This exciting safari combines two of the most unique regions in Southern Africa: the incredible landscapes, beauty and unique bird and animal life of the Pafuri area in northern Kruger National Park with the game-rich Mashatu Game Reserve in the northern Tuli Game Reserve in south-east Botswana. Both are iconic wilderness destinations with thrilling mammal viewing, ancient civilisations, a variety of different habitats and phenomenal birding. Arrive Pafuri Camp by road or air. In the far north of the Kruger National Park is the private Makuleke Concession, an area of astounding diversity of habitat, scenery and associated wildlife. In this concession lies Pafuri Camp on the banks of the Luvuvhu River and under the deep shade of nyala and jackal berry trees.
Area and Location: The Makuleke Concession is in the extreme northernmost sector of the Kruger between the Limpopo and Luvuvhu Rivers. Although this 24,000-hectare (59,000-acre) area comprises only 1% of the total area of the 2-million-hectare Kruger, 75% of all species in this region occur here, making it one of the Park’s biodiversity hotspots. Scenically, the area is stunning, with mountains, gorges (including the 150m deep Lanner Gorge), forests of yellow fever trees, squat baobabs, mopane woodland, and open savannah grassland. The Limpopo River floodplain and the Luvuvhu River provide an interesting wetland component to the area’s varied ecology. Crooks’ Corner is evocative of bygone days and the place where three countries – South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique – meet.
Wildlife: The bountiful biodiversity of the Pafuri area (a result of being the meeting point of several vegetation types) means that a fascinating variety of wildlife can be found here, along with more than 400 bird species, including many rare and seldom-seen species such as Pel’s Fishing-owl, Racket-tailed Roller and many more. The Luvuvhu River attracts large herds of wildlife, including buffalo, hippo, seasonal elephant and excellent general game. Lion and leopard are attracted to this riverine belt in search of their prey. The area has the highest density of nyala in Kruger and uncommon species such as eland, Sharpe’s grysbok and yellow-spotted rock dassie.
Camps: Pafuri Camp, along a bend of the Luvuvhu River, has 20 en-suite tents under thatch with indoor and outdoor showers. The main area, with large decks, open-sided lounge and dining areas and pool, is perfect for relaxing and watching the wildlife drawn to the Luvuvhu to drink.
Activities: The Makuleke Concession is explored through a variety of activities, ranging from game drives in open vehicles to walks and trails. This very scenic area is quite different in its offering to the more traditional central and southern Kruger. Visits to the Makuleke Community Centre & Homestay are also possible as well as excursions to the Thulamela archaeological site, remnant of a powerful ancient civilisation.
THE MAFURI SAFARI – 6 NIGHT PACKAGEs
Days 1 , 2 & 3: Pafuri Camp , Northern Kruger Nati ona l Park , South Africa brief itinerary
Travel to Pafuri Camp first and end at Mashatu Main or Tent Camp. (Note: Subject to availability, it is still possible to do Mashatu first followed by Pafuri.)
Days 1, 2 & 3: Arrive Pafuri Camp, Kruger National Park either by road (transfer or self-drive) or by light aircraft transfer ex Lanseria Airport and road transfer to the camp, for a three-night stay.
Days 4, 5 & 6: Transfer by road to Mashatu Main or Tent Camp, northern Tuli Game Reserve, Botswana, for a three-night stay.
Day 7: Depart Mashatu by road to Polokwane Airport for scheduled commercial flight to O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg.
Dotted line: Flying acess to Pafuri and back to Johannesburg from Polokwane (at additional cost)
Solid line: Road Transfers (included in the package)
Depart Pafuri on a road transfer through the northern Kruger National Park and traditional Venda area to Mashatu, passing ancient civilisations around Mapungubwe National Park, a World Heritage Site, en route. Clear immigration at the Pont Drift border post into Botswana, before continuing to the camp. Mashatu Game Reserve, an area of history and legend, has its name derived from the magnificent mashatu trees that occur throughout this immense tract of privately owned land. This reserve is home to no less than seven of Africa’s giants: the African elephant, the lion, the giraffe, the baobab tree, the eland, the Ostrich and the Kori Bustard.
Area and Location: This 30 000-hectare (75 000-acre) private reserve lies in the remote eastern corner of Botswana, an unspoilt wilderness of arid savannah, riverine forests, marshland, open plains and beautiful sandstone outcrops.
Wildlife: The area offers some of the best game viewing in Africa including excellent sightings of lion, cheetah and leopard. Along the river courses, the mashatu trees provide shade for eland, impala, wildebeest, giraffe and zebra; at night creatures such as bat-eared fox, leopard and African wild cat can be found. Mashatu is a birding hotspot with 366 recorded species, many unique to this arid area. The Reserve is also a proud refuge of the largest, single population of elephant on privately-owned land in Africa. Known as “the relic herds of Shashe,” these are a living testament to the great herds that once populated the Limpopo Valley.
Camp: Mashatu has two camps – Mashatu Tent Camp in the northern area of the Reserve sleeps 16 guests in eight en-suite tents. There is an open-sided thatch deck where meals are served, a traditional boma for intimate campfire dinners, and a plunge pool. Mashatu Main Camp has 14 tastefully and authentically decorated suites complete with en-suite bathroom and French doors that open onto the African bush. There is a magnificent viewing deck directly off the bar or “gin trap” together with an elevated lounge overlooking the waterhole
Activities: Mashatu offers exciting game drives in open 4-wheel drive safari vehicles. At an additional cost, mountain biking safaris, horseback riding and archaeological walks are available as optional extras.
Accommodation. All meals and snacks at Pafuri Camp, Mashatu Main and Mashatu Tent Camp. Light packed lunch on the road transfer between Pafuri and Mashatu. Laundry at Pafuri. Game drives in open 4×4 safari vehicles conducted by experienced rangers and trackers. Nature walks. Transfers to/from the Limpopo Valley Airfield and the Pont Drift Border Post at scheduled times. Transfers to/from Pafuri airstrip where applicable.
Wilderness Air/other charter flight or road transfer to Pafuri Camp. Scheduled commercial flight or other departure means from Polokwane. Bar purchases. Telecommunication costs at Mashatu. Laundry at both Mashatu Main/Mashatu Tent Camp. Airport transfers to and from the Limpopo Valley Airfield and the Pont Drift Border Post outside of scheduled times. Cable car transfers across the Limpopo River if required. Any applicable airport taxes, entrance fees, adventure activities and National Park entrance fees into Kruger National Park. Children of all ages welcome at Mashatu Main; children over 6 years welcome at Pafuri Camp; children over the age of 12 years welcome at Mashatu Tent Camp.
Days 4, 5 & 6: Mashatu Camp , Northern Tuli Game Reser ve , Botswana
Arrival at Pafuri Camp by air: please contact your Journey Specialist regarding our flying schedule from Lanseria Airport, Johannesburg to Pafuri Camp. Arrival at Pafuri Camp by road: road transfers available on request.
Day 7: Departure
Transfer by road to Polokwane Airport, for the scheduled commercial flight to O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg.