Makuleke makes up an expansive triangle between the Limpopo and Luvuvhu Rivers, on the borders of Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park Conservancy, the biggest wildlife reserve in South Africa. 

Kruger itself is part of the even more massive Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. This Park straddles Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe and joins key wildlife areas in Southern Africa into a huge conservation area of 35,000 km² (bigger than the whole of Lesotho).

Makuleke itself is about 22,000 hectares in extent, and most of it is not open to the general public. This allows for an exclusive and complete wilderness experience for its visitors. It is the most ecological diverse area of the Kruger Park, and has the largest range of Kruger plants and birds. Big game abounds, including elephant, hippo, lion, rhino, leopard, hyena, giraffe, buffalo, zebra and a range of antelope species, from sable (rare) to eland (plentiful).

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Travel Arrangements

It takes about seven hours to drive from Johannesburg to the Pafuri Gate, the entrance to Makuleke.

Charter airflights can be arranged out of Rand Central Airport. Contact us for further details.


Malaria is a risk factor for Makuleke, but a limited one given the low human population in the area, and even more limited outside of the summer rainfall months. As a precaution, medication such as Malarone (Melanil) or Docycline may be advised by your medical practitioner. For further advice, see the South African National Travel Health Network.


Temperatures are warm to hot in the day, moderate at night.

See today's weather in the Pafuri Game Reserve.

Wilderness Safaris Bushcamp

RETURNAfrica's Trails Camps

The trails camps are transient to lessen their long-term impact on any particular area, but great sites are always chosen – typically close to the Luvuvhu River. 

Accommodation there comprises spacious two-person tents, comfortable beds with bedding supplied, chemical toilet en suite and separate hot water shower facilities. Sometimes a mobile shower with ivory towels hangers puts in a discreet though unreliable appearance.

The camps are unfenced, and their proximity to the river means that visitors come and go, especially at night once the campfire goes down. With everyone safely in their tents, camera traps reveal the nightly passing show: civets, genets, hyenas, leopards, porcupines and much more.

EcoTraining Campsite, Makuleke, Kruger National Park

EcoTraining Campsite, Makuleke

This is an open (unfenced) camp comprising nine two-person A-frame huts (shower and flush toilet en suite) for guests, staff huts, an eating, meeting and socialising deck, a campfire area and a kitchen.

The camp is situated in a grove of towering Nyala-berry trees, below a basalt ridge and adjacent to the extended Limpopo flood plains. Animals regularly roam through the area. Appropriate precautions ensure that their visits are a pleasure and not a peril.

The camp can accommodate 16 guests. A fire-break around the camp provides a running track for those who must. For further information see the EcoTraining website.

The Outpost Luxury Lodge, Kruger National Park

The Outpost

The Outpost is a magnificently appointed luxury lodge, perched in a stunning location on a ridge overlooking the Luvuvhu River.

The individual accommodation units and views are extraordinary.

The location's sounds rivals its sights. They may be elusive to see, but by night the sonorous hoot of the Pels Fishing Owl echoes up and down the valley, sometimes overwhelmed by a a lions' reverberating roar or an elephant trumpeting in the distance.

For more information see The Outpost website.