Southern Africa Birding Safari: South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe & Botswana

Add the birds of Southern Africa to your birding life list as you explore the diverse habitats of four countries with experts, spotting unique wildlife and learning about local culture.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21528RJ
15 days
Starts at
Flights start at
15 Reviews
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5 Average

This was an amazing trip! Although billed as a birding safari, I learned so much from our incredible guide, from the local communities we visited, from the beautiful national parks, and from the people who served us along the way. While the trip is rigorous, every moment opens new horizons. Go!! Your heart will be enriched.


Great trip for birders. the guide is well informed and a great problem solver.


My wife and I took this trip in late November/ early December. The rains had fortunately begun a couple of weeks earlier. It did not rain excessively during the trip, just a few showers. Ponchos were provided in the big covered open jeeps used to drive the dirt roads through the national parks etc. Pleasantly surprised by the lack of mosquitos. The accommodations were quite nice, though WiFi was slow to none at the bush camps. But then you will be pretty busy so not a lot of time to browse. FYI If you begin at the Eastgate Hotel in Johannesburg, there was a surprising amount of birds in the immediate vicinity of the hotel that I did not see anywhere else during the trip. The focus was birds and there was a whole new world of them The lead guide Sam Mushandu was very good. He ran a tight ship and was very knowledgeable about the ecosystem in general, as well as the birds. Here is a url you can post in your browser window for a Flickr album of some of the birds we saw: https://www.flickr.com/photos/123247913@N05/albums/72157712233999661 The open vehicles provide great views, though if you are a photographer you need to speak up to get closer shots. You cannot get down from the vehicles during the drives and must make do from inside. Thus, there was not a lot of physical activity other that climbing up into and down from the Safari vehicles.. The animals were everywhere and at times quite close. In our case, a lioness walked alongside the safari vehicle as close as six feet away and then crossed over in front of us. Here is a url for a google+ album of some of the animals we saw: https://photos.app.goo.gl/28TV1mmwCwApQQwp8. The outside activities were more engaging that I expected. The actual trip area outside South Africa is quite compact, so there was not a lot of long road trips to get to the venues.


Just back home from an exciting tour of Southern Africa. The main focus of the trip was Birding, but we saw SO much more! Sam Mushandu was one of the best guides we have ever had on ANY tour! He controlled the group well and added so many more interesting facets. There were just a few non-birders in our group and most of them were happy to look at the birds, too. But when one complained that the birding was too intense, Sam gently corrected them by reminding them that the title of the program was "Birding in South Africa," and that birding would be our main focus. That said, our group worked well together. We saw so many animals, as well as SO MANY Birds!! I highly recommend this tour for any bird watcher!


I found this an amazing trip. It had it all: wildlife; bush tours and cruises with knowledgeable, warm, and helpful guides; wonderful camps; waterfalls; history; local culture; a compatible group of people. Oh, and I added a few birds (lots) to my list.


The best birding trip, well paced, Sam and the other guides very personable, experienced and knowledgeable, a joy for photographers, and accommodations and food well above my expectations. We also saw many animals that satisfied the non-birding partners. The educational programs were interesting and worthwhile.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

The program itinerary was just as described in the promotional materials as well as the itinerary we received prior to departure. We saw parts of 4 countries, met many wonderful people at each lodge and saw hundreds of birds....many, many new to us. The visit to Lesedi School was very valuable to us. We are sponsoring 3 children from the same family so they can continue attendance at a high quality rural school,


Life long dream of visiting Africa and seeing it's people and wildlife fulfilled in a busy two week period! Lots of boat and safari vehicle trips allowed us to see wildlife in safety and comfort.


This is a highly recommended program with memorable accommodations in National Parks and excellent guides resulting in the seeing of large numbers of birds and animals.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

We just returned from this trip. We highly recommend it, even if you are not an avid birder, which most in our group weren’t. Sam is a fantastic guide, not only as a bird expert, but also for all other wildlife and the history and cultures of the various countries you are traveling in. Plus he has a great personality. We saw approximately 240 species of birds, stayed in fantastic lodges (which provided free laundry!), saw Victoria Falls with good water flow, great sunsets, watched lions, painted dogs, and a Nile crocodile in action, and traveled with a fine group of people. What more could you want? Food was good too.


This program lived up to all of my expectations and more. It was my first predominantly birding program and I will go for more. The birders on this program were prompt, excited, sharing, and all joined in. Once again we had an outstanding guide, who will probably go down as the best guide ever, Sam Mushandu. Sam was our leader, our champion, our educator, our encourager, and overwhelmingly positive in his manner.s and attitude. What a wonderful sense of humor. Thank you, Sam. Thank you all of our fellow travelers, whom I am hopeful to go on another trip. And thank you Road Scholar for another excellent tour.


What an excellent experience! Our group consisted of people new to birding, some very experienced birders, and everyone in between. Every day was action-packed, and everyone in our group got along well. Sam, our tour guide, was the absolute best! His enthusiasm, extensive knowledge, and great sense of humor made us look forward to each day’s adventures. To see so many new birds, to experience so much wildlife in their natural habitats, and to interact with local people—this trip exceeded my expectations.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

This was a trip of a lifetime! Great food, excellent housing, extremely competent guides! The birds and mammals were abundant and diverse. The wildlife drives and boat trips made it easy to see and enjoy a lot of what southern Africa has to offer. The people at every stop were friendly and helpful. But the person that made everything work was Sam Mushandu. His leadership, knowledge, passion, and good humor made for a wonderful experience. My wife, Libby, and I will always have great memories of Africa, and it's people and wildlife due largely to Sam and the other people involved with this program! We strongly recommend this program as a can't miss Road Scholar event!


This was the trip of a lifetime! Very well organized, excellent guide, worth the price.


An outstanding trip. I've been to Africa for work and leisure countless times since I first arrived with Peace Corps several decades ago but had never signed on to a tour, preferring to organize our own itineraries. I was tempted by the birding safari because it would provide yet another perspective from which to appreciate the southern Africa bush. Our leader, Honest, was all you could ask for as a nature guide and trip manager extraordinaire, the accommodations were lovely with very welcoming staff, and all we were left to do was fully enjoy the immersion in to this incredible part of the world.

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