This Kruger Park & Private Game Reserve Safari is an affordable South African safari with the added unusual experience of a night in a tented tree house.
We experience game viewing in the world-renowned Kruger Park as well as in the private Balule Game Reserve, home to the Big 5. Our safari includes a sunset to nightfall game drive to find the nocturnal predators, culminating in a braai (barbecue) in the bush. Along with an armed, professional ranger we enjoy a bush walk, an opportunity to learn the secrets of the wild from our knowledgeable guide.
A more comfortable safari experience, this value for money Kruger safari will provide unforgettable memories.
We collect you from your Gauteng hotel or Johannesburg Airport on day one of this 5 Day Kruger & Private Reserves Camping Safari, and head towards Kruger Park in northern South Africa's lowveld region.
Travelling through the Mpumalanga Province into Limpopo, we head to our Private Game Lodge in the Big Five Balule Game Reserve, within Greater Kruger Park. In the late afternoon we embark on our first exhilarating game drive in Balule, taking us in search of the “Big Five” - lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo, as well as various other wild animals.
The evening game drive, conducted in an open 4x4 Landcruiser, is an excellent introduction to our fantastic safari adventure in South Africa’s leading wilderness areas. On the game drive we get to watch our first spectacular African sunset in the bush continuing our exploration into the night. Once it is dark we use spotlights to find the nocturnal wildlife in this private concession, including jackal, hyena, lion, and even elusive leopard.
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 Balule 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 Park 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 at a private lodge 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.
At sunrise we drive into the private game reserve, heading to a more remote spot to enjoy a 4-hour Bush Walk.
You explore the bush on foot, setting your own pace as the game ranger shows you the more intimate details of the wilderness area.
This Big Five bush walk is a thrilling wildlife experience that will get your adrenalin pumping, even though your ranger will be armed to ensure your safety. After our unforgettable bush walk we return to the private safari lodge for a hearty brunch. Later in the day, at about 14h30, we embark on an afternoon game drive in Balule Private Game Reserve.
Returning from the Big Five game drive, we transfer to our Treehouse Safari Camp in a private game reserve. At the treehouse camp our accommodation is in permanent tents set along the Klaserie River. We enjoy dinner together and overnight camping at the unique Treehouse Camp.
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 roaming lions, elephants and buffalos out.
Accommodation for the remainder 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 both black and white 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. In winter (from about April to October) the nights can get chilly, so extra blankets and hot water bottles are available to keep you snug in the tents.
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 camp fire in this unspoilt bush setting, immersed in nature.
Wild animals often roam the camp grounds, including nyala, impala, monkeys, hyena, buffalo and sometimes even leopard, 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.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the Orpen Gate of the Kruger National Park in an open game viewing vehicle custom built for safari drives.
The elevated safari vehicle is specifically designed to maximize your game spotting opportunities, giving you a better view over the bush. There are no windows on the sides of the vehicle making it ideal for taking photographs of the animals and bush.
Your qualified guide will help you to spot and identify the various wild 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 of Kruger boasts one of the largest concentration of lions in Africa.
After a full day of game spotting you will return to the Safari Camp in the bush, where you enjoy dinner at the boma and relax around the fire, sharing tales of the days wildlife sightings.
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 iconic 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.
After breakfast on day four of this Kruger & Private Reserve Camping Safari, we travel to the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre. The wildlife centre takes care of injured and orphaned wild animals and birds. At Moholoholo we get a close look at the residents, including lions and leopards. You can see serval, lynx, Honey Badger, eagles, vultures, wild dogs and various other baby animals that may be at the centre when you visit.
After visiting the wildlife rehabilitation centre we drive back to our safari camp and have a light lunch. In the late afternoon we leave on a 2.5 hour sunset wildlife viewing drive which takes us into the beautiful Motlala Game Reserve. There is an abundance of wildlife here including three of the famous Big Five, namely leopard, rhino (white and black) and buffalo, all of which are regularly sighted on game drives. The animals tend to be relaxed around safari vehicles, which makes for excellent wildlife sightings and photographic opportunities in this pretty and uncrowded reserve. Motlala covers a range of vegetation types, from riverine forests of big, old trees to open plains, providing rich habitats for the healthy animal and bird populations.
We make our way to the unique treehouse camp after exploring game-rich Motlala.
Up early on the last day of our Wildlife Camping Safari in South Africa, we make our way into the bush for a guided nature walk (weather permitting). Heading into the private game reserve on foot, your guide points out the smaller details, insects, animal tracks and droppings, providing insight into the local ecosystem.
After about an hour we return to the private safari camp for breakfast before heading 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 5 Day Kruger & Private Game Parks Safari to an end.
Please note that we offer convenient pre and post tour lodge accommodation for before and after this 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.