This action-packed, short Kruger Lodge & Private Reserve Camping Safari takes you Big Five game viewing in both the premier Kruger National Park and Balule Private Game Reserve, offering the best of both safari experiences in South Africa!
Highlights of this 3 Day Kruger Lodge & Private Game Reserve Safari include:
This affordable lodge and tented safari offers an unforgettable safari experience that is a step up from basic budget camping, yet cheaper than Kruger lodge safaris.
Enjoy the perks of staying in a Private Big Five Game Reserve and exploring the famous Kruger Park!
We collect you from your hostel or Johannesburg Airport on day one of this 3 Day Kruger Lodge & Private Reserve Camping Safari, and head towards Kruger National Park in northern South Africa.
We travel through Limpopo to our Private Game Lodge in the Big Five Balule Game Reserve, near Kruger Park.
From your lodge in the Balule Private Game Reserve you transfer to an open game viewing vehicle for a sunset game drive that lasts into the night. We catch our first beautiful sunset in the bush and after dark spotlights are used to locate the nocturnal animals roaming in this Big Five Game Park. If you're lucky a leopard might await you, with other nocturnal predators including jackal, hyena and lion.
We stop at a remote bush boma (open-air enclosure) for a traditional South African style barbecue, known locally as a braai. Our delicious dinner is prepared over an open fire at Marula Tree Boma in the middle of the untamed wilderness under starry skies. After our braai, we continue our thrilling night game drive, looking out for nocturnal animals as we make our way back to the safari lodge. If we encounter any exciting wildlife action en route we stop to witness nature at play.
Back at the private lodge we relax and swap tales of our adventures or retire to our comfortable air-conditioned chalets with en suite bathrooms. The safari lodge is set in a lovely subtropical garden with water features and has electric fencing to keep out the lion, elephant, buffalo and other wildlife found in the area.
There are no fences separating this 35000-hectare Private Game Park from Kruger National Park allowing the numerous wild animals to roam freely between these wilderness areas. The Olifants River flows through the Bulule Game Reserve attracting a variety of birds and animals year-round.
Balule is home to the iconic Big Five of Africa with buffalo, lion and elephant being sighted the most regularly and sometimes even from the lodge property! Other wildlife commonly sighted in Balule includes giraffe, wildebeest, hyena, zebra, hippo, warthog, mongoose, vervet monkey and various antelope species, such as waterbuck, steenbok, impala and kudu.
Nocturnal animals such as civets, bushbabies, bats, hares, genets, wild cats and porcupines can be spotted on night game drives. Some of the more elusive wild animals found in this part of Greater Kruger include cheetah, African wild dog, bat-eared fox and badger, as well as caracal and serval cat and a variety of antelope species, such suni, roan and sable antelope.
The Greater Kruger Park area consists of various private game parks, such as Balule, that share unfenced boundaries with Kruger National Park proper. Staying in a private game lodge allows you to escape the main throng of tourists, as the Balule game reserve is not open to the general public.
On this exclusive safari experience you get a more secluded bush experience that brings you closer to nature. In the private game reserve you travel on dirt roads encountering much fewer vehicles on your game drives. Another advantage of game viewing in the Balule private reserve is that your qualified guides communicate with each other via two-way radio, increasing the number of wildlife sightings on your drives.
Yet another perk of staying in a private game reserve is that off-road driving is permitted in this exclusive game reserve area of the Greater Kruger Park, improving your chances of spotting wildlife in the bush.
After breakfast at the lodge we drive to the Orpen Gate of Kruger National Park in an open game viewing vehicle.
The elevated safari vehicle is specifically designed to maximize your game spotting opportunities. There are no windows on the side of the vehicle making it perfect for photography.
You will have a qualified guide who will help you to spot and identify the animals and birdlife that make the Kruger Park one of the top Game Parks in the world. The bush and open plains around the Orpen and Satara area in the Kruger Park support large herds of giraffe, zebra and other antelope which in turn attract the predators. The Satara region boasts one of the largest concentration of lions in Africa.
After a full day of game spotting you head to a unique Treehouse Camp in a private game reserve, near Kruger Park. At the treehouse camp our accommodation is in permanent tents set along the Klaserie River. The tents are equipped with beds and bedding, as well as soap, towels, electric light and fan. During the winter months (from about April to October) the nights can get chilly, so extra blankets and hot water bottles are available to keep you warm. Tonight we enjoy dinner together and overnight in tents at the charming Treehouse Camp.
The world-renowned Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s best safari destinations and the premier game reserve in South Africa. Covering nearly 2 million hectares of untamed African bush the variety of habitats in Kruger Park are home to a unrivalled diversity of plants and animals.
Kruger is South Africa’s top travel destination offering superb game viewing, including massive populations of Africa’s famous Big Five - elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo. This vast wilderness area is inhabited by a staggering 147 mammal species and 517 bird species, as well as a variety of other wild animals and 336 tree species. South Africa's flagship national park, Kruger Park is considered a world leader in advanced environmental policies and wildlife management practices.
Waking up early on our last day at the safari camp we head into the private game reserve on a short nature walk (weather permitting). The guided bush walk takes you up close to the flora and fauna, revealing the details of the bush - from insects to animal tracks. Your guide zooms in on the micro habitat, showing you the important role that the small creatures and plants play in the larger ecosystem.
After about an hour, we return to the safari camp for breakfast before we head via the Drakensberg Escarpment back to Johannesburg. Highlights of the drive back along the scenic Panorama Route of South Africa, include sections of the Blyde River Canyon, one of which is the Three Rondawels viewpoint.
You will get back into Johannesburg at about 17h00, where you will be dropped off at your accommodation of choice or at Oliver Thambo International Airport bringing this fantastic 3 Day Kruger Lodge & Private Game Park Safari to an end.
Our first night on safari is spent in air-conditioned chalets at a relaxed and tranquil private lodge in Balule Game Reserve, Greater Kruger. This comfortable lodge accommodation, set in a lush garden, is easily accessible year-round. An electric fence encloses the private lodge property, to keep the roaming lion, elephant and buffalo out.
Accommodation on the second night of this very reasonably priced safari is at a treehouse safari camp. The relaxed safari camp is located within the Motlala Game Reserve, which lies between two private game reserves, situated next to the world-renowned Kruger National Park. Motlala is home to various wild animals, including three of Africa’s Big Five - leopard, buffalo and rhino.
Tour accommodation is in permanent tents fitted with beds, at the treehouse camp located along the Klaserie River. Bedding, soap, towels and electric lights and fans are provided in the comfortable tents; and ablutions include two separate showers and two separate toilets.
This extremely affordable camp features an outdoor boma area for open-air dining, a bush bar and a swimming pool. At night after a hearty South African meal you can relax around the campfire in this unspoilt bush setting, immersed in nature. Wild animals sometimes roam the campgrounds, including nyala, impala and monkeys, adding to your truly wild African experience at this unique safari camp. At night hyenas, jackals, bushbabies and other wildlife can be heard in the distance. Wake up to a cacophony of birds singing in the trees around you at this riverine camp, home to a variety of birds.
Please note that we offer convenient pre and post tour lodge accommodation for before and after the Kruger Safari, which can be added to your tour booking upon request. The 4 star lodge accommodation is located 10-15 minutes from the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. For information on rates follow the link.