Humane Journeys: South Africa

August 27-September 4, 2023 | SOLD OUT
Future trip dates coming soon

Journey with us on our inaugural trip to South Africa, where you will have firsthand immersion in Humane Society International’s world-renowned immunocontraception program which is changing the landscape for elephant conservation. You will also have the opportunity to join our biologists as they fit a GPS satellite research collar on an elephant in the field.

During this first-class journey, you will not only be surrounded by South Africa’s legendary wildlife, but you will enjoy the stunning and newly-offered Garonga MCH Camp. The accommodations alone are a wildlife lover’s paradise where it’s not uncommon to have the animals stroll through camp at their leisure.

This trip is truly the epitome of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

A multi-colored bar showing the difficulty of the trip

Sample itinerary

This sample itinerary is for informational purposes only. Additional scheduling details will be provided to all registered guests in advance of each trip.

  • Day 1: Arrival in Johannesburg
  • Day 2: Visit to Johannesburg Veterinary Wildlife Hospital
  • Day 3: Commercial flight to Hoedspruit Airport
  • Day 4: Immunocontraception administration at the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve
  • Day 5: Game drives
  • Day 6: Observation of biologists as they fit an elephant with a GPS satellite research collar
  • Day 7: Visit to Hoedspruit Animal Outreach (HALO)
  • Day 8: Game drives
  • Day 9: Departure


A juvenile elephant holds their trunk to an adult elephant as they want though a clearing in grassland

Immunocontraception program background

Humane Society International and the Humane Society of the United States have funded cutting-edge research on the use of this non-steroidal, non-hormonal and humane method of African elephant population control since 1996. HSI/Africa uses the immunocontraception vaccine as a humane population growth control method and effective alternative to the traditional method of culling. Immunocontraception uses the female elephant’s own immune response to block egg fertilization. Female elephants over the age of 10 years are treated remotely from a helicopter with a dropout dart that contains the immunocontraception vaccine and a marking substance. The marking substance marks the dart site, making darted animals easily identifiable from the air. The animals do not need to be immobilized to be treated and vaccinations are completed within minutes.

Since the start of the program, HSI has administered the immunocontraceptive vaccine to 1,625 elephant cows in 46 reserves across South Africa. This is approximately 70% of breeding females outside of the Greater Kruger National Park system. As each female is capable of producing 8-10 calves in her lifetime, the exponential effect that the immunocontraception program has on saving elephant’s lives is remarkable. HSI/Africa works to protect elephants from habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and other threats through advocacy, education, policy and regulatory reforms, ivory-demand reduction programs and on-the-ground conflict resolution efforts. It is the only non-governmental organization that specifically works on humane methods of fertility control in and around zones where elephants could come into conflict with surrounding communities.

This trip includes:
The side of a building with bath facilities overlooks the sun setting over brush in the savanna.

Private group stay at the secluded Garonga MCH Tented Camp

A viewer looks on at elephants grazing in the savanna.

Participation in our world-renowned immunocontraception program.

An African leopard crouches in a tree

Guided game drives at the Greater Makalai Private Game Reserve.

Witness some of South Africa’s most iconic wildlife with Humane Journeys

Humane Journeys maintains a responsible and respectful wildlife-watching program. You will be accompanied by HSI program experts, local guides, trackers and safari drivers into areas of the reserve where you will have the best chances to view wildlife. We will take necessary precautions to help ensure that our presence does not disturb the animals.

Registration information

To reserve your spot or get more information, contact us.

Space is limited to eight people. Participation is $30,000 per double occupancy tent. Proceeds will benefit Humane Society International’s programs in South Africa. Your contribution less $6,250 per person is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. The HSI tax ID number is 52-1769464. Airfare to Johannesburg is not included. All ground transportation including airport pick-ups and drop-offs, the flight to and from Hoedspruit, all plant-based meals and sleeping accommodations are included.