Trip Report: Private Guided Safari to Tswalu 11-16 June 2018

Johan van Zyl All Authors, Johan 2 Comments

I have been very fortunate to recently  travel to Tswalu twice in as many months and was extremely surprised at how the conditions had changed over a relatively short period.

After visiting Tswalu in May (usually the start of our Winter in South Africa) we were very surprised at how warm the days were.

These 5 days in June were bitterly cold, with some of the Winter mornings ranging between 3 and 6 degrees Celsius.  Add the ice cold wind blowing from the mountain and the chill factor of a moving vehicle and you will soon realise that every jacket, pair of gloves, beanie, buff, scarf are all necessities.

Pat and Kath Flannagan who were my guests during this Safari, first joined me at Tswalu about 3 years ago during the summer when temperatures in the Kalahari get as high as mid 40 degrees Celsius!  Being seasonal safari goers and having been on many many game drives, they both knew that nothing in the bush was guaranteed but were very keen to see and photograph some of the rare nocturnal species.

As I mentioned before, temperatures were much much colder than in May and this certainly had a big impact on the movements of a lot of the nocturnal species.  During the 5 nights we had sightings of nocturnal species like Aardwolf, Porcupine, Cape Fox, Bat Eared Fox, Aardvark and even Pangolin.  In fact on our last evening drive as a cold front moved over the Kalahari from the Western Cape, there were sightings of 3 different Pangolins!!

Last month I also mentioned that it looked like the African Wild Dogs have had puppies…  A month later and there are 13 little puppies cruising in and out of the den site, constantly begging for milk and interaction with the individual pack members.

Even if you have been to a destination before, I would strongly encourage you to visit that same destination during a different season.  Not one safari is exactly the same, but it is incredible to see how a particular area can change so dramatically during different seasons.

Tswalu truly is a spectacular destination to visit during the Winter months (June & July) and instead of me telling you about all the sightings, here are some of the images that my guests and I captured during the five nights at Tswalu.

Image of an Aardwolf by Pat Flanagan

Image by Pat Flangan

Image by Pat Flanagan

Image by Pat Flanagan

A magical moment with Kath Flanagan captured by Pat Flanagan

Image taken by Pat Flanagan

Image taken by Pat Flanagan 


Image by Pat Flanagan

Pat and Kath with a very rare species, a Pangolin!

A special thank you to Pat and Kath for a fantastic trip!!

Here is a video with some of the highlights from this Safari.

Until next time.


About the Author

Johan van Zyl


The opportunity of visiting some of the wildest, undisturbed areas and sharing my passion for wildlife, conservation and photography with like minded people is a privilege that I am forever grateful.

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Comments 2

  1. Shirley

    Amazing, looking forward to our first visit in October 2019, it will be our fourth trip to Africa from Australia but our first time at Tswalu … can’t wait! Love following you and the Wild Eye team, great group of professionals… we travel to Africa for the wildlife, we take photos but we are amateurs, it is however special to follow you and your colleagues, keep up the amazing work

    1. Post
      Johan van Zyl

      Thank you for the kind words Shirley, it really is much appreciated. You are going to love Tswalu, it is a very different Safari destination with some unique desert adapted animals. If you need help with anything please do not hesitate to let me know.

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