Venture into what is undoubtedly the most impressive wilderness area of the Greater Kruger National Park Conservancy – the Makuleke Contract Park – and feel and learn about nature in the raw.
During an EcoQuest or EcoVenture participants are given expert presentations on the animals, bird, vegetation and ecology of the area, but the key activity involves guided walks every day in a magnificent big game area, ranging from riverine flood plains to basalt hills to stunning sandstone gorges. And if you wish to rest up, staying at camp to read, watch the local animals, socialise or just sleep – well, that can be the agenda too.
Each walking trail event involves a maximum of eight guests accompanied by two armed trail guides. Trails typically leave camp at dawn each morning and return around brunch-time. A second trail or game drive usually goes out each afternoon, capped with a sun-downer at some great spot.
Informative talks are on offer over midday and in the evenings, with still deeper discussions pursued around the campfire.
If one wants to experience elemental, unspoiled Africa in an authentic, intensely engaging and often exciting way, there is nothing quite like an EcoQuest in Makuleke.
Want a few more creature comforts in the wilds, and be independent and self-catering? A bit more safety and security for the kids?
ReturnAfrica now offers the refurbished section ranger's house up on a hillock not far from the Luvuvhu River: Baobab Hill Bush House.
Sleeps six to eight. Game-proof perimeter fence, swimming pool, outdoor braai and gazebo area. A half-dozen baobabs to call your own around the house. All linen supplied. Electricity!
Fully serviced, plus chef if you wish.
Your own Trail Guide (or two, if needed) on tap, by Return Africa and Discovery Trails. Four-wheel drive vehicle with full traversing rights. Go where you went, when you want.
Cost: Around R11,000 per night for the complex. Contact us for further information.
All trailists have been captivated by the enormous diversity and beauty of this isolated area of the Park, and by the wonders of a wilderness immersion. A common exclamation: 'How come we never knew about this till now?'
EcoVenture with RETURNAfrica: 9 - 14 April
EcoQuest with EcoTraining: 8 - 14 April
EcoVenture with RETURNAfrica: 13 - 18 April
EcoQuests with EcoTraining: Sunday 25 June - 1 July, and then also 1 - 8 July
EcoTraining: R12,300 (no VAT payable) per person for six nights for all meals, accommodation, presentations, trails and game drives, but excluding: travel to and from the Park, drinks and optional tips.
RETURNAfrica: R11,000 for five nights, per person sharing; single rate for five nights: R13,500 (for all meals, accommodation, trails and game drives, but excluding: travel to and from the Park, drinks and optional tips).
Entrance to the Kruger Park: About R70 or R250 (locals or others) per person for those without a Wild Card.