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    Makalali Private Game Reserve
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    Africa’s Big Five
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    Kruger National Park
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    Luxury lodge in Kruger National Park
Pace 1
Immersive Tour Relaxed

Into the Heart of Kruger

Into the Heart of Kruger

South Africa

  • A group of people Small Group 19 or less
  • A car with a tick VIP door to door
  • A plate with a knife and fork Half board plus

Visit and stay in and around Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park is one of South Africa’s most important reserves, covering some 7,500 square miles and home to a staggering 850 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and more. This is a park of dreams, where the ‘Big Five’ – lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhino – roam, where heritage and archaeological sites abound and where safaris and safari lodges promise a true African experience.

This safari tour stays in authentic African lodges, and includes daily game drives, sundowner drinks, and dinner under African skies.


A car with a tickVIP door-to-door travel service from anywhere on the UK mainland

Hands shaking Included travel insurance

Bed11 nights in lodges and 2 in flight

Dinner plate30 meals: 11 breakfasts (B), 8 lunches (L) and 11 dinners (D)

PersonSaga tour manager


  • Return flights and transfers
  • Welcome drink
  • Drink reception
  • Farewell dinner
  • Porterage at all hotels

MapExcursions and visits

  • Four game drives in a private game reserve
  • Seven game drives in Kruger National Park
  • Visit to Mhoholo Rehabilitation Centre
  • Drive part of the Panorama Route

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK-Johannesburg

After taking Saga's included UK door-to-door travel service to the airport, fly overnight to Johannesburg.

Day 2 Johannesburg-Kruger National Park

African sunset with silhouette of deers

Upon arrival transfer by internal flight to Nelspruit, and on to Numbi Gate inside the mighty Kruger National Park (16 miles, 30 minutes). In 1898 Paul Kruger – president of the then Transvaal Republic – established a park to protect the animals of the Lowveld. By 1926 it had became a national park named after him, and today is one of South Africa’s largest and most popular game reserves.

Stay three nights at the 4-star Mdluli Safari Lodge (3Q). The Lodge is located inside the south-western region of Kruger National Park. Accommodation is in safari tents on timber platforms with en-suite bathrooms and private outside terraces with views over the park. Facilities include a deck, restaurant, bar and infinity swimming pool. This afternoon you can relax and settle into the lodge, and enjoy dinner under the African sky. D

Day 3 Kruger National Park

A group of cheetahs hunting in the national park

Look forward to a game drive into the southern area of Kruger National Park today, in the company of your experienced guide. Explore the landscape and watch for wildlife as you travel through the southern region. Zebra, cheetah and wild dog are more prevalent here due to the low numbers of lions in this area.

Spend the rest of the day at leisure. B, L, D

Day 4 Kruger National Park

Grey rhebok, Kruger National Park

Look forward to another game drive today before watching for the wildlife from your patio as the sun goes down. The south-west is the most mountainous part of Kruger and offers habitat niches for some of the rarest antelope species, such as the grey rhebok. B, L, D

Day 5 Kruger National Park

Spot elephants in the national park

Head into the bush after check out and search for the ‘Big Five’ on your way to your next lodge. Enjoy a game drive before checking in to the 5-star Imbali Safari Lodge (4Q), where you’ll stay for three nights. Enjoy wildlife spotting opportunities from your accommodation with elephants, buffalo, rhino, antelope, giraffe, and lions visiting the nearby Imbali waterhole.

Facilities at the traditionally decorated lodge include an outdoor swimming pool, lounge, dining room, and deck. There are 12 suites, each with an en suite bathroom, french doors and deck overlooking the river or savannah, plus a small outdoor pool or jacuzzi. Other room amenities include air conditioning, telephones, and free Wi-fi.

The lodge is located in the central grasslands region, and the open landscape here increases your chances of seeing hunting lions. The open plains support plenty of grazing species, such as zebra and antelope, and the largest vulture populations can be found here feeding on carcasses. Take a second game drive this afternoon. Relax this evening as you watch for wildlife that gather at the nearby Imbali waterhole, which may include elephants, buffalo, rhino, antelope, giraffe, lions and the elusive leopard. B, L, D

Day 6 Kruger National Park

Lion in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Set off early into the bush on your first safari of the day, listening for the early morning call of birds, watching for elephants, zebra, wildebeest and more while travelling through the park.

There will be a second safari later when you may be fortunate to spot predators such as lion or leopard, as well as other of Africa’s ‘Big Five’. Later today, relax as you watch the evening wildlife visitors to the waterhole, or take a dip in the pool before dinner. B, L, D

Day 7 Kruger National Park

Common blue wildebeest in Kruger National Park, South Africa

During your final full day at Imbali look forward to two more safaris in Kruger National Park. With its wealth of wildlife including 147 mammal species and some 507 species of bird, there’s lots to watch for, under the expert guidance of your ranger.

Dine under the evening sky again this evening. B, L, D

Day 8 Kruger National Park-Makalali

Orphaned baby rhinoceros being raised at a rehabilitation facility, South Africa

Transfer to Makalali, just west of the mighty Kruger National Park (75 miles, two hours). En route you’ll visit the Mhoholo Rehabilitation Centre. Situated at the foot of the north east Drakensberg mountains, the centre was started in 1991 by a local businessman and run by conservationist Brian Jones. The centre rehabilitates orphaned and injured animals, as well as caring for a number of permanent resident animals and undertaking research and breeding programmes.

Continue to the Makalali Private Game Reserve. Covering nearly 85 square miles, with its lowveld and savannah landscape, the reserve supports a range of animal species, having successfully reintroduced buffalo, hippo, white rhino and other previously extinct species in the area. Stay three nights at the 4-star Makalali Private Game Lodge (3Q). Located at the southern end of the reserve, facilities at the comfortable lodge include a dining room, viewing deck, outdoor swimming pool and bar. All rooms have air conditioning, toiletries, patio, and a safe. This afternoon you can relax and settle into the lodge. B, L, D

Day 9 Makalali Game Reserve

A giraffe and Zebra at a watering hole

Look forward to two game drives today, travelling in open topped vehicles in the company of your expert guide, as you watch for wildlife. The ‘Big Five’ can be found here, as well as cheetah, giraffe, zebra, kudu and more, with the opportunity to get close up and see some of Africa’s stunning wildlife in its natural habitat.

When you’re not on safari, relax at your lodge, or watch from the deck of your room as you enjoy a sundowner. B, L, D

Day 10 Makalali Game Reserve

An African lioness and cub

There will be two more game drives today as you continue your search for the wildlife and birds of the region. You may also like to join a walking trail from your lodge (extra charge may apply) or take your seat on one of the terraces of the lodge that overlook the bush and watch for the wildlife to emerge from the bush as the sun goes down. B, L, D

Day 11 Makalali-Dullstroom

Mountain view Dullstroom

Transfer to Dullstroom, the highest village in South Africa, via the Panorama Route (165 miles, five hours). Situated in the highlands of Mpumalanga, the village has a choice of cafes and restaurants, as well as a thriving arts community.

Stay two nights at the 4-star Critchley Hackle Lodge (4Q). The Lodge is set in attractive grounds with a private trout lake and an outdoor pool, just a five-minute walk from the centre of Dullstroom. There is a restaurant, a bar and a spa (treatments at extra cost). There are 24 rooms, all with a private patio, television, safe, tea and coffee-making facilities and a hairdryer. You can take a stroll after checking in late in the afternoon. Enjoy dinner at your hotel this evening, as you enjoy views of the lake and surrounding countryside. B, L, D

Day 12 Dullstroom

Fishing cottage in Dullstroom, South Africa

Enjoy today at leisure, relaxing at your hotel. Perhaps take a walk in the grounds or visit the village. B, D

Day 13 Dullstroom-Johannesburg-UK

After a leisurely morning transfer to the airport for your return overnight flight to the UK. B

Day 14 UK

Arrive in the UK and take your included VIP door-to-door travel service home.

Into the Heart of Kruger

South Africa