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Elephant looms behing guide

(c) photo by tour participant Don Koller

Cost: TBA

Maximum participants:

Spaces remaining: 8

Guides: Steve Eshbaugh, Eric Davis & local South African Guides

Level: Easy: We'll spot game from the safety of safari vehicles. Safe walks will be less than 2 miles.

 

Tour prices are given “per person, double occupancy” and include a donation to a South African conservation organization.

 

What's included in your fee?

  • All trip materials, including detailed daily itinerary, list of what to bring, recommended field guides and pre-trip reading materials, checklist of likely birds & other wildlife.

  • All services of the leaders and guides

  • All transportation upon arrival to destination city.

  • All accommodations during tour dates.

  • All entrance fees to museums, parks, etc.

  • All meals (except alcoholic beverages) are included, typically from breakfast on the first full day through dinner on the last full day.

Tour prices DO NOT include alcohol, round-trip international airfare, passport/visa fees, arrival taxes, baggage fees, single-supplement fees, telephone calls, laundry, room service, and souvenirs.

Tour deposit is refundable, minus a $200 processing fee up to 150 days prior to departure.

Note: Tour costs, itineraries, and dates are subject to change. Prices may be affected by international currency exchange rates or itinerary changes.

We help offset trip impacts by purchasing carbon offsets to reduce our carbon footprint.

Currency fluctuations may impact trip costs

South Africa: Walk with Warthogs!
2025 TBA

What better way to acclimate to time zone differences than spending four days at a private reserve, where you'll safely hike to gorgeous vistas and spot game on foot (including warthogs) while not fearing for your safety? This incredible journey to South Africa includes seven days of game drives and five full days of exploring the Cape Town area. You'll also sample South African wines in some of the prettiest vineyards in the world.

Imagine you awaken in the morning, just after sunrise, and decide to go for a walk. You relish your cup of coffee, finish a biscuit and head out into the South African bush. As you round a corner, a small herd of zebra darts away from your sudden appearance. A little later in your hike, you spot giraffes gently nibbling on an acacia tree. You're astonished to see animals ranging freely you've only previously seen in a zoo. An hour later, you return to your lodge, anxious to share your stories with fellow travelers. 

Our trip offers these experiences, along with the unique game and bird viewing opportunities, and includes seven full days of safari at a bargain price. This offering is an extraordinary opportunity to immerse yourself in the stunning scenery, wildlife, and culture of South Africa. Why pick South Africa for a safari?  When we see game, we'll share it with fewer other tourists. Unique to almost any other tour, this venture starts on a 7,200-acre private game reserve. We will leave cars behind and go for short hikes to spot giraffes, impalas, and a variety of other native wildlife without potentially dangerous predatory species (at least none of the human-eating kind.) We will likely see no one else during our stay. It won't take long to leave the stresses of home behind. And we'll also have a chance to reset our clocks.

​We'll also visit Cape Town (one of the most scenic cities in the world), including the stunning Cape Point National Park. A visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens will provide an opportunity to view a fantastic array of flowering plants and many bird species that feed on some of the flowers for nectar.

​No trip to South Africa is complete without a safari. Many tours book safari lodges for two or three nights; we have arranged for five consecutive nights and seven days of safari. You want to maximize your journey, as traveling to Africa is not often repeated, and we want to ensure you see a maximum number of game animals. In addition, you can dismiss malaria as a concern, as we will only visit areas free of malaria.​

ITINERARY AT A GLANCE

October 18: Arrive in Johannesburg

October 19: Day visit to Dino Keng Private Reserve, overnight Johannesburg

October 20: Transfer to Lindani, Overnight Lindani

October 21: Explore Lindani at leisure, overnight Lindani

October 22: Morning & evening safaris, overnight Lindani

October 23: Morning bird walk, evening picnic, overnight Lindani

October 24: Lindani to Johannesburg. Fly to Cape Town, Overnight in Cape Town

October 25: Kirstenbosch Gardens, Table Mountain, Overnight in Cape Town

October 26: Full day in wine country, Overnight in Cape Town

October 27: Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope Boulder's Beach. Overnight in Cape Town

October 28: Bird Cape Town in the morning, Free afternoon. Overnight in Cape Town

October 29: Whale-watching trip to Hermanus. Free afternoon. Overnight in Cape Town

October 30: Cape Town to Johannesburg, fly to Madikwe Private Reserve

October 31: Explore Madikwe Private Reserve, Overnight Thakudu Bush Camp

November 1: Explore Madikwe Private Reserve, Overnight Impodimu Lodge

November 2: Explore Madikwe Private Reserve, Overnight Impodimu Lodge

November 3: Explore Madikwe Private Reserve, Overnight Impodimu Lodge

November 4: Drive from Madikwe to Johannesburg, fly home tonight

November 5: Arrive Home.

Click the pdf to the right for detailed itinerary!

Planners created Dino Keng Private Game Reserve to give visitors to the World Cup a chance to enjoy safari while not straying too far from Johannesburg. At over 50,000 acres, Dino Keng is home to African elephants, lions, white rhinoceros, leopard, and lion (the Big Five). Many private holdings came together to combine their parcels to form this tourist magnet. Lake Mongena, in the private Mongena Reserve, is a valuable wetland and provides valuable habitat for hippos and crocodiles. 

Did you know? Spotted hyena cubs are born with  a full set of incisors and canines?

Birds thrive around the wetlands, and the appropriately named Goliath Heron often lurks on shores here. Cape Teal, Hammerkop Yellow-billed, Fulvous-whistling, and White-faced Whistling Ducks are among the 170 other bird species spotted at the dam.

Lilac-brested Roller

No safari is complete without venturing forth in a safari vehicle. We will search the grounds of Mongena Reserve for big game. This is an excellent spot for seeing some unusual antelope like nyala and steenbok. Giraffes are common sights on the reserve, and we expect to see the aforementioned buffalo, lion and rhinos.

Did You Know?

Spotted hyenas are born fully armed? When born, the pups have a full set of incisors and canines.

Wild Male African Lion

Lion photograph by participant Don Koller

Lindani Private Game Reserve lies within the famed Waterberg Biosphere Reserve. The owners realized many years ago tat many South Africans could never afford a "big-five" safari, where per night charges run well over $1,000 per person per night. Thirty years ago they launched Lindani Reserve. None of the big five (aside from some very reclusive leopard) reside on the grounds, but there are plentiful giraffes, greater kudu, impala, warthog, waterbuck, common eland, blue wildebeest, and red hartebeest. Night drives afford a chance at spotting rarities like aardvark, spotted genet, civet and bush babies.

What sets the reserve apart is the numerous scenic trails, all of which are void of human-eating predators. It is an exhilarating experience to come around a corner on a trail and come face-to-face with a herd of zebra. Make no mistake, the animals here are wild, and will give flight as soon as they're aware of your presence.

Another reason the owners created Lindani was to restore once badly denuded farmland to a more natural state. After decades, the land is recovering well. Native grasses give sustenance to the many ungulate species growing here. Also, creating reserve employes several dozen people who now have a greater appreciation for the natural world in which they live.

This is the perfect spot to recover from jet lag wariness, and the laid-back pace is helpful too!

(c) African Penguin photo by Guide Steve Eshbaugh

Madikwe Private Game Reserve is a combined effort of private landowners and the South African government. In 1992, under Operation Phoenix the government brought in 10,000 game animals to populate what was previously unproductive farmland.  The area responded better than could be expected, resulting in an almost 200,000-acre game reserve, with healthy populations of elephants, lions, African painted dogs, and white and black rhinos.

 

Madikwe is known throughout the world as one of the best places in which to see African painted dogs. One pack in the east, and one in the west, greatly increases the likelihood of seeing these highly endangered mammals (less than 6,000 exist worldwide.) Our trip takes advantage of the diverse landscapes by spending two nights on the eastern edge of Madikwe and another three nights on the western edge. 

Bird diversity is high, with 352 species recorded on the reserve, leaving it just outside the top 40 eBird hotspots in South Africa. Highlights include Lilac-breasted Roller, Kori Bustard, Pale-chanting Goshawk, Crimson-breasted Gonolek, and many more. Madikwe Reserve lies in a transitional zone between the Kalahari Desert and a semi-arid zone.

All previous trips included sightings of African elephant, African buffalo, white rhinoceros, cheetah, African painted dog, brown hyena, and many antelope species. Bird list sightings are in the hundreds.

Cape Town, known as the Mother City, is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Our trip focuses on the area’s highlights, including visits to Table Mountain National Park, Cape of Good Hope, Hermanus for whale watching, and the Cape Winelands. South Africa named Table Mountain a National Park in 1998 to protect the natural environment of the Table Mountain Chain. We will walk in the rare vegetation of the fynbos, which almost appears as vegetation you’d expect on another planet; the views from the top of Table Mountain rival the coastal views of any other park. The varied habitat also draws some unusual and colorful birds, with Orange-breasted Sunbird heading the list.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is a massive, gorgeous botanical garden, with the Table Mountain Chain providing a stunning backdrop. The gardens, covering more the 1,300 acres, preserve primarily native plants. Such varied vegetation attracts numerous birds, with Malachite, Southern Double-collared, and Amethyst Sunbirds being colorful highlights. A target for any birder is the endemic Cape Sugarbird, commonly found at Kirstenbosch. Non-birders will delight in the gorgeous plantings and trails, which can easily occupy more time than we have here.

Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point offers fantastic views of the South African coast. Standing at Cape of Good Hope, you will stand on the southwesternmost point of the African Continent. A funicular takes us up above a lighthouse to provide stunning views. The diverse habitat is a draw for unusual animals, like the endangered mountain zebra. Other mammals we hope to spot include the gorgeous bontebok, massive common eland, Chacma baboon, and red hartebeest. We are almost sure to get a great look at Common Ostrich.

Hermanus is a small coastal town at the foot of False Bay. Every year Southern Right Whales migrate here in the spring to rest in a habitat where few predators lurk. The fourth largest whale rests in this beautiful setting for almost six months. When the whales return to Antarctica at the end of spring, much of their body fat is gone.

 

Cape Winelands produce some of the best wines in the world. The climate and soil are ideal for high-yield vineyards. In addition, the mountains that tower over the wine country provide a fantastic setting. We will tour wine country on a hop-on hop-off tram that allows maximum flexibility in visiting desirable wineries while also stopping at picturesque dining options.

Red-headed Barbet photo by participant Don Koller

View Fron Table Mountain

View from Table Mountain National Park, photo by participant Don Koller

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