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Kruger help

Napa, California
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516 posts
4 reviews
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Kruger help

I am feeling quite overwhelmed with Kruger and safaris. I want to see the most amount of animals as possible- the bigger the better. Where is it best to do this? I thought Sabi Sands was perfect for this, but are there other places that I should consider?

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Albany, New York
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545 posts
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1. Re: Kruger help

Sabi Sands is wonderful (it has the highest watering holes to land ratio AND the animals that are territorial there are not frightened away by safari vehicles as they have become accustomed to this over time). We stayed at Elephant Plains for 2 days in April and saw the big 5. If you read posts on this forum, you will see that many people see the big 5 within one day at the lodges within the Sabi Sands.

If you have more days to spend, you probably would be able to spot the big 5 yourself within Kruger National Park on your own self-drive...especially during August/Sept when the bush is less thick (animals will be gathered around the watering holes-- which makes them easier to spot)... but we found it exciting to find animals (with the help of our tracker) driving thru the bush in April. Hope that helps a little. :)

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Wayzata, Minnesota
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2. Re: Kruger help

The game viewing in the Sabi Sands is amazing. The camps closest to the permanent water sources (rivers) seem to have the best game viewing but are not always the most luxurious. I don’t know of any water holes in the Sabi Sands and I have been there many time.

The largest reserve in the Sabi Sands is Mala Mala. With 13,000 hectares it is almost twice the size of the next biggest camp. Mala Mala is mid-range on price. Lion Sands River Lodge is also mid-range on price on directly on a river.

Londolozi and Singita have fantastic game viewing but do command a high price for their luxurious accommodations.

I have a map of the Sabi Sands that shows the relation of all the camps to each other and to the Kruger Park.

If this is your first trip, I would recommend 1 or 2 camps for 3-6 nights. The biggest factor will be your budget and if you plan on another destination like Botswana for the same journey.

I was at Mala Mala & Lion Sands in April. I have visited Sabi Sabi in the past and will be going to Londolozi and Singita on my next trip in December. Elephant Plains is a nice budget alternative. The big draw-back will be a small concession of land with other camps using it for over-drive.

Craig Beal – owner Travel Beyond

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Lion Sands River Lodge
Lion Sands River Lodge
796 Reviews
Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa
Napa, California
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516 posts
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3. Re: Kruger help

We have decided that we will at least spend part of our time at Elephant Plains in Sabi Sands. Considering costs, are there other areas that we could get to and stay a few nights on safari? We like the nice prices of Ele Plains and would like to stick to a price similar to those. Thanks!

Albany, New York
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545 posts
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4. Re: Kruger help

You can look at Gomo Gomo...

Our you can do your own self-drive thru the National Park. We saw the big 5 within 2 days at Elephant Plains- and then did our own self-drive one morning in Kruger from the Orpen gate pass Satara and Skukuza- out Phalbeni gate- we saw elephants, rhinos, zebra, buffalos, etc...

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Wayzata, Minnesota
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5. Re: Kruger help

Amy,

I would also agree that Gomo Gomo is a good pair for elephant plains.

Gomo Gomo is about two hours by road from EP and it is in the Timbavati. Although the game will not be quite as productive, mostly based on water supply, it is more remote and a bit quieter than the Sabi Sands area.

Craig Beal - owner Travel Beyond

Wayzata, Minnesota
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6. Re: Kruger help

Amy,

If you want to see a different environment all together, I recommend you drive from the Sabi Sands to Pafuri in the northern part of the park. Or, you could drive all the way to Mashatu in SE Botswana. Both would be reasonable on the price. Mashtu would require an overnight in-between if you wanted to get maximum bang for your buck.

Craig Beal – owner Travel Beyond

South Africa
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7. Re: Kruger help

Gomo Gomo is in the Timbavati Game Reserve where the game viewing is not quite as good as in the Sabi Sand (but still good). If you include Gomo Gomo, go there first and end at Elephant Plains, I would say. These are two of the most affordable private lodges in the greater Kruger National Park, and both very popular. Best to book them way in advance.

Driving to Pafuri or Mashatu is very far so I would avoid that unless you have a lot of time.

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Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Napa, California
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516 posts
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8. Re: Kruger help

Gomo Gomo looks nice. How can we get there? Also, how do we go from there to Elephant Plains?

Thanks everyone for all your help!

London, United...
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9. Re: Kruger help

For Gomo Gomo, you could fly from Joburg into Hoedspruit and pick up a hire car there to drive to the reserve. After your stay there, you could drive to Elephant Plains. At the end of your safari you could drive to Nelspruit and drop off your hire car, and fly to Joburg or Cape Town. This is the least expensive option.

Alternatively, you could fly directly from Joburg into Gomo Gomo, fly from Gomo Gomo to EP, and then from EP either back to Joburg or to Cape Town via Nelspruit. This will be more expensive but seeing the area from the air is a great experience, and it's much faster and more comfortable.

Enjoy your trip!

Cheers,

Julian

(owner, Timeless Africa)

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Hoedspruit
Hoedspruit
Limpopo Province, South Africa
Nelspruit
Nelspruit
Mpumalanga, South Africa
Cape Town
Cape Town
Western Cape, South Africa
Wayzata, Minnesota
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10. Re: Kruger help

Amy,

You can get to Gomo Gomo and EP by many methods.

Private road transfer to/from Johannesburg and from camp-to-camp.

Commercial flight to Hoedspruit with road transfer to Gomo Gomo.

Commercial flight to Nelspurit with road transfer to EP.

Scheduled charter to/from Johannesburg to camps.

Private charter to/from Johannesburg to camps.

Rental car!

Any combination of the above. You can also get to Gomo Gomo from Nelspruit but the drive is longer.

Craig Beal – owner Travel Beyond

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Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa
Nelspruit
Nelspruit
Mpumalanga, South Africa