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This highly flexible family Safari offers a wide range of things to see and do for kids and adults alike. Your base for the five nights is right outside Phalaborwa Gate which gives you excellent access to activities both inside the Kruger and around the Blyde Canyon.

You've got a full range of morning, evening and night drives/ bush braais which are conducted both in the Kruger and surrounding Private Reserves. More diverse activities than in the Park alone abound locally. And the Lodge has wonderful facilities for kids at your disposal including two pools, birding, fishing and mountain biking.


Day One

On arrival at OR Tambo International Airport you will make your way to Domestic departures (inside the same building) and catch your internal flight to Phalaborwa. On arrival at Phalaborwa airport you will be collected and transferred by road to Sefapane Lodge.

Sefapane is a relaxed Lodge set in beautiful sub-tropical gardens. It is well located for trips and activities in the Park, being a few minutes drive from the Phalaborwa Gate. It offers a level of comfort, flexibility and convenience for families higher than that of the Government restcamps inside the Park itself.

It is also situated at a central point to enable easy access to Safari activities, the Blyde Canyon, and community and cultural tours.

The friendly owners at Sefopane pride themselves on making you feel at home whilst being always ready to serve you. The accommodation is atmospheric and well suited to family groups. Amenities at your disposal include sparkling swimming pools, activities for the kids, the restaurant and bar, a spa, and a curio shop.

Sefapane Lodge's bush gardens are surrounded by four lakes and feature a variety of spectacular indigenous flora and fauna including Mopani, Marula and Baobab trees. Here both you and the children can enjoy bird watching and fishing.

There are a wide range of additional activities including wildlife encounters, Big Five Safaris, and adventure outings for those seeking excitement. There are cultural and heritage tours. We can organise day trips, short getaways or longer excursions.

The three “honeypot” activities are:

  • experiencing the magic of the Kruger National Park (on the doorstep);
  • the spectacular beauty of the Blyde River Canyon and surrounds (a full day trip); and
  • the unique, authentic Shangaan cultural tour (an optional tour extension to the Canyon trip).

All of the activities are led by experienced guides with an intimate knowledge of the area and its history. Travel in comfort on specially designed routes, taking in the sights and listening to the stories of the land and its people. From adrenalin-filled adventure to relaxed leisurely outings or family-orientated activities, the list is extensive. Book through us in advance or locally at the reception desk.

    We will organise a Family Rondavel for you here. Featuring rustic African decor, the rondavels are located near the lodge and its amenities and feature:

  • private veranda (with comfortable chairs)
  • private parking
  • two bedrooms with twin beds
  • one bedroom with a bunk bed
  • one full family bathroom (bath, shower and toilet)
  • mosquito nets
  • fridge
  • coffee / tea- making station
  • radio
  • hairdryer
  • air-conditioning
  • flat-screen DSTV
  • internet wi-fi

Day Two

Today will be spent exploring the opportunities for the children and enjoying game drives. Alternatively you can choose from the wide selection of other optional activities.

Game Drives and excursions outside the Lodge are for your own account as this is designed to be a flexible Safari - you can do as much or as little as you want, and as the mood takes you.

We would be delighted to organise and book a schedule in advance for you, but also be reassured that these activities can be arranged at the Lodge Reception as and when you wish whether you have purchased them at the package rate in advance or on an ad hoc basis. Note that the Kruger activities can get oversubscribed due to limitations in the Park itself, so are best reserved in advance.

Morning Safari (06h00-12h00hrs)

Set out at dawn for a safari in an open 4x4 vehicle with an experienced guide in search of the wildlife. This includes picnic breakfast in the Kruger National Park. R660.00pp (non-package price)

Full Day Safari (05h45-16h00)

Set out at dawn for a full day of game viewing in an open 4x4 vehicle with an experienced guide in search of the wildlife. This includes a picnic breakfast and lunch in the bush. R1100.00pp (non-package price)

Evening Safari

Summer: 17h00-20h00hrs; Winter: 16h30-19h30

A game drive in an open 4x4 vehicle into the sunset. After sundowners, when the night falls and using spotlights, we look for nocturnal animals. With sundowner drinks and snacks during the drive, R660.00pp (non-package price)

Evening Safari with Bush Braai or Braai at Lodge

A game drive with open 4x4 vehicle into the sunset. After sundowners, when the night falls and using spotlights, we look for animals of the night. In the bush: the traditional braai is served around the campfire at a private location in the Kruger National Park. A minimum of 6 persons applies, so you will be joined by others if the trip is going to depart. Or at the lodge: after your drive a traditional braai is served at the Lodge. R825.00pp (non-package price)

Bushwalk, Morning or Sunset

Morning: Summer: 05h00-09h00hrs; Winter: 05h30-09h30

Sunset: Summer: 15h30-18h30hrs; Winter: 15h00-18h00)

Two experienced game rangers will guide you through the bush for a close encounter with Kruger National Park's wildlife. In the morning this includes a picnic breakfast in the bush and in the afternoon this includes a sundowner drink and snacks in the bush. R660.00pp (non-package price)

Full Day Bushwalk

Summer: 05h00-16h00hrs; Winter: 05h30-16h30

Two experienced game rangers will guide you through the bush for a close encounter with Kruger National Park's wildlife. This includes a picnic breakfast and lunch in the bush. R1100.00 (non-package price)

Bike Safari, Morning

Summer: 05h00-09h00hrs; Winter: 05h30-09h30

Two experienced game rangers will guide you on a mountain bike through the bush for a close encounter with Kruger National Park's wildlife. In the morning this includes a picnic breakfast in the bush and in the afternoon this includes a sundowner drink and snacks in the bush. R750.00pp (non-package price)

River Safari, Morning or Sunset

Morning: Summer and winter: 07h15 - 11h30

Evening: Summer: 14h15-18h30hrs; Winter: 13h45 - 18h00

Enjoy a cruise along the banks of the Olifants River, amongst hippos, crocodiles and a variety of other drinking game and birds. Coffee and cake, water and juice are provided on the cruise. R660.00pp (non-package price)

Birding exercise

07h30-09h30 or 15h30-17h30

The Birding exercise takes place at Sefapane Lodge, where you will view resident birds, water birds and migratory birds for 2 hours. Exercise: R300.00pp (non-package price)

Birding safari

06h00-12h00 or 06h00-16h00

The Birding safari can be a half or full day safari in the Kruger Park. This provides an opportunity to see raptors, vultures, endangered species as well as other birds of prey. This safari will give you an understanding of the relationship between different species of birds, the environment, and their different behavioural patterns. Safari half day R660.00, Safari full day: R1100.00pp (non-package price)

We recommend Kruger2Canyons' package deal where a selection of recommended activities are included for you to enjoy, normally once a day.

Typically our packages include:

  • 1x Morning Safari
  • 1x River Safari
  • 1x Evening Safari & Bush Braai
  • 1x Cultural Village Tour
  • 1x Bush Walk (Morning or Evening)

Alternatively, we can prepare a quote for you on a bed and breakkfast/ accommodation/ flights/ transfers only basis, where optional activities including game drives are for your own account with the expectation that you are then at liberty to book as few or as many as you feel the need to do whilst you are here.

Children can join different safaris depending on ages:

River safari, animal rehab excursion, Blyde River Canyon are for all ages

All safaris in the Kruger National Park are from 6 years

Walking and biking safaris in the Kruger National Park are subject to additional age restrictions: currently, walking = 12 years, biking = 16 years

Sefapane has a baby-sitting service for the children who cannot go on safari.


Now that you are well-settled into the Lodge, you will want to explore the Kids' Programme in between the Safari activites that you choose. This feature of Sefapane allows children to enjoy and experience all the facilities whilst supervised, giving the parents the chance to relax and unwind with the knowledge that their kids are taken care of.

Activities for children include:

  • 2 swimming pools
  • A jungle gym with slide that ends in the water
  • A small animal petting farm
  • A kids lounge with games, a play-station, and movies shown on a big screen
  • Mountain biking around Sefapane
  • Fishing in the dam
  • Birding on the property
  • Loads of creative, fun activities
  • A childrens’ restaurant with a childrens’ menu


Today is a good opportunity to venture in a different direction, away from the Park. Explore some of the activities that the area has to offer. These optional activities are for your account, as will be transportation to and from them. We will happily arrange a hire car or pre-book transfers and activities for you if you wish, but it is fairly easy to take things as they come and arrange expeditions locally as you feel the need.

The list that follows is a selection of our recommendations. There is plenty to do and these are our top picks for your limited available time in the area.

  • Blyde Canyon Tour- a full day tour taking in the Three Rondavels, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s Window and other highlights of the Panorama Route. You get some stunning views out over the world’s third deepest canyon, and the largest green one
  • Hot air ballooning - experience panoramic views of the area in peace from a unique perspective. This is a memorable experience but requires an extremely early morning start. Or if the adults want to sneak off for a more personal experience, try microlighting
  • Astronomy show: marvel at the African night sky, viewing the moon, planets, constellations and other heavenly bodies through a Meade computerized telescope.
  • Water sports: Numerous water sports abound in the area, including river rafting, kayaking, tubing and waterfall abseiling for the more adventurous.

  • Evening boat trip on the Park borders - fabulous views, frequent elephants, relaxed sundowners
  • Endangered Species Centre & Cheetah project: Join a daily guided tour to this leading private research and breeding facility in Hoedspruit to learn about endangered wild animals
  • Khamai Reptile Park: especially for lovers of snakes, lizards, leguaans (monitor lizards), turtles, spiders and crocodiles, both local and exotic
  • Modjadji Cycad Reserve

  • Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre: A fabulous hands-on half-day out for the kids where they get to meet and handle exotic birds and see some of the big cats face to face.
  • Agatha Crocodile Ranch: On the outskirts of Tzaneen, this crocodile farm features crocodiles of all sizes, breeding dams and enclosures as well as a feeding show.

Or enjoy the game drives and Safari activities as before.

Day Five

Today is your last full day at Sefapane, so make the most of it.

Enjoy Game drives or activities as before. Or relax in the Spa if you need a relax by now.

Misava Spa

Named after the local Tsonga word for Earth, the spa offers you numerous holistic body and beauty treatments. Set in an African rondavel or in our lush gardens and using local products featuring South African plants and herbs.

Enter a world where time seems to stand still, a place where you are able to pamper and nurture your body and refresh your soul. The Spa allows you to relax completely, rejuvenating your senses with thoughtful attention to detail. Enjoy the ancient rhythms of nature, re-discover harmony and balance, forget your daily burdens and find new vitality and a zest for life. Welcome to Misava Spa!

You could play some golf, bush-style, with hippos in the water features and impala on the fairways. Hans Merensky Country Club is only 5 minutes from Sefapane Lodge, with complimentary transfers. Enjoy a game at the 18-hole course where wild game wanders freely (giraffe, zebra, warthog, impala, hippo, crocodile). This is also a good spot to go for lunch at the halfway house and let the kids run around. You do not need to be playing to enjoy this facility.

Day Six

After breakfast you will check out of Sefapane and be transferred back to the airport where you will catch your flight to OR Tambo to catch your flight back home.

We say

Kids love animals? You're keen to go on Safari but nervous about the practicalities? Confused about where to start and concerned about safety? For first-time bush visitors, particularly with young families, it is an excellent idea to get help from those who do this for a living. This flexible package moulds to your needs and does not impose the tyranny of the organised tour, letting you pick and choose activities as you feel the desire and/or confidence to take them on. With or without the expert assistance of Guides.

This flexible package has been designed to take the stress out of a Safari with children. A normal visit into the Kruger Park can entail long, hot journeys in the car with very limited chance to get out and stretch the legs or have a pee. The Restcamps have only limited activities for the kids which will you will quickly exhaust and need to move on to the next, some distance away.

These pictures were kindly modelled for by founder David's offspring in the area

This Safari bases you at a main Gate to the Park and positions you well for short visits into the game-rich area in the south-central Kruger. You can join half day - morning, afternoon or evening drives - or self-drive, popping in and out of the Park as you wish. Sefapane provides you with an extremely comfortable base and a wide range of supervised things for the kids to do, including evening times (where in the typical Restcamp you can be left to provide your own entertainment with little else to look at than the fire).

You also benefit from a wide range of activities in the area immediately surrounding the Park, both wildlife-related and not. This Safari provides an excellent way to explore both worlds, and to do so flexibly and at a pace that suits you and the family. No more cries of "are we there yet?".

Recommendation: Recommended for active families; offers a seemingly endless list of things to do

Don't miss: Leaving the kids in safe, entertaining hands whilst you go and look for lions on foot from the Phalaborwa Gate at dawn.

David Manttan is a founder of