Price vs Quality of Experience
It is vital that you compare the price that you will pay at Bateleur Main Camp with the very high quality of overall safari experience that you will have with us, instead of comparing it with the hotel-like accommodation and other frills offered by many other game lodges. At Bateleur Main Camp you will have quality, spacious accommodation with unpretentious comfort. You will have all the comforts that you need for a quality bush experience. But most importantly, you will have direct access to all the incredible unique benefits that Bateleur offers as listed below. This is what is really important for a quality African safari that you will do once a year at most, maybe only once in a lifetime, and we are confident that our prices reflect this quality of overall experience. If you’re looking for his and hers bathrooms, white robes and a butler for every room then read no further. But if it’s a real, high quality African safari experience that you want with all the comforts that you will need, then read on…
Exclusivity during guided activities
Many Greater Kruger game lodges have relatively small properties and they share traverse with several neighbouring commercial lodges. This often leads to crowded wildlife sightings and the often-present sounds and lights of the many open safari vehicles during game drives. This is also one of the reasons that many game lodges’ bush walks are primarily conducted mid-morning after brunch – there just isn’t enough room to walk any distance during normal game drive times without encountering vehicles and that would just spoil the experience for both the walkers and those on the open safari vehicle. At Bateleur you will have the benefit of a 10 000 hectare traverse which includes several neighbouring properties should your stay fall at one of those inexplicable times where the wildlife all seems to have migrated elsewhere. But due to very limiting agreements with the neighbours, vehicle density on the 3500 hectare Bateleur property is so low that guests may easily encounter no other people or safari vehicles for the duration of their stay. And the property’s location is such that you will have the best opportunity of seeing a host of wildlife and birdlife without being disturbed by other vehicles during your game drives or specifically during your bush walks. This is true untamed Africa and it’s one of the few places left in Southern Africa where you can enjoy such an experience. The location, size, layout and ambience of the Main Camp have all been chosen to complement these unique strengths.
Incredible flexibility comes with an 8-bed safari camp located on such an exclusive property, and this puts an enormous amount of power in your hands as the guest. If you want to walk extensively, we will walk as much as you want to. If you want to drive to the other side of the property or onto a neighbouring property to confirm the rumours of lion cubs, we will drive until we find them or have exhausted all possibilities. If there is a specific type of animal or bird that you would like to see then we will do our very best to locate it for you, especially if you are happy to make that search the focus of your remaining guided activities at the cost of other experiences. If we hear the sounds of a fight, kill or interesting wildlife activity close to camp outside of normal guided activity times, we will hop in the open safari vehicle and take you to have a look, anytime day or night. If you want to sleep more or do shorter guided activities, we will gladly accommodate you. The power is in your hands and we will go above and beyond to accommodate you
Opportunity for extensive walking
The exclusivity of the property and the flexibility that we provide opens the door to extensive guided bush walks for those who prefer to be on foot. If it is just your small group staying at the Main Camp then you will have the full attention of both the head guide and the head tracker – we can be as flexible as you like and you can do as much walking as you want to. If there are other guests at the Main Camp for any period of the time that you are there, specific requests for extended walking can be accommodated by splitting the group – the head guide would handle one group and the head tracker, also armed and highly proficient in guiding, would handle the other group. This is one of the beauties of the Bateleur property and it has the true potential to be one of the premier walking safari destinations in Southern Africa. Please note that minimum age for bush walks is 12.
Bushcraft and more
During your stay at Bateleur Main Camp, weather permitting, you will be treated to practical information and instruction relating to bushcraft. This includes various bush survival skills such as tracking & navigation, lighting fires, making ropes and water containers, and even pottery. This is not widely offered by other game lodges and it never fails to exceed guests’ expectations. If the sky is clear you will also be treated to basic astronomy, which is aimed at giving foundation information regarding stars that are visible at different times of year with the naked eye. And for the strong at heart, the spider and scorpion module will provide you with the opportunity to handle and learn about these beautifully scary creatures in a safe and informative environment. And it’s all included in the rates!
The camp is surrounded by a 2-strand electric fence which is merely in place to prevent the elephants from destroying the en-suite bathrooms, the central showers, or the swimming pool in the dry season, or the camp’s beautiful trees whenever the mood takes them. Everything shorter than an adult elephant can and does walk freely in and through the camp area and you will receive a full safety brief on arrival. At night it’s best to remain in your tent after you’ve turned in for the night!
Quality wholesome food
The food is of excellent quality and is best described as wholesome South African cooking. It is not 5-star, 5-course, arranged in a tower with a drizzle of something sticky on the plate. It is quality, tasty food that you will enjoy consuming in the midst of your unique bush surroundings. The day starts with coffee and biscuits before your first guided game activity. Brunch is typically a cooked breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage and toast with the option of cereals for the extra hungry. Lunch is a lighter affair, usually quiche or similar with salad and bread to comfortably fill the gap between brunch and dinner. In the evenings you will typically have bread and salad to start with, a delicious main meal comprised of a starch such a potatoes or rice, a variety of vegetables, and a protein such as chicken or red meat (often cooked on the open fire in front of the guests), followed by a very tasty pudding. It is all delicious and to date all our guests have been very happy with the quality of the food. There is always plenty of food to go around and you will not be disappointed unless you come with the expectation of 5-star nouvelle cuisine because that just does not fit in with what we offer as an overall safari experience
Weather permitting we like to offer a bush dinner to all our guests at no extra charge. For safety and logistical reasons we host the bush dinner in the dry river bed that runs past the camp which allows for relaxed dining under a blanket of stars. You will enjoy an incredible dining experience by candlelight, listening to the sounds of the African bush around the roaring campfire. Sitting far beyond the camp’s 2-strand electric fence, you may even enjoy an up-close encounter with a curious bush-dweller, from the ever-opportunistic hyenas to the territorial leopards, the prowling lions or the entitled elephants searching for water. Breathe Africa in the company of your qualified and armed guides
We offer a good selection of South African wines, beers and ciders, designed to complement your time in the African bush. But this is not intended to become the focus of your stay and we do not offer a full bar service. Please note that you need to bring cash for alcoholic beverages because we do not offer credit card facilities and there are no ATM’s in the bush