Imagine combining the freedom of open vehicle safaris and night drives in private parks with the variety and endless landscapes of the Kruger National Park. The best of both worlds it is. This tour does just that by providing the transfers and combining the deep bush of Balule with the iconic Olifants River, wide uninterrupted horizons, open plains of Satara and the distant Lebombo Mountains of the Kruger National Park. Enjoy luxury tented accommodations and open vehicles complemented with a day tour in the national park in the Orpen Gate area.
Catch the shuttle to the frontier town of Hoedspruit and the pickup point on the Olifants River. Then proceed to Balule Game Reserve to the charming safari camp arriving for a late lunch. Have some time to relax before the afternoon open vehicle game drive. Engage with enthusiastic guides who interpret tracks and signs, sounds and smells. Big game abounds along the stretch of river frontage, birds are prolific and the diversity of antelope species is pleasing. The afternoon drive pauses to salute the sunset with drinks, snacks and a view to memorize. Then, by the light of the spotlight, the rangers seek the nocturnal animals just emerging to hunt. Back in camp, an inviting campfire welcomes you for pre-dinner drinks while the evening meal is set out in the "boma", an open-sky dining area. Your accommodation is in luxurious en suite and air-conditioned safari tents or in two-bedroom chalets for families and friends.
The best time of day for game viewing is early morning and evening so we'll set off at sunrise. The sounds of the night before; point us in a certain direction, to find those lions that were calling or the buffalo herd that passed by the camp. Back in camp, breakfast is prepared on the fire and cold fruit juice waits at the outside dining table. We'll relax in camp during the heat of the day and get in some bird watching. After a light lunch, we'll set off on the afternoon drive that continues after dark. During the night drive, we'll be using a spotlight to point out nocturnal wildlife. Dinner will be at the fire, engaging in bush tales. Later, you'll have a comfortable bed under a billowing mosquito net.
We'll leave the camp at dawn in a closed vehicle and head for Orpen Gate into Kruger National Park. This section of the park has an underlying gabbro dyke (the rock type) that results in open plains with occasional acacia thickets. Plains game like zebra and wildebeest love this area and occasional cheetah sightings occur as well as ostrich. As we get closer to Setara Camp, we'll keep an eye open for lions. This area is well known for its many prides of lions. Breakfast is a packed affair and it may be taken at a viewpoint or sitting in the vehicle at a waterhole. Lunch will be at one of the "rest camps".
Later, we'll head north to the Letaba area with its wide Sandy River and the massive elephant bulls that frequent the area. We'll exit the park gate at sunset and head back to camp only a short drive back.
You'll wake up under the canvas, have a special safari feeling and take a hot shower before walking to the dining pavilion for tea, coffee and toast or cereals. Listen to lions calling in the valley and possibly that rowdy troop of chacma baboons that roost in the rocky outcrop above the camp.
On this last game drive, you might be on the lookout for that animal still on your wish list or just enjoy the wind in your hair and the fresh morning holding so much promise in the coming day.
Both a continental-style breakfast and an English cook-up are on offer when you get back to camp. You'll still have time to freshen up before taking leave with fellow adventurers and setting off for the short drive to the rendevous point at Three Bridges. The transfer typically arrives back in Johannesburg by 5:30 p.m. unless otherwise arranged.
NOTE: You can substitute the road transfer with flights in and out of Hoedspruit - Eastgate Airport. There are daily flights from both Johannesburg and Cape Town. The airlines are CEMAIR and AIRLINK. Flights are for your own account and all transfers thereafter are included in the price.
2023 Price :
Per person sharing ZAR22800
Per person single ZAR 27960
All return transfers from OR Tambo Johannesburg or Eastgate Hoedspruit airports
Four nights' safari accommodation in luxury tents or chalets.
All meals and drinks with the exception of during the day tour into the National Park.
Morning and afternoon three-hour game drives in Balule Private Reserve.
A full-day guided tour of the Kruger National Park.
All gate fees and conservation levies.
Lunch and drinks in the National Park.