Reid Park Zoo Hosted Tour – Johannesburg, Swaziland, and Kruger
Johannesburg – Swaziland – Lowveld – Kruger Private Reserves
14 Days / 13 Nights
May 31, 2015 – June 13, 2015
Reid Park Zoo’s adult African elephants trace their roots to South Africa and Swaziland. The Zoo’s elephants were brought to the United States in 2003 as part of a conservation program, and to serve as ambassadors for their wild cousins. With the birth of Nandi in August of 2014, it seems natural for Reid Park Zoo to schedule a safari so we can visit the homeland of these animals.
Reid Park Zoo’s safari to South Africa and Swaziland, scheduled to depart May 31st, will visit the ancestral homes of Tucson’s elephants. This tour will be the perfect blend of wildlife and culture. We will visit several wildlife conservation areas, exploring different habitats and viewing a diverse array of wildlife. The trip to Swaziland includes a visit to the Hlane Royal National Park, home to the largest herds of wildlife in the Swazi Kingdom. South Africa is home to the BIG FIVE: buffalo, lion, leopard, rhinoceros and, of course, elephant. We’ll visit several different habitats within the world famous Kruger National Park, while staying in lovely lodging.
In addition to wildlife viewing, the safari will explore the culture of South Africa with visits to the Apartheid Museum and other city sites within Johannesburg – as well as trips to the Johannesburg Zoo and the National Zoo of South Africa in Pretoria. Both zoos display species that are seldom seen in North American zoological parks such as honey badger, snake eagle, and more.
As a Zoo Director, I’ve traveled around the world to see wildlife. I’ve hiked through Alaska to view brown bears, canoed the mangroves of Florida to see manatee, and trekked into the jungles of India to track tiger. Right here in Tucson, I’ve tried to photograph javelina in my own neighborhood…to no avail. My best experiences viewing wildlife have been while on safari in Africa. There is no substitute for watching a herd of elephants, seeing a predator stalk its prey, or spying an exotic bird such as hornbill or barbet. It is these wildlife experiences that have made me thankful for the opportunities zoos give people, every day, to view animals and make a connection with them.
So join me on the trip of a lifetime to South Africa! I look forward to hosting you and introducing you to some of my favorite wildlife experiences.
Jason Jacobs, Zoo Administrator
For more information about this trip, or to discuss reserving your spot, please contact Vivian VanPeenen at 520-837-8188. You can also see a virtual itinerary here.