Whales, Elephants and Penguins is a 13 day / 12 night package tour by Bushcat Safaris

All package tours can be customised to suit your interests and requirements. Please contact Bushcat Safaris should you wish to have this tour customised or to have a package tour tailor-made for you.

Package Tour - Whales, Elephants and Penguins

Categories: Birdwatching / Whale Watching / Wildlife

This is a new itinerary that begins in the Cape Peninsula region and then heads eastwards along the coast to Port Elizabeth before swinging inland to the thicket region of Addo and the arid but beautiful Karoo semi-desert. The bird list for this trip is varied and features many endemics and special species that are found nowhere else on earth. Perhaps the most sought-after of these is the Cape Rockjumper, which will be the subject of an intensive search on Day four as we head on to Swellendam. Others fynbos specials such as the Cape Sugarbird and Orange-breasted Sunbird,while equally special, are quite ubiquitous and by all means we should get great views of them among the flowering and plants of the famous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. The mammal component is less diverse but equally interesting, with the large numbers of Southern Right Whales that come close inshore during this time of the year usually proving to be the mammalian highlight. Other rare and restricted mammals we can expect to see are the Bontebok and Cape Mountain Zebra, two species that came very close to extinction before drastic measures by local farmers in the 1930’s saved the last few remaining individuals. Elephants also came close to local extinction but are now numerous in Addo Elephant National Park, where big predators such as Lion and Spotted Hyena now roam after re-introduction a few years ago. Add to this the unique history of the Cape, the unforgettable scenery and a huge range of fine wines and cuisine and this tour promises to deliver an experience that will not be easily forgotten or bettered .

At a Glance

Tour duration
13 days / 12 nights
Min / max group size
Minimum of 2 people per tour
Tour departs from
Cape Town
No price range submitted

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Cape Town International Airport to Noordhoek-Birding the Peninsula: Cape Point, Kirstenbosch, Strandvlei, etc
We’ll meet at the airport in Cape Town and drive southward along the spine of the Peninsula to Noordhoek, a small town that offers good access to most of the Peninsula’s main birding spots.
Boulders Beach, Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, Kommetjie
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Please note the days itineraries are subject to change depending on weather conditions etc

Top birds for the region: African Penguin, Cape Rockjumper, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Cape Siskin, Cape Sugarbird, Bank Cormorant and African Black Oystercatcher.
We’ll spend the next few days exploring the region and visiting such famous landmarks as Cape Point and the Kirstenbosch Gardens.

Overnight: Afton Grove Country Retreat or similar

Day 2: Afton Grove Country Retreat
Today you will visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Please note the days itineraries are subject to change depending on weather conditions etc

Overnight: Afton Grove Country Retreat or similar

Day 3: Afton Grove Country Retreat
Strandfontein Wetland Reserve, Jonkershoek Trail

Overnight: Afton Grove Country Retreat or similar

Day 4: Noordhoek to Swellendam-Birding on the Agulhas Plain: Bontebok National Park, De Hoop
Heading around to the other side of False Bay we’ll search for the endemic Cape Rockjumper before moving on t o Swellendam, the third oldest town in the country. Swellendam gives us access to a variety of good birding spots, with a particularly good range of endemics to be seen.
Rooi Els and Bontebok National Park on the way to Swellendam

Top birds for the region: Agulhas Long-billed Lark, Agulhas Clapper Lark, Karoo Korhaan, Blue Crane and Southern Tchagra.

Overnight: Swellendam Lodge or similar

Day 5: Swellendam Lodge
De Hoop Nature Reserve

Overnight: Swellendamn Lodge or similar

Day 6: Swellendam to Nature’s Valley / Tsitsikamma:Forests of the Garden Route.
After Swellendam we move on to the Garden Route, a mosaic of mountains, lakes and spectacular coastline, where we will spend more time getting to grips with forest birds.
Nature's Valley and Tsitsikamma

Top birds for the region: Narina Trogon, Knysna Woodpecker, Knysna Turaco, African Crowned Eagle and Knysna Warbler.

Overnight: Tsitsikamma Coastal National Park

Day 7: Natures Valley to Addo Elephant National Park
Moving inland we’ll spend three nights in Addo Elephant National Park, a superb birding venue with the added attraction of big game, including large herds of African Elephants.

Top birds for the region: Denham’s Bustard, Southern Black Korhaan, Secretarybird, Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk and Jackal Buzzard.

Overnight: Addo Elephant National Park

Day 8: Addo Elephant National Park
Full day Addo Elephant Park

Overnight: Addo Elephant Park

Day 9: Addo Elephant National Park
Full day Addo Elephant Park

Overnight: Addo Elephant Park

Day 10: Addo Elephant National Park to Mountain Zebra National Park
Further inland over the Winterhoek Range the land dries out considerably and here we will spend time in Mountain Zebra National Park, a particularly good venue for endemic birds.

Top birds of the region: Ground Woodpecker, Namaqua Warbler, Verreaux’s Eagle, African Rock Pipit and Layard’s Tit-Babbler.

Overnight: Mountain Zebra National Park

Day 11: Mountain Zebra National Park
Full day Mountain Zebra National Park

Overnight: Mountain Zebra National Park

Day 12: Mountain Zebra national Park to Sundays River
After driving back to the coast after the Karoo we’ll have a final night at a quaint lodge on the Sundays River before contemplating the end of a wonderful tour.

Top birds for the region: Brown Scrub-Robin, Crowned Hornbill, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Halfcollared Kingfisher and Olive Bush-Shrike.

Overnight: Dungbeetle River Lodge

Day 13: Sundays River to Port Elizabeth Airport
Leave Dungbeetle to catch flight out from Port Elizabeth.

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