The following itinerary for Southern Africa has been uniquely designed in partnership with luxury travel company Epic Road, exclusively for Billionaire readers.
Over the course of 19 nights and 20 days, you will traverse three countries, lay your head to rest at eight mind-blowing luxury lodges, explore great cities, breathtaking landscapes, gorgeous beaches and, of course, come face-to-face with Africa’s iconic animals: The Big Five.
DAY ONE — Arrival, One-night Stay in Windhoek
You will begin your trip in Namibia. Upon arrival in Windhoek, you will be met by a local representative who will assist you with your transfer to the city centre.
Windhoek is Namibia’s capital, home to a plethora of restaurants, shops, luxury properties and a colonial legacy that is reflected through its many German eateries and a widespread use of the language. Windhoek is an intersection of not only cultures but time, featuring a beautiful mix of historical architecture and modern infrastructure. These include Alte Feste (the Old Fort), the 1896 Christuskirche and the Supreme Court.
THE OLIVE EXCLUSIVE
The Olive Exclusive — the first ultra-luxurious sanctuary of its kind in the Namibian capital — is cool, contemporary and stylish but not without a warm, authentic African heart and soul. Its sleek, modern lines are complemented by organic textures, natural furnishings, an eco-friendly approach and dedicated personal service.
The seven suites are individually decorated, each one reflecting a different region in Namibia and featuring its own lounge area equipped with a fireplace and dining room. Wide glass doors open onto spacious decks where you can relax on a shady daybed, enjoy al fresco lunches or take a dip in your private plunge pool.
DAY TWO/THREE — Skeleton Coast, Two-night Stay at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
On the morning of Day Two you will be transferred to Eros Airport for your flight to Namibia’s Skeleton Coast.
Known by the local Bushmen as ‘The Land God Made in Anger’, the Skeleton Coast epitomises the concept of remote. Thousands of miles of sandy desert met by Atlantic waters and dotted with sunken shipwrecks, and an incredible array of desert-adapted wildlife and flora that somehow manage to survive in this harsh-but-beautiful environment.
You will explore the area via game drive along the riverbed’s narrow ribbon of vegetation, where a wealth of desert-adapted wildlife can be found: elephant, giraffe, gemsbok, springbok, lion and hyena. When it comes to the coast’s shipwrecks and seal colonies, you can access both by car or scenic flight. Getting vertical to Namibia’s fascinating landscape is a chill-inducing experience. For those of you familiar with it, this is where Mad Max was filmed.
HOANIB SKELETON COAST CAMPDrop. Dead. Gorgeous. Only accessible by light aircraft and featuring
just 8 suites, the Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp is African exclusivity at its finest. This open-aired property creates the simultaneous sensation of indoor luxury and outdoor splendor. Relax from your stylish bedroom and shaded outdoor deck and revel in the scenic beauty, flanked to the east and west by rugged hills and located at the intersection of two tributaries of the Hoanib River, the camp looks out over a stunning landscape. This vast landscape offers unparalleled views of Namibia’s distinctive desert-adapted wildlife, unexpected oases and enormous sand dunes.
You will stay here for two nights.
DAY FOUR/SIX — Kaokoveld, Three-night Stay at Serra Cafema Camp
Following a morning activity of your choice, you will board a light aircraft headed for Kaokoveld. You will spend the next three nights here.
The Kaokoveld is a dry, mountainous and relatively undeveloped region that takes advantage of both the harsh beauty of the Skeleton Coast and the coppery sands of the northern Namib Desert. The area is inhabited by three main ethic groups — the Damara, the Herero and the Himba — each with their unique customs, traditions and rituals. Kaokoveld is also famous for the incredible desert-adapted elephant.
You will have access to a series of adventure-filled activities, including boating and quad biking.
As noted, the Namib Desert is home to the Himba. They are perhaps Namibia’s most iconic tribe and know the land better than anyone else. One of our favourite signature experiences involves the opportunity to learn about their culture, lifestyle and traditions.
The Himba still live according to traditional tribal norms and adorn themselves in body paint, jewellery and extravagant headdresses constructed from the region’s red desert clay. They also live without electricity, so choose to participate in a ‘Luci Solar Light Drop’, and give the gift of light to a community in need. You can also trek across the desert by foot to herd cattle and sheep to a watering hole roughly two hours away — a bi-daily occurrence for the Himba and an incredibly humbling moment for you.
SERRA CAFEMA CAMP
While in Kaokoveld, you will stay at the Serra Cafema Camp. Serra Cafema is an ultra oasis in the middle of an otherwise rugged desert landscape, and the majesty of the surrounding mountain range — from which the camp gets its name — underscores its sense of intimacy and isolation. Serra Cafema is reachable only by light aircraft, and the peace and utter sense of calm that you will experience makes the trip more than worth it.
The camp’s eight unique chalets, each fitted with an en-suite bathroom, show great attention to detail and commitment to luxury; the elevated deck, dining room and pool all look out over a lush stretch of the Kunene River. Such proximity to the river allows you to fall asleep to the soothing sound of rushing water — a wild luxury that we rarely experience anymore.
You will stay here for three nights.
DAY SEVEN – Transfer to Johannesburg, One-night Stay at Saxon Hotel
On the morning of Day Seven, you will be taken to the Serra Cafema airstrip for your flight to Johannesburg, with a connection in Windhoek. Upon arrival, a representative will escort you to the Saxon.
One of Africa’s biggest and most vibrant cities. Jo’burg is the economic capital of Africa and the gateway to its southern tip. You don’t have much time here but we recommend visits to the Apartheid Museum and/or the nearby township of Soweto.
SAXON HOTEL VILLAS
The Saxon has a story to tell. Originally a private home and host to many honoured guests, the Saxon is elegant, luxurious and unforgettable. The art walks you through the property’s past, paying tribute to these former guests and friends, and the wonderful times they spent here.
The Saxon combines fine cuisine, ultimate luxury, personalised and unparalleled South African hospitality and an award-winning spa to top it all off. The spa is equipped with extensive hydro facilities and innovative signature treatments. The rooms are state-of-the-art and the panoramic views of the gardens and the city skyline are phenomenal. The Saxon is your quiet retreat from the outside world.
You will stay here for one night.
DAY EIGHT/TEN — Unchartered Africa Expeditions, Moremi Game Reserve
On the morning of Day Eight, you will be driven back to Johannesburg International Airport for your flight to Maun. Upon arrival, you will be met by a local representative who will assist you with a light-aircraft transfer directly into the heart of the Okavango Delta — the Moremi Game Reserve.
MOREMI GAME RESERVE
The incredible foresight of Chief Moremi led to the creation of the world’s most famous reserves and, in so doing, conserved a great part of the Okavango Delta. The reserve covers more than 4871 square kilometres of pristine wilderness — a gorgeous varied terrain, including savannah, winding waterways and thick forest. It is home to an extraordinary wide spectrum of wildlife, ranging from large herds of buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, to the rare sitatunga, lechwe antelope, lion, cheetah and wild dog. The birdlife is prolific and includes most of the 550 bird species recorded on Botswana’s national bird list. And the luxury lodge at which you will be staying is the perfect base from which to experience this corner of paradise.
Real adventure in unreal style — a safari experience that is tailor-made to suit your personal interests. The best part about mobile safari expeditions is the ability to follow game. The privacy of the camps is ideal for couples, families or small groups desiring an exclusive and intimate safari experience.
The camp is comprised of expansive tents fitted in total luxury. Dream-like beds, down pillows, pure cotton sheets, Persian rugs, bone-handled silver cutlery and damask table linen — luxuries that we might expect at home but not on mobile safari.
Unchartered Africa Safari is renowned throughout the industry for menus that emphasise fresh tastes and originality. Three-course meals under the stars include fresh tomato basil soup, ostrich piccata, Botswana beef, delectable orange tarts and impossibly rich, yet light, chocolate puddings. Baked bread is available daily and a delicious full English breakfast is on offer every morning.
The vehicles are top of the range with rooftop seats and cozy ponchos to keep warm during sunrise drives.
You will stay here for three nights.
DAY 11/13 – The Mighty Okavango Delta, Three-night Stay at Duba Camp
Following a morning activity of choice and a hearty breakfast, you will board a light aircraft to the Duba Concession.
Lying in the middle of the largest expanse of sand on Earth, the Okavango Delta is one of Africa’s most amazing, sensitive and complex environments, supporting a spectacle of wilderness and wildlife. Unique as one of the world’s few inland deltas, the placid waters and lush indigenous forests offer a safe haven for innumerable bird and wildlife species. You can experience this magical world of islands and serpentine waterways from land, air and water.
DUBA EXPEDITIONS CAMP
Located at the heart of the Okavango Delta is the six-tent Duba Expeditions Camp, a wildlife connoisseur’s getaway. Built on a wooden island shaded by large ebony, fig and mangosteen trees, connected to the prolific wildlife area by an elaborate set of bridges, the camp is the base of many famous wildlife documentaries created by National Geographic filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert.
Duba Plains prides itself on its extraordinary wildlife experiences and rightly so as the animals actually move through and graze on the grounds on which your tent was built. You’ll see large buffalo herds interact with lion prides, elephants and hippos trudge through swamps, giraffes, blue wildebeest and so much more.
The roomy tents features en-suite bathrooms, outdoor showers and private verandas. The thatch-roof lounge, dinning room, swimming pool and bar areas are all raised on platforms, affording gorgeous panoramic views.
You will stay here for three nights.
DAY 14/17 — Cape Town; Four-night Stay at One & Only Cape Town
After your last game drive and breakfast, you will be transferred to the Duba Airstrip for a light aircraft back to Maun. You will be met by a representative in Maun who will assist you with your flight to Cape Town. Upon arrival in Cape Town, you will be taken to the One&Only Resort.
At twilight in Cape Town, the best place to be is near the ocean, as the sun slowly fades into the Atlantic and casts an otherworldly glow onto the untamed, unspoiled coastline that hugs this sophisticated — yet decidedly relaxed — city. It’s rare to find a place where you can begin your day at the beach, swimming with penguins; spend your afternoon hiking up one of the world’s natural wonders; and end it at a sophisticated bar set into a cliff, listening to sultry tunes, while sipping a Mojito with flocks of the young and beautiful. Many, in fact, consider Cape Town the ‘un-city’ as it truly defies logic: a vibrant, culturally rich urban centre that also offers opportunities for amazing high-octane adventures.
On Day 15, you will take advantage of the ocean and the highlights of the Cape Peninsula. After a go at Stand Up Paddle boarding, you will head to Kalkbay’s fishing harbour where you can peruse through a variety of bohemian and arty shops, hike through the Milkwood forest and top it off with lunch.
From there you will head to Simon’s Town and seek out your own rogue Penguins on a secret beach only accessible to the locals. Here, you can snorkel in gigantic rock pools, get back up on your paddleboard and spend the day swimming with African penguins.
After your deep exploration of Cape Town’s deserted wild beaches, you will return to the city centre. The journey back along the Atlantic is extraordinary — breathtaking views, hidden local cafés and water holes.
Start Day 16 with a hike up Lion’s Head, thereby achieving 360 degree views of the city. You will then be taken to the Grand Café & Beach. Located in a secluded cove on Granger Bay at the V&A Waterfront, an artificially created beach with reclaimed sea, sand and a formerly abandoned warehouse come together to offer you one of Cape Town’s most popular beach-dining experiences. After lunch, you can explore the city’s trendsetting Kloof Street.
The day draws to an end with tea time at the Mount Nelson Hotel — one of Cape Town’s oldest and most esteemed five-star hotels.
Day 17 will be at your leisure.
ONE & ONLY CAPE
This is South Africa’s premiere urban chic resort, bringing an unprecedented level of luxury and style to one of the world’s most fascinating cities. With captivating views of Table Mountain from its enviable location in the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, the resort is a destination unto itself.
You are invited to discover the celebrated cuisines of Nobuyuki Matsuhisa and Reuben Riffel, socialise in the high-energy vibe of Vista Bar & Lounge, and sample rare and undiscovered vintages at the stunning Wine Loft.
You will stay here for four nights.
DAY 18/19 — Cape Winelands; Two-night Stay at Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa
On the morning of Day 18, you will head for the Cape Winelands.
Sampling top vintages is only part of the fun when you’re exploring South Africa’s wine country, now widely recognised as one of the most innovative wine-producing regions in the world. Located just outside of Cape Town, Cape Winelands offers everything travellers have come to expect from a top-notch tour of luxury vineyards: bucolic valleys, breathtaking mountain landscapes, charming farmhouses, world-renowned estates and exquisite vintages. A little bit French, a little bit Dutch and uniquely South African, Cape Winelands is an essential stop for devout enthusiasts and for foodies who want a break from the activity and nightlife of nearby Cape Town.
DELAIRE GRAFF LODGES
The Delaire Graff Estate is situated at the convergence of art, wine and culture, in one of the most beautiful settings in all of South Africa. Occupying a magnificent expanse of land, surrounded by majestic mountains in the heart of Stellenbosch, Delaire Graff is more than just a world-class luxury wine estate: it also houses the personally curated art collection of the estate’s owner, and is considered one of the most important destinations to view contemporary South African artists. The estate also includes a private vineyard, luxury spa and a spectacular garden of more than 300 indigenous flowers and plants. And the dining experience at the Estate restaurant — with a menu as creatively inspired as some of the art that lines the walls — is absolutely not to be missed.
You will stay in a presidential suite with a private balcony pool overlooking the sweeping winelands. Excursions include vineyard walks, wine tasting and visits to the historic towns of nearby Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.
You will stay here for two nights.
DAY 20 — Departure
Price: $13, 925 per person