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Africa is blessed with an unrivalledabundance of mammals and otherwildlife. Huge herds of game stillroam vast national parks which they sharewith an equally impressive array of birds,reptiles and other fauna and flora.However, there is one family of animalswithout which no visit to Africa would becomplete: the cats. The 'Big Cats', andtheir smaller relatives, hold a specialappeal for many of us. Not only are theybeautiful, sleek and powerful animals, butthey are also elusive and superb mastersof camouflage, able to shun the limelightand only reveal themselves to the fortunatefew. Cats are always a challenge to find,but knowing where to go is half the battle,and although nothing is guaranteed in theworld of wildlife-watching, this exciting tourhas been specially designed with cats inmind and offers the very best opportunityof seeing Africa's cats, both big and small,in the wild. Our tour begins with a flight toJohannesburg, where we meet our guideand begin the long drive to the worldfamous Kruger National Park. We will breakthe journey with a night at the Blyde RiverCanyon, a spectacular cleft in themountains and the third largest canyon inthe world. The endangered Cape Vulture isa common sight here, soaring high abovethe rocky escarpments, whilst other wildlifeto look out for includes Verreaux's Eagle,the rare Taita Falcon, Gurney's Sugarbirdand the delightful Rock Hyrax, an unlikelycousin of the Elephant!Completing our drive to the KrugerNational Park, we enter this world famousreserve at the Phabeni Gate in the southand drive on to Skukuza, where we stay fortwo nights. Here begins our quest for wildcats. The southern region of the park isfairly densely vegetated, with two largeriver systems and numerous rockyoutcrops. We will concentrate our activitiesalong the Sabi River, where the permanentwater attracts large numbers of Impala.These form the prey-base for the predators of the area and this is one of the top spots in the Kruger for finding theever-elusive Leopard. We next drive north to the Satara region, inthe central Kruger, where we stay for afurther two nights. Satara holds the highestdensity of Lions in the national park, due tothe large numbers of Blue Wildebeest andBurchell's Zebra attracted here by the lushgrazing and open country. Leopards alsooccur in the area, as do Cheetah, SpottedHyena and African Wild Dog. We will spendour time here looking for these magnificentanimals, and will undoubtedly encounterother species such as Elephant, CapeBuffalo, Waterbuck, Greater Kudu andGiraffe as well as an incredible array ofsavannah birds. An evening/night drivefrom the camp will provide our best chanceof finding one or two of the smaller, andmore elusive, cat species, notably AfricanWildcat, Caracal and Serval. We now leave Kruger, via the Orpen Gate, and drive into the adjacent SabiSand Game Reserve. This 65,000-hectareprivate reserve, which is part of the Greater Kruger National Park, offers someof the finest predator-viewing in the world,and the chances of seeing Lions, Leopards and Cheetahs simply cannot get any higher! The reserve wasestablished as far back as the 1960s and,by the early 1980s, the very first privatelodges were in operation. This long historyof conservation, the large size of thereserve, and the ideal habitat it offers aresome of the factors making Sabi Sand sospecial when it comes to cat-viewing. Itwas in this reserve that a few individualLeopards first became habituated to safari vehicles, a slow process that tookover 10 years, and the result of this hardwork is daily close-up encounters withthese beautiful creatures. Cheetahs arealso seen regularly and we hope that timeand patience will be rewarded withsightings of the smaller cat species such as Caracal or Serval. We will spend four nights in the reserve,staying at two different lodges. This willgive us both ample time in the field, as wellas time to relax in the beautifulsurroundings of our accommodation.Furthermore, we will have dailyopportunities to embark on bush walks,where we can see, and enjoy, the smallerlife forms and ecology of the area. Sadly,after four nights at Sabi Sand and, wehope, a variety of memorable encounterswith cats and other wildlife, we must leavethe peace and tranquillity of the 'AfricanBush' for the hustle and bustle ofJohannesburg from where we catch ourreturn flight home. South Africa - Just Cats!A 12-day tour of South Africa focusing on cats - including Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Serval, Caracal and AfricanWildcat - and other wildlife, visiting the Kruger National Park and the world-famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve.Monday 1st October - Friday 12th October 2012 Cost: £3,795Monday 15th October - Friday 26th October 2012 Cost: £3,795Monday 7th October - Friday 18th October 2013 Cost: £3,995Monday 21st October - Friday 1st November 2013 Cost: £3,995Outline itineraryDay 1Depart London.Day 2Blyde River Canyon.Day 3/6Kruger National Park.Day 7/10Sabi Sand Game Reserve.Day 11Depart Johannesburg.Day 12Arrive London.AccommodationComfortable national park lodges inKruger and private game lodges inSabi Sand Game Reserve. Allrooms have private facilities.Food All meals are included in the price,except for lunches on Days 2 to 7.Allow £70.Grading A traditional African safari. Grade A.FocusAfrica's big and small cats, plusother mammals, birds and wildlife.LeaderLeon Marais. Single room supplement£550.Web quick search: ZAF06174Call now or visit your free Trip ItineraryBOTSWANA ZIMBABWE DURBAN SATARASKUKUZABLYDERIVERCANYONSABI SANDGAMERESERVESWAZILAND KRUGERNATIONALPARKJOHANNESBURG INDIAN OCEAN SOUTH AFRICALESOTHO ServalsLeopardAfrican Lions

The magnificent game-laden lands ofAfrica are unique. Some of the best ofthem are in Tanzania. Here, Lions andCheetahs may still enjoy a meal, free fromthe gaze of all-encircling tourist buses, andthe largest concentrations of mammalsanywhere in the world may be found. Witha remarkable 26% of its area set aside forthe preservation of this unique heritage,Tanzania offers such globally threatenedspecies as the Black Rhinoceros ameasure of protection that hopefully maysave them from extinction.On this tour we concentrate on northernTanzania, an area of superlatives andvariety. We explore beautiful soda andfreshwater lakes, the great grasslands ofthe Serengeti, and the spectacularNgorongoro Crater. Covering such a rangeof habitats and altitude zones, we willencounter a great variety of mammals, andalso birds, for conveniently the nationalparks harbour the best of African birdlife,from the giant Ostrich to tiny finches andcolourful weavers.We begin our holiday in Arusha NationalPark, a microcosm of Tanzanian scenery.Spectacularly set between the hugevolcanic peaks of snow-cappedKilimanjaro and rugged Mount Meru, thepark is a verdant wilderness wheremonkey-filled rainforest encompasses theundisturbed Ngurdoto Crater and thebeautiful Momella Lakes that hold Hippos,waterbirds, and the reflection of MountKilimanjaro. African Buffalo, Olive Baboon,Bushbuck, Warthog, Giraffe and EasternBlack-and-white Colobus Monkey may beseen; whilst, amongst an abundantbirdlife, we will look out for AfricanPochard and Maccoa Ducks on the lakes,and White-eared and Brown-breastedBarbets in the woodland.We drive next to Tarangire National Park,where thousands of animals from thesouthern Masailands must come regularlyin search of water from the Tarangire River.In the park's rolling bushland andsavannah, punctuated with spectacularBaobab Trees, African Buffaloes, Eland,Oryx, Gerenuk, Impala, Elephants andLesser Kudu may be found, together withsuch bird species as Crested Francolin,Yellow-collared Lovebird, Brown andOrange-bellied Parrots, Northern PiedBabbler and Magpie Shrike. Next we visitthe legendary Ngorongoro Crater.Permanently watered, the crater's 225square kilometres support a year-roundresidential population of thousands ofmammals. Amongst great herds of BlueWildebeest, African Buffalo and Burchell'sZebra, we will see Lions, Black-backedJackals and Spotted Hyenas. Most notably,the crater is perhaps the best place in all ofAfrica to see the endangered BlackRhinoceros. Birdwatching is excellent at Ngorongoro;the lakes and rivers attracting abundantwetland species, and the grasslandsholding Ostriches, bustards, SecretaryBirds, eagles and vultures. On the craterrim the lush montane forest holds anentirely different range of species which wemay encounter around our lodge and onearly morning and evening walks. Here wewill also meet the people of the Masai tribe,proud, elegant and well attuned to theirenvironment ... and the commercialpotential of incoming tourism!The Serengeti National Park's 14,673square kilometres of acacia-dotted plainshold nearly two million Wildebeest and2,000 Lions; its selection of othermammals and birds is mouth-watering. Wehave four full days to sample the wealth ofthis great African wilderness.Leaving the Serengeti we will stop at theOlduvai Gorge-'Cradle of Mankind' -the famous archaeological site where Dr.Leakey discovered the 2-million-year-oldremains of the Nutcracker Man, alongsidethose of prehistoric elephants and giantostriches. Even today it is an area teemingwith game. Lake Manyara is our last port of call. Itshotel and pool, beautifully perched on thewall of the Great Rift Valley, overlook theforest, plains, and flamingo-lined lake ofthe national park where we will search for its particularly large Elephants, tree-climbing Lions, and abundant birdlife.Tanzania HighlightsA 14-day birdwatching and mammal-viewing safari through the magnificent national parks of Arusha, Tarangire, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara and Serengeti.Friday 9th November - Thursday 22nd November 2012 Cost: £4,495**Friday 25th January - Thursday 7th February 2013 Cost: £4,995*Friday 8th February - Thursday 21st February 2013 Cost: £4,995Friday 8th November - Thursday 21st November 2013 Cost: £4,695**(*This tour can be combined with our 'Kenya Highlights' holiday outlined on Page 163)(**This tour can be combined with our 'Kenya's Wildlife' holiday outlined on Page 164)Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking InformationUGANDARWANDABURUNDIKENYAMt. KILIMANJAROARUSHA NATIONALPARKSERENGETINATIONALPARKARUSHATARANGIRELAKE MANYARANATIONAL PARKINDIANOCEANNGORONGOROCONSERVATIONAREALAKE VICTORIATANZANIAOutline itineraryDay 1Fly Kilimanjaro andtransfer Arusha.Day 2Arusha National Park.Day 3/4Tarangire National Park.Day 5/7Ngorongoro Crater.Day 8/11Olduvai Gorge andSerengeti National Park.Day 12 Lake Manyara.Day 13 DepartKilimanjaro/Arusha.Day 14 Arrive London.AccommodationComfortable safari lodges withprivate facilities.FoodAll included in the price.GradingA traditional vehicular wildlife andbirdwatching safari. Limited walkingaround lodges. Grade A.FocusBirds and mammals.LeaderZul Bhatia or Tony Williams, pluslocal guide(s).Single room supplement£695 (very limited availability). Web quick search: TZA01 175Flamingoes, Momella Lakes, Arusha National ParkBlack RhinosWhite-fronted Bee-eaters