For a well-rounded wildlife trip, try a few nights’ spotting game in a South African reserve before seeking out the marine life around Oman. This unusual pairing allows you to embark on a variety of wildlife experiences as well as time on an exotic beach.
The private game reserve Sabi Sands sits adjacent to Kruger National Park, one of the largest game reserves in Africa. Across its grazing land and low-rise bush, you’ll find the hallowed Big Five. From Johannesburg, it’s a short light aircraft flight to Skukuza Aerodrome, followed by an hour’s drive. Private reserves may be pricier, but with far fewer jeeps and more experienced guides, a unique animal encounter is far more likely.
I suggest a three-night stay at Earth Lodge, a luxurious eco-lodge, for the optimum experience. The lodge looks like it’s straight from a luxe lifestyle magazine, with huge suites of contemporary furniture and artwork by a local-born sculptor. I dined alongside grazing elephant and soaked in my private plunge pool as an impala passed by.
Your stay includes twice-daily game drives, guided bush walks and night drives, all led by trackers who really know their stuff. During my stay we saw hyena scuffle, a leopard drag an impala off into the bush and a pride of lion dozing in the afternoon sun. One morning, my jeep driver switched off the engine, letting me sit and watch a group of rhino, listening to the squeaks of the babies and the bellowing adults.
The varying definitions of the Kruger can be confusing: the Kruger National Park is the bulk of the area, managed by South African National Parks (SANParks), while the Greater Kruger Park includes a significant swathe of land on the western flanks of the National Park comprised of private reserves but still given over … Read More