Venture from historic Johannesburg to the wild north of Kruger National Park

Brimming with elephants, lions, buffalo, rhino, zebra and hundreds of bird species, Kruger National Park stands tall among the great wildlife arenas of Africa. But it’s only a fraction of adventurers that see the park’s extreme northern reaches, where some of the most profound nature experiences await. Join an exciting new Intrepid expedition that explores the depths of this wilderness on foot, tackling the remote northern Kruger and visiting the likes of the Limpopo River Valley, Crooks Corner, Hutwini and Lanner gorges. With comfortable accommodation, quality food, and knowledgeable guides helping you get the most out of trail walks and game drives, this expedition proves you can stray from the beaten track in southern Africa without actually having to ‘rough it’.


Start
Johannesburg, South Africa
Finish
Johannesburg, South Africa
Country
South Africa
Style
Original
Theme
Expedition
Code
UBWS
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 4, Max 8

Why we love this trip

  • Experience the real Johannesburg on a Soweto bicycle tour, followed by dinner at a top traditional steakhouse

  • Venture to where relatively few visitors to South Africa go – the arid and atmospheric remote northern corners of Kruger National Park

  • Tackle the Pafuri Walking Trails with local guides, marvelling at such unique landscapes as the Luvuvhu fever tree forest

  • Half the fun is getting to the starting points of your walks each day, as en-route game drives maximise your chances of diverse wildlife sightings

  • Witness anything from cheetah to lion to elephant to eland, plus some of the hundreds of bird species of Kruger – perhaps a mottled spinetail or lemon-breasted canary

  • With well-appointed permanent tents, this adventure is a cut above your average camping trip when it comes to comfort

Is this trip right for you?

  • We’ve put a lot of research into putting this new trip together. However, that doesn’t mean it will run perfectly. In fact, because it’s an expedition we expect a few bumps along the way. In our experience, a little detour here and there can make things more interesting if you approach the adventure with flexibility an open mind.

  • This itinerary has two particularly long travel days, with journeys to and from Johannesburg to Kruger National Park (days 3 and 7).

  • This trip is designed for those who love to get active. While prior training may not be necessary, a moderate level of fitness will help you get the most out of the activities on this trip.

  • Home base in the Kruger is a bush camp near the banks of the Luvuvhu river. While this setting allows an up-close experience of untamed Africa, there is limited power and no running water. Showers are rustic bucket-style, while each morning there’s a basin of warm water outside your tent for freshening up.

Itinerary

Sawubona! Welcome to South Africa. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you arrive early, get out and explore lively Johannesburg. Maybe visit the cultural hotspots of Newtown, Braamfontein or Maboneng. The Apartheid Museum is an essential visit.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive in time for today's welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand.
Tour the historic Soweto neighbourhood by bicycle today. Take a short drive then set off riding to a lookout point that takes in Orlando West and East – from here you can see across the township the Orlando Pirates' home soccer ground. Your next stop is Mzimhlophe Men’s Hostel, a former migrant workers’ hostel, where you'll soak up a few morsels of history; you may notice traditional African customs still run strong in this area. Continue via Meadowlands to the memorial site of Hector Pieterson, who died alongside hundreds of other youths in the 16 June 1976 uprising against the Apartheid education system. Lastly, visit Nelson Mandela's former home on Vilakazi Street, and the home of Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu. Cycle back to Lebo's, return to the hotel to freshen up, then head out to a nice traditional steakhouse for dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Soweto - Cycle Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Remember to make use of the available power at the hotel tonight and charge you camera, batteries and powerbank. There will be limited power at the camp.
Rise and shine at 5 am and travel north to Kruger National Park, where adventures on foot will take place. On the way there'll be a stop so you can seek out some lunch. You should arrive at your accommodation, Pafuri Camp, around mid-afternoon. Here you'll be introduced to your walking guide who will lead the way for the next few days. Attend a safety briefing and a short walk to kick things off. We return to camp in the early evening for a delicious meal under the African skies. Get a good rest tonight, as tomorrow the hiking kicks up a notch.

Accommodation
  • Permanent Tented Camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kruger National Park - Afternoon Walking Safari
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
The day starts with an early morning walk. Venture into the Limpopo River Valley, and Crooks Corner, where the Limpopo and Luvuvhu rivers converge to form the demarcations between Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The name Crooks Corner can be traced back to the early 20th century, when ivory poachers and various shady types sought refuge from the law here in this far-flung pocket of the wild. If the river levels are low enough we can walk barefoot through the river. If the water levels are higher, we'll need to keep to the riverbank, on slightly tougher terrain to keep clear of the crocodiles. Return to camp for brunch and relax in the beautiful bush setting. This afternoon it's time for a different perspective of the area – head off on a game drive in a 4WD vehicle.
Accommodation
  • Permanent Tented Camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kruger National Park - Morning Walking Safari
  • Kruger National Park - Afternoon Game Drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Embark on another adventure on foot. Venture deep into the bush and spend some time (approximately 3–4 hours of walking) exploring the Banyini area. This wetland is a true birder's paradise. The pan, sometimes overflowing with water after heavy rain, attracts an awesome array of birds and wildlife. Afterwards, return to camp and tuck into a delicious brunch. In the middle of the day, relax and unwind as the peak heat of the day sets in – perhaps enjoy an afternoon nap. In the mid afternoon, walk the Reedbuck Vlei and Fever Tree Forest (3–4 hours of walking). These magnificent trees only germinate after floods or after exceptionally heavy rains, and the forest seems to take on its own mood. If you’re lucky you may come across a herd of graceful eland or a perhaps a lone bull elephant walking through this special place. Return to camp for sundowners and dinner.
Accommodation
  • Permanent Tented Camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kruger National Park - Morning Walking Safari
  • Kruger National Park - Afternoon Walking Safari
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning it's off to Hutwini Gorge and to some of the beautiful natural springs of the area. The walk (approximately 5–6 hours) heads towards the base of the Hutwini Mountains. The gorge does not have any water flowing through it and is frequented by animals walking towards the river to drink. The Mashisti spring has water all year round and is constantly visited by crocodiles, hippos, babboons, even leopards. You'll carry your packed lunch with you today before heading back to the camp in the afternoon. Later in the afternoon will be a 4WD game drive, a chance to search for the animals you missed on the morning walk.
Accommodation
  • Permanent Tented Camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kruger National Park - Morning Walking Safari
  • Kruger National Park - Afternoon Game Drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enjoy one final walk this morning before returning the camp for brunch. Then it's time to make our way back to Johannesburg, where the adventure comes to an end.
Accommodation
  • Comfortable (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kruger National Park - Morning Walking Safari
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please do not book any flights until after 10:30pm this evening. Please speak to your booking consultant if you require accommodation for tonight.

Meals

6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners

Transport

Minibus, Bicycle, 4x4 safari vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nights), Permanent tents (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Soweto - Cycle Tour
  • Kruger National Park - Afternoon Walking Safari
  • Kruger National Park - Morning Walking Safari
  • Kruger National Park - Afternoon Game Drive

Dates & availability

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Important notes

This trip finishes upon arrival in Johannesburg on Day 7. Please do not book any flights until after 10:30pm this evening.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.