At Extraordinary Journeys we love to push the limits of what is possible on safari. Here is our latest effort: the ultimate luxury safari with renowned private guide Mark Homan. At more than $200,000 a person ($1,000,000 for a family of 4), this trip hits all the highlights; from gorilla trekking in Rwanda, to Big Five game-viewing in the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti, to Victoria Falls and the Okavango Delta, to Cape Town, South Africa's Winelands and the beaches of Mozambique. You will stay in stunning private houses like Cottar's Homestead and Tangala House as well as luxurious and remote camps and lodges like Zarafa in Botswana and Sasakwa in Tanzania.
Roughly half of the world’s wild population of mountain gorillas live on the Rwandan slopes of the Virungas in Volocanoes National Park and Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is the perfect base from which to explore this fascinating corner of Africa and its famous inhabitants. After two days of gorilla trekking an the experience often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world, you will return to Kigali and head for Kenya!
Day 4/5 ~Nairobi ~ Giraffe Manor
Nairobi is a lively, cosmopolitan city and East Africa's commercial and aid hub. It’s even more surprising when you realize that the city has grown from a tiny rail station at the turn of the last century to a city of almost 5 million people. While in Nairobi you will stay at Giraffe Manor in the suburb of Karen. Karen is one of Nairobi’s oldest neighborhoods and has retained much of its mid-century charm.
Giraffe Manor was built in 1932 by Sir David Duncan. In 1974 Jock Leslie-Melville and his wife Betty bought the Manor and founded the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife and proceeded to move five baby (highly endangered) Rothschild giraffe to the property. Today the Manor is exclusive, spacious and elegant and is the only place in the world that you can feed giraffe from your second floor bedroom window or over the lunch table. Staying at Giraffe Manor also contributes towards saving endangered species and educating African school children about conservation, as a portion of your fee is donated to these causes.
The Maasai Mara is Kenya’s most famous nature reserve, and one of the settings for the film Out of Africa. In this classic savannah grassland the animals are plentiful and the vistas breathtaking. The Mara covers 700 square miles and is part of the Serengeti ecosystem so your wildlife viewing is guaranteed to be spectacular. The reserve has an enormous resident population of zebra and wildebeest and is also known for lion, cheetah, elephant, leopard, black rhino and hippo and over 500 species of birds. The area around the reserve is home to the Maasai, a pastoral tribe whose traditional boma-style villages dot the landscape. You will explore the Maasai Mara from Cottar’s Homestead. 1920s Safari Camp has almost a century of experience hosting travelers in the Mara and the recently opened private homestead allows guests to enjoy the same levels of service and standard for which the camp is known, but in absolute privacy. With eight dedicated staff and award-winning guides, and surrounded by an abundance of wildlife, Cottar’s Private Homestead is the only real private luxury home in the Maasai Mara. The house was designed by Calvin and Louise Cottar and built by hand using indigenous and eco-friendly materials. The house is managed within the same area as Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp.
Days 9/10/11/12 ~ Serengeti ~Singita Grumeti Reserve ~ Sasakwa
Today you will fly to the Grumeti Reserve in the Serengeti’s Western Corridor. This 350,000 acre area is a former hunting concession taken over by Paul Tudor Jones as a project to preserve the area and protect the wildlife within in it. Sasakwa Lodge, an Edwardian style manor house, is one of the three Singita lodges in this enormous private concession which means that you’ll have this wild stretch of Africa all to yourself. Stone walls, deep verandas, high ceilings, stately furniture, silverware and ornamental pieces complete the picture.
Days 13/14/15 ~ Tanzania ~ Lake Tanganyika ~ Greystoke Mahale
In the 1,613 square kms of the Mahale Mountains, there are still no roads. This, and the fact that the only practical way of reaching the camp is by boat, add to the sense of seclusion here. Greystoke Mahale sits on a pristine, white sandy beach overlooking the turquoise water of Lake Tanganyika, with the forested slopes of the 8000 ft Mahale Mountains rising behind. The rooms are tucked into the forest line, so that your only view is of the lake. Explore the surrounding forest, hike to see the mountain’s resident chimps (and 9 other species of primates!) and swim in the lake before enjoying sundowners on the rocks of the headland as the mountains disappear into the darkness.
Days 16/17/18 ~ Zambia ~ South Luangwa National Park ~ Luangwa Safari House
From Tanzania you will fly to Mfuwe for three days at Luangwa Safari House in South Luangwa National Park. The House sits on a private estate on the edge of the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. In South Luangwa you can take advantage of walking safaris as well as traditional game drives.
Days 19/20 ~ Zambia ~ Livingstone ~ Tangala House
Today you are off to see one of the Wonders of the World! At more than twice the size of Niagara Falls, it’s no surprise that Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Five separate falls plunge more than 328 feet into chasm which separates Zimbabwe from Zambia. There is a wealth of activities to partake in during your stay at the Falls. Let your adventurous side come out and play with a swim in Devil’s Pool on the lip of the Falls, white water rafting, elephant-back safaris, bungee jumping or a helicopter or micro-light flight. Game drives, canoeing or a sunset cruise on the Zambezi are also easily organized. At the end of the day enjoy a gin and tonic as the sun dips below the horizon. You will be staying at Tangala House, a luxurious family home on the banks of the Zambezi River, 15km upstream of Victoria Falls. The house has four bedrooms, three with en-suite bathrooms, and a private swimming pool. With glass throughout, guests enjoy magnificent views across the Zambezi and can often catch sight of elephant herds drinking on the opposite bank.
Days 21/22/23 ~ Botswana ~ Linyanti/Selinda Reserve ~ Zarafa
From Victoria Falls you will head to Botswana and Zarafa Camp. Zarafa, owned by renowned wildlife photographers and film makers Beverly and Derek Joubert, is located in the eastern sector of the Selinda Reserve overlooking the source of the Savute Channel. This is one of the best game viewing areas in Botswana with incredible densities and varieties of both birds and mammals. Zarafa Camp evokes a sense of old-style safari, accommodating a maximum of eight guests in four large, luxurious tents. Each tent and veranda is spacious, positioned under shady trees with breathtaking vistas of the Zibidianja Lagoon. Activities at Zarafa Camp include morning, afternoon and night game drives with exceptional guides in custom-built 4x4 Toyota Land Cruisers. Short guided nature walks from camp are encouraged, to introduce guests to some of Africa's smaller wildlife.
Days 24/25/26 ~ Botswana ~ Okavango Delta ~ Moremi Game Reserve ~ Mombo Camp
Today you will fly deep into the heart of the Okavango Delta to Mombo Camp. The Okavango Delta is the earth’s largest inland water system. Millions of years ago tectonic shifts altered the flow of Okavango River forming the Delta, a unique system of waterways that supports a vast array of animal and plant life, in what would have otherwise been dry Kalahari savannah. In the heart of the Delta is the Moremi Game Reserve. Established by the BaTawna people to help preserve the region’s wildlife, today Moremi supports one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife in Africa including endangered wild dog and huge herds of elephant. Deep within Moremi on the north-western tip of Chief's Island is Mombo Camp. Each of the nine tented rooms at Mombo is raised off the ground offering great views over the floodplains. En-suite bathrooms, outdoor and indoor showers and a large lounge area add luxury and space to each room. Activities for Mombo guests include game drives in open 4x4 vehicles and nature walks with Mombo’s exceptional guides.
Days 27/28/29 ~ South Africa ~ Cape Town ~ Ellerman House
Today you head to Africa’s most beautiful cities. Nestled between Table Mountain and Table Bay, Cape Town has thrived from its founding as Dutch settlement in 1652 as a supply station for ships of the Dutch East India Company. Cape Town is a sophisticated city with lots to see and do. Work up an appetite for Cape Town’s world class restaurants with a tour of Robbin Island (where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison), a drive to the Cape of Good Hope or a ride up Table Mountain in a cable car. While in Cape Town you will stay at Ellerman House, an historical landmark situated on Kloof Road in the exclusive Cape Town suburb of Bantry Bay. Each of Ellerman’s 11 rooms has its own distinct character, tastefully decorated with the finest fabrics, furnishings and artwork available. The gracious living rooms flow onto sweeping verandahs and patios. The pool, set amid manicured palm lawns, provides an outstanding view of Cape Town below.
Days 30/31 ~ South Africa ~ Winelands ~ Delaire Graff
Situated at the foot of the spectacular Boland Mountains, the Cape Winelands are an easy one-hour drive from Cape Town. The Delaire Graff Estate, the boutique hotel where you are staying, is in the heart of the Winelands. The Estate sits on the crest of the magnificent Helshoogte Mountain Pass which links the Cape’s two leading wine districts – Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.
The Estate has several different “lodges” creating a collection of unique accommodation offerings. The two largest, the Owners and Presidential lodges each offer two bedrooms each and lots of common space. Special touches throughout include spa bathroom amenities, high thread count bed linen, and contemporary art from the owner’s private art collection. There are several amazing restaurants on property, as well as the winery to visit.
Days 32/33/34/35 ~ Mozamique ~ Vamizi
Today you will bid farewell to your private guide and head to a private villa on the beach in Mozambique for your final four nights. As the only lodge on the island, exclusivity is one of Vamizi Island's greatest assets. You will stay in one of Vamizi’s Private Villas. Each villa draws on the multi-cultural influences of Mozambique but is uniquely designed in its own elegant style with en-suite bedrooms, spectacular drawing and dining rooms, and peaceful lounging spaces around plunge pools or the beach. The private chef and personal hospitality team will ensure all your needs are met, from tailor-made menus to organizing fishing and diving, spa treatments or dhow sailing trips.
Days 36 ~ Depart
About Your Private Guide: Mark Homann
Traveling with a private safari guide is an intimate, exclusive way to see all that Africa has to offer. Your guide will meet you at the airport in Africa or even fly with you and then oversee the entire experience from beginning to end. Private safari guides create a seamless, customized African safari vacation, they can even provide a professional photographer. This means that all you have to do is relax and take in the experience. Mark Homann is one of the youngest guides to earn a Professional Guides license in Zimbabwe and is one of only two of these guides currently based at least part-time in the US. Raised in Zimbabwe’s farming community, Mark earned his Professional Guides license at the age of twenty-two and has 18 years of experience as a private safari guide. Mark’s intimate knowledge of the African bush and its wildlife, as well as his one-on-one expert guidance will ensure that your safari experience is completely customized to your desires and needs. Mark is committed to using his skills and knowledge to make sure your family has a magical and unforgettable safari experience.
The price for this adventure is approximately $202,400 per person but may vary depending on whether or not private charters are used for the inter-continental flights and flights within Africa.
For more information email [email protected]