Safari Planning

Quite a few people ask me to help them organizing their trip to South Africa or give them advise where to go. Well, I really only know the wildlife side of South Africa, and these experiences are limited to Kwazulu Natal and to Kruger National Park.

But if you need help organizing your safari trip to South Africa then I can recommend one of the travel professionals listed below.

I have also added a section on my views about safaris in National Parks vs. Private Game Reserves at the end of this page.

If you want to have a chat about your South Africa plans please send a message to including your phone number. Or call me [In the USA dial +1 615 274 4422, in Europe dial +49 7763 917 3394, in South Africa dial +31 813 5553 or on Skype call csperka.  If I am not available please leave a message, so I can call you back].

Unfortunately I do not have the time to answer email inquiries about this subject in writing. Thanks for your understanding.

Click here if you need advice about the right time of the year to travel to South Africa


… for individual travel from the USA
African Portfolio – – is an excellent company I have worked with in the past. They specialize in organizing “made to measure” safari trips to South Africa. If you are interested in individual travel you might want to contact them at

… for more budget-oriented safari travel from the USA
African Portfolio can also help in more budget-oriented solutions. Contact for more information.


… for group travel
If you are looking for group travel check out Overseas Adventure Travel – www.oattravel.comThey have a very good reputation for small group adventure trips.


… for individual or group travel from Sweden
Sydafrikaresor – is a very experienced and excellent South Africa specialist in Sweden.

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… for individual travel – booked directly in South Africa
A good friend of mine Mike Karantonis, a very experienced specialist safari guide, is partner in Africa Direct – If you would like to deal directly with a travel partner in South Africa Africa Direct will be a good choice for you.

… and last but not least two places in Kwazulu Natal I would highly recommend to include into your safari!

Thanda Collage

Thanda Private Game Reserve –
Thanda offers a great big five safari experience in Kwazulu Natal. You can either stay in the luxurious lodge, the private Villa iZulu or the more “rustic” Thanda Tented Camp. And you can request me as a guide 🙂

Pakamisa 500

Pakamisa Private Game Reserve –
Pakamisa offers horseback safaris in a beautiful surrounding in Kwazulu Natal. One of my favorite places in South Africa.  I spend quite a bit of time on Pakamisa, riding, photographing,relaxing and eating very well.

… and in case you would like to chat about wildlife places to visit in Kwazulu Natal just give me a call (e.g. Thanda Private Game Reserve, Pakamisa Private Game Reserve, Mkuze Game Reserve, Tembe Elephant Park, Ithala Game Reserve, Hluhuwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, ISimangaliso Wetland Park, St.Lucia, …)

… and as promised above here are a few arguments why to either self-drive in National Parks (like Kruger) or why to stay at Private Game Reserves or Private Concessions (like Thanda) – Please note this is only my personal point of view and not an official statement of any sort 🙂

Arguments for
Safaris in National Parks

– You have a lot of time (more than 1 week for your safari)
– You do not mind to drive yourself in a closed vehicle
– You do not mind not being able to drive off-road to follow the animals and do not mind if you cannot get close to sightings
– You are patient and enjoy nature even without the big five close-up
– You like to watch animals trough binoculars and do not mind them be a bit further away
– You enjoy sitting at hides to watch wildlife and especially birds
– You have a limited budget and do not mind simple accommodations
Large cats are not your particular focus
Wildlife Photography is not your main focus

Note: Group travel in National Parks follows the same rules except that you would not drive yourself and you should enjoy travelling in a group – otherwise it could be “torture on safari” 🙂

Arguments for
Safaris in Private Game Reserves / Private Concessions in National Parks

– You have limited time (only a few days)
– You do want to drive in an open vehicle led by a professional guide
– You want to be able to drive off-road and follow the animals in the bush
– You would like to get close-up encounters with the big five
– You like up-scale accommodations and do not mind to spend money on your vacations
Large cats are one of your priorities
Wildlife Photography is one of your priorities

Note: If your objective is serious wildlife photography and money is not the main subject, then I strongly recommend to book a Private Safari Vehicle. It would cost you quite a bit extra, but you would be in charge of the vehicle and you would not have to worry about other guests on the vehicle. With an experience field guide (especially one with photography interest) you will be able to get into the best positions and use patience to get the right images. In case you choose Thanda for such a stay you can request Bheki and me as your guiding team for your Photo Safari with a Private Safari Vehicle.

I hope all of this helps for you to select the right safari experience!

You can also leave a message for me right here:

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