*Early Booking Discount of $300 per person for booking by August 31,2023

Adventure is wrapped in luxury in Botswana, where you wing your way from camp to camp on small planes.’ First stop, the Kalahari Desert and the otherworldly Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, where a glowing, white expanse of natural salt deposits create glittering mirages that seem to reach out into the horizon endlessly. Nearby the Nxai Pans are home to an array of animal and plant life, including the giant “upside down” Baobab trees that make the African skyline so spectacular. Then back on the plane for the most spectacular view over the Okavango. A wetland wilderness of looping channels, islands forested with palms and wide grassy floodplains, the Delta is home to a magnificent array of iconic birds and animals, from lion and elephant, to the ‘spirit of the Delta’, Pel’s Fishing Owl. End your adventure in Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, across from Chobe National Park, where your activities will be boating to see the abundant wildlife, visiting native villages, and discovering the wildlife of Chobe!

Download our brochure now!


Trip is SOLD OUT. Reserve your spot on our waitlist while they last!

Dates: March 1 – 13, 2024

Please note, all prices are for a standard, double room unless listed otherwise.

Land Only*: $9,295, per person

Single Supplement: $2,995 (additional)

Pre-Extension: $2,995, per person (or $1,295 additional for single supplement)

Post-Extension:$2,895, per person (or $495 additional for single supplement)

INTERNATIONAL AIR ARRANGEMENTS: The cost of your program does not include international airfare. If you require assistance, please contact Classic Escapes at 718-280-5002 and we will happily provide air quotes to you. You may make your own international air arrangements, but please ensure you arrive/depart on the correct dates. Contact your Journey Manager at Classic Escapes to verify the dates to ensure there are no errors. The start and the end city for this program is Johannesburg, South Africa.

Your Tour Price Includes:

  • Flights between Johannesburg/Maun and Kasane/Johannesburg.
  • All flights between the camps. Superior accommodations throughout as indicated or similar.
  • All meals while on safari. Other meals as specified in itinerary.
  • All wildlife viewing by 4X4 open vehicles, driven by professional rangers.
  • A representative from UC Santa Cruz will escort the group with 10 travelers on both main and extension programs.
  • Naturalist guide, will accompany the group with a minimum of 10 travelers.
  • Laundry and all local beverages during safari in Botswana except for Champagne and imported spirits.
  •  Complimentary bottled water in vehicles throughout.
  •  All applicable hotel and lodge taxes and gratuities for baggage handling.
  •  All park entry fees and sightseeing as specified.
  •  Complimentary baggage tags and water bottle.
  •  Complimentary emergency evacuation insurance.

Book you trip today by filling out the brochure and emailing it to ietravel@ucsc.edu.


Travel Dates: March 1 – 13, 2024

Friday, March 1, 2024 – Saturday, March 2, 2024

Get set for your adventure as you board your overnight flight to South Africa. Arrive Johannesburg next day, where you are escorted to your exquisite home offering a convenient location close to the airport coupled with lavish comforts.

Accommodations:  D’OREALE GRANDE. (NO Meals)

Sunday, March 3, 2024 – Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Get set to discover the sweeping landscapes of Botswana as you fly to Maun, Botswana, and board a light aircraft to Leroo La Tau at the edge of Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, named for ancient Lake Makgadikadi that disappeared thousands of years ago. What remains is a collection of salt pans that cover approximately 6,200 square miles due south of the Okavango Delta. Next day, drive to Nxai Pan National Park, named for one of the salt pans that, along with the Ntwetwe, Sua, and Kudiakam pans, comprised the bed of the erstwhile Lake Makgadikgadi. These pans transform during the rainy season between July and October, when they fill with water and their stark whiteness becomes lush greenery. Year round, small populations of springbok, giraffe, and gemsbok can be found, but, during the wet season, their numbers increase significantly, and herds of zebra and wildebeest arrive bringing with them opportunistic predators such as hyena and lion. On your last day, drive to the nearby Khumaga Village for an enlightening cultural experience. Your stunning camp is situated on the banks of the Boteti River and commands superb views.

Accommodations: LEROO LA TAU. (All Meals Daily)

Wednesday, March 6, 2024 – Thursday, March 7, 2024

Take to the air again by light aircraft and fly to one of the world’s most distinctive regions and largest inland water system, the Okavango Delta. Xakanaxa is in the Moremi Game Reserve which occupies an area where the life-giving waters of the Okavango River give way to the arid expanses of the Kalahari Desert. Stands of Mopane forests cover islands separated by papyrus lined waterways filled with the chatter of a thriving bird population. In the open grassland portions of the reserve, the elusive wild dog uses its wiles to capture a meal whilst the cheetah relies on its prodigious speed, and you may be lucky enough to see both. Activities here center around mokoro (dugout canoe) rides, boat excursions, and game drives. See the Delta from water level and relax as you glide through quiet reed-lined channels. Birding is excellent, with Pel’s Fishing Owl and Wattled Crane being the prized specialties to look for. In all, more than 600 species reside within the 7,000 square miles of islands, marshes, flood plains, and channels of which the Okavango is comprised. You’ll be enthralled by the goings on of the delta residents: a hippo watches you from a deep pool, young baboons race around a sausage tree, a Lilac-breasted Roller flits from branch to branch.

Accommodations: CAMP XAKANAKA (All Meals Daily)

Friday, March 8, 2024 – Monday, March 11, 2024

Your last flight by light aircraft will take you to Kasane, where you cross the border and boat to your camp, situated in East Caprivi, Namibia, on the northern bank of the Chobe River, overlooking the vast floodplains of Chobe’s Puku Flats. The area is renowned for its diverse and prolific wildlife, including the rare puku antelope. It is home to large herds of elephant, buffalo, and hippo, as well as concentrations of other wildlife, including giraffe, Sable, wild dog, lion, and other predators, which come down to the river’s edge to drink, graze and hunt. Activities at the lodge are diverse and interesting. In addition to a game drive by open 4×4 vehicle in Chobe National Park and private motor boats for water born game viewing, you’ll also experience something different: guided walking safaris along the river by professional guides, boat excursions to a nearby traditional village where one can witness tribal African life, guided canoe excursions in Canadian style canoes and night game drives along the river. The waters around Savanna are renowned for outstanding Tiger and Bream fishing. Fishing trips accompanied by proficient guides, together with the necessary fishing tackle can be arranged. The main lodge is the property’s focal point – an open-sided building that features a 270-degree view over the Chobe River and beyond to Chobe National Park and your individual chalets with private verandahs are delightful.


Tuesday, March 12, 2024 – Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Today you transfer to Kasane for your return flights home, via Johannesburg.

Please Note


  • Must be able to climb in and out of safari 4 x 4 vehicles, minibuses, small aircrafts and boats/mokoros unassisted. People need to be willing to rotate seats.
  • Must be able to stand and/or walk moderate distances when visiting villages, towns, or other sites. This walking will be on uneven ground or uphill, often at altitudes many people are not used to.
  • Should generally be in good health and prepared to travel in locations without medical facilities.

In general, this trip requires:

  • Flexibility and good humor – unexpected changes and/or glitches will occur
  • A spirit of adventure and curiosity
  • Interest in and willingness to appreciate a destination with uneven infrastructure and a bending definition of comfort. That being said, some locations are nestled in absolute luxury where pampering is the norm.

Air Schedules
The cost of your program does not include international airfare. If you require assistance, please contact Classic Escapes at 718-280-5002 and we will happily provide air quotes to you. You may make your own international air arrangements, but please ensure you arrive/depart on the correct dates. Contact your Journey Manager at Classic Escapes to verify the dates to ensure there are no errors. The start and the end city for this program is Johannesburg, South Africa. Upon registration, you must provide your full legal name as it appears on your passport. In the event an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, you will be responsible for charges associated with reissuing the ticket.


Your UC Santa Cruz Study Leader 

Paul Koch

Distinguished Professor, Earth & Planetary Sciences Dean, Division of Physical & Biological Sciences 

Paul is internationally known as an innovator in the use of chemistry as a forensic tool to determine the diets, habitats, and physiological states of individual fossil and of living animals. His recent work has focused on gleaning information that is useful for conservation efforts from the fossilized remains of living species, including California condors, the lemurs of Madagascar, the seals and sea lions of the Pacific Ocean and Antarctica, coyotes, sperm whales, and sharks. He has served as dean of the Physical & Biological Sciences Division since 2011.




Unsurpassed luxury coupled with state-of-the-art facilities and easy access to O.R. Tambo International Airport makes the 5-star Peermont D’oreale Grande Hotel the perfect choice for guests looking for supreme comfort and lavish indulgence. The award-winning Peermont D’oreale Grande Hotel offers a matchless regal experience enhanced by superior levels of service and guest relations.

LEROO LA TAU – Day 3-5

Leroo La Tau is situated on the western bank of the Boteti River, which forms the boundary of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. The Boteti River provides a lifeline for the wildlife which inhabit the arid national park and is a critical link in the annual zebra migration. Leroo La Tau is the perfect base from which to explore this truly unique piece of Botswana paradise.




The prime location of Camp Xakanaxa (pronounced Ka-ka-na-ka) on the banks of the Khwai River on the Xakanaxa Lagoon, in the heart of the Moremi Game Reserve, makes it one of the very few safari camps that offers guests an authentic, year-round Okavango Delta land and water safari experience.




Situated in the Eastern Caprivi, Zambezi Province of Namibia, a narrow strip of country on the northern bank of the Chobe River, Chobe Savanna Lodge overlooks the vast floodplains of the Chobe National Park’s Puku Flats. The Chobe River is home to large herds of Elephant, Buffalo and Hippo, as well as dense concentrations of other wildlife – including the rare Puku antelope – which come down to the river’s edge to drink and graze.


* Flight between Cape Town and Johannesburg on the pre-extension is included in the price.

Price*: $2,995, per person

Single Supplement: $1,295 (additional)

Begin your journey with a delightful retreat in Cape Town, one of the loveliest cities in the world. Enjoy stunning accommodations at the historic TAJ CAPE TOWN. Ascend Table Mountain and take the coastal route to the Cape of Good Hope to discover charming seaside towns, spectacular wildlife, and the comical penguins at Boulders Beach. Tour the brilliant Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and spend a day in the famed Boland Valley wine region. Learn to prepare a Cape Malay meal at Bo-Kap and visit District Six Museum and Cape Flats. This is the perfect way to begin your adventure in Southern Africa.


Your journey begins as you board your overnight flight to Cape Town via Atlanta. (Meals Aloft)

Upon arrival at the Johannesburg International Airport, you will connect with your flight to Cape Town, South Africa’s “Mother City”. Upon arrival, you will be met and escorted to your hotel. The provincial capital, Cape Town, is a sophisticated city with plenty to see and do, particularly around the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront area, where delightful buildings of the Cape Dutch and Victorian-era architecture have been restored as shops, restaurants, museums, and pubs, while the busy water traffic of the docks goes on unabated.

The perfect blend of heritage and modern luxury epitomizes the Taj Cape Town. Located in the city center, the hotel is steps from the popular area of St George’s Mall, which is a vibrant pedestrian precinct with wonderful pavement cafés and bars. You’ll be amidst many significant historic buildings, which include the St. George’s Cathedral, the House of Parliament, the Castle of Good Hope, the Company’s Gardens, and many of Cape Town’s national museums. All rooms are beautifully decorated and complete with every exclusive amenity. The Taj Cape Town has two spectacular restaurants – Mint and The Bombay Brasserie – and unforgettable seafood, champagne, and an oyster bar known as The Twankey. The Jiva Grande Spa combines the wisdom and heritage of the respected Asian and Indian philosophies, surrounding wellness and well-being, to create an unrivaled treatment experience. The hotel prides itself on providing unobtrusive and efficient service from a staff that genuinely delights in making guests feel at home.
Overnight at THE TAJ CAPE TOWN HOTEL. (No Meals)

Your luxury motor coach takes you on a breathtaking coastal drive to the Cape of Good Hope, surrounded by spectacular mountains, rugged shorelines, and the blue sea below. See Devil’s Peak, Lion’s Head, Table Mountain, and the Twelve Apostles. Pass quaint seaside towns as you continue to Cape Point, where the stormy waters of the Atlantic meet up with the calm waters of the Indian Ocean. At Cape Point, climb the steps or ride a funicular to the top where you can explore a lighthouse, enjoy the views, or even indulge in a bit of shopping. Take a close look at the ocean, where you may see southern right whales in the spring and early summer as well as dolphins and a variety of seabirds. You will also have the chance to explore the Cape Point Nature Reserve, which is host to approximately half of the 2,700 species of indigenous plants contained in the Cape Peninsula. Look for the distinctive orange found in leucospermums, one of the rarest types of proteas – the mimites, marvel at the helichrysum and pelargonium calcullums, and enjoy the ericas, phenacomas, and fine bush which the Dutch called “fynbos.” There are 250 species of birds in the reserve, ranging from ostriches to minuscule sunbirds. Caracal, chacma baboon, a wide variety of buck, and various other mammal species may be seen, including Cape Mountain zebra and the bontebok which is endemic to this part of the world. The baboons feed occasionally on marine foods which they garner at low tide. At Olifants Bay, look for Oystercatchers, and enjoy some superb birding.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and continue to Boulders Beach where the African (Jackass) Penguins can be seen – also known as the Black-footed Penguins. These flightless seabirds are found only on the coast of Southern Africa and are the only penguins found on this continent. Enjoy a delightful walk on a specially built platform onto the little sheltered beach where they nest among the rocks, and “waddle” up and down into and out of the sea. Since the penguins are accustomed to the presence of humans you can safely get within a few feet of them as you stand on the platform, and it is sometimes possible to view them nesting behind rocks and bushes. Return to Cape Town in the evening, where you have another chance to discover one of the numerous restaurants that Cape Town has to offer.

Your first stop for the day is Cape Malay Quarter, or ‘Bo-Kaap,’ which sprawls along the slopes of Signal Hill, bordering Cape Town, presenting a scenario of enduring historic and cultural significance. It’s certainly
worth taking the time to explore the area when you come to Cape Town. Bo-Kaap’s attractive, brightly colored, flat-roofed houses, decorative mosques, and the sound of the muezzin calling over the city streets have remained relatively undisturbed for all this time. The major threat facing this attractive area is now not forced removals, but gentrification. Here, you will have a hands-on, practical lesson on how to cook like a real Cape Malay ‘Auntie!’ Learn how to fold samosas and mix masala for that perfect pot of Cape Malay curry! A local woman will host you at her home, where you will not only learn secret cooking techniques but also get an insight into daily life in the Bo-Kaap. The workshop ends with lunch where you can share your experiences with the group whilst indulging in a mouth-watering traditional meal.

Get a feel of what Cape Town is all about by taking the cable car to the top of Table Mountain, the signature of this city. This tour is dependent on the wind factor, as well as the clouds. Clouds often cover this flat-topped mountain, which rises to 3,563 feet above sea level and the locals affectionately say it’s a white tablecloth. Legend has it that a retired pirate, on climbing the mountain, met up with the devil. In order to preserve his soul, the pirate challenged the devil in a smoking contest. So, they stoked up their pipes and have been smoking ever since. For centuries Table Mountain has been a guiding beacon to mariners roundingthe Cape of Southern Africa.

Sir Francis Drake described it as “the most-stately thing and the fairest cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth.” Despite its formidable appearance, it is possible to hike up Table Mountain. The first recorded ascent was in 1503 by the Portuguese navigator Antonio da Saldanha who, confused by the Cape Peninsula geography, climbed to the summit via the frontal cleft, now known as Platteklip Gorge. For nature lovers, the birding is awesome, and the wildflowers include agapanthus, watsonias, and red nerines which poke out from rock crevices amid a scrub of ericas and gnarled proteas. More than 1400 species of flowering plants have been recorded on the mountain, which makes it a spectacular sight in the spring. Cute guinea pig-like creatures known as rock dassies, or hyraxes, (genetically, the closest living relatives to elephants) scuttle everywhere. They are not afraid and scamper among the tourists seeking to be fed.

Continue to the wine lands region, situated below the spectacular Boland Mountains and only 50 minutes from the city. Discover the internationally acclaimed vineyards of Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Franschhoek on the Western Cape, along a most scenic route. You will visit the historic estate of Boschendal, which has some of the most brilliantly preserved Cape Dutch buildings in the Cape, and a collection of priceless period furniture. You will also visit Franschhoek with its lovely antique shops and gardens, nestled in the “Valley of the Huguenots,” where the French first settled in 1688. All of the wine estates you will be visiting in the region offer tastings and cellar tours, and you will enjoy lunch in one of them. This afternoon, explore the university town of Stellenbosch, the oldest town in South Africa after Cape Town, undoubtedly the most scenic and historically preserved town in Southern Africa. Oak-lined streets next to water furrows compliment the many fine examples of elegant Cape Dutch, Victorian and Georgian architecture – all part of this unique “Town of Oaks.”

This morning is devoted to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, arguably one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Founded in 1913, Kirstenbosch lies on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and consists of landscaped gardens of indigenous plants and trees, watered by the Liesbeek River, as well as a natural forest that extends up to the lower slopes. Kirstenbosch covers an area of 1,383 acres, 148 of which are cultivated; the remainder is a natural flora reserve. It is a living display featuring 9,000 of the estimated 20,000 species of indigenous South African flora, and close to 50% of the peninsula’s floral wealth. In the cultivated area, related plants are grouped together and radiate from the central lawns like the spokes of a wheel. Among the interesting sections here are the Cycad Amphitheatre, which hosts most species of these “living fossils” found in southern Africa; the famed Protea Garden on the higher slopes, with its profuse growth of silver trees (Leucadendron argenteum); the JV Mathews Rock Garden (named after the first curator) containing succulents of the genera Crassula, Aloe, Lampranthus and Euphorbia; the Erica Garden and the Pelargonium Koppie. Two streams cut through Kirstenbosch, both laced with besembos, red alder, and hard fern. Of historical interest is an avenue of camphor trees and fig trees planted by Cecil Rhodes in 1898, and a small section of wild almond (Brabejum stellatifolium) hedge planted by Dutch settler Jan van Riebeeck in 1660. Birds of all sorts can be seen here as well – Dusky and Paradise Flycatchers, sunbirds, Klaas’s cuckoos, bulbuls, pigeons, brilliant green and red Cape Sugarbirds (which pollinate the flowers), guinea fowls, and the Cape Batis. Afterward, fly to Johannesburg where you meet up with the group arriving from the US this evening.
Overnight at the D’OREALE GRANDE. (B)


*Flight between Victoria Falls and Johannesburg on the post extension is included in the price.

Price: $2,895, per person

Single Room Supplement: $495

End your safari in Zimbabwe on a three-night sojourn to experience the power of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. This incredible spectacle — “The Smoke That Thunders,” as it is known to locals — is the world’s largest waterfall, with five thundering cascades plummeting more than 300 feet. Feel the mist on your face during a guided tour of the Falls and enjoy a sundowner cruise on the Zambezi River. Stay at the luxurious ELEPHANT CAMP and savor excellent cuisine and marvelous hospitality.


Head to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, and the mighty Victoria Falls. At more than twice the size of Niagara Falls, it’s no surprise that Victoria Falls are among the Seven Wonders of the World. Mosi-oa-Tunya (The Smoke that Thunders,) derived from the towering column of spray when the Zambezi River runs high, is the name that Zimbabwe’s local people have given to this awesome natural phenomenon. The name is probably more appropriate and descriptive than “Victoria”, which has a far too calm and composed ring to it to do justice to the masses of thundering, swirling water of these spectacular falls. But all Dr. David Livingstone probably thought of when he named the falls after his Queen in 1855 was his royal duty. Five separate falls make up this incredible spectacle that plunges more than 300 feet into a sheer-sided chasm that separates Zimbabwe from Zambia. The awe-inspiring abyss is spanned by a 1905 Edwardian bridge that links the two countries and many adventurers now use to bungee jump. The masses of water plunging down the falls and into the gorge below originate from the mighty Zambezi River that meanders through more than 1,677 miles of the African countryside.

Your visit will include a tour of the falls on the Zimbabwe side. An afternoon sundowner cruise on a private boat will be a highlight as you glide along the Zambezi River, watching hippos snort, elephants drink on the riverbank, monkeys jump from branch to branch, birds fly overhead or pose for a photograph on the branches, and much more. Enjoy your gin and tonic, cool beer, or drink of choice, and see a panoramic sunset as the sun dips below the horizon, painting the whole area in unbelievable colors of brilliant reds, yellows, purples, and mauves. The Elephant Camp is a luxury and intimate lodge under canvas built in a private concession bounded by the Masuwe River, and the Zambezi Gorges, some six miles from the town of Victoria Falls. Elephant Camp enjoys the breathtaking view of the gorges which separate Zimbabwe and Zambia. The camp offers exclusive suite accommodation in 12 luxury tents. All suites are gorge-facing and have a private viewing deck and plunge pool, private lounge area, air-conditioning and fans, bath, inside and outside shower, mini bar, tea/coffee stations, and 220V main electricity. All suites are mosquito proofed with mosquito nets. Elephant Camp is home to four orphaned elephants and all guests staying at the camp will have an opportunity to meet and interact with the Wild Horizons elephants.
Overnights at the ELEPHANT CAMP. (All Meals Daily)

Last chance to photograph the incredible falls before transferring to the airport for your flight to Johannesburg where you connect with your overnight flight to the USA. (B, Meals Aloft)

This morning you land back home, bringing with you the memories of all the wonderful sights of Southern Africa. (Meals Aloft)



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