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3 Day South Africa Safari

Wildlife

3 Day South Africa Safari: Johannesburg, Hoedspruit, and Kruger National Park

This compact 3-day South African safari offers participants a glimpse into the country’s rich wildlife and cultural heritage, focusing on the Kruger National Park area.

Duration: 3 Days Places to Visit: Johannesburg, Hoedspruit, Kruger National Park

Itinerary:

Day 1: Johannesburg – Hoedspruit

Begin the journey in Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city with a population of over 5 million. Before departing, visit the Apartheid Museum, which provides a powerful look into South Africa’s history of racial segregation and the struggle for democracy.

Take a short flight to Hoedspruit (approximately 1 hour), a small town that serves as a gateway to the northern part of Kruger National Park and private game reserves. Upon arrival in Hoedspruit, visit the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. This conservation center focuses on the rehabilitation and breeding of endangered species, particularly cheetahs. Learn about their conservation efforts and the challenges facing South African wildlife. In the evening, enjoy a traditional South African braai (barbecue) dinner. This social custom is deeply ingrained in South African culture across all ethnic groups. Sample local dishes such as boerewors (spiced sausage) and pap (maize porridge).

Accommodation: Kapama River Lodge or similar

Day 2: Kruger National Park

Depart early for Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves covering an area of 19,485 square kilometers. The park is home to an impressive diversity of wildlife, including the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo). Spend the day on game drives within the park, exploring different ecosystems and searching for wildlife. Kruger is home to 147 mammal species, 507 bird species, and 114 reptile species.

Visit one of the park’s cultural heritage sites, such as the Albasini Ruins. These ruins are the remains of a 19th-century trading post established by João Albasini, offering insights into the area’s colonial history and trade relations. Learn about the Tsonga people, one of the main ethnic groups in the Kruger area. The Tsonga have a rich cultural heritage, known for their intricate beadwork and vibrant traditional clothing. In the evening, participate in a traditional storytelling session around the campfire, learning about local folklore and the spiritual significance of various animals in African culture.

Accommodation: Skukuza Rest Camp or similar

Day 3: Kruger National Park – Johannesburg

Wake up early for a final morning game drive in Kruger National Park, focusing on areas known for high wildlife concentrations. After the game drive, visit the Skukuza Indigenous Nursery. This nursery propagates indigenous plants used in the park’s rehabilitation projects and offers insights into the local flora and its traditional uses.

Before departing, stop at one of the park’s craft markets, where local artisans sell traditional crafts. This provides an opportunity to support local communities and learn about traditional Tsonga and Shangaan craftwork. Transfer to Skukuza Airport for a flight back to Johannesburg (approximately 1 hour). Upon arrival in Johannesburg, time permitting, visit the Lesedi Cultural Village on the outskirts of the city. This living museum showcases the traditional cultures of several South African ethnic groups, including Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho, and Ndebele.

Transfer to O.R. Tambo International Airport for departure, concluding the safari.

Want to explore other options?

Additional trip ideas to kickstart your journey