updated 3/17/2010 10:35:35 AM ET 2010-03-17T14:35:35

Book by: ASAP

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Travel by: Select dates through 2010

The deal: Africa’s wild, unmatched splendor is just a single facet of the South Africa Highlights and Safaritour, which escorts visitors around some of the most beautiful and exotic nooks and crannies on the continent. Straight off the cover of National Geographic, you’ll experience the rawness of the birthplace of all civilization. SmarTours’ early booking discount offers a starting rate of $2,699 (a roaring discount of $800 per couple) until March 26, for the September 22 departure. After that, prices skyrocket to $3,099 and higher. With round-trip airfare to Cape Town alone ranging from $1,300 to over $4,000, the savings are unbeatable.

The South Africa Highlights and Safari includes:


•    Round-trip airfare from New York on South African Airways
•    Airline fuel surcharge
•    Intra-South Africa flight and ground transportation
•    Accommodations at first-class hotels with private baths
•    18 meals (11 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners)
•    Safari and touring admission fees
•    Experienced, English-speaking tour guides and directors


About the tour: Departing from New York City, the tour starts in eclectic Cape Town, which thrives in the shadow of Table Mountain. Visitors will take a cable car to the top of the mountain, in addition to exploring the city. Watch Africa’s rugged topography unfurl before your eyes as you pass through Cape Peninsula, fishing villages, Zululand, and Swaziland. The trip guides visitors through open-air safaris, where graceful lions and giraffes keep watch over their habitat, in addition to calling on Nelson Mandela’s house, visiting South-African wineries, and enabling a deep sense of cultural appreciation. To see a daily itinerary of the expedition, visit www.smartours.com.

The dollars: Rates are per person based on double occupancy. Single room supplement is $399. Government taxes and fees are not included.

The catch: You’ll be spending a good chunk of time on the plane (the flight is over 20 hours long one way).

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