Joburg airport to Kruger - 3D/2N trip - Honeymoon - Nov12
Replies: 7 - Last Post: May 10, 2012 11:38 PM Last Post By: johnqa
May 9, 2012 1:20 AM
Joburg airport to Kruger - 3D/2N trip - Honeymoon - Nov12Hi
We plan to visit Kruger National Park (KNP) as a part of our honeymoon for 3days, 2 nights. Expect to land at OR Tambo airport at around 2pm and head straight to KNP. Needed guidance on the following points:
1. Should we hire a self drive cab from airport for Kruger? What other travel options are available - we will have to carry atleast 3 big bags so will want the travel to be comfortable. Also, what would be the rough cost of hiring a driver driven cab for a drop to KNP?
2. How long would the journey (in hours) take to KNP via road (be it self driven or a driver driven cab), since the distance ranges around 400kms
3. Recommendations on any decent places/hotels where we can stay for the rest of the duration and take one day safaris is fine with us. We do not want to spend to much on luxury in this leg of the trip.
4. If we drive self and take a car on rent, we will have the option of either going on game drives by ourselves or through operators. Can you please help with rough cost of a one day safari through an operator, so we can work out the costing and decide accordingly to hire a self drive cab or not.
May 9, 2012 2:55 AM
1Not enough time. You'll only be out of the airport at 3-4pm, and it's a long drive. You'd need to drive in the dark to get near to the park (which closes its gates in early evening) which is not recommended. You'd be able to enter the next morning and spend one night at one of the Sanparks camps before you need to leave. Kruger is unique, plan at least 3-4 days there to make the trip worthwhile.
With such short time I'd recommend you go to Pilanesberg north of Joburg instead - it's closer, smaller and really beautiful and you'll be sure to see plenty of game. Several operators can arrange transfers so you get there the same evening and have the next 2 days for drives and relaxing. There are good, affordable camps, such as Bakgatla, which has very reasonably priced bungalows at the edge of the park.
May 9, 2012 10:12 AM
2We had similar concerns with driving from OR Tambo to Kruger next August. Imagine that our flight arrives early morning and we estimated leaving Airport around 9 to 10am. Even with this time space till getting dark we arranged accommodation around Sabie (just before Kruger) for the first night, rather than trying entering the same day into the Kruger Park because we thought there will be a queue (and much time waiting) at the gates. Also it's not just to get in, it's also that it's not allowed driving in the park in the evening as well.
You can go with Jeroen's option above (we have been also proposed to go to Pilanesberg but we 've chosen Kruger instead as we have more days anyway there) - In case you go to Kruger try to arrange accommodation just before the park for the first evening.
May 9, 2012 5:27 PM
3We drove to Dullstroom which is about 2,5 hours from the AirPort and spent the night there and drove from Dullstroom to Kruger area the next day. You can also catch a flight from Johannesburg to Nelspruit or Hoedspruit and hire a car there to your safari. In 2009 the drive took us 8 hours because of road work, and last year we also spent some time waiting in the car because of road work, and you really don't want to drive after dark,
May 9, 2012 10:30 PM
4@All - Thanks a lot.
I have already started googling about the Pilanesberg park and it does seem a better choice given my limited time.
Can you help me with the following:
1. Should we hire a self drive cab from airport for Pilanesberg? What other travel options are available - we will have to carry atleast 3 big bags so will want the travel to be comfortable. Also, what would be the rough cost of hiring a driver driven cab for a drop to the destination?
2. Recommendations on any decent places/hotels where we can stay and take one day safaris is fine with us. We do not want to spend too much on luxury in this leg of the trip. All the quotes i am able to find on the internet are approx R2500 per person per night, which seems a bit costly to me.
3. If we drive self and take a car on rent, we will have the option of either going on game drives by ourselves or through operators. Can you please help with rough cost of a one day safari through an operator, so we can work out the costing and decide accordingly to hire a self drive cab or not.
4. Since we will have 2 days, will visiting SunCity for some time be worth it - are non hotel guests allowed inside to see the hotel/wave park? we do not want to stay in SunCity as such.
May 10, 2012 2:37 AM
5See http://www.goldenleopardresorts.co.za/ for the good yet budget resorts at the edge of the park; I stayed at Bakgatla a few times, both the (permanent) safari tents and the bungalows were good. They can arrange guided drives too.
You can arrange a transfer from the airport direct to Pilanesberg with companies like www.ulysses.co.za, but that will leave you with no car there, with only the organised drives to take you around. better drive yourself. Get GPS in your rental car and it's not hard to find. Reaching Bakgatla involves driving around the park to the north through some towns with some confusing signposting, but it's really not a problem if you follow gps+signs+maps. Depart Tambo at 2/3pm and you'll make it before dark easily. Ulysses can also do daytrips to Pilanesberg from Joburg if time is short - though spending a night in a safari tent listening for lions is half the fun.
See also the official park site www.pilanesberg-game-reserve.co.za.
Sun City is tacky. If you like casino atmosphere go for it, and the pool is open for day visitors at a fee - but me, I'd rather spend more time in the park.
May 10, 2012 6:37 AM
May 10, 2012 11:38 PM
7The timing is tight. If you can afford it you can fly into Kruger Skukuza and rent a car from Avis there.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$182.81 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$273.27 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$18.24 per night