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Marveling at a leopard in the Sabi Sands Private Reserve

South Africa: Cape Town &
Extraordinary, Exclusive Safaris: $9,900
May 1-May 20, 2024
May 1

Heading 6
Tour Dates
May 1-20, 2024
Departs & Returns
Johannesburg
Group Size
8 max, 6 available

South Africa is one of the world’s most beautiful countries. This trip begins with a visit to the stunning hills of the Waterberg region within the Limpopo Province, where participants can roam with antelope (and giraffes, zebra, and warthogs. ( There is no better place to recover from jetlag, than at a lodge where you can sip on your favorite beverage while game visits the waterhole.

We'll also spend four days in Cape Town, one of the world's most beautiful cities.  The view from Table Mountain National Park is unbeatable. At Kirstenbosch Gardens, one of the world’s finest botanical gardens, you'll have a chance to add numerous species of sunbirds and the endemic Cape Sugarbird. When we visit the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, you'll glance upon a coastline as pretty as any other.

 

The trip culminates as any trip to Africa should, with seven full days of safari. Welgovendon Private Game Reserve allows us to see all the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and African buffalo). Birding here is very good, with Crimson-breasted Gonolek, African Paradise Flycatcher, and Little Bee Eater being some avian targets. Our lodge is exclusively for our group, allowing for more intimate conversations as we share the wonder of incredible wildlife encounters.

 

Our last stop will be Elephant Plains within the world-renowned Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. This is the best place in the world to see and photograph leopards. On the western edge of The Kruger National Park, this is also a top spot for birding.

Food on this trip is outstanding, from country cooking at Lindani to five-star gourmet dining while on safari. The lodging is very nice and comfortable. You’ll also have ample opportunity to sample some of South Africa’s wines, many of which are difficult to purchase in the United States. 

Price: $9,900 double occupancy
Single supplement: $1,000

Call lead guide Steve Eshbaugh at (406) 570.2428, or email Steve@roamingnaturalists.com

Tour prices are given “per person, double occupancy” and include a donation to BOTH Montana Audubon (Steve Hoffman’s former employer) and a South African conservation organization.

 

What's included in your fee?

  • All trip materials, including detailed 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 hotel.

  • All accommodations during tour dates.

  • All entrance fees to museums, parks, etc.

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

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

 

Tour costs, itineraries, and dates are subject to change. Prices may be affected by international currency exchange rates or itinerary changes. We offset all trip impacts by purchasing carbon offsets to reduce our carbon footprint.

Red Headed Weaver perched on garden hose

Red-headed Weaver

Photo by tour participant Don Koller

BRIEF ITINERARY

May 1:  Leave the United States; 

May 2: Arrive in Johannesburg. Your flight must arrive by tonight.

May 3: We'll explore Johannesburg with a visit to the Apartheid Museum. Our hotel grounds can be productive for birds, including Hadada Ibis, Cape Sparrow, Cape Wagtail, Little Swift, Laughing Dove, and Pied Crow.

May 4: After breakfast, our shuttle will drive 3 1/2-hour drive to Lindani Private Game Reserve.

Burchell's Zebra in south africa

May 5: Before breakfast, a safari vehicle meets us at our lodge. For three hours, we'll explore Lindani for outstanding looks at giraffes, Burchell's Zebra, Warthogs, and numerous antelope. After lunch, we'll explore the reserve to search for common Eland, Blesbok, greater kudu, and perhaps an African painted dog.

After a spectacular picnic site, we'll search for nocturnal animals like aardvark, African Civet, Gennet, and Galago (bush baby).

May 6: Our morning birding exploration will ticket Southern Cordonbleu, Eurasian Hoopoe, Little Beeater, Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike, and Narina Trogon.

May 7: Today we head back to Johannesburg for our flight to Cape Town. We arrive in the late afternoon and, after underwinding, head to one of many excellent restaurants.

May 8; After breakfast, we'll head to Table Mountain National Park. The views 3,000 feet above Cape Town are amazing. Birds we should spot include Orange-breasted Sunbird, Rock Kestrel, Alpine, and African Swift, among many others. Before lunch, we travel to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, where the amazing plantings are matched with amazing bird sightings. Malachite, Southern Double-collared, Amethyst Sunbird, the endemic Cape Sugarbird, and several raptor species are some of our targets.

May 9: This morning, we head to West Coast National Park, where new bird species are likely, such as Greater and Less Flamingo and Bokmakerie. Waterbirds will abound, like Pied Avocet, Red-knobbed Coot, and African Oystercatcher. There are also many raptors like African Marsh and Black Harrier, African Fish Eagle, and Jackal Buzzard. We'll enjoy lunch in the park before heading back out to bird some of the impressive marshes.

 

May 10: We'll have a change of pace today and head to wine country. Our journey includes wine pairings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The mountains provide an incredible backdrop to the landscape.

 

May 11: Today offers a full day of exploring the Cape of Good Hope. We'll stop at Boulder's Beach for  African Penguin viewing before continuing on our way to Cape Point, all within Table Mountain National Park. The scenery here is remarkable, with one vista after another. We're sure to see Common Ostrich. One of the most beautiful antelope, the bontebok, is also a common sighting.

May 12: This morning, we'll fly back to Jo'Burg before hopping on a shuttle for our flight to  Welgovendon Private Game Reserve, where we have exclusive use of a luxury safari lodge for four nights.

May 13-May 15: Each day at around 4:45, you'll be awakened for our first game drive in a "big five" reserve. After a few hours out in the bush, we'll return for a hearty breakfast. You'll then have several hours to relax. Perhaps you'll spot an African Cuckoohawk, Black-chested Snake-eagle, Cape Griffon, or Lizzard Buzzard roosting atop a tree.

 

During safaris, you'll search for African elephant and buffalo, lion, leopard, white and black rhino, hippo, cheetah, and over 20 species of antelope. You never know what surprises a game drive has in store for you. Perhaps we'll even spot a predator on the hunt.

 

May 16: You'll have your last safari at Welgovendon before boarding our shuttle back to Johannesburg for our flight to Hoedspruit and transfer into the world-renowned Sabi Sands Private Reserve. .M

May 17For

May 17-18: Much like Welgovonden, we'll have early wake-ups, followed by a game drive, lunch, an afternoon game drive, and dinner. No place ins the world enables you to get closer to leopards than you're likely to in Sabi Sands. Since this 160,000-acre property adjoins The Kruger National Park, there are huge numbers of animals.

 

Unlike The Kruger, we are not competing with private vehicles for sightings, as a guarded gate ensures only guests with reservations are allowed entry. Birding at our lodge, Elephant Plains can be fantastic with White-headed and Black-backed vultures as distinct possibilities, though they are now endangered species.

May 19: We'll head back to Hoedsrpuit for our return flight to Johannesburg. We'll arrive back in South Africa's largest city in plenty of time to catch your flight home. We'll enjoy one last meal together before we head through airport security.

May 20: Arrive home.

African Buffalo At Impodimo
Lilac-breated Roller perched on branch
south africa black rhino profile
Lepard resting at Sabi Sands

Burchell's Zebra

Photo by tour participant Don Koller

Photo by tour participant Don Koller

African Buffao

Black Rhinoceros

Photo by tour participant Eric Davis

Leopard

Photo by guide Steve Eshbaugu

Lilac-breasted Roller

Photo by tour Participant Don Koller

African Lion at Madiwe Private Game Reserve.

African Lion

Photo by tour participant Don Koller

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