Bush camping. Chic!

Miles away from civilization you stay in luxury safari tents in Makalali private game reserve. An unfenced lodge where you hear animals move slowly close to the lodge through the canvas: are they hunting, or are they just searching for the waterhole in front of the lodge? This is the quintessential example of a true South African safari. During five days we offer a combination between a stay in this excellent private game reserve, and a visit to Hazyview and the Blyde River Canyon. Only few travellers have the opportunity visiting Makalali near Kruger National Park: there is a very limited number of lodges in the area. As such, you will only see very few other safari vehicles while on gamedrive. After five days in the African bush you have experienced a unique dream for many travellers.

Tour duration: 5 days, 4 nights

Price: From £ 989 per person (high), from £ 784 per person (low) for two adults sharing

Best time to visit: All year round

Day 1: Johannesburg - Hazyview

panoramaroute blyde river south africa

This morning, after breakfast, it is time to start your safari South Africa. From Johannesburg you follow the motorway in northeastern direction. At the city of Nelspruit you leave the motorway and drive further inland. The landscape changes quickly now, mountains appear on the horizon. After a five hour drive your first overnight stop on this safari South Africa will be in Hazyview. The lodge for this first night is located just outside the village. It is a rather large lodge situated on the banks of the Sabie River. Hazyview serves as a starting point for travellers visiting Kruger National Park and the Panorama Route. When arrived at the lodge, take a refreshing swim in one of the two swimming pools, or just enjoy the view over the river where you even may see some hippos. Rooms are spacious and equipped with large beds and many facilities. Enjoy dinner in the lodge restaurant, or find your own restaurant in town. Of course, a sumptuous breakfast next morning is included. (Driving distance 236 miles)

Hotel name: Hippo Hollow Country Lodge Hotel style: riverside fusion

Day 2: Hazyview - Makalali private game reserve (via Panoramaroute)

safari south africa tent

We recommend getting up early in the morning. This way you have the opportunity seeing a part of the Panorama Route before travelling to your lodge in Makalali Game Reserve. Visiting the Panorama Route is definitely worth the detour. En route you'll come across many impressive viewpoints, but also the famous Blyde River Canyon. It is a magnificent sight: this canyon is 16 miles long and 800 metres deep making it the third largest canyon in the world. Via the town of Hoedspruit you follow the main road further to the lodge where you'll be enjoying the African bush the forthcoming days. When you arrive before three o'clock in the afternoon you can directly join the evening gamedrive. The tent in which you sleep is simply stunning. Inspired by stories from a bygone era these tents appear very 'Hemingwayish', but with a wink. The design is truly unique and tasteful at the same time. Your own private patio has a -much needed- hammock and the bathroom features an indoor and outdoor shower. Your ranger picks you up just before dinner: the lodge is not fenced in and game is able to roam freely (and sometimes very close to the lodge). (Driving distance 180 miles)

Hotel name: Garonga Safari Camp Hotel style: tented safari for the soul

Day 3: Makalali private game reserve

gamedrive kruger

After a comfortable night's sleep, your ranger wakes you up early in the morning. First things first: after a quick tea or coffee it is time to embark the open 4x4 safari vehicle with some of the other guests and ranger. The ranger/guides in this area are exceptionally well trained and are therefore able to provide you the best safari experience possible. They possess an impressive knowledge about all flora and fauna in the area. Through their years of experience they are able to find and recognise animals tracks as if it is nothing. By following these tracks (or "spoor") they show you a wide variety of game. It is absolutely amazing to notice how much a game ranger actually sees, without you ever seeing it yourself. This is definitely the added value of staying in one of the private game reserves. These enthusiastic people can show you so much more than you would be able to see for yourself. Makalali is situated off the beaten path which shows itself by the very low amount of other vehicles encountered when on safari here. You barely see other 'hunting' visitors. Back in the lodge breakfast awaits you after which there is time for relaxation. At around four o'clock in the afternoon the second gamedrive starts. 

Hotel name: Garonga Safari Camp Hotel style: tented safari for the soul

Day 4: Makalali prive-reservaat

pool private lodge kruger

The bush expects you to get up early once again. Depending on the season you're travelling in, morning game drives start between five and six o'clock in the morning. Today you will try to tick off the Big 5 as much a possible (altough there is no African buffalo in Makalali). Our eyes are getting used to the bush more and more and by now you've learned where to look and what to look for. Perhaps you are the first one to spot that sleeping lion under a tree today. After breakfast there is an opportunity to join the ranger for a safari on foot. Bsides that it is also a nice idea to take a refreshing swim in the spectacular swimming pool. In the afternoon the Landrover is ready for you again to start a new search in the bush. In the few remaining hours of the day the South African bush appears completely different compared to the morning. The environment changes colour every minute and even the smell is different (don't be surpised when you think you smell potatoes). Back in the warmly-lit lodge you are first invited to have a drink at the bar before dinner starts. The rangers usually join you for dinner which provides some great entertainment: they are ful of incredible bush stories. Before getting into bed you have the opportunity of taking the much famed "bush-bath": literally a lavish bath in the open air, a truly romantic and unforgettable experience.

Hotel name: Garonga Safari Camp Hotel style: tented safari for the soul

Day 5: Makalali private game reserve - Swaziland / Johannesburg

private safari south africa

Your last day in the bush has arrived. But before you say goodbye there is still time for a last morning game drive. After breakfast and after you packed your baggage it is time to continue your safari South Africa. It is a short drive back to the main road, from which you can choose directions for either Swaziland or Johannesburg. Luxury travel modules that connect well are "Mountains & wetlands: Swaziland to St. Lucia" and "A view with a room: Swaziland & Phinda". (Driving distance 285 miles)

Chic! tip: After this luxury safari holiday you can also choose to continue your South Africa holiday on Mozambique's tropical beaches by using our Mozambique Island Escape.

You can request a quote for this South Africa luxury travel module by completing a quote request form. For more travel options see our luxury South Africa modules overview.

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Rental car (not included), read more >>.

Departure days



Included: Hazyview: bed & breakfast. Makalali: all meals; local drinks; 2 gamedrives daily; "bushbath"; "sleepout" option

Exluded: car hire (more information); other meals; all items of personal nature and tips

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