Africa Wildlife Sketching Tour


November 16-30 (approx), 2024
Price: Approximately $6620 double / $7420 single occupancy

(exclusive tour limited to just six guests!)


South Africa is a beautiful country that is rich in wildlife.  Spectacular species include a host of bee-eaters, hornbills, kingfishers, barbets, and sunbirds. Mammals include the ‘big five’ of lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalo as well as zebras, giraffes, hyenas, bontebok, and many more. This tour is fun and focuses on the unforgettable and unmissable Cape and Kruger sectors of the country. We travel through these areas in style, enjoying all the birds, fauna, and flora. And we’ll ensure there are plenty of opportunities for nature sketching. We will enjoy Kruger in luxurious open-sided safari vehicles that afford an excellent wildlife-viewing experience.


  • Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens: Acclaimed as one of the world’s best gardens, we’ll visit on our first day which will give us an excellent introduction to the diverse native flora of this region. The gardens are alive with colorful birds which have grown used to the constant stream of visitors, meaning that we can get close to them. We are hoping to capture scenes like the long-tailed Cape Sugarbirds feeding on pincushion protea bushes, endemic Cape Francolins walking around the lawns, or handsome Cape Robin-chats hopping around the flower beds. All with the impressive backdrop of Table Mountain. We should also find the resident pair of Spotted Eagle-Owls on their day roost.
  • Penguin Colony: Close-up views of 100’s of enigmatic and endangered African Penguins at Boulder’s Beach or Stoney Point colonies. We will spend ample time capturing different behaviors, like preening, swimming, and vocalizing. We may also see Cape Rock Hyraxes and several species of cormorants.
  • Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve: We’ll visit this incredibly scenic reserve full of endemic Fynbos plants. It is often a good place to get close to Common Ostrich, Chacma Baboons, and cliff-nesting Cape Cormorants, plus many other mammals and birds which are very accustomed to people.
  • De Hoop Nature Reserve: This coastal World Heritage Site supports a staggering array of marine and terrestrial life. From the white sand dunes at Koppie Eilleen, we will see Southern Right Whales basking just offshore, often seen flapping their tails and flippers on the surface. Some bird species, including Cape Bulbul, Cape Bunting, and Southern Boubou, have got very tame here and come right up to you. Several species of terrestrial mammals like Bontebok antelope, Eland, and Cape Mountain Zebra are found very near to the accommodation and allow people to get close and we will have ample time to sketch them.

  • Kruger National Park: We’ll spend 6 days exploring this world-famous park to observe Africa’s iconic wildlife including Elephant, Giraffe, Hippo, White Rhino, Hyena, Plains Zebra, big cats, plus many bovids including the African Buffalo. We’ll enjoy excellent viewing and sketching experiences using comfortable open-sided safari vehicles. The rest camps are also full of wildlife and the many colorful birds including several hornbills, starlings and weavers are very approachable. Some may even try to steal french fries from our plates at the restaurant. Vervet Monkeys are ever-present and you have to be careful they don’t raid your fridge!
  • Nature journaling activities: This tour is designed to incorporate time for intimate observations of the wildlife for our nature journals, with sketching demonstrations by Christine throughout the trip.
  • Maximum of 6 participants so everyone gets a window seat for the highest-quality wildlife viewing experiences!



When you register for this trip, you’ll get pre-trip access to Christine’s course on sketching African wildlife as well as her course on traveling planning!



Charley Hesse; Tropical Birding Tours Guide

Charley guides for Tropical Birding Tours on five continents and has visited over 60 countries. He lived in South Africa for many years and regularly leads tours there. He co-authored Habitats of the World, A Field Guide for Birders, Naturalists, and Ecologists. Charley co-founded the Naturally Adventurous podcast and the Online School of Birding. He is a well-rounded naturalist who looks forward to sharing his knowledge of South Africa’s wildlife with you!

Christine Elder; Naturalist and Artist

Christine is an artist and naturalist from Oregon.  She holds advanced degrees in both biology and biological illustration. Christine teaches online courses and live workshops on wildlife sketching, painting, and journaling.
She has traveled widely from Alaska to Peru as well as Borneo and Europe and has also co-led nature sketching and bird-watching tours to diverse destinations within the United States as well as Italy and the Neotropics. Christine has taught workshops and given presentations in the U.S., Mexico, Honduras, and the Caribbean.

CLICK HERE for Full Itinerary at Tropical Birding Tours (2023 version)

CLICK HERE for Downloadable Tour Flyer (2023)


Registration and Logistics Information:
* Tropical Birding Tours; Desiree D’Sylva. US (800) 348-5941 / Intl. Number: +1-409-515-9110 /

* Tour and Sketching Information: Christine Elder (tour co-leader) +1-831-227-6996 /

(Wildlife images above courtesy of Charley Hesse, Tropical Birding Tours guide)




“I wish I could go this time! I have such fond memories of my sketching/ bird trip to Honduras a few years ago with you, Christine. Your joyful enthusiasm and beautiful organization gave me one of the most relaxed and enjoyable experiences I could hope for! I’ll definitely explore the world with you again soon!”
— Julie Herrlinger, California
(Honduras Nature Sketching Tour Participant)

“Christine delivers amazingly well-planned activities, utilizing all of the nature and beauty of the area. Christine’s knowledge and enthusiasm, paired with the peaceful setting, make it a perfect experience. It’s more than I can describe with words. DO IT! It’s worth it for sure!”
—Dorothy Gates, Oregon
(Honduras Nature Sketching Tour Participant)