Who doesn’t dream of Africa? For most birders and nature lovers, an African safari is at the top of the bucket list.
It’s certainly been on our Rendezvous radar for several years! To make this dream trip come true, we’ve partnered with Rockjumper Birding Adventures to create an 11-day tour to South Africa.
Beginning in the scenically spectacular Western Cape, we will spend our first few days of the tour exploring the varied ecosystems of the Cape Peninsula and surrounds, most notably the Cape fynbos, with its feast of endemics. We will then make our way up the West Coast, with its teeming coastal wetlands and strandveld (endangered beach scrub) habitat. Thereafter we will fly to the bird- and game-rich northeastern lowlands, where the world-renowned Kruger National Park is situated. Here we will enjoy several days in this spectacular reserve enjoying the classic African savanna and the many superb birds and mammals associated with this massive conservation area. This tour of South Africa’s Western Cape and Kruger National Park offers some of the best birding and game-viewing in Africa, and is suitable for both hard-core birders and more general nature enthusiasts alike!
The climate experienced in South Africa varies with season and elevation. The temperatures will generally be warm to hot and rain is likely. In October, the temperatures will generally be warm in the eastern and northern areas (68-95°F), and cooler at high altitude further in the south and in the Cape (50-86°F). Afternoon thundershowers are common at this time of year and there is a possibility of more extensive rain. Sometimes we experience windy conditions, especially at high altitude, so it’s a good idea to have a warm fleece jacket and an outer wind/rain shell to counter the possible windchill.
TRANSPORTATION & MOBILITY
For the Western Cape section we will be using a large Mercedes Sprinter vehicle for transport. Rendezvous participants will need to be able to climb steps to board the vehicle. The same applies to the open-air vehicles that we will be using while in Kruger National Park. In general the Cape tour is easy paced, with no long walks and no climbing of mountains, no steep trails, etc. Walking will usually be for a maximum of 2 hours away from the vehicle and will be on largely flat terrain. Some of the walks will be on gravel or stony paths and thus a bit uneven, so shoes or boots with ankle support are good to have.
In Kruger National Park we will spend the vast majority of our time in open-air safari vehicles. In the park, one can exit the vehicle only at camps or designated picnic sites, where we will do a little birding while also providing an opportunity to stretch legs. Walking will be easy, and there is nothing strenuous about any of the activities that we will undertake on the tour.
Fitness – This tour does not require a high level of fitness but participants should be in good general health, as some birding will be done on foot. If you’re in doubt whether your physical limitations or health would be a problem on this trip, please call us to discuss. If you have mobility issues, please notify us in advance of the Rendezvous.