The African Ivory Route 

The African Ivory Route - the land of Big-Tuskers and Baobabs - comprises 10 South African destinations in Limpopo Province. Situated in a ‘horseshoe’ from Masebe in the east, through the Waterberg, along to Makuya Park and down the Western Kruger National Park. Most of these safari and cultural camps are owned by their respective local communities.

Originally started in 2003, the African Ivory Route provides adventure travellers an opportunity to visit remote and fascinating places in the Limpopo Province. The name of the route has its origins in the exploits of the hunters of old, made famous by the exploits of the legendary SC ‘Bvekenya’ Barnard (meaning 'the-one-who-swaggers-as-he-walks').

The adventure stories of Bvekenya are told in TV Bulpin’s book ‘The Ivory Trail’ and include Bvekenya’s tales of hunting ivory in Pafuri in the north-eastern corner of the Kruger National Park called Crooks’ Corner, where the Limpopo and Luvuvhu rivers meet. (If you enjoyed the book ‘Jock of the Bushveld’ then you should enjoy this book. It is no longer in print but can be found at second-hand bookstores).

Being a poacher, the authorities wanted to arrest him but Barnard would constantly move his hunting camp around the beacon that marked the borders of Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek (South Africa), Portuguese East Africa (now Mozambique) and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), depending on which county’s police were after him.

This constant moving was obviously tiring, so instead of moving his camp out of the reach of one country’s police he simply moved the beacon instead! The beacon is no longer at Crooks’ Corner as one of the many floods washed it away but there is a plaque commemorating Bvekenya’s exploits.

These camps of the Ivory Route follow some of Bvekenya’s routes that he and his wild companions followed back in the early 1900’s between Johannesburg and the lowveld.  

The camps fall into three different groups:

  1. The Cultural camps of Modjajdi, Baleni, Fundudzi and Blouberg,
  2. the two 4×4 camps of Mafefe and Nthubu, and
  3. the Safari camps of Mtomeni in Letaba Ranch, Mutale Falls in Makuya Park and Machampane in Mozambique.

We will be focusing on the Safari Camps as they are all unfenced camps situated in the Big-five game parks of the Greater Kruger.

Please Note that all the African Ivory Route camps are undergoing a revamp and refresh process with the appointment of Transfrontier Parks Destinations as their commercial operator.

For more information or to make your booking at one of these three groups of camps, please visit the African-Ivory-Route website. 

Return from The African Ivory Route to the Kruger National Park page 

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"Having a passion for the region myself and having had to learn about all the dynamics, waterholes and ideal routes to drive over a period of 6 years - I wish I had this guide on my first trip already!" - Morkel Erasmus, Secunda, South Africa

"Mario and Jenny take you to spots that are not always visited, and their descriptions of the more remote camps will allow you to make an informed decision without wasting time and money" - Bob & Sherry Shepardson, DeBary, Florida, USA

"Your time and money are valuable and the information in this book will help you save both." - Don Stilton, Florida, USA

"I highly recommend the book to anyone visiting Etosha National Park to photograph the animals - or anyone considering an African photography safari in the future." - Anne Darling, Cognac, France

"As a photographer and someone who has visited and taken photographs in the Pilanesberg National Park, I can safely say that with the knowledge gained from this eBook, your experiences and photographs will be much more memorable." - Alastair Stewart, B C, Canada

"This work is so much more than an eBook, because it is also a guide, a tutorial, an inspiration and a must-have for anyone interested in wildlife photography" -, USA