Spend three nights at a dedicated trails camp in one the world’s great wilderness areas.
- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
The only way to access the pristine wilderness-zoned areas of Kruger National Park is on foot. There are seven SANParks Wilderness Trails camps in the park, each accessed by private roads and offering total immersion in nature. Each day, walks are guided by SANParks Trails Guides.
This is the best value walking safari in Africa. The trails are run from special off-grid permanent camps with comfortable accommodation and all meals are included in the price.
Guests stay in camp as a group for three nights, with walks in the morning, some rest time during the day, and another walk or drive in the afternoon. The roads to the wilderness camps are not accessible to other visitors, so whether on foot or in the vehicle, guests won’t see any others than their group. There’s no electricity at the camps, just some solar power for room lighting and device-charging. In the evening, guests dine and relax by the light of a campfire and kerosene or solar lanterns. Camps have hot water geyser showers and flush toilets and three camps have en-suite accommodation while the others have shared ablutions.
Drinking water, instant coffee and tea are provided at the camp, and fruit cordial in the morning. Guests can bring their own drinks to the camps, and shared gas-powered fridges are available. There’s usually a good spot nearby to walk or drive to for a sundowner. In addition to two guides, each camp has a manager/cook, and the food is always of a good standard.
Apart from short summer breaks for maintenance, they run year-round, with departures on Wednesdays and Sundays. There is a discount in the hotter months from 1 November to 28 February. Each camp has four 2-bed units, and each must be booked as a unit - it is not possible to book a single.
Each wilderness trail has a nominated base camp, one of the SANParks public rest camps, where trail guests meet at 15:30 on the first day. On the final day, guests will be back at the base camp before lunchtime, so it’s possible to do a wilderness trail without booking other accommodation in the park; but it’s more relaxing to stay in the base rest camp the night before starting the trail. Guests’ vehicles remain at the base camp, and big suitcases may safely be left in the car, so participants can just bring what they will need for the three nights.
On the starting afternoon, guests and their guides travel by game-viewing vehicle to the wilderness trail camp, with stops to see wildlife. The game-viewing vehicle remains with the group for the duration of their stay. Each camp has four twin-accommodation units with two proper beds and mosquito nets. Four camps have thatched A-frame huts, while three have canvas tents on wooden decks. In the evening the lead guide will deliver a briefing on the plan for the next day. Each morning of the two walking days, guests are woken about an hour before sunrise, and rise to have a hot drink and a rusk. Walks may start directly from the camp or, more typically, start with a short drive.
The walks last four to five hours, covering up to 15 kilometres. The guides carry a snack for breakfast – fruit, sausage or biltong, a packet of fruit juice. Back at camp, there’s time for a wash before a late morning cooked breakfast, juice and cereals. Sometimes a drum is beaten to let everyone know when a meal is served, or when it’s time for the afternoon walk. The afternoon walks are much shorter, and often involve driving to a good location to take a short stroll and sit and observe. Drives are mostly confined to restricted roads, with no other vehicles to be encountered.
Camps have a lapa and camp chairs where walkers can relax in the shade. In the evenings the fire is the focus, a time for stargazing and chats, after which most trailists will retire by 21:00. In keeping with the wilderness spirit, excessive drinking of alcohol is strongly discouraged. On the fourth day there’s no walk, so there’s a slightly later wake-up call, and guests return to the base camp after breakfast.
- Transfers from the base camp to the Trails camp
- Water, cordial, tea & coffee
- Park conservation fees
- Alcoholic drinks