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Group lesson greater kruger south africa

Ranger Experience Safari

8 Days from £2,655pp (excluding international flights)

Experience life as a ranger guide

Experience life as a ranger guide in the heart of the Limpopo wilderness

Ever wanted to have the chance to see what it takes to be a professional guide or wildlife ranger? This trip gives you the opportunity to truly immerse yourself on the ground with a top professional guide. Spend your days gaining a keen understanding of every aspect of the environment, from listening to the bird calls in the early morning, to spotting the track of a lion on a guided bush walk, or just spending the evening enjoying the southern stars as you discuss conservation techniques.

This specially designed trip offers an unrivalled chance to get behind the scenes and to potentially find new areas of interest and passion within the wild, all while being looked after and instructed by a top guide and staying in beautiful accommodation, with game drives in an untouched wilderness of the Limpopo in South Africa.

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The itinerary…

Day 1: Camp Arrival

Xidulu Lodge Makalaki South Africa

Xidulu Lodge, Makalali

Arrive at Johannesburg before getting a short flight to Hoedspruit, where you will be picked up and transferred to your camp.

Arrive at camp and meet your guide for the week and settle in. Go for an early evening game drive to be introduced to the beautiful Makalali game reserve and the incredible ecosystem you will be spending your trip in.

After dinner at camp your guide will give you your first insight into living in the wild with a talk about safety in the bush and using and understanding nature’s signs for your wellbeing.

Day 2: Birds and Photography

Birding Lesson Greater Kruger South Africa

Birdings lessons

Today you will concentrate on learning about bird calls, bird identification and the nesting behaviours of different species. This will begin with a morning game drive looking at these aspects before returning to camp for breakfast.

In the afternoon your guide will teach you about wildlife photography and the key to getting those perfect shots during the “golden hour”. After this, enjoy a drink at the bird hide where you can test out your skills developed that morning.

Finish off the day with dinner cooked on an open fire.

Day 3: Tracking

Telemetry greater kruger south africa

Using telemetry to track a big cat

Time to get out on foot and get as close to nature as possible, as your guide will show you how to understand the signs of the bush. Learn to tell the difference between a lion and leopard track or start to recognise the calls of Africa’s built in alarm system.

Spend the middle of your day at your leisure around the pool after brunch, before the afternoon spent trying tracking the modern way; with GPS and a Telemetry machine. Your guide will show you how to track and locate animals with these instruments as you gain an understanding into the work of conservation specialists.

The day ends with sundowners over a waterhole followed by a traditional South African braai.

Day 4: The full walking experience

Tracking with guide South Africa

Guide teaching guests tracking

Today you will get the opportunity to see what goes into keeping you safe when out for a walk with a lesson on the rifle, its safety and the infamous lion charge tests used by professional guides across Southern Africa.

After a light brunch and a relaxed late morning the afternoon will see you out for a guided bush walk where you will focus on the smaller side of bush life; the insects and reptiles.

Enjoy a sundowner overlooking a waterhole before a discussion about modern conservation and the challenges facing wildlife in Africa.

Day 5: A night under the stars

Tree study greater kruger south africa

Understanding the uses of different trees

The morning bush walk will explore the local trees and their uses and benefits for the local people. Return back to enjoy brunch and relax by the pool before the afternoon’s excitement.

In the afternoon you will get the chance to put what you’ve learnt so far together as you walk to a sleepout location, concentrating on your understanding of nature as you feel the evening arrive. You will then set up camp and prepare for the evening.

A night under the stars follows, you have the opportunity to truly appreciate the African night sky, as your guide teaches you about the southern sky constellations and the traditional local Shangann beliefs and stories about them.

Day 6: Explore your interests

Studying new tracks greater kruger South Africa

Exploring new tracks

Having watched the sun rise with a fresh brew, pack up camp and enjoy the guided walk back to a warm brunch waiting back at camp for you.

Refresh and relax for the remainder of the morning before spending an afternoon tailored to your interests and the activities you and your group would like to try. Maybe you’ve found a new passion you want to explore further from the earlier teachings or have always wanted to try something, today is the chance.

End the day with a sundowner at the bird hide and enjoy a traditionally prepared meal by the local team members.

Day 7: Conservation

Camera Trap setting up greater kruger south africa

Setting up camera traps

Take part in a reserve conservation project as you see experience the behind the scenes work that goes into protecting and looking after a game reserve like this.

The day continues with your ability to learn about your interests or just enjoy a final evening game drive before sundowners. Pre-dinner have the chance to go through your favourite experiences, photos and memories from the trip before a final dunner under the stars.

Day 8: Departure Day

Walking with giraffe greater kruger south africa

Walking close up with giraffe

Enjoy one final session with your guide on conservation Ethics before breakfast. After, its time to say goodbye to your guide and the fabulous team at camp before you transfer to Hoedspruit for your short flight to Johannesburg.

Upon arrival, transfer to the International departures to board your flight to home, having truly immersed yourself, and become more attuned to the natural world and the work that goes into looking after the world’s last wildlife havens.

Duration: 7 nights

Location: South Africa, Africa

Price: £2665pp

This wonderful hands on safari will have you appreciating nature and the people that work with it day to day in a different light, as well as teaching you new skills and opening you up to discovering new passions.

Per person price is based on two people sharing as part of a group tour staying at the mid-range accommodation, Mahlahla Game Lodge, excluding international flights and includes:

  • All meals at the camp in Makalali for the 7 nights
  • All transfers, private guides and experiences as mentioned
  • Activities and gear mentioned
  • Flights from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit

The trip excludes:

  • International flights to/from South Africa
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Further add on of a specific conservation project, enquire for more details

We also have luxury offering to join a group trip, with prices from £6,620 per person, based on two people sharing, staying at Xidulu Lodge, excluding international flights. This offering includes soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.

Alternatively, get in contact with the Far & Wild Travel team to explore the further option of a completely bespoke and private trip for you and your group, with a minimum of a four night stay, or to enquire about specific conservation projects that can be added on to any trip, such as rhino dehorning or giraffe relocation depending on the needs of the local reserve management plan.

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When to go to South Africa

Find out the best time to visit South Africa with our month by month guide.

  • Best
  • Good
  • Mixed
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec


January is the perfect time to visit the Cape, whether you want to lounge on a beach or soak up culture in the Winelands on a Garden Route trip.

It's wet season for safari, with sunny periods interspersed with heavy tropical rainstorms. It is the end of the birthing season in the Kruger bringing high numbers of impala, wildebeest and more causing hunting frenzies among the predators.



The hottest month of the year in Cape Town, February is the ideal month to enjoy a glass of wine and culinary delights in the Winelands or to visit the sandy beaches and witness beautiful views along the Garden Route with few other tourists.

Avoid safari, weather is humid with considerable rainfall.



March is still hot and dry across South Africa with Cape Town receiving less rainfall than the rest of the country. It is a fantastic time for wildlife photographers visiting the Kruger National Park region, with clear skies, low humidity, less dust and vegetation at its most lush it makes for vivid photographs.

Both the Winelands and Garden Route are fantastic at this time of year.



April is a quieter month in comparison to March, the weather is warm and dry throughout the country making it a prime time to combine different regions. The lower temperatures mean it is a perfect time to hike up Table Mountain, explore culture at Robben Island or visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

In the Kruger it is rutting season, with males at their most impressive, meaning visitors can see some spectacular fighting.



Peak summer crowds have died down, making it a good time to visit if you're not looking for hot weather. Days are warm and dry, with chilly evenings.



In June the wet season arrives, with almost all days experiencing some rain. The Kruger region enjoys exceptional game viewing, thinning vegetation means wildlife stays close to sources of water, meaning it is easier to track game.



July is prime whale watching season along the coast of the Western Cape, with the best sightings from Hermanus and Plettenberg Bay when they come closer to shore to give birth. During this time the Cape is at the peak of the wet season with cool and drizzly weather.

The Kruger National Park enjoys exceptional game viewing with comfortable temperatures and drying rainfall.



August is the time when beautiful wildflowers start to bloom across the Western and Northern Cape, particularly in the Namaqua region. It is also the start of the dry season, with colder temperatures passing and daytime temperatures rising significantly.

Both whale watching and game viewing is good in August.



September is great for wildlife viewing, with game giving birth in the bush and whales frequently spotted along the coast. It is a good month to combine regions and see the best of South Africa.



October is one of the best months to combine regions, with temperatures heating up across the country it is a temperate time to travel.



November brings the rains to the Kruger and Kwazulu Natal, its not all bad because the afternoon thunderstorms can be phenomenal.

The Cape sees the last of the whale watching season.



December is a busy month for travel in South Africa. Summer is in full swing in Cape Town, if you don't mind crowds then there is no better time to explore. Meanwhile in the Kruger, there is an abundance of young animals with glory and flame lilies in full bloom making for spectacular photography opportunities.

  • Top Tip - the festive season in South Africa fills up quickly, so trips and excursions need to be booked in advance.

A detailed itinerary tailor-made just for you.

Speak to a South Africa expert to start planning your adventure.



South Africa Specialist

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