4 Days Budget Big Five Safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa

  • Tremisana Safari Lodge, Klaserie Road, Hoedspruit, 1380 South Africa

4 Days Budget Big Five Safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa

  • Tremisana Safari Lodge, Klaserie Road, Hoedspruit, 1380 South Africa

Camping Safari South Africa

This wildlife adventure contains a spectacular package that will make you African holiday the most excellent one you can get. Drive through Kruger's vast land while spotting the big five, have a thrilling night adventure in Balule seeking for nocturnal animals, and what better way to know the wild than by walking through the plains itself. You will not miss out on the lovely Blyde River Canyon and its breathtaking views. So, if you are looking for the best value safari, then Viva Safaris has it for you.


  • Awesome game drives
  • Guided big five extensive bush walks
  • Sunset game drive and locate nocturnal animals
  • Drive to the Three Rondawels of the Blyde River Canyon
  • Explore the Kruger National Park and Balule Reserve
  • Daily breakfast and dinner, and a bush braai
  • Airport transfers and entry fees included
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • 4 activity days
  • English
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During this safari, you will be staying at Tremisana Game Lodge and Marc's Treehouse Lodge.

Tremisana Game Lodge

For the first night of your safari, you will get to enjoy your chalet accommodation at Tremisana Game Lodge. Tremisana is the largest and leading lodge in the Balule section of Kruger Park. It has a total of 15 chalets plus a two-bedrooms in the guest house. Every unit is thatched, air-conditioned, and en-suite with a shower, toilet, and basin. The rooms have a tea or coffee station. Insect-proof screens are fitted on all windows. Each bed has its own mosquito net.

There is a splash pool, open-air boma for dinners around a crackling fire and a covered lapa overlooking a waterhole. A very beautiful luxuriant garden boasts numerous bougainvilleas, palms, and cycads which give the camp a subtropical tone. Water features add a soothing effect and the overall feel of Tremisana Lodge is very relaxing. At night, the subdued light along the illuminated paved walkways lend a romantic and magical feel to this outstanding camp.

Marc's Treehouse Lodge

For nights two and three, you will be staying in tents at Marc's Treehouse Lodge. With seven tents, the lodge offers rustic but comfortable accommodation geared to put one in close contact with the sights, sounds, and scents of the wild. Amenities include electric fans, mosquito nets, comfortable beds, linen, towels, and soap. It has a swimming pool, a bush bar, and a boma where meals are served. You can relax around the crackling campfire and share your impressions of the day’s wildlife trip.

At the lodge, you can inhale the fresh, balmy air of African bush veld. Fall asleep to the gurgling of the river, interrupted by the eerie whoops of hyena, spine-chilling wails of jackals, and the plaintive cry of the thick-tailed bushbaby. Awaken to the melodious chorus of birdsong and watch the activity of wildlife drinking at the river or at the spotlit waterhole.

Day 1

The team will collect you from your hotel or from O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) and you will travel via Dullstroom or Nelspruit to Tremisana Safari Lodge in the big-five Balule Nature Reserve. You will then transfer to an open Land Cruiser for a sunset drive. The sunset drive affords your first opportunity of seeing Africa’s animals.

The qualified guide will take you in an open 4x4 land cruiser game drive. After dark, spotlights are used to locate nocturnal animals. Stops will be made to photograph the stunning sunsets, listen to the night sounds, and admire the clear southern hemisphere constellation.

Dinner will be a bush braai at the new marula tree boma. Viva Safaris has acquired a 20-hectare property deep in Balule, in fact over 10 kilometers from the main gate. They have built a beautiful boma under a magnificent marula tree which they have protected against elephants by a ring of sharp-edged rocks.

It has a flush toilet and wash hand basin. Armed rangers will patrol while you enjoy a bush braai in a remote piece of Africa. After that, you can relax in your chalet and have a good night's rest.

Day 2

Awaken at sunrise for an exhilarating day of unforgettable bush life. You will drive to a remote part of the Balule Nature Reserve where you will enjoy a four-hour bush walk. Your experienced field guide will lead you through. The thrill of following Africa’s large animals until you can take a photo will remain with you forever. Adrenaline surges will be acute, notwithstanding the presence of your armed ranger. Return to Tremisana for brunch.

Bush walks are very popular insofar as guests are afforded a brilliant opportunity to get really close to nature on foot. Guests will be in the presence of the big five animals such as elephant, lion, rhino, and buffalo. Although there is no legal limit to the minimum age of participants, Viva Safaris is informed by the recommendations of FGASA or Field Guides Association of South Africa. FGASA recommends that the minimum age be 16.

Tourists aged between 12 and 16 may be permitted to participate in the bush walks as long as their parents take full responsibility in ensuring their children strictly obey all instructions from the rangers. At around 3:00 p.m. you will go on an afternoon game drive. Later on, you will transfer to the camp at Marc's Treehouse Lodge where accommodation is in tents equipped with beds and bedding, soap and towels, electric light, and fan. Your dinner and overnight will be available at the camp.

Day 3

You will travel on the open-sided game viewer to the Orpen Gate of Kruger. The added elevation and absence of windows allow for excellent viewing and photographic opportunities. Your qualified guide will show you various animals, large and small, that frequent the outstanding wildlife paradise. Safaris in Kruger Park are conducted on a nine-seater, open game viewing vehicles.

They offer elevated vantage positions from where you are viewing and chances to capture amazing pictures are greatly enhanced. All the game viewing vehicles are 4x4 conversions with access to all roads in all weather conditions. The zone of Kruger that you will visit has the highest percentage population of giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, and impala that attract numerous lions and other predators. Have a hearty evening meal and retreat back to the camp to enjoy your overnight stay.

Day 4

Indulge in the fun experience of an early morning bush walk accompanied by an armed ranger. You will be shown various, interesting details of the bush, including insects, spoor, and scats. You have an excellent chance of encountering the buffalo, nyala, and other game on foot. After breakfast, you will drive to the Three Rondawels of the Blyde River Canyon. You will then return you to your hotel or airport at around 5:00 p.m.

On day four of your safari, you will drive to Blyde River Canyon to enjoy the unparalleled views of Three Rondavels.

This safari will take place in Balule Nature Reserve and Kruger National Park.

During this safari, your daily breakfast and dinner will be provided for you by Viva Safaris. On your first safari night, the team will hold a bush braai dinner for you. The bush braai is a welcoming and out of the ordinary dining experience. It is held on the first night of the safari. You will have dinner on a beautiful boma under a magnificent marula tree. Armed rangers will patrol while you enjoy a bush braii in that secluded place in Africa.

  • Capture photographs of the animals and stunning views
  • Have a dip in the Tremisana Lodge pool
  • Share your impressions of the day's adventure along with the others
  • Shop for goodies
  • Sip some high tea at the lodge
  • 1 bush braai
  • 1 sunrise bush walk with armed ranger
  • 2-hour afternoon game drive in Balule Nature Reserve
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • 3-hour sunset big five game drive
  • 4-hour big five walk with armed ranger in Balule Nature Reserve
  • All entry fees
  • All game drives
  • All transfers
  • Breakfasts and dinners
  • Drive to Blyde River Canyon and the Three Rondawels
  • Full-day game drive in Kruger National Park on an open vehicle
  • Transfers from and to O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB)
  • Drinks
  • Lunches
  • Gratuities
  • Personal items

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Viva Safaris will pick you up from the airport.

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.


  • Review by Branco M from Slovenia
    9 out of 10

    "I booked this hotel by Viva safaris and it's worth. The cottages are well furnished in domestic style, spacious and extremely clean."

    "WiFi is available at lobby. The food are tasty and the staff are very friendly."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Mindy S
    10 out of 10

    "I went on a 5 days Lodge/Treehouse Kruger Park Safari operated by Viva Safari. Everything about the trip was amazing! All the staff knows you and refers to you by name. They were so efficient! The days were filled with activities and adventures and everything was so well organized - there was no wasted time waiting."


    "The guides were very knowledgeable and always happy to answer questions (not only related to the safari)."


    "I enjoyed to food and having meals outside in the nature (In the winter season, bring warm clothes!)"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Keren V
    10 out of 10

    "We booked a 4 day Safari trip and stayed at Marc's tree house camp for 2 nights and it was excellent. "

    "The room was big and the staff was very helpful but not the most comfortable place to walk around with a suitcase."

    "he Safari trips were amazing, got to see giraffes at camp and the other big 5 in our Safari trip. "

    "Excellent experience."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Helene from Canada
    10 out of 10

    "My sleeping area was around the Campfire, It was amazing sleeping under the stars, a mattress and sleeping bag, amenities close by, at no time did I feel unsafe, The staff were incredible..WOW! great experience"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Sharyn
    10 out of 10

    "Stayed here a couple of weeks ago. What an amazing time we had here. All staff were amazing. Clean rooms, rustic surrounds, meeting new people and the adventures, where over whelming. Each day anither new adventure. Experienced a few African massages, traveling in safari vehicles and viewing all the wildlife."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from West Virginia
    10 out of 10

    "We booked a 3 day Safari through Viva Safaris (African Budget Safaris) and our second night was spent at Marc's Treehouse. "

    "What an experience. "

    "The house was more a cabin but very unique. Literally in the middle of the bush. The staff was amazing and even had our place decorated for our honeymoon. It's definitely a one of a kind place. They offer other accommodations too. Would recommend for a non-traditional, unexpected, pleasant surprise!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Germany
    10 out of 10

    "Absolutely enjoyed the Safari! I spent 5 days there: the stuff is very friendly and the guides know alot so you will learn many things about the african bush. Huge change to see all Big Five and watch the animlas in their natural habitat. "

    "A Safari is an experience which will take your breath away. "

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Slavna P from Chile
    10 out of 10

    "Amazing experience for someone who looks for a different experience. I stayed in a really confortable tent in the bush. The best part of this is it's people. The service is very nice and the food too."


    "Room Tip: The tree house is like a childhood dream. Very special."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Wisconsin
    9 out of 10

    "If you only read this part - my advice stay at least 4 nights! The 3 days safari is basically one day to Kruger area, one day in Kruger Park, and one day back to Johannesburg. Kruger is HUGE and it is a "hit or miss" if you will see any animals. We saw only a few. The animals and experiences only got better each day."


    "First, I read and read and read all the reviews about Viva Safaris. They were both positive and negative. YET - I was up for adventure and willing to jump far out of my comfort zone. "


    "I registered for a 5 day, 4 night tour at Marc's Treehouse Camp. I had been staying in Johannesburg at a rented apartment for 9 days in Lonehill and pick up was right on time at my apartment (8:30am). The van was large, with a trailer behind for luggage. We spent the next 1.5 hours picking up other safari members throughout Johannesburg. Then we were off!! The total travel time to our first stop, Tremisana, was approximately five hours total. The first stop was a large travel plaza for snacks and coffee. Next stop for lunch (pre-ordered during the drive so it was ready when we arrived) at a small restaurant. The food was good. We made one more stop on the way for drinks, snacks, etc. I advise AGAINST purchasing snacks as the rule at camp is no food in the room due to monkeys. "


    "We arrived at Temisana with plenty of time to check in, go to our rooms, change, and then on to our first game drive. The dinner under the Marula Tree Boma was the best food we had the entire stay. It may have been the atmosphere, but the Braai (BBQ) was fantastic. We had a visitor during the Braai - a baby elephant. We saw a few glowing eyes in the dark on our return to Tremisana, but not too many other things. The driver was very good spotting things with the spotlight."


    "The next day we took a bush walk. The two guides were EXCEPTIONAL and we saw numerous animals and learned about our surroundings. We saw a crocodile, many hippos (young and old) playing in the river, and about 40 baboons, along with birds, beetles, etc. In the afternoon we had a private game drive in Balule. We saw elephants, giraffes, a few lions, and some zebra. We even stopped at a Marula Tree and our guide picked up some Marula fruit for us to eat!"


    "Transferred to Marc's Treehouse Camp. I was considered "most lucky" because I was assigned treehouse #5. I was quite excited! The "best" house that is 10 meters above the ground. It was quite the adventure. I was up early in the mornings to view the river, sitting on my small balcony on the small bench. The second morning I had a monkey sit on the bench next to me!!! Scary and exciting all at the same time. After two nights I requested a different house. I am 55 and just do not like bugs. I reached my tolerance level for them when a HUGE praying mantis was on my bed. It was 5 inches long in the body. That along with the 3 inch beetle that creeped out from under my bed at 6am one morning - - I was done. No screaming from me, just a quick swoosh out the door with assistance from the rug on the floor. This unit has no glass windows, only bars and roll down reed shades. One evening I had a monkey reach in around the secured shade to try and grab my backpack sitting on top of my suitcase. Yup, enough communing with nature! "


    "Day 3 was spent in Kruger National Park. This tour is rain or shine, so be prepared! You ride to the area in the safari vehicle with plastic windows and canvas top. It was 88 degrees F and raining on our trip there. The group chose to keep the front window down and the sides up. We all had rain ponchos and it was not too bad. The driver would always ask us: "How much air conditioning?" Which means how fast do you want him to drive! Kruger is huge. The drivers keep in contact with other tour drivers in the park, yet game viewing was sparse the day we were there. We did see elephants, lions, and various birds. No rhino or water buffalo. Yet, I believe the driver tried his best!"


    "Day 4 - for me one of the best days. There were only 3 of us left from our original group. Most people signed up for the 3 day tour. In the morning we went to Mohohololo Wildlife center. We arrived right before a large tour bus. We sat for the video and presentation and then split up into groups to go out into the wildlife area with cages, etc. It was POURING rain. The tour bus people decided to leave and it was just my party of 3 and our camp guide. We stayed in the shelter area and learned about the various birds in cages right outside. The rain lessened and as this was a "once in a lifetime experience" we decided to brave the rain. We got to watch the employees clean the wild dog area, we helped feed the lion, cheetah, and dogs! (Through the fence, of course.) Also we went into the vulture enclosure and tossed meat to most of the birds. "


    "After our return to the treehouse camp, we changed, ate lunch, and then were off on another adventure, this time we were dropped off at Tshukudo to join others for a game drive. The rain had stopped and it was BEAUTIFUL. We saw ALL THE BIG 5 this time!!! The highlights were 1) the cheetah under a tree eating the animal she had killed earlier in the day; and 2) the lion up close and personal roaring!! "


    "Back to the camp where I was now in treehouse #7. I had an indoor toilet and shower room. A double bed, and a huge glass window to view the river. There was a large deck on this unit also. Yay! I was able to take a shower without the monkeys watching!"


    "Day 5 I declined the bushwalk early in the morning. We had our final breakfast at camp (there was a new group of 3 day people here now so the camp was full) and then the three of us were off on our way back to Johannesburg. A similar itinerary on the return, except we make a stop at Blyde River Canyon, which was spectacular."


    "I know this is long, details are good! With respect to food at camp, it is basic simple South African food. Sweet potatoes, stewed tomatoes, eggs, toast, chicken, etc. Not bad, but not 5 star luxury safari food. As a note, on our last day at the 5 star Tshukudu location they were having sandwiches for dinner!"


    "One final note - as a solo travellers I had no problems at all. The other people were usually in groups of two, but were friendly and we all had fun together. There were a few other solo travellers, but each of those were on the 3 day tour."


    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Sjur S
    9 out of 10

    "A very nice place to stay which is also situated inside a game reserve. At night you could hear the lions roar, and in the morning you could see the buffalos drinking water. We heard rumors about a leopard that visited camp the morning before we arrived, but we didn't see it ourselves. "


    "The rooms are clean, but its a rather long walk, so if you want to stay here you shouldn't have any problem walking. "


    "The food is also good, but you need to be ever vigilant or the monkeys will steal your fruit or toast."


    "Room Tip: If you have problems walking, ask for cabin 10, it has some steps but it lies closer to main camp"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Joakim A from Sweden
    9 out of 10

    "Wow... This place gives you both adrenaline and lots of joy. We will NEVER forget when the leopard where killing an animal just by the river (<50 m from THE house) and screaming/calling just outside our house (<1 m). We could not take a breath until it was gone. When we were leaving we took a bush walk outside the camp and found a lot of footprints around the whole camp. Amazing!"




    "* You do not get a more exciting place"

    "* Very good information from Victor every night and morning."

    "* Very Informative and professional guides. Harrison is a killer in tracking leopards. "

    "* Very beautiful surroundings. We stayed at treehouse No 2 with perfect view over the river. Breakfast is eaten at a very nice place."

    "* Everyday cleaning."

    "* Nice braii."



    "* A bit to soft beds. "

    "* Depending on which cabin you get, it could be 200 m of dragging your heavy luggage in sand on a trail. Pack light ;)"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Washington
    10 out of 10

    "We were traveling on a budget and they were able to accommodate. We saw the animals but also learned about them. The staff at Marc's and the guides with Viva were so helpful and patient with our kids. An experience you will cherish for sure!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

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