Best way to experience Kruger National Park
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Nov 14, 2012 4:46 AM Last Post By: mullet
Sep 29, 2012 7:49 AM
Best way to experience Kruger National ParkHello all,
I am a lone traveller doing the garden route from Cape Town to J'burg in June 2013. I was wondering what was the best way to experience it. I am leaning towards an organised Safari. But there are so many and I don't know which to choose from. I would be looking at 3 nights and on a budget.
I notice many recommend driving yourself... is this safe? I'm not sure whether I would be comfortable doing this.
Additionally- many people are saying to book in advance... is this only required for an organised safari? Or do I have book entry tickets and accommodation in advance too? I thought I had plenty of time, but appears not!
Thanking you all in advance
Sep 29, 2012 8:03 AM
Sep 29, 2012 1:59 PM
2It is completely safe to do a self-drive safari in Kruger. Just obey the park rules and above all do not get out of the vehicle other than at designated spots. I would do it no other way.
Book your accommodation well in advance. I see that you are thinking of June next year - that is peak season in Kruger and you should book as soon as possible. As your visit to Kruger will be close to the end of your trip you should be able to pin down dates without adversely affecting the rest of your plans.
Access the Kruger Park web-site ( http://sanparks.org.za/parks/kruger/) - on the menu on the left habd side select "Travel" to get to the availability and booking sections.
P.S The Garden Route is but a short section of the road between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, really only starting at George and not even stretching as far as Port Elizabeth.
Sep 30, 2012 4:36 AM
3Thanks for the reply RudiK.
I am really eager to see as much wildlife as possible. I'm concerned that I would have a better chance of seeing some of the big 5 through an organised safari rather than driving myself.
Would I be better doing this at Kruger or KwaZulu-Natal? Kruger seems very big and commercialised.
Sep 30, 2012 7:55 AM
4In response to your other query I suggested that you leave 3 days for Johannesburg or as a buffer. If at that stage you are still not satisfied with the quantity or quality of the animals that you have seen, spend a day or two in Pilanesberg Game Reserve - less than 2 hours from Johannesburg (1 hour from Pretoria). That is also a Big 5 reserve, but is a lot smaller than Kruger.
I would do a self-drive safari in Kruger either instead of, or in addition to, a visit to Hluhluwe/Imfolozi in KZN. I don't think you see many more animals on an organised safari as compared to a self-drive safari. But the big advantage of the latter is that you stop and watch an animal for as long as you want to - not for as long as someone else wants you to.
Kruger is big. Very big. And yes it is commercialised, especially at Skukuza, where we do not stay if we can help it, But it is still a unique experience.
Whatever you decide - enjoy.
Oct 1, 2012 3:50 PM
5You can definitely drive yourself. We rented a car and spent a few days in Kruger. We rented some camp gear (tents etc). The park is very built up - roads are totally paved and you can buy all kinds of groceries, internet etc there. There are pretty nice cooking facilities at each campsite but you need to bring your own cookware and cutlery. If you don't want to cook there are plenty of places to eat too. Have fun!!
Oct 1, 2012 8:17 PM
6I would second Rudi K's suggestion to see Pilanesberg instead of Kruger. We spent 2 days in Pilanesberg on a recent trip and saw many animals. It is a beautiful park, very much smaller than Kruger and very easy to drive around on your own.
Kruger is also easy to self drive. The routes are clearly marked but the animals are harder to find than Pilanesberg - just my experience. Check out my road reports at http://www.lifewellspent.com if you want to see some pics of Pilanesberg.
Oct 3, 2012 5:04 AM
7In 2010, We spent 3 weeks in Kruger. We traveled 10 months around the world and it was our best stop. We wanted to stay longer. Stay in the bush camps, for the full experience. It is safe as long you do not do stupid things, like getting out of your car and use precaution when approaching the wildlife. DO NOT drive by elephants when they are on the road or they are close to the road. Stop and enjoy at the recommended distance. They are the kings of the park. The place is unbelievable, you are going to have an experience of a lifetime..
Oct 3, 2012 9:55 PM
8driving yourself is perfectly fine and easy in Kruger, if you are travelling alone however it's difficult to look for wildlife and keep you eyes on the road! For that reason I would recommend an organised safari for you on this occasion, you're right there are lots available, things to consider are: number of people on safari, type of accommodation, do you want to stay in the National Park, in a surrounding game reserve or just nearby, are game drives in open vehicles oe closed minibuses, plus where does the safari start. There are options to be picked up / dropped off in Johannesburg, Pretoria or Nelspruit.
Oct 10, 2012 3:12 PM
9Whats kruger like in December?
Are there good alternatives between CT and Durban?
Oct 10, 2012 11:30 PM
10Kruger in December is hot and, especially during the Chrustmas - New Year period it is usually very full. The school holidays begin on 7th December and the mad rush to holiday destinations begins a week later. The schools only re-open on 16th January. If you can take the heat then see my response #2 above, where I posted a link to the SANparks web-site. Check the availability of accommodation for the dates and camps that suit you and book as soon as possible, if there is anytrhig available.
The only alternative to Kruger between Caoe Town and Durban are, firstly, Addo, which certainly does not compare to Kruger in any way, and secondly, Shamwari (near Addo) which is a very expensive private reserve. However, north of Durban the Hluhluwe / Imfolozi game reserve could be considered.
Oct 11, 2012 8:32 AM
11Ive been to a lot of the south african national parks, and so far my best experience is doing the wilderness trails in Kruger. I did Napi and loved it...! Most of the time you will be on food and seing the bush from a completely different angle, you might not see all of the big five but it is worth it.
just book well in advance as they are very popular and for animal wieving from what i heard sweni, metsi-metsi and napi (more rhinos and elephants) are great
Nov 14, 2012 4:46 AM
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