SOUTH KRUGER, 3/4 NIGHTS
Your southern trail is in game-rich open savanna surrounded by forested watercourses. Camp overlooks a plain and waterhole in its exclusive 120 square kilometre Kruger concession. Your location adjoins prime parts of Sabi Sand (Mala Mala is next door). You have access to a huge wilderness, all yours to explore on foot. A vehicle gets you out after dark to start your walk further from camp.
MAKULEKE, 3/4 NIGHTS
In the north enjoy the wild, stunning landscapes and winter game concentrations around the Luvuvhu River. Makuleke is a private Kruger concession 240 sq km in extent. It has a Tolkein-esque feel, characterised by expansive floodplains dotted with baobab groves, fever tree forests, perennial pans attracting game, and spectacular gorges which you can access on foot.
To allow you time to settle, particularly if you are flying in from afar, and to adjust your pace to that of the bush, we recommend a first night at the Plains Camp’s sister lodge, Rhino Post. This lodge has a lovely location next to the bed of a seasonal river. There is an active year-round waterhole and game viewing is good from the lodge itself.
After settling in and exploring the camp, high tea is served, followed by a safety briefing to prepare you for walking in the bush. You will then head out for a short drive with your two armed Guides and undertake an introductory walk, returning to the vehicle in time for sundowners and a short night drive before returning to camp.
Wake up with coffee and rusks. Go and meet some rhino on foot. Morning trail lasts around 4 hours. After a snack on the walk, enjoy brunch upon your return. Relax during the heat of the day. Sample the plunge pool, look up sightings in the books. The evening trail will last 2 hours followed by a night drive. We have seen the Big Five in a day by combining these activities!
DAY THREE: SLEEP-OUT
Morning routine is the same as yesterday. Weather permitting, you leave camp after tea for a 90 minute walk to sleep-out platforms, arriving early evening. Carry a light rucksack with a change of clothes and refreshments. Enjoy sundowners overlooking the waterhole. The guides start the fire and prepare dinner. Then enjoy the wild at night with elevated senses. You can sometimes hear elephants rumbling past or lions roaring at the nearby waterhole.
WALK BACK TO CAMP
On the final morning you will enjoy an early morning walk back to Plains Camp for a hearty brunch and shower before packing up and jumping on a game drive vehicle back via Rhino Post to Skukuza Airport, where you will join a scheduled flight to Pafuri.
FLY TO MAKULEKE
You will be met by your Trails Guide on the airstrip at Pafuri and take a 45 minute game drive to Pafuri Camp to check-in and sort paperwork. You will then settle in at the trails camp for a briefing followed by a short afternoon walk. Return to a delicious meal cooked on the fire under African skies. Settle in to your freestanding canvas tent to the sounds of the wild.
The format of your days follows that in the south, although starts may be earlier because Pafuri is north of the tropic of Capricorn and hotter. Your experienced trails guides take great pleasure in sharing a place that is as vast as it is varied and wild. The trail offers you a chance to focus on the little things but you will also experience the rush of adrenaline when you happen upon the Big Five.
The landscape is a total contrast to the bush in the south. In Makuleke roam through riverine forests, mountains, floodplains with gladed springs and perennial water pans. Particularly defining features are the forests of fever trees, groves of baobabs and the vast seasonal herds of buffalo and elephant. Highlights on foot are Crooks Corner (where the Luvuvhu and Limpopo Rivers meet to form the border between three countries), and Lanner and Mutale Gorges.
CAMP & FACILITIES
Home is more rustic, a seasonal camp by the Luvuvhu river with no permanent structures. Bush showers are heated by fire-lit donkey boilers. Toilets are outdoor and chemical. There is no pool.
We recommend a final night stay at the main camp for decompression and a gradual return to reality as you end your visit to the bush, re-introducing yourself to creature comforts such as running water, bath, swimming pool and bar. Pafuri Camp is an elegantly designed all-canvas luxury operation with lovely views over the Luvuvhu river, and plenty of visiting game.
You can take what may be the first morning game drive of the week from Pafuri Camp, and ask to catch up on any of the iconic locations that you may not have got to on foot – Lanner Gorge, Crooks Corner, the twin baobabs, the fever tree forest… Alternatively you can make use of the luxurious facilities at Camp. You will enjoy breakfast or brunch, depending on which you choose.
FLY TO JOHANNESBURG
You will fly directly on a 2 hour scheduled charter-style flight over the bush back to Johannesburg for your re-entry into reality.