AUG 23-SEPT 3, 2020: Bucket List Travel!

South Africa

Annie Emanuelli
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8 reviews
Aug 23 - Sep 3, 2020
Group size: 2 - 10
AUG 23-SEPT 3, 2020: Bucket List Travel!
South Africa

Annie Emanuelli
  • Email address verified
  • Facebook verified
  • LinkedIn verified
8 reviews

Aug 23 - Sep 3, 2020
Group size: 2 - 10

About this trip

Is South Africa on YOUR Bucket List?

Bucket List Travel is excited to offer this amazing 12-day, 11-night adventure in South Africa! 

This tour includes nine game drives to see the wild African animals; visits at sanctuaries for lions, elephants and monkeys, including a chance to touch lion cubs and walk with elephants; and tours of the Cradle of Humankind, Soweto, and the Apartheid Museum.

It also includes a 3-night visit to Cape Town, including round trip airfare there and back, and tours of Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope, the Boulders penquin colony, and a full-day tour of the winelands.

There is a limit of 10 guests on this tour to give each guest a chance to best see the wildlife from the safari vehicles. We are only traveling in malaria-free areas!

Stop dreaming; start packing!!

The Best Time for Safaris!

South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, so when it’s summer in the USA, it’s winter there!  For most of Southern Africa, winter typically lasts from April to October. Traveling there in hate August means being there in winter, going into spring. During this time, the weather is typically sunny and cool, with cold mornings and nights. 

This is the best time to go on safari. Water is scarce and animals are forced to congregate around the few remaining water sources, making them easier to spot. The grass is lower, affording better visibility; and dirt roads are easily navigable. Traveling in May also means avoiding rainy season inconveniences and discomforts like flooding, high humidity and an abundance of insects. 


In Johannesburg, it starts to warm up in late August as the high-altitude city moves from winter to spring. Daytime highs average 68°F and the nights get down to 46°F. 

In Cape Town, you can expect an average high temperature of 64°F, and the overnight low temperatures average 46°F. The average ocean temperature near Cape Town is a chilly 61°F.

August is one of the driest months in Johannesburg, and it only rains an average of two days. 

Cape Town averages 14 rainy days during this month, with light precipitation. It is not uncommon to have cloudy days throughout August.

The length of the day is 11 hours by the end of August.  

You'll get an average of 7 hours of sunshine every day in Johannesburg, and 6.25 hours of daily sunlight in Cape Town.

What to Expect

This moderately-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking and requires an average level of physical fitness. 

Remember: Africa is a third world country! Roads are bumpy and dusty, WiFi can be spotty, and everything happens on Africa time (really S-L-O-W)!  

We find our guests are happiest when they can roll with delays and last-minute changes that may happen in the unpredictable world of African travel. 

The best things you can bring with you are flexibility, patience, and a sense of humor!

Cost and Payment

This 12-day, 11-night adventure is priced $3,099 per person double occupancy (not including airfare to and from South Africa). 

Your space will be reserved when we receive a nonrefundable deposit of $775. 

The full amount is due by two months before your departure (June 23, 2020).  

We have a payment plan which allows the entire cost of the trip to be paid in equal installments. 

Cancellation and Refunds

 In the event that you need to cancel your trip, these fees will be applied:

• Between 200-101 days before your arrival date, $375.

• Between 100-61 days before your arrival date, $775 (25% of the entire tour price.).

• Between 60 and 46 days before your arrival date, $1,550 (50% of the entire tour price.)

• Between 45 and 31 days before your arrival date, $2,325 (75% of the entire tour price.)

• Between 30 and 1 days before your arrival date, 100% of the entire tour price.

Arrival Flights

Please plan to fly into and out of O.R. Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

You need to be in Johannesburg on Sunday, Aug 23, which means you will need to depart the USA on Saturday, Aug 22. (You might even need to leave as early as Friday, Aug 21 if your flight has multiple stops.) 

Please ASK US if you have any questions before you purchase your airfare!

Please plan to arrive in Johannesburg before NOON on SUNDAY, Aug. 23. This will give us time to take you to Lesedi African Cultural center, where we will enjoy a tour, show and dinner starting at 4 pm. (If your flight doesn't arrive before noon, you might consider flying in the previous day and spending an optional night at Protea Hotel O.R. Tambo Airport-available as an option for $120.)

Plan to depart from Johannesburg in the evening on Thursday, Sept 3.

Suggested Packing List

Here is a suggested packing list: 

1-2 pair chinos or other light pants 

1 pair jeans 

1 pair shorts or capris 

4 tee shirts 

1-2 long sleeve tee shirt 

1 fleece jacket 

1 light puffer jacket or down vest

1 warm hat 

1 pair heavy sneakers/hiking shoes 

1 pair regular running shoes/sneakers 

1 pair Teva sandals 

Underwear and socks-6 to 8 of each


Optional: bathing suit

Sunscreen (SPF 30-50), mosquito repellant, small flashlight

Keep it light, because there is a restrictive weight limit on the domestic flight to Cape Town.

Remember, there is laundry service at all the places we are staying, and they are inexpensive, quick, and convenient. 

Packing for an African safari 

Navigating dirt roads in an open-top jeep means that you'll get covered in dust, so you'll need clothes that hide dirt well. Because temperatures can change dramatically throughout the day,  the key to a comfortable safari outfit is layers. You should pack and wear layers to adjust to the wide range of temperatures you can experience on a typical day. While the morning can be freezing, by midday it can be hot. Layers will save you.

Best colors to wear on safari  

Unless you are seriously tracking wildlife on foot, which we are not, the color of your clothing is really not that important.  The basic rule on safari is to go neutral. When trying to spot wildlife you’ll have the best chance if you blend in as much as possible with your surroundings. Ideal colors to wear on safari are greens, browns, olives and khakis. Any other neutral colors are fine too, but there are some  you should avoid wearing on safari:

· White and very pale clothes show the dust and dirt you will inevitably be covered with, and it is hard to get out!

 · Camouflage clothing is best avoided. In some African countries is for army personnel only, and you could theoretically be arrested for wearing it.

 • Bright colors can attract insects.

Spending Money

The price you have paid for your tour includes: 11 nights accommodation; most meals; all tours escorted by a private guide; entrance fees to all sights in the itinerary; all transportation, with free water and Wi-Fi provided on board; domestic flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town; and all airport transfers .

Your tour does not include the cost of 5 meals, beverages, and gratuities.

All meals are included except 3 lunches and 2 dinners. You can budget $10 per lunch and $20 per dinner. You will also need money for drinks and souvenirs. Alcoholic beverages are less expensive in South Africa than they are in the USA.

Tipping is customary in South Africa. It is not compulsory; tipping is given entirely at your discretion. Ten percent is customary in restaurants. When you register, we'll provide suggestions for appropriate tips throughout the tour.

As a guideline, most guests use $400-$600 during the 12-day tour.

Frequently Asked Questions

All of our accommodations provide shampoo and body wash, but not conditioner. They also provide hair dryers.


The rand (ZAR) is the official currency of South Africa.  

As of September 2019, $1 USD equaled 15.16 South African Rand.

You can either buy South African Rand at home from your bank or AAA office and bring it with you, or get South African Rand from an ATM when you arrive in Johannesburg. It is difficult to convert US dollars to Rand when you are in South Africa, so we don’t recommend this option.


In South Africa the power plugs and sockets are of type D, M and N, so you will need an adapter for electrical appliances from the United States. The standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz.


Free WiFi service is available in the rooms and common areas at all of our accommodations. 

If you need to be sure to have WiFi at all times, you can rent a mobile hot spot at the airport upon arrival in Johannesburg starting at about $30.


Laundry service is available at Mziki Lodge, Cradle Moon Lodge, and Villa Rosa. It is very inexpensive. Average costs are: 

T shirts, blouses, or shorts: $1

Jeans, trousers or dresses: $1.75

Socks and underwear: 75 cents

Domestic Flight Baggage Limits

Your domestic flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town flight entitles you to one free checked bag weighing up to 44 pounds and one piece of hand baggage weighing up to 15.5 pounds, plus a laptop bag or small handbag.  Any bag weighing between 44-70 pounds will incur a heavy bag fee of about $25 at the airport.

Optional: Hot Air Balloon

You have the option of taking a sunrise hot air balloon flight over the savannah. On most tours, we have seen animals on the ground below us, including rhinos, antelopes and baboons!  Pickup will be at around 5 a.m. and take off around 6 a.m. to see the sunrise. After a one hour flight, we'll have champagne on landing then a full breakfast. We will be back at our lodge by 10 a.m. to leave for the rest of the day's tour. Price of the balloon flight is $225 per person.

Optional Farewell Dinner at Gold

On our final evening of the trip in Cape Town, you may choose to join us for a festive farewell dinner at GOLD Restaurant.

Guests at GOLD Restaurant cannot help but be swept up in the excitement of archetypal African stories told through our live entertainment. To start, you'll feel the heartbeat of Africa with our pre-dinner interactive djembe drumming session. Then we'll enjoy praise singing to welcome you, Mali puppetry, and dancing to the rhythms of the marimba percussion and djembe drums.  

Then dinner-an edible map of Africa! African food is traditionally shared and enjoyed with family and friends. Similarly, our 14-dish tasting menu is served in generous individual and shared portions. Each dish is brought to your table with country of origin, cooking techniques and spicing explained. 

Price of this optional farewell dinner is $50. 

Optional Extension to Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Witness the magnificent "smoke that thunders" during this optional 3-day, 2-night package. 

Friday, Aug 21: Arrive at Victoria Falls Airport and transfer to your hotel (Explorers Village deluxe chalets or similar). This afternoon you will be collected for your deluxe sunset cruise, where you can sip drinks and watch the sunset as the wildlife come out on the river banks - a most amazing experience.

Saturday, Aug 22: Today you have a guided tour of Victoria Falls, where your guide will point of the best vantage points from which to get that perfect shot.  Enjoy the views of this incredible wonder of nature.

Sunday, Aug 23: This morning after breakfast, you will be transferred back to the airport to return to Joburg and start the tour!!

Lodging, transfers, sightseeing cruise, tours, and breakfast are included in the price of $390. Airfare between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls is extra.


All travelers should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination.  These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

Most travelers get travel vaccines and medicines because there is a risk of these diseases in the country you are visiting:

Hepatits A: CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in South Africa, regardless of where you are eating or staying.

Typhoid: You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in South Africa. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater. 

Some Travelers: Ask your doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and if you are traveling from a country other than the US.

Hepatitis B: You can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, contaminated needles, and blood products, so CDC recommends this vaccine if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.

Malaria: When traveling in South Africa, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, depending on your travel plans, such as where you are going, when you are traveling, and if you are spending a lot of time outdoors or sleeping outside. Talk to your doctor about how you can prevent malaria while traveling. 

Areas of South Africa with risk of malaria: Present along the border with Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Specifically in Mopani, Vhembe, and Waterberg district municipalities of Limpopo Province; Ehlanzeni district municipality in Mpumalanga Province; and Umknanyakude in Kwazulu-Natal Province. Present in Kruger National Park (see Map 2-25). See more detailed information about malaria in South Africa.


Rabies: Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals in South Africa, so CDC recommends this vaccine for the following groups:

  • Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities (such as camping, hiking, biking, adventure travel, and caving) that put them at risk for animal bites.
  • People who will be working with or around animals (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers).
  • People who are taking long trips or moving to South Africa
  • Children, because they tend to play with animals, might not report bites, and are more likely to have animal bites on their head and neck.

Yellow Fever: Required if traveling from a country with risk of YF virus transmission and ≥1 year of age, including transit >12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of YF virus transmission.

Note: Yellow fever vaccine availability in the United States is currently limited. If you need to be vaccinated before your trip, you may need to travel some distance and schedule your appointment well in advance.

What’s included

  • 1 night stay
    Lesedi Cultural Village -
  • 4 nights stay
    Mziki Safari Lodge -
  • 3 nights stay
    Cradle Moon Lodge -
  • 3 nights stay
    Villa Rosa -
  • Tours
    All safaris and tours escorted by a private driver and a private guide
  • Entrance Fees
    Entrance fees to all sights in the itinerary
  • Domestic Flight
    Domestic flights between Johannesburg to Cape Town
  • All airport transfers
  • Meals
    11 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 8 dinners
  • International Airfare
    Airfare between the United States and South Africa is NOT included
  • Meals
    Meals not listed in itinerary
  • Beverages with meals
  • Tips
    Customary tips to tour guide, driver, etc.
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Victoria Falls option

Available options

Single supplement
5 left
Hot Air Balloon
10 left
Farewell dinner at Gold Restaurant
10 left
Pre-tour night
10 left
Victoria Falls Extension
10 left
Single at Victoria Falls
only 3 left


Day 1
Welcome to South Africa!

Arrive in Johannesburg at O.R. Tambo International Airport. A Bucket List Travel agent will meet you and help you claim your luggage. Transfer to your accommodations at Lesedi African Lodge and Cultural Village.

Cultural show: Lesedi reflects the diversity of South Africa’s original inhabitants, and contains elements of Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho, Nguni and Ndebele cultures. 

Traditional song and dance and a feast fit for a king top off an unforgettable day and night.

Buffet dinner: variety of meats (crocodile, ostrich, beef, lamb), assorted vegetables, pap (grits), salads and desserts.

Overnight at Lesedi African Lodge and Cultural Village in a traditional hut that offers the comforts of home. Wake to the sounds of the maskanda Zulu guitar and African melodies before being treated to a full English breakfast.

Your Organizer

Annie Emanuelli
8 reviews
Hi - I'm Annie, the founder of Bucket List Travel! Travel is my life! I left a 30+ year career as a corporate marketing exec to start my own travel business, taking people to Bucket List locations! I'd like to take you somewhere you've always dreamed of going. Stop dreaming, start packing!


We had a wonderful trip! I love that Annie got to go with us and Tim is an incredible guide and we couldn’t ask for anyone better! All of the lodging was great but mziki is my favorite! I added on hot air balloon, farewell dinner and Victoria falls and they were all amazing! Thank you Annie and Tim
By Emily E for May 1-12, 2022: South Africa! on 21 May, 2022
Jordan has been at the top of my destination list since 2018. I finally made it! My heart was happy in Jordan. I had the opportunity to see and do everything on my wish list. Mt. Nebo, Jordan River, floating in the Dead Sea, private guide through Petra, exploring Wadi Rum and feeding camels. I can’t wait to go back and spend more time in Wadi Rum. Thank you Annie and Yasser for making my long awaited dreams come true!
By Kimberly M for Jordan!! Nov. 13-19, 2021 on 24 Nov, 2021
This is my second time booking thru bucket list travel with Annie and both trips I had a great time meet new people got to learn the history of the tours we took the food culture I will definitely refer my friends to book with bucket list travel.!
By Jessica N for Jordan!! Nov. 13-19, 2021 on 22 Nov, 2021
I just got back from the trip of a lifetime. Annie and her contacts in South Africa set up an itinerary to make sure you experience different facets of the country in the time you spend there but best of all they make you feel welcome and make sure you see the animals! The accommodations were great and the people we met were great. This vacation exceeded all my expectations and I may never top this trip!!
By Sheila C for Aug 29-Sept 9, 2021: Bucket List Travel! on 11 Sep, 2021
If you are thinking of going to Egypt, I highly recommend Bucket List Travel. My husband and I have just completed a private tour. We were their first booking since the pandemic started, and we truly loved the experience. Annie arranged a great itinerary tailored to our preferences,, and Yasser, our guide couldn’t have been better. He is a scholar in Egyptology who is passionate about his country, its history, culture, architecture, food and all things Egypt. He is also fun to be with and bends over backwards to give his guests the best experience possible. We normally travel independently, but are so glad we decided to see Egypt this way. We would not have gotten half as much out of the trip without the background and understanding provided by Yasser. I would recommend using Bucket List Travel without hesitation.
By Iris S for Egypt Private Tour: Iris Newman Stone on 11 Apr, 2021
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I just returned from a once in a lifetime trip to Cairo organized by Bucket List Travel. Annie took care of every detail of planning, and it really showed when I got off the plane and was taken care of from start to finish with the greatest care. Our guide Yasser was kind, professional, knowledgeable, and funny! He went above and beyond to ensure every need was met and we got the most out of each day in Egypt. I always felt safe and loved experiencing local life and culture. I plan to grab my friends and book again with Bucket List Travel!
By Noel G on 05 Feb, 2020