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SA: Manyaleti – Pungwe Bush Lodge – April 2024

Pungwe is a small intimate authentic safari camp which brings back the essence of a true safari experience. The comfortable en-suite meru-style tents are reminiscent of days when safaris were all about the sights, sounds and smells of the bush. The camp is about the bush, the animals, the unique experiences and the subsequent regaling of these by the iconic fireside. Pungwe Safari Camp is situated in the southern part of the 22 000 hectare Big 5 Manyeleti Reserve. Pungwe shares unfenced boundaries with two world renowned reserves, the Sabi Sand Reserve to the south and the Kruger National Park to the east, allowing for free movement of wildlife between the three reserves. This ensures that Pungwe’s guests will be privy to some spectacular game viewing without having to share the sightings with numerous other visitors. Guided morning walking safaris puts you in touch with the bush, immerses you in your surroundings and enable you to encounter wildlife at a unique level. Afternoon/evening game drives ensure that sightings are up-close and personal. The perfect combination to create lasting memories. The 4 en-suite meru-styled tents at Pungwe offer simple elegant comfort, security, hot (via donkey burners) and cold running water for baths or showers and an exceptional feeling of truly being in the African bush. Only under canvas will you not only hear, but feel the roar of the lion, the throaty cough of a leopard and the Fiery Necked Nightjar celebrating the night.

SA: Sabi Sands – Umkumbe Bush Lodge – March 2024

Resting comfortably under a canopy of indigenous trees in the southern stretches of the Sabi Sand, sits the inimitable and understated Umkumbe Bush Lodge. This luxury tented camp offers all the creature comforts from home, and is the first of its kind in the reserve. The lodge is based on the idea of glamping, but with a luxurious twist. Umkumbe is a beautifully designed bush lodge that offers accommodation in 10 tented style suite has its own private deck or verandah and is fully equipped for a comfortable safari retreat. This scenic part of the Sabie Game Reserve has a beautiful mix of environments from winding riverbeds and woodland to open savanna and riverine thickets. This wilderness reserve is home to the big-five as well as a huge diversity of different flora and fauna to discover. There are 2 daily game drives included in a safari stay. The morning safari will stop for a scenic coffee pit stop and on afternoon drive, guests can enjoy a classic safari sundowner and snacks. Bush walks are offered after breakfast so that you can get close and personal to the flora as well as the smells of the bush. Highly recommended!

SA: Kgalagadi – 2023, December

Legend says, ‘Once the red Kalahari sand bites your toes, you will be drawn back again and again and again’…. and so we return … again ..and again… and again … we managed to find last minute availability on the SANParks website so booked at short notice …

SA: Timbavati Game Reserve: Umlani

Umlani Bushcamp, a rustic yet exclusive lodge, accommodates guests in cozy en-suite reed and thatch rondavels. Early morning and evening game drives are in open four wheel drive vehicles accompanied by experienced rangers and trackers offers exceptional game viewing opportunitys. Umlani makes the whole event personalized and specializes in escorted walks into this unspoiled wilderness. Umlani, meaning Place of Rest, was established in 1990 by Marco and Marie-Louise Schiess, in the central section of the Timbavati Nature Reserve, which is part of the greater Kruger National Park. Umlani is the perfect nature lovers choice.

SA: Madwike Hills

Madikwe Game Reserve is a conservation area in South Africa’s North West Province, bordering Botswana. The reserve’s grassland, forest and rocky Tshwene Tshwene hills are home to a variety of wildlife such as elephants, lions, leopards and rhinos, plus endangered wild dogs. Hundreds of bird species include ostrich, vultures and the large kori bustard.

SA: Kgalagadi -2022, December – Mabuasehube

Mabuasehube Reserve (a part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park) has some of the most remote Kalahari camping in Botswana. There are very few sites available so they tend to book up far in advance. There are seven camps in Mabuasehube, each with two to four individual sites, totaling just 17 campsites in the entire Mabuasehube reserve. If you’re looking for solitude, you’ve come to the right place. The camps are named for the pan they sit next to (except for Entrance Gate.) There are no fences and the animals roam freely … we had a resident leopard and brown hyena in Mpaya No. 1 and a honeymoon lion couple strolled though in the morning… AMAZING.

SA: Kgalagadi – 2022, December – Polentswa

Polentswa is a lovely quiet camp with only three campsites. They each have their own pit toilet and shower cubicle. Polentswa has no water. If you plan to camp there and are fortunate enough to get a spot, because you have to book well in advance, you would need to bring your own. Camping in an unfenced camp means you have to be on high alert for predators. The nearby Polentswa waterhole simply teams with wildlife. This is the Kalahari at its best!

SA: Kalahari Meerkat Sanctuary

Kalahari Trails, better known as the Meerkat sanctuary, is home to one of the Kalahari’s best-known animals, suricates. Kalahari Trails Meerkat Sanctuary is 3500ha in size, nestled right in the heart of the red Kalahari dune fields, just 35km before the entrance to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP). This unique piece of heaven offers visitor experiences where you can get closer to nature and possibly interact with the Meerkats like no other place in the Kalahari.

SA: Augrabies Falls

Augrabies Falls National Park is a national park located around the Augrabies Falls, about 120km west of Upington. It was established in 1966.

The Augrabies Falls National Park covers an area of 820 km² and stretches along the Orange River.
The area is very arid. The waterfall is about 60 metres high and is awe-inspiring when the river is in flood.
The gorge below the falls averages about 240 m deep and runs for 18 kilometres. The gorge provides an impressive example of erosion into a granitic basement.

The original Khoikhoi people named the waterfall Ankoerebis, meaning the “place of big noises”. The Trekboers who later settled in the area derived the name Augrabies. There are many deposits of alluvial diamonds along the Orange River and legend has it that the biggest cache of diamonds in the world lies in the swirl-hole eroded into the granite at the foot of the waterfall by the thundering waters.

On the menu of plant species is the enigmatic Quiver tree or Kokerboom (Aloe dichotoma). Traditionally, the Khoisan hunters made their quivers from this tree which dates back thousands of years and which produces vivd yellow flowers in May and June.

The Augrabies Falls National Park offers an ancient landscape that will take you back in time to the world of the first hunter-gatherers.

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