In a nutshell

Number of nights:

12

Lodges:

Shindzela Tented Camp (4 nights)
Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge (4 nights)
Kingfisher Lodge(4 nights)

Price:

From R 37.500 / 2.100 £ per person

Includes local flight from Johannesburg to Kruger area
Includes local flight from Kruger area to the coast (Durban)
Includes local flight from the coast (Richards Bay) to Johannesburg
Includes all transfers to and from the airports, and all inter-lodge transfers
Includes two safari activities per day on Timbavati Reserve at Shindzela Tented Camp
Includes two safari activities per day on Balule Reserve at Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge

International flights:


Not included
Count at least about 400 £ per person from UK
Ask us for more info




Strong points



The safari part:
  • ◦   Safari in private reserves with open borders to Kruger National Park
  • ◦   Off-roading, bush walks and night drives allowed
  • ◦   Qualitative wildlife encounters; maximum two vehicles per sighting meaning no "bush jams"
  • ◦   Very experienced guides and trackers

The beach part:
  • ◦   Quiet lodge on the outskirts of St. Lucia town
  • ◦   Both beach and iSimangaliso Wetland park nearby
  • ◦   Close to shops and restaurants

In general:
  • ◦   Qualitative and very comfortable lodges
  • ◦   All local flights included



















LODGES















Shindzela Tented Camp

Shindzela safari camp is a 12 bed tented lodge, situated in the middle of Timbavati Private Reserve, right next to the known Ngala concession from AndBeyond (where a night's stay is a lot more expensive; just google it) and very close to the Kruger National Park borders.

The camp was established by Dave, an old-school FGASA level 3 guide (of which there are only a few). He learned the ropes from the old hands in the safari business and from legendary game rangers in the Kruger National Park like Bruce Lawson. Shindzela used to be owned by the Transfrontier group, an well known safari company. When the owners separated, Dave bought the lodge and continued on his own. Dave kept the old-school approach; for him the number of sighting is less important than the quality. There's nothing in between you and nature!

By now Dave is enjoying his well deserved retirement and the camp is now owned by three brothers. These gentlemen put the first Gomo Gomo Lodge on the map (now called Simbavati River Lodge) and repeated that success with the current Gomo Gomo lodge (in Klaserie Private Reserve). Shindzela is their third (and if you ask them; their final) project, and it seems they got it to perfection.


Stacks Image 249
Stacks Image 251


They also managed to persuade legendary guide Johan Smalman to join them. Together with Sam, a tracker that has been working in that area for 15+years, and some other great and knowledgeable guides, they created an awesome team that simply takes your safari to the next level.

Shindzela tented safari camp is certainly a hidden gem. Extra attention has been paid to bush walks; each morning you can opt between a game drive or pure bush walk. During bush walks you learn a lot about tracks, animal droppings, plants and trees and the finer details of nature's ecological web. This is the guides' way to take you as close to nature as possible.

Meals are home cooked and hearty; this is another plus for Shindzela tented safari camp; their chef's ability to create awesome meals with simple ingredients and served with pride!


Stacks Image 468
Stacks Image 471



Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge

Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge lies deep within the Balule private reserve; about half ann hour away from the gate! The lodge is located in the south part of the reserve, and has the biggest traversing area of all lodges on the reserve. Its location and its traverse have some advantages;

1. The deeper you are in the reserve, the closer you are to Kruger National Park borders and Klaserie Reserve borders, and the farther away you are from civilisation (and all the negative effects that come with it such as noise and light pollution).

2. Mohlabetsi is not located at the Olifants River (which is located all the way north in the reserve), but they can drive there whenever they want. There's actually two stretches of the river they can get to. A game drive to a river that's flowing all year means seeing a larger wildlife diversity. You'll find many more bird species there, but also mammals that are very water-dependent (nyala, bushbuck, hippo, ...). And of course, crocodiles. Very few lodges can offer a river view; Klaserie and Timbavati reserves have smaller rivers which are not always flowing. Only the Sands River in the Sabi Sands reserve is similar to the Olifants River. But the lodges in Sabi Sands are usually much more expensive.

3. Close to the river it becomes quite rocky, and there's a lot of bushes. The ideal habitat for black rhinos. And you guessed it; yes, these animals can be seen in Balule! Nineteen of them were reintroduced, and by now they already have three calves! There's only about 2,000 black rhinos left in the wild, spread across Africa. They are threatened with extinction. But in Balule they do well!

4.The huge traversing area of Mohlabetsi mean that they can get to every sighting they want. They share their digital radio channel with other lodges such as Ezulwini (two lodges), Pondoro and Greenfire. If one of the vehicles spot something very interesting, then Mohlabetsi can always respond to that sighting (if time to get there permits it). This is very important; Mohlabetsi is the only lodge that can guarantee this. A direct result of their huge traverse is that they regularly see no less than six different lion prides!


Stacks Image 431
Stacks Image 433


Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge has standard rooms and family rooms (basically double rooms, so to speak). They are spread out in a shady garden, all just a few steps away from the central area (where the pool is).

All are in the typical rondavel-style: huts with thatch roofs, with a spacious bedroom and next to that a bathroom wash basin and toilet. The showers are "al fresco"; located outside behind a stone wall. Nothing more fun than towering underneath a starry sky. All rooms have air conditioning, a fan, and a safe.

Meals at Mohlabetsi are on a slightly higher level than most lodges in the same price range in the private reserves. They are served in the "boma" area, around a welcoming and cozy fire pit.


Stacks Image 436
Stacks Image 439



Kingfisher Lodge

St Lucia is the gateway to the beautiful iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, declared South Africa's first World Heritage Conservation Site in 1999. Kingfisher Lodge is situated at the edge of town which means that whilst the shops, restaurants and other amenities are only a 10 minute walk away, the lodge's delightful gardens blend seamlessly into the surrounding Gwalagwala Forest.

Stacks Image 286
Stacks Image 289


The lodge has extensive shady gardens with a wide variety of trees. St Lucia Estuary can be viewed from the end of the garden and the start of the walking trail through the Gwalagwala Forest is next to the front gate. This proximity to nature means that the gardens are home to a wide variety of birds and are often visited by animals such as hippos, various antelope, bush babies and very occasionally leopards. A small swimming pool is available for the exclusive use of guests. Guests are welcome to relax either on sun loungers in the garden, under a poolside shaded area or in the comfortable lounge in the main house.


Stacks Image 295
Stacks Image 298


All the guest rooms include a delicious full breakfast which is served in a light and airy dining room offering views of the gardens and estuary. Facilities include complementary Wi-Fi, a Hair dryer, Safe, Shampoo and soap, beach towels, air-conditioning, tour ticket assistance, free parking, and a swimming pool.
















SAFARI
ITINERARY
IN DETAIL















Day 1

Afternoon or evening; international flight to South Africa.

Day 2

Morning; arrival in Johannesburg
Noon: flight from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit and transfer to Shindzela Tented Camp
Afternoon: game drive on Timbavati Reserve
Evening: night drive in Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, followed by dinner
Overnight at Shindzela Tented Camp

Day 3

Morning: game drive or -walk on Timbavati Reserve followed by breakfast
Noon: relax in camp and have a light lunch
Afternoon: game drive on Timbavati Reserve
Evening: night drive in Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, followed by dinner
Overnight at Shindzela Tented Camp

Day 4

Morning: game drive or -walk on Timbavati Reserve followed by breakfast
Noon: relax in camp and have a light lunch
Afternoon: game drive on Timbavati Reserve
Evening: night drive in Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, followed by dinner
Overnight at Shindzela Tented Camp

Day 5

Morning: game drive or -walk on Timbavati Reserve followed by breakfast
Noon: relax in camp and have a light lunch
Afternoon: game drive on Timbavati Reserve
Evening: night drive in Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, followed by dinner
Overnight at Shindzela Tented Camp

Day 6

Morning: game drive or -walk on Timbavati Reserve followed by breakfast
Noon: transfer to Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge, relax in camp and have a light lunch
Afternoon: game drive in Balule Reserve
Evening: night drive in Balule Reserve, followed by dinner
Overnight at Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge

Day 7

Morning: game drive in Balule Reserve followed by breakfast
Noon: relax in camp and have a light lunch
Afternoon: game drive in Balule Reserve
Evening: night drive in Balule Reserve, followed by dinner
Overnight at Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge

Day 8

Morning: game drive in Balule Reserve followed by breakfast
Noon: relax in camp and have a light lunch
Afternoon: game drive in Balule Reserve
Evening: night drive in Balule Reserve, followed by dinner
Overnight at Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge

Day 9

Morning: game drive in Balule Reserve followed by breakfast
Noon: relax in camp and have a light lunch
Afternoon: game drive in Balule Reserve
Evening: night drive in Balule Reserve, followed by dinner
Overnight at Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge

Day 10

Morning: game drive in Balule Reserve followed by breakfast
After breakfast; transfer to Nelspruit airport and flight to Durban
Afternoon: transfer to St Lucia
Dinner & overnight at Kingfisher Lodge

Day 11

Morning: breakfast
Full day; activities at Kingfisher Lodge
Dinner & overnight at Kingfisher Lodge

Day 12

Morning: breakfast
Full day; activities at Kingfisher Lodge
Dinner & overnight at Kingfisher Lodge

Day 13

Morning: breakfast
Full day; activities at Kingfisher Lodge
Dinner & overnight at Kingfisher Lodge

Day 14

Morning: breakfast
Noon; transfer to Richards Bay Airport and flight to Johannesburg
Evening; international flight to UK

Day 15

Morning/noon: arrival in UK






Included / not included

Included

  • ◦   Local flight Johannesburg to Hoedspruit
  • ◦   Local flight Nelspruit to Durban
  • ◦   Local flight Richards Bay to Johannesburg
  • ◦   All accommodation as summarized above
  • ◦   All activities as summarized above
  • ◦   All meals in the lodges
  • ◦   Accompanied by experienced wildlife guides and trackers
  • ◦   The safari portion; two activities per day (game drives or bush walks)


Not included

  • ◦   International flights
  • ◦   Travel insurance
  • ◦   Personal expenditure
  • ◦   Medical expenditure (vaccinations, malaria tablets)
  • ◦   Tips & gratuities
  • ◦   All drinks (but prices are rather low. For example; a soft drink is about 1,5£)
  • ◦   Conservation levies. Private reserves ask for a small contribution per person and per vehicle, either payable at the gate or added to your bill at the end of your stay at every lodge. These are small amounts of 15 to 20£.



Additional info

There is a single supplement for any person traveling alone.

This is just a sample itinerary, which can be adapted to your wishes. For example;

  • ◦   Extra nights in the same or additional lodges
  • ◦   Swap out safari lodges for other safari lodges
  • ◦   Add an extention to the Panorama Route
  • ◦   Add an extention to Cape Town
  • ◦   Add an extention to the Garden Route
  • ◦   Extentions can be added anywhere in the itinerary

Ask us for the possibilities!

















Got questions?
Need more info?

Contact us!











GET IN TOUCH