7 night itinerary - June 18-25
5 night itinerary - June 20-25
June 18: Arrival at Entabeni (start of 7 night itinerary)
All participants are transferred to the Entabeni Private Game Reserve from Johannesburg International Airport where all tours start and end. Transfers will depart from the airport times: 0830, 1000, 1200, 1400 and 1600. If the transfers doesn’t fit in your travel plans it is possible to pay an extra surcharge for an individual transfer to Entabeni.
After arriving and checking into the respective lodges, the participants can enjoy some sandwiches and snacks. For participants arriving on the first two transfers (departure from Johannesburg International Airport at 10:00 & 12:00) today is the time for the first of several exciting game drives. These drives will provide the opportunity to experience an authentic African safari in serene surroundings. The Entabeni Private Game Reserve offers diverse wildlife, open safari vehicles and relatively few tourists creating an ideal wilderness atmosphere.
June 19 & 20: Entabeni Game Drives (June 21 start of 4 night itinerary)
Days two and three of the program are dedicated to exploring the game reserve through daily game drives and a bush walk. During these days you will get accustomed to the park’s geography, and climate, and you will slowly begin to look forward to the big event: The Big Five Marathon. During these two days there is one daily game drive included in the program, which will take place either in the early morning or in the late afternoon. A bush walk is also included on day 3. The early morning game drive typically takes place between 0600hrs and 0930hrs. During these early hours you will enjoy the cool African morning, spot spectacular wildlife, and most probably work up an appetite. Upon your return from morning safari you will be richly satisfied by the overwhelming breakfast buffet that awaits you at the lodges.
The afternoon game drive begins around 1600hrs, arriving back at the lodge in time for dinner around 1930hrs. Similar to the morning game drive, the afternoon drive provides great wildlife experiences. Moreover the afternoon drive offers you the opportunity to experience a genuine African sunset in ideal settings: enjoying a cold drink on the savannah, while admiring the changing colours of the darkening evening sky. The afternoon drive then turns into a night safari, where you will get the chance to spot the fascinating nocturnal wildlife with a spot light.
Over the last few years the reserve’s wildlife has become increasingly accustomed to the visiting tourists. It is therefore not uncommon to see elephants, giraffes and different species of antelopes grazing in close proximity to the safari vehicles. A pride of lions even occasionally holds up traffic, lying lazily across the track. We use open 4x4 safari vehicles, which provide us with an excellent opportunity for viewing the wildlife in safety.
As an alternative to the game drives, the lodge offers "Bush Walks" that allows you to examine the surroundings on foot in the company of an armed ranger with extensive tracking experience.
During the stay, the participants will have a number of park rangers allocated: one for approximately every ten participants. The rangers ensure your safety, drive the safari vehicles, provide competent guiding, coordinate the events with the race management, and are at your disposal around the clock. Furthermore a Tour Leader will be with the group from beginning to end assisting in every need of the participants. Everything is done to make sure you to have an unforgettable experience.
June 21 : Route Inspection
After breakfast all the participants are transported from their respective lodges to the starting point of the marathon. It is now time for the route inspection: all safari vehicles follow the route in a convoy, allowing the participants to examine the different running surfaces, note the locations of water posts, and assess the overall difficulty of the route.
After the route inspection a large buffet lunch will be served for all the participants. This is the time where everyone is gathered – the participants, technical staff, medical staff and race coordinators - for a formal introduction to the event, and a presentation of the practical issues surrounding the marathon. There are no scheduled game drives this day.
June 22: The Big Five Marathon
The big day has come. Today you will be met by a challenge that will be worth remembering: The Big Five Marathon. In the morning all the participants will be transported from the various lodges and camps to the starting line in time for final preparations. The marathon is planned to start at 0800hrs, however the exact time will be dependent on the location of the big five game – if too close to where the route is going, the start will be postponed. There are no scheduled game drives this day.
June 23: After Marathon party
Today you will experience yet another fantastic game drive followed by our After Marathon Party. There will be great food, live entertainment, prize ceremonies, and partying under the African skies.
June 24: Entabeni
On the final full day at the Entabeni Private Game Reserve you will have one last game drive either in the morning or in the afternoon. Those interested will also get the opportunity to stretch their legs on one final bush walk. In the evening farewell dinners will be held at the respective lodges.
June 25: Depart for Johannesburg
Transfer to Johannesburg International Airport. Transfers will arrive the airport time 0800, 1200, 1400, 1600 and 1800. As on arrival it is possible, for an extra surcharge, to book an individual transfer to Johannesburg if the group transfers aren’t suitable to your onward journey.