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Help with Kruger (sanpark) safari please ! help!

Redditch, United...
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Help with Kruger (sanpark) safari please ! help!

Could you please point me in the right direction for a seven day safari in the Kruger Park.

After looking at so many reviews and ideas getting slightly confused and need help from my fellow tripadviser kruger experts.

1. We are going to drive to Kruger and approach to the south could you please suggest a route which would be a varied and interesting drive including sandparks accommodation.

2. A number of people have mentioned the best rooms to book in these parks. Anyone help with choosing accommodation, restaurants, fuel, petrol stations.

3. It has been brought to my attention that a lot of people have also ended their tour with a private reserve any suggestions with maybe a two night lol economical with the money in other words good value; not too worried about five start luxury just somewhere where people have had a good experience for the money

4. We would like to fly back rather than drive to Johannesburg has anyone used this means of transport. can you drop the car at the airport? and where is the nearest airport

many thanks would love your input date -----going 24\01\2015

Naracoorte
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1. Re: Help with Kruger (sanpark) safari please ! help!

Once you enter the park (from the south it will be probably via Malelane gate or Crocodile Bridge gate depending on route - (we don't drive up from JHB so others can advise) you can take any of the gravel or tar roads to your first camp depending on time constraints. If you arrive midday or later then you probably look at any of the southern camps for your first night/s; Crocodile Bridge, BergnDal, Lower Sabie, Pretoriouskop. Once in the park the normal course of each day (for most people) is to get up early as possible to leave camp at gate opening time and take a leisurely drive either to your next booked camp or just cruising around, perhaps stopping at a picnic spot or even another camp for lunch and then returning to your accommodation. Some people stay out driving around the whole day and only return at camp gate closing (sundown). You will be there in the summer and it will be hot and many like to return for a siesta or just quiet time in the heat of the day before setting out for another game drive mid to late afternoon. With a week you could look at any of the above camp/s plus Satara and Letaba or Oliphants then if you can arrange a one-way car hire drop off you could fly back from Phalaborwa which is on the park boundary closest to Letaba and Oliphants or fly from Hoedspruit which is closest to Orpen and Satara. Alternatively, you could fly back from Skukuza airport if you book a hire car with Avis and organise the one way hire through there.

You need to do a lot of research at www.sanparks.org where you can plan, check availability for accommodation in all camps and book. January is a busy time so it would be best to book as soon as possible. Accommodation types and styles are best checked out at the above website where you will find photos of all accommodation options in each of the Sanparks camps. One can request a specific unit number after looking at the camp map online by emailing the individual camp about 2-3 weeks before arrival - after of course you have your confirmed booking well in advance. The camp email addresses can be found on the website above, particularly the Sanparks forum, where things are kept more up to date.

Every 'main' camp in KNP has a restaurant (or two) and a petrol station and a shop.

If you arrange to fly back from Hoedspruit, I would recommend Gomo Gomo lodge in the Timbavati. It is good value, mid range and you can be picked up and dropped off at Hoedspruit airport.

Redditch, United...
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2. Re: Help with Kruger (sanpark) safari please ! help!

Thank you so much !

do you have any favorites parks ?

lovely write up !!

Naracoorte
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3. Re: Help with Kruger (sanpark) safari please ! help!

I'm guessing you mean favourite camps within Kruger National Park? If so, my favourites are Shimuwini (a Bushveld camp - small, no shop, restaurant etc.), Letaba, Shingwedzi, Tamboti (a rustic tented camp, no shop etc).

Lower Sabie is very popular as is Satara as they are in very good game viewing areas. Personally, I prefer to stay at Tamboti rather than Satara as most of the same ground can be covered. The semi-luxury river view units are usually recommended at Lower Sabie to give not only a good view but for more peace away from the busy areas.

Perth, Australia
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4. Re: Help with Kruger (sanpark) safari please ! help!

For a first time visit to Kruger I would recommend Lower Sabie in a perimeter bungalow for a couple of days and then Satara - again in a perimeter hut, and not bother with the bush camps where you have to take all your food, etc. It is nice to have access to shops and restaurants (very reasonably priced). Look at the Sanparks website to check what is available. Skukuza, although a very big and busy camp, is a good alternative to Lower Sabie. You don't really notice the crowds as you will be out driving most of the time.

As for private lodges, look at Gomo,Gomo in Timbervati area - you could then leave the car at Hoedspruit (Eastgate Airport), or go to Sabi Sands reserve - my favourite! Low cost lodges include Umkumbe, Elephant Plains, Arathusa. Again, my favourite is Umkumbe with magnificent views over the Sand River. You can then drive to KMIA airport, Nelspruit and return the car there to fly back to J'burg. You will need to use a car rental like Avis or Budget to be able to leave the car there. It is also worth looking at renting a 2x4 such as a Nissan XTrail (don't need 4 wheel drive) - to get the extra height, but a sedan will also be okay.

Hope this helps.

Johannesburg, South...
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5. Re: Help with Kruger (sanpark) safari please ! help!

With 7 nights I recommend you start in the central area, Stay 1 night Olifants, 2 nights Satara or Tamboti (the latter if you are ok with self catering), then 2 nights in Lower Sabie and end your stay with 2 nights in Skukuza. Try to book perimeter bungalows for all camps and in Skukuza the semi-luxury river bungalows. The reason I suggest you end your safari in Skukuza is because 1. it has lots and lots of roads around it to drive and 2. you can fly back from Skukuza airport to Johannesburg. If you want to drop your vehicle there make sure the car rental company has a branch there. If you want to stay in a private reserve the last 2 nights then I'd suggest you switch your itinerary around. Stay in Lower sabie for 2 nights, Skukuza 1 night, Satara 2 nights and then 2 nights in a private lodge in the Timbavati/Klaserie - good value lodges include Nthambo tree camp, Gomo Gomo, SImbavati river lodge, Africa on Foot and Shindzela. From there you can fly back from Hoedspruit, no need to go all the way to nespruit.

For fuel and restaurants, you'll find these at all the main camps. The smaller bush camps like Talamati, Shimuwini etc does not have these facilities, so you'll have to self cater, and for fuel they are usually all within close proximity of a bigger camp where you can fill up.

Kruger National...
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6. Re: Help with Kruger (sanpark) safari please ! help!

Favorites.... oh man that is a tough one.

I must say, I am a sucker for Lower Sabie too. Everything is great - the location, the restaurant, the curio store, the huts - plus, the actual general area is great for game viewing. You don't have to drive far out of camp to see your first animals!

Olifants also needs a mention from me, because it offers the most outstanding view of the Olifants River. Absolutely jaw dropping.

Thirdly - Satara. Great general area to base yourself from. V popular with the big cats (lion & leopard especially). Never mind the GREAT coffee that Mugg and Bean offers!

Warm regards

Jacqui Sive l Owner & Safari Travel Specialist, LODGE TRACKERS l Author, KRUGER SAFARI GUIDE blog

Redditch, United...
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7. Re: Help with Kruger (sanpark) safari please ! help!

I would like to express my appreciation to everyone that has contributed to an amazing and thoughtful write-up. You have planted many seeds and I feel I can put my plan into place and using all the above I am sure I have many hours of research. It all sounds absolutely fantastic. Will let you know how we get on in the future. p.s. has anyone done the garden route so far we have three days in cape town and two days in the wineries any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Is Addo elephant park worth a visit. thank you

Manchester, United...
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8. Re: Help with Kruger (sanpark) safari please ! help!

Just been to kruger for the first time and did a pretty extensive tour. Our favourite camps were Olifants, Talamati bush camp, Shimuwini bush camp, and totally agree skukusa semi lux riverside to start or finish. If you love elephants, and who doesn't, shingwedzi is a must. We did find lower Sabie totally manic but we passed through on a Sunday.

In Cape Town my personal view is that the immediate area round hermanus and inland is far superior to the garden route. The cape itself is great.

Wine tasting stay at Stellenbosch, hire a car and guide not that pricey and then all drink and drive issues disappear. Easily my favourite is Delheim

Edited: 02 July 2014, 21:28
Redditch, United...
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9. Re: Help with Kruger (sanpark) safari please ! help!

Can i do this route ??

2 nights at lower sabie

2 nights at satara

2 nights at olifants ?

need to get to neslspruit on last day ? only flight time to suit !

can you help with times and distance ?

many thanks andy.

Phoenix, Arizona
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10. Re: Help with Kruger (sanpark) safari please ! help!

You can use the SANParks distance chart to determine how far/long from camps to camps or camps to gates. Remember..50kph speed limit on Tar roads in KNP. Plan for a 20/25 kph if you plan on doing a game drive on your way out.

sanparks.org/parks/kruger/get_there/KNP_dist…

You can use this map to determine how far/long for your drive outside the park, based on which gate you decide to exit from.

accommodation-in-kruger-park.com/kruger_dist…