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A Conservation Safari

10 days from £2140pp plus international flights.

​This is not an ordinary safari! We aim to get you closer to understanding the wilderness and wildlife of South Africa, and the conservation of leopards in particular. 

You're in the middle of the bush (not a familiar place for most of us) and you've got a blindfold on, you're wearing gloves and ear defenders. Don't worry, you're safe - you are about to take part in your 'bush senses' experience! There's no better way to make you click into your surroundings than by forcing you to use all your senses.  And this is only day 2 ... 

This conservation safari will have you doing all the 'normal' safari activities such as game drives and bush walks, but we will also bring in some rather unique aspects. You will be getting a behind the scenes tour at a wildlife rehabilitation centre, you will learn how to set your own camera trap for leopards (which will help with leopard research), and you'll meet and go on safari and walks with some of the Ingwe Leopard team. 

The places you do all this exciting stuff is partly in a private reserve near Lydenburg (between Johannesburg and Kruger) and partly in the Greater Kruger itself, notably Balule and Thornybush Reserves.

If you want a safari with a difference, you should most certainly consider this!
Itinerary
Black Leopard Camp

DAY 1: BLACK LEOPARD CAMP

We pick you up at Johannesburg's O.R Tambo International Airport and drive to Black Leopard Camp near Lydenburg. It should take roughly 3 hours. This is a luxury tented camp with stylish bedrooms. 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. Dinner.
Hippo and croc

DAY 2: BLACK LEOPARD CAMP

You are woken with a cup of tea or coffee before setting off on a morning game drive that includes the camp's unique 'bush senses' experience. This always proves very popular with 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 - it's an ideal preparation for any safari. Brunch is followed by siesta time. When the heat of the day has faded a little, join rangers to learn how to track leopards and other predators within the Thaba Tholo reserve, where the Ingwe Leopard team are monitoring the resident leopard population. Full board.
Leopard captured in camera trap

DAY 3: BLACK LEOPARD CAMP

You have a morning game drive before brunch, game viewing in the reserve as well as stopping off to visit the many early San people settlements. In the late afternoon you'll help site camera traps. Guided by the Ingwe Leopard Conservation team, select places along game trails that you feel are likely places to capture photographs of local leopards as they roam overnight. Leopard movement changes almost on a daily basis, making this a fascinating and fun exercise and helps you feel part of the Ingwe team. Return to camp for an early dinner followed by a night drive on the Thaba Tholo Reserve. Full board.
On Conservation Safari

DAY 4: BALULE GAME RESERVE

After breakfast and a morning game drive in the reserve, you transfer to the 40,000 hectare Balule Game Reserve in greater Kruger, arriving in time to settle in before high tea is served. You enjoy an afternoon game drive within the reserve, returning for dinner. Full board.
Conservation safari - elelphant

DAY 5: BALULE GAME RESERVE

You set off this morning on a Big 5 game drive within the Balule Game Reserve. Returning to the lodge in time for brunch, you then transfer to Zuleika Country House where you spend the night. Full board.
At Moholoholo Wildlife rehabilitation centre

DAY 6: THORNYBUSH GAME RESERVE

After breakfast you visit the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre to see some of the wonderful conservation work they do. You then drive to the exclusive ThornyBush Game Reserve. On arrival at Tangala Safari Camp, there will be time to settle in before high tea and an evening game drive in the Reserve. Tangala is a truly sustainable and wonderfully relaxing haven. Full board.
Conservation safari

DAY 7: THORNYBUSH GAME RESERVE

On an early morning game drive you hope to check out scenes from the previous evenings events; however, each safari offers a new exciting experience. You return to the lodge for breakfast, after which you have the option of taking a guided bush walk. You return to the camp for a well-deserved rest during the heat of the day, where there will be 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 starts after high tea and takes in previously unseen areas of the reserve. Full board.
Watching rhinos

DAY 8: TO BLACK LEOPARD CAMP

A morning game drive aims to visit those parts of the concession that you've not yet had time to reach, offering an opportunity to get those final photographs. Time permitting you can take a short bush walk from the vehicle, before returning to the lodge for a late breakfast. Transfer back to Black Leopard Camp, where you'll have time to unwind before dinner. Full board.
On bush walk

DAY 9: BLACK LEOPARD CAMP

Late morning bush walk with the Ingwe Leopard team within the Thaba Tholo Reserve. At this point we open doors that are not available to anyone other than conservation professionals, providing you with the chance to join dedicated leopard conservationists, working to conserve not only leopards but all predators within the Reserve. Their aim is to preserve the last of the big five that survives outside of game reserves. Full board.
Leopard caught on camera trap

DAY 10: DEPART

You take an early morning game drive to monitor and record predator tracks and movement as well as to recover camera traps and return to camp to download and review the images captured. A prize is given for the best photo. All photographs will be added to the Ingwe Leopard Research data base and form part of the research data. Brunch and a final game drive back through the Thaba Tholo Reserve is followed by an afternoon transfer to Johannesburg airport. Brunch.
Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £2140 (ex. international flights)

Includes: 

Excludes: 

Getting there: This trip starts and finishes at Johannesburg airport. There is a lot of choice of airlines that fly here, and a rough price will start from about £750 per person. 

Departure dates: This is a tailor made holiday suggestion. As such we can arrange this for you at any time you like.

places you will see

places you will see

Kruger National Park
Kruger
World famous Kruger National Park is a superb Big 5 game park, with varied habitats. There are also many private reserves adjacent to the national park, such as Sabi Sands and Timbavati. 

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facts and information

Time: GMT +2 hours

Flight time: There are daily flights from Europe to Johannesburg (about 10 ½ hours direct) and Cape Town (about 11 hours). There is also a good network of domestic flights connecting all main towns.

Language: English is South Africa's main administrative language and is widely spoken. There are also 11 official tribal languages.

Visas: Visas are not required for British passport holders.

Health: No vaccinations are compulsory. Malaria is found in certain areas (mainly Kruger and the east coast towards Mozambique), but not throughout the country.

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