Tailor-Made

Big Game, Coastal Forests & Turtles

Combine classic safari drives through South Africa’s famous Kruger National Park with trips to the country’s eastern coastline, taking in lakes, beaches, forests and nesting sea turtles.

Duration 11 days
Price From $4,327
When Year-Round
Destination South Africa

Safari Overview

South Africa remains one of the continent’s premier destinations for viewing some of the world’s most iconic animal species. The fame of Kruger National Park has done nothing to dampen the remarkable wildlife experiences on offer here, and on this safari you’ll be able to embark on game drives through the park in search of antelope, kudu, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, cheetahs and Africa’s “Big Five” (lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalo). You’ll also be able to venture through a number of lesser-known parks and reserves in the company of expert guides, exploring South Africa’s wild landscape from land, air and water.

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Enjoy “Big 5” game viewing in the famous Kruger National Park.
  • Join professional guides for game walks in a number of different protected areas.
  • Take a scenic charter flight across South Africa’s rolling hills and plains down to the country’s eastern coastline.
  • Wander through coastal forests and take a guided canoe tour in iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site..
  • Enjoy sundowners on Lake Sibaya and go turtle tracking on Mabibi Beach, looking out for loggerheads and leatherbacks as they lay their eggs in in the soft sand.
  • Seek out the rhino populations of Huluhluwe Game Reserve.

Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Kruger National park

On arrival at Skukuza Airport you will be met by our local representative and transferred in an open 4x4 vehicle to Rhino Post Safari Lodge, situated on a 12,000-hectare private concession in Kruger National Park. Boasting a huge variety of fauna and flora, this private concession shares a boundary with the famous Mala Mala and Sabi Sands Reserve, with game moving freely between the two areas. After settling into your suite, head to the lounge overlooking the waterhole to enjoy high tea before setting out on your first game drive.

Day 2

Rhino Post Safari Lodge

Today's morning and afternoon game-drive safaris are conducted with professional guides in specially adapted open 4x4 land cruisers. A unique offering is access to both the private wilderness concession and the surrounding national park, as well as exclusive use of some of Kruger’s public roads for night drives well after gate closing times. The setting of the sun while on safari in Africa is always celebrated with the signature G&T sundowner, and here is no exception. Raise your glass as the skies darken and gaze up at the star-studded skies before continuing on into the night, in search of nocturnal animals. Returning to the lodge in time to freshen up, you can enjoy a drink before dinner on the deck as you recount the day’s events, all the while accompanied by the night sounds of the bush.

Day 3

Rhino Post Safari Lodge - Plains Camp

An early start as you set out on a morning game drive in search of Kruger’s residents birds and mammals, before returning to camp for breakfast. You’ll depart Rhino Post this morning to head deeper into the reserve, soon arriving at your next lodge nestled within an acacia knobthorn thicket overlooking the spectacular Timbitene plain and waterhole – perfect for game spotting from the deck. Settle in for lunch and perhaps a siesta before setting off for the afternoon game drive or walk, returning at dusk to freshen up before enjoying dinner under a canopy of stars.

Day 4

Kruger National Park

Early this morning you’ll set out on foot with your ranger and tracker. The world-renowned Kruger National Park, at nearly 2 million hectares, is the flagship of South African national parks and is home to an impressive array of wildlife and plantlife. December is a fantastic time to view baby animals, as well as the predators that are searching for opportunities to make the most of this time of plenty. Return to the lodge for breakfast and a chance to relax and absorb your surroundings, then indulge in a leisurely lunch and relaxed afternoon before your game drive or walk.

Day 5

Kruger National Park – Kosi Forest Lodge

After an early breakfast today, you’ll be driven back to Skukuza Airport. Here you will board the shared scheduled light aircraft for a spectacular scenic flight over Swaziland to Manzengwenya Airstrip in northern KwaZulu Natal Province. Hop into a 4x4 vehicle and transfer through the coastal forests and dunes of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park to your lodge nestled deep in the sand forest. Situated in the Kosi Bay Nature Reserve, this wilderness lodge offers the unique opportunity of exploring a pristine wetland environment by land vehicle, boat or guided canoe.

Day 6

Kosi Forest Lodge

Kosi Forest Lodge is all about the iSimangaliso wetland park activities. To truly appreciate the beauty of this unique ecosystem of intertwined lakes, waterways, ancient forests and grasslands, you need to spend a few days exploring either by canoe, motorised boat or on foot. Nothing is quite as peaceful as exploring the waterways as the early morning sunlight reflects the magnificent trees that line the channels. This is a birder’s paradise where one is often lucky enough to spot the rare palmnut vulture perched at the very top of the raffia palms.

Day 7

Kosi Forest Lodge – Thonga Beach Lodge

After breakfast this morning, you’ll be transferred through the iSimangaliso Wetland Park to your coastal escape where, between November and February, you’ll have the chance to go turtle tracking. Thonga Beach Lodge is set on the secluded Mabibi Bay, in the heart of the iSimangaliso (formerly Greater St Lucia) Wetland Park, an internationally recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site. With direct access onto the pristine shores of the Maputaland coast, this lodge is the ideal place to discover one of the last unspoilt and undeveloped wilderness beaches left on the African continent. Mabibi is a magical place of tranquil swimming bays and snorkelling reefs, coastal forests, grasslands, bush, shimmering lakes and exquisite sandy beaches. Its warm, crystal-clear waters offer superb snorkelling and fantastic offshore scuba diving.

Day 8

Thonga Beach Lodge

Today you’ll enjoy one of South Africa’s last unspoilt wilderness beaches, Mabibi. December is the perfect time to track loggerhead and leatherback turtles as they lay their eggs in the soft sand here. The shallow reefs along this protected stretch of coastline are home to an array of brilliant sub-tropical fish including moorish idols, parrot fish and blue surgeons. Scuba diving at Mabibi is phenomenal, with reefs located a short distance from the lodge. Activities include excellent snorkelling within 500 metres of the lodge (snorkel gear provided); guided birding and wilderness walks; guided kayak trips; night walks; a Tsonga cultural experience; and a visit to Lake Sibaya. Scuba diving, open-ocean experiences and sea fishing can be enjoyed at an additional cost.

Day 9

Thonga Beach Lodge – Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

After enjoying your last breakfast at Thonga you’ll be transferred south towards Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. Depending on what animals you spot along the way, you could drive through the park between 30 minutes and an hour before reaching your destination. Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is the only private lodge within the park with 4-star accommodation, with its guests being offered spectacular scenery and excellent safari opportunities within the heart of Big Five territory. After a quick refresh, enjoy high tea on the veranda and meet your guide to board your safari vehicle to explore the magnificent hills and valleys of Hluhluwe iMfolozi. Sundowners are followed by a night drive seeking out nocturnal creatures like jackals, owls and leopards.

Day 10

Hluhluwe Game Reserve

You will by now be familiar with that gentle knock on the door at dawn as coffee and tea and traditional rusks are delivered to your room. Start your day with an early morning walk or game drive. Be sure to have a jacket and scarf as it can get very chilly in the open 4x4 vehicle. Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses will also be needed for later in the day. Nothing is predictable in the bush; therefore each safari offers a potentially new and unique experience. The guides will share their wealth of bush experience which involves the identification of animals, trees, grasses, insects and birds. The medicinal uses of plants and local folklore are also discussed while you look out for Africa’s iconic Big Five. When you return to the lodge you will be greeted by a hearty brunch. Now it’s time for you to relax and imbibe the natural beauty of Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge. You may wish to spend your day being pampered in the spa, doing a few laps in the pool or simply relaxing in the privacy of your room, enjoying the endless views from your private balcony. Be sure to be back in time for high tea and the evening game drive. Hopefully this time you will spot all those other animals still on your bucket list and be able to return for a well-deserved dinner.

Day 11

Depart Hluhluwe Game Reserve

It’s time to say your farewells as you are collected and transferred to Durban Airport to connect with your onward flight home.

Trip Details

About Tailor-made Safaris

A tailor-made safari is one designed according to your specific requirements, including budget, dates, personal interests, the number of people travelling, and more. This itinerary is just an example and can be refined and altered to make it perfect for you.

Price

The price for this safari depends on the time of travel, and ranges from low season (£3,170) to high season (£4,275). Please also be advised that the turtle tracking is a seasonal activity. Please enquire for more details about dates and prices.

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