The Outpost Lodge: Luxury in the Wilderness of Northern Kruger

If you're seeking a luxurious escape in South Africa's wilderness, The Outpost Lodge should be at the top of your list. Nestled in the remote reaches of Northern Kruger, The Outpost Lodge does not offer a typical safari experience. It combines breathtaking landscapes, exceptional rooms that showcase the views, and some specialty wildlife that is unique to the area.

If there was an award for the best bathtub view, The Outpost would be a top contender!

The Outpost's rooms, perched on stilts, are undeniably one of the best parts of the experience. The rooms are made up of a large metal frame with fabric 'walls' that can be fully opened, revealing a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. Because the rooms are raised, this clever design keeps wildlife out, while allowing you to leave the walls open throughout your stay. You can even opt to keep them open at night! This means falling asleep with a light breeze and the sounds of the African bush and roaring river below. It's a very liberating feeling.

During your stay, you'll embark on game drives through the Makuleke conservancy.

The Makuleke Conservancy is a vast and pristine wilderness area located in the northernmost part of Kruger National Park. It covers an area of approximately 24,000 hectares and is situated between the Limpopo and Luvuvhu rivers, bordering Zimbabwe and Mozambique. This area is known for its diverse landscape, which includes a mix of riverine forests, mopane woodlands, fever tree forests, and open savannah. This area, also known as Pafuri, features an abundance of baobabs as well. The conservancy has a rich archaeological and cultural significance, including serving as a major trade route for ivory & goods in recent history.

One of the major selling points of The Outpost is the access to special and unique areas closed to the general public. While the tar roads in the Makuleke Conservancy are open to all, most of your game drives will be spent on private gravel roads where you will encounter very few other vehicles. This exclusivity gives you access to more untouched wilderness. For example you may visit a private section of the legendary "Crooks Corner," the border where South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique meet.

One of the absolute highlights of staying at The Outpost is a visit to Lanner Gorge. This breathtaking vista, inaccessible to the public, is arguably one of the most beautiful places in South Africa. With sheer cliffs plunging down to the river below, watching the sunset from this private viewpoint is an experience that will stay with you forever.

Elephants, buffalos and zebras are commonly seen in this area. You may also see herds of eland which are uncommon in other parts of Kruger. Pafuri also offers exceptional birding opportunities. Hyenas are the dominant predator in this area and big cat sightings are infrequent. During the night portion of the game drive, you will see various nocturnal animals. During our visit in June 2024, we saw a porcupine, white tail mongoose, bush babies, civets and genets. While rare, it is also possible to spot an aardvark.

We loved the pace of game drives and the quality of the guiding. These drives are not about chasing Big Five sightings. They're about going slowly and soaking in all aspects of wilderness. Our guide Keegan was very knowledgeable - we talked about geology, recent human history, culture, grasses, birds, and trees. This unhurried approach allows for a deeper immersion.

BHS Tips for The Outpost Lodge:

  • Splurge for a river view if it's in your budget! The honeymoon suite is the furthest from the lodge and has the best view.
  • Combine with a traditional 'Big Five" safari in the Greater Kruger for the ultimate experience.
  • There are several unique places to visit at the Outpost. Depending on the number of nights you stay, you won't have a chance to see them all. If there's a specific site you have in mind - Lanner Gorge, Fever Tree Forest, Crooks Corner - please mention this to BHS during your booking so we can make sure your guide integrates this into your safari.
  • The Outpost has private access to the largest known baobab tree in Pafuri, estimated to be over 1,000 years old.
  • If you are traveling with a group, The Outpost has an exclusive-use sister lodge called Pel's Post which can accommodate up to 8 people.
  • You can drive to The Outpost Lodge from within the Kruger National Park. This route is recommended.

The Outpost is more than just a place to stay; it's a wilderness experience. Even if you only have a short time to spare, even two nights at this lodge is worth the journey. It's a perfect as a stand alone weekend getaway or to combine into a traditional Big 5 safari.

The Outpost Lodge is currently running a special offering 50% off last-minute bookings (as of June 2024). Reach out to us to find out if there is a discounted offer lined up for the time you want to travel!