommended for the Journey

Africa: A Biography of the Continent
By: Reader, John
The Fortunes of Africa: A 5000-Year History of Wealth, Greed, and Endeavor
By: Meredith, Martin
Born in Africa: The Quest for the Origins of Human Life
By: Meredith, Martin
Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide, 3rd Edition
By: DK
West with the Night: A Memoir
By: Markham, Beryl

Additional Recommended Reading for Ghana

The Ghana Cookbook
By: Osseo-Asare, Fran, Baëta, Barbara
The Ghana Reader: History, Culture, Politics (The World Readers)
Homegoing
By: Gyasi, Yaa

Additional Recommended Reading for Botswana and Zambia

The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals
By: Estes, Richard D.
Whatever You Do, Don't Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide
By: Allison, Peter
National Audubon Society Field Guide to African Wildlife (National Audubon Society Field Guides)
By: Peter C. Alden, Richard D. Estes, Duane Schlitter, Bunny McBride
Big Five of Africa
By: Hinde, Gerald
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Book 1)
By: Smith, Alexander McCall

Additional Recommended Reading for Namibia

This is Namibia
By: Joyce, Peter
Sossusvlei: and surrounding area (Namibia Collection)
By: van der Merwe, Bryony, Spall, Monica
Namibian Culture and Art
By: Simpson, Edward
THE SHELTERING DESERT
By: MARTIN, HENNO

Additional Recommended Reading for South Africa

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
By: Mandela, Nelson
Cry, the Beloved Country
By: Paton, Alan
A History of South Africa, Fourth Edition
By: Thompson, Leonard
Beyond the Miracle: Inside the New South Africa
By: Sparks, Allister

Additional Recommended Reading for Rwanda

In the Kingdom of Gorillas: The Quest to Save Rwanda's Mountain Gorillas
By: Weber, Bill, Vedder, Amy
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
By: Hatzfeld, Jean
God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation
By: Sebarenzi, Joseph
Gorillas in the Mist
By: Fossey Dr., Dian

Additional Recommended Reading for the Seychelles

Reef and Freshwater Fish of Seychelles: A Field Guide
By: Gerlach, Oliver
Chamberlain's Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands: Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, Rodrigues, Seychelles and the Comores
By: Langrand, Olivier, Sinclair, Ian
On the Edge of Eden: A Story of a Beautiful Land and Beautiful People in the Midst of Brokenness
By: Hammon, Tony
Stranded in the Seychelles: teachers in paradise (A Bev and Carol adventure)
By: Spicer, Bev

Additional Recommended Reading for Egypt

Cairo: The City Victorious
By: Rodenbeck, Max
Egypt and the Egyptians
By: Brewer, Douglas J., Teeter, Emily
Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt
By: Pinch, Geraldine
Death on the Nile: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries, 17)
By: Christie, Agatha
Voices from the Other World: Ancient Egyptian Tales
By: Mahfouz, Naguib
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.