If you can’t decide whether you’d prefer to take to the African plains by foot, clamber into a saddle or quaff sundowners after witnessing a lion gorge on an antelope from the back of a 4WD, combine them all for the ultimate safari adventure. Start in South Africa, where you’ll hike Cape Town’s Table Mountain and meet a local who will share tales of his time imprisoned on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela, then glimpse rare zebras, ostrich and baboons as you cycle to Chapman’s Peak on the rugged Cape Peninsula.
You’ll go hiking and canoeing and get a taste of ancient history at the luxurious Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Retreat, where more than 130 rock art sites date back 10,000 years. In the afternoon take a break from adventure for a spa treatment in the Riverside Gazebo and watch the sun set with a glass of one of the local vintages.
From South Africa a private charter flight takes you to Mashatu in Botswana where more than 50 types of mammals and reptiles and 350 species of birds roam the plains. Three of the big five – lions, leopards and the largest herd of elephants on private land in Africa – as well as cheetahs, jackals, wildcats, ostrich and giraffe, make for excellent photo opportunities. You’ll learn to track animals as you cycle between baobabs and giant sacrosanct Mashatu berry trees, for which the reserve is named. A blazing fire and canopy of stars accompanies your camp at night.
Before returning to South Africa for bush excursions by foot and 4WD you’ll go for game drives and hike the Great Escarpment. After all that adventuring we bet you still won’t be able to pick your favourite style of safari.
The 11-day South Africa & Botswana Multisport Adventure with Backroads starts at US$7700, excluding internal flights.
Yes, you’ll go cycling, but there’s nothing too hardcore on the itinerary.