Join us for an extraordinary adventure featuring South Africa, a rail journey aboard the legendary Rovos Rail, a safari in Chobe National Park, and an excursion to Victoria Falls. 

Starting at: $8,590 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Rovos Rail amid the African savanna  The thrill of being on safari  Elephant with calf on the savanna  Giraffes on the savanna  Lion in Ngorongoro Crater  Zebras at a watering hole  A panorama of Cape Town  The powerful and dramatic Victoria Falls  Observing wildlife from the rear of Rovos Rail  Spending time in the observation car  The observation car of Rovos Rail  Dining car, Rovos Rail

Treasures of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana

Featuring Rovos Rail

16 days from $8,590

Join us for an extraordinary adventure featuring South Africa, a rail journey aboard the legendary Rovos Rail, a safari in Chobe National Park, and an excursion to Victoria Falls. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

I would highly recommend Smithsonian. They are a high quality tour organization. They organize the tour in a highly efficient manner. I would travel again with them.

- Victoria B.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Accommodations

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

Chobe Game Lodge (2018 departures)

Chobe National Park, Botswana

This five-star lodge, located in Chobe National Park, is one of the finest in Africa offering 46 rooms and suites in a setting overlooking the famed Chobe River. From the indulgent care of the staff to the luxurious guest rooms, the lodge offers world-class dining, comfort and service.

Number of nights: 2

Victoria Falls Hotel (2019 departures)

Victoria Falls, Zambia

The Victoria Falls Hotel is a grand Edwardian-era hotel that was built in the early 1900’s during the time when Cecil Rhodes famously attempted to link Cape Town to Cairo by rail. A ten-minute stroll, via a private footpath, leads to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World; the Victoria Falls. The hotel is surrounded by carefully tended tropical gardens, lily ponds, and centuries-old shade trees. Many of the guestrooms have views of the Zambezi River gorges and spray from the falls and are decorated in traditional style. The panoramas also figure prominently during afternoon tea, which is served on the Stanley Terrace, overlooking the Victoria Falls Bridge that links Zimbabwe to Zambia. 

Number of nights: 2

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

54 on Bath

Johannesburg, South Africa

Opened in 2012, the contemporary 54 on Bath hotel is conveniently situated in the heart of Johannesburg's trendy Rosebank suburb, within walking distance of boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries. The 75-room hotel features a restaurant, bar, and lounge; outdoor pool; spa treatments; and laundry and dry cleaning services. All air-conditioned guest rooms have a private bath with hair dryer, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Thornybush Game Lodge

Thornybush Game Reserve, South Africa

Unrivaled big-game viewing is complemented by highly personalized service and luxurious accommodations. Each guest room is air-conditioned and features a private deck overlooking the Monwana River. Amenities include a full-service spa and a refreshing swimming pool.

Number of nights: 3

Tour Extension

Cape Town Pre-Program Option — 3 Days, 2 Nights

Day 1 — Cape Town

Arrive at the Cape Town International Airport and transfer to the deluxe Mount Nelson Hotel. Transfer is available for FlexAir travelers only.

Day 2 — Cape Town

The Cape Province has become synonymous with the art of wine making. Travel to Franschhoek, in the French Corner of the province. Visit one of the area’s premier wine estates and enjoy a wine sampling followed by a delicious lunch. Afterward, stroll through historic Stellenbosch one of South Africa’s most attractive and best-preserved towns. (B,L)

Day 3 — Cape Town

The day is at leisure in Cape Town to follow your own path. The Treasures of South Africa main program begins with the arrival of Smithsonian main group travelers. You’ll join them and continue to travel on the program itinerary as outlined. (B)

Activity Level

Activity Level 3: Moderate / Active


Expectations: Two-week program in southern Africa featuring multiple nights on the luxurious Rovos Rail train, in top-rated safari lodges in parks, and up-scale hotels in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Safaris feature early morning and late afternoon game drives over sometimes rough terrain in comfortable safari vehicles. Cultural and natural history visits in Cape Town and Johannesburg entail walking tours and outdoor visits. Two internal flights on scheduled  airlines, overnight train travel, and motorcoach travel. Early morning departures for safari excursions.  

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion. 

Special Air Rates/Services

As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. Details regarding how you may access these options will be provided in your trip confirmation packet.

Program Includes:

  • Low fares
  • Travel dates to fit your schedule
  • Optimal air routing
  • Confirmed airline seat assignments, as offered by participating carriers (subject to availability at time of booking)
  • Ability to adjust your reservations (up to 60 days prior to departure) without penalty, including trip extensions and upgrades. Does not apply to Instant Purchase tickets.
  • Guaranteed transfers in most cases between the tour arrival airport and your hotel
  • Passenger Service Assistance in the event of a flight cancellation or delay
  • Flight insurance, up to $250,000 (Subject to policy terms)
Train

Rovos Rail

Rovos Rail is an exquisitely restored, luxurious train that truly captures the golden
age of rail travel. The highly trained staff is exceptionally gracious and provides exemplary service. Wood-paneled private sleeper compartments have been splendidly refurbished in period style with an eye for all the modern comforts, including air- conditioning and elegant en suite bathrooms, individual climate control, mini bar, sitting area, and wardrobe. The dining car offers a highly sophisticated, luxurious ambiance and serves fine cuisine, while the complimentary bar service includes some of South Africa’s finest wines. Large windows in the observation car ensure unobstructed views of the passing scenery. 

 Dining car, Rovos Rail  The observation car of Rovos Rail  Spending time in the observation car  Rovos Rail amid the African savanna

Rovos Rail

Rovos Rail is an exquisitely restored, luxurious train that truly captures the golden
age of rail travel. The highly trained staff is exceptionally gracious and provides exemplary service. Wood-paneled private sleeper compartments have been splendidly refurbished in period style with an eye for all the modern comforts, including air- conditioning and elegant en suite bathrooms, individual climate control, mini bar, sitting area, and wardrobe. The dining car offers a highly sophisticated, luxurious ambiance and serves fine cuisine, while the complimentary bar service includes some of South Africa’s finest wines. Large windows in the observation car ensure unobstructed views of the passing scenery. 

 Dining car, Rovos Rail  The observation car of Rovos Rail  Spending time in the observation car  Rovos Rail amid the African savanna
Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

I would highly recommend Smithsonian. They are a high quality tour organization. They organize the tour in a highly efficient manner. I would travel again with them.

- Victoria B.
Reading List
Beyond the Miracle: Inside the New South Africa
By: Allister Sparks
In Beyond the Miracle, a distinguished South African journalist provides a wide-ranging and unflinching account of the first nine years of democratic government in South Africa. Covering both the new regime's proud achievements and its disappointing failures, Allister Sparks looks to South Africa's future, asking whether it can overcome its history and current global trends to create a truly nonracial, multicultural, and multiparty democracy.Sparks sees South Africa as facing many of the same challenges as the rest of the world, especially a widening gap between rich and poor, exacerbated by the forces of globalization. While the transition government has done much to establish democracy and racial equality in a short time, as well as bring basic services such as clean water to millions who did not have them before, many blacks feel it has not done enough to redress the continuing imbalance of wealth in the country. Many whites, meanwhile, feel disempowered and confused about what role they have to play as a racial minority in a country they used to rule and regard as theirs by divine right. Sparks also covers other burning issues, such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic, high crime rates, the diamond wars, the Congo conflict, and the Zimbabwean land crisis.Writing vividly and often quite movingly, Sparks draws on his decades of journalistic experience and his recent insider access to key figures in the liberation government to take stock of where South Africa has been, where it's going, and why the rest of the world should not turn away from this country where the First and Third Worlds meet. As Sparks persuasively argues, the success of Mandela's vision of a peaceful "rainbow nation" is crucial not just for the salvation of Africa, but also for the world. “Sparks, a grandfather of South African journalism, has fired one of the first volleys in the 10-year assessment. . . . It is an even-handed work, almost encyclopedic in its breadth. Sparks traverses all the important political terrain.”—Mail & Guardian “It is as good a guide to the new South Africa as any.”—Economist
No Future Without Forgiveness
By: Desmond Tutu
The establishment of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a pioneering international event. Never had any country sought to move forward from despotism to democracy both by exposing the atrocities committed in the past and achieving reconciliation with its former oppressors. At the center of this unprecedented attempt at healing a nation has been Archbishop Desmond Tutu, whom President Nelson Mandela named as Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. With the final report of the Commission just published, Archbishop Tutu offers his reflections on the profound wisdom he has gained by helping usher South Africa through this painful experience.In No Future Without Forgiveness, Tutu argues that true reconciliation cannot be achieved by denying the past.  But nor is it easy to reconcile when a nation "looks the beast in the eye." Rather than repeat platitudes about forgiveness, he presents a bold spirituality that recognizes the horrors people can inflict upon one another, and yet retains a sense of idealism about reconciliation. With a clarity of pitch born out of decades of experience, Tutu shows readers how to move forward with honesty and compassion to build a newer and more humane world.
Wildlife of Southern Africa (Princeton Pocket Guides) by Martin B. Withers (2011-08-28)
By: Martin B. Withers;David Hosking
Insight Guides South Africa
By: Insight Guides
Insight Guides: all you need to inspire every step of your journey. An in-depth book, now with free app and eBook.South Africa is a land of exceptional natural beauty and cultural variety, a unique blend of of European, Asian and indigenous influences. This new edition covers everything from the modern cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town to the fascinating wildlife and scenery of its national parks and games reserves· Over 392 pages of insider knowledge from local experts· In-depth on history and culture, from the rise and fall of apartheid to the nation's art, literature, music, food and sport· Enjoy special features on Cape wine, South African flora, whale-watching and vintage train journeys· Includes innovative extras that are unique in the market - all Insight Guides to countries and regions come with a free eBook and app that's regularly updated with new hotel, bar, restaurant, shop and local event listings· Invaluable maps, travel tips and practical information ensure effortless planning · Inspirational colour photography throughout· Inventive design makes for an engaging reading experienceAbout Insight Guides: Insight Guides has over 40 years' experience of publishing high-quality, visual travel guides. We produce around 400 full-colour print guide books and maps as well as picture-packed eBooks and apps to meet different travellers' needs. Insight Guides' unique combination of beautiful travel photography and focus on history and culture together create a unique visual reference and planning tool to inspire your next adventure.
Southern Africa Nelles Map 1:2.5M- 2011 (English and German Edition)
By: Nelles Verlag GmbH
Lonely Planet Botswana & Namibia (Travel Guide)
By: Lonely Planet, Anthony Ham, Trent Holden
Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher Lonely Planet Botswana & Namibia is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Spot jackals and black rhinos in Etosha National Park, explore the German colonial town of Luederitz; or marvel at mighty Victoria Falls; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Botswana & Namibia and begin your journey now! Inside Lonely Planet Botswana & Namibia Travel Guide: Colour maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, politics, etiquette, religion, architecture, wildlife, literature, arts & crafts, dance, safaris, music, cuisine, environment Over 60 maps Covers Gaborone, Chobe National Park, Etosha National Park, Kalahari, Okavango Delta, Windhoek, Victoria Falls, Fish River Canyon and more The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Botswana & Namibia, our most comprehensive guide to Botswana & Namibia, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled. Looking for more extensive coverage? Check out Lonely Planet Southern Africa guide. About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves. The world awaits! Lonely Planet guides have won the TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice Award in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. 'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' -- Fairfax Media 'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times
A History of South Africa, Fourth Edition
By: Leonard Thompson
A magisterial history of South Africa, from the earliest known human inhabitation of the region to the present. Lynn Berat updates this classic text with a new chapter chronicling the first presidential term of Mbeki and ending with the celebrations of the centenary of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress in January 2012.   “A history that is both accurate and authentic, written in a delightful literary style.”—Archbishop Desmond Tutu    
Africa: A Biography of the Continent
By: John Reader
In 1978, paleontologists in East Africa discovered the earliest evidence of our divergence from the apes: three pre-human footprints, striding away from a volcano, were preserved in the petrified surface of a mudpan over three million years ago. Out of Africa, the world's most ancient and stable landmass, Homo sapiens dispersed across the globe.  And yet the continent that gave birth to human history has long been woefully misunderstood and mistreated by the rest of the world.In a book as splendid in its wealth of information as it is breathtaking in scope, British writer and photojournalist John Reader brings to light Africa's geology and evolution, the majestic array of its landforms and environments, the rich diversity of its peoples and their ways of life, the devastating legacies of slavery and colonialism as well as recent political troubles and triumphs. Written in simple, elegant prose and illustrated with Reader's own photographs, Africa: A Biography of the Continent is an unforgettable book that will delight the general reader and expert alike.
The Fortunes of Africa: A 5000-Year History of Wealth, Greed, and Endeavor
By: Martin Meredith
Africa has been coveted for its riches ever since the era of the Pharaohs. In past centuries, it was the lure of gold, ivory, and slaves that drew fortune-seekers, merchant-adventurers, and conquerors from afar. In modern times, the focus of attention is on oil, diamonds, and other valuable minerals.Land was another prize. The Romans relied on their colonies in northern Africa for vital grain shipments to feed the population of Rome. Arab invaders followed in their wake, eventually colonizing the entire region. More recently, foreign corporations have acquired huge tracts of land to secure food supplies needed abroad, just as the Romans did.In this vast and vivid panorama of history, Martin Meredith follows the fortunes of Africa over a period of 5,000 years. With compelling narrative, he traces the rise and fall of ancient kingdoms and empires; the spread of Christianity and Islam; the enduring quest for gold and other riches; the exploits of explorers and missionaries; and the impact of European colonization. He examines, too, the fate of modern African states and concludes with a glimpse of their future.His cast of characters includes religious leaders, mining magnates, warlords, dictators, and many other legendary figures—among them Mansa Musa, ruler of the medieval Mali empire, said to be the richest man the world has ever known. “I speak of Africa,” Shakespeare wrote, “and of golden joys.” This is history on an epic scale.
The Scramble for Africa: White Man's Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912
By: Thomas Pakenham
From the rear cover of this 738 page book: "A phenomenal achievement, clear, authoritative and compelling......Thomas Pakenham's fine book tells the story of this particular gold rush with admirable and judicious poise....Contains some of the best-known episodes of 19th-Century history as well as some of the most mythologized and colorful characters the world has ever seen.....Livingstone and Stanley, Brazza and Rhodes, Kitchener and Gordon, Lugard and Jameson.....Highly readable." and "Taking the entire continent as his canvas, Pakenham has painted a picture of heroism and horror. He writes both with compassion and with an effective combination of detachment and judgement. A splendid book."
Wild at Heart: Man and Beast in Southern Africa
By: Peter Godwin
Reprising the years-long, in-depth collaboration that produced much of National Geographic magazine's coverage of southern Africa, award-winning photographer Chris Johns and veteran foreign correspondent Peter Godwin present this important critical exploration of the region's myriad facets and its collisions between tradition and modernity, conservation and development, and people and animals. In evocative photographs and accompanying anecdotal text, Wild at Heart crisscrosses southern Africa—from the Kalahari Desert and Drakensburg Mountains to the Skeleton coast and Zambesi River—to reveal its diverse populations and wildlife and highlight their often unacknowledged interdependence. Johns's superb photographs of wildlife, including cheetahs, rhinos, and elephants, and his sensitive portraits of Himba pastoralists, San Bushmen hunter-gatherers, Zulu farmers, and other populations are combined with Godwin's passionate, lyric stories that both entertain and enlighten. The result is a finely detailed yet panoramic image of southern Africa that underscores the indissoluble connections between all its elements and speculates on the prospects for a future based on understanding those connections. Beautifully presented in a unique, oversize format with a top-opening spine that allows gallery-quality presentation of the images, Wild at Heart is destined to become a classic.
Conversations with Myself
By: Nelson Mandela
"[Nelson Mandela] has done so much to change his country, and the world, that it is hard to imagine the history of the last several decades without him." ―from the foreword by President Barack Obama Foreword by President Barack ObamaNelson Mandela is one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of recording thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has opened his personal archive, which offers unprecedented insight into his remarkable autobiography.From letters written in the darkest hours of his twenty-seven years of imprisonment to the draft of an unfinished sequel to Long Walk to Freedom, Conversations with Myself gives readers access to the private man behind the public figure. Here he is making notes and even doodling during meetings, or transcribing troubled dreams on the desk calendar in his prison cell on Robben Island; writing journals while on the run during the anti-apartheid struggle in the early 1960s, and conversing with friends in almost seventy hours of recorded conversations. Here he is neither icon nor saint.An intimate journey from the first stirrings of political consciousness to his galvanizing role on the world stage, Conversations with Myself is a rare chance to spend time with Nelson Mandela the man, in his own voice: direct, clear, private.
Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
By: Nelson Mandela
The book that inspired the major new motion picture Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa's antiapartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality.LONG WALK TO FREEDOM is his moving and exhilarating autobiography, destined to take its place among the finest memoirs of history's greatest figures. Here for the first time, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela tells the extraordinary story of his life--an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph.
Lost and Found in Johannesburg: A Memoir
By: Mark Gevisser
An inner life of Johannesburg that turns on the author's fascination with maps, boundaries, and transgressionsLost and Found in Johannesburg begins with a transgression―the armed invasion of a private home in the South African city of Mark Gevisser's birth. But far more than the riveting account of a break-in, this is a daring exploration of place and the boundaries upon which identities are mapped. As a child growing up in apartheid South Africa, Gevisser becomes obsessed with a street guide called Holmden's Register of Johannesburg, which literally erases entire black townships. Johannesburg, he realizes, is full of divisions between black and white, rich and poor, gay and straight; a place that "draws its energy precisely from its atomization and its edge, its stacking of boundaries against one another." Here, Gevisser embarks on a quest to understand the inner life of his city. Gevisser uses maps, family photographs, shards of memory, newspaper clippings, and courtroom testimony to chart his intimate history of Johannesburg. He begins by tracing his family's journey from the Orthodox world of a Lithuanian shtetl to the white suburban neighborhoods where separate servants' quarters were legally required at every house. Gevisser, who eventually marries a black man, tells stories of others who have learned to define themselves "within, and across, and against," the city's boundaries. He recalls the double lives of gay men like Phil and Edgar, the ever-present housekeepers and gardeners, and the private swimming pools where blacks and whites could be discreetly intimate, even though the laws of apartheid strictly prohibited sex between people of different races. And he explores physical barriers like The Wilds, a large park that divides Johannesburg's affluent Northern Suburbs from two of its poorest neighborhoods. It is this park that the three men who held Gevisser at gunpoint crossed the night of their crime. An ode to both the marked and unmarked landscape of Gevisser's past, Lost and Found in Johannesburg is an existential guide to one of the most complex cities on earth. As Gevisser writes, "Maps would have no purchase on us, no currency at all, if we were not in danger of running aground, of getting lost, of dislocation and even death without them. All maps awaken in me a desire to be lost and to be found . . . [They force] me to remember something I must never allow myself to forget: Johannesburg, my hometown, is not the city I think I know."
Cry, the Beloved Country
By: Alan Paton
An Oprah Book Club selection, Cry, the Beloved Country, the most famous and important novel in South Africa’s history, was an immediate worldwide bestseller in 1948. Alan Paton’s impassioned novel about a black man’s country under white man’s law is a work of searing beauty.Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or valley. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much. The eminent literary critic Lewis Gannett wrote, “We have had many novels from statesmen and reformers, almost all bad; many novels from poets, almost all thin. In Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country the statesman, the poet and the novelist meet in a unique harmony.” Cry, the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. Remarkable for its lyricism, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man.
South Africa: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions)
By: Whereabouts Press
Including short stories from some of South Africa’s best and most renowned writers (Nadine Gordimer, J.M. Coetzee, and Alan Paton, to name only a few), this collection accompanies readers to a recent, but altogether different South Africa, reflecting perspectives of both the oppressed and the oppressors. Some of the stories are previously unpublished, but all of them constitute examples of the most imaginative and provocative South African writing, from many disparate perspectives.
Colour Bar: A United Kingdom
By: Susan Williams
London, 1945: the heir apparent to the kingship of Bechuanaland (later Botswana) arrives in Britain to complete his legal studies. Seretse Khama, an urbane 24-year-old, educated like Mandela at Fore Hare, is welcomed into the elite world of the Inner Temple in London. But then, in 1947, he does something that will change the course of his life, and that of his country, forcing him into six long years of exile: he falls in love with a white British woman, Ruth Williams. Drawing on a mass of previously classified records, Susan Williams tells Seretse and Ruth's story—an astonishing account of how the British Government conspired with apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia to prevent the mixed-race royal couple returning home. This is a shocking account of a shameful period of British history: overt racism on the streets of London and the corridors of Whitehall, and of appeasement to apartheid South Africa. But it is also an inspiring, triumphant tale of hope, courage, and true love, as with tenacity and great dignity Seretse and Ruth and the Bangwato people overcome prejudice in their fight for justice.
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood
By: Alexandra Fuller
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A worthy heir to Isak Dinesen and Beryl Markham, Alexandra Fuller shares visceral memories of her childhood in Africa, and of her headstrong, unforgettable mother. “This is not a book you read just once, but a tale of terrible beauty to get lost in over and over.”—Newsweek “By turns mischievous and openhearted, earthy and soaring . . . hair-raising, horrific, and thrilling.”—The New Yorker Though it is a diary of an unruly life in an often inhospitable place, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight is suffused with Fuller’s endearing ability to find laughter, even when there is little to celebrate. Fuller’s debut is unsentimental and unflinching but always captivating. In wry and sometimes hilarious prose, she stares down disaster and looks back with rage and love at the life of an extraordinary family in an extraordinary time. From 1972 to 1990, Alexandra Fuller—known to friends and family as Bobo—grew up on several farms in southern and central Africa. Her father joined up on the side of the white government in the Rhodesian civil war, and was often away fighting against the powerful black guerilla factions. Her mother, in turn, flung herself at their African life and its rugged farm work with the same passion and maniacal energy she brought to everything else. Though she loved her children, she was no hand-holder and had little tolerance for neediness. She nurtured her daughters in other ways: She taught them, by example, to be resilient and self-sufficient, to have strong wills and strong opinions, and to embrace life wholeheartedly, despite and because of difficult circumstances. And she instilled in Bobo, particularly, a love of reading and of storytelling that proved to be her salvation. Alexandra Fuller writes poignantly about a girl becoming a woman and a writer against a backdrop of unrest, not just in her country but in her home. But Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight is more than a survivor’s story. It is the story of one woman’s unbreakable bond with a continent and the people who inhabit it, a portrait lovingly realized and deeply felt.Praise for Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight“Riveting . . . [full of] humor and compassion.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “The incredible story of an incredible childhood.”—The Providence Journal
The Conservationist
By: Nadine Gordimer
Mehring is rich. He has all the privileges and possessions that South Africa has to offer, but his possessions refuse to remain objects. His wife, son, and mistress leave him; his foreman and workers become increasingly indifferent to his stewardship; even the land rises up, as drought, then flood, destroy his farm.
The Power of One: A Novel
By: Bryce Courtenay
“The Power of One has everything: suspense, the exotic, violence; mysticism, psychology and magic; schoolboy adventures, drama.”–The New York Times“Unabashedly uplifting . . . asserts forcefully what all of us would like to believe: that the individual, armed with the spirit of independence–‘the power of one’–can prevail.”–Cleveland Plain DealerIn 1939, as Hitler casts his enormous, cruel shadow across the world, the seeds of apartheid take root in South Africa. There, a boy called Peekay is born. His childhood is marked by humiliation and abandonment, yet he vows to survive and conceives heroic dreams–which are nothing compared to what life actually has in store for him. He embarks on an epic journey through a land of tribal superstition and modern prejudice where he will learn the power of words, the power to transform lives, and the power of one.“Totally engrossing . . . [presents] the metamorphosis of a most remarkable young man and the almost spiritual influence he has on others . . . Peekay has both humor and a refreshingly earthy touch, and his adventures, at times, are hair-raising in their suspense.”–Los Angeles Times Book Review“Marvelous . . . It is the people of the sun-baked plains of Africa who tug at the heartstrings in this book. . . . [Bryce] Courtenay draws them all with a fierce and violent love.”–The Washington Post Book World“Impressive.”–Newsday“A compelling tale.”–The Christian Science Monitor
Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide, 3rd Edition
By: DK
With more than 1 million copies sold, this updated and revised celebration of the animal kingdom features photos and descriptions of over 2,000 species and habitats.Bringing animals, habitats, and up-to-date research to life for readers around the world, Animal explores the creatures that have fascinated and inspired humans for years, from intrepid Emperor penguins to fierce Siberian tigers, to the very intelligent and highly communicative humpback whale. This updated edition introduces the olinguito, the adorable, recently discovered mammal that looks like a cross between a cat and a teddy bear, and the Skywalker gibbon found in the tropical forests of Yunnan Province in southwest China and Myanmar. Perfect for gift-giving.Produced in association with the Smithsonian Institution.
African Wildlife: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species (A Pocket Naturalist Guide)
By: James Kavanagh, Waterford Press
Eco-tourists, adventurers, and nature lovers will find African Wildlife to be the ideal pocket-sized, folding guide to refer to on safari. The familiar elephant is one of thousands of species of animals inhabiting the diverse ecosystems found throughout region. This beautifully illustrated guide highlights over 140 familiar and unique species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and includes a map of the country's vegetation zones. Laminated for durability, this lightweight, pocket-sized folding guide is an excellent source of portable information and ideal for field on safari. Made in the USA.
The Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals (Princeton Pocket Guides)
By: Jonathan Kingdon
This is an essential guide for anyone with an interest in wildlife who visits Africa--from the tourist on safari to the more experienced naturalist. Compact and beautifully illustrated, it is ideal for use in the field, while its coverage is the most comprehensive for any book of its size. First pocket guide to cover every species of terrestrial African mammal Adapted from the highly acclaimed Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals Fully illustrated with the author's superb color artwork Easy-to-read distribution maps Concise text and clear layout for quick, easy reference Practical format makes it ideal for use in the field
Smithsonian Handbooks: Mammals
By: Juliet Clutton-Brock
The most visually appealing guides to the natural world that one can buy. Packed with superb full-color photography, detailed descriptions, and highlights of key facts, Mammals is the latest addition to the Smithsonian Handbook series. Including more than 500 profiles each with its own spread, there isn't a more reliable identification guide on the market.
The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals
By: Richard D. Estes
Since its original publication in 1993, The Safari Companion has been the best field guide to observing and understanding the behavior of African mammals. An indispensable tool for naturalists traveling to Africa, this new edition has been revised to acknowledge the enthusiasm to those watching these magnificent animals at zoos and wildlife parks, and on film. The Safari Companion enables readers to recognize and interpret visible behavioral activities, such as courtship rituals, territorial marking, aggression, and care of young. Each account of over 80 species includes a behavioral table in which the unique actions of the hoofed mammals, carnivores, and primates are described for easy reference. In addition, useful maps show the major national boundaries, vegetation zones, and game parks relevant to the guide. The book includes an extensive glossary, as well as tips on wildlife photography, a list of organizations working to protect African wildlife, and advice on where and when to see the animals.
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Smithsonian Journeys includes an on-tour Provided Insurance Plan through Travel Guard with the price of your tour. This travel insurance plan includes On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only, not including U.S. Territories). Travel must be more than 100 miles from the Insured’s primary residence.

In addition, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment from unforeseen events, such as missed flight connections, lost luggage, and cancelled plans. There are many plans you can consider. For your convenience, you may visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1.800.208.6142 to learn more.

Terms and conditions

Our Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engage travelers in the mission of the Smithsonian – “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s 19 museums, National Zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys expert, tour director and local guides throughout the tour
  • All gratuities for the expert, tour director, and motor coach drivers
  • On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted
  • Individual arrivals and group transfers if you are able to meet the scheduled group arrival and departure times
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner; R-reception)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary
  • For tours that include  round-trip international airfare: Airfare to/from your departure city, airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees are included

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s); and any other travel documentation fees as required
  • Optional travel insurance, including cancellation/delay/lost baggage insurance
  • Tips for safari lodge housekeeping staff, train staff and safari rangers and trackers, suggested gratuities will be provided in your pre-trip documents
  • Your flight from Victoria Falls to Johannesburg to meet your international flight at the conclusion of the program
  • Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors, a-la-carte orders
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operator in making any individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour
  • Airline baggage and other airline fees and associated taxes, unless noted in Tour description
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, the internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included
  • Round trip air transportation, airfare and departure taxes.
  • Airfare to/from your departure city is not included. Optional airfare may be available at an additional cost.

Registration 

To submit a reservation request, please use our secure online system at SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Reservations Specialist, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time). Submitting an online request does not guarantee space on a tour.  You will be notified by a Reservation Specialist of your status once your request has been received and processed. 

To complete your reservation, the following information is required.

In accordance with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program, for all international tours, passport information is required, including the following:   Full name as it appears on your passport, Date of birth, and Gender (for further information, please visit www.tsa.gov).

For tours that include round-trip international airfare: If you provide incorrect information to the ticketing agent, or if you use a different passport than originally cited, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Payments

A deposit of $500 per person, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on a tour.  All payments may be made by credit card or check to the tour operator.  Deposits are applied to final payment of the tour price.

Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure, unless otherwise noted.  Balance is due upon invoicing.  If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration

Any registration received within 95 days of departure is considered “on-request” and is subject to specific confirmation. Some tours are more restrictive. Payment in full must be made immediately by credit card, or by check sent by overnight mail to the tour operator, before confirmation is possible.

Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full. Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the tour within the designated late registration period for that tour.

For additional information, please contact a Reservations Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Monday - Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Eastern Time), at SJReservations@si.edu or SmithsonianJourneys.org.

A Note About Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing a room/cabin. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a presumptive minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.   Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.).  Details and costs will be advised prior to departure.

Wait List

If the tour of your choice is fully subscribed, you may choose to be placed on a waitlist by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu. Individuals on the wait list will be contacted if space becomes available and can inquire about tour status by contacting a Reservation Specialist. If you choose to withdraw from a wait list, please notify us. 

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Following enrollment, a participant’s withdrawal from the tour for any reason, including, but not limited to, illness, injury, family engagements, work-related issues, or geopolitical concerns, etc., will be deemed a cancellation. Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.

Per person cancellation fees are based on date of written notice to Smithsonian Journeys. Tour operator will refund on the following basis:

  • Cancellations within 7 days of booking:  Full Refund (unless it is within final payment date, 95 days before departure)
  • Cancellations after 7 days of booking:  Full Deposit Retained
  • Cancellations made within final payment date, 95 days before departure:  No Refund
  • Cancellation by Smithsonian Journeys:  Full Refund or Credit

Air Service

For tours that include round-trip international airfare, rates are based on economy class from designated departure cities as shown. Airfares from other cities are available upon request.  Airline upgrades at additional cost may be available on request for the international portion of your flight.  If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense.  For tours that include round-trip international airfare, we will be happy to help with arrangements.

Individual Arrivals and Group Transfers

A designated group flight is not included on most tours. Your first tour bulletin will thoroughly explain the details of the options available for your individual flights. Airport transfers (when applicable) are complimentary for both Flex Air participants and participants who are able to meet the scheduled group departure times. Reservations are required.

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

International and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time. If you make your own airline reservations, we recommend that you do not purchase nonrefundable tickets or tickets with high penalties for changes. 

We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased independently in conjunction with a tour.

Travel Insurance- Cancellation/Delay/Lost Baggage

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance

Travel Documents and Information

Participants are responsible for obtaining any documents required for their participation in the tour such as a valid passport, all visas, vaccination certificates, and any other documents. If your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, we will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation.  Failure to obtain documents does not negate the terms and conditions, and any extra costs incurred for rerouting or delay due to travel without the necessary documents will be the participant’s responsibility. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

For all international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens on all tours. The U.S. Department of State will no longer add visa pages into U.S. passports beginning January 1, 2016. The decision to discontinue this service was made to enhance the security of the passport and to abide by international passport standards. Beginning January 1, 2016, applicants in need of additional pages in their valid passports must obtain a new passport. For more information on how or where to apply, please visit Travel.State.Gov/ApplyEarly or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778/1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TTD).

For more information about traveling to destinations abroad, we recommend the “Learn about your destination” section on the U.S. Department of State travel website www.travel.state.gov.  For medical information, we recommend contacting the Centers for Disease Control at (877) FYI-TRIP or www.cdc.gov/travel

Physical and Medical Considerations

To enjoy the travel experience, participants should be in good physical and mental health. All tours require an element of walking (up to two miles per day over uneven terrain) and of climbing stairs, often without handrails. Participants should have sufficient stamina to keep pace with an active group of participants on long days of touring. If you have any questions about your ability to participate in a tour, please call us at 855-330-1542. Any physical condition, diet, or special request for accommodation must be identified in writing on the Personal Information Form when the reservation is made. Some tours have additional information regarding physical and medical considerations, which may be discussed with the Reservation Specialist at 855-330-1542.

Please be aware that health care standards, facilities, and services abroad may be different or even inadequate for treating certain health conditions.  It is essential that you inform us in writing (on the provided Personal Information Form) of any existing condition for which you may require medical attention or accommodation during the tour. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the needs of our participants; however, services of a personal nature cannot be expected or guaranteed. By forwarding the deposit for pre-registration or registration in full, you affirm that you do not have any physical or other limitations that would create a hazard for yourself or other participants or would require adjustments to the tour for other participants.

Itinerary or Tour Modifications

Smithsonian Journeys strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, at our sole discretion, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute elements of the tour.  These elements include, but are not limited to:  hotels, staff, speakers, experts, and services for any stated in the itinerary.

Every effort will be made to carry out the tour as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary has been sent to you. Please note that weather and other conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise tours. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule. Smithsonian Journeys and the tour operator reserve the right to substitute motorcoach transportation using hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical, or other conditions beyond their control.

Hotel Accommodations

Smithsonian Journeys chooses hotels based on a combination of location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and tours in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used.  Tour prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bath.

Singles and Roommates

Hotel rooms are always reserved for single participants, however, the number of single rooms available on a tour may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you register early. Please note that a single supplement will most likely apply for a single room.  If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room/cabin, we will do our best to find someone of the same gender and smoking preference to share with you. If you are matched with a non-smoking roommate, it is mutually agreed that you cannot smoke in your hotel room/cabin. When a roommate cannot be found, a single supplement will be charged. Please note that the single rooms in many foreign hotels may be smaller than those to which you are accustomed.

Children

All tours except family journeys, are designed for adults. Some may be suitable for children 16 and older. Regardless of age, children must pay full price unless otherwise noted, moreover, a parent or guardian must accompany those under 18.

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel either before or after the tour. Our tour operators will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability.  Your pre-tour bulletins will further explain all options.

Should you decide not to participate in certain parts of the tour or use certain goods included in the tour, no refunds will be made for those unused parts of the tour or goods.

Dispute Resolution

If a complaint arises, the participant should first inform a member of the on-tour staff, so that the staff can attempt to rectify the matter. If the issue remains unresolved, the individual should submit the complaint in writing to Smithsonian Journeys within 30 days of the completion of the tour.

The Smithsonian Journeys staff will make a good faith effort to resolve any dispute.  In the event that the parties are unable to resolve the dispute, the parties may agree to use a method of non-binding Alternative Dispute Resolution to resolve the dispute.  In the event that the parties are unable to agree on the method of Alternative Dispute Resolution to use, or in the event that either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of that alternative dispute resolution method, such efforts shall not constitute a waiver by either party of the right to file suit.

Photography and Video

Participants on tour may be photographed or recorded (audio and video) for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian authorized third parties.  This content may be used in marketing publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys without compensation to the participant. Participants who prefer that their name, voice and/or image not be used must notify us in writing prior to the beginning of the tour.

Smoking Policy

 For the comfort of all participants, we ask that there be no smoking during all group activities, including excursions and meals. On certain cruises, there is no smoking aboard the ship. Your pre-tour bulletins will provide further information.

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

Smithsonian Journeys tours are organized and administered by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of designated tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer participants a wide array of educational travel opportunities. The tour operator acts only as an agent for the respective suppliers by making arrangements for transportation, accommodations, and other services. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator shall be held liable for personal injury, death, property damage or accident, delay or irregularity arising out of any act or omission of these suppliers. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of tour participants.

The Smithsonian Institution and its designated tour operator also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the tour announced, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at any time (including, but not limited for inappropriate, or offensive behavior) when such action is determined by tour staff to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant.

Dates, schedules, tour details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication on the website, in the brochure or catalog, are subject to change and revision.

AS A CONDITION OF ACCEPTANCE OF ANY APPLICATION, EACH APPLICANT MUST AGREE TO THE STATEMENT SET FORTH BELOW:

The undersigned has read carefully the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer set forth above, the schedule of activities for this tour, as well as the terms and conditions of application and participation as set forth in the tour materials, and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour materials. The undersigned further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including but not limited to the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour staff or others. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the tour, the undersigned, on behalf of himself, his dependents, heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, agrees to release the Smithsonian Institution, its Regents, officers, employees, representatives or agents, the United States, and the tour operator and its officers, employees and agents, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this tour, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of tour staff or other related persons or entities. In addition, by registering for this tour, the applicant certifies that he or she is mentally and physically capable of full participation in this tour. By registering for a Smithsonian Journey, the participant agrees to the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer and the Terms and Conditions herein.