Luxury Tented Safari Camp
South-western Kruger National Park
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MUTLUMUVI Trail Area
Discover nature’s hidden wonders in specially tailored walking trails through a 12,000ha private wilderness concession in the south-west of the park just north of Skukuza. The concession shares a 15km unfenced boundary with the famous Sabi Sand reserve and a rich abundance of wildlife moves freely between the two reserves. The area is noted as an excellent game viewing area and good sightings can be expected. Two distinct Kruger Park landscape types are found on this wonderful walking concession (see the bottom of this page for detailed descriptions).
The concession also has exclusive use of some of the Kruger National Park’s public roads for evening game drives, well after gate closing times (sunset), ensuring guests an unforgettable experience. Highly qualified guides share their wealth of bush knowledge with you – from the identification of animals, trees, grasses, insects and birds to the medicinal uses of plants, folklore and basic tracking and survival skills.
Any combination of multi-day walks, game drives or primitive sleep-outs on raised wooden platforms can be arranged. Accommodation is provided at a romantic luxury tented camp and some guests may also choose to spend a few nights at the luxury safari lodge. The concession is a stone’s throw from Skukuza, the heart of the Kruger Park, and is easily accessible by road or air.
The tented camp has four luxury African explorer-style tents overlooking the spectacular Timbitene plain and waterhole. The camp is built in authentic pioneer tradition and is raised on wooden decks. Stylishly decorated, the 8-bed camp offers the tranquillity of a 19th century naturalist’s retreat. An Africana book collection and antique treasures are reminiscent of a golden era.
In keeping with the ethic of “tread lightly on the land”, no trees were cut down in the construction of this camp. No concrete was used – all structures are canvas and wood. This camp was specifically designed for low energy consumption and makes use of generators for its power needs.
The tented camp is the ideal base for your walking safari, being situated in the middle of a 12,000ha private wilderness concession, where it seems the rest of the world no longer exists, and guests are ensured of superb game sightings.
A typical day on the Mutlumuvi Trail begins with a mug of steaming coffee or tea and traditional homemade rusks, after which guests set out on their morning walk, following rhino tracks and elephant paths. The length of the walks depends on the interest and fitness of the guests. Returning to camp, enjoy a leisurely brunch and relax in the cool of the acacia trees, keeping an eye on the waterhole for the breeding herd of elephant that frequently come to drink. Following high tea, set out again in the late afternoon for a walking safari or game drive and then indulge in a sunset cocktail.
Guests wanting to enjoy a unique experience will be able walk out to our “Sleep Outs” on elevated wooden platforms (weather permitting). This is the only place in the Kruger National Park offering this unusual accommodation. Guests will leave the tented camp in the late afternoon and arrive at the platforms in the early evening carrying a lightweight rucksack containing a change of clothes and refreshments. After hanging up mosquito nets, fly sheets (only if necessary) and preparing beds (yes, we do encourage our guests to be included in every aspect of this unique interactive experience of the bush!) before sundowners can be enjoyed on the platforms which overlook a waterhole.
While dinner is being prepared for our guests on an open fire, they will enjoy heightened senses tuned to nocturnal sounds of the wilderness, while being safely guarded by our observant guides. The throaty rumble of an elephant passing quietly by or the roar of the lion at the nearby waterhole, are the only noises that might disturb guests in this peaceful wilderness. The following morning, guests will enjoy a light snack after which they will depart back to the camp for a hearty brunch.
Sleep Out Notes
There is no extra cost to tented camp guests for for Sleep Out’s, but these are highly dependent on weather conditions. PLEASE be aware that should the weather be unfavourable on the day of the Sleep Out (heavy rain) or if there has been heavy rain in the days preceding the Sleep Out, you may have to remain in camp (due to the platforms being inaccessible). We strive to keep guests together during their trail, without the inconvenience of different guests arriving and departing throughout their stay. With this in mind, if the first guests to reserve their trail at the tented camp request the Sleep Out, then all subsequent reservations will be required to participate. Should all guests not wish to participate in the Sleep Outs there will be no Sleep Out for the duration of the trail.
Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate children under the age of 12 years at the tented camp, sleep-outs or on walking safaris. Children under 12 are welcome at the main lodge, but must be 6 or older to go on game drives, unless there is a spare vehicle available, or a private vehicle booked by prior arrangement. One child under 12 years can be accommodated in a room sharing with two adults at the main lodge only at 50% of the tariff. Adults or children over 12 sharing with two adults will be charged 75% of the rate.
Access to the Kruger National Park is easy by road or air. The Skukuza Airport is only a 20-minute drive from the camp and direct flights from Johannesburg to Skukuza land three times a day. The Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) at Nelspruit has daily flights from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.
VAT, SA Tourism Bed Levy, all accommodation, meals, cold drinks, house wine, beers, teas/coffees and all safari activities (walking safaris and game drives).
KNP entrance fees (R66 per person per day for self-drives and R91 per person for fly-ins), spirit liquor, champagne and non-house wines.
- Payment: full pre-payment is required 30 days before arrival, along with written confirmation.
- Cancellations: 10% of the full tariff if more than 30 days prior to arrival; 50% of the full tariff if less than 30 days prior to arrival; 100% of the full tariff of less than 7 days prior to arrival.
- Written confirmation (e-mail or fax) of is required for cancellations.
- Guests will be required to sign an indemnity form on arrival at the lodge.
- Please ensure that you have adequate travel insurance.
- Only cash or credit cards are accepted at the lodge – strictly no debit cards!
Landscapes of the Kruger National Park found on the MUTLUMUVI Trail
The Mutlumuvi Trail is home to 2 of the park’s 35 landscapes as described by WPD Gertenbach in his Landscapes of the Kruger National Park (1983):
- KNP Landscape Type No. 5 (Mixed Bushwillow/Silver ClusterleafWoodland).
This landscape is undulating with distinct uplands, ecotones and bottomlands, with an altitude ranging between 350 and 500 meters asl. It has an interesting and most unique centenary sequence of soils that correspond strongly with position in the topography. The upland soils are sandy with between 6 and 15 percent clay. Where the convex topography changes into a concave topography conditions of temporary water saturation prevail and gleyed sandy soils are present (Cartref and Fernwood). Over a period of time an accumulation of clay has taken place in the bottomlands, causing the soil to become clayey.
This is an area with dense bush savanna vegetation on the uplands, open tree savanna in the bottomlands and with dense riverine vegetation on the banks of spruits and rivers. The vegetation on the deep sandy soils of the uplands consist of a Terminalia sericea/Combretum Zeyheri/Combretum apiculatum community, with a dense low and high shrub layer and few or no trees. On the ecotone or seepline where the convex topography changes to a concave topography, a dense fringe of Terminalia sericea trees occur. The bottomlands of this landscape are open tree savanna with a dense grass cover if not overgrazed.
Time has shown this landscape to be ideal habitat for sable antelope, while kudu and giraffe are well represented. Zebra occur in smaller groups but wildebeest are restricted to dolerite intrusions or brackish soils with sparse grass cover. Elephant and buffalo are commonly found and impala are limited to the spruits where water is available. Small game such as steenbok and duiker are dispersed throughout the landscape. Warthogs are plentiful in the brackish bottomlands where surface water is available. Carnivores such as lion and leopard are regularly found.
- KNP Landscape Type No. 4 (Thickets of the Sabie and Crocodile Rivers).
As the name indicates this landscape consists of the low-lying areas (200 – 350 meters) along the two rivers and is underlain by archian granite and gneiss intersected by dolerite intrusions. The topography is concave to relatively flat but is intersected by numerous spruits that flow into the two rivers and a few granite koppies occur in the landscape. The climate of this low-lying landscape shows greater extremes than the adjacent landscapes. As far as temperature is concerned a great variation between day and night-time temperatures is experienced. The average daily maximum temperature is above 31 degrees C for the months of November to March, while sporadic frost occurs in the winter in the bottomlands. The soils in this landscape are normally shallow and where it is deeper it is usually saturated with sodium, having developed mainly as a result of the accumulation of clay and mineral elements in the low lying areas.
This landscape is characterized by a dense woody vegetation which can basically be referred to as an Acacia nigrescens/Combretum apiculatum association. The soils of the uplands are shallow and stony and dense stands of Combretum apiculatum/Acacia nigrescens are present. On the brackish soils in the bottomlands Combretum apiculatum is less common and the lower shrub layer less dense. Sometimes large bare patches occur with only single Acacia grandicornuta trees. Dominant woody species are Acacia grandicornuta and Acacia nigrescens. The field layer of this variation is once again sparse and for the most part in an over-utilised condition. Even under very favourable conditions no good, stable grass cover develops. As a result of overgrazing, fires occur less frequently in this landscape and thus the reason why it is usually densely overgrown with woody species. Some of the woody species that occur on the koppies in the landscape, strangely enough often concur with vegetation expected on brackish soils. The soil is more clayey where dolerite intrusions occur and Acacia nigrescens is the dominant woody species. The banks of the Sabie and Crocodile rivers in the landscape are densely overgrown with woody species.
This landscape accommodates what is probably the largest impala population in the whole of the KNP. Other common game species present are kudu, duiker, steenbok, bushbuck and giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis). During 1974 a number of red duiker (Cephalophus natalensis) were released in the dense riparian vegetation, and in 1981 a number of nyala (Tragelaphus angasii) from Natal were also released here. Elephant are frequently found in this landscape – especially during the dry winter months. Lion (Panthera leo), leopard (Panthera pardus), wild dog and spotted hyena are the most important predators, especially the former two species which are relatively abundant here. Buffalo bulls are sometimes present in the reeds of the river beds, but breeding herds tend visit this landscape en route to water. Hippo (Hippopotamus amphibious) are plentiful in the rivers and contribute largely towards keeping the grass short.
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