This Kruger Park & Private Game Reserve Safari takes you game viewing in the premier Kruger National Park and Private Big Five Game Reserves, offering you the best of both safari experiences in South Africa!
Highlights of this 6 Day Kruger & Private Park Safari include:
The affordable tented safari also gives you a taste of the private safari lodge experience, staying overnight in air-conditioned chalets in a private game park. This unforgettable wildlife safari experience is a step up from basic budget camping, offering a good quality and excellent-value-for-money alternative to Kruger lodge safaris.
Enjoy the perks of staying in a unique Private Big Five Game Reserve and exploring the famous Kruger Park!
We collect you from your Gauteng hotel or Johannesburg Airport on day one of this 6 Day Kruger & Private Reserve Camping Safari, and head towards Kruger Park in northern South Africa's lowveld region.
Travelling north-east into the Limpopo Province 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 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 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 along the Olifants River 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, after high tea, we embark on an afternoon game drive in Balule Private Game Reserve.
Returning from the Big Five game drive, we transfer to our unique Treehouse Safari Camp in a private game reserve. We enjoy dinner together and overnight in tents at the Treehouse Camp in the bush.
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 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. The tents are equipped with bedding, soap, towels, electric lighting and a fan, with two separate showers and two separate toilets to share. Winter nights get chilly (between April and October), so extra blankets and hot water bottles are available to keep you comfortable.
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 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 maximise 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 Treehouse 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 cares for injured and orphaned wild animals and birds. At Moholoholo we get a close look at the residents, including lions and leopards. You can see servals, lynxes, honey badgers, eagles, vultures, wild dogs and various other baby animals that may be at the centre when you visit.
After visiting Moholoholo Wildlife Centre we return to camp and have a light lunch, before heading into Tshukudu Game Reserve. The Tshukudu Game Reserve is home to numerous wild animals, offering excellent chances of seeing the Big Five of Africa, especially lions. This compact game reserve covers around 5000 hectares of bushveld, enabling the game rangers to keep track of the wild animals and improve your chances of spotting them.
We make our way to the unique treehouse camp after exploring game-rich Tshukudu Reserve.
Day five sees us venturing back out into the wild bushveld of South Africa, on a morning game drive in Manyeleti Game Reserve.
This is an excellent opportunity to spot any elusive animals that may have evaded us so far, and by now your game spotting skills will be sharper. Your guide takes you in search of wildlife action, pointing out the birds and animals of Manyeleti. This private reserve borders on Kruger National Park, forming part of Greater Kruger Park, and is home to the Big Five of Africa.
After our game drive in a closed vehicle we leave Manyeleti Game Reserve and have a simple lunch prepared by local women. Watch some traditional-style dancing and drive through the village before returning to the lodge at about 16h30.
We head back to the intimate treehouse camp in Greater Kruger for our final dinner together.
Up early on the last day of our Wildlife Camping Safari in South Africa, we make our way into the bush on foot (weather permitting). This guided nature walk gives you the opportunity to get up close to the flora and fauna of the reserve, finding out more about the insects, plants, small animals and birds of the micro-ecosystem.
The hour-long nature walk ends back at the private treehouse camp, where we have breakfast before driving 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 vewipoint.
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 6 Day Kruger Park & Private Game Park Safari to an end.
Please note that we offer convenient pre and post tour lodge accommodation for before and after the Kruger Camping 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.