Three Reserve safari in South Africa

“A brilliant value 10-day safari to South Africa, game viewing in three different reserves, with two guided game drives or bush walks per day and plenty of time to relax, too.”

Highlights

Wild Rivers Private Nature Reserve | bush senses experience | Balule Reserve | game drive with Shangaan rangers | bush walks | Timbavati Game Reserve

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Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
26 Oct 2018
£ 2250
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 26 Oct 2018 departure
02 Nov 2018
£ 2250
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 02 Nov 2018 departure
09 Nov 2018
£ 2250
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 09 Nov 2018 departure
16 Nov 2018
£ 2350
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 16 Nov 2018 departure
23 Nov 2018
£ 2350
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 23 Nov 2018 departure
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Three Reserve safari in South Africa

Environment

Each safari provides a real wildlife viewing and conservation experience.

By opting for a safari with us safari guests are already helping to contribute towards our conservation work. In addition guests are afforded the opportunity to gain an insight into real African conservation work if they wish, either by observing our work or assisting our rangers. In this way we hope guests will help to spread the message of what real African conservation is and what the needs are.

All of our food, bathroom and kitchen supplies are from local sources and as far as possible, we aim to use a combination of organic, fair-trade and sustainable products.

Each safari will include contributions to each reserve where gate entrance and lodge fees are used to sustain the conservation work within the park as well as provide fair trade employment.

We believe that everyone is able to help make a difference towards conserving our environment. When on safari or in the bush, we operate a policy of ‘bring out what you take in’ i.e. we leave no litter or man made products behind. Game drive vehicles do not deviate from existing roads and tracks, however guided foot safaris will access game trails which cannot be reached by vehicle. When on foot, we stay on the trail as deviating can cause erosion and other environmentally harmful impacts.

Community

While on safari we recommend that visitors buy locally produced goods and support local artisans. In this way, visitors are able to help sustain the local community, contribute towards conservation and enrich their own lives. During each safari there will be opportunities to purchase goods from local artists, market stalls and restaurants in keeping with the ideals of fair trade. Our guides will advise on a ‘fair price’ if requested, however it is worth noting that a relatively small sum can make a huge difference to peoples lives in Africa and guests are asked to consider this when bargaining with market stallholders.

Our safari staff are all recruited locally and encouraged to develop within the organisation to achieve their goals and where applicable to produce conservation based items for sale (100% of the proceeds going to the originator).

On arrival, we hold an informal chat with guests to explain our conservation work and how they are able to contribute during their safari. A travelers’ code of conduct is also issued with each bespoke safari itinerary.

9 Reviews of Three Reserve safari in South Africa

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 11 Sep 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


We managed to see every animal we wanted!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Very relaxing and thorough experience, highly recommended.


3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Amazing!

Reviewed on 26 Jul 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The whole trip was fantastic. We stayed at three lodges on three reserves, each quite different but great in their own way. I can't pin down one thing as we thoroughly enjoyed everything about it. I guess seeing such fabulous animals in their wild environment was what we went for and we were not disappointed. We saw lion, leopard, white rhino, black rhino, wild dogs; all the more common animals such as giraffe, elephant, zebra, various antelope species and over 100 species of birds. The only animal we didn't see that we hoped for was cheetah but we were advised the reserves we stayed at were not regularly visited by cheetah. The three camps were: Nzumba, Rukiya and Tangala.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


1. If going in South African winter make sure you take plenty of warm clothing for early morning game drives. We were not as well prepared as we could have been. 2. If going a multi camp trip and it includes Tangala go there last as we saw lots more there, and it could have been a little bit of an anti-climax (game drive wise) if went there first, and then onto the other private sites, which were superb but sightings were less frequent. The food was fantastic, however, it is very meat based so if you have a vegetarian or vegan in your party be aware the options are limited. Our daughter is a vegan but had a vegan vacation to become a vegetarian whilst away as the vegan option were extremely limited. 4. Maybe fly both ways from JoBurg to camps. We flew back at the end (45 minute flight) but on the way by road was 11 hours via the scenic route. In hindsight I wish we would have flown up.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. Many of the staff based at the lodges were locals and the guides and trackers were all South African. One camp was run on solar energy. We also paid conservation fees.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


5/5 - we have booked many vacations via Responsible Travel and we have not been disappointed. My son (18) said he thought this was the best one so far. I have enjoyed them all. We definitely want to visit South Africa again one day, visit Cape Town, drive the Garden Route and fly somewhere for a short safari (3-4 days) to see cheetah.

Reviewed on 12 Oct 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


It was amazing to be so close to animals like elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, cheetah ...

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Make sure you have warm clothes for the early morning drives. Layers are best.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It supported conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was absolutely amazing, the vacation of a lifetime!

Reviewed on 10 Oct 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


It was amazing to be so close to animals like elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, cheetah ...

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Make sure you have warm clothes for the early morning drives. Layers are best.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It supported conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was absolutely amazing, the vacation of a lifetime!

Reviewed on 23 Jul 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


As this was our first trip to South Africa, and our first safari, we didn't know what to expect but were delighted by different things at all the lodges.

As a vegetarian I had concerns as getting good food while traveling isn't always easy. Carol assured me this wouldn't be a problem and she was so right!

At Rukiya Safari Camp the staff were very friendly and welcoming. Lily and Conraad were wonderful hosts and Elliott and Donovan were fantastic guides and
trackers. It felt like they all did that little bit extra to try and get us the best game sightings. I believe I'm correct in saying they are the only lodge who go game viewing in their neighbours reserve so you won't be running into other vehicles. Having breakfast while out on the morning game drive was great fun. The camp staff were lovely and there was a relaxed and inclusive atmosphere because of the communal dinner arrangements. The tents were more than
comfortable and we loved the hot water bottles at night (we were there in the middle of their winter) Overall I think this was our favourite place out of the 3
lodges. Raptor Retreat is absolutely fabulous but a totally different experience. Its like staying in a tiny and very exclusive 5* hotel that happens to be in the middle of a game reserve. This is definitely luxury living. You are quite literally surrounded by the wildlife and will encounter impala and warthogs on the short walk from your private lodge to the main lodge house. Keith is passionate and knowledgeable and Sharmaine is a fantastic hostess. All the food here was outstanding and the camp staff were lovely and very helpful.

Tangala Camp is totally different again. The bungalows here are comfortable if slightly dated, but when you see all of the big 5 on your very first game drive,
within a couple of hours of arriving, then the fact that the bathrooms could do with updating suddenly seems less important ! Our guide, JD, was friendly and
funny and made us feel incredibly welcome. Our tracker, Joe, was very knowledgable. There is a watering hole directly in front of the main lodge and most days we sat on our sun loungers and watched impala, zebra and even elephants wander in for a drink which was amazing. In this reserve they use inter-lodge radio communications in the game vehicles to alert everyone to good sightings. This means you will see more of other vehicles and people but it also means you will get to see more and the best possible wildlife sightings. Its strictly controlled so you don't have more then 2 vehicles at any sighting, and it works. This is the lodge/reserve where we saw more variety and quantity of wildlife than the other places we stayed.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


If you're going during their winter it gets very cold early and late. It may seem silly taking hats and gloves to Africa but you will need them. If you have a choice, take the flight rather than the minibus from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit. The first 3 or 4 hours we enjoyed looking at the countryside but inside hours 5 and 6 we wished we'd paid extra and taken the 45 minute flight instead. And don't forget you have to do it all again on your return journey. If you think you have enough batteries and memory cards for your camera's, you don't ! Take extra.

We used a 75-300 mm zoom lens and even with a 1.4 times converter it wasn't always enough. Think about your priorities and do your research when choosing what time of year to go. We went Late June/early July and loved it. The day time temperatures were perfect for us but we were told the game viewing is better in their spring and summer but its much much hotter then.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The Rukiya main lodge was built using "green" building practices and the tents obviously have a greener footprint than brick buildings.

The Leopard conservation and education programme and camera traps run by Elliott here are doing valuable and important work.

At Raptor you are encouraged to use the fabulous toiletries provided because they use a grey water system to reduce the environmental impact of their waste
water Tangala runs mostly on solar power so they are doing their best to reduce their environmental footprint.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Absolutely fantastic ! As first time visitors we were excited and it didn't disappoint in any way. Would heartily recommend it. We're already saving up to go back.

Reviewed on 16 Feb 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Every game drive was incredible but made all the more so by the knowledge shared by the guide at Rukiya lodge - he taught us things on drives that enhanced every other drive of the vacation.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared for early mornings, take decent binoculars and a good camera with a decent zoom lens

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We felt that all of the game reserves took the welfare and protection of animals seriously and limited the environmental impact of the lodge itself seriously, which we appreciated.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


The most magical experience of our lives. Can't recommend it enough.

Reviewed on 18 Sep 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Amazing animal encounters, such as hyenas feasting on a carcass, a late evening drive seeing a pride of lions in the moonlight, and spotting rare species. Relaxing moments around the boma, enjoying the braai and hearing other people's stories. Not to mention the wonderful and helpful staff of the camps and INGWE.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Make sure to read all of the information given to you, you get a really good information pack to about what items and clothing to bring, and what to expect. Prior to arrival you get day-by-day instructions for your trip that are really helpful and easy to read.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I learned a lot about the work INGWE has been doing in the area, for example the volunteers teaching at their local orphanage and promoting conservation through that teaching.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Wonderful vacation overall. As a solo female traveler who had never been to Africa I was not sure what to expect, but this trip exceeded my expectations. Very safe and relaxing trip.

Reviewed on 19 Nov 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The abundance of wild life

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don't concentrate on the big 5. There are plenty of other animals, birds and plant life to see and learn about.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?



Reviewed on 12 Aug 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The vacation company offer a brilliant small group tour which is then personalised within. The staff are amazingly friendly and knowledgeable. They go above and beyond to make your trip remarkable.Not only do you get to see a variety of animals over the 3 reserves, from the Big 5 to the birds and insects, but you also learn how to predict what you might see. The experiences about how to use your senses efficiently and track animal spurs and dropping is essential to becoming fully engrossed in the experience. The staff at all 3 reserves were efficient, friendly, knowledgeable and approachable, while the varying accommodation gives you different insights into South Africa. From the hot water bottles at Black Leopard to the electric blankets at Thornybush, nothing was too much (it was winter). The outside bathroom at Black Leopard was a unique experience and the animals roaming by your door at Thornybush never got old. The food at all locations was tailored to individuals and believe me you never went hungry!
Delicious. There was a lot of driving but even in this time you learnt a lot and the
transport was always very comfortable. Traveling was tailor around the group.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Pack for every occasion!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The project at Black Leopard is much needed to save Leopards and all Volunteer based. The camp also employs local people so that is brilliant.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


This was the perfect safari for anyone who wanted to experience a variety within South Africa and didn’t have time to set it up! The consistent staff made you feel safe (particularly as a solo traveler, although in the group I never felt alone) and the fantastic communication from Carol could not be faulted. Will’s knowledge was endless and you could tell Becky and Jo had taken on board his passion for communicating information.A big thank you to Carol, Will, Becky, Jo and Stefan.

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