South Africa Big 5 Wildlife Safari

Join Adam Brubaker on a trip to South Africa to see the Big 5! The term “Big 5” originates from the 5 most difficult or dangerous animals to hunt on foot in Africa. This term is now used on safari to see those same 5 animals, many which have declined in numbers over the years. The Big 5 consists of the elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, and Buffalo.

In South Africa we will be visiting one of the top locations in Africa for viewing leopards, Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve.  Along with leopards, Sabi Sands is a great place to see the rest of the “The Big 5” and many of the other animals you may associate with an African safari including giraffes, zebras, hippos, crocodiles, monkeys, as well as many other species.

Basic Itinerary

Sunday, 22 September 2024

Arrive at the JNB airport and transfer to The Safari Club Hotel for an overnight stay. 

Monday, 23 September 2023

Spend the day recovering from the previous day’s flight. Half day or full day tours can be arranged to Johannesburg, Cradle of HumanKind, or Lesedi Cultural Village. 

Tuesday, 24 September 2024

Transfer from The Safari Club to JNB airport for a short flight to Skukuza Airport. Transfer from the Skukuza Airport to Inyati Private Game Reserve. After check-in and lunch enjoy your first evening game drive. Overnight at Inyati Private Game Reserve. 

Wednesday, 25 September – Friday, 27 September 2024

Overnight at Inyati Private Game Reserve with twice daily game drives. 

Saturday, 28 September 2024

After a morning game drive, transfer back to Skukuza airport for a flight to JNB and a transfer to The Safari Club Hotel. 

 Sunday, 29 September 2024

Transfer from The Safari Club Hotel to JNB Airport. For late flights an optional ½ or full day tour can be arranged. 


For those wanting to spend extra time in South Africa it is recommended to add time to the start of this itinerary. For recommendations please reach out.  

Detailed Itinerary

Sept 22nd Arrive

Upon arrival at JNB Airport we will be met by our local representative and transferred to The Safari Club Hotel. The Safari Club Hotel  was born out of a desire to offer guests a true safari feel throughout their entire African trip, we created the ultimate bespoke overnight accommodation only 5 minutes from OR Tambo airport. 100% privately owned and managed.

Sept 23rd Johannesburg and Recovery  

Use this day as a recovery day from jet lag and a full day of travel before your arrival. The Safari Club Hotel is a great place to relax in your room or out in their garden. If you don’t want to spend the full day at the hotel choose between three add-on tours to experience Johnasburg and the surrounding area. Soweto and Apartheid Museum Tour, The Cradle of HumanKind and Sterkfontein Caves Tour, or the Lesedi Cultural Experience. 

Sept 24th Transfer to Inyati Private Game Lodge 

After breakfast, check out and transfer back to Johannesburg Airport for your domestic flight to Skukuza Airport. Upon arrival at Skukuza Airport, collect your luggage and meet your driver for the transfer to Inyati Game Lodge in the Sabi Sand Reserve.


After you arrive you will be met by a staff member to assist with checking in then offered a refreshing welcome drink while they prepare your lunch. You will then be shown to your room, where you can settle in and explore your surroundings before afternoon tea (a light snack) before departing on the afternoon game drive. After returning from your game drive you will be  given time to freshen up before returning for dinner.

Sept 25th – 27th Inyati Game Lodge 

Early in the morning, you will be awoken before sunrise by a gentle knock on your door. Coffee, tea, and juices with a light snack will be served on the deck or in the lounge before departing. After the morning game drive (which lasts about 3 hours), you will return to the lodge for a delicious brunch. 

Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure, watching animals from the deck, reading a book next to the pool, or perhaps taking an afternoon siesta. Lunch can be served upon request otherwise afternoon tea will be provided before it is time to get ready for another game drive.

Before departure, you will be asked what you wish to drink for sundowners (a drink and snack will be provided as you enjoy time out of your safari vehicle as the sun goes down). The drive then will continue as a night drive as you return to the lodge for dinner. 

Sept 28th Morning Game Drive and Transfer to Johannesburg 

After your last morning game drive, return to the lodge for breakfast. You will have time to finish packing your luggage and check out. After checking out you will meet your driver at the lodge for the transfer back to Skukuza Airport and your flight back to Johannesburg. Arrive at Johannesburg International Airport, collect your luggage and exit into the arrivals hall. You will be met by your driver and transferred to The Safari Club Hotel for the night.

Sept 19th Transfer to JNB Airport and Home

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and check out. You may store your luggage and make use of the hotel’s public areas, until it is time for the transfer to Johannesburg Airport. Arrive at Johannesburg International Airport and check in for your international flight home. If you have a late flight an additional tour around the Johannesburg area can be arranged. 


For those wishing to spend additional time in Africa we have several recommendations. Please reach out for more information.

More Information about Sabi Sands

Adjacent to the Kruger National Park, the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve is South Africa’s premier game viewing destination. It was the first-ever private nature reserve established in South Africa. The landscape features 65 000 hectares of savannah-covered land interspersed with watering holes, dry river beds, Lowveld woodlands, and the perennial Sabi and Sand rivers. This spectacular reserve offers exceptional game viewing opportunities with frequent sightings of the renowned Big Five as well as cheetah, zebra, giraffe, and a variety of antelope. Visitors can enjoy excellent wildlife viewing, dining under the stars, guided bush walks and enjoying a stay in some of South Africa’s most luxurious safari lodges. The ability to go off road and get up close to Africa’s big cats makes the Sabi Sand a top destination for wildlife enthusiasts.

More Information about Inyati

Set on the lush banks of the Sand River, Inyati Game Lodge offers the ultimate safari experience combining diverse wildlife with authentic African hospitality.

From the warm welcome you receive upon arrival, to our comfortable chalets, hearty home style cuisine and highly experienced rangers, every guest departs with unforgettable memories and the imprint of Africa in their soul.


Intimate lodge with only 11 luxury chalets. Highly experienced and knowledgeable game rangers and trackers. Big Five game viewing with unrivaled sightings of the usually elusive leopard. Perfectly positioned overlooking the lush Sand River.

Day Tour Options

– Soweto and Apartheid Museum Day Tour (approx. 5 hours)

Discover the rich and poignant history of South Africa with the Soweto and Apartheid Museum Day Tour. This immersive experience takes you through the significant events of the past, the struggles against apartheid, and the remarkable transformation taking place in the present.

       Tour Highlights:

  1. Soweto Exploration: Delve into the heart of Soweto, an urban area in Johannesburg, with historical significance. Learn about its origins as a Black township during the apartheid era and its pivotal role in the struggle against racial segregation.
  2. Hector Peterson Museum: Visit this poignant museum, named after the iconic student who lost his life during the Soweto Uprising in 1976. Explore the exhibits that showcase the events of that tragic day, providing insight into the fight for equality and justice.
  3. Mandela House: Step into the former home of Nelson Mandela, the revered anti-apartheid revolutionary and former President of South Africa. Gain a deeper understanding of his life, the sacrifices he made, and his pivotal role in shaping the nation.
  4. Apartheid Museum: Immerse yourself in the comprehensive exhibits that offer a chronological journey through apartheid, from its prelude to the post-apartheid era. Experience the emotions, struggles, and the resilience of the South African people during this critical period.
  5. Soweto’s Vibrant Culture: Witness the vibrant social life, music, and arts that define Soweto today. Experience the transformation of this community into an affluent hub for development projects and tourism, showcasing its rich cultural heritage.

– Maropeng Cradle Of Mankind and Sterkfontein Day Tour (Approx. 6 hours)

Immerse yourself in the fascinating journey of human evolution with our Maropeng Cradle of Mankind and Sterkfontein Day Tour. This captivating expedition takes you back in time, exploring the roots of our existence, from ancient ancestors to the remarkable discoveries that have shaped our understanding of humanity’s origins.

        Tour Highlights:

  1. Maropeng Museum: Delve into the Maropeng Museum, where the story of our evolution unfolds. Experience interactive exhibits, engage with the extinct species of animals that once roamed the earth, and gain insights into the challenges our planet faces in the present day. Learn about our journey from the distant past to the present, enriching your understanding of the human experience.
  2. Sterkfontein Caves: Venture into the Sterkfontein Caves, a world-renowned Palaeo-anthropological site that holds invaluable treasures from our ancient past. Discover the historic significance of this site, where groundbreaking discoveries have been made by renowned scientists. Witness the remarkable findings, including the famous Mrs Ples, an Australopithecus skull, and the 4.17 million-year-old “Little Foot,” an almost complete ape-man skeleton.
  3. Cradle of Humankind: Experience the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, a living testament to our ancestral heritage. Explore the rich history of this area, where our predecessors have lived for over 3 million years. Marvel at the profound connection between our present and our ancient past as you navigate through this unique and culturally significant landscape.

– Lesedi Cultural Village

In a big, modern city like Johannesburg it can be difficult to get a sense of traditional life. This guided tour to the Lesedi Cultural Village offers just that by offering the opportunity to experience the cultural traditions of several different peoples of southern Africa.

Visitors to Lesedi can choose between The Monati (lunch) or Boma (dinner) cultural tours. These two-hour programmes are offered at 11:30 and 16:30 daily. On arrival, visitors are welcomed at the Ndebele Village by representatives of the tribes that dwell at Lesedi. The tour begins with a multi-sensory presentation of the origins of South Africa’s indigenous inhabitants, followed by a guided walk through the myriad tribal homesteads located in the Lesedi Cultural Village.

The Lesedi Cultural Tour culminates in a not-to-be-missed dance extravaganza. Held in the Boma, ancestral folklore and rituals are brought to life in spectacular fashion. This “Ingoma”, told through choreographed movement, beating drums and song is thrilling history story-telling at its best

Lesedi prides itself on offering guests an African-inspired culinary journey across the continent and its many cultures. The meal experience is about thanksgiving, celebration and community. Guests are invited to indulge in cuisine that represents the diversity of tastes and cultures that comprise delicious African cuisine.


Target Species

  • Lion
  • Leopard
  • Elephant
  • Cape Buffalo
  • White Rhino
  • Giraffe
  • Zebra
  • Hippo
  • Spotted Hyena
  • Warthog
  • Crocodile
  • Variety of antelope species
  • Variety of birds species

Trip Highlights

Accommodations at Inyati Game Reserve a luxurious lodge situated on the banks of the Sands River allows you to see wildlife on and off your game drives.

Open top safari vehicle with tiered seating for maximum wildlife viewing opportunities.

Staying at a private reserve allows you the opportunity to go off road to have a more personal experience with the wildlife.

  • All transportation after arrival in Johannesburg on the 22nd and departure on the 29th.
  • All Lodging starting on the night of Sept 22nd and ending on the 28th.
  • All meals except breakfast and lunch on the 22nd and Lunch and Dinner on the 29th.
  • All park and conservation fees.
  • Flights to and from South Africa.
  • Extra lodging before the 22nd or after the 29th.
  • Any airline, insurance, or Visa fees.
  • Any extra alcohol not provided by the lodges.
  • Extra baggage fees.
  • Add on day tours while in Johannesburg.
  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers, and hospitality services.
  • $4800 per person based on double occupancy (single occupancy while at Inyati is not available).
  • 30% deposit ($1440) is due at time of booking, 15% is non refundable.
  • Full Payment is required 90 days prior to departure (June 24th).
  • 15% of your deposit is non refundable.
  • If you cancel from 90 to 120 days prior to your trip, you will forfeit 35% of your tour cost.
  • If you cancel within 90 days of the trip you will forfeit the full amount.
  • Travel insurance is recommended no exceptions including illness will be considered.
  • World nomads is a recommended for travel insurance.

General Gear

Bring comfortable hiking shoes or boots, cool clothing for during the day, long pants and a warm jacket for the evenings and early mornings. In winter (April to September), it gets very cold during the open vehicle game drives so pack a warm windbreaker, beanie or ear-warmers and gloves.

A small carry bag is useful to keep your things with you during game drives. A light raincoat may come in handy. Most lodges have a swimming pool so bring your swimsuit (optional), hat, sunglasses and sunscreen lotion, camera equipment, enough memory cards and spare batteries, spending money for drinks and personal expenses, insect repellant, anti-malaria medication (talk to your physician), other prescription medication you may need, and a pair of binoculars (important).

If you need to charge equipment, bring a 220V international travel adapter. Don’t forget your travel documents, insurance papers, valid passport (with at least two blank pages) and your flight tickets!


We recommend that you take anti-malarial prophylactic medication as prescribed by your doctor or travel clinic, before traveling to Africa. Also talk to your doctor or consult the CDC website for recommend vaccines.

Passports must have at least six months of validity remaining beyond your planned date of departure. At least three completely blank pages are required.

Please Note

  • The itinerary listed above is subject to change, due to unpredictable weather or other factors.
  • The majority of our exploration takes place in safari vehicles. However, you have the option go on a afternoon walking safari.
  • Deposits are refundable (minus 15%) up to 121 days prior to the start of the tour. Within 90 days, deposits will not be refunded unless your spot is taken
    by another participant and the tour sells out. To view our complete cancellation policy, please see above.
  •  The tour balance is due 90 days prior to the start of the tour. Failure to pay the balance in full will lead us to invite the next person on the waiting
  • Full payment is due if booked 120 days or less in advance of the tour.
  • Payments may be made via Credit Card, Check, or Bank Transfer. We must wait for checks to clear before considering tour slots reserved or flled.
  • We reserve the right to cancel the tour for any reason, including, but not limited to, a lack of participants. In such a case, your full deposit will be
    refunded. However, we are not responsible for any additional expenses incurred.
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