I thought long and hard about writing this review as I kind of want to keep Pafuri to myself, but realised that was a bit selfish and they deserve to get some recognition for this place. Having been to Kruger several times, we finally decided to venture 'up north', which we hadn't done before as many guides say that there is less wildlife to see. On the drive there we saw a hyenah carrying a buffalo leg in its mouth, a male cheetah marking out his territory along the road and a pair of hunting lions! The road was completely empty so we had all of these amazing sightings all to ourselves. Once in the far north of the park we saw an incredible variety of antelope, including the elusive Tsesebee, and a pair of cheetah cubs waiting for their hunter mother to return. On entering Pafuri camp we scattered a troop of banded mongoose and when we walked into the reception area there was an elephant with his trunk over the guest walkway eating from one of the trees. So, all of that put paid to the concerns about 'no wildlife'! On arrival at reception, we were greeted by our first names and instantly made to feel incredibly welcome. Having stayed at other luxury lodges in the park, one of the things we don't like is the overly fussy and mollycoddling that tends to be part of the experience. Pafuri was refreshingly different, in that it is luxurious but credits its guests with common sense and isn't overly pretentious - for example being told that if you encounter big cats on the walkways, don't run but remember to take pictures if you're close enough! Other lodges we've stayed at insist on escorting you everywhere and treating you like children, so this more grown up style was perfect for us. The 'tents' are beautifully furnished and very comfortable, with super snuggly bedding and extra blankets, which were most welcome as it was winter when we were there and very cold at night. You have both indoor and outdoor showers and the bathrooms are very well equipped. The tents are very well spaced apart so you get a great degree of privacy and are not overlooked by anyone, each with its own deck overlooking the river, where we sat and watched countless animals and birds drinking and going about their ordinary business. Antelopes come so close to the deck that you can practically reach out and touch them - in fact we had a female bushbuck and her tiny fawn nestling under our outdoor shower. There are no fences or wires in the camp, which is incredibly liberating and means that you really feel part of the environment and also means that you tend to be more alert and aware of what's going on around you. The food was great and the whole team at Pafuri were fantastic - open and friendly with great service, without being fawning or invasive. Our guide was terrific and although we didn't see much in the way of animals on the morning drives, the actual drive itself and the routes he took were spectacular and took in some of the best scenery in Kruger - including the beautifully eerie fever tree forests and the crocodile-infested Limpopo river. We only stayed for two nights and regretted not having booked for longer. Having been to Kruger four times, we thought that this would probably be our last trip as we felt we'd pretty much seen everything we wanted, but we will go back purely to re-visit the northern area and stay at Pafuri again as it is very different to the southern parts of the park - beautifully unspoilt and very quiet. If you like five star luxury that means everything is done for you and you don't have to think for yourselves, don't stay here - Pafuri is strictly for grown ups who enjoy being immersed in the wild and uncensored environment. We loved it and will definitely be back...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Pafuri Camp lies along a bend of the Luvuvhu River shaded by enormous jackal berry and nyala berry trees. Its 20 tents are en-suite under thatch with indoor and outdoor showers. The main area, with its large decks, open-sided lounge and dining rooms and swimming pool, is perfect for relaxing and watching the wildlife drawn to the Luvuvhu to drink. The colourful fabrics reflect the culture of the Makuleke community with whom Wilderness Adventures has partnered at Pafuri. The camp and its walkways are raised off the ground, allowing wildlife to move undisturbed to and from the river. The Makuleke Concession is explored through a variety of activities, ranging from game drives in open vehicles to walks and trails and ideally complements the scenery, experience and game viewing offered in central and southern Kruger.Pafuri Walking Trail.This Trails Exploration is the ideal way to experience thespectacular, private Makuleke Concession of the northern KrugerNational Park. It is perhaps the best area for walking in the entire Park and is blessed not only with exceptional biodiversity butalso spectacular scenery, seasonally high densities of many large mammal species, a feeling of wilderness and remoteness, and asense of history.Using one campsite as a base, each day is spent in different parts of the 24 000-hectare concession, walking along the pathways made over the years by its animal inhabitants and following their tracks.Features. Undoubtedly the most remote and wild walking experience in South Africa, with a huge diversity of habitat, wildlife and birdlife. Experienced, knowledgeable and passionate guide walks with the guests throughout. Private access to the concession with no impact of vehicles. On-foot tracking experiences, big game viewing and outstanding birding. An exclusive and remote camp location. Access into the legendary Lanner Gorge basin and the mystic Limpopo fever tree forest.The season operates from 01 April 2014 to 31 October 2014, withdepartures every Monday and Friday. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Pafuri Camp Hotel Kruger National Park