6 NIGHTS, CONTRASTING KRUGER WILDERNESS AREAS $$$$ ENQUIRE NOW
Combine the most diverse habitats and accommodation within the Kruger in the most exhilarating of ways – days spent on foot and nights in the luxury of private concession Lodges inside the Park. The southern sector trails are conducted in game-rich open savannah areas; in the north enjoy the pristine wilderness, stunning landscapes and winter game concentrations around the Luvuvhu River.
All of your Lodge drives in this itinerary are conducted in specially adapted open 4x4 Land Cruisers. On this one, you will meet your professional Guides for the southern sector of your Trail. At both of your Trail destinations, in addition to the extensive private wilderness concessions on offer, your Guides are permitted to make use of Kruger public roads out-of-hours and at night.
At sunset the game drive will stop for sundowners before continuing into the night, spotting nocturnal animals. You will return to the lodge in time to freshen up and enjoy a drink before a sumptuous dinner on the deck accompanied by the night sounds of the bush.
Rhino Post Safari Lodge is built on the banks of the dry Mutlumuvi riverbed using natural materials of stone, wood, thatch and canvas. Stilts raise the 8 spaciously appointed suites along the riverbank, allowing views across the watercourse from your bedroom, bathroom and private deck. The suites are set out in an open plan style with wooden floors, thatched roofs, canvas walls and glass doors and windows. Each en suite bathroom includes a deep, freestanding bath, ‘his and hers’ basins, a separate toilet and an outdoor shower surrounded by thick reed poles.
The raised walkways linking the spacious rooms to the main area allow wildlife to walk through underneath, undisturbed by mankind. You will be joining it on foot tomorrow.
Overnight: Rhino Post Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
After an early morning wake-up and an invigorating cup of fresh coffee or tea and muffins in the lounge, you will set off for an early morning game drive. Mid way through the morning you will stop in the bush for drinks and refreshments. Upon returning to the lodge enjoy a leisurely brunch and shower before packing up and check out from Rhino Post.
You will then be transferred to Rhino Walking Safaris, a unique southern walking concession inside the boundary of the Kruger National Park. Approximately 10km northeast of Skukuza Rest Camp, the concession shares a 15km boundary with Mala Mala in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Game moves freely between the two reserves. This is an internationally renowned Big Five area. Your Guides will be watching where you walk.
Plains Camp is situated in the heart of its 12,000 hectare private wilderness concession. It overlooks a spectacular Timbitene Plain and a waterhole. Built in authentic pioneer fashion, it nestles in an Acacia knobthorn thicket and offers the serenity of a 19th century naturalists rest. There are just four comfortably furnished African explorer style tents. Facilities include an ensuite bathroom, hot running water and an African wilderness right on your doorstep.
After settling in and exploring the camp, high tea is served followed by a safety briefing to prepare you for walking in the bush. The Guides meet the stringent industry requirements specific to conducting walking Trails, and the senior Guides hold the highest guiding qualification possible in South Africa. After the brief, you will depart with your two armed Guides for an introductory walk, returning to the vehicle in time for sundowners and enjoying a short night drive before returning to camp.
Overnight: Rhino Plains Camp, Kruger National Park
After an early morning wake-up, fresh coffee, tea and traditional rusks, you depart with the Guides for a full morning's Safari Trail. Nothing is predictable in the bush; each Safari offers a potentially new experience. Your Guides will share their love of the bush: the identification of animals, trees, grasses, insects, and birds; the medicinal uses of plants; local folklore; basic tracking and survival skills.
Walking takes places at times designed to avoid the midday heat. A typical morning walk will last between 3 and 4 hours. The Guide will structure the activity to take account of the fitness level of the group and any special requests. After a light snack on the walk, you will be served a well deserved brunch on your return to the camp. Relax during the heat of the day. Enjoy the plunge pool overlooking the plain, which is often host to zebra, buffalo, giraffe, elephant, rhino and lion. Look up your sightings in the small Africana book collection.
Weather permitting, you will leave Plains Camp in the late afternoon for a 1-1.5 hour walk to the sleepout area. The aim is to arrive at the platforms in the early evening. You will be carrying only a lightweight rucksack containing a change of clothes and refreshments. The platforms are elevated about 4 metres above the ground and after you have chosen your spot, enjoy sundowners overlooking the waterhole. The guides will start the fire and begin preparing dinner. During your sleepout, enjoy the wild at night with your elevated senses. You can sometimes hear the rumbles of elephant passing by, or the roar of the lion at the nearby waterhole. The Guides are ever-present and observant to ensure your safety. This is the only place in the Kruger National Park offering this unusual accommodation - enjoy it!
Overnight: Rhino Plains Camp, Kruger National Park, sleepout if possible
The following morning, enjoy a light snack after which you will walk back to Plains Camp. Here you will have a hearty brunch and shower before packing up and being transferred back to Rhino Post Safari Lodge and starting your journey on to the northern section of your Trail (see box below for travel options).
Your destination for the second part of this Trail lies in this vast wilderness, overlooking the floodplain where the Luvhuvhu and Mutale River meet. This region, named for the Makuleke people, is bordered to the north by the Limpopo River and Zimbabwe, and to the east by Crooks Corner and Mozambique. The Lodge where you will be based is a fantastic destination in itself. With its simple, clean lines, steel, concrete and open space, The Outpost's unashamedly contemporary design emphasises its beautiful surroundings whilst preserving the wilderness that is its home. There are just twelve stand-alone living spaces set against the side of a hill overlooking the Luvuvhu River. We attempt some justice to this place on our separate page on The Outpost.
You will arrive at The Outpost in the afternoon and be introduced to your Guide for this section of your Trail. After a light snack you will head out on an easy drive and walk activity, giving you a gentle introduction to this fascinating area. In addition to fantastic birding, highlights of the area include the baobab groves, fever tree forest, bosky glades of streams and springs, and the majestic Lanner Gorge.
You will return in time to enjoy an early dinner before retiring to your space to enjoy your unique open window on Africa gazing down on the plains below.
Overnight: The Outpost, Kruger National Park
The walks start early in the Makuleke, reflecting your closer proximity to the equator (you passed the Tropic of Capricorn en route north here). Heading out on Trail a little before dawn avoids the heat of the day. The Makuleke is 24,000 hectares in extent and most of this pristine wilderness is inaccessible to vehicle but perfect for exploration on foot. Regular tourists are confined to a very limited pair of tar roads, and there are no public camps for miles.
As you walk through the sandstone gorges, under towering Mangosteens and along the banks of the Luvuvhu River you will be struck by the beauty of this area. Pafuri-Makuleke is home to large herds of elephant and buffalo. The mountainous terrain of the Lebombo mountains attracts leopard. The region has strong resident prides of lion. You will be exploring it all on foot, far away from other people.
Upon your return to the Lodge, avail yourself of the cooling pool. Soothe those weary limbs in a tub with a view - the award-winning en-suite bathrooms offer full views of the surrounding bushveld.
Depending on the level of exertion involved in the morning, the afternoon activity might involve a combination of a drive and a walk. Sundowners will be on offer, followed by an evening drive to search for the creatures of the night before returning to the Lodge.
The Outpost offers a variety of places to dine. Meals are served under cover in the dining area in the main building with views of the Luvuvhu River Valley. Dinner is either eaten in the enclosed courtyard under the stars or on the deck next to the pool.
Overnight: The Outpost, Kruger National Park
An early start will see you refreshed with tea, coffee and a light breakfast snack before heading out into the bush again. The format of the day will be broadly similar to yesterday, but adapting in response to conditions in the bush, tracking possibilities and the sightings that you encounter whilst on foot. The area around The Outpost is striking because of the natural beauty of the topography - glorious views ensure that some of the wonderful sights are abiotic rather than exclusively about things that move. An open game drive vehicle may be used to start the walking further afield, for example in the area around Crooks Corner or at Lanner Gorge. You will then either return to the vehicle, walk back to the Lodge, or be picked up at a different spot.
Back at The Outpost, ensure that you make the most of your space. Each makes use of concrete and steel with retractable remote controlled screens which may be opened to offer 180-degree views of the river valley below, or closed if the weather requires. Your private living area comprises an outdoor terrace with daybed, indoor lounge and bedroom with king size bed under mosquito netting. This is a seriously good place to relax and unwind after the intense exertion of the Trail.
After one last morning activity, you will bid farewell to your Guide, check out of The Outpost and leave the warm Makuleke hospitality behind to continue on with your itinerary.
The North-South Walking Trail includes six nights accommodation on the basis laid out in these tabs. The initial price we quote excludes transport arrangements to, between, and back from the Camps. We will be delighted to assist in arranging this for you (see next tab for details).
The order of the accommodation, including the sleep-out, depends on the group size and date of arrival, and will be confirmed as we finalise your booking.
Note that you must also pay Kruger Park fees to cover you throughout this Safari; these are covered if you have bought or are purchasing a SANParks Wild Card. Alternatively you can pay your Kruger Park fees on entrance to the Park, or pre-pay them with us. We do not include them in your initial quote as they will vary with your Group's circumstances and travel plans.
Our suggested transport options depend on the time available to you, and we will be delighted to help with any of them:
Option 1: Two night Kruger Park self-drive or Guided transfer. This is the most convenient and enjoyable, and points up the contrast between the two camps as you drive between them. Spend 2 nights in the Kruger at Olifants and Shingwedzi. This breaks up the journey evenly.
Option 2: If just one night is available then an early self-drive or chauffered departure from Rhino Post with one overnight stop at Letaba can be organised. This will get you to The Outpost with full days' driving on each day through the Park, although eats into your time at the Trails locations.
Option 3: We can arrange a charter hop from Rhino Walking Safaris to The Outpost or a full itinerary charter from Johannesburg.
The 3 night Rhino Walking safari detailed in this itinerary includes one night at Rhino Post Safari Lodge and two nights at Rhino Walking Safaris, one of which will be a sleepout if possible (dependent on weather and availability).
Included at Rhino Post Lodge are accommodation, brunch, high tea and dinner, teas and coffees, and a morning and an afternoon/night game drive. Additional drinks are for your account at Rhino Post.
Plains Camp includes 2 nights accommodation with sleepout where possible, brunch, high tea and dinner, teas and coffees, morning walks and afternoon game activity combination, soft drinks, house wine and local beers.
Trail B includes three nights accommodation at The Outpost with breakfast, lunch and dinner; teas and coffees; morning walks and afternoon drive/walk combination activities.
Exclusions at The Outpost are conservation fees for the Makuleke concession (which must be paid locally), additional accommodation, transfers, flights, car hire, and alcoholic drinks.
|North-South Walking Trail.
The North-South Trail
David Manttan is a founder of Kruger2Canyons.com