Open 9 am - 6 pm
We are temporarily closed to the public.


  • Experience stunningly beautiful Cape Town, including Table Mountain, the dramatic landscape of the Cape Peninsula and breathtaking botanical gardens.
  • Get up close to the marine “Big Five”: great white sharks, southern right whales, African penguins, Cape fur seals and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins.
  • Visit the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), a seabird rehabilitation center Shedd has worked with since 2014.
  • Venture inland to the magnificent mountain ranges around Stellenbosch and Franschhoek to enjoy the winelands of South Africa in this ideal microclimate for vineyards.
  • Fly to Madikwe conservation area and look for the ”Big Five” of land—lions, leopards, Cape buffaloes, elephants and rhinos—on a luxury safari adventure.

“Shedd is excited to partner with Brookfield Zoo, blending our organizations’ expertise of sea and land for the ultimate wildlife experience in South Africa.”

Cheryl Mell, Senior Vice President of Conservation
From left to right: Cheryl Mel of Shedd Aquarium, a tall woman with long blond hair, and Christopher Panek of Brookfield Zoo, shown standing in front of a safari vehicle and wearing a baseball cap.

Your expert hosts

You’ll have experts of sea and land on this ultimate South Africa wildlife experience led jointly by Shedd Aquarium and Brookfield Zoo. Cheryl Mell, Shedd’s senior vice president of conservation, is a marine biologist and educator. Cheryl includes travel as a way to inspire conservation advocacy. Among the 100-plus countries on seven continents that she has visited, her favorite city is Cape Town. Christopher Panek, Brookfield’s vice president of membership, leads the zoo’s travel program and has been to Africa three times.

  • A dramatic view from a high, richly green ridge of steep rock cliffs receding into a peninsula where they meet with frothy white waves on a clear blue ocean in Africa.
  • Wild dolphins are seen riding the wake of a boat, their sleek bodies arching above the waterline as they swiftly propel themselves along the water's surface.
  • A tiny hummingbird sits on the tip of a stiff-petaled flower, the iridescent green feathers on its head striking.
  • Three lions stand among grasses and bushes in the wild, two of them --one bearded and the other not-- rubbing their heads together affectionately.
  • An elephant seen on safari in africa reaches its long nose into its mouth as it stands among tall grasses and sand.

Top: KM Dreamstime, Second row left: © Ottoduplessis, Third row: © Dmfrancesco,

Why you want to go

Start in South Africa’s “Mother City,” Cape Town, with staggering views from the top of Table Mountain, a wealth of wildlife, sprawling botanical gardens and the rugged beauty of the Cape Peninsula. In Grootbos, discover the “Big Five of the sea—southern right whales, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, African penguins, Cape fur seals and great white sharks. Immerse yourself in the culture and history of the winelands and visit award-winning vineyards. Jump into the wilds, away from the bustle of humanity, and uncover the world of the”Big Five” of land—lions, elephants, Cape buffaloes, rhinos and leopards.

Am accommodation hut on the plains of Africa commands a stunning view of the low brush and mountains in the distance as the sun sets, coloring the sky in striking shades of pink, orange and blue.


  • Superior accommodations throughout at hotels and lodges as listed in the itinerary or similar.
  • Breakfasts daily, all meals while on safari and other meals as indicated in itinerary.
  • Transportation in luxury air-conditioned motorcoach. Wildlife viewing in open land cruisers.
  • Complimentary bottled water in vehicles.
  • Round-trip light aircraft flights between Johannesburg and Madikwe Game Reserve.
  • Round-trip flight Johannesburg/Victoria Falls on the post-extension.
  • All applicable hotel/lodge gratuities and taxes.
  • Local naturalist guide on the main program and the extension.
  • A trip host from Shedd Aquarium and Brookfield Zoo.
  • All park entry fees.
  • Complimentary baggage tags and passport wallet.
  • Complimentary emergency evacuation insurance.

Not Included

  • Round-trip air from Chicago to Cape Town, returning from Johannesburg, including U.S. and foreign airport taxes (quoted separately).
  • Passport and visa fees and service charges for obtaining visas. No visas are required for South Africa. Visas are required for Zimbabwe.
  • Gratuities to driver/guides and other conveyance attendants. Gratuities should only be given as a reward for exceptional service and is at your discretion.
  • Meals and beverages, other than specified.
  • Laundry and other items of a personal nature.
  • Personal and baggage insurance.
  • Cost for anything not specifically mentioned in the listing above. Please note the itinerary sequence is correct at the time of writing, but is subject to change.

Getting there and home

Classic Escapes works with participants to book international airfare for this trip. If you prefer to purchase your own international air, please feel free to choose the “land-only” rate for this program. The start city for this program is Cape Town and the end city is Johannesburg.

Program Details

Group size


Price per person

Main land package only double occupancy (per person) $8,295
Main land package only single occupancy $11,590

Optional Extension

Double occupancy (per person)  $2,995
Single occupancy $3,790

Nature adventures require flexibility

Your guides may alter the timing of activities to ensure that you see the most wildlife.

Physical requirements

You should be able to walk moderate distances at an easy pace for up to a few hours.


Shannon Fuller
Asst. Director, Conservation Travel
Shedd Aquarium
[email protected]