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Africa by Private Jet
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20 days

from $123,450 AUD trip_detail hint icon

($89,995 USD)

Prices are per person, based on twin share occupancy. The AUD prices are based on USD and calculated at today’s rate of exchange. The expedition price will be finalised at time of booking.

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Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include walking tours, visits to sites, safari drives, and easy hikes; and some days will have more physical activities such as longer hikes, kayaking, snorkeling, or biking.

Ultimate trip_detail hint icon

Ultimate expeditions feature sweeping, themed itineraries that cover great distances using a specially configured private jet. These itineraries are fully planned and comprise private performances, special access to sites, and visits with local experts. Services include travel by private jet, a team of National Geographic experts, local guides, a dedicated flight staff and expedition manager, world-class meals and accommodations, and ground transportation.

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Expedition Overview

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EXPEDITION OVERVIEW
  • Encounter incredible wildlife in South Africa’s Phinda Private Game Reserve and on the shores of Botswana’s Chobe River, and go gorilla trekking in the rainforests of Rwanda.
  • Delve into Africa’s diverse cultural heritage, from medieval Fez to the Omani palaces of Zanzibar, and retrace history on visits to Ghana’s Elmina slave castle and Cape Town.
  • Take in majestic natural sites, including Victoria Falls, the Cape Peninsula, and Rwanda’s conical volcanoes.
EXPERTS ON THIS TRIP

Accompanying this expedition is an extraordinary team of experts who are passionate about illuminating the wonders of the African continent—from its wildlife and wild places to the cultures that call it home. An in-flight lecture system allows for informative and engaging talks as we travel aboard the private jet.

Itinerary

Journey to Africa’s north, south, east, and west, visiting seven countries and encountering a dazzling spectrum of wildlife, landscapes, and cultures. Come face-to-face with gorillas, elephants, leopards, and much more on safari in wilderness areas from Botswana to Rwanda. Meet artists in the medieval lanes of Fez and the woodcarving workshops of Ghana. From a slave castle on the Gold Coast to Nelson Mandela’s island prison, explore difficult chapters in the continent’s history—and hear inspiring stories of resilience and innovation. Go flightseeing over magnificent Cape Peninsula, feel the spray of Victoria Falls, and delve into the spice plantations of Zanzibar on an expedition that celebrates Africa’s many wonders—of nature, culture, and human spirit.

Day 1: LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM

Arrive in London, where you'll be met by a private driver for the transfer to your luxury hotel in the heart of the city. Later, sit down to a welcome dinner in the hotel's historic UN Ballroom, site of the 1946 United Nations General Assembly.

Days 2-3: FEZ, MOROCCO

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After breakfast, transfer to London's Luton Airport and fly by private jet to Fez. Founded in the eighth century, Fez is Morocco’s oldest imperial city and its cultural and spiritual heart. At the Dar Batha Museum, examine the city’s artistic traditions, including mosaics, ceramics, and woodcarvings. Gaze up at the mosaic-clad Blue Gate and the bronze doors of the Royal Palace. Stroll the 13th-century Jewish quarter, a picturesque neighborhood of carved wooden balconies and Moorish doorways.

The next morning, step back in time on a walking tour of the medina, the largest intact medieval city in the world. See the splendid courtyard of the University of Al-Karaouine and meet a scholar at the 14th-century Bou Inania Madrasa. Admire the exquisite fountain in Nejjarine Square; visit the shrine of Moulay Idriss II, the founder of Fez; and soak up the enchanting sounds and sights of the souk. After lunch, choose to stay in the old city and visit artisan workshops, including the Chouara Tannery. Or spend the afternoon at the ancient Roman site of Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage site set on the rolling plains near Fez. Tonight, we’ll be joined by a Sufi scholar for dinner in a traditional home and a performance of Sufi music.

Days 4-5: ACCRA, GHANA

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Bid farewell to North Africa and fly by private jet across the Sahara to Ghana’s vibrant capital city. Thrumming with creative energy, Accra is a city both cosmopolitan and scrappy, where timeless traditions collide with the latest trends. Retrace the country’s history today at Independence Square, which marks the end of British rule in 1957; and at Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, a monument to Ghana’s first president. In nearby Teshie, visit the fantasy coffin makers— woodworkers who craft imaginative custom-made coffins—and wander among whimsically sculpted sarcophagi in the form of everything from race cars to chili peppers.

A short morning charter flight brings us west to Takoradi, where we’ll take a scenic drive along the coast toward Elmina. Stop to visit a fishing village, and enjoy a lunch of local specialties at a beachside resort. Ghana’s shores are dotted with castles and forts built from the 15th to the 18th century, when the Dutch, Portuguese, British, and other Europeans set up trading posts on the Gold Coast. This afternoon, venture into one of them: St. George’s Castle in Elmina, a notorious “slave castle” and now part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. The oldest of the European fortifications, it was built by the Portuguese as a gold trading center in 1482 and taken over by the Dutch in the 1600s. Tour the grand European quarters and then descend to the dungeons, haunting reminders of one of history’s most barbaric chapters. Later, visit the posubans of Elmina town, elaborate shrines with sometimes quirky decorations and slogans, originally erected by the traditional Asafo warriors of the Fante people. Drive back to Accra and enjoy dinner in one of the city’s best restaurants.

Days 6-8: CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

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Fly south by private jet to Cape Town, one of Africa’s most beautiful cities. Settle into our hotel on the fashionable Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, and sit down to a dinner prepared especially for us by a renowned chef.

Weather permitting the next morning, ride a cable car to the top of Table Mountain, rising more than 3,500 feet above the city. Then split into two groups to explore the Cape Peninsula. One group will take a thrilling flight-seeing helicopter trip to the Cape of Good Hope, Africa’s southwesternmost point. Examine the unusual flora of this vast nature reserve, and ride a funicular to the lighthouse at Cape Point. In the afternoon, return to Cape Town along the dramatic Chapman’s Peak Drive—one of the world’s most spectacular drives—and stop at Boulders Beach to see the resident population of African penguins. The second group will take this drive toward the Cape of Good Hope in the morning and enjoy flightseeing by helicopter in the afternoon. After a talk by our experts, gather for dinner with Nelson Mandela's former bodyguard in the elegant, wine-producing suburb of Constantia.

The following day, choose one of two excursions: ride a hovercraft to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his 27-year prison sentence, and tour the facilities with a former prisoner. Visit the colonial Castle of Good Hope, learn about the injustices of apartheid at the District Six Museum, and explore Cape Town’s diverse cultural heritage in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood. Or spend the day in the Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Paarl wine regions and visit wine estates for private, sommelier-led tastings and lunch with wine pairings.

Days 9-10: PHINDA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE, SOUTH AFRICA

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Fly by private jet to Johannesburg and continue on a charter flight to Phinda Private Game Reserve, a conservancy that harbors seven distinct habitats— from woodlands and wetlands to mountain ranges and rare dry sand forests—each home to a spectacular array of wildlife. Settle into one of the luxurious lodges set within the borders of the park, then set off with expert rangers and Zulu trackers for an open-vehicle safari far from the crowds. Your route will be determined by the wildlife you encounter, whether it’s a cheetah sprinting across the savanna, a herd of elephants frolicking at a local waterhole, or a giraffe munching on a leafy lunch amid swaying acacia trees. We’ll stop for sundowner cocktails as the sun sets, and watch for nocturnal creatures on the return trip back to the lodge.

Rise early for a safari drive at sunrise, when wildlife is actively engaged in morning routines. Seek out Africa’s famed “big five”—lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and Cape buffalo—and have your binoculars at the ready to spy some of the nearly 450 bird species found on the reserve. If we’re lucky, we may also spot Phinda’s more elusive species, such as the nyala or the black rhino. After time to relax at the lodge, we’ll venture back out into the wild for a late-afternoon safari. This evening, enjoy a special dinner in the bush, complete with entertainment from a four-piece marimba band.

Days 11-13: VICTORIA FALLS, ZAMBIA, AND CHOBE NATIONAL PARK, BOTSWANA

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After breakfast, return to Johannesburg by charter flight and fly by private jet to Livingstone, Zambia. Here, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Zambezi River plunges off a high escarpment, tumbling some 350 feet into a narrow chasm and creating a mile-wide veil of mist and rushing water shot through with rainbows. After checking in to our hotel, experience the mighty Zambezi River on a private cruise. Look for hippos, crocodiles, birds, and other wildlife, and watch the sunset transform the landscape. Tonight, dinner is served by lantern light on the lawn of our hotel with the roar of the falls in the distance.

Approach the falls on foot the next morning, an exhilarating close-up encounter with what the area’s indigenous people call the “smoke that thunders.” Then cross into Botswana by boat and drive to Chobe National Park, where our lodge is ideally situated on the banks of the wildlife-rich Chobe River. Relax after lunch before meeting some of the Chobe Angels, an unprecedented all-female team of safari guides that is shaking up an otherwise male-dominated industry. Head out with them to discover the wildlife of Chobe on a safari drive.

Chobe National Park is known for some of the largest elephant herds on the planet, but its namesake river draws all kinds of animals to its shores, including Cape buffalo, cheetahs, rare antelope like the oribi and the sitatunga, and more than 400 species of birds. Our lodge uses electric safari vehicles, allowing us to silently observe the myriad creatures splashing and scuffling in the shallows. Enjoy a full day on safari—on drives or wildlife cruises—and end the day with a sundowner in the wilderness. Gather under the stars for a candlelit dinner at the river’s edge.

Days 14-15: ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA

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Transfer to Livingstone and fly by private jet to Zanzibar, the famous “spice island” off the coast of Tanzania. Threads of Arabian and Indian influence are woven into the Swahili culture here, thanks to a long history as an Indian Ocean trading hub, and the architecture of Stone Town reflects this intriguing blend.

Enjoy your choice of two excursions the following day. Examine the eclectic cultural heritage of Zanzibar on a walking tour of Stone Town to discover Omani-style archways and elegant mosques, and ancient houses with intricately carved wooden doors. Visit the Old Fort, built by the Omanis in the 17th century; and see the House of Wonders, a sultan’s palace that dazzled locals with its running water and electricity when it was built in the late 1800s. Browse piles of spices, fish, and exotic fruit at the lively Darajani Market, and then head to a spice plantation after lunch. Follow local farmers into the plantation where cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper trees grow; and sample tropical fruits like custard apple, star fruit, and rambutan. Stop in the Jozani Forest, part of Zanzibar’s only national park, for a chance to see Zanzibar red colobus monkeys, a rare species indigenous to the islands.

Alternatively, embark on a snorkeling excursion on the Nyange Reef. Sail a traditional dhow boat a half hour to the reef and discover a variety of corals and marine species—from frogfish and sea turtles to shrimp and surgeonfish. Dry off for a picnic lunch in the shade.

Days 16-18: KIGALI AND VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, RWANDA

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Fly by private jet to Rwanda, home to many of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas. Spend your time here tracking these fabled creatures, or remain in Kigali and immerse yourself in the riveting story of Rwanda’s people.

Those who choose to see the gorillas will transfer directly to Volcanoes National Park. During a full day of trekking with local guides, learn about conservation efforts that have brought gorillas back from the edge of extinction. Experience the thrill of sitting among a group of gorillas, observing their fascinating social dynamics up close. On our final day, search for endangered golden monkeys with a biologist, and attend a talk by a researcher at the Karisoke Research Center, founded by National Geographic Grantee Dian Fossey. After lunch, return to Kigali. Or, return to Kigali in the morning and meet a survivor at the Kigali Genocide Memorial in the afternoon.

Those who choose to stay in Kigali will visit the Akilah Institute, which provides higher education to women from all over Rwanda, and soar over volcanic peaks during a helicopter flight-seeing excursion the following day. Then visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial to meet survivors and hear their haunting memories—as well as inspiring stories of reconciliation. Tonight, toast our grand African adventure at a festive farewell dinner

Days 19-20: ROME, ITALY

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After breakfast, fly by private jet to Rome and transfer to our hotel, overlooking the Pantheon in the heart of the city. Enjoy dinner at the hotel before departing for home on commercial flights the following day.

What to Expect

This trip has an activity rating of light\/moderate; travelers should be in good health; comfortable climbing stairs and walking or standing for extended periods; and prepared for multiple hours of activity on some days. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to historic or cultural sites, game drives, or nature walks, with options for more physical activities such as hiking and snorkeling. A signed medical form from your doctor will be required for participation in certain activities, such as gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Alternative destinations or activities can be arranged if necessary. Any physical condition requiring special attention, diet, or treatment should be reported when booking so accommodations can be made.

Accommodations
We stay in world-class or best available hotels throughout the expedition.

Expedition Team
An engaging team of experts will accompany each expedition to share their knowledge and insights with you and bring each destination to life.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Well suited for this incredible journey, a Boeing 757 provides unparalleled flexibility with its long-range capabilities and ability to land in smaller airports. Flying direct and avoiding layovers, we are able to maximize our time in each destination while delivering a superior travel experience. Instead of the standard 233 seats, the jet’s sleek interior has been customized to accommodate 57 passengers in a spacious two-by-two seating configuration. Each reclining, VIP-style seat is handcrafted from the finest European leather and outfitted with a center console, leg rest, foldout footrest, and four-way headrest, offering supreme in-flight comfort as we travel between destinations. You’ll also enjoy excellent access to experts and staff, who provide informative briefings and lectures throughout the expedition.

The VIP-configured Boeing 757 private jet provides:

· 57 passenger seats in a customized 2x2 configuration, instead of the standard 233 seats

· Plush VIP-style seating, handcrafted from the finest European leather and featuring leg rests, foldout footrests, and four-way headrests

· Spacious center consoles, sliding cocktail tables, and in-seat power outlets

· Roomy cabin with plenty of legroom and convenient storage for personal items

· Sleek interior design with clean lines and an elegant aesthetic

· A seasoned and specially-trained flight crew—including three pilots, an expedition chef, a catering officer, multiple flight attendants, an engineer, and a dedicated luggage handler

· A dedicated expedition physician who accompanies the group on the jet and on land

PRICES & DATES

  • date Jul 21-Aug 9, 2021
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $123,450 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $135,782 AUD Per Person

The expedition cost includes transportation by private Boeing 757 jet and other conveyance, as noted in the itinerary. Airfare to London, England and return from Rome, Italy is not included in the expedition cost. Please click here to view the Operator-Participant Contract and Terms and Conditions for these departures.

  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Transportation by private jet and other conveyance, as noted in the itinerary
  • Deluxe or best available accommodations as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals, from dinner on the first night to breakfast on the final morning
  • Daily activities, excursions, options, and special events as indicated in the itinerary; enrichment program, including lectures by a team of experts.
  • All beverages, including liquor, aboard the private jet and during special events and cocktail parties; house wine and beer at lunches and dinners
  • $50,000 medical evacuation insurance for covered reasons and services of an expedition physician
  • Gratuities

What's Not Included

  • Commercial airfare to the departure city, and return from the final destination
  • Trip cancellation insurance or other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, and beverages not listed above as included

PLEASE NOTE

The information shown on this page pertains to the 2020 departure of Africa by Private Jet. The 2020 departure will be operated by National Geographic Partners Chicago, the tour operations branch of National Geographic, on flights operated by Icelandair.

To see our 2019 itinerary, click on the trip date above, or call 1-888-227-7265 for more information relating to this departure. The 2019 departure of Africa by Private Jet will be operated by TCS & Starquest Expeditions, Inc., on flights operated by TAG Aviation (UK) Ltd.

A US Department of State travel advisory for Rwanda is currently in effect (travel.state.gov). We expect to operate this trip as planned, but will continue to closely monitor events in the region and will alter the itinerary if necessary.

Steve Boyes
"

Conservationist, National Geographic Fellow, and TED Senior Fellow Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to preserving Africa’s wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. A native of South Africa, he founded the Cape Parrot Project with support from National Geographic, and is the scientific director of the Wild Bird Trust. In 2015, Steve launched what has become the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project to promote broader protection for the Okavango Delta’s watershed and its wildlife. Steve’s work takes him all over Africa, studying wildlife rehabilitation and biodiversity, fighting the wild-caught bird trade, and planting thousands of trees in forest restoration projects.

"
  • Jul 21-Aug 9, 2021
Sandesh Kadur
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Filmmaker, photographer, author, and National Geographic Emerging Explorer (2013) Sandesh Kadur creates award-winning wildlife documentary films and photography books exposing the need to conserve threatened species and habitats around the world. With subjects ranging from king cobras to clouded leopards, his films have appeared worldwide on the National Geographic Channel, the BBC, the Discovery Channel, and elsewhere. His photographs also have appeared in numerous books and magazines. Recently, Sandesh joined conservationist and National Geographic Fellow Steve Boyes and the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project team in Botswana to document a new 360-degree video series, The Okavango Experience. Sandesh’s many awards include CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year, the Nature’s Best photography award, the International Conservation Photographer award, and two Green Oscar nominations at the Wildscreen film festival.

"
  • Jul 21-Aug 9, 2021
Elizabeth Lonsdorf
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National Geographic Explorer Elizabeth Lonsdorf began researching primates as an undergraduate student at Duke University. Later, while completing a Ph.D. at the Jane Goodall Institute's Center for Primate Studies at the University of Minnesota, she spent several months each year studying wild chimpanzees at Tanzania's Gombe Stream National Park. She returns annually to Gombe to maintain a research program focused on chimpanzee health and infant development. Elizabeth serves on the faculty of Franklin & Marshall College, and she is on the Board of Directors for Chimp Haven, the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

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  • Jul 21-Aug 9, 2021