For travellers looking to induce some travel envy on their Instagram timelines, nothing beats the African bush. At Chacma Bush Camp in the Greater Kruger there are five particularly Insta-worthy locations that will have your followers swooning.
The private and secluded Maseke Balule Game Reserve boasts some of the most staggering views in the whole of the Kruger, and especially so around Chacma Bush Camp. You will lose your heart at this charming little lodge in the wilds of the lowveld, so make sure you capture loads of memories and take lots of mementos in the form of photographs and videos.
Climb the Kop
Chacma Bush Camp is named for the koppie that stands sentinel directly behind camp, which is home to a large troop of chacma baboons – and the odd klipspringer. In fact, the koppie is one of the perfect viewpoints from which to enjoy a bush sunset, G&T in hand. And don’t forget your phone or camera because this is one photo op you wouldn’t want to pass up. Once you’ve scrambled up (it’s not too high and nearly everyone should be able to make the short climb) sublime three-sixty degree vistas of the reserve await. The panoramic views mean you have a good chance of spotting some big game meandering through the foliage from here too, so keep an eye out for the hulking grey forms of big pachyderms.
Hit the deck
The focal point of the camp, and a location where you would likely spend the majority of your downtime at Chacma, is the eminently inviting pool deck. Not only is the beautifully sparking pool a welcome reprieve from the searing bushveld heat, the deck is also a great vantage point from which to spot game at the waterhole directly in front of camp. So, while you’re soaking up sun on a lounger with your nose in a book, be sure to keep an eye on the waterhole for elephant, antelope and even lion coming for a sip, and have your camera at the ready to capture any such chance visitors.
Stay in Steenbok Chalet
If you’re lucky enough to book the Steenbok chalet (ideal for couples, while the Klipspringer and Grysbok suites are more suited to families) you’ll be privy to prime waterhole frontage. The Steenbok suite has a patio that practically spills on to the waterhole (don’t worry, a small fence keeps the bigger game at bay), securing the best view of whatever game decides to come down for a drink. The verandah is also completely private, so these front row seats are exclusive to guests of Steenbok, to be enjoyed in the morning over a cup of coffee, in the evening with a sunset tipple or at night when elephants might come for a noisy midnight splash. Keep a camera handy for these occasions, as this is as close as you’re likely to get to big game in the wild (just remember to turn off your flash!).
Chacma guides have a number of idyllic sundowner spots where they like to stop at during afternoon game drives. Of course, game drives are all about spotting wildlife and birds, but these sunset locations are an absolute highlight in themselves, one of which is high on an outcrop that overlooks the green undulations of the reserve, and a big glassy waterhole at the foot of it. In the gloaming after sunset, as the bush is plunged into an otherworldly pink, animals like to flock to the little waterhole far below, so keep an eye out – you might even get to see some of the shier sorts, leopard included. By then your guide will have laid out a spread of snacks and poured your libation of choice with which to clink and celebrate the rare beauty of this place. And remember to record some memories for the ’Gram while you’re there!
Down by the River
Another game drive haunt that Chacma guides like to frequent is a particular spot on the lush banks of the Olifants River. Huge fig trees line the bank here, providing plenty of shade and a cool place to have a mid-morning coffee or sundowner. It’s also a highly prolific location for bird watching. Look out for a variety of kingfishers – from malachite to woodland – and of course fish eagles, but also rarities such as Pel’s fishing owls, giant eagle owls and African spoonbills.
On the far bank you’re likely to see a row of sunbathing crocs, while hippos also like to loll about in this stretch of the river. It’s a magical site, so take your time here and make sure to get a couple of good snaps, because they’re sure to drive your Insta followers crazy with envy.