White rhinos in the savanna at sunset, South Africa

Private Luxury Lodge Safari in Madikwe and Kruger Park

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Customizable Itinerary

This is a sample itinerary to inspire a personalized trip designed with your travel specialist

Countries Visited

South Africa

Places Visited

Madikwe Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park

Suggested Duration

10 Days

This private safari is handcrafted for first-time visitors to Africa who seek an authentic experience while also enjoying Western-style lodge luxury. Watch elephants through windows spanning from the floor to the ceiling, spot lion prides basking in the sun, and relax in a private pool with the wildlife roaming in the background. Relaxed and charming, this safari experience offers exceptional accommodation with sublime animal encounters. You spend three nights each in three iconic private reserves:...

Customizable Itinerary

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Trip Highlights

  • Relax in the luxury of South Africa's finest lodges, with floor-to-ceiling windows providing endless views and contemporary fittings evoking a five-star hotel quality in the wilderness
  • Immerse yourself in the savannah and quickly discover that the famous Big Five are as commonplace as the baobab and acacia trees
  • Charming game drives bring a wonderful proximity to the iconic safari scenes, such as big cats on the prowl or adorable interactions amongst the herds
  • Ease yourself into beautiful big game safari with three nights in Madikwe Private Game Reserve, where a compact savannah effortlessly introduces you to the African experience
  • Discover a baffling abundance of big mammals in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, where it seems like there's never a moment without a fresh safari scene
  • Complete the safari with three nights in the private Timbavati reserve, where the unspoiled savannah offers a full range of encounters and experiences
  • Get close to some of Africa's elusive and endangered animals, like packs of wild dogs in Madikwe and a huge number of white rhinos in Sabi Sands and Timbavati
  • Take the elephant experience to a new level with a champagne bush picnic surrounded by the great pachyderms
  • Soar across the Kruger savannah in a hot air balloon, savoring the ultimate vista of an ancient landscape filled with wild mammals
  • Fly to the different game reserves via light aircraft, minimizing travel time and experiencing the thrills of touching down on an airstrip surrounded by animals

Detailed Description

Open the curtains and watch a giraffe through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Spend an hour in a private plunge pool, sipping on champagne as a herd of elephants drinks from the river below. Spot the Big Five on a game drive, then relax in the opulence of South Africa's finest lodges. This handcrafted safari provides a blend of exceptional lodge accommodations and intimate animal encounters, using three private reserves to showcase the premium side of an African safari. It's designed for first-time visitors to Africa, for those who want to enjoy all the five-star Western comforts while savoring the raw authenticity of the savannah. Taking a relaxed pace, it allows you to escape into the beauty of the wilderness and experience just how luxurious an African safari can be.

Private game reserves offer an exclusive safari experience as they restrict access to just a handful of guests. That means there won't be other vehicles ruining the photos and you can come exceptionally close to the animals. Yet, while they are private, they're also part of a wider ecosystem, so mammals continue to roam free, and the rhythm of nature isn't interrupted. As a general guide, private game reserves and concessions are also where the most luxurious safari accommodations are found. This safari handpicks three opulent lodges, accommodations that have the comfort of a five-star Western hotel, yet still ensure an authentic experience in the bush.

Evocative and effortless, a safari in Madikwe provides an iconic introduction to the style of safari. Wild animals are spotted from the pool and your air-conditioned suite, while elegant evenings are spent sipping champagne with elephants down below. Relaxed game drives bring encounters with the Big Five, and there's the added treat of spotting wild dogs, one of Africa's rarest hunters. Then, you fly to the Greater Kruger area and the Sabi Sands, where Leopard Hills Private Game Lodge provides stunning accommodation in an unspoiled part of the reserve. Again, the safari is relaxed, with morning and afternoon activities punctuated by the escapism of the lodge and the wonderful views across the savannah. The abundance of leopards and rhinos are among the many highlights here.

Spend a day on a hot air balloon safari before embarking on a two-hour experience at Elephant Whispers the following day. As the elephants roam around, you enjoy a champagne picnic deep in the bush, safely enjoying a thrilling proximity to Africa's giants. Timbavati is another of the private reserves in the west of the Greater Kruger area. You're free to explore both the private reserve and the adjacent national park, along with trying out activities like game walks. This flexibility makes it a favored place to end a safari, with the guides customizing each day dependent on your interests. As always, expect the authenticity of the savannah to mix with the opulence of the lodge accommodation.

Starting Price

$10,395 per person (excluding international flights)

Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.

What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • 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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