Specialist guide Jody Cole throughout
Sold Out! We begin with a slow deliberate introduction to the bush with an overnight in South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg. We then skirt the urban jungle heading east to overnight beneath geological monoliths and soak in hot springs. Our second day we dive headfirst into Kruger’s most pristine and unadulterated area called the Makuleke Contract Park. We’ll walk, drive and explore the setting at our own pace, from our private wilderness camp.
It is here that we sink, full body, full mind and full spirit into our inner wilderness to witness nature as it should be. You simply must come prepared to say “Yes” when you didn’t think you would, to walk ancient pathways that have been carved by wild game for centuries and to put your senses in high gear for this very tactile, exploratory and deepening experience some call a vacation… Africans call it… “Safari.”
Arrive into OR
After collecting your luggage, clearing customs and immigration you’ll meet your driver in the Arrivals Hall and be transported to a lovely guest house near the airport. Meet your travel friends over dinner at our cozy home for the night.
Overnight AfricaSky Guest House
Meals: Dinner, B&B
The journey begins with a 5-hour scenic drive north-east past Pretoria towards the most northern part of Kruger National Park, stopping for lunch on route. Our resort is near the famous Tshipise fault lines, formed between the late Paleozoic era 545 million years ago and early Mesozoic era 248 million years ago. “Tshipise” literally means “something warm”, which for us means hot springs.
As well as the famous (and climbable) Tshipise koppie that towers protectively over the resort. Giant Baobabs dot the surrounding landscape.
Overnight: Forever Resorts Tschipise
Meals: L, D, BB
Days 3 – 5
Up and at IT!
Into Kruger National Park we go, with a two-hour drive to the Pafuri gate, which is the gateway to the historic Makuleke Contract Park, and to our very own private camp. For the next three days and nights, we’ll see untamed, unfenced, untethered African bush.
We will be in South Africa’s most magical piece of land from sunup to sundown, exploring on foot, by vehicle and up close, the true meaning of “wilderness,” inside and out. The walking trails explore the remotest part of northern Kruger giving you the chance of close encounters with the wildlife while having the opportunity to appreciate the finer details of the African bush. Our accommodation is comprised of spacious two-person tents, cozy beds, chemical toilet en suite and separate hot water shower facilities. The unfenced camp is next to the Luvhuvu River, which means that “visitors” come and go, especially at night once the campfire goes down. With everyone safely in their tents, we’ll place a nocturnal camera to capture the passing wildlife: civets, genets, hyenas, leopards, porcupines and much more.
Overnights: Pafuri Hutwini Trails
Meals: Full Room and Board
Shingwedzi Rest Camp
Our three days of exploring comes to an end, only to begin our search for more wildlife further south in Kruger. It is an all-morning game drive to our overnight destination, a traditional Kruger National Park rest camp in two bed bungalows on the Shingwedzi River.
“Shingwedzi” is derived from a Tsonga word, “njwetse”, meaning the sound of iron rubbing against iron. Lots of hippos, more elephants, waterbuck and a variety of birds to see here.
Overnight: Shingwedzi Rest Camp
Meals: L, D, B
The Greater Kruger Park Area
We’ll start our day with a drive through the park and end at The Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate, just an hour outside the Park gates (4 hours stop and go). Our home for the night is in a private residential wildlife estate that is home to Impala, Wildebeest, Greater Kudu, Southern Giraffe, Warthog and other non-dangerous plains game.
The absence of elephants, buffalo, lions and rhinos mean you can explore the estate’s greenbelt area on foot, by mountain bike or on horseback.
Overnight: Unembeza Boutique Lodge (Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate)
Meals: D, L, BB
Days 8, 9 & 10:
On Friday morning we’ll do something very few people get to do: you get to literally smooch South Africa’s most famous hippopotamus: Jessica. Her story is one of the most darling stories ever. You’ll see. Once we’ve recovered… We spend our remaining nights in the heart of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park.
The Greater Kruger National Park Area is a joint venture between the Kruger National Park and the Associated Private Nature Reserves, an area of more than 20,000,000 Ha (or more than 4,9421,076 acres, the size of Nebraska). Our home for the next 3 nights is the stunning Tanda Tula Safari Camp, a luxury tented camp. The camp is completely unfenced, merging luxury with the natural environment. We enjoy two game drives a day, with an optional guided walk using our newfound knowledge, or just chillax at the pool or in your tent. There’s no better way to savor our final days in the bush than to enjoy luxury accommodations, culinary delights and wildlife on a seemingly first name basis, yep that close.
Overnight: Tanda Tula Safari Camp
Meals: Full Room and Board
Departure day. After one last game drive and bush breakfast we say farewell to our new friends and drive to the Hoedspruit Airport where you’ll take a flight back to Johannesburg to begin your journey home.
Or from Hoedspruit you may choose to go to see more of what Africa has to offer: Cape Town, Victoria Falls or you tell us where else you would like to go.
Price Per Person
Enquire for a 2024 quote
2023 safaris are fully booked.
“Jody was very attentive to all of us. I liked how she took care of each person’s individual needs.”
Sonya A., San Jose, CA
Additional Pricing Information
USD 7,675.00 Per adult sharing based on 5 adults
USD 7,695.00 Per adult sharing based on 6 adults
USD 7,315.00 Per adult sharing based on 7 adults
USD 7,285.00 Per adult sharing based on 8 adults
USD 1,990.00 Single supplement
*Price is based on a minimum of 4 adults traveling
Visas: No Visa is needed to enter South Africa for US Citizens
If you would like to confirm your participation, we require a 30% deposit on the full trip amount and a completed and signed Trip Application. 50% of your deposit amount is non-refundable.