The Kruger, a name to evoke the untouched brilliance of an African safari, is a destination with everything that can be desired for a first-time wildlife adventure. Celebrating Kruger’s diversity and abundance, this one-week, South Africa safari will visit the Timbavati, Blyde River Canyon, Sabi Sands, and Lebombo. This is the ultimate Kruger itinerary that is handcrafted to include the complete range of experiences and habitats with private guides who lead your adventure through this Big Game...
Timbavati Private Game Reserve – Stunning First Safari Experiences
Is it easy to imagine the exhilarating moments of a Kruger safari. You will be exploring the wilderness and searching for lions, elephants, and all the other legendary, African mammals. Preconceptions usually revolve around excitement and thrills, but a Kruger safari is serene at heart, especially in the Timbavati. This is the most laid-back and compact Kruger region, and you will not need to spend all day, bouncing around a dusty savannah. In the Timbavati, you can often see the animals directly from your lodge, and you can take a picnic and dine on the view with hippos and buffalos as they quarrel at a watering hole beneath you. In short, you can take it slow and easy and still experience incredible wildlife sightings.
After flying into Johannesburg, you will board a mid-morning safari flight to the Greater Kruger. The transfer to the lodge is a game drive, which will be a beautiful journey past many of the large species that also call this landscape home. An afternoon game drive will be included, and there is an excellent chance of encountering the full Big Five on a single Timbavati drive. Still, do not think too much about the Big Five and checking off your list because today is mostly about settling into the safari atmosphere. You will experience the space and serenity of the Timbavati and drift off to a soundtrack that is dominated by elephants and baboons.
Timbavati Private Game Reserve – Tracking the Big Five and a Walking Safari
Mala Mala Private Game Reserve – Hot Air Balloon Safari and Extravagant Natural Landscapes
Day 4 - 5
Mala Mala Private Game Reserve – Legendary Big Game Encounters through the Day and Night
Lebombo Concession – Evoking Kruger’s Phenomenal Scale
Lebombo Concession – Luxury and Indulgence in Remote Eastern Kruger
Johannesburg – Departure
- Immerse yourself in the Kruger ecosystem by staying in its three most game-rich reserves and concessions
- Track leopards on evocative, nighttime game drives through Mala Mala
- Soar above Blyde River Canyon and the Kruger savannah in a hot air balloon
- Experience the Kruger on foot, during game walks in the Timbavati and Lebombo
- Delight in picnics within the bush and moonlit dining out on the savannah
- Contrast Kruger’s stunning accommodation by staying in a luxury lodge, an intimate camp, and a romantic, clifftop retreat
- Lose track of the Big Game as you encounter plentiful elephants, lions, buffalos, and rhinos
- Uncover Kruger’s scale during an adventurous game drive from Mala Mala to Lebombo
- Craft each day to your wildlife interests with private guides and vehicles
The Kruger is Africa untamed, and it is one of the continent’s oldest protected areas, which is a landscape that is larger than many US states and where more than 100 mammal species are able to thrive. Nowhere else in Africa can rival the Kruger’s diversity and abundance of wildlife. Close to half of the world’s rhinos can be found here. Usually, elusive animals such as leopards can be seen on a daily basis, and you can arrive with dreams of the Big Five, and then quickly realize that five is just the very beginning. Such an enormous wilderness is dominated by contrasts and nuances, and there are over a dozen different habitats to explore here, each with their own animal cast.
This one-week South Africa safari will reveal the contrasts of this landscape and celebrate Kruger’s wild appeal. You will travel between habitats and ecosystems from the immense beauty of Blyde River Canyon to the mysterious Lebombo Mountains. The safari experience is not only about where you can go and what you will see, but the manner in which you see it. Over these seven days, you will enjoy the complete range of Kruger activities, including hot air ballooning, game walks, nighttime drives, and even a mountain bike safari if you wish. All this ensures that you can discover the Kruger and its wildlife from all of the possible angles. You will get closer, experience the big and the small, and come to understand the circle of life out here.
It is important to understand that each area of the Kruger offers something unique in terms of wildlife, atmosphere, and experience. On this one-week, South Africa safari, you will visit the four most essential Kruger areas. You will begin in the Timbavati, which is a classic bush savannah that is ideal for easy first encounters with Kruger’s larger animals. Then, you will travel to the Blyde River Canyon, which is an area that is light on wildlife but is arguably the most beautiful landscape anywhere in Africa. Then, you will settle into Mala Mala for three nights. This is the most game-rich part of Kruger and perhaps the most game-rich part of Africa.
In Mala Mala, you can track the big and the small in addition to watching how different animals approach a river to drink. Like in the Timbavati, there will be an opportunity for daily game walks and nighttime drives, so you can understand how the Kruger is different, depending on the time of day. Mala Mala is part of the Sabi Sands, but it feels separated from its neighboring reserves, purely because it has the greatest wildlife location in the entire Greater Kruger. On day six, you will venture across Kruger National Park to Lebombo, gaining a stunning impression of its scale and changing habitats.
Like the previous days, you will have a private guide and driver. This ensures the safari always revolves around your interests, including wildlife photography or tracking a particular animal. You will culminate your safari experience in the Lebombo Mountains, where limited water makes for dramatic wildlife scenes. It is delightfully wild and serene out here with a clifftop retreat that provides a real escape from the world. This handpicked lodge will contrast your experiences in Timbavati and Mala Mala, and the camp is often surrounded by wildlife. After seven nights in Kruger, you will fly back to Johannesburg for a departure from South Africa’s main international airport.
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$7,899 per person (excluding international flights)
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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