Hair of the Dog Expedition

- South Africa -

Explore. Capture. Conserve.



Join us for an extraordinary adventure designed for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike!

Embark on a journey to the heart of South Africa, where you'll gain unparalleled access to exclusive conservation projects and breathtaking wildlife photography opportunities. Led by Nicole Begley, this expedition offers not only unique wildlife experiences but also business coaching and photography training to elevate your skills and knowledge.

Why South Africa?

  • Exclusive Access: Experience activities typically off-limits to the general public.
  • Conservation Impact: Visit projects supported by the Hair of the Dog Conservation Fund and witness their vital work firsthand.
  • Photography Paradise: Capture stunning images of diverse wildlife, from majestic rhinos to agile cheetahs.
  • Luxurious Accommodations: Stay in top-tier lodges and hotels, ensuring comfort and relaxation throughout your journey.
  • Small Group Size: Limited to just 9 attendees, ensuring personalized attention and a more intimate experience.

Trip Highlights

Rhino Conservation Experience 

This is a unique opportunity to participate in a vital veterinary intervention inside the Marakele National Park.  We will actively be involved in the activity that may include assisting field vets with ear-notching, sample collection, or horn micro-chipping.  This park has become a conservation success story with the management of their white rhino population.  

African Wild Dogs Den Visit

The Waterberg Wild Dog Initiative is another project that the Hair of the Dog Conservation Fund supports with the goal of mitigating threats from human-wildlife conflict with the last two packs of free-roaming African Wild Dogs in the country.  We'll gain exclusive access to observe one of the African wild dog packs at their den, providing rare insights into their social behaviors and dynamics. *This is dependent on the den location.*

Experience a Vulture Restaurant

As vulture populations in Africa have declined close to 97% many conservation organizations have resorted to supplemental feeding to provide the birds with reliable non-contaminated food and provides a way to aid in population counts.  We'll have the opportunity to not only witness the captivating sight of vultures flying in and feeding at a vulture restaurant, but also unparalleled photographic opportunities of these vital scavengers.  We'll also get a private tour of the VulPro facility and their critical work in breeding and rehabilitating these incredible animals.

Cheetah Lure Chasing

Cheetahs are the world's fastest land animal - clocking speeds of up to 80 miles per hour.  We'll have the opportunity to experience the thrill of the cheetah's power in action on a private tour of the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Center.  The center plays an important role in the breeding of these animals for release as well as the critical role it plays in education and research for the species.

Horseback Safari Opportunities

Have you ever imagined embarking on a horseback safari?  This unique experience allows for close encounters with wildlife and a different perspective on the African landscape.  This experience is suitable for both novice and experienced riders. *Riding is not a required part of this experience and there will be other activity options in lieu of riding, such as game drives, bush walks, and biking, just to name a few.

Luxury Safari Experience

We will be staying at highly rated properties throughout the journey - but we will be especially spoiled during our 3 nights in traditional but elegant safari tents.  The experience will bring you closer to nature, without trading any of your comforts or luxuries.  We'll also get to experience daily game drives, exceptional wildlife sightings, evening sundowners, and incredible dining - making this an experience of a lifetime. 

Detailed Itinerary

(Subject to change)

Arrive in Johannesburg (JNB) and spend the night at the Intercontinental just steps away from the international airport terminal.   This will allow you to step off the plane and immediately rest or relax at the spa, heated indoor pool, fine dining, or just get some sleep in a comfy bed.  Being able to rest immediately after such a long journey is priceless! 

*If you plan to arrive in Africa earlier, we can help you book additional accommodation or tours.

We have an exclusive buy-out of Ant’s Hill Safari Lodge for 4 nights.  This is a private reserve that offers the unique opportunity to enjoy horseback safaris for both experienced and novice riders.

Each morning and afternoon, our group will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities - from the classic 4x4 game drive, to an advanced or novice horse riding experience, bush walks or mountain biking. **Horse riding is NOT required and there will be other activity options if you prefer!

During our stay at Ant’s Hill Safari Lodge, we will have the opportunity to learn about the work that Waterbury Wild Dog Initiative is doing to protect the last two remaining free-roaming packs of African Wild Dogs - including visiting a den site depending on denning location.

Spend 3 nights in ultimate luxury at Marataba Safari Lodge located in Marakele National Park.  This is an incredible location with Big Five sightings in your twice daily game drives, allowing us to get close to Africa’s most impressive species.

Marataba is a conservation success story with a heathy rhino population and we’ll have the opportunity to support the rhinos by participating in a rhino conservation intervention.  Working alongside field vets we will take part in routine conservation efforts such as ear-notching, collecting blood and tissue samples, or micro-chipping of horns.  This will be an experience that you won’t soon forget.

We’ll make our way back towards the big city and spend our last two nights at a 5-star property in Pretoria. 

We’ll experience a private tour of the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Center, including the opportunity to witness the speed of a cheetah lure chase.  We’ll also have the unique experience to photograph a vulture buffet at a vulture restaurant before having a private tour of the rescue and rehabilitation of some of Africa’s most endangered birds at the VulPro facility. 

Between these activities, you’ll have some time to rest and recharge - and maybe even sneak in a spa treatment.

JUNE 21, 2025

After saying goodbye to our new vulture friends, we’re heading back to JNB airport with new friends and experiences to be remembered for a lifetime. 

*Additional travel experiences or safaris can be booked for you if you prefer to extend your travels!

Trip Inclusions:

  • 1 night at a luxury property at Johannesburg airport
  • 4 nights at Ant’s Hill Safari Lodge
  • 3 nights at Marataba Safari Lodge
  • 2 nights at Riboville Boutique Hotel
  • Daily game drives
  • All meals
  • All activities
  • All transportation within South Africa (excluding flights to/from Africa)
  • All conservation levies
  • All gratuities
  • Shared accommodation (Private accommodation available at additional cost, except at Ant’s Hill)

Trip Exclusions:

  • Airfare to/from Johannesburg
  • Travel Insurance (Required)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Spa treatments

Important Details


June 11-21, 2025
Duration: 11 days / 10 nights


Johannesburg - JNB


$10,800 USD - Per Person
Double Occupancy

**Single occupancy is available for all nights EXCEPT the 4 nights at Ant’s Hill Lodge for an additional charge of $2950 USD.

**Bringing a guest?  You'll both save $500 each on registration.

Payment Options:

  • Non-refundable $1,500 deposit due on booking
  • 50% of balance due October 15, 2024
  • Full payment due February 15, 2025

Here's a Little Bit More About What to Expect: 


Why Join Us?

  • Expert Leadership: Learn from Nicole Begley, an experienced photographer and business coach - and experienced luxury retreat leader.
  • Limited Group Size: Due to the unique behind the scenes access we are getting to many events this experience is limited to only 9 attendees.
  • Support Conservation: Your participation supports vital conservation efforts through the Hair of the Dog Conservation Fund.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with like-minded individuals and expand your professional network.
  • Unforgettable Experiences: Create memories and photographs that will last a lifetime.

Ready to Join Us?

Don't miss out on this exclusive opportunity to explore South Africa's wildlife while honing your photography skills and supporting crucial conservation projects. Registration is now open! Embark on the adventure of a lifetime!


Frequently Asked Questions


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