Our first South African safari at Umkumbe Safari River Lodge was an unforgettable adventure. The lodge is nestled near Kruger National Park in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, where the wild roams free due to the unfenced boundaries. Over three thrilling days, we witnessed all of the Big 5—lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo—and I captured three of them on video. The rest of the Big 5 were immortalized in images at our next camp.
Getting to Umkumbe was a breeze, thanks to a quick flight from Joburg to Skukuza Airport and a seamless transfer to the lodge. During our transfer, we spotted a wide variety of animals, from elephants to lions, thanks to our driver’s sharp eyes and willingness to stop so we could take photos and videos. Our timely morning arrival allowed us to enjoy a delicious lunch before embarking on our first afternoon game drive.
The lodge’s riverside location provided a front-row seat to a procession of wildlife quenching their thirst and grazing on the riverbanks. From our room’s patio, we were mesmerized by the parade of elephants, giraffes, impalas, monkeys, and hyenas, setting the tone for an extraordinary trip.
After our exceptional stay at Umkumbe, we moved on to our next camp (nThambo Tree Camp), which I’ll detail in upcoming posts. Then, we ventured towards the water for the highly anticipated annual Sardine run. Trust me, I’ll get back to my underwater images soon!