The Kruger National Park is one of the world’s premier nature reserves, and you will spend a significant amount of time exploring it during this four-day safari.
The Panorama Route refers to the escarpment area in Mpumalanga Province where the Drakensberg mountains separate the Highveld from the Lowveld to the east. The Panorama Route along the escarpment is one of South Africa’s most scenic areas and include the Blyde canyon that extends for 50kms along the escarpment.
This safari offers a full-day safari in the Kruger National Park as well as a full-day tour of the Panorama Route.
A full day in the Kruger National Park may sound exhausting, but the guides make frequent stops at rest stops and lookout points. As you travel through different grasslands and ecological zones, you will have a better chance of seeing more wildlife.
Your five-day itinerary will include a sunset / night safari on day 1, a full-day open vehicle safari on day 2, a full-day Panorama Route on day 3 and 2 morning safaris in the Kruger Park on Day 4 and 5.
Your chances are very good to see all of the Big 5 – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. The Kruger National Park is home to 148 mammal and 500 bird species. So there’s a lot to see and photograph.
Don’t forget to bring
The safari uses Umbhaba Eco Lodge in Hazyview, outside Kruger National Park, with en suite accommodation and excellent meals located 15 minutes from either the Phabeni or Numbi gates.
DAY 1: TRANSFER FROM JOHANNESBURG TO HAZYVIEW, SUNSET / NIGHT SAFARI
Guests will be picked up between 6:30 and 6:45 from various lodges and hotels within a 5 km radius of the OR Tambo International Airport, and then from the OR Tambo International Airport shuttle and bus Terminal between 6:45 and 7:00, before departing at 7:15 a.m.
Clients can fly directly into Skukuza Kruger National Park or Kruger Mpumalanga International Airports and be met by their safari guide at no extra charge.
You must confirm your pickup time and location the day before the tour.
Also keep in mind that these are shared departures. You will arrive at Umbhaba Eco Lodge in Hazyview between 11:30 and 12:00.
Guests will have time to unpack, relax, and enjoy a light lunch after swimming or walking around the lodge. You will leave around 15.45 for a sunset/night safari in the Kruger National Park, returning to the lodge around 20.00 for a delicious dinner and a good night’s rest.
Your package include accommodation at Umbhaba Eco Lodge, as well as lunch and dinner.
DAY 2: FULL DAY OPEN VEHICLE SAFARI IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
All safaris begin before sunrise, since this is the best part of the day for game viewing. This is also the best time of day to see predators.
The Mpumalanga province, which means “place of the rising sun,” is South Africa’s first province to see the sun rise.
After a short drive to the park, you enter the park gates and your guide will take you to the best areas to find wildlife including the Big 5 and plains game.
Umbhaba Eco Lodge will provide breakfast packs, and your guide will stop after about 3 hours for breakfast, a bathroom break, and the opportunity to purchase coffee.
You then continue with your safari through the variety of eco zones in the Kruger National Park, each zone with its own set of wildlife.
Along the route, you will visit rivers and watering holes, as well as plains and Bushveld regions.
You will then stop for lunch at a rest stop, where you will be responsible for your own meal. This also gives you time to do some souvenir shopping or enjoy a cold beer!
The safari will then continue back towards Umbhaba Eco Lodge, arriving around 15.30 – 16.00, with time to relax or swim, before enjoying a delicious dinner.
Your package include accommodation at Umbhaba Eco Lodge, breakfast and dinner.
DAY 3: FULL DAY PANORAMA SAFARI IN A CLOSED AIR-CONDITIONED VEHICLE
Today begins with a delicious hot breakfast at Umbhaba Eco Lodge at 7.30, followed by a meeting with your guide at 8:00.
You will travel in a closed air-conditioned vehicle from Hazyview for a 45-minute drive until the Panorama route begins, climbing nearly 1000 metres to the Northern Drakensburg Mountain range.
Temperatures vary greatly from Hazyview, so bring a jacket and comfortable walking shoes as you will go on some beautiful hikes.
God’s Window, Bourkes Luck Potholes, Blyde River Canyon (the world’s third largest canyon), Lisbon waterfall, the three rondavels, and the town of Graskop are on the itinerary.
On a clear day, one can see as far as Kruger and beyond from God’s Window. You’ll need comfortable walking shoes because the various lookout points have paths and trails to the viewpoints. It takes an average person about 15-20 minutes to reach the top, but the walk through a natural rainforest environment is well worth it.
Bourkes Luck Potholes is a stunning natural formation formed over hundreds of years by water erosion. The Bourke’s Luck potholes feature round carvings and holes of varying sizes formed in the red sandstone where the Treur and Blyde rivers meet.
Your guides will educate you on the region’s history. Guests can walk over the chasms using small footbridges and observe the water flowing through the cracks and holes. There are also several small but beautiful waterfalls scattered throughout the area; you will spend about an hour here and it’s a 1 km walk in total.
The Blyde River Canyon is the world’s third largest canyon. The canyon is over 40 kilometres long and up to 1200 metres deep. The canyon is rich in plant life, with rivers and dams forming the canyon’s floor.
Guests can see another highlight of the Panorama Tour, the 3 Rondavels, from a vantage point on the canyon. The Rondavels get their name from their resemblance to Rondavel houses, which are traditional African huts. These three outcrops stand out from the landscape.
The Guides will also go to Lisbon Falls, a beautiful waterfall with a strong flow of water all year. Lunch and curio shopping will be in the Highveld town of Graskop, which is famous for its great Pancakes and our lunch venue for the day. There are some great small shops in the town, and quests will have time to stroll through it.
After a long day, return to the lodge around 16:00 for a drink, a swim, and dinner before an early start for a final morning safari in Kruger.
Your package include accommodation at Umbhaba Eco Lodge, breakfast and dinner.
DAY 4: MORNING SAFARI AND AFTERNOON AT LEISURE
As usual, you will depart before sunrise for viewing wildlife during this best time of day.
Your guide will follow another one of the park’s huge network of roads and focus on animals and regions not yet seen or covered, so there is a chance to see something new.
You will return to the lodge around 11:00, and have an afternoon at leisure, to swim, enjoy some great walks around the lodges, or just enjoy the lodge.
A light lunch and dinner will be served at the lodge.
Your package include accommodation at Umbhaba Eco Lodge, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
DAY 4: MORNING SAFARI AND TRANSFER BACK TO JOHANNESBURG
You will leave the lodge before sunrise and eat another packed breakfast at one of the rest camps or picnic areas.
Today, the guide will focus on animals you didn’t see on the first two safaris, and we’re hoping to see lions and leopards because they’re most active in the mornings.
You will continue the safari after a quick breakfast and coffee break, returning to the lodge around 11:00. Now it is time for you to say your goodbyes to your guide and freshen up before returning to Johannesburg.
The shuttle picks up clients around 11.30, and you return to Johannesburg OR Tambo shuttle terminal and lodges, arriving between 17.00 and 18.00.
Your package include breakfast.
Clients flying out of OR Tambo International on the last day are advised not to book their flight any earlier then 20:00 for domestic and 21:00 for international flights.
The company does not accept any liability for guests missing flights, should they be booked to fly out on the last day.