We are thrilled to announce a once-in-a-lifetime 11-day birding and wildlife experience with special guest Christian Cooper, the famous Central Park Birder. Your guide Jody Cole will be joined by South African birding specialist Bruce Lawson. AND our co-host is renowned travel writer Ed Salvato. Many people dream of visiting Africa during their lifetime, but few truly experience the magnificent wonders of this continent.
We will explore South Africa’s most magical areas from sunup to sundown, exploring on foot, by vehicle and up close with magnificent flora and fauna. The trip includes luxury stays at 4 iconic properties, private charter flight to Kruger National Park, 6 nights in the Greater Kruger area and concludes with two full days in cosmopolitan Cape Town, with cocktail parties, mingling with cool locals and other special surprises.
Upon arrival at OR Tambo International Airport you will be met by our Johannesburg Host for your transfer to the Houghton. The Houghton Hotel is located 20 minutes from OR Tambo International Airport on the slope of one of Johannesburg’s highest points, Built in an historic suburb where architecture and style have long hidden the prospecting shafts of the 1890s Houghton Estate Goldmining Company.
At The Houghton casual and luxury blends into one. With the many amenities available, including a luxury spa and state of the art fitness gym, this luxurious overnight stop will provide a relaxing introduction to Southern Africa before you discover the true beauty of this diverse continent.
Our private Welcome Dinner will be an opportunity for us to meet and learn more details about our journey ahead.
Days 2 – 4
Pafuri Luxury Camp
Into Kruger National Park we go, with a charter flight to the Pafuri private airstrip in the heart of the historic Makuleke Contract Park. For the next three days and nights, we’ll experience untamed, unfenced, untethered African bush. We will be in South Africa’s most magical piece of land from sunup to sundown, exploring on foot, by vehicle and up close the true meaning of “wilderness,” inside and out.
The walking trails explore the remotest part of northern Kruger giving you the chance of close encounters with the wildlife while having the opportunity to appreciate the finer details of the African bush. There are six (6) bird “specials” that occur in this northern most reach of South Africa bordering Zimbabwe and Mozambique. We will be joined by legendary guide Bruce Lawson, who knows the Makuleke intimately.
Our accommodation consists of luxury tents situated on the banks of the ever flowing Luvuvhu River, the southern boundary of the Makuleke.
Meals: Full Board
Days 5 – 7
Tanda Tula Lodge
A road transfer to Tanda Tula will take us southwards. Tanda Tula, meaning “to love the quiet”, is a family owned and run safari camp inspired by the people and wildlife of the Greater Kruger National Park. Found in the Timbavati Private Game Reserve on the banks of the Nlharalumi Riverbed, the lodge embodies grounded African elegance and the romance of the wild.
Tanda Tula is the perfect home for the next 3 days of exploring this wildlife-rich region will leave us longing for more. As a footnote this is the camp that Jody considers her “home away from home” in the bush having visited this camp repeatedly over the last 20 years. The people here will be like family from the moment we meet. The intimacy of Tanda Tula is what makes the experience, you’ll see. The daily schedule on safari begins with an early wake-up for a morning game drive, breakfast following the drive. Siesta time for a few hours then meeting again for lunch at 1pm-ish. Afternoon game drives begin generally at 4PM until after dark. Returning to camp in time to freshen up for dinner, which is at 8PM.
Meals: Full Board
Days 8 – 11
to Cape Town,
From Hoedspruit Airport for a domestic flight to Cape Town. We will be leaving the sights and sounds of the African Bush and trading it for the vibrant city life of Cape Town. Established in 1652 with the arrival of Dutch settlers who were sent to start a halfway station for passing ships, Cape Town is known as South Africa’s “Mother City.”
Like most other African cities, it has a complex colonial history, but one that has brought about truly magnificent diversity. Its glorious heritage and meandering history connect mountain, sea and culture.
Three fully guided day trips are included in your time here: a full day split between Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, acquainting yourself with the indigenous fauna, flora and birdlife in the area, and a cable car trip up the iconic Table Mountain, a day trip to Cape Point which falls within the southern section of Table Mountain National Park and Boulders Beach where you can interact with a colony of African Penguins. Either on the way there or back, we will drive along the iconic Chapmans Peak Drive, taking in the breath-taking scenery of the rugged Cape coastline.
And finally a full day to discover the history of the Cape Winelands, including wine tasting. We will have an opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Our time here includes a Reception with Cape Town friends and a Final Dinner to celebrate our very special time with Chris Cooper and journalist extraordinaire Ed Salvato.
This morning we say Goodbye to our new friends as we begin our journey homeward.
Meet Christian Cooper
Christian Cooper is an avid birder and a board member of New York City Audubon who was featured in the HBO documentary Birders: The Central Park Effect. His written works include comics (Queer Nation; Star Trek: Starfleet Academy; Marvel’s Darkhold; and most recently “It’s a Bird,” a tale in which birding and a racist incident collide, for DC Comics) and other fantastical fiction (the book Songs of the Metamythos).
Bruce’s trail guiding and training career has spanned more than 2 decades and logged more than 16,000 hours on foot with clients and students in some of Southern Africa’s premier conservation areas. His true passion is in Wilderness Conservation. He has spent over 350 nights (7000 hrs) on multiday Wilderness Trails teaching guests about The Wilderness.
Bruce’s years of experience as a specialist guide and trainer has placed him in an enviable position as one of South Africa’s most experienced wilderness walking and birding guides.
He’s got the “Midas Touch”: the South African guiding industry holds him in such high esteem that there is no hesitation in employing guides who have been trained by him.
Anyone spending time with Bruce, will come away from that experience with a completely different view of nature, the wilderness and themselves.
On a personal level, Bruce’s enjoyment of the outdoors has seen him undertake a Trans-African unsupported walk from Cape Town to Cairo, 12500 km, with in 1997/98 and more recently in 2014, walked the 1200 km Heysen Trail in South Australia, end to end, with his wife.
Price Per Person
Enquire for a 2024 quote
2023 safaris are fully booked.
“Jody’s unparalleled knowledge of wildlife was extraordinary and I learned so much from her.”
Lisa D., San Rafael, CA
Additional Pricing Information
(“Sign up” = 30% deposit on full trip price and completed Trip Application. Your Final Invoice will reflect the USD 500.00 discount.)
Estimated Intra Africa Flight Costs
- HDS-CPT est USD 300.00pp
- This quote is valid for the dates of travel specified. Prices are subject to change and lodge availability is not guaranteed until a signed application and deposit are received, at which time accommodations are booked and a final itinerary prepared. Modifications to the itinerary may result in a change in price.
- Review the location and amenities of the accommodations to ensure you are comfortable.
- Prices are subject to change without prior notification due to circumstances beyond our control, namely fuel surcharges, supplier increases, government taxes, exchange rate fluctuations, etc. The full booking value will be subject to rate of exchange fluctuations until full payment has been made.
- All costs are valid for the itinerary travel dates. Costs may vary with date changes.
- Should any details change, we reserve the right to recalculate the tour price accordingly
- Passports MUST be valid for at least six months from your return home date. We recommend a validity of nine months to prevent any problems in this regard. There must be at least FOUR blank VISA pages in the passport (not endorsement pages).
- WRAS is happy to help with Intra Africa flights to ensure the best arrival/departure times.
- Trip Cancellation and Travel Insurance is required Travel insurance is mandatory for all travellers. And should be purchased within 20 days of making your deposit.
If you would like to confirm this itinerary, a completed and signed Trip Application for each traveler and a 30% deposit on the full trip amount for each traveler is required. 50% of this deposit amount is non-refundable. We strongly recommend purchasing Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance immediately after your deposit is made. Insurance protects you and your investment should there be a reason at any point in the planning process that you would need to cancel your trip. Final payment will be due 120 days before travel.
Please contact Jody at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-407-3691 to secure your safari.