7 day big five safari in South Africa

“7 days may seem like a short time - but on this trip the leopard researchers will have you identifying tracks, noting behaviour and really understanding - not just seeing - wildlife.”

Highlights

Rukiya safari camp | Unique 'bush senses' experience | Thornybush Game Reserve | Game drives and bush walks | Learning to track leopards and understand predator behaviour | Setting your own camera trap | Guided by Ingwe leopard conservation team | Your photographs used in leopard research database

Description of 7 day big five safari in South Africa

Don't just view animals. Be involved in wildlife and experience the difference with a wildlife conservation safari. This seven day Big Five safari in South Africa includes both game viewing and conservation activities. It starts at the exclusive Rukiya Safari Lodge, located on the banks of the Blyde River in the Wild Rivers Private Nature Reserve. Rukiya is not only our safari base but is also a key location for our leopard research program. From here you’ll go on big five game drives in both Balule and Wild Rivers Reserves, join trackers to monitor leopards and try your hand at camera trapping.

The next stop is the exclusive Thornybush Game Reserve, famed for its exceptional game viewing and a favoured location the rich and famous, it provides a sedate bush atmosphere, with personal and friendly service. Here you’ll go on both driving and walking safaris in search of the big five, and there will be further opportunity to track leopards with a research team.

We know that it’s important to be able to plan your safari costs and avoid any hidden extras. Where possible we provide an all-inclusive price and any additions to that one off price are clearly shown on your itinerary.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
28 Aug 2021
£1905
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 28 Aug 2021 departure
06 Sep 2021
£1995
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 06 Sep 2021 departure
13 Sep 2021
£1995
excluding flights
Available
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20 Sep 2021
£1995
excluding flights
Available
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27 Sep 2021
£1995
excluding flights
Available
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04 Oct 2021
£1995
excluding flights
Available
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11 Oct 2021
£1995
excluding flights
Available
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18 Oct 2021
£1995
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25 Oct 2021
£1995
excluding flights
Available
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01 Nov 2021
£1995
excluding flights
Available
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08 Nov 2021
£1995
excluding flights
Available
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15 Nov 2021
£1995
excluding flights
Available
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22 Nov 2021
£1995
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 22 Nov 2021 departure
29 Nov 2021
£1995
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 29 Nov 2021 departure
06 Dec 2021
£1995
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 06 Dec 2021 departure
Our top tip:
It's cold at night - bring layers for early/late game drives, and a pair of PJs wouldn't go amiss, either...
Trip type:
Tailor made. Min. age 6.
Activity level:
Leisurely.
Accomm:
4 nights in luxury tented camp with pool. 2 nights in
Solos:
This trip can be tailor made for solo travellers with a surcharge.
Included:
Accommodation, all meals, guides, transfers, transport, game drives, conservation activities.
Dietary requirements:
Our safari lodges cater for a wide range of dietary requirements, including vegans and vegetarians. Please let us know any food preferences at the time of booking so we may cater to you. Our lodges are often very remote, so changing menus at the last minute is difficult.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Each safari provides a real wildlife viewing and conservation experience.
By opting for a safari with us, safari guests are already helping to contribute towards our conservation work. In addition guests are afforded the opportunity to gain an insight into real African conservation work if they wish, either by observing our work or assisting our rangers. In this way we hope guests will help to spread the message of what real African conservation is and what the needs are.
All of our food, bathroom and kitchen supplies are from local sources and as far as possible, we aim to use a combination of organic, fair-trade and sustainable products.

Visits to our friends at the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre are included in each safari. Here travellers can witness great conservation and research work being conducted. A non-profit making organisation with the aim of rehabilitating animals, breeding and repopulating endangered species, as well as education. Each safari will include time spent in the Kruger National Park, where entrance and lodge fees are used to sustain the conservation work within the park as well as provide fair trade employment.

We believe that everyone is able to help make a difference towards conserving our environment. When on safari or in the bush, we operate a policy of ‘bring out what you take in’ i.e. we leave no litter or man made products behind. Game drive vehicles do not deviate from existing roads and tracks, however guided foot safaris will access game trails which cannot be reached by vehicle. When on foot, we stay on the trail as deviating can cause erosion and other environmentally harmful impacts.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

While on safari we recommend that visitors buy locally produced goods and support local artisans. In this way, visitors are able to help sustain the local community, contribute towards conservation and enrich their own lives. During each safari there will be opportunities to purchase goods from local artists, market stalls and restaurants in keeping with the ideals of fair trade. Our guides will advise on a ‘fair price’ if requested, however it is worth noting that a relatively small sum can make a huge difference to people’s lives in Africa and guests are asked to consider this when bargaining with market stallholders.

Our safari staff are all recruited locally and encouraged to develop within the organisation to achieve their goals and where applicable to produce conservation based items for sale (100% of the proceeds going to the originator).
On arrival, we hold an informal chat with guests to explain our conservation work and how they are able to contribute during their safari. A travellers’ code of conduct is also issued with each bespoke safari itinerary.

Climate

10 Reviews of 7 day big five safari in South Africa

4.5 out of 5 stars
SHOW
5
5
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Reviewed on 16 Mar 2020 by

Thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so that I stayed on for an extra 2 days. Excellent value for money. Looking forward to the 10 day African experience in September. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Jun 2019 by

The night drives at Rukiya was memorable. It was the first time that we saw an Aardvark, Honey Badger, Bush Baby and Genet. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 May 2018 by

I especially liked our base camp: rukiya safari camp. The people there are very, very friendly. I've felt welcomed immediately. The safaris are very peaceful and beautiful. I have learned a lot about animals and plants. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Mar 2015 by

Excellent - a truly amazing holiday for all the family! We met some wonderful, dedicated people, learnt an awful lot, saw some incredible wildlife- large and small - and have returned home with some amazing memories. Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Sep 2014 by

This was one of the best holidays we have experienced. The animal sightings were brilliant, the information we received about the bush was exceptional and above all, the friendliness of all the guides and staff and their desire to consider our every need resulted in a truly memorable holiday. Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Aug 2013 by

Individual highlights are too many to mention but one consistent one was the look on the girls faces when we found something special on a game drive...Fantastic, well organised and great value for money. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Aug 2013 by

Seeing the wild animals up-close and at the same time knowing we were supporting conservation and research. It was also great to stay at the researchers camp and see how researcher life is in the field and help them out a bit. The camera trap location I chose even got a picture of a leopard! It was much more memorable and gratifying then staying at typical tourist hotels. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Aug 2012 by

The most memorable parts were seeing some amazing animals and birds very close: special high points include the excitement of tracking leopard and seeing a young male, setting camera traps and seeing what had wandered past (yes, leopard!)...We have incredible memories that will last a lifetime. Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Nov 2012 by

Brilliant. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. The lion walking past us right by the car was the most memorable part of the trip. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Apr 2012 by

Parked in the middle of a herd of 20 feeding elephants who disappeared into the bush in the blink of an eye. That, plus the drinking sessions and intellectual debates (which got less intelligent and coherent as the wine flowed) with our host at Black Leopard Camp, Mike...... Read full review

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