Rhino & Lion Safari

This safari has been created to offer an exclusive experience to an exclusive group…. Come to Africa for a brand-new wildlife experience in two different countries, uncovering more amazing wildlife secrets and joining Dr Peter Brothers working hands-on with multiple species!

Description

This safari takes guests behind the scenes, affording the opportunity to interact with wildlife vets, researchers and guides, while discovering the fantastic world of wildlife in Southern Africa.

Participate in hands-on wildlife veterinary management procedures and in so doing contribute financially to wildlife conservation through your participation. During this safari you will work with antelope, the iconic endangered rhino, and African predators, under the watchful eye of your wildlife veterinarian.

Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 :

Arrive at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. 

(International flights are for your own arrangement, but please note that Brothers Safaris can assist with quotes and booking of these if required.)

You will be met at O.R. Tambo International Airport by a representative of Brothers Safaris and transferred to Grand Central Airport. Transfer time approximately 35 minutes.

Check-in for your flight to Pafuri airstrip, departing at 13h00 – included in safari cost.

On arrival at Pafuri airstrip, you will be met by a representative of Shangani Trails and transferred to your first destination in the Kruger National Park. 

Kruger National Park – nearly 2 million hectares of unrivalled diversity of life forms fuse with historical and archaeological sites – this is real Africa. The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa.

Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld, this national park is unrivalled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies. Truly the flagship of the South African National Parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals.

The rustic tented camp provides a Close to Nature bush experience, situated near the banks of the Luvuvhu River on the southern boundary of the concession. This unfenced tented camp will allow you to enjoy a true wilderness experience in the heart of the Makuleke bush throughout the duration of your stay.

Covering some 24000 hectares, this private Concession is situated in the far northern section of the Kruger National Park with principal boundaries being provided by the Limpopo River in the north and east and the Luvuvhu River in the south. Arguably one of the few remaining true wilderness areas in Southern Africa, The Makuleke is highly regarded for its biodiversity and spectacular scenery. Sandstone and Basalt ridges blend easily with mopane, acacia and broad-leafed woodlands, including specimens of the mighty Baobab Tree, while the Limpopo and Luvuvhu River floodplains provide a grassland buffer between the Riverine and famous Fever Tree Forests.

The Concession is well known not only for its diversity of landscape and vegetation but also for its large numbers of Elephant, Buffalo and Plains Game. In addition, an extensive list of over 400 species awaits the birding enthusiasts, including consistent sightings of the rare Pels Fishing Owl and Racket Tail Roller while, with a little more patience, sightings of Arnot’s Chat, Three Banded Coursers and Bohm’s Spinetail could be enjoyed!

On arrival, check in and enjoy some leisure time, before heading out on an introductory walk, late afternoon. 

This is the time to search for the amazing wildlife that abounds here and to learn more about them while out in the bush. 

Binoculars and good cameras add to the enjoyment of these activities and are highly recommended.

Enjoy sundowners in a scenic location as the sun slowly sinks beneath the horizon and then slowly make your way back to the lodge on your game drive vehicle, looking out for nocturnal species on route.

Freshen up back at the lodge and enjoy dinner in camp before turning in.

Your overnight accommodation includes all activities, all meals, all tented en-suite accommodation, all local soft and alcoholic beverages, conservation fees 

Day 2,3,4 & 5 :

As dawn breaks over the African bush, a gentle tap on your door will wake you to the delights of a new day. After a light breakfast and tea/coffee, it’s time to head out on your morning walk, looking for the many species of wildlife that abound in the concession. 

Not only can one expect to see different species at different times of the day, but they may also be busy with different activities/behaviour…… so each walk is a chance to discover something new!

Head back to the lodge mid-morning to enjoy a delicious lunch.

Enjoy some leisure time before your walk in the afternoon, in search of species not yet seen!

Return to your lodge early evening to freshen up and enjoy a mouth-watering dinner beneath the magnificent African sky.

Please note, you will be required to be reasonably fit and healthy to enjoy the daily walks.

If you are concerned, kindly contact us in advance. 

Your overnight accommodation includes all activities, all meals, all tented en-suite accommodation, all local soft and alcoholic beverages, conservation fees 

Day 6 :

Wake up early for another short walk, or simply lie in and wake to the sounds of the bush…..

After breakfast, it is time to pack your bags and say farewell.

At 09h30 depart to your next game reserve near the town of Hoedspruit – drive time approximately 5 hours. 

Your African Vet Safaris Veterinarian will meet you on arrival at the reserve, along with some of the reserve staff who will give an overview talk on the reserve.

This is followed by a game drive to your new lodge, where there will be some leisure time after a long day. 

Late afternoon, enjoy a short sunset game drive (mood dependant). 

This reserve of approximately 30 000 hectares is a conservancy (15 owners) and takes its name from a river which traverses the northern sector of the reserve from east to west. The river was named after local gold fields and was the scene of a minor gold rush in 1865.

The gold fields were in turn named after a female chief of the small Tebula tribe who lived in the bush around the Murchison Range to the north of the area. The rolling, hilly countryside is punctuated by spectacular granite outcrops and the relief affords visitors spectacular views of the surrounding bushveld and the magnificent Drakensberg range to the west.

The Game Reserve is home to over 50 different species of medium to large size mammals, including elephant, black and white rhino, sable antelope, lion, leopard, hyena, giraffe, multiple antelope species and cheetah.  The beauty of the many riverine structures that permeate the reserve is topped by a semi-perennial river which meanders for some 22 km through the reserve.

The varied habitat on the reserve supports a vibrant bird population and the diverse geological substructure gives rise to a variety of plant species, including the Encephalartos Dyerianus, the rarest cycad on the planet. 

Dinner is served at around 19h30 before turning in for the night.

Your overnight accommodation is on a full board basis and includes activities. House wines, beer and soft drinks are included. Other drinks and extras are not included. 

Day 7 :

After early morning tea and coffee, head out with the reserve’s researchers to assist with monitoring some or the reserve’s animals, using telemetry tracking. The researchers will explain their role in the reserve and purpose of monitoring.

Currently, the monitoring focuses on predators as part of a predator research project, elephant to monitor the impact on the environment and rhino monitoring as part of their anti-poaching efforts.

Head back to the Lodge for brunch mid-morning.

After brunch, the African Vet Safaris vet/Dr Hubert Planton will give a talk on the reserve, in preparation for the veterinary work to follow the next day.

After the talks, there will be some leisure time before a late afternoon game drive.

Dinner is served at around 19h30 and then it’s time for a good night’s rest in anticipation of what tomorrow holds…..

Your overnight accommodation is on a full board basis and includes activities. House wines, beer and soft drinks are included. Other drinks and extras are not included. 

Day 8 : 

It’s another early start for tea, coffee and a light breakfast, before heading out to the breeding area of the reserve to assist with veterinary procedures on the endangered sable antelope/or other antelope species – species is subject to the reserve’s veterinary needs at the time.

The reserve has an extensive sable antelope breeding program, comprising over 150 animals, and there are always various veterinary procedures that need doing.

The plan is to work with at least five animals, ensuring guests ample opportunity for hands-on involvement with the various procedures, and a chance for close up photos!

Once the procedures are done and the excitement has abated, return to the lodge for brunch.

After brunch, there will be a discussion on the morning’s immobilisations, and rhino immobilisation, in preparation for the next day’s work…..

Time permitting, there will some time to relax before high tea and heading out on an afternoon game drive. 

Have sundowners in the bush and return to the lodge early evening to freshen up and enjoy dinner. 

Your overnight accommodation is on a full board basis and includes activities. House wines, beer and soft drinks are included. Other drinks and extras are not included.

Day 9 :

Today you wake early again for a full breakfast, before heading out to locate and work with some of the reserve’s rhino….

The reserve has both white and black rhino and an ongoing management program to notch, collect DNA, dehorn and in some cases collar animals.

The actual work to be done will be determined by the reserve’s veterinary needs at the time, but the plan will be to work with approximately 5 of these magnificent beasts today…..

But this is all dependent on circumstances and the actual number of patients is not guaranteed. 

The moment of truth arrives when the vet darts the rhino from a helicopter…… Once the rhino is safely immobilised, you will have the experience of your life while assisting with the various procedures – ear notching for positive identification and management reasons, blood sampling for DNA to help combat poaching, collaring, etc – all the while monitoring the status of the patient.

All being well, there will be plenty of photo opportunities as you get hands-on with one of Africa’s most endangered species…..

Once the procedures are done, you’ll retreat to the safety of the nearby vehicle while the rhino recovers and walks off into the bush, sometimes a little disgruntled!

Once all the procedures are done for the day, return to the lodge to savour the day’s experiences and have a delicious lunch, or enjoy a packed lunch in the bush depending on how many veterinary procedures are done today.

After lunch, there will be a discussion on the mornings work, and a veterinary talk on the immobilisation of predators. 

The reserve has an ongoing predator research project involving lion, leopard and hyena, and their interactions. As part of the project tracking collars need to be placed and removed, and guest involvement will most likely be to facilitate this on one of the study subjects (i.e. the aim will be to work with one predator), most probably a lion.

Time permitting there will be an evening game drive, possibly using telemetry tracking (tracking wildlife using collars). You will have the opportunity to try your hand at this, or the group may already set out to work with one of the predators – dependent on the work and species that needs immobilisation at the time.

If guests do not enjoy a telemetry drive this evening, the plan will be to do this tomorrow.

Return to the lodge in the evening for dinner and a good night’s rest after a busy and exciting day!

Your overnight accommodation is on a full board basis and includes activities. House wines, beer and soft drinks are included. Other drinks and extras are not included. 

Day 10 :

Pending how successful the predator work has been to date, today’s program will be flexible.

If the plan is to work with lion, this will probably take place during the morning since these animals are fairly habituated to vehicles and provided they are in an accessible area, one hopes to have success!! These massive beasts are truly impressive and their size and obvious strength will make the hair on your neck stand up!

After the immobilisation and the animal’s recovery, you will return to the lodge, or enjoy a packed lunch in the field, pending the day’s work.

If the plan is to work with leopard or hyena, then this will probably be a night time operation, and is less predictable. In all likelihood immobilisation attempts will then start on the evening of day 8 already.

Once guests have completed the planned veterinary procedures, there will be some time to enjoy more talks, possibly discuss dart guns and fire water filled darts at a target, or just simply relax.

Kindly note that some meals may in the form of a packed meal in the field, to facilitate procedures.

Return to the lodge in the evening for dinner and a good night’s rest after an exhilarating day!

Your overnight accommodation is on a full board basis and includes activities. House wines, beer and soft drinks are included. Other drinks and extras are not included. 

Day 11 :

After breakfast at 09h00, it is time to pack and check out – sadly it is time to head home….

Transfer to the airport in Hoedspruit and check in for your flight to Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport – flight cost included in program – from where you will travel further.

Please do not arrange any travel plans out of Johannesburg before 16h00 today.

*** END OF SERVICES ***

Photos

Included

  • Transfers
  • Domestic flights
  • All accommodation and meals as stipulated in the itinerary
  • All activities and entrance fees as stipulated in the itinerary
  • The services of an African Vet Safaris Wildlife Vet at Selati Game Reserve, and the services of local guides and staff, as indicated
  • Veterinary excursions and activities
  • Tourism levies and Government VAT

 

Excluded

  • International air fares
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Drinks (unless otherwise specified)
  • Additional excursions/activities not included in this itinerary
  • Medical/travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Meals indicated as not included
  • Gratuities
  •  

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