The only Big 7 experience in the world!

You’ve heard about a Big 5 African Safari but have you heard about the Big 7? The “Big 5” consists of lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo. Add the great white shark and whale and you have the “ Big 7”! The Eastern Cape of South Africa is the ONLY place in the world where one can see the Big 7!

Lalibela Game Reserve, which is home to the Big 5, is an hour from Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay is off the coastline of Port Elizabeth. Algoa Bay has been declared the world’s fifth Whale Heritage Site and our partners in the Big 7 campaign, Raggy Charters, has been instrumental in getting Algoa Bay declared a Whale Sanctuary.


Lalibela-Game-Reserve-The-Big-Five-Lion at Sunset
Big 7 Raggy Charter Cruise with Lalibela Game Reserve - Great White Shark upclose

At Lalibela, we live by the motto “Conservation for Conservation’s sake” and are committed to the sustainable conservation of our flora & fauna in a way that our rural communities benefit and are uplifted. We recognise that our marine areas are equally important and applaud Lloyd Edwards and his team at Raggy Charters for all the conservation work they do in Algoa Bay. (Follow the link in yellow to read more about Raggy Charters conservation projects – See “Baywatch Conservation Projects.”

Other than the chance to see Great White Sharks and whales on marine cruises with Raggy Charters, you will have the opportunity to see a variety of marine life, such as African Penguins, Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Humpback Dolphins, Bryde’s Whales, Minke Whales, Southern Right Whales, Humpback Whales, Cape Fur Seals, various species of sharks (including Great White Shark), Cape Gannets and various species of Pelagic Birds including Terns, Petrels, Skuas, Shearwaters and Albatrosses can be found in the Algoa Bay.

The Big 7 Itinerary with Raggy Charters and Lalibela Game Reserve:


  • Arrive in Port Elizabeth and get transferred to your beachfront hotel (4-star superior) where you stay on a bed & breakfast basis.


  • Early morning transfer from your hotel to the Port Elizabeth harbour where you go on your full day at sea excursion to Bird Island.

The full day cruise is packed with so much more than just shark cage diving – it is an adventure into the greatest marine wilderness in Africa!

We depart at about 7:30am from the Nelson Mandela Bay Yacht Club in the Port Elizabeth Harbour and return at around 17:00. A light lunch and spring water on tap is provided during the cruise.

This full day marine tour is a combination of 5 parts with us spending equal amounts of time at each to enjoy all to the fullest:

  • Part 1 – we start with a run out into the deep water off Port Elizabeth where high numbers of migratory humpback and Southern right whales pass our coastline (June to early December).
  • Part 2 – we do an 80km (approx. 50 mile) run across the mouth of the Bay stopping to observe any whale and sardine run action we find along the way as we head to the Bird Island Group.
  • Part 3 – we cruise around Bird Island, home to 250,000 Cape Gannets, the largest breeding colony of these birds on the planet. The 19 hectare (approx. 45 acres) island is fairly flat which allows our guests excellent views of the gannet colony, African penguins and the lighthouse. The Bird Island group consists of Stag Island, Seal Island, and Black Rocks. Black Rocks is home to 4,000 fur seals,
  • Part 4 – we stop near Bird Island where guests will enjoy topside and cage dive-viewing of great white sharks that visit the island to feed.
  • Part 5 – we run inshore to the Alexandria Dune-field (the largest dune-field system in the Southern Hemisphere) which is our favorite place to observe Bottlenose Dolphins surfing the waves. The pristine backdrop of the dunes makes for some once-in-a lifetime photographic opportunities.  From there we visit St Croix Island, home to the Bay’s breeding colony of African penguins.

During this cruise guests have the possibility of spotting Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Humpback Dolphins, Southern Right Whales, Humpback Whales, Bryde’s Whales, Minke Whales, Cape Fur Seals, various species of sharks, African Black Oystercatchers, Cape Cormorants, White-breasted Cormorants and various species of pelagic birds including Terns, Petrels, Skuas, Shearwaters and Albatrosses. Sightings are not guaranteed but the experienced Raggy Charters skipper and guides always do their best to find all these amazing marine animals for you to enjoy.

  • Transfer from the Port Elizabeth Harbour back to your hotel.


  • Transfer from your hotel to the Port Elizabeth Harbour for your half day at sea excursion in Algoa Bay

The half day Whale/Dolphin/Penguin island cruise takes between 3 & 4 hours, leaving Port Elizabeth Yacht Club at about 08h00 in the morning and returning by noon. We go to 2 islands in Algoa Bay – St Croix Island and Brenton Island.

The islands are home to about 5,000 African Penguins, the largest breeding colony found in Africa and you will get a close-up encounter with these comical birds. You will also have the possibility of spotting Bottlenose Dolphins (we are now known as the bottlenose capital of the world), Common Dolphins, Humpback Dolphins, Bryde’s Whales, Minke Whales, Humpback Whales (June to December), Southern Right Whales (July to September), Cape Fur Seals, various species of sharks, Cape Gannets and various species of pelagic birds including Terns, Petrels, Skuas, Shearwaters and Albatrosses. This half-day cruise is a unique experience and the Raggy Charters team always try to ensure that it is both enjoyable and productive from a marine-viewing point of view.

  • Transfer from the Port Elizabeth Harbour and check in at Lalibela Game Reserve for your first night.
  • Enjoy an afternoon game drive with a sundowner stop.
  • Return to your lodge for dinner


  • Enjoy a morning game drive on Lalibela Game reserve before returning to the lodge for brunch.
  • Time to relax around the lodge/swimming pool followed by lunch
  • Afternoon game drive with a sundowner stop.
  • Return to the lodge for dinner


  • Same programme as Day 4 above.


  • Enjoy your last game drive on Lalibela before returning to the lodge for brunch.
  • Check out of Lalibela Game Reserve at 11h00 and road transfer back to Port Elizabeth.

This Big 7 packages includes:

    1. Accommodation
      • 2 nights in a Port Elizabeth hotel or guesthouse on a bed & breakfast basis
      • 3 nights at Lalibela on a fully inclusive basis – all meals, drinks, game drives and luxury accommodation
    2. Big 7 Safari
      • 1 full day at sea with Raggy Charters
      • 1 half day at sea with Raggy Charters
      • 3 evening game drives on Lalibela
      • 3 morning game drives on Lalibela
    3. Transfers
      • All transfers in Port Elizabeth as described in the programme
      • Return transfers to Lalibela
Dates Rate (Per person sharing)
May 2022 – August 2022 R 34,675 (Approx. US $2,180, Euro 2,075)
September 2022 – December 2022 R 39,300 (Approx. US $2,470, Euro 2,340)
January 2023 – April 2023 R 41,500 (Approx. US $2,595, Euro 2,485)
May 2023 – August 2023 R 36,250 (Approx. US $2,265, Euro 2,170)
September 2023 – December 2023 R 41,500 (Approx. US $2,595, Euro 2,485)

*Contact us for single supplement rates


This package is flexible and can be shortened or extended according to your requirements. Contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

✉ Email: [email protected]

☏ Phone: +27 (0)41 581 8170

Lalibela Game Reserve - Big 7 - Area Map with Raggy Charters
Big 7 and other animal sightings list


This package is flexible and can be shortened or extended according to your requirements. Contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

✉ Email: [email protected]

☏ Phone: +27 (0)41 581 8170

Raggy Charters Video Thumbnail - Dolphins
Raggy Charters - HeritageSite_logo_black

Quick Enquiry

  • Off N2 National Road (90 km from Port Elizabeth on the N2 towards Grahamstown)
    6131 Lalibela Game Reserve
    South Africa
  • +27 41 581 8170
Truly Superb! We've recently returned from 2 nights at this amazing and special game lodge. Our experience overall was absolutely wonderful. From the welcome at the gate, throughout our stay, the Lalibela team were exceptionally warm, friendly, courteous and extremely helpful. The lodge is beautiful, right in the heart of nature, with an abundance of magnificent wildlife. Our guide, Ticha, was exceptionally knowledgeable, friendly and had a great sense of humour too. The meals were delicious and plentiful, and our food allergies were catered for seemingly effortlessly. Our rooms were very comfortable and luxurious, with quality linen and fittings - all beautifully co-ordinated. A huge thank you to ALL for making our stay truly magical. We will be sure to be back.
A wonderful and welcome break It was such a pleasure to travel to the beautiful countryside that was only an hour from home (Port Elizabeth/Gqeberha). Our room was great, with every amenity one could need. Our ranger, Woody, was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and enthusiastic. One could absolutely see that he loves his job, and his environment, and cares for it deeply. We have been to a number of game reserves over the years, but I can truly say I have never experienced the "vibe" of Lalibela before - not to sound silly, but it was almost as if all the animals were happy and relaxed 🙂 . There was an overwhelming feeling of peace and contentment, and this surely must be as a result of the passionate conservation practised. Well done and thank you!
Keep up the good work We were in the Kichaka lodge for 3 days. This was the most beautifull experience of our life. Perfect Guide Andrew and a wonderfull hospitality in the Lodge by Chistina. Also the hotel is quietly, very beautifull and clean. The staff does everything for the guests. Also the food was very good!
Li S
Li S
Great stay at Kichaka Lodge at Lalibela We recently stayed at Lalibela and had the best time. All the safaris we went on were interesting thanks to our entertaining and thoughtful guides. They answered all our questions and helped us see so many animals, including lions and rhinos and cape buffalo and zebra and so many beautiful antelope and birds. We were housed in Kichaka Lodge which was beautiful and so comfortable. The staff was excellent and made sure we were well cared for. We highly recommend the experience!
Frank M
Frank M
Erwartungen übertroffen- Krönender Abschluss unserer Garden Route Tour Empfang war sehr nett und informativ (Einführungsfilm über Lalibela). Unser Gepäck wurde in einen Jeep verladen und unser Auto in einem separaten Bereich eingeparkt. Nach Abschluss der Anmeldeformalitäten wurden wir zur Lentaba Lodge gefahren. Die Begrüßung auch hier wieder sehr nett und uns wurde einiges bzgl. Sicherheit erklärt und die unterschiedlichen Bereiche gezeigt. Dann am Nachmittag die erste „Safari“ mit Roan. Es war unglaublich und wir haben viel wissenswertes über die jeweiligen Spezies und die Renaturierungs -Massnahmen erfahren. Fährten wurden uns erklärt und letztendlich haben wir bis zum Ende 2,5 tägigen Aufenthalts viele unvergessliche Eindrücke gesammelt. Dazu zählten Begegnungen mit Nashorn, Löwen, Büffel, Elefanten, Hippo‘s, Giraffen und viele andere. Häufig auch mit Jungtieren. Die Sundowner während der Abendsafari umgeben von Giraffen, Impalas und Zebras waren unbeschreiblich. Roan hat einen super Job gemacht. Das Service Personal der Lodge war sehr aufmerksam und wir haben uns sehr wohlgefühlt. Einziger kleiner Punkt, der gestört hat war der Generator, der aufgrund von einem Stromausfall die ganze Nacht lief und leider oberhalb unserer Hütte stand.
Fantastic family trip Fabulous trip to Lalibela with the family. The kids had a brilliant time and huge thanks to the staff and especially Jonty. The game drives were very relaxed and perfect for our young kids. The food was great and the staff were very friendly. Can't wait to be back again next year.
Elisa F
Elisa F
Obrigado!!! Sem palavras para agradecer pelos dias incríveis que passamos com a família Lalibela. Tudo foi lindo e maravilhoso e vai estar guardado pra sempre em nossos corações. Um ambiente muito acolhedor e tudo integrado com a natureza . Podemos desfrutar de uma gastronomia excelente, muitos detalhes que fazem toda a diferença .Deixo aqui nosso muito muito obrigado ... Fernanda & Andreas
Robyn S
Robyn S
Those Bookclub girls What a treat! A group of old friends, who travel together once a year, and I have to say, this was our finest weekend yet. We arrived at Lalibela and after an efficient check in, we climbed on the game vehicle and headed to Mark's Camp, which is well positioned above a watering hole. En route we got a glimpse of some of the delights we would later see on our game drives. After a delicious lunch, we retired to our beautifully appointed rooms and relaxed before our late afternoon game drive. Our knowledgable and personable guide, Jonty, was lovely, making sure we saw lots of game, and that we all got just the right shot for our photographs. Dinner was a magnificent affair, looked after efficiently by Wendy and Dumisane, we ate well, before retiring for a good sleep in our comfortable beds. Our early morning game drive was once again just wonderful! I have to say that to see such a healthy ecosystem, with a good balance of predators and herbivores was fantastic; the size of the herds of antelope is testament to a healthy reserve and indeed the conservation heart of Lalibela. Well done Team! This trip saw my love of the bush reawakened, and I am already looking at my calendar trying to see when I will be able to return.
Nicole Schmidt
Nicole Schmidt
Incredible guides and beautiful landscapes! For our first trip to Lalibela Game Reserve we only had enough time to spend one spontaneous night, but we had an incredible time! It was mid winter so the weather was a bit temperamental, we got caught in the rain on our evening game drive, got soaked (we were provided with cozy ponchos and hot water bottles) and loved every minute of it! The lions were rather close to camp as we could hear them roar from inside our rooms! The following morning we were treated to a lion hunt talk about an experience! In the short time there we were able to witness a very diverse and lush landscape rich in plant and animal life! Our first guide Ticha was very knowledgeable. I can’t believe this gem is only 90km out of Gqeberha. We couldn’t resist returning to explore your beautiful reserve for a little longer! When we returned for our second time we were blessed with fantastic weather (especially considering it was winter!) so I spent my mid mornings lounging by the pool gazing at the hippo lazing in the waterhole. We were fortunate enough to go on a private night drive and happened to come across 2 pairs of brown hynena (they are one of my favorite animals so naturally I was over the moon) The morning and evening games drives didn’t disappoint either we were lucky enough to catch the mum cheetah and her 2 cubs in 2 hunts as well as a sneaky pair of male lions stalking a family of warthogs. Our guide on our second trip,Ruan, went above and beyond to make this trip for my mum’s birthday memorable. His knowledge about bird life and his passion for his job is what truly stood out! Will highly recommend a trip to Lalibela!
Richard W
Richard W
Fantastic trip One of the best game reserve experiences I've had. Conservation efforts are heart warming. Facilities are perfect. Staff were happy and accommodating. Took grandkids and grandparents and all had a memorable time together.
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