SOUTH AFRICA: Kruger National Park
BIRDS & WILDLIFE
From: $6,250 (See details)
Cost is per person, double occupancy from Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB)
5 - 6 Participants
6 spaces available
PRIVATE TOUR OPTION
This tour is available as a private trip for any size group. The tour cost will vary with the number of people and any custom requests.
Highlights of SOUTH AFRICA: Kruger National Park
Description of SOUTH AFRICA: Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park, South Africa’s flagship national park and one of the continent’s largest, has a well-deserved reputation among the best places in Africa for wildlife viewing, birding, and nature photography. Imagine photographing a pride of lions at a kill before breakfast, then returning to the lodge and having an elephant saunter by while you’re trying to photograph a hornbill who wants to share your breakfast! That is a Kruger experience.
The birding here, too, is world class. The park’s bird list is more than 500 species. It is best known for its populations of large birds, like Saddle-billed Stork, Southern Ground Hornbill, five species of vultures and myriad hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls that have become rare outside of protected areas. Many birds become habituated around lodges, and our breakfasts may be accompanied by Crested Barbet, Yellow-billed Hornbill, and Greater Blue-eared Starling. Wetlands hold African Jacana, Goliath Heron, crakes, egrets, and shorebirds. Savannas are home to Kori Bustard and a bewildering variety of larks and cisticolas. Woodlands host Brown-headed Parrot and sunbirds galore.
Length of Tour
Day 1 ARRIVAL IN Johannesburg, south africa
Arrive no later than 10:00am as we have a long drive to Parfuri Camp and want to arrive in time for dinner. Upon arrival we will meet our guide, Josh Engel. Upon loading our vehicles we will begin our amazing journey into Kruger National Park.
Day 2 – 4 Parfuri camp
Pafuri Camp, in the remote far northern section of Kruger National Park, is situated in a private concession within Kruger that is only open to vehicles from two lodges.
The lodge itself is set on the banks of the Luvuvhu River, so don’t be startled if you hear hippos grunting from below the restaurant deck or if you see a herd of elephants coming for a drink when you wake up from your mid-day siesta.
Each day here we will have two Jeep excursions into the bush. Besides being in “Big 5” country, where we could see elephant, rhinoceros (white rhino is more common), leopard, Cape buffalo, and lion, Pafuri is in prime birding territory. Many species occur here that don’t occur elsewhere in South Africa, like Gray-headed Parrot, Racket-tailed Roller, Dickinson’s Kestrel, and White-headed Black Chat. The rare and elusive Pel’s Fishing-Owl, an icon of Africa’s riparian forests, occurs along the river, but we would be very lucky to spot one.
Day 5 drive south to shindzela camp
From Pafuri we will head south, eventually entering Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, where Shindzela Tented Camp is located. Timbavati is contiguous with Kruger National Park, and animals roam freely between them.
Day 6 – 8 Shindzela Camp / TIMBAVATI
Like at Parfuri, each day here we will have two Jeep excursions into the bush. Timbavati is in prime megafauna territory and it is here where we have the greatest chance to encounter not only the Big 5, but other icons of the African bush, including Africa’s rarest predators, cheetah and African wild dog.
Like Pafuri, Shindzela is located in a private reserve, so it will feel like we have the whole place to ourselves. Shindzela, though not as luxurious as Parfuri, is set deep in the bush. A waterhole at camp attracts the full range of savannah animals. Both camps have delicious food, swimming pools, and world-class service.
Day 9 DRIVE TO JOHANNESBURG
After breakfast today we will bid farewell to Kruger National Park and begin our drive to Johannesburg for our flights home. Return flights should depart no earlier than 9:00pm on August 3.
Cost is $6,250 per person, based upon double occupancy, from Johannesburg, South Africa (Airport code JNB).
This trip ends in Johannesburg, South Africa (Airport code JNB).
If a single room is preferred, or we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you, a single supplement fee of $825 will be assessed.
A $1,000 deposit per person is required to hold each space on this tour. Deposit may be made online by clicking the "Book Your Trip Now" button and using any credit card. If you prefer, you may call us at 888-875-9453 to pay by phone. You may also mail us a check, however, remember that all space is held on a first come-first served basis as deposits are received.
If fewer than the minimum number of required participants are registered, we may still be able to run the trip by adding a small-group supplement fee, per person, determined by the number of participants registered.
How to Book
In order to hold your space, click the "Book Your Trip Now" button above and complete the deposit process, including payment of the deposit through our Paypal portal using ANY CREDIT CARD. Upon completion of deposit, please visit our secure, online CLIENT INFORMATION FORM to complete your registration.
For all land-based tours: full payment by check is due 120 days prior to the departure date.
For all boat-based adventure cruises of 7-days or longer: full payment by check is required 180 days prior to departure.
NOTE: If you prefer to use credit card for final payment, a 3% fee may be added to cover the credit card merchant fees we incur.
General Description of Locations
Parfuri Camp is a luxury lodge and although Shindzela is a bit more rustic, the location will offer a higher density of mammals, including some not found around Parfuri Camp.
At each camp, we will have two activities each day, one in the early morning and one in the afternoon, with time to rest, swim, and enjoy camp in between. Both camps offer drives and walks for the activities. While we will primarily be doing drives, which are better for photography and general wildlife-viewing and birding, we have the option to take walks with armed rangers to get a different perspective on the land and its animal inhabitants, and, perhaps, to find subjects like insects and reptiles for macro photography. The drives are in large open safari vehicles, allowing for wonderful views of the surrounds and they are an excellent platform for photography.
Both camps are in incredible wildlife areas. We will have many opportunities to photograph the more common animals, like giraffe, zebra, elephant, buffalo, hippopotamus, and a wide variety of antelope. Less common mammals that we stand a good chance of seeing include hyena, white rhinoceros, lion, and leopard. If we are lucky enough to find a kill, we can return to it to see the latest action. Smaller mammals will command our attention as well, including several species of mongoose, squirrels, and small antelope.
By staying in these private reserves, we are able to dictate our schedule, staying as long as we would like at each sighting. We can take as much time for photography or birding as we would like. Only in private reserves like these can we also stay out after dark to look for some of the amazing nocturnal animals, like honey badger, Africa civet, springhare, genet, owls and nightjars, and several nocturnal cats, like Serval, African wild cat, and the most sought-after of all, leopard.
We will also have plenty of time to get well-acquainted with typical bush birds like Red-billed and Yellow-billed Hornbill, Crested Barbet, Greater Blue-eared Starling, Gray Go-away-bird, and a variety of sunbirds, starlings, shrikes, bush-shrikes, woodpeckers, warblers, and much more.
Raptors are often abundant in Kruger; we could see Martial Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Bateleur, African Hawk-Eagle, African Fish-Eagle, and up to five species of vultures.
Kruger is also famous for its other big birds which, like many of the large mammals, have become rare outside of protected areas, birds like Southern Ground-Hornbill, Saddle-billed Stork, and Kori Bustard.
Many birds become quite tame around camps like the ones in which we will be staying, allowing for great photo opportunities.
Activity Level Rating: 2 (Note: 1 is easy and 5 is difficult)
Most of our excursions will be in a safari jeep (while at each camp) or van (between locations), with very little walking.
Do not purchase your flights until the trip has been confirmed to go.
Detailed Trip Information
Upon notification that final payment is due (120 days prior to departure for land based tours / 180 days for boat based tours), you will receive a trip package of detailed information for your tour.
Any additional information about the trip, including lodgings, contacts, participants, meeting locations, etc., will sent about 2 weeks prior to the trip departure, or after final payment is received for late registrants.
As with all tours, we highly recommend purchasing Travel Insurance to cover your investment. Please see our section on Travel Insurance.
Passport & Visa
US Citizens may require a visa to enter certain foreign countries. See above for any required visa information.
Participants arriving to the USA from a foreign country may need to get a travel visa to enter the United States. Be sure to check the requirements for your country of origin.
The trip itinerary is developed many months ahead of time. Occasionally, despite our best planning, changes may occur during the trip, or we may be forced to alter our plans. Changes may occur because of weather, road conditions, safety concerns or other circumstances. In these situations, it is the leader(s) responsibility to carefully consider and implement appropriate alternatives. Any additional costs incurred because of changes will be the responsibility of each individual participant. Refunds will not be issued as a result of itinerary changes.