This 7 night itinerary is perfect for anyone who wants to combine a stay in one of the leading budget safari lodges in the Kruger area with a few days exploring the spectacular scenery of the Lowveld area that adjoins the Park.
You start your trip with a 4 night safari at Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge which is situated in the vast Balule Nature Reserve. The emphasis here is upon close-up encounters with Africa's spectacular wildlife, and your ranger and tracker will ensure that you have extremely memorable encounters with animals, including the Big 5, as well as the myriad of other creatures in the reserve. Because the reserve is privately owned, your game vehicle can head off the road network into the deep bush, enabling you to find lots more wildlife.
As well as the twice daily game drives (one early in the morning, and one later in the afternoon), guests may also able to join their guide on a walk in the reserve which gives a whole different perspective from what you would get from a seat in the open safari game viewing vehicle.
On your last morning at Mohlabetsi you will have enough time to enjoy the final game drive of your stay and have breakfast back at the lodge before you need to depart for the drive to Hazyview, which will be your base for the next few days.
Hippo Hollow Country Estate is situated outside Hazyview on the Sabie River between the Drakensberg Mountains to the west and the low-lying bushveld to the west. It is the ideal destination from which to access the reserves of the Lowveld and the sights of Mpumalanga. Hippo Hollows is only a short drive from the Kruger National Park and the scenic Panorama Route which includes Pilgrim's Rest, Graskop, Bourkes Luck Potholes, God's Window, the Blyde River Canyon, and many fantastic waterfalls.
Holiday Title: Two Centre Self-Drive In Kruger And The Lowveld
Countries Visited: South Africa
Arrive into Hoedspruit Airport. Collect your luggage, then you will be met in the airport building by a representative from Bidvest Car Rental. Complete the necessary paperwork - you will need to present your driving licence, passport and credit card. The keys to your hire car will then be handed over to you.
8 Day Car Rental: Group C: Toyota Corolla Quest 1.6 or similar - Manual Transmission (on Super Cover)
Allow about 90 minutes to drive to the Balule Nature Reserve and onto Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge. The 45,000 hectare Balule Nature Reserve forms part of the 2 million hectare Greater Kruger Park ecosystem. This area is home to Africa's Big Five - lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo - as well as other mammals such as cheetah, hippo, zebra and antelope, a dazzling array of birdlife and an amazing variety of reptiles, insects and plants. Morning and afternoon game drives take guests out in specially customised open Land Rovers, and because the land is privately owned, the experienced rangers can leave the dirt tracks behind and follow the wildlife through the bush, giving you an unbelievable opportunity to get very close to nature in its purest form.
After you return from your morning game drive, you will have time to enjoy breakfast before you need to depart for the drive to Hazyview, which will be your base for the next few days as you explore the lowveld area that adjoins Kruger.
Hippo Hollow Country Estate has an 'Out of Africa ' feel about it, and leaves you feeling totally relaxed and refreshed. The restaurant here opens onto an expansive deck, and guests can watch elephants at the neighbouring sanctuary having an afternoon drink from the river, or grazing hippo on the lawns against the backdrop of an African sunset.