Southern Africa Odyssey

Discover Johannesburg and Soweto and visit the home of the late Nelson Mandela. Experience spectacular Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and enjoy a safari to see elephants. Explore Chobe National Park and marvel at the vast Namib Desert with its towering sand dunes rising more than a thousand feet high. Spend four nights in vibrant Cape Town and visit Robben Island. Finally, discover the Winelands, South Africa’s renowned wine-growing region. 

Dates
Apr 19 - May 6, 2018  (17 Days)
Cost

$7,954, per person, double occupancy, including air from SFO

For more Information
travel@commonwealthclub.org

(415) 597-6720

Wednesday, April 18 & Thursday, April 19
Depart U.S. for Johannesburg, South Africa

Depending on flight schedules and departure city, travelers depart either April 18 or 19.

Friday, April 20
Arrive Johannesburg

Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel in the suburb of Rosebank, where our rooms will be ready for our early check-in. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities planned. 54 on Bath Hotel (B)

Saturday, April 21
Johannesburg / Soweto

We meet our fellow travelers today as we embark on a tour of the Soweto district of Johannesburg. Here we see the home of former Archbishop Desmond Tutu; visit the home, now a museum, of the late Nelson Mandela; and tour the moving Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, where we learn more about apartheid and the Soweto uprising of 1976. Then we hear fascinating stories from a local Sowetan who was present during the uprising, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner together. 54 on Bath Hotel (B,L,D)

Sunday, April 22
Johannesburg / Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

We fly this morning to Victoria Falls, first “discovered” by explorer David Livingstone and claimed for Great Britain’s Queen Victoria in 1855. With its 300-foot-deep gorge and thundering spray, “Vic” Falls is a wonder of the natural world. This afternoon we see it for ourselves on a guided walk. Victoria Falls Hotel (B,D)

Monday, April 23
Victoria Falls

This morning we visit a local school where we have the opportunity to interact with the children and teachers, then spend some time exploring the town of Victoria Falls. Late this afternoon we embark on a Sundowner dinner cruise on the Zambezi River. Victoria Falls Hotel (B,D)

Tuesday, April 24
Victoria Falls

This morning we set off on a rhino safari in open-top safari vehicles. This afternoon is at leisure; this evening we attend a talk on David Livingstone’s travels, trials, and travails. Victoria Falls Hotel (B,D)

Wednesday, April 25
Chobe National Park, Botswana

Known for a diverse terrain that attracts an exceptional array of wildlife, Chobe National Park in nearby Botswana boasts one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in all Africa, including the world’s largest elephant population (some 120,000), as well as zebra, lion, hippo, giraffe, impala, wildebeest, buffalo, and more. We’re sure to see some of them on today’s full-day excursion to Chobe, where we take a morning wildlife drive and an afternoon wildlife cruise. Victoria Falls Hotel (B,L,D)

Thursday, April 26
Victoria Falls / Windhoek, Namibia

Today we fly via Johannesburg to the Namibian capital of Windhoek, arriving late this evening. Windhoek Country Club (B)

Friday, April 27
Windhoek / Namib Desert / Sossusvlei

After a brief tour of Namibia’s largest city, we set out through the central Namib Desert of vast gravel plains and rocky mountains. Isolated and immense, tranquil and romantic, this endless expanse offers a glimpse of a land before time. Late this afternoon we reach our lodge in the heart of the dune desert. Sossusvlei Lodge (B,L,D)

Saturday, April 28
Namib Desert / Sossusvlei

We rise with the sun to see the world’s highest crested dunes at Sossusvlei, their red-orange hues constantly changing in the early morning light. Here we have the opportunity to climb the velvet-like sand of Big Mama, as the locals call the largest dune. Sossusvlei Lodge (B,L,D)

Sunday, April 29
Sossusvlei / Swakopmund

We travel today through the Namib desert en route to Swakopmund, Namibia’s largest port. Swakopmund Hotel (B,L,D)

Monday, April 30
Swakopmund / Walvis Bay / Skeleton Coast

From Walvis Bay this morning, we take a cruise along the storied Skeleton Coast, so named for the whale and seal bones that once littered its shores – debris from the whaling industry. Along the way we’ll see Cape fur seals and sea birds, including petrels. We enjoy lunch on board before disembarking and returning to Swakopmund, where the remainder of the day is at leisure. Swakopmund Hotel (B,L,D)

Tuesday, May 1
Swakopmund / Cape Town, S.A.

We fly to Cape Town today. After time at leisure to explore as we wish, we dine together tonight at a local restaurant. Table Bay Hotel (B,D)

Wednesday, May 2
Cape Town / The Winelands

Today we tour the Winelands, South Africa’s renowned wine-growing region just 45 miles east of Cape Town. Amidst the beautiful scenery, we visit two wineries for tours, tastings, and lunch. We return to Cape Town mid-afternoon; dinner tonight is on our own in this cosmopolitan city. Table Bay Hotel (B,L)

Thursday, May 3
Cape Town / Cape of Good

Hope This morning we take a panoramic tour of this beautiful city and also stop at stunning Hout Bay. Then we travel to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, home to more than 250 species of birds, and where we ride a funicular to the summit for stupendous views of “the meeting of the oceans” (the Atlantic and Indian). After a seafood lunch in historic Simon’s Town we visit Boulders Beach to see a colony of enchanting African penguins up close. Our last stop is acclaimed Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, nestled against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. The world’s first such garden founded (in 1913) to preserve native flora, today the Kirstenbosch cultivates only indigenous plants. Table Bay Hotel (B,L)

Friday, May 4
Cape Town / Robben Island

Today we come face-to-face with an indelible aspect of South African history: the notorious prison on Robben Island that once held Nelson Mandela and other opponents of apartheid. We tour the island and prison, guided by a former inmate. Returning to Cape Town, we ride by cable car 3,500 feet to the top of Table Mountain for glorious views. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner together. Table Bay Hotel (B,D)

Saturday, May 5
Depart for U.S.

We transfer to the airport this morning for our return flights to the U.S. (B)

Sunday, May 6
Arrive U.S.

We arrive in the U.S. today and connect with our flights home. 

Map
Kruger: Kapama Private Game Reserve: May 5-9

Experience the magnificence of the South African bush, Kruger National Park region, and “Big Five” animal country at a unique luxury tented camp.

Main Program
Departing from:
Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle: $7,954
Boston, New York,, Washington DC: $7,754
Denver, Portland: $8,254

Please call if your city is not listed. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $1,359, which are subject to change until final payment is made. All tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Land Only: $6,395 (transfers not included)

Single Room Supplement: $1,495 

Airline upgrades on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight:
Business Class - $4,795 per person; Premium Economy - $895 per person (upgrades are subject to availability and pricing is subject to change). Upgrade prices are in addition to the costs above. 

Included
Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; all flights within itinerary; 15 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe and Superior First Class hotels; 35 meals: 16 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 11 dinners; Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees; Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director; Educational lecture program/study leader with a minimum of 15 guests; Additional Commonwealth Club representative at 20 guests; Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip; Luggage handling for one bag per person; Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers.

Not Included
Airfare when purchasing a Land Only package; costs of passports and visas; personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, room service, and meals not specified; airport transfers when purchasing a Land Only package; gratuities to your Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. Tour Director, which are at your discretion (suggested gratuities: $10-$15 per traveler, per day); communication charges; optional sightseeing; and travel protection insurance. Additional baggage fees may apply and are subject to change at any time. You should confirm directly with your airline(s) prior to departure.

Kruger: Kapama Private Game Reserve
Cost: 
$1,795, per person, based on double occupancy
Single room supplement: $595

Included
Round-trip air transportation to/from Hoedspruit, inclusive of airline taxes and fees; 3 nights’ accommodations at Kapama Southern Camp (Deluxe); 8 meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners; 5 guided wildlife drives (in open safari vehicles); Services of the lodge’s excellent staff; Transfers to/from airport 

What to Expect

Travel on this itinerary will be in fairly remote regions, especially in Namibia.  You should be prepared for lengthy drives on unpaved and very bumpy roads.  The trip also includes walking at least 2-3 miles per day, often uphill or on uneven cobblestone streets.  Considerable walking up hills and stairs and on uneven surfaces.  Several small hotels do not have elevators.  Participants should be in good physical condition to keep up with an active group.  Guests must be able to get on and off motor coaches on their own.

  • Good physical condition required
  • Long days of touring
  • Bumpy roads
  • Considerable amounts walking uphill and on uneven terrain

There is free WiFi/Internet at all hotels on this Tour.

Cancellations, Refunds and Changes
If you must cancel your trip, the effective date of cancellation will be upon our receipt of your written notification. Refunds for cancellations are subject to the following per person charges:

Cancel 95 days or more before departure: $200 charge
Cancel 94-65 days before departure: 50% of tour price
Cancel 64-30 days before departure: 75% of tour price
Cancel 29-0 days before departure: No refund.

If a guest makes any changes to their reservation within 94 and 30 days prior to departure, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. will apply a $100 per person administrative fee, in addition to any fees or penalties imposed by third parties. Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy for any reason, you will be charged the single supplement. No changes are allowed within 30 days of departure. Upon reservation you must provide your full legal name as it appears on your passport as well as your date of birth and gender. In the event an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Eligibility
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.

Insurance
We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event you must cancel your participation in the travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website.

Responsibility
The liability of the Commonwealth Club, as sponsor, and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc., as tour operator, is strictly limited. Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. purchases transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurant and other services from independent suppliers not under our control. We serve only as agents for these suppliers in securing tour arrangements, and therefore will not accept responsibility for wrongful, negligent or arbitrary acts or omissions of these independent contractors, their employees, agents, servants or representatives. The Commonwealth Club and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. are not liable for injury, damage, loss, accident or delay that may be caused by events not within our control, including without limitation, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, the defect of any vehicle, or the negligence or default of any third party. All coupons, receipts and tickets issued are subject to the terms and conditions specified by the air carriers, cruise line and other independent suppliers. We will make every effort to operate our tours as planned, but we reserve the right to make itinerary changes as necessary. If unforeseen circumstances require us to change a hotel, we will select alternative accommodations of the same or better quality.

Health and Medical Issues 
We request that you be in good health to participate in an Odysseys Unlimited tour. There is a reasonable amount of walking, and you must be able to get on and off motorcoaches on your own. We regret that we cannot offer individual assistance; in such cases you must be accompanied by a companion who will assist you. Please note that our itineraries cannot accommodate wheelchairs. We reserve the right to remove anyone whose physical or mental condition, in our opinion, compromises the operation of the tour or detracts from the enjoyment or safety of the other passengers. In that event, Odysseys Unlimited and the Commonwealth Club assume no financial responsibility for any unused portion of the tour.

Air Transportation – Important Information
Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. includes in its tour price round-trip economy air from designated gateway cities as shown and contracts with those airlines the company feels provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct con­nection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates. You will receive your preliminary air schedule approximately 2½ months prior to departure. Please note that seat assignments on your international flight are usually done at airport check-in. Odysseys Unlimited is unable to guarantee any seat assignments. Due to the nature of tour operator tickets, other restrictions apply, including, but not limited to, frequent flyer mileage accrual, stopovers, alternate travel dates, upgrades, and airline taxes and fees. If you prefer to make your own travel arrangements, Land Only is available on most tours. Since international and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time, we recommend that if you choose to make your own airline reservations, you do not purchase non-refundable tickets or those with high penalties for changes. If you choose to make your own flight arrangements for an alumni tour and not use those provided by the tour company, we recommend that you do not do so until making your final payment to the tour company confirming details of your trip’s scheduled departure. However, if you choose to make your own flight arrangements, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. shall not have any liability for any loss resulting from tour cancellations or changes to tour dates.

Registration
Commonwealth Club of California-CST# 2096889-40