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Kruger Safari Tour, South Africa - 11 Days

Kruger Safari Tour, South Africa

Cape Peninsula to Kruger National Park Safari Tour

This 11-day Kruger Safari Tour is a moderately-paced safari available as a set-departure (or available request) where you can expect to see 45+ species of mammals and 150+ species of birds (though the emphasis is on the mammals and other wildlife).  This safari tour to Kruger National Park starts at the Cape Peninsula, then through Hermanus and includes 3 days at the end of the tour in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

The Cape and the Kruger are two regions that feature prominently on almost every traveller’s South African itinerary, and for good reason. Radically different, and located at opposite corners of the country, a visit to these two regions will brilliantly showcase the diversity that the country is well known for, both easily combined on a South Africa Safari!

"This was a Lawson's set departure and it was my first time to visit Africa. The standard of accommodation, food and service provided by Lawson's was out of my expectation. And most important of all, this tour gave me an unforgettable wildlife experience; in particular we had good time at Sabi Sands to stay close to lions & leopards. Besides, Lawson's also helped me a lot to plan for my tour extension to Victoria Falls.." -Paul Tsui.

The Cape is a truly remarkable piece of land. Hemmed in by the Atlantic Ocean to the south and west and an intricate system of Fold Mountains on the inland side, it is possibly as un-African it gets without leaving the continent. The winter rainfall regime, strong summer winds, and unique topography have contributed to a high degree of endemism and a singularly unique floral kingdom, described originally by the Dutch settlers as Fynbos, or ‘Fine Bush’.

While big terrestrial mammals were never common here, there are some endemics to be seen, such as the Cape Mountain Zebra and Bontebok, while marine animals such as Southern Right Whale and Great White Shark can also be seen. Moving up-country from the Cape, the next port-of-call is the Greater Kruger National Park, a protected area of 19 485 km² which is home to all of Africa’s iconic big game species, as well as myriad birds and other smaller creatures.

Combining these two areas, this Cape and Kruger Safari Tours will create a rewarding and memorable South African wildlife experience, one which will probably make you want to come back to see the rest of the country.

Kruger Safari Tour highlights include:

  • Explore the beautiful Cape Peninsula, one of the world's most scenic areas.
  • Go whale watching in Walker Bay.
  • Go on morning and afternoon game drives in the Kruger National Park, seeking out big cats and other game.
  • Get up close to Leopards and Lions in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
  • Go on night drives to see Lions and Leopards moving about under cover of darkness.

Please note: this set-departure tour is also available as a private or custom tour on request. Please submit an enquiry with your preferred dates and group size.

Like the look of this tour but would like to try a different location? Take a look at what the Africa Wildlife Safari Tour Part 1: Drakensberg & Zululand has to offer.

Alternative Tour Name: Wildlife of the Cape and Kruger
Day 1
Days 1 to 3 - The Cape Peninsula

After arriving at Cape Town International we’ll drive onto the Cape Peninsula, a large rocky piece of land thrusting out into the ocean to form the south-western tip of the African continent, separating False Bay from the Atlantic Ocean (contrary to popular belief the Indian and Atlantic Oceans do not meet here).

En route we’ll stop at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens on the slopes of Table Mountain, where we will spend the afternoon looking at the birds and flowers (this is a superb venue for photography) and enjoying the fantastic scenery. The following day we will have an opportunity to visit the famous African Penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach and will then explore Cape Point before returning to our guest house. Other attractions we’ll fit in include Table Mountain and Chapman’s Peak drive, one of South Africa’s most scenic road routes.

Day 2
Days 4 & 5 - Hermanus

Moving on from the Peninsula, we’ll drive around the edge of False Bay to look for Cape Rockjumper near Hangklip on the eastern point, with the drive via the small seaside village of Rooi Els being a highlight in itself, with the clear Atlantic Ocean crashing against the rocks below us on the right and the steep slopes of the Kogelberg range rising up steeply on our left, while the Cape Peninsula may be clearly visible across False Bay if the weather is good.

We’ll stop off at the Stony Point Penguin colony, which is larger in area than the Boulder’s Beach colony and usually less crowded in terms of tourists, and the Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens.

We’ll then continue on to Hermanus, one of the world’s best land-based whale watching destinations. Southern Right Whales should be common off-shore, while an additional attraction is the Great White Shark viewing nearby, with an optional shark trip on our full morning here.

Day 3
Day 6 - Kruger National Park

After breakfast we’ll drive back to Cape Town International Airport for our flight to Kruger / Mpumalanga International Airport near the town of White River before boarding the vehicles and entering the Kruger National Park. We’ll make our way to our first camp, viewing our fist Big Game on the way, where we should have time to settle in before dinner.

Day 4
Days 7 & 8 - Kruger National Park

For the next two full days we’ll spend our time exploring the park and looking for exciting mammal species such as Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Leopard, Buffalo, Cheetah and Wild Dog, and in the process encountering plenty of the common species such as Zebra, Wildebeest, Giraffe, Impala, Hippo, Warthog and others, as well as a huge number and variety of bird species, from the Ostrich, the world’s largest bird, to the stunningly beautiful Lilac-breasted Roller.

Time out in the field will be balanced by rest periods in the heat of the day, while optional extra activities include night drives to look for nocturnal birds and animals.

Day 5
Days 9 & 10 - Sabi Sand Game Reserve

After a last morning drive and breakfast we’ll pack and depart for the adjacent Sabi Sand Game Reserve, a 160 000 acre private conservancy which is open to and contiguous with the Kruger National Park. This means that animals are free to roam throughout the area, making for authentic game viewing.

Here we’ll have morning and afternoon game drives in open safari vehicles, where the focus will be on encounters with some of Africa’s big cat species. Game walks are an additional activity, while fine dining and accommodation will augment the experience to create what will arguably be the highlight of this wonderful wildlife tour.

Day 6
Day 11 - Departure

After a last morning drive and breakfast, we’ll depart for Kruger / Mpumalanga International Airport for flights back to Johannesburg.

Wildlife species expected to see:

Some of the species to be seen on this epic Cape & Kruger safari tour include: Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, African Wild Dog, Spotted Hyena, Honey Badger, Black-backed Jackal, Side-striped Jackal, African Wild Cat, Elephant, Buffalo, White Rhino, Giraffe, Hippopotamus, Greater Kudu, Nyala, Bushbuck, Common Warthog, Slender Mongoose, Banded Mongoose, Dwarf Mongoose, White-tailed Mongoose, Smith’s Bush Squirrel, Plains Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Impala, Common Duiker, Steenbok, Nile Crocodile, Common Waterbuck, Chacma Baboon, Vervet Monkey, African Civet, Large-spotted Genet, Small-spotted Genet, Klipspringer, Southern Right Whale, Bontebok, Red Hartebeest, Cape Grusbok, African Penguin, Blue Crane, Martial Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Lappet-faced Vulture, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Lilac-breasted Roller, White-fronted Bee-eater, Purple Roller, Southern Ground Hornbill, Southern Red-billed Hornbill, Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Green Wood-hoopoe, African Fish Eagle, African Hoopoe, Burchell’s Starling, and many others.

What is included?

  • All accommodation or lodgings based on double occupancy
  • Single occupancy available at extra cost (single supplement)
  • All breakfasts and dinners (and lunches on days 9 & 10)
  • Local transfers and all ground transport throughout the trip/tour/safari
  • Lawson's insulated water bottle (clients to purchase own water or use tap water)
  • Entrance fees to all National Parks, Provincial Reserves and other sites / attractions on the specified itinerary
  • Personalised bird / mammal checklists and itinerary
  • Specialist guide fees (professional English-speaking birding and wildlife guide)

What is not included?

Wildlife Reviews
5 stars
- based on 2  reviews
  1. Wildlife of the Cape & Kruger
    Paul Tsui18 Sep 2016







    This was a Lawson's set departure and it was my first time to visit Africa. The standard of accommodation, food and service provided by Lawson's was out of my expectation. And most important of all, this tour gave me an unforgettable wildlife experience; in particular we had good time at Sabi Sands to stay close to lions & leopards. Besides, Lawson's also helped me a lot to plan for my tour extension to Victoria Falls.
  2. Lawson\'s Birding Wildlife and Custom Safaris
    Diane Hart and Graham Bate16 Sep 2016







    What we love about Lawson's in coming from Adelaide Sth Australia is their organisation, administration, communication and "nothing is too much trouble" attitude.Their guides are great, knowledgeable and flexible. It'sa great combination.

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Why book with Lawson’s Birding, Wildlife and Custom Safaris?

In 2020 we are celebrating our 30th year of running birding and wildlife safaris in Africa. So we have plenty of experience in the game, and pride ourselves in creating incredible wildlife holiday experiences for our clients from across the globe. We offer quality wildlife experiences through set-departure and custom safaris, guided by fun and experienced birding and wildlife guides. Like our motto says, "you'll want to return to Africa with us time and time again!" See more on our website.

How does the payment process work?

A deposit will secure your place on the tour, with full payment due 8 weeks before the tour starts. Terms and Conditions apply, we'll give you all the info during the inquiry process.

Is this tour for me?

This tour is primarily a wildlife tour, with a focus on mammals first of all, though we will be doing a certain amount of bird watching as well, though this will mainly be restricted to big, colourful and photogenic species. We will also look at / observe any other forms of wildlife / natural history that are of interest. If you would like more of a bird focus then perhaps some of our other birding tours will be a better bet, speak to one of our consultants for advice.

What does a tyical day on the tour involve?

On days we aren't moving location or camp, we usually meet up for a cup of tea / coffee before heading out on a long morning activity, returning for late breakfast / brunch. Then we may have a bit of down time before an afternoon activity, returning in time to freshen up before dinner. There are exceptions - on some days we may head out on longer trips, taking packed meals with us and only returning after lunch; or we may have an early breakfast before departure for the next destination. Whatever the exact program we try to keep the pace manageable, after all it is supposed to be a holiday. *Some tours, such as our Endemics tours, are fast-paced overall.

Is the tour suitabe for children?

There generally aren't any age limits on the tours, so children are welcome. However, given the nature of the tours (long periods spent in vehicles looking for birds / animals, and not always finding our target species, despite the effort put in), our set-departures probably aren't suitable for children. For families we'd rather recommend a custom-safari, where you can dictate the pace and level of interest, and include more child-friendly accommodation venues. Speak to one of our consultants for advice.

Credit cards or cash?

In general credit cards are widely accepted in South Africa and across much of Southern Africa, though Diner's Club is the exception (Visa and Master are better options). It is a good idea to have some South African Rands (ZAR) on hand for smaller purchases or times when card machines may not be working. Note that South Africa and Namibia do not accept US Dollars cash, but US Dollars can be used in most of the rest of Africa.

Can we arrange pre-tours and extensions to our set-departures?

Most certainly! We usually recommend coming in a day early to acclimatize and reduce the risk of missing out a day or two due to flight delays or other travel problems, and we are happy to arrange this accommodation for you. And if you would like to extend your time in the country, our consultants are happy to help with suggestions and bookings.

What should I pack?

We send out more detailed packing lists as part of every safari info pack, but basically you'll need comfortable clothing, preferably in neutral colors. In general clothes dry quite quickly for self-washing, and most private places have laundry services, so it's not necessary to over pack. In order to avoid having to tow trailers etc we ask participants to keep their luggage down to one main bag and one day / carry-on bag plus photo / optics gear. We do recommend some warm gear for all safaris, just in case of cooler weather coming through, and especially for safaris entailing open-vehicle drives. Even at 20 degrees Celsius it can start getting a little chilly on a moving vehicle when you are exposed to the wind. Hats and sunglasses are essential. A torch / flashlight is also essential, and we strongly recommend socks and closed shoes after dark. Adapters - make sure you have the right adapters to be able to charge your devices. The 'universal' adapter does not work in South Africa!

What level of fitness is required?

Unless otherwise stated, our set-departures do not require any advanced degree of fitness, as most of the activities are vehicle-based. However, on tours with open-sided safari vehicles, getting into the vehicle does require a some climbing ability - if you have difficulty climbing up a step or two let us know in advance so we can make arrangements such as including steps to help you get up or making sure the passenger seat is available. Where there is any walking involved this is normally an optional activity so you are welcome to sit it out.

Can we cater for special dietary requirements?

In general yes - when using restaurants you are able to order whatever item on the menu suits you. When using lodges doing their own catering then advanced warning will usually enable them to cater for your needs. Please indicate any special needs to us well in advance. Note that the food is very good in general on our trips so you don't need to indicate that you are vegetarian just because you are worried about what meat may be served - for the most part it's beef, pork, lamb and chicken, though game meat may be available as an option. Speak to our consultants if you have any specific questions.

What are the expected weather conditions?

The Cape’s weather is notoriously variable and September is within the winter rainfall period. Some rain can be expected, while fine and warm conditions are also expected. In the Kruger it should be dry and warm, but early morning drives in open vehicles can be cold, so adequate clothing such as a thick fleece and windbreaker are recommended.

What's the tour tempo like?

Medium, optional mid-day breaks on non-travelling days (compulsory mid-day break on day 10, at the private lodge, due to their fixed routine).

What's the mammal viewing and birding like?

Mammal viewing: Southern Right Whales in season (late-August to December); antelope species such as the endemic Bontebok, Rock Hyrax and Chacma Baboon and other smaller species in the Cape. Superb mammal viewing in the Kruger region, including the Big Five. Birding: great birding opportunities, highlights include African Penguin, Cape Sugarbird and Blue Crane, as well as a host of savanna bird species.

Can I add extra days and destinations to this tour?

This tour can be combined with extensions to Victoria Falls or Namibia. Contact us for more information.

What's the accommodation like?

Medium to high: guest houses, national park chalets and a private safari lodge.

Join Our Fixed Tour Starting Date

Tour Dates Tour Availability From Price Spaces Left
04/09/2023 - 14/09/2023 guaranteed ZAR 58,475
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You can send your enquiry via the form below.

11 Days

Price & Availability

ZAR58,475 / per person
Based on twin/double room
Single Supplement ZAR 11190
This tour is operated by: Lawson’s Birding, Wildlife and Custom Safaris
4.97 based on 21 reviews

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Operator Review Summary

4.97 Based on 21 reviews

Tour Facts

  • Cape Peninsula, Hermanus and Greater Kruger National Park
  • Set Departure Tour
  • Set Departure
  • Mammals
  • Max of 8 pax; 4 pax per vehicle / guide.
  • No age restrictions but not suited to young children
  • Moderate
  • Cape Town International
  • Kruger / Mpumalanga Airport, Nelspruit