Hidden South Africa & City
13 days, 12 nights
Price Range: $11,598 – $24,485
(all-inclusive price per person, depending on dates & camps selected)
Perhaps three of South Africa's best hidden gems are experienced on this safari. Embark from Johannesburg to Madikwe, land of the Big Five as well as prolific wild dog concentrations and excellent cheetah. Next, go by land to Marataba, which is a little-known area that showcases both excellent wildlife, including great rhino and predators, along with unparalleled scenery. Continue to the Sabi Sand on a private reserve with world-renowned animal populations, ending in colorful Cape Town.
Our Expert Says
South Africa is an incredibly diverse country. With seven unique biomes, it's no wonder that it's possible to see a wishlist of wildlife on day and night wildlife drives, by foot, from a balloon and several other ways! Hidden South Africa homes in on strong wildlife areas that are lesser traveled, such as Madikwe and Marataba, as well as the tried-and-true Greater Kruger Park and the enriching and stunning Cape Town. For its diversity, the value is hard to match.
– Megan Bryant
Day 1: Johannesburg
Cosmopolitan Johannesburg is the jumping-off point for most South African safaris. The city of four million is a vibrant mélange of colors and cultures. Food and music are central to life in ‘Joburg,’ and its clubs and pubs are an integral part of the social fabric. Tour Soweto or visit the Apartheid Museum to gain a deeper understanding of Johannesburg’s history, travails and rich multicultural heritage.
Days 2-4: Madikwe Game Reserve
Madikwe Game Reserve, bordering Botswana, is a prime wildlife safari destination, and among the largest wildlife reserves in South Africa. Lying within the transition zone between the Lowveld and the Kalahari thornveld, it is ideally situated to attract an incredible diversity of large and small game. The reserve is home to 66 mammal species, including all of the Big Five, and more than 300 resident and migrant bird species. Plus, without prevalent malaria it is a wonderful destination for families.
Days 5-7: Marakele National Park
Marakele National Park is situated along the Waterberg massif in the northeast corner of South Africa. This is one of the most scenically beautiful wildlife areas in the country. The highlight is Marataba, a private wildlife reserve with nearly 57,000 acres of exclusive land and just a few intimate camps. Rhino, lion, leopard, spotted hyena, elephant, giraffe, zebra, kudu, and 800 breeding pairs of Cape vulture inhabit this stunning area. It's the epitome of beauty and wildlife in one exclusive space.
Days 8-10: Sabi Sand Reserve
Sabi Sand is one of the world’s most extraordinary wildlife locales. This private 150,000-acre reserve shares a border with Kruger National Park and is named for the two rivers that flow through it. Renowned for its excellent “Big Five” viewing—the elephant, rhino, Cape buffalo, lion and abundant leopard, which were once favorite hunting targets—Sabi Sand has led the way in bringing them back.
Days 11-12: Cape Town
Located at the Southern tip of the African continent where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, Cape Town and the Western Cape are strikingly beautiful. At the foot of Table Mountain, the city of 3 million is a charismatic blend of cultures, renowned for its scenic setting, creative cuisine and world-class local wines. Outside the city, enjoy spectacular beaches, sheer sea cliffs along the Cape of Good Hope, and wildlife encounters from penguins to sharks.
Day 13: Cape Town/Home
Your safari adventure ends today in Cape Town, South Africa.