Eco Safari in South Africa

Buffelshoek Tented Camp 

For those that are on a limited budget, an Eco Safari in South Africa could be an option. Affordable African wildlife safaris can sometimes be difficult to find.  

With the rapid growth of ecotourism, we are encouraged to see greater opportunities for more of us to travel to places like South Africa, not only to see but photograph and enjoy the wildlife the country has to offer through the introduction of more sustainable ecotourism and conservation practices. Buffelshoek tented camp offers such sustainability.


Eco-Photo Safari in Manyeleti

Our ‘Wild Africa’ Eco-Photo Safari in the Manyeleti Game Reserve is our first photo Eco-Safari in South Africa. 

To achieve this we have partnered with the Buffelshoek tented camp operator, to provide an authentic ‘bush’ photo safari in South Africa.  Staying at an ‘unfenced’ tented camp in the middle of the African bushveld in the renowned Big 5 – Manyeleti Game Reserve.

See the Big 5

This Eco-Safari in South Africa provides chances to see and photograph Africa’s Big 5 (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo), along with the possibilities of the rare Wild Dog.  Additionally Spotted hyena and plains game like Zebra, Giraffe, Impala and Wildebeest make great photographic subjects to be able to hone ones photographic skills.



Eco Safari South Africa - Manyeleti Private Game Reserve

Manyeleti means ‘Place of the Stars’ in the Shangaan language and on a clear night it’s easy to see why its been named such.   Manyeleti Private Game Reserve is a 23,000 hectare ‘Big 5’ game reserve located between the Timbavati and Sabi Sands Game Reserves (where we also host our Sabi Sands Big Cat Photo Safari) and borders the world famous Kruger National Park. 

No Fences 

The fences, however, between these reserves have been dropped to allow the animals to roam freely between the reserves. Manyeleti is a perfect spot, it’s well off the beaten track, the rustic tented camp is perfect for us to host our ‘Wild Africa’ Eco-Safari.

The people of the area are the ‘Mnisi’ Shangaan who own and manage the reserve.  The handful of lodges and tented camps in Manyeleti Game Reserve are privately owned and make use of the land on a concession basis.  

Roads Less Travelled

As there are only a small number of lodges and camps in the reserve and more than 200 kilometres of dirt roads, one can assume to have this game reserve pretty much to yourself.  

Another plus for guests staying at the reserve is the ability for the camps guides and rangers to drive ‘off road’ to provide the ultimate access for game viewing and wildlife photography, unlike, for example, any of the Kruger Park Safaris where stricter rules apply on where one can drive.

Buffelshoek Tented Camp – Highlights

Dining Area - Buffelshoek Tented Camp
Buffelshoek Tented Camp - Dining Area
Buffelshoek Tented Camp - Waterhole
Buffelshoek - Tent in the Camp and Waterhole Nearby

Dates: Various

Early Booking Always Recommended

‘Wild Africa’ Eco Safari in South Africa

 Please click on individual tabs below for more detailed information. 

‘Wild Africa’ Eco Safari in South Africa – The Camp

This photo safari will provide a true wilderness bushveld experience in many ways.  Your photo opportunities will not stop, even when you are not on one of the twice-daily photographic game drives.  Our game vehicle will have a driver/tracker and professional wildlife photographer to provide instruction on how best to capture and compose your photographs.  Buffelshoek tented camp is totally ‘unfenced’ and overlooks a ‘water hole’ with stunning views from ones own tent to the water hole itself.  This oasis in the bush is often visited by elephant and large predators like lion, hyena and even leopard which all come to drink at some time, the continued opportunities to view and photograph game are exceptional.

Buffelshoek tented camp is rustic but comfortable with some tents having twin beds and others double; all tents have en-suite toilets & shower rooms.  Lighting is via solar panels and a battery system.  The main lodge area has facilities to recharge mobile phones and camera batteries also via solar panels and battery charging systems.  Free wifi is also available to guests at the main lodge area where all meals are served.



This 3-day/night photo safari staying at Buffelshoek Eco Tented Camp in the Manyeleti Private Game Reserve gives you the opportunity to stay at one of five individually raised wooden deck eco-friendly safari tents, looking towards a natural waterhole. From your own private tent you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the ‘bush’, especially at night.  Enjoy a true African wilderness experience.


On this photo safari we cater for photographers of all abilities, however non-photographers or videographers, spouses/travel companions will also have fun on this Eco photo safari.   The wildlife and birds we will encounter will appeal to anyone with a love for animals and nature.


Buffelshoek Eco Tented Camp has no mains electric; with light and limited power provided via solar panels and battery systems which also operate the camps main fridges and freezers.  The hot water systems operate via bottled gas, with water being provide via borehole.

The Eco camp is located within the private 23, 000-hectare Manyeleti Private Game Reserve which borders the Kruger National Park, Timbavati and the Sabi Sands game reserves.


Arrive at the camp (+/- 2 pm in time for lunch).  Sunset game drive with a qualified driver/tracker and professional wildlife photographer.  Return to camp around 7 pm for dinner and prepare for the following days game drive.  Discuss, over dinner the photographs taken from the Sunset drive.  Maybe an opportunity to try some night time photography after dinner  (conditions permitting).


Early morning call at 5 am – Coffee/Tea & Rusks
Set off for our morning photography game drive in an open safari vehicle at 5-30am. Duration: +/- 3hrs dependant on guests and sightings.

Breakfast is served on our return to camp at around 8-30am
After breakfast, relax around the camp and get the opportunity to sit and discuss your photographs together with Tony.

Around 3.30pm the afternoon photo game drive departs into the early evening with our trained local guide and tracker.
Returning to camp, there will be time to freshen up before dinner is served in the lantern-lit boma or bush lounge.


Early morning call at 5 am – Coffee/Tea & Rusks
Set off for our morning game drive in an open safari vehicle at 5-30am.
After a morning game drive, it will then be time to head back to the camp for breakfast and to check-out (camp check out is at 10:00 am).

Note: Itineraries are flexible and can be discussed on the day in camp, dependant on the weather,  time of the year.


Additional days can be added to this privately guided photo safari in the Manyeleti Game Reserve should they be required.  Please advise us at the time of booking for revised prices or contact us for other wildlife safaris, photo safaris, birding tours or custom safari options should they be required.


(ZAR prices are an estimation linked to the exchange rate and the exact price will be confirmed via invoice at the time of booking)

This photo safari will run throughout the year with a minimum of 4 guests and a maximum of 6 guests.

Safari Cost : From ZAR P.O.A. pp sharing

We can accept payment via International SWIFT transfer, Credit Card or Paypal.

Please be advised:

Please contact us for any single supplement requirements, together with your preferred travel arrangements, so we can advise you on the availability of your dates and open spaces on this safari.


  • 3 days/3 nights at Buffelshoek tented camp in the Manyeleti Game Reserve
  • Elevated tent under thatch
  • Two game drives daily (6 Drives in total)
  • 3 Meals daily and selected beverages (ie. fruit juice, water, tea & coffee)
  • Photography host


  • Any flights
  • Visas
  • Transfers to Buffelshoek Tented Camp (please contact us for prices if transfers are required)
  • Gratuities (Please allow between $US 5-10 a day or rand equivalent for the driver and the tracker) if you wish to give anything. This should be paid in cash.
  • Purchases of a personal nature
  • Manyeleti Game Reserve gate entry fees
  • All Alcoholic & Soft Drinks (Beers, Wines, Mixer’s, Coke etc…) Guests may bring their own alcoholic drinks or can purchase and or place a drinks order in advance.
  • Telephone calls

We regret that we are unable to accommodate children under the age of 12 on this photo safari.


South Africa is officially listed as one of the most biologically diverse countries on earth.  With South Africa being made up of an astonishing kaleidoscope of landscapes as well as a plethora of eco-systems.

From the arid, near-deserts on its west coast to the montane forests and subalpine zones at the top of the beautiful Drakensberg at nearly 3,500 metres above sea-level.  In the South African cape, you will find pristine beaches and the uniqueness of its Fynbos ecosystems and lest we forget the vast wildlife and birds to encounter on the rich savannahs of its north-east provinces.

Without a doubt, any visitor to South Africa will be captivated by its constantly changing landscapes and the warm friendly people one encounters.  All this goes towards making up, what can only be described as, experiences one will never forget and want to keep coming back for more of the same.

This applies particularly for those who wish to capture and record their experience no matter what photographic genre, as South Africa remains a primary destination for experiencing a Big 5 wildlife safari, with our specialist Kruger Park Safaris and tours.  Phenomenal birding and nature photography where the enthusiast can lay witness to the annual bird migration which takes place annually. Read more about South Africa



As one of only a handful of private camps and lodges on the Manyeleti Reserve, guests at Buffelshoek Tented Camp can be assured not to encounter those big tour groups travelling around in large buses or vehicles while on your game drives or at any other time.  Guests can truly expect a ‘Wild Africa’ bush experience in one of South Africa’s most beautiful places.

This 23,000-hectare private game reserve borders directly to the vast Kruger National Park, as well as the famous Sabi Sands and Timbavati Game Reserves.  Manyeleti is home to well over a hundred mammal and reptile species including Africa’s Big 5, which roam freely.  Keen birders will also delight in over 300 species of birds which can be seen on this reserve.  Our guests will enjoy some of South Africa’s most spectacular and extraordinary variety of wildlife, bird life and plant life within the Manyeleti reserve, ensuring that each safari experience will be unique.

The vast tranquil expanse surrounding Buffelshoek tented camp, a magical place where African elephants, rhino and Cape buffalo roam.  Guests at Buffelshoek are sure to fall asleep to the sounds of the ‘whooping’ hyenas or the not so distant roar of the lions.

Together, Buffelshoek tented camp and Manyeleti game reserve make a perfect combination for a great safari destination for wildlife photographers, nature and bird enthusiasts alike.


  • It should be noted that the Manyeleti Game Reserve is located within in a Malaria area, guests are advised to seek medical advice from your own doctor in this respect.
  • Please read our Safari Safety and Etiquette to ensure you have an enjoyable and trouble free safari experience with us.
  • There is wifi access and mobile phone reception at Buffelshoek Tented Camp (communal area).


  • Mornings and evenings in an open safari vehicle are cold to cool (even in the summer), bring a fleece and a windbreaker jacket
  • Rain jacket, hat, cap or beanie
  • Sunblock
  • Binoculars
  • Spare batteries for your camera
  • Torch
  • Camera/video camera & flash (for wildlife photography a 300 – 400mm lens is ideal but there are opportunities for wildlife images for all sizes of lenses.
  • Should you wish to hire any camera equipment or binoculars for your trip then we can assist, you can enquire here

Finally to ensure all guests who book travel destinations through us have a memorable experience we ask you to read and fully understand our Payment Terms and ConditionsCopyright & Disclaimer and Privacy Policy.   If you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact us

PS: Don’t forget to catch up with our blog, read interesting posts about our tours, wildlife and nature.  Why not join our Safari Buddies family to be sure you are first to receive into your inbox all our latest tour and safari news, new tour destinations, discounts, photography and travel tips, tricks and news.

Buffelshoek Tented Camp Videos – Manyeleti Game Reserve Videos

See more Manyeleti Game Reserve Video’s

Photo Gallery – Buffelshoek Tented Camp

Tony Sparkes
Latest posts by Tony Sparkes (see all)