Step beyond the role of spectator and immerse yourself within South African conservation initiatives. This two-week tour combines learning with adventure, providing guests with a well-rounded understanding of this remarkable ecosystem. Follow leopards on foot, care for endangered species, and understand animal behavior through monitoring camera traps – all while experiencing intimate wildlife encounters. This tour will expose you to the African bush in an unprecedented way – sure to wow...
Paperbark Bush Retreat – Welcome to South Africa!
Today your flight will descend over the sprawling and pulsing city of Johannesburg, landing at O.R. Tambo International Airport. Here, you will clear customs and collect your baggage before connecting with a representative who will drive you to the Paperbark Bush Retreat. Paperbark is an eco-lodge that is located on a 327-hectare conservation estate. With waterfalls, hiking trails, winding streams and natural pools, this property will become your oasis in the bush over the coming weeks. Having completed a long day of travel, the remainder of today will be spent relaxing on the property. Paperbark owners, Will and Carol Fox, have a special ability to make you feel instantly at home in their little wilderness paradise.
Paperbark Bush Retreat – Immerse yourself in the Bush
Paperbark Bush Retreat – Explore on Foot Searching for Leopards
Blyde River Canyon – Tour the Inspirational Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
Kruger – Visit the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center
Kruger – Rise Early for a Morning Game Drive
Sabi Sands – Game Drive to the Exclusive Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Sabi Sands – Indulge against the Backdrop of Bush Luxury
Paperbark Bush Retreat – Enjoy a Final Morning in the Bush
Paperbark Bush Retreat – Return to the Familiar Pattern of Leopard Tracking
Paperbark Bush Retreat – Conduct a Final Review of all Footage
Paperbark Bush Retreat – Walk with Rhinos Through the Bush
Paperbark Bush Retreat – Enjoy a Final Day in the Bush Entirely at Your Leisure
Johannesburg – Depart to Home
- Explore the world-famous Kruger National Park as you traverse the park roads in search of Africa’s Big Five
- Track leopards on foot through the bush, learning of their habits and signs from an expert ranger
- Visit two of South Africa’s leading conservation and rehabilitation centers, learning of the unique work completed to preserve rare and endangered species
- Indulge in the luxury of the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, observing the vibrant resident wildlife with near exclusivity
- Discover the magic of the nocturnal landscape on a night drive in an open air safari vehicle
- Venture into the bush on foot, gaining the greatest possible intimacy with this stunning ecosystem
- Bear witness to the bush when no one is looking by setting, collecting and reviewing camera traps
Experience unprecedented intimacy in the bush on this two-week conservation-minded tour of Africa’s most famous and well-preserved regions. The trip begins at the Paperbark Retreat, where you will contribute to their leopard conservation project while learning essential tracking and conservation skills. Through morning walks and afternoon reviews of video footage, you will learn the habits and patterns of the elusive leopard, through first hand observation. Spend time with local rangers and conservationists in the evenings, listening to further stories as you sip cocktails round the fire under the night sky.
From Paperbark, you will move on to witness a number of active conservation projects. Through visits to the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center, you will have the chance to observe projects that protect endangered and abused wildlife. Here, you will learn about the challenges associated with reintegrating species into the wild – and the numerous accomplishments of both centers. You will also have the opportunity to directly assist in the daily operations of the center.
Your knowledge and experience will be put to the test during the final days of this custom tour, when you set out into Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve for your South African safari. As you embark on daily game walks and game drives, you will have the chance to practice your tracking, while observing the behavior of the bush more broadly. Set out on night drives to observe the nocturnal world and to learn the fundamentals of stargazing in the southern hemisphere. Then, return to the bush camps for great meals and company. Return briefly to Paperbark, before returning home with a deep and thoughtful understanding of African conservation.
Ideal Travel Months
We recommend experiencing this tour during the South African winter (June – September) when the bush is at its most dry and temperatures remain cool. During this period, wildlife is most active and generally congregates around a few easily identified watering holes. It is also easiest to conduct work during the day, given that temperatures remain moderate and there is limited precipitation. Be sure to travel with warm layers for chilly mornings and evenings in the bush.
$5,595 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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