Kalahari mammal watching holiday, South Africa

Description of Kalahari mammal watching holiday, South Africa

Join up with resident Naturalists and scientists and track down some of Africa's most elusive species such as Aardvarks, Aardwolves, Bat-eared Foxes, Pangolins, Black-footed Cats and many more mammals.

Introduction:

We are specialists in tailoring wildlife watching and especially mammal watching safari holidays all over the world. To develop our range of fantastic mammal watching holidays we offer we have spent years searching the world’s best wildlife watching locations as well as visiting some seldom visited areas. As a result we have created some great itineraries with the combined help of our zoologist guides, local experts and scientists studying various rare mammals. When it comes to wildlife watching there are very few better destinations that South Africa, but on this tour we will not be visiting the huge and famous Kruger National Park but instead we travel to the wonderful and diverse Kalahari region in the north west of the country. The Kalahari Desert is one of the largest semi-arid regions of Southern Africa and is home to many of the Continent’s rarest mammal species. The area is sectioned into national parks, reserves and private ranches. The low densities of people here allow a great abundance of wildlife to survive here and because the land is so arid there is little vegetation to support the huge numbers of large herbivores that dominate the more well known parks in Africa and without the large herds of antelope, zebra and gazelles there are less large predators. But do not think that this means there is nothing here to see, far from it, instead of the more commonly seen African animals the animals found here often go unseen elsewhere and include some bizarre and unique species such as the aardvark, aardwolf, brown hyena and elephant shrews. This array of wildlife has made this one of the greatest mammal watching destinations in Africa and we are convinced that if you want to see some of the rarest and most elusive African mammals then this is the tour for you. The below itinerary is our rare mammal tour of the Kalahari, (we can add in extensions that visit the huge (twice the size of Kruger) Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, where lions, leopards, cheetah, eland and other larger African mammals are quite common).

All of our tours are guided by a our professional zoologist so you are sure to be in the best hands possible for the best sightings. We also have a great network of local guides in South Africa who have developed a great range of wildlife watching locations where the rarest species are commonly seen. To make the most of this tour and the mammals that are here we will spend many hours during the early morning and late afternoon on jeep safaris and guided walks around the area but also after dark each night we will head out with high powered spotlights and start the search for nocturnal species. One of the reasons why our mammal watching safaris are unique is that our background (as a company) is from a scientific and zoological standpoint and so have a great network of colleagues and contacts all over the world who are the people on the front line in search of the best new locations for mammal watching. All of these reasons and many more make us experts in arranging safaris and are able to tailor a safari to any location to try to find your targeted species. All you have to do is to get in touch with your budget and your group size and where you would like to go to try and find rare and elusive mammals.

Price Includes:

Everything mentioned in the itinerary is included. Including three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). There will be bottled water (approx 1ltr) available for each guest each day. We have our own private air conditioned 4x4 vehicles with an excellent local driver for all transfers. We use two brilliant guides; first a professional zoologist will escort you on all your excursions and also a very knowledgeable English speaking local guide who decades of experience working and guiding through Southern Africa he will also act as driver for all transfers. Your zoologist escort is an expert in mammal biology and behaviour and will be able to help you identify the different species as well as interpret you what behaviours you are seeing. The local guides have spent years searching out the best mammal watching locations and have an unrivalled knowledge of where some of the most elusive African mammals are such as aardvarks, black-footed cats and pangolins. We also use local expert guides with decades of experience on all our safaris we also include all vehicle safaris, guided walks, spotlighting drives, park entrance fees and sightseeing entrance fees. We include more time spent in the field searching for mammals per day than any other tour operator around; only if you request to have a rest day will we not arrange a safari into the African bush to search for mammals and other wildlife. A comprehensive species list (which states the relative chances of seeing animals based on past tours) is included in the pre-departure pack. There is also a reference book library available for your use throughout the trip as well as some documentaries on the wildlife which we are likely to see which are available to watch throughout the tour.

Seasons:

Early August to late October which is the dry season in the Kalahari. For mammal watching in Southern Africa we recommend visiting from early August to late October (this is the best overall game viewing in the Kalahari). This is the hot dry season (later in the season the temperatures can get very hot and there is more of a risk of thunderstorms) and offers the best chances of seeing mammals and other wildlife as the hotter and drier it gets the more the wildlife aggregate around waterholes as well as there being less vegetation blocking the view. During this period we recommend mid September to mid October as a great time to visit the Kalahari.

Why Choose this Tour:

• All of our mammal watching safaris are guided by a zoologist as well as local naturalist guides, drivers and also scientists or researchers where possible, this not only gives you numerous sets of trained eyes to find the animals but also gives you the chance to understand the behaviours and habits of the wildlife your watching.
• Our zoologist that escorts all our mammal safaris has great experience working with and studying wild animals all over the world and has experience in working on mammal conservation and research projects on 4 continents.
• We can offer you spotlighting trips of the Kalahari so that you can search for the rarer species and other nocturnal wildlife when they are more active.
• We can also bring thermal imaging and night vision equipment (on request) to also aid in finding the nocturnal mammals after dark.
• We use camera traps (where available) which will increase the chances of getting close up pictures and movies of rare animals and other rare nocturnal wildlife.
• Most of the accommodation that we use here is privately owned bed and breakfasts and working ranches that only have small capacities and are seldom visited by anyone. Many of these ranches have resident animals which are very hard to see elsewhere (for example we know of a location where a family of aardvarks has been living for some years now and offer exceptional sighting of this elusive animal.
• Where possible we enlist the help of local researchers who are studying some of the species here to help us find them. In the past we have used black-footed cat and pangolin researchers which have increased our chances of seeing some of these really rare species.
• All the above reasons give this our mammal watching tours of Southern Africa a great success rate of seeing rare mammals. We have an unrivalled network of experts and guides throughout Southern Africa so that we can try and find and observe animals such as aardvarks, aardwolves, caracals, pangolins, elephant shrews, black-footed cats, African wild cats, mole rats, bat-eared foxes and hundreds other endangered, rare or endemic species throughout Southern Africa. Whether it is the South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique or Zambia or any of the other many wildlife watching locations you want to visit we can arrange it. Please inform us if you wish to receive more information about any of these locations and booking a mammal safari.
• Unlike many tour operators we are willing to run this tour for a single person (on request).

Locations:

Where we travel here are the many private ranches and farms that are known to have some of the rarest species living on their land. The whole tour is based on the semi-arid regions of the Kalahari Desert in north-west South Africa.

Fitness Level:

The vast majority of wildlife watching is all done from the 4x4 safari vehicle in the Kalahari so any fitness level can participate. We can also guided walks as well and these will be as long or as short as you wish, depending on your fitness level.

Equipment:

When you book onto the tour we will send you a comprehensive pre-departure pack which will include a full packing list of recommended equipment; the equipment list will vary from tour to tour and from location to location so it is best to contact us or wait until you receive the pre-departure pack after booking.

Minimum Age: 18 Years Old

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Kalahari mammal watching holiday, South Africa

Environment

In South Africa we (as with everywhere we go) we carefully choose accommodation, supplies and transportation that either minimises its effect on the environment or helps to contribute to its sustainable development. By choosing small, privately owned accommodation where possible we also look to only stay in truly eco-lodges that abide by basic and also pioneering methods of ecological sustainability. Where possible, we make sure that the lodges, camps and ranches that we use support local projects for the protection of the wildlife and local communities which rely on tourism as the principal source of income. Many of the places that we stay in the Kalahari are small privately owned places that are more concerned with quality than quantity and as a result they are very ethical in their approach. Most use solar power electricity and water recycling pumps as well as making sure that all the food consumed is produced locally. We also contribute and participate in as many studies that the local researchers are conducting as possible. By enlisting the help of black-footed cat and pangolin researchers we are able to directly contribute to their continued studies and help to establish long term research.

At the end of each we offset our carbon footprint (based on the number of tours we have completed and the number of passengers we have taken with us), with the Carbon Trust.

Wildlife Promise:

By bringing people here with a professional zoologist as well as professional local guides we aim to showcase the environment in full but also to allow you to learn about the problems facing the ecosystems here and highlight the ways that continued development and human exploitation are affect the species and how cutting edge research is countering the problems as well as showing you examples of success stories. We also keep a record of all the great sightings we see on each tour and record the environmental factors, this data is used by ourselves but also given to the researchers who are working on many of these species. All the information collected in invaluable as the knowledge of some of the animals that live here are little understood. We also donate our pictures to the researchers to aid in their photo identification studies.

Community

As with any of our tours of Africa or elsewhere in the world we always employ local guides and drivers. They have a much better local knowledge and also helps to bring in revenue sources to the local community. All of the accommodations that we stay in whilst in the Kalahari and Kimberley we make sure that all our resources such as food, drink and equipment is locally sourced and we are always looking for ways to introduce local people into a guiding career. Southern Africa has been doing this very well for the last decade or so and it is quite common to have local guides taking you into the reserves. We think that by employing local guides we have encouraging a future generation to follow this career. Many of the accommodations that we use are involved in community based projects and schools in particular. Many of the projects that are funded by people staying here are geared towards helping the local people of the Kalahari deal with an increasingly developed world and how they can continue to live in harmony with the wildlife and environment into this technological age. We also employ the services of local researchers and scientists who are studying species like black-footed cats and ground pangolins. This increases their funding for much needed studies. We also encourage the purchasing of local handicrafts which are all created in a sustainable way and provide great unique souvenirs.

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