Kruger Game Reserves - S. Africa

Heidi Kemsley on 12 November 2007
KRUGER PARK - (Sabi Sand area) After a very early start with an 0810 flight from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg we transferred to a Federal Air flight by light aircraft to Kruger. The flight is about 1hr and touchdown brought us to a small landing strip in the bush to commence our safari experience at Sir Richard Branson’s private reserve ULUSABA. This is regarded as one of the top 5 game reserves in South Africa and is split between Rock Lodge and Safari Lodge. Rooms can be rented out individually or the lodge taken as a whole rental for weddings and celebrations. Rock Lodge is set high up on a koppie with panoramic views of the bushveld below. Makwela Suites feature private plunge pools and decorated in African tribal style. Safari Lodge is set on the banks of a dry river bed has private decks and bath tubs overlooking the bush. Access is by swinging rope bridges between the tree house rooms so maybe not for the faint-hearted. Wildlife passes by close to your elevated rooms..... A female leopard strolled through apparently the morning we arrived. Dinner at both lodges is by starlight, firelight or candlelight on your private deck. Regular Braii (BBQ) evenings around the fireside Boma at Safari Lodge and Moon-lit bush dinners can be arranged. Children are welcome at Rock Lodge and 12 yrs and over at Safari Lodge. The highlight of our game viewing was the family of Hyena and cubs who allowed us to film them right outside their den and later that morning finding 4 male lions snoozing under the acacia trees.

LEOPARD HILLS - KRUGER The drive from Ulusaba to Leopard Hills is just 15 mins through the bush and what a welcome. The whole Leopard Hills team came out to meet us complete with welcome drinks. Leopard Hills is built on a hill overlooking a watering hole close to the Sand River. An exclusive Lodge with 8 beautifully appointed suites with private decks and plunge pools. Glass fronted suites ensure fantastic game viewing opportunities all through the day. Lodges 1, 2, 3 and 4 have the best views of the water hole. Suites are decorated with typical contemporary African style and elegance. Bathrooms feature twin stone showers inside and out and Victorian roll top baths. Two daily game drives are taken by professional game rangers who go out of their way to find you the best game viewing. Our morning game drive was spent tracking a female leopard and cub which was very exciting plus seeing a male Hyena take his Impala breakfast!! I particularly loved this reserve and the sundowners by the hippo waterhole were a fantastic memory. Would recommend packing just a small squashy bag if flying up to Kruger by light aircraft and leave any suitcases at Jo’burg. Shrink wrapping service available if required.

DAY 8 Back to Johannesburg by light aircraft after our morning game drive and the evening flight home back to Heathrow on British Airways.

I hope you have enjoyed my account of my trip to South Africa in a nutshell. This was my fourth visit in 15 years and certainly not my last. I hope to do a wine tour in the future amongst the Cape Winelands.