This Kruger Park Treehouse Safari is definitely one of the best budget Kruger Safaris – a must for travellers looking for a unique Big 5 wildlife adventure.
From Johannesburg we travel to a private game lodge inside an exclusive Big 5 game reserve section of the Greater Kruger National Park.
In the Balule part of Greater Kruger the rangers communicate by two-way radio, off-road game driving is permitted and fewer vehicles are encountered on the dirt roads – resulting in a more remote and rewarding game viewing experience! On our first night we head into this Big 5 territory on an exhilarating sunset game drive that lasts into the night, taking us in search of nocturnal wildlife. Along the way we stop for a memorable bush braai (barbecue) in the heart of the private game reserve, before continuing our game drive into the night.
In the early morning we venture into the secluded Kruger Park Private Concession area for a thrilling Big 5 Bush Walk with an armed ranger. In the afternoon we embark on an exciting Big 5 game drive in this private section of the Greater Kruger Park.
Next we make our way to the unique Treehouse Camp where we stay in rustic treehouses tucked away in the trees along the pristine Klaserie River in a private game reserve. Falling asleep to the sounds of Africa's wildlife, the alternative treehouse accommodation gives you a truly wild African bush experience! We spend a full day game viewing in the world-renowned Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s top game parks, in an open 4x4 safari vehicle. Enjoy unforgettable game viewing in Kruger Park, boasting a spectacular diversity of plants and animals and home to huge populations of the iconic Big 5 of Africa.
After a morning nature walk on the last day, we journey via the breathtaking sites of Blyde River Canyon back to Johannesburg, where this fantastic Big 5 Kruger Park Treehouse Safari comes to an end!
This unique Kruger Park Treehouse Safari starts in Johannesburg where you will be collected from your hotel or the Johannesburg International Airport. Leaving Johannesburg, the City Of Gold, we head east into the scenic Mpumalanga Province of South Africa, passing through the Highveld grasslands on our way to the Greater Kruger National Park.
Our first overnight stay is at a Private Game Lodge in the Balule section of the Greater Kruger National Park. Balule is famous for its abundance of birdlife and wildlife, including Africa’s Big Five.
In the afternoon there is usually time to take a refreshing dip in the lodge swimming pool, relax in the bar and enjoy the lodge’s lush garden. In the late afternoon we embark on our first exhilarating game drive in the Balule section of the Greater Kruger National Park. Our sunset game drive takes us in search of the Big Five - lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo, as well as various other wild animals.
The three-hour 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 and lion.
We stop for a memorable bush braai (barbecue) in the heart of the private game reserve. Dinner is prepared over an open fire at the Marula Tree Boma, as the stars come out. After our relaxing braai in the wild our thrilling game drive continues into the night. We look out for predators prowling in the darkness, maybe even encountering the elusive leopard.
Back at the private game lodge inside the reserve we unwind and retreat to our comfortable en suite chalets with air-conditioning. The Private Lodge is set in a lovely subtropical garden with water features and has electric fencing to keep out the lions, elephants, buffalos and other wildlife found in the game reserve.
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 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.
Day two starts with an early morning coffee and some rusks (hard biscuits), before we venture into the private reserve at sunrise. We drive to a secluded part of this Big Five wilderness area where we will head into the bush on foot.
The four-hour guided Bush Walk is a truly thrilling experience that will get your adrenaline pumping as you walk among the Big Five and other untamed wildlife.
Your qualified guide will be armed to ensure your safety while you follow big game on this unforgettable wildlife experience. Your guide will be able to tell you more about the fauna and flora in this remote wilderness area as you move through the bush at your own pace.
After the thrill of walking in Big Five territory we return to the safari lodge with hearty appetites to enjoy a tasty brunch. In the afternoon we head back into the bush on an afternoon game drive in the private section of the Greater Kruger Park, teeming with wildlife. After our Big Five game drive we depart from the Private Game Lodge making our way to our next stop – a unique Treehouse Camp.
The Treehouse Camp offers a refreshing alternative to the standard safari accommodation, as you stay in intriguing treehouses in an unspoiled bush setting!
Today we travel to Kruger National Park’s Orpen Gate, where we transfer to a specially designed game-viewing vehicle.
This custom-built safari vehicle is open-sided allowing for the best visibility game viewing, as well as immersing you in the smells and sounds of the African bush! In addition to not having windows the safari vehicle is also elevated to maximize your photographic opportunities in Kruger Park.
The region of Kruger National Park that we explore boasts one of the highest concentrations of lions in Africa, as well as numerous other predators. Kruger’s Orpen-Satara-Nwanedzi area consists of open grassy plains that attract large populations of grazers, including big herds of zebra, giraffe and various kinds of antelopes. The abundance of grazers in this area of course explains the high concentration of predators too!
On our game viewing drive we will stop regularly to watch wildlife and rest at Kruger camps and picnic spots, as well as places of archeological or historical interest.
At the end of a full day of game viewing inside Kruger Park we return to our charming Treehouse Camp rated as excellent value-for-money by Getaway travel magazine.
Accommodation at the Treehouse Camp is in rustic thatched treehouses tucked away in the trees along the pristine perennial Klaserie River or overlooking the camp’s floodlit waterhole visited by buffalo and other wildlife. Ten of the cabins are set on stilts in the bush and have en-suite bathrooms. Two of the charming units are up in the trees, with private ablutions on the ground.
These elevated treehouses are built out of wood, reed and thatch reducing the environmental impact on the dense bush surroundings. The treehouse accommodation is basic, but the cabins are fitted with electric fans, beds and mosquito nets, and include linen, towels and soap to ensure that you are comfortable. Each treehouse features a wooden viewing deck and immerses you in nature the same way that camping does, but with a added charm. During the winter (about April to October) nights can get chilly, so extra blankets and hot water bottles are available to keep you snug, even though you are as close to nature as you can get, without camping. At night you can listen to the sounds of wild animals from the safety of your treehouse, a truly African bush experience!
The world-renowned Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s best safari destinations and South Africa’s premier game reserve. Covering nearly 2 million hectares of untamed African bush the variety of habitats in Kruger Park are home to a unrivaled diversity of plants and animals.
Kruger is the top travel destination in South Africa, 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.
On the last day of this outstanding wildlife safari experience we get up early and set off into the bush on foot (weather permitting).
The short bush walk gives you the chance to get a closer look at signs of wildlife activity and the smaller creatures and plants that are often overlooked on game drives. This early morning walk is an excellent opportunity to discover more about the remarkable details of the bush, learning about the fascinating flora and fauna of the private reserve. Your experienced ranger will point out animal tracks and droppings that you encounter on the walk, as well as birds and insects inhabiting the reserve.
Returning from our hour-long morning walk we enjoy breakfast before departing from the enchanting treehouse camp. We travel through the beautiful Panorama Route on our way back to Johannesburg pausing to admire the Three Rondawels and impressive Blyde River Canyon.
In the late afternoon we arrive in Johannesburg bringing the unforgettable wildlife adventure of this Kruger Park Treehouse 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 information on rates.
This tour takes children over 6 years of age.
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