Day 1: Fly from Johannesburg to Skukuza, road transfer to MalaMala
Today you will start your photo tour by road transferring to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
Days 2 to 4: MalaMala Game Reserve
Mala Mala Game Reserve is home to some of the most sought-after wildlife species and offers
spectacular game viewing and a true wilderness experience. These two reserves are renowned for their leopard viewing – it is easily the best in Africa.
Day 5: Depart Kruger for Johannesburg
After breakfast and your morning game drive, you will fly back to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, where you will overnight.
Day 6: Depart Johannesburg for Tswalu
Today you will begin your photo safari in the Kalahari, with a scheduled flight from to Tswalu Private Game Reserve. Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest private game reserve, covering an area of over 100,000 hectares, offers unrivalled privacy in a vast, pristine wilderness. Although it may seem to be a sandy wasteland, it is in fact home to a fascinating variety of game animals, many of which we will get to know over the coming days.
Days 7 to 10: Tswalu Kalahari Reserve
Tswalu harbours some magnificent game, including “Kalahari” Lions with their celebrated black manes, Cheetah, Black Rhino, Southern Giraffe, Plains Zebra, Cape Buffalo, Southern Oryx, Red Hartebeest, Eland and Springbok. What sets Tswalu aside from any other lodge in South Africa are the extraordinary sightings of some of sub regions most seldom encountered and rare wildlife.
Tswalu represents the best place in the country (and maybe the whole of Africa!) for the Pangolin and Aardvark, which are “holy grails” of mammal sightings. Other seldom seen animals that may be encountered include Aardwolf, Cape and Bat-eared Fox, Cape Porcupine, Honey Badger and Brown Hyaena. Another highlight at Tswalu is the endearing Meerkat population, which can be viewed at close range, entertaining visitors with their enchanting antics.
Day 11: Depart Tswalu for Grootbos
This is your final morning in the desert, and you will have ample time to enjoy a morning game drive followed by breakfast and a leisurely departure. The flight departs Tswalu in the afternoon to Cape Town, where you will be transferred to Grootbos. This reserve offers you the chance to immerse yourself in the unique fynbos kingdom and ancient forest of Grootbos, featuring 800 plant species, 118 bird species, 29 mammals and 21 amphibians – some of which are under threat of extinction.
Day 12: Exploring the Coast
Beyond the Hottentots-Holland Mountains, to the East of Cape Town, lies the Overberg, an area of fruit and grain farms, verdant wine-growing valleys and a coastal Riviera known for its charming towns and whale viewing. Swathes of colourful Cape Fynbos plants, rocky shores and richly green vineyards are all part of the Overberg's essence.
During the calving season, Hermanus is arguably the best destination to view Southern Right Whales. From June to December these migratory animals make their presence known in Walker Bay, with pods of up to 50 creatures frolicking close to land. Hermanus' resident Whale Crier sounds his kelp horn alerting the town to the proximity of these magnificent sea beasts.
The Gansbaai area is also famous for its Great White Sharks sightings and we will incorporate a cage diving expedition.
Afternoons will be spent at Grootbos exploring the areas Fynbos, caves and the reserve. With 118 different bird species, Grootbos is uniquely positioned to offer both avid bird photographers a rich and varied birding experience. Cool Afromontane forests, the rocky coastline and serene estuaries provide a magnificent backdrop to our birding outings. Our experienced guides will share fascinating facts while helping you spot endemic birds feeding and breeding in these different ecosystems.
With some of the most pristine beaches in the world, they also offer photographic walks along the water’s edge, historical cave tours led by their guides, including possible sundowners with whales in front of you, whilst snacking on a picnic meal.
Day 14: Depart Grootbos for Tintswalo
Your day of tracking the Marine Big 5 (Southern Right Whale, Shark, Dolphin, Seal and Penguin) starts with a full immersion into breath-taking coastal landscape as you travel along the R44, keeping an eye on the sea. Exploring the Stony Point Nature Reserve in Betty’s Bay, home to a breeding colony African penguins - taking time to enjoy their character-filled antics.
You may also hike through the lush Harold Porter Botanical Gardens, an estate which lies sandwiched between ocean and mountain and includes marsh, heath, forest, gorge and dunes as well as stretches of fynbos.
You make your way to Tintswalo, with is glorious mountain vistas available during today's portion of your photo safari.
Days 15 & 16: Cape Town and Surrounds
Two days have been set aside to explore the Cape Peninsula, which include a variety of natural & historical gems that borderline the coastal region. These include Kalk Bay, the resident Penguins at Boulders Beach, Cape Point, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Simon’s Town and a boat ride to Seal Island in False Bay, which is famous for the breaching behaviour of the local Great White Sharks as they hunt seals.
Day 17: Cape Town and depart
Today your South African photo safari sadly comes to an end as you depart Tintswalo and make your way to Cape Town International Airport where this safari concludes.