This short and affordable Kruger Park Lodge Safari combines the world-renowned Kruger National Park with a Private Big Five Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger Park area. Stay at an intimate riverside lodge inside a private reserve, sleeping in comfortable, air-conditioned chalets right on the banks of the tranquil Klaserie River.
Arriving at the Exclusive River Lodge we have lunch, before heading off on a sunset game drive in the Big Five Thornybush Nature Reserve. After sundowners in the Private Game Reserve we continue our thrilling game drive into the night, using spotlights to search for nocturnal wildlife. Early the following morning we venture into Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s best game reserves, for an unforgettable day of game viewing. Exploring the vast Kruger Park in an open-side safari vehicle, we are sure to encounter an impressive array of wild animals, plants, birds and other creatures of the African bush.
Our final morning begins with a second game drive in Thornybush Private Game Reserve, followed by breakfast at the charming riverside lodge, before we journey back to Johannesburg.
Our Kruger Park Safari adventure begins with collection from either the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg or from Persequor Park in Pretoria. Departing from Egoli (the Place of Gold), as Johannesburg is known, we travel east to Hoedspruit.
From Hoedspruit, you are transferred the short distance to the river lodge, which is located in the Great Kruger National Park area. First, we have a wholesome lunch at the lovely lodge and then the game viewing begins. Our first game drive takes us into the Thornybush Private Game Reserve, neighbouring the river lodge. Here we experience our first wildlife encounters in the unspoilt African bushveld, exploring in an open-sided 4x4 vehicle.
The 14000-hectare Thornybush Reserve has an excellent reputation, offering outstanding game viewing. The private reserve is home to high concentrations of wildlife, the Big Five of Africa included. At sunset we stop for sundowners, scanning the bush for animals and soaking up the wild scenery. Then the game drive continues, taking us into the night when various elusive creatures come out. Making our way back to the lodge we use spotlights to catch sight of nocturnal animals, such as hyenas, jackals and lions.
This evening we have a hearty dinner in one of the lantern-lit dining areas surrounded by indigenous trees and natural vegetation. The rest of the night is free for you to relax at the riverside lodge. There is an open-air boma for sitting around the campfire under the stars and there are two bars and lounge areas where you can unwind. Alternatively, you can retire to your river facing chalet and sit out on your deck next to the river, listening to the sounds of nature.
On day two we get up early and travel to Kruger National Park. About 45 minutes' drive later we arrive at the Orpen Gate to Kruger.
The entire day is set aside for game viewing in South Africa's leading game park. The open-sided game vehicle that we use, provides great views and unobstructed photo opportunities.
We stop at one of the rest areas in the national park to have our packed breakfasts from the lodge. Then we continue exploring the massive 19 485 km² Kruger Park, passing through different habitats as we proceed. Kruger is famous for its exceptional Big Five sightings, offering excellent chances of sighting two or more of these famous animals on one game drive. The Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino or leopard) aside, Kruger hosts an unbelievable diversity and abundance of life forms - including 147 mammal species and 517 bird species.
We may come across endangered African wild dogs, hyenas and smaller predators, in addition to the big cats - cheetah, leopard and lion. Some of the strange and wonderful animals often seen include wildebeest, giraffes, warthogs, zebras, hippos, vervet monkeys and all kinds of antelopes. While in Kruger, we stop at one of the rest camps where you can have lunch (own expense), rest in the shade, shop for curios and buy snacks and drinks.
In the late afternoon, we leave Kruger Park, returning to our charming lodge for a delicious dinner and a laid-back evening along the Klaserie River. Swap tales around the campfire or socialize at the bar, laze in a lounge area, or take a refreshing nighttime dip in one of the pools. At the end of a memorable day in Kruger Park, retreat to your air-conditioned chalet and fall asleep to the sounds of the river and surrounding bush.
Today we are up early again, heading into the nearby Thornybush Private Game Reserve on a sunrise game drive. Last chance to take in the wild African bush and spot free-roaming wildlife. Thornybush is home to about 48 mammal species, 230 bird species and 54 reptile species, so keep your eyes open for interesting encounters.
After our final game drive, we tuck into a full breakfast at the river lodge, enjoying the beautiful setting of the private reserve. Then we leave for Hoedspruit, where we catch our return transfer to Johannesburg.
Arriving in Johannesburg this evening (between 18:00 and 19:00) you are taken to the O.R. Tambo International Airport or Persequor Park in Pretoria, bringing this memorable wildlife adventure to an end.
Please note: Pick-up and drop-off are at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg or the Sasol Fuel Station in Persequor Park, Pretoria. For more details and times please enquire.
One of the most exceptional features of this intimate safari lodge is its idyllic location - tucked away in the indigenous vegetation along the Klaserie River, on a private reserve hosting abundant birdlife and free-roaming wildlife that can be spotted throughout the camp. The 200-hectare private property is positioned next to the acclaimed Thornybush Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger Park area. This also places the lodge just outside of the premier eco-tourism destination of Kapama Private Game Reserve, within easy reach of the Orpen Gate to Kruger National Park proper.
The lodge has two main areas - River Camp on the banks of the Klaserie River and Top Camp that overlooks a watering hole. The two areas of the lodge are set a five minute bush walk apart, and both have swimming pools, dining areas, bars, guest toilets and kitchens, with WiFi available in the main camp areas. All eleven chalets are located at the River Camp, which features an open-air boma for alfresco dining under the stars, as well as two adjacent pools. The waterhole at the Top Camp area attracts various animals and birds that can be viewed from the outdoor seating and dining areas, including zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and impala.
As a family-owned and operated establishment, this intimate lodge has a welcoming home-away-from-home ambience, bringing guests warm South African hospitality.
Accommodation is in comfortable river-facing chalets nestled in the shady trees on the reed-lined banks of the Klaserie River.
Each of the thatched chalets looks out over the tranquil river and surrounding natural vegetation, where an array of birds and animals are frequently spotted. These eleven riverside chalets have their own wooden decks, each with a table and chairs for sitting back and enjoying nature. The chalets also feature large windows for viewing the river and surrounding vegetation and are tiled throughout to keep the interior spaces cool.
The rooms offer a spacious and private retreat for two, featuring extra length twin or king-sized double beds. One of the chalets sleeps four, consisting of two inter-leading rooms that are ideal for families with children. Amenities include air-conditioning, ceiling fans, mosquito nets and en-suite bathrooms fitted with a shower, toilet and basin. The rooms are modern and well-appointed, each equipped with a tea/coffee station, a fully stocked mini-bar, a safe for valuables, a two-way radio, a writing desk, storage spaces and complimentary bath products.
The order of the activities on this safari may change due to weather conditions and availability, but you will get to experience them all on this safari!
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. For information on rates please follow the link.
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