The Makuleke Concession
Situated between the Limpopo and the Luvuvhu Rivers in the northern sector of Kruger National Park is the Pafuri region, an area spanning 24,000 hectares (59305 acres). Within the Pafuri area is the Makuleke Concession, the ancestral home of the Makuleke people and the most diverse and scenically attractive area in all of Kruger National Park.
The Makuleke concession is not accessible to the ordinary tourist visiting the park. This area belongs to the Makuleke community. This is quite a historical event for South Africa as the Makuleke people were removed from this area in 1968 and after a lengthy process it was finally re-instated to the community in 1998 after a very long struggle. This area is certainly the wildest and most remote part of the Kruger National Park and offers varied vegetation, great wildlife viewing, the best birding in all of the Kruger National Park and is filled with folklore of the early explorers and ancient civilizations.
Selati Game Reserve
Our Selati Camp is situated on the banks of the Selati River in the 33 000 hectare (81545 acres) Selati Game Reserve to the west of the Kruger National Park. Selati Game Reserve is a large undeveloped reserve with diverse topography and biodiversity. We are very fortunate to traverse over this vast area of wilderness during our courses. In the east there are large granite koppies (hills), where Black eagles and Klipspringers can be found. The dominant vegetation types are Combretum and Mopane woodland. This habitat is well suited to the large elephant and giraffe population found there. The reserve is dissected by the Selati River which dries up in winter into large rocky pools of water. These pools are good places to view concentrations of birds and animals such as Nyala and Rhino. There is a lot of space to conduct walks and get a true sense of wilderness. Special species occurring here include Sable Antelope and Eland. We are also able to visit the Sable breeding programme run by the management of the reserve.
Karongwe Game Reserve
Karongwe Camp is on the banks of the Karongwe River (mostly a dry river bed) in the 9 000 hectare (22 239 acre) Karongwe Game Reserve, which is to the south-west of the Kruger National Park. Through Karongwe Game Reserve flow three rivers which are tributaries of the Olifants River, carving their way through the bedrock and dividing the reserve. The vegetation of the reserve falls within the Savannah Biome of southern Africa with distinct vegetation zones being represented – mixed Lowveld and Mopane bushveld along with grass savannah, riverine vegetation and rocky outcrops.
Karongwe has the following habitats: undulating hills and valleys and broad-leafed woodland. We are allowed traversing over most of the reserve, except for one small section in the northern part of the reserve. This is not a restriction at all as it’s quite a small section of the reserve.
Mashatu Game Reserve
Our Mashatu Camp is located in the land of Giants in the Tuli reserve of Botswana bordering South Africa. Tuli forms a key part of the proposed Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty with majestic rocks, diverse vegetation, abundant wildlife, a profusion of birds and a rich archaeological heritage and spans over 25 000 hectares.
The Northern Tuli Game Reserve, on the confluence of the Limpopo and the Shashe rivers, in the easternmost corner of Botswana, is the collective name for several privately-owned game reserves including the Mashatu, Ntani and Tuli Game Reserves, covering all the land north of the Limpopo River.
Rukinga Sanctuary, Tsavo, Kenya
The Tsavo ecosystem is an area of 43,000 km2 and is one of the largest and most important wildlife refuges in Africa. The core of this area is formed by Tsavo East and West National Parks, which together occupy approximately 21,000 km2, and the Mkomazi Game Reserve which occupies about 5,000 km2 in Tanzania. The vast area adjoining the southern arms of Tsavo East and West comprises privately owned plots of land that are mainly utilised for livestock grazing or limited agriculture. The exception to this is Rukinga Sanctuary, an 80,000 acre area of land that is managed by Wildlife Works for the benefit of wildlife. Camp Tsavo is situated in the centre of Rukinga Sanctuary and is where our training is conducted from. The camp is set out like a traditional Africa, with tented and hutted accommodation nestled in the Commiphora woodland.
This ecosystem is home to a large diversity of flora and fauna, many species of which are classified by IUCN (the World Conservation Union) as vulnerable, threatened or endangered, and boasts a large variety of predators, including lions. Rukinga Sanctuary forms part of a vital wildlife corridor (Tsavo Kasigau Wildlife corridor, TKWD) across the ‘Taru desert’ for a population of almost one thousand elephants and hundreds of buffalo that migrate seasonally between the Parks in search of water, temporarily giving Rukinga one of the largest populations of elephants on private land in Kenya.
Lewa Conservancy, Kenya
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a private reserve in north-east Kenya near Mount Kenya National Park, Samburu and the Aberdares. The number of visitors to Lewa has been greatly restricted, giving you the opportunity to experience Africa at its wildest. Lewa is malaria-free and is situated at 4,500 to 6,500 feet (1,400-2,000 metres) above sea level.
The Lewa Downs within the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a 16,000 hectare ranch that has been the home of the Craig family since 1924. They manage the Lewa Safari Camp and Wilderness Trails lodge. In addition, Ngwesi Lodge, as part of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, is a community run tourism project that has won world acclaim.
Only three other operators on Lewa Wildlife Conservancy offer safaris and only the lodge visitors may enter the reserve. So, when you visit Lewa Conservancy, you will be far from the crowded safari trails and can enjoy the vastness of this beautiful region in tranquillity.
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