- Visit a reputable Cheetah Conservation program.
- Meet local changemakers working to improve Cape Town communities.
- Volunteer in Samara Private Reserve – track wildlife and help maintain the reserve.
- See the Big Five wildlife and many other species.
- Learn about conservation and mammal reintroduction in Samara.
- Try fly camping with your wilderness guide, and spend a night out under the stars.
- Volunteer with rhino conservation – rhino notching and dehorning programs aimed to protect them from poachers.
- Visit the beautiful Zululand coastline in the Phinda Private Reserve.
- Stay in stunning ecolodges in private reserves.
Day 1: Arrival into Cape Town
Touch down in Cape Town International Airport where you will be welcomed by an Elevate Destinations representative who will accompany you to The Three Tree Boutique Hotel. Located in Green Point, Three Trees is close the famous V&A Waterfront, so you are centrally located.
Relax and recoup after a long day of travel.
The Three Tree Boutique Hotel is a Fair Trade certified hotel. They have sustainable eco credentials and are energy conscious. They installed energy saving hot water supply, rainwater collectors, a recycling company and energy saving wireless card switches.
Day 2: Cheetah Conservation and Education Program visit
You will be collected from your hotel by your private driver and vehicle. Head out to enjoy a morning sanctuary tour at a nearby Cheetah Conservation and outreach program, which is situated in a town called Paarl (approximately one-hour drive away from Cape Town).
Spend the day learning about cheetah conservation and the hard work of the organization. They rescue and rehabilitate cheetahs in addition to working towards their conservation in the wild.
Day 3: Cape Peninsula and Simonstown
Full day Cape Peninsula Tour – head to Cape Point and Simon’s Town to visit the penguins at their colony on the beach.
On todays journey, you visit the quaint and charming fishing village of Hout Bay with beautiful views and a stunning beach. Meet local fishermen hear and experience their stories firsthand. After, continue on Chapman’s Peak drive—one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world—to Cape Point. This largely untouched stretch of land is home to buck, baboons, Cape mountain zebra, and at least 250 species of birds!
From here, head onwards to Simon’s Town and Boulders Beach. This reserve is home to numerous penguins, and here you’ll get to see them in their native habitat. For the final stop check out a beachside suburb, considered to be the birthplace of surfing in South Africa.
Return to your hotel in Cape Town to relax.
Day 4: Community Social Projects of Cape Town
Head out to visit community projects. Today you will visit and learn about three important social projects that are working to uplift and empower their communities.
You’ll have the opportunity to hear from the project leaders firsthand. Stop for a local lunch during the day and then in the afternoon, return to your hotel and relax. Time to get packed because you start your conservation safari tomorrow!
Day 5: Depart Cape Town for Samara Private Game Reserve
Today you will be collected from your hotel, and you’ll transfer to the airport to connect with your flight to Port Elizabeth which is in the heart of the Eastern Cape. From the airport take a two-hour road transfer to your safari destination — a fabulous reserve called Samara Private Game Reserve.
Here you have the opportunity to contribute to a living-breathing conservation project in motion! The lodge is in an established reserve that was once overtaken with livestock and ranching. It has since reintroduced cheetah, black rhino, elephant and lion into the landscape that had been missing over the last 100 years.
They also provided land for the first government-accredited wildlife tracking school in South Africa. Make a difference by participating in the “living conservation laboratory” and offering some of your vacation time to volunteer with this amazing project.
Karoo is dedicated to supporting conservation and responsible tourism practices. They have regenerated thousands of acres of wildlands and re-introduced important species such as cheetah, black rhino, lion, and elephant. They work with local stakeholders in the region to create South Africa’s third largest protected area, by linking two national parks with private land in an ecological corridor. Perhaps most importantly, our journey is still ongoing – and they invite visitors to help shape what it is becoming!
Day 6-9: Volunteering and Wildlife safari
Participate in a daily hands-on conservation session, which may include wildlife monitoring, anti-poaching, land rehabilitation, fence maintenance, wildlife translocations, planting native shrubs, various research assistance, or community visits. You will also enjoy traditional game drives, bush walks, and tracking lessons.
If you’d like, you can enjoy a wilderness fly-camp sleep-out under the stars and learn about bush skills
Day 10: Depart Samara for Zululand and Phinda Private Game Reserve
Wake up to a healthy breakfast before meeting your driver, who will transfer you back to the Port Elizabeth Airport for a short-scheduled flight to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. From Johannesburg take another short flight directly to the airstrip at your next safari destination, Phinda Private Game Reserve.
Phinda Forest Lodge has a great record of dedication to wildlife conservation and protection. They work with and employ neighboring community members and show a dedicated effort to reduce waste and conserve resources.
Days 11-12: Volunteer with the Rhino Program
Spend your days on guided nature walks and game drives across this reserve. Here you will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in a special rhino conservation program. Learn about rhino notching or a rhino de-horning processes aimed to protect rhinos from poachers. Meet with the reserve’s wildlife vet and assist on local, hands-on projects with rhinos.
Additionally, you can enjoy bush walks and game drives, and visits to local Zulu villages, beaches, and night turtle drives.
Day 13: Departure
This day marks the end of your South Africa conservation journey. After a final breakfast at your lodge, your driver will meet you to transfer you back to the lodge airstrip for your flight to OR Tambo International Airport for your onward journey.
Interested in booking this itinerary or customizing a trip to South Africa? Get in touch with a private travel designer!