This safari package offers a ten-day South African Safari coupled with a three-night whale watching in the Western Cape. You'll have a chance to go for a Big Five game viewing in in the Balule Game Reserve and Tangala Safari Camp on the Thorny Bush Game Reserve. You'll also will visit to Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
Black Leopard Camp is situated in the Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve (Mpumalanga).This game lodge offers five tented suites (either double or twin) with en-suite bathrooms and two family/executive units with en-suite bathrooms.
Pick up at O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) and transfer to Black Leopard Camp near Lydenburg. A luxury tented camp, with stylish lavishly appointed bedrooms each with inside and outside private bathrooms. You should arrive in time for a dip in the pool overlooking the mountain gorge, before afternoon tea and time to rest and recuperate. The evening meal will be taken in the tree top dining room after which you can relax by an open fire in the well-appointed lapa.
You are awoken by an invigorating cup of coffee before setting off on the morning game drive that also includes a unique bush senses experience. This is an activity that have been developed over many years and has proved very popular with the safari guests. In a fun way, it encourages you to use all of your senses when in the bush. Not just sight, but also smell, hearing, and touch. Some of your senses are dulled by modern living but this simple and fun exercise quickly hones ones bush senses are ideal preparation for any safari.
Brunch is followed by time to relax and enjoy the views from Black Leopard Camp or perhaps take a soak in your luxurious, private outside bath with mountain gorge views. When the heat of the day has faded a little, you join the rangers learning to track leopards and other predators within the Thaba Tholo Reserve, where the Ingwe Leopard team are monitoring the resident leopard population.
Morning game drive before brunch, game viewing within the reserve as well as stopping off to visit the many previously undiscovered early San people settlements that are prevalent in the reserve. Late afternoon sighting of camera traps before dinner. This is the point when guests put all they have learnt so far into action.
Guided by the Ingwe team you are encouraged to consider and select places along game trails that they feel are likely spots to photograph the local leopards as they roam during the forthcoming nights. Leopard movement and territorial behavior changes almost on a daily basis and is dependent on many factors, making this a fascinating and fun exercise and rightfully invites you to feel and become part of the Ingwe team.
Return to camp for an early dinner followed by a night drive on the Thaba Tholo Reserve - avoiding those places where camera traps have been set obviously.
Breakfast and then a morning game drive through the reserve and transfer to Zuleika Country House. Time permitting you will be taken for a leisurely drive along the Panorama route to view the world famous Blyde River Canyon and Gods Window.
After breakfast we will visit our friends at the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, to see some of the wonderful work they do in conserving wildlife. Then transfer to the 40,000 hectare Balule Game Reserve arriving in time to settle in before high tea is served. An afternoon game drive within the reserve returns to the lodge for a four course dinner.
Morning big five game drive within the 40,000 hectare Balule Game Reserve. Returning to the lodge in time for brunch and then transfer to the exclusive Thornybush Game Reserve. On arrival at Tangala Safari Camp, you will have time to settle in before high tea and an evening game drive in the Thorny Bush Reserve, returning to Tangala for a sumptuous dinner in the main lapa. Tangala provides a lovely sedate bush atmosphere, with personal and friendly service. There are no power lines to pollute the skyline, Tangala maintains sustainable sources for power and lighting, which is not only eco friendly but as importantly enhances the bush experience. Solar power is available to charge camera batteries etc and the rooms and walkways are lit using paraffin lamps, bringing a magical sparkle to the lodge each night. As you disembark from your afternoon game drive, the lodge is bedecked with twinkling lanterns, leading to the main lounge where a lovely glass is waiting for you as a pre dinner aperitif.
Early morning wake-up and an invigorating cup of fresh coffee in the lounge. You will then set off on an early morning game drive. You may hope to check out scenes from the previous evenings events; however, each safari offers a new exciting experience. The early morning game drive will return to the lodge for breakfast, after which you have the option of taking an accompanied bush walk. An opportunity to trail in the Thorny Bush game reserve is an experience that will never be forgotten. The trail will return for a well-deserved rest during the heat of the day, where you have time to relax or enjoy the plunge pool overlooking the waterhole, which is often host to zebra, buffalo, giraffe, elephant, rhino, and lion. The afternoon game drive will start after high tea and will cover previously unseen areas of the reserve.
A morning game drive aims to visit those parts of the concession that you haven’t had time to reach previously, offering an opportunity to get those final photographs. Time permitting you will take the chance to take a short bush walk from the vehicle, before returning to the lodge for a late breakfast. Transfer back to Black Leopard Camp, followed by time to relax and unwind at Black Leopard Camp before dinner.
Late morning bush walk with the Ingwe Leopard team within the Thaba Tholo Reserve. At this point, doors are open that are not available to anyone other than conservation professionals. It offers you the chance to join dedicated leopard conservationists, working to conserve not only leopards but all predators within their research zones. Previous guests have joined the Ingwe team relocating endangered leopards or close monitoring predators aiming to preserve the last of the big five that survives outside of game reserves.
Morning coffee, followed by a game drive exploring new areas of the vast Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve. By now, it is hoped that you will have had a chance to photograph and observe many large mammals and birds, this drive aims to fill in any gaps as well as concentrating on smaller mammals and other wildlife or flora and fauna. Brunch followed by early afternoon relaxation or if you wish a visit to the community farm school that On Track Safaris supports. As late afternoon approaches you hope to follow leopards moving through the reserve using satellite and radio tracking systems. This may involve our moving outside of the reserve dependent on leopard movement.
Early morning final game drive back through the Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve and transfer to Johannesburg airport for your flight to Cape Town and transfer to your beach view lodge.
Hermanus is the mecca for Whale Watching in South Africa and provides the best opportunities for land based whale viewing. Whales can be seen frequently from the bedroom balconies. There are a wide variety of restaurants and bistro’s in Hermanus, where you can chose to dine at your leisure.
Breakfast viewing followed by a tuk tuk ride to board a whale watching boat for a trip into the bay. A thrilling experience, with the reassuring where the motto is ‘observe not disturb’.
You will have time to enjoy whale watching from your lodge, or perhaps a walk along the beautiful natural beach, before dinner.
Breakfast taken while viewing whales in the bay, followed by a sight seeing tour to Table Mountain.
Breakfast and transfer to Cape Town airport for your return flight to Johannesburg.
Balule Nature Reserve is a protected area in Limpopo Province, South Africa which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park as a member of the Associated Private Nature Reserves (APNR). The wildlife population includes all of the Big Five game: lion, African elephant, African buffalo, African leopard, and white rhinoceros.
Thornybush Game Reserve is a private game reserve, near Hoedspruit, in the Limpopo province of South Africa. It borders the Kapama Game Reserve and is located close to the Timbavati Game Reserve and the Kruger Park. Thornybush Game Reserve features 147 mammals including the Big Five, 114 reptiles, 507 birds, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, and 336 trees species.
During the safari tour, you have included in the price five breakfasts, five lunches, and five dinners. Three nights in Hermanus lodge are on a bed and breakfast basis only. There are a variety of restaurants within walking distance of the lodge or we can arrange for a short tuk tuk ride into town (approximately 2 km).
Please book your flights to O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB). Transfers from and to the airport are included in the price. On Track Safaris will have the driver / guide send to pick you up from the airport.