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South Africa is richly blessed withsome of the continent's mostspectacular scenery and diversewildlife. From the albatrosses that glidearound the storm-pounded CapePeninsula, to the colourful floral displays ofNamaqualand and the big game of KrugerNational Park, the 'Rainbow Nation' ishome to a wonderful array of exciting faunaand flora. With our tours to see thecountry's birds, plants and mammalsproving so very popular, we hope that thisholiday, focusing on South Africa'sbutterflies, will prove similarly successful.South Africa is, after all, home to over 800species of butterfly, and amongst thisplethora of species can be found theEmperor Swallowtail, the largest butterfly insouthern Africa, and the diminutive DwarfBlue, with a wingspan of only 12millimetres, one of the smallest species inthe world! Although butterflies will be ourfocus on this tour, the region's birds,mammals, dragonflies and other wildlifewill not be neglected, making this an idealholiday for the true all-round naturalist. Much of our time on this holiday will bespent exploring the tropical coastal forestsand bushveld savannah of the Zululandregion of KwaZulu-Natal, visiting at a timeof the year when the heat of summer hassubsided and the days are pleasantlywarm. We must start, however, with a flightfrom London to Johannesburg, where wewill meet our South African tour leader anddrive up into the montane grasslands ofWakkerstroom for the first night of our tour. Here we will receive an introduction tosome of the common butterfly speciessuch as African Monarch, Meadow White,African Clouded Yellow, Citrus Swallowtail,Common Diadem and Painted Lady. Birdspecies to look out for include Grey-crowned Crane, Southern Bald Ibis, BlueKorhaan, South African Shelduck andmany more, and this is also the only placein which we are likely to see the GreyRhebok antelope on this tour. We next move to the Mkuze Game Reservein the foothills of the Lebombo Mountainsfor a 2-night stay. This lovely reservecontains a wide range of habitats,including thornveld savannah, broad-leaved woodland and riverine forest, and ishome to a wealth of butterflies thatincludes the tiny Dwarf Blue, Blue andYellow Pansy, Gaudy Commodore andSmoky Orange-tip. We will also look out fora butterfly known as the 'African Leopard'and, if fortunate, may also encounter thebig cat itself! Although always elusive,Leopards are not uncommon in Mkuze andshare the reserve with both Black andWhite Rhinoceros, Giraffe and both thebeautiful Nyala and the diminutive Suniantelopes. Birdlife is prolific here andincludes such species as Narina Trogon,Pink-throated Twinspot, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon and African Crowned Eagle.Adding yet more wildlife interest, the parkis also home to a wide variety ofdragonflies and damselflies including theBlack Splash, Glistening Demoiselle andperhaps the enormous Black Emperor andendemic St. Lucia Basker.Moving on, we reach the Indian Oceancoast and spend two nights at St. Lucia inorder to explore the world famous St. LuciaEstuary, Lake St. Lucia and the coastaldune forest. Covering 325 squarekilometres, this is the largest estuarine system in all of Africa and is of international importance for its wildlife.Here we will look for the localised Gold-banded Forester, together with Green-banded Swallowtail, Golden Piper, SmallOrange Acraea, Red-line Sapphire andTwo-pip Policeman. We will also try toattract in a variety of charaxes by tempting them down from the canopy withbait and head out after dark in search ofthe area's more nocturnal inhabitants such as owls, nightjars, Bush Pig andThick-tailed Bushbaby. We move inland for our final two nights atEshowe where a unique aerial boardwalkhas been constructed high in the canopy ofthe Dlinza scarp forest. From the elevatedlevel of the boardwalk we can be eye-to-eye with the high fliers of the butterfly worldsuch as the charaxes and attractiveCommon Mother-of-Pearl. Adjoining theforest, the moist grassland could holdspecies such as Dusky Acraea and PolkaDot, plus Natal Acraea and Spotted Jokerin the gardens of our lodge. Dlinza is alsowell known for birds such as SpottedGround-thrush, Brown Scrub-robin, LemonDove and Narina Trogon. Here, and atother sites on this tour, we will find time totrap and identify a small selection of thecountry's numerous moth species. Thesemay include Heady Maiden, PleasantHornet, Netted Slug, Florid Pearl, VictorianEmerald, Cabbage Tree Emperor, OrientalBee Hawk and perhaps the large andimpressive Lunar Moth. Finally, after a last check of the moth-trapsand walk around the lodge's spaciousgrounds, we must sadly complete ourbutterfly and wildlife holiday by driving toDurban for our flight home. Butterflies of South AfricaA 10-day wildlife holiday to South Africa with a special emphasis on the country's spectacular butterflies.Friday 8th March - Sunday 17th March Cost: £2,695Outline itineraryDay 1 Depart London. Day 2Arrive Johannesburgand transferWakkerstroom.Day 3/4Mkuze Game Reserve.Day 5/6 St. Lucia.Day 7/8Eshowe. Day 9Depart Durban.Day 10 Arrive London.AccommodationComfortable hotels, lodges andguesthouses; all rooms haveprivate facilities.FoodAll included in the price, except forlunches at Wakkerstroom, St. Luciaand Eshowe. Allow £60.GradingGrade A. Easy wildlife walks andvehicle safaris only.FocusButterflies, birds, mammals andother wildlife.LeaderLocal naturalist guide.Single room supplement£250. ExtensionsAvailable on request. Web quick search: ZAF01170Call now or visit your free Trip ItineraryBOTSWANANAMIBIAZIMBABWENAMAQUALANDCAPE TOWNDURBANESHOWEST. LUCIAMKUZEMAPUTALANDCOASTAL FORESTRESERVESWAZILANDKRUGERNATIONALPARKJOHANNESBURGWAKKERSTROOMINDIAN OCEANATLANTIC OCEANSOUTH AFRICALESOTHO10% DONATIONTOWakkerstroomMockerSwallowtailCommon Dotted Border

This is a special tour. It not onlycombines both birds and flowersunder the guidance of one of SouthAfrica's top naturalists, but covers acomplete range of the country's habitats.Starting in the acacia and broad-leavedwoodlands of southern Kruger, we movenext to the montane grasslands ofSwaziland, before heading south into theMaputaland Coastal Forest Reserve. Wethen end our tour in the 'fynbos' of theCape, the dry scrubland of the Karoo and,finally, surrounded by the spectacular floraldisplays of the Western Cape.Our tour begins with a flight from London toJohannesburg. Here we meet our tourleader and begin the drive into KrugerNational Park for a 3-night stay. Kruger isone of the most famous national parks inthe world and the oldest in Africa. It coversan astonishing 1,948,528 hectares and ishome to an unparalleled diversity of wildlifewhich includes 507 species of birds, 147species of mammals and 300 species oftrees. Our time here will be spent in thesouthern part of the Kruger in search ofbirds such as Gorgeous Bush-shrike,African Finfoot, Purple-crested Turaco andnumerous birds of prey. Mammals includeall the typical large game animals of theAfrican bush, such as Elephant, Giraffe andLion, plus White Rhinoceros, Roan Antelopeand perhaps even Wild Dog or the rareLichtenstein's Hartebeest. Leaving Krugerwe drive south into Swaziland where we visitthe Malolotje Nature Reserve, a beautifularea of montane grassland and home to awide variety of birds such as Buff-streakedChat, Malachite Sunbird, Jackal Buzzard,White-necked Raven and Grassbird. Weshould also find several species of upland mammals including MountainReedbuck, Oribi, Grey Rhebok and Blesbokbefore spending the night at the MountainInn on the outskirts of Mbabane,Swaziland's capital.Continuing south, we next spend two nightsat the Tembe Elephant Reserve, located innorthern KwaZulu-Natal close to the borderwith Mozambique. Our scenic route will takeus out of Swaziland, over the Lebombo Mountains and then down into theMaputaland coastal plain. The TembeElephant Reserve protects a mosaic of sandforest, palm savannah, wetlands and riverineforest although it is the former, the sandforest, where we will focus much of ourbirding attention. This is an increasinglythreatened habitat in South Africa and hometo a much sought-after selection of speciesincluding African Broadbill, Narina Trogon,Green Twinspot, Southern Banded Snake-eagle, Crested Guineafowl, Eastern Nicatorand Purple-banded Sunbird. Moreimportantly, several of the species to befound here are endemic to the Zululand/Mozambique coastal plain. These includeWoodward's Batis, Pink-throated Twinspot,Rudd's Apalis and Neergaard's Sunbird.The main mammalian attraction at Tembe isthe shy, sand forest-dwelling, AfricanElephants, the largest in all of Africa, butthere are also a few rarer smaller mammalsto look out for, most notably Suni, Four-toedElephant Shrew and Tonga Red Squirrel. Next we continue south, through theMaputaland coastal plain, to the Greater St.Lucia Wetland Park, a remarkable wetlandreserve recently designated a UNESCOWorld Heritage site. For two nights we willbe based in the Bonamanzi Game Park.During our time here we will explore thesand forests of False Bay, one of the mostthreatened vegetation types in South Africa,and birdwatch in the woodlands andmarshes around Lake St. Lucia in search ofsuch species as Crowned Hornbill, Red-capped Robin-chat, Narina Trogon, BlackHeron, Pygmy Goose and Lesser Jacana.Driving to Durban for a flight to Cape Town we will spend two days exploring the Cape. This region is one of the eight floral kingdoms of theworld, and we will devote plenty of timefrom now on to the wonderful display ofspring flowers to be found here. At this timeof year the floral display is at its very best,and we will visit the fynbos, a word used todescribe the heath-like plants-the ericas,proteas and restios-that dominate thisunique floral region which boasts literallythousands of endemic species. We will alsovisit Hermanus and Betty's Bay in search ofSouthern Right Whales, an African Penguincolony, and search for such bird species asCape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted andMalachite Sunbirds, Cape Siskin and a hostof waders. For the keen birdwatchers of theparty it may also be possible to organise anoptional pelagic trip in search of the Cape'srich variety of offshore seabirds.Finally, we will head north towardsNamaqualand. The further north we travelthe more wonderful are the displays ofwildflowers. We will stop en route to enjoythe birdlife of Langebaan Lagoon, thecolony of Cape Gannets at Lambert's Bay,and the more unusual passerines of the aridareas, in particular the tit-babblers, larksand crombecs. The birding is likely to bealmost forgotten, however, as we follow thespectacular spring displays of flowers onour way to Clanwilliam. The best of thedesert flowers show between mid-Augustand mid-September, depending on thewinter rains. With luck, the timing of ourjourney will be just right! South Africa - Birds & BotanyA unique 15-day holiday in search of the birds and magnificent plant-life of a comprehensive range of South African habitats.Wednesday 21st August - Wednesday 4th September Cost: £4,495Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking InformationBOTSWANA NAMIBIA ZIMBABWE NAMAQUALAND LANGEBAAN WEST COASTNATIONALPARKCAPE TOWN LESOTHO DURBAN BONAMANZI GAME PARK MAPUTALAND COASTAL FOREST RESERVE TEMBE ELEPHANT RESERVESWAZILANDKRUGER NATIONAL PARK MBABANE JOHANNESBURG INDIAN OCEAN ATLANTIC OCEAN SOUTH AFRICA DRAKENSBERG MOUNTAINS Outline itineraryDay 1Depart London. Day 2/4Kruger National Park. Day 5Swaziland. Day 6/7Tembe ElephantReserve. MaputalandCoastal Forest Reserve. Day 8/9Bonamanzi Game Park.Day 10/11Cape Town. Day 12/13Lambert's Bay and WestCoast National Park. Day 14Drive Cape Town; flyLondon. Day 15Arrive London.AccommodationSmall, comfortable hotels andlodges, all with private facilities.FoodAll included in the price.GradingA pleasant mix of gentle walks andvehicular safari drives. Grade A.FocusBirds, plants and mammals.LeadersLeon Marais and Mariana Delport.Single room supplement£595. ExtensionsAvailable on request.Web quick search: ZAF07171Aloe feroxLionCape Sugarbirdon Protea