This outstanding Kruger River Lodge Safari combines the world-famous Kruger National Park with top private game reserves in the Greater Kruger Park area, offering a diverse game viewing adventure with intimate lodge accommodation. Stay in comfortable, air-conditioned chalets overlooking the scenic Klaserie River at the exclusive game lodge located inside a private reserve.
On day one we embark on a sunset game drive in Thornybush Private Game Reserve, stopping for sundowners before continuing with spotlights. Spend the whole of day two and five in Kruger National Park, exploring one of Africa’s best game parks in an open-sided safari vehicle. Take a morning bush walk in the lodge's private reserve to experience the fascinating micro-systems of the African bush and set off on an exciting afternoon game drive in the Big Five Tshukudu Game Reserve.
Enjoy a leisurely boat cruise on the Blyde River and visit the Hoedspruit Endangered Wildlife Centre on day four. Then on the final day, return to the Big Five Thornybush Private Nature Reserve for a sunrise game drive, before heading back to Johannesburg.
This Kruger Lodge Safari begins with collection from the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, or from the Gautrain Station in Centurion. Setting off from the biggest city in South Africa, we drive east into the highveld region of the Mpumalanga Province. We make our way to a bush bar in Hoedspruit, where you are collected for the short transfer to the private lodge.
After settling in and having a late lunch at the lodge along the Klaserie River, it is time for our first game viewing adventure. Hopping into an open-sided safari vehicle we drive to the nearby Thornybush Private Nature Reserve, in the Greater Kruger National Park area. Heading into the reserve as the heat of the day subsides, we get to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the lowveld bush, encountering wildlife and birds as we go. Thornybush has an excellent reputation as one of the finest private reserves in the Greater Kruger area, hosting a high concentration of wildlife. We stop at a nice spot in the bush and have sundowners, keeping an eye out for the big mammals, especially the famous Big Five of Africa - rhino, leopard, elephant, buffalo and lion.
After a beautiful sunset we climb back into the safari vehicle and drive on using spotlights to search out nocturnal animals in the dark. Leaving Thornybush Reserve we return to the private river lodge and have dinner in one of the lantern-lit dining areas. Then you can have a drink at the bar, sit around the campfire, or head straight to your comfortable chalet next to the river for a good night's rest. Gaze up at the stars and tune into the nighttime sounds of the bush, drifting off to sleep after an eventful day in Africa.
Waking up bright and early, we jump into the safari vehicle and head for Kruger National Park. After about 45 minutes we arrive at the Orpen Gate where the game viewing bonanza begins.
The entire day is spent inside South Africa's most famous game park, spotting wildlife and birds as we experience the untamed bushveld and its rich habitats. Before long, we stop at one of the rest areas in Kruger Park and tuck into our packed breakfasts from the lodge. Then the game viewing drive continues, until our lunch break at one of the rest camps. There will be time to do a bit of curio shopping, snooze in the shade, buy some snacks and cold drinks from the shop and have lunch (own expense). After lunch we return to the rugged bush, searching out the multitude of wild animals, birds and reptiles of the reserve and pausing to capture our exciting sightings.
Kruger National Park is massive at about 19 485 km², yet the game viewing is superb, because there are so many animals here. Mammals alone number at 147 species! And that includes big populations of Africa's Big Five. Common sightings include herds of elephants, antelopes and buffalos, lion prides, packs of hyenas and wild dogs, hippo pods and basks of lurking crocodiles. Giraffes, zebras, monkeys, warthogs, baboons and impalas are very commonly seen, with leopards and cheetahs being less ubiquitous.
Back at the riverside lodge this evening, we have a delicious dinner and relax in the lovely natural setting of the private reserve. Choose a comfy place to unwind - one of the lounges, the open-air boma or the bush bar, take a night swim or retreat to your air-conditioned chalets with its own deck overlooking the Klaserie River.
Start with breakfast and a coffee, before walking into the private reserve from the lodge. Venturing into the bushveld on foot with a skilled ranger is perhaps the best way to really experience the African wilderness in all its intricate glory.
This nature walk is all about seeing the micro-systems of the South African lowveld up close, rather than spotting the big mammals and predators. Your guide can tell you all about the small animals, insects, reptiles, birds and flora found on this 200 hectare wild piece of land. As you walk, the expert guide points out animal tracks, medicinal plants, markings and other signs of animal and bird activity.
After getting a real feeling for the bush - textures, sounds, smells, sights, we walk back to the lodge where you can freshen up with a swim or a shower and a cool drink. Next up, lunch time, a well-deserved feast! Then you have a bit of leisure time to recline by the pool, chill-out in one of the lounge areas, nap in your air-conditioned chalet or sit back and listen to the birds as you watch the river from your own deck.
In the afternoon we head back out into the bush for more 4x4 game viewing in the Greater Kruger Park area. Into the Tshukudu Private Game Reserve we go, binoculars and cameras at hand. Here we are likely to encounter large mammals up close, including the Big Five, from the safety of the 4x4 vehicle.
After spotting game in the wilds of Tshukudu Game Reserve we return to the flickering campfire and a tasty dinner at the intimate lodge along the river.
Today begins with a scrumptious breakfast at the peaceful river lodge. Then we drive to the Blyde River where we embark on a scenic boat cruise through the rugged mountains. This area has an interesting history and hosts unique geological features that the river guide can tell you more about. The river flows through the Blyde River Canyon, one of the largest vegetated canyons in the world. Enjoy the quiet and the beautiful scenery, watching for hippos, crocodiles and birds along the unspoilt course of the river.
The relaxing boat cruise is followed by lunch back at the private lodge, tucked away in the indigenous trees and plants. In the afternoon we take a trip to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC), which rescues and rehabilitates wild animals with a focus on rare, vulnerable and threatened species. The centre breeds cheetahs for release into the wild and endangered African wild dogs, conducts wildlife research and helps to create awareness about conservation issues.
Back at the lodge we have a delicious dinner in one of the spacious dining areas, followed by a laid-back evening beside the Klaserie River. Animals and birds from the surrounding reserve are often sighted at the lodge, so remember to keep an eye out for special encounters.
On day five we are treated to a second full day of game viewing in the world-famous Kruger National Park. Returning to South Africa's premier game reserve, with our honed game spotting skills, is a great chance to catch sight of any of the sought-after animals that may have evaded us thus far.
Driving through the diverse vegetation zones and habitats of this 19 485 km² national park, your professional guide searches out the abundant wildlife and birds found here. An astounding 517 bird species have been recorded in Kruger Park, along with numerous reptiles, insects, plants and amphibians. Predator encounters to look forward to include: endangered African wild dog, cheetah, hyena, leopard and lion, along with the smaller species - jackal, mongoose, caracal, serval, civet and genet. The smorgasbord of herbivores frequently spotted in Kruger includes: rhinos, elephants, buffalos, giraffes, zebras, waterbuck, wildebeest, duiker, impala, kudu, springbok and steenbok, among many. Other wildlife sightings include honey badger, porcupine, aardvark, bush baby, baboon, hippo and vervet monkey.
Exploring Kruger again also gives birding enthusiasts a chance to spot more birds, as eagles, vultures, owls, bee-eaters, plovers, bustards, hornbills, storks and shrikes are all seen here. At the end of our eventful day in one of Africa's finest reserves we take the short drive back to our lodge in the Greater Kruger Park area.
Wake up to the sound of birds along the Klaserie River, rising early for one more game drive this morning. The final day kicks off with a 4x4 game drive in the Big Five territory of Thornybush Private Game Reserve.
Back in the Thornybush Nature Reserve we scan the bush for the movements and other tell-tales that give the wildlife and birds away. This 13 816 hectare private reserve is home to a rich assortment of creatures - some 48 mammal species, 230 bird species and 54 reptile species, as well as 112 tree species.
After our last rewarding game drive we have a hearty breakfast back at the lovely lodge. Then it is time to return to the bush bar in Hoedspruit, for the transfer back to Johannesburg. Back in the bustling city you are transferred to the O.R. Tambo International Airport or one of the selected drop-off points (between 18:00 and 19:00), bringing our marvellous Kruger River Lodge Safari to a close.
This small lodge is in a beautiful setting along the Klaserie River, in the Greater Kruger area - an ideal location! The intimate lodge is set amid the natural vegetation inside a private 200 hectare reserve neighbouring Thornybush Private Game Reserve. The lodge's small reserve is home to an assortment of wild animals and birds, which are often sighted throughout the property. There are two main areas at the lodge, linked by a five minute walk through the indigenous bush. One of the areas is called the River Camp and this is where the river facing chalets are located, along with dining and lounge areas, a swimming pool and outdoor boma with a fire pit. The second area overlooks a watering hole which attracts wildlife and birds, and also features dining and seating areas, and a pool. Both parts of the lodge have a kitchen, bar and guest toilets with WiFi available in the main lodge areas.
The lodge offers an exciting range of activities, including game viewing day trips to the world-renowned Kruger National Park. The river lodge also conducts open-sided 4x4 game drives in top reserves of the Greater Kruger area - Thornybush Game Reserve and Tshukudu Game Reserve. On this safari guests also enjoy a morning bush walk in the private reserve of the lodge and a boat cruise on the Blyde River.
As a family-owned and operated establishment this intimate lodge has a welcoming home-away-from-home ambiance, bringing guests warm South African hospitality.
Stay in cool riverside chalets, tucked in the shady trees, facing the Klaserie and surrounding indigenous bush. The chalets have big windows, glass doors and spacious decks where you can sit back and watch the birds, animals and other creatures visiting the river. Designed to offer a retreat from the African heat, the chalets have air-conditioning, tiled floors and tall ceilings, with thatched roofs to shade the wooden decks.
There are eleven chalets on the river bank, each with their own en-suite bathroom (shower, toilet and basin) with complimentary bath products. Amenities include coffee/tea making stations, mini-bars, safety boxes and two-way radios. The chalets are tastefully decorated and well-equipped, featuring twin or double beds, writing desks, ceiling fans, air-conditioning and storage spaces. One of the chalets sleeps four people in two inter-leading rooms making it ideal for families with children.
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 O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Follow the link for more information on rates.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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