Honey Badger, Kruger Park
South Africa Wildlife: Honey Badger, Kruger Park

Introduction: 

The Cape and the Kruger are two regions which 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. 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 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.

16 – 26 October 2018 (10 nights / 11 days)

Starts in Cape Town on the morning of the 16th October 2018. Participants should ideally overnight in Cape Town the night before the tour starts. We are happy to arrange this accommodation. Alternatively participants need to arrive on early morning flights on the day the tour starts. Tour ends at Kruger / Mpumalanga International Airport on the 26th October 2018, in time for connecting flights to Johannesburg and evening transcontinental flights. Please check with us before booking any flights.

2018: ZAR 42 750 per person sharing, ZAR 7 350 single supplement

Price subject to change based on external factors. Price is based on a minimum of 4 participants. Small group surcharge will be levied for groups smaller than 4 participants. Please contact us for more detail.

Includes
• Accommodation
• All breakfasts and dinners
• Ground transport
• Bottled water in vehicle whilst travelling
• Entrance fees
• Personalised checklists
• Specialist guide fees

Excludes
• All airfares
• Travel and medical insurance
• Lunches
• All drinks
• Optional excursions where applicable
• Gratuities
• Items of a personal nature

Note
• 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 the possible ones we may see 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 possibles appears on your checklist.

Group size: maximum of 12 participants, 1 guide per 6 participants.

Areas Visited: Cape Peninsula, Hermanus, Kruger National Park and Sabi-Sand Game Reserve.

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.

Tour tempo: 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).

Accommodation standards: medium plus: lodges and guest houses.

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.

Other wildlife and attractions: Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula, the scenic drive between Gordon’s Bay and Pringle Bay, fynbos vegetation and wild flowers, Kruger Park scenery and general natural history.

Add-ons: this tour can be combined with extensions to Victoria Falls or Namibia. Contact us for more information.

Wildlife of the Cape & Kruger map
Start Cape Town Int / end Kruger Mpumalanga Airport. 1: Simon's Town. 2: Hermanus. 3: Kruger Pretoriuskop. 4: Kruger Satara. 5: Sabi Sand Lodge.

Days 1 – 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.

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 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.

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.

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

Our guide Jason Stewart (Kruger National Park) was highly educated, very well prepared, his knowledge of the fauna (and flora for that matter) was brilliant, friendly and cooperative. We enjoyed his guidance a lot!

Maria K., Bulgaria, after Wildlife of the Cape & Kruger, 2016.

Join Wildlife of the Cape & Kruger!