The Pafuri Camp, part of the Wilderness Safaris’ collection, is situated on the 240 square kilometres large Makuleke Concession between Limpopo and the Luvuvhu River in the northern region of the Kruger National Park. The national borders to Mozambique and Zimbabwe are not far from the camp.
The uncommon geological formations and the pristine, awe-inspiring nature shape one of the most diverse and picturesque regions of the Kruger National Park which is the traditional home of the Makuleke tribe.
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Makuleke has to be considered one of South Africa’s last wilderness reserves in the true sense of the word. The lush nature is typical for Central Africa.
The vegetation is distinctly different to that predominant in the other parts of the Kruger Park. It is far denser and intensively green. An average tree here is commonly 50 percent larger than most in the park.
The diverse landscape at the Makuleke is simply breathtaking. Soaring mountains are cut by picture-perfect, deep gorges. Quiver and Fever Tree forests alternate with lush, live-giving rivers and springs surrounded by open savannah.
The region is a world of crystal-clear contrasts not only in comparison with the rest of the Kruger Park, which is largely dominated by wide, dry savannah, but also in itself. From one step to the next, the landscape can change, employing all the magic efficiency of a chameleon.
Our recommendation to you is to combine a stay at the classic Sabi Sands with a few days at Makuleke to acquire a full understanding of the magnificent Kruger Park. One of the remotest areas of the Kruger Park, you will be far from the beaten path, a unique and exceptional safari experience at your fingertips.
This secluded corner of the park offers some of the finest wildlife observation opportunities and the by far best bird watching of the entire park. Treat in the footsteps of early adventurers and age-old civilisations.
You will be lodged in 17 exceedingly comfortable tent-chalets meeting the most discerning guest’s demands. Three of the tents have been designed to accommodate families.
The camp’s dining room and the bar serving welcome refreshments are conveniently located under ebony trees providing cooling shade.
On extremely hot days, you may seek refuge in the swimming pool or sit on the terrace next to it enjoying the stunning view of the river and the African bush all around.
Depending on the weather conditions, dinner is served in the style of a traditional boma under the wide, sparkling night’s sky or on the covered, wooden deck with a view of the Luvuvhu River.
Interesting facts about the Makuleke
The Makuleke population the region is named after lives just outside the western border of the Kruger National Park, not far from the Makuleke Concession. The Makuleke are involved in and directly profit from the Royal Makuleke enterprise.
The Lodge forms an integral element and makes contributions both with direct financial aid as with training programs, employment and community development projects.
Eight percent of the general income is directly invested into the Makuleke Community Property Association (CPA) which is a trust with the objective to ensure an enduring benefit for the Makuleke people and the Makuleke settlements outside the Kruger National Park.
The CPA trust was originally founded to represent the entire Makuleke population who inhabited the land until 1969 when they were forced to leave in the time of the apartheid.
Their cause has been successful and their land was returned by the South African government in the course of a reform reimbursing victims of the apartheid. Thus the Makuleke were legally reinstated as the rightful owners.
The people could have returned to their rightful property but instead they chose to remain on their allotted reserve outside the Park and added the Makuleke Concession to the Kruger Park with the intention of preserving the wildlife and allowing sustainable tourism.
The Makuleke were the first tribe to present their claims to the government and received due attention on a national level. Their actions were viewed as the initial steps to the future conservation policy of the post-apartheid era.
Despite these noble intentions, many considered the legal implications to be the long-term downfall of wildlife conservation efforts.
A senior official commented in 1997: "If the Makuleke claim is upheld in respect of land within the Kruger Park, all conservation areas will be under threat. Conservation status will not be worth the paper it is written on."
Wilderness Safaris and the Makuleke have in unison taken the pledge to turn this land into a shining example of the good that can be done when communities, official conservation organisations and responsible private investors all cooperate for the benefit of all stakeholders and above all the conservation of the land and wildlife.
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