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South Africa - Mega Birding Tour I
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South Africa - Mega Birding Tour I

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 24 day(s)
Group Size: 6 people
Destination(s): South Africa  
Specialty Categories: Birdwatching   Wildlife Viewing  
Season: January - February
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 69800 South Africa Rand (ZAR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 69800 South Africa Rand (ZAR)

South Africa has the highest number of endemic and near-endemic bird species of any country on the African continent. Some of these special birds – examples include Drakensberg Rockjumper and Blue Crane – are beautiful and charismatic; while others, including the endangered Rudd’s and Botha’s Larks, are less striking but incredibly range-restricted. To boot, South Africa is also home to two very impressive endemic families, the striking Rockjumpers and Sugarbirds.

The focus of this 24-day endemics mega-birding tour is to see as many of these South African endemic, breeding endemic and near-endemic species as possible. Every single one of the 99 birds falling into this category as well as most of the 78 species falling into the category of endemic or near-endemic to the Southern African sub-region are targeted during the tour (and are listed in bold in the itinerary below.) Furthermore, we will seek out many other special and sought-after African species; and, in the course of this tour, we have the potential to rack up a very impressive bird list in terms of species numbers, rarities and great sightings. Mammals will likewise form a major focus of our attention, and we can expect to also find an incredible diversity of reptiles, amphibians and other wildlife. We invite you to join us on this exciting celebration of our endemic treasures during this ultimate South African mega-birding adventure!

THE TOUR AT A GLANCE…

DETAILS
Tour Dates - 11th January to 3rd February (24 days)
Tour Price - ZAR 69,800 per person sharing (see below)
ZAR 1,500 approximate cost of domestic flights
(Tour price fixed in ZAR, other rates subject to exchange rate fluctuations)
Tour Size - Limited to 6 participants and 1 leader

THE ITINERARY
11th January - Johannesburg to Polokwane
12th January - Polokwane to Magoebaskloof
13th January - Magoebaskloof to Wakkerstroom
14th January - Wakkerstroom area
15th January - Wakkerstroom to Mkuze
16th January - Mkuze area
17th January - Mkuze to St Lucia
18th January - St Lucia to Eshowe
19th January - Eshowe to Underberg
20th January - Underberg and Sani Pass
21st January - Underberg to Hilton
22nd January - Hilton to De Hoop via Durban and Cape Town
23rd January - De Hoop Nature Reserve to Cape Town
24th January - Cape Peninsula (Pelagic)
25th January - Cape Peninsula
26th January - Cape Town to Langebaan via West Coast National Park
27th January - Langebaan to Calvinia
28th January - Calvinia & Brandvlei
29th January - Calvinia to Springbok
30th January - Springbok to Port Nolloth and return
31st January - Springbok to Augrabies Falls National Park
1st February - Augrabies Falls National Park to Kimberley
2nd February - Kimberley
3rd February - Kimberly to Johannesburg

FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS:

The price for the South Africa Mega Birding tour is ZAR 69,800 per person sharing. (Please note: This does NOT include the domestic flight from Durban to Cape Town. As a general guideline, we suggest you budget +/- ZAR 1,500 per person. RBT can book this flight on your behalf at no extra charge.)

The single supplement for this tour is ZAR 5,250 and will be charged if you wish to have single accommodation. If RBT cannot provide you with a rooming partner although you choose to share, the single supplement will become applicable. We will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that a rooming partner is found if you do wish to share.

Should you wish to pay for this tour in Great British Pound (£), Euro (€), or US Dollar (US$), please refer to our website for the current exchange rate.

This includes:
•All meals from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 24;
•All lodgings;
•Ground transportation;
•4 X 4 excursion into Lesotho;
•Cape Pelagic outing;
•Reserve entrance fees;
•Extra activities as mentioned in the itinerary; and
•All guiding services (including tips for local guides and services).

The tour fee does not include:
•ANY flights, including the domestic flight from Durban to Cape Town (see above);
•Any drinks;
•Special gratuities; and
•Telephone calls, laundry and items of a personal nature.

IMPORTANT NOTES:
a) Due to constantly fluctuating exchange rates, we now quote our tours in 4 currencies (see website for all 4 currencies). The tour price is however fixed in South African Rands (ZAR), and the actual cost in the other currencies listed will be adjusted according to prevailing exchange rates at the time of final invoicing (usually 3 months before the tour.) Approximate domestic flight (where applicable) and single supplement rates are also quoted in the fixed currency, with the other currency values subject to exchange rate movements.

b) Rates are based upon group tariffs; if the tour does not have sufficient registration (a minimum of 5 paying participants) a small party supplement will have to be charged.

c) Furthermore, these costs are subject to unforeseen increases in tour related costs and may have to be adjusted as a result.

d) Lastly, we may be forced to change or alter the itinerary and / or the designated leader/s at short or no notice due to unforeseen circumstances; please be aware that we will attempt to adhere as close to the original program as possible.

Tipping:
As noted above, gratuities (drivers, hotel staff, restaurants etc) are included on this tour. However, this does NOT include your leader. If, therefore, you feel that has given you excellent service, it is entirely appropriate to tip him.

Special Notes:
•Our Mega tours are very fast-paced birding adventures designed for the dedicated lister and serious birder. The focus of the tour is to see as many of the endemics and area specials as possible in our given time. In order to cover the necessary route to maximise the species list we therefore stay for only a single night at most sites.

•Much of our time is spent in vehicles, as we have to cover long distances to get to the best areas for birds and animals. The more luggage you pack the less room there is in the vehicle, so it is important for the comfort of your fellow travellers that you do not over-pack. Kindly stick to 20kg for check in luggage and 8kg for hand luggage.

•In all areas that contain potentially dangerous animals you are confined to the vehicle and are, quite understandably, not allowed to exit.

•Pelagic trip in the Western Cape: If we are unable to fill the boat there will be a small group supplement. We will more than likely only be able to confirm this near to the time of the pelagic departure. If this proves cost prohibitive then the option will exist to cancel the pelagic entirely.

•Please note that the seas during the pelagic trips off the Cape can be rough and participants who opt for this pelagic must therefore bear this in mind. If you have any medical conditions or physical limitations relating to balance and mobility please do let the RBT office know.

•For much of this tour you will be well away from medical facilities. It is essential that you let the office know in advance of the tour if you have any physical limitations or medical conditions.

•Crime is problematic in certain areas of South Africa. Exercise caution as you would for any big city where crime exists. Do not unnecessarily flaunt cash and valuables and do not leave valuables exposed in the vehicle.


ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE DETAILS:
This tour does not include any airfares. The tour will depart from O.R. Tambo International on day 1 by 9am, kindly arrive in advance of this time on this day or arrive the day before. Further meeting details in this regard will be forwarded to you in due course. The tour will conclude by mid to late afternoon on day 24 at O.R. Tambo International. If you wish to arrive early and/or depart late and would like assistance in this regard, kindly contact the office.

FLIGHTS:
O.R. Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) is the main port of entry for international flights in South Africa and is well serviced by all of the world’s major airlines. We have the capacity to advise you on the best route according to your preferences, but your local travel agent will best be able to book these flights for you. We can, however, book the domestic flight from Durban to Cape Town. If you would like further assistance kindly contact the office, and we will happily help you plan your route. However, please DO NOT book your international flights until you have consulted the office for confirmation on the status of the tour.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Tour Price (Per Person) €5,090 * £4,080 * USD6,560 * ZAR69,800
Single Supplement €390 * £310 * USD500 * ZAR5,250

Note: Tour prices fixed in South African Rands (ZAR), other rates subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Excludes flight costs.

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