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8 Nights South Africa Big 5 Deluxe Wildlife Galore 

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Tour Details

This itinerary combines a visit to 3 iconic safari destinations in South Africa: Madikwe, Sabi Sands and Timbavati Game reserves respectively and puts an emphasis on Game viewing. Guests will experience Big 5 at all 3 locations. Eight nights of pure African Magic, Luxurious Lodges and the best game viewing in South Africa. This is one journey that will make all your safari dream come true.

Your adventure starts at Madikwe Game Reserve a malaria-free conservation area just 4 hour’s drive from Johannesburg and situated against the Botswana border close to the Kalahari Desert. The reserve’s grassland, forest and rocky Tshwene hills are home to a variety of wildlife including the big 5 as well as endangered wild dogs and hundreds of bird species.
The next leg of your journey takes you to the prestigious Sabi Sand Game Reserve, home to one of the richest game populations in the country. With no fences between the private game reserve and the Kruger National Park, animals wander across vast stretches of grazing land as they did years ago and chances of seeing the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) during a game drive are excellent.

Round off your safari with a visit to the great Timbavati Private Game Reserve part of the Greater Kruger national park and home to the famous ‘White Lions. Thrilling sightings of lion, elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, endangered wild dogs, giraffe and even shy leopard and cheetah are regular occurrences. This is one of Africa’s best!

(1 Free night at Madikwe Game Reserve on STAY 4 PAY 3)

Summary of your Trip
  • 4 Nights Madikwe Safari Lodge (Madikwe Game Reserve) | South Africa
  • 2 Nights Dulini River (Sabi Sands Game Reserve) | South Africa
  • 2 Nights Ngala Tented Camp (Timbavati Private Game Reserve) | South Africa
Price Includes
  • Federal Air flights between the lodges
  • Accommodation and meals as specified
  • Road transfers To /From Airstrips as detailed in the itinerary
  • All scheduled safari activities offered by the camps
  • National Parks and conservation entry fees
  • Standard bar drinks (excluding premium brands)
  • Laundry and service charge
Price Excludes
  • International and Regional Flights
  • Entry visas
  • Gratuities
  • Premium brands drinks
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Additional activities not included as scheduled at hotels, lodges or camp
  • Spa treatments
Itinerary

Day 1Johannesburg – Madikwe Game Reserve

You are met at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg by our representative who will assist with your check-in onto your federal Air flight to Madikwe Game Reserve. Depending on your travel date and flight option you will depart either at 10h00 OR 13h00.
On arrival at the western airstrip, you will be welcome by the Lodge’s team and transferred by a 4 x 4 Game vehicle to Madikwe Safari Lodge where you will spend 3 glorious nights.
Nestled on the gentle slopes of the breathtaking rolling hills above Madikwe’s flat plains, is the authentic African Madikwe safari lodge with its chimneys and conical roofs camouflaged carefully into the surrounding bushveld. Madikwe Safari Lodge reflects the hospitality of the tough inhabitants of the untamed corner of the gorgeous south of Africa. Your accommodation is in a Thatched Suite at Kopano Camp.

This intimate Lodge consists of only four suites allowing you a comforting stay in a private atmosphere. The lodge is perfect for couples, who want to take some time out for themselves.
Arrive at the lodge for a Welcome Drink followed by check-in procedures. Once you are settled in your chalet, enjoy lunch.

Around 15h30, gather for a decadent high tea during which you will be introduced to your Ranger. He will be your host for the duration of your stay and will take care of your every need whilst sharing his intimate knowledge of the wild. After your briefing, Board on the lodge 4 x 4 Game vehicle and be whisked away to the bush for your first game drive during which during the game drive your experienced game ranger and expert local tracker will share their extensive knowledge and love for the African bush with you. Animals and birds in the reserve have become used to having the game drive vehicles nearby due to a carefully planned and managed habituation process. This allows us to get close to them and forms part of the appeal of the Luxury Lodge Safari!

Afternoon game drives are a highlight as sundowners are served in the bush, with the beautiful African sunset above. They extend into the early evening and as darkness falls, nocturnal animals of the bush get excited as they celebrate “their dawn “and come out. Your skilled tracker will scan the landscape using a spotlight, which illuminates animals’ eyes. A variety of completely different species can be seen on the night drive back to the lodge. Arrival is at the lodge in the early evening, there is time to freshen up before dinner alternatively served around the campfire in the open-air boma (weather permitting) or in the dining room. Dinner combines African and Western cuisine. It is time to discuss the afternoon’s highlights around the campfire and plans for tomorrow safari with your ranger.

Room Type: Kopano Suite
Meal Basis: All meals; house wines, beers and spirits; Minibar, teas & coffees; twice-daily game drives in open safari vehicles; guided bush walks, Refreshments and snacks on game drives, Transfers to and from the lodge airstrip (Eastern Madikwe Airstrip), Wi-Fi in public areas.

Day 2 - 4On the Safari at Madikwe Game Reserve

The day begins early with tea or coffee with muffins and fruit before departing on the Game Drive which will take approximately 3-4 hours. The cooler morning temperatures mean that the game in the reserve is often more active, and the softer light makes for great images.
Your guide has an intimate knowledge of the park, which contributes a great deal towards brilliant wildlife sightings. Game drives inside Private Reserves are usually amazing because the area is not overcrowded but also because rangers can go off-road whenever necessary to get closer to predator sightings, hence creating good photography opportunities.

Return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast, after which the rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the rest of the lodge’s amenities or dip in your plunge pool. This is your time to indulge in a variety of Spa treatments offered by professional caring therapists. Lunch is served around 14h00 and it is time for a little siesta.

Around 15h30 gather with fellow guests for high tea in preparation for your afternoon game drive which is a highlight as sundowners are served in the bush, with the beautiful African sunset above. They extend into the early evening and as darkness falls, nocturnal animals of the bush get excited as they celebrate “their dawn “and come out. Your skilled tracker will scan the landscape using a spotlight, which illuminates animals’ eyes. A variety of completely different species can be seen on the night drive back to the lodge. Arrival is at the lodge in the early evening, there is time to freshen up before dinner.
Mealtimes are a sociable affair, with dinner served alternatively under the stars (weather permitting) or in the dining room. It is time to discuss the afternoon’s highlights around the cracking fire and plan for tomorrow’s safari with your ranger.

Room Type: Kopano Suite
Meal Basis: All meals; house wines, beers and spirits; Minibar, teas & coffees; twice-daily game drives in open safari vehicles; guided bush walks, Refreshments and snacks on game drives, Transfers to and from the lodge airstrip (Eastern Madikwe Airstrip), Wi-Fi in public areas.

Day 5Madikwe Game Reserve – Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve

Today will be another early start for your final morning game drive at the Madikwe Game Reserve. One last opportunity to experience the magic of Madikwe Game Reserve.
After the game drive return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast followed by check-out procedures before being transferred back to the western airstrip for your federal air flight to OR Tambo Airport.
On arrival at Or Tambo Airport board another Federal Air flight to Ulusaba airstrip where you will be met by the lodge’s team and transferred to Dulini River, your home for the following 2 nights during which you will experience Africa at Her Finest.

Dulini River is a stylish private gem offering a sanctuary of restoration, romance and adventure, carefully curated for solo adventurers, exclusive parties celebrating life’s special occasions together and romancing honeymooners alike.
Elevated above the serene Sand River, the Dulini River lodge offers expansive views over the regal Sand River to the savannah beyond. The lodge offers only six exquisite suites and each of them has a plunge pool (heated in winter) and a shady private deck from which you can see wildlife at the dry riverbed. Pure luxury, attention to detail and personalised service are what to expect at this private lodge.
On arrival at the lodge enjoy a refreshing drink while completing the check-in procedures. Once you are settled into your suite depending on your arrival time enjoy lunch or afternoon tea or just take a dip in your refreshing plunge pool (heated in Winter) and feel how all stresses and strains just melt away in the deep peace of this exclusive destination.

Around 15h00 gather around for a decadent high tea during which you will be introduced to your ranger. After your briefing, Board on the lodge 4 x 4 Open Landcruiser before setting off on your first-afternoon game drive in search of the big 5. Even though there is a 50-kilometre unfenced boundary with the Kruger National Park which gives animals the freedom to go wherever they wish – they tend to stay right where they are! This is because the Sand River and Sabi River supply much-needed water in the dry season and create an ecosystem with one of the highest and most bio-diverse wildlife populations in Southern Africa. This is the reason why it is quite possible to see the ‘Big Five (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, buffalo and elephant) as well as numerous other animals and birds during one or two nights’ stay in Sabi Sand or even a couple of days. Rangers are allowed to go off-road whenever necessary to get closer to predator sightings, hence creating good photography opportunities.
While on Game Drive, you will stop for Sundowners at a magnificent location and toast the splendour of Africa as you watch the sun sink into the dusty horizon. Continue with the game drive after dark. Your skilled tracker will scan the landscape using a spotlight which illuminates animals’ eyes. A variety of completely different species can be seen on the night drive back to the lodge.
Back again at the lodge after an exhilarating afternoon of unforgettable bush life. Get ready for dinner and time to discuss the day’s highlights with fellow guests and rangers and make new friends.

Room Type: Deluxe Suite
Meal Basis: All meals; house wines, beers and spirits; Minibar, teas & coffees; twice-daily game drives in open safari vehicles; guided bush walks, Transfers to and from the lodge airstrip (Ulusaba Airstrip), Wi-Fi and VAT

Day 6On the Safari in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve

You are by now used to the lodges’ routine of early morning rise to get ready for the morning game drive. Breakfast on return followed by time at leisure to do as you please.
In between Game drives, guests are welcome to take part in walking safaris led by an experienced armed Tracker which will provide them with an opportunity to experience the beauty and fascination of Africa’s flora and fauna.
Lunch is served in the dining area around 14h00 and it is time for a little siesta.
The afternoon game drive departs between 15h30 and 16h00 depending on the season and is extended till the early evening to give guests a chance to see nocturnal animals. Besides, night-time is when the large carnivores – except wild dogs and cheetahs – do their hunting, and if you are lucky, you may witness a kill.
Arrival at the lodge is usually around 7 pm, allowing time to freshen up before enjoying dinner around a campfire with the sounds of the crackling fire and night noises sharing wildlife experiences with fellow guests.

Room Type: Deluxe Suite
Meal Basis: All meals; house wines, beers and spirits; Minibar, teas & coffees; twice-daily game drives in open safari vehicles; guided bush walks, Transfers to and from the lodge airstrip (Ulusaba Airstrip), Wi-Fi and VAT

Day 7 - 8Timbavati Private Game Reserve

Another exciting day begins today with an early wake-up call followed by tea, coffee and rusk before going on your last morning game drive in the Sabi Sands Game reserve.
After a final delectable leisurely breakfast, there will be time to purchase some memorabilia from the lodge curio shop before being transferred by road to andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp for the last leg of this Journey.
AndBeyond Ngala Tented is a tranquil retreat in a spectacular setting. The camp is situated in the Timbavati Game Reserve, which lies just west of the Greater Kruger National Park and shares unfenced borders, it is a haven for nature seekers. Impossible not to love the beautiful views of the Timbavati River at this small and intimate camp with only 6 luxurious Canvas tents. At andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp, guests go to bed to the sounds of lion calling, safely cosseted in modern tented suites, enjoying warm-hearted service that embodies the soul of Africa.
Enjoy sunrise and sunset 4 x 4 game drives daily, bush walks and walking safaris as well as exhilarating Big Five wildlife sightings and night drives. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to see most large mammals. For 3 days, enjoy an early morning game drive as well as a late afternoon/evening game drive. Animals which are mostly seen in the early morning include rhinos, lions, leopards and giraffes.

Room Type: Luxury Tent
Meal Basis: All meals; house wines, beers and spirits; Minibar, teas & coffees; twice-daily game drives in open safari vehicles; guided bush walks, Transfers to and from the lodge airstrip (Ulusaba Airstrip), Wi-Fi and VAT

Day 9Timbavati Game Reserve – Johannesburg

After a final early morning game drive followed by a hearty breakfast, it is time to bid farewell to the African bush as your 9 – Day safari bush experience comes to an end. After completing check-out procedures, guests are transferred to Ngala airstrip to connect with their federal air flight to Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport for onwards private arrangements.

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