Eastern South Africa Wildlife Tour: Kruger to Coast
A journey through the eastern parts of South Africa is a journey characterised by diversity. The habitats change dramatically over a relatively short distance, thanks in part to the significant altitudinal variation created by the Drakensberg Escarpment. With the changes in altitudes and habitats come associated changes in the bird and animal communities, and each day on this South Africa Wildlife Tour brings with it new species to be seen and new landscapes to behold.
From scouring the high altitude grasslands of the roof of Mpumalanga Province at over 2000 meters above sea level to scanning the blue waters of the Indian Ocean for whales and dolphins; from encounters with big cats in the Kruger to searching for Black Rhino in Ithala Game Reserve, this South Africa Safari will enthrall from start to finish. Major reserves visited are the Kruger National Park, Ithala Game Reserve, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, as well as numerous smaller reserves and parks.
Depending on the time of the year one can see up to and over 300 species of bird, and 45 species of mammal, the latter group including Africa’s famous Big Five (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and both Black and White Rhino) as well as Cheetah and Wild Dog. All in all this is a fantastic all round natural history experience and a superb introduction to eastern South Africa.
Top 5 highlights
- See the Blyde River Canyon, one of South Africa's scenic highlights.
- Look for big cats in the Kruger National Park, one of the great parks of Africa.
- Look for Black Rhino in the game reserves of KwaZulu-Natal.
- Explore the iSimlangaliso ('Place of Wonder') Wetland Park, one of South Africa's World Heritage Sites.
- Get close to Hippo's on a 'Hippo and Croc' cruise on the St Lucia Estuary.
Tour in brief
- Group size: Max of 8 pax; 4 pax per vehicle / guide.
- Areas visited: Dullstroom, Blyde Canyon, Kruger, Maguga Dam (Swaziland), Ithala Game Reserve, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve and St Lucia.
- Expected weather conditions: warm to hot in general, with possible afternoon thunder storms. Cold fronts can usher in periods of inclement weather, so rain / drizzle is a possibility. Participants should be prepared for cool conditions on occasions, especially on early morning open vehicle drives.
- Tour tempo: medium to medium-plus, optional mid-day breaks on non-travelling days (advisable in the hotter areas).
- Accommodation standards: medium: lodges, guest houses and National Park's rest-camps.
- Mammal viewing: excellent, especially in the Kruger National Park, Ithala and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi.
- Top mammals: Meerkat, Samango Monkey, the Big Five (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo, Black and White Rhino), Wild Dog, Cheetah, Nyala, Red Bush Squirrel.
- Birding in brief: excellent variety, various habitats included, tops for endemics.
- Top birds: Southern Bald Ibis, Sentinel Rock-Thrush, Gurney's Sugarbird, Jackal Buzzard, Southern Ground Hornbill, African Scops-Owl, Martial Eagle, Blue Crane, Narina Trogon, Barrow’s Korhaan, Four-colored Bush-Shrike, Verreaux’s Eagle, Palm-nut Vulture, Rudd’s Apalis, Secretarybird.
- Add-ons:this tour can be combined with extensions to the Cape or Victoria Falls (year round).
- Note: The exact itinerary will depend on availability.
Alternative Tour Name: Eastern South African Endemics Birding Safari