5-Day Big 5 Traditional Camp Safari (28 September – 2 October 2020)
Start Date: 28-09-2020
End Date: 02-10-2020
1 Spot/s available
Eagle Eye Safaris General Itinerary Traditional Camp Big 5 Safaris
What’s on your bucket list? An affordable African safari to see lions? Leopards? Elephants? Giraffes? African Sunsets? We’ve got them covered!
Join award-winning Africa Geographic and NatGeo Daily Dozen published photography guides Ernest Porter or Karen Blackwood–or both–on our Traditional African Wildlife Safari in Manyaleti Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger. Manyaleti is mostly undeveloped with a limited number of Lodges, so we have sightings to ourselves most of the time. It’s home to the Big 5: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo. You’ll also find hippo, crocodile, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, impala, kudu, cheetah, mongoose, wild dogs, dozens of bird species, and so much more–just browse our photos on our website or on Facebook to see what we see on our safaris. Most of our award-winning photos have been taken on game drives!
Our small group, intimate safaris are designed to watch and photograph wildlife. We will coach your photography skills to help you achieve your goals in any way we can. Everyone is welcome, from absolute beginners to advanced photographers to non-photographers who just want to watch the animals while the others click away. Our private vehicle has a dedicated ranger and an experienced tracker to ensure the best possibility of seeing the widest variety of birds and wildlife—and to get into position for dramatic, one-of-a-kind photographs.
We start every morning with coffee or tea and a snack, and set out on a 3-hour game drive to see what happened in the wild overnight. If we find something fascinating, we can always stay longer! Lions and leopards are usually still active, so we’ll see if they’ve hunted overnight. Elephants are just starting their day, and perhaps we’ll see a hippo out of the water—they travel long distances at night. We’ll stop after sunrise for coffee and another snack…ok, we always PLAN to, but we usually have such amazing sightings that we don’t get our coffee until after the game drive!
When we return to the Lodge, we’ll have a delicious filling breakfast. If you want, you can join us for our complimentary photography and Lightroom/Photoshop workshops, or just relax until High Tea.
We head back out for our evening game drive around 15:30, when the big cats start getting active after the heat of the day. If we’re lucky, we’ll watch lions or leopards hunt! Elephants will be at the waterhole, giraffe should be browsing the tops of the trees, and maybe some wild dogs or cheetah will pass by. We usually stop for a sundown cocktail…ok, again, we always PLAN to, but there’s usually something exciting happening so we’ll often have that cocktail on the vehicle.
After we return to the Lodge, we’ll socialize and talk about our day before moving to our mouth-watering candlelit 3-course dinner on white linen set up around the fire. We might be joined by hyenas or elephants as they move through camp. Then it’s bedtime, lulled by the night sounds of the bush…
Daily safari activities:
(Day One begins with arrival at approximately 13:30, in time for High Tea and the Afternoon Game drive. On your last day, we’ll go on the morning game drive and have breakfast, with departure between 10:30-11:00)
Light breakfast and morning game drive including coffee stop from about 6:30-9am, later if we are on a good sighting
Breakfast starts upon return to the Lodge
Free Time (Lightroom/Photoshop/Photography course)
High Tea (light lunch) 15:00
Afternoon game drive including Sundowner Cocktail stop 15:30-18:30 or later, depending on sightings
Included in the safari package:
Double-occupancy accommodations (Single Occupancy available at a small premium), all meals, morning and evening game drives, personal photography and LR/PS instruction, coffee, tea.
A 15% deposit is due at time of booking, and you can book securely with a credit card. Prices are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is available at an additional reasonable cost; contact us for pricing.
We are always quick to answer questions and to help you plan your dream vacation. Ernest is South African, and Karen is a whiz at logistics, and together we can help make your planning easy and stress-free.
Not included in the safari package:
Airfare and transportation to/from the lodge (Round-trip airfare from JNB to Nelspruit is approximately $250. You can also rent a car and drive from Nelspruit—approximately 3 hours–or Johannesburg—8 hours), beverages other than coffee and tea (sodas and alcohol are available, please ask in advance if you have special requests and we’ll try to ensure your drinks are on hand), gratuities (gratuities for our Ranger and Tracker are mandatory; please plan approximately R 50-100/day; all other gratuities are optional), any other personal expenses.
To make it easy for you, we offer Ground Transportation add-on package that includes 1 night B&B accommodation in Johannesburg for your arrival or departure night, 1 night B&B accommodation in Nelspruit the night before safari, and round trip ground transportation between Nelspruit and Nkorho Bush Lodge, plus a tour of Dr. Jane Goodall’s rescue and rehab facility, Chimp Eden. Why do this? It takes away the stress of driving in a foreign country, on the opposite side of the road, on the back side of the clock, in areas where GPS doesn’t work. Our package is designed to make your trip stress-free. If you choose this package, here are the South African Airways flights to book (approximately $250 round trip):
The day before safari — JNB-MQP (Johannesburg to Nelspruit): 10am SA 8843, OR 11:05 am SA 8841 OR 9 am SA 8827 (this order best allows time to sleep, eat breakfast, and arrive in Nelspruit in time for the Chimp Eden tour)
The last day of safari — MQP-JNB: SA 8846 at 16:40 (this flight allows enough time to get to the airport and arrive in JNB in time for most international departures), OR SA 8844 at 15:55 (there is a risk of missing this flight unless everyone agrees to leave the Lodge early on the last day), SA 8848 at 18:25 (you will arrive in JNB in time for some international flights). Plan 2 hours minimum to get from arrival gate to departure gate.
For those purchasing our Ground Transportation Package, you’ll need to plan to arrive in Nelspruit (airline code MQP) prior to noon the day before your safari starts. You’ll be picked up curbside upon arrival at the airport. Please look for someone holding a sign with your name or Eagle Eye Safaris.
You’ll be transported to Loerie’s Call Guest House. After checking in and refreshing, the van will depart at 13:15 for your tour of Chimp Eden (included in GTP). You’ll return around 16:30.
Dinner is on your own. Orange Restaurant is on the property. It is one of the top restaurants in Nelspruit. You can also use UBER safely if you’d like to eat somewhere else.
Please be sure your camera batteries are fully charged before leaving Nelspruit.
On the morning your safari starts, you’ll have time for breakfast, which is made-to-order, as well as a substantial buffet. Please settle your personal bill with Loerie’s Call before 10:00.
The van will depart for the safari Lodge at 10:30. The drive is approximately 3 hours. At the halfway point, you’ll stop at Perry Bridge Reptile Park, which includes a coffee shop, patisserie, wine shop, curio shop, craft shop, and more. If you would like to stop at the Craft Shop outside of the game reserve, please limit your time at Perry’s, so you can have time to stop for local crafts (usually closed Sundays).
You’ll arrive at the Safari Lodge in time for high tea and the afternoon game drive.
If you are arranging your own transportation to the Lodge, please plan to arrive between 13:00-14:00. Keep in mind that it is an 8-hour drive from Johannesburg, and a 3-hour drive from Nelspruit. GPS is NOT reliable or accurate for travel to the Lodges. Please be sure that you have directions and a map.
On the last day of safari, please settle your bill the night before or right after the morning game drive. We will have breakfast, and the van will depart around 10:30. Check-out time is 11:00 if you are arranging your own transportation.
Gratuity Guidelines for Eagle Eye Safaris trips:
Please plan to bring enough cash in Rand. It’s very difficult for the local staff to exchange other currencies. The Traditional Camp does not have credit card capability. Drinks other than coffee and tea are additional and range from R 15-50. There are also a few crafts for sale at the Lodge, made by the women who work there, and are in the R 75-150 range.
We suggest the following in Rand:
Ranger & Tracker — R 50-150/day depending on how hard he worked to get the sightings and positions you wanted for photography. On a 5-day, we usually tip about R 500.
General Staff — R 50-100/day. This is split between housekeeping and maintenance staff. They are the people behind the scenes, usually supporting their families in the villages, and are the lowest paid of the staff, so anything is appreciated. You may also leave undamaged clothing in your room or give it directly to staff if you wish.
Chefs – R 50-100/day.
It is also nice to buy the Ranger and Tracker a drink after a particularly good game drive. They appreciate it, as they do not get a discount in the bar.
Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information.
Double Occupancy, Single Occupancy