- Search for wildlife on multiple game drives and walks
- Visit the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Center
- Gather around a bush braai barbecue dinner
- Follow the Panorama Route through Blyde River Canyon
|Day 1||Safari Arrival Day, Big Five Night Drive & Bush Braai||Kruger National Park|
|Day 2||Big Five Sunrise Bushwalk||Kruger National Park|
|Day 3||Full Day in Kruger National Park||Kruger National Park|
|Day 4||Moholoholo Rehabilitation Center||Kruger National Park|
|Day 5||Blyde River Canyon & Departure from Johannesburg|
Day 1: Safari Arrival Day, Big Five Night Drive & Bush Braai
Today you head to the Greater Kruger National Park Reserve, one of South Africa's most remarkable safari destinations. Depending on your preference and timing, you may choose to fly, shuttle with a driver, or rent a vehicle to complete the drive yourself.
The park was created in 1926 when Sabi Game Reserve joined with the adjacent Shingedzi Game Reserve and local farms to create South Africa's first national park. With a rich history and vast landscapes, the park is a must-see destination for unforgettable wildlife experiences. Within the park, choose from a wide variety of accommodations, from rustic bush lodges and tent camps to luxury all-inclusive resorts. You'll find unique lodging in a breathtaking landscape regardless of your budget.
After arriving at the lodge, take some time to freshen up and relax. Have a drink at the bar to unwind, go for a swim, or stroll around the lodge to stretch your legs after the day's travel.
In the evening, board an open Land Cruiser for your first game drive in the park. The three-hour drive is a thrilling and exciting opportunity to see Africa's big wildlife up close. The Big Five include elephants, buffalo, rhino, lion, and leopard and were named by big-game hunters for being five of Africa's most dangerous animals to hunt. Keep your eyes peeled for nighttime animals as you cruise around the park in the comfort of the Land Cruiser. When darkness falls, the tour guides use spotlights to scan the nighttime for nocturnal animals.
Dinner is a bush braai—a South African take on a barbecue. Mouth-watering meats are sizzled to perfection atop an open wood fire—the perfect ending to a long day. After dinner, continue the night drive before returning to your lodge for the night.
Day 2: Big Five Sunrise Bushwalk
Get an early start this morning for a drive to a remote location along the Olifants River for a four-hour sunrise bush walk. Surges of adrenaline will come aplenty as you spot wild African animals, but your adequately armed ranger will ensure your complete safety. Follow the area's big animals, including elephants, rhinos, and lions, on foot as you learn about the African bush and observe animals in their natural habitat. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes or boots and protective clothing against the brush. Don't leave your camera and binoculars at home for this one—there's plenty to see as you follow the river's edge.
Return to the lodge for brunch, then spend a few hours resting and catching up on sleep after your early rise. In the afternoon, head out for another afternoon game drive. Return to your lodge for dinner and a relaxing evening.
Day 3: Full Day in Kruger National Park
Spend the day exploring the park. The open-sided game vehicle allows for excellent wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities, so keep your camera on hand. Scores of giraffes, zebra, wildebeest, lions, hyenas and countless other animals call the park home. An incredible 517 species of park reside in the park, and over 300 Stone Age archaeological sites have been located in the area. You'll also see plenty of evidence of San and Iron Age people from 1,500 years ago in the park, with San art, found throughout the entire park.
Other options include a short bush plane flight to see wildlife and a boat cruise in the Blyde River Canyon. If you're in the mood for an active adventure, head out for a horseback ride or a quad bike ride along the foothills of the mountains. Join a South African pastime and go kloofing—a combination of hiking and canyoneering. You'll meander along a stream, cooling off from the hike with jumps into waterholes along the way. After a full day of viewing wildlife, return to your lodge for dinner and a relaxing evening.
Day 4: Moholoholo Rehabilitation Center
In the morning, head to the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Center established for the medical care of injured and orphaned animals and birds. The center offers a unique experience to its visitors, allowing nature lovers to get close to the center's charismatic residents, such as lions and leopards. The center's main philosophy centers around the idea that awareness is key if we are to save our rapidly disappearing wildlife, and to that end, Moholoholo's work has been featured in many TV shows and series. Wild Orphans, a popular show about young animals at the center, was shown internationally on the National Geographic Channel.
After lunch, return to a game lodge for an afternoon game drive. After a long day, return to your accommodation for dinner and an early bedtime.
Day 5: Blyde River Canyon & Departure from Johannesburg
Enjoy a pre-breakfast sunrise walk, then check out of your accommodation and hit the road for your journey back to Johannesburg. Make your way to Blyde River Canyon, one of the world's largest canyons and home to a wide variety of lush subtropical plants. Deep precipitous cliffs set a dramatic stage for the landscape, with the Three Rondavels—huge round rocks that form part of the Panorama Route—towering over the surrounding countryside.
Take in the sweeping views, then keep driving to Johannesburg, arriving around 5:00 PM. From here, catch your connecting flight home.
More Great South Africa Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to South Africa? Check out these other South Africa itineraries, explore different ways to spend five days in South Africa, or discover the best time to visit Kruger National Park.