South Africa - Wild on Wildlife
You're just crazy about wildlife? You'd really love your own 'up close and personal' encounters rather than viewing someone else's? Then this small-group travel adventure to South Africa is especially for you.
Even if you're not a complete fanatic, you'll still love this dedicated wildlife tour. The animal action on TV may grab you but nothing beats being on the spot as a herd of elephants ambles across the road in front of you. Nothing sounds quite so eerie as a lion roaring in the darkness while you listen from the comfort of your bed. You have to be there to feel the buzz when a giraffe head pops over an acacia bush and eyeballs you.
Our first wildlife encounters will be in scenic Pilanesberg Game Reserve. We'll then head across country to mighty Kruger National Park for a top-to-toe journey through one of the world's most magnificent game sanctuaries. Expect to be saturated with magic game-spotting moments.
You'll be looking out for lion, leopard, cheetah, rhino, buffalo, elephant, springbok, kudu, impala, waterbuck, hartebeest, zebra, hyena, wilddog, giraffe, wildebeest, baboon, crocodile, hippo ... that's just the start. Add in vultures, eagles, owls, storks, ibis, barbets, hornbills, rollers, hoopoe, shrike, kingfisher ... you'll soon be an expert on mammal and bird species.
Your 'game-spotter' eyes will get a well-earned rest when we farewell Kruger and travel the beautiful Panoramic route, visiting some of South Africa's most famous natural wonders, including spectacular Blyde River Canyon.
So if you've yearned to take an African safari but bumping along in an overland truck and setting up camp is not your style, rejoice! On this tour you'll travel in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle and spend your nights in lodges and chalets. Best of all you'll have oodles of time and opportunities to just sit, relax and enjoy everyday encounters with Southern Africa's amazing wildlife and birdlife. Your camera won't get much rest though!
16 July – 2 August 2018
Hotel - Chalets - Lodges
Depart Auckland, New Zealand
*includes return economy airfares
Depart Australia (Brisbane/Sydney/Melbourne)
*includes return economy airfares
with Optional add-on
to Cape Town
*price subject to change due to airfare and exchange rate increases
Pilanesberg Game Reserve - dramatic landscape, prolific birdlife, abundant big game.
Kruger National Park - 11 days in this world-renowned wildlife sanctuary.
Panorama Route - dramatic landscapes, natural wonders, stunning viewpoints.
Blyde River Canyon - the world's largest green canyon.
Kruger National Park
Legendary Kruger National Park is 360 kilometres from top to bottom. It covers nearly two million hectares with vastly differing landscapes from grassy plains and thorny woodland to rugged koppies. The Lebombo Mountains, reputedly the oldest range in the world, lie to the East.
The Park has 18 rest camps conveniently located throughout its length and breadth we'll stay at a variety of them. Kruger's hugely diverse range of wildlife includes around 150 mammal species and more than 500 bird species.
Pilanesburg Game Reserve
Pilanesburg, nestled in the crater of a long extinct volcano, is amongst the world's outstanding geological phenomena. The reserve's dramatic landscape of rocky outcrops, open grasslands, wooded valleys and thickets, is the result of violent eruptions around 1,300 million years ago. It is one of the largest volcanic complexes of its
type in the world. Beautiful Pilanesburg is home to lion, elephant, black and white rhino, buffalo, giraffe, leopard, zebra, hippos and crocodiles plus over 300 bird species. The reserve hosted South Africa's largest game resettlement project in the 1980s when more than 6000 animals from other game parks were resettled here.
Bird Species in South Africa
Southern Africa has a huge variety of bird species and more than 900 of these can be seen in South Africa. The region's climatic ranges, cooler in the southwest to hot and tropical in the north, as well as the latitude gradients, have produced a wide variety of habitats to attract such an array of birdlife. Appearing in all colours, shapes and sizes, these feathered characters add special interest to the Parks and Reserves we visit.
So if you're ready to walk on the wild side (not too literally, you'll always be at a safe distance!); if you're ready for some real-life encounters with some of the world's most magnificent creatures; if you're longing to escape hurly-burley and get back to nature; if you yearn for a touch of enchantment in your days; then, this adventure could be just what you need.
If you think day-to-day wildlife may be too much of a good thing after all, check out our other African safari. You'll still see plenty of wildlife on our Namibian tour but you'll also experience many other aspects of this fascinating country.