Treasures of Southern Africa

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FEB. 11-25, 2015 $6,795
Cape Town, Rovos Rail, Thornybush Game Lodge, Johannesburg, Victoria Falls
UCLA Faculty on Tour Activity Level: Active Hide This
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Overview

Treasures of Southern Africa

FEB. 11-25, 2015
Cape Town, Rovos Rail, Thornybush Game Lodge, Johannesburg, Victoria Falls

Discover the stunning beauty and fascinating culture of Southern Africa, a diverse region poised on a beautiful coastline with breathtaking mountains and expansive plains. Travel in the company of Distinguished Professor Phil Rundel of the UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Begin your journey with spectacular views from Table Mountain and an exploration of alluring Cape Town, South Africa, then walk in the late Nelson Mandela’s footsteps on Robben Island. Next, board the Rovos Rail for a two-night deluxe train journey, then thrill to sightings of the Big Five and other exotic wildlife on game drives during your three-night luxury safari in Kruger National Park. Bring this exceptional program to a close in Zimbabwe, experiencing the power and majesty of thundering Victoria Falls.

Cost: $6,795
AHI Travel
Activity Level: Active
COVID-19 Information:
  • Explore Cape Town, South Africa’s oldest city
  • Walk in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela on Robben Island
  • See the spectacular scenery and the biodiversity of the Cape Peninsula
  • Stalk wild animals in their native habitat during a three-night, luxury safari
  • Visit a youth center in Soweto and enjoy a lunch of traditional African cuisine
  • Enjoy incredible scenery and classic luxury during a two-night train journey aboard Rovos Rail
  • Feel the power of the great Victoria Falls

 

UCLA Faculty on Tour

Phil Rundel
UCLA Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Phil Rundel, one of UCLA's most popular professors, will be the lecturer on this journey. Rundel holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Biology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA and is the director of the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden. His research centers on the conservation biology and biodiversity of tropical forest and Mediterranean-climate regions of the world. Southern Africa has been a special focus of Rundel's interest, having traveled extensively throughout the region on 12 previous trips. He has written or edited nine books, including a popular field guide to Southern California, and authored more than 300 research papers. In 2011, Rundel received the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award from UCLA Chancellor Gene Block.

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Itinerary
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DAY 1 | Feb. 11. Depart Gateway City

DAY 2 | Feb. 12. Arrive in Europe / Depart for Cape Town, South Africa

DAY 3 | Feb. 13. Arrive Cape Town

DAY 4 | Feb. 14. Cape Town
Sheltered by Table Mountain, South Africa’s Mother City is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Centuries-old Cape Dutch houses and colorful gardens dot the cityscape. A bustling waterfront welcomes visitors with inviting cafés and boutiques set amid workaday harbor life. To the south, the Atlantic seaboard gives way to a scenic coastline with dramatic views.

DAY 5 | Feb. 15. Cape Town

DAY 6 | Feb. 16. Cape Town / Rovos Rail / Matjiesfontein
Your train leaves Cape Town for Pretoria. Leave behind the mountains and the verdant vineyards of the Western Cape as you make your way to the Karoo, the semidesert plateau that encompasses much of South Africa’s interior. Early this evening, arrive at Matjiesfontein, a spa town founded in the 1890 by Englishman James D. Logan, who re-created a bit of Victorian London in rural South Africa.

DAY 7 | Feb. 17. Rovos Rail / Kimberley
This morning, awake to the scenery of the Northern Cape province. Arrive in Kimberley in the afternoon and set out on a guided tour. The 1866 discovery of a diamond on a farm near Hopetown set off South Africa’s great diamond rush. See the Big Hole, the former diamond mine that once was thought to be the largest hole excavated by hand.

DAY 8 | Feb. 18. Rovos Rail / Pretoria / Thornybush Game Reserve
Arrive late this morning in Pretoria. Transfer by deluxe motorcoach to Thornybush Game Reserve.

DAY 9 | Feb. 19. Thornybush
Located near world-renowned Kruger National Park, the reserve offers incredible wildlife encounters in the most game-rich area in the country. During each game drive, ride in an open-top Land Rover with stadium seating while knowledgeable and seasoned rangers and trackers share their knowledge of the flora and fauna. Scan the savannah for the famous Big Five and the many other animals that live here. Chances are you will also see many of the 507 bird species and the 114 reptile species that reside within Thornybush’s 28,417 acres of lowveld.

DAY 10 | Feb. 20. Thornybush

DAY 11 | Feb. 21. Thornybush / Johannesburg

DAY 12 | Feb, 22. Johannesburg / Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
If tranquil Cape Town is the country’s oldest and most genteel city, Johannesburg is its rambunctious little brother. In 1886, the discovery of a huge lode of gold triggered a gold rush. Today, Joburg is the country’s financial center, and many people come here to enjoy the fast-paced lifestyle.

DAY 13 | Feb. 23. Victoria Falls
Until the 19th century, the Zambezi River’s great cascade was called Mosi-oa-Tunya, “the smoke that thunders,” by the region’s Kololo tribe. “Discovered” on November 16, 1855, by Dr. David Livingstone and renamed for England’s queen, Victoria Falls is the planet’s largest curtain of water—spanning more than a mile—as it crashes some 328 feet into the raging Batoka Gorge below. Twice the height of Niagara Falls, mighty Victoria Falls casts a veil of spray that at times can be seen up to 50 miles away!

DAY 14 | Feb. 24. Victoria Falls / Transfer, flight to Johannesburg, South Africa / Depart for Gateway City

DAY 15 | Feb. 25. Arrive in North America

Accommodations
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Rovos Rail
Discover the glamour and romance of the golden age of train travel, a bygone era, during a two-night rail journey from Cape Town to Pretoria aboard the luxurious Rovos Rail. The Pride of Africa offers an unforgettable experience. Ride in splendid vintage carriages, painstakingly restored to mint condition and impeccably appointed. The late Victorian and Edwardian décor includes handsome wood paneling and elegantly decorated suites.

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Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town
Surrounded by beautiful gardens with a view of Table Mountain, the Mount Nelson Hotel has charmed celebrities, statesmen and other travelers for more than a century. A short stroll from the city center, the “Nellie” combines impeccably appointed rooms with world-class service. The Mount Nelson’s famous afternoon tea is a mustdo for both locals and travelers alike. WiFi is available for your convenience.

54 On Bath, Johannesburg
54 on Bath is a stylish boutique hotel. Set in the trendy suburb of Rosebank, 54 on Bath is just steps from restaurants, shops and more. Enjoy a swim in the outdoor pool. Guests also have
access to a nearby fitness center. Revel in the small touches that make your stay extra special: complimentary shuttle service; use of hotel iPads; and an espresso machine in each room. WiFi is available for your convenience.

Thornybush Game Lodge, Thornybush Nature Reserve
Thornybush Game Lodge and Nature Reserve offer luxurious accommodations and unrivaled big-game viewing. Amenities include a full spa and a swimming pool. Indulge in full English breakfasts and gourmet cuisine infused with local flavor. Air-conditioned suites are styled in rich natural textures and each features an outdoor shower and a private deck. Internet access is available in the library for your convenience.

Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls
The Victoria Falls Hotel has a spectacular location beside Victoria Falls. Built in 1904 to house railway workers, “The Grand Old Lady of the Falls” features ambiance and world-class service and tropical gardens. On the terraces overlooking Victoria Falls Bridge, guests can feel the spray from the falls below. WiFi is available for your convenience.

Pricing

Pricing: From $6,995
AHI Travel

What’s Included
Cape Town, South Africa

  • Three nights at the deluxe Mount Nelson Hotel.
  • See the highlights of Cape Town, including the Robben Island prison that held Nelson Mandela and other anti-apartheid activists.
  • Take a cable car to the top of Table Mountain, (weather permitting).
  • Take a scenic drive along the Cape Peninsula with a funicular ascent at Cape Point.
  • Visit the African Penguin colony at Boulders Beach.
  • Attend a lecture about South African culture and history.
  • Mingle with your fellow travelers at a Welcome Reception.

Rovos Rail

  • Two nights aboard the deluxe Rovos Rail train from Cape Town to Pretoria.
  • Visit Matjiesfontein, a perfectly preserved Victorian town in the heart of the Karoo.
  • Discover the history of Kimberley at the Mine Museum and the Big Hole.

Thornybush Nature Reserve

  • Three nights at Thornybush Game Lodge, a luxury safari lodge.
  • Spend your mornings and afternoons on guided game drives. Morning and evening refreshments are included during each game drive.
  • Attend a Thornybush Farewell Party.

Johannesburg

  • One night at 54 on Bath, a deluxe hotel in Johannesburg.
  • Tour Soweto. Visit a youth center and take part in a tree-planting ceremony.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

  • Two nights at the landmark Victoria Falls Hotel.
  • Visit Victoria Falls National Park and discover the power of Victoria Falls.

Transportation

  • The train ride, all deluxe motor coach transfers and the two flights (Hoedspruit, South Africa, to Johannesburg and Johannesburg to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe) in the Land Program itinerary and baggage handling on these transfers are included.

Meals

  • Enjoy 11 breakfasts, seven lunches and six dinners; tea or coffee with all meals, plus wine with dinner.

 

Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (5.2 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
travel@alumni.ucla.edu
  • It was our first trip to Africa and the memories of the animals, of the wilderness and of the majestic scope of the place will stay with us forever."
    John Tsukahara M.D. '80, Traveler
  • This is a wonderful 'must go to appreciate' trip that FAR exceeded our expectations."
    R.G. Biggs ’60, Traveler

Book this Tour

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How to Book

STEP 1
Download the tour Reservation Form here. This tour is booked quickly, so sign up early to reserve space.

STEP 2
Enclose a check or provide credit card information for $600 per person, per tour, as a deposit for the selected tour. Make check payable to AHI Travel. Deposits are provisional and fully refundable pending your acceptance of final brochure terms.

STEP 3
Mail completed reservation form and your deposit to:

UCLA Alumni Association
Attn: Alumni Travel
James West Alumni Center
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1397

A brochure will be mailed to you as soon as it is available.

Terms & Conditions

Written cancellations from time of booking up to 90 days prior to departure will be assessed a minimum administrative fee of approximately $250; within 90 days of departure, refunds vary according to the policies of each tour operator. Please download brochure for this tour here.

CST 2028271-20

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance to cover the possibility of trip cancellation or interruption, emergency medical evacuation, medical expenses and baggage loss incurred while traveling. All confirmed passengers will receive travel insurance information in your confirmation packet. It’s one of our many membership benefits! For information about travel insurance, visit alumni.ucla.edu/travel-insurance. Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, terrorist incidents and travel supplier financial insolvencies will be provided if the insurance is purchased within 15 days of your trip deposit. Please read the insurance brochure carefully.

Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (5.2 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
travel@alumni.ucla.edu
  • It was our first trip to Africa and the memories of the animals, of the wilderness and of the majestic scope of the place will stay with us forever."
    John Tsukahara M.D. '80, Traveler
  • This is a wonderful 'must go to appreciate' trip that FAR exceeded our expectations."
    R.G. Biggs ’60, Traveler