9. 2-Day Glamping Safari Big5 South African Wildlife Tour
Leave Cape Town or Stellenbosch early in the morning on Day 1 of your tour and trade the silhouette of Table Mountain for the scenery of the Garden Route. Enjoy the scenic route along the way to the 3,500 hectare Botlierskop private game reserve. Located in a malaria-free area, the reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife including four of the Big Five, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, and more than 200 bird species. Spot some of the wild animals native to the region from the back of an open-top 4x4 vehicle and keep your eyes peeled for lion, elephant, buffalo, and rhino sightings. Leopards are nocturnal hunters, evasive, and not contained by fences so it's unlikely to see them during these game drives.
After the 2-hour game drive, it's time for an up close and personal encounter with nature on a short bush walking safari. Hop off the safari vehicle, following your game ranger as you look for wildlife through the coastal renosterveldt and Cape fynbos. After an hour's walk, you'll reach Oudtshoorn and the Buffelsdrift Game Lodge – an unexpected oasis that wows from the first glimpse.
In the heart of the Klein Karoo, luxe canvas tents are decked out with all the creature comforts, including a beautiful claw-footed bath, rustic outdoor shower, and an inviting king-sized bed. Wooden balconies overlook the dam where hippos wallow languidly in the glassy water. On the horizon line, giraffes snack on the tops of tall trees as the sun dips below the horizon. Take in the calm veld surroundings as you lounge at the pool deck amongst giant aloe vera, framing your perfect view of the birds and game that visit the water's edge at sunset.
After breakfast on Day 2, jump straight into the thick of the Klein Karoo bush and set out on an open-top 2-hour 4x4 safari drive to seek out more of the local wildlife. Your expert guide and ranger will help spot wildlife and share some of nature’s secrets while teaching you about the region’s fauna and flora. This bush drive focuses more on getting close to nature and pointing out insects, plants, seeds, and smaller mammals as the reserve is not home to many big game species. Nevertheless, look out for buffalo, giraffe, kudu, porcupine, and meerkat from the open-air jeep.
Join rangers on an optional Elephant Bush Walk to have the opportunity to walk alongside three rescued elephants on their morning stroll to the nearby waterhole (own expense). Learn about these gentle giants – easily the largest land mammals on earth – under the watchful eye of the elephant guides as you walk beside them.
End the day with a drive along Route 62, the longest wine route in the world. Soak in the beauty of the high mountains, twisting passes, and rugged Karoo plains, during this 5 to 6-hour journey (with extra rest stops and subject to traffic) before arriving in Cape Town or Stellenbosch by late evening.