This Kruger Park Treehouse Safari is definitely one of the top budget Kruger Safaris – a must for travellers looking for a totally 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. The Balule part of Greater Kruger offers a remote and superb 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 at the Marula Tree Boma for a memorable braai in the heart of the African bush, before continuing our thrilling 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 teeming with wildlife.
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 best game parks, in an open 4x4 safari vehicle. Enjoy unforgettable game drives in Kruger Park, boasting a breathtaking diversity of plants and animals and home to massive populations of the iconic Big 5 of Africa.
Visit Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre and explore Motlala Game Reserve on an afternoon game drive in an open safari vehicle.
After a morning nature walk with a trained ranger we journey via the spectacular sites of the 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 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 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 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 standard safari accommodation, immersing you in the unspoiled bush like camping, but with added charm and comfort!
Accommodation at the Treehouse Camp is in simple thatched treehouses nestled in the trees along the perennial Klaserie River, or overlooking the camp’s floodlit waterhole visited by buffalo and other wildlife.
These basic treehouses are built out of wood, reed and thatch reducing the environmental impact on the untamed bush surroundings. The treehouse accommodation is a step up from camping, offering a back-to-nature experience with a difference. The cabins are fitted with electric fans, beds and mosquito nets, and linen, towels and soap are included to ensure that you are comfortable. Part of the charm of the treehouses is that they are rustic, which means that winter nights (about April to October) can get chilly, but extra blankets and hot water bottles are available to keep you cosy.
Most of the treehouses are raised on stilts, set on the ground in the gallery forest, and feature en-suite bathrooms. Two of the units are up in the trees or set in tree branches, featuring private ablutions on the ground below.
Listen to the sounds of wild animals at night from the safety of your treehouse and its viewing deck - a truly African bush experience! The secure treehouses blend into the bush, getting you as close to unspoiled nature as you can without having to camp.
Today we travel to Kruger National Park’s Orpen Gate in 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 the vast Kruger Park we return to our charming Treehouse Camp rated as excellent value-for-money by Getaway travel magazine.
The world-renowned Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s best safari destinations and 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 today, we make our way to the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre for injured and orphaned wild animals and birds.
At Moholoholo Wildlife Centre you can get up close to some of the wildlife being cared for here, including lions and leopards. After visiting the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, we return to camp for a light lunch. In the late afternoon we set off on an open vehicle, sunset game drive in the Motlala Game Reserve, home to numerous wild animals, including three of the Big Five of Africa. We spend two to three hours spotting wildlife which tend to be relaxed around safari vehicles. This makes for excellent wildlife sightings and photographic opportunities in this lovely, quieter reserve. Motlala covers a range of vegetation types, from riverine forests of big, old trees to open plains, providing rich habitats for the healthy animal and bird populations.
After watching the sun go down, we make our way back to the unique treehouse camp on the lookout for nocturnal creatures as we drive.
DAY 5: Private Safari Lodge to Johannesburg
On the last day of this outstanding wildlife safari experience we get up early and set off into the bush on foot (weather permitting).
This guided bush walk gives you the chance to get a closer look at the signs of wildlife activity and the smaller creatures and plants that are often overlooked on game drives. The short 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 the nature walk we enjoy breakfast before departing from the enchanting treehouse camp. We travel through the beautiful Panorama Route, one of the most scenic parts of South Africa, 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 more information on rates.
This tour does take children.
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