South Africa: Johannesburg & Rhino Walking Safari

A 6 day trip to South Africa 
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South Africa’s Kruger National Park is one of the best wildlife viewing destinations in Africa. This huge park is the size of Israel or Wales, and boasts a tremendous diversity of habitat that in turn supports a huge variety of animals and birds. From the exclusive vantage of a private concession within the park, you are able to enjoy Big 5 wildlife encounters on game drives and walking safaris with highly experienced guides.

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General Information

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Detailed Itinerary

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Welcome to South Africa

On arrival at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport, you collect your hire car and take the short drive to the Safari Club. 

This intimate boutique hotel is set in a peaceful garden, and the various areas are styled on famed wildlife destinations in Africa. Ideal as a place for you to relax and settle into ‘Africa Time,' you can lounge by the poolside, enjoy a delicious meal and acclimatize before your adventure that lies ahead. 

Day 2: Into the wild

After breakfast, you set off on the scenic drive to the Kruger Park. The road takes you along the plateau of the Highveld until you reach the edge of the escarpment that drops down to the Lowveld. With its impressive peaks and lush valleys, the Drakensberg Mountains form a dramatic backdrop to the route. Following a section of the Panorama Route, you traverse the Blyde River Canyon and Bourke’s Luck Potholes, where the views are nothing short of spectacular. Continuing east, the landscape becomes progressively more rugged, the terrain more open as you leave the plantations and farmlands behind and approach the vastness of the Kruger.  

Entering the Kruger Park gate, chances are you will immediately begin spotting wildlife. Impala antelope are everywhere: sleek, beautiful and swift, these are the most common ungulates in the park. Wildebeest and Zebra are also often seen along the way, and keep your eyes out for giraffe and elephant, which are surprisingly difficult to spot, considering their enormous size. 

After a while you arrive at Rhino Post Safari Lodge. This elegant lodge sits in a grove of shady trees on the bank of the Mutlumuvi River. Constructed in an environmentally friendly manner from wood, stone, canvas and thatch, the effect is beautifully pleasing to the eye, yet luxuriously stylish and comfortable.  

Your suite is tucked away among the trees, set upon a raised deck to maximize the view of the riverbed below. Spacious and beautifully appointed, every aspect of the room is designed to invite light and nature inside. Large windows in the bathroom allow you to soak in the bathtub and take in the view, and the viewing deck outside is an ideal shady spot to spend an afternoon with a cold drink, binoculars and a bird list. 

After you have settled in, take a wander over to the main building for a sundowner drink and watch as the sky takes on the otherworldly hues of an African sunset. 

Shortly afterward, dinner is served, a delicious three-course meal accompanied by excellent South African wines. The gentle murmur of conversation in the dining room is complemented by the night sounds of the bush outside. 

Day 3: A Kruger Safari

The day begins at dawn as you enjoy a steaming cup of coffee on the terrace with a light breakfast. As the sun begins to rise, you set off with your guide for a game drive to familiarize yourself with the area. 

Dew sparkles on the grass, the air is fresh and animals are still active in the coolness of morning. This is one of the finest moments on a South African safari, when you set off with a keen sense of anticipation, not knowing what nature will reveal to you.  Your guide expertly interprets the signs of the wild around you, revealing a complex web of interactions that make up the mosaic of life. This is Big 5 territory, and by searching the ground for tracks, listening to the sounds of the bush and anticipating where animals may be, you spend a wonderful morning in pursuit of the wonders of the animal kingdom. Elephants glide like grey ghosts through the forest, incredibly silent for such large animals, impalas, zebra and wildebeest graze in the open plains, and kudu move effortlessly through the denser thickets. 

As the temperature rises, you return to the lodge for a well-earned and hearty brunch, taken al fresco under the shade of the trees. The midday hours are a time of rest, where animals seek out shade and movement is minimal. You enjoy a refreshing dip in the swimming pool, and settle onto your porch with a book while birdsong drifts from the trees overhead. 

In the later afternoon, you wander over to the main building for an indulgent English high tea before your next game drive. 

Shortly afterwards you set off with your guide again, out into the African wilderness with an expert interpreter of its phenomena. Wide open spaces and the delicious sense of anticipation create an unrivalled and infectious sense of freedom as you move through the forests and savannahs, eyes peeled, on the alert for anything and everything that may come your way. 

Day 4: Rhino Walking

After your morning game drive, enjoy a delicious brunch before departing for Plains Camp. With only four suites, this intimate camp is half the size of Rhino Post Safari Lodge, and is styled on a pioneer concept reminiscent of the bygone days of the early explorers. The camp looks out over the spectacular Timbitene plain and a waterhole that often attracts a multitude of game. A fascinating collection of Africana is on display in the lounge, and a noteworthy collection of books is available in the library. Settle in to your canvas suite, and spend the midday hours dipping in and out of the plunge pool. 

After high tea in the later afternoon, you set off on a trail with two highly qualified walking guides. This is one of the most incredible ways to experience the African wilderness. On foot, without the distracting noise of a vehicle engine,  your senses come alive. Treading lightly along an elephant path, sounds become clearer, smells become sharper, and your vision feels more acute. Your guide will utilize his encyclopedic knowledge to enhance your experience. Botanical names will roll off his lips as he describes the medicinal uses of plants you find and their usefulness to local tribes, whether edible or poisonous, and their role in folklore. He will point out things you might not notice from a vehicle: tiny tracks in the sand made by a dung beetle, footprints where a mongoose returned to his lair in a termite mound. Following tracks of the larger animals is thrilling- you revel in the sensation of the early hunters, as spoor leads you to your quarry. Encountering a big animal like an elephant, rhino or giraffe on foot is a lesson in just how large they really are. Being in a vehicle is deceptive to their true size and nature. 

You return to the lodge in the late afternoon, and as the sun slips into the horizon, enjoy a well-earned sundowner drink overlooking the teeming plain. 

The evening’s dinner is enhanced by your exertions, and after enjoying a delicious meal, you sit awhile at the campfire, gazing at the glittering Milky Way above, listening to the sounds of the African night.  

Day 5: A night on the wild side

You set off on another walk in the crisp light and air of the early morning. While the birds sing their chorus from the trees, you follow your guide in single file along a trail worn smooth by the passage of a multitude of elephants’ feet. 

You learn the secrets of a termite mound, discover the tracks and hoofmarks of animals around a salt lick, and see where the hyenas walked their patrols the night before. Pulling a twig from a particular tree, your guide shows you how to make a toothbrush from its fibrous stem; another plant he shows you has leaves for the softest toilet paper in the bush. He reveals to you every facet of this extraordinary ecosystem, and you cannot fail to be moved by the wonders of nature. 

You stride back to camp energized, with a spring in your step, the gleam of new discoveries in your eyes.  

After a relaxing afternoon spent watching the waterhole from the poolside, you prepare for your next adventure- a night out in the wild. 

You set off as usual for a safari walk, but this time your destination is the elevated sleeping platform deep in the bush. 

After an afternoon of tracking, interpretation of bush lore and survival skills, you reach the platforms just before sunset. Set on raised decking four meters from the ground, there is a platform with a fireplace, bar and dining area and separate platforms linked by a walkway for sleeping. These are enclosed by a large mosquito net on a frame, and contain a snug camping bed. 

While you enjoy a sundowner drink and admire the view over the nearby waterhole, your guide lights a fire and prepares the braai, a traditional African barbecue. As dusk settles over the land, you enjoy the feast by the light of lanterns while the sounds of Africa reverberate through the night around you. 

Later as you lie in bed, the canopy of stars seem close enough to touch, and you listen to the sound of an elephant feeding nearby, the lonely howl of a hyena in the distance, and the far-off roars of a pride of lions.  This is Africa at its purest, and you feel the wilderness envelop you in its warm embrace as you drift into a deep slumber. 

Day 6: Homeward bound

You arise at dawn again, and take the walk back to Plains Camp where a hearty brunch awaits you. You look out over the plain and the waterhole a final time, then reluctantly bid your hosts and guides farewell. After the intensity of your experience over the last few days, you feel a deep connection has been made, and a piece of this magical place is embedded in your soul. 

You drive out through the Kruger Park and return via the scenic route to Johannesburg. As the spectacular views roll by the windows, your reminiscences of Kruger crowd your mind: the amber eyes of a lion reflected in the sunset, the sound of a hyena calling in the dark, the ghostly passage of a herd of elephants through the forest. All these remain within you, and make you promise you will return to Africa once again. 

Price

Price 

Zicasso recommends the following guidelines for customized South Africa safari tour packages, excluding international flights:

  • 5-star: USD $600 - $1,000+ per person per day
  • 4-star: Minimum USD $500 per person per day
  • 3-star: Minimum USD $400 per person per day

The customized package will include hotels, airport transfers and other transportation within South Africa, guided tours or activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip.

Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final hotel choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.