DATES: 29 AUGUST - 13 SEPTEMBER 2025 (Guaranteed departure) :
Occasionally an exceptional wildlife discovery tour comes long which is just so compellingly different, that we simply have to share it with our wildlife enthusiast clientele. Our friend Keith Barnes (biologist, author, tour-leader) developed this remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime departure focused on the drier western and southern regions of South Africa, where the emphasis is, as the title implies, the appreciation of Enigmatic Wildlife.
Aside from a gob-smacking list of critters, which should set the pulse of any wildlife travel enthusiasts racing; to make this trip even better you will be travelling through the Kalahari and Namaqualand during early September, which is the peak period for one of the worlds most impressive floral spectacles - carpets of multi-coloured wildflowers of both the daisy and bulb families will form the backdrop to settings in which you will be searching for some of most fascinating animals on Earth.
An alternative name for the trip is Wild Nights Out, because much of the wildlife watching will be conducted after sunset, when a cast of the incredible characters surfaces from their daytime hideouts. The icing on the cake will be that this small group will be accompanied by a superb resident naturalist, who is among the best naturalists in the country. The naturalists we work with on these departures are very knowledgeable botanists, herpetologists and have in- depth knowledge of where some of strangest and most endangered wildlife occurs, whether it be for example a Critically Endangered population of Speckled Moraea (a striking plant in the iris family), or a favourite haunt of an Arum Lily Frog... the list goes on and on and when going through the itinerary, you will no doubt feel its a crossover between a discovery road trip and a giant Easter egg hunt!
The trip will not only be spectacular, it will be meaningful because it actually doubles up as a biodiversity scouting survey, in that you will be supporting research activities making this a win-win for all. With a leadership uniformly keen on photography, you should have phenomenal experience on this tour.
Your Tour-leader Dr Keith Barnes:
Keith grew up flipping rocks and looking for scorpions on the edge of the Magaliesberg mountains west of Johannesburg, South Africa. Although his first love was birds, his father sparking that interest with an epic trip to the Drakensberg mountains that culminated in a spiritual experience with a Bearded Vulture mere meters away, he is interested in all wildlife. Keith was initially educated at, and then worked as a biologist at the University of Cape Town, coordinating and publishing the Important Bird Areas of Southern Africa directory and the Eskom Red Data Book of Birds for South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. But he quickly realized that being in the wilderness and helping folks experience it was what he was truly passionate about. Having led groups around the world for 25 years, Keith conceptualized Enigmatic Wildlife tours, as a way to see some of the most interesting, but least understood wildlife on Earth. Keith is a co-author of several books including Animals of Kruger National Park (Princeton University Press, 2016), Birds of Kruger National Park and Wild Rwanda.
Read our Q&A with Keith Barnes here
DATES: 29 August - 13 September 2025. (Guaranteed departure).
Group size: Minimum 6 - maximum 10 participants.