We’re taking you to the most amazing destinations and attractions in South Africa, eSwatini (Swaziland) and Mozambique for this spectacular 13-day Beach and Bush safari.
In South Africa we will spend four nights in the world-renowned Kruger National Park. You can look forward to see all the famous Big Five animals (Buffalo, Elephant, 2 species of Rhino, Lion and Leopard) and over 520 species of birds along with vast numbers of reptiles, insects and other fauna and flora. We should tick about 30 to 40 mammal species and over 250 bird species on guided game drives, bush walks, bird walks, and night drives.
Set in what is arguably Swaziland’s most spectacularly beautiful region, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is a natural wonderland of grassy plains, granitic mountains, cascading waterfalls and abundant wildlife. You will spend one day here with the the traditional beehive-shaped huts as our accommodation.
You will be spending two nights in Tembe Elephant park in Kwazulu Natal, in South Africa where you will be able to meet some of the largest elephants in Africa, which are also the last remaining indigenous herd.
Santa Maria in Mozambique is your home for three nights with a different kind of view of the beautiful Maputo Bay. The little village is authentic Mozambican with traditional market stalls and crystal clear waters ideal for swimming, diving, and snorkeling.
Your last two nights will be in Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park where you will enjoy game drives and game walks in the home of one fifth of the world’s white- and black Rhinos.
|Starts in Kruger National Park||Ends in Durban||Duration: 13 Days||Bookings on request|
• Kruger National Park-
World-renowned National Park in South Africa, offering a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa.
• Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary-
A natural wonderland of grassy plains, granitic mountains, cascading waterfalls and abundant wildlife in Swaziland.
• Tembe Elephant Park-
Home to some of the largest elephants in Africa, which are also the last remaining indigenous herd, along with all members of the Big Five.
• Machangulo Beach Lodge, Santa Maria-
Little village with spectacular views overlooking Maputo Bay.
• Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park-
The crown of the KwaZulu-Natal game reserve; home to one-fifth of the world’s black and white Rhino populations.
|Day 1-2||Satara (Kruger National Park)|
|Day 3||Skukuza (Kruger National Park)|
|Day 4||Berg-en-dal (Kruger National Park)|
|Day 5||Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary|
|Day 6-8||Tembe Elephant Park|
|Day 8-11||Machangulo Beach Lodge|
|Day 11-13||Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park|
Day to Day Itinerary
Satara Main Camp, Central Kruger – On arrival at Skukuza Airport you will be met by your guide and taken to your open safari vehicle where your safari starts as we had north to Satara Rest Camp.
Satara, although fairly large, has a rustic charm, with the bulk of the accommodation set out in a series of circles. The nightly barbeque fires burning in front of the bungalows are a special sight. The ambience of the camp, Kruger’s third-biggest, recalls the mood of colonial Africa with red-roofed public buildings, thatched chalets and neatly raked paths.
Satara, like most of Kruger’s camps, has been artificially well wooded, and it is always worth exploring on foot. A walk inside the fence perimeter might produce Honey Badger, African Scops Owl and Red-billed Buffalo Weaver. Satara is rightly known as “cat camp”. No fewer than 50 Lion prides occupy home ranges in this area, with an average pride size of 12 Lions. Lions are inevitably followed by scavengers, and this area also contains large numbers of Spotted Hyena, Black-backed Jackal and Vultures. It is also one of the best areas in the entire Kruger to see Cheetah.
We will try our best to tick all of these species and many more on our drive. After arriving at camp and freshening up we will get together for dinner on the big verandah of the camp’s restaurant and chat about our sightings so far. If there is time we might make a social fire at one of our bungalows. Nothing beats sitting around the fire with a drink in hand in the African bush, with only the night sounds and millions of stars for company. A truly magical experience!
Satara Main Camp, Central Kruger – We will enjoy a full day in the classic savannah habitat around Satara. We will go out early in the morning armed with coffee and rusks and then return to camp for brunch and we will also go on an early afternoon game drive.
Take half an hour to walk around in the camp during our downtime today. It is one of our favourites here at the Nature Travel group. The camp has a beautiful reception, shop and restaurant area, as well as a large swimming pool and a petrol station. Satara is also the only main camp in Kruger with a live, 24-hour webcam at the watering trough just outside the camp fence.
Today we will certainly drive along one of the most famous roads in the entire park, the S100. This road runs east-west from Satara towards the Lebombo mountains and Mozambique. It is surrounded by flat, grassy plains for the most part. The open savannah habitat makes for great photographic opportunities, and the region around the S100 is especially famous for photos of classic African sunsets. The usually dry river alongside the road sometimes forms shallow pools after good rainy periods, and these pools are excellent for spotting all sorts of interesting smaller animals, amphibians and reptiles.
Large herds of Common Wildebeest and Plains Zebra frequent these plains, while Giraffe, African Elephant, African Buffalo and Common Warthog are also seen regularly. The riverine thickets hold Waterbuck, Greater Kudu and the rare Sable Antelope. All these antelopes and ungulates lead to many predators being present, and the road is particularly good for Leopard and Cheetah sightings. However, it is regarded as one of the best stretches of road in the entire park for Lion spotting! The S100 is the home of two different lion coalitions, the N’wanetsi and the Shishangaan males. The rare white Lions of the Timbavati are also sometimes seen here. At the far eastern side of the 20 km long S100 is the lovely N’Wanetsi picnic spot, a great place for making breakfast or just stretching the legs, and also for looking far into Mozambique from the viewpoint. Just a few kilometres further south is the Sweni bird hide that overlooks the N’wanetsi dam; a must-visit spot for birders! We will once again return to Satara for dinner on the verandah and a good night’s sleep.
Skukuza Rest Camp, Southern Kruger – We will be up early this morning, ready to pack the vehicle and make our way South to Skukuza Rest Camp where we will stay for one night.
Skukuza, is the park’s largest camp and sometimes feels like a (very) small town compared to the other camps in Kruger. It is situated on the southern bank of the Sabie River. This is a perennial river and one of the largest and most biologically diverse in the park. The habitat here comprises riparian zones, with large trees lining the river banks, and Sabie River thickets away from the river courses. The permanent water source here attracts large numbers of Impala, one of the main prey items of Leopard, and we will be on the lookout for these and other predators such as Lion, African Wild Dog and Spotted Hyena.
African Elephant and African Buffalo are also common in the area, usually heading down to the river as the day heats up. The area is, however, not really suited to large numbers of grazing animals and small herds of browsers such as Greater Kudu and Bushbuck are more common here. We will return to camp to freshen up and enjoy dinner in the restaurant. The chefs are rightly proud of their fare and you will get a taste of some of South Africa’s traditional dishes along with some more “continental” options. After dinner we will head to our bungalows for a good night’s sleep in the African bush. Remember to look up as you walk back to your room, the stars out here in the bush are truly spectacular.
Berg-en-Dal Main Camp, Southern Kruger – Berg en Dal, meaning ‘mountain and dale’, is aptly named for its superb location on the bank of the Matjulu spruit and is surrounded by rocky hillsides. It is one of the new generation of camps and was opened in 1984. Great care has been taken to preserve the natural vegetation in the camp area, which comprises Malelane Mountain Bushveld (woodland), attracting a variety of grazers. The area hosts high numbers of White Rhinoceros, Greater Kudu, Impala, Giraffe, some African Elephant, Southern Reedbuck, Klipspringer, Grey Rhebok and Common Warthog. Leopard and African Wild Dog are also regularly seen in the region.
We will look for all sorts of interesting animals, birds, plants and anything else that catches our eyes! We might venture north towards the famous Afsaal picnic spot, or eastwards along the Crocodile river on one of Kruger’s most productive dirt roads. The camp has a beautiful swimming pool to cool off in, as well as good restaurant facilities and a nightly video show with some interesting local nature programmes if you are interested.
Beehive Village at Mlilwane, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary – We will have our last morning game drive in Kruger this morning and after breakfast we will make our way to our next stop the Bee Hive Village situated in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is eSwatini’s (formerly Swaziland) pioneer conservation area, a shining example of what is possible if passion, vision and action fuse. Once a highly profitable multi-purpose farm, and being labelled an “impossible dream”, Mlilwane was proclaimed in 1961 and is now the kingdom’s most popular eco-destination for locals and internationals alike. The name ‘Mlilwane’ (‘Little Fire’ in siSwati) was derived from the numerous fires started by lightning strikes on the Mlilwane Hill but now holds significance as the little fire that ignited the conservation movement in Swaziland. Mlilwane’s diverse habitats support a surprisingly extensive species list. Endless hours of guided exploration within the small 4560 Ha sanctuary are possible due to the relative absence of dangerous game. We will be staying in the Bee Hive Huts, which is a traditional grass dome construction with a low door and no windows providing for a deep sleep. The bathroom addition adds both light and circulation.
Tembe Elephant Park Lodge, Tembe Elephant Park – After a great night’s rest and a good breakfast, we will be on our way. We will exit eSwatini through the Golela Border Post and then make our way to Tembe Elephant Park where we will be based for the next two nights.
Tembe Elephant Park offers intimate encounters with some of the largest elephants in Africa. The 300km2 reserve, located in KwaZulu-Natal, is the ancestral home of the Tembe tribe who own and co-manage both the Park and the Tembe Elephant Lodge. At Tembe we will enjoy morning and afternoon game drives. Tembe is the backyard for all their experienced guides and trackers. Combined with local knowledge, they are proud to welcome us to their ancestral home. What makes Tembe unique is the special interactions we will have with the elephants. The elephants are relaxed around the game drive vehicles, offering an unforgettable encounter with these gentle grey giants. Tembe is home to an abundance of wildlife – including the Big Five. Black and White Rhino, Buffalo, Leopard, Hippo, Serval, Eland, Zebra, Giraffe, Hyena, Jackal, Wildebeest, Nyala, Kudu, Waterbuck, Reed Buck, Red Duiker, Warthog, and other small mammals thrive in abundance.
Machangulo Beach Lodge, Santa Maria – After our last morning game drive and breakfast we will be heading for Machangulo Lodge in Mozambique. This will be about a 3-hour journey. We will enter Mozambique through the Kosi Bay border post and then head to the Maputo Marina where we will board a charter boat for our 75min trip to get to Machangulo Lodge; our paradise for the next three nights.
Machangulo Beach Lodge, is situated in the South of Mozambique and offers blissful barefoot luxury. Untouched African beaches, untamed nature and friendly local service. Situated in a truly unique location on a beautiful & secluded peninsula, with a plethora of activities. There are plenty of amazing spots to enjoy the unique views of the Indian Ocean and Inhaca Island. Surrounded by 5 marine and nature reserves, this is a unique African beach paradise. There are a wide range of activities to be enjoyed while staying at Machangulo Lodge which can be booked and paid for on arrival. Such as dune walks to view the shipwreck, day trip to Maputo National Park, snorkeling at Inhaca Island at the Marine Reserve, kayaking, Santa Maria and Inhaca Island village tours. Your 3 nights here will be invigorating and relaxing at the same time.
Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge, Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park – This morning we bid farewell to our island paradise and will head back to South Africa for a wildlife experience like no other.
We will leave Machangulo by boat again and head to Maputo Marina where we will load our vehicle and make our journey to South Africa through the Kosi Bay border post. We will be on the road for about 6 hours today but the last hour and a half will be spent game viewing in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve as we head to Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge where we will spend our last two nights in South Africa. The Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park has an interesting history as it is the oldest proclaimed game reserve in Africa and the former hunting grounds of the Zulu Royal family. The park is made up of two game reserves previously known as the Hluhluwe Game Reserve and Imfolozi Game Reserve. At Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge, we will again be up early for game drives in the morning and then once again in the afternoon. We can enjoy one mid-morning game walk which will awaken your senses to the vast wilderness area around you, in this big 5 game reserve.
Departure – We will enjoy our last morning game drive and breakfast before we head off to King Shaka International Airport for our onward flight.