Pafuri Camp (Kruger)

Northern Kruger lodge with swimming pool

In the far north of Kruger National Park between the Limpopo and Luvuvhu Rivers is the magical Pafuri Camp. The two great rivers embrace one of Africa’s most spectacular and diverse landscapes. With mountains and gorges in the west. Giving way to plains, pans, baobabs and extensive fever tree forests in the east. The land harbors an ever changing abundance of life. Including large seasonal concentrations of elephant, buffalo and other game. Predators and scavengers. Ranging from hyenas, crocodiles and leopards to servals, genets, civets, caracals. Amongst many others, also find shelter here. The diversity brings a profusion of birds, with numerous specials in what fundi’s regard as South Africa’s most rewarding birding destination.

Come and explore the area in open vehicles and on foot in the care of the expert and experienced guides.

Skip to Pafuri Camp Rates or Specials and Packages or Overnight walking safaris in Kruger National Park

Pafuri Camp has a bush bar, large swimming pool and al-fresco dining area. And there’s plenty of space to unwind beneath the towering Jackalberry canopy which shades the expansive decks. Besides early morning coffee or tea three delicious meals are served each day.

Funky bar in Kruger at Pafuri Camp
Bar with a view

Pafuri Camp Accommodation

The 19 x luxurious tented suites that stretch along the crocodile infested Luvuvhu river are linked by raised wooden walkways.

All have private viewing decks, and en-suite bathrooms (with indoor and outdoor showers). The huge beds with crisp linen are enveloped in a mosquito net with a fan inside. Offering guests absolute comfort.

Twelve of the en-suite tents are double with the option to make up as twins.

Pafuri Camp accommodation in Kruger National Park
Large tents

There are 7 x Family tents. The main bedroom is at the front of the tent. While an additional bedroom (with twin beds) is at the back of the tent connected by the bathroom area.

Kruger family safari
Family Tent second bedroom

Pafuri Camp Activities and Uniqueness

The 23,500 hectare Pafuri concession attracts an ever-changing tableau of wildlife. Rivers are home to pods of hippo, giant crocs, and abundant bird life. The valleys host the highest density of nyala and eland in Kruger. And, when the conditions are right, huge herds of elephant and buffalo.

Kruger wildlife
Nyala

But Pafuri Camp offers a lot more than a regular safari as you will see by the below list of activities.

More information on activities at Pafuri Camp

Game Drives

Morning safaris usually produce good general game in the form of nyala, impala, kudu, baboon, monkey, waterbuck, zebra, wildebeest, warthog. And, perhaps, giraffe, grey duiker, steenbok, klipspringer or bushbuck. Other species, seen regularly are Sharpe’s grysbok and yellow-spotted rock hyrax. These are much more difficult to find further south.

Pafuri is big predator country. Leopards are resident along the rivers and in the hills. You might encounter them on your excursions. Or hear their rasping calls at night. Great crocodiles bask on the banks of the Luvuvhu or move between the river and the seasonal pans. Sometimes they emerge at night to scavenge on land. Occasionally driving others off their feast.

But hyenas – the Makuleke totem animal – remain the true apex predators on land. At dusk, you might visit one of their dens. At night, you’ll almost certainly hear their eerie calls as they hunt and scavenge across the floodplains. Lions, cheetah and African wild dogs do roam in and out but the hyenas are ferocious guardians of their land. Here, the rivalry between the great African predators is as fierce today as it was a thousand years ago.

Night drives may yield leopard, hyena, bushpig, jackal, civet, genet, honey badger, African wild cat, porcupine, bushbaby and white-tailed mongoose.

South Africa safari
Leopard laying in tree

Birding

The spectacular variety of habitats and food sources found in the concession support a mesmerizing array of 450 species of birds. Making Pafuri concession the destination of choice for avid birders. Guests are regularly treated to sightings of rare species including the elusive Pels Fishing Owl, Racket-tailed Roller, Böhm’s and Mottled Spinetails, Lemon-breasted Canary and Arnot’s Chat. Other specials are Black-throated Wattle-Eye, Three-banded Courser, Southern Yellow White-eye, Meves’ Starling and Tropical Boubou.

Birding safari
Double banded Sand Grouse

Walking Safari

Pafuri is the premium bush walking destination in South Africa. If you wish to truly discover the astonishing biodiversity, exquisite landscapes and intriguing history that Pafuri has to offer, there is no better way to do it than on foot. Getting your feet on the ground offers you a chance to experience untamed Africa in close-up. You’ll focus on the little things but you might also explore ancient human settlements. Or experience the rush of adrenaline when you happen upon a great beast of the bush.

Pafuri also offers overnight walking safaris.

Kruger walking safari
Walking safari sundowners

Fever Tree Forest

The Pafuri concession is home to the most impressive stand of fever trees in South Africa. Its mass of pale yellow-green trunks and glowing color palette are hauntingly beautiful. Especially in the light of the late afternoon or early morning. Seeing a herd of eland or a giant elephant bull move through is an unforgettable sight. The forest’s cathedral-like ambience makes it the perfect backdrop for wedding ceremonies and sundowners.

Pafuri Camp safari
Elephant in Fever Tree Forest

Baobabs

Pafuri is a place of baobabs. These great icons of the African continent stud its hills and ridges. Some have been estimated at over a thousand years old. Your guides will tell you about the great array of wildlife they sustain. But also about their indigenous use as remedies, the ancient traditions and folklore.

Visit the Big Baobab and decide whether you dare clamber up its flank to a resting place between its vast branches. Or listen to stories about the baobab where a sangoma lived to dispense wisdom and care to the people. And then there is the one called Deku at the site of the old royal village. Learn about the legend of its naming and how it subsequently became a seat of governance. Where the chief and his headmen gathered next to its bulk to discuss the affairs of the day, declare the laws of the land and prosecute those who contravened them.

Kruger safari
Big Boababs and elephants

Lanner Gorge

One of the most spectacular sites is Lanner Gorge. This is where the Luvuvhu cuts a deep canyon through the sandstones offering an incredible viewpoint. From where you may be lucky enough to spot Verreaux’s eagles, falcons, cape clawless otters, hippos, dassies and crocodiles.

Pafuri Camp
Lanner Gorge

What may be less obvious than the view and abundance of life is that the deeper you look down into the gorge, the further you are looking back in time.

The cliffs tell the story of the past two hundred and fifty million years. At the base, rocks record the mass extinction of the Permian Age. The event that ushered in the age of dinosaurs. Here, the remains of primeval mammal-like reptiles are deposited. The upper layers record a dramatic climate shift as the land warmed and dried.

Ramsar Wetland

There are two major river valleys and more than 30 scattered pans in the Pafuri Triangle. These were listed as wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar convention on 22 May 2007. It was the first Ramsar site owned and co-managed by a community. Not only in South Africa but worldwide. Prominent features include riparian forests, floodplain grasslands, river channels and flood pans. Pans are depressions in the floodplains which are intermittently filled from floods and rains. They are of great importance as they hold water into the dry season. Supporting a high diversity of species and providing an important habitat for water-dependent frogs, fish and birds. They also act as a vital refuge for wildlife during the dry months and water birds during the summer rains.

Kruger birding safari
Ramsar Wetland

History

Pafuri has a rich human history stretching back through the Makuleke era. And an earlier precolonial trading past to hunter-gatherer and stone age settlements. There are several impressive archaeological sites. Including the spectacular Thulamela ruins. Where contemporary visitors can encounter the remnants of these early settlements. Hear stories about the stone age ancestors who roamed the game-rich lowlands between the great rivers for millennia. Perhaps find some of their handcrafted tools. Learn about the great trading civilization that thrived here for a thousand years. Linking Pafuri with the interior and, via the East African coast, to the world. You will also encounter the Makuleke people who lived here until 1969 when they were forcibly resettled by the apartheid regime. The remains of their settlements are scattered across the land. Today, they have returned as owners of the land and managers of this operation.

Overnight Walking Safaris

The Pafuri concession is perhaps the best area for walking safaris in Kruger National Park. Pafuri Camp operates 2 x walking camps: Hutwini Camp & Nkula Camp. These operate from 1st April to 31st October every year.

Walking safari tents

Each camp has 4 tents (maximum of 8 guests per camp).
Minimum 6 guests for exclusive use
Children 16+ years
These camps run on solar power. There are charging ports in each tent for cell phones and cameras.
The Pafuri Walking Trail’s rates include the expertise of a knowledgeable and professional guide who leads you from beginning to end. Combined with tailor-made services like logistics, amenities, and accommodation in the trails camp.
Walks are 5-10km long depending on fitness level of the guests

Walking Safari Itinerary

We recommend a 3-night walking safari . The below is an idea of what to expect on your Northern Kruger walking safari:

Day 1

You meet your guide at the Luvuvhu River Bridge. Following a safety briefing, you head out for a short afternoon walk. On return to camp, enjoy a hot shower, drinks, and an evening meal under the African stars.

Guests stay in a mobile tented camp. Each tent has either twin or king beds. Inside there are charging facilities and a clothes racks. En-suite bathroom with a flush toilet and wash basin. With direct access to a private outdoor hot bush shower.

Kruger overnight walking safari
Tent interior at walking safari camps
Pafuri Camp walking safari
Dusk at camp

Days 2 & 3

We depart early for a morning walk. Distance and duration may vary. But generally, we spend three to four hours following game paths before returning to camp for brunch. After a siesta, we head out on either a short afternoon walk or drive.

Walking safari in Kruger National Park
Crossing the Luvuvhu River

Day 4

After the customary early wake-up, we depart on a shorter morning walk. Arriving back at camp where you’ll enjoy a final hearty brunch before being transferred back to your vehicles.

Pafuri Walking Trail rates (per person sharing per night):

1st April to 31st October 2023: R4550
1st April to 31st October 2024: R5250

Minimum stay: 2 nights

Pafuri Walking Trail’s rates include:
Accommodation in mobile tents
All meals, select local beverages (house wines, local beers, soft drinks, waters, select spirits)
Morning and evening walking activities.

Pafuri Walking Trail’s rates exclude:
Community & Conservation Levy,
Premium beverages,
Road or air transfers,
SANParks entry fees,
Gratuities,
Laundry,
Wi Fi.

Pafuri Camp Accommodation Rates

Tented RoomPer person sharingSingle
1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024R 10 750R 16 050
1st April 2024 to 31st March 2025R 11 600R 17 350
Family TentPer person sharing3rd & 4th person:
3 – 12 years
3rd & 4th person:
13 – 17 years
1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024R 10 750R 5 350R 8 050
1st April 2024 to 31st March 2025R 11 600R 5 800R 8 700

Rates Include:
Accommodation,
All meals, drinks (select wines, local beers, soft drinks, waters & select spirits),
Morning and evening safari activities,
WiFi , and laundry.

Rates Exclude:
Community & Conservation Levy,
Premium beverages,
Road and/or air transfers,
SANParks entry fees,
Gratuities.

Child Policy

Pafuri Camp welcomes children of all ages staying in the Family Tents. However, for safety reasons, kids under the age of 6 are not permitted on game activities unless a private vehicle is booked for the game drive.

Children 2 years and under stay free of charge.
Children under 18 sharing a tent with one adult: Single rate for adult applies plus child rate per child.

Pafuri Camp Accommodation Special Offers

All Pafuri Camp special offers are valid until 31st March 2025.

Stay 3, pay 2.5

Experience an extraordinary getaway like never before with this offer for international guests.
Book 3 nights at Pafuri Tented Camp (only) and only pay for 2.5 nights.

Cape Town and Kruger Special Offer

Combine 3 nights at the prestigious Pafuri Camp in the Greater Kruger National Park and the 4 nights at Welgelegen House and get 1 night free in Cape Town!

Return Africa Honeymoon

Combine 4 nights at the Pafuri Collection in Kruger with 3 nights at Welgelegen House. Only applicable to a stay combining both properties and save 30%.
Valid within 1 year of marriage. Marriage certificate required upon booking

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