African Vet Safaris – Rhino & Predator 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 for your own arrangement.

On arrival in Johannesburg transfer from the airport to your nearby hotel via the free shuttle service provided by your hotel – Peermont Metcourt Suites at the Emperors Palace complex.  Your accommodation for the night is on a bed & breakfast basis and check in is from 15h00.

Enjoy dinner at your hotel complex – for your own expense.

Affordable accommodation with friendly service…the 3-star select services Peermont Metcourt Suites Hotel offers a home away from home, conveniently located next to O.R. Tambo International Airport.

The hotel features 77 spacious suites with contemporary furnishings. All the usual technology is available in the rooms with Wi-Fi connectivity available in public areas.  The suites include an air-conditioning unit, LCD flat screen TV, comprehensive satellite DSTV channels including South African radio stations, tea and coffee station, electronic laptop safe, electric shaver point, hairdryer, international dial direct phone and business-convenient plug points in every room.

Breakfast is served in the stylish Primavera restaurant. Guests also have access to the casino, dining, entertainment, convention and relaxation facilities of the resort.

Overnight at the Peermont Metcourt Suites Hotel is on a bed and breakfast basis. All drinks and extras are for your own account. 

Day 2 :

Check out after breakfast and return to OR Tambo International Airport on the complimentary hotel shuttle service.  Please ensure that you are aware of the shuttle departure times from the hotel.  Check-in time for a domestic flight is 1 hour prior to departure, but we suggest allowing 1.5 hours to allow for busy periods.

Flight details to Hoedspruit Airport to be advised – included in safari cost.

On arrival, you will be met by a representative of Brothers Safaris and transferred to your next destination – Elephant Plains Game Lodge in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Transfer time approximately 2.5 hours.

Your home for the next three nights is a stunning luxury safari lodge, situated in the easily accessible southern portion of the world famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

Situated in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, adjacent to the Kruger National Park, Elephant Plains Game Lodge offers excellent Big 5 game viewing, luxurious accommodation and sumptuous cuisine. The lodge caters for the discerning traveller, offering a variety of accommodation options. Guests will be staying in the luxury suites. 

Decorated in warm, earthy tones, the natural design and architectural flow of the six glass-fronted luxury suites fall softly on the eye. These exclusive, open-plan suites each have a lounge, double bedroom, en-suite bathroom and a private viewing deck that offers spectacular views over the riverbed and open area. All suites feature air conditioning, overhead fans, fireplaces, mosquito nets, electronic safes, as well as minibars and tea & coffee facilities. 

Elephant Plains Game Lodge is world renowned for excellent Big 5 game viewing and guests can enjoy two game drives and a bush walk per day. Facilities include two swimming pools, a spa, gym, conference centre, a small library and games room. The lodge is owner run and can accommodate a maximum of 24 guests. This guarantees personal service and attention to detail.

Bordering the Kruger National Park, with no fences dividing them, the Sabi Sand Game Reserve is world renowned for excellent game viewing. At Elephant Plains Game Lodge you can be sure of game drives and bush walks that will live up to the Africa of your imagination! Not only will you have an excellent chance of close encounters with the Big 5, but you may even be spoiled with the more elusive wild dog and cheetah sightings. As the lodge is situated on a dry riverbed, the surrounding habitat is favourable for leopards, as these creatures enjoy the riverine and denser bush areas.

Keen birdwatchers would also be mesmerized with over 300 bird species to choose from. Over time and due to a carefully planned habituation process, some of the animals have become habituated to the game drive vehicles. This enables our guests to view the animals undisturbed, as they go about their daily routine. 

Enjoy something to eat and some leisure time, before heading out late afternoon on a game drive, in an open game viewing vehicle. 

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. You will be accompanied by your local guide, tracker and Dr Dean Rice for all drives. Guests will have exclusive use of a game viewing 4×4 open safari vehicle.

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

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

Your overnight accommodation is on a full board basis and includes activities (three full meals daily, all teas and coffees, two game drives daily in open game drive vehicles and a safari walk). Drinks and extras are not included.

Day 3 & 4 :

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

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 drive is a chance to discover something new!

Enjoy a coffee break while out on the drive, and head back to the lodge mid-morning to enjoy a delicious breakfast.

If you wish, you can walk off your breakfast on a short walk near your lodge, accompanied by your ranger, who will share his insight into the smaller animals and vegetation in the area.

Enjoy some leisure time before high tea mid-afternoon. 

After high tea, you head out on another game drive, 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.

Your overnight accommodation is on a full board basis and includes activities (three full meals daily, all teas and coffees, two game drives daily in open game drive vehicles and a safari walk). Drinks and extras are not included. 

Day 5 :

Wake up for another early morning game drive, or simply lie in and wake to the sounds of the bush…..

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

You will be met by the transfer company at 09h30 to depart at 10h00 to another game reserve near the town of Hoedspruit – drive time approximately 3 1/2 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, and a talk to prepare you for tomorrow’s veterinary procedures. 

A light lunch will be served on arrival.

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 goldfields and was the scene of a minor gold rush in 1865.  The goldfields 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.

Klipspringer Lodge is a family house rented out for special groups such as this. This ensures exclusivity in a luxurious homestead set in immaculate gardens with a swimming pool. The lodge deck overlooks a watering hotel and you are likely to see many different species of wildlife coming to quench their thirst – from elephant to black rhino, lion, warthogs and antelope!

The catering team serve up a delicious feast at every mealtime with a variety of tastes to suit all palates. A well-stocked self-service bar is always a focal gathering point. All in all, a stay here is a memorable experience!

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. Local alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are included. Premium brands and other extras are not included. 

Day 6 : 

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, 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…..

After the talks, there will be some leisure time before a late 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. Local alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are included. Premium brands and other extras are not included.

Day 7 :

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 morning’s work, and a veterinary talk on the immobilisation of predators, in preparation for your next adventure…… 

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. Local alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are included. Premium brands and other extras are not included. 

Day 8 :

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 nighttime 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. Local alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are included. Premium brands and other extras are not included. 

Day 9 :

After breakfast at 09h00, it is time to pack and check out at 11h00 – 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 the program – from where you will travel further.

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

*** END OF SERVICES ***

 

Please note that Brothers Safaris arranges ‘regular’ travel throughout Africa and would be delighted to assist you plan any travel before or after the above safari, thus ensuring a diverse experience without undue overlap and offering you the convenience of dealing with one reputable company.

 

Photos

Included

Your safari cost includes: 

  • Transfers
  • Domestic flights
  • All accommodation and meals as stipulated in the itinerary
  • All activities and entrance/conservation fees as stipulated in the itinerary
  • A African Vet Safaris Wildlife Vet and the services of local guides and staff, as indicated
  • Veterinary excursions and activities
  • Tourism levies and Government VAT

 

 

Excluded

Not included: 

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

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FAQ's

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