Safari in Klaserie

Going On A Safari in Klaserie Private Nature Reserve

A safari in Klaserie is a journey into the heart of South Africa.. This private game reserve, part of the greater Kruger National Park, offers a unique and intimate safari experience. From thrilling game drives to peaceful walking safaris, Klaserie has it all. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your adventure.

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There are many options when you are visiting Klaserie so I will try to provide everything you need to know about going on your safari. I visited South Africa for two weeks as a solo female, and I planned my whole trip on my own, including the safari directly with the lodge. Everything was taken care of and it was amazing! Feel free to reach out if you want help.

How Big is Klaserie Reserve?

Klaserie Private Nature Reserve spans over 60,000 hectares, making it one of the largest private game reserves in South Africa. This vast area ensures a secluded and exclusive environment for exploring. Klaserie shares unfenced borders with Kruger National Park, providing a seamless wildlife corridor.

This means that animals roam freely between the reserves, offering you an authentic and wild safari experience. Whether you’re a seasoned safari-goer or a first-timer, Klaserie’s diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife will leave you in awe.

Landscape in Klaserie

Greater Kruger National Park

Greater Kruger National Park encompasses 20 renowned private game reserves. Among these, Sabi Sands and Timbavati stand out for their exceptional wildlife sightings and luxurious lodges.

Sabi Sands Nature Reserve is famous for its incredible leopard sightings. The reserve’s strict conservation policies ensure a high standard of ethical wildlife viewing. Sabi Sands offers a mix of open savanna, dense bush, and riverine forest, providing diverse habitats for wildlife.

Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is another top-notch private game reserve within Greater Kruger. Known for its white lions, Timbavati offers a rich safari experience with abundant wildlife and fewer crowds. Timbavati’s lodges range from rustic to ultra-luxurious, catering to different tastes and budgets.

How to Get to Klaserie

Getting to Klaserie is relatively straightforward. The nearest major city is in Johannesburg, but most travelers fly into Hoedspruit Airport, just a short drive from the reserve. From the airport, you can arrange a transfer with your lodge or rent a car and drive yourself. The roads are generally in good condition, making the journey smooth and scenic.

I chose to fly into Johannesburg from Cape Town, then a short domestic flight to Hoedspruit where one of the guides picked me up and took me to the lodge. I didn’t want to drive for two reasons: 1) I wanted to be able to enjoy the scenery and not worry about hitting any animals; and 2) they drive on the opposite side of the road from North America!

Zebra in Klaserie

Best Time to Visit Klaserie

May to September: Dry Season

The best time to visit Klaserie for a safari is during the dry winter months, from May to September. During this time, the vegetation is less dense, making wildlife easier to spot. Additionally, animals are more likely to gather around water sources, providing excellent viewing opportunities.  Winters offer dry and mild conditions, with significantly cooler nights.

October to April: Wet Season

Summers are characterized by hot and humid weather, afternoon thunderstorms are common during the wet season, they typically don’t persist throughout the entire day. April is the end of the prime viewing season for wildlife, however this is a great time to go on a safari in Klaserie as it tends to be less crowded.

I visited in April and I lucked out with great weather, one morning of light rain and amazing wildlife sightings!  Make sure you pack layers, as early mornings and evenings can be chilly, even in summer.

Klaserie is a year-round destination, each season offering its unique charms.

Lion in Klaserie game drive

What animals are in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve?

Klaserie Private Nature Reserve is home to an impressive array of wildlife found in South Africa. On your safari in Klaserie, you should hopefully be able to see:

  • The Big Five: Lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo
  • Various antelope species including kudu, impala, wildebeest, steenbok
  • Hyenas, Zebras, Giraffes
Hippo in Klaserie

If you are lucky, you will get a chance to see African Wild Dogs. Unfortunately I did not see them in Klaserie, however I did get the opportunity to see wild dogs in Tanzania.

Each safari drive offers the potential for exciting sightings and encounters with Africa’s iconic animals. One thing that I loved about doing a safari in South Africa was the thrill of finding wildlife. We often spent time driving around, trying to find wildlife. On my last day, the guide got out of the jeep and went into the bush for ten minutes. He came back and took us to a wonderful sighting of a leopard!

leopard in Klaserie

Birding in Klaserie

Those wanting to start birding, or bird enthusiasts, will be thrilled with the variety of bird species in South Africa. You can find around 246 species of birds in Klaserie if you are lucky! Keep your cameras for photography and binoculars handy for sightings of some of the special birds like:

  • Eurasian Hoopoe
  • Lilac-breasted Roller
  • Red-billed Oxpecker
  • Gray Go-Away Bird
grey go away bird

Bird watching in Klaserie adds another layer of excitement to your safari, with each sighting bringing a splash of color and life to the bush. I wasn’t overly focused on the birds for this trip but my next trip will definitely have a birding focus!

Ethical Viewing of Animals in Greater Kruger National Park

Ethical wildlife viewing is crucial to maintaining the health and behavior of animals in their natural habitats. In Greater Kruger National Park, each reserve follows strict guidelines to ensure minimal disturbance to wildlife. Both Klaserie and Timbavati Nature Reserves limit sightings of wildlife to two vehicles at a time. Sabi Sands Nature Reserve allows for three vehicles per sighting.

Safari Jeep in Klaserie

These policies help reduce stress on animals and provide a more intimate and respectful viewing experience for guests. When on safari, always listen to your guide’s instructions, keep noise levels down, and avoid sudden movements. Ethical viewing practices ensure that future generations can enjoy these magnificent creatures in their natural environment.

Top Places to Stay in Klaserie

Klaserie Game Reserve lodges offer a range of accommodations, from tented camps to luxurious lodges. There is no camping permitted in the reserve. Here are three of the best safari lodges in Klaserie that we recommend:

Africa on Foot

Africa on Foot is perfect for those seeking an immersive safari experience. This was my absolute favorite place to stay. I loved the individual rondavels and they were so beautiful inside. They had an outdoor sink and shower which was great for my first experience. If you are lucky enough like I was, I had hyenas calling right outside my window and later found out that a honey badger was sniffing at my door.

Rondavel at Africa on Foot

This camp was one of a few that offers walking safaris, giving you a ground-level view of the bush and its inhabitants. It also has a treehouse experience for the adventurous. It was neat to look out at the savannah from the top. They give you the option to stay there overnight – I didn’t have the guts to do it by myself – it is completely open to the elements!

Guide on Walking Safari

nThambo Tree Camp

nThambo Tree Camp provides a treetop safari experience with five stilted chalets,  panoramic views of the bush and include private balconies. At the right time of the year, you may catch elephants drinking from the pool.

Stay here for a blend of adventure and comfort, perched above the ground with a bird’s-eye view of your surroundings. Remember that most of these camps do not have fences – so you can admire wildlife from a safe distance.

nthambo tree camp

Phelwana Game Lodge

Phelwana Game Lodge offers an immersive safari experience in the Greater Kruger National Park region. The lodge provides comfortable accommodations ranging from luxury tents to chalets, each designed to blend seamlessly with the natural environment. The villas offer private plunge pools as well.

The Lodge offers cultural experiences, allowing visitors to engage with local communities and learn about their traditions and heritage. Their commitment to conservation is evident through its eco-friendly practices and support for community development initiatives.

Phelwana Game Lodge

Daily Activities in Klaserie

A typical safari day in Klaserie is packed with activities designed to maximize your safari experience. Your day usually includes two game drives – one at sunrise and one at sunset. If your lodge offers it, the morning game drive may start a bit later and include a walking safari. It really is a cool experience – especially if you see wildlife!

The benefit of staying at a smaller lodge in a private reserve, is that they may grab you later in the evening to go out for a sighting. When I was on safari, they knocked on my door at 9:30pm, and we headed out as there were lions close by. We heard them calling and caught a glimpse of them walking by the vehicle.

Sundowner in Klaserie

Conservation Efforts and Fees

Klaserie is committed to conservation and protecting its wildlife. The conservation fee helps fund these efforts and maintain the reserve’s pristine condition. The current conservation fee is R480 ($25USD) per person per night and is usually added to your invoice from the lodge.


Most of the reserves in the Greater Kruger NP do not allow for recreationally driving. You can drive to your lodge, but the safaris must be done with the guides.

The lodges have WiFi so you can stay connected. Outside of the lodges there is a good chance you will have signal throughout the reserve. It is recommended that you get an eSim if you want to ensure you have a connection when it is available.

Yes, Klaserie is in a malaria zone. It’s recommended to take anti-malarial medication and use insect repellent. Depending on the time of year, you may not even see any bugs. I didn’t see any when I visited in April.

As with any outdoor vacation, you should ensure you have light breathable clothing in neutral colors, a good pair of walking shoes or boots, sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses. Download your free packing list for South Africa. This will cover your full trip, including a safari.

I have experienced safaris in South Africa and Tanzania. South Africa offers a variety of private game reserves with luxury lodges and a mix of landscapes. Tanzania provides vast, open landscapes like the Serengeti, renowned for the Great Migration. Both offer unique experiences, so your choice depends on your preferences for luxury versus wilderness and specific wildlife experiences.

Sunset in Klaserie Reserve

A safari in Klaserie Private Nature Reserve offers an unforgettable experience with something for everyone. Pack your bags and your camera, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime. A bucket list adventure that I promise you will remember forever.

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