Plains Camp @ Rhino Walking Safaris
Luxury Tented Walking Trails Camp in a Private Concession in The Kruger National Park
Private Concession in the Kruger National Park.
Plains Camp @ Rhino Walking Safaris is located on the Mutlumuvi concession in the Kruger National Park, half an hour’s safari game drive from Skukuza Airport. The concession consists of 12 000 hectares of wilderness area just inside the un-fenced western boundary that separates the Kruger from the Mala Mala and Sabi Sand Game reserves.
While approximately 2 million travellers per year visit the Kruger National Park, very few have the opportunity of experiencing wilderness areas that are not open to the general public let alone have the privilege of doing so on foot. The Plains Camp expert guides take massive pleasure in sharing this extraordinary honour with nature lovers and adventurers alike. The bush walks are all accompanied by two highly qualified and armed rangers who understand animal behaviour and territorial boundaries and will share their wealth of bush knowledge with you – from the animals, trees, grasses, insects and birds you might see to the medicinal uses of plants, basic tracking and survival skills.
Between walks, which take place early in the morning and late in the afternoon, take pleasure in the solitude of a hidden camp. The camp is built from canvas and wood with beautiful antiques and silverware giving it the elegance of a bygone era. It overlooks the Timbetene Plain where plains game roams freely, and elephants are seen daily. This positioning allows guests to enjoy unhindered views of animals grazing and interacting without being noticed.
Rhino Walking Safaris operates from Plains Tented Camp which only caters for a maximum of eight people (no children under 12), so you are ensured of a quality, pristine wilderness away from the crowds! There are 4 luxury, more than comfortably furnished African explorer-style tents with en-suite bathrooms (hot water)that offer all the necessary comforts whilst avoiding unnecessary luxury - all linen is 100% cotton percale, there are gorgeous down duvets and furnishings of a very high quality, including numerous antiques and a variety of guest amenities are provided.
Built in authentic pioneer tradition, it creates the ambience of a 19th century naturalist’s retreat - take in an Africana book collection and antique treasures reminiscent of a golden bygone era. The lodge’s tents and public areas are raised on wooden decks – the tents are constructed purely from canvas and wood, with no trees having been chopped down in keeping with operating company Isibindi Africa’s ethic of “treading lightly on the land”. This camp is specifically designed for low energy consumption and makes use of a generator and a back-up battery system, which power overhead fans and 24 hour lighting (also used to re-charge camera batteries). The communal area includes a lounge and dining area with an outside fireplace for cold evenings and small plunge pool – perfect for chilling those sore muscles after a long walk!
A typical day at Plains Camp begins with a mug of steaming coffee (or tea) and traditional homemade rusks, after which you set out on your morning walk - following rhino tracks and elephant paths! Trails are structured by the rangers taking into consideration the fitness levels of the group (usually 3-4 hours in length) and avoid the heat of midday. After a delicious brunch, afternoons are spent enjoying and relaxing in the cool of the acacia trees, keeping an eye on the waterhole where a stream of animals coming to drink will keep you enthralled. After the heat of the middle of the day is passed, you will set out again in the late afternoon to explore again on foot or take a game drive. Dining is an elegant affair in keeping with the nostalgic ambiance with your table set with crisp linen and silver - food is all homecooked, fresh and delicious!
There are different ‘layers’ to experiencing the bush. The first and most commonly done is to go out on game drives looking for bigger animals and changing landscapes. The second, for serious bush-lovers and connoisseurs – or those looking for a closer to nature experience – is that of seeing everything from the ground. Walking, taking in the sights, sounds and scents of nature – even tasting wild fruits, and learning about the little things sometimes missed while on a drive; not to mention experiencing the thrill of seeing the big game on foot. With a four-hour morning walk and shorter late afternoon walk combined with a brief game drive, there is plenty of opportunities to get the most out of this experience.
- Transfer from Rhino Post Safari Lodge to Plains Camp at 14h00 on day of arrival
Transfer from Plains Camp to Rhino Post Safari Lodge at approximately 11h00 on day of departure
Early morning tea/coffee and a light snack before the morning walk
Morning walk including juice, water and snacks
Brunch on return from the morning activity at approximately 10h00
High Tea at 15h30 – substantial sweet and savoury dishes, plus tea, coffee, water or juice
Afternoon walk and evening game drive including a bottle of water, sundowner drink (beer, wine by the glass, sherry or a soft drink) and sundowner snacks
Dinner (served at approximately 20h30)
Coffee and Tea after dinner
Talking of different experiences, another stunning option (at extra cost) is to spend an unforgettable night out under the stars at the concession’s Sleep-Out camp - sleeping outdoors, under the stars on elevated wooden platforms 4 metres high. You will arrive on foot and after hanging up your mosquito net and preparing your bed on the platforms which overlook a waterhole, you can relax and enjoy the sunset. As the night settles you can appreciate the sounds and other senses of the African bush, whilst sipping a refreshing sundowner, while your guide prepares a braai on an open blazing fire. Then it is time to retire to your individual platform where you may be serenaded to sleep by the whooping of a hyena or the roar of a distant (or perhaps not so distant!) lion!