4 Day Explorer Safari Tour Itinerary
Arrival at Kruger National Park
After spending the night in Johannesburg or after an early arrival at OR Tambo Airport you are picked up by your guide with a comfortable air conditioned vehicle who then takes you on a 5-6 hours’ drive to Orpen Gate, one of the entries to Kruger National Park on the border of Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces. During the transfer you will have opportunity to buy provisions or have a quick meal at one of the rest stops along the way (total stopping time ̴1 hour). At Orpen Gate you will change vehicles to an Open Safari Vehicle which gives you a 180 degrees panoramic view of the African savannah with a full experience of all smells and sounds, and a perfect vantage point to see over high grasses and bushes. We reach Satara Rest Camp after your first game drive, just before the gate closes for the night. After check in you can have a dinner of your own choice at the camp’s restaurant. We have an early night to be ready for the full day Safari the next day.
Safari and check in at African Rock Lodge
We get up at dawn to make the most of our Kruger Safari. Your guide prepares a quick coffee for you and you can have rusks with your drink for a quick snack as we get on our way. Alternatively, you may join one of the spectacular and informative morning walks that are offered by the national park in the early hours of the morning; if you chose to do so your guide will wait for you at the camp with the breakfast and we will depart on safari afterwards.
We spend the morning in search of all the iconic animal species including the Big 5 with a dedicated professional field guide, who will use expert knowledge of the area to interpret the natural environment for you in every detail.Your guide will frequent various waterholes and river systems as well as other Kruger hotspots to maximize your opportunity to see as much as possible and ensure the scenery on display is ever changing and picturesque.
We stop at one of the picnic spots or at the rest camp; where your guide prepares a delicious breakfast for you. Later we stop again at one of the rest camps for a lunch at the restaurant. We continue our safari for the rest of the day until we leave the national park in the late afternoon and proceed to this night’s accommodation, one of our excellent and highly rated partner lodges in Hoedspruit. Your dinner will be prepared for you as you make yourself comfortable in your room or rest by the pool.
Today we take it easy as there is no need to get up extra early. You enjoy your relaxed breakfast at the lodge and we pick you up around 8 am for the Cultural Tour. First we proceed to the local village of Welverdiend and introduce you to some of the village personalities such as the traditional healer, the village chief and traditional council and take you to some local micro businesses, for example the place where they make traditional beer. You can also visit the pre-school, school and a school that caters for children with special needs. What makes this tour so special is that it is completely authentic and nothing is staged; nobody is waiting for us and that means that each time we do this tour it is different. Depending on the time of the year, people may prepare and sell products that are in season; the traditional council may be gathering or something else may be going on that particular day that is worth seeing.
What is also special is that our guide is originally from the very village that we are visiting and knows almost everyone in person, meaning that he has a special rapport with the local people that enables him to respectfully demonstrate rural life to our guests. The villagers appreciate our presence and welcome it.
After the tour you will have lunch at our African restaurant nearby in the bush right next to Kruger Park; you can relax at our secluded Bush Bouma and listen to the birds. Then we take you back to the lodge where you again have the opportunity to go for a walk in the local reserve (no big game) or relax by the pool. In the evening you can have a dinner at one of the excellent restaurants in town.
Return to Johannesburg via Panorama Route
On this last day we depart early to enjoy the Panorama Route with its breath taking scenery and natural wonders that are a must on any visit to the area. The lodge will prepare a packed breakfast for you that you will get to enjoy at our first stop on the way. We will see the exceptional view at Blyde River Canyon, the world’s largest green canyon; then we head off to Graskop where you can enjoy lunch before we return to Johannesburg. (The exact itinerary will also depend on if you have a flight to catch on the same day)