Lion vehicle

6 Day Southern Kruger Budget Lodges Safari

Tour Length6 days
Priced from pps $1363 R18500 £1032 1155 A$1736 C$1698 NZ$1903 Full pricing info
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Summary of this Lodge Safari

  • Starts & ends in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Accommodation Luxury Camping
  • Transport Game Viewing - Open 4x4 / Microbus
  • Wildlife Big 5, Elephant, Leopards, Lions, Rhino, Wildlife Conservation Experience & More
  •  See Departure Dates

Quick Itinerary Overview

Explore the wildlife-rich southern region of Kruger National Park on open 4x4 game drives with expert guides. Highlights on this Kruger Lodge Safari include:

  • sunset game drive in the Nkambeni private wildlife concession within Kruger Park
  • a full day of open 4x4 game drives in Kruger National Park proper
  • Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre & Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre
  • morning game drive in Manyeleti Game Reserve or Malelane Private Game Reserve
  • optional game viewing activities (extra cost) in Kruger, Manyeleti or Malelane Reserve

Our game viewing adventure is based at two excellent-value safari lodges, starting off with our charming tented camp in the Nkambeni Concession Area of Kruger Park. Next, we stay at either Shalati Safari Camp on a private concession bordering Manyeleti Private Game Reserve, or we head to Boulders Safari Lodge, located on its own private game reserve near Kruger. Accommodation is in comfortable rooms or tented suites on raised wooden decks with small verandah areas. 

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Itinerary for this Tour

Day 1: Johannesburg to Kruger National Park Concession Area – South Africa

On day one, you are collected from the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg at about 07:45. Our shuttle service transfers you east to White River in the Lowveld region of the Mpumalanga Province.

Your guide then collects you and drives you to Nkambeni Safari Camp, located in the Nkambeni private concession area within Kruger National Park. Settle in and freshen up, before our first wildlife adventure in one of Africa's best game parks.

This afternoon we embark on our first game drive, heading into the private wildlife concession of Kruger Park. The Nkambeni concession is home to the legendary Big Five of Africa - lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant, along with numerous other wildlife and bird species.

Spend the evening relaxing at the tented camp, unwinding at the bar and sharing tales around the campfire.

  • Meals included: Dinner

Nkambeni Private Concession Area in Kruger Park

The Nkambeni private concession area incorporates about 11 000 hectares of untamed bushveld inside the borders of Kruger National Park. The concession area, which is owned by the local Nkambeni community, is located near Shabeni Koppie and the Pretoriuskop Rest Camp.

Open vehicle game drives, optional (extra cost) nature walks and bush barbecues (braais) are conducted in the private Nkambeni concession area with traversing rights in Kruger Park. Elephants, giraffes, buffalos, baboons and various antelopes are often spotted in the concession area, along with other wild animals and birds.

Day 2: Kruger National Park – South Africa

Day two is set aside for game viewing in Kruger National Park, one of the most famous safari destinations in the world. After breakfast at the lodge, we make our way into the official national park. We will spend the entire day exploring Kruger National Park on game drives in open 4x4 safari vehicles, sighting all kinds of incredible wild animals and birds.

While in Kruger we break for lunch, stopping at one of the well-equipped rest camps or picnic areas. The camps usually have a cafeteria, restaurant and shop, as well as ablution facilities and often a swimming pool too. Lunch is not included in the tour price and can be purchased at the camp restaurant or shop, where various light snacks and meals are available.

Later this afternoon, we make our way back to camp, game viewing as we drive through the untamed wilderness.

  • Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

About Kruger National Park

South Africa's flagship national park and one of Africa's best game parks, Kruger National Park is a world-renowned safari destination. The national park covers a massive 19485 km² of unspoilt wilderness in northeastern South Africa - an area similar to the size of Wales or Israel.

Kruger boasts healthy populations of the Big Five, making it a top Big Five game viewing destination. Due to its large scale and geographical location, this park incorporates several biomes, hosting an unusually high diversity of animals, plants and other creatures. Some 147 mammal species, 507 bird species and 114 reptile species have been recorded in Kruger Park. Large mammals include hippopotamus, cheetah, hyena, giraffe, zebra, African wild dog and numerous antelope species, such as kudu, eland, impala, springbok and hartebeest.

Day 3: Kruger Concession to Shalati Camp or Boulders Lodge near Kruger Park – South Africa

Today we drive to our next base - one of two safari lodges near Kruger. Our next stay will be at either Shalati Safari Camp or Boulders Safari Lodge.

Shalati Safari Camp is located just outside of Manyeleti Private Game Reserve, bordering Kruger National Park. If we are staying at Shalati then we travel north through Kruger, via Skukuza and Satara rest camps. We take our time and stop to watch wildlife and birds in the bushveld around us. Then, we leave the official national park, transferring from Orpen Gate to our camp bordering on Manyeleti Game Reserve, game viewing en route.

If we are spending the next few nights at Boulders Safari Lodge then we drive southeast from Nkambeni into Kruger Park, game viewing en route. Our game drive takes us to the Malelane Gate of Kruger Park, where we exit the national park and transfer to the nearby private game reserve where Boulders is located.

  • Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

About Manyeleti Game Reserve

The 23000-hectare Manyeleti Private Game Reserve lies between the prestigious Timbavati and Sabi Sands private game reserves of Greater Kruger Park. The reserve shares unfenced borders with Kruger National Park, but is not open to the public, providing an exclusive and uncrowded safari experience.

The word Manyeleti translates from Shangaan as 'Place of the Stars' which befits this comparatively undeveloped wilderness area. Manyeleti is owned and run by the local community of Mnisi, featuring few lodges and maintaining low visitor numbers.

The park is known for its excellent leopard sightings, as well as regular sightings of the rest of the Big Five - lion, rhino, elephant and buffalo.

Day 4: Moholoholo & Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre

On day four we visit two acclaimed wildlife rehabilitation centres near Blyde River Canyon, in the Limpopo Province.

At Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, we see animals that have been rescued from across South Africa, getting up close to various species. Sick, injured and orphaned animals are treated at the wildlife centre and where possible, released back into the wild. Rescued animals that cannot be released into the wild, become residents of Moholoholo. The resident animals play an important role in education, helping to create awareness about wildlife conservation issues. We view lion, leopard, lynx, honey badger, African wild dog and serval at the centre, which runs a highly successful serval breeding program.

At the well-known Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, we find out about the research, breeding and rehabilitation work being done here. The Hoedspruit wildlife sanctuary focuses on helping rare, vulnerable and endangered species through its programs. Rescued animals are also rehabilitated here, with the aim of releasing them into the wild. The centre breeds and rehabilitates cheetahs for release, championing this species of big cat. In addition to cheetahs, the centre hosts buffalo, elephant, rhino, leopard, African wild dog, lion, serval and birds, such as endangered Cape vulture and ground hornbill.

Our visits offer valuable insight into the species that are being cared for, treated and bred at the wildlife centres, at the same time enabling us to get a closer look at these fascinating creatures. At about 15:00 we return to the Shalati tented lodge at Manyeleti or to Boulders Safari Lodge near Kruger.

  • Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 5: Manyeleti Game Reserve or Malelane Private Game Reserve – South Africa

This morning is free for relaxing at Shalati or Boulders and doing optional activities (extra cost) in and around Kruger Park.

Both lodges offer optional early morning game walks that can be booked in advance. On bush walks you set off into the private concession at Manyeleti or the Boulders private game reserve (depending on where we are based) on foot with an armed ranger leading the way. The guided walks last for about two hours and enable you to take a close-up look at the local flora and fauna, getting a real feel for the untamed African bushveld.

This afternoon we embark on an open 4x4 game drive taking us into the untamed bush for sunset. Both private game reserves offer superb game viewing, often providing close encounters with large wildlife species!

Optional (extra cost) activities include an exhilarating night game drive in the respective private wildlife areas and a traditional braai (barbecue) in the bush.

  • Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 6: Shalati Camp or Boulders Lodge to Johannesburg – South Africa

On our final morning, we are up early for one last game drive in the game-rich Lowveld of Limpopo. We head into the Manyeleti Game Reserve or Boulder's private game reserve, depending on where we are staying, watching for animals and birds beginning to stir in the bush.

Then it is time to pack up and say farewell to the African bushveld, transferring to Hazyview where the shuttle collects you. The shuttle takes you back to OR Tambo in Johannesburg, bringing your unforgettable Southern Kruger Safari to a close.

  • Meals included: Breakfast

Please note:

This itinerary may run in the reverse order - visiting the Manyeleti area or Boulders private game reserve first and then the Nkambeni private concession area in Kruger Park, depending on availability at the lodges. You will, however, experience all of the included activities indicated on the itinerary, regardless of the order of the program.

Nkambeni Tented Camp in Kruger Concession Area

The first permanent tented camp is situated in the Nkambeni private concession area, accessed via Numbi Gate, and falls within the borders of Kruger National Park.

Accommodation is in en-suite tented rooms raised on wooden platforms with deck areas. The luxury timber and canvas suites have been designed to have a low environmental impact on the natural surroundings. Each permanent tent features air-conditioning and is fitted with comfortable beds, basic furniture, tea and coffee stations and mosquito nets. The en-suite bathrooms are fitted with shower, toilet and basin.

The tented camp has a big swimming pool with deck chairs beside it. From the pool area, hippos, other wildlife and birds are often spotted at the nearby dam. The main lodge facilities include a bar and lounge area, a curio shop, a spacious restaurant with an outdoor dining deck and open-air boma areas.

Shalati Tented Camp at Manyeleti Game Reserve

We stay at Shalati Safari Camp, located at the entrance to the Manyeleti Private Concession, which shares an unfenced border with Kruger National Park.

The camp features outdoor boma areas for dining under the stars and relaxing around the campfire at night. Facilities include a spacious dining and lounge area with wooden decks and a bar next to the swimming pool.

Accommodation is in comfortable tented rooms with fans and en-suite bathrooms. These twenty canvas and timber structures are designed to provide more comfort than camping, whilst still immersing you in the African bush.

Boulders Safari Lodge in Malelane Private Game Reserve

Boulders Safari Lodge is located in a private game reserve, near the Malelane Gate of Kruger National Park. This 7000-hectare Lowveld game park is home to a variety of animals and birds, including zebras, giraffes, buffalos, rhinos and antelopes such as nyala, kudu, impala, roan and sable.

Accommodation at the lodge is in spacious rooms with air-conditioning and en-suite bathrooms (shower, toilet and basin). These thatch-roofed rooms feature tea-and-coffee-making facilities and comfortable beds. The safari lodge has spacious grounds with natural vegetation and a rock pool. Facilities include a large, open-sided dining room, a lounge and bar area, and an open-air boma.

Optional Extras and Excursions

For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.

  • Afternoon game drive in Kruger Park
  • Bush walk in private concession or reserve
  • Bush braai (barbecue) in concession area
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+Where does the tour go to?
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Kruger Park
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+Optional Activities & Day Trips
For confirmed pricing on these optional items, please drop us an enquiry
  • Afternoon game drive in Kruger Park
  • Bush walk in private concession or reserve
  • Bush braai (barbecue) in concession area
+Included in the Tour Price
  • all conservation fees
  • tented lodge accommodation
  • breakfasts & dinners
  • transfers
  • activities as per itinerary
+Not Included in the Tour Price
  • lunches
  • optional activities
+Departure Dates

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