You may or may not agree with us Hello Joburgers, but we believe the only way to have a true, African safari experience is to go camping. We’re not talking about setting up tents in the rain, and eating baked beans straight from the can… we do camping in style, and with a lot of help from Tented Adventures.
Is there anything better than waking up to the sounds of birds and cicadas, snug in your bed, with the untamed African bush just a step outside your door? Well, maybe not a door… more like the flap of a raised canvas tent, fitted with twin beds and luxurious linen, ample lighting, fans, carpeted floors and even electric blankets should the nights get a little chilly. This is Tented Adventures, and it will change your life.
Haven’t heard of them? Then you sure are missing out! Tented Adventures makes your entire camping experience easy, incredible comfortable and completely unforgettable. There are two camps to choose from; one in the Manyane Resort, Pilanesberg National Park and another in the Pretoriuskop Rest Camp, Kruger National Park. We packed up our troubles and headed to the Pilanesberg camp for three days of well-deserved rest and relaxation.
A short drive (2.5 to 3 hours) from Johannesburg lies a haven of nature, a masterpiece of beauty… the bush. We were welcomed with huge smiles from Shaun Coetzee, our super friendly and all-knowing camp master. It’s Shaun and his all-man team of Thomas, Thabang and Obakeng (aka Benny), who run the entire camp – which consists of eight safari tents, capable of housing two people at a time. These tents are within walking distance of communal bathrooms, neighboring campgrounds and the Tented Adventures tented communal lounge and dining area. Here is where all your adventures begin…
Waking up at 5am has never been easier, especially when you’ve been promised a 3-hour game drive while watching the sun rise. Head to the dining tent and meet up with your fellow campers (who will undoubtedly become life-long friends), grab a cup of coffee and follow your camp master to the pick-up spot. By 5.30am, you’ve headed through the Pilanesberg National Park gates and into a landscape you’ll never forget.
On our very first morning, we spotted no less than eleven lions fighting over territory and lounging in the road, an entire breeding herd of elephants closely followed by their adorable babies, tons of wildebeest, impala, kudu, zebra and giraffe – to name a few. We’re not kidding Hello Joburgers, we could have reached out and touched those Ellies… we didn’t! But we totally could have.
You’ll return to camp for a delicious, full buffet breakfast. Think pancakes and French toast, cereals and sausages and an abundance of fresh fruit. Then, the day is yours to do as you please. Grab a book, park off on the stoep outside your tent, and watch the monkeys play tag as the warthogs’ snuffle through the grass. Take a guided walk, indulge in a spa treatment or head into the nearest town and soak in cultural museums and historical sites. Did we mention that the famous Sun City is only a short drive away?
You’ll find it difficult to leave the sanctuary of camp. Everything you need is right here! At 5pm, you’ll be rounded up for another game drive, and your experienced guides have eagle-eye vision, so don’t worry about missing anything as night falls.
Three hours later, you’re back at camp, watching the campfire roar as Shaun and his team cook up a 3-course traditional SA meal. If the weather permits, you’ll eat (and sip some seriously delicious vino) under a blanket of stars, and share stories amongst your fellow travelers – many of whom are foreign and experiencing an authentic African safari for the first time.
It’s here where the most memories are made; sharing a glass of wine and a few laughs while toasting marshmallows over the fire, as the bush comes alive around you. Just a tip from personal experience – try not to indulge too much, as you’ve got another 5am excursion before you head home!
Hello Joburgers, we cannot recommend this experience enough! You’ll return feeling completely relaxed, utterly fulfilled and head over heels in love with nature.
Dinner, bed and breakfast from – R1095 per person, per night
Dinner, bed and breakfast and two games drives from – R1755 per person, per night
Tented Adventures in the Kruger National Park, Pretoriuskop
Dinner, bed and breakfast from – R1375 per person, per night
Dinner, bed and breakfast and two game drives and daily conservation fees from – R2695 per person, per night
A: Tented Adventures in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, Manyane
T: 076 146 1468
Hello Joburg was first published in April 1980 as a monthly restaurant and entertainment magazine. Over the years we have developed a network of patriotic Joburgers that love nothing more than sharing their experiences in this beautiful city!