Rhino Walking Safaris operates a fabulous, exclusive 12,000 hectare (30,000 acre) wilderness concession inside the Kruger National Park. The 'Timbetene' concession shares a 15km unfenced boundary with the famous Mala Mala and Sabi Sand Reserves, with wildlife moving freely between the private land and the vast expanse of the Kruger.
This is an excellent game viewing area with abundant Big Five encounters and great sightings. Walking trails are the focus, but you can stay a night before or after at the luxurious base camp, Rhino Post. Trails use the remote Plains Camp which accommodates only eight guests and is the epitome of wilderness.
Sleep-outs are an option not to be missed and utilise specially constructed tents on individual platforms overlooking a waterhole 2km from the main Lodge. Golf is available at the Rangers' old course nearby in the Park.
Sleep-out deck at Rhino Plains
Plains Camp has four luxury African explorer-style tents accommodating a maximum of eight guests. Tents have hot running water and all the comforts of home, plus the African Wilderness on your doorstep. Showers are mounted on tree trunks.
Built in authentic pioneer tradition it has the serenity of a 19th century naturalists retreat, nestled in an Acacia Knobthorn thicket and overlooking the spectacular Timbitene plain and waterhole. Elephant are frequent visitors to camp. An Africana book collection and antique treasures are reminiscent of a golden era.
There is a communal lounge and dining area with an outside fireplace. The camp is lit by lanterns; a generator and a back-up battery system power overhead fans and 24 hour lighting. The generator system can be used to re-charge camera batteries at specific times.
Walks typically last between between three and four hours with no more than eight guests, guided by two armed rangers. They take place after tea in the afternoon and early in the morning (the earlier the better!). Walks may be lengthened or shortened depending on the group’s desires and fitness levels. Offering an extremely different perspective on the bush to driving, Guides share a wealth of information encompassing the identification of animals, trees, grasses, insects, birds and the medicinal uses of plants In addition you will hear about bush culture, local folklore and pick up some basic tracking and survival skills.
Rhino Post Lodge is the luxurious base camp for walking trails. Set on the banks of the Mutlumuvi riverbed, the Lodge is elegant and small in size. It offers only eight suites accommodating a maximum of sixteen guests.
Suite are luxurious and en-suite (bathroom inside, showers outside). There are overhead fans (no air-conditioning), mosquito nets and a safe. There is a modest pool which provides welcome refreshment from the heat of the day.
Twice daily game drives traverse the concession and also make extensive use of 170km of Kruger National Park’s public roads. Uniquely, drives can use the public roads well after the sun sets, ensuring an unforgettable experience and covering a variety of areas within Kruger (other vehicles are subject to a 18h30 curfew, so you have the Park to yourselves!). There are no tarred or public roads inside the concession. Do not that off-roading is not practised here; interesting sightings can be approached on foot where appropriate.
Trails depart from Rhino Post to Plains Camp on Tuesdays (2 or 3 nights), and Fridays and Sundays for 2 nights (or multiples of 2). We recommend spending five nights with two each at Rhino Post and Plains Camp and one night sleeping out. As Jock also departs for Explorer Trails on Tuesdays and Fridays in their Apr-Sept season you can combine the two.
Sleep-outs must be booked in advance. They are highly dependant on weather conditions. Be aware that should the weather be unsuitable on the day of the sleep-out (heavy rain) or if there has been heavy rain in the preceding days, you may have to remain at Camp/ the Lodge due to the platforms being inaccessible. Note that, for safety reasons, the whole camp must elect to take the sleep-out option or the sleep-out will not take place. Bookings at times where guests have already opted to sleep-out will only be taken for the camp if you are happy to sleep out as well on those dates.
Children are welcome at Rhino Post Lodge, subject to a maximum of six under eight year-olds at any time. Their dinners are served separately. No children under twelve are permitted on Trails.
If you fail to get in here, the KNP's Metsimetsi Trail operates in similar territory 30km or so to the east beyond Tshokwane rest-stop and close to the Mozambique border.
Rhino Post offers golfers outings to Skukuza Golf course – the Kruger National Park has a unique nine hole bush golf course (18 tees). Built in 1972 and originally for the use only of the Park staff, the course is unfenced and open to the reserve for a wild round of golf. Prior arrangements are necessary.
- Plains Camp is an oasis of total tranquility relative to the tar roads of the Kruger itself (but bear in mind that Rhino Post, the sister Lodge, does traverse on Kruger roads after dark). See no-one else for three nights sort of quiet
- The quality of Guiding and Tracking is superlative, from consideration of Guests to interpretation of the bush and provision of information
- Can produce all of the Big Five in an evening (with the help of a transfer vehicle)!
- Bernhardt's guiding at Plains Camp