wildlife tours in South Africa



All our tours are private and tailored to reflect client requirements based on an exchange of communication. To help you plan your safari, see below for a sample selection of itinerary options.

For more information on any of these or whatever else you have in mind for your safari, contact Avian Leisure.


Starting in Cape Town and ending in Johannesburg this overland safari focuses on combining the very best of scenic and wildlife experiences within each of these totally different and environmentally unique parts of the country. As such the tour is divided into two separate itineraries linked by a direct internal flight and either air transfer or road transfer to the international departure terminal at O R Tambo airport in Johannesburg.

Highlights:The Western Cape has much to offer and as such the itinerary is highly flexible to accommodate client interest ranging from wildlife in general to botany, iconic sites of particular interest, wineland tours, cultural and photographic experiences or whatever along a route from Cape Point up the Atlantic Coast and inland across the arid but fascinating Karoo to the Cape Folded Mountains and the indigenous forests of the Garden Route. From here we fly to the Kruger Park to enjoy the special ambiance of this world famous game reserve with mammals foremost in mind. Aside from elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard we will search for hyena, cheetah and African wild dog within a number of different habitats and overnight in a mix of wildlife resort accommodation and hand-picked lodges within the greater Kruger conservancy complex.

Best Time of year:Year round but best during the ‘dry’ season from April to September for game viewing, as the animals are concentrated along the river systems and permanent waterholes. Bird watching is ideal in the rainy season from late November to March.

Budget: / PI to / FI  depending on self-drive or fully guided

Our suggested Add-ons:A three night stay in the far north of Kruger to interact with the scenically unique baobab and fever tree environment along the Limpopo River that is home to a suite of mammals and birds not found elsewhere in the reserve.

TOUR: PAFURI WALKING TRAIL (3 nights / 4 days)

This walking trail in the Makuleke Concession in Northern Kruger Park, using a Pafuri camp site as a base, each day follows a different trail within the surrounding area.  Either overland as an extension to the Classic Cape to Kruger Safari or via a regular charter service out of Johannesburg to the airstrip at Pafuri in the north of the Kruger Park.

Highlights:A great way to view birds and wildlife by foot. This area is blessed with exceptional biodiversity and spectacular scenery. Wildlife includes nyala antelope, buffalo herds and seasonal elephant. Elusive residents are white rhino, lion and leopard. Birdlife is prolific with some of the most sought after species only found in this special area such as Pel’s Fishing Owl.

Best Time of year:April through to September.

Budget: / FI

Our suggested Add-ons:Southwards via an overland route to any one of a number of privately run game lodges within the greater Kruger complex for a further walking experience or stay within one of the adjacent game rich conservancy areas for day and night drives in search of the ‘Big Five’ mammals – elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo and leopard.

TOUR: WINEBIRDS SAFARI ( 3 nights / 4 days)

A circular route from Cape Point to the Durbanville Hills on the West Coast and on to Paarl, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and ending in Somerset West. Accommodation in guesthouses is hand-picked for location and above average standards of hospitality. Lunches and evening  meals to be enjoyed on wine estates and within villages along the way.

Highlights:A sensory delightful series of wineland experiences designed to provide easy birding in different habitats combined with visits to a handpicked suite of unique and notable wine estates. Wine varietals for tasting include Shiraz (Syrah), Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinotage in red and Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Gewurtztraminer in white along with a number of boutique wines unique to certain estates.

Best Time of year:Harvest time is best from January to March for an interactive experience but generally good year round from both the wine tasting and birding perspective.

Budget: to F/I depending on number of people and choice of accommodation

TOUR: BIG 5 WINES & BIG 5 MAMMAL MEGA TOUR (8 nights / 9 days)

Starting in Cape Town this tour covers a representative selection of the best wine estates in the Western Cape and a fly-in safari to connect with the ‘Big 5’ mammals - elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo and leopard - within a private conservancy situated within the world acclaimed Greater Kruger Park complex. Fully guided or self-drive in the Western Cape followed by a direct air-link flight to Kruger for a fully guided safari in a customised off-road 4X4 vehicle. Accommodation is in handpicked guest house accommodation in the Western Cape and owner-run game lodges in the Kruger Park conservancy.

Highlights:A unique opportunity to visit some of the Western Cape’s finest wine estates to taste the most popular varietal wines on offer in scenically spectacular surroundings. A two hour flight into Kruger ushers in a complete change in habitat with pristine savannah bushveld replacing the lattice work of vineyards and rolling wheat land of the Cape. Experiences and photographic opportunity within this world acclaimed wilderness area abound for the avid naturalist.

Best Time of year:Any time of year with May to August the best time for game viewing in the Bushveld.

Budget: to F/I depending on number of people and choice of accommodation.

Our suggested Add-ons:An extended stay at either end depending on personal interest.


A fly-in safari to southern Kruger followed by a further air transfer to the scenically spectacular rugged baobab country along the Limpopo/Luvuvhu rivers in the Pafuri /Makuleki conservancy. Return to Johannesburg by air from Northern Kruger direct.

Highlights:Safari luxury and wildlife viewing opportunities at their very best within a combination of two exquisite bushveld environments. Each supports an amazing diversity of wildlife, including some of Africa’s most sought after mammals and iconic bird species.

Best Time of year:Anytime but best in the cooler months from April to September.

Budget: F/I

Our suggested Add-ons:An extended stay at either or both of the safari camps depending on personal preference and specific wildlife or photographic interests relating to activities of offer.

TOUR: AFFORDABLE KRUGER (9 nights / 10 days)

Overland or fly-in to Hoedspruit or Nelspruit on a scheduled domestic flight. Safari consists of a two night stay on a private conservancy outside of Kruger followed by three nights at a private safari camp in the Sabi Sand conservancy and three nights within Kruger itself as a self-drive option.

Highlights:Fully guided bush experiences tailored to stated levels of specific interest as well as the chance of excellent sightings of elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo and leopard in close proximity within this wildlife rich area. African wild dog, cheetah and spotted hyena are further sighting possibilities along with a wide variety of some of the most colourful and larger birds found in the Kruger Park.

Best Time of year:Anytime but best in the cooler months of April to September.

Budget: to F/I depending on number of people, offering excellent value for money

Our suggested Add-ons: Extended time at either of the private camps or within Kruger itself. Adding the panorama scenic drive along the Drakensberg Escarpment for spectacular mountain scenery and views across the bushveld is a popular option ahead of arrival or on the overland return drive to Johannesburg.

TOUR: THE BEST OF CENTRAL KRUGER (8 nights / 9 days)

Drive or fly to Nelspruit to start the tour at Berg-en-Dal and then on via the old wagon route to Lower Sabie and Satara to the north by way of a recommended route to maximize on wildlife sightings. From here the route turns south to the game rich savannah country around Skukuza and Pretoriuskop before exiting at Numbi Gate for Nelspruit airport or the N4 back to Johannesburg. Accommodation is in well-appointed chalets or luxury safari tents throughout with either self-catering as an option or meals at one of the restaurant facilities within each of the rest camps.

Highlights:Route specifically selected embraces the full spectrum of habitat types in the south/central part of the Kruger Park including rocky hills and rugged ridge lines, acacia savannah, mixed broad-leafed woodland and open plains in the central area. A number of perennial river systems flanked by tall riparian forest support hippo and crocodile as an adjunct to the ‘Big Five’ mammals – elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard – as well as African wild dog, cheetah and spotted hyena within this game rich environment. Birdlife is prolific throughout and photographic opportunity is super abundant.

Best Time of year:All year round but best in the cooler months from March to September outside of local school holidays.

Budget: to P/I Highly affordable

Our suggested Add-ons:Travelling further north to take in the baobab country along the Limpopo River or simply staying longer at each camp along the recommended line of travel.


A fully guided overland tour starting and ending in Cape Town. Route covers the best botanical sites in the Cape Town area followed by the floral delights of the Atlantic West Coast and inland to the rugged Cedarberg Mountains before journeying north to Namaqualand for spectacular floral scenery at its seasonal best. Travel in a fully air-conditioned mini-bus offering comfort and viewing height to take in the scenic and floral surroundings.

Accommodation is chosen for comfort and proximity to the best flower areas. Privately run B&B’s and hand-picked guest houses of varying levels of comfort. Fully catered throughout or meals in nearby restaurants. Picnic lunches in the field.

Highlights:Daily routing follows the latest ‘flower line’ reports to ensure the bestviewing possibilities relating to local conditions and rainfall patterns for each area along the intended line of travel. Focus will embrace the full spectrum of classic ‘fynbos’ species as well as the succulents, perennials, annuals within a spectrum of habitats and spectacular landscapes.

Best Time of year: Late July and early September. Routing remains flexible in response to prevailing rainfall patterns and flower reports for each area.

Budget: Medium priced offering excellent value for money

Our suggested Add-ons:Expanding the range of the tour to encompass flower regions further north or a trip through the Succulent Karoo to the indigenous forests of the Garden Route. Other options lacking in floral focus include the cultural sites of Cape Town or fly-in safaris to the Kruger National Park.


Your available budget is a key element in designing the best safari for you. Without this we cannot give you the best itinerary tailored to your needs. The budget indications next to the safaris and tours in this section give a rough guide to what this tour will cost, excluding flights, at current exchange rates (as of January 2013).

How to use this guide:

Budget :   means tour price roughly averages between USD160 - 215 per person per day given a mix of low and high priced accommodations. So, if the tour is 10 days and 9 nights long, the approximate price per person will be between USD 1600 and 2150.

Partially inclusive (PI) means the tour cost includes accommodation, usually on a B&B basis, and transport costs.

Fully inclusive (FI) means the tour cost includes accommodation, all meals, transport, guides and activities.

Local and regional airfares may be included in some cases.

2013 Budget Indications (per person / day)

USD 160 - 215

USD 270 - 380

USD 430 - 540

USD 650 - 865

>USD 1080

wild life tours South Africa

" A v i a n    L e i s u r e    i s    c o m m i t t e d    t o    r e s p o n s i b l e    t o u r i s m    p r a c t i c e s "

American Birding AssociationSouth African Tourism Services Association Birdlife South Africa Birder Friendly EstablishmentField Guide Association of South Africa Zeiss Optics

Images supplied by Wilderness Safaris photographers and Patrick Cardwell. All rights to Images and text in this website protected by copyright © Avian Leisure
© 2011 | Website Design by Spyderweb Design