Tailor Made Itinerary

14 Days
Melanie’s Essential Essence of Kruger Safari

3 nights Manyeleti | 4 nights Klaserie | 3 nights Timbavati | 3 nights Balule

Tour Highlights

  • Complete Kruger National Park Tour
  • Manyeleti Game Reserve
  • Klaserie Game Reserve
  • Tented Camp Accommodation
  • Xananetsi Private Camp
  • Big Five Game Viewing
  • Bountiful Birdlife
  • Sundowners & Night Drives

Client Review

For your safari experience …just one word: Pembury Tours!

Once again, I enjoyed the beauties and the wonders of magical southern african bush, guided expertly by my tour consultant with which everything is already easy: planning, communication, advices, problem solving and organization are the strengths of Pembury.

I am thinking about next safari with them!!! Super recommended!

Andrea L

Tour Consultant's Overview

An initial enquiry way back in 2015 from Andrea, was the start of a long and successful collaboration between himself and Pembury Tours over the next 4 years. Andrea, although a "safari rookie" back then, had definitely done his homework with the result that he knew the areas he wanted to visit, the lodges he wanted to stay at and always a difficult one, which animals he wanted to see. Wild animals, being exactly that, are always unpredictable and with this in mind, we worked our way through numerous options, encompassing as many game reserves within the Great Kruger National Park as possible to optimise his game-viewing experiences. Well, it must have worked, because he came back again in 2016, in 2017 and we have already organised his 4th safari with us, commencing in May 2018! Watch this space for his next exciting Itinerary! It was therefore no surprise when he sent a detailed list of where he wanted to go and therefore yet again, we were thrilled to plan his 3rd Kruger safari in 2017. When we contacted the properties on his list, so many of them knew exactly which chalet he wanted and which tracker/guide he would request so as a repeat client, Andrea has made a huge impression in Kruger. His photographic work is of an excellent standard and some of his pictures are included in this Itinerary. It has been a pleasure working with Andrea and we are looking forward to perhaps planning a 5th safari in 2019. Here's hoping!
Melanie Macphail
Day 1 Arrival in Manyeleti Game Reserve

Upon arrival in Hoedspruit, you will be met by our representative and are transferred by road to your safari lodge for a three night stay. Spend the afternoon soaking up the beautiful gardens and relaxing in the comfortable suites available at your lodge.

Day 1 to 4 Manyeleti Game Reserve (3 nights)

Manyeleti Game Reserve is owned and managed by the local Mnisi tribe. They successfully claimed the land as they have been living in the area for many generations. All safari lodges in Manyeleti Game Reserve are privately owned and make use of the land on a concession basis. As there are only three lodges in the reserve, and more than 200 kilometres of gravel roads, you can assume to have this game reserve pretty much to yourself.

Manyeleti means “Place of the stars” in the local language. It truly is a unique safari destination well off the beaten path. You can be certain not to encounter big tour groups travelling around in busses, but rather expect a pristine bush experience in one of the world's most beautiful places. This 23,000 hectare private game reserve borders directly to the vast Kurger National Park, as well as the famous Sabi Sands and Timbavati Game Reserves. It is situated on the eastern side of Kruger, perched between the Sabi Sands and Timbavati. As such, you can be absolutely sure to only experience the best game viewing possible. As there are no fences between the national park and the private game reserves, wildlife is able to roam freely. Manyeleti is prime “Big Five” territory, offering exceptional good possibilities for viewing the elusive leopard. Other Big Five animals (lion, rhino, buffalo and elephant) are also often spotted on a very regular basis. Furthermore, with more than 300 bird species present in the area, Manyeleti makes a great safari destination for wildlife enthusiasts, photographers and bird watchers alike.

Day 4 Manyeleti Game Reserve to Klaserie Game Reserve

This morning after your early morning game drive, you are transferred to Klaserie Private Nature Reserve - enjoy taking in the sights and sounds as oyu mvoe to your next lodge in the Greater Kruger National Park.

Day 4 to 8 Klaserie Game Reserve (4 nights)

Covering an impressive 60 000 hectares of pristine wilderness, The Klaserie Private Nature Reserve was established in 1972 as part of the greater Kruger National Park, and is one of the largest privately owned reserves in South Africa.

It is an entirely non-government organisation involved in the full spectrum of Nature Conservations. Klaserie has all of the Big Five species and as there are no boundaries between this concession and the rest of the Timbavati and Greater Kruger Parks, the likelihood of wonderful sightings is almost guaranteed.

Day 8 Klaserie Game Reserve to Timbavati Game Reserve

After your early morning game drive, you are transferred from your lodge in Klaserie to your new lodge in the Timbavati Game Reserve - another area world-renowned for excellent game viewing experiences.

Day 8 to 10 Timbavati Game Reserve (3 nights)

Umlani is located in the Timbavati, which shares an unfenced border with the Kruger National Park. This is true Big Five territory and guests have an opportunity to see lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino on safe, expertly guided game drives and bush walks. The area is also home to more than 40 mammal species and 350 bird species. The traversing ares is 15000ha. As an ethically operated and fair trade certified safari camp, Umlani is dedicated to conserving the African wild and uplifting the local community. This gives our guests an opportunity to have a more meaningful experience of Africa and a holiday that makes a real difference.

Day 10 Timbavati Game Reserve to Balule Nature Reserve

After your morning game drive you are transferred to the Balule Nature Reserve for your three night stay in the last area of the Kruger National Park that you visit on your tour.

Day 10 to 14 Balule Nature Reserve (3 nights)

The Balule Game Reserve forms part of the 2 million hectare Greater Kruger National Park. This area is home to an array of spectacular wildlife, including the “Big Five”. World famous for its abundance of animal, bird and reptile life, game-viewing is at its best. As the annual rainfall is generally low, waterholes become focus points, especially in August and September. As animals are largely territorial, you will be assured of excellent sightings during the safari activities.

With no boundary fences between Balule Private Nature Reserve (50 000ha) and the Kruger National Park a great diversity of wildlife is found here. Game drives traverse an area of 10 000 hectares (24 700 acres) and strict vehicle limits at sightings ensure the exclusivity of your game viewing experience. Off-road driving on most areas enables the best possible view of any exceptional sighting and rangers are constantly in touch with each other to keep track of animal movements. Our experienced guides will not only use all their vast knowledge and bush craft to try and show you the notorious Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) and other plains game such as zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, but they will do their best to paint memories of an Africa that will never fade away.

Day 14 Departure

You enjoy your morning game drive and then are met at reception but our representative for your transfer to the OR Tambo Airport for your departure flight later in the evening.

Manyeleti Game Reserve: Honeyguide Mantobeni Tented Safari Camp

Honeyguide Mantobeni Tented Safari Camp is situated in the Manyeleti Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park. The camp is designed to reflect Hemingway’s Africa. There are 15 tents which are nestled in a Tamboti grove overlooking a dry river bed.

Our reception area is comprised of a large sitting area, an outdoor area with a splash pool & sun loungers, a bar and an extensive climate controlled wine cellar. Game visiting the nearby watering hole can be seen from the swimming pool deck which adjoins the reception area.

The tents at Mantobeni Camp are furnished with king size beds (we can convert these to twins should this be required), mosquito nets and soft leather couches. Each tent has an en-suite bathroom with a sunken concrete bath, double shower, his & hers basins and a separate toilet. The tents are each set on a wooden platform that has five steps leading up to the tent. There is soft lighting within the tent and we do provide mosquito repellent for our guests.

Klaserie Private Nature Reserve: Xanatseni Private Camp

Recently upgraded, Xanatseni Private Camp is a thatched, full-board camp which provides absolute comfort while retaining the charm and ambiance of a bygone safari era. It has five spacious rooms with ensuite bathrooms and a boma area with camp fire, perfect for enjoying evening drinks around the fire, or warming you up with your coffee before the morning game drive.

The camp can get very hot in summer and thankfully it has a beautiful pool and outdoor patio area with adjoining bar and lounge where guests can relax and siesta during the midday heat between the two daily game drives.

Xanatseni has a team of staff living on the premises that will cater for your every need. The camp boasts comfortable, contemporary interior décor throughout. The lookout tower at the entrance offers panoramic views of the bush and overlooks the local watering hole (for those who missed out on the game drives). Game viewing at Xanatseni is conducted in an open vehicle and provides guests with the opportunities of seeing a myriad of wild animals including, but not limited to, the big 5 and a vast number of bird species.

Kruger National Park: Umlani Bush Camp

Experience the real magic of Africa at Umlani Bushcamp. This beautifully designed eco lodge is off the electricity grid and off the beaten tourist track, offering intimate and thrilling wildlife encounters, award-winning meals and a chance to reconnect with nature in one of Africa's world-renowned, unspoilt wilderness reserves. Umlani is located in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, which shares an unfenced border with the Kruger National Park.

This is true Big Five territory and guests have an opportunity to see lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino on safe, expertly guided game drives and bush walks. The area is also home to more than 40 mammal species and 350 bird species.

Umlani Bushcamp accommodates guests in traditional African reed and thatch huts as well as an Eco Rondavel, which all blend naturally with the environment. All accommodation options have en-suite facilities including open-air bush showers for the ultimate stargazing experience. They also offer comfortable beds, crisp white linen, soft towels, mosquito netting, and standard bathroom amenities. Operating off the grid, each hut is discreetly lit by a combination of solar and oil lanterns. The Umlani philosophy of simplistic luxury and 'getting back to nature' is enhanced by the romance of operating without electricity, so each hut and the entire camp is lit by candlelight and oil lamps, providing a warm and magical atmosphere. Accommodation options include four double huts, five family units and one eco rondavel. Facilities at Umlani Bushcamp include a traditional African boma/dining room serving award-winning meals, a bush bar and deck overlooking a waterhole frequented by game and a unique tree house 1.5 km away from camp for private bush sleep-outs.

You will be taken out on two game drives per day, in open top Land Rovers. The morning game drive will leave at dawn and the night drive will leave in the late afternoon. There is always a ranger on stand-by for an optional morning bush walk.

Kruger National Park: Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge

Mohlabetsi is a small intimate Lodge, with only 20 beds, so guests are assured of comfort and unobtrusive attentiveness, combined with an intimacy with nature. Guests are accommodated in newly renovated en-suite rondavels with an attractive Afro-ethnic theme. Each rondavel has a marvellous al fresco shower for a wonderful “close-to-nature” experience.

There is a ceiling fan for warm summer nights. The Lodge is nestled under age-old trees with a panoramic view over the bush and onto a well-frequented waterhole. The shady lawns, with chaise lounges, create a wonderful scene of tranquillity. The entrance is a thatched portico leading onto a lounge, bar and dining area. The Boma is an outdoor reeded enclosure with a crackling log fire, where sumptuous safari dinners are served. Meals are a culinary delight. Fresh local ingredients are used and many of the condiments and herbs are produced at the Lodge. The accent is on typical South African country fare, with dishes to suit all palates.

Whether on a game drive or sipping sundowners at the main lodge, guests soon discover that the accent at Mohlabetsi is on comfort and unobtrusive attentiveness. The emphasis at Mohlabetsi is upon close-up encounters with Africa’s spectacular wildlife, from the mighty elephant, the impressive lion or the miniscule termite. There are twice-daily game drives and optional bush walks on offer. The area is blessed with dark skies and a bewildering assortment of stars. The Rangers are skilled at pointing out constellations and deep sky objects using laser pointers and a large telescope. See your Zodiac Sign for the first time and learn the ancient stories told by cultures who were mesmerized by the beauty of the night.

Included in price Manyeleti Game Reserve: Daily Safari Programme at Honeyguide Mantobeni

The 23,000 hectare Manyeleti Private Game reserve is located between the Timbavati and Sabi Sands Game Reserves and borders the world famous Kruger National Park. There are no fences between any of these reserves and so animals are free-roaming across an area of over 2 million hectares. With just three lodges in this pristine bush area you can be sure to experience the best of South Africa far away from mainstream tourist areas.

Manyeleti is one of those very few remaining 'secret places' and you are unlikely to meet many other vehicles while out on game drives. Manyeleti is prime “Big Five” territory, offering exceptional possibilities for viewing leopard, lion, rhino, buffalo and elephant. Manyeleti is also home to zebra, giraffe, warthog and a host of antelope species such as impala, waterbuck and kudu. Furthermore, with more than 300 bird species present in the area, Manyeleti makes a great safari destination for wildlife enthusiasts, photographers and bird watchers alike.

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. Late afternoon and evening drives include sunset drinks, views over the Mohwareng Hills. 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.

Included in price Timbavati Nature Reserve: Daily Safari Programme at Umlani Bush Camp

Umlani is located in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, which shares an unfenced border with the Kruger National Park. This is true Big Five territory and guests have an opportunity to see lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino on safe, expertly guided game drives and bush walks. The area is also home to more than 40 mammal species and 350 bird species.

Umlani is renowned for outstanding rangers and trackers, who will not only find you the game, but will also introduce you to the wealth of flora, fauna, bird life and cultural heritage of the region. You will be taken out on two game drives per day, in open top Land Rovers. The morning game drive will leave at dawn and the night drive will leave in the late afternoon. There is always a ranger on stand-by for an optional morning bush walk.

During the day you can go on short walks with the ranger after breakfast, or lounge in the double hammocks around the swimming pool sipping your favourite drink. Alternatively, laze away the day in our spacious bush bar and deck overlooking the riverbed and watering hole. For exclusive tranquillity there is a tree house about 2.5 kms from the camp overlooking a dam, where we can leave you for an hour or two with blankets and big comfortable pillows as well as a cooler box with drinks. In the evening you will be treated to pre-dinner drinks in the traditional boma around the fire, followed by one of Umlani's award winning meals in the candlelit dining room, or out in the open riverbed surrounded by flares and cauldron fires.

Included in price Klaserie Private Nature Reserve: Daily Safari Programme at Xananetsi Private Camp

Covering an impressive 60 000 hectares of pristine wilderness, The Klaserie Private nature Reserve was established in 1972 as part of the greater Kruger National Park, and is one of the largest privately owned reserves in South Africa. Klaserie is prime Big Five territory and is home to lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo, as well as zebras, giraffes, wildebeest, hippos, hyenas and a host of antelope species.

Game viewing at Xanatseni is conducted in an open vehicle and provides guests with the opportunities of seeing a myriad of wild animals including, but not limited to, the big 5 and a vast number of bird species. This safari camp is known for its dense Mopane forest which is unique to this region of the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve.

A stay at this safari camp in the Greater Kruger National Park makes for unforgettable memories. After a good night's sleep in one of the lodge's comfortable rooms, guests receive a wake-up call at around 5 in the morning. Coffee, tea and rusks are served before embarking on the adventurous game drive which returns after about 3 hours. Upon return to the lodge, a delicious breakfast awaits. Following lunch at 2h00pm, guests may take part in the late afternoon game drive which leads into the evening. After pre-dinner drinks around the fire, visitors enjoy a mouth-watering meal in a bushveld setting.

Included in price Balule Nature Reserve: Daily safari Programme at Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge

World famous for its abundance of animal, bird and reptile life the Balule Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park, has over 30 mammal species, 220 different kinds of birds and a dazzling variety of reptiles, insects and plants. The area is typical wooded savannah, with marula, knob thorn and Leadwood trees predominant. As the annual rainfall is generally low, waterholes become focus points, especially in winter. Animals are largely territorial, so you are assured of excellent sightings during your safari activities.

At Mohlabetsi your Game Ranger will take you on safari – both by day and night – tracking and following animals off-road, deep into the African bushveld. The game drives are conducted in specially modified Landrovers, renowned for their comfort and reliability. As the vehicles are open, you are assured of excellent all-round visibility, as well as the excitement of meeting Africa’s Big Five close up. The rangers are well versed in ensuring that you have a thrilling and informative safari. The Bush takes on a different aspect when on foot. Your experienced ranger will take you walking if you so wish. Feel the exhilaration of stalking animals, finding new birds or learning the ways of the Baboon Spider and other creepy-crawlies! Between game drives you can relax at the pool or in the comfort of your room.

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This itinerary started on 29 April 2017
When this tour took place, the cost per person sharing was: USD$ 2,680
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 Melanie Macphail
I tailor-made this itinerary for my client and can do the same for you.
Melanie Macphail
My direct contact details are EMAIL ME+27 87 353 7868
Pembury Tours office details +27 41 581 2581 EMAIL US
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