Walking Wild – The Samango Safari

Conservation Safari – Overview

Join renowned primatologist Karin Saks on a hike through indigenous mistbelt forest and grasslands to find the elusive Samango monkeys and other elusive species, including rare birds, in the midlands of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.

Tour Highlights

  • Find the elusive, endangered Samango monkey
  • Connect to nature while practicing non-threatening primate body language
  • A chance to encounter Cape parrot, Knysna lourie, Narina trogon, Cape reedbuck, porcupines, bushpigs, duiker, bushbuck, oribi, caracal, and serval
  • Stay at edge of a mistbelt forest for one or two nights
  • Lemonwood offers wonderfully scenic walks in the forest
  • When reaching the top where the forest meets grasslands, hikers are rewarded with spectacular 360 degree views of the valleys and the Drakensburg Mountains beyond

Tour Details

South Africa
Small Group, Family Tours, Special Interest Travel
1 Days
Safari Hotels and Guesthouses
Rating: 2 - Light
From US$65

The Samango Safari is a one or two day experience that can be tailored to individual needs. Participants stay in self catering cottages at Lemonwood Cottages on the edge of a mistbelt forest for one or two nights and hike (at a slow pace with a number of stops along the way) through forest and grasslands searching for the elusive and endangered samango monkey (ssp. Cercopithecus albogularis labiatus). The environment is conducive to heightening one’s senses, and allows for a powerful connection to nature while practicing non-threatening primate body language. Being forest specialists that spend most of the time in the canopy, and with fluctuating foraging routes, samango observations cannot be 100% guaranteed. The environment is also home to a wide variety of other wild animals, including Cape reedbuck, porcupines, bushpigs, duiker, bushbuck, oribi, caracal, serval and supports a rich diversity of birdlife, such as the Knysna lourie, Cape parrot, narina trogon, tree hyrax, and various raptors.

About your guide – Karin Saks:

Karin is a primate naturalist and artist (BAFA) with FGASA level 2 in primate conservation. For two decades she’s been involved in the fostering and rehabilitation of orphan wild primates while learning from the wild troops close by.

Her work with chacma baboons formed the subject matter for a book and documentary: Life with Darwin, Fransje van Riel. Penguin Books and Baboon Woman by Firecracker Films, UK.

She is currently researching the endangered samango monkey subspecies (Cercopithecus albogularis labiatus) populations in the midlands, KZN.

Guests will meet with their guide Karin Saks at 7.30 am at Lemonwood Cottages where they will have breakfast while watching a presentation on primates. This includes the plight of the chacma baboon, vervet monkey, samango monkey populations in the midlands, the human connection to other primates and their role in understanding evolution and human behaviour. After the presentation guests will accompany Karin on a three to four hour hike through the mistbelt forest to look for the endangered, elusive samango monkey. Guests staying a second day have the choice to accompany Karin on a second hike through another forest patch learning more about the Samango Monkey Research Project, midlands KZN or to visit local attractions along the Midlands Meander.

Breakfast including coffee and tea is provided during the Samango Safari experience (guests are advised to let us know if we need to accommodate any specific diet preferences).

R974 (one night) or R1950 (for two nights). Longer stays possible.

Safari Map

What to bring?

Bottle of water, camera, binoculars, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, snacks, sunhat, weatherproof jacket in case of bad weather (and to sit on). Please wear appropriate ‘bush’ clothing and hiking shoes for the Samango Safari.


Lemonwood Cottages has four comfortable, peaceful self catering cottages situated on the edge of the forest. The cottages sleep 4, 4, 3 and 2 people respectively. All bedrooms are en-suite and there are open fires, under-floor heating and electric blankets for the colder months. The kitchens are fully equipped and the cottages are serviced daily. A laundry service is available on request.

You can send your enquiry or booking via the form below

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