Kruger National Park
South Africa
September 20-October 2, 2020
Join the San Diego Zoo for a safari adventure in South Africa!


double occupancy
single supplement

From penguins waddling along the beach to lions roaring in national parks, seek out the Big 5 while witnessing South Africa’s conservation efforts firsthand.

Kruger National Park

September 20 • Depart the U.S.

Depart the U.S. in the morning.

September 21 • Cape town

Arrive on an evening flight. After clearing immigration and customs, meet your guide and transfer to the hotel. Check-in begins at 3:00 p.m.

Overnight at Radisson Blu Waterfront. (meals aloft)

September 22 • Cape Town

Enjoy the morning at leisure to recuperate after your long flight. After lunch, attend a program orientation, followed by a city tour. In the evening, have a welcome dinner at Greenhouse Restaurant.

Overnight at Radisson Blu Waterfront. (B, L, D)

September 23 • Cape Town

Travel along the Atlantic seaboard to Hout Bay, a quaint village and fishing harbor with a beach and magnificent mountain views. From there, cruise to Seal Island just off the coast, where Cape fur seals gather by the thousands. We may also see Cape and bank cormorants as well as black-backed, kelp and Hartlaub gulls. Once back ashore, continue on one of the world's most breathtaking coastal drives as you head to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and Cape Point. Though the cape is not actually the southernmost tip of Africa, it is symbolically perceived to be the meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Here, board a funicular and ride to the lighthouse for a panoramic view, then have lunch at Two Oceans Restaurant. Go on to historic Simon's Town, a village with charming Victorian architecture, a naval base, and a large penguin colony at the beautiful Boulders Beach. African penguins inhabit 27 different locations on the continent; most of these sites are inshore islands. The penguins are protected by the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) to ensure that their populations remain strong. Wooden walkways allow visitors to view the penguins in their natural habitat. Return to the hotel for dinner.

Overnight at Radisson Blu Waterfront. (B, L, D)

September 24 • Cape Town

This morning, take a cable car to the top of Table Mountain for views of Cape Town and the Atlantic seaboard. Then head to Kirstenbosch Gardens for an afternoon visit and lunch at the cafe. Nestled into the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch is acclaimed as one of the great botanical gardens of the world. It displays a wide variety of the unique plant life of the Cape Flora, also known as fynbos, including sugar bushes, pincushions, and heaths. Plants from all the diverse regions and biomes of southern Africa are also grown here, including a near-complete collection of cycads. Over 125 species of birds have been recorded at Kirstenbosch, including sugarbird, sunbirds, and resident spotted eagle owl. Butterflies, mammals, and amphibians also make their home at the garden, including recorded incidents of the critically endangered Table Mountain ghost frog. Afterwards we will visit SANCCOB to learn about its role as a non-profit seabird rehabilitation center. Dinner on own to take advantage of leisure time at Victoria & Alfred Wharf.

Overnight at Radisson Blu Waterfront. (B, L)

September 25 • Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve

Say goodbye to beautiful Cape Town on a morning flight to Hoedspruit, located near Blyde River Canyon and Kruger National Park. Upon arrival, collect your luggage and meet your guide/driver, then transfer to Blyde River Canyon Lodge. There are a variety of activities to choose from this afternoon (some at extra costs).

Overnight at Moholoholo Lodge. (B, D)

September 26 • Kruger National Park

After breakfast, visit the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Established in 1991, this center's mission is to rehabilitate injured or orphaned wildlife as well as educate and raise awareness about threats to local wildlife. Their long-standing serval breeding project has reintroduced 160 servals into areas where they had previously been extirpated. Then depart for the Abelana Game Reserve in the Phalaborwa Limpopo region of Kruger National Park. Check in at the Makubu Lodge, where you’ll enjoy a unique experience staying in a rondavel, a traditional African dwelling characterized by its circular shape and conical thatched roof. After dinner, enjoy a night walk around the grounds.

Overnight at Makubu Lodge. (B, L, D)

September 27 • Kruger National Park

This morning, visit Elephant Hall in Letaba. Operated by the South African National Parks system, the museum gives an overview of elephant biology, behavior, and research. In the afternoon, set out on a game drive in world-renowned Kruger National Park, the oldest national park in South Africa and the crown jewel of the country’s park system. Later, hear a talk on rhino conservation and breeding. South Africa is home to 93% of the world’s population of rhinos, and the threat of poaching is a particular concern to the critically endangered black rhino.

Overnight at Makubu Lodge. (B, L, D)

September 28 • Kruger National Park

This morning, we’ll meet with the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching team, the first majority-female anti-poaching unit in South Africa. Founded in 2013, these skilled rangers protect over 200 square miles of game reserve and serve as role models for community conservation and gender equality. In the afternoon, set out on a game drive activity and then have an informational session with a local veterinarian on migration plans in Kruger.

Overnight at Makubu Lodge. (B, L, D)

September 29 • Kapama Private Game Reserve

Check out of Makubu Lodge and head to Kapama Southern Camp, where we’ll have lunch then check in. Then we’ll set out on our first of several exciting game drives, beginning in the late afternoon and lasting past nightfall. Dinner upon return to the lodge.

Overnight at Kapama Southern Camp. (B, L, D)

September 30 • Kapama Private Game Reserve

Enjoy a full day to experience the iconic African wildlife at Timbavati Game Reserve. Take game drives with a skilled ranger and tracker in the early morning and afternoon. Since this is a Big Five reserve, encountering lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalo is possible. The birding checklist includes 350 species. It is likely we will see nyala antelope, vervet monkeys, and more. Go on a bush walk, and have time to enjoy the amenities offered at this luxury safari lodge.

Overnight at Kapama Southern Camp. (B, L, D)

October 1 • Depart

Early this morning, bid farewell to the magical African plains with our final game drive. Return to the lodge and have breakfast, then depart for Hoedspruit for your flight to Johannesburg (or Cape Town, for the post-trip extension). You will be met and assisted with your check-in for your international flight home. (B)

October 2 • Arrive in U.S.


  • Internal flights Cape Town-Hoedspruit, Hoedspruit-Johannesburg
  • Accommodations, meals, entrance fees, and activities listed in itinerary
  • Private vehicle transportation unless otherwise noted in itinerary
  • Non-alcoholic beverages with meals
  • Full-time guide for duration of program
  • Most tips & gratuities
  • Bottled water on the bus
  • Departure tax


  • International airfare
  • Gratuities for main guide(s) and driver(s)
  • Drinks purchased on own
  • Meals, other than specified in the itinerary
  • Laundry and other items of a personal nature
  • Personal, trip cancellation, accident, and baggage insurance
  • Any cost not specifically included in the listing above


Please contact our tour operator,

1-800-866-7111 x362


Cynthia Tuomi


Cynthia Tuomi, Associate Development Director

Cynthia Tuomi, Associate Director of Research and Stewardship for the Development Department at San Diego Zoo Global (SDZG), is an avid world traveler who has visited 32 countries and whose adventures have extended from the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro to Budapest’s underground network of caves. She has lived in London, traveled extensively throughout Europe, gone on safari in Kenya and Tanzania, dived in Fiji and the Dominican Republic, and has spent two months exploring the east coast of Australia.

Cynthia is a San Diego native who has been frequenting the San Diego Zoo since she was an infant. She has worked in San Diego’s nonprofit community for the past 17 years, and her passion for wildlife and conservation led her to join the Zoo’s team in 2011. Since then she has helped generate support for a wide range of SDZG projects and programs—including the Zoo’s Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks Cape Fynbos habitat, which is inspired by South Africa’s Boulder’s Beach. She is a former competitive snowboarder who loves art and culture, backpacking, cooking, and yoga.

Cynthia has previously led WorldWild Tours to China and Kenya, and has traveled to Indonesia on behalf of SDZG. She is looking forward to sharing her knowledge of SDZG’s conservation efforts to save many of South Africa’s great species—especially the charismatic African penguins—and ensuring that your visit is one that you will remember for a lifetime!


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