Chacma and Trails: Getting to Know the Maseke Game Reserve

You might know it as the Maseke Game Reserve or the Maseke Balule Game Reserve, but at least you know it! This relatively unexplored game-rich reserve is home to the Big 5, the Olifants River, and abundant rocky outcrops. Situated in the northern expanses of the Balule Nature Reserve and bordered by the Olifants North Reserve, Maseke Game Reserve is one of those “hidden gem” destinations.

Far from the typical flat terrain, the Maseke is strewn with giant quartz and dolerite boulders that punctuate the horizon and provide plenty of useful outcrops for leopards to stash their cubs, among other things. The Maseke Game Reserve hosts an array of species in a diverse ecosystem. Known for its hefty elephant population, prolific dassies (rock hyrax), kingfishers, and all the usual predatory suspects; the Maseke has earned its place on the map as a worthy safari destination. This is an uncrowded reserve, where visitors can enjoy a personalised safari experience in completely wild terrain.

Because of its undulating landscapes, well-worn jeep tracks and interesting landscape; the Maseke is ideal for a walking safari. When Africa on Foot Wilderness Trails’ owners embarked on a search for a location within the Kruger that embraced a range of elements, from excellent camping spots to rivers, waterholes, and varied terrain, the Maseke appeared to be the perfect choice for some safari hiking. It also made sense given that Chacma Bush Camp is in the same area, which is the headquarters for Wilderness Trails. The owners decided it would be a fantastic idea for visitors to enjoy a thrilling immersive adventure on foot and finish it off with a more sedentary, wind-down safari lodge experience at Chacma Bush Camp where game drives and boma nights are the order of the day.

We recommending matching the length of time at Chacma to give yourself more of a window of opportunity to spot wildlife.

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Africa on Foot Wilderness Trails

Because of its unique terrain, the Maseke Game Reserve is a great place to explore on foot. Guided walks through the reserve lead to some breathtaking elevations, where you can see hectares of pristine bushveld below and waterholes surrounded by wildlife. You’ll mainly follow jeep track through the reserve and the occasional single track for that added thrill. Guides will stop en route to teach you about the local flora, where you’ll learn about the medicinal properties of plants and which plants are favoured by herbivores.

Typical wildlife encounters during walking excursions include giraffes, zebras, kudus, warthogs, elephants, and various other diurnal species Because predators are active at night, you’ll go on short game drives in the evening to take advantage of when they’re most active.

The Wilderness Trails is a 3-day trail where each night is spent in a unique location in the wild. One of these locations is on the banks of the Olifants River, where you’ll fall asleep to the bellowing sounds of hippos and spot crocs sunning themselves on the banks. Accommodation is in dome tents, which are basic but extremely comfortable. You’ll enjoy private showers, eco toilets, raised beds and safari chairs for seating. All of this is set up prior to your arrival. Evenings are spent around the campfire after enjoying dinner under the stars.

Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a 3-night adventure where you don’t have to lift a finger? You get to claim that you’re an explorer, without having to “rough it”!

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Chacma Bush Camp

End off your 3 night exploration on trails with a more serene and comfortable stay at the intimate Chacma Bush Camp, also located in the Maseke Game Reserve. With only 3 chalets, Chacma epitomises the warm and personal safari experience. With a pool, deck and dining area that flows though to a thriving waterhole, it’s no surprise that charming Chacma enjoys plenty of return guests. Chacma offers twice-daily game drives through the Maseke, where you’ll explore areas that you didn’t get to see while on Trails. Of course, there’s always the obligatory coffee and sundowner stop during your drive.

Chacma’s waterhole is where stories emerge. It’s a major drawcard for wildlife, who frequently put on a show for guests. We’ve seen guests swimming in the pool, while just a few metres away an entire herd of ellies are soaking up water from the waterhole. For safety reasons, there’s an elephant fence between the waterhole and pool deck/grass patch—yes, the it’s that close! Common visitors to the waterhole include: pied kingfishers, elephants, buffalo, impala and array of birdlife. Elephants tend to visit around the same time everyday, and are always comical to watch. Chacma’s secret camera trap reveals that elusive leopard and lion prides also visit this pride of place, the waterhole!

Explore the Maseke Game Reserve with a walking trails adventure and iconic safari experience at both Africa on Foot Wilderness Trails and Chacma Bush Camp. To book this combination stay, contact

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