The Bloom & Big Twelve - 2025

Fully Guided tour with Bill Ball, host of 2 Travel Series: Journeys in India and Journeys in Africa, seen Nationally on Public Television will guide your tour from start to finish. He has guided tours on all 7 continents and over 100 countries. Join him on this new offering from Passport Travel Tours.

15 Day Tour: August 29-September 12, 2025


Double Occupancy, Per Person
  • Base Pricing is always calculated for double occupancy.
Solo Traveler
  • $1200 supplemental for Solo Travelers.

Tour Highlights



Places to see
before you die

Feature Title

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  • · Cape Town
  • · Cape of Good Hope
  • · Augrabies Falls
  • · Kgalagadi
  •   Transfrontier NP
  • · Pilanesberg
  • · Moolmanshoek  Reserve
  • · Lesotho
  • · Bloemfontein
  • · The BLOOM
  • · The Big 12:  Lions, Cheetah, Leopard, African Buffalo, Hyena, Giraffe, Zebra, Elephants, Hippo, Wild Dog, White & Black Rhino

Tour Includes

  • Round trip airfare from Chicago
  • First Class Hotel Accommodations
  • All Breakfasts, All Lunches & All Dinners
  • Deluxe Motorcoach Transportation
  • Admissions to all listed Attractions
  • Round trip airport transfers in the Chicago land area
  • Guided by Bill Ball
  • Baggage Handling
  • All Gratuities

Tour Itinerary

Day One  Depart Chicago on an overnight flight to the wild continent of Africa. Be ready for the adventure of a lifetime, more species and the unbelievable bloom that tops all others.

Day Two  We start our touring with a city tour of Cape Town including the Parliament and the wonderfully restored colonial buildings and gardens—it is often called the most beautiful city in Africa.

Day Three  Today we head to the end of the world or at least the southern tip of Africa—the Cape of Good Hope.  The Nature Reserve at Cape Point has wild baboons, bontebok, hartebeest and ostrich.  Then it is off to the Boulders were we will observe African penguins up close as they nest on the beach.

Day Four  We leave Cape Town and head north to West Coast National Park noted for its wildlife and this time of year—flowers.  This is the peak of the best wild blooms in the world.  Over 4000 flower species are represented here.  This bloom will blow your mind—a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Day Five  We continue north to two natural wonders of South Africa.  Geogap Nature Reserve is home to 45 species of mammals and over 580 plant species.  Augrabies Falls, one of the most spectacular sites in South Africa, will be our second wonder of the day.  Best of all, this is another day where the drive and the flowers may over-shadow the wildlife and scenery of the parks.

Day Six  We enter Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park   today—one of the best of Africa.  The Kalahari desert literally blooms with life as we come face-to-face with the park’s namesake gemsbok as well as lions, cheetah, meerkats, springbok and hyena.  We will have a night drive to see the illusive creatures that come out when the sun goes down.  This will add several species to our count.

Day Seven We continue to explore Kgalagadi staying on the lookout for its abundant bird life and mammals.  Many of the species in this part of Africa     are found nowhere else.  We continue our park stay tonight.

Day Eight  We head out of the park today, using our morning time in the park to spot some of the more elusive wildlife.  We head to Upington where we catch a flight to the Johannesburg area.  We do a night drive tonight in Rietveld looking for aardvarks, bush pigs and hedgehogs to name a few.

Day Nine We tour one of the greatest national parks in Africa—Pilanesberg.  Here the forest meets the dry savannah yielding species from both.  Rhinos, hippos, lions, giraffe, cheetah, wild dog, leopard and many types of antelope make this park home.  We will do a night drive to capture the rare night creatures as well.

Day Ten  Its off to a private reserve—Moolmanshoek—where we will be looking for several special species like bonteboks, serval and caracal.  The area is one of the most beautiful in all of Africa with its majestic mountain range.  For birders—there are hundreds of species—many found in this area only.

Day Eleven  Today we continue to tour Moolmansboek Private Reserve.  Animals to especially look for include sable, hartebeest, black-backed jackal, caracal, meerkat, porcupine, eland and springbok to name just a few.  The bird count includes eagle owls, black eagle, jackal buzzard and bald ibis.

Day Twelve  Today we visit one of the least visited countries in the world—Lesotho.  One of the last monarchies in Africa, we will tour the Palace area, the national museum and learn about this very distinct culture living inside South Africa.  We overnight back in South Africa in Bloemfontein. 

Day Thirteen  Bloemfontein is one of three capitals of South Africa with the judiciary housed here.  We will visit the historic buildings left from the British era.  Impressive is an understatement.  We will also have one last safari inside the city limits!  This nature reserve will add that species count to make this a record setting trip.

Day Fourteen  We head home today counting the number of species, photos taken and incredible natural wonders like the bloom we experienced.

Day Fifteen  We arrive home full of wonderful memories of the best safari ever with the best wildflower display in the world and probably the top species count of all time.