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Private Safaris > Tracing the Tsonga

Private Safaris

Private Safaris & Tours

Tracing the Tsonga 8 nights beach, bush & lakes - fly in 

Day 1 & 2      Kruger National Park - Rhino Post Safari Lodge

Day 3            Rhino Walking Safaris - Plains Camp

Day 4            Rhino Walking Safaris - Plains Camp

Day 5            Kosi Forest Lodge - Kosi Bay  Nature Reserve, Elephant Coast KZN

Day 6            Kosi Forest Lodge - iSimangeliso wetland Park KZN

Day 7            Tsonga Beach Lodge - iSimangeliso wetland Park KZN

Day 8            Tsonga Beach Lodge - iSimangeliso wetland Park KZN 

Price from

CHF 2998.54 pp

Day 1 - 2 Arrival and Kruger National Park

Fly in from either Johannesburg (OR TAMBO) or Cape Town International Airport with Airlink to the newly refurbished Skukuza Airport situated within the Kruger National Park (55 minutes flying time).

 

You will be transferred in open 4x4 vehicle to Rhino Post Safari Lodge (20 minutes) which is situated on a 12000-hectare private concession in the Kruger National Park.  It is approximately 10km northeast of Skukuza Rest Camp.  

 

The concession shares a 15km boundary with Mala Mala in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, with game moving freely between the two reserves and comprises of environmentally sensitive areas previously unexplored, with huge diversity of both fauna and flora.  

 

You will get the opportunity to stay at 3 different types of accommodation giving you a unique experience of the bush from all perspectives. You will stay at Rhino Post Safari Lodge, Plains Camp and Sleep Outs – the order of accommodation may vary depending on what day of the week your itinerary starts.

Rhino Post Safari Lodge is built on the banks of the dry Mutlumuvi riverbed using natural materials of stone, wood, thatch & canvas. Stilts raise the 8 spaciously appointed suites along the riverbank, allowing views of the Mutlumuvi riverbed from your bedroom, bathroom and private deck. The suites are set out in an open plan style with wooden floors, thatched roofs, canvas walls and glass doors and windows. Each en suite bathroom includes a deep, freestanding bath, ‘his & hers’ basins, a separate toilet and an outdoor shower surrounded by thick reed poles.  

The raised walkways linking the spacious rooms to the main area, allows wildlife to walk through underneath, undisturbed by mankind. 

On arrival at Rhino Post Safari Lodge, after a refreshing drink and a brief introduction to the lodge, you will be shown to your room. After settling into your suite, guests are invited down to the lounge, overlooking the water hole to enjoy a scrumptious high tea before departing for an afternoon / evening game drive.
 

Game-drive safaris at Rhino Post Safari Lodge are conducted in specially adapted open 4x4 Land cruisers, with professional guides.  In addition to our private wilderness concession, we make use of the Kruger Public Roads and also have exclusive use of some of the Kruger Park public roads at night.  Rhino Walking Safaris are allowed to utilise certain public roads for night / evening drives well after gate closing times.  

At sunset the game drive will stop for sun downer drinks while watching an African sunset before continuing into the night, spotting nocturnal animals.  Returning to the lodge in time to freshen up, enjoy a drink before a sumptuous dinner on the deck as you recount the day’s events, all the while accompanied by the night sounds of the bush

Tour Highlights

Game drives and bush walks in Kruger National Park private concession

Tree house sleep out - Ultimate experience

Thonga Beach Lodge - scuba diving, 

Tsonga culture, turtles egg laying and hatching in season

excelent scuba diving 

Prisitine condition wilderness beaches

Day 3 Rhino Walking Safaris- Plains Camp

After enjoying your final game drive at Rhino Post and a delicious brunch, the lodge will transfer guests through to Plains Camp in an open 4x4 game vehicle approximately 30 minutes.

Plains Camp is situated in the heart of the wilderness concession overlooking the spectacular Timbitene Plain & waterhole.  Built in authentic pioneer tradition, it has the serenity of a 19th century naturalists rest, nestled in an Acacia Knobthorn thicket.  Plains Camp offers 4 comfortably furnished African explorer style tents, with en suite & hot running water and the African Wilderness right on your doorstep. The concession is an environmentally sensitive area previously unexplored, with a huge diversity of both fauna and flora – an ideal setting for wilderness walking safaris in an internationally renowned Big Five area.

 

After settling into your tent and exploring the camp, high tea is served followed by a brief on the ‘do’s & don’ts’ of bush walking by your guide.  Rhino Walking Safari guides meet the stringent requirements of the South African National Parks and senior guides hold the highest guiding qualification possible in South Africa.  

 

After the brief, you will depart with your 2 armed guides for an introductory walk, returning to the vehicle in time for sundowners and enjoying a short night drive before returning to camp.  

Day 4 Rhino Walking Safaris- Plains Camp

After an early morning wake-up, fresh coffee, tea and rusks (a South Africa tradition!), everybody departs with the guides for the next safari walk.  Nothing is predictable in the bush; therefore each safari offers a potentially new experience.  Our guides will share their wealth of “bush culture’’ - the identification of animals, trees, grasses, insects, birds, the medicinal uses of plants, local folk lore and basic tracking & survival skills.

All walking trails are enjoyed in the early morning and late afternoon to avoid the midday heat, with the average duration of the morning walk being between 3 and 4 hours.  The Guide will structure the trail taking into account the fitness level of the group and any special requests.  After a light snack on the walk, you will be served a well deserved brunch on your return to the camp.  Relax during the heat of the day, enjoying the small Africana book collection or the plunge pool overlooking the plain, which is often host to zebra, buffalo, giraffe, elephant, rhino and lion.

The afternoon safari activity is a short drive in the game vehicle to a specific location, after which you will depart on foot again for your trail.  Upon returning to the vehicle, you will enjoy sundowners before returning to camp.  Back at camp you will enjoy a sumptuous dinner, all the while accompanied by the night sounds of the African bush.

However, if you want to enjoy the ultimate outdoor overnight experience then the Sleep outs are not to be missed.  Guests leave Plains Camp in the late afternoon for a 1-1 ½ hour walk led by the guides and arrive at the platforms in the early evening, carrying only a lightweight rucksack containing a change of clothes and refreshments. The platforms are elevated about 4 metres above the ground and after the guests have chosen their platform; they enjoy sundowners overlooking the waterhole as their guide starts the fire and preparing dinner.   While dinner is being prepared on an open fire, enjoy the sounds and senses of the wild at night, while being safely guarded by our observant guides.  

The rumbles of the elephant passing by, or the roar of the lion at the nearby waterhole, are some of the noises that might disturb guests in this peaceful wilderness.  This is the only place in the Kruger National Park offering this unusual accommodation.
 

Day 5 Kosi Forest Lodge - Kosi Bay Nature Reserve, Elephant Coast, KZN

 

After your final morning walk you will return to Plains Camp for a hearty brunch & shower before packing up and being transferred back to the luxurious Rhino Post Safari Lodge in open 4x4 vehicle approximately 30 minutes drive for your final check out and road transfer (open 4x4 vehicle – 30 minutes) to Skukuza Airport.

 

Here you will board your aircraft for a spectacular scenic flight over Swaziland to Mazengwenya Airstrip (1hr 15 mins flying time). At Mazengwenya you will be met by a member of staff from the lodge and transferred in open 4x4 vehicle to Kosi Forest Lodge through coastal forest and dunes to the charming Kosi Forest Lodge. (1 hour travelling time).

 

On arrival at Kosi Forest Lodge you will be shown your bush suite and given time to unpack and relax before coming through to enjoy dinner at the main area at Kosi.

Day 6 Kosi Forest Lodge - iSimangeliso Wetland Park Coast, KZN

 

Kosi Forest Lodge is situated in the Kosi Bay Nature Reserve.  This 16-bed wilderness lodge offers the unique opportunity of exploring a pristine wetland environment by vehicle, guided canoes and boats.  

When you awake in the morning at Kosi the suites are surrounded by beautiful trees which are a haven for a prolific bird life.  You will be welcomed by a flask of boiling water to make your tea or coffee and the weather report for the day – so you can decide where you want to explore that day over a hearty breakfast.
 

The highlight for many at Kosi Forest Lodge is the canoe trip on the Kosi Lakes. (included activity) The best time for this activity is in the early morning and lasts for approximately 2hours.  Guides escort you by canoe along the Sihadla channel where the bird life is very rewarding and the scenery peaceful and breathtaking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will return for a delicious lunch and a siesta before embarking on your afternoon activity.  

On the afternoon you can enjoy a walk through magnificent Raffia Palms – the tallest in the world!  Home to the Palm Nut Vulture and Pel’s Fishing Owl, the area can be explored by birders at their leisure.  

When you return from your afternoon activity you will have time to freshen up before coming through to enjoy a delicious meal on either the main deck or in the Boma.  The lodge is charming and as it is not on mains electricity, the pathways and eating venues are lit by lanterns and create a warm atmosphere to enjoy the sounds of the night.
 

The Kosi Lakes are a series of interconnected lakes which stretch over some 18km.  The best way to see the system is by boat.  An optional extra is the full day excursion by motor boat which leaves shortly after breakfast and travels through the lake system and estuarine waterways.  The guides stop along the way and explain the traditional fishing trips and how the Tsonga community live in balance with the lake system.   A picnic lunch is served once you reach the end of the lakes and then you visit Bhanga Nek beach for a swim.

Kosi Forest Lodge guests are accommodated in thatched bedrooms, on raised wooden decks, hidden in the sand forest.  There is no electricity, but that’s part of the charm!  All beds have mosquito nets.  The unique open-air, reed enclosed bathrooms with the bath and shower sunk into white forest sand, has been noted by many guests as one of the highlights of their stay.  

Day 7 Tsonga Beach Lodge  - iSimangeliso Wetland Park Coast, KZN

 

After breakfast and an early morning activity guests will check out of Kosi Forest Lodge and be transferred through the coastal forest to Thonga Beach Lodge in open 4x4 vehicle (1 hour’s drive)

On arrival at Thonga Beach Lodge you will be shown around the lodge & taken to their room and given time to unpack and relax before coming through to some enjoy an afternoon activity. After enjoying one of the many activities hosted at Thonga you will have time to freshen up before coming through for a delicious meal under the stars
 

Day 8 Tsonga Beach Lodge  - iSimangeliso Wetland Park Coast, KZN

 

Thonga Beach Lodge is set on the secluded Mabibi Bay, in the heart of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, an internationally recognized World Heritage Site.  With direct access onto the pristine shores of the Maputaland coast, this luxury lodge is the ideal place to discover one of the last unspoilt and undeveloped wilderness beaches left on the African continent.

 

Mabibi is a magical place of tranquil swimming bays and snorkelling reefs, coastal forests, grasslands, bush, shimmering lakes and exquisite sandy beaches.  It’s clear, warm waters offer superb snorkelling and fantastic offshore scuba diving.

The 12 suites are Robinson Crusoe-chic!  Thatched en-suite rooms have been carefully constructed in the coastal dune forest to ensure minimum impact on the environment and maximum guest privacy.  Each room has a double vanity, stone bath, indoor/outdoor shower, bar fridge, air-conditioning, ceiling fan & mosquito net.
    
The lodge serves breakfast, lunch & dinner on the deck in the shade of the forest.  Sundowners can be enjoyed in the bar lounge or the cool deck under the Coastal Milkwood trees. 

Activities at Thonga Beach Lodge include scuba diving, Open Ocean experiences, kayaking and sundowners at Lake Sibaya, guided snorkelling, seasonal turtle drives/walks, Tsonga Cultural tours and forest walks. Whether a walker or a diver, there are a wealth of activities to explore this beautiful hideaway, or maybe simply relax with a Sea Spa treatment or on the beach deck.
 

Scuba diving at Mabibi is phenomenal.  The professional lodge diving team can accommodate enthusiasts, from the beginner to the veteran.  For those who don’t dive, there is an Open Ocean Experience.  

An exciting launch through the surf in front of the lodge takes guests beyond the breakers to a world of dolphins, whales and snorkelling.  The warm Indian Ocean supports a myriad of fish and marine life.  Guests can sometimes swim with dolphins or whale sharks, or snorkel with Manta rays and giant turtles. 

In Summer there are nocturnal walks and drives along the beach in search of pre-historic turtles laying their eggs.  Witness the culmination of an incredible journey as giant Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles come ashore to lay their eggs in carefully prepared nests.  Turtle tracking is offered in the evening from November to end-February (for the laying from Nov to Jan and hatchlings from end Dec to end February.)

 

Every precaution is taken to ensure these magnificent creatures are not disturbed during the laying process and data collected from the turtle drives are submitted to the Ezemvelo Turtle Monitoring programme.  
 

Day 9 

 

After breakfast you will check out of Thonga Beach Lodge and be transferred in open 4x4 vehicle to Coastal Cashews where you will met by a 2 x 4 vehicle which will transfer you back to Richards Bay Airport. The first 5 kms are on a gravel road and thereafter you will travel on good tar roads bypassing typical rural villages, through parts of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, via the town of Hluhluwe to Richards Bay Airport (3 hours driving). From Richards Bay you will catch your scheduled flight back to Johannesburg (OR Tambo) 

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