South Africa Safari – Ultimate Kruger Photo Tour

8 days

Please note: All our South African photo safaris are customized and booked on demand only. Orms does not not currently offer any scheduled tours to South Africa, but will instead happily design a tailor-made photographic safari to this destination according to your specific requests and requirements!

Orms South Africa Photo Safaris are all custom safaris only with no fixed dates or pre-assigned guide

Day 1: Flight from Phalaborwa to Tshikondeni Airstrip, road transfer to Makuleke Contractual Park

Today our incredible photo safari commences with a flight from Phalaborwa (flight cost exclusive of tour price) to Tshikondeni Airstrip. There after we will road transfer to The Outpost (roughly 45 minutes’ drive; road transfer cost included in tour fee), a stunning camp in an amazing property in the far north of the Limpopo Province.

Situated in the Makuleke Contractual Park, which is a 26 500 hectare wilderness in the Pafuri portion of northern Kruger National Park, this is the most biodiverse and scenically spectacular part of Kruger and we are in for a treat in this underexplored region!

Overnight The Outpost

Days 2 and 3: The Outpost

The Outpost is located in a vast and remote wilderness zone bordered to the north by the Limpopo River and Zimbabwe, and to the east by Crooks Corner and Mozambique. The Pafuri is very different to other areas in Kruger, and offers a suite of animals and birds that are scarce or absent in other parts of the park, and some of the most scenically stunning landscapes in the whole of Kruger!

The faunal diversity is a by-product of the vegetation and varied topography of the Pafuri region, with Mopane woodlands, savanna grasslands, attractive Fever tree forests and areas dotted with huge, bulbous Baobabs making it both visually appealing and decidedly species rich.

This is a ‘Big Game’ area, with large herds of Elephant and Cape Buffalo often encountered. Nyala, a dainty antelope that is quite uncommon in most areas of Kruger, is delightfully common in the thickets of Pafuri, while other interesting mammalian inhabitants include Sharpe’s Grysbok, a tiny but attractive antelope while on the other side of the size scale, the enormous Eland can also be seen in the area. Eland are the largest antelope on earth, and can weigh upwards of 900kg!

Scenery ranges from the beautiful, quietly-flowing Levuvhu River teeming with Hippo and Nile Crocodile and shaded by Nyala trees and Fever tree forests, the grand Lanner Gorge to palm-fringed wetlands and rocky outcrops with thousand year-old Baobab trees. The area is a favourite winter feeding ground for Elephant from nearby Zimbabwe, Mozambique and elsewhere in Kruger. Leopards love the thick bush environment alongside the Levuvhu, and target Nyala, Bushbuck and Impala that forage through this browse-rich zone.

The confluence of the Limpopo and Levuvhu rivers is known as Crook’s Corner, and in times gone past, it was an area where people attempting to evade the law would use the convergence of three countries boundaries to evade the authorities seeking them out by moving across to a new jurisdiction in a neighbouring country! Nowadays however, Crook’s Corner is more famous for the large population of Hippos and Crocodiles that reside at the confluence of the Limpopo and Luvuvhu rivers.

Perhaps the most easily seen expression of the biodiversity in this area is in the birds, and this area is certainly a bird-lovers paradise! Specialities include the huge, ginger Pel’s Fishing Owl, Racket-tailed Roller, Orange-winged Pytilia and Mottled and Bohm’s Spinetails.

The Makuleke area has an interesting political history – the land was forcibly taken and roughly 1500 people who resided there were moved, the land being incorporated into the Kruger National Park. However in the late 90’s, the land was returned to the community after they filed a successful land claim, but instead of returning to the land, they chose to market it as an ecotourism venture, and it is as a result of this that The Outpost was built here.

Nights The Outpost

Day 4: Flight from the Outpost to Kings Camp, Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

Today we depart the north of Kruger, and catch a flight to the central portion of the park – The Timbavati (flight cost exclusive of tour fee), which is in a game rich belt where we can expect excellent sightings and photographic opportunities.

This region is also part of the greater Kruger National Park conservation area, which at over 20 000km2 is around the size of Israel!

Overnight Kings Camp

Day 5: Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

Kings Camp faces an open savanna plain with a waterhole, which is frequented by a wide variety of wildlife by day and night. Kings Camp reflects the charm and romance of a colonial past... The thatched viewing deck overlooking an active waterhole, and an open plan lounge and bar are ideal places where you can simply relax and soak up the tranquility of the African bush. The spacious dining room offers stunning views of the bushveld, while enjoying the sumptuous meals.

Situated in the world famous Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, the camp is a game-viewing and wildlife photographic haven, with our main photographic targets here being Africa’s legendary “Big 5”. Numerous territorial Leopards call Kings Camp home, as well as several prides of magnificent Lions. Cape Buffalo and Elephant congregate in huge numbers here and we expect to see and photograph these giants at very close range. We will explore this Big 5 country in customized, open Land Rovers in the mornings as well as in the afternoons in our quest to find and photograph our numerous photographic targets.

We also have the opportunity to view and photograph the increasingly endangered White Rhino and, if we are extremely fortunate, perhaps even a roaming pack of African Wild Dogs. Two individual packs of these mythical predators move in from the neighbouring Kruger National Park on occasion, and our local guide and tracker will most certainly follow any fresh tracks and signs that we might happen to come across.

However, the Timbavati promises far more than just a good game-viewing destination: with access to 100 square kilometres of shared wilderness, guests are also treated to an abundance of beautiful bird species – large raptors are a prominent feature in this area, and include Africa’s largest eagle, the rapacious Martial Eagle.

Kings Camp is exceptionally proud of its viewing deck, which overlooks the afore-mentioned waterhole. Here, guests can safely soak up the stillness and serenity of the bush while keeping a sharp lookout for passing animals and birds. Alternatively, a dip in the refreshing swimming pool is maybe a better option for some!

Overnight Kings Camp

Day 6: Road transfer from Timbavati to Sabi Sand Game Reserve

After a final morning’s game drive and breakfast, we will depart on a road transfer from Kings Camp (Timbavati) to the world famous Leopard Hills situated in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve (road transfer cost is included in tour fee). After check in and lunch we will depart on our first afternoon game drive.

Sabi Sands is the birthplace of sustainable wildlife tourism in Southern Africa, and is the oldest private reserve in South Africa. It has been a remarkable wilderness area for millennia, and is rightfully one of the best safari areas in Africa.

Overnight Leopard Hills

Days 7 and 8: Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve

Leopard Hills forms part of the exclusive selection of private game reserves that border the unfenced western edge of the immense Kruger National Park. Because there are no fences separating these two afore-mentioned properties, animals can wander unhindered between the 55,000 hectare Sabi Sands and the massive Kruger National Park. Seeing and photographing Africa’s Big 5 (Lion, Leopard, Cape Buffalo, Elephant and Rhino) is certainly the best anywhere in South Africa, and you will have the opportunity to view, at very close quarters, the untamed African bush and all its indigenous wildlife. Anyone who has visited the Sabi Sands knows that Leopards are one of the main attractions here.

In fact, these cats are so accustomed to the African safari vehicles that they hardly take any notice of them. Even when hunting, a Leopard in the Sabi Sands does not seem to mind a vehicle following it, even if this means following it off-road though the bush!

Leopard Hills traverses over 10,000 hectares of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, which forms part of the greater Kruger National Park ecosystem. Each day is different as we explore the endless fascination of Africa's wildlife. Built on a hill overlooking a natural waterhole and close to the perennial Sand River, your lodge lives right up to its name and is perfect for a South African safari.

From your hilltop sanctuary, you may be lucky to catch sight of a Leopard on the hunt, a breeding herd of Elephants or a few graceful Greater Kudu as they browse through the surrounding woodland. The rich lowveld habitat supports a diverse array of fauna, from the charismatic large game animals to a myriad bird species. Spotted Hyaena, Black-backed Jackal, African Wild Dog and Cheetah are some of the smaller carnivores that inhabit the area, and with a bit of luck, and the bushcraft of your excellent hosts and tracking team, you stand a good chance of seeing these sought after creatures.

As the sun dips below the horizon, we will be engulfed by the sounds of the night – crickets chirping, the eery whooping of a Hyaena on the move, a nightjar welcoming the enveloping darkness, or even the bassy roaring of a Lion in the shadows of the savanna…truly the night is a different world, and one that we will listen to while reliving the days adventures around a crackling campfire in the luxurious Leopard Hills camp.

Nights Leopard Hills

Day 9: Leopard Hills flight to Johannesburg and depart

After a final morning’s game drive and another scrumptious breakfast, we will transfer back to the local airport before flying back to OR Tambo International Airport (flight cost is exclusive of tour fee) where this incredible adventure sadly comes to an end!



Please note: All our South African photo safaris are customized and booked on demand only. Orms does not not currently offer any scheduled tours to South Africa, but will instead happily design a tailor-made photographic safari to this destination according to your specific requests and requirements!

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