An eleven day safari that combines two very different game reserves and habitat types. The first being Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve in the magnificent Lydenburg mountains, know as the high veld. And the second is a stay at the exclusive Thorny Bush Game Reserve, Greater Kruger National Park, also known as the low veld.
Your safari starts and ends at Black Leopard Camp where you have access to the exclusive 15,000 acre Thaba Tholo wilderness reserve. Accompanied by our game rangers, you will be able to enjoy game drives, or bush walks, as well as learn more about the African bush. You will then transfer to the exclusive Thorny Bush game reserve, famed for its exceptional game viewing and a favoured location for movie stars and the rich and famous, providing a lovely sedate bush atmosphere, with personal and friendly service.
Pick up at Johannesburg Airport (O R Tambo International) and transfer to Black Leopard Camp near Lydenburg. Your own luxury tented camp, with stylish lavishly appointed bedrooms each with inside and outside private bathrooms. We should arrive in time for a dip in the pool overlooking the mountain gorge, before afternoon tea and time to rest and recuperate. The evening meal will be taken in the tree top dining room after which you can relax by an open fire in the well-appointed lapa.
You are woken with an invigorating cup of coffee before setting off on a morning game drive and bush walk that also includes our unique bush senses experience. This is an activity that we have developed over many years and has proven to be very popular with our safari guests. In a fun way it encourages you to use all of your senses when in the bush. Not just sight, but also smell, hearing and touch. Some of our senses are dulled by modern living but this simple and fun exercise quickly hones ones bush senses, ideal preparation for any safari.
Brunch is followed by time to relax and enjoy the views from Black Leopard Camp or perhaps take a soak in your luxurious, private outside bath with mountain gorge views. When the heat of the day has faded a little, you join our rangers learning to track leopards and other predators within the Thaba Tholo Reserve, where the Ingwe Leopard team are monitoring the resident leopard population.
Morning game drive or bush walk before brunch, game viewing within the reserve. In the late afternoon you have the chance to try your hand at camera trapping. You’ll be given a camera a trap to put at a place of your choosing on the reserve. Over the next seven days your camera will photograph any animal that walks by and triggers the moon sensor day or night. We’ll see what animal pics you captured at the end of your safari. This is the point when you can put all you have learnt so far into action. Guided by our rangers you are able to consider and select places along game trails that you feel are likely spots to photograph the local leopards as they roam during the forthcoming nights. Leopard movement and territorial behaviour changes almost on a daily basis and is dependent on many factors, making this a fascinating and fun exercise and rightfully invites you to feel and become part of the Ingwe team. Return to camp for drinks and dinner.
Breakfast and then a morning game drive through the reserve and then After brunch you will transfer to the near by Thorny Bush Game Reserve, famed for its exceptional game viewing and a favoured location for movie stars and the rich and famous. Providing a lovely sedate bush atmosphere, with personal and friendly service. You will have plenty of time to settle in and relax before afternoon high tea and game drive. Again returning to your lodge for dinner.
Early morning wake-up and an invigorating cup of fresh coffee. You will then set off on an early morning game drive. We hope to check out scenes from the previous evenings events; however, each safari offers a new exciting experience. The early morning game drive will return to the lodge for breakfast. You will have plenty of time for a well-deserved rest during the heat of the day, where there will be time to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the African bush. The afternoon game drive will cover previously unseen areas of the reserve, again returning after dark in time for dinner.
Thorny Bush Game Reserve is over 30,000 acres with a huge diversity of wildlife. We have structured this package to offer plenty of time to explore the reserve and discover as much as possible during your game drives.
Your days in the Thorny Bush Game Reserve start with an early morning game drive, returning to you lodge in time for a late breakfast/brunch. After which guests may have the option of taking an accompanied big five bush walk. An opportunity to trail in the Thorny Bush game reserve is an experience that will never be forgotten. The trail will return for a well-deserved rest during the heat of the day, where there will be time to relax and enjoying watching animals passing by. The afternoon game drive will start after high tea and will cover previously unseen areas of the reserve, followed by dinner often taken around the fire in an outside boma.
On your last morning in ThornyBush your game drive aims to pay a last visit to your favourite spots, offering an opportunity to get those final photographs. Time permitting we will take the chance to take a short bush walk from the vehicle, before returning to the lodge for a late breakfast. Then transfer back to Black Leopard Camp via the Panorama Route (time permitting), followed by time to relax and unwind at Black Leopard Camp before dinner.
Late morning bush walk or game drive within the Thaba Tholo Reserve. We can also visit the ancient rock art sites within the reserve, which are thought to have been made by the San people over two thousand years ago. By now we hope that you will have had a chance to photograph and observe many large mammals and birds, this game drive aims to fill in any gaps as well as concentrating on smaller mammals and other wildlife or flora and fauna. Brunch followed by early afternoon relaxation and a last night game drive to watch the sun set over the magnificent mountain scene.
Late breakfast and time to enjoy the morning in this wonderful setting before leaving for the airport. On our way back through the reserve we’ll recover your camera traps and download your images and review. All photographs will be added to the Ingwe Leopard Research data base and form part of our research data as well as being available for you to copy and take home.
Afternoon transfer to Johannesburg airport.
All transfers, game drives, meals, teas and coffees at each lodge included.
Tips and gratuities, and alcohol is not included.
The Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve has been identified as being an area that includes grass lands of special scientific and historical interest. The reserve has reluctantly introduced a management policy that includes an occasional and limited annual cull of some antelope species. This policy has been approved by the provincial authorities and has been deemed necessary to protect this unique environment due to a current abnormal high population of some antelope species.