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AFRICAN ADRENALIN SAFARI     Gallery We Say Video hometop

SEVEN NIGHTS, REMOTE BUSH, EXTREME ADVENTURE, $$$+  ENQUIRE NOW  

We are proud to offer an epic adventure journey filled with experiences to last a lifetime! You will start with a 4 night guided Big Five trail through the vast, untamed landscape of the Kruger Park- an exclusive walking Safari in the stunning and remote Klaserie or Timbavati Private Game Reserves in the Greater Kruger National Park.

Tusker Trail Elephants on foot
Tusker Trail Elephants on foot

Then you will move on through the spectacular Blyde Canyon and explore the Panorama Route. There are two way to go from here:

  • OPTION A (YEAR ROUND): Test your courage with the 65m vertical drop “Big Swing” in Graskop and exhaust the remainder of your adrenalin on a quad bike as you race along forgotten tracks through indigenous forests. OR
  • OPTION B (SELECTED SUMMER WET SEASON DEPARTURES): White water rafting and hot air ballooning over Big Five bush.

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ITINERARY DETAILS

SELF-DRIVE ON DEMAND; SOME GUIDED GROUPS

“The big thing about this day I thought, is how little I am and how great this is, this Safari, this step back in time. At night around the campfire, my soul stumbles back with the distant call of hyena. A wisp of smoke curls towards me... I am privileged I think...”

DAYS ONE–FIVE: WILDERNESS BIG FIVE WALKING SAFARI

On the day of departure you will be collected from a selected hotel in Johannesburg between 05h00 and 06h00 and transferred to the Lowveld. The journey takes approximately 5 hours with short breaks along the way.

You will meet your Guide at a lovely bush pub at the edge of the private reserves, where you will need to sign an indemnity form. After lunch, you will be transferred into open safari vehicles to one of the bush camps in the Greater Kruger National Park, making sure that you spend the maximum time out in the bush! After settling into camp, the afternoon promises an exciting introductory walk/drive combination, sundowners and a night drive before heading back to camp for a scrumptious dinner and drinks around a warm campfire.

Overnights during the Safari (4 nights): Tusker Tented Camp

Tusker Tented Camp
Tusker Tented Camp

Tusker Tented Camp is situated amongst lush riverine forest on the banks of the Klaserie River in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve. The unfenced camps are private and secluded and not open to day visitors. Each camp can sleep up to 12 people in large walk-in twin-bedded tents (linen is provided, so sleeping bags are not needed) with sown-in mosquito screens. Ablutions are separate but close with hot showers and flush toilets.

Although there is no electricity, there is solar lighting, candles, lanterns and a campfire to guide you around the camp at night. Meals are prepared in the kitchen tent and served in the dining tent. Each safari is accompanied by one or two experienced and armed rangers and each camp is serviced by a Shangaan chef and camp attendant

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Elephant sighting from the Deck of Tusker Tented Camp
Elephant sighing from the Deck of Tusker Tented Camp

In the mornings you set off at first light after a snack breakfast of rusks and coffee or tea. Enjoying the cool morning air you may walk directly from camp or else use a vehicle to get further out. Your ranger will decipher the tracks and signs left by the passing animals during the night. The thrill of walking, tracking and getting up close to one of the creatures of the bush is an unforgettable experience. On the walks there is a lot of emphasis on all the interesting things seen such as trees, plants, insects and birds. A big brunch is prepared back in camp and then there is time to unwind and siesta during the heat of the day. After lunch is served it is time to head out again.

Buffalo drinking in the Klaserie
Buffalo drinking in the Klaserie

The afternoon activity is again a walk/ drive combination, looking for tracks and activity in other areas. After the walk you drive to a beautiful spot in the Reserve, where you’ll have sundowners while waiting for a stunning African Sunset.

Tusker Trail Game Drive
Tusker Trail Game Drive

As the diurnal animals and birds anxiously get ready for bed, the stage and sounds change and a whole new world awakens. This is when the spotlight is connected for the drive back to camp, looking for the nocturnal creatures that are so rarely seen during the day. Back in camp a hearty supper and a warm campfire will be waiting for you. After a long day in the bush there is nothing more rewarding then to sneak off to bed and listen to the sounds of the night under a blanket of the overwhelming African stars!

Timbavati Plains Game
Timbavati Plains Game

On the last day you will still go out for one last walk. Sniffing the typical scents of the bush you’ll realise how much you’ve learned already! After breakfast it’s time to pack up and go back to the Bush Pub, where you will pay the Conservation Fee and the drinks you’ve consumed in our camps.

DAY FIVE

From the Bush Pub your Driver/Guide will accompany you on the second stretch of your Adrenalin package, starting with the Blyde River Canyon! You will head over the Drakensberg Mountains onto the scenic Panorama leading along the edge of the escarpment.

En route you will stop to enjoy the various wondrous view points that the Canyon has to offer. Situated on the Drakensberg Escarpment, the Three Rondavelss lookout offers visitors spectacular scenery and breathtaking views of rounded rock formations and the Blyde River Dam. With its magnificent views, rock formations, canyons, and waterfalls, the Lowveld Escarpment is truly an area of breathtaking scenic grandeur. Known as Paradise Country, this lush region has several spectacular natural features, including the awe-inspiring Blyde River Canyon with its myriad of unusual rock formations; and Bourke's Luck Potholes created by swirling waters, rocks, and pebbles- a surreal landscape of deep cylindrical cavities.

Blyde Canyon from the Lowveld
Blyde Canyon from the Lowveld

The majestic cliffs of God’s Window plunge over 700 meters to the Lowveld and its game reserves which have made the area one of Africa's prime wildlife destinations. From this Escarpment- a 250km long rampart of sheer cliffs- it indeed seems as if one can see forever (and on clear days, people say good vision could catch you a glimpse of Maputo, Mozambique’s capital city)! The Canyon forms part of a nature reserve, inhabited by various species of antelope, wildcat, and birds, including the eagle, ibis, parrot, and loerie.

Viewing sites are provided along its length, and there are numerous walking, hiking, horse, and mountain bike trails.

There is a choice of two destinations for the more extreme part of your trip: all year round we offer adrenalin activities in the Hazyview/ Sabie River Valley area (Option A).

In summer months (usually mid-November through until March), and after suficient rains, certain departures will instead base themselves in the Hoedspruit area in order to undertake white water rafting on the Blyde River Canyon and hot air ballooning or microlighting over Big Five bush (Option B).

OPTION A: ALL YEAR-ROUND, HAZYVIEW EXTREME ACTIVITIES

DAY FIVE (CONT'D): OPTION A

Towards the end of the route you will find the quaint town of Graskop. In the 1850s a renowned eastern Transvaal character Abel Erasmus (known to Africans as Dubula Duze - he who shoots at close range) had a farm called Graskop (grassy hill). From here he exercised rough justice as the native commissioner of the Lowveld. Later the little town of Graskop was established on this farm.

Nearby to Graskop lies the romantic gold-rush town of Pilgrim's Rest. The entire village is a historical monument and has been preserved in the architectural style of the years 1880 to 1915. There really is so much to see and do in this beautiful area that is steeped in history, the colourful characters of the day make your stay an adventure in itself. After a day meandering through the Panoramic Route, you will be met with home grown South African hospitality and a unique atmosphere at Gecko Lodge in Hazyview. Decor and good service give a relaxed ambience in which to enjoy all that this area has to offer!

Overnight in Hazyview (3 nights): Gecko Lodge

Tucked away in the Sabie River Valley amongst indigenous forests and set in pleasant garden surroundings, Gecko Lodge is situated 12km from the Kruger Park's Phabeni Gate and 50km from God's Window, therefore the ideal base from which to explore the Kruger National Park or Lowveld Panorama.

Gecko Lodge Exterior
Gecko Lodge Exterior

Gecko Lodge is owner-managed with the emphasis on tranquility, comfort, quality service and good food. The 27 well appointed rooms are tastefully furnished with hand-made wrought iron furniture and fine linen. All have en-suite facilities and are set in the beautiful surroundings of a luscious, well-tended sub-tropical garden. Lodge facilities include a swimming pool, perfect to soothe those aching muscles, a good restaurant and an outdoor bar.

DAYS SIX-SEVEN: OPTION A

The next morning it is time to get the adrenalin pumping though your veins! You be jumping the "Big Swing” with a heart-stopping 68 metres of free fall to reach a speed of around 180km/h (125mph). This 19-storey jump takes less than 3 seconds as you step off onto one of the highest and most spectacular cable gorge swings in the world. To warm you up (or if you chicken out), you can fly across the gorge on a 131m highwire ("foefie" slide) 80m above the bottom of the abyss for breathtaking views of the Graskop Falls.

The Big Swing at Graskop
The Big Swing at Graskop

You will also head out for a leisurely quad bike ride through the scenic valley - indigenous vegetation, mountain hills, and streams all making this a stunning and relaxed part of a magical African Adventure. The most fun you can have on four wheels – period! The Quad biking adventure will exceed all your expectations. The routes are made up of single tracks and farm roads that run through indigenous forests. The route options vary from technical to very easy, so there is something to offer to the expert as well as the novice.

Quad Biking in the Sabie River Valley
Quad Biking in the Sabie River Valley

If you still have the appetite can sign up for more activities at the Lodge including kloofing, horse outrides and, if the water is high enough, half-day river rafting trips. The staff will happily help you add to the itinerary but remember to leaving some time to relax, enjoy the Lodge's beautiful gardens and give your heart rate some time to adjust!

You will also head out for a leisurely quad bike ride through the scenic valley - indigenous vegetation, mountain hills, and streams all making this a stunning and relaxed part of a magical African Adventure. The most fun you can have on four wheels – period! The Quad biking adventure will exceed all your expectations. The routes are made up of single tracks and farm roads that run through indigenous forests. The route options vary from technical to very easy, so there is something to offer to the expert as well as the novice.

Quad Biking in the Sabie River Valley
Quad Biking in the Sabie River Valley

And, last but not least, experience the thrill of Africa’s longest Aerial Cable Trail!! Experience the freedom of gliding over one of the last remaining natural forested valleys along the Sabie River. The aerial cable trail allows guests to glide down to the valley basin, stopping along the way on a number of elevated platforms to admire the natural vegetation, birdlife and views of the forest floor below.

Each section of the trail varies in length from 70 to 230 meters linking a total of 10 platforms, making this the longest cable trail in Africa (1,2km). The trail has been designed and built to South African civil engineering standards and all the equipment has been designed specifically for this activity and tested worldwide. All groups are escorted by fully trained guides, who come from the local community.

The tour takes about 2 to 3 hours to complete (depending on the amount of guests on the trip). This activity is suitable for people of all ages, however children under the age of 10 will need to be assisted. The maximum per person weight that can be accommodated is 120kg.

DAY EIGHT: OPTION A

On Monday morning you will go down to the Elephant Sanctuary for some close interaction with African Elephants. An experienced guide will introduce you to the elephants and you will learn about their backgrounds, behaviours, characters and more, while being able to touch, feel, feed, interact and walk trunk-in-hand with the elephants.

OPTION A NOTE

The order in which the Adrenalin activities are conducted may vary. Additional or substitute activities can be arranged in the Hazyview area if required. These include hot air ballooning, microlighting, horse riding, abseiling, kloofing, and the rental of a motorcyle and sidecar. All of these additional expenses for your account and need to be organised in advance. Please specify your requirements at the time of booking.

OPTION B: SUMMER WET SEASON ONLY, WATER & WIND

DAY FIVE (CONT'D): OPTION B

From the Panorama Route (see above), you will make your way back down onto the Lowveld through the Strydom Tunnel (watch out for the Taita Falcons!), where your destination is the island base of Otters' Den.

Your next destination is perched on an island in the Blyde River at the foot of the Drakensberg Escarpment— Otter’s Den.

Otters Den Catwalk
Otters Den Catwalk

You reach the River Lodge by crossing the Blyde River via a suspension bridge, symbolizing your escape into island seclusion. The island includes forest, veld, and wetland totalling 50 hectares with 2km of river frontage on the main channel of the Blyde River.

The camp is designed to accommodate a group of up to eight guests comfortably in four chalets. The chalets are a combination of stone, thatch, and canvas structures with timber decks on stilts overlooking the river. The central lodge area has a fully equipped kitchen, dining room, sundeck, bar, braai and plunge pool.

Overnight: Otters Den including accommodation, meals, teas and guided walks

Day Six: Option B

At 06h00 you will head out to catch the best the river has to offer. Your fifth day of adventure will be spent rafting the third deepest canyon in the world on what is arguably the best river section in Southern Africa. The Blyde Canyon offers unspoilt wilderness with spectacular scenery and Class 3-4 river rapids, with some long, technical rapids guaranteed to add thrill to your adventure.

Rafting the Blyde Canyon
Rafting the Blyde Canyon

This white water rafting experience is one of adventure, adrenaline, and sheer beauty. It starts in the Mariepskop Forestry Reserve and ends where the Blyde River enters the Blydepoort Dam where the Three Rondavels sit above you against the sheer, vegetated, rock wall.

You will be provided with a picnic lunch on the river bank and the day's rafting concludes at Wet Camel, the rafter’s camp in the canyon, where the river enters the Blydepoort Dam. Wet Camel is a rustic bush camp with small A-frame huts, an outdoor kitchen/dining area and a bush shower. Don't expect five-star luxury here, but you’ll enjoy the evening meal around the campfire and an early morning hike in the canyon.

Rafting the Blyde Canyon
Rafting the Blyde Canyon

"Wet Camel" is at the foot of the stunning Three Rondavels geological formation.

Overnight: Wet Camel, including meals, professional rafting guide, and equipment.

Day Seven: Option B

A motorboat ride to the dam’s main dock follows a late breakfast and a return to Otters Den.

After a relax, there is the opportunity to hike through indigenous forest, field, and stream. There are 110 tree species and the list is growing. The bird list tops 220 species, including the fish eagle, Narina trogon, African finfoot, and purple-crested lourie. Smaller game like otter, serval, genet, bush pigs, bush babies and antelope can be spotted, if you are patient and observant, while hippo and crocodile are often seen under the bridge.

Anglers can try for a variety of fish species including large-scale yellowfish, catfish, tilapia, and even largemouth bass.

Overnight: Otters Den including 5km boat cruise, accommodation, meals, teas and guided walks

DAY EIGHT: OPTION B

A final early start will bring your Adrenalin Safari to a magnificent conclusion with some Hot Air Ballooning over the Lowveld's glorious Private Game Reserves, part of the Greater Kruger National Park.

Ballooning the Lowveld!
Ballooning the Lowveld!

DAY EIGHT (CONT'D): BOTH OPTIONS

You will be picked up early in the afternoon to be transferred back to Johannesburg. Drop off there is around 17h30-18h00, either at a hotel or at ORT International if you are flying out that evening.

The excitement of Africa in all its diversity will have woven its magic inside of you and we shall await your return!

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