Chobe National Park, Botswana
Elephant
Shamwari Game Reserve, South Africa
Lion
Tsehlanyane, Lesotho
Tsehlanyane, Lesotho
Rosy-Faced Lovebird, Namibia
Rosy-Faced Lovebird, Namibia
Meerkat, South Africa
Meerkat
we specialise in

exceptional wildlife  safaris

exceptional 
 wildlife  safaris

Nature Uncut are specialists in customised, small-group tours and safaris. From wildlife and birdwatching, to amazing landscapes, culture and photography, our tours are designed for travellers with a passion for nature and wild places.

Nature Uncut was established in 2006 and operates from Cape Town, South Africa. We currently offer specialised safaris throughout Southern Africa, Uganda and Madagascar.

Whether your dream is to stand at the southern tip of Africa, encounter the region's iconic "Big 5" animals, snorkel the coral reefs of Madagascar, or explore the dunes of the Namib, we will prepare an itinerary to suit you. We will ensure that you are given a personal and in-depth experience, and we look forward to sharing many spectacular places with you.

Lodges have been carefully selected for their quality, without compromising on the natural experience. We aim to promote tourism in a responsible and ethical manner. All photos on this website were taken during our tours, and can be browsed in the gallery.

Take a look at our

unique  tour  packages

CAPE TOWN

SOUTH AFRICA

NAMIBIA

BOTSWANA

LESOTHO

MADAGASCAR

SWAZILAND

We get to try out a lot of gear on our trips, and we'd like to help you decide what to take on your safari. Here are some of the items in Pepe’s suitcase, and her reasons for packing them.

Canon 100-400mm MkII lens

Canon 100-400mm MkII lens
This is a very useful lens for wildlife due to it's wide zoom range and fast auto focus. It is best to have a lens up to 300mm in your kit for wildlife, and preferrably 400mm if you like to photograph birds. Faster lenses with image stabilisation are best for low light conditions and moving vehicle.

Canon 7D Mk II DSLR camera

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Canon 7D Mk II DSLR camera
The Canon 7D Mark II serves as a very useful wildlife camera due to it's high shutter speed (up to 10 fps), great tracking system and the handy 1.6 crop factor which gives you greater distance with your lens. It is fairly lightweight, which also makes it great for travel.

Salomon XA Pro 3D trail shoes

1499
Salomon XA Pro 3D trail shoes
I take a pair of trail shoes as they are lightweight, versatile and great for nature walks. Heavy hiking boots aren't necessary as we don't usually do long hikes on technical terrain. These Salomons provide sufficient support and have a very good grip. I also pack a pair of sandals for boat trips.

Leica Ultravid 10 x 25 compact binoculars

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Leica Ultravid 10 x 25 compact binoculars
A good pair of binoculars is essential for viewing wildlife and birds. I don’t like to miss any details, so I always have my Leica Ultravids handy. They are very compact, yet powerful, which is useful when carrying heavy camera gear. Leica produce some of the best quality binoculars available.

K-way Tundra down jacket

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K-way Tundra down jacket
Known for supreme warmth and comfort without the bulk to combat the winter chill, this is the ideal jacket for you. Features Thin Channel - Asymmetrical Design, 20D 100% Nylon, Stitch-through garment design construction with a 100 % windproof and vapour permeable (breathable) shell.

meet our  top ten  up close

We see many amazing animals on our trips, but here are some of our favourites and where best to see them.

Elephants can be seen here
Elephants
African Elephant Loxodonta Africana

African Elephants, once widespread across the continent of Africa, are the largest terrestrial animals on earth. Some of the largest specimens can be seen in northern Namibia, where they have adapted to the extremely arid conditions. There are a number of excellent places on our tours where we encounter these majestic and fascinating creatures, such as Etosha and the Caprivi regions of Namibia, the Kruger National Park, Kwazulu Natal and Eastern Cape areas of South Africa, northern Botswana and Uganda. The Chobe region of Botswana is considered to have the highest concentration of elephants during the dry season (June-September), and it is incredible to watch and photograph them from a boat as they swim between the islands.

Elephants are complex social animals, that form very strong family bonds. They are highly intelligent, and can pass on information between groups and generations regarding the procurement of food and water and their migratory routes. Elephants can live up to 60 years and Males can weigh up to 6 tons. They have a matriarchal society where the oldest female in the group, known as the matriarch, leads the herd.

LEOPARDS CAN BE SEEN HERE
Leopard
The Leopard Panthera pardus

Leopards are extremely beautiful and majestic cats. They are mainly solitary and nocturnal, making it hard to spot them in the wild. Whilst they occur in many of the game reserves in Southern Africa, they can best be spotted in the greater Kruger region of South Africa (especially Sabi Sabi) as well as some of the private game reserves in the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu Natal (such as Phinda). Okonjima Game Reserve in Namibia also offers leopard-tracking excursions. It is very difficult to get close to leopards in the large national parks, so we recommend private game reserves where one can track them by vehicle and follow them off-road.

Leopards are powerful cats, with strong jaws and claws, enabling them to hunt antelopes up to 70kg. In areas where hyenas and lions occur, leopards will typically carry their heavy prey up into a large tree. They usually have 2 or 3 cubs at a time, and can live up to 20 years.

RHINOS CAN BE SEEN HERE
Rhino
The Rhino Diceros bicornis & Ceratotherium simum

There are two main rhino species in Southern Africa - the Black (or Hook-lipped) Rhino and the White (Square-lipped) Rhino. The Black Rhino is found in thickly wooded areas, since it browses on bushes, whereas the White Rhino is found more on the open plains, sinces it feeds on grass. Both of these amazing animals are now critically endangered due to poaching. Their numbers are falling at an alarming rate due to their highly prized horn, which is sold in Asia.  

Rhinos can still be seen in the main National Parks of South Africa and Namibia, such as Kruger and Etosha, and in all of the large private game reserves.  It is less common to see them in northern Botswana.

Rhinos have very poor eyesight so they rely on their sense of smell and hearing. Their horns are made of compact hair and are used for defense. They can live up to 40 years. A group of rhinos is aptly called a 'Crash'.

LIONS CAN BE SEEN HERE
Lion
The Lion Panthera leo

Lions are the largest carnivores in Africa. They used to be widespread across the continent, and were even found on Table Mountain in Cape Town. They are now restricted to the larger private game reserves and National Parks. In Southern Africa, they are best seen in the Greater Kruger Area, including the Sabi Sands, parts of Kwazulu Natal and the Eastern Cape, Etosha in Namibia and Chobe in northern Botswana. In Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda, they have developed the unusual behaviour of climbing trees!

A lion's roar may carry up to 10km, and they do this frequently to advertise their territories and locate one another.  Males will often form coalitions or partnerships with one other (especially brothers), which helps them to better control their territories and females. Lionesses do most of the hunting, although the males will assist in bringing down larger animals such as giraffe and buffalo. 

WHALES CAN BE SEEN HERE
Southern Right Whale Eubalaena australis

Southern Right Whales spend their summer in the Southern Ocean close to Antarctica, but they migrate northwards every year to calve and mate in the warmer and calmer waters around Africa.

They can therefore be seen off the East coast of South Africa between July and November. Hermanus, a small town about an hour from Cape Town, is considered to be one of the best places in the world for viewing whales from the shore. Boat trips are also offered for those wanting to get even closer.

Southern Right Whales can reach 14 m in length and are easily distinguished from other whales by the wart-like structures called callosities on their heads. They often show off with some interesting displays such as 'spyhopping' (pointing their noses out of the water), 'lobtailing' (smacking the water with their large tails) and 'breaching' (jumping right out of the water).

Besides Southern Rights, Humpbacks can frequently be seen at Sainte Marie in Madagascar between June and September.

CHEETAHS CAN BE SEEN HERE
Cheetah
The Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus

Cheetahs are the fastest mammals on earth, reaching speeds of up to 120km per hour. The largest concentration of cheetahs actually occurs in Namibia, due to its wide open plains and abundant grasslands. A great place to see cheetahs in Namibia is at Okonjima's AfriCat rehabiliation programme, where they offer daily cheetah tracking on foot and by vehicle. If you wish to get close to wild cheetahs in South Africa, we usually visit Phinda in Kwazulu-Natal and Shwamwari in the Eastern Cape.  Both of these reserves have healthy cheetah populations and they are regularly sighted in small groups. Cheetahs also occur in the Greater Kruger Area, including Sabi Sabi, but due to the high leopard population there, they tend to be more scarse.

Cheetahs hunt mainly in the day, especially in the early morning and evening, when it is cool. Their claws are only semi-retractible, unlike other cats, as this helps to give them traction during the chase. They commonly climb termite mounts and tree stumps, which they use as vantage points, and this can make for some excellent photography.  

Lemurs CAN BE SEEN HERE
Lemur
Lemurs Lemuroidea

Lemurs are primates that are native to Madagascar. Although similar to monkeys, their faces are typically more 'dog-like' and their behaviour more 'cat-like', than monkeys. They are often extremely vocal and rely heavily on their sense of smell. Madagascar has nearly 100 species of Lemur, with the largest being the Indri Indri (up to 70cm), and the smallest being the Madame Berthe's Mouse Lemur (only 9cm). Unfortunately their natural habitat is being lost at an alarming rate, so many lemur species are critically endangered.

There are numerous national parks in Madagascar where one can see lemurs, including Andasibe (for the Indri), Ranomafana (for Woolly and Bamboo Lemurs), Isalo (Ring-tailed Lemur) and Berenty (Dancing Sifaka). Black lemurs can be seen at Nosy Komba, an island close to Nosy Be. Vakona Reserve, also offers the opportunity to get very close to lemurs as they have been habituated.

It is best to visit Madagascar between May and November, to avoid the cyclone season, and most lemur babies can be seen in October and November.

GORILLAS CAN BE SEEN HERE
Gorila
Mountain Gorilla Gorilla beringei beringei

Mountain gorillas are critically endangered with fewer than 900 individuals now left in the world. They occur only in the protected mountain reserves of Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC. One of the best places to trek to see them is in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Terrain can be challenging, with treks lasting anything between 2 and 6 hours. Limited permits are issued each day and must be secured long in advance. The effort is well worth it though, as nothing compares to the experience of spending time in the presence of this incredibly gentle, yet powerful animal. Besides gorilla trekking, Uganda offers many other worthwhile attractions including the source of the Nile, Murchison Falls, wild Chimpanzees and Tree-climbing lions.

Family groups typically vary from 10-20 individuals. The dominant male is known as a Silverback, and he can weigh more than 200kg.   It is not uncommon for the babies to come close enough to touch you, as they can be extremely playful and curious.

MEERKATS CAN BE SEEN HERE
Meerkat
Meerkat Suricata suricatta

Meerkats (or Suricates) are small carnivorous mammals in the mongoose family. They live in extensive burrow systems and are known for their cute manner of standing up on their hind legs.  Meerkats occur throughout Southern Africa, wherever there is low rainfall.

The best place to get close to Meerkats in the wild is in the Little Karoo, South Africa. One needs to be up well before sunrise, to catch them warming up, grooming and playing, before they head out for the day to forage. We have friends who run Meerkat Adventures and the excursion is one of the highlights of our South African Coastal Safari.

A group of Meerkats is known as a "Mob" or "Gang" due to their habit of sticking together in the presence of any threat. There is always at least one Meerkat on sentry duty, and they continuously communicate with one another through small vocalisations. The babies are extremely playful, and a delight to watch and photograph.

PENGUINS CAN BE SEEN HERE
Penguins
Meerkat Suricata suricatta

African Penguins (also known as "Jackass Penguins" due to their donkey-like call) are found on many islands off the coast of South Africa and Namibia. They are the only penguin species to breed on African shores.

They can be seen on the mainland at two very specific locations - Boulders Penguin Colony in Cape Town and at Stony Point in Betty's Bay. We usually include a penguin visit on any day trip along the Cape Peninsula or the Whale Coast, as well as on our South African Coastal Safari. At both of these colonies they can usually be seen by the hundreds (sometimes thousands!) - nesting, preening, mating and swimming. Penguins are extremely swift in the water, and rather comical on land, and they are always a delight to watch.

African Penguins are monogomous, and pairs return to the same place every year to nest and breed. They lay two eggs each season and both the male and female take turns in incubating the eggs. The chicks are initially fluffy and brown, before turning a blueish grey.

Natural Green Fighters

OUR Passionate TEAM

Pepe Jones
Pepe Jones
Owner, Guide & PHOTOGRAPHER

Pepe, founder of Nature Uncut, is a qualified Environmental Scientist, Archaeologist and accredited tour guide. She is passionate about wildlife and her tours generally focus on all aspects of the natural environment. She is a keen photographer and enjoys guiding tours where photography is a focus.

Louise Samuels
Louise Samuels
Accounts Manager

Louise of LDR Accounting & Business Services has been taking extremely good care of our books since 2013. She understands the importance of having the financial side of a business run smoothly, helping the rest of us focus on what we do best. She resides in Cape Town with her husband and son.‍

Gareth Knott
Gareth Knott
Web Designer

Gareth, a South African born graphic and interior designer, is the creative mind behind our website. He currently lives in Switzerland, with his wife and two children. Besides web design, Gareth is the owner of Lekka - a rapidly-growing designer store and studio in Zurich.

Guestbook

What our guests Say

"Pepe Jones is a guide who is very knowledgeable of her subject, thorough in her preparation and planning and an easy companion. She made my photography trip through Namibia a delight, always making sure I got the shot She is a good photographer herself and, so, understands the necessities of being in the right light, at the right time and in the right place. She is also an exceptional driver, which, in this part of the world, must be the underpinning of every trip. That she is intelligent, flexible and quick goes without saying. I am happy to recommend her to anyone who would venture in this part of the world."

Malie Rich-Griffith
,
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO
PROFESSIONAL WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER

"People ask how the trip was and can't believe my beaming face when I tell them how wonderful it was and how I did not want to leave, even after being away for 3 weeks! You were the main reason for the success of the trip. All your planning, knowledge and insight made it so wonderful for us. I had never before traveled with a guide and now might again be hesitant to do that just because I don't think that anyone could live up to the great things that you did for us. Your knowledge of the region and the history added an extra dimension to the wildlife information that you shared. What a treat to enjoy all the great accommodations in the evening without me having to do any planning. It removed all the stress that usually accompanies my self-planned trips. I am now in love with binoculars. In adjusting to the noises around my home, I now am hearing many more hawks, hummingbirds and many other still unidentified birds that I had rarely noticed before. Thank you so much for a trip of a lifetime!"

Mary Lear
,
NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA
TOURIST

"Our tour guide, Pepe, came highly recommended, and she did not disappoint us, she is an extremely professional, happy individual who is down to earth, friendly, with a thorough knowledge of her subject. Her driving brought us no fear, and she soon became like family. We love her. We were extremely happy with our tour, and would recommend it highly to anyone. "

Vincent & Eileen Rodgers
,
ALBERTA, CANADA
TOURISTS

“I have traveled with Miss Jones on a number of occasions and have enjoyed every time immensely. Pepe’s knowledge of our birdlife and wildlife is phenomenal, and I learn something new every time. I recommend Nature Uncut to anyone who wishes to have a fun-filled, educational, once-in-a-lifetime touring experience!”

Halinka Shanglee
,
Cape Town, South Africa
tourist

“From the moment Pepe picked us up at our hotel - 7 of us, including a 3 month old baby - to the minute she dropped us off in Cape Town, she displayed every trait that we would expect, given that we entrusted her with 5 precious days of our vacation. Pepe was extremely well organized, accommodating, knowledgeable and personable. She kept, in our opinion, a good balance between friendliness and giving us our own space. Her love of the landscape, ocean and waterways, birds and wildlife, all in their natural, indigenous state was very apparent and readily conveyed in all her comments. The trip went off without a hitch and we would have no reservation in recommending Nature Uncut Tours to anyone. If ever we have the privilege of travelling in South Africa again, we would definitely use Pepe as our guide.”

John & Joanne Baker
,
Alberta, Canada
tourists
Lodges

browse through some of our preferred lodges

The following are some of our favourite lodges that we visit on our trips.  We receive special rates at all of these establishments, so enquire with us about any current specials.

LITTLE BUSH CAMP, SABI SABI
South Africa

Sabi Sabi is one of the best places in the world for seeing the "Big 5" animals, especially leopards and lions. Little Bush Camp is our favourite lodge, as it is the smallest and most secluded, with excellent hosts and rangers. This is 5-star luxury and game-viewing at its best.

THE VILLA, OKONJIMA
Namibia

Okonjima Private Game Reserve in Namibia is home to the world-renowned AfriCat Foundation, which offers superb opportunities for tracking and photographing big cats such as lions, leopards and cheetahs. Our favourite lodge is The Villa, which overlooks a large waterhole which attracts abundant game.

MALIBA MOUNTAIN LODGE
Lesotho

Maliba Mountain Lodge, situated in the spectacular Tsehlanyane National Park, is the only 5-star lodge in Lesotho. The 6 luxury chalets are surrounded on all sides by the high Maluti mountains. Besides numerous hiking trails and horse-riding available, Mailba is a magical place to unwind.

VLEI LODGE, PHINDA
South Africa

Phinda is a large reserve in the Kwazulu Natal region of South Africa. It is home to the "Big 5", abundant birdlife and is particularly known for it's cheetah sightings. Vlei lodge consists of only 6 suites, with beautiful views over a plain with abundant game. Elephants regularly visit the lodge.

EAGLES'S CRAG, SHAMWARI
South Africa

Shamwari Private Game Reserve is located in the malaria-free Eastern Cape province of South Africa. All of the "Big 5" animals can be seen here, and cheetah sightings are common. Their lodges are extremely luxurious and Eagle's Crag is their most exclusive, consisting of only 9 suites.

The Villa, Okonjima
Namibia
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Okonjima Private Game Reserve in Namibia is home to the world-renowned AfriCat Foundation, which offers superb opportunities for tracking and photographing big cats such as lions, leopards and cheetahs. Our favourite lodge is The Villa, which overlooks a large waterhole which attracts abundant game.

Maliba Mountain Lodge
Lesotho
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Maliba Mountain Lodge, situated in the spectacular Tsehlanyane National Park, is the only 5-star lodge in Lesotho. The 6 luxury chalets are surrounded on all sides by the high Maluti mountains. Besides numerous hiking trails and horse-riding available, Mailba is a magical place to unwind.

Vlei Lodge, Phinda
South Africa
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Phinda is a large reserve in the Kwazulu Natal region of South Africa. It is home to the "Big 5", abundant birdlife and is particularly known for it's cheetah sightings. Vlei lodge consists of only 6 suites, with beautiful views over a plain with abundant game. Elephants regularly visit the lodge.

Little Bush Camp, Sabi Sabi
South Africa
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Sabi Sabi is one of the best places in the world for seeing the "Big 5" animals, especially leopards and lions. Little Bush Camp is our favourite lodge, as it is the smallest and most secluded, with excellent hosts and rangers. This is 5-star luxury and game-viewing at its best.

Eagles's Crag, Shamwari
South Africa
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Shamwari Private Game Reserve is located in the malaria-free Eastern Cape province of South Africa. All of the "Big 5" animals can be seen here, and cheetah sightings are common. Their lodges are extremely luxurious and Eagle's Crag is their most exclusive, consisting of only 9 suites.

Thonga Beach Lodge
South Africa
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Thonga Beach Lodge is situated in the Isimangaliso Wetland Park on the pristine Maputoland coast. This luxury ecolodge offers superb diving opportunities, open ocean safaris as well as turtle-tracking between November and March.

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