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Is it worth the price difference to go to a private reserve

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Is it worth the price difference to go to a private reserve

Is the difference provided by off road venturing worth the difference in price? We will be traveling the end of December. Which is the best tour group for the private reserve, which is the best private reserve to go to?

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1. Re: Is it worth the price difference to go to a private reserve

topic recently covered: tripadvisor.co.za/…59823320

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2. Re: Is it worth the price difference to go to a private reserve

I far preferred our 4 night self-drive stay at the rest camps in Kruger. BUT we also spent 2 nights at a private reserve. I do think ideally that a mix of both is best. We happened to have a friend with us who grew up in the bush with a game ranger father, so we had our own personal guide telling us about all the animals, plants, etc. I do think that had we been alone we would have seen not nearly as many animals on our own and we wouldn't have understood the value of what we saw. The Sanparks camps do have game drives, so you could sign up for those to get a "guided" drive.

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3. Re: Is it worth the price difference to go to a private reserve

I recommend Kruger quickly to travelers whose budgets need some help - because staying within the Kruger Park acquaints you with what the bush is all about. You have the freedom to ramble around all day long. Good paved main roads, pretty good secondary roads, not-as-good roads in areas that don't get a lot of traffic. You never really can count on amazing sightings, but you will find meals in the main camp restaurants to be OK, and if your lodging has any kitchen stuff, you can get supplies from the camp store and handle light meals on your own. You do need to either do some homework to figure out how to book your lodging, or get help from someone who knows. It's not that hard.

Here's some advice I put together 3 years ago.. I think it's still accurate:

I would educate myself on the various Main camps within Kruger - start here: http://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/ You can look at the individual sites for them, get more information that way. You can look up comments about them on Trip Advisor.. and on the Kruger Park forum - www.sanparks.org/forums/viewforum.php?f=67

An acquaintance of mine provided this list of his suggestions:

"..In the Kruger park I would like to recommend the following camps: Letaba, Olifants, Satara and Lower Sabie.

* Letaba: a spacious camp where you can walk within the fenced area and there's a nice walking trail (not long) next to the river -also within the fenced area-.

When you book a family unit (sleeps 4-6) you are located in the furthest and most quite corner of the camp.

* Olifants: arguably the camp with the most impressive view over the Olifants gorge. Tip: book a unit (rondavel) with riverview, you won't have leave your terrace as you can chill out with a cold beer or some nice wine while enjoying the spectacular views.

* Satara: the largest camp in the central area but the area around Satara is excellent for game-viewing. This because of the good grazing conditions, you can find the open savanna and the biggest lion populations roam around there. The S-100 -east/south-east of Satara- is a very nice and often rewarding road to take.

* Lower Sabie: located in the south-east of the Kruger park. Try to book in one of the tents which are located on the lower Sabie river. The camp is not big and with a wooden deck overlooking the river. Also on the eastern roads you can see very good game, and not so many cars as in and around Skukuza.."

Here's a site where you start looking for availability: sanparks.org/parks/…availability.php I chose Lower Sabie for an example - and when I go to its availability page - sanparks.org/parks/… - you can immediately learn everything about all the different sorts of accommodation and level of comfort.

Pick a Bungalow for an example - a BG2. You will see that it can only take two guests. Does that work for you? Base rate is R960, and that pays for two guests, not R960 per person.

At some point you must register with SanParks. And then you get ready to select your camp and dates. Here's the bad news.. look at the last part of December.. hardly anything left.


What you must find - any month, any camp, any sort of accommodation - is the 3 or 4 consecutive nights you might want. You may be too late.

Kruger experts insist that you can register, choose your dates and type of accommodation, and then should CALL them to get your booking.

Time difference - they are 6 hours ahead of you.

You will also have park fees to pay, which are R248PP per day right now.. $22+ at today's ROE (rate of exchange).. but that's just through October. I expect them to rise but don't know how much.

Others can certainly tell us. You will have a fee for your rental car, too.

Private reserves basically do most everything for you. The least expensive ones I use and recommend are from just under $200PP per night, to just over it. Spend another $100PP and you take a pretty good step up in comfort and dining, and sometimes maybe a little better wildlife - but not always.

Edited: 22 August 2014, 21:54
4. Re: Is it worth the price difference to go to a private reserve

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