This safari offers a luxurious stay in a wildlife-rich, “Big Five” private game reserve in Greater Kruger, which adjoins the famous Kruger National Park in South Africa. It is a private journey and can be further customised to suit the number of days you wish to travel, and can also include other destinations.
There are daily flights to Hoedspruit direct from Cape Town (2hrs 20mins) or Johannesburg-OR Tambo (55mins).
The cost excludes regional flights but we can book these for you. Road transfers from/to Johannesburg (6-7hrs) can also be arranged.
The lodge strives to provide you with private game drives but sometimes you might share with 1-2 other guests. A maximum of 8 walkers are permitted on each bush walk and walkers should be able to comfortably walk up to 3km/5mi over uneven terrain. A game drive will always be provided should a bush walk not be possible.
WHEN TO VISIT
South Africa is blessed with one of the most temperate climates in Africa. The seasons are generally the same as in other southern hemisphere countries, with spring/summer from October to April and winter/autumn from May to September.
Greater Kruger lies within what is called the Lowveld. In this region, spring/summer is called the “wet season” and is generally characterised by hot, humid days that are usually cooled down by afternoon thunderstorms and accompanying heavy showers. Due to the rain, the vegetation is at its highest and thickest during these months and this can impact on wildlife viewing because the thick foliage can obscure your view plus the wildlife is widely dispersed due to the amount of ground water available. However, this season of abundance can still be a great time to be on safari as it’s the time that many mammals give birth. These ‘nurseries’ are usually easy to locate/view and make for some wonderful memories and photographic opportunities. It’s also worth noting that there are always resident populations of predators that prey upon the newborn, and the guides at your lodge will have a good idea of where to find them. The birding is also very good at this time due to the increase in insect activity. Perhaps best of all, there are far fewer visitors during the wet season.
Travelling in this same area during autumn/winter usually brings clear, warm days and generally no rain at all. Known as the “dry season”, this is regarded the best period for wildlife viewing as the permanent waterholes attract many animals and the thin vegetation offers unobstructed views. While the dry, brown landscape can be a bit underwhelming, the wildlife viewing can be exceptional. The temperature during the dry season can get surprisingly cold from dusk to dawn but while the morning game drive initially requires warm clothing, the day has usually warmed up considerably even before the end of the drive and you are taking off layers by the time you return to your lodge. Within the dry season, we recommend coming in May or June as there can still be some greenery in the landscape but there is no risk of rain plus fewer visitors compared to the peak visitor months from July to September.
It’s worth noting that the month of October can be especially hot and uncomfortable, as the rains have usually not arrived but the cool winter weather has ended.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the end of your time in South Africa, and it is a good idea to bring a few photocopies in case you lose the original. Whilst not a requirement, we also recommend parents of non-South African children under 18 years of age entering South Africa to bring a copy of the birth certificate should the child be travelling with just one parent or with parent/s who have a different surname to that of the child.
Although most visitors are not required to obtain a visa before entering South Africa, this is not applicable to all nationalities. Compass Odyssey does not issue visas nor can we complete visa applications for our travellers. While we will obviously assist our travellers with the documentation required for any visa applications, it is the responsibility of our travellers to investigate the visa requirements for their journey and to complete any necessary applications.
An immigration form sometimes needs to be completed when entering and departing South Africa. This form requests information such as passport and birth particulars, as well as the address of your accommodation. Prior to your safari, we provide you with a personal Safari Dossier that includes a swathe of information including the booking references, transport timings and contact numbers specific to your journey.
CURRENT COVID-19 REQUIREMENTS AND PROTOCOLS (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
Upon arrival in South Africa, travelers will undergo health screening and temperature testing to check for any COVID-10 symptoms. Travelers are also required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result conducted within 72 hours of departing your country of origin. Each of our accommodation partners has put in place procedures to protect your health and safety. Hand sanitizer will be provided in the transfer and game drive vehicles and social distancing will be practiced. We ask that you bring your own face mask/s.
Yellow Fever is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, and approximately 200,000 cases occur each year with the vast majority of these occurring in parts of Africa and Central/South America. A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is not required for entering South Africa unless you are coming from – or you are in airport transit for more than 12 hours within – a country deemed to be infected with Yellow Fever. The World Health Organisation lists the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe as being free from Yellow Fever. For further clarification on Yellow Fever, refer to tables 4-23, 4-24 and 4-27 on this page of the website for the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Malaria is present in the far north east of South Africa, which does include Greater Kruger but there is only a very moderate risk during the wet summer months. There is no risk of malaria in all other parts of the country. See here for further information.
A number of other tropical diseases are present in South Africa but generally the biggest health risk you will face on your safari is usually an upset tummy (often caused by dehydration) or a cold. For complete peace of mind we recommend you visit your local GP or Travel Health Clinic.
Upon your arrival (by road or air) in South Africa’s wildlife-rich Lowveld, you are met by one our local drivers – Mike, Stuart or Thuli – and embark on your first game drive on the way to your lodge. Have your camera handy as they will stop for any wildlife encountered en-route. This afternoon and over the next two days, you can anticipate quality wildlife viewing within this “Big Five” reserve adjoining Kruger National Park. The 600km2 (230mi2) Klaserie Private Nature Reserve shares unfenced borders with the national park and is one of the largest privately-owned reserves in South Africa. One of the most undeveloped and pristine wilderness areas of the Greater Kruger, animals migrate freely between Klaserie and Kruger National Park, creating an incredible biosphere and one of Africa’s premier safari destinations.
Accommodation: Senalala Safari Lodge
Upper mid-range lodge located in Greater Kruger
Lunch & dinner
Located in a remote and private location within Klaserie Private Nature Reserve and managed by James and Corlia Steyn, Senalala Safari Lodge offers a truly authentic bush safari experience. Set on the banks of the seasonal Ntsiri River, guests can expect an abundance of quality wildlife viewing while at Senalala, with the camp itself overlooking a watering hole that draws a constant flow of wildlife. Every morning and evening, experienced ranger James and his team of guides lead a game viewing outing in search of sightings that will provide that unforgettable experience guests to this wild area are hoping for. The “Big Five” is regularly spotted plus the birding is superb. Guests can choose a game drive or bush walk – the latter enables guests aged 16 years and over to experience the smaller intricacies of nature that aren’t always noticeable from a vehicle.
Accommodation: Senalala Safari Lodge
Upper mid-range lodge located in the Greater Kruger
Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Your last morning offers a final game drive and scrumptious brunch before your collection by Mike, Stuart or Thuli. We can transfer you to Hoedspruit Airport for the daily flight to Johannesburg or Cape Town, or Kruger-Nelspruit Airport for the direct flight to Livingstone and the Victoria Falls. Should you have discovered a taste for being in the bush, we can even transfer you to another camp/lodge in the renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve (2hrs drive south) for a few more days of wildlife viewing or arrange a rental vehicle for some self-drive wildlife viewing in Kruger National Park.