Makuleke Concession, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Situated between the Limpopo and the Luvuvhu Rivers in the northern section of the Kruger National Park is the Pafuri region, an area spanning 24 000ha (59 305 acres). Within the Pafuri area is the Makuleke Concession, the ancestral home of the Makuleke people and the most diverse and scenically attractive area in the Kruger National Park.
The Makuleke Concession is not accessible to the ordinary tourist visiting the park. This area belongs to the Makuleke community, who were removed in 1968. After a lengthy process, however, it was finally returned to the community in 1998 in what was a historical event for South Africa.
This area is certainly the wildest and most remote part of the Kruger National Park and offers varied vegetation, great wildlife viewing and the best birding in all of the park, and it is filled with folklore of early explorers and ancient civilizations.
EcoTraining’s Kruger National Park camp is situated in the Makuleke Concession, between the Limpopo and Luvuvhu Rivers. This is a true wilderness area, steeped in history and situated in the remotest part of Kruger, in one of its most biologically diverse areas.
Scenery ranges from the beautiful, quietly flowing Luvuvhu River, shaded by nyala trees and fever tree forests, and teeming with hippos and crocodiles, to the awesome Lanner Gorge, palm-fringed wetlands and rocky outcrops with thousand-year-old baobab trees.
All the wildlife that one would expect to see in a great national park such as Kruger can potentially be encountered on the concession. Plains game such as zebra, kudu and impala are common, while lions and leopards are a special sighting. Herds of elephant, a few rhinoceros, African buffalo, nyala antelope and also seldom-seen animals such as eland and bushpig can be seen.
This part of Kruger is known to be one of the best birding areas in the park, and is home to rarely seen species such as the Pel’s fishing owl, Three-banded Courser and grey-headed parrot.
Average maximum summer temperature (October-March): 40˚C
Average minimum winter temperature (April-September): 9˚C
Twenty students are accommodated in comfortable thatched, tented rooms, placed on wooden decks in the shade of large nyala trees. Each room has an en-suite bathroom consisting of a shower and washbasin with hot running water and a flush toilet, as well as a veranda overlooking the surrounding bush.
The camp is not fenced, which means that animals do move through it from time to time.