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Rare South Africa Mammals Safari - 10 Days

Rare South Africa Mammals Safari
36000

Rare Mammals Of South Africa Wildlife Safari

This guided 10-day Rare South Africa Mammals Safari which is moderately paced available on set-departure (or on request) is a safari package with Sustain that will lead you to some extraordinary destinations within South Africa, including 6 unique reserves renowned for amazing rare and shy mammal sightings.

This Rare South Africa Mammals Safari will focus on optimizing your guests’ chances of encounters with these highly sought-after animals, as well as many other species of game, rare and endemic birds, and all other manners of biodiversity.

In this rare mammal safari, you can expect to see a good number of the rare, shy, and cryptic species that some people only dream of. This tour has strategically selected certain key destinations within South Africa that provide some of the very best chances and probabilities for discovering these treasures in the time available. In addition, probabilities are good for discovering the Big 5 and a multitude of other diverse wildlife and birdlife. Each destination we visit en-route also offers unique habitats, extraordinary scenery, and breath-taking beauty.

This rare South Africa Mammals Safari commences at Umhlanga or King Shaka International Airport in KwaZulu-Natal and ends at George International Airport in the Western Cape. We explore:

  • The verdant bushveld region of Zululand at Manyoni Private Game Reserve for 2 nights,
  • The lush grasslands and glowing mountain scape around Golden Gate Highlands National Park for 1 night,
  • The harsher grasslands and savanna of Marrick Safari and Mokala National Park for 2 nights,
  • The stark Karoo landscapes at Khoisan Karoo Conservancy for 2 nights, and
  • The dramatic Karoo mountain ranges and valleys of Karoo National Park for the final 2 nights, before descending the extraordinary mountain pass to the evergreen coastal town of George.

Habitats include woodlands, savanna, wetlands, grassland, mountains and cliffs, scrubland, and rocky slopes, which host numerous regional endemics, threatened and endangered mammal and bird species, as well as great floral diversity. The route caters to a large mammal list in excess of 75 species, with a very good hit rate on many of the rare species. The bird list is also very impressive, totaling over 650 species in the region we tour through.

On the accommodation front we typically use very comfortable private lodges and national park resorts, but should you prefer, at an added cost, luxury lodging options can also be arranged.

The tempo of our Rare Mammal Tour is typically medium-paced, with optional mid-day breaks (advisable on hot days). If you are a keen photographer, 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: Subtropical and mostly hot during the day in the summer, and cooler in the evenings, with a chance of mist. Rain is possible, usually in the form of summer convection thunderstorms, and cool wet weather is possible in the event of a cold front moving up from the south. On a climate level, the region falls in the summer rainfall region, with an average rainfall of between 500mm and 1,100mm per year. Temperatures range from -8˚C in winter, to an average maximum of 18˚C and an average minimum of 10˚C. The driest month is July, the most rainfall falls in January, and the warmest is in February.

Rare South Africa Mammals Safari Highlights include:

  • Experience pangolin monitoring and open vehicle Big 5 night and day game drives in the abundant and exclusive Manyoni Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Explore the breathtaking and dramatic Maloti Mountains at Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Free State.
  • Discover rare nocturnal predators on the productive night drives and sengi tours at Marrick Safari, as well as a day drive in Mokala National Park, Northern Cape.
  • Search for the Shy 5 mammals and other delights on open vehicle drives at the charming Khoisan Karoo Conservancy, Northern Cape.
  • Explore a Big 5 national park of a different kind in the fascinating Karoo National Park, Western Cape.
Optional Extension

An optional tour extension is available to also include:

  • Kruger National Park for 3 nights to increase the chances of seeing − Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest, Honey Badger, African Wild Dog, African Wild Cat, Aardvark, Black Rhino, Leopard, and others.
  • Garden Route to Cape Town is a continuation from George along the gorgeous Cape south coast to the world admired city of Cape Town.

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.

If you’d prefer to take a longer tour, why not try this Bird Watching in KwaZulu-Natal Tour, South Africa?

Alternative Tour Name: Rare Mammals Tour - 10 Days
Day 1
Day 1 - Manyoni Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal

Planned Activities:

• Temminck’s Ground Pangolin monitoring with the African Pangolin Working Group x1.

About:

We spend 2 nights in the amazing Manyoni Private Game Reserve, a large 23,000-hectare privately-owned reserves in KwaZulu-Natal. It lies in the heart of Zululand, an area that is world renowned for its spectacular game viewing, rich cultural traditions, and conservation history. Initially formed as part of the WWF black rhino range expansion project, Manyoni has become one of the premier big five safari destinations in KwaZulu-Natal with a strong focus on endangered species conservation, including the reintroduction of cheetah and wild dogs, as well as conserving overall biodiversity.

Target Mammals:

Temminck’s Ground Pangolin, Serval, Cheetah, Honey Badger, African Wild Dog, Spotted Hyena, Brown Hyena, Black Rhino, White Rhino, Suni, Leopard, Lion, African Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Cape Porcupine, Four-toed Elephant Shrew (Sengi), Side-striped Jackal, Cheetah, Leopard, White-tailed Mongoose, Rusty-spotted Genet, Thick-tailed Bushbaby, Red Duiker.

Target Birds:

Secretarybird, Southern Ground-Hornbill, Common Ostrich, White-backed Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, Hooded Vulture, White-headed Vulture, African Crowned Eagle, Martial Eagle, Bateleur, African Hawk Eagle, Long-crested Eagle, Black-breasted Snake Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, African Cuckoo Hawk, African Harrier-Hawk, Lizard Buzzard, Gabar Goshawk, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Little Sparrowhawk, Black Sparrowhawk, Shikra, Eurasian Hobby, Western Osprey, European Honey Buzzard, Southern Banded Snake Eagle, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, African Scops Owl, Marsh Owl, Southern White-faced Owl, African Grass Owl, Pearl-spotted Owlet, African Barred Owlet, Pink-throated Twinspot, Neergaard’s Sunbird, African Broadbill, Eastern Bearded Scrub-Robin, African Green Pigeon, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Grey Go-away-bird, Black-bellied Starling, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Lesser Honeyguide, Narina Trogon, Broad-billed Roller, Woodland Kingfisher, African Pygmy Kingfisher, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Terrestrial Brownbul, Red-faced Cisticola, White-browed Robin-Chat, Grey Sunbird, Purple-banded Sunbird, Dark-backed Weaver, Green Twinspot, Grey Waxbill, Acacia Pied Barbet, Greater Honeyguide, Brown-backed Honeybird, Striped Kingfisher, Bearded Woodpecker, White-crested Helmetshrike, Grey-headed Bushshrike, Brubru, Black Cuckooshrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Grey Penduline Tit, Dusky Lark, Long-billed Crombec, Icterine Warbler, Willow Warbler, Stierling’s Wren-Warbler, Burnt-necked Eremomela, Groundscraper Thrush, Kurrichane Thrush, Grey Tit Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Petronia, Bushveld Pipit, Bronze-winged Courser, Black-bellied Bustard, Common Buttonquail, Senegal Lapwing, Temminck’s Courser, Shelley’s Francolin, Black Coucal, Corn Crake, Flappet Lark, Croaking Cisticola, Plain-backed Pipit, Orange-breasted Waxbill, African Quailfinch.

Rarities include: Hooded Vulture, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Ovambo Sparrowhawk, Bennett’s Woodpecker, Monotonous Lark, Dusky Lark, Red-headed Weaver, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Steppe Eagle, Ayres’ Hawk Eagle.

Day 2
Day 2 - Manyoni Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal

We spend a second full day exploring this amazing reserve for its many treasures.

Planned Activities:

• Night game drives in open safari vehicles x1;

• Morning game drive in open safari vehicle x1.

Day 3
Day 3 - Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Free State

Planned Activities:

• Morning drive and visit to the Vulture Hide.

About:

Golden Gate Highlands National Park, lies nestled in the rolling foothills of the Maluti Mountains of the north-eastern Free State province. This is true highlands habitat, with the park deriving its name from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the park's sandstone cliffs, especially the imposing Brandwag rock.

Clarens is the quaint and very interesting town nearby the park.

Target Mammals:

Black Wildebeest, Oribi, Common Eland, Grey Rhebok, Mountain Reedbuck, Cape Porcupine, Serval, Black-backed Jackal, Chacma Baboon, Rock Hyrax, Blesbok, Springbok, Aardvark, Burchell’s Zebra, Red Hartebeest, Cape Clawless Otter, Suricate, Cape Genet, Cape Grey Mongoose, Yellow Mongoose.

Target Birds:

Bearded Vulture, Grey-winged Francolin, Cape Vulture, Cape Eagle Owl, Southern Bald Ibis, Verreaux's Eagle, Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk, Alpine Swift, Ground Woodpecker, Blue Crane, Blue Korhaan, Rock Kestrel, Lesser Kestrel, Black Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Cape Grassbird, Rudd’s Lark, Botha’s Lark, Bokmakierie, Cape Longclaw, Yellow-breasted Pipit, African Rock Pipit, Nicholson's Pipit, Olive Woodpecker, Cape Rock-Thrush, Sentinel Rock-Thrush, Mountain Wheatear, Bush Blackcap, Barratt's Warbler, Wattled Starling, Gurney's Sugarbird, Malachite Sunbird, Cape Weaver, Maccoa Duck, Southern Pochard, Wailing Cisticola, Red-collared Widowbird, Amu Falcon, Eastern Clapper Lark, Spike-heeled Lark, Eastern Long-billed Lark, Red-capped Lark, Black-chested Prinia, Greater Double-collared Sunbird and Cape Bunting.

Viewing Hides:

Vulture Hide.

Day 4
Day 4 - Marrick Safari, Northern Cape

Planned Activities:

• Night game drives in open safari vehicles.

About:

Marrick Safari is located in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, approximately 12km out of the famous diamond mining town of Kimberley. Nestled in 3000 hectares of unspoilt savannah thorn veld, this family-run business offers a vast expanse of space and silence providing endless opportunities to enjoy nature. The property sustains a range of ecosystems, from African savannah to rocky hillscapes to thicker thorny bushveld and an ephemeral wetland.

The eastern parts of the Northern Cape province fall in a summer rainfall area, where thunderstorms and lighting are prominent in the summer months. The weather is typical of desert and semi desert areas. It is a large dry region of fluctuating temperatures and varying topographies. The annual rainfall is sparse, only 50 to 400mm per annum. In mid-summer, afternoon temperatures usually range from 34 to 40º C. Winter days are warm. The onset of night bringing dew and frost to supplement the low rainfall of the region. The Karoo is home to some of the coldest towns in South Africa, where the average minimum in winter can reach -6º C, and snow can sometimes blanket the surrounding mountains. On the whole one can expect to enjoy hot summer days and chilly nights when visiting.

Target Mammals:

Aardvark, Black-footed Cat, Aardwolf, Suricate, South African Hedgehog, Cape Fox, Bat-eared Fox, Cape Porcupine, African Wild Cat, Striped Polecat, Roan, Sable, Smith’s Red Rock Hare, Cape Hare, Eastern Rock Elephant Shrew (Sengi), Springhare, Large-eared Mouse, South African Ground Squirrel, Yellow Mongoose, Blesbok, Red Hartebeest, Springbok, Waterbuck, Steenbok, Burchell’s Zebra.

Target Birds:

Double-banded Courser, Pygmy Falcon, Blue Crane, Greater Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo, Kori Bustard, Namaqua Sandgrouse, Crimson-breasted Shrike, South African Shelduck, Bradfield’s Swift, Alpine Swift, Pririt Batis, Fairy Flycatcher, Northern Black Korhaan, Blue Korhaan, Black Harrier, Eastern Clapper Lark, Grey-backed Sparrowlark, Chat Flycatcher, Sociable Weaver, Black-faced Waxbill, Violet-eared Waxbill, Western Barn Owl, Spotted Eagle Owl.

Day 5
Day 5 - Marrick Safari and Mokala National Park, Northern Cape

Planned Activities:

• Day visit to Mokala National Park;

• Night game drives in open safari vehicles.

We set off early and spend most of the day in Mokala National Park, a new 26,485 hectare reserve situated approximately 80 km south-southwest of Kimberley. Nestled in the hills, Mokala’s landscape boasts a variety of koppieveld (hills) and large open plains. The isolated dolerite hills give the place a calming feeling of seclusion. A big surprise awaits when you pass through the hills and are confronted by the large open sandy plains towards the north and west of the Park. Drainage lines from the hills form little tributaries that run into the plains and drain into the Riet River.

We then return to Marrick Safari around dusk in time for our second exciting night drive.

Target Mammals:

Aardvark, Black-footed Cat, Aardwolf, Suricate, South African Hedgehog, Cape Fox, Bat-eared Fox, Cape Porcupine, African Wild Cat, Striped Polecat, White Rhino, Black Rhino, Oryx, Roan, Sable, Eland, Tsessebe, Black Wildebeest, Smith’s Red Rock Hare, Cape Hare, Eastern Rock Elephant Shrew (Sengi), Springhare, Large-eared Mouse, South African Ground Squirrel, Yellow Mongoose, Bontebok, Blesbok, Red Hartebeest, Mountain Reedbuck, Springbok, Cape Buffalo, Waterbuck, Steenbok, Burchell’s Zebra.

Target Birds:

Double-banded Courser, Pygmy Falcon, Blue Crane, Greater Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo, Kori Bustard, Namaqua Sandgrouse, Crimson-breasted Shrike, South African Shelduck, Bradfield’s Swift, Alpine Swift, Pririt Batis, Fairy Flycatcher, Northern Black Korhaan, Blue Korhaan, Black Harrier, Eastern Clapper Lark, Grey-backed Sparrowlark, Chat Flycatcher, Sociable Weaver, Black-faced Waxbill, Violet-eared Waxbill, Western Barn Owl, Spotted Eagle Owl.

Day 6
Day 6 - Khoisan Karoo Conservancy, Northern Cape

Planned Activities:

• Morning Eastern Rock Elephant Shrew outing in Marrick;

• Afternoon tour of the Khoisan Karoo reserve;

• Night game drives in open safari vehicles in Khoisan Karoo.

About:

KhoiSan Karoo Conservancy includes the Karoo Gariep Nature Reserve and the Hanover Aardvark Nature Reserve, spanning over 8,000 hectares of the Nama Karoo biome. The conservancy was founded in 2005 by P.C. Ferreira. It is home to the only hippos in the Karoo, where they have been reintroduced, as well as white rhinoceros. Stargazing is a part of life out here, as the skies are very clear and starry bright.

The area is about 1,380m above sea level. The climate here is referred to as a local steppe climate, and there is little rainfall throughout the year. About 434 mm of precipitation falls annually. The least amount of precipitation occurs in July, where the average is 12 mm. With an average of 66 mm, the most precipitation falls in January. The temperature here averages 16.3 °C, with the highest temperatures on average in January, at around 23.0 °C, with peaks at 30 °C. July has the lowest average temperature of the year at 8.2 °C, with extreme lows at -5C.

Target Mammals:

Aardvark, Aardwolf, Black-footed Cat, Cape Porcupine, Bat-eared Fox, South African Hedgehog, Springhare, Cape Fox, African Wild Cat, Striped Polecat, African Striped Weasel, Cape Buffalo, Hippopotamus, Cape Genet, Cape Hare.

Target Birds:

Blue Korhaan, Rufous-eared Warbler, Namaqua Warbler, Karoo Korhaan, Greater Kestrel, Grey-winged Francolin, Large-billed Lark, Buffy Pipit, Kori Bustard, African Rock Pipit, Layard’s Tit-Babbler, Spike-heeled Lark, Eastern Clapper Lark, Black-eared Sparrow-Lark, Northern Black Korhaan, Spotted Thickknee, Karoo Scrub-Robin, White-throated Canary, Black-throated Canary, Karoo Eremomela, Lark-like Bunting.

Day 7
Day 7 - Khoisan Karoo Conservancy, Northern Cape

We spend the entire second day exploring further into this unique reserve discovering additional species and savouring its dramatic and picturesque landscape.

Planned Activities:

• Day tour of the KhoiSan Karoo reserve.

• Night game drives in open safari vehicles in Khoisan Karoo.

Day 8
Day 8 - Karoo National Park, Western Cape

Planned Activities:

• Afternoon tour of the reserve.

About:

The Karoo National Park, founded in 1979, is a wildlife reserve in the Great Karoo area of the Western Cape, South Africa near Beaufort West. This semi-desert area covers an area of 75,000 hectares. The Nuweveld portion of the Great Escarpment runs through the Park. The Park therefore straddles part of the Lower Karoo, at about 850m above sea level, and part of the Upper Karoo at over 1,300 m altitude.

The climate is a local steppe climate. There is little rainfall in the region, and the average temperature is 17.9 °C. Precipitation here is about 392 mm per year, and is the lowest in June, with an average of 15 mm. Most precipitation falls in March, with an average of 57 mm. At an average temperature of 24.0 °C, January is the hottest month of the year, while July, is the coldest, with an average temperature of 11.1 °C. Between the driest and wettest months, the difference in precipitation is mere 42 mm, while the average temperatures vary during the year by 12.9 °C.

Target Mammals:

Black Rhinoceros, Lion, Brown Hyena, Cape Mountain Zebra, Oryx, Red Hartebeest, Eland, Greater Kudu, Riverine Rabbit, Springbok, Black-footed Cat, Bat-eared Fox, Aardwolf, Aardvark, Grant’s Rock Mouse, Sclater’s Golden Mole, Melck’s Serotine Bat, Lesueur’s Hairy Bat and Spectacled Dormouse.

Target Birds:

Verreauxs’ Eagle, Booted Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Greater Kestrel, Blue Crane, Martial Eagle, Black Harrier, Secretarybird, Kori Bustard, Ludwig’s Bustard, Lanner Falcon, Greater Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo, Black Stork, Karoo Korhaan, South African Shelduck, Cape Shoveler, African Rock Pipit, Pale-winged Starling, Ground Woodpecker, Sickle-winged Chat, Karoo Long-billed Lark, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Pririt Batis, Fairy Flycatcher, Cape Penduline-Tit, Dusky Sunbird, White-throated Canary, Tractrac Chat, Karoo Chat, Karoo Eremomela, Rufous-eared Warbler, Namaqua Warbler, Grey Tit, Lark-like Bunting, Sclater’s Lark, Spike-heeled Lark, Karoo Lark, Grey-backed Sparrow-lark, African Rock Pipit, Karoo Long-billed Lark, Karoo Chat, Namaqua Warbler, Pale-winged Starling, Black-headed Canary, Layard’s Tit-Babbler, Black-eared Sparrow-lark, Tractrac Chat, Sickle-winged Chat, Karoo Eremomela and Cinnamon-breasted Warbler.

Viewing Hides:

Camp Hide.

Day 9
Day 9 - Karoo National Park, Western Cape

Planned Activities:

• Day tour of the reserve;

• 1x Night game drive in open safari vehicle.

Day 10
Day 10 - To George, Western Cape

On our last tour day, we pack up and drive through the park to the exit, and then return to the coastal town of George via Oudtshoorn, and the extraordinarily picturesque Outeniqua Pass and Montagu Pass, for an internal flight out of George Airport to either Cape Town (or Cape Town International Airport or Johannesburg (or OR Tambo International Airport). Alternatively, an add-on extension tour by road through the famed Garden Route to Cape Town is an option.

N.B. Please Note: The cost of these flights, or the extension trip to Cape Town have not been included, and would be an added cost for each guest.

Wildlife species expected to see:

Destinations and Target Mammal Species

  • Manyoni Private Game Reserve – Temminck’s Ground Pangolin, Honey Badger, Serval, African Wild Dog, Brown Hyena, Black Rhino, White Rhino, Suni, Cape Porcupine, Four-toed Elephant Shrew (Sengi), Side-striped Jackal, Cheetah, Leopard, White-tailed Mongoose, Rusty-spotted Genet, Thick-tailed Bushbaby, Red Duiker.
  • Golden Gate Highlands National Park – Oribi, Cape Clawless Otter, Serval, Suricate, Black Wildebeest, Mountain Reedbuck, Grey Rhebok.
  • Marrick Safari – Black-footed Cat, Aardvark, Aardwolf, Cape Fox, Caracal, Bat-eared Fox, Brown Hyena, Eastern Rock Elephant Shrew (Sengi), Suricate, African Wild Cat, Bontebok, Roan, Sable Smith’s Red Rock Rabbit.
  • Mokala National Park – Black-footed Cat, Aardvark, Aardwolf, Brown Hyena, Cape Fox, Caracal, Bat-eared Fox, African Wild Cat, Suricate, South African Hedgehog, Bontebok, White Rhino, Black Rhino, Oryx, Roan, Sable, Eland, Tsessebe, Black Wildebeest, Cape Hare.
  • Khoisan Karoo Conservancy – Aardvark, Aardwolf, African Wild Cat, Suricate, Bat-eared Fox, Cape Porcupine, South African Hedgehog, Cape Hare.
  • Karoo National Park – Cape Mountain Zebra, Bontebok, Striped Polecat, Caracal, Suricate, Hewitt’s Red Rock Rabbit, Brown Hyena, Cape Fox, Eland.

Many other more common mammals are also very possible along the journey, including: Lion, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, South African Giraffe, Spotted Hyena, Black-backed Jackal, Tsessebe, Red Hartebeest, Blesbok, Greater Kudu, Nyala, Blue Wildebeest, Common Reedbuck, Springbok, Waterbuck, Steenbok, Common Duiker, Impala, Chacma Baboon, Warthog, Bushpig, Lesser  Bushbaby, African Civet, Springhare, Cape Genet, White-tailed Mongoose, Water Mongoose, Cape Grey Mongoose, Large Grey Mongoose, Banded Mongoose, Yellow Mongoose, Meller’s Mongoose, Slender Mongoose, Dwarf Mongoose, Vervet Monkey, South African Ground Squirrel, Tree Squirrel, Rock Hyrax, and various bat, mice, gerbil and rat species.

Furthermore, a bird list in excess of 270 species (including many raptors, owls and endemics) can be expected for the trip, as well as many tremendous butterfly, reptile, and amphibian and insect species. Our tour will showcase the very best mammals, a diverse array of bird species and other biodiversity, and will also provide great photographic opportunities.

What is included?

  • Private wildlife and birding guide;
  • Accommodation (may change subject to availability, in which case similar will be found);
  • All ground transport – Maximum 6 participants and 1 guide per Mercedes Benz Vito luxury touring vehicle;
  • 8 x Guided open safari vehicle drives – 2 x Manyoni, 2 x Marrick, 2 x Khoisan Karoo, 2 x Karoo NP;
  • 1 x Temminck’s Ground Pangolin monitoring night tour – 1 x Manyoni;
  • 1 x Eastern Rock Elephant Shrew (Sengi) morning tour – 1 x Marrick;
  • All road tolls and parking fees;
  • Meals – Dinner and breakfast each day;
  • Bottled water in vehicles whilst travelling – 2 per person per day;
  • All entrance fees;
  • Conservation levies;
  • Community levies;
  • Trip guide;
  • Personalised species checklists.
  • Minimum of 4 participants per vehicle required to undertake the trip. If fewer, the price will be slightly more;
  • 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;
  • All lunches, snacks and drinks (except bottled waters);
  • Additional excursions/activities/extensions/purchases;
  • Gratuities for guides and local restaurants;
  • Items of personal nature
  • Laundry and telephone charges
  • Optional safari extensions where applicable
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Anything else not mentioned in the itinerary and “What is included”

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Why Sustain Safaris?

We lead captivating wildlife and birding experiences, sustainably. 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?

Stuarts' Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa: Including Angola, Zambia & Malawi. Smithers' Mammals of Southern Africa: A Field Guide. 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.com THE 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.

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.

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.

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 Mercedes Vito 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. Meals are generally eaten in restaurants, or are prepared by lodge, 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. Should you have any specific dietary requirements, please inform us upon making your reservation.

Accommodation

Our 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. This safari makes 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 or fans, twin or queen beds, bathrooms, towels and soap at the very least. All 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. 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.

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.

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.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.


10 Days

Price & Availability

From
ZAR36,000 / per person
Based on twin/double room
Single Supplement ZAR 9550
Group Discount Available
Group Discount Guide
Refer to Group Discount Terms
This tour is operated by: Sustain Wildlife and Birding Safaris
4.75 based on 2 reviews

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4.75 Based on 2 reviews
Tours
Wildlife
Guides
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Value

Tour Facts

  • South Africa
  • Set Departure Tour
  • On Request
  • Mammals
  • 3 to 7 pax
  • 10 Days
  • Oct to Nov
  • 12+ years
  • Moderate
  • English
  • King Shaka International Airport
  • George International Airport