Let South Africa’s cosmopolitan cities seduce you, its vast, rich landscapes inspire you, its iconic animal sightings allure you, and its fabulous colorful birdlife enchant you on this safari and birding exploration from Umhlanga to Cederberg. On the journey, history and culture will come to life as nature awakens within the plains and bushveld surrounding you, an experience that will be richly rewarding.
Umhlanga - Embrace Umhlanga’s Refreshing Seaside Energy
Umhlanga embraces KwaZulu-Natal’s golden coast and typifies a glitzy South African seaside retreat. Sunlight reflects off the glass surfaces of lofty apartments, waves crash against the searing shoreline, and locals gather in boutique cafés overlooking the Indian Ocean. These quintessential Umhlanga scenes will welcome you to KwaZulu-Natal after a short transfer from King Shaka International Airport to your seaside accommodation. In the evening, spotlights illuminate the iconic red-tipped Umhlanga Lighthouse, and the moonlight sways with the swells. These spectacles will backdrop your scrumptious seafood dinner at one of Umhlanga’s premier restaurants.
Umhlanga - Living the High Life
The Umhlanga promenade’s red and yellow bricks snake along the coastline, and sandy staircases descend to soft shores. You will find a secluded spot for a snug dip in the Indian Ocean’s warm waters somewhere along the serpentine esplanade. Strolling back to your accommodation, you will hear the lively hum of the Oyster Box Hotel as KwaZulu-Natal’s classy restaurateurs waffle down scones and savor a sensational High Tea. You may join in on the festivities before you explore the upper sides of Umhlanga’s rolling hills or weave down to Durban to visit the city’s cultural landmarks.
Zulu Nyala Private Game Reserve - Nestled in the North Coast’s Rich Wilderness
You will leave Umhlanga’s developed district behind after breakfast in search of the North Coast’s unbridled bush. Looking ahead, you will be treated to views of the sparkling Indian Ocean and vast stretches of virescent greenery. You may stop at quiet towns en route to Zulu Nyala Private Game Reserve and browse handcrafted curios in charming stores before you reach the diverse wilderness encompassing Mkuze, Hluhluwe, St. Lucia, and Sodwana Bay. A gorgeous tented campsite will be your home base for the following few nights, from which you may discover KwaZulu-Natal’s rich bushveld.
Zulu Nyala Private Game Reserve - Breathtaking Birding Pilgrimage
Several game reserves connect the North Coast’s sundry assortment of habitats, allowing you to easily explore as much of Africa’s unique environments as possible throughout your stay in Zulu Nyala. Your private guide will greet you after breakfast and map out a bird-watching pilgrimage across dusty trails that twist through the treeline. The distinct calls of black-headed herons and recognizable silhouettes of ostriches will direct you to observation decks where you will stop to absorb your surroundings. With a pair of binoculars in hand, you will survey the landscape in search of Zulu Nyala’s indigenous birdlife.
Zulu Nyala Private Game Reserve - Boating across the St. Lucia Estuary
You will wake up to a cacophony of wilderness sounds, including the sweet melodies of birdsong and mysterious howls of creatures lurking in the distance. After breakfast, you will join your guide, exit the gates of Zulu Nyala, and head for the banks of St. Lucia Estuary, where you will climb into a comfortable riverboat. There are heaps of wildlife to be seen in and around the wide waterway, from bloats of hippos wading in babbling brooks to yellow-billed storks waddling along the river’s umber banks.
Zulu Nyala Private Game Reserve - Close Encounters with Africa’s Animals
You will get closer to the North Coast’s creatures than ever before on your final full day in and around Zulu Nyala Private Game Reserve. Your guide will meet you at your campsite and chaperone you through the bushveld in a decked-out 4x4 Land Cruiser to the Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Centre. This incredible conservation initiative, set just outside the borders of Hluhluwe’s immense reserve, is home to several cheetahs with which you will have the pleasure of meeting and playing. Afterward, you will partake in a thrilling Elephant Interaction with Africa’s largest and most formidable mammals.
andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve - An Afternoon Introduction to Phinda
andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve is a Big Five wildlife sanctuary set within a pristine slice of parched sand forest. Boasting award-winning lodges and spectacular campsites, the reserve will share with you a level of unparalleled sophistication within the breathtaking bushveld of KwaZulu-Natal. Your arrival will be complemented with an afternoon safari drive on which you will encounter the lush landscapes and array of indigenous wildlife inhabiting Phinda’s untouched paradise. This tour will lead you to water holes where herbivores gather and river beds where elephants wander.
andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve - Searching for the Big Five
Including elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, and cape buffaloes, sighting Africa’s Big Five is a bucket list activity that you will attempt to tick off during morning and afternoon safaris across Phinda. You will also have the luxury of wandering Phinda on foot alongside an armed ranger and tracker, trekking through the overgrown shrubbery and following tracks left in the dirt by the endangered black rhinos. Gallivanting under low-lying canopies and across sparse pastures, you will keep your eyes peeled for Phinda’s immaculate collection of colorful birdlife perching in the trees or soaring across the clear skies.
andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve - Cultural Immersion and Wildlife Education
Phinda brags wildlife adventures outside of open-air 4x4 vehicles, and you will be thrilled to get more in tune with the wilderness during a Zulu village tour and conservation activities today. The colorful garb worn by the locals will immediately catch your eye as you acquaint yourselves with the smiling villagers and are shown around their modest thatched community. They will share insight into ancient tribal customs, and their cuisine will introduce you to a world of new flavors. Afterward, you will visit conservation centers peppering Phinda that showcase the importance of caring for Africa’s endangered animals.
Makuleke Contractual Park - Private Retreat in the Greater Kruger Park
The Makuleke Contractual Park is stationed on the ancestral lands of the Makuleke people, far in the northern reaches of the Greater Kruger National Park. One of the reserve’s most unique accommodations blends traditional thatched roofing with tented walls and is constructed on a large wooden deck that overlooks the glistening waters of a river in a private concession. Behind you, mountains will create a dramatic backdrop, and the forest will dabble your deck with shade. In front of you, the river will weave through the luxuriant bush and fade away with the sunset-baked horizon.
Makuleke Contractual Park - Fever Tree Forests and the Crook’s Corner
Makuleke is a region of tremendous natural beauty, and its low-lying floodplains harbor numerous varieties of birdlife and animals. Stepping onto your balcony this morning, you will be treated to views of buffaloes wandering to the riverbank and quenching their thirst, elephants plodding along the grassy pastures, and eagles circling the baby blue sky. Your afternoon will see you visiting the world’s largest fever tree forest and the crocodile-covered banks of Crook’s Corner. Within these iconic locations, you will hope to spot the elusive and incredibly rare Pel’s fishing owl, among other significant birds.
Makuleke Contractual Park - Spirited away by the Lanner Gorge
The Luvuvhu River has spent centuries carving the Lanner Gorge into the earth. The massive rocky canyon borders three African countries, and it is a scenic marvel so jaw-dropping it will leave you feeling spirited away. You will come down from your adventurous afternoon leisurely sipping cocktails while lounging in the pool. The fragrant aromas of something cooking in the kitchen will seduce your senses from your quiet repose, and you will head to dinner as the sunset burns across the African sky.
Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve - Spectacular Forest Scenes in Sabi Sands
Hemmed in the lush lands of the Greater Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve is a crowning jewel of South African safari that you will have the pleasure of visiting this afternoon. Your travels will take you to a timber-thatched campsite built beneath the shady forest canopy, where you will spend time unwinding from your guided safari escapades. Birding is breathtaking in Sabi Sands as a myriad of ecosystems boast a variety of feathered friends for you to spot during your expeditions around the reserve.
Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve - Kruger Discoveries before Dawn
You will join your ranger and guide early in the morning, before the sun has reared its head above the horizon, for a safari under cover of the night. Predators and big cats are most active during these nocturnal periods as they have a visual advantage over their prey, and you may be fortunate enough to spot a kill in action if you find yourself in the right place at the right time. Once the sun has flooded Sabi Sands, you will continue to iconic points of interest, including the Four Pillars of Hope and John Varty Cinematography Centre.
Cape Town - The Western Cape’s Prized Cityscape
The Western Cape’s prized asset is Cape Town city, a thriving cosmopolitan at the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans that has bagged a title as one of the hottest destinations to visit around the world. Along the seaboard, trendy visitors and fashionistas commune in dazzling cocktail bars overlooking the azure seascape. In the city, history buffs and sightseers filter off red city tour busses at landmark locations. In the surrounding hillside, wine connoisseurs and trailblazers step off the beaten path to visit forested trails and stellar wine estates. Cape Town highlights will be yours to explore today.
Cape Town - A Detour through the Cityscape
You will wake up to the sound of Cape Town’s heavy winds brushing over the summit of Lion’s Head and hear the echoes of sizable waves crashing against the shores. After breakfast, you will take a detour through the city to uncover the rich South African heritage and culture that remains the backbone of the Western Cape despite its modern transformation. At museums and galleries speckling the skyline, you will submerge yourself in the arts and crafts of South Africa’s finest talent as well as trace backstories of Apartheid through evocative displays.
Cape Town - Bird Watching at Cape Point
The bustling cityscape is a gateway to Blue Flag beaches hugging the Western Cape coastline, and you will visit several white-sand shorelines en route to the rugged rocky peaks of Cape Point. You will gaze across a shimmering sapphire seascape from the soft sands and stroll across the rounded boulders that flank hideaway coves. At fishing villages, you will tuck into delectable seafood dishes and enjoy panoramas of their busy harbors that capture an atmosphere reminiscent of seafaring eras. Arriving at Cape Point, you will be dazzled by the phenomenal scenery and revel in exceptional bird watching from elevated vantage points.
Cape Town - Taste Tours of the Cape Winelands
The Cape Winelands region boasts some of South Africa’s best wine estates. From cascading vineyards draped across the Constantia hills to sweeping grape plantations carpeting the Stellenbosch plains, you will be spoiled for choice touring the Western Cape’s wine country. Your visits will include taste tours alongside sommeliers, cellar visits where you may indulge in each estate’s finest vintages, and an array of other unique activities such as chocolate tasting at a master chocolatier and a peek inside a glass-blowing studio at Fairview in Paarl.
Cederberg - Bushmans Kloof World of Fynbos
A gorgeous wildlife reserve sits at the foothills of the imposing Cederberg Mountains, and you will explore this distinguished wilderness sanctuary from a tranquil retreat tucked away in low-hanging emerald foliage. Your discoveries will begin shortly after you arrive as you wander through the world of fynbos in Bushmans Kloof. The colors of lush flowers will blend amongst the green grass, all sorts of insects, including ladybugs and butterflies, will glide from plant to plant, and the distinct wafts of sweet blooming flowers will envelop the immaculate gardens as you walk.
Cederberg - Art and Culture beneath the Cederberg Mountains
Cederberg’s ancient sandstone formations, immense open plains, and sparkling silver waterfalls will be yours to indulge in during your final full day guided through the spellbinding region. Your nature strolls will reveal the curious and colorful birds that reside within the forest canopy, various little creatures that ruffle through the shrubbery, and awe-inspiring ancient cave paintings that varnish the walls of dimly lit caves. Representing South Africa’s wilderness and heritage, Cederberg sets a stage that will blow you away on your final day.
Cederberg - Goodbyes to the Historically Rich and Wildly Diverse
Though your travels and birding safaris through South Africa will be coming to a close today, you will leave having explored much of this historically rich and wildly diverse country. Your final morning will be spent soaking up the sensational scenes from your stylish terrace before you tuck into a sumptuous breakfast spread prepared by expert chefs. After you have feasted your eyes on the settings and your mouths on the food, you will collect your things and meet your private transfer to be whisked away to the airport to catch your flight home.
- Relish a unique birding bushwalk through Zulu Nyala Private Game Reserve that will allow you to scan the sprawling bushveld in search of the North Coast’s iconic feathered creatures
- Climb into a boat settling sail across the St. Lucia Estuary and capture the remarkable wildlife sightings and birdlife experiences that await on the banks of this picturesque riverside setting
- Attune with nature as you come closer to cheetahs and elephants than ever before during a visit to the Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Centre and Elephant Interaction near Hluhluwe
- Scour the open plains and low-lying bushveld mapped across Phinda game reserve in search of Africa’s iconic and sensational Big Five animals, which includes lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and cape buffaloes
- Visit a traditional Zulu village and delve into the rich history and heritage of the local community as you witness customary performances and tuck into their distinct cuisine during your stay
- Step into the groves of the world’s largest fever tree forest and admire the breathtaking riverside spectacles that will present themselves to you during an exploration of Crook’s Corner in Makuleke Contractual Park
- Explore Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve before the sun rises as your guide illuminates the bushveld with a spotlight and you survey the landscape for hunting predators, nocturnal birds, and more
- Travel through Cape Town city’s suburban and heritage districts, visiting fabled museums and contemporary art galleries that showcase the height of South African creative talent and the country’s memorable history
- Wander along the Cape coastline to Cape Point, stopping at sparkling Blue Flag beaches en route and capturing the incredible birdlife that finds refuge in the region’s nourishing environments
- Learn more about wine alongside a sommelier during visits to the Cape Winelands elite estates, where you will savor the award-winning vintages, peer into the barrel-laden cellars, and absorb the region’s mesmerizing vistas
$12,595 per person (excluding international flights)
- 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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