On this comfortable, yet affordable lodge safari you experience the ideal mix of outstanding game viewing in both Kruger National Park and the private Sabi Sand Game Reserve of Greater Kruger!
Explore two of South Africa's top wildlife reserves on morning, afternoon, and sunset to night game drives, spotting the Big Five and numerous other wild animals and birds. Stay at two well-selected lodges in lovely settings along the Sabie and Sand rivers where animals and birds are frequently spotted. Hippo Hollow is your relaxing base for exploring the world-famous Kruger Park and the stylish Umkumbe Safari Lodge is set inside the prestigious Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
This Kruger & Sabi Sands Lodge Safari begins with collection in Johannesburg, early on the morning of day one. Leaving the biggest city in South Africa we travel northeast through the rural Mpumalanga Province, making our way towards Greater Kruger Park in an air-conditioned minibus.
Our journey takes us along the Panorama Route, one of the most beautiful parts of the country. Along the way we stop at the God’s Window viewpoint of Blyde River Canyon to take in the spectacular vistas over the Lowveld. We visit the historic small town of Graskop, founded during the gold rush of the 1880s. We also pause to view Lisbon Falls, a pretty waterfall along the edge of the Drakensberg Escarpment, and enjoy lunch (own account) en route.
We aim to arrive at Hippo Hollow Safari Lodge in time to settle in and relax before setting off on our first game viewing adventure. Today we embark on either an afternoon or evening game drive in Kruger National Park, depending on availability (to be confirmed en route to the lodge).
Late afternoons are an excellent time for sighting wildlife that stirs as the heat subsides, and evening drives offer the chance to spot nocturnal animals. After our first exhilarating game drive in the world-renowned Kruger National Park we return to the comfortable safari lodge for dinner and a good night's sleep.
An early start on day two - we set off for Kruger Park before breakfast. The early morning is an ideal time for game viewing so keep your eyes open for wildlife and birds. You have the option of taking a packed breakfast with, from the lodge (included in cost), or getting breakfast at one of the rest camps (own account) when we make our mid-morning breakfast stop.
After our breakfast stop we drive deeper into the game-rich wilderness, looking out for the wide array of wild creatures inhabiting Kruger. Sightings include the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant) along with an abundance of other mammals, reptiles, birds, insects and amphibians. We often see giraffes, zebras, various antelope species and hippos, as well as predators such as wild dogs, cheetahs, hyenas and jackals.
Later we stop for lunch (own account) at one of the rest camps in Kruger Park. Then the game viewing adventure continues, revealing more wild animals and the wonders of the open African bush. The afternoon game drive takes us back towards the lodge. Arriving at the lodge in the late afternoon you can take a quick dip in the pool and freshen up, before tucking into a delicious dinner and spending the rest of the evening relaxing.
On day three we drive into Kruger National Park, early in the morning. After exploring the diverse wildlife area and spotting a variety of free-roaming animals, we return to Hippo Hollow for breakfast.
Then we move on to the private Sabi Sands Game Reserve, where our next lodge is located. Arriving at Umkumbe Safari Lodge (about one and a half hours' drive away), you will be greeted by the friendly lodge staff who take over from your tour guide.
There is time to settle in, have lunch and rest, before embarking on a late afternoon game drive, which lasts into the evening. Sabi Sands hosts a high concentration of wildlife, forming part of Greater Kruger Park and sharing unfenced borders with the national park itself. This private game reserve offers a more exclusive safari experience, with fewer safari vehicles and visitors exploring the restricted wildlife area. Evenings are an excellent time for spotting wildlife, especially the nocturnal creatures emerging.
After our first game viewing drive in Sabi Sands we make our way back to the safari lodge in time for dinner and a laid-back evening.
Today we wake up bright and early for our last full day on safari in Greater Kruger. After a cup of coffee at the lodge we venture into the untamed wilderness that is Sabi Sands.
Driving through the bush in a 4x4 safari vehicle we look out for the abundance of animals and birds found here. Alternatively you can embark on a guided bush walk with one of the professional rangers, by arrangement with your guide. Walking in Sabi Sands is a thrilling experience as the Big Five are frequently sighted here, especially the leopards for which Sabi Sands is famous. After our morning of exploration we head back to the lodge for breakfast and spend the heat of the day relaxing at the lodge.
After lunch you have more free time to unwind and nap at the lodge, followed by a late afternoon game drive. Return to the rugged bush, game viewing as the sun sets and into the evening. Back at the lodge we have dinner and celebrate the final night of our safari together.
On the last day of our Kruger & Sabi Sand Safari we embark on a game drive early in the morning. After our final game drive in Sabi Sand, we return to the lodge for a tasty breakfast. Then it is time to hit the road again, making our way back to Johannesburg via Nelspruit.
Those opting to catch onward flights from Nelspruit will be transferred to the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, about two and a half hours' drive from the lodge. Alternatively, you will be transferred five to six hours by road, to the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg for onward flights.
This peaceful lodge is surrounded by indigenous gardens, situated along the Sabie River, a mere 10 minutes from Kruger Park. Various animals and birds can be spotted on the lodge's grounds and at the river, from hippos to monkeys and kingfishers, and even elephants!
The standard rooms look out over the lovely gardens of the courtyard,and have balconies and en suite bathrooms. The courtyard rooms feature comfortable beds and simple furnishings, as well as air-conditioning, ceiling fans and heating. There are two swimming pools with lush lawns, deck chairs and shaded areas for lazing around. A variety of delicious dishes and fine South African wines are served in the lodge restaurant which opens out onto a deck overlooking the tranquil Sabie River and gardens.
Umkumbe Lodge is located inside the prestigious Sabi Sand Game Reserve, along the seasonal Sabi River. The owners of this authentic safari lodge manage the lodge themselves ensuring that personal service and the highest standards are maintained.
Most of the ten en-suite chalets look out over the Sand River where wildlife is often seen in the riverbed and at the river. The comfortable chalets feature verandahs with camping chairs, ideal for enjoying the views and spotting animals and birds. Animal sightings include elephants, buffalos, hippos, warthogs and various antelopes.
Umkumbe has a swimming pool and outdoor deck under shady trees, a fully-stocked bar, indoor and small outdoor lounge areas. Hearty meals are served in the thatched dining area as well as in the open-air boma with a campfire.
Please note that we offer convenient pre and post tour lodge accommodation 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 pricing information please follow the link.
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