Our 3 Day Kruger Treehouse Safari Experience – Day 1

Our Kruger safari from Johannesburg – Transfer to Kruger

A Kruger Park Safari is always an exciting prospect and this an account of our experience on this 3 day wild life Safari. We were a group of 7 (2 from USA, 2 from UK and 2 from Australia and 1 from RSA)

Departure to Kruger Park from Johannesburg on Easter Monday (6 April 2015)

The Kruger shuttle fetched us around 09H30 and we started the rather long drive towards greater Kruger. After signing the required indemnity forms most of the guests just nodded off as there nothing much interesting during the first 2 hours or so of driving. We are informed that we will stop for lunch in the village of Dullstroom. About an hour before our arrival the driver passes a menu around so we can all select our orders which is then phoned through to the restaurant. This way the food will be ready when we arrive which will save valuable time.

Arrival at Dullstroom for lunch break

After about 2.5 hours of driving we arrive at the interesting town of Dullstroom at around noon. This town is little a hub and there is quite a bit of activity as many travelers en-route to Kruger or Johannesburg pass through here. So there is not much dull about this town. Apparently its name is derived from the towns founder who had the Dull surname. We will have lunch at the popular MayFly restaurant.

mayfly-restaurant-dullstroom                                               safari-group-lunch

Apart from the welcome break, lunch provides a nice opportunity for members of our group to get to know each other better. Quite a cosmopolitan group we were.  Everyone enjoyed their lunch and supplements and soon it is time to continue towards Kruger.

Scenery en route to Kruger Park from Dullstroom

Now from Dullstroom on the scenery gets a bit more exciting and interesting as we approach the Drakensberg.

  scenery en route to Kruger Park                             Landscape and scenery en route to Kruger
Olifants river in Limpopo provincescenery en route to Kruger

  We make a stop at a small African Market. This market is here because there is a pretty and a scenic viewpoint and travelers stop here to take some photos. Travelers will then hopefully buy some of the African crafts from the locals. The locals are very keen, even desperate to sell their goods.

 Waterfall en route to Kruger                                                                                            African woman selling crafts                            African crafts market

From here we proceed with the last leg of our long journey. Our final pit-stop will be in or close to the quaint town of Hoedspruit. Here we have an opportunity to do some last minute shopping before we arrive at Tremisana Lodge in Balule section of Kruger Park.

 Approaching Hoedspruit                         Pistop en route to Kruger

 Tremisana Lodge in Balule Reserve Greater Kruger Park

After some 6 hours of travelling we finally arrive at the gate of the Balule reserve. This reserve is like a suburb of Kruger and is located on the border of Kruger main.

Balule Gate                       Gard at Balule Gate
Approaching Tremisana LodgeTremisana Lodge Balule Reserve Kruger Park

  Tremisana is a nice cosy lodge that can accommodate about 30+ guests. The chalets are clean and comfortabe, nothing more nothing less. We are very happy to have arrived and that the long drive is over. Our hostess (Kimberly) welcomes us with a some glasses of juice. It is a nice enough welcome. We are each given our room keys and we have about an hour to settle in before the sunset game drive. I remembered to apply some mosquito repellent and to deploy the mosquito net over my bed, not that i have come across any of those nasty little buggers yet. We have to close windows and lock doors as we leave the chalet as there are quite a few naughty monkeys around who would find your possessions quite interesting. Monkeys at Tremisana Lodge   We all meet at the departure area ready for our sunset game drive.

Sunset Game Drive in Balule Game Reserve

Well our real safari has officially started as we get into the open land cruiser (Jeep) for our first game drive of this safari.  We drive away at around 17H30. The weather is mild and comfortable but it is a good idea to take a jacket along for the evening game drive. landcruiser-kruger-park game-drive-balule bird-in-balule-kruger bushveld-balule-kruger bushveld-tremisana-lodge landruiser-4x4-course                                           At places the drive is a bit like a 4×4 course but its all part of the fun and excitements. We did not see too many animals on this leg but we did come across some impala impala-balule-kruger We end our first leg of this drive at a nearby dam where we have the opportunity for stretch our legs and take in the bushveld sunset. Dam in Balule Reserve Sunset Balule Game Reserve               As the darkness rolls in we head off into the sunset on our way to the open air braai (barbecue) – a big South African tradition where meat and complements are prepared over the coals of a wood fire Braai at Tremisana boma Dinner is around candle lit tables and it makes for a nice, cosy and romantic atmosphere – this bush braai under African skies. After dinner we head home and this part of the journey is also the last leg of our evening game drive. During this drive the guide uses spotlights to locate nocturnal animals and we did see a few of them but the highlight came soon after we left the dinner boma. This came in the form of a group of elephants crossing the road ahead of our vehicle. It was a bit dark for effective photos with my small camera but we could see the elephants well enough. This little highlight certainly ended our evening game drive on a positive and excited note. After a long day its time for bed and i believe everyone slept like a baby that night. Mosquito netting over bed Tremisana Lodge   And that concludes day 1 of our 3 day Kruger Park Safari. It was a long day but an interesting and worthwhile one. Next:  Day 2 of our 3 day Kruger Park Lodge Treehouse Safari