Dates + Info
Activity Level: Moderate to Strenuous
Location: South Africa
Experience start: Hoedspruit, South Africa, Wednesday, 12:35pm, April 10th, 2019
Experience end: Phalaborwa, South Africa, Wednesday, 5:00pm, April 17th, 2019
$2350 per person, inclusive of:
Your spot in a 3-4 person capacity, rooftop-tent equipped low-range 4x4 Land Rover Defender, or Toyota Landcruiser or HiLux.
Accommodation, including camping and nights spent in lodges
A local guide leading the expedition in his own vehicle
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners during the safari experience
All costs associated with vehicles, including fuel and entry to National Parks.
Flights to experience start or end
Accommodation, food, any other expenses outside of official Experience start and end
Alcohol (as we are camping in unfenced areas with Big 5 game, excessive drinking is discouraged).
This experience starts in Hoedspruit, South Africa and ends in Phalaborwa, South Africa. Both start and end are accessible via flights from Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo airport.
This 8 day Experience is designed to showcase the best of a traditional African bush safari. You’re encouraged to add time for solo travels in Johannesburg and Cape Town for a contrasting view of the country. Connect with the Bolt members attending this experience for travel companions before and after the safari.
Four vehicles traveling 1000 kilometers through the bush.
Come expecting an adventure
challenging offroading to access out there locations
Plenty of (cool) surprises along the way
spend 4 nights wild camping
3 nights in lodges
An expedition amongst the big 5 Animals
views for days along the letaba river
Welcome to Bolt’s version of an African safari: a 1000 kilometer, 8 day expedition north from Johannesburg, through National and Provincial Parks, including 3 days in Kruger National Park and 5 days in two private reserves. We’ll travel in a caravan of 4x4-equipped, rooftop-tented Land Rover Defenders. The vehicles will be self-driven (ie. you can choose to drive some of the way - note the vehicles are manual transmissions) over rugged four wheeling trails. We’ll mix 3 nights of staying in comfortable safari lodges with four nights of wild camping in the bush - a perfect blend of roughing it with some creature comforts along the way.
This trip is not for the faint of heart, and it’s important to understand it is different from a typical guided safari. Some of the expedition will travel through private reserves where we’ll camp in areas without fences, amongst the Big 5. The trail takes place in an area populated by wild animals and while it is accompanied by a guide it nevertheless carries serious risks.
The (rough) itinerary
Day One: Our vehicles will be waiting at Hoedspruit Airport. Upon arrival, we’ll caravan to the entrance of Kruger National Park and an easy first day at Olifants Rest Camp. After long flights, this is a relaxed way to dive into the expedition.
Day Two: Driving through the park, stopping at sightings, and waterholes where the animals congregate. The nature of game viewing is that it’s best in the early morning and the late afternoon, and we’ll likely recommend returning to the camp in the middle of the day to rest (because that’s what the animals will be doing).
Day Three: With a relatively early departure from camp, we’ll head north to exit the Kruger Park gates at the Phalaborwa exit. A brief stop in the town of Phalaborwa for any grocery or alcohol shopping and perhaps a stop at the excellent craft gin distillery. By lunchtime, the vehicles will drive an hour north of the town and enter a ranger gate into the Letaba Ranch reserve. On the side of Kruger, this reserve is unfenced, so the animals have free movement. Tonight will be the first of four consecutive nights where we’ll camp in the bush, unpacking and assembling the rooftop tents and camping equipment for a night in the wild camp. This is an old-style safari at its best.
Day Four: Our first full day in a private reserve, Day Four will be dominated by the first pack up-of camp (something that will become easier as the trip goes on), driving short stretches, stopping, maybe some walking and getting to the next camp. Distances are short, the roads are rough, and the game viewing is unpredictable. Tonight, we’ll camp on the banks of the Great Letaba River – an unforgettable experience.
Day Five: Pack up camp, and leave the reserve, to drive through various rural communities, en-route to a new reserve, Makuya Reserve. Entering the southern gates of Makuya Reserve, we’ll head to the night’s camping under the Masunda Cliffs. The evening will be spent unpacking, setting up camp, and enjoying a dinner beneath the stars
Day Six: Pack up camp, and head north through the reserve towards the next night’s camp site at Pandembile. Included in the day’s drive will be viewing of the Luvuvhu Gorge and World’s View. This is a day of quite intense 4x4 driving, and very slow going, along with the last night of bush camping.
Day Seven: Pack up camp for the last time, and head out of the reserve. This area is the home of the famous baobab tree, and the biggest in the world is within easy access. Or the group can select to head directly to Awelani Lodge where we’ll stay the night in permanent safari tents. The Lodge has a swimming pool, and extensive walking paths to stretch our legs after long hours driving slowly on 4x4 roads. This last dinner will be enjoyed in a cave with endless views of the Milky Way.
Day Eight: Leave Awelani at first light to enter Kruger National Park as the gates open. Head for Pafuri Picnic Site on the Luvuvhu River for a picnic breakfast. We’ll take the back roads of the world-famous Kruger National Park, with the aim to arrive back in Phalaborwa by 16:00h in time to catch the 17:00 SA8858 flight to Johannesburg’s OR Tambo. The vehicles will be returning to Johannesburg the following morning from Phalaborwa, and you’re welcome to join the ride back (accommodation in Phalaborwa not included).