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To visit ancient Africa is to return to something primordial and profound.

RETURN Africa’s origins lie at Pafuri in the far north of the Kruger National Park. It is in this vast and varied land that we have built a unique social partnership and a collection of superb safari experiences. We hope you’ll visit  and – like many before you – become a Pafurian, a member of our family who returns, again and again, to a place that stirs your soul.

Our safaris are unhurried. We believe Pafuri should not be rushed. Let’s leave it to others to chase from sighting to sighting. Instead, we invite you to immerse yourself in this wild and majestic land. You will experience magnificent places, great herds, big predators and abundant life. But we do not go bashing off the track with two or three other vehicles in pursuit of a startled leopard. We listen, we observe, we tell stories, and we wait for her to come to us. Our wildlife roams without hindrance across open frontiers, as it always should. We respect it and the ancestors who lived on this land since the dawn of time. Their traces are everywhere. We know we too are transients, with a duty to care for the land and the life – both people and wildlife – it sustains. We’d love to host you and share what Pafuri means to us.

HISTORY

Pafuri has a rich human history stretching back through the Makuleke era and an earlier precolonial trading past...READ MORE

Pafuri has a rich human history stretching back through the Makuleke era and an earlier precolonial trading past to hunter-gatherer and stone age settlements. There are several impressive archaeological sites, including the spectacular Thulamela ruins, where contemporary visitors can encounter the remnants of these early settlements. We will share stories about our stone age ancestors who roamed the game-rich lowlands between the great rivers for millennia, perhaps find some of their handcrafted tools, learn about the great trading civilization that thrived here for a thousand years, linking Pafuri with the interior and, via the East African coast, to the world. You will also encounter the Makuleke people who lived here until 1969 when they were forcibly resettled by the apartheid regime. The remains of their settlements are scattered across the land. Today, they have returned as owners of the land and managers of our operation.

© Simon Espley | Africa Geographic

COMMUNITY

RETURN Africa’s origins lie at Pafuri. It is here, on the ancestral land of the Makuleke people, that we have built a...READ MORE

RETURN Africa’s origins lie at Pafuri. It is here, on the ancestral land of the Makuleke people, that we have built a unique partnership. Our operation is rooted in almost three 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. Today, the Makuleke partnership is the heart of our brand. They own the land at Pafuri, staff the business and share in the returns we generate. Together, we’re taking responsible tourism to new heights - where conservation and community are the driving forces that deliver superb safari experiences. We are unlike any other in this regard. Our ethos is best experienced first-hand, so do visit us, meet our managers, our guides and our staff, and see for yourself the pride they take in what they’ve achieved.

© GideonMendel

ENVIRONMENT

Our concession lies between the Limpopo and Luvuvhu rivers along South Africa’s north-eastern frontier...READ MORE

Our concession lies between the Limpopo and Luvuvhu rivers along South Africa’s north-eastern frontier. The two great rivers embrace one of Africa’s most spectacular and diverse landscapes with mountains and gorges in the west giving way to plains, pans, baobabs and extensive fever tree forests in the east. The land, particularly the low-lying floodplains near the rivers’ confluence at Crooks’ Corner where our camps are located, harbours an everchanging abundance of life, including large seasonal concentrations of elephant, buffalo and other game. Predators and scavengers, ranging from hyenas, crocodiles and leopards to servals, genets, civets, caracals, amongst many others, also find shelter here. Our diversity brings a profusion of birds, with numerous specials in what fundis regard as South Africa’s most rewarding birding destination. Come and explore the area in open vehicles and on foot in the care of our expert and experienced guides.
Maritza C
2024-06-24
Verified
Best Ever! The location is absolutely perfect! We were blown away by the service, each staff member calls you by name. The meals were 5star(thank you for going the extra mile to feed my 2 hungry teenagers🤣). Bongs, our game ranger’s bird knowledge was implacable! Our highlight was the bush walk with FP. He is so passionate about his job and made the walk so interesting.
pamwilson2021
2024-06-24
Verified
Exceptional Bush Experience We had the pleasure of staying at Baobab hills lodge in Pafuri. Everything about our stay was exceptional from the incredible staff, food, sightings, biodiversity, walks in the gorge and the feeling of having the whole reserve to yourself!
Bronwen L
2024-06-11
Verified
A privilege It was a privilege to be able to spend 3 nights in the Makuleke Contractual Park at Return Africa’s tented camp. Everything was beyond wonderful - from the team who looked after us and fed us so well, to the luxury and prime position of the tents, to the great birding, historical sites, and insights from the Makuleke people. Wish we could have stayed longer but will definitely be back.
John A
2024-06-08
Verified
Walking Trail based at Hutwini Tented Camp Real authentic bush experience walking in the Makuleke concession area in the Northern Kruger Park. The sun shone during the day and the stars twinkled at night enabling us to immerse ourselves in the experience. Catering was top notch, comfort around the camp is great - and the bucket shower adds to the experience. Our guides were engaging, knowledgeable and competent and indulged us to record 118 birds over the three days. Highly recommended
Nicci Gubb
2024-06-04
Verified
A wilderness experience of many happy returns We've been returning guests for the last 8 years. It's a unique wilderness experience in the northern Kruger right on the border with Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Wonderful game sightings (elephant, buffalo, hippo's, crocodiles and hyena). It's a birder's paradise (including migratory and resident species). The rare Pel's Fishing Owl sightings are always a treat. We love the lodge location right on the Luvuvhu River under great Nyala Berry and Jackal Berry trees. The accommodation is luxury permanent tents under thatch roofs with very comfortable furnishings. Your big double bed faces the river so you can watch game come and go. The staff are very welcoming, helpful and knowledgeable.
JLouw
2024-05-22
Verified
Pafuri Tented Camp We stayed at Pafuri for three nights on a wonderful special offer. What an outstanding experience. I recommend the visit to the Thulamela archeological site and guarantee that you will learn something new about South Africa’s precolonial history.
francoislct
2024-05-07
Verified
Give this a shot SA locals & Kruger regulars For Kruger regulars and SA locals, if you can it is worth paying extra to experience the access Pafuri offers - game drives on tap and access to the Thulamela archaeological site, authentically rooted in the Makuleke community's story. Always with some lovely snacks and drinks waiting. Definitely try this at least once.
Tour23565030764
2024-05-06
Verified
Return to Return Africa To all concerned: We had the privilege to visit Return Africa for the first time a few weeks ago and what a pleasure it was! The lodge and it’s settings and the Makuleke Contractual Park blew away our breaths and the staff complemented the beauty of the place. On arrival at the bush house we were met by the enthusiastic threesome Wendy, Phiona and Doctor who spoilt us by preparing delicious food. They also saw to it that the house and surrounding area was spotless. Bongz took us on several game drives which we enjoyed immensely. His knowledge, efficiency and kindness was exemplary. We learnt a lot from Bongz about nature. It was a pleasure to meet Godfrey, Enos and Ezra at the beautiful lodge and we hope to return to this precious and unspoilt jewel in Limpopo. Kind regards Andre and Bessie Keun
Sheri M
2024-05-04
Verified
One of the most incredible experiences you’d be lucky enough to have… Incredible is an understatement when it comes to trying to explain RETURN Pafuri Camp. Every single aspect of our stay surpassed even the highest of our expectations. From the picturesque setting of the landscapes that surround you, to the most knowledgeable guides & trackers, exquisite food, close encounters with wildlife & incredible team of individuals you will get to meet, a trip to RETURN is a life changing experience. The team are undoubtedly some of the most amazing people you will ever have the privilege of meeting, so welcoming, attentive and kind, you really do feel like you are apart of the family. The aesthetic of the lodge & rooms, in every single detail, is world class. They have got in right in their name, because once you have experienced this place, you will always RETURN.
Corinne H
2024-04-30
Verified
A birders dream holiday This tented lodge is a great base for birders who want to find the northern Kruger park ‘specials’ and who are prepared to pay for the privilege of being looked after by a very special team. We always find that attention to detail is a good differentiator between luxury safari providers and the team at the Pafuri Tented Camp, led by Enos, certainly deserved the 5 star rating we’ve given them. The team made us feel at home in a relaxed but smoothly run atmosphere. Everything worked well, from the easy check in, to the friendly care that was provided by every staff member we encountered. Safari guides can make or break your holiday and our wonderful guide Zach certainly added a huge amount to our experience. The team knew we were birders, assigned us a guide who was an outstanding birder and it was a great match. We saw and photographed lots of birds! The tents are lovely and well equipped to a high standard. The food was great and the portion sizes just right. We highly recommend this camp.