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Can we skip Kruger?

Richmond
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Can we skip Kruger?

Hi!

Family of four (kids 6,8) going to SA ffor 12 days in December and really struggling with the question of weather we should include Kruger or not? In other words, can we get a somewhat similar "safari experience" on the Garden route?

Option 1: Fly into and out of Cape town and stick with the garden route

Option 2: Fly into cape town, drive to PE. Fly from PE to JoBerg and do Kruger then fly out.

thanks!

We are big hikers and bikers.

Hong Kong, China
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1. Re: Can we skip Kruger?

Can you get something similar to Kruger National Park near Cape Town?

There are some private reserves and smaller parks like the Cape Peninsula National Park which are great for hiking and biking, you'll definitely want to spend a day or two out in this area, considering your listed hobbies.

However, for a safari experience, from what I gather, the reserve parks in which you can visit as a day trip outside of Cape Town are just not the same thing. They might be a decent option if you simply don't have the time/budget to make it to Kruger. However, if you do, it would be advisable to go directly to Kruger NP.

In my view, having done safari in many of the parks in southern to eastern Africa, Kruger is among the two best for wildlife viewing (along with Serengeti) and is the best value-for-money safari experience in Africa.

What we like so much about Kruger is that you can self-drive in the park with such ease, not something you do in many of the safari parks. Also, private reserve arrangements can be affordable in Kruger, whereas in Kenya and Tanzania, where you visit Serengeti and Masai Mara, you will find yourself paying a small fortune for a private safari experience.

Thus, in my view, if you are going all the way to South Africa, it would a real shame to not spend 3D/2N at least in Kruger.

I would also suggest an option 3: Fly in, stay 6 nights, fly from CPT to Kruger National Park, 2-3 nights, fly back to CPT, 3-4 nights. On the return leg consider spending time on the Garden Route or just making day trips out of Cape Town.

Naracoorte
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2. Re: Can we skip Kruger?

Dont miss kruger for all the reasons mentioned above!

Richmond
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3. Re: Can we skip Kruger?

Thanks!

How about fly into JoBerg - visit Kruger, then fly to PE. Drive the garden route to Cape town and fly out of Cape Town.

Washington DC...
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4. Re: Can we skip Kruger?

Probably just a matter of preference but I like leaving the safari for last. I primarily go to Africa for game viewing so in my case I would leave best for last, flying in to CT and leaving Jo'burg.

SOUTH AFRICA
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5. Re: Can we skip Kruger?

Don't skip Kruger!

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

Richmond
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6. Re: Can we skip Kruger?

Again, thanks everyone!

One of our friends are highly recommending Morukuru lodge in Madikwe..........any opinions on Madikwe vs Kruger?

Merci

PS

Washington DC...
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7. Re: Can we skip Kruger?

If you checked the various lists of the Top 5 or Top 10 safari destinations in Africa, Kruger would likely be on every one, Madikwe on none. On the other hand, Madikwe is a malaria free zone while Kruger is not (you'll need an antimalarial in December).

San Francisco, CA
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8. Re: Can we skip Kruger?

Hmm. I was in SA at the end of Feb / beginning of March. My boyfriend and I spent a week in Cape Town and the Garden Route, then a week up north including Kruger. We loved Kruger and it was one of our chief destination goals.

However. I don't have kids, but I have nieces and nephews whom I have taken on outings over the years. I'm just not sure that a six and eight year old are going to be that excited about being in the car so much. That's what you do in Kruger, drive all day looking for animals. You can't get out of the car except within the camps. Now maybe the camps with swimming pools offer enough other activities for the kids. And not all kids are alike.

But there are options for more interactive activities. Why not stay in the south part of the country (malaria free) and go to Addo to see a lot of elephants? No, we didn't go there, but I would have liked to. I think there's a place along the Garden Route where you can maybe pet a cheetah (or at least see one up close at Tenikwa). Betty's Bay has the great penguin colony. There are caves and ostrich farms, both things that I wish we had had time for.

You can always visit Kruger when the kids are older.

Laurie

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9. Re: Can we skip Kruger?

You will not get a decent safari experience on the Garden Route itself but if you drive just beyond Port Elizabeth, there are many great private game reserves and I am sure you will have a wonderful time there. This is also a malaria free area.

Mark September

Small World Tours

Naracoorte
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10. Re: Can we skip Kruger?

I would say that with young children in Kruger there are many ways to make it 'child friendly'.

*Plan your game drives to stop at one of the excellent picnic sites where you can get out, have a toilet stop, eat a picnic lunch or snack or even hire a bbq from the attendent for a cooked brekkie or lunch!

*Organise a points system for animals. Each child can only count each one of the types of animals on their side of the car. Little prizes for first to spot a particular animal or first to get x amount of points etc.

*At night gather around your braii (wood & firelighters available at camp shops) and toast marshmallows with the children.

*Take a torch and do a walk around the camp perimeter fence to see if you can spot any animals close by after dark.

*Come back to camp in the mid afternoon for a refreshing swim at the camp pool and an icecream from the shop.

*Buy a simple Kruger Guide Book at any camp shop for the children to tick off the species as they find them.

*Buy them a very cheap little camera each so they can take their own wildlife pics and encourage them to be 'Wildlife Photographers'.

There are so many ways to make a trip to Kruger a joy with children.

Read some of the Travel Tales on www.sanparks.org forum specifically written by families with children and their experiences in the park and view their terrific photos for ideas and inspiration.