Elephant waterhole

Greater Kruger Wild Camping Safari

Tour Length4 days
Priced from pps $605 R8292 £458 515 A$775 C$765 NZ$867 Full pricing info
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Summary of this Camping Safari

  • Max. Group Size 12 Travellers
  • Starts & ends in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Accommodation Standard Camping
  • Transport Game Viewing Vehicle / Microbus
  • Wildlife Big 5, Elephant, Leopards, Lions, Rhino & More
  •  See Departure Dates

Quick Itinerary Overview

A genuine African Bush Adventure in the world-renowned Timbavati Game Reserve, forming part of Greater Kruger Park. Experience this unique wildlife safari as a private group, departing on any day of the week with at least six people in your travel party.

Go back to the basics at a rustic and exclusive mobile camp in the heart of the African bush, where an abundance of wildlife roams freely. Get up close to unspoilt nature in the private reserve, embarking on thrilling game walks and game drives, including night drives. Sit around the flickering campfire under star-studded skies and fall asleep to the sounds of the bush; becoming immersed in nature on this authentic, wild camping adventure!

Leave the bustle, the noise, the internet and the bright lights behind, escaping the crowds in this scenic Big Five reserve where you experience Africa as it is truly meant to be - wild and unspoilt.

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Itinerary for this Tour

Day 1: Johannesburg to Greater Kruger Park - South Africa

Our Wild Kruger Camping Safari begins with collection from O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa's biggest city.

At 06h45 we set off from the O.R. Tambo Bus Terminal Building, located at the international airport. From there we drive to a collection point near the Timbavati Game Reserve in Greater Kruger Park, arriving at about 13h30. Then we are transferred to our exclusive mobile camp in Timbavati Private Game Reserve, which shares unfenced borders with Kruger National Park, the premier national park in South Africa.

Lunch is served when we arrive at the private camp and then we set off on our first exhilarating guided activity in Greater Kruger Park. This world-class wilderness area is home to the Big Five of Africa, along with an impressive diversity of other creatures and birds. Our game viewing adventure is followed by dinner and drinks in the open-air boma. We spend the rest of the evening relaxing around the flickering campfire, chatting and discussing the following day's activities. Fall asleep under starry skies in the middle of the wild African bushveld, listening to the sounds of animals and birds in the surrounding bush.

Please Note:

This itinerary is flexible and as such serves as a general guide. Each day there are guided game walks and/or drives in the morning and afternoon, as well as night game drives after sundowners. Before embarking on each guided activity your game ranger discusses the options with your tour group. The activities are thus tailored to your group's preferences, taking local conditions into consideration. Based on the weather and the movement of animals your group can choose to take game drives, game walks or a combination of the two.

Days 2 - 3: Timbavati Private Game Reserve - Greater Kruger Park

Day two and three follow a similar itinerary, shaped by group preferences and local conditions at the time.

The days begin with a light breakfast in the cool early morning hours, enabling us to embark on our first game activity at the break of dawn. After our porridge and rusks (dry tea biscuits), accompanied by a refreshing cup of coffee or tea, we head into the bush to find some wildlife action. Early mornings are ideal for game viewing, as are late afternoons, given that many animals are at their most active during these times. In the early mornings the diurnal animals begin to emerge and nocturnal predators can be seen retreating. We may even come across a fresh kill, evidence of a successful night's hunting for the carnivores.

We set off on either a 4x4 game drive, or a thrilling game walk - walking from the camp or driving deeper into Timbavati and then continuing on foot.

Your expert guide shares his in-depth knowledge of the bush and its wild inhabitants with you on your game viewing activities, adding to the awe and wonder of exploring the African wilderness. As you move through the bush your guide tells you more about the local flora and fauna, pointing out the signs (tracks, disturbances and scat) of wildlife activity as you go. Taking a game walk in the wild habitat of Greater Kruger is an exhilarating way to experience the bush, where you may come across large mammals and other creatures at any time! On foot you get to appreciate the details - the smaller animals, plants, birds, insects and reptiles, up close and personal. Walking in the African wilderness is a rare and memorable experience!

The game drives on the other hand enable you to cover larger areas and spot more of the big animals and a wider diversity of creatures. On our guided game activities sightings include an array of plains game - antelopes such as springbok, gazelle, kudu and eland. The Big Five - lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo, are frequently spotted on our explorations in Greater Kruger Park, along with hippos, giraffes, zebras and many other magnificent creatures. We sometimes come across packs of endangered African wild dogs and other shy predators, such as cheetah.

After our morning's game viewing adventure we return to the intimate camp for lunch and a rest during the hottest part of the day. Once the heat of midday has subsided the animals begin to stir again and we venture back out into the rugged wilderness in search of mammals, birds, reptiles and more.

In the early to mid-afternoon we embark on a game drive and, if the weather cools down enough, a bush walk before the daylight fades.

As the sun begins to set we find a scenic spot for sundowners in the bush, watching a beautiful sunset over the African bush at the end of a rewarding day of game viewing. Following sundowners we set off on a night game drive in Timbavati, witnessing the transformation that takes place as day changes into night. Driving in an open safari vehicle we go in search of nocturnal animals and birds, listening out for the rustling sounds of animals moving in the bushes and looking out for the shining eyes of animals moving around us in the dark. Our exciting night drive ends back at camp, where a welcoming campfire and hearty supper awaits us.

We spend our evenings relaxing around the campfire, swapping tales of our wildlife adventures. We also discuss the wildlife activities for the next day, to determine our plans based on local conditions and group preferences. Tribal dancing and drumming activities can also be booked for the evenings (at extra cost). On clear nights you can learn a bit about astronomy, while you sit back and watch the dazzling blanket of stars. This is the ideal place to lie under starry skies, falling asleep to the sounds of nature and the calls of nocturnal creatures nearby.

Day two or three offers the chance to learn about bushcraft, including skills such as making rope or fire and clay pots in nature. You will also find out more about spiders and scorpions, and there is an interactive reptile demonstration available as an optional extra activity (at extra cost).

Day 4: Greater Kruger to Johannesburg - South Africa

This morning at dawn we head out into the game-rich wilderness on our last guided game viewing adventure in the famous Greater Kruger Park of South Africa. Returning to the untamed bush this morning we go in search of wildlife surprises, hopefully encountering any animals we may have missed thus far. Immersed in the African bushveld this morning, it is amazing to see how much you will already have learnt and experienced during your safari.

After our last open vehicle game drive or guided bush walk we return to the private camp for breakfast and then it's time to pack up and hit the road. You are transferred back to the collection point at about 10h45 for your drive back to Johannesburg. Arriving back in the bustling city you are dropped off at the O.R. Tambo International Airport. This unforgettable Wild Kruger Camping Safari comes to a close at about 17h00 to 18h00, upon arrival at the O.R. Tambo Bus Terminal Building.

About Timbavati Private Game Reserve

Timbavati is a 53 392 hectare (534km²) private game reserve that forms part of the Greater Kruger Park, which is comprised of several private game reserves and the national park itself. The Timbavati reserve lies along the western side of Kruger National Park, just north of Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Timbavati shares unfenced borders with Kruger National Park, allowing wildlife to move freely between the two wildlife reserves. Compared to Kruger National Park, Timbavati is superior in terms of close-up sightings and seeing more animals in the comparatively smaller area, as well as offering game walks and night game drives.

In Timbavati game viewing is closely regulated, ensuring that you encounter fewer other vehicles than in Kruger Park and other private reserves of Greater Kruger. All game drives are conducted by expert guides in open safari vehicles, as opposed to Kruger where self-drive safaris are allowed. One of the major advantages of going on safari in Timbavati is the exclusivity it offers, as the reserve does not permit day visitors, limiting the number of visitors to those staying over in the game reserve.

This classical African wilderness area is home to over 40 species of mammals, 79 species of reptiles, 49 species of fish and about 360 species of birds. The diverse vegetation and landscapes offer varied habitats that support a variety of different creatures, including the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant). Herds of buffalos and elephants are frequently sighted on game drives, along with an array of antelope species, including nyala, sable, roan, tsessebe, kudu and eland. Other wild animals include zebras, hippos, giraffes, wildebeest and warthogs, among others. Predator sightings include wild cats, endangered Africa wild dogs, caracals, cheetahs, jackals, honey badgers and spotted hyenas. On night game drives we may encounter big cats (such as lions and leopards), along with serval cats, civets, genets and porcupines.

The Mobile Camp & Accommodation

Our mobile tented camp is set on a 3500 hectare private property inside the world-renowned Timbavati Game Reserve, making it ideal for exclusive and intimate safaris. The mobile camp enjoys 10 000 hectares of traversing rights in Timbavati Game Reserve, ensuring crowd-free wildlife adventures over a large area of untamed bushveld. The private concession of the camp itself borders on Kruger National Park, with no fences between the two wildlife areas. Like Greater Kruger, this prime wilderness area in Timbavati is home to healthy populations of the Big Five of Africa, along with an abundance of plains game, small predators and other wild animals.

The tented camp offers a back to nature experience, immersing you in a truly wild part of Greater Kruger. The Greater Kruger Wild Camping Safari operates with eight clients at most, creating an exclusive, top-quality getaway for small groups, singles and couples. You will share the camp with few, if any, other visitors outside of your safari group - one of the major perks of this wild camping safari. Accommodation is in spacious two-man dome tents fitted with thick mattresses, linen and towels included. The ablutions are basic and communal, consisting of two bucket showers with heated water and two pit toilets – all four of which are individually enclosed on three sides with the open side facing out towards the bush. The tented camp is mobile, and is therefore moved to a different location per safari group that visits. The camp features an open-air boma area with a campfire encircled by camping chairs. The open-sided dining area is covered with a canvas roof in case it rains.

This rustic bush camp offers an authentic African bush adventure in Big Five territory - keeping things basic and close to unspoilt nature. There are no charging points, so bring batteries, and there is no internet. Meals are wholesome and simple, prepared by the camp staff in real bush-style - over the open fire. We eat around the campfire, under the stars, or under the cover of canvas when it rains. Teas and coffees are included and some other drinks are sold at the camp, alternatively you are welcome to bring your own. This is real camping in the middle of the bush, where dangerous animals are found, so drinking too much is not permitted here - ensuring a quiet and safe stay!

Guided Safari Activities

This safari entails extensive game viewing in Timbavati, on open vehicle game drives (including night drives) and bush walks, as well as a combinations of the two. Your safari group will have exclusive use of the camp's open safari vehicle, the game ranger and the wildlife tracker during the safari. Your game ranger will decide on the combination of game walks and drives based on local conditions, in-depth knowledge and your group preferences. The combination of game drives and bush walks is designed to delight first-time safari goers and game viewing veterans alike.

The game drives are conducted by a professional game ranger and an experienced wildlife tracker. Game drives take place in the early mornings, afternoons and evenings, lasting about three to four hours. After dark a powerful spotlight is used to help show the way and locate nocturnal creatures. On our morning game drives we stop for coffee or tea and snacks along the way, or sundowners and snacks in the evenings.

The guided game walks are conducted with a wildlife tracker and qualified game ranger, who is armed in case of any dangerous wildlife encounters. The game walks are an exhilarating experience offered to guests aged 12 years and older, given that we may encounter large animals, including the Big Five at any time. These comprehensive bush walks, usually undertaken in the mornings, offer true insight into the bush and its wild inhabitants, allowing you to take in the captivating details of the flora and fauna. Your guide shows you the signs of animal activity and points out creatures and plants as you explore, visiting watering holes in this wildlife territory.

You can also enjoy bushcraft activities on this safari, discovering survival techniques, and finding out more about the local flora and fauna. During the safari you also get to learn about the stars, as well as spiders and scorpions of the region. Optional activities offered at an extra cost (subject to availability), include interactive reptile demonstrations and tribal dancing and drumming sessions.

Please Note:

This is a truly flexible safari with game viewing activities tailored to suit each group as much as possible. Your game ranger discusses each of the safari activities with the tour group in order to make the most of your time in Greater Kruger, based on practical considerations, your guides expertise and group preferences.

Private Daily Departures

This tour departs daily on a private departure basis in groups of 4 or more clients. See full pricing for private departure details.

Pre and Post Tour Lodge Rates:

Please note that we offer convenient pre and post tour lodge accommodation for before and after this Greater 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. Follow the link for more information on rates.

Optional Extras and Excursions

For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.

  • Interactive reptile demonstration
  • Tribal dancing/drumming 

Child Policy

This tour does not take children.

Children under 12 years of age are not permitted on this safari.

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+Where does the tour go to?
+Optional Activities & Day Trips
For confirmed pricing on these optional items, please drop us an enquiry
  • Interactive reptile demonstration
  • Tribal dancing/drumming 
+Included in the Tour Price
  • Accommodation in adventure bow tents with mattresses, bedding & towels
  • Full use of open safari vehicle, qualified guide & tracker (per tour group)
  • Game drives & bush walks (as per group preferences)
  • Bushcraft, spider & scorpion module
  • Basic astronomy (dependent on clear skies)
  • 3 meals per day; teas & coffees
  • Transfers between Timbavati gate and the camp (return)
  • Transfers between Johannesburg / OR Tambo and Kapama Reserve (return)
  • The 2018 tour cost includes the conservation fee.
+Not Included in the Tour Price
  • Conservation levy per person valid for 2017 tours only
  • Local beers & wines (available at camp)
  • Soft drinks, juices & bottled water (available at camp)
  • Gratuities and personal items
  • Additional activities (subject to availability)
+Departure Dates

Private departures are available for your group of 6 or more travellers. Smaller groups are available by special arrangement.

Scheduled Tour Departures
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If you do not see departures listed for your dates, or would like information on potential changes, please do contact us for further info.

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