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Greater Kruger and surrounds photographic safari

Greater Kruger and surrounds photographic safari

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What is this safari about?

This 6-day/5-night safari takes you to two great photographic locations in and around the central Greater Kruger National Park. The safari caters for mammal, bird and BIG5 photography from hides and open game viewing vehicles..

Local resident and renowned wildlife photographer/nature guide, Albie Venter, accompanies groups of up to 4 guests. Accommodation comprises of 2 nights at Indlovu River Lodge in Karongwe Game Reserve and 3 nights at Umlani Bushcamp in the Timbavati.

The small group size on safari allows for great flexibility and the daily schedule can be adapted to group needs.

Why is this special?

  • Two great dedicated and submerged bird and mammal hides!
  • Water level views, up close and personal.
  • Hides are exceptionally well appointed with all those small details that photographers love.
  • Great open vehicle game viewing and photographic opportunities in the open Kruger Park ecosystem, during the day and at night.

Where is this? 

Indlovu is situated in the 900 hectare, BIG5 Karongwe Private Game Reserve, on the banks of the Kuvjenami River. Under spreading mature Jackalberry trees are 4 separate villas, each with its private swimming pool.

The rustic Umlani Bushcamp is located in the Timbavati, which is open to the Kruger National Park and forms part of the more than 2 million hectare Greater Kruger ecosystem. In addition to the BIG5 as well as cheetah and wild dog, the Timbavati is also home to the very rare white lions.

Who can go?

Small groups of up to 4 people and the safari caters for both amateur and professional photographers.

The safari is available from July to October.

What should I expect to pay?

The cost for the tour is around USD 2 300 per person sharing on a fully inclusive basis. The rate includes road transfers from and to the local airport. It also includes local alcoholic beverages at Umlani, but not at Indlovu.

What extensions do you recommend?

There are a number of other recommended lodges or walking activities in the area, which makes for a great adventure.

In addition an extension to the safariFRANK photographic safari in Tuli, or on the Chobe Houseboat in Botswana, makes sense for keen photographers.

 

 

 

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Field guide training in South Africa

Field guide training in South Africa

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What is this safari about?

If you love the idea of taking safari guests from all over the world on walking and game drive safaris into Africa’s wild places, and teaching them fascinating facts about the animals and ecosystems, then the Professional Field Guide course is for you. It’s also a great option for a GAP YEAR!

The 12-month course will you expose you to diverse ecological and geological terrains, landscapes, wildlife species and much more at various wilderness camps in remote places. Supported by highly qualified and experienced instructors, each with their own unique way of training and guiding that will enhance the overall training experience. The course covers all aspects of the environment such as animals, birds and trees, as well as the other skills required such as rifle handling, navigation and wilderness medicine.

For other travellers, numerous shorter training opportunities are also on offer, from a 55-day shortened field guide course, to 28- ,14- or 7-day courses for those who prefer an education-based safari over a traditional one.

The shorter courses also cover a diverse range of topics, with some specialized modules available, such as wildlife tracking, birding, photography and wilderness skills.

Why is this special?

  • Unmatched wilderness training locations.
  • Excellent, passionate and very experienced trainers.
  • Choose from a wide variety of courses, topics and durations.
  • Great value for money.
  • Opens the door to a career where you don’t have to work for another day!

Where is this?

The training takes place at a number of wilderness camps in remote places in South Africa such as the Makuleke Concession (Kruger), Karongwe Reserve and the Selati Reserve, as well as at Mashatu Reserve (Botswana). The unfenced bush camps provide a consistently stimulating environment in which to learn.

Who can go?

The Professional Filed Guide Course is great for school-leavers, career and gap year candidates and those looking for a sabbatical. The requirements include that you be over 18 years old, have a driver's license, are able-bodied and able to walk at least 2km in a bush environment.

All other courses can take students who are as young as 16 years old. Those younger than 16 years are, however, able to attend under the supervision of an adult.

What should I expect to pay?

The costs vary from USD 20 000 for the 12-month course, down to USD 1 200 for a 7-day course. These fees are fully inclusive of accommodation in rustic bush camps, all meals, tuition and all activities. Transfers to and from Johannesburg, as well as alcoholic beverage are not included.

What extensions do you recommend?

Once you are trained as a professional field guide, the next step is to work in this awesome industry!

For people going on the shorter courses, most of the safariFRANK safaris can be added to the itinerary.

 
 

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Eco-lodge Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

Eco-lodge Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

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What is this safari about?

Bateleur Camp is an exclusive private game reserve in the Timbavati and comprise of two camps, Bateleur Main Camp and Bateleur Mobile Camp. Main Camp is an 8-bed up-market safari camp and Mobile Camp is a very rustic tented safari camp for 4 to 18 people. The mobile camp is pitched in a different location for each group booking, making this a special wilderness experience.

This prime wilderness area boasts the Big Five, a large diversity of antelope species, the entire range of smaller predators, over 500 bird species, and a tremendous diversity of reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.

Bateleur’s traversing area extends over 10 000 hectares of the Timbavati Reserve.

Why is this special? 

  • Vehicle density is low so guests may not encounter any other guests for the duration of their stay.
  • A prime location where the average sightings of wildlife and birdlife are amongst the very best commercially available.
  • The full 10 000 hectare traversing area includes other properties on the same radio frequency, which greatly increases the chance of quality wildlife sightings.
  • Main Camp accommodates up to 8 clients, which enhances the exclusivity already provided by its remote location.
  • Mobile Camp accommodates one group at a time, achieving the same level of exclusivity and an even greater feeling of remoteness.
  • Over and above normal walking and driving activities, also on offer are bush craft, spider & scorpion learning experiences, as well as basic astronomy, which all add up to exceptional value that will exceed expectations.
  • Optional extras are interactive reptile demo, tribal dancing and rhino micro chipping.

Where is this?

The 3 500 hectare Bateleur property is located in the heart of the world renowned Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, an exceptional safari location. All artificial barriers between the Timbavati and the adjacent Kruger National Park have been removed and the Bateleur property itself shares unfenced borders with the Kruger.

There is an airport close by with daily scheduled flights from and to Johannesburg.

Who can go? 

Main Camp is ideal for couples, singles and small groups of 2 to 8 people, whilst the Mobile Camp is ideal for groups of 4 to 18 people travelling together.

A min age of 12 is required for walking activities.

What should I expect to pay?

Rates at Main Camp are around USD 350 per person sharing, with a min 2-night stay. The rate is fully inclusive other than alcohol, conservation levies and transfers to and from the airport.

Mobile Camp is charged at a rate for the whole camp, starting from USD 1 200 per night for 4 to 8 people and USD 2 000 per night for 18 people. A min stay of 3 nights is required and inclusions and exclusions are as above.

What extensions do you recommend?

A stay at the lodge can be combined with extended walking trails on the same property. 

Connections to Botswana and elsewhere are easy with the airport close by.

 

 

 

Safari Enquirer

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Selection of Rustic Lodges of the Greater Kruger Park

Selection of Rustic Lodges of the Greater Kruger Park

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What is this safari about?

Based on shared values safariFRANK continually selects a small number of lodges for its portfolio of recommended establishments. These lodges are often owner operated and focused on low impact, sustainable tourism and support of local communities.

The current portfolio is:

  • Senalala, Klaserie, Greater Kruger.
  • Klaserie River Sands, Klaserie, Greater Kruger.
  • Bateleur Main and Mobile Camp, Timbavati, Greater Kruger.
  • Tanda Tula Safari Camp, Timbavati, Greater Kruger.
  • Kings Camp, Timbavati, Greater Kruger.
  • Ngala Safari Lodge, Timbavati, Greater Kruger.
  • Motswari Game Lodge, Timbavati, Greater Kruger.
  • Pafuri Camp, Makuleke Concession, northern Kruger Park.

Why is this special?

  • Mostly owner operated, low environmental impact lodges.
  • Great personal service at awesome locations.
  • Good value for money.
  • Rustic homely atmosphere and good food.
  • Most offer authentic walking trails with leading guides.

Where is this?

The lodges are mostly in the central Greater Kruger National Park on private reserves at locations as indicated above.

Who can go?

Lodges are great for couples, families or small groups alike. They tend to be fairly small and intimate, catering for between 10 and 20 guests at a time. Some lodges might have age restrictions for children.

What should I expect to pay?

Fully inclusive prices vary from USD 300 to USD 1000 per person per night sharing. Discounted prices are available outside of peak season.

What extensions do you recommend?

These lodges are a great start to an African safari allowing travellers to take advantage of initial jetlag for early morning activities, with some great R&R later in the day!

From these lodges we recommend a day trip self-drive through the KNP and then get a connecting flight to Botswana, for some further awesome wildlife adventure!

 

 

 

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Timbavati walking trails

Timbavati walking trails

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What is this safari about?

These trails are for those that want to truly experience the Africa bush; real, on the ground and up close and personal. Held over 4-days/3-nights in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, there are two options: either a Mobile Camp, or a Backpacking option.

The Mobile Camp is erected on a private property with minimal game-drive activity and is the ideal venue for adventure. The camp consists of shared canvas dome tents (with mattress and a pillow), and is run on a minimum impact philosophy. The camp is erected in different areas for each stay, while our “leave no trace” philosophy ensures minimum impact on the environment.

Even though there is no electricity, hot water bucket showers, lanterns and an open fire for cooking meals over creates bush-comfort.  An open game viewing vehicle is available, which allows you to alternate walking with game drives to get close-up views of the larger animals, which is something that cannot be guaranteed when on foot.

The Backpacking option is a “primitive” activity, with everything needed for the duration of the trail carried in your backpack. Nights will be spent sleeping in the open, around a fire, with each participant taking turns at “watch duty”.

There are no demarcated campsites or routes for these trails. You set your own pace and explore according to your interests and capabilities, sleeping under the stars each night (no tents) and packing up in the morning to leave no trace. The only restricting factors are the availability of water and the midday sun.

You will be accompanied at all times by experienced, armed Trails Guides to ensure the safety of the group and to interpret the natural phenomena encountered.

Why is this special? 

  • Nothing beats that ‘feet on the ground’ feeling in the African bush.
  • Great opportunity to learn from the best guides in the business.
  • Backpacking and sleep under the stars, in BIG5 terrain… ‘nuff said!
  • Low impact adventure with few other travellers around.

Where is this?

The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is famous for its healthy numbers of large animals. The focus of the trail however is not only on animals, but includes the smaller creatures and foliage of and in the bush, with explanations of the intricate relationships they share. 

The Timbavati is part of the Greater Kruger National Park and there is an airport close by with daily scheduled flights.

Who can go?

Groups of up to 8 people, with a min age of 16 years for travellers.

What should I expect to pay?

These trails are charged at a group rate of USD 3 500 (fully inclusive) for the mobile option, and USD 1 500 (self catering) for the backpack option.

What extensions do you recommend?

A stay at one of the private lodges in the Greater Kruger Park is highly recommended.

Similar walking trails are available in the Makuleke Concession in the northern part of the Kruger Park, or at various locations in Botswana, notably the Northern Tuli.

 

 

 

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