The Shamelessly Unconventional Safari Company Home The Guides Contact Us

The Sardine RunThe Sardine Run
Central African Republic
Central African Republic
Marvellous Madagascar
Marvellous Madagascar
Gorongoza National Park
Gorongoza National Park

The Wino & Rhino Safari
The Wino & Rhino Safari

The Epic Elephant Expedition
The Exceptional Elephant Expedition

Seductive Swaziland
Seductive Swaziland

Trance Dance with the Ancestors
Trance Dance

The Wino & Rhino Safari


This journey offers an opportunity to give back. The focus is the highly endangered African rhinoceroses and what is being done to protect both species in two countries with contributions by experts. Incredible game viewing, night drives, tracking, lectures by experts and the opportunity to get hands-on experience with rhino conservation. We toast the survival of rhinos with a leading South African winemaker as we learn more about wines.

Proposed Safari itinerary
Day 1 We meet at the airport in Hoedspruit and drive to Umlani Bushcamp in the Greater Kruger Park for an evening game drive and introductory lecture. Wine tasting over dinner with wine maker.
Day 2 - 4

Early mornings and afternoons are spent game viewing and looking for rhino. This area has a larger number of white rhino than black rhino. It is estimated that the Greater Kruger Park is home to approximately 12,000 white rhino and only about 2,500 black rhino.
When the opportunity arises, those who want to will have the opportunity to track rhino on foot. Whether or not we find the animals, tracking rhino is an amazing experience providing an intimate understanding of the habits and psyche of the animal. It is an opportunity to learn directly from the animals and to gain an insight into their vulnerability. No doubt you will also learn more about yourself during these excursions.
During the day we will learn about aspects of rhino biology, the economics of rhino poaching and the current rhino conservation strategy for the Kruger Park.
While the emphasis of this safari is on rhino conservation, we will see many other birds, trees and animals. This area is renowned for its game concentrations and is home to the famous white lions.
The day will end with a short night drive followed by a themed wine tasting with dinner.

Day 5

We drive by luxury air-conditioned vehicle through the Kruger National Park, game viewing en route.  At almost 20,000 km2 the famous Kruger National Park is one of the largest wildlife reserves in Africa.  It is also one of the strongholds of Rhinoceros in southern Africa but also the focus of the most intense poaching.
As of 23 April 2012 there had been 95 Rhino poached in KNP since the beginning of the year. Numbers can be confusing – but very simply this means that this year in the KNP alone a Rhino has been killed almost every day (for the sake of accuracy on average one Rhino has been killed every 28.8 hours)!!!!!!!
We hope to see Rhino on this drive, but irrespective we will have a wonderful drive through a remarkable conservation area.
We overnight at a luxury lodge on the southern border of the Kruger National Park.

Day 6

Following a short drive to the northern Swazi border, we’ll arrive in the beautiful Kingdom of Swaziland and venture onwards to Swaziland’s largest protected area; Hlane Royal National Park. Hlane is under the management of Big Game Parks, a private non-profit Trust incorporating three game reserves in Swaziland: Hlane Royal National Park, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and Mkhaya Game Reserve. All follow the CEO, Mr Ted Reilly’s, mission to conserve the rich biodiversity of Swaziland’s natural heritage. Mr Reilly is Swaziland’s Pioneer of Conservation, a man responsible for the re-introduction of over 20 species which had become locally extinct in Swaziland and the creation of the Kingdom’s leading eco-tourism destinations. In 1960 the Reilly family established the Kingdom’s first game reserve on the Reilly family farm, Mlilwane, and with the blessing of the Swazi Monarchy Hlane soon followed, becoming Swaziland’s second and largest conservation area. Home to the largest herds of game in the Kingdom, four of the Big Five including Lion and the highest density of tree-nesting White-Backed Vultures in Southern Africa, we’ll embark on a focused White Rhino Drive at Hlane disembark from our vehicle to encounter Rhino on foot. We’ll then depart Hlane for its sister reserve located just 80km away; overnighting at Mkhaya Game Reserve.

Day 7

Mkhaya Game Reserve was established in 1979 to save the local Nguni breed of cattle from extinction and is now a haven for endangered species, including four of the Big Five. Renowned for being one of the best places to spot both Black and White Rhinos, the reserve is an exciting conservation success and considered one of the most effective anti-poaching units in Africa. Game viewing tracks between indigenous trees will afford us the opportunity to experience intimate encounters with Elephant, both White and Black Rhino, and a rich diversity of endangered species from the view point of an open Land Rover.  With exquisite birdlife including frequent sightings of the Pink-throated Twinspot and the elusive Narina Trogon, we will also have an opportunity to observe birds and animals in Mkhaya’s “Kirky’s Hide”. Weather permitting; we’ll enjoy our wine tasting and evening meal alfresco beneath Mkhaya’s giant Sausage Tree in Stone Camp. Accommodation is in delightfully unique semi-open stone and thatch cottages.

Day 8

We drive about one hour through the rural areas of Swaziland to the border with South Africa. After crossing the border we travel deep into Zululand, home and creation of the famous Zulu warrior & king Shaka.
Our destination is the Zululand Rhino Reserve situated close to the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, where the dedicated work a few committed individuals in the 1950’s & 1960’s brought the White Rhino back from the brink of extinction. This Reserve also has the distinction of being the oldest proclaimed wildlife park in Africa.
The Zululand Rhino Reserve is a 20,000 Ha conservation area privately owned by 15 landowners and dedicated especially to the conservation of Black Rhino.

Day 8-11

Our days will be spent tracking rhino on foot and in a vehicle in both the Zululand Rhino Reserve and the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve. We will be privileged to hear about the rescue of White Rhino from extinction in the 1960’s and we will have lively debate about whether the miraculous achievements of those days can be repeated under contemporary circumstances. As usual we will also enjoy fine cuisine and exceptional wines under the guidance of our wine expert.

Day 12

We drive to King Shaka International Airport for onward flights. Alternatively you may choose a charter flight.

Safari Description

Rhinos are amongst the largest living land animals and all species can reach a mass of more than 1,000 kg. The white rhino is the 2nd heaviest land animal and can reach a mass of 2,700 kg.
Rhinos have existed on Earth for more than 50 million years.

Right now we are witnessing the most dangerous days of the rhino's long history. Since 1970, the world rhino population has declined by over 90% as poachers supply the global market for their horn valued for ornamental dagger handles in the Middle East and as a traditional medicine in Asia, where powdered horn fetches twice the price of gold. The impact on Africa's rhinos has been devastating. Only about 14,000 southern white rhino survive, while black rhino numbers have declined from an estimated 100,000 in 1960 to 2,300 in 1993 and several subspecies have become extinct. And as demand for horn grows, the poaching is escalating: in the first 12 days of 2012 alone, the Kruger National Park lost 22 rhinos. The reality is that these animals will disappear from the earth within our lifetime unless we act immediately.

But it is not all bad news. Dedicated and committed people are battling to save the rhino. Black rhino have been moved into intensively protected areas where their population density is great enough to ensure breeding and where they can be more closely monitored and protected. Animals are translocated from high risk areas to safer areas. Dehorning of rhino is done in some areas and this removes the motivation of poachers to kill these animals. Orphaned and wounded animals are being hand-reared and cared for before being released back into the wild. Regular anti-poaching patrols working in extreme conditions and under constant threat from poachers provide essential security for animals.

If these methods are continued and properly executed there is no doubt that the losses can be reversed.

This is not blind optimism. There are examples of such successes. In the early 1900's there were only 200 southern white rhino remaining and many people had given-up the battle and assumed that this species would go extinct. However as a result of the dedication of a core group of people the population of southern white rhino reached 18,000 animals.

It can be done and you can be a part of it!

So where do the "winos" fit in? Well, in spite of the depressing reality of rampant rhino poaching, this is a positive safari and wine is a wonderful drink. Besides the fact that "rhino" rhymes with "wino", this is an opportunity for you to enjoy the African bush, learn about the biology of rhinos and the reality of rhino conservation while also learning about and enjoying fantastic wine.
We will be accompanied for part of the safari by a wine expert who will guide us through themed wine tastings. We will also auction some donated wines in order to raise funds for rhino conservation.



The Greater Kruger National Park
Kingdom of Swaziland
Hluhluwe in Zululand – home of the historical rescue from extinction of the White Rhino
Lectures by experts
Make a contribution to Rhino survival
Hands-on conservation work
Tracking on foot
Wine tastings with a leading wine maker

What to bring

Comfortable walking shoes
Comfortable loose fitting clothes
A warm fleece
Lip Balm
Prescription drugs (if required)
A hat
Camera & spare batteries/charger
Contact lenses & lens fluid
Intellectual curiosity, a passion for wilderness and a desire to make a contribution to Rhino conservation


The Details

Price available upon enquiry.

All activities described above, air charters between Hoedspruit and Buffalo Range and Buffalo Range to Johannesburg, all vehicle transfers, park entrance fees, all accommodation,  game activities, lectures, all meals while on safari and guide services.

Flights to Hoedspruit, laundry, tips and items of a personal nature. Please note that on request we can also arrange your flight to Hoedspruit.

Required but not included in the cost
Visas for South Africa and Swaziland (depending on country of origin), Travel insurance

Conditional Elements
Due to the nature of the area that we will be visiting and the remoteness of the terrain the order of the itinerary may be changed.
If you wish to accompany this safari but the dates do not fit your schedule please inform us. With enough interest we can also run this safari in August.


Email: Cell: (+267) 7567 0277