Travel Dates: 
May 31, 2015 to June 11, 2015
Destination: 
Africa
Leaders & Speakers: 
Rabbi Dr. Natan Slifkin

Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime experience with scholar-in-residence Rabbi Natan Slifkin, Director, Biblical Museum of Natural History. 

  • luxury hotels
  • gourmet kosher food
  • Victoria Falls
  • Chobe National Park
  • Private game reserve
  • Shabbat in beautiful Capetown

 

To see photos of last year's trip, click here (and like us on Facebook!)

To read Rabbi Kelman's impressions on Jewish life in South Africa, click here.

To see our flyer, click here.

Click on these other Torah in Motion 2015 trips for more information:

 

Here's what people said about previous TiM trips to Africa:

"Going on safari to Africa: it evokes romantic images of a jeep ride across the bush to see “the big five” wild animals, then afternoon tea in camp on fine china.  Just in the movies, you say?  TIM’s African Safari delivers that and more, including breathtaking Capetown wrapped in a Torah environment and Rabbi Jay's warm hospitality." --Zev Shainhouse, Toronto, ON

"Being in a totally unfamiliar landscape, surrounded by the wonders of nature and the animal world, I gained a new perspective on the incredible balance of the world and its inhabitants. The very knowledgable local rangers and guides enhanced our appreciation of our surroundings, and Rabbi Slifkin's commentary and insights helped turn a remarkable vacation into a Kiddush HaShem.  The well-planned accommodations, arrangements, and food contributed to an unforgettable experience, shared with an interesting and varied group of people."  --Mollie Fisch, Teaneck, NJ

"The trip to Africa with Rabbi Slifkin was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The raw and natural beauty of the  animals and the country we encountered was enhanced by Torah insights, bringing the trip to a spiritual level, as well."  --Frieda Bomrind, Brooklyn, NY

"What a memorable trip with Rabbi Slifkin bringing a Torah perspective to the animals we saw in their natural habitat…an adventure not to be missed."  -- Mena Shupak, Toronto, ON

"I found the trip fabulous--the accommodations everywhere, the food, the guides were all excellent. I am very grateful I was able to attend."

--Pessy Weitzner, Toronto, ON

 

ITINERARY (subject to change):

Sunday 31 May : Depart for Africa

Monday 1 June : Johannesburg

Arrive at OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) in Johannesburg. You will be met and transferred to your hotel in the suburbs for an overnight stay.

Check in and freshen up and then depart around 12.30pm for a tour of Soweto. Soweto, Southern Africa’s biggest city, is a vibrant city of great contrasts with a pulse and culture of its own. See and hear the fascinating facts about the first victim of the 1976 students’ uprisings. Indulge in the extremely exclusive vibe exuded by the Sowetans.

Accommodation : Hyatt Regency – Hyatt Guest room

Tuesday 2 June : Johannesburg – Victoria Falls

This morning you’ll be transferred back to ORTIA for a flight to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Arrive at Victoria Falls Airport where you’ll be met and transferred to the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge for a 2-night stay. 

This afternoon you’ll be collected for a guided walking tour of the Falls, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.

First stop is the Big Tree – a massive baobab many hundreds of years old with a girth of some 22 metres. The tour continues on to the Falls themselves, starting at Livingstone’s statue and Devil’s Cataract and proceeding through the rainforest to Danger Point. The total walk is 3kms with many spectacular view points along the way.

Accommodation : The Victoria Falls Safari Lodge 

 Wednesday 3 June : Victoria Falls

You will be collected this morning for a full day tour to Chobe National Park in Botswana. Transfer across the Botswana, completing immigration and customs formalities before continuing to the Chobe National Park. Cruise on the Chobe River where you should see elephant, crocodiles, pods of hippos and other game species coming to drink and bathe in the river, as well as many bird species. Lunch at a lodge. The afternoon continues with a game drive in open vehicles into the Chobe National Park, with a chance of spotting lion and buffalo as well as numerous plains game species. Transfer back across the Zimbabwean border in the late afternoon.

Accommodation : The Victoria Falls Safari Lodge 

 Thursday 4 June : Victoria Falls – Johannesburg – Cape Town

This morning you’ll enjoy an elephant back safari. Clients are transferred to The Elephant Company reception for a 15-minute introductory talk on African elephants and their relationship with man, as well as a safety talk. Clients are then introduced to the elephants and their “Ndunas”. After a short familiarisation with the elephants, the elephant back safari through the bush begins (1.5-2 hours ride).

Late morning : You will be collected at your hotel and transferred back to Victoria Falls Airport for a flight to Johannesburg and a connecting flight to Cape Town. You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel for a 4 night stay.

Accommodation : The President Hotel

 Friday 5 June : Cape Town

Today’s touring will include a cable-car ride up Table Mountain (weather permitting) and a tour of the winelands. South Africa is the world's seventh largest wine producer, and its vineyards are as spectacular as those of France, Italy and California. Leaving Cape Town, proceed through the spectacular mountain scenery and lush fertile valleys of the Cape to Stellenbosch, South Africa's second oldest city. This oak-lined university town has a museum showing different styles of architecture in the Cape from the 16th century.  You’ll visit Spier ‘s Eagle Encounters, a bird-of-prey rehabilitation, education, & eco-tourism centre. The day can be spent combining a mixture of fascinating history with spectacular scenery and wine tastings at one or two kosher wineries.

Return to the city in time to prepare for Shabbat.

Accommodation : The President Hotel

 

 

TENTATIVE ITINERARY, CONTINUED:

Shabbat 6 June : Cape Town

Shabbat – at leisure. Shul is in walking distance of your accommodation.

Accommodation : The President Hotel

Sunday 7 June : Cape Town

Today you’ll enjoy a full day sightseeing tour to Cape Point. The 25-mile drive to Cape Point includes a stop at Hout Bay, a beautiful fishing village from which a boat trip is made to Duiker Island, to see the mass of seals (weather permitting). To arrive at Cape Point, one passes through the 7750 hectare plant-rich expanse of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. This reserve is home to a variety of indigenous wildlife species, including the Cape Mountain zebra, red lynx, caracal, and a variety of antelope. In addition, about five troops of chacma baboons frequent the area. There are also over 250 species of marine birds. Viewers may be lucky enough to spot seals, whales, and dolphins. Leaving the reserve, we drive along the False Bay coastline to Boulders Beach, home of the largest Jackass Penguin colony in South Africa.

We’ll visit Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. These magnificent gardens nestle on the lower slopes of Table Mountain, in the southern suburbs. The National Botanical Garden covers 560ha of land, stretching up the mountain to its highest point. There are several walks that lead through the garden, where staff cultivate 4000 of the 22000 southern African flowering plants in a setting of mountain streams, pools, and rolling lawns.

We’ll end the day with a visit to the Jewish Museum. The South African Jewish Museum was officially opened by former president Mr. Nelson Mandela in 2000 and is a major attraction in CT. It is situated on the heritage site of the Gardens Synagogue, the Cape Town Holocaust Centre and Gitlin library.

The Museum narrates the story of SA Jewry from its early beginnings. Its entrance is situated in the Old Synagogue, which dates back to 1863. The museum is interactive and high-tech, providing a host of experiences that include audiovisual presentations, multimedia, reconstructed sets, and interactive computers.

Adjacent to the Museum is the Holocaust Centre – time permitting, a visit will be made here, too.

Accommodation : The President Hotel

Monday 8 June : Cape Town – Johannesburg – Kruger National Park (Jock Lodge)

Transfer this morning to Cape Town Airport for a flight to Johannesburg and connecting flight to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport near Kruger Park. We will now travel to Jock of the Bushveld Lodge in the Kruger Park. Travel time about 1 hour to the gate of Kruger, and another 1 hour to the lodge.

After lunch, you will go on your first Game Drive.

You will be introduced to wildlife and nature, as you have never experienced them before. We enter the African bush in open land rovers in search of the "Big Five": Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo, together with an abundance of other game. Our experienced game rangers, trained in understanding Africa's mysteries, will show you the secrets of the bush by day and by night.

The lodges we use are some of the most luxurious; the cuisine is first class and Glatt Kosher. The rooms are lavishly done without detracting from their African touch. It can only be described as a private retreat of the utmost peace and tranquillity, set in a wonderland of adventure - the heart of the African bush.

We return to the lodge for a dinner under the stars.

Tuesday 9 June :  Kruger National Park (Jock Lodge)

Pre-dawn wake up for tea and coffee before departing on the morning game drive. An experienced ranger and tracker with extensive knowledge of the area will read the previous night's tracks and lead you to where the excitement is, for instance, tracking the big five. Game drives are on an open Land Rover, which will ensure the best possible game viewing experience. 

A full brunch is served on return, followed by a midday siesta, a refreshing swim, or waiting for the game to quench their thirst at the waterhole.

High tea is served in the afternoon, followed by another exciting game drive. A sun-downer drink compliments the African sunset, leading to the night drive. Nighttime brings out the predators and many other nocturnal animals. Spotting nightlife or hearing a lion roar in the distance is an exhilarating experience.

Return to camp to freshen up and enjoy a drink with your ranger and hostess to discuss the day's sightings. A three-course dinner concludes the day.
 

Wednesday 10 June : Kruger National Park (Jock Lodge)

Same as Tuesday, but remember, every day in the bush is a new experience; always expect the unexpected!

Thursday 11 June : Kruger National Park – Johannesburg – USA.

Morning game drive followed by breakfast. Then it’s time to pack up for the return flight to Johannesburg. Arrive back at ORTIA from where you’ll proceed on a tour to the Apartheid Museum.

The Apartheid Museum opened in Johannesburg in 2001 with the mission to educate visitors about the inhumanity of apartheid and to increase awareness about the heroic movement that ended it. The result is not only an informative and moving must-see, but an architecturally interesting museum complex.

Accessing the museum’s front entrance through its courtyard, visitors are overshadowed by literal pillars of South Africa’s new constitution: democracy, equality, reconciliation, diversity, responsibility, respect, and freedom. Further exemplifying the museum’s status as one of the most evocative in the world, visitors are thereafter handed a card stating their race and are required to enter the building through their designated gate.

Through its 22 permanent multimedia exhibitions, visitors are taken on an emotional journey through South Africa’s political progress, presented in an unbiased, informative and ultimately enlightening manner.

Return to ORTIA where you’ll check in for your flight home.

 

Testimonials

"I found the trip fabulous--the accommodations everywhere, the food, the guides were all excellent. I am very grateful I was able to attend."
-Pessy Weitzner, Toronto, ON

"What a memorable trip with Rabbi Slifkin bringing a Torah perspective to the animals we saw in their natural habitat…an adventure not to be missed."

- Mena Shupak, Toronto, ON

"The trip to Africa with Rabbi Slifkin was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The raw and natural beauty of the  animals and the country we encountered was enhanced by Torah insights, bringing the trip to a spiritual level, as well." 

- Frieda Bomrind, Brooklyn, NY