South Africa is the most popular country for a wilderness safari to enjoy savanna tours through fantastic protected areas. Here you can see the famous African wildlife, including imposing African elephants, lions, giraffes, and rhino. We have selected 5 of the top savanna tours in South Africa, including tours from explorer camps to get a feel for a traditional African safari and very comfortable wildlife tours from luxury lodges. The following tours begin from Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and Cape Town.
Jock Explorer Camp
Giving you the experience of a savanna safari similar to Africa’s first adventurers, Jock Explorer Camp has been carefully designed to recreate the accommodation of early explorers with the same style beds, canvas washing basins, lanterns etc in order to transport guests back in time.
The explorer camp is designed around a two day educational and adventurous walking safari with expert wildlife guides. Enjoy walking the park to see different wildlife and relax around the campfire in the evening enjoying delicious bush meals. Hear about Percy Fitzpatrick and the foundation of Kruger itself. To start the safari, you can travel independently or you can arrange transportation from Johannesburg with the camp.
Offering a safari not to be missed, the camp provides a fantastic unfenced experience in true explorer style with the animals of Kruger allowed to wander in and out of our campsite. Tents are placed far enough apart for privacy but close enough together for safety. The camp operates during the cooler months with the first safari in April and the last safari at the end of October.
Kruger National Park itself is one of the largest protected areas in Africa containing an incredible diversity and number of animals and plants. Kruger then contains more species of large mammals than any African protected area, including different endangered species, such as African wild dogs.
Jock Safari Lodge
One of the favorite safari lodges in Kruger, Jock Safari Lodge sits in the famed Kruger National Park and provides exclusive access to around 6,000 hectares of the protected area. Overlooking Kruger to offer fantastic views of wildlife straight from your accommodation, Jock Safari Lodge is composed of 12 individually thatched rooms connecting you with this astounding environment
From the safari lodge, enjoy game drives and nature walks to enjoy seeing the incredible animals of Kruger, such as elephants, rhino, giraffes, hippo, buffalo, wildebeest, and lions. You can also take advantage of the spa and relax after your safari with a massage or choose from a menu of different treatments to unwind in this incredible environment.
Offering a luxurious lodge within the Kruger National Park, enjoy romantic netted beds to protect against mosquitoes, twin basin bathrooms, an outdoor shower, bathroom, your own lounge area, plus your own balcony overlooking the park and riverbed.
The lodge then offers a larger lounge, bar, restaurant, dining deck, and a swimming pool styled to blend with the surrounding scenery. Animals you’re likely to see while relaxing at the lodge include different monkeys, a variety of birds, and some larger wildlife like the occasional rhino.
All members of the Big 5 can be found in Kruger National Park, such as lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards, and rhino. In addition, the park supports a very high number of zebra, wildebeest, hippopotamus, kudu, hyena, a small number of cheetah, and a number of others.
Sanbona Explorer Camp
To experience the famous San environment, you can enjoy a visit to the Sanbona Explorer Camp nestled in the Sanbona Reserve. Designed as a two night experience, enjoy exploring the Sanbona habitat during the day to find different animals, learn about the culture, and enjoy the environment then retire to the campsite and fire for great evening meals.
Operating over the summer months, the first Sanbona Explorer Camp safari is in October with the last safari at the end of April. All departures then begin on Friday each week. Because of the nature of the safari, unfortunately people under 16 or older than 60 cannot participate in this particular tour. However, exceptions are provided if you can provide a medical certificate.
From the Sanbona Explorer Camp, head out with your highly trained guide to explore the environment on wildlife walks, which last around 4 hours each. Sometimes we will depart directly from the camp to head out on walks and other times we will use a game vehicle to reach the a trail where we will begin our walking tour.
In true explorer camp style, the Sanbona Explorer Camp is unfenced allowing wildlife to cross through the campsite at all times. The tents are spaced far enough apart to allow privacy but close enough together for safety.
The Sanbona Wildlife Reserve itself protects all members of the Big 5, which are the lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros, plus a great many others. This was once farmland and has been restored in honor of the San people who have lived here for centuries. Animals once eradicated from the land have been reintroduced as part of the reserve’s strong conservation and restoration initiatives.
Bayethe is a luxury tented lodge in the fantastic Shamwari Reserve accessed from Cape Town. The focus of this experience is to offer an incredible safari while leaving you feeling fresh and revitalized.
Giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself in tranquility surrounded by lush vegetation, not only offering a great safari from the luxury Bayethe Tented Lodge you can enjoy fantastic views of the African bush.
The lodge is composed of 12 detached tents, which sleep a maximum of two adults. There are then two different room types to choose from including three superior tents and nine luxury tents.
From the lodge, head out on a morning and evening game drives each day to spot a great many birds and some of the Big 5 from the comfort of the vehicle. The guides share their passion for nature while finding the animals and talk a little about this incredible environment.
You can also visit the spa and choose from a menu of treatments for a massage after your day out on safari. Some of the therapies available include massages, body scrubs, healing facials, and manicures.
The Shamwari Reserve itself is a private game reserve covering around 25,000 hectares of malaria free environment home to award-winning nature experiences. Enjoy safaris to see many different famous African animals, such as lions, giraffes, rhinos, and elephants.
Shamwari Explorer Camp
You can also enjoy the Shamwari Explorer Camp for a more connected experience with nature. Offered in South Africa’s summer months, enjoy a walking safari with your expert guide to get up close and personal with nature. The Shamwari Explorer Camp safari is designed over a 2 night tour departing on Fridays, but you can add on an extra night if you like.
We believe in going back to basics to maximize your experience. But with that said, the tents we use have been luxuriously equipped to give you a very comfortable camping experience in the African bush. The camp includes comfortable beds and bedding, a light for night time use, ensuite bathroom facilities, outdoor hand washed basins, and insect repellent.
Differing from the first two camps on the list, because of the location and to provide the experience for those a little nervous of an unfenced campsite, this explorer camp is discreetly fenced for safety but still retains the ambiance of a true explorer camp.
After your safaris, return to the campfire with exquisite silverware for some great food. You will then be served tea or coffee to help you wake up first thing in the morning. In addition to great meals, we provide a portable bar with crystal glassware to enjoy the traditional gin and tonic on the viewing deck.