Kruger Safari Leopard, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Leopard, Sabi Sand Game Reserve

Introduction: 

For the ultimate Kruger Safari! South Africa’s Greater Kruger National Park offers undoubtedly the most readily accessible authentic wildlife experience in Southern Africa, as well as some of the finest game viewing and photographic opportunities, especially when it comes to the big stuff such as elephant, rhino, lion and leopard. Covering a huge swathe of remarkably diverse woodland savanna in the north-east corner of the country, this park and the adjacent private reserves are easily accessible by road and air. Unlike some other large parks in the sub-region, there’s no need for expensive charter flights or bone-jarring road journeys, and, after landing at Kruger / Mpumalanga International Airport, one can be viewing game a mere one hour later. The park is some 350 kms long from north to south and offers a wonderful array of different types of savannah, from the well-wooded hills and rock outcrops of the south-west to the open basalt plains in the central region, and is home to over 500 bird species, 137 mammal species, 119 reptile species, 33 species of amphibians and nearly 50 species of fish. The Sabi Sand Game Reserve offers a cherry-on-the-top experience, with close-up encounters with big cats that have been known to be highlights of a lifetime for participants. Photographic opportunities abound and keen photographers are known to return from a 10 day Kruger Safari with 6000 plus images stored on their memory cards and hard drives.

5 – 13 September 2019 (8 nights / 9 days)

Starts at Kruger / Mpumalanga International Airport on the morning of the 15th September 2019. Tour ends at Kruger / Mpumalanga International Airport on the 13th September 2019 in time for connecting flights and evening transcontinental flights from Johannesburg. Please check with us before booking any flights.

2019: ZAR 45 200 per person sharing, ZAR 9 500 single supplement

Price subject to change based on external factors. Price is based on a minimum of 4 participants. Small group surcharge will be levied for groups smaller than 4 participants. Please contact us for more detail.

Includes
• Accommodation
• All breakfasts and dinners in Kruger
• All meals in Sabi Sands
• Entrance fees
• Ground transport
• Bottled water in Lawson’s vehicle whilst travelling
• Personalised checklists
• Specialist guide fees

Excludes
• All airfares
• Travel and medical insurance
• Lunches in Kruger
• All drinks
• Optional excursions where applicable
• Gratuities
• Items of a personal nature

Note
• This itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions at the time and other factors beyond our control.
• The species mentioned in the itinerary represent only some of the possible ones we may see on the tour, however, none of these can be guaranteed even though every effort will be made where possible to locate them. A full list of possibles appears on your checklist.
• The exact itinerary will depend on availability, but will still include 4 nights in the Kruger National Park and 4 nights in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

Group size: maximum of 6 participants with 1 guide.

Areas visited: Kruger National Park and Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

Expected weather conditions: warm to hot during the day. Early morning and evening drives in open safari vehicles can be cool to cold, due to wind-chill factor. Little chance of sustained rain.

Tour tempo: medium to medium-plus, depending on the level of interest of the group. The Kruger section is faster-paced, while the private lodge section involves long rest periods between activities.

Accommodation standards: medium to high: private lodges and National Park’s rest-camps.

Mammal viewing: excellent, especially in the private reserves. Full range of species can be seen, including the Big Five (Elephant, Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Lion and Leopard) as well as Cheetah, Wild Dog and Spotted Hyena. Top class photographic opportunities.

Other highlights: great birding opportunities, wonderful scenery and landscapes.

Add-ons: those who have more time available can add extra days on to the safari, or extensions to the Cape for the flowers, or to Victoria Falls. Contact us for ideas and prices.

Photographing the Predators map
Start / end Kruger Mpumalanga Airport. 1: Kruger Skukuza. 2: Kruger Satara. 3: Sabi Sand Lodge 1. 4: Sabi Sand Lodge 2.

Days 1 – 2: The Kruger National Park, Skukuza
Meet your guide at Kruger / Mpumalanga International Airport near White River, a small town on the south-western corner of the park, and then head straight in to the Kruger National Park via Phabeni Gate and make our way to Skukuza Rest Camp on the banks of the Sabie River. Skukuza is the park’s headquarters and though rather large it offers a great base from which to explore the surrounding region. The perennial river attracts a lot of game during the dry season and provides a focus of predator and prey activity. We have two nights at Skukuza, spending time in the mornings and afternoons out in the field photographing birds, mammals and anything else that attracts our interest.

Days 3 – 4: The Kruger National Park, Satara
For our next two days we’ll head north to the central regions of the reserve. This area is drier and more open, with large areas of grassy plains. These attract large numbers of Zebra and Wildebeest, and game viewing in the region can be superb. Satara is particularly well known for great Lion and Hyena sightings and is reported to have the highest densities in the whole park of these two apex predators. The open savannah habitat also makes for great photographic opportunities and our two night stay here should produce many full CF cards! The program will remain the same as that followed at the previous rest camp.

Days 5 – 8: The Sabi Sand Game Reserve
After a last morning activity in the Kruger we’ll exit via Orpen Gate and enter the adjacent Sabi Sand Game Reserve, a 65 000 hectare private conservancy that is contiguous with the neighbouring national park. We’ll check-in in time for lunch and have time to relax before our first afternoon safari, lead by an experienced field guide and tracker. The Sabi Sand Game Reserve offers what is widely considered the best cat viewing in Africa, with regular close-up encounters with both Lion and Leopard to be anticipated. Cheetah and Wild Dog are also found in the reserve, though they are usually fairly nomadic within their large home ranges which takes them out of the reserve and into the neighbouring Kruger National Park and Manyaleti Game Reserves, so the chances of seeing these two predators depends on them being in the area at the time of our visit. Over and above the wonderful animals we are likely to see here, a true highlight will be observing the Shangaan tracker practising his craft as we track the big cats. Superb wine and cuisine will be enjoyed in the evenings after the afternoon safari, and all together this will add up to a truly awesome experience. We have four nights in the reserve, divided between two different camps, which will give ample time out in the field photographing our subjects.

Day 9: Departure
After a last morning safari we will leave the reserve and head back to the airport in time for departures.

“We both thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip and have wonderful memories of South Africa.  If there were any regrets it was that the trip was not long enough!”

Phil and Dinah Shaw, UK, after Photographing the Predators 2013.

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