Are you returning to Africa or just looking for something unique and more active than your average safari? This expedition not only offers game drives through the wild of South Africa and the Tuli Block in Botswana, far away from the crowds but also provides walking and biking opportunities as well. Guided through the eyes of local experts, you will be introduced to a world of wildlife wonders and beyond. With herds of wildlife in the far distance, the silhouette of an ancient gnarled baobab framing the horizon prompted me to quote 'you really know how to find your place in this world in a place like this'. All exclusive activities and unique lodging experiences have been sorted for your, so your only job is to soak in the beauty and enjoy the ride!
Welcome to South Africa! Upon arrival at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, you will be greeted by a local representative in the arrivals area, who will be holding a sign with your name on it for easy identification. The representative will assist you through immigration, baggage collection and customs. You will then be transferred directly to your hotel near the city. (This service is on a private basis.)
Welcome to the City of Gold. Johannesburg is the pulsating heart of South Africa's industrial and commercial life, where more than a mile below the bustling city traffic, miners still dig for the world's most precious metal. This city may not be known for its natural beauty, but there is certainly enough to keep you entertained. From its botanical gardens, picturesque lakes, historic museums, art galleries and variety of cultural excursions to Soweto, Lesedi, Pretoria or the Cradle of Humanity, the possibilities are endless. Johannesburg is also known for its world class design in gold and diamond jewelry, ethnic fashion, arts and crafts.
Following a quick night in Johannesburg to kick off your African expedition, you will be picked up from your hotel this morning after breakfast and taken on the 3.5 hour drive to your next destination, the Marataba Trails Lodge. (This service is on a private basis.)
Hopefully, you will arrive in time to join the afternoon safari activity. Drop off your luggage, freshen up and waste no time to join in on the fun!
Located in the northeast region of the country, the Limpopo Province is named after the mighty Limpopo River, which borders Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique. The rocky terrain of mountains and outcrops here peak out over the grassy plains and Baobabs that stand against a backdrop of rich sunsets and arid stretches of scrublands. A vast diversity of wildlife is found in this area of reserves, which include Welgevonden, Marakele and of course, Kruger. The towns of Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa are important gateways into the Kruger National Park, while Tzaneen sustains the agricultural heart of this successful fruit-growing region. The majestic Waterberg Mountains are encompassed in the Waterberg Biosphere, one of the most scenic landscapes of the province. Taking these fascinating features into consideration, the opportunities for exciting action and exquisite photos here are simply endless.
Marataba Trails Lodge was designed and created for hikers who are looking for diverse and challenging trails in a spectacularly beautiful Big 5 private reserve, where a rich abundance of wildlife roams free. Perched on the side of the mountain, the property offers 180 degree views into Waterfall Valley. Within this utterly remote wilderness destination, your off-the-grid ‘Scandi-Safari’ style luxury lodge experience here will be nothing short of amazing. Challenge yourself to a digital detox, and truly soak up every bit of the experience.
While the key experience at the lodge remains the incredible hiking trails, they have also now expanded the selection of optional afternoon activities. This allows for the opportunity to enjoy a full hike in the morning, while experiencing a traditional vehicle safari on the Big 5 Marataba Reserve, or a Miss Mara boat safari later in the afternoon as well. Included with your stay at Marataba Trails Lodge are all meals, local brand drinks (soft drinks and selection of beers, spirits & house wines), a guided morning bush walk, and an afternoon game drive and/or Ms. Mara boat excursion and specialist activities, such as astronomy tours, wildlife lectures, bush breakfasts, picnic lunches and bush dinners.
For the next leg of your exploration, you will say goodbye to South Africa, as you head from the Marataba Trails Lodge, across the border to Mashatu Tent Camp in Botswana, where your voyage continues. After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Marataba airstrip to board your charter flight to Limpopo Valley (via Polokwane).
Upon landing at the Limpopo Valley airstrip, you will be greeted by a local representative and transferred to the Mashatu Private Game Reserve for the ultimate one-on-one bush experience!
The Tuli block is an attractive area on the southeastern part of Botswana, sandwiched between the borders of Zimbabwe and South Africa. Largely comprised of privately owned game farms, this region consists of impressive rocky outcrops and stretches of red sand, inter laid with stone and pebbles. Massive fever trees line the banks of the Limpopo Riverand baobabs proudly decorate the vast landscape scenery. Herd animals, wildebeest, eland, kudu, waterbuck and impala all migrate through the district, followed closely by the big cats. Large herds of elephant inhabit Tuli, and hippo and crocs wallow in the murky pools of the Limpopo. Exciting night drives reveal caracal, aardwolf and aardvark, among many other nocturnal beasts caught in the glow of the tracker’s light. With over 350 bird species in the vicinity, Tuli is also a bird-lovers paradise, home to even the rare Pel’s Fishing Owl.
At the Mashatu Tent Camp, you are invited to become one with the environment. This unique lodge is the perfect leisure choice for those who seek the ultimate one-on-one bush experience and prefer a more intimate environment. The camp’s plunge pool invites you to cool off and escape the relentless heat, between safari activities, making the very most of everything the wild bush has to offer. At the shaded hide overlooking the resident waterhole, you are encouraged to sit quietly and observe animals going about their day, completely unaware that they are being watched. It is humbling indeed to be an observer, to be part of the perfect, natural world.
Alongside the traditional vehicle safaris on offer at the lodge, additional adventures such as cycling safaris, bush walking and cultural excursions are available at an additional cost, 2 of which we have already arranged for you. What will already be included with your stay is all meals, snacks, 2 scheduled safari activities daily and scheduled 1:00 PM transfers from/to Limpopo Valley Airfield and Pont Drift Border Post. The included lodge activities only represent game drives.
For today, we have also arranged for you to join one of the organized Walking Safaris at the Camp. You can choose to enjoy this thrilling activity either in the morning or the afternoon, in addition to your already scheduled game drive.
When additional tours are on offer at a Safari Lodge like this, you never want to miss the opportunity for different ways to interact with the wildlife!
In addition to your scheduled game drive today, we have also arranged for you to join one of the organized Cycling Safaris at the Camp. You can choose to enjoy this fun excursion either in the morning or the afternoon.
Savor one last breakfast in Botswana before continuing to the unique geology and diverse terrain of Makuleke. Once you have checked out of the Mashatu camp, you will be transferred to the Pont Drift Border Post for the border crossing. After crossing the border and completing all formalities, you will continue your journey to the striking Outpost Lodge. (This service is on a group basis.)
The Pafuri Triangle or Makuleke Contractual Park lies in the northernmost section of the Kruger National Park. With rocks dating back over 250 million years and early human habitation linked to the Great Zimbabwe ruins, it is an area of remarkable geological and natural heritage interest. The concession, run by the Makuleke people, comprises over 26, 000 hectares and is bordered in the north by the Limpopo River and Zimbabwe and to the east by Mozambique, forming part of the Transfrontier or 'Peace Park'. Scenically different to that of the rest of the Kruger (it contains 80% of the Kruger's diversity!), this is one of the last true wilderness areas left in South Africa - deep gorges, forests of yellow-fringed fever trees, unusually large baobabs, mopane woodland and open savannah. Home to an even greater variety of wildlife, with more unusual sightings like eland and the Sharpe's grysbok, this is also a birder's paradise and a must for walking enthusiasts. Remote and vast, this is nature at her very best.
Resting atop a hill overlooking the Luvuvhu River Valley in of the most diverse and scenically attractive areas in the Kruger National Park, The Outpost is designed with simple, clean lines; combining steel, concrete and open space. The camp blends into its surroundings and offers the most spectacular panoramic views of the river and bush below. There are many activities you can partake in during your stay at The Outpost. Morning and afternoon game drives are not restricted to park roads, bush walks and village tours. Game, including the Big 5, is plentiful, with nyala, buffalo and bushbuck more common in the riverine areas and dry terrain animals such as white rhino, in the uplands. The mountainous terrain is attractive to leopard and the region has resident prides of lion. The area is famous for its large herds of elephant and buffalo in winter, which come to drink.
Your fully inclusive stay includes all meals, local brand drinks, tea/coffee, 2 game drives with sundowners and snacks and laundry.
* Please note: Park Entrance Fee of R76 (subject to change without prior notice) per person once off - to be paid directly.
Sadly, your journey through the wild wonders of Africa must come to an end today. However, you will be leaving with unforgettable memories and the experience of a lifetime! After checking out of your lodge, you will be met by your driver and transferred to the Pafuri airstrip, to board your charter flight to Johannesburg. Upon landing at the OR Tambo Airport, you will connect with your international departure flight.
We hope you had an incredible trip and we wish you safe and pleasant travels onward!
This stylish boutique hotel, situated in the upmarket Johannesburg suburb of Rosebank, is an ideal base from which to explore the vibrant city of Johannesburg. Perfectly suited for the discerning traveller, a range of spacious, beautifully themed rooms offer sophisticated luxury and gracious living. Décor is an eclectic blend of modern elegance and opulent comfort. Pre-dinner cocktails, fine malts and a selection of wines and champagnes may be appreciated in the lavish bar – or perhaps paired with a cigar in the outdoor courtyard. A mouth-watering menu includes classic Mediterranean dishes, with a modern South African twist. Cool off in the 15 metre pool, catch up on some reading in the library, or unwind in one of the lounges.
Marataba Trails Lodge is located in the Marakele National Park, part of the Waterberg Biosphere. Gazing over a spectacular valley grassland, the hillside setting of the property is tucked between mountain streams, gorges, distant mountain peaks and pristine bush. This eco-lodge built with respect to the natural environment and features a sophisticated blend of earth tones and natural fibers. The open-plan structure and glass windows at the lodge maximize stunning vistas and provide attractive areas for socializing and relaxing. The 5 luxury suites on property are beautifully appointed with private decks. During your stay, you can also make use of the many walking trails in the area, including morning or afternoon treks. Spend your evening back at the lodge, sipping on a cocktail around the fire-pit and learning how the experts handle bush cooking.
Mashatu Tent Camp is located within the 25,000 hectare Mashatu Private Game Reserve, in Botswana’s northern Tuli Game Reserve. Striking landscape is punctuated by towering sandstone cliffs, basalt formations, unusually shaped kopjes and towering baobabs. Strategically positioned under enormous trees and close to a waterhole, the camp is almost one with its surrounds and offers a traditional bush experience at its finest. Set on concrete platforms, 8 spacious tents are appointed for comfort and boast private, outdoor en-suite facilities. Meals are enjoyed in the open-air gazebo or boma on property, overlooking a floodlit waterhole. The excellent and accommodating staff ensure your every need is met from the moment you are welcomed upon arrival.
Perched overlooking the Makuleke Contractual Park, the striking Outpost is a modern property, incorporating sophisticated state-of the-art design with the vast open spaces of this remote corner of the Kruger. Unforgettable views over the Luvuvhu River Valley and the region’s diverse wilderness can be appreciated throughout the lodge. 12 open-plan suites are perched on the hillside and feature terraces and daybeds where guests can immerse themselves in panoramic vistas and unsurpassed tranquillity. The clever construction offers complete privacy, exquisite luxury and a sense of openness and freedom. Soak in the pool in between game drives or expertly guided walking safaris, and perhaps enjoy a massage in the comfort of your suite.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.