Unfolding over more than two million hectares – roughly the same size as Wales – the Kruger National Park is a vast conservation area that is home to myriad species of flora and fauna, as well as dozens of camps and lodges.
The Park is 360km long from north to south; a distance that would take at least eight hours to drive, non-stop. Situated at its northernmost corner, on the border with Zimbabwe and Mozambique, is the Makuleke private concession; an area of extraordinary beauty and diversity. It is here, at the top of a rocky ridge overlooking towering baobabs and lush, riverine forests, that you will find The Outpost.
The remote location of the lodge is one of its greatest assets; set in an area that is not only celebrated for its biodiversity – there are more plant and animal species here than anywhere else in the Kruger – its spectacular landscapes and its astonishing birdlife, but for its tranquillity.
The Outpost is one of only two commercial properties operating in the 26,500-hectare unfenced concession, which is privately owned by the Makuleke community and accessible only to guests of the lodges. The extremely low vehicle density combined with the incredible wilderness experience is a huge part of the attraction of this part of the Kruger, and one of the reasons our guests come here to escape.
Sitting off the beaten path in the best possible way, The Outpost offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life, or indeed the busier parts of the Kruger further south. Travelling by road, it takes 6-7 hours from Johannesburg until you are enjoying your welcome cocktail at the lodge, while an air transfer from the same origin point to the Pafuri air strip (which is in the Makuleke concession) is less than 90 minutes.
By way of comparison, driving from Johannesburg to Newington or Shaw’s Gate in the Sabi Sand is approximately 6 hours, plus driving time to any of the lodges themselves. A similar drive to the main gates into the Manyeleti or Timbavati Game Reserves is also 6-7 hours, before travelling onward to your chosen lodge.
The cost of road and air transfers is also a consideration, as recent unavoidable increases in the cost of fuel have unfortunately had a knock-on effect for all forms of travel. While the cost of charter flights between Johannesburg and Pafuri is not insignificant, and admittedly more than flights to properties in the south of the Park, we have made an effort to design rates and packages that take these costs into account and offer excellent value overall.
Its remote location in a private concession is a key element of The Outpost’s appeal – the tranquillity and exclusivity of the experience is what calls people to the northernmost part of the Kruger.
It takes the same amount of time to drive from Johannesburg to the front door of The Outpost as it does to the closest access gates of the Sabi Sand. The same is true of Manyeleti and Timbavati – and that excludes making your way to your lodge of choice once inside those reserves.
While transfer costs are relatively high, these are offset against extremely reasonable accommodation rates which over excellent overall value, especially compared with equivalent properties in the Sabi Sand.
You are welcome to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for comparative accommodation and transfer figures for similar properties in the Greater Kruger National Park, should you wish to understand the product landscape in more detail.