Tour At A Glance

Cost:

3999.00

Deposit:

800.00

Single Room Supplement:

No single supplement

Tour Code:

Intermediate, with some long drives, early starts and late finishes

Group Size:

Six plus leaders

Crimson-breasted Shrike Lion Cape Glossy Starling Giraffe Northern Black Korhaan Giant Eagle Owl Black-chested Snake-Eagle Burchell's Sandgrouse

South Africa - Cape to Kalahari

Date: Tour not currently running
Leaders: Ashley Saunders and Brian Vanderwalt

Introduction

 

Gemsbok

 

This new South African tour is an innovative journey which starts and finishes in the beautiful Western Cape and ventures North through the regions of Bushmanland and Namaqualand to the mystical desert ‘thirst land’ of the South African Kalahari Desert.  Not in fact being a true desert, due its level of [highly erratic] rainfall, the Kalahari supports far more diversity than a typical desert such as that in nearby Namibia.  Large herbivores can survive here on the sparsely vegetated river gulleys through the dry season, taking advantage of the lush grasslands that appear after rains.  Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is one of the world’s last truly unspoilt ecosystems, being a result of the unification of South Africa’s Kalahari Gemsbok Park & Botswana’s Gemsbok National Park.  It gives sanctuary to herds of endemic antelope that have roamed the semi desert savannah and endless pans for eons such as Gemsbok (Oryx), Springbok, Blue Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest and Eland.  Then there are the famed Black-maned Kalahari Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and smaller game including Mongooses, Porcupine and Honey Badger.  58 mammals, 55 reptiles, countless insect and a host of plant species share the desert and dry savannah while approximately 300 species of bird, including at least 20 species of large raptor, share the endless blue skies.  But there is more to this tour than just the Kalahari itself, as we begin our journey in the metropolitan city of Cape Town, birding in the Cape Peninsula and surrounding areas on our first and last days to add many of the endemic fynbos specialities, not to mention African Penguins!  Travelling north through the West Coast National Park we will also be birding the Northern Cape where we base ourselves at the Augrabies Falls National Park.  This is where the mighty Orange River is at its most impressive as it thunders its way through a ravine and into a pool walled by sheer granite, creating the world’s sixth largest waterfall.  The falls derived their name from the Khoi word meaning “place of great noise” which accurately describes the roar as the falls plummet 56m into the ravine.  This arid piece of moonscape-like land, awesome and strikingly beautiful, offers the visitor over 15000ha of unique riverine ecosystems to explore.  Your tour leaders will be Ashley Saunders and Brian Vanderwalt and you can expect to see around 260 species.

 

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