South Africa: The Big Five of Sea and Land



• Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point Nature Reserve
• Penguins, in the wild and at SANCCOB rehab center
• Best land-based whale watching in the world
• Unique fynbos ecosystem
• Kruger National Park 

Staff host

Tim BinderTim Binder
, Shedd’s vice president of collection planning, is well acquainted with a variety of marine fishes, birds and mammals through his experiences at aquariums and his fieldwork in the wild. He has been active in rescue projects in South Africa, from relocating a rehabilitated 14-foot manta ray to developing a new relationship between Shedd and seabird rehabilitator SANCCOB to support its work with penguins. A globetrotting scientist, Tim is also a seasoned trip leader who will have a wealth of fascinating natural history to share with us. 

Important information about this trip
In general, this trip requires flexibility and good humor—unexpected changes and/or glitches will occur. Bring your spirit of adventure and curiosity! And you should have an interest in and willingness to appreciate a destination with uneven infrastructure and a bending definition of comfort. That being said, some locations are nestled in absolute luxury where pampering is the norm.

Getting there and getting home

You may arrive in Cape Town at any time on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Please plan to depart Johannesburg on Saturday, Oct. 10 no earlier than 5:30 p.m., whether you are flying home or continuing on the extension. Our partners at Classic Escapes can help you choose the best possible air arrangements for your travels.

Due to the nature of our explorations, itineraries are guidelines and will change in order to maximize wildlife and natural encounters. Variations in itinerary may occur. 


Sept. 30−Oct. 2: Victoria & Alfred Hotel
Oct. 3−5: The Grootbos Forest Lodge
Oct. 6: Le Quartier Francais
Oct. 7−9: Imbali Safari Lodge 


South Africa

Group Size

20 people


• Superior accommodations as indicated or similar
• Breakfasts daily, all meals on safari and other meals as indicated
• Transportation in luxury air-conditioned motorcoach
• Complimentary bottled water in safari vehicle
• All applicable hotel/lodge gratuities and taxes
• Specialist guide on main program
• Services of Shedd guide Tim Binder
• All park entry fees
• Complimentary baggage tags and passport wallet
• One complimentary sponsor-level Shedd Aquarium membership per household, beginning the month of your trip

Not Included

• Round-trip airfare from home city
• In-country flights, if international air is not purchased through Classic Escapes
• Passport and visa fees; visas are not required for South Africa, but they are for the Zimbabwe extension
• Meals other than those specified and all beverages
• Gratuities to driver/guides, etc.
• Excess baggage charges levied by airlines
• Laundry and other personal services or items
• Personal and baggage insurance
• Cost for anything not specifically mentioned above
• Optional insurance coverage available

Physical Requirements

• You should be healthy and fit enough to climb in and out of safari vehicles or minibuses, small aircraft, and boats or canoes unassisted.
• You should be able to walk moderate distances at an easy pace for up to a few hours.
• Walking may be on uneven ground or uphill, often at higher elevations and altitudes that many people are not used to.

Price Per Person*

$7,995 double occupancy

$10,990 single occupancy

($2,590 estimated airfare from Chicago to Johannesburg.)

Optional Activities

Boulders Beach: Sea kayaking
Kruger National Park: Safaris, guided walks, spa visits, bush picnics; presentations such as traditional dancing and storytelling can be arranged

Extensions Pricing

Saturday, Oct. 10−Sunday, Oct. 11
Johannesburg and the Apartheid Museum, Soweto 

Monday, Oct. 12−Tuesday, Oct. 13
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambezi River boat tour 

Wednesday, Oct. 14
Johannesburg and flight home 

Thursday, Oct. 15

Extension price per person
$2,995 double occupancy
$3,690 single occupancy

Fact Sheet

Download this fact sheet on Shedd's trip to South Africa.  


Cheryl Mell

Other Travel Opportunities

This trip is one of five offered through Shedd Aquarium in 2015. See where else you can venture.