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Game Drive Safari

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Belgium
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Game Drive Safari

Hi,

We are 3 adults who will be travelling to South Africa in November. Because we are only going for 2 weeks, we decided to travel to Cape Town area (wineroute/gardenroute) and not Johannesburg area. We will rent a car and book guesthouses/ B&Bs and create our own route. We like to see a lot of things but also like the occasional moment of rest at the beach/pool/...

We would like to do a game drive safari, but of course Krugerpark is not an option if we only explore the Cape Town area... I have been looking on the internet and there seem to be quite a few (private) game parks in the CT area as well. We only want to see wild animals, doesn't have to be exactly the big five...

So is there any game park in the area you would recommend?

Is it possible to have a game experience in one of these that lives up to the standards of Kruger Park concerning wildlife?

Would you recommend staying a night in a game park (is that really worth the money), or is it better to rent a room somewhere close to the park and taking a day safari?

thanks for your help!

Jenny

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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1. Re: Game Drive Safari

Only one Game Reserve near Cape Town - Sanbona - offers an experience that is similar to the private reserves in other parts of the country - and yes, you must stay within the reserve if you go there. The closest place where I would say there is really good wildlife, where you can stay outside and drive in would be Addo, a couple of days' drive east, just northeast of Port Elizabeth.

Cape Town
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2. Re: Game Drive Safari

"Is it possible to have a game experience in one of these that lives up to the standards of Kruger Park concerning wildlife?" - Absolutely not!

Sanbona matches Kruger reserves only in price. In November over €1,800 per night for 3 adults (2+1), to which needs to be added tips and getting there from Cape Town (two days car hire). It is a medium size reserve (around 50,000 hectares) but certainly doesn't have the variety and density of Wildlife that is found in Kruger National Park - or the private reserves nearby. You cannot visit Sanbona for a Day Drive so the cost will be over €2,000 for an overnight. The other Day Drive Game Parks nearer to Cape Town certainly only offer a zoo park experience not too different to what you can get in Europe. One or two examples of each species plus any Lions or other predators are kept in separate enclosures and not hunting free.

Dave mentions Addo which is one of the countries best National Parks. This is run along very similar lines to Kruger National Park with the ability to do either self drive or mix this with Ranger drives in Parks open vehicles. Addo is a large National Park which extends over 250,000 hectares. However the main game viewing area is smaller and you would be able to get a good safari experience in 2-3 days.

Addo accommodates a wide variety of wildlife including possibly the best Elephant Viewing in Southern Africa, with a population of over 500 animals. On visits here we have often seen close to 200 elephants at one time. A wide range of other wildlife including good Lion sightings, good herds of Buffalo, Black Rhino, Zebra, Hyenas, Jackals, and a wide variety of different Antelopes including a very large Kudu population.

This can certainly be fitted in with a Cape Town based vacation by doing a trip there as a Fly-In two day trip with a single overnight. As Addo is less than an hours drive from Port Elizabeth airport, transfer time from Cape Town is less than somewhere like Sanbona. I have posted details on here before :

For by far the best two day budget safari from Cape Town, fly just over an hour to Port Elizabeth using a combination of the two low cost airlines, because of the flight times. CPT-PLZ on Kulula Dep 11:35 arr 12:45. Pick up a hire car from the Airport and drive to Addo by 14:15 in good time to do a 3 hours afternoon Game drive. This is the best time to see the stars of Addo - the Elephants - you will see herds of up to 200 right close to. Then book a night time game drive in a Park Open Vehicle with a ranger as you will see different animals and you can't drive yourself in the park after dark. This is another two hour game drive.

Pre-book a Chalet for a comfortable night. An airconditioned chalet with private bath and shower costs R954 for all three of you. Includes your own kitchen and a private terrace maybe with a view over the floodlit waterhole with Elephant and Black Rhino visiting during the night. Alternatively you could book two separate Rondavels. Then be ready when the gate opens next morning at 6:00am to enter the park again in your car. This is by far the best time to see animals such as Lion and Hyena which are still active after a night hunting. Also general game such as Kudu, Warthogs, Zebra, Jackals, Monkeys, Eland and other antelopes. When you get back to your chalet have breakfast and check out. Now you still have time to drive a bit more in the park and then back to PE. Drop the car and get the 15:40 SAA flight back to Cape Town arr 16:50. Not rushed and the best 2 day safari from Cape Town.

Not expensive either - for three people :

Flights - R1,100 ea R3,300

Car Hire - One day only needed £19 (R240) for a 4 door aircon small saloon on www.holidayautos.co.uk

Park Accommodation - three people in a Private Chalet with Private bathroom and terrace overlooking the Game Area or floodlit waterhole - R954

Park Entrance Fees - three people two days R780

Night Game drive for three people - R675

Total excl meals R5,950 (€630 for three people two days).

http://www.sanparks.org/parks/addo/

This is FAR better game viewing than the zoo park type safaris within driving distance of Cape Town.

If you have an extra day then two nights/three days is even better value and gives you the chance to see the whole of the main game areas of Addo.

Possibly the best plan might be to fit this at the end of your stay in Cape Town and then you can look at a return flight from PE which connects directly with your flight back to Europe - either from CPT or JNB.

Belgium
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3. Re: Game Drive Safari

Thanks you both for your help!

I already wanted to go to Addo because I love elephants, but I didn't know that we could also see other game there. Now I know that, we willcertainly go to Addo Park. I don't think a national flight is necessary because we are renting a car for the 2 weeks and think we can do Cape Town - Garden Route - Addo - Wine Route - Cape Town.

Thanks again,

Jenny

South Africa
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4. Re: Game Drive Safari

Hi Jenny, Addo is a good option but if you have 2 weeks available I'm curious to know why you would not book a cheap 2 hour flight to Johannesburg and do Kruger anyway? Driving or flying to Addo from Cape Town is about the same in terms of time / effort / cost as getting to Kruger, by far South Africa's best game reserve. In fact it costs less to fly to Johannesburg than to PE, and from Joburg you can easily do a 2 or 3 night trip to Kruger. If you fly all this way and stay in SA for 2 weeks, why go home without having seen Kruger?

I'm heading to Addo again this week because it is close to where I stay, but in all honesty you cannot compare Addo with Kruger.

Belgium
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5. Re: Game Drive Safari

Thansk for replying. Indeed we do have 2 weeks. Have booked our flights today, arriving CT 6 Nov 11am, leaving 19Nov 9pm.

We do want to see quite a lot: CT, peninsula, wine route, garden route, etc. So I figured taking a national flight to Joburg would cost a lot of time...

We will rent a car for the 2 weeks and route not quite figured out yet but thought of doing: CT - peninsula - wine route direction PE - garden route direction back to CT. That way we can drop the car off where we picked it up.

Just checked and with Kulula we can get a flight George - Joburg - Joburg - CT for about 125 EUR. Could put this at the end of the trip but then we would have to drop off the car in George and there would be an extra fee added for the rental car I guess...

What would you do? :-)

We already paid quite a lot for the flights, so are trying to keep the rest within budget...

6. Re: Game Drive Safari

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