3/126 Albert Road, Warragul VIC 3820 Phone: (03) 5623 5151  Fax: (03) 5623 4952     Email us     EMERGENCY NUMBER +61 (0)419 213 274

Southern Africa and Madagascar
Tuesday 13 March to Monday 9 April 2018

Personally escorted by Jacquey Turner

 

 

YOUR TOUR ESCORT

JACQUEY TURNER, your tour escort, has more than 30 years’ experience as a highly successful travel agent and tour guide. Jacquey’s attention to detail and personal care ensures that everyone travelling in her group will have a most enjoyable holiday experience.
“I thoroughly enjoy escorting tour members to so many wonderful places in the world. The sights, sounds and history all contribute to a fabulous experience but most importantly it is the people that you meet and have the privilege of travelling with that has the most lasting impression. We always have lots of fun and continue to enjoy the memories for many years.”


TOUR COSTS:

$21,995 per person
on a twin share basis
$6,413
single supplement
based on Pullman cabin on Rovos Rail

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**Business class upgrades are available on application. 

**Upgrade to Royal Suite on Rovos Rail available and subject to availability.

**Should you wish to extend your travel arrangements after the tour, please contact me to discuss further options.

Should you select to travel on flights other than the included group flights, or upgrade to business/first class, payment for the air fares will be required at the time of booking the flights.


PAYMENT OPTIONS:

  • $1000 per person deposit due:
    Friday, 24 March, 2017
  • Further $2000 per person deposit
    due: Friday, 8 September, 2017
  • Final Payment due: 
    Tuesday, 5 December 2017


YOUR TOUR INCLUDES:

  • Maximum group size will be 20 participants
  • Personally escorted through entire tour
  • Melbourne/Perth/Johannesburg/Livingstone-Maun/Cape Town/Johannesburg/Tana/Johannesburg/Perth/Melbourne economy airfares and taxes
  • Domestic flights in South Africa and Madagascar as per itinerary
  • Coach transfers between Gippsland and Melbourne Airport
  • All airport arrivals and departure transfers
  • Luggage storage for nine days at Johannesburg airport
  • 3 nights’ accommodation at the Sanctuary Sussi and Chuma Lodge in Luxury Rooms including all meals, scheduled activities and national park fees plus laundry service, and all beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic).
  • Transfer to Kazungula Border
  • Boat crossing to Chobe
  • 2 nights’ accommodation at Chobe Chilwero in Luxury cottages including all meals, scheduled activities, snacks, tea and coffee, local brand beverages and national park fees plus laundry service, and all beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)
  • Transfer from Chobe Chilwero to Kasane Airport
  • Charter Flight from Kasane Airport to Chief’s Camp – (Luggage limited to 20kg's in soft bags only including hand-luggage and camera equipment)
  • 3 nights’ accommodation at Chief’s Camp in Luxury Rooms including all meals, scheduled activities and national park fees plus laundry service, and all beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)
  • Air transfer from Chief’s Camp to Maun Airport
  • Luxury accommodation in 5 star hotels in South Africa
  • 2 nights on board Rovos Rail in Deluxe cabins including all meals, all alcoholic and other beverages (excluding French Champagne), 24-hour full room service and bar facilities, excursions accompanied by a qualified tour guide (where applicable) and entrance fees to places of interest
  • Full Day Peninsula Tour including lunch and Winelands Tour at Delaire Graff Estate
  • Robben Island and City Tour
  • Comprehensive sightseeing as per itinerary and admission fees where applicable
  • Experienced local driver & guides throughout South Africa & Madagascar
  • 69 included meals as per itinerary:
  • 26 Breakfasts (B), 19 Lunches (L), 24 Dinners (D)
  • Porterage (one suitcase per person)
  • ALL tipping of waiters/restaurant staff at included meals throughout the tour
  • ALL tipping of tour directors, drivers and local guides throughout the tour
  • Visa for Madagascar

COST EXCLUDES:

 

  • Travel insurance (a surcharge may apply for passengers over 70 years or if there is a pre-existing medical condition)
  • Expenses of a personal nature like laundry, telephone/fax calls, alcoholic beverages (other than those specified), medical expenses
  • Any optional tours or activities other than those specified
  • Any meals not included in the itinerary
  • Zambia visa. Obtain on arrival. Currently US$50

 


SPECIAL NOTES:

Flight schedules are subject to change.
The order of the sightseeing may vary depending on local conditions.


CANCELLATION FEES:

For cancellations received prior to Friday 8th September 2017, a cancellation fee of $1000 will be charged, which cannot be credited to another booking. Cancellations received between Saturday 9th September 2017 and Tuesday 5th December 2017, a cancellation fee of $3000 will be charged which cannot be credited to another booking.
Notice of cancellation must be made in writing to Gippsland Travel Centre.

No of days prior to tour departure  Cancellation fee as a % of tour cost 
Prior to 8th September 2017 $1000 per person
9th September 2017-5th December 2017 $3000 per person
5th December 2017-13th March 2018 100% cancellation fee will apply
 

All costs are based on the exchange rate prevailing as at 14 March, 2017

TRAVEL INSURANCE
Gippsland Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance by the time of final payment. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.

PASSPORT and VISA

  • A valid passport is required for all international travel.
  • If you do not hold an Australian passport, you may require a re-entry permit.
  • Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia.
  • Gippsland Travel will advise you of all passport and visa requirements for this tour.

UNUSED PORTION OF THIS TOUR
We regret refunds will not be given for any unused portions of this tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation or transfers.

ITINERARY CHANGES:
Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Gippsland Travel make it necessary to change airlines, hotels or amendments to daily activities. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.

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Departs Melbourne: 13th March 2018
Concludes: 9th April 2018

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MEALS INCLUDED
Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Tour Itinerary

Tuesday, 13 March    In Flight Meals

We depart Gippsland for our flight from Melbourne via Perth and Johannesburg to Livingstone, Victoria Falls. Departures are also available from other Australian cities.

 

Wednesday, 14 March LIVINGSTONE   

We arrive in Livingstone and after clearing customs we will be met and transferred to the SANCTUARY SUSSI & CHUMA, or similar, for the next three nights. The rest of the day is at leisure with many included activities available, before we have dinner at the lodge.

 

Thursday, 15 March SANCTUARY SUSSI & CHUMA   

After breakfast, we shall have a walking tour of the Falls. One of the original natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls is a World Heritage Site and an extremely popular tourism attraction. Known locally as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’ this spectacle is accessible from both Zambia and Zimbabwe and it is an ideal place to combine game viewing and water sports. There is excellent fishing, a terrifying bungee jump and arguably the best commercial white water rafting in the world.
The remainder of our day is at leisure with more included activities such as a local school visit, shopping in the local village for souvenirs and walking safaris.

Friday, 16 March SANCTUARY SUSSI & CHUMA   

This morning we will head out for a morning of game viewing before we return for breakfast at the lodge. There will be plenty of time to relax before we get together for a Zambezi River Cruise in the afternoon. Then it is back to the lodge before dinner.

Saturday, 17 March SANCTUARY CHOBE CHILWERO LODGE   

We again head out early for a morning game viewing. After breakfast, back at the lodge we will check out and leave Sussi & Chuma for our boat transfer across the Kazungula Border
After crossing the border into Botswana, we will be transferred to CHOBE CHILWERO LODGE on the Chobe River Front for the next two nights.

Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero is a luxurious retreat in the heart of the bush, located on the edge of Chobe National Park, the second largest national park in Botswana, where some 80,000 elephants roam. During the afternoon, we will head out on a photographic safari cruise.
The Chobe River forms the northern boundary of the Chobe National Park, renowned for its reliable and diverse game viewing. Safaris are conducted both by boat and on land. This section of the park is best known for its elephant and hippo populations but the waters attract all manner of game including large herds of buffalo and the lions that prey on them.

 

Sunday, 18 March SANCTUARY CHOBE CHILWERO LODGE   

Today there will be plenty of time to relax and take in the lodge after our morning game drive and breakfast. From the lodge’s hilltop position, you can enjoy panoramic views over the Chobe River and floodplain below.

The main public area includes a lounge, library and dining room, which are linked to outdoor viewing patios. Relax in the split-level swimming pool or unwind with a pampering session in the full service spa complete with a treetop treatment room.

We will meet for an afternoon game drive and then the rest of the day is at leisure.

Monday, 19 March SANCTUARY CHIEF’S CAMP   

After our early morning game drive and breakfast, we will check out of the Chobe Chilwero lodge and transfer to the Kasane Airport for our flight to Chief’s Camp Airstrip. 

Once we land, we will be transferred to the SANCTUARY CHIEF’S CAMP in the Moremi Game Reserve for the next three nights.

The amazing foresight of Chief Moremi created one of the world's most famous reserves, conserving part of the Okavango Delta and the plains to its east. The reserve covers more than 4871 square kilometres of pristine wilderness, and the varied terrain includes savannah, winding waterways, and thick forest.

This diversity supports an incredibly wide spectrum of wildlife, ranging from large herds of buffalo, wildebeest and zebra, to the rare sitatunga and lechwe antelope, and lion, cheetah and packs of wild dog in the open grasslands. The birdlife is prolific and includes most of the 550 bird species recorded on the Botswana national bird list.

Tuesday, 20 March
Wednesday, 21 March
SANCTUARY CHIEF’S CAMP   

Each morning we will enjoy tea, coffee and pastries after our early morning wakeup call followed by our morning game excursion. We will return to the camp for breakfast and the rest of the day is at leisure until we get together again for an afternoon game drive.

 

Thursday, 22 March JOHANNESBURG  

After our final early morning game viewing, and breakfast, we will check out of our camp and transfer to the Camp’s airstrip for our charter flight to Maun Airport. Here we will connect for our flight to Johannesburg. 

On arrival, we shall be met and take a private coach to DAVINCI HOTEL & SUITES, located in Nelson Mandela Square, or similar, for an overnight stay. Dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant in Nelson Mandela Square.

Johannesburg is one of Africa’s biggest and most vibrant cities. It is the economic capital of Africa and the gateway to Southern Africa.

Friday, 23 March ROVOS RAIL   

After our recent early morning starts, we will have some rest time this morning before we check out and take our private coach to Capital Park Station in Pretoria. 

In the afternoon, we will board the Rovos Rail train. Over the next couple of days, we will travel from Pretoria to Cape Town on the Rovos Rail. We will be able to sit back and enjoy the scenery.

At dinner, while on our Rovos Rail Journey, we will dress up, men in jacket and tie, while dining in the beautiful dining car on board.

Rovos Rail has earned an international reputation for its truly world class travel experiences. Exceptional train safaris combine some of Africa’s most magnificent scenery with travel aboard an authentically refurbished Edwardian-style train, accommodating up to 72 guests in the most spacious train suites in the world, each with their own en-suite bathroom and subtle modern conveniences.

 

Saturday, 24 March ROVOS RAIL   

Around mid-morning, the train will stop in Kimberley for a couple of hours so we can visit The Big Hole and the Kimberley Big Hole Museum. 

Kimberley: Synonymous with the birth of the international diamond trade, Kimberley is a picturesque small town with a big history. Once the second largest settlement in South Africa and home to the first stock exchange in the country, Kimberley was also the first town in the southern hemisphere to install electric street lights. Kimberley also featured prominently during the Anglo-Boer war when it was besieged by the Boers. It is consequently surrounded by some of the most famous battle sites of the war.

The Big Hole: 150 years ago, the site of the Big Hole was a featureless, flat-topped hill. When word spread that diamonds had been discovered, thousands of prospectors, armed with nothing more than picks, shovels and hope, descended on Kimberley. It is amazing to think that it was dug by hand and created the largest hand-dug excavation in the world.

Kimberley Big Hole Museum: The Kimberley Mine Museum offers a trip back in time to when diamonds were first found in South Africa in 1866, near Hopetown in the Northern Cape. Three years later the 83-carat 'Star of South Africa' was discovered in the same area, unleashing a frenzied diamond rush seldom seen before or since.

 

Sunday, 25 March CAPE TOWN   

Before arriving in Cape Town in the early evening, we will have a stop at Mastjiesfontein where we will visit it’s two Museums, the Railway Museum and the Transport Museum. 

Matjiesfontein was founded in 1884 and is well known for its splendid historical buildings. Step back in time and visit this living museum and enjoy the healthy Karoo climate.

Our train journey is over on arrival in Cape Town. We will be transferred from the station to the TABLE BAY HOTEL, or similar, where we will stay for the next three nights. Time for a quick freshen up and then we will have dinner at a beautiful restaurant on the waterfront.

Monday, 26 March CAPE TOWN   

 

Resting at the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean, sandwiched between the slopes of the iconic Table Mountain and the glistening sapphire waters of Table Bay, the exceptionally scenic city of Cape Town is in a class of its own. Some cities boast rich culture, vibrant nightlife, a cosmopolitan atmosphere and extraordinary architecture, while others boast breathtaking landscapes and extraordinary natural wonders. 

Cape Town, is lucky enough to be blessed with all of these attractions and so much more. With its bustling harbour, world-class beaches, top-notch vineyards, and its mountainous surroundings brimming with diverse flora and fauna.

This morning we will walk to the ferry for our departure for a Robben Island tour.

 

Robben Island: We explore the historic prison (and now World Heritage Site), where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated- along with countless other convicts, slaves, exiles, lepers and other political prisoners in the prison's 450 year history. From here we can view the beautiful city of Cape Town and its famous mountain from a new perspective.

Table Mountain & City Tour: After lunch, we will enjoy an afternoon Table Mountain & city tour through the city centre and Company Gardens with a visit to the Castle of Good Hope (time permitting). We will pass through the Bo-Kaap / Malay Quarter then via Kloof Nek to the magnificent Table Mountain. Once there, we will travel by cable car to the top of Table Mountain (weather permitting) before making our way to the Milnerton area and photographing Table Mountain from across Table Bay (time permitting).

Dinner tonight will be at your leisure.

 

Tuesday, 27 March CAPE TOWN   

Today we will have a full day Cape Point Tour with picnic lunch at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

Private Cape Point Experience
“This cape is the stateliest thing, and the fairest cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth.” – Sir Francis Drake

In one day, we travel over 100 miles, traversing the coastlines of two oceans, the Atlantic and Indian, to pass along some of the most picturesque places in South Africa. Along the drive, we find out how the peninsula became known as the “The Fairest Cape in the world" discovering the many ways there are to enjoy it.

We return back to the hotel and have some time to refresh and catch up for cocktail drinks before departing the hotel for our dinner at Gold Restaurant.

Wednesday, 28 March CAPE TOWN – JOHANNESBURG   

This morning after breakfast, we check out of the hotel and depart for a full day touring Stellenbosch. Along with the wine tastings at several wineries, we will visit the Pierneef Art Gallery before heading to the Maison Estate for food and wine pairing and chocolate tasting. We next visit the Franschoek Motor Museum, where we will see an astonishing collection of cars in the middle of world famous vineyards and race horses. This will be followed by lunch at Delaire Graff Wine Estate. 

We then transfer to Cape Town International Airport for our flight to Johannesburg. On arrival, we will be met and will walk through to the INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL for an overnight stay.  

 

Thursday, 29 March JOHANNESBURG – MADAGASCAR  

We farewell South Africa and check out of the hotel, after breakfast, and walk back to the airport terminal for our flight to Madagascar. On arrival to Antananarivo (Tana), in the late afternoon, we shall be met and transferred to the RELAIS DE PLATEAUX hotel, or similar, for an overnight stay. Dinner tonight will be at the hotel.

Friday, 30 March ANTANANARIVO – ANDASIBE   

We check out this morning and drive to the forest location of Andasibe. On our way, we shall enjoy a picnic lunch at Mandraka and will then visit Lemur Island, a unique experience as the lemurs are all very used to humans. This tiny reserve in the Andasibe National Park is inhabited by four species of lemurs- the bamboo lemur, the black & white ruffed lemur, brown lemur and one diademed sifaka. 

We shall spend the next two nights at the VAKONA FOREST LODGE, located on the doorstep of the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park.

A place of great beauty and biodiversity, Andasibe-Mantadia National stretches across 154 square kilometres, and is now divided into two distinct sections – the smaller ‘Perinet’ Reserve to the south and the larger Parc National de Mantadia to the north.

The region is swathed with thick tropical rainforests – made up of lush ferns, tangled lianas, hundreds of orchid species and myriad other jungle flora – teeming with a diverse array of endemic wildlife. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you hear the peculiar call of the Indri, the largest living lemur in existence, which can reach up to one metre in height.

 

Saturday, 31 March ANDASIBE   

After breakfast, we will have a morning tour to the Andasibe National Park. We shall then head back to the lodge for lunch and the afternoon is free to explore or relax. 

There is so much to do: – canoe around the lake, follow the well-marked trails in search of colourful chameleons, reptiles, and interesting plant life, or explore the private reserve at Vakona Forest Lodge on horseback or mountain bike.

Tonight, we shall get together for a night walk around the lodge before dinner.

Sunday, 1 April ANDASIBE – ANTSIRABE   

We leave the Vakona Lodge this morning and drive to Antsirabe, known as the ‘Malagasy Vichy’ because of its numerous hot springs and thermal baths, Madagascar’s third largest city offers tourists a bustling and gritty atmosphere in a setting reminiscent of the Belle Époque. We shall stop for lunch at Chez Lilly before we check into the PLUMERIA HOTEL, located in the centre of Antsirabe, for a one night stay.

 

 

Monday, 2 April ANTSIRABE – FIANARANTSOA   

Before checking out this morning, we shall experience the city on one of the many colourful pulled rickshaws – referred to locally as pousse-pousses. The city’s charming attractions include colonial buildings dating back to the early 20th century, Scandinavian villas, markets and artisan workshops. We continue on and drive to Amobositra (amboostr), located in the centre of a picturesque valley lined with rice paddies and ringed by verdant peaks. The town is famous for the quality of its woodcarvings and marquetry (objects inlaid with coloured woods). We have the opportunity to visit a woodwork workshop before we have lunch at LÁrtisan with a folk show. 

In the afternoon, we will drive to Fianarantsoa (fi-a-nar-ant-soo), or Fianar for short. Surrounded by hills, it is both a regional commercial, administrative and religious centre as well as a major transit point. Here we will check into the ZOMATEL HOTEL, for a one night stay. Dinner tonight will be at the hotel.

 

Tuesday, 3 April FIANARANTSOA – ISALO   

After breakfast, we check out and drive to Ambalavao, set amid beautiful mountainous countryside with numerous boulderlike peaks, the surrounding landscape is signature Madagascan highlands. We shall visit paper making and silk weaving workshops before we continue on to Anja Community Reserve for a picnic lunch.

 

This 370,000-sq-metre reserve encompasses three mountain-size boulders (the three sisters) ringed at the base by a narrow forest full of ring-tailed lemurs. Anja's lemurs are famous for sunning themselves on the boulders; there are around 400 individuals in the reserve and they have grown accustomed to visitors so you'll get the chance to get relatively close.

The reserve is a completely community-run initiative and has been extremely successful, generating revenues and jobs for the village.

 

We drive on to the Isalo National Park, where we will check into the JARDIN DU ROY HOTEL, or similar, for a two night stay. Dinner will be at the hotel’s restaurant.

Centuries of years of wind and rain erosion have whittled the landscape of Isalo National Park into a series of deep gorges, wide canyons and bizarrely shaped sandstone rock formations, punctuated by palm-lined oases and sprawling grasslands. Besides the striking vistas the park affords, visitors will also be able to enjoy cooling off in the natural swimming holes dotted across it, and catch glimpses of the resident lemurs and other wildlife.

Wednesday, 4 April ISALO   

This morning we visit Isalo National Park. The park covers an area of 81 540 ha comprising the entire stretch of the Isalo massif. This huge mountain is spectacular with its eroded sandstone mountain.
There will be an opportunity to walk about 1½ hours to reach the natural swimming pool. 

Along the way, you have the chance to see vegetation like Uapaca Bojeri, Pachypodium Rosulatum or ‘elephant's foot’, Aloe Isaloensis, a native species of aloe and endemic to Isalo.

Start the climb and reach the massif, (after a 20-minute walk) where you have a spectacular view of the huge sandstone mountains with beautiful colours and strange and eroded forms creating many different images such as ‘the tortoise’, ‘the masks’ and ‘the crocodiles’. Along the route there may be sifakas, brown lemurs and ring-tailed lemurs, as well as fifty-five species of birds, lizards and snakes. Finally, on reaching the swimming pool with its crystal clear water is the chance to swim and cool down.

We return to the hotel for lunch and the afternoon is free, before we get together for drinks and dinner at the hotel.

Thursday, 5 April ISALO – IFATY   

This morning we drive to Ilakaka, a sapphire boom town where the main street is lined with ramshackle structures selling provisions for the miners, from shovels to mobile phones. We will spend some time in a gem shop, learning more about the different gems. The side streets are lined with gem buyers in shaded huts and women with painted faces squatting on the footpath organising piles of stones by quality. The highlight is the nearby mining area, where hand-dug mines pockmark the earth. 

 

We drive onto Zombitse Park for a picnic lunch. Zombitse-Vohibasia consists of transitional forest and sandstone domes, interspersed with canyons, harbouring eight species of lemurs, and 41 frogs and reptiles.

Among the 85 bird species recorded here, notable species include the Madagascar buzzard, Madagascar cuckoo roller, greater and lesser vasa parrot and grey-headed lovebirds.

After our visit to the park we will drive to Ifaty and check into the LES PARADISIERS, for a two-night stay. Dinner will be at the hotel tonight.

Friday, 6 April IFATY   

Ifaty, located on the west coast of Madagascar, is a resort town and provides visitors with the perfect setting in which to wind down. Thanks to an extensive coral reef that keeps rough conditions away, the surrounding waters are calm and offer fantastic diving, fishing and snorkelling opportunities.

Our morning tour will include a walk through the local village, a visit to a local school and a trip to the reef.

We shall have lunch back at the hotel before we set off again with a visit inland. Birdwatchers and botanical enthusiasts will enjoy the spiny forests dotted with spectacular Baobabs and home to a large number of interesting bird and plant species.

After a very interesting day, we will head back to the hotel for dinner.

Saturday, 7 April IFATY – ANTANANARIVO   

We check out after breakfast and transfer to the airport for our flight back to Antananarivo. On arrival, we shall be met and transferred to the PALLISANDRE HOTEL, or similar, for an overnight stay. Our adventure has nearly come to an end so we will celebrate with a Farewell Dinner.

 
Sunday, 8 April ANTANANARIVO – AUSTRALIA

Tana, as the capital is universally known, is all about eating, shopping, history and day trips. Tana has been the home of Malagasy power for three centuries and there is a huge amount of history and culture. 

This morning we will tour the city in vintage 2CVs before transferring to the airport for our flight to Johannesburg then onto Perth with a connection through to Melbourne.

Monday, 9 April PERTH – MELBOURNE  

On arrival in Perth, we will clear customs and immigration, before catching a domestic flight to Melbourne where, on arrival in the evening, we shall be met and transfer to Warragul by coach.

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