Open-air Land Rovers and expert trackers take you off the beaten path and within touching distance of Africa’s Big Five –leopards, lions, elephants, rhinos and buffalo
Set in Kruger’s Sabi Sands Area where the original luxury safari began, FiveZero’s Classic Five Photographic Safari in South African is immersed in rich history and provides incredible opportunities to photograph the area’s wildlife. Led by South African native and award-winning photographer, Kurt Jay Bertels, there are no limits to the images and memories you’ll create.
This exclusive photographic safari is limited to four guests to provide the highest level of personal attention to organically improve your photography skills. We aim to photograph the elusive leopard. However, with an abundance of wildlife, prepare to capture a wide variety of photos from the other Big Five, hippos, zebras, giraffes and more than 250 species of wild birds.
At the end of each day retire to our luxurious base—a 5-Star private lodge perfectly situated on the banks of the Sand River. Make the most of the beautiful surrounds and get an insider’s view on the secrets of the river life. Then let the magnificent lounge take you back to an era almost lost – where trading stories after a successful day of safari and the shot of the day is the main focus of the evening.
Every Five Zero safari can be fully customized – from group size to dates and duration. For those looking to extend your stay in South Africa, we have several options to enhance your experience. Let us help you plan your dream vacation.
Contact us for more information.
Photos from previous safaris. Click to view at full-size.
Itinerary for The Classic Five South African Safari
Day 1: Arrive at Sabi Sands
Upon your arrival at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg you will be met by a charter flight representative who will assist you to the charter flight lounge where you will catch a quick flight to a private airstrip in the Kruger’s Sabi Sands region. A private ranger will greet you at the airstrip and drive you the short distance to the lodge.
Located on the banks of the Sand River, our award-winning, private lodge is perfectly situated to make the most of the beautiful surrounds. The camp is unfenced, has thatched roofs and sits comfortably amongst the greenery of the riverbanks, where luxury meets nature. From an elegant and modern design to a luxurious, heated swimming pool in each suite, no detail has been overlooked.
Days 2 – 7: Sabi Sands Private Reserve
The Sabi Sands region is famous for its exceptional Big 5 spotting and abundant wildlife. The habituated nature of the area’s wildlife allows us incredible photographic opportunities, and a chance to view their natural behaviour from close quarters.
While each day is tailored to your requests, a typical day includes two safari outings. These morning and afternoon safaris are where the real magic happens! Driving in open-air Land Rovers, an experienced ranger guides us through this magnificent area, and works closely with your host, Kurt Jay Bertels, to find the best subjects in the best light, for the best photograph. The never-ending search for the Big 5 is top priority, but nothing goes unnoticed or un-photographed.
Not to be outdone, meals on safari offer a unique experience all on their own with stunning backdrops and tantalizing flavors. Meals are prepared by the lodge’s culinary team, with organic ingredients locally grown or from the resort’s garden, free-range game, and seafood selections guided by South Africa’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative. Enjoy classic and innovative dishes complemented with South African wine or cocktail creations.
Lunches are served on the main deck beneath the trees, overlooking the beautiful Sand River or on occasion enjoy breakfasts in the bush. Each evening, we’ll meet for pre-dinner drinks in the bar, before dinner is served, mostly, in the Boma, or outdoor dining room, around the campfire.
Day 8: Departure
Enjoy one final, early morning safari followed by a fortifying breakfast. Our ranger will drive you to a private airstrip to catch your charter flight back to Johannesburg where you can connect with your onward flight.
Please note: The above day-by-day itinerary is only a guideline. The daily itinerary is weather-dependent and sightings-dependent, it could vary slightly.
Extend Your Stay in South Africa
If you would like to extend your trip, FiveZero can arrange this either before or after the above safari itinerary. Not to miss spots include:
Cape Town: Cape Town is a vibrant city that will get under your skin no matter what time of year. While walking through the city’s streets and meeting its people, you will fall in love with its natural beauty and incredible spirit. Cape Town is a city where the unexpected is always just around the corner and the beautiful province of the Western Cape lies ready to be explored beyond the city border. There are endless activities including:
- Wine tasting tours of South Africa’s top wine-producing regions
- Enjoy a Helicopter ride for breath-taking views of Cape Town’s coastline
- Go cage diving with the famous Great White Sharks
- Climb Table Mountain to catch panoramic views of the city
- Go kite surfing or relax in the sun at Blaaubergstrand Beach
- Swim with the penguins at Boulders Bay
- Visit the historical landmark and political prison during the apartheid era Robben Island
- And, so much more!
Victoria Falls: Victoria Falls is a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River and forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘The Smoke that Thunders’.
In more modern terms Victoria Falls is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world. The wide, basalt cliff over which the falls thunder, transforms the Zambezi from a placid river into a ferocious torrent cutting through a series of dramatic gorges. Facing the Falls is another sheer wall of basalt, rising to the same height, and capped by mist-soaked rain forest. A path along the edge of the forest provides the visitor prepared to brave the tremendous spray, with an unparalleled series of views of the Falls.
There are a host of activities to do at the falls. For the more adventurous, bungee-jumping, elephant back safaris and walking with lions; and for the more relaxed guests, enjoy gentle sundowner cruises and bird watching.
Highlights from The Classic Five South African Safari
This is a customised safari with flexible dates.
7 nights / 8 days
5-star/luxury private lodge in Kruger’s Sabi Sands region
OR Tambo International Airport (JNB)
Number of guests:
Maximum 4; however, FiveZero can accommodate larger groups for private group bookings.
Lions, Leopards, Rhinoceroses, Elephants, Buffalo, Cheetahs, Hyenas, Hippopotamuses, Zebras, Giraffes, and more than 300 species of birdlife
All internal flights and transfers
2 scheduled daily safari excursions
A La Carte:
Customized vacation (holiday) options/holiday extension options
Suggested activities may have additional fee
Recommended camera equipment:
Camera equipment can be rented through FiveZero. For those looking to purchase or bring their own equipment, Kurt Jay Bertels, your photographic safari host, recommends the following equipment for The Classic Five South African Safari:
- D-SLR camera body
- Zoom lens Should ideally be no smaller than 200mm
- Wide angle lens 18-55mm or 24-105mm
- Memory cards and spare batteries