Winter Walking Safaris: Kwandwe offers new fly camping + three others to try around SA

2019-05-02 19:00 - Selene Brophy
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May to September in South Africa’s Eastern Cape are cool and crisp with very little rainfall, making for beautiful weather to set out on foot and explore the ridges and valleys of the wilderness.

There is no greater way to connect with nature and with this in mind Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is introducing Winter Wilderness Walking and fly camping safaris, now open since 1 May 2019.

The reserve explains that the new activity is inspired by the in-depth training Kwandwe’s highly regarded rangers undergo where they spend seven days traversing the reserve solo, learning the lay of the land, encountering its creatures and appreciating its majesty. 

READ: Kwandwe safari guide team named best in SA

‘Connected, authentic experiences’ 

The scale and vastness of the bush becomes significantly more apparent when on foot and to silently, unobtrusively observe a rhino or an elephant grazing from ground level is like no other.  Accompanied by a specialist ranger and tracker, guests walk out from their lodge or safari villa early in the morning to enjoy a day long journey through the wilds of Africa.

You will walk across plains, along the Great Fish River that meanders 30 kilometers through the reserve and explore the varied habitat, encountering a wealth of bird and wildlife along the way. A picnic lunch may be enjoyed before continuing on and ultimately arriving at the private fly-camp for evenings spent beneath the stars.

Light on the environment and lit by lanterns, the camp for up to six guests is comfortable, simple and kept purposely natural. The canvas tents feature hot bucket showers and eco-bathrooms along with off-the-ground beds swathed in duck down duvets and warmed by hot water bottles to ensure a good night’s sleep ahead of another exploratory day out in the bush.

No two walking days are the same. 

READ: 5 400 km of back roads from the Cape to Kruger: potholes, petrol stations and Paradise

Available between 1 May - 30 September 2019"

the Winter Wilderness Walking and fly camping is offered at a surcharge of R9 000 (approx. GB£470; US$620; EU€550; AU$880*) per night for up to 6 guests. This includes a private specialist guide and tracker team (armed), private vehicle, private hosted fly camp, big game walks, nature walks, game drives, picnic bush lunch and open-flame cooking. 

WATCH:  Walking Safari Tourists Stumble Across 7 White Rhino, When One Starts Charging...

Jock's Safari, Kruger National Park, Mpumalang

Located at the south western corner of the KNP, Jock Safari Lodge truly is a hidden gem. Aside from the guided safari tours of its 6000 hectares exclusive wildlife terrain, it will allow you to immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the bush with guided walks, visits to rock art sites, bird watching, spa treatments and stargazing.

The lodge is nestled at the confluence of the Mitomeni (Shangaan for ‘Jackelberry Tree’) and Biyamiti (Shangaan for ‘Place of many Trees’) rivers, with rooms overlooking the riverbed. It was the first private lodge added to the KNP, making it the park's oldest concession. After recently getting a refurbishment, it reopened with a fresh new look, without losing its authentic bush lodge feel.

For those looking for an authentic, rugged bush experience, with sensory-heightening excitement, untrammelled by the limitations of a vehicle and unpretentious in its detachment from the buzz of technology and the modern world - Mthimkhulu Wilderness Trails offers visitors what they want in spades.

The vast bushveld will be where you will be walking around exploring, literally on-foot. 

READ: Heightened senses and a digital detox. On-foot with Mthimkhulu Wilderness Trails

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, Western Cape

This luxe Big 5 wilderness reserve is situated on the famous Route 62, between Montagu and Barrydale and seated at the foot of the Warmwaterberg Mountain Range in the heart of South Africa's Little Karoo.

It has an alluring atmosphere of stillness, an air of isolation amid the raw beauty and boundless plains.

READ: Sanbona Family Safari: A lesson in all manner of animal poop, they're unlikely to forget


Spekboom Tented Rest Camp, Eastern Cape 

Want to be (almost) one with nature? Go to Addo Elephant National Park's main rest camp, perfect for exploring the giants of the land that make their home in the Albany thicket.

You can also camp in the middle of the bush at the Spekboom Tented Rest Camp where you can watch out for nocturnal animals at the nearby watering hole. 

READ: From grasslands to fynbos: SA camping spots for every ecosystem 

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