Limpopo Lodge Walking Trail - Makuleke Concession

This Trail looks to combine the experience of being able to walk in what is arguably one of the last true wilderness areas left in Southern Africa while at the same time being able to enjoy all the comforts that a luxury five star lodge can offer

Operated by: Shangani Trails
Add to my   • Product ID: 50249
  • Duration: 4 Days
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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There are many nature lovers who will never have the opportunity to be able to go backpacking and hiking in a pristine Big 5 wilderness area in the Kruger National Park!! It is also not often that we get to spend quality time in the bush with experienced Trails Guides, learning from them and sharing their infectious passion for the bush and the wilderness spirit. 

With this in mind, Shangani Trails is offering a Trail that will provide just such an opportunity by spending up to 5 nights/6 days exploring one of South Africa’s magnificent wilderness areas, the Makuleke Concession in Northern Kruger National Park, on foot 

The group meet up at Pafuri Camp in the Northern part of Kruger National Park.
  • Walks are conducted either from the lodge itself or we take a vehicle to a specified area, park and walk from there.
  • Morning walks usually last around four hours depending on sightings and temperatures while those in the afternoon tend to be of around two hours duration.
  • Depending on the Group, afternoon walks could be replaced with a Game drive with only short walks into pans (waterholes) or down to river banks.
  • There are no set dates of departure nor duration for the trails, these are determined by the guests, as to when they want to arrive, how long they want to stay and when they would prefer to depart.
  • Afternoon activities are always followed by the traditional sundowner evening drinks to watch the sun set over the horizon followed by a night drive back to the lodge looking for the nocturnal life of the Concession.
  • A maximum of eight people per walking group with singles, couples and smaller groups being most welcome.
  • All Trails Guides will be armed for safety purposes with a second guide being added for group sizes between five and eight people. Guests are requested to wear neutral coloured clothing, browns, khaki, greens etc while good, closed walking shoes are recommended.


  • Encounter the Big Five on foot
  • Get a unique life changing life experience in the wilderness
  • Extensive range of large and small mammals
  • Healthy population of feline predators
  • Incredible views over the Luvuvhu River valley
  • Luxury  accommodation with views over the Luvuvhu River valley


The Trail 

Each trail is led by experienced Trails Guides with the days revolving around the wilderness concept leaving minimal trace and impact on the environment. Participants will become totally immersed in this wilderness area, without any modern electronic devices, where time will be measured only by the rising and setting sun! 

Days will be spent walking in game-rich areas where any of the Big 5 could be encountered at any time while interpretation of tracks and sign, birds and their often frustrating calls will be identified and discussed. 

In the evenings, eco-friendly camps will be set up and water collected with each participant then having the opportunity to reflect on the day and life in general as they keep watch around the small fire while others sleep. 

The Lodge 

Located on the side of a sandstone ridge, the 12 Luxury Guest rooms have incredible views over the Luvuvhu River valley with guests often enjoying good sightings of elephant and buffalo coming down to water in the shallow waters of the river. Guests are able to enjoy the spacious luxury rooms with little to disturb the tranquility apart from the haunting cries of the Jackals and Hyenas in the early evenings. 
An early morning wake-up call and a light breakfast precede the departure for the morning walk as the sun creeps over the horizon. On return to the Lodge, guests can enjoy a typical sumptuous English breakfast then have time to themselves, perhaps to enjoy a relaxing massage, sit by the pool with a long drink or retire for a quiet siesta. Later a light high tea is served to quell any hunger pains, which is then closely followed by the afternoon activity. 
Returning from the afternoon walk and night drive, Guests are able to freshen up, then enjoy pre-dinner drinks around the bar socializing with other guests and their guides while also making their selection of wine from the Lodge's very well stocked Cellar. A sumptuous three course Dinner is served invariably around the pool lit by lamp and firelight. 
We look forward to you joining us on the Limpopo Trail in the Makuleke Concession. 

The Venue 

The 24000-hectare Makuleke Concession is in the far north-eastern and most remote part of the Kruger National Park, where the three borders of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique meet. 

The Concession’s limited road structure lends itself well to the wilderness back packing concept, allowing us to traverse secluded areas that are well known for their amazing degrees of bio-diversity. Sandstone and basalt ridges blend easily with the Limpopo and Luvuvhu River floodplains which reveal some of the largest Riverine and famous Fever Tree forests in South Africa. 

Clay and sandy soils also support large areas of broadleaf and acacia woodland while many active natural springs and extensive seasonal pan systems provide sustenance to large populations of Plains Game and, of course, The Big Five. This bio-diversity also allows for the Makuleke to have become known as one of Southern Africa’s most sought after birding destinations with over four hundred species of resident and migrant bird species having been identified, including rarities such as the Pels Fishing Owl and Racket Tail Roller  

Trail Duration: 

The Trail is usually scheduled for 5 nights, 6 days but this can be shortened to a minimum of 3 nights/ 4 days to suit your time schedule. 

All Trailists will be encouraged to participate in: 

Planning, setting up and cleaning up of camp sites 

Night watch 

Planning for and collection of water replenishment 

Trailing/tracking of Game where appropriate 

Minimum Requirements: 

  • Love of nature 
  • A wilderness spirit 
  • Spirit of adventure 
  • Adequate fitness and ability to carry your backpack long periods. 

Important information

Operated by: Shangani Trails

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