The Kruger National Park
Did you know?
Some baobab trees live for thousands of years, with the world's oldest and biggest around 6000 years - the Sunland Baobab can also be found in Limpopo province.
The northern section of the Kruger National Park is an area of unique biodiversity. It's one of the few places where fever tree forests grow side by side with forests of giant baobabs. The trees line the banks of the Limpopo and Luvuvhu rivers: the slim, pale, luminescent green trunks of the fever trees glimmering between the massive dark brown trunks of the baobabs. It's easy to imagine you're in a Brothers Grimm story, where witches and fairies lurk around every corner.
When you stay at Pafuri Camp, one of the Kruger Park's private lodges, you're in the ancestral lands of the Makuleke people, who, in partnership with Wilderness Safaris, act as custodians and landlords of this wildly beautiful area. Local staff are trained and encouraged by experienced rangers and service staff from all over South Africa.
Your birding guide will spot a fleeting feather as easily as you can find your way around your home town. If you're looking for that special bird, they'll find it, entice it nearer with its own individual call, and then all you have to do is tick it off on your list. The crowned eagle, the wattle-eyed flycatcher, Bohm's spinetail, and of course, the elusive and highly sought-after Pels fishing owl, are some of the specials. The Big Five - lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, buffalo - is present, and you'll encounter elephants everywhere.
Well over a million years ago, Homo erectus walked and lived here. You'll be shown Stone-Age hand-axes and unexcavated dinosaur fossils.
Crooks' Corner, which links South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, is where the villains of yesteryear hung out. In winter, when the Limpopo is dry, they could run easily from one country to another, dodging the herds of elephants which take mud baths along the banks, and, like Kipling's Elephant's Child, make sloshy, schloopy mudcaps for themselves.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Pafuri Wilderness Camp
How to get here
By road from Johannesburg to Phalaborwa, and north to the Pafuri Gate. Pafuri Wilderness camp can organise charter flights from Johannesburg to Satara airstrip in the Kruger National Park and will collect you from there.
Best time to visit
Winter months - May to September - are best for game viewing. as the grass is low and it's easier to spot game. Summer is very hot but the vegetation is at its best, the migrant birds are back, and there are lots of baby animals.
Around the area
If you are doing a self-drive, then you can drive to other areas in the park. The area around Satara camp is particularly rich in game.
Tours to do
Your guide will offer you a range of activities from a guided walk to night game drives.
Your ranger will drive you in an open game-viewing vehicle.
What will it cost
There are often very good deals in the off-season.
Length of stay
Plan on at least 3 nights.
What to pack
Light clothing for the day, a warm thigh-length jacket and a beanie and scarf for the night. Lightweight binoculars, camera and memory cards. The lodge provides toiletries, insect repellant and a laundry service.
Where to stay
Pafuri Wilderness Camp
What to eat
The camp's home-cooked meals are delicious!