6 Days
Heidi’s Budget Friendly Mpumalanga Lowveld and Kruger Magic

Tour Highlights

  • Mpumalanga Lowveld
  • Panorama Route Tour
  • Blyde River Canyon
  • Timbavati Game Reserve
  • Kruger National Park
  • Big Five Game Viewing

Client Review

I can’t thank Heidi enough for what she did for us.  She arranged the perfect safari for us.  We had very little time – only six days – and a small budget but she made sure we had enough time on safari and also made it possible for us to do some touring along the Blyde River Canyon on the way to the game reserve.  As we wanted to see as much as possible in our short time, Heidi said we should travel by road to the game reserve instead of flying.  This was the best advice!  She arranged an excellent tour guide to show us around.  The safari in the Timbavati Game Reserve was absolutely fantastic.  We stayed at Simbavati River Lodge and the accommodation was really luxurious.  The staff were very nice and we enjoyed the food.  The game viewing was fantastic.  We were there for 3 nights and went on 6 game drives.  The ranger was so good and could see animals hiding that we could not see until he pointed them out to us.  We saw so many different animals but our favourites were the giraffes, elephants, baboons and hyenas.  We even saw hyena cubs!  Thank you, Heidi, for being so patient and answering all our questions and for making sure that everything was perfect.

Ahmad & Noriah

Tour Consultant's Overview

Ahmad and his family were looking at doing a family holiday to South Africa.   Ahmad was interested in seeing  some of the smaller towns in the outskirts of South Africa as well as Kruger.  Ahmad was arriving in Johannesburg with his family and decided to book him a road transfer from Johannesburg to the Mpumalanga Lowveld as opposed to taking a flight to Kruger, this giving him the opportunity to visit some quaint towns along the way.   A night was spent in Hazyview in the Mpumlanaga Lowveld.  Ahmad and his family enjoyed a full day Panorama Route Tour the following day visiting God’s Window, Bourke’s Potholes,  The Mac Mac Falls and having lunch at the famous Harry’s Pancakes.   Ahmad and family where then transferred to Simbavati River Lodge in the Timbavati Game Reserve for 3 days of game viewing.
Heidi Bedford
Day 1 Johannesburg to Mpumalanga Lowveld (1 night)

This morning, you will be met by our representative and taken through the scenic route from Johannesburg to Hazyview via Dullstroom, Lydenburg, the Long Tom Pass and Sabie. The Long Tom Pass has a number of viewpoints and sites along the road. Devil’s Knuckles is a unique rock formation next to the side of the road and over the road is a magnificent view of the town of Sabie. You can also stop at the Long Tom Cannon site, which is a replica of a Creusot siege cannon. The monument marks the spot where, from 8 to 11 September 1900, two of these cannons were used for the last time by the Boer commandos against the British army. These cannons - with their long barrels - were nicknamed the "Long Toms" by the British forces. You check in for your one night stay.

Day 2 Panorama Route Tour to Blyde River Canyon (1 night)

This morning you are met at reception and taken on a full day Panorama Route Tour; exploring the beautiful sights of God’s Window, Bourkes Potholes and the Mac Mac Falls. The tour includes a light lunch at the world famous Harry’s pancakes. After your Panorama Tour you are transferred back to your lodge where you check out. You are then transferred to your new accommodation in the heart of the Blyde River Canyon for your one night stay.

Day 3 Blyde River Canyon to Timbavati Game Reserve

This morning you are met and transferred by road to the Timbavati Game Reserve, forming part of the Greater Kruger National Park. There is time to settle in at your new lodge before setting off on your afternoon game drive.

Transfer time: Blyde River Canyon to Timbavati lodge – approx. 1½ hours

Day 3 to 6 Timbavati Game Reserve (3 Nights)

The Timbavati forms part of the two million hectare Greater Kruger National Park. It was the first private game reserve to be incorporated into the Kruger National Park and is part of one of Africa's most innovative conservation partnership agreements. The Timbavati is 14 700 hectares (36 300 acres) and shares an unfenced boundary with the Kruger National Park.

Here you can track the Big Five, as well as a rich variety of other game such as antelope, zebra, warthog, giraffe and hippo, in the company of an armed ranger and local Shangaan tracker. Bird viewing is spectacular, with over 360 recorded species including various eagles, vultures, kingfishers, woodpeckers, buzzards, herons, egrets, owls and weavers. The Timbavati is also home to the world-famous “White Lions of Timbavati”.

Day 6 Timbavati & Departure

This morning you are met at reception and transferred to Hoedspruit Airport where you will board your flight to Cape Town International Airport.

Transfer time – Timbavati accommodation to Hoedspruit Airport – approx. 1 hour

Mpumalanga Lowveld - Hazyview: Hippo Hollow

Situated on the banks for the Sabie River in Hazyview, this Lodge has an authentic "Out of Africa" feel about it.

At Hippo Hollow guests are accommodated in unique thatched Garden and River Chalets and Courtyard Hotel Rooms, which either overlook the beautiful gardens or the impressive Sabie River. All rooms and chalets have en-suite bathrooms and tea/coffee facilities and are furnished with touches of local wood for a traditional finish.

The in-house restaurant offers a variety of delicious dishes accompanied by a selection of South African wines. Indulging in the sight of kingfishers and other beautiful water birds or the grazing of the hippopotamus on the lawn against the backdrop of a beautiful African sunset.

The beautifully maintained gardens, with two swimming pools, is home to a wonderful variety of bird species, and the Sabie River attracts hippo, crocodiles, monkeys, waterbirds and even elephants from the Elephant Whispers sanctuary.

Panorama Route: Blyde River Canyon Lodge

Blyde River Canyon Lodge is situated along the scenic Panorama Route in the Blyde River Canyon of the Mpumalanga/Limpopo Province. It offers travellers a unique bush experience. The Lodge is set in an 85 hectare Botanical Reserve which boasts a wealth of fauna and flora and features elegantly decorated rooms that open onto tranquil gardens, where zebra and wildebeest wander by.

An English breakfast is served daily, and the guest house’s restaurant offers local dishes for lunch and dinner on request. Special diet menus are also available.

Guests can relax by the outdoor pool or enjoy massage treatments. They can also choose from a variety of activities in the surrounding area, including hot air ballooning, rafting, horse riding and hiking.

Timbavati Game Reserve: Simbavati River Lodge

Simbavati River Lodge is an intimate and friendly camp built on the banks of the Nhlaralumi River. Shaded by age-old Jackalberry and Leadwood trees, Simbavati is warm and welcoming, with a generous contemporary design.

Guest common areas offer a generously proportioned open-air lounge, bar, boma (outdoor dining area) and extensive decks with breathtaking views overlooking the Nhlaralumi River where regular wildlife sightings take place and guests can unwind. Accommodation is provided in luxury tented rooms or thatched chalets, all with en-suite bathrooms and private decks. The luxurious tented accommodation offers generous bush or water views from your own private viewing deck. Tents are spaced adequately far apart to ensure privacy, and they have all of the amenities to ensure a luxurious and comfortable stay.

Simbavati River Lodge is a child-friendly safari camp with three family chalets available, each with two separate bedrooms sharing one bathroom. One of the family chalets can accommodate five people, whilst the other two family chalets can accommodate four persons. There is a children’s activity room with a selection of toys/board games. Children will receive an activity booklet and coloured pencils on arrival. Children under the age of 13 will be taken to look at tracks and signs in the bush by a tracker. Board games and books available in the lounge area.

Early morning and evening game drives are conducted by experienced rangers and Shangaan trackers in open 4x4 vehicles, offering excellent photographic opportunities. The Timbavati is also home to the world-famous “White Lions of Timbavati”. White cubs have been born into the resident prides on Simbavati and there is an excellent chance of spotting these “ghost lions” during game drives. Between game drives you have time to unwind. The lounge area is the perfect place to relax on a comfortable couch with a book, or you can enjoy an afternoon siesta in your room.

Mpumalanga Lowveld: Panorama Route Sightseeing

Winding its way through the craggy Drakensberg mountains of Mpumalanga and the north-eastern end of the Great Escarpment, the Panorama Route has some of the most dramatic landscape in the world. The best views are to be had on a clear winter's day when the mist and clouds of summer are nowhere in sight. At the edge of the plateau the land falls away beneath your feet and the vast Lowveld plains spread out about a kilometre below.

The most spectacular stretch of the Panorama Route is the Blyde River Canyon, which is the 3rd largest canyon in the world. From many well-positioned vantage points one has a view of the 33 km long gorge, which starts at "Bourke's Luck Potholes" and ends at the "Three Rondawels". The Potholes are very impressive rock formations that were shaped millions of years ago by erosion. The bizarre swirl holes developed when the once rapid river carried masses of sand and debris. Along this route you can stop at sites such as Berlin Falls, God’s Window, Pinnacle Point, Lisbon Falls, Mac Mac Falls and Sabie Falls

Timbavati Game Reserve: Daily safari programme at Simbavati River Lodge

Upon arrival at your safari lodge you are given a welcome drink and your safari experience will be explained to you by your lodge host. There will be time to settle in before afternoon High Tea followed by your first game drive. Game drives take place in the early morning and evening to ensure game viewing when animals are most active. Night game drives provide a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the predators, particularly the leopard for which this area is renowned. You return to your lodge in time for a sumptuous safari cuisine dinner. The next day after a light snack you are taken on a morning game drive. You return to the lodge for a grand brunch. There is time to relax around the sunny pool, do some bird-watching from the observation deck or read a book in the peace of your room’s private veranda. If you are feeling more active, you can go on a bush walk with your ranger. After High Tea you set off on another evening game drive, returning again in time for dinner. On your day of departure, you will do a morning game drive and will leave the lodge after brunch.

The Timbavati is brimming with various species of fowl and beast, including the sought-after Big Five, namely lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino. The reserve also boasts over 40 other species of mammals. Creatures of every shape and size abound during the day, and by night visitors to the reserve are likely to see smaller, nocturnal mammals - such as porcupines, servals, civets and genets. Bird-lovers would struggle to replicate this calibre of bird watching anywhere else in the world, with the Timbavati featuring over 360 different species.

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This itinerary started on 18 December 2018
When this tour took place, the cost per person sharing was: USD$ 1,828
Remember, this is an actual itinerary, 100% tailor-made to meet this client's expectations. We can use this itinerary as a starting point for you.
I'm Heidi Bedford
I tailor-made this itinerary for my client and can do the same for you.
Heidi Bedford
My direct contact details are EMAIL ME+27 87 353 7872
Pembury Tours office details +27 41 581 2581 EMAIL US
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