This authentic South African Safari experience commences with a stay in the home of your hosts, Mike, and Jacky where you will enjoy pukka home style cooking in a relaxed homely atmosphere. Start your first morning on the farm with a brisk 20-minute walk with the farm dogs or quiet relaxation in the Farmhouse gardens, followed breakfast before boarding the minibus for a 4-hour journey; with comfort stops, arriving at your Safari camp in time for lunch. Wild Olive Tree Camp is a wholly community owned and managed camp with accommodation in comfortable, en suite Safari Tents.
At 15h00 board an open Safari vehicle with Mpho, your highly experienced and local resident guide and head “into Africa” for your first Safari experience. Spend the afternoon with Mpho seeking out the iconic African creatures that call the Manyeleti their home. Sundowner drinks and snacks will be enjoyed while soaking up the vastness and peace that is the African bush before making your way back to camp for fireside drinks and an African style dinner.
From here on in, the “order of the day” will be an authentic Old World African Safari Experience!
Up with the birds before sunrise, eager for the adventure of searching for the myriad of creatures that inhabit the Greater Kruger National Park. This experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity with the very real possibility of encountering “The Big 5 “in their natural environment. Your hosts will afford you genuine South African warmth, delicious meals and ensure that you have the best wildlife experience possible.
Travel from Cape Town to Johannesburg (OR Tambo International Airport) where you will be met by your hosts and driven to the Homestay farm. En route you will have a lunch stop at the Alzu game breeding farm, where you will get your first sightings of wildlife.
Spend the afternoon on the farm, with, weather permitting, an open truck ride through the game farm with the possibilities of seeing Zebra, Black Wildebeest and Giraffe. Back at the Farmhouse settle into your rooms – most will be shared as this is an actual home.
Freshen up for a sit-down dinner served with South African wines in the comfort of a 1940’s era Farmhouse space.
06h30/ 7h00 am start with either relaxation in the Farmhouse Garden or a brisk 20-minute walk with the farm dogs followed by a substantial breakfast at 07h30. Board the minibus at 08h30 to drive for just under 4 hours (with comfort stops) to the Safari camp in the Greater Kruger National Park.
Arrive at the Wild Olive Tree Tented Safari Community camp in time for lunch. Settle in to your shared, (2 per tent) en suite tented accommodation before boarding the open Safari vehicle for your first African Safari experience out on the open plains of Africa.
Arrive back at camp in the early evening for fireside drinks and a typically South African 3 course dinner while listening out for the roar of lions or the call of hyena.
5AM start with coffee, and rusks. All aboard the open Safari vehicles by 05h30 sharp heading into the deep Manyeleti Reserve to enjoy a 3-hour enthralling African Safari encounter. Stop en route, in the bush, for coffee and biscuits. Return to the camp for a fresh brunch of sliced fruit, cheese and cold cuts followed by a hot plated breakfast.
The warm mid hours of the day are spent doing the camp walking trail, relaxing at the swimming pool or simply resting in your tent. Internet connectivity is limited so it’s best not to plan important work over these few days. Mid-afternoon will be teatime (beverage and a light snack) before boarding the open Safari vehicles again for late afternoon into the evening game encounters. This time of day promises excellent viewing with possible experiences with all the species that Africa is famous for.
After sundowner drinks in the bush, return to camp to freshen up and once again enjoy the fireside dining that Africa is known for.
5AM rise to get out on the last open Safari trip of the experience. Enjoy the soft light and freshness that is early morning in Africa. Keep your eyes peeled for beautiful birds while continuing the quest for the Big 5 viewing that only Manyeleti has been known to deliver. Return to the camp for another sumptuous brunch after which you, sadly, gear up to leave for the airport of departure back to Cape Town with incredible memories of an authentic African Safari experience etched in your mind.
Fly back to Cape Town from Hoedspruit Airport (called Eastgate Airport)
Ground Transportation - Round Trip - Meet & greet at OR Tambo Airport (JNB) by your Safari Host Jacky. Transfer via minivan to Homestay farm in Waterval Onder. Return transfer via minivan to Hoedspruit Airport (Eastgate Airport)
Food - all meals while at camp and the farmhouse (brunch, teas & dinner), snacks and waters during road trips.
Entrance/ conservation fees into the Greater Kruger Manyeleti Park.
Homestay experience: shared accommodation with outdoor experience, welcome drinks and a hearty homestyle dinner.
Shared en suite tented accommodation for 2 nights in Authentic Safari Tents with en suite camp shower bathrooms.
Four Open Vehicle Safari activities within the Greater Kruger region known as the Manyeleti with the very real possibility of viewing Elephants, Cape Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, Impala, Zebra, Giraffe and rarer possibilities of Cheetah and Wild Dog.
A Highly experienced personal Safari Guide.
What's Not Included
Food - Lunches en route to and from the Airport
Drinks - All drinks at the safari camp - drinks paid before departure - cash required
Tips for Safari Guide and Safari camp service staff - R 1000.00 per guest- cash required
Air Transportation- Flights into OR Tambo and out of Hoedspruit Airport (Eastgate Airport)
Flight Booking Information
Flights are not included in this package. It is essential to book flights early as the number of flights and seats are limited and get much more expensive the later, they are booked. Please investigate flight options BEFORE booking this package. We will not refund if you are not able to find a flight booking.
Arrival: Book a one-way flight to arrive to OR Tambo (JNB) no later than 10AM. Please do not book flights to Lanseria Airport in Johannesburg.
Departure: Book a one way flight departing from Hoedspruit (Eastgate Airport) to Cape Town at 1:40pm, there is only one airline flying this route: SA Airlink.
Things You Should Know
Manyeleti is on the periphery of malaria areas. The hosts do not take malaria prophylaxis, but you may do so for your own peace of mind. It is not required.
Accommodation is shared on this trip. The accommodation is large authentically safari type 2 guest tents with “camp style” en suite bathrooms adjoining each tent.
The safari camp is a “Green” camp and is powered with solar - Internet connectivity and electrical power points are limited. There are no power points in the tent rooms.
Things you'll need to bring:
• Comfortable walking shoes
• Comfortable easy fitting clothing – Days are hot, and evenings cool down
• Warm jacket and beanie for evening and dawn game drives.
• Sunscreen, swimming costume and towel & sun hat, sunglasses
• Water flask/bottle
• Camera - game and African landscape photographs
• Cash for drinks and staff tips
Mike and Jacky have been hosting Remote Year Safari trips for several years and love sharing their home, African bush knowledge and are focused on the authenticity of the African Safari experience they host.
Minimum to Operate
Deadline To Book
21 days prior to the start of the experience
Frequently Asked Questions
The entire experience was spectacular! Our hosts, Jacky and Mike (aka Babes), took care of everything with humor and patience. You are really are out in the middle of nowhere and need someone who knows how to navigate in the bush. They do a spectacular job! The first night is spent in Jacky and Mike's farmhouse where we got an amazing meal, many solid gin and tonics and listened to the monkeys in the trees. Then it's off to the Kruger to see the animals. We were not disappointed! But it was just a warm up to the next two days in a open Jeep in the Manyeleti Game Reserve. We got up close and personal with a lot of animals including 33 lions! Our guide, Mpho, was amazing in his ability to find the animals. The nights were spent at the Wild Olive bush camp. We started the evening around a file with drinks followed by dinner under the stars. The food was incredible and the staff fantastic. This is a one-in-a-lifetime experience - do it!
I was not planning on doing a safari and I am SO GLAD I decided to. Jacky and Mike were so fun and welcoming. They did an amazing job organizing this trip. And the guide they set us up with, MPho, was ridiculous! His tracking abilities and knowledge was above and beyond and he made sure to make it special for us. Honestly, I would 100% do it again, and also I want Jacky to be my bestie.
This was an epic experience. Jacky and Mike, were amazing hosts. The night in their home they provided lovely accommodations, the best homecooked meal, and hospitality beyond expected. After we left there and drove thru Kruger we saw wildlife throughout and they shared their vast knowledge of what we saw. Then we arrived to our next camp, quaint tent cabins with everything you need, great food and service.
But the safari’s with the safari guide were epic; we saw 3 dens of lions 33 total, herds if elephants, many giraffes, a leopard, and so many others. Our guide was very knowledgable and was determined to find as many sightings as possible.
I can’t say enough, highly recommend this experience.
Like many things involving RY, this isn't the cheapest activity and you could theoretically do it cheaper on your own. With that said, this was still a fantastic experience, and Jackie and Mike really made the whole trip.
Jackie and Mike really do welcome you as part of their family - you'll get delicious home cooked meals, plenty of drinks and snacks, and lots of real talk. Mike took us on a drive through the farm where we spotted giraffes, zebras, and impalas amongst gorgeous mountains and valleys. Jackie chaperoned us to the safari, ensuring we had plenty of roadtrip snacks, played fun tunes to make the time pass, and supplied us with bug spray and scarves to protect us from bugs when we forgot ours.
Distinctly Africa was also a wonderful experience. Leon (the owner) is a real character, and you can tell he's passionate about what he does. If you're interested in stargazing, Leon is an expert so be sure to ask him for info. Our guide & tracker, Mpho and Reply were wonderful - they found us all 5 of the Big 5, plus we saw wild dogs (a rarity!). Accommodations are basic, but better than you'd expect for the middle of the bush (actual beds, AC in your rooms, and full plumbing). We got super close to the wild life on game drives and were able to get tons of incredible photos.
Polaris did a slightly varied version of this trip, which I'd strongly recommend RY offer as the standard option moving forward. Rather than driving the 10 (?) hours from safari camp back to Jo-burg, we drove only 1.5 hours and flew out of Hoedspruit. Our flights were a bit more expensive, but this allowed us an extra full game drive and saved us a long, brutal travel day, arriving back in CPT around 4:30pm. We also flew into nelspruit airport, though given that Jackie and Mike's house was backtracking from there you could probably still fly into Jo-burg and be fine.
This was my big RY purchase/excursion and it was TOTALLY worth it!! Jacky and Mike are amazing hosts and by the end, we all felt like family. The first night at their house was very chill and Jacky cooked an amazing meal for the group. Once at the park and the game reserve, we saw over 40 different animals over the four days and each one was AMAZING! The accommodations were great and the food was spectacular! Our group truly bonded over our shared experience and we couldn't stop talking about it when we got back. The trip was a lot of sitting in a car but it was a necessary evil for all the amazing sights. I would have loved to swim in the pool at the game reserve where we stayed but it wasn't clean so we had to pass. Overall, unforgettable experience that I highly recommend for everyone visiting South Africa!