Big Five Marathon

19 June 2021

Big Five Marathon 2020 (2021) 6-day package

The Big Five Marathon is an exclusive event that combines a challenging marathon experience with a classic African safari vacation.
17-22 Jun
6 days
1 800 EUR

Please note that this 2020 package, has been moved and so is now taking place on june 17-22 2021.

Situated in the Limpopo province, the Entabeni Game Reserve provides the perfect setting for this event. Within this 22,000 ha, malaria-free, private game reserve, you have the option of several accommodation facilities, varying from tented camps to luxurious lodges.We use exclusive safari lodges that are placed in the middle of Entabeni, meaning that, as soon as you step outside, you will find yourself surrounded by the savannah wildlife. From our lodges, you will have a spectacular view of the mighty Entabeni-monolith, as well as the opportunity to catch a glimpse of all the "Big Five" game, along with several other stunning creatures like giraffes, hippopotamus, crocodiles and many splendid species of antelope, not to mention an abundance of birdlife. Between game drives, bush walks, and the marathon itself, you'll have plenty of chances to see the wildlife. 

English

Itinerary

The itinerary is detailed below. This is what you'll be doing during your stay!

17 Jun 2021Arrival at Entabeni

Your tour will start and end at Johannesburg International Airport (also known as OR Tambo). All participants will be transferred at set transfer times from the airport to Entabeni Game Reserve. 

The set transfer departure times from the airport are: 08:30, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00. If none of these transfers fit with your arrival, it is possible to book an individual transfer at an additional cost. 

Upon arrival in Entabeni, you will meet your tour leader and be checked in at your respective lodge/camp. Participants arriving on one of the first three transfers (departing from Johannesburg International Airport at 08:30, 10:00 and 12:00) will have the possibility to go on the first of many exciting game drives. 

The afternoon game drive begins at 16:00 and arrives back at the lodge in time for dinner at 19:30. The afternoon drive not only provides an opportunity to encounter the exhilarating wildlife, but also offers the experience of a genuine African sunset in ideal settings: enjoying a cold drink out in the savannah, while admiring the changing colours of the darkening evening sky. The afternoon drive eventually turns into a night safari, where we will get the possibility to spot fascinating nocturnal wildlife with a spotlight. 

Please note: June is wintertime in South Africa and while the temperatures often rise to 20-25 degrees Celsius during the day, temperatures often hover around 0 degrees Celsius at night! The significant drop in temperature from day to nighttime make the evenings and mornings feel extremely cold. It is therefore essential to bring a winter jacket, warm hat and gloves when going on game drives! 

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 tracks. We use open 4x4 safari vehicles, which provide us with an excellent opportunity to view the wildlife safely. 

During our stay, there will be several park rangers at the camps: one for approximately every ten participants. The rangers ensure our safety, drive the safari vehicles, provide knowledgeable guiding, coordinate the events with the race management, and are at our disposal around the clock. Furthermore, a Tour Leader will be with the group from beginning to end assisting with every need of the participants.

Meals: Dinner

18 Jun 2021Route inspection

After breakfast, all participants will be transported from their respective lodges/camp to the starting point of the marathon. Before we set off for the start line, there will be a short briefing about 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 stations and assess the overall difficulty of the route. 

After the route inspection, a large buffet lunch will be served for all of the participants. Everyone will be gathered - participants, race officials, medical staff and rangers - 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. 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
 

19 Jun 2021Race day

The day we have all been waiting for has arrived! Today you will take part in an unforgettable challenge: The Big Five Marathon. In the morning, all participants will be transported from the different lodges/camps to the starting line in time for final preparations. The marathon is scheduled to start at 09:00, but delays are to be expected, as the exact start time will depend on the location of the big five game - if too close to the route, the start will be postponed. 

For more information about the race, look here.

There are no scheduled game drives this day.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

20 Jun 2021Celebration dinner

Today we get some time to relax after running through the African savannah. You will have the option to purchase additional game drives and excursions for the morning. In the afternoon, we will venture out for yet another fantastic game drive followed by our post-marathon party. There will be delightful food, live entertainment, a prize ceremony, a big bonfire, and partying under the starry skies. Please be aware that the party takes place in a traditional South African boma with open roof and large open doorways. It is therefore advisable to dress warm! For the same reason, there will be no dress code and casual clothing is recommended.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

20 Jun 2021Entabeni

On your final day at the Entabeni Private Game Reserve, you will be able to enjoy one last game drive either in the morning or in the afternoon. 

Today, those of you who are interested will also get the chance to stretch your legs while taking part in one final bush walk. This bush walk with an experienced armed ranger is also included in the package, giving you the opportunity to have a close encounter with the African nature and wildlife. 

In the evening, a farewell dinner will be held at your respective lodges/camps.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

22 Jun 2021Farewell South Africa or Hello Extension

Our time at the Entabeni Game Reserve has come to an end and it's time to head back to Johannesburg. As upon arrival, all participants will be transferred from Entabeni to Johannesburg International Airport. 

Transfer arrival times at the airport are: 08:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00 and 18:00. As on arrival, it is possible, at an additional cost, to book an individual transfer to Johannesburg, if the group transfers don't coincide with your onward journey.

Meals: Breakfast
 

Extensions

Big Five Safari & Panorama Route 2020 (2021) - Manyeleti Private Game Reserve

22-26 Jun | 5 days | 1 250 EUR
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Join us for an exciting safari trip which includes game drives, bush walks, and exploration of the area along the famed Panorama Route. 

Spot the Big Five game and a wealth of bird species, as well as other African wildlife. Our camp is beautifully situated in the Manyeleti Game Reserve, bordering the famed Kruger National Park. Consisting of fifteen stylishly-appointed tents with modern ensuite facilities and private terraces, a pool, bar, lounge and dining area and spacious, lush lawns, the camp provides an authentic African safari experience. 

During our stay in Mantobeni Camp, we will have the opportunity to visit a local community situated beside the reserve that our camp works closely with. This is a great chance to gain insight into the daily lives of the locals. If you are interested in the local community visit, please let the tour leader know in advance.

  • Day 1 - 22 Jun: Arrive in Manyeleti Game Reserve & Zipline Adventure

    After breakfast, we will leave Entabeni and start our drive to Mantobeni Camp. 

    The 7-hour drive will be broken up with an exhilarating zip wire adventure. Glide through a scenic river valley and enjoy astounding views from the treetops while swaying over a gushing waterfall and rushing river. The activity is suitable for everyone (not only for marathon runners) and includes a photo to bring back as a souvenir.

    There will also be a lunch stop (not included in the price) on the way to the camp. Dinner will be enjoyed at the camp.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner

  • Day 2 - 23 Jun: Game drive and/or bush walk

    Over the next few days, we will experience morning and afternoon safaris and hiking in the beautiful scenery. There is not much that can compare with the spicy morning scents and the special glow over the savannah in the early morning. It is cool and peaceful, and a quiet lull descends upon the savannah when the night’s hunting is over. 

    After breakfast, we will either go for a game drive or bush walk. In the afternoon after lunch, we set off for another game drive or bush walk and spend the afternoon exploring the bush. 

    Afternoon safaris begin late in the day when the sun has cast a warm glow over the landscape. Along the way we can enjoy the sunset. It's a bit of a sensory revelation when the sky darkens and the stars brighten the bush. The sounds of the savannah fills your ears and the smell of the red soil and the lingering fragrance of the animals clings to your nostrils. 

    Safari vehicles are open-terrain vehicles, and it’s quite an experience being at such close proximity to a huge elephant - not to mention a lion or rhino. But, fortunately, predators do not consider a car with passengers as food!

    Since it can be quite chilly in the early mornings and late evenings, we provide blankets in the open safari vehicles, but we also recommend that you bring a hat and a windproof jacket or fleece along.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

  • Day 3 - 24 Jun: Panorama Route, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Blyde River Canyon (subject to weather)

    After breakfast we will drive from the camp to the province of Mpumalanga, which means "place where the sun rises." The Panorama Route is true to its name, with magnificent vistas and a stop at the scenic vantage point known as "God’s Window," with panoramic views of the lowveld savannah that lies 1,000m below the plateau. 

    The route also takes us to Bourke's Luck Potholes, a rocky landscape where water has carved deep cylindrical holes into the bare rock. Finally, we stop at Blyde River Canyon, which is the world's third largest canyon. We'll have a break for lunch in an old gold mining town, Pilgrim’s Rest (lunch is not included). We expect to be back in Mantobeni in the late afternoon, giving you some time to relax before dinner.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner

  • Day 4 - 25 Jun: Game drive and/or bush walk

    After breakfast, we'll enjoy another day of game drives (morning and afternoon) and experience the bush. There will either be two game drives today or one game drive and a bush walk.  All meals will be enjoyed at the camp.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

  • Day 5 - 26 Jun: Departure Day

    After breakfast, we'll head back to Johannesburg. The journey will take approximately 7 hours by bus. We’ll stop for lunch and be back in Johannesburg at around 3pm. Lunch is not included in the price. 

    Meals: Breakfast

     

  • Price Information

    Shared double room: EUR 1250
    Single room supplement: EUR +350

  • Inclusions
    • 4-night accommodation in Mantobeni Camp 
    • Game drives and bush walks 
    • Meals as per itinerary 
    • Transportation as per itinerary 
    • Zipline adventure 
    • Panorama Route tour 
  • Exclusions
    • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
    • Beverages
    • Personal expenses
    • Travel and health insurance 
    • Anything else not mentioned under "Inclusions"
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Victoria Falls 2020 (2021) - The Smoke That Thunders

22-25 Jun | 4 days | 1 850 EUR
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With a height of 108 meters, a combined width of 1700 meters, and picturesque rain forest backdrop, Victoria Falls is an impressive place to spend four days topping off your African adventure.

In the Bantu language, the falls are called “mosi-oa-tunya,” which means "the smoke that thunders," and that is a perfect representation of Victora Falls - a huge puff of "smoke" accompanied by the thunderous sound of the water.

  • Day 1 - 22 Jun: Arrive in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

    After breakfast, we start our drive to O R Tambo International Airport where we will check in for our 1 hour 40 minute flight to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

    On arrival, and after clearing customs and immigration, you will be transferred to your hotel for the next four days, the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.

    Situated on a plateau just 4km from the majestic Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, the award-winning hotel is surrounded by the wilds of Africa and offers an unforgettable experience. The sunset-facing, 72-room Victoria Falls Safari Lodge offers a view of the African bush that stretching endlessly toward the horizon, including views of a waterhole frequented by elephants, buffalo, kudus, and other wildlife, as well as a rich variety of birds.

    We offer the Waterhole Facing Room. All rooms are spacious and light, with glass sliding doors opening on to private balconies with unrivalled views of the bushveld at sunset.

    Meals: Breakfast

  • Day 2 - 23 Jun: Tour of Victoria Falls & Sunset Cruise

    After breakfast, we will take a walking tour around the indescribably beautiful Victoria Falls, which spans as far as the eye can see. During the tour, our guide will explain the history of the area and provide information about its location along the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia.

    There is often spray from the waterfall, so it can be a good idea to bring an umbrella or light raincoat. 

    In the afternoon, we will take a sundowner cruise on the Zambezi River upstream from Victoria Falls. From our safe position aboard the boat, we will enjoy a cold drink while on the look-out for crocodiles and hippopotamus. 

    Meals: Breakfast 

  • Day 3 - 24 Jun: Optional Activities

    Today is set aside for you to experience the many activities that are available around Victoria Falls. We offer an optional safari in Botswana’s Chobe National Park. Or you could enjoy a helicopter flight over the falls, go river rafting on the Zambezi, or perhaps bungee jump over the falls. There is also the opportunity to experience the falls from the Zambia side.

    Our local representative will be able to assist in booking activities. 

    Meals: Breakfast and Boma Dinner Drum show

  • Day 4 - 25 Jun: Transfer for Johannesburg & Departure

    You will have the morning free for any optional activities before your transfer back to Victoria Falls airport, where we will take a flight to Johannesburg, from where you should meet your connecting flight home.

    Meals: Breakfast

  • Price Information

    Shared double room: EUR 1850
    Single room supplement: EUR +150

    Optional full day tour to Chobe National Park in Botswana
    Per person including lunch: EUR 150

  • Inclusions
    • 3 nights at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge - Waterhole Facing Room with breakfast
    • Roundtrip flights between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls
    • Tour of Victoria Falls
    • Sundowner Cruise on the Zambezi
    • Boma Dinner Drum Show (24 June)
    • Roundtrip transfer between the airport and hotel
  • Exclusions
    • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
    • Visa to Zimbabwe
    • Beverages
    • Personal expenses
    • Travel and health insurance 
    • Anything else not mentioned under "Inclusions"
  • Flight Information

    Flying Comair (British Airways)

    22 June 2021 
    Departure from Johannesburg 11:25
    Arrival in Victoria Falls 13:05

    25 June 2021
    Departure from Victoria Falls 13:55
    Arrival in Johannesburg  15:35

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Cape Town 2020 (2021)

22-26 Jun | 5 days | 1 250 EUR
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Underneath the renowned Table Mountain lies the blue, frothy waters of the Atlantic and Indian oceans. South Africa’s southern cape marks this oceanic convergence, and during your journey we pay a visit to one of the most famous of the meeting points – Cape Point at The Cape of Good Hope. Other activities that are sure to whet your whistle include a tour of the Winelands with tastings (of course!) and various highlights throughout Cape Town itself.

  • Day 1 - 22 Jun: Arrive in Cape Town

    After breakfast, we will leave Entabeni and start our drive to O R Tambo  International Airport where we will check in for our 2-hour flight to Cape Town. In Cape Town, we will be taken to our hotel, Southern Sun Waterfront.

    Meals: Breakfast

  • Day 2 - 23 Jun: Cape Point Tour & Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

    Today, we travel along the Atlantic Seaboard via Sea Point, Clifton, and Camps Bay to Hout Bay, a quaint village and fishing harbour with magnificent mountain views and beach.

    Then we will continue via Chapman’s Peak, one of the world’s most breath-taking coastal drives, to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and Cape Point, which is perceived to be the meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. We also visit historic Simon’s Town, a village with charming Victorian architecture, a naval base and a large penguin colony at the beautiful Boulders Beach. Boulders Penguin Colony is home to a growing colony of the vulnerable African Penguin. Wooden walkways allow visitors to view the penguins in their natural habitat and there is also a new information centre.

    We'll end the day with a visit to the well-known Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. The gardens include five of South Africa’s six different biomes and is world-renowned for the beauty and diversity of the Cape Flora it displays, as well as for the magnificence of its setting against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain.

    Meals: Breakfast and lunch

  • Day 3 - 24 Jun: Cape Town at your leisure

    Today, everyone’s free to explore this fabulous city at their own pace. The tour leader will also host a city walk that everyone is welcome to join.

    Meals: Breakfast

  • Day 4 - 25 Jun: Tour of the Cape Winelands (tastings included!)

    This morning, we depart for the famous Winelands of the Western Cape, where we will visit several well-known wineries for tours and tastings while we bask in the beauty of the surroundings. We will also visit Stellenbrau Brewery for craft beer tasting.

    Meals: Breakfast and lunch

  • Day 5 - 26 Jun: Departure Day

    Depending on your time of departure, you have the morning or day at your leisure for one last chance to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Cape Town.

    Taxis to the airport are available from the hotel (departure transfer not provided). Please note check-out time is 11 am.

    Meals: Breakfast

  • Price Information

    Shared double room:  EUR 1250
    Single room supplement: EUR +300

  • Inclusions
    • 4-night accommodation in Cape Town 
    • Domestic flight to Cape Town 
    • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary 
    • Tour to Cape Point 
    • Winelands tour and tasting 
    • Guided city walk 
  • Exclusions
    • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
    • Departure transfer to the airport  
    • Beverages
    • Personal expenses
    • Travel and health insurance 
    • Anything else not mentioned under "Inclusions"
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Price information

Have a look at package prices below. Please note that prices do not include the race package.

Prices

Prices are per person in EUR.

Lodges:

Legend Safari Resort

  • Shared double room EUR 2100
  • Single supplement EUR 600
     

    Ravineside Lodge - SOLD OUT

    • Shared double room EUR 1800
    • Single supplement EUR 400

     

    Wildside Tented Camp - SOLD OUT

    • Shared double room EUR 1900
    • Single supplement EUR 400

     

    Albatros Ranger Camp - SOLD OUT

    • Shared double room EUR 1900
    • Single supplement EUR 400

     

    Lakeside Lodge - SOLD OUT

    • Shared double room EUR 1950
    • Single supplement EUR 450

       

    Hanglip Mountain Lodge - SOLD OUT

    • Shared double room EUR 2400
    • Single supplement EUR 700

     

    Private transfer: EUR 400

    • If your flight doesn’t match with any of the set group transfers from/to Johannesburg International Airport you can book a private transfer.

    Inclusions

    • Hotel accommodation
    • Full board (starting with dinner on day 1 and ending with breakfast on the day of departure)
    • Scheduled group transfers
    • Game drives according to the itinerary

    Exclusions

    • International flights
    • Personal expenses
    • Beverages
    • Race package (EUR 300)
    • Private transfer (EUR 400 one way)
    • Tips for rangers and lodge staff
    • Anything not mentioned in 'Inclusions'

    Race Entry

    Marathon or half-marathon: EUR 300

    Race entry includes:

    • Entry to the race
    • Supplies on the route
    • Champion Chip timing
    • Exclusive Big Five Marathon running t-shirt
    • Medal 

    Booking and Payment

    The booking of a trip is binding for both customer and travel agency once the deposit (25% of the total trip price) has been paid at the time of booking on the booking.albatros-adventure.com website. The remaining amount, 75% of the total trip price, will be charged to the customer’s payment card as provided by the customer, 75 days before trip departure. Bookings made later than 75 days prior will require full payment immediately.

    The email sent to the customer upon booking a trip acts as the booking confirmation. It is therefore of vital importance that the customer provides a valid email address.

    Refer to our Terms & Conditions for further information.

    Important Info

    Age Restrictions

    Entabeni Safari Conservancy imposes an age restriction on children who may participate in game drives and bush walks. Children under 6 years of age are not permitted on game drives. To participate in bush walks, children must be 12 years of age or older.

    Adults Traveling with Minors

    The South African Ministry of Home Affairs has introduced new regulations under the Immigration Act whereby from 1 October 2014 passengers travelling with children under the age of 18 years - arriving, transiting and /or departing from South Africa, will be required to produce an unabridged birth certificate indicating the biological parents of the minor. The certificate must be in English and have an Apostille authentication. Please note that it can take several weeks to process this certificate.

    Additional documentation is required for children travelling with only one parent, or adults who are not the biological parents. Full requirements are available from the South African High Commission/Embassy in your area.

    Airlines will be forced to refuse travel to families not in possession of these documents. These new regulations have been implemented to combat child trafficking.

    Questions about South Africa?

    For information on visas, currency, electricity, and more, please check our Destination Guide page. 

    For information on weather and clothing, please check the our Climate & Weather page. 

    If you're curious about the destinations that we'll be visiting or other background information on South Africa, you can read all about it on our Travel Destination page. 

    Book this package

    You will be taken to our booking site where you can complete your booking.