RETURNAfrica’s origins lie at Pafuri in the far north of the Kruger National Park. It is here, on the ancestral land of the Makuleke people, that we have built a unique partnership and a collection of superb safari experiences. Our operation is rooted in more than two decades of friendship with the Makulekes, who lost their home under apartheid but who have now returned as our landlords, our business partners and our guides.
Our concession lies in a vast triangle between the Limpopo and Luvuvhu rivers along South Africa’s northeastern frontier. Between them, the two great valleys embrace one of Africa’s most spectacular landscapes with mountains and gorges in the west giving way to plains, pans, baobabs and fever tree forests in the east. The land, particularly the low-lying floodplains near the confluence at Crooks’ Corner where our camps are located, harbours an abundance of life. Huge herds of elephant, buffalo and other game congregate here, especially when the surrounding bush lies parched before the rains. Predators and scavengers, ranging from the great cats and hyenas to servals, genets, civets, caracals, amongst many others, find shelter here. The wildlife roams without the hindrance of borders in a transfrontier park that spans three countries. Our diversity also brings a profusion of birds, with numerous specials in what pundits regard as South Africa’s most rewarding birding destination.
Stretching along the north bank of the Luvuvhu, near to its confluence with the Limpopo, Pafuri Camp is RETURNAfrica’s flagship. Sheltered under thatch, the en-suite luxury tents – twelve for couples or singles and seven for families of up to four – all have sweeping views over the Luvuvhu. The communal area offers al-fresco dining, a bush bar, a swimming pool and plenty of space to laze about in the shade of the giant trees that overhang the camp. Breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner are served on decks above the river.
At Pafuri, we invite you to return to yourself and set your own pace. Lounge on your private deck and watch the ever-varying spectacle of life drawn to the banks of the Luvuvhu. Lie in bed and listen to the symphony of the bush. Chat to our staff, who will tell you stories about the ancestors – some claim you can still hear them playing their ghostly drums on moonlit nights. Visit the Makuleke villages and let the community entertain you with food, dance and song. And, of course, join our master guides in open vehicles or on foot to explore the wilderness.