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Bird Watching Tour in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa - 8 Days

Bird Watching Tour in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
23990

Birding & Wildlife Tour in Kwazulu-Natal

This 8-day Bird Watching and Wildlife in KwaZulu Natal Tour within South Africa explores numerous inland and mountain regions rich in endemic and special birds, some wildlife and splendid scenic beauty.

The tour explores a tremendous altitudinal range that starts near sea level and extends to 2,900masl, thus offering the opportunity to explore varied habitats supporting a broad array of species. Habitats we venture into include grassland, wetlands and riverine areas, mountains and cliffs, rocky slopes, indigenous scarp and mist belt forests, and man-made forest and gardens.

On the bird watching in Kwazulu Natal tour, we set a sightings goal of 270+ species in the summer months and 200+ species in winter. On the mammal front, we hope to see upwards of 30 species, with an array of reptiles, amphibians and butterflies also to be found across the varied habitats.

Our tour both commences and ends at Umhlanga or King Shaka International Airport. We visit a multitude of areas, beginning with the Creighton area and the magnificent vlei at Ntsikeni Nature Reserve, before heading through Underberg to the Himeville area where we spend our first night. The following morning, we undertake a great guided 4x4 adventure up and down the breath-taking Sani Pass and explore the greater region, before sending our second night at the same accommodation.

We rise early the next morning to head for the Marutswa Forest trail and boardwalk, before continuing to Tillietudlem Nature Reserve, and then on to the mist belt grasslands, wetlands and mist belt forests of Karkloof, where we spend a night. Early the next morning we explore Benvie Gardens, before heading for the coast.

We send our next night in the famous estuary town of St Lucia, where we explore the ‘Miracle and Wonder’ of South Africa’s first World Heritage Site − iSimangaliso Wetland Park. We then push on to the Nibela Peninsula and Muzi Pan, before entering the ‘Holy Grail’ of Southern African birding hotspots – uMkhuze Game Reserve, where we spend 2 nights. We depart the reserve, stopping en-route at Mpempe Pan, before proceeding to Umlalazi Nature Reserve, where we overnight in Mtunzini town.

The next morning sees us connect with a local community bird guide and head up into the enchanting scarp forests of Ongoye Forest Reserve and Dlinza Forest Reserve. Our final stop is at Amatikulu Nature Reserve before we return for Umhlanga or the airport.

On the accommodation front we typically use affordable good value and comfortable private guesthouses and public rest camps, but should you prefer, at an added cost, several more luxurious private lodge and guesthouse options are also on offer.

The tempo of our tours is typically medium-paced, with optional mid-day breaks (advisable on hot days), and some walking, but nothing too serious. If you are keen on photography, well so are we, and we can offer many opportunities to capture the moments that will make you the envy of your wildlife-watching friends.

Expected weather conditions: On a climate level, the area falls in the summer rainfall region, with an average of between 850 and 1,100mm per year. Temperatures range from well below freezing point in winter, to potentially early 30˚C midday in summer, with an average maximum of 17.4˚C and an average minimum of 9.5˚C. The driest month is July, the most rainfall falls in January, and the warmest in February. There are chances of convection thunderstorms with rain and hail in summer and occasional light snowfalls in winter following cold fronts moving up from the south.

Birding in KwaZulu Natal - Tour Highlights:

  • A birding day trip by 4x4 up into Lesotho via the extraordinarily scenic Sani Pass, and a Fig Forest walk in uMkhuze.
  • Hunt for numerous endemics and specials, including Drakensberg Rockjumper, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Ground Woodpecker, Blue Swallow, Cape Parrot, Orange Ground Thrush, Spotted Ground Thrush, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Green Barbet, Green Malkoha, Pel’s Fishing Owl, African Broadbill, Southern Banded Snake Eagle, Woodward's Batis and many more.
  • Expect to find the Big 5 mammals in uMkhuze and iSimangaliso, and numerous rarer small mammals as well.
  • Explore 2 World Heritage Sites – the majestic Maloti-Drakensberg Park and iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
  • Experience the most biodiversity richest province in South Africa.

Add-ons: this tour can be combined with extensions to Wakkerstroom and the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga.

You also might be interested to visit 5-days Zululand Game Reserve & Maputaland Wildlife Tour, South Africa. Please check out.

Alternative Tour Name: KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife & Birding Tour, South Africa
Day 1
Midlands & Drakensberg – 375km

Habitat types: Montane Grassland, Temperate Forest and Scarp Forest

Route: Depart Umhlanga, Creighton, Ntsikeni Vlei, Underberg, Himeville

Accommodation: Mkomazana Mountain Cottages or similar.

Target birds: Cape Parrot, Blue Swallow, Eurasian Bittern, Black Harrier, Striped Flufftail, Ground Woodpecker, Denham's Bustard, African Rail, Bearded Vulture, Cape Vulture, Buff-streaked Chat, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Malachite Sunbird, Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Drakensberg Prinia, Drakensberg Rockjumper, Drakensberg Siskin, Mountain Pipit, Mountain Wheatear, Layard's Tit-babbler, Sickle-winged Chat, Grey-winged Francolin, Red-winged Francolin, Red-throated Wryneck, Bokmakierie, Barratt’s Warbler, Knysna Turaco, Black Cuckoo, Sentinel Rock-Thrush, Cape Rock-Thrush, Bush Blackcap, Ground Woodpecker, Olive Woodpecker, Chorister Robin-Chat, White-starred Robin, Southern Bald Ibis, Amur Falcon, Eastern Long-billed Lark, Cape Batis, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Buff-spotted Flufftail.

Target mammals: Eland, Grey Rhebok, Mountain Reedbuck, Sloggett's Vlei Rat, Cape Clawless Otter, Spotted-necked Otter, Serval.

Day 2
Sani Pass, Drakensberg Mountains – 50km

Habitat types: Montane Grassland, Rocky Slope, Steep Escarpment, Temperate Forest and River Valley

Route: Up and down Sani Pass, Himeville

Accommodation: Mkomazana Mountain Cottages or similar. Includes 4x4 drive up pass.

Target birds:

Bearded Vulture, Cape Vulture, Ground Woodpecker, Drakensberg Rockjumper, Buff-streaked Chat, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Malachite Sunbird, Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Drakensberg Prinia, Drakensberg Siskin, Mountain Pipit, Layard’s Tit-Babbler, Sickle-winged Chat, Grey-winged Francolin, Red-winged Francolin, Red-throated Wryneck, Bokmakierie, Barratt’s Warbler, Knysna Turaco, Black Cuckoo, Sentinel Rock-Thrush, Cape Rock-Thrush, Bush Blackcap, Olive Woodpecker, African Harrier-Hawk, Chorister Robin-Chat, White-starred Robin, Southern Bald Ibis, Amur Falcon, Eastern Long-billed Lark, Cape Batis, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Buff-spotted Flufftail.

Target mammals:

Eland, Grey Rhebok, Mountain Reedbuck, Sloggett's Vlei Rat, Cape Clawless Otter, Spotted-necked Otter, Serval.

Specialist guiding: – 1 day Sani Pass 4x4 Tour. Passport required.

Day 3
Midlands & Maputaland – 320km

Habitat types: Montane Grassland, Temperate Forest, Scarp Forest and Coastal Wetland

Route: Tillietudlem, Karkloof, Benvie Gardens

Accommodation: Thistledown Country House or similar, Karkloof – 1 night

Target birds:

Blue Swallow, Wattled Crane, Blue Crane, Grey-crowned Crane, Orange Ground-Thrush, Spotted Ground-Thrush, Forest Buzzard, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Chorister Robin-Chat, African Emerald Cuckoo, Mountain Wagtail, Olive Thrush, Olive Bush-Shrike, Goliath Heron, Baillon's Crake, Black Crake, Greater Painted-snipe, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Avocet, Lesser Moorhen, Cape Teal, Cape Shoveler, Little Bittern, African Marsh-Harrier, Black Coucal, Palm-nut Vulture, Little Rush-Warbler, Lesser Swamp-Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Southern Brown-throated Weaver, Black-throated Wattle-eye.

Target mammals:

Grey Rhebok, Oribi, Bushbuck, Common Reedbuck, Samango Monkey, Banded Mongoose, Water Mongoose, Bottlenose Dolphin.

Day 4
Elephant Coast – 210km

Habitat types: Coastal Forest, Pans, Estuaries, Moist Grassland, Savanna and Woodland

Route: St Lucia Estuary and Forest, iSimangaliso Eastern Shores, iSimangaliso Western Shores

Accommodation: Amazulu Lodge or similar, St Lucia – 2 nights

Target birds:

Sooty Tern, Caspian Tern, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Yellow-billed Stork, Goliath Heron, African Black Oystercatcher, Black Crake, Greater Painted-snipe, Lesser Sand Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Yellow Wagtail, Baillon's Crake, Common Whimbrel, Little Rush-Warbler, Lesser Swamp-Warbler, Sedge Warbler, African Marsh-Harrier, Southern Brown-throated Weaver, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Striated Heron, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Southern Banded Snake-Eagle, African Wood-Owl, Corn Crake, Lesser Moorhen, Swamp Nightjar, Narina Trogon, Green Malkoha, Green Twinspot, Livingstone’s Turaco, Woodward’s Batis, Grey Sunbird, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike, Black-bellied Starling, Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Brown Scrub-Robin, European Honey Buzzard.

Target mammals:

Leopard, Elephant, White Rhino, Black Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Hippo, Spotted Hyena, Honey Badger, Serval, Side-striped Jackal, Red Duiker, Blue Duiker, Kudu, Nyala, Bushbuck, Giraffe, Waterbuck, Common Reedbuck, Bushpig, Samango Monkey, Bottlenose Dolphin.

Day 5
Zululand and uMkhuze Game Reserve – 142km

Habitat types: Coastal Forest, Pans, Estuaries, Moist Grassland, Savanna and Woodland

Route: St Lucia Estuary and Forest, iSimangaliso Eastern Shores, iSimangaliso Western Shores

Accommodation: Amazulu Lodge or similar, St Lucia – 2 nights

Specialist activity: uMkhuze night drive

Target birds:

Sooty Tern, Caspian Tern, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Yellow-billed Stork, Goliath Heron, African Black Oystercatcher, Black Crake, Greater Painted-snipe, Lesser Sand Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Yellow Wagtail, Baillon's Crake, Common Whimbrel, Little Rush-Warbler, Lesser Swamp-Warbler, Sedge Warbler, African Marsh-Harrier, Southern Brown-throated Weaver, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Striated Heron, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Southern Banded Snake-Eagle, African Wood-Owl, Corn Crake, Lesser Moorhen, Swamp Nightjar, Narina Trogon, Green Malkoha, Green Twinspot, Livingstone’s Turaco, Woodward’s Batis, Grey Sunbird, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike, Black-bellied Starling, Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Brown Scrub-Robin, European Honey Buzzard.

Target mammals:

Leopard, Elephant, White Rhino, Black Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Hippo, Spotted Hyena, Honey Badger, Serval, Side-striped Jackal, Red Duiker, Blue Duiker, Kudu, Nyala, Bushbuck, Giraffe, Waterbuck, Common Reedbuck, Bushpig, Samango Monkey, Bottlenose Dolphin.

Day 6
uMkhuze Game Reserve – 40km

Habitat types: Coastal Forest, Sand Forest, Riverine Forest, Pans, Savanna and Woodland

Route: uMkhuze Game Reserve

Accommodation: Mantuma Camp, uMkhuze Game Reserve – 2 nights

Specialist activity: uMkhuze Fig Forest walk

Target birds:

Pel’s Fishing-Owl, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Bateleur, Rosy-throated Longclaw, African Broadbill, Narina Trogon, Brown Scrub-Robin, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Woodward’s Batis, Green Twinspot, Pink-throated Twinspot, African Crowned Eagle, Secretarybird, Southern Banded Snake-Eagle, African Cuckoo-Hawk, African Wood-Owl, African Pygmy Goose, Great White Pelican, Black Heron, Purple Heron, Giant Kingfisher, African Marsh-Harrier, Denham’s Bustard, Collared Pratincole, Senegal Lapwing, Western Osprey, Greater Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo, Livingstone’s Turaco, Pale-crowned Cisticola, Lemon-breasted Canary, Caspian Plover, Red-backed Mannikin, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Grey Waxbill, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Crested Guineafowl, Bearded Scrub-Robin, Eastern Nicator, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike, Neergard’s Sunbird, Purple-banded Sunbird, Rudd’s Apalis, Klaas’s Cuckoo, White-throated Robin-chat, Southern Brown-throated Weaver, African Yellow White-eye, Acacia Pied Barbet, Grey Tit-Flycatcher.

Target mammals:

Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Elephant, White Rhino, Black Rhino, Cape Buffalo, African Wild Dog, Hippo, Spotted Hyena, Honey Badger, Suni, Red Duiker, Blue Duiker, Kudu, Nyala, Bushbuck, Giraffe, Waterbuck, Common Reedbuck, Thick-tailed Bushbaby.

Day 7
Mpempe Pan, Ongoye, Dlinza and Umlalazi – 233km

Habitat types: Coastal Grassland, Coastal Forest, Scarp Forest and Estuary

Route: uMkhuze, Mpempe Pan, Ongoye, Dlinza and Umlalazi

Accommodation: Ngoye Lodge, Mtunzini

Target birds: Swamp Nightjar, Narina Trogon, Crested Guineafowl, Grey Waxbill, Grey Sunbird, Trumpeter Hornbill, Green Twinspot, Orange-breasted Waxbill, Cuckoo Finch, White-eared Barbet, Cape Longclaw, Small Buttonquail, Common Quail, African Fish-Eagle, African Crowned Eagle, African Cuckoo-Hawk, Black-chested Snake-Eagle, African Finfoot, Goliath Heron, Purple Heron, Southern Brown-throated Weaver, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Spotted Ground-Thrush, Chorister Robin-Chat, Green Barbet, Black-bellied Starling, Olive Bush-Shrike, Grey Cuckooshrike, Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher, Black-chested Snake-Eagle, Klaas’s Cuckoo, Striped Pipit, Plain-backed Pipit, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Mangrove Kingfisher, African Pygmy-Kingfisher, Swamp Nightjar, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Green Malkoha, Yellow-streaked Greenbul.

Target mammals: Bushbuck, Common Reedbuck, Giraffe, Plain’s Zebra, Red Duiker, Blue Duiker, Hippo, Banded Mongoose, Samango Monkey.

Day 8
Depart Mtunzini for King Shaka International Airport – 126km

Habitat types: Coastal Grassland, Coastal Forest, Wetland and Estuary

Route: Amatikulu, Sappi Stanger

Target birds: Swamp Nightjar, Narina Trogon, Crested Guineafowl, Grey Waxbill, Grey Sunbird, Trumpeter Hornbill, Green Twinspot, Orange-breasted Waxbill, Cuckoo Finch, White-eared Barbet, Cape Longclaw, Small Buttonquail, Common Quail, African Fish-Eagle, African Crowned Eagle, African Cuckoo-Hawk, Black-chested Snake-Eagle, African Finfoot, Goliath Heron, Purple Heron, Black-bellied Starling, Olive Bush-Shrike, Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher, Black-chested Snake-Eagle, Klaas’s Cuckoo, Striped Pipit, Plain-backed Pipit, African Pygmy-Kingfisher, Green Malkoha, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Cape Shoveler, Baillon’s Crake, Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Bittern, Pied Avocet, Hottentot Teal, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Western Osprey.

Target mammals: Bushbuck, Giraffe, Plain’s Zebra, Red Duiker, Blue Duiker, Banded Mongoose, Samango Monkey.

Some of the wildlife we expect to see include:

Target birds:

Cape Parrot, Blue Swallow, Black Harrier, Bearded Vulture, Yellow-breasted Pipit, Striped Flufftail, Cape Eagle-Owl, Cape Vulture, Ground Woodpecker, Gurney’s Sugarbird, South African Cliff Swallow, Drakensberg Prinia,  Drakensberg Rockjumper, Drakensberg Siskin, Malachite Sunbird, Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Mountain Pipit, Layard’s Tit-Babbler, Sickle-winged Chat, Grey-winged Francolin, Red-winged Francolin, Shelley’s Francolin, Bokmakierie, Barratt’s Warbler, Red-breasted Sparrowhawk, Wing-snapping Cisticola, Wailing Cisticola, Black-winged Lapwing, Mountain Wheatear, Denham’s Bustard, Sentinel Rock-Thrush, Eastern Long-billed Lark, Knysna Turaco, Bush Blackcap, Ground Woodpecker, Chorister Robin-Chat, White-starred Robin, Southern Bald Ibis, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Buff-spotted Flufftail, Red-chested Flufftail, Wattled Crane, Blue Crane, Grey Crowned Crane, Orange Ground-Thrush, Forest Buzzard, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, African Emerald Cuckoo, Mountain Wagtail, Greater Painted-snipe, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Avocet, Cape Teal, Cape Shoveler, Black Coucal, Palm-nut Vulture, Southern Brown-throated Weaver, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Swamp Nightjar, Narina Trogon, Crested Guineafowl, Orange-breasted Waxbill, Cape Longclaw, African Finfoot, Goliath Heron, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Spotted Ground-Thrush, Green Barbet, Striped Pipit, Plain-backed Pipit, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Mangrove Kingfisher, Sooty Tern, African Black Oystercatcher, Greater Painted-snipe, Southern Banded Snake-Eagle, Green Malkoha, Green Twinspot, Livingstone’s Turaco, Brown Scrub-Robin, Yellow-breasted Pipit, Cape Eagle-Owl, Pel’s Fishing-Owl, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Bateleur, Rosy-throated Longclaw, African Broadbill, Woodward’s Batis, Pink-throated Twinspot, Secretarybird, African Pygmy Goose, African Grass-Owl, Common Ostrich, Lappet-faced Vulture, Southern Ground-Hornbill, Stierling’s Wren-Warbler, African Pygmy Kingfisher, Half-collared Kingfisher.

Target Mammals:

Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Black Rhino, White Rhino, Buffalo, Cheetah, African Wild Dog, Brown Hyena, Spotted Hyena, Pangolin, Hippo, Giraffe, Sloggett’s Vlei Rat, Serval, Caracal, Eland, Red Hartebeest, Grey Rhebok, Oribi, Mountain Reedbuck, Samango Monkey, Thick-tailed Bushbaby, Suni, Red Duiker, Blue Duiker, Cape Clawless Otter, Honey Badger, Bushpig, other general game, and good chances for uncommon smaller species.

What is included?

  • All accommodation or lodgings (may change subject to availability, in which case similar will be found) based on double occupancy
  • Single occupancy available for an additional charge/cost
  • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners, tea and coffee
  • Ground transport – max 7 participants and 1 guide per minibus vehicle
  • Total driving distance (including around sites) = 1,520km
  • Bottled water in vehicles whilst travelling – 2 per person per day
  • Entrance fees to all National Parks, Nature Reserves and/or use of Hides where applicable
  • Conservation levies
  • Personalized checklists
  • Specialist guide fees – 1 morning with a local site guide in the North Coast region, and fig forest walk in uMkhuze Game Reserve
  • All activities as specified within the tour itinerary
  • Personalised checklists
  • All Applicable Taxes
  • Minimum of 3 participants per vehicle required to undertake the trip. If fewer, the price will be slightly more;
  • Tour starts and ends either from King Shaka International Airport or Umhlanga;
  • This itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions at the time and other factors beyond our control;
  • The species mentioned in the itinerary represent only some of those we may possibly view on the tour, however, none of these can be guaranteed even though every effort will be made where possible to locate them. A full list of possible species appears on your checklist, although vagrants and rarities may also surprise us.

What is not included?

  • All airfares
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Airport departure taxes or visa fees
  • Travel and medical insurance (incl. personal equipment and repatriation)
  • All drinks, except waters
  • Optional excursions where applicable
  • Items of personal nature
  • Laundry and telephone charges
  • Optional trip/tour/safari extensions where applicable
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”

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Why should I book with Sustain Wildlife and Birding Safaris?

Sustain Safaris offers wildlife and birding expeditions for small groups throughout Southern Africa. Our explorations offer visceral experiences. Being out in the wilds will allow you to see when you look, hear when you listen and feel when you think. Join us on a journey of discovery, of both Nature’s treasure-chest and yourself.

What to bring?

Please keep luggage to a minimum for your own comfort and ease of transport, especially if we are using light aircraft transfers or vehicle transfers to remote birding camps. Generally, you will need to restrict your luggage to 12kg (packed in a soft bag / small suitcase), plus a reasonable amount of camera / birding equipment per person. Please try to limit hand luggage to one item per person. Excess luggage can be stored at most lodges and hotels. Binoculars are essential, camera (preferably with a zoom lens) and accessories. A spotting scope is also a good idea. Sandals and good comfortable walking shoes (full hiking boots are not necessary unless you have requested hiking / trekking activities or have been advised otherwise by us) if you plan on doing a game/bush walk while on safari.Cool comfortable clothing for the summer months. Khaki, green, brown, blue, beige or other dull coloured casual clothes are recommended for birding tours when birding on foot. Long-sleeved shirts and trousers will help protect you against the sun and insect bites. A warm jacket for night drives and, if visiting in summer, make sure it's water-proof. At least 1 jacket or fleece regardless of the time of year. Anti-malaria prophylactics (consult your medical practitioner or local health centre). The region is considered low risk to malaria-free. Wide brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Swimwear. Insect repellent. Small head torch / torch / flashlight. Personal toiletries, sunscreen, insect repellent (also available at shops on tour), and basic medicines such as anti-diarrhoea tablets. Prescription medications (if any). Visa or MasterCard credit card and/or travelers cheques - American Express and Diners Club are sometimes not accepted.

Which Field Guides and Birding Apps?

Sasol Illustrated Birds Of Southern Africa. Sinclair, I., Hockey, P.A.R. & Tarboton, W.R. 2002, 3rd Edition, Struik Publishers, Cape Town. This is the recommended field guide for identification purposes. This book is excellent and is recommended for intermediate to advanced birders. Robert’s Bird Guide To Southern Africa. Chittenden, H. 2007, John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. This comprehensive field guide covers over 950 Southern African bird species and is linked to the legendary Robert’s Birds of Southern Africa, the definitive reference book on our birds since 1940, currently in VII edition. Birding Apps: 3 good quality apps exist for smartphones and tablets exists in Southern Africa. These include Roberts Bird Guide (second edition); SASOL Birds of Southern Africa; or BirdPro South Africa.

Precautions to Take

COVID-19: Read our Action Plan above to understand the precautions we are taking to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on tour. Please also take the necessary precautions to ensure our guides are protected in turn by maintaining good personal hygiene by washing your hands regularly, wearing a face mask, and maintaining social distancing of 1.5 metres. MEDICAL: Southern Africa has minimal health-risks for the traveller. For more information on vaccinations consult your medical practitioner or health centre or contact The Medical Advisory Services for Travellers Abroad (MASTA). Their web address is www.masta-travel-health.comTHE SUN: One must be careful not to underestimate the effects of the African sun. Plenty of sun cream (preferably factor 50), a good sun hat and gradual adjustment are recommended. Avoid excessive exposure between 10h00 and 16h00. MALARIA: Some regions of South Africa fall under intermediate to low risk malarial areas. The north-east, including the Kruger National Park is considered intermediate risk, with anti-malarial drugs recommended from October to May. The far northern KwaZulu-Natal Province is now considered low risk, with only non-drug preventative measures required. The highest risk period is the summer season (October to May) and the lower risk period is late winter (June to September). The Drakensberg, Highveld (interior plateau), southern Zululand and KZN Midlands are free of malaria all year round. The following websites offer excellent information and advice on malaria prophylaxis, malaria in general and required inoculations: www.travelclinic.co.za www.malaria.org.za We recommend bringing insect repellent. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants, socks and shoes when outdoors at night. Take the malaria tablets recommended for the region you are travelling to, and keep taking them until the course is complete. If you suffer from side effects, try taking your pills at night, after dinner as this usually minimizes the effect of the symptoms. If you come down with flu-like symptoms within four to six weeks after your visit, seek your doctor's advice immediately. INNOCULATIONS: Travelers entering South Africa and other countries within Africa may be required to have specific inoculations. For all advice on inoculations, please contact your relevant travel medical doctor in your own country.

What Not to be Concerned About?

Malaria is not present in the region we tour. The camps and lodges are well lit, but a torch/flashlight will be handy when returning to your bungalow from our dining area or a night drive. Should you require certain snacks, beverages or toiletries, we will have opportunities to stop at grocery stores along the route.

Tour Guides/Leaders

Our guides are all registered and qualified as Tourist/Field Guides and have a good knowledge of the areas we operate in. Our guides are very familiar with the routes traveled while on safari. Please accept that they are well experienced in their field and will know which routes are best to travel and where the best areas are for seeing various animals and bird species. Although our guides have are very knowledgeable, they are only human and do not always know the answers to everything. They will always do their best to ensure all guests have an enjoyable safari. On the occasion they cannot provide an answer, please be fair to them. The guides are also not personal servants, so please treat them with respect. Guides know best when dangerous encounters occur. Please adhere to their rules and guidance for your own safety.

Tipping/Gratuities

Tipping in South Africa is not compulsory, but is customary. Restaurants waiters are generally tipped 10% of the bill. Our guides and chauffeurs receive a salary and are not dependent on tips from guests, but please feel free to tip your guide / chauffeur if you have had an enjoyable experience while on safari and feel like he/she has made your safari memorable. As a guideline we recommend guides/chauffeurs are tipped around US$3 per person per day. You should never feel pressured to tip. Please email us if you have any comments or suggestions you would like to make. We are always keen to improve.

What to Expect?

Groups are generally averaged at 3-7 individuals per safari. We travel in 8-seater mini-bus vehicles (e.g. Hyundai H1 or VW Quantum), with a maximum of 7 guests. Should 3 or less guests book, we will travel in a 5-seater vehicle (e.g. Toyota Fortuner), with a maximum of 3 guests. It is important to remember that people may come from different cultural and religious backgrounds and for this reason guests need to be as flexible as possible while on safari. Making friends with your fellow travelers will certainly help your overall experience of your safari. The first and last day of your safari can in particular be long, as you will need to get to and from the particular park. While in the parks extensive game drives are conducted, particularly in the early mornings and late afternoons/early evenings. Depending on the group dynamics and everyone agreeing, there may be the option of doing game drives throughout the day. Your guide will however be able to give you the best advice on the day and will make the final decision. Breakfasts and dinners are prepared out in the open. We feel that this is a much better way of experiencing the African bush than sitting in a restaurant. Please note that there may be times when guides will take you to a restaurant. This may be because of unforeseen circumstances such as rainy weather or late arrivals at camp. For your own safety we prefer that guides do not drive into the night, and therefore ask your co-operation to ensure that time is not wasted unnecessarily. South African roads are generally in a good condition and there should be no / very few delays. Please note that animals do not have a preference for one or the other. Your guide will drive you where he/she feels that you will have most success at seeing a variety of animals. While in the private reserves, open 4x4 vehicles are used as this may be necessary for some of the roads in the area.

Participation and Meals

Our guests are not expected to participate with general chores, but guides work long hours and will appreciate any help offered. Guides or camp staff will prepare all breakfasts and dinners, and guests are never expected to do this. On our standard safaris, we generally have a full-time chef on-site who will take care of culinary matters. On our budget safaris, guests will need to assist with meals. Should you have any specific dietary requirements, please inform us upon making your reservation.

Communication

An enjoyable tour depends on open and honest communication between yourself, the guides and your fellow passengers. Many problems have their root in lack of communication. Most parks have good cell phone coverage and you should not have any difficulty making phone calls from the camps where you will be staying. Please refrain from using cell phones while out on game drives in consideration of fellow passengers and the wildlife. In an emergency, please feel free to contact our office directly.

Accommodation

Note that some safaris are only available as fully-inclusive safaris. Facilities vary from park to park, and sometimes from camp to camp, and the information below should be seen as a guideline only. Camp specific information is available on request. Classic Safaris make use of en-suite accommodation units (either brick-and-mortar, steel and glass, luxury canvas tent, or timber cabins, or a combination thereof). These are all comfortable, and will provide air-conditioning, twin or queen beds, bathrooms, towels and soap at the very least. Most units contain tea and coffee stations, and small fridges where drinks and snacks can be kept cool. Families may be booked into family units, which generally consist of separate bedrooms, a small lounge area, and sometimes a small kitchen. Please note that the booking of such accommodation depends on availability. Budget Safaris may not have accommodation units (either brick-and-mortar, steel and glass, luxury canvas tent, or timber cabins, or a combination thereof) with en-suite facilities. These may not offer air-conditioning and fridges, but will generally include twin or queen beds, towels and soap, while ablutions may be shared. We have little to no control over the allocated accommodation upon checking into a camp. We will however always endeavor to accommodate guests' preferences and have all guests staying in the same standard of accommodation. Should there be anything within your accommodation which is not in working order then please notify your guide who will request that staff attend to the necessary repairs.

Photography

Please feel free to take as many photos as you like while on safari unless advised differently by your guide for a certain reason pertaining to your safety. Guides will always try and position vehicles in a way which allows for guests to take the best photos under the circumstances. Please ask the guide to stop if you would like to take photos at any time. The guides will also stop at panoramic viewpoints along the route, to ensure you get the best scenic photos. Please stock up on memory chips (film) and spare camera batteries before departure, as these may be difficult to find en-route. 4GB memory cards or more are recommended, especially if you are interested in photography! Our guides will also be taking photos and sometimes videos on tour, and these can be emailed to you at the end of the tour for mementoes and sharing. All lodges/camps have electrical points to charge batteries and other equipment.

Medical Advice

Please inform guides of any medical conditions before the safari departs, preferably when making your reservation. All necessary personal medication should be supplied by the client. Basic medication can be bought en-route in all areas as well as at some of the camps in parks. Please confirm with your guide should you need anything. Insect repellent is advised. This can also be purchased at some of the camps’ shops or in the towns en-route. The Kruger National Park and some of the northern KwaZulu-Natal parks are in a malaria region and your doctor should be consulted for the necessary prophylaxis before you visit.

Join Our Fixed Tour Starting Date

Tour Dates Tour Availability From Price Spaces Left
13/04/2021 - 20/04/2021 guaranteed ZAR 23,990
7
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You can send your enquiry via the form below.


8 Days

Price & Availability

From
ZAR23,990 / per person
Based on twin/double room
Single Supplement ZAR 2490
Group Discount Available
Group Discount Guide
Refer to Group Discount Terms
This tour is operated by: Sustain Wildlife and Birding Safaris

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Tour Facts

  • KwaZulu-Natal
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • Wildlife
  • On Request
  • 3 to 7 pax
  • 8 days
  • Year round
  • 10+ years
  • Moderate
  • No
  • English and Afrikaans
  • King Shaka International Airport
  • King Shaka International Airport