Have questions? We're here.
Lodge Deck with views of the reserve

South Africa Big Five Luxury Safari

Example 9 Day Tour
Talk with an expert
Build your ideal South Africa trip. Call 1.406.541.2677
Start Planning My Trip
Explore the private game reserves with intimate wildlife encounters on this 9-day trip throughout South Africa. Visit Johannesburg before heading off for game drives in the private Phinda Game Reserve and Mala Mala Game Reserve. Take a moment to relax between safaris along the gorgeous Dolphin Coast. This easy-paced trip is perfect for wildlife lovers with a sense of adventure.
Family on SafariA herd of zebras quench their thirst at a watering hole.Elephant battleAfrican carvings are a traditional from of art and culture.The sun sets over Kruger National ParkandBeyond Phinda Mountain LodgeandBeyond Phinda Mountain LodgeNight under the Stars at Phinda Mountain Lodge&Beyond Phinda Mountain Lodge Safari ActivitiesPhinda Mountain Lodge Suite PoolPhinda Mountain Lodge Boma DinnerLodge Deck with views of the reserve
  • Visit the bustling city of Johannesburg
  • Encounter up-close game viewing in Phinda Private Reserve
  • Relax along the beautiful Dolphin Coast
  • Experience game drives in the Mala Mala Game Reseve
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.

Full Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1: Arrive Johannesburg

Welcome to Johannesburg! You are met at the airport and assisted through immigration, baggage collection, and customs. You are then shown to your hotel for a relaxing evening to settle into the city.

With extra time, a longer stay in Johannesburg can be arranged. Johannesburg stems from gold and diamond mining, dating back to the 1800’s, and the city’s local name, Egoli, means The City of Gold. Today Johannesburg is the powerhouse of Africa and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world. Johannesburg is a wealthy and fast-paced city, earning its reputation as the “New York of Africa”, while also being considered one of the largest man-made forests in the world!

Day 2-4: Phinda Game Reserve

  • Hotel
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Rise early this morning for a scheduled flight to KwaZulu-Natal (included in rate), also known as the Dolphin Coast, stretching north from Durban to the mighty Thukela River. This Indian Ocean coastline of warm waters is rich in marine life as its name suggests. We continue onward to &Beyond Phinda Mountain Lodge, located within the 23,000-hectacre Phinda Private Reserve. Phinda Mountain Lodge is poised on the crest of a mountain commanding spectacular views over Lebombo range and excellent safari opportunities for Big 5 game viewing.

Activities from Phinda Mountain Lodge include morning and afternoon game drives, nature walks, excellent birding, riverboat cruises, and canoeing. Extra activities available include scenic coastal flights, beach excursions with turtle viewing (November to January), horse riding, black rhino tracking, and cultural visits (all additional costs).

Day 5: Durban

Transfer this morning to Durban, resting before your onward journey to Greater Kruger National Park. The north coast is famous for its golden beaches, good restaurants, and pubs in seaside towns such as Umhlanga Rocks. It is also home to the Natal Sharks Board and historic battle sites of Fort Pearson and the Ultimatum Tree. Take a stroll along Durban's beachfront promenade or simply relax inside the grounds of the stunning Oyster Box Hotel. Optional boat excursions offer close encounters with bottlenose dolphins, which are visible close to the shore year-round.

Day 6-8: Kruger National Park

  • Hotel
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Today we leave the coast behind for the exciting interior of Kruger National Park. Board flight from King Shaka to Kruger Mpumalanga Airport (flight excluded from rate) before taking another short flight into Southern Sabi Sands (flight included). Settle in at the luxurious Dulini Leadwood Lodge.

Mala Mala is a game reserve located within the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Mpumalanga province, South Africa. It is the largest private big five game reserve in South Africa, covering around 130 km. The Sabi Sand Game Reserve borders the Kruger National Park, which together with some other parks make up the Great Kruger National Park. 

Various antelope species, from impala, waterbuck and duiker to kudu, bushbuck and nyala can also be seen, as can giraffe and warthog. However, it is the leopard that is the real star of the show, with the area well-known for some of the best leopard experiences in Africa. This shy and elusive animal, normally the most solitary of the African cats, is often viewed both in daylight hours and during game drives.

A number of lion prides have territories at Sabi Sand and are regularly spotted on game drives. In contrast to the leopard, lions are the most sociable of the cat family and prides may consist of up to 12 related females and their cubs, as well as a far smaller number of related males, often brothers. Although not as common as the leopard or lion, the cheetah is also a frequent sight at Sabi Sand. Built for speed instead of power, this formidable predator generally hunts during the day, occasionally resulting in spectacular sightings of the fastest animal in the world in action.
Night drives are an important part of the game viewing experience at Sabi Sand and provide an opportunity to view many unusual animals, such as the beautifully-patterned African civet. Another animal often encountered in night drives is the dwarf mongoose, Africa’s smallest carnivore. Family troops of up to 30 of these little animals live in numerous hiding places in the sides of termite mounds. A typical though hair-raising sound often encountered on night drives is the wail of the bush baby, a forlorn noise that imitates the plaintive cry of a human infant.

Day 9: Depart Kruger National Park

  • 1 Breakfast
Transfer from Leadwood Lodge to the Sabi Sands airport for your flight to Johannesburg.


Fairlawns Boutique Hotel

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel
Fairlawns Boutique Hotel

&Beyond Phinda Mountain Lodge

&Beyond Phinda Mountain Lodge, Family cottage
&Beyond Phinda Mountain Lodge
&Beyond Phinda Mountain Lodge, Suite

The Oyster Box

Dulini Leadwood Lodge

Dulini Leadwood Lodge
Dulini Leadwood Lodge
Dulini Leadwood Lodge

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at


Select a Date

Rates may vary based on current exchange rate.

  • 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Dinners
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Park Entrance Fee
  • Arrival Transfer
  • Departure Transfer
  • Internal Flights - Includes Scheduled SA Airlink flight JNB/Phinda and Shuttle flights MQP/Ulusaba airstrip/JNB. Excludes all other internal flights
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Government bed levy, settled directly at the lodge
  • Internal flight King Shaka Airport to Kruger Mpumalanga


When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.


* By providing your phone number, you consent to receive direct phone calls or SMS messages from our Trip Planners to get the process started. We do not share your information with third-parties.
Change & customize to make it yours.
Travel Agents

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
Chat Now
This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
Lindsay Gompf

South Africa Travel Guide

Favorite South Africa All Trips

More Reasons

Why Travel With Adventure Life

All News

Recognized By